30 March 2013

thanks for the yoga mat

So I finished my Sailor's Delight Shawl a few weeks ago, but I don't consider it FINISHED finished until I get pictures of me wearing it. 

The shawl blocked up beautifully, as I knew it would.  My blocking method involves some very classy cardboard and some towels.  Usually, The Kitten is not allowed on any of my items that are in the process of blocking.  My FOs of late have been gifts, and in particular for babies, and I'm not keen on gifting baby things along with copious amounts of cat fur.  She knows it too.  We have a small house, so the blocking process can be inconvenient.  I have to place my cardboard right in her way, but she has learned that she has to walk around it.  Sometimes she'll extend a little paw while looking at me, expecting my reaction (ie to yell at her and shoo her away).  It's gotten to the point where even if she is running full pelt she will put the brakes on so as not to step on the precious crochet/knit items pinned to the floor.

However, this shawl is going to be for me.  It's going to get cat fur on it whether I like it or not.  So I let her have free reign.  She was tentative at first, but she warmed up to her new yoga mat quickly.

26 March 2013

frustration and therapy

I was feeling under the weather today, so I called it quits at 1pm and went home.  The only thing I wanted to do was knit, and after a good solid couple of hours, I'm feeling much better.

I've started a baby sophisticate for, surprisingly, a new baby expected soon.  Check out my first ever yoke!  Go me eh!

How big are babies?  Who even knows if this will fit. 
Why the frick do I keep buying this cotton though?  I dunno.  It's really nice and knits up super soft and it's amazing value for money, but it's hand was only - just what every new mum needs!  Dammit Janet!  I reckon it would probably go alight in the washer myself, might give it a go at some stage.

Venus is being a big old pain in the bum right now.  It's super duper challenging and kicking my ass.   I've read lots and lots of notes, and there's all this conflicting advice about whether or not to crochet into the base stitch, how many stitches you should have, where the fans go.  THEN I did this dumb thing and read the dcs in the picots as trs, so I'm going to rip row 8 back to re-do so I don't have big ugly holes at the base of all the lovely fans.  Ugh!

Not only that but I came across a break in the yarn - which is totally cool because when I bought this yarn from Ms Gusset it was sold at a discount due to breakages so don't hate y'all.  So that stumped me a while, until some nice Raveller suggested the braided method.   That worked a treat.  The mended yarn seems really strong and is only just barely thicker than the yarn itself.  It's bit stiffer, but once worked into the piece and washed etc I reckon I'll be hard pressed to find it.  The below shows the yarn as it was, with one ply broken, and the mended (braided) section compared to the yarn itself.  Nifty eh?

One of these days I'll learn how to take better photos in the waning light of evening.

Oh oh oh.. last thing before I go.  I'm going to do a KAL!  Woooo!  It's Sweet Summer Rays.  I've got until April 15th to choose some yarn to go with it.  (I just can't justify $40 right now (including postage, and taking into account the sale) for a skein of the intended yarn.  Trust me, I've tried to).  I'm thinking of trying my hand at hand painting some left over Luxury in a bright orange or yellow.  I don't have anything in bright orange or yellow.

I've not done a KAL before.  How does it usually work?  Do I have to wait for the start date?  I suppose that's the point right?  To all do it together?  But I'm so slow!! Omg 4ply knitting is such a bitch!


Linking to- WIP Wednesday (Tami's Amis) | WIP Wednesday (Ambassador Crochet) | Yarn Along (Small Things) | Keep Calm and Craft On {Crafting on} (Frontier Dreams) | What you doing Wednesday (SusanD1408 Crochet Addict) | Hookin on Hump Day (My Merry Messy Life) | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)

24 March 2013

Organ Pipes

Would you believe I only live 5km from Organ Pipes National Park and have never visited?  Well, I remedied that earlier this month.

It's a smallish park, and the organ pipes themselves are actually quite impressive to look at.  The only thing that spoiled the experience was the generous amount of bird poo covering one of the pipes!

Tried my hand at wildlife photography.  Even though I hate magpies with every fibre of my being.

Oh, you couldn't see the wildlife in that picture?  Here you go:

There he is!  I don't know what he is, maybe a type of fairy-wren?

Another park visited, another postcard created.  Original photography by me, bird poo and all!

21 March 2013

365: 1-20

I've recently come to like the idea of the 365 project.  I don't have the capacity to commit to it in any serious sense (read:  taking proper pictures with my proper camera), so I am just uploading all mine to instagram.  In any case, I still like the idea of coming back in a year and  seeing what I was up to / thinking about at the time.

My self-imposed rules are that the picture must be taken by me, and must be taken on the day in question.

Here are days 1-20:

1.  a visit to Organ Pipes Natinal Park 2. knitting project 3. home grown (by someone else) tomatoes 4. stamps on a Russian postcard 5. dumb ways to die 6. The Kitten 7. seal of the Royal Mint 8. morning coffee (and doughnut!) 9. sunrise 10. high tea 11. artistic photo of the fan (so hot!) 12. crochet project 13. broken tureen 14. geometric windows 15. Melbourne arts centre 16. rainy day 17. fun run booty 18. The Kitten with her new tree 19.  delicious chilli cooked by A 20. Herman the German


20 March 2013

you don't even know

how excited I am about this shawl.

It hasn't come that far.  I'm finding tunisian crochet super slow.  But at the same time, the rows are much thicker, so it's like you're completing 4-rows-in-1, so it's probably not that slow.

I'm up to row 8, the dreaded shells.  It took a good while of staring intently at the pattern to decipher what it was going on about.  I was on the train, I had to pause my audiobook, such was my concentration.  Another hour at home, some paper and pen to math it out (with guideance of much cleverer Ravelers than me).  As of this morning's commute I had completed the first shell!  Success!  It's going to be so very beautiful when it's done, I'm looking forward to wearing it proudly.

Oh, I purchased a new crochet hook special for this project.  The red one I was using wasn't gliding through the yarn in the way I liked.  Plus it was red, and something in me said I can't use a red hook with red yarn.  There's a law against that isn't there?  This one seems to have a matt finish, and feels much more suitable to the silky silk.

Linking to- WIP Wednesday (Tami's Amis) | WIP Wednesday (Ambassador Crochet) | Yarn Along (Small Things) | Keep Calm and Craft On {Crafting on} (Frontier Dreams) | What you doing Wednesday (SusanD1408 Crochet Addict) | Hookin on Hump Day (My Merry Messy Life) | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)

18 March 2013

Hanging rock

So I visited Hanging Rock last month.  It's only half an hour away from me, so it's a bit shameful that I'd never actually visited just for the sake of visiting.  It's a flippin' Australian icon is what it is, though I haven't read/seen the book/film that made it famous either. 

It was a fairly miserable rainy day.  Made for some nice atmos though.  Still getting used to my camera.  'Scuse the rudimentary photography skills.  But look!  Mysterious rocks!

And topically, y'all may know that I'm right into sending postcards.  I'm expanding my interest by making my own!  My appetite for variety is just not satisfied by a lot of the tacky cards you get at those tourtisty places.  Here's my very first card, made using the very sophisticated Zazzle.  Here's my new Zazzle store.
And finally, in other Hanging Rock news, my next fun run is Run the Rock!  Awesome or what? 


17 March 2013

new additions

It's been an age since I've posted about my tureens.  I think it's high time for a stock-take.

I've more than doubled my collection since last I posted.   We've welcomed the additions of corn, strawberry, apple, and green and red (well, pink) cabbage.  I'm also extending my collection to include 'assorted ceramics and pottery shaped like fruits and vegetables', mostly because other people have gifted me some lovely items that compliment my collection perfectly.  Eagle eyed readers will notice my new adorable capsicum teapot, and orange bowl.  (Sadly forgot to put the teapot and bowl into the family group photo, and I was too lazy to get them all down from the shelf again.  I promise I love the teapot Lydia... but lazyyyyyy)

My favourite piece remains the cauliflower, the item that started my obsession, but aren't those cabbages divine?  Unlike all of the others, I can attribute these to a maker:  Bordallo Pinheiro (you can select English by clicking the little British flag), from Portugal.  I'm tentatively keeping my eye on ebay to see if I can pick up additional pieces.

Although, ebay does have it's pitfalls.  The pink tureen, did you notice anything?  Let me show you how it arrived:

Absolutely devastating!  I couldn't throw it away, I thought it made such a cute pairing to the green cabbage, and these puppies are rare!  So down to Bunnings I went, and with a tube of epoxy, managed to piece it back together.  Kind of.  I've done a shitty job I know, but could you tell from a distance?  I bet you couldn't.  Just don't look too closely, k?  It's only for decoration anyway.

Waaahhhh :(
Fixing pottery is hard!!  Anyone have a pink cabbage tureen they'd be willing to part with?  :3


15 March 2013

Shut up brain

I could not sleep last night.  Despite turning in before 11 (very respectable I thought) I was still wide awake at 12.30.  Too many thoughts going through my head, including everything from current knitting and crochet projects to a planning a high tea. 

I thought getting that info out of my brain might help.  I remembered a tool a colleague likes to use at work, and thought it might help me in my hour of need.

Mind mapping.  Have you ever done this? 

I turned my phone on (I have it off during the night because I know how tempting it can be to play with it, but this was an emergency) and downloaded SimpleMind.

The results!

Did it work?  Kind of.  While I was happy to get a lot of this stuff down, then I was stuck thinking what other things I could add!  A bit of a vicious cycle.

Do you mind map?  I think I might do so more often, it's actually very satisfying to see all my thoughts in one place and coloured prettily.  I can definitely recommend the app I used, very intuititve and fun to do!

13 March 2013


Great progress made on my very own Ripple and my Spidey Hat.
I have one more shade of purple to add to the ripple before I need to repeat a colour.  Twelve colours total, and I'm totally digging them all together.  Even A commented positively on the colour combo, so I'm giving myself extra brownie points.  I'm trialling (well, I say trialling but I'm just using it) this method of a chainless starting dc (tr, whatevs) and am really liking the results.  The edge is beautifully straight, and there's none of that pesky crocheting into your starting chain, which is one of my least favourite things to do ever.

Need a line ruled?  Well, with my wonderful blanket edge, that will not be a problem! 
Spidey Hat had a bit of a time-out, because a phantom yo had inserted itself into a previous row, and I had to be in the mood to un-knit (de-knit?) it.  Back on track now.  Am completely at peace with the mistake I spoke about last week, and am looking forward to cooler (much much cooler) weather to wear this piece.  I seldom get cold enough to don a hat, but I am prepared to overheat myself for this baby.

Also, I should mention that Melbourne is experiencing a record heat wave at the moment.  NINE CONSECUTIVE DAYS ABOVE 32C.   What does that mean?  It's hotter than balls, that's what!  And here's me crocheting blankets and talking about wearing hats.

Linking to- WIP Wednesday (Tami's Amis) | WIP Wednesday (Ambassador Crochet) | Yarn Along (Small Things) | Keep Calm and Craft On {Crafting on} (Frontier Dreams) | What you doing Wednesday (SusanD1408 Crochet Addict) | Hookin on Hump Day (My Merry Messy Life)