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Monthly Archives: December 2012

FO and a sort of plan for next year

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Christmas celebrations, whatever form they took.

An FO? Yes, just one: the White Caps Cowl, which I was knitting till almost 9 o’clock on Boxing Day morning (luckily for me, it wasn’t needed until lunchtime; but, yes, it was somewhat necessarily, therefore, gifted unblocked). Sewing? A few lavender bags. Other knitting? None. Surviving the end-of-year busy-ness was sufficient achievement. And, as I’ve yet to send cards, I’m not too sure if we have survived. I’m going to call them New Year cards, though. But, you know, we made it through a festival of feasts and visits by friends and family, a birthday, a wedding anniversary, exam results, exploding champagne, a concert or two and lots of everyday stuff that included inordinate amounts of time dedicated to fitness pursuits (no, not me; that was everyone else while I was playing laundry lady).

What can I say about the White Caps Cowl? I adapted it slightly in terms of number of repeats. I think it’s probably a make that would knit to a nicer finish in its recommended yarn but I’m quite taken by the weight of the Patons Sorrento, the hint of glamour it provides with the slightly shimmering aspect of its mixed fibre and the smooth contrast of the Cleckheaton Bamboo. As far as knitting went, the bamboo was much easier on the hands and I was able to make reasonable progress. The variable thickness of the Sorrento slowed me down quite a lot. It hasn’t put me off by any means, as I’ve stocked up my cupboard with enough yarn to make a couple more of the White Caps Cowls throughout the year (it really is good on-the-bus knitting and I love the look of it). I might not use a faux seam with another make; it doesn’t really ring my bells. The photo was taken hurriedly with my phone, prior to wrapping; excuse background (bedcover) and less than ideal lighting.

Flat cowl

Not exciting but looks better in action

One of our visiting friends has put in a couple of knitting requests and I’ll be happy to oblige her with a Villawool Inca L574 hat in a colour scheme to her liking (that will be a reasonably fast knit, even at my pace). I’ve yet to decide on the yarn for that (the Villawool Inca being no longer available) but am fairly sure I could manage it from stash, which you’d have to consider a win. Hardly surprisingly, the really thick winter yarns are somewhat thin on the shelves at this time of year. There will also be a three-colour linen stitch scarf though I have absolutely no intention of making it as long as its predecessor. I understand about long scarves and cold climes, truly I do; but there is a point beyond which the extra length simply gets in the way. I bought yarn for that yesterday at Spotlight. I would like to make one for myself but will wait and see how other things pan out before I make that a firm promise/plan.

I started something akin to a prayer shawl – perhaps a care shawl – for a colleague who has had a rotten year by anyone’s standards. I won’t finish it quickly (the needle size is just on the edge of my comfort zone and I struggle to find a rhythm even with the very easy pattern) but it might be ready for her April birthday. In any case, she’s not expecting it so in some respects I have as much leeway as I need on that one.

The yarn bombing coordinator rang the other day to ask for more contributions: red hearts and lots of roses, not necessarily red, for another yarn bombing project, the previous one in Victoria Square having been hailed as such a success. I’ve already crocheted up a few test roses which will be perfectly acceptable contributions and am looking around for a heart pattern that looks sufficiently heart-like and sufficiently large. I think this one fits the bill. I know where the drop-off point is and I have my dark glasses at the ready so I can ensure my hearts and flowers are there before the due date. You might not be surprised to hear that Dr B and YoungB have somewhat taken this yarn bombing idea and run with it, referring to secret language, pack leaders and cell members as if it were an underground movement. I humour them. At least they’re not objecting!

In sewing news, I’ve repaired YoungB’s Draggins (kevlar-reinforced motorcycling jeans) again, having previously taken up the hem by the amount he requested. Anyone who knows about jeans will understand that much use had seen them sag to a point where the hems were in shreds. This time I cut off the original and new hems and turned them up twice. They might look a shade short were he to wear them with loafers but as that’s unlikely – his motorcycling gear has been carefully chosen to enable him to wear it all day, boots included (though I’d accept that leathers in winter are for on the bike and not much else) – then we reckon that this time they won’t catch on his boots nor drag on the ground. That’s not the sort of drag the brand intends although I’ll be very happy if it’s the only sort this pair of jeans ever encounters.

I still haven’t managed to make a new top for myself or tinkered with my rescued skirt and stripey trousers to create the jacket I’d half-imagined could be made from them, using Portia’s kimono-tee pattern as inspiration (it’s a winner; I’ve already used it to make five tops of varying degrees of respectability). They will happen at some point, I suppose. However, I have received my Pattern Pyramid winnings from Meg and will undoubtedly have something to show you from that; but not just yet. So if you’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcement, take this as advance warning. I’m still rather run off my feet and although – o frabjous day! – I have managed to clear the sewing table (nearly, anyway), I have a couple of other urgent tasks that simply have to be done before I can allow myself to be frivolous.

All in all, I think 2013 is going to be just like 2012: full of good intentions, lots of things made that I didn’t really intend to make, other people’s things coming ahead of mine on a regular basis and anything made for myself done terribly last-minute and not terribly well! I do hope that you have a better year in terms of your crafty endeavours, whatever form they take. Cheers, everyone, and happy new year.

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heroically doing an afternoon’s shopping

It was difficult to comprehend this morning’s news of the massacre at Newtown and I make no comment about the thorny issue of guns. Our thoughts are with those directly affected by the tragedy.

In our little corner of the world, all was relatively calm. Dr B usually does our domestic shopping – he doesn’t go out to work and he does the cooking, so that seems quite fair and logical – but today he was busy with other things so YoungB and I ventured out. It’s a jungle out there. Getting a park? We managed something at about Oodnagalahbi South, I think. And we shopped reasonably successfully, even managing to get the 4mm washers Dr B rang and asked for. There is certainly a frenzied feel in the air but it was heartening to see the hardware-store assistants dressed up as superheroes. Clearly, they weren’t taking anything very seriously!

Are we? We are trying not to and YoungB is doing a lot of partying. Last night was my work’s Christmas dinner but also the retirement village’s Christmas dinner. No contest, really. I SMSd one of the workers to say hi and let them know that we’d already had a visit from Santa and were at that stage singing along to O Sole Mio. YoungB was heard to mutter that it wouldn’t be much of an Italian gathering without at least one round of everybody singing Volare. There was and, yes, we sang along with that as well.

If you’re busy with Christmas gatherings, as I imagine most of you already are, may they be as enjoyable as mine have been so far; and may you have superheroes helping you with your shopping.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

apparently that was the weekend

Last week was, as you might expect at this time of year, busy with a lot of hearings (quick, must get it done before Christmas) and home has been a bit nuts too. I did, however, make a point of heading down to Vic Sq one lunchtime to check out the yarn bombing. Here’s a link to the City of Adelaide’s Facebook album. No, you can’t see anything of mine in any of the photos but that doesn’t matter. I found my items and they fitted right in with everyone else’s.

WordPress and I are having a bit of a stand-off about photos at present. Mostly I can’t get them to work. Sorry, about that, I’ll keep trying. But in the meantime, that link will show you VR all decked out in special Christmas finery, of which I’m sure she’d approve.

Sunday afternoon when I went out, I found my self thinking (for the first time this season, despite some warm temperatures early) that summer has finally arrived. Given that, I was pleased to have spent a few hours putting away my winter woolies. That required making some new lavender bags. They weren’t fancy, merely a handful of mix tossed into old stockings I’d cut up. I did, however, make a real one for YoungB’s undies drawer because I was well overdue to replace several I’d borrowed.

The annual Toy Run took place on Sunday too, so Dr B and YoungB headed out on their motorbikes for that. Because I then had the house to myself for a while I was able to decorate our Christmas tree. I’m not much good at it, to be quite truthful. I couldn’t honestly say I don’t have an artistic bone in my body because if that were so, I’d never have been much chop as a performer. Simply, my artistry and creativity don’t extend to decorations.

Dr B complimented me for the tree. His take on it is that, if he were in charge, there’d be no tree because he wouldn’t get around to it (not necessarily because he’s closely related to Ebenezer Scrooge). It’s been a decorative couple of weeks, you might say, and I’m now getting a bit desperate about the amount of work I want to get done before all the guests start arriving. Help! Are you having the same dilemmas or are you just one of those really, really organised people? Whichever you consider yourself, good luck with getting all the festive season stuff completed in time.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Crochet, Knitting, Sewing

 

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no such thing as too many roses

I crocheted roses over the weekend, to throw onto a wreath intended to replace the old tinsel-wrapped wire coathanger that’s been our front-door decoration for many Christmases. I can’t remember when I first encountered this wonderful tutorial – but it was some time ago, possibly the first year Esther shared it on her blog – and was utterly enchanted by the notion of doing something similar. I’m sure you’ve realised by now that I tend to take ideas and run with them. The results aren’t always brilliant but I think my version of this has turned out quite nicely. I’d intended to make it larger than it is but the larger foam rings had sold out, so a little one had to do; and it does do quite a good job, don’t you think?

IRL the colours are warmer

IRL the colours are warmer

I did a fair bit of tweaking and about three complete remakes in terms of placement (I pinned everything in place before deciding on final placement). I asked Dr B to judge whether the colour balance was right – after all, he’s the only one in the family not afflicted by acritochromacy – and I checked it with YoungB as well because he has a better eye for balance than I have. They both liked it and when I eventually hung it on the door, Dr B was kind enough to say that it looked very nice. (He also agreed that it was a vast improvement on the coathanger.) And why didn’t I use any leaves? I can crochet well enough to manage their complexity, but they are more time consuming than roses. Time being in short supply, and green yarn being in even shorter supply, surprisingly enough, I decided that I’d use just roses. So that’s what I did, used a lot of roses, varying in colour and size (depending on what yarn I could find in my leftovers basket). I should have wrapped my foam ring with another layer of yarn, but it’s passable as it is because the yarn is thick.

So that’s one bit of Christmas crafting done and life seems to be throwing obstacles in the way of other achievement. What gets done gets done and what doesn’t means buying a box of special seeds or nice teabags, I think! How are you going with your Christmas crafting?

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Crochet

 

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