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that “snap!” moment

Frequently keeping someone else’s head warm

It’s winter. Of course it’s cold. Of course it’s beanie weather. Of course I’ve been wearing a beanie. Of course it’s a made-by-me beanie, although not always the same one. Imagine my amusement recently when a friend sent the above image as a message. I immediately pulled out the beanie I happened to wearing that day, took a snap and sent it via return message.

Coincidentally, keeping my head warm that day

I made both of them. Yes, they look different because they are different. The yarn in the top beanie is a pure wool and alpaca blend, so it’s naturally a little fuzzier than the machine-washable pure wool in the bottom photo. It’s also a darker grey. Additionally, I don’t wear my beanie to bed. I’m told that that often happens to the top beanie.

Details, if anyone is interested: Pattern 18, Lady/Man Knitted Aran Cap from Patons Winter Warmers Book 483. Top beanie was knitted as per instructions but using Moda Vera Tolve, a 12 ply, 70% wool, 30% alpaca yarn. The bottom beanie was knitted with Bendigo Woollen Mlls 8 ply Classic yarn, to make a smaller beanie. It fits me nicely and I do wear it often.

Doesn’t it warm the cockles of your heart when the love just keeps going round?

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2021 in Knitting

 

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so, that happened

As lovely as ever, if funereally quiet

South Australia did a good job of controlling the couple of COVID-19 clusters. As a result, after the seven-day lockdown, we were officially back in the city on Wednesday. In practice, most of us remained WFH because of receiving that confirmation too late the previous day. However, by Thursday, we certainly were. back at the office

In the main, I think it would fair to say many of us were disgruntled about that. It’s not that we don’t want to be there, but more that the mid-week upheaval wrought havoc with already fraught nerves. It didn’t help to know that most other government departments, both federal and state, had taken the route of continuing WFH to the end of the week.

The view is always worthwhile, especially on a sunny day. However, the breeze was icy and the ground floor of our refurbed building lived up to its reputation as a wind tunnel. Patronise the local coffee houses? Yeah, nah. You’d freeze getting there!

I hope your week has been less topsy-turvy.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2021 in Health

 

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cornered, after all

Back when I was almost at the end of the first ball of joining yarn

The plan to do anything with the thick fleece being somewhat dependent on the wearer relinquishing it long enough, and the weather being still mighty cold meaning he’s reluctant to cooperate in that respect, I went back to crochet while waiting for my computer to update.

Something the computer kept promising would take “about 5 minutes” took over two hours. Right, then. Last square, around the corner and well back up row 4 I went while that was happening. I have since joined in the next ball of joining yarn. That’s visible progress. Right?

Statistically speaking, there are over 400 metres of joining yarn already assigned to the blanket. Some of that is in the neutral squares that aren’t yet incorporated, but most of it is in the joins. And when I start the next row – row 5; end of March back to mid-March – it will be with a month-end neutral square. Lovely. More visible progress accompanied by yarn depletion, and approaching a quarter of the blanket actually made 😀

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2021 in Crochet

 

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the upside of the downside

Some of these are daily sins in my office 😀

Our departmental higher-ups decreed that everyone in our Branch must complete training to improve our writing skills. In principle, this is a fine thing. Examples of Other People’s poor writing and grammar often reach our email inboxes. There’s always room to refine communication skills and hone jargon to best suit intended purpose. I looked through the workbook for the training that’s aimed at public servants at my level, and quaked in my shoes at the idea of that occupying a full day; the amount of time allocated.

As a side note and in my defence, I have spent years of my life working as an editor and proofreader. I know that my understanding of grammatical constructs is streets ahead of what’s in the workbook. In sum, it’s my strong suspicion that I’m one for whom this training would be frustrating at best and a complete waste of time at worst. I don’t imagine I’ll be the only one for whom that is true. Age is a factor, because I’m of a generation that still learnt about grammar at primary school. In my case, those skills were refined by further study that involved Latin and Italian.

The training was to have been face-to-face; inescapable, in a word and not possible to have hidden down the back with my knitting or crochet. Now that we’re in lockdown and everything is once again up in the air? The training has been postponed indefinitely. Thank you, Covid!

It’s all right. I’ll show myself out 🙂

 

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non-reflective

In case of homesickness, insert background image

We had a team meeting this morning, via video. I used the above image as my background. It’s a view taken from the office window. Today’s weather has not been anything like as cheerful as that, as it’s been very cold and very wet. However, the image created a couple of laughs, perhaps partly because it contrasted so starkly with what was actually outside our windows, so it served its purpose.

I hope your backgrounds are cheery, too 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2021 in Musing

 

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pattern-hacking

There’s probably some of this flannelette fabric still left in the stash 🙂

Has the rage for oversize hoodies reached your part of the world? YoungB and I have often talked about sewing up something similar – but very simple, with minimum shaping – using fabric already in stash. This is the sort of weather when discussions about such a thing as an oversize hoodie return to consideration. He has a onesie – long story! – but it has a few drawbacks and isn’t necessarily the sort of thing you’d want to be wearing for a Zoom call.

YoungB was cold this morning, and rightly so. The temperature was around zero and the wind chill made it feel several degrees colder. I hauled out a piece of polar fleece from deep within stash and suggested he use it as a giant wrap. He was happy to do so, because it kept him warm. At lunchtime, we once again discussed making it into a garment. I have plenty of flannelette also in stash, which we thought would be suitable as the second layer. I might have to piece it to get enough fabric to fit YoungB’s current size, but that wouldn’t matter. If it keeps him warm, I’m happy to do it, and it would add to the fun element. At least, I think it would.

It wouldn’t be an Oodie. I’m not suggesting that for a minute. But it might be a quick way of making something cuddly and warm, with the emphasis on warm. It would reduce my stash and, if I’m careful – for example, use a kimono-style sleeve, unshaped hood and only a small scoop in the pouch pocket – then there should be little fabric wastage and not much returning to stash afterwards.

Temperature blanket? Yeah, nah. But you know what? At that temperature, you need a blanket. Am I right?!

 

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oh dear, that’s a bit close

Last of the carefree “Let’s grab a coffee” outings for a while 😀

When I heard our local hospital mentioned as a hotspot for a recent Covid outbreak, I immediately offered to stay home for the rest of the week. I was half-joking. I was also half-serious because, given the proximity of the hospital to a major shopping centre that we frequently patronise, the likelihood is high that it, too, could become a hotspot. So far, I’m pleased to report, that has not happened. Many other nearby shopping centres, however, are now in the limelight for the wrong reason.

The decision to allow voluntary WFH was made higher up the chain of command. Today, there came the directive from the Premier that it’s no longer voluntary but mandatory. We hope it’s only for the seven days announced, but there’s always that worry as to whether things will develop so rapidly that a longer lockdown is required. We’ve proved we can do it, and the technology seems a little more stable than it was during our last long WFH stint. That’s a good thing, as our section has a busy couple of weeks coming up, meaning that technology tantrums are not what anyone wants to deal with.

It’s not so bad to be WFH when the weather is wintry. I’d far rather be here in the warmth than out there in the cold, waiting for a bus. Whatever my transport preference, the important thing is that we’re safe, and Dr B is not too stressed by the extra noise we generate. He appreciates having us around as sounding boards – and YoungB is an excellent ear when it comes to matters technical – and we’re happy to down tools and have a coffee with him every now and then. Maybe not so many cakes this time?!

Nervously awaiting further developments, I leave you with the hope that, if you too are in lockdown, then your situation is bearable.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2021 in Health

 

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not quite another corner

Any ants would have been quite washed away!

Last week was cold and wet, with several days of downpours and severe weather warnings. You won’t be surprised when I say that half the office was lined up at the window in, “Oh, boy, how am I going to get home?” mode when I took that photo. You can’t see the rain coming in sideways with each gust of wind. Trust me; it was! I was fortunate that YoungB picked me up on his way home. By anybody’s standards, that’s a knight in shining armour act because where I work is in no way “on the way home” from his current workplace. To update the comparison, my knight wasn’t so much on a white charger as in a sporty little black Alfa Romeo, whose interior was blessedly dry and warm.

So that was a week of ideal weather for working up a square or three of the temperature blanket, you’d reckon. Right? Or – even more appealingly – going to bed early, because that’s the warmest place in the house, and doing a square or two before the eyelids dropped completely. I did precisely that a few times. The result is that I have only four squares remaining of row 4 before I turn another corner and head back to start working the squares that represent the last of March. Bring on another week of cold, wet weather – the forecast suggests it will be – and let’s see if we can get that corner turned.

I hope your weather is less wild, wherever you are.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2021 in Crochet, Health

 

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and another corner

It’s starting to look more like a blanket, not just random squares 🙂

I took the better part of two days to do the encircling round on row 3, but I finished it. Then around another corner I went, which means that row 4 is now starting to take shape – that is, mid-March back to the end of February. Yes, there’s still a l-o-n-g way to go before I’m up to date. No matter. I’ll get there.

All the same, in the interests of trying to speed the process, I have done some work while commuting on the bus. It’s frustrating, as the bus ride tends to be bumpy and I struggle to maintain a good rhythm. Grizzle noted, be it also noted that I have managed to complete a few centres and do middle rows from a couple of them. There are then ends to be dealt with as a separate issue, which you’ll probably recall is not my preferred methodology.

I sewed in ends last night – bring out the polish for my halo, right?! – so all of them have actually been taken care of and most of the centres attached to their appropriate middles and then the blanket. I called it quits with one centre still unpaired; oh, the horror! It will be ready for action when I pick up my hook again.

May all your centres, of whatever variety, be securely attached to their respective middles 😀

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2021 in Crochet

 

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discipline

The back of the blanket with its single loose end securely looped

I was looking at a few other temperature blankets the other day, most of which are considerably more up-to-date than mine although not necessarily up to the day. One crocheter – whose blanket IS up to the day, but with a few trailing ends – said she’s amazed at how disciplined she’s being. She makes a square every day and adds it to the blanket. She’s in a cold part of Australia, so the deep greens, blues and purples she’s using at present made an enormous visual impact.

I’m not undisciplined, but I was late starting because it took me a little while to sort out colours and temperature ranges to be represented by same. I have also had one or two speed bumps that I didn’t anticipate in the shape of recent incapacity caused by a flare-up of my chronic back problems. While it is true that I might have been able to crochet while flat on my back, I doubt if the soporific effect of the medication would have seen a sensible result. That meant a significant pause to output.

However, I’m almost done with February, and I am rapidly approaching another corner. The only trailing end I have is the working yarn, which you can see there looped for security prior to the addition of another square. Which, BTW, I made and added this morning after breakfast, while we sat about and discussed power supplies and dedicated cables, and the value of a wired mouse as opposed to a wireless one when it comes to accuracy of diagnostics. As you do. Right?!

While I admit that I favour a wired mouse, the lack of trailing cables on that piece of blanket thrills me to the core. You too??

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2021 in Crochet

 

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