About Me

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IMAGINATION IS THE EYE OF THE SOUL Joseph Joubert. I am a mother of four...I still remember the smile that refused to go away for weeks after our daughters birth. To have a little girl appear after three sons seemed such a miracle. I have always enjoyed My Doll World, sharing it with Lara when she was little. Today I design knitted outfits for miniature dolls and enjoy every minute of it. The fact that the outfits are removable is what makes it so special for me. Using ever finer threads has opened so many MINIATURE DESIGN opportunities.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Knit With Me

I have sent the Knit With Me participants an email today and hope to post photographs of their progress of their Afghan knitting tomorrow....

I knitted my first Afghan in silk and am now 2/3 finished on the second Afghan which I knitted in the Venne 70/2.
The silk was slightly thicker than the Venne and I am looking forward to comparing the size difference having used the same amount of stitches and rows.

Please note the dirty line on the second Afghan, this was because I was knitting while waiting in a queue in the early hours of Friday morning.

It was the launch of the Apple IPad 3 in South Africa, I had been waiting a while to get me one of those.....It was also fun chatting to all the youngsters in the queue.

I'm happy to say that it is a delightful gadget and I can read patterns which are in PDF format perfectly, so no laptop needed anymore while traveling.

My children sounded rather pleased that the mother can also do crazy things......The next step is my new IPhone next week then I will be sorted!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Knit With Me

After a few questions regarding which cast on method I use,
 I decided the quickest way to explain was to search

 You Tube's Videos'....There is was.......

It is called the cable cast on method. 

I would like all the Rose Evan Afghan knitters to use this method if they can

It is simple enough and I like the edge it produces.

I use this method for 99% of my designs!

Thanks for looking

1:12th Scale Minitures

Patty asked if I would show how I display my collection, I initially collected and made large porcelain dolls and bears, after seeing an Eight inch Hilda in a shop on Pier 39 in San Francisco.

I did not buy the doll on the first stop, the ship carried on to Vancouver in Canada.
meanwhile I fretted the whole time that when I got back she would have been sold...

I was so lucky, she was still sitting on the shelf waiting for me. You can see her sitting on her Willow Twig bed in the cabinet...
I love her.

 These days I no longer have my large dolls having given them away.

The only doll I have kept is my Hilda antique reproduction and packed away in a cupboard is a large "Mein Liebling" which is my second best loved doll.
She still needs her wig and eyes.

Over the years I found I then needed toys for my dolls. 
1:12th miniatures 
were always the perfect size for this purpose. 
So the collection began!

I was sorting the cupboard especially for the photograph when I realized I don't actually have much of 
my miniature knitting on display.

I find I work with the garments all the time, reassessing, measuring and deciding on how a new design will develop before the stitches are cast on.

When they form part of the display 
the whole scene is constantly in a muddle and goes to pot.

My collection is housed in an antique display cabinet 
originally made as a shop fitting.

 I have a baby boutique in progress.....as it turns out it will have to be a department store far too much to display.

Also I would like to make the special fittings I have in mind, myself... so am now the proud owner of a new soldering iron......it does scare me ever so slightly!



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

1:12th Scale Miniatures

For many years I wanted a miniature silver mug to place on a  highchair that I have.

Monica Roberts of Hither Thither and Yon was kind enough to buy a book on Ebay for me as the seller would not ship to South Africa

So we arranged a swap....

I knitted her some goodies and Monica arranged the purchase of the 2 books and the silver mug....


The little mug is not placed on the highchair ....


Well as you can see the wrapping an presentation was simply so beautiful ......

I was loath to remove the mug and spoon from the card.
So the card sits happily in my cupboard amongst my baby things looking beautiful!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Knit With Me

I need to answer a few questions regarding our 

Knit With Me Adventure!

Ladies please remember there are NO stupid questions
I was asked if I thought questions were dumb NEVER!!!!

I don't believe there is ever a dumb question, you may ask it while others are thinking it and are too shy to ask.
You do everyone a favour by asking questions.
Now if the question has been asked and answered ....

I'm smiling now of course!

Simply because I will have to come up with 
another way of explaining it won't I.

Q.     Where does one get the 1mm and 0.7mm knitting needles.
A.     Brownberry Yarns in the UK

Q.     Can I use the Venne silk I have in my stash.
A.     Yes , if you have done miniature knitting before, 
        if not I would prefer you to start on Venne Colcotton 70/2

Q.     Where can we get the thread you suggest.
A.     Thread availability - 
                     Jeannette Fishwick in Australia
                     Helena Bleeker in the UK, Helena ships worldwide!

There is a minimum of 3 reels per order -  so think about 2 other colours you favour for a future project I have the next Afghan all lined up for you!

                     Finding out who are the suppliers in Holland

Q.    Does anyone know of other suppliers?
A.    Please tell us if you know some names, thank you!

Q.     Can my existing customers get a copy of the Afghan pattern?
A.     Yes of course it is available in English and Dutch 

           Email me at      knitwithme@chrystalsdesigns.com

Q.     Many of you have had a problem posting a comment on
        the blog and some who have joined do not have
        contact details on their profiles, so if you have not
        had a copy of the pattern as yet
A.     Contact me at the above email address, thank you                                      
Q.     Are there any deadlines regarding the knitting project
A.     Yes, one needs to knit minimum 2 rows a day, it is all 
        about practice, practice! If you don't do a little each day 
        you won't build up the hand/fingers memory....

Each day ones tension can be different believe me I know!

Q.    Can I join a thread in a middle of a row
A.    For this design we will join a new thread at the side, of the 
       Afghan but not the edge. Five stitches in from the edge
       of your border. You can see this on the picture.

This is the wrong side of the afghan and will be larger 
once it has been blocked.

If you join on the very edge this will not be neat enough.

Remember to WASH YOUR HANDS you can see where I have unpicked the row.

Threads do knot occasionally as the thread twists off the reel.  Sometimes we simply cannot undo the knot and you will need to cut your thread.

These are the tips I want you to learn as we knit. Remember You are also slipping the first stitch so one does not want to disturb this very neat edge.

Lets enjoy the process

Teddies in My Life

I thought I would share with you more of  

Ana's Art. 

For my birthday she gifted me a little Teddy and a mouse...during my sorting out (moving house is such a drag) I found a little pull along toy that she had made me as well.

The little teddy bear is only 2 and 3/4" 
She has a wonderfully fat little tummy ....Must be the honey!

Ana has a similar bear on Ebay at the moment, 

Ana trades under the name Anabear555

How cute are her bears, her techniques and bear making is all about the detail....


Monday, April 16, 2012

1:12th Scale Miniatures

I now realize I had promised to show you the Birthday Cake my friend Ana Esteves made for my collection.

After doing a cleanup of my stash 
 I found the "Safe Place" I had put it.

Of course it is always the last place that you find it in...that's when you stopped looking...... I get so confused with that expression.

I think it is perfectly wonderful, I feel so spoiled!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

1:12th Scale Miniatures

This is my basket of strawberries that will go onto my table. 

 Click on the picture to enlarge it!

We were given this little wooden basket which we stained with Plaid Folkart stain, colour Apple Butter Brown, how delicious does that name sound.
We then applied some candle wax where we wanted the basket to look a little worn, then painted it with Americana Acrylic paint in a soft cream. When it was dry we knocked off the wax...hey presto a perfectly used basket.

When I got home I decided I needed to play with mine and this is what appeared on my worktable. I was so excited about how it turned out, I clean forgot to shade the leaves with my chalks.

 How daft is that!

I simply don't have another excuse for it. 
Anyway it will have to do for this time round.

Now look at this plant.....

I had to share it with you......This was made by 

IGMA Fellow - Kyoko Kimura, from JAPAN - Plants

I am so happy to have won this on our annual Auction, it is hard to believe it is not real.

One can sure aspire to making plants of this quality.
Apparently he uses a resin clay....so much to learn.

He gives lessons at IGMA's Guild School at Castine, now there's a reason to attend Guild School.

Ah well one can dream!!!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Knit With Me

How would you like to Knit With Me?

Please remember what I have to say regarding miniature knitting is all about personal preferences and my knitting experience. 
One also has to knit in a style that one enjoys! I love miniature lace knitting, it just Pleases my Soul somehow.

The finer the thread used the more detail one can achieve in a design.

I don't believe that Venne 34/2 or DMC 80 and 100 threads are fine enough for miniature knitting, many people will disagree with me...sooooooo please remember personal preferences.

I started off my miniature knitting career using DMC 80 and 1 ply industrial yarn for my teddy bear patterns.
For larger dolls and teddies I believed I was doing just fine.

I now smile as I remember.

The best place for seasoned knitters to begin a miniature knitting career is to teach your fingers "miniature knitting memory"

With practice the finer threads and very narrow needles will become second nature, you will soon wonder what all the fuss was about. 

Then the next time you knit for the "big world" you will feel as though you are knitting with broomsticks and rope.

Making an Afghan to fold at the bottom of a miniature bed is a good place to start. 

There are enough stitches on your needles to keep the flow of your knitting going and the tension will come together with practice.....a few rows everyday will do just fine.

Looking through my collection of Victoria magazines from the 90's I came across a photograph of a bed dressed with a knitted afghan which incorporated a simple cable.

It was an Ah Ha  moment for me and I thought great this will be perfect for Rose's first venture into My Mini Knitting World.......
So I have named the Afghan "The Rose Evans Afghan" 

I tried various combinations of panels 
First the coral shade, then the green, finally settling on the cream!

May I suggest you knit the Afghan in Venne 70/2 Kolcotton which is a 100% mercerized cotton and 1mm knitting needles, This combination of the thread and needle size knits up giving a soft texture and drape to the fabric produced.

Folded into 1/3's and placed at the bottom of your miniature bed
it should look great.

If you would like to 

 Knit With Me 

 leave a comment and I will be in touch.

Friday, April 13, 2012

1:12th Scale Miniatures

This is the second class I did at convention it was such fun.
 Our Miniature Baking Table

This is Erika's our teachers table, I am busy with mine.
The fun part was using molds and hey presto...

 a slab of chocolate, 
a pound of butter,
 scones by the dozen, 
custard slices 
These all appear as if by magic

One was so tempted to pop them into ones mouth.

One has to get used to icing the custard slices, 
using texture paint to make "cream"

No wonder there is so much miniature food around it is "WONDERFUL FUN " to make

I have not glued my goodies down onto the table as yet as I would like to have my bowl of African Violets on the table but have to wait till I do it at guild.

I would love to make cakes the best part is one can make them without having to eat them.

Tomorrow I will show you a cake a friend made me, only just found it again I had put it in a safe place
So wish I would not do that.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Miniature Polymer Clay and Paper Flowers,

What Fun our South African Miniature Convention turned out to be.
Those that did not manage to join us missed out Big Time.

 The quality of the various classes was certainly "World Class."
 The time went by so very quickly...always does when one is enjoying oneself.
Before convention I was so busy getting ready for my teaching 
assignment, that before I knew it the convention was upon us.

I now have a new respect for teachers after my learning curve experience, 
so much of the work goes into the preparation for teaching a class....

Thank goodness I worked at it steadily 
as I would surely have run out of time had I left it to the last minute.

 I was luckily enough to get my first choice of classes,
 so did two classes with Erika Gross an amazing woman, 
her attention to detail was heart warming!
This was one of Erika's classes.

12 students made paper flowers in a planter box.
This is the photograph that accompanied our notes on "How To". 
How pretty is this planter!

We were so fortunate Carol Wagnor a Fellow of the IGMA Guild in the Art of Paper Flowers gave Erika permission to teach us some of her paper flower making techniques.

What amazed me was...
The stamens are made out of stiffened silk thread, and were touched with coloured sand for the pollen.
The fern was a laser cut that Erika had designed for us.....we stippled and painted and learned so much.
We each received "a jig" to make our petunias....whoever would have thought a jig would be used to make paper flowers, it makes so much sense now after having worked with one.

I loved every minute of this class, I did not manage to finish as I wanted to make the best flowers I could manage, and this is what I have been doing at home.

All in all the various products used in our hobby is somewhat overwhelming to a beginner flower maker....but so very informative.

An Ah Ha moment for me was the fact that one can clean our paintbrushes when having used all these products.....wait for it....SURGICAL SPIRITS.
That has made all the difference to me personally.

Another product LIQUITEX Gel medium is mixed into Americana paints (which have strong pigmentation I am told) to stop the paint from peeling off the brass wire we used in making our ferns......

Thank you to the teachers that are innovative in what products they use and are then happily prepared to share their secrets in a class, makes the road to success for a beginner so very much easier and more rewarding.

On Saturday the 21st April we are going to learn to make African Violets at out Miniature Guild meeting ....I can't wait.

In the meantime I have put in an order for some paper Punches from "Hanky Panky"

We all smiled at such an unlikely name for miniature flower punches, the post office clerk should get a laugh out of that when this old lady goes to collect her parcel.