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Salihan Crafts

Thank You & Goodbye

This will be my very last blog post on Salihan Crafts. I’ve toyed with the idea for a while now and after much deliberation, I’ve decided that I’m ready to move on. Although I have enjoyed writing and chatting with you for the last 5 years, I think blogging and crafting in general have taken a back seat to my other interests. I don’t think I can blog as I used to. My heart isn’t in it anymore and that makes me feel that I’m not being fair to you by continuing. I don’t want you to have to read my half-assed dribble because I think we both have better things to do with our time.

Before I go, I would like to walk down memory lane and share with you the best of Salihan Crafts. Here are my Top 5 project lists which have made this journey so very fun and exciting!

8. Blocking Knitted Scarf Yarn sleeve & pot scrubber Knitted I-cord Coasters Crystal Filled Neck Cooler Step 1
Top 5 most popular tutorials:
1. How to block a scarf you can be proud of
2. Two ways to reuse your bath puff
3. Knitted i-cord coasters
4. DIY neck coolers
5. How to embroider a smile on your amigurumi

Crochet Flower Fridgies Crochet Apple Dishcloths Pear Tawashi Ysoline & Amigurumi Pears Johnny Apple & Little Mac
Top 5 most popular patterns:
1. Crochet flower fridgies
2. Apple tawashi dishcloth
3. Pear tawashi dishcloth
4. Amigurumi Pears
5. Johnny Apple & Little Mac
You can find more patterns HERE

Crochet Hairband 2 Berry Stitch Bag Revisited White Chocolate Berry Muffins Forever Blanket February Lady Sweater
Top 5 most popular posts:
1. Novelty yarn crochet hair ties
2. Berry stitch knitting bag revisited
3. White chocolate berry muffin recipe
4. Forever is here
5. My FIRST knitted cardigan!

I will also be closing both my Etsy shops at the end of the month. I have slashed prices to clear stock. Please visit Salihan Crafts Shop and Madu.etsy.com to grab a bargain while stocks last! All my patterns will still be available here and in Ravelry.

Thank you all very much for your amazing support over the years. I loved reading each and every one of your comments and emails. You have changed me in a positive way with your kind words. My self-confidence has grown and I’m a much happier person because of you. I hope that you will still stay in touch outside of this blog. You may add me as a friend on Flickr, Ravelry and Goodreads.

I wish you all the very best, big hugs and kisses, and may our paths cross again in the future.

Lots of love,
Salihan xoxo

Charity Santa Helmet 2.0

I made another knitted santa helmet for charity! This time I’m donating it to a lovely man, Steve Woodman, in UK who does an annual motorcycle toy run to Bradbury House and the Children’s Ward at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. There are over 300 motorcyclists involved in this run. How exciting and wonderful for the children!

DSCF1827

DSCF1914
Above photos copyright of Hedgehunter (Flickr)

Steve gave me measurements to his helmet and I used my brother-in-law’s helmet as a guide too. Fingers crossed it fits okay!

Santa Helmet v2.0

Santa Helmet v2.0 (side)

I made quite a few improvements to the original Santa Helmet pattern. The mods are as follows:

  • Knitted the brim and joined short ends together to form a loop. Picked up stitches along one side with red yarn and joined in the round. Continued knitting the red hat in the round.
  • Made the pom pom much larger than the original. I think it looks better when it’s oversized.
  • This one isn’t really a mod but an accident. I made the beard far too wide and had to sew pleats along the top edge to make it fit under the visor. The bottom half of the beard is much wider than the helmet and is loose.
  • Instead of sewing on non-slip mat stuff under the brim, I used regular household silicone and almost emptied it all on the brim and beard. I think it’s stickier than the non-slip mat thingamagic.

Making Santa helmet non slip

Project details here

SOOOO I have a HUGE announcement next week. It’ll be the biggest in the history of this blog. I’ll see you next Monday, ok? Until then, have a good week!

Pom Pom!

I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my Christmas charity knitting. I made a pom pom tonight after dinner. It’s a good project even when you’re bleary eyed, sleepy and tired.

Pom pom making

I swear the pom pom looks better in real life! I was just too lazy to walk down to the garage to use my light tent. I’m almost asleep. Maybe I’ll dream about sleeping on a soft, fluffy pom pom… zzz…

Fun tutorial to make pom pom: http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/tips/pompom.htm

Belated Winter FO with a happy birdie

I’ve finally taken photos of my ribbed winter jacket. I know, I know. It’s Spring but hey, better late than never! I’ve worn the jacket many times and it’s very warm and comfortable. The new version of Moda Vera Marvel yarn has exceeded my expectations. I didn’t think I would actually enjoy wearing acrylic but it’s not too bad and it’s cheap! This jacket used only $16 worth of yarn. Bargain!

But if you’re thinking of knitting this jacket for yourself, let me give you a friendly warning. The knitting pattern was confusing and ambiguous at times. I think a lot of Drops Design patterns are like that from what I’ve knitted previously, but I always seem to go back to their designs as their simple and elegant knitwear appeals to me. Or, maybe, I’m just a sucker for punishment! Haha…

Ribbed Winter Jacket FO

Pattern: 103-16 jacket with rib in ”Karisma” with short or long sleeves by DROPS design
Yarn: Moda Vera Marvel Plain
Knitting needle: 3.5mm / US 4
More details available here

Do you want to see something cool? Here’s a photo of me with my darling parrot, Charlie! Please excuse my squinty eyes. It was a gloriously sunny day. :) We took Charlie into the backyard to hang out with us and he was happy to pose with mummy in her newish jacket.

Ribbed Winter Jacket FO with Charlie :)

Here he is chilling in the bushes. Isn’t he a cutie?

I'm happy bird!

Some of you may remember that I hang funny photos of my cats behind the toilet door. I managed to take a funny one of Charlie in the bushes to add to those. So if you were sitting on the toilet in my house, here’s what you’ll be looking at:

Pets mug shots behind the toilet door

Charlie's mug shot

If you crack up and piss yourself laughing, at least you’re in the right place to do it! LOL

Have a giggly week everyone!

Finding My Photography Mojo

One of the reasons why my blogging has been hit and miss recently is the frustration I feel when taking photos of my projects at the end of the day in poor light. As some of you may know, I have been reorganising my home recently to make room for my new tenant. After moving stuff around, I’m really happy to tell you that I’ve managed to squeeze in a photo studio in my garage!

I even purchased a photography light tent and lamps to help find my photography mojo! The light tent is huge! It’s an 80cm cube and look how small Perry looks in it.

Light tent and lamps

Here are some photos I’ve taken while playing with my new setup for the first time. Can you see the difference in lighting on Perry?

Perry the Pear (test photo 1) Perry the Pear (test photo 2) Perry the Pear (test photo 3)

I also took photos of some llama roving and a very yummylicious sock yarn. By the way, fibre is very boring to photograph! Haha…

Llama fibre (test photo)

Sock yarn (test photo)

What do you think? Not bad eh? :)

If you have been tempted to get your own light tent and lamps kit, I bought mine from this Aussie eBay seller. I thought it was a reasonable price, good quality and cheap postage for such a bulky item.

There are some really cool, detailed tutorials around the web to make your own light tent too. Here are my top 3 favourites:
1. How to make an inexpensive light tent via Digital Photography School
2. PVC light box/ light tent via Make
3. DIY collapsible light tent via JPG

My photography mojo is officially back! I have more photos to share with you next week. Until then, hope you have a bright week!

Achievements, celebrations & the mundane

What a week it has been! We’ve done more home improvement in the last month than we have done in the last year! That’s Parkinson’s Law for you.

The biggest achievement (and a huge weight of my shoulders) is the completion of Richard’s office. It’s a small room attached to our garage and basically had bare brick walls, a concrete slab floor and a dodgy light. Richard installed down lights and put new power, telephone and TV points. Then we spent the entire last weekend painting the brick walls and ceiling, which by the way is very hard work! And on Friday I laid down the new vinyl flooring all by myself. Yes, me! I rock!

Richard's newly renovated office

Richard has set up his office now and he is a very happy hubby. Only 2 more weeks before my new house mate moves in and I’m starting to feel nervous and excited at the same time.

On Saturday, we celebrated our nephew’s 9th birthday and there was a bit of fooling around when the sparkles got lit on the cake! That’s the uncle (Richard’s brother) grabbing his nephew’s face. Haha… no harm done I promise!

Jackson's 9th B'day

Now for the mundane part of life. Charlie had one of his showers this week and was happy to show off for the video camera. He LOVES it and gets all excited when he sees the spray bottle.


[Video link]

I’ve also bought yarn to start knitting a charity Christmas project. I won’t say what it is just yet.

Red & White Homemaker Acrylic 8ply

Has anyone started their Christmas knitting? I can’t believe we’re only 4 months away from 2011!

Self-striping sock yarn – Love it or Hate it?

Hello! How have you been? It’s been a few weeks since I shot out a post. Both my mum and mother-in-law thought I was sick! But I’m fine. I’ve been happily busy and occupied. So what’s new with me? Well, I’ve picked up more freelance work and we’re going to have a new housemate in a few weeks! We’re renting our spare bedroom to a Japanese student, so we’re in a mad rush to get some renovations done. Very exciting!

But I have managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting as always and the last few projects involve self-striping sock yarn. I’m loving it but there are down sides to this type of yarn.

Love: Socks really come to life with self-striping yarn!
Hate: The pattern gets lost among the stripes. Can you see the spirals?

Spirally striped socks from the top 2
Project details here

Love: Leftover self-striping sock yarns make a great scrappy blanket! The blanket looks more complicated to knit than it actually is. I love that I’m not in control of the colours too. A nice change to my usual uptight self. :P I’m changing yarn in the order I knitted the socks and knitting it until I run out.
Hate: Sock yarn is normally thin so this project progresses slowwwly.

10-stitch Scrappy Sock Blanket
Project details here

Love: Self-striping yarn are not always crazy and wild. The analogous colours in this pinky yarn are pleasing to the eye.
Hate: I can just see the lace! Grrr…

Candy Lace Socks WIP
Project details here

So what about you? Do you love or hate self-striping yarn?

I also want to share with you my new toy. I finally bought a set of Nancy Knit Knacks’ DP WIP tubes. They safely store my double pointed needles and current project together. So handy, especially since I’m officially addicted to knitting socks!

Handy DPNs WIP Tube
Available here

“Help” sewing buttons on

I had a bit of help sewing buttons onto my knitted rib jacket…

Charlie has craft tendencies

Charlie was very helpful in handing stitch markers to me… and taking them away!

Charlie playing with stitch markers

Hmmm… More disruptive than helpful to be honest. Cute nonetheless. ;)

I did get real help somewhere else though. I found this great tutorial on Craftstylish – Sew Buttons Securely on Hand Knits – and it was extremely useful. All the buttons are now sewn on.

So what’s left to do?

Nothing! I’ve finished my jacket! Yayyy!

Photos coming soon… ish. Haha… Hope you’re having a good week!

Oops! Made a knitting mistake…

I was halfway through knitting the collar of my ribbed jacket when I tried it on. I turned to the left and right, adjusting and scrutinizing the collar. The garter stitch edges bugged me. It didn’t look right.

Ribbed jacket collar no 1

I re-read the pattern and there was an “Oh-oh…” moment. I had knitted twice as many stitches in garter stitch than what the pattern had asked for! Doh!

So I took a deep breath and dropped the stitches back one at a time, re-knitting them in the rib pattern using a crochet hook. I decided to omit the garter stitches altogether, except for the ones right on the edge.

Fixing collar

If you have not done this before, it can be quite intimidating and downright scary. So here are some time-saving tutorials that might help you fix common mistakes without having to rip back your knitting:

Video tutorials to fix common knitting mistakes:
http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips

Illustrated tutorial to pick up dropped stitch from several rows below:
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/pick-up-a-dropped-stitch-from-several-rows-below.html

Illustrated tutorial to fix errors at the side edges of your knitting:
http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/10/fixing-errors-at-sides-edges-of-your.html

Ribbed jacket collar no 2

I much prefer this version of the collar, even though the edges curl slightly. I’m close to finishing now. I bought buttons today and hope to sew them on soon. Maybe next week I can show you a finished jacket. :)

What’s on your crafting to-do list this week?

Picking, knitting & watching

I’ve picked up the stitches along the neckline of my ribbed jacket to knit the collar. I worked out a simple way to make sure I have the stitches evenly spaced out around the neck and managed to get it right the first go too! Yay!

This how I did it. I divided the neckline into sections using stitch markers. Firstly, I folded the neckline in half to work out the mid point. So now I have 2 sections. I folded again to work out the mid point of these sections. Marked them with stitch markers. Now I have 4 sections. I repeated this step again until I get 8 sections.

Sectioning neckline

A little bit of maths helped me work out how many stitches I needed to pick up for each section. I tried to divide the total number of stitches as evenly as possible between all the sections. Some sections had one more stitch than others. Generally, it’s much easier than trying to eyeball 116 stitches around the entire neckline!

A little knitting maths

Then I picked up right number of stitches for each section. That’s it! So much easier dealing with a small section at a time. Phew! Glad that’s over though. I’m happily knitting my collar now and it’s going quick. :)

Picked up stitches along neckline

Oh and while I was picking and knitting away, I had one eye on this…

Olly dreaming of Charlie

It’s a little hard to concentrate and count when at any moment, Olly might wake up from his feathery dream and make Charlie his midnight snack!

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