Wonderland Curiosity Shop

Curious, Interesting, Delicious, and Beautiful things.

Curiosity 8: Miniature Tea Set

I recently went to the local swap meet that is held every weekend at the fair grounds. There were many different vendors with everything from shoes and cell phone cases to old books and tools. After two hours in the sun and wind I managed to find this tiny little treasure for just a few dollars. It’s a miniature tea set. One of the cups is slightly chipped, but I don’t mind I think it adds a bit of character. The vendor claimed it was from the 1950s. I don’t know about that I just thought it was cute! This mini tea set fits in the palm of my hand and the cups are a little smaller than my thumbnail. What I really like is that the lids on the sugar jar and teapot are removable and the cups and saucers are also separate pieces.

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Interesting 6: Beads and MKALs

I have been beading more of my knitting projects lately. It takes a little extra time but with all the time that is already put into a knitted item it seems worth it to make it special. Beads can be different sizes and deciding on what size to use for which project can be complicated. It can also depend on what you can find locally. I have the hardest time finding size 8 beads which are a good size to use with lace. They are not quite a tiny as 10s, which will work, and they aren’t quite as big as 6s which look nice but can add a lot of weight to a project. I can easily find 2s, 6s, 10s, and even tiny 11s, but not 8s! I visited a local bead store, the Beaded Iris, to obtain my elusive 8s. They had a really nice selection at great prices. I will definitely go back the next time I need beads.

The beads I found are going to be part of my Mary Lennox shawl, which is a Secret Garden inspired shawl Mystery Knit-A-Long (MKAL) on Ravelry. I really love MKALs, it gives me a timeline to work with, because I want to finish each clue before the next clue is released. It is also awesome to see other people’s progress on the project and view how different yarns and colors can make an impact on the finished object. The Mary Lennox shawl has been a really fun MKAL because the designer has provided a lot of choices in each clue, and so many people have added their own creative touches to it.

Curiosity 7: Hexipuffs

Here are my first completed hexipuffs. These are super quick to knit up, but to make a substantial sized blanket you need a number I’m not willing to think about. It’s a lot. This is going to be my on the go, don’t have to think, knitting. The pattern to make a plain hexipuff is very simple and easily memorized. I also like the idea of making chair pads for my kitchen chairs out of these. I think they would look really cool on the wood chairs I have for my table in my craft room.

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The top 3 are ‘Police Box’ yarn that I received as part of a card swap. The middle two are yarn I dyed and the bottom one is leftover Opal sock yarn from a pair of socks I made last year.

Beautiful 3: Bargello Embroidery

Recently I came across a style of embroidery that I have seen before but did not know it was a special type. It’s called Bargello embroidery.

Florentine

There are few more examples here and this page has a bunch of interesting links. It appeals to me because of it’s simplicity. It’s the same stitch just moved around on the canvas in various colors and it creates beautiful patterns.

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I did a small test of it last night and I like how it looks but I think it would be more fun to do with a smaller count cross stitch fabric, (maybe a 14 count, if that exists, I was using 22 count) and thicker yarn and needles.

Interesting 5: Mini-skein Dyeing

I made up a bunch of mini skeins so I could experiment with various colors combinations and techniques. I have finally succumbed to the lure of hexipuffs (also known as the Beekeeper’s Quilt, a super awesome pattern by Tiny Owl Knits). I want to make each hexipuff something special to me or to my family. I think I will start with a Dr. Who hexipuff from some awesome yarn called Police Box that I received as part of a swap on Ravelry. There are a ton of different charts and ideas on Ravelry for various nerdy and neat hexipuffs.

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These mini skeins were an experiment with color percentage. They are all from the same color of turquoise dye just in different concentrations. The middle one is full strength and the two on the right are medium and light. The two on the left I dyed from top to bottom dark to light, but I have re-twisted the second one to show the color variation differences. It was a good experiment and gave me a good idea of what the colors will look like from the dye solution to the final product.

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The two on the left are Dr Who inspired. Blue with a bit of white and a tiny bit of black. The two on the right were just a play of various colors of blues, greens and grays.

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The one on the left was an interesting experiment. I untwisted the mini skein and put it in a loose pile then injected purple dye in the middle of the pile, squished it with my hand and left it to absorb as it would. I like the results. The one on the right is just a combo of blues and purples.

Curiosity 6: Owl Bag

I recently decided to knit this little owl bag. It is a free pattern on Ravelry and only took a few hours to finish. I knit the colored portions from yarn I dyed (see this post). I am really pleased with the results and how the yarn knit up. I am planning more dyeing experiments in the future. I made a bunch of mini skeins out of a larger skein of yarn so I can practice different color combinations on small amounts of yarn. (Also because of the beekeeper’s quilt, more to come on that.)

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Curiosity 5: Fairy Garden Sign

I found this awesome tutorial on how to make a cool fairy garden sign. I really want to make one of these for my yard. We have done a lot of work this summer to the back yard and it sort of looks like a real yard now (instead of a weed forest!) so it needs some cool ideas like this. I also have some leftover pallets that I could use to help create the sign. My sign would definitely point to Wonderland, Hogwarts, Neverland, Narnia, Oz, the Magical Forest, Storybrook, and Diagon Alley. Where would your sign point?

 

Interesting 4: Knit Toys and Manatees

This etsy shop has the cutest toy and tea cozy patterns. Including an Alice in Wonderland tea cozy and Wizars of Oz fingerpuppets.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/handmadeawards

The patterns are also on Ravelry under: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/loly-fuertes

Manatees are so helpful, if you’re having a hard day go here. Even if you’re not having a hard day go visit them anyways.

http://calmingmanatee.com

Curiosity 4: Hand Painted Tea Cups

I recently found some neat looking white tea cups at Goodwill. I like to go to thrift stores and look for interesting things. I also look for specific things when I  got to thrift stores. I think it helps to have an idea of items you like/want when you go to thrift stores. You may not always find what you are looking for, but it gives you an idea of where to start in the store. I look for tea cups, copper jello molds, dresses, natural fiber sweaters, and anything else that catches my eye! Anyways back to the teacups. They are plain white, but with a raised design. I really only wanted one but they came packaged together as a 4 pack and were only $3. Once I got them home I decided that instead of having 4 white teacups I would paint them and have 4 different teacups. I am only half way through the painting because I had to get glass paint (from the craft store) and experiment with one before I spent any more money on other colors. Here are the results so far:

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The top left one is still all white. The top right one is about a third of the way done, I want to get some purple or blue paint before I finish it. The bottom two are completely done. Maybe when they are all done I will have to have a tea party outside in the yard, the tea cups seemed to enjoy their photo shoot!

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