Lee Mac. Twenty-nine year old fibre artist. Crochet portraits = Obsession. I am surgically attached to my Ipod and crochet hook. Pop culture addict. M&ms are as important as oxygen. Einstein hit the nail on the head with "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
I am taking a break.
Life has been a little bit crazy for a good chunk of time now and I have decided I need to get away for a while
I still LOVE crocheting and am still pumped to unveil the new site...
..but this Stella needs some time to go and get her gr00ve back
I was umming and erring as to whether I should put up one of those depressing 'Hiatus' pages, but i've decided to keep this crappy old site up whilst i'm away, so people can still get a hold of the pattern pages
So until we meet again, thank you for checking in! Thank you for sharing the crochet love and I PROMISE to return just as soon as things calm the fudge down and I get my zest back!
Friday 15th August, 2014
Sigh. There is a reason people pay graphic designers/internet-code-minded-peoples to put their websites/blogs together for them....
I so should have forked out the dosh to pay one of them to help me !!
That teamed with Australia's shitty internet speeds... GAH !!!!!!!
As a tiny consolation for taking so long..here's a new piece @ 15%
Ahhh! I miss updating so much!!!
I will once again be trying to upload all the new vlogs this weekend during my spare time. I've tried stacks of times and it always cuts out half way through!! FRUSTRATING!!
I'l try and do it at stupid o'clock when hopefully all the kiddies are in bed or whatever, so I might get a greater share of bandwidth
Once again you guys have been picking up my slack!! Thank you!
I have received pictures of the most amazing finished pieces recently!! Which I am dying to share, but will hold off on doing so until the launch !
If eveyone can do me a massive favour and pray to the interent gods, hopefully I will get this thing up!!!!
Before I bugger off to continue screaming and yelling at my PC...
Robin Williams - you always did and always will make me laugh and cry in the best of ways. May you rest in peace and be forever smiling. Thank you xox
NEW SITE SO CLOSE!!!!!!
Monday 11th August, 2014
SO CLOSE NOW!!! AGGHH!! HOPE YOU GUYS LIKE IT!!
OTHERWISE, ... THAT'LL SUCK BIG TIME
Sunday 3rd August, 2014
After sharing her fabulous Hermione panel only just a few days ago, guys, can you believe, we now have the one and only Ronald Weasley fresh from the hook of the wonderful Ashley!!!
Ashley, you absolute CROCHET QUEEN he looks blooming AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For muggles sake, your hook must be smoking slightly thanks to the speed you are cranking these magical heros out at!!!! LOVING IT!!!!!!
In new site news, I just took a bunch of happy snaps to complete another page of the site!! Yay!! I'm back working on it!! Again!! Finally!!!
I have a few extra bits and bobs to fine tune and one more new project page to add, because yes, I have started another new piece !!
SO excited to show you guys what it is!!!! It will be my entrant into the 2015 Canberra Craft Show in Feb/March!!!
The theme was unveiled a week ago and so naturally I reacted calmly and went and spent a small fortune on yarn...
Wanna know what the theme is ?!?!
My very first reaction to this news was close to - !
Because as we know, photo crochet really does come down to the shading and as I learnt with G-Dragon, any piece that involves LOADS of colours, involves LOADS of varying shades of EACH colour in order to get a good life-like effect...absolute bloody nightmare.
So after a healthy dose of these fellows , I calmed down and have since found a picture I , have printed the pattern, collected the 27 COLOURS NEEDED and have already made a start!!!!
So as always THANK YOU for bearing with me guys and as hopefully not for too much longer....
Crochet Sisters Are doing it for themselves!!
Wednesday 30th July, 2014
I am so lucky to have so many awesome crocheting superstars sending me pictures of their awesomeness!! Especially when updates have been so abysmal on my end !!!
Exhibit a) Miss Hermione Granger looking STUNNING sent in by the fabulously talented hookster Ashley!!!
Ashley sent in the sweetest email and is now crocheting on full-steam to bring her own Hogwarts Bunch Blanket to life !!
Mr. Weasley is already on his way and I can't wait to watch your progress Ashley !!!!
Whoa!!!! Sit your bums back down because that is not all my friends!!!
Fill your glasses again because we have another crocheter to toast to!!
The super talented Valerie has been working away on Mr.Sexy *cough* or as he is otherwise known... Mr. Jim Morrison
Don't go adjusting your thermostats, it totally just got way hotter in here....
Clearly this is genuis. Best blanket idea ever. Why?! Because you get warm all over just by LOOKING AT IT!!! Let alone being underneath it !!
Valerie, you are a genuis my friend I will be more than happy to share custody of him for 6 months of the year, while you experience summer and I have winter !!
Sadly I have arrived to the party with an empty updates plate - AGAIN!!!
Sadly life stuff has been getting in the way of having any free time and my site still isn't freaking up, due to me getting the poos and not wanting to look at it!
Thank god I have fellow crocheting angels checking in and inspiring me with their mad skills!!!
Thank you ladies !!!
Hold Onto Your Hobbits!!
Saturday 19th July, 2014
The most amazing, wonderful, beyond-talented bundle of amazingness known as Osnat has been blowing the brains of us on the totallee ravelry group for just under 6 months, with her life-like portraits of the LOTR gang. Now she has finished sewing them together and holy-shmoly-doo-dah, I can't really use real words to describe the absolute brilliance on display here !!!!
I will be the first person to put their hand up and guiltily admit that I have no idea about anything LOTR - I really should rectify that situation! - but you certainly don't have to know the characters to appreciate the time, skill, love and dedication into a prject this big, detailed and down-right incredible !!
Thank you for sharing your journey and especially for sending in this pic of the finished piece Osnat!!! INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
....with a hook and yarn !!!
Airways are clear!
Friday 18th July, 2014
So it may not look pretty but I can finally breathe through my nose again!!!! Three "Woop Woop"'s for progress !!!
So I do believe I shall be celebrating with a vlog recording sesh or two this weekend so I can FOR-THE-LOVE-OF-ALL-THAT-IS-HOLY publish what I have been working on!!!
I have got to send major big fat love vibes and hugs to those of you who have kept dropping in and dropping me notes over the past couple of months! You are all ROCKSTARS and deserve nothing but amazingness in your lives !! Because by god this place has been a total snoooooooooooooooooooooozefest for yonknies now!
New patterns, new projects, a new portrait SERIES (or TWO) and some other bits and bobs!
I miss blogging regularly so much !! While copying some of my archived posts into the new format, I had a quick read through some of them - yeah okay the majority involve me spazzing out about something so minor it borders the ridiculous but I love spazzing out over the ridiulous!
Looking forward to getting back into the swing!!!
Ouuu so close!
Wednesday 9th July, 2014
Oh my goodness, so remind me NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS to re-do my site !!!!
I am now a few photos, a couple of pages and the filming of a vlog away from finally letting you all in!!!
Sadly i've fallen ill with my second headcold of 2014 !!
But my new buddies Panadol and Polarimine are totally getting on to it and are desperately trying to bugger it off! Therefore I think i'll hold off on the filming of the vlog till I look and sound a little better
Every 'M' is a 'B' at the 'bobent' !
I have been hooking away in between bouts of the sweats and dizzies and am really happy in trying out some other creations!!
All will be revealed!! Ouuuuuu mystical !!!
Yeah not really....
In the meantime I will leave you with a shot I took of my baby girl playing about on the bed....that she is totally allowed to do....
Little cheeky bum face...
Spin that 'ol 45!
Saturday 28th June, 2014
I've had those infamous Beatle juices flowing right through to my fingertips these past few days and... BOOM BABY! 45%!!
Yes John looks totally baked, beyond potato standards, but dude it totally works with the funky/trippy/insanely jam packed crazy background world this piece has got goin' on ! Just you wait and see homies
Now, not to bring things down too much, but I have some tear-jerking news to report....
*sigh* stay strong people...
The big lotto superdraw was drawn a couple of hours ago and......
Everyone hold hands....
I didn't win.
I'll give that a sec to sink in....
I know...I know....let it all out....
So there goes my plan to shout you all tickets and flights to Harry Potter world ...
At least the whole exercise wasn't a complete bust... I got two supps and a number, so i'm actually up 10cents on the whole situation....
Still no sunshine on this cloudy day though
One day folks!!! There's always the next super draw!...
Might give up on the lotto and start chasing the ends of rainbows
Tuesday 24th June, 2014
Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhh!! So in uploading a stack of updates I exceeded my bandwidth and have now plummeted to a speed not seen since 1998 !
Frig, frig and triple frig.
Now I won't be able to crack on till we tick over to July! GRRR!!!
The only upshot is that gives me more time to crochet ?!? Yeah...i'd prefer the new site too lol
In the meantime can we all brace ourselves for a piece so massive, so impressive and absolutely mouth-droppingly awesome...
I mean my god, it doesn't get much more incredible than this!
The insanely talented Joyce took less than 2months to crochet this blanket featuring a couple of 1D lads which is over 3 METRES WIDE!!!!
So inspiring!!! Thank you for sharing your journey Joyce!!! You're an absolute legend !!!
Revamping the revamp!
Saturday 21st June, 2014
Today I will love my computer! I will love html coding! I will love getting everything done done DONE!!!
I just really hope my server and internet connection and data allowance love me back enough to let me get this site revamped !!!
Today is work free, shopping free, housework free, dog-walking free ( weather is awful!), therefore no forseeable excuses as to why I can't get this site up and running !
Wish me luck people !!!!
Move Aside RiRi!
Tuesday 17th June, 2014
So I decided to dig out ( literally dig out - was hiding all scrumpled up in the deep, dark recesses of my wardrobe) my 'ol fire engine wig to wear out to lunch today !
Now I like to think thatI totally rocked it - which I believe was backed up by the chorus of "Yeah baby!" when I got into town - I mean I was feeling like a smoking hot RiRi people!
However in retrospect... I prolly resembled....
Dear oh dear
I shall take it for another spin tomorrow before making a final verdict on whether I should banish it to the back of the wardrobe for another 12 months !
Mushrooms = Excellent Nerd Health
Sunday 15th June, 2014
Say hello to my newest lil friend!!
He is part of a new project i'm working on which will be unveiled with the new site ! I've wanted to make one of these little guys for quite a while and when I found Linda's site I got my hook stuck in asap
If you're into Mario or Pokemon or anything cute and nerdy go and check out her easy -to-follow AWESOME PATTERNS right H-E-R-E-!-!-!
And remember, take good care of your health!
She's Got A Ticket To Ride
Saturday 14th June, 2014
*Beep Beep* The boys have zoomed up to.... 40%!
George in the piece with eyeballs! Yeah, that really doesn't have the same vibe as Lucy and her diamonds does it But Hip Hip HOORAY for George's pretty peepers for making an appearance !!!!!
I'm also ecstatic at almost finishing the gramophones either side of John!!! How awesome do they look!! Perfect backdrop for him
I'm actually kinda of addicted to this piece right now. The weather has been frightfully yuck I'm talking wind, rain, - a zillion degrees below 0 - PERFECT CROCHETING WEATHER !!!
(and perfect hot chocolate/arse expanding weather )
So i'm feeling pretty darn confident in getting my beautiful boy John's eys staring back at us real soon
I know playing favourites is childish and stupid when all 4 are obviously insanely amazing but I am a complete and utter John girl
Maaaaay explain the reason why I chose to crochet this piece....he's kinda sticking out like you know what
In for-Pete's-sake-where-the-frig-is-the-new-site-Lee news,
I swear it's nearly there! And no im not crossing my fingers begind my back
My monthly data allowance snuck up on me, so i've had to be careful not to trip arse over elbow across that line but now that date has passed and I can resume uploading more pics
Really pumped for you to check out all the new stuff!!!
In the meantime, back to uploading and Beatle-ing!!
You may say i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one
Tuesday 10th June, 2014
The Fab Four have hit 35%!
Oh my gosh this site revamp is totally doing my head in
I just want it done!! GGRRRRR!!! But my internet connection and server are putting up one hell of a fight
I think I live in one of those black spots for internet, because i'm able to connect and have good speeds for about 5mins and then BOOM BABY it totally dies out on me...
It is getting there though !
And when it's ready, we can all celebrate instyle
Like this champion...
My hat goes off to you Sir.
1 Lump or 2?!!
Monday 2nd June, 2014
So I was having a natter to a lady via e-mail this morning who was asking about my little test/swatch Union Jack pattern.
During the back and forth, she said she was happy to have the union jack pattern but was wondering where the "tea cosy" part was...
Which made me be all like
She then forwarded a link to a Pinterest page and LOOK!!!
This wonderful lady has only gone and combined my Union Jack swatch with this free tea cosy pattern to produce this gorgeous piece fit for only the bestest tea pots on the planet!
So freaking cool!!!!
I really think we need to take a time out to appreciate the PERFECT MATCH between the blue yarn and the tea pot. That is skill people. MAD SKILL !!
In book news, I can't stop READING lately!!
I've finished 3 books in the past month and that is UNHEARD OF for me !!
I think its because for the first time in my life i'm not studying and therefore have time to indulge in things I actually enjoy reading! The last thing I wanted to do after reading 60 pages on social inequality or leadership in the workplace was shove my nose into more words, but now, I can't keep my freaking nose out of words!! Drowning in them
I started this page turner from Mr. Bryson this morning....
I can't seperate it from my hands! Started it before work this morning and i've already ploughed through 100 pages! Say WHAT!
I Bill Bryson's writing and this is my third book of his and already it's beyond fascinating
Would love to hear about your fave authors, books, etc! My to-read list is ever-growing and i'd love to try and broaden my brain with some new genres
In hooking news, I have picked up (which is becoming quite a workout for the bingo wings let me tell you) my biggest piece to date!
This is where the fab four was at my last update - which was 30%. Prepare yourself for a shock...
Sir. Paul now has a bit of hair!!!!
No seriously!! He does!! Yup, pigs are totally flying!!
I'm back to working on this bad boy with the hopes of getting it completed by the end of the year! Massive goal! Bit crazy, but that is my aim
Update when I hit 35%!
Sunday 1st June, 2014
Harry Potter - Side 2 of Rosselyn's cushion - COMPLETE !!!!
Started: 18th April, 2014
Completed: 1st June, 2014
No. of stitches: 12,100
Well almost! Now to back them both and sew them together and then send this crazy pair over to the United States of Awesomeness to their *hopefully* happy new owner!!!
The pattern for Mr. Potter version 2.o (aka, this one) will be up with the relaunch of the new site, which i'm hoping to all things holy will be sometime soon!!!
My server is being a complete wanker lately and keeps dropping out or konking out COMPLETELY while i'm right in the middle of uploading files or trying to access my FTP!
/end psycho geek rant.
In the meantime, let us rock side to side like this happy son of a smilie and bask in the wonderfulness that is Mr. H. Potter
Platform Potter @ 3/4's
Friday 23rd May, 2014
Platform Potter @ 3/4's?!?! My blog titles are in need of some major tuning....
Potter is @ 75%!
Just a big 'ol mess of hair to go now!!
Then comes my most favouritest part in the whole wide world!
.... hand-sewing the two sides together .... ....
Ack... annoying, but so worth it in the end! I'm going to try my best to film myself doing it, in order to put together a little 'this-is-how-Lee-turns-her-pieces-into-a-cushion' tutorial !
Hopefully it works out! If it doesn't we can all have a laugh at me sewing them to the table cloth - which is the most likely outcome...trust me !
Saturday 17th May, 2014
60%!!!! Yay eyeballs!!!! VERY shadowy this one! However the Snape panel was as well so I think they'll marry together quite well (although 'marry' probably isn't the right term *cough*)
In health news, I am definitely on the mend now All hail vitamin C tablets!! Can I get an "Amen!" ?!?! A-M-E-N-!
I am also going ahead leaps and bounds on the new website layout almost all of the new content is up (Ouuu !!!) Next comes the slightly arduous task of transferring all the old content, i.e. galleries, patterns etc. across. Boring as bat shite but has to be done
It's been crazy going through my server and checking out some really old files that are still lurking about!
Me with BROWN HAIR?!?!?!??! How freaking ancient is that!!!!! Had no idea I used to have a fringe like that Freaking me out slightly....
Hence, why this update is taking yonkies...I keep stumbling across scary gems like this!
Anywho! I shall continue to plug away and hopefully will have the site online soon!!
Pssst! Which will include new patterns!!!!!
Tuesday 13th May, 2014
This has been an accurate representation of my world for the past week and a bit.
Friggin winter and it's friggin flu bugs man !!!!!!!!!!
I think i'm slowly coming out of the worst of it now, but literally my entire existence has been all about grilled cheese, wearaing my nose down to a nub with tissues that clearly are not laced with aloe vera (as stated on said box) but rather with frigging asphalt! Oh and tons and tons of Reading!
I've ploughed through Pete Townshend's autobiography in days! Normally it would take me an entire year (love reading, but I am totally one of those people that fall asleep after one page).
I've also managed to wade through 5 seasons of The Big Bang Theory. Why the frig it took me so long to get hooked, i'll never understand, but oh my god I am beyond in love with the ENTIRE CAST!!
So yes, i'm afraid I am utterly boring and have no updates to share, because everytime I have gone to crochet, I get through half a row, say "screw it" and shove another Big Bang disc in the player and doze off
However, Rosselyn's Potter DOES have one eye now!! So as soon as my vitamins, green tea and copious amounts of panadol start to take effect, i'll be back to hookingville (and more updates!!)
Sunday 4th May, 2014
The boy behind the specs has hit HALFWAY!!!! !!!
I am so bummed that I fell soooo agonisingly short of his peepers, but that just means there's a whole heap of "woop woop!" in store for the next update !!
Wands @ the ready!
Friday 2nd May, 2014
Rosselyn's Potter @ 40%!
Glad to see a bit of wand action going on now! I was a little stressed about some of the oclouring on his face until dopey dora here remembered that there is a hell of a lot of shadows on this one, so all is goooooooooood !!
Man it is so tits-freezing-off FREEZING here today#@$#@!!!!!
I knew winter was creeping up but WHOA it's like 13 degrees with a windchill of minus AGH!!!
Apparently it's going to drop to 10 degrees over the weekend!! !!
I'm hoping to rug up and brave the wind to go and check out some sales at my fave yarn stores in between working away on the new site!
Which is still kinda at this stage...
But it's getting there!!
I also want to try and give Mr. Potter some peepers over the weekend!
Or I could blow the whole lot off, fly to hawaii and ski it out with this hot shot
Lazy Sunday Afternoon
Sunday 27th April, 2014
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I bloody love overcast rainy Sundays !
No work, no commitments, no rush rush rush, just a day of gorgeous, pure slobbery
I've got my crappy, comfy house clothes on aka. the wouldn't-be-caught-dead-in look . I have the kettle on notice that today will consist of heavy chain drinking in the form of tea . I have a freshly washed and airated doona that is beyond fluffy and so freaking inviting that i've actually reached arm-flappy on the anticipation scale !
You know what...after reading over that, it either highlights my love of comfy, cozy Sundays OR it highlights the fact that I am 98 years old ...
I'm going with the former.
Anywho! I have no idea where my crocheting time has got to lately, however "Potttteeerrr!" has climbed up to 30%!
The bestest news to report is that the new Totallee.net is coming along really well!! I'm a little bit in love with the design and im still in the process of transferring old content, while adding a bunch of new stuff too I know that i'm pretty good at giving terrible time-limits on when to expect things, so i'll hold off on doing so , but just know that a change is a'coming!
And OMG I ordered another shirt off Etsy.com !!!!!
Ya'll know that 2015 is a special year for us BTTF-ers yeah?!
Well i'm totallee getting geared up already!
Check out the latest purchase...
Sweet or what!!! I ordered the ladies in maroon and am way too bouncy about it
Monday 21st April, 2014
Potter is @ 20%!...
Nimbus 2000 Away!! By Nimbus 2000...I mean crochet hook...
Saturday 19th April, 2014
So my 2 planned updates now equal one and my plan to post on Thursday kinda changed into Saturday but side number two of Rosselyn's Snape and Harry cushion has now hit 10%!
I've gone for a shot of Harry circa. Deathly Hallows Totallee looking forward to seeing how he works up!
In frigging-easter-news, I can't stop eating man !!!
All these bloody eggs and specials on chocolate bars are causing my arse to expand at a rate not seen before !!
Usually I can compose myself, find my inner chi, tell it to behave itself (threaten it to behave itself) at this time of year but I think the sheer VOLUME of chocolate that is around this year has broken through my will power walls !!
Walking into Woolworths over the past two weeks has been an absolute dream My olfactory system is worn out from all the lovely smells wafting around, from the bakery, to the eggs...
But the main culprit/s behind my arse expansion have been these dudes!!!
These MaltEaster bunnies are TO.DIE.FOR!!!!! !!!
I tried one on a whim about a month ago and yup. Hooked. Can't walk past Woolies without bowing down to the stand
They have reached worship-worthy status in my eyes
Not good for my bum!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thankgod it's all over in a matter of days !!
God i'll miss their tasty little ears and their serotonin excreeting abilities though !!
Lee for Pete's sake get a hold of yourself!!
Mothers day is only two weeks away which means half price specials on these babies
Praise be to the corporate giants and their arse-expanding, happiness-inducing, relentless marketing campaigns.
Exciting new site on the way!
Wednesday 16th April, 2014
So although the desk in the picture above is not mine, preeeeety much everything on it mirrors my kitchen table right down to the jumble of chords pushed against the wall !
Free time (or if i'm honest, every-spare-freaking-minute) has been devoted to consuming copious amounts of nouns, verbs, sentence structures, numbers, etc in Korean !
OH MY GOD I AM LOVING IT!!! !!!
Can you believe I started 9 weeks ago!! My last lesson for semester one is next Tuesday I don't want it to be over!!!
The coolest thing is that now that I can read and write hangul, I can pretty much self study with the aid of a dictionary and by watching 5 zillion hours of Korean dramas which totallee suits me down to the roots of my boots !
The website Talk To Me In Korean has already proven to be more than kick-arse helpful and Professor. Oh and her band of zany characters from Sweet and Tasty @ youtube.com have made learning even MORE fun !
So therefore, not a whole lot to show off in the crochet department #sadface.
However I should have TWO updates for you tomorrow !!
I'm stoked to announce that the re-vamp of Totallee.net is coming along swimmingly !
I have a TRUCKLOAD of new content coming!!! MUCHO EXCITING!!!
By the way, if you guys have any suggestions about what you'd like to see on the site, always feel free to drop me a note !
Now, one last thing before I bugger off for now!
I want to say a MASSIVE HELLO!!!! to Ashley and her 5 year old son who is currently undergoing treatment in hospital !
Ashley left me the most gorgeous message on Facebook today and mentioned that her gorgeous son loves the gifs that I pop up here, so matie, when the amazing doctors and nurses get you feeling amazing and unstoppable again....
it will be time to PARTY!!!!!
"I can see clearly now.."
Saturday 12th April, 2014
How do sexy people!?
Many thanks for still dropping by while i've been awol this past little while
Life stuff has now cleared up and gotten a lot sunnier, so I am now much more smiley-er?! And ready to tap back into the virtual world !
Starting with an update!!
Mary Poppins & Bert have inched their way to 35%!!!
Can you believe I started this on 27th April 2012!!!! Almost 2 YEARS AGO!!!
Actually yes, we can all believe it...
But WHOA!!! Lee for god's sake!! Pick up the pace man!! !!!
In more exciting news, I have a re-vamp on the way!!!
I have decided to bring my website into line with where I am at in life and therefore will be adding/changing a few things !
Never fear! The crochet stays, the cute pixels stay, the weird-arse gifs about transformer snails stay (seriously cool gif right?!), but I have plans for making this place a more interesting and funkier place to visit !
Work has already commenced! So get read for a new look in the coming weeks !
Life is a rollercoaster
Friday 4th April, 2014
My apologies for being a little quiet lately!
Sadly life likes to throw curb balls that knock your socks off from time to time and right now is one of those times...
My apologies to those amazing angels who are waiting for e-mail replies too!! I will get back to you asap
I'm not sure how long i'll be on hiatus for - actually I don't even know if I will be at all, but just thought i'd drop in to say that everything is okay, just dealing with life stuff !
Frequently Asked Questions
This is the place to come to ask your burning questions !!
I get asked a LOT of questions about my work and whilst most can be answered with one sentence, I really would like to help peopple out as much as I can !
Before submitting a question please be sure to have a quick scroll down to see if it has been answered.
If you have a question relating to the kind of crochet I do (because quite frankly I SUCK at any other kind !), please feel free to send your questions to
How do you make your patterns?
I first began crocheting portraits when I discovered Todd Paschall and his incredible CBN technique in late 2008. I was gobsmacked (and continue to be) by his outstanding work and did not hesitate in paying for his services in creating patterns for a few special pictures I had until I figured out a way to generate my own patterns.
The last thing I would want to do is take business away from Todd's website CROCHET BY NUMBERS, where he has worked so hard to get CBN off the ground. Which is why I won't go into step-by-step instructions about how I convert my pictures. I figure that if folks are that desperate to figure it out, they can do it on their own like I did, then I won't feel like i'm intruding on Todd's hard work.
Todd has been nothing but kind and supportive of my work, so I think it is the least I can do to support him.
Do you back your pieces?
I have made a lot of attempts at backing my pieces. I say attempts, because i'm still yet to find the perfect way, however I think it comes down to what the piece will be used for as far as choosing the right method goes.
In backing the Hogwarts Bunch Blanket, I hand-sewed black jersey (or stretchy t-shirt material) onto the back of each panel. It was tricky to keep the fabric flat, however I didn't want to add fleece or another bulky material to the back as I wanted to avoid adding weight to the final blanket. Thing thing already ways 6000 tons.
In the case of the pieces that were featured in my first public exhibition, I needed to back them onto solid boards in order to suit the needs of the hanging system in place at the cafe.
Here's cold-ridden me with a naughty labrador to try and explain how I went about it
I recently made my first commissioned pillow, which was backed differently again!
For this piece, I made the front panel, aka. the pretty 'Erika' panel, then crocheted a backing piece for it, using the same number of stitches and rows. I then hand stitched this onto the back of the pretty panel. The effect it had on the front was FANTASTIC!!!
It smoothed and stretched it out perfectly!
In the past, including the pieces featured in the exhibition, I had attatched the jersey material to the backs of the pieces before wrapping and stappling them to the mdf boards. Crocheting a back produces MUCH better results!
After attatching the crocheted back to the front, I then crocheted a third piece to be the BACK of the pillow. Attatching it on three sides, before filling with polyfill, before stitching up the final side!
I think THIS will be the way I back my pieces in the future! Whether they are intended to be hung on the wall, used as cushions, blankets, etc. if they have a crocheted back attatched to them first, you will get a flat, flawless frontage!
Naturally I would have preffered to of professionally framed most of my pieces, but having already shelled out to frame my Freddie Mercury piece ($500 Smackers!!), short of winning the lotto or putting everything I own up for sale on Ebay, including the house and possibly a kidney, I wouldn't be able to afford it! Therefore, D-I-Y Lee to the rescue!!
Can I have a copy of your patterns?
As you've proabably noticed, most of my pieces center around Musicians/Actors/Actresses/Film and Television. I am a pop culture Freak . I do not sell any patterns or pieces I have made that fit into these genre's as in most cases I do not know if the image I have used is under copywright. Any pieces I have made, I have NOT profitted from. Any patterns I have made I have NOT profitted from. Therefore any patterns I generate will not be made available to buy.
However, if you take a stroll over to the Pattern Archive on the left-hand side menu, you will find a selection of my patterns that I have popped up for free!
How many colours do you use in your pieces?
I have used as little as 4 and as many as 15
The more colours you use the more definition and detail the piece has. However it is a good idea to have a good look about at the colour range available to you in your local area before falling in love with the idea of doing a piece all in greens, only to find that there are only really 3 shades that go well together! (I have learnt this lesson the hard way people!! lol).
What yarn do you use in your pieces?!
The wonderful Kate has put forward a question I get asked quite a lot, so I thought I would make it numero uno! Cheers Kate !!
QUESTION: "What brand/type of yarn do you use??"
The MOST IMPORTANT aspect of yarn choice when it comes to colourwork is the colour !
The CBN technique relies on you choosing progressive shades in the colour palette of your choice, be it greys, blues, pinks, etc...
Typically a pattern will instruct which brand of yarn to use, and for those folks who find it frustrating or get a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing colours, Todd has A LIST of blue and brown shades that work in the Red Heart range which may make life easier for you !
As for my yarn choices - they do tend to change with every piece!
After much browsing I have found a palette of greys that I am very happy with, however it does vary depending on whether i'd like the piece to have a black & white feel or a slight blue tinge running through it. It really does come down to trial and error for me!
I have never made a piece using the same brand of yarn for all colours. I always use many different kinds!
I get yarn from craft supply stores, discount stores, Kmart, Woolworths, my Mum's accumulated stash over the past 30 years, freebies from friends old stashes, etc...
Then it really is a case of mixing and matching to get the right degree of shading
The size of the ply I use also varies! For instance, in my GWTW piece, one of the lighter blues I really really wanted to use only came in 5 ply, much thinner than all the other colours that were 8 ply. So I bought 2 balls and worked two strands of the colour every time I used it, in order to balance the thickness. The important thing was that it was the RIGHT COLOUR for the job
Hence the reason as to why I cannot give brand names of the yarn I use in each pattern as it really is an eclectic ever-changing mix!
I guess the biggest barrier a lot of people have in giving work like this a go is the risky business of choosing colours and being afraid that they won't work as well as they want them too. Trust me, i've had my fair share of disasters! Exhibit A
I thought I was on a winner with my choices for a piece featuring Danny Jones from McFly I attempted a while ago...
So far so good...decided to keep going...
Yup! Loving that shine on the retro microphone! Kept going...
WAY TOO DARK!!! BIGGEST BUMMER!!!
So the best advice I can give is to take your time in comparing and contrasting your shades! Sometimes projects will fail, sometimes you may have to put a project on hold until the right shade turns up in stock, sometimes you may have to change your entire palette depending on the colours you have available to you. Ply size you can work around, brands you can mix and match, but it's the colour choices that will be the difference between a good piece and one that POPS!
Aching Hands and Wrists?!?!?
The lovely Donna sent in a question!
QUESTION: " You work on so many different projects and seem to get them
out uber quick, do your hands hurt? The muscle around my thumb hurts
and I'm actually noticing rub marks from my hook on my fingers. What do you do for your
Ah yes! The dreaded hand cramps ! When I first started crocheting properly at the end of 2008, I noticed that my hands started to cramp up quite quickly! I searched every forum you can imagine to get some tips on how to prevent my fingers seizing up after only half an hour of crocheting, so quickly tried them out. Some worked for me, some didn't. Some made perfect sense, others were perfectly ridiculous !
Here are some tips that help me BUCKETLOADS when it comes to hand cramps!
Take a break ! Over time I have learnt to rest my fingers before going overboard. I start to get tingly sensations in my fingers and my wrists start to click, which is my flashing warning sign to give it a rest The worst thing you could do is try to push through the pain, even if you only have one row left! I was so eager to finish my AC/DC piece, I remember pushing through the clicks and cracks to knock off the last 12 rows and by god, I could hardly bend my fingers without searing pain for the next week, rendering me useless!! Pretzel-finger syndrome!!!
I now crochet in 15 minute blocks. After 15 mins, I stop, stand up, and do some basic hand exercises
Hand Exercises - after a quick search for "finger stretches, hand stretches, etc," I compiled a series of finger, hand and wrist stretches that I do in between 15 minute blocks of crocheting. First I tend to splay my fingers out, stretching them as far as they can go, before then curling them up to form a fist (repeat x 10), I then gently massage the palms of my hands, working from the middle of the palm out to the end of each finger. That usually takes about 5 mins for both hands. I then bend my wrists backwards and then forwards using my other hand like this...
Funnily enough, I don't tend to get too much pain in my crocheting hand. I actually get the most pain in the index finger of my left hand ! I tend to stick out my index finger as I hold my working yarn, which leaves it a bit stiff and sore! Which leads me to think that maybe trying a different grip on your hook may alleviate any pain your experienceing in your crocheting hand.
I've also noticed that MY NECK gets extremely stiff!! After I complete a row i'm finding that I have to do a few simple neck exercises (which make me look like a pidgeon...so attractive...)
I must get into the crocheting zone and look like a bloody statue sitting there cause my neck is completely set in stone sometimes! Very strange!
So as long as you don't push yourself too hard and you take lots of little breaks, hopefully some simple exercises should help ease the pain and it'll be smooth sailing from here on in !
Totallee Vlog Archive
This is the place to watch old vlogs!
Proceed with caution - as they're bloody awful!
♥ Vlog #21 [21st March, 2013]
♥ Vlog #20 [1st May, 2012]
♥ Vlog #19 [12th Mar, 2012]
♥ Vlog #18 [2nd Jan, 2012]
♥ Vlog #17 [28th Oct, 2011]
♥ Vlog #16 [22nd Aug, 2011]
♥ Vlog #15 [17th Aug, 2011]
♥ Vlog #14 [30th July, 2011]
♥ Vlog #13 [18th June, 2011]
♥ Vlog #12 [30th Mar, 2011]
♥ Vlog #11 [29th Mar, 2011]
♥ Vlog #10 [20th Feb, 2011]
♥ Vlog #9 [25th Jan, 2011]
♥ Vlog #8 [15th Dec, 2010]
♥ Vlog #7 [10th Nov, 2010]
♥ Vlog #6 [17th July, 2010]
♥ Vlog #5 [9th July, 2010]
♥ Vlog #4 [8th June, 2010]
♥ Vlog #3 [8th May, 2010]
♥ Vlog #2 [9th Feb, 2010]
♥ Vlog #1 [2nd Feb, 2010]
Hogwarts Bunch Blanket
It's only now as I come to write this that I realise the first time I picked up a copy of 'The Philosopher's Stone' was in 1999. It's only now that I realise that that was 13 YEARS AGO. By God. I could really use that time-turning hourglass of Hermione's right now....
Anywayz! Mid way through 2009, I decided to have a crack at making my own crochet patterns and guess who I decided to do first?!? Young Mister. Potter
As far as first impressions go I was pretty chuffed! At least it looked like him and of course the bigger plus - it only used 4 colours (which therefore made it cheap as chips to make!)
At first I thought it would make a cute cushion for the lounge but then inspiration reared it's beautiful head! Why not make lonely Harry a couple of friends to accompany him on said couch?!?
It wasn't until I had them all lined up on the floor that I thought 'this screams Brady Bunch...'
So taking inspiration from the opening and closing credit's of "Here's the story, of a lovely lady..", I went about choosing 9 characters for a Hogwarts Bunch Blanket! NOT AN EASY TASK!!!!!
SOO many too choose from! So many faves! But as of December 2010, I managed to whittle the selection down to 9 and complete them!
The next step was to border and back them all individually before the daunting task of Hand Sewing (blurgh. )
I bordered each one with about 4 rows of black before sewing some cheap black jersey material to the backs. I then joined the panels together with black yarn by going in and out of the holes conveniently made by the single crochet stitches. This produced a lovely flat join that can hardly be seen ! (on the right side up of course -_^!)
The blanket has received an enormous amount of love so i'd just like to send vitual hugs , kisses and high fives to EVERYONE who has followed and supported me though the making of this project via the many places i've posted my progress! Major kudos to you guys
Our New Celebrity
Earlier this year I awoke to a little opportunity sitting patiently in my inbox. Adrienne the deputy editor of Let's Knit UK magazine had asked if they could feature the Hogwarts Bunch Blanket in an upcoming issue!!
I preceeded to freak-the-shiz out and accepted immediately!!!
Published in a magazine!!!!! From the other side of the freaking planet!!!!! AGGHHHH!!!
As you can see I handled the whole propsal extremely professionally....
Adrienne sent along some questions and I sent her some pictures and you can imagine my surprise when I first laid eyes on issue #44.....
I scored an ENTIRE PAGE!!!
I'd like to extend another massive thank you to Adrienne and her team for this opportunity! TOO TOO AWESOME!!
For those wanting different characters, if you're a member of Ravelry, have a search for a raveller named 'Candice' She has a BUNCH of character graphs for free in her patterns section Please note- I do not produce patterns on request. For reasons why, please see the Frequently Asked Questions Section
If you do have a crack at a character, please feel free to send me pictures to be featured here on Totallee.net! Like the beautiful angels below!!!
poprocker [@] totallee [.] net !
♥ Your Potter Panels!
Get ready to get your applause on whilst browsing this section!!
This section is to show off the incredible crocheting magic of those who have had a crack at the Potter Panels and have beyond succeeded !!
If you have sent me a picture of your potter panel and don't see it featured, first, please forgive me and secondly, please resend it! I'm a fully qualified scatterbrain and have clearly misplaced it!
Again if you would like to have your finished piece featured, please pop a couple of images into an e-mail and send it to poprocker [@] totallee [.] net!