Monthly Archives: March 2012

beanie, blue beanie

In the hope of capitalising on my bus trip this morning, I tried to gather up the necessities required for making the blue beanie (yes, it’s going to be blue, dark blue). I had the yarn (it is actually wool). I had the pattern (thanks, Yarn Harlot). But could I find appropriate needles? What that means is that they’re in use on mittens or something. Gosh, I need to finish a few things before starting any more.

And fingerless mitts for Nonno? Dr B had no idea where his were (as I’d suspected would be the case). I donated mine. Mine are pretty and purple, not at all tough and manly. Did Nonno care? Not a whit. I’m told he loved them (my guess is that he loved the warmth, if we’re being picky about this). So now I need to make some more for myself before winter strikes, because I will certainly need them.

To do list? Fingerless mitts for colleague, fingerless mitts for Youngest Uncle, beanie for Eldest Nephew, fingerless mitts for me and, oh yes, a bit of sewing too: sweater for Boy, top and skirt for me, a pile more lavender bags for Nonna and some to top up our dwindling supply.

Dr B. delivered the shawl to Nonna today for her birthday, with a couple of lavender bags. I haven’t yet heard how well it was received but it’s such a pretty colour that I hope she didn’t think we were wishing her dead and buried, which is how she treated the last shawl we gave her. If for some reason it raised her ire, I’ll use it myself and perhaps a beanie would be good for her too, do you think? But perhaps not a blue one because it seems her point of view is that dark blue is for old people. She likes bright colours, whether or not they suit her.

I’d hoped to post a photo of the purple fingerless mitts. Sorry, can’t be done. While some of my iPhoto library is in working order, most of the craft photos are in the bits that aren’t.

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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing


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men are strange creatures

I offered knitted scarves to two of the males in the family for recent birthdays. No, thanks, they said. One would prefer a beanie, the other some fingerless mitts. It’s not that I’m not happy to make something else, I’m merely surprised that a warm scarf wouldn’t be deemed a great gift for someone who’s off to trek the Himalaya later in the year!

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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Knitting


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artfully dodging

Today we had a family luncheon to celebrate Nonna’s birthday (she’s 86) and Boy’s (he’s 17). Their birthday is actually on Tuesday, but we can’t do long family lunches on a weekday. Can we?

So it was your typical family get-together: everybody cranky and the kids behaving badly and the siblings who don’t have a good word to say to each other at the best of times being practically murderous and then the mobile phone that was lost practically causing a divorce and Nonno smiling grimly from his hospital bed because he thought Nonna’s birthday flowers were for him and funereal – yeah, one of those. The pizza, however, was delicious.

And I wore my dodgy top. You know, the one with all the problems. Nobody commented, nobody noticed. I think we were all too busy dodging the missiles and ducking for cover!

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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Musing, Sewing



and have I lost a camera?

I thought I’d returned the camera to the rowing club (theirs, which I use to take photos that can be screened at school). I might not have. If I haven’t, I can’t find it here, anywhere. Or in the car. I’m puzzled, but will look again. It has to be somewhere, either at my place or at the head coach’s. I’m hoping she has it!

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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Rowing


could, should, would; but were I to do so

I always liked conditionals a bit better than subjunctives. And I liked Jessye Norman’s comment, regarding a role offered to her when she was a young singer, that the question was not whether she could sing the role but whether she should. That’s my take on garments for winter.

Could I sew a coat? Yes. I was well taught and have the necessary skills. Recent poorly-executed FOs notwithstanding (though I promise you they don’t look as bad as you might think with the possible exception of the skirt and that’s only bad if you look at it close-up), I sew well and generally do it tidily and carefully. I have a machine that would be up to the task and if I were to promise it a brand new needle, not merely one that hasn’t sewn hundreds of hours on fabrics that included crepe paper and velcro, and were I to use decent thread, then I think I’d probably have to say I have the equipment, too. I also have an overlocker, so we could be guaranteed of neat finishing.

Should I sew a coat? Yes. I need one. Winter here is quite cold enough for me to be wanting an overcoat. Those who live in truly cold climes can laugh at me now. I don’t care. I don’t like the cold and my tolerance for it is low. That is, I like it much better when the temperatures are high. My old overcoat is really no longer good for much but keeping me warm when I’m rounding up the sheep on the farm, only I don’t live on a farm any more. My heavy jacket is – well, last time I took it to be dry cleaned I had to sign a release form along the lines of, “This is so old and thin and worn that if it falls to bits during the process it’s not our fault”. I get that. So, yes, I do need a new coat.

New overcoats are hideously expensive. We’re talking hundreds (lots of hundreds) of dollars. I don’t have an income that will stretch that far. But I do have some fabric already in my stash. It wasn’t purchased with a coat in mind but rather a winter outfit of skirt and jacket. It might be a little lighter than a really cold-climate coat, but it would, I think, be okay for what I have to put up with. There’s most of the cost already taken care of.

Would I sew a coat? That’s a much harder question to answer because although I could actually do it and should because of need and cost, I would struggle to find sufficient space for cutting out and large enough chunks of uninterrupted time to achieve anything significant.

Ah, would that I were retired. I would then have uninterrupted time in large chunks and could achieve something. Presently, however, I tend to the view that while I could and should, I probably would not. But it might be time to get a little more serious about trawling some of the charity shops for a good, secondhand overcoat that I might be able to refashion with fewer hours of time at my disposal. I might even find one that fitted without alteration. Who knows?

In the meantime, it would be a good thing to clear my sewing table so I can assess the situation more readily. Just in case I decide that I could do something after all.

And on a related note, Nonno wants some fingerless mitts. But no rush, he says, tomorrow will do. Tomorrow? I can’t knit that fast. I suggested that Dr B should give his to Nonno straightaway and I’ll then make another pair. But does Dr B know where his are? Yeah, sure he does. I don’t either. They’re not mine to worry about. I could probably do a search mission but wouldn’t like to say where I might end up. All the same, if Nonno is to have these mitts, I probably should.

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing


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a couple more problems

I thought I’d been utterly honest about my dodgy top, but I’ve remembered some more things that aren’t quite right about it. The coloured bottom panels don’t align properly at the side seams. And the bottom hem is ever so slightly twisted because I did it in a hurry and without even pin-basting it. Lazy.

But, you know – sticks head out window to check – the earth not only didn’t come to a grinding halt, it didn’t even wobble on its axis. Unless you think today’s thunder, lightning and torrential downpour could be in any way related?

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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Musing, Sewing




You know how I say I’m not good with technology? It’s true. Why else would I be the one with all the problems? Why else would the jolly web browser bomb? I should just leave computers alone. Oh. The only difficulty with that might be that I use one for work. Do you reckon there’d be a job out there that doesn’t require use of computers?

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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized