Monthly Archives: October 2021

eye see you, finish line!

He’ll be able to see the finish line. Reach it? Dunno!

It’s such a busy time of year that I’m struggling to juggle my extra-curricular activities. I’m heavily involved in the making of our pool-noodle horse. As you can see from the photo, he now has eyes. I glued them on at lunchtime yesterday. What’s less obvious is that most of the rest of him is also now glued. My arthritic joints didn’t appreciate that amount of time spent using a hot-glue gun. Knitting and crochet don’t require such a steep angle or degree of compression, and my techniques don’t involve using all my fingers to the same extent.

My weekend is set to be spent communing with my sewing machine while I try to knock up some sort of “silk” top for the jockey. I have already dragged out more stash fabric. It won’t be a complicated garment, but the lightweight fabrics will respond better to sewing than to gluing. Also, sewing should be quicker, and kinder to my hands, than gluing.

The horse is still earless, as you can see. Once in place, ears will help keep his forelock tidier. Another team member is making those, ready for us to attach them on Monday. We don’t want to be finishing our steed on the day of the race, do we?! And, I mean, he has to be able to hear the cheers of the crowd on Tuesday. Right? If my hands haven’t recovered by Monday, someone else can wield the gun.

There’s another fancy-dress costume on the go for next weekend’s Girls’ Night In. It doesn’t require much sewing – thankfully – but while I have the machine stoked up, it makes sense to tackle that as well. That will be in between dealing with domestica, of course, mostly in the shape of endless laundry.

I have felt pulled in all directions trying to answer these various calls to craftiness. I have done nothing at all to YoungB’s blanket for over a week, but – as ever – I am diligently continuing to record temperatures. I will get there and it’s not something that was ever going to be finished smack on year’s end. I’ve said before, if it’s ready in time for his March birthday, I’ll consider that acceptable. The border will occupy me for a couple of weeks, I’m sure.

The other hiccough is babies. People will keep telling me they’re having babies, and they’re all due in March! I do want to make something for each of them, but it might be as simple as a knitted toy. I’m not offering to knit or crochet blankets. Nowadays, while I’m still working full-time, my energy simply doesn’t stretch that far.

Sew: the finish line for this part of the course is in sight. It will do as a waypoint. I’m not even going to think about how far behind the blanket is falling, or about any COVID-related issues that might be heading our way with relaxing restrictions. Let’s celebrate our progress and cheer ourselves mightily as we finish strong. We’re all champions 😀


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definitely not crochet

Old, faded and frayed trousers from deep stash

As it transpires, although Mane Event was a front-runner for our pool-noodle horse’s name, other members of the team have come up with education-appropriate ideas instead. As we are the Education Pod, their input was immediately more meaningful. In any case, whatever its name, that’s approximately the present state of our steed. Lots of work yet to be undertaken, but a good start.

Everything is still pinned. Once we decide on final placement, my hot glue gun is likely to be the weapon of choice for completion. Our OHS rep pointed out that we shouldn’t be using any electrical appliance that I bring from home, as it hasn’t been tagged. Neither, I pointed out, have any of our phones and we plug them into the electrical system All. The. Time.

Okay, back to housework, I think. I’m trying to find a long-sleeved white garment that I know I’ve worn this winter, so that I can use it for this year’s Girls’ Night In. No luck so far, but I’m finding other things.

All the best with your fancy-dress costume efforts, too, as it seems to be heading into that time of the year again.


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that time we listened to the sound bar

Cold nights with cool-to-warm days

Because a good sound system is part of our TV setup, Dr B sometimes uses it simply as an audio device. The other night, he suggested doing just that to listen to some archival music he’d tracked down. YoungB and I had almost forgotten our involvement in that particular recording, so we were willing to sit with a black screen in front of us and challenging music surrounding us.

The value of not having to watch anything was that I was able to crochet and complete three Indian-blue-coloured centres in that time. My plan was to do the middles – a different, same colour; namely, pale eucalypt – and attach them to the blanket. It was a good plan that failed dismally. I was by then so utterly exhausted that I could barely drag myself to bed, never mind haul the crochet bag with me.

Those squares and a few more are now incorporated into the blanket and I am working back through June in the halfway row. As slow as this all feels, I am progressing. The blanket is getting a nice heft to it, and it keeps my feet warm while I’m making the next square.

I hope you’re also able to capitalise on unexpected crafting opportunities whenever they arise 🙂

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Posted by on October 20, 2021 in Crochet


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COVID-safe and delicious

Noting that our workplace is presently feverishly occupied in trying to think of silly names for our pool-noodle horses, I thought you’d make the leap with me there when I inform you that a colleague’s recent farewell morning tea had some beautifully packaged loquats. Although I might usually bring such a treat home for Dr B, I was very happy to take that one back to my desk with a coffee.

The pool-noodle horse nonsense is a contribution to the wellbeing efforts by our management. We are having a COVID-safe event on Melbourne Cup Day. I can support that far more readily than the real thing. I have raided my deep stash of scrap fabric and found something I was able to turn into a fine mane. It’s sufficiently over the top that the horse might readily be The Mane Event, as someone else suggested. I’ll use another part of the same garment to make reins.

I’m likely to be the jockey again for our team. Most of the others are far too dignified to consider such folly, no matter the cause. YoungB suggested Run-on Sentence as a name for the horse but I think that would be an ideal jockey name; that or Comma Splice. Either would be a nicely sly nod to colleagues who attended the same session of the mandatory writing course that I did. We really ran away with run-on sentences, as exemplified by Our Esteemed Leader in frequent email communiques.

I think that’s enough frivolity for this time of the year. What are you doing to keep yourself amused?


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what’s your coffee name?

As long as there’s coffee 😀

I understand why long names are shortened or altered to meet comprehensibility in noisy surroundings. I don’t usually shorten mine, though YoungB has a few coffee names and Dr B has been known to borrow one or another of them from time to time. Me? I’d probably miss out on my coffee because I wouldn’t remember what coffeenym I’d chosen.

However, I had cause to think about what coffee name I could use when I was in a noisy lunch bar recently. Most of the staff were NESBs, some perhaps born overseas, others locally born but whose speech still bore the distinctive cadences of a different mother tongue.

Any monosyllabic choice could sound like too many others. Flick might sound like Nick, for example. Swift mental consideration ensued, but no blinding inspiration. Anything I could come up with seemed set to have as many problems and as little chance of being understood as my full name.

One of my colleagues, who is Scottish, has a surprisingly similar difficulty. His name is John, which he says is sometimes mistaken for Joel, or Jo, or – he’s not sure what! Cue the rest of the team coaching him on a more Strine pronunciation. No matter how he tried, he simply couldn’t get a sufficiently hard final “N” to convince us that his order would ever be in his name. We suggested Johnno as a potential halfway point. He was neither amused nor convinced.

It turns out that I really can’t think of anything useful but only once have I seen a glazed look on the barista’s face. I made sure I stood somewhere readily visible so she could beckon me over when appropriate. That worked so well that, when I won a corporate voucher for a free coffee from their franchise, she recognised me immediately. Now she’s seen my name written on a list, I may be in with a chance of her having a better handle on my handle next time we meet.

Do you have a coffeenym?

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Posted by on October 12, 2021 in Musing


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proper chilly, that was

Pale blue square: it even looks cold

On Friday, I was fortunate enough to WFH. It seems that, no matter what time I stoke up my study and flick switches for computers, by the time I’ve ironed out all the problems, it’s 9 o’clock. Yep. BAU, as they say. That would be “business as usual”, which baffled me the first time I heard it at a meeting but accurately describes how WFH often falls foul of what would be only minor problems at the office.

The entire week was a bit like that. By Friday evening, had I managed to do more on the blanket? Yeah, nah. So, in the spirit of doing it when I find time, after packing up the work laptop again, I sat and made the square that represents probably one of the colder days of the year. It didn’t necessarily have the lowest minimum temperature, but the maximum was around 12 degrees. It’s a cool-palette, blue square and, I seem to recall, one of very few with such a low maximum.

I hope your weekend got off to a crafty start, whether or not your working week looked as wonky as mine 😀

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Posted by on October 10, 2021 in Crochet, Health


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not lunchtime crochet

The few bumpy bits disappeared into the next row

Very last-minute, the Bs decided to indulge in some retail therapy at a city motorbike shop. I wasn’t interested in being part of that. However, they suggested lunch together at the Market afterwards. That sounded much more interesting! I found a nearby pub and sat in a sunny corner with a coffee while they shopped to their heart’s content.

Did I not crochet while I sipped? Do I think that blanket is going to make itself? I didn’t and I don’t. I looked at grabbing a ball of yarn with the aim of making a bunch of centres, but decided against it. Too much danger of things being spilt while I worked.

Once home, I made a pile of centres. I couldn’t think how to store them, but came up with the idea of using an old DPN. There are only 3 that size, and they are much too fragile to use for knitting. I poked one end in a tab that had broken off a blocking mat and decided that, all in all, that wasn’t a bad way to do the job. Those centres have been joined to their middles and are all now part of the blanket.

I have almost finished working back along the joining of row 8. The first square with an Indian blue centre, which was that very cold day back in May, is now fully incorporated. I think this is not bad progress, given that I work full-time.

I hope you’re catching up on any craft projects that are keeping you busy 🙂


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