More little shoes…

The “DIY baby shoes that are too cute to pass up” pattern from Spoonflower is just as good as its name. My daughter is so keen, this is my second attempt to grade it up a little to fit growing little feet. Also, she loved this fabric so much, this is #2!

This attempt was a better fit (despite them looking so little alike, *cough*), so here is another pair, made from pre-loved jeans fabric.

I did a little embroidery, and raided the stash of leather scraps and samples for two more different-coloured soles!

Progress shot of the hardest part, getting them right-side-out.

Out in the thyme patch.

In the sand pit! (this pair came to an early and appalling end, but they did their job, protecting precious little feet)…. the denim pair are clear favourites at the moment. I have been highly entertained to hear my daughter refer to them as “the Van Goghs”!

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Guerilla gardening, again

Yes, this is a small love song to the ruby saltbush.

I walked a bucket full down toward a neglected patch where I hoped they might thrive, just outside a fence. I just popped them in, spaced out along the fence line.

It was a while ago, and many have doubled in size. AND, the community organisation that runs the site inside the fence (I assume) have since planted larger plants beside them in one part of the fence.

And then, litter picking on the way home, because. Well, if you’re reading this far, you know why.

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The madder harvest

This year I went wild and dug a lot of the madder patch.

There was the soaking, rinsing, weighing (TWO KILOGRAMS, just quietly) and picking over. There was potting up some plants in case others want some.

There was mordanting (with alum).

There was the grinding up.

Then the heating begins. I am proud to say that for once I did not boil my dye vat. Really, the list of my dyeing crimes is too extensive to list! So I rate this a bit of a triumph.

I must say, that despite the amount of root, and the amount of dyeing (and the difficulty of getting a picture that captures it properly)… there was not actually a lot of red. Grey yarn became terra cotta (not that you can tell in the image), there is a lot of lovely orange, there is fabric that is various orange shades. Red silk embroidery thread and some red fleece. It’s not terrible, but it isn’t quite what I hoped for, either. It may be that it is time for some more research! If more experienced folks have insight to offer, do feel free! This year I really tried for long, slow heating, and came closer to achieving it than previously. But still…

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The Purple waistcoat project

Dear friends asked me whether I would be prepared to make their son a waistcoat for his birthday. After some efforts to access a paper pattern second hand, I used the free pattern from mesewcrazy.

I managed to cut the main pattern pieces from a pair of jeans of the right colour. Then I chose some silk I was given for the lining. It was given to me by a friend whose friend had destashed this and other fabrics.

I found buttons that were just right at The Adelaide Remakery.

This waistcoat is an ode to the recipient’s favourite anime character.

The main pattern pieces incorporate seams from the original jeans they were made from. They look quite good, I think.

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Socks!

There has not been a complete cessation of sock knitting. These little numbers came about because a friend who had attempted knitting her first sock had declared that she was not able to finish. Her arthritis just would not allow her to do it. She gave me the wool and the needles. I decided I’d knit her some socks from what she had chosen (a Patons ombre sock yarn).

As regular readers will realise, I’m not much for matching and these don’t quite match–but not too shabby by my standards! They kept me company through some epic online conferences run through Zoom, in particular.

There is just a little left for mending when the time comes. I’ve already had reports of them going camping and hiking and hopefully they will be treasured and worn a lot.

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Guerilla planting and weeding…

The last of autumn’s ruby saltbush went out into the world. I had in mind a spot where I would plant it, but rail infrastructure crews were busy right there. So I changed my mind.

I put some rooted but not potted Ngarrindjeri weaving rushes into the creekbed while I was out. They are likely to do better there than potted on at this time of year, I decided. Then it was veldt grass out (a more knowledgeable person has identified one of the awful weeds of our neighbourhood for me!) and ruby saltbush in, along a fence line where I have been progressively planting saltbush and nature has been progressively creating soil as more leaves are trapped in place and break down into new earth. Perfect.

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Eucalypt dyeing

I love a good bundle… in this one, silky merino shows its capacity to take up eucalyptus dyes again. In this dye pot, a cowl that was ready for a dye bath, and a garment that had shrunk enough that I decided to turn it into other items…

My partner had requested a deep, narrow cowl that could be pulled up over her head and ears under her bike helmet. Her friend had made one from cotton knit, so I copied its dimensions. You can see all that remains of the neckline in the image below.

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Screen printing

I’ve returned to the screen printing. This stencil turned out to be the last one on the old, damaged screen. One day I decided to go buy a new one. I’ve been looking second hand for months and finally decided I’d like to be able to get a clean image to the extent my skills allow!

Oh my! The difference was immediate.

And they went directly to high vis for the large number of actions we’ve been running in the last couple of months.

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Guerilla weeding and planting

The council decided to mulch one of my guerilla gardening sites where loads of their plantings died once summer and have never been replaced. I was glad to see most of them unscathed. These saltbush have grown a lot since they went in!

In other guerilla gardening news, a nearby propagator has started offering me plants for this purpose! I scored pots destined for landfill as I returned from my run one day and separated out these little darlings to grow them on a bit more before planting.

There has been a fair bit of guerilla weeding going on. A gentleman on a bike stopped just to ask me what weeds I was pulling this morning!

Here are the little bulbine lilies in their new bigger homes in the propagating area, where I hope they will get big enough to plant out soon!

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What the well dressed rebel is wearing this season

I have been gradually applying some of my rough screen printing to our extensive collection of upcycled high vis vests.

We have quite a number in all kinds of high vis glory…

And it isn’t complicated sewing.

As you can see, they are not an entirely matched set!

However, they do the job and here is a stack of plastic fabric that is not going to landfill… even if still not exactly high fashion!

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