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Category Archives: Crochet

those rounds are getting longer

Dr B is surprised every time he sees me folding up my crochet project. I agree, it’s getting to be quite a size. It’s also becoming heavy, meaning it’s less ideal for working on now that the weather is warming up. I think there are about 60 rows. It’s worked in (mostly) 8-ply yarn on a 5 mm crochet hook. Smart people – that is, not me! – could probably work out an approximate size from that information.

Since this photo was taken, I’ve completed the second row of light blue, added another of dark blue, and am now doing some more teal rows. The end is probably nearing. I won’t use all my spare yarn, so I’ve decided that I could indeed work a semi-matching cushion cover (or bolster cover) to give any potential picnickers something to lean on.

Jpeg

It looks at home as a picnic rug out on those re-laid pavers, doesn’t it?

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stash-busting ongoing and a spot of gardening

snapdragons.jpg

Happy little heterozygous plants 🙂

My so-called commuter crochet project is already too large to be taken on the bus. That’s because I’m just going round and round my not-quite-square and have rounded too many corners. I’m no longer able to roll it up small enough for my project bag. I can truthfully admit there’s no pattern or plan. I seemed to have an enormous number of balls of barely-dented – or dented by about half – 8-ply acrylics, so I have them in a bag next to me and I don’t really worry too much what comes out next. Having said that, I’m doing a bit of mixing and matching in terms of variegated and plain, in the sense that I’ll do a few rows of variegated, then a few rows of plain (that might or might not work with the variegated). I calculate that that mitigates some of the wilder colour changes, because if it’s to go out into the world – whether as a knee rug at work or as a picnic rug – then it had better not look too silly. Right?!

As stash-busting, it’s going well. I’ve had a couple of moments of wondering if I’d get to the end of the row. So far, I’ve managed without mishap and have had no real call to think I’m playing yarn chicken. I happened to see the WIP bundled up on my chair a little while ago – waiting for me to introduce a new colour – and I can truthfully say that it is bright and colourful (and therefore probably cheerful). It was a good piece of distraction during a few days when I was unwell and at home. I made the effort to get up and get dressed rather than stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. The feeling sorry for myself was mitigated somewhat only because YoungB was also unwell and sounded worse than I did; each of us with head on point of explosion and both coughing to point of exhaustion. But slowly improving 🙂

Even so, the stash-busting continues. One day I made a point of sitting in the sunshine for a little while, doing my best lizard impersonation out under the apricot tree that has now burst into leaf. Spring is here, and the allergies with it. And, zounds, my garden? It’s looking fabulous. That is to say, the couple of garden beds that I’m tending have flowers that are a testament to spring and hardiness in about equal measure. The lavender in pots – two different varieties – is going along well. The one that Dr B accidentally nudged with the whipper-snipper is going, if perhaps a little less well than the other two. The snails made short work of a couple of the petunias that I planted, but half a dozen or so have already bloomed The irises  flowered remarkably well. it’s unlikely they will ever all flower at the same time, but we had about eight or nine blooming simultaneously, which provided a gorgeous burst of dark purple.

YoungB is fascinated by the snapdragons, which he tells me are heterozygous because their blooms are red-and-yellow (as you can see in the photo). I’m surprised he’s able to distinguish the colours, but impressed by his scientific know-how. They flowered not long after I planted them, and are now flowering again. That makes them a pretty addition to the greenery of the agapanthus at the back of the bed.

Whatever you’re up to, I hope your in better health than our household currently seems to be! But if it’s spring where you are, may it be a colourful one.

 

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if that was the beanie, that was it

Morning cheer, with snapdragons already adding a splash of colour.

That bit of knitting I showed you last time? That’s all you’re ever going to see of that beanie, because it flew off my needles and onto the recipient’s head fairly urgently around an emergency hospital admission. Dr B wore it for a day to block it! Life gets a bit like that sometimes. The friend – who was certainly in a bad way – has been discharged, I’m relieved to say, and while he’ll never be back to full health, he has improved remarkably.

In gardening news, I’m delighted to report that not only have all the lifted and transplanted rhizomes and bulbs bounced back to a state of flourishing, the geranium is well on its way to thriving. Mission accomplished. The seedlings are settling well and some have already flowered. The mystery bulbs are shooting and close to flowering, but I still have no idea what they are! It’s cheering to step outside and see everything looking so bright.

And in commuting news, I’ve started crocheting a (deliberately) just-off-square granny-square knee rug for use at work, or as a throw rug, or for picnics. It’s mainly something to keep me occupied on the bus or while I half-watch TV, and it’s an effort to use some of my cheap but cheerfully coloruful (or that might be colourfully cheerful) stash. So far doing well on both counts.

I hope your endeavours are all meeting with success 🙂

 

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the backward glance

Made it to the end, just like the year.

Made it to the end, just like the year.

Here it is, New Year’s Eve again. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope yours was happy. If you go all out for the New Year’s party, may it be wonderful and you not have too sore a head tomorrow.

2015 has been a messy year and not one I’d consider particularly productive. Having said that, my Ravelry page reminds me that I knitted fingerless mitts and crocheted (mostly Moebius) cowls, some begun long ago but all finished this year. There were 13 in total. I also failed to complete mitts that I began around the time we were moving offices, although I might well complete those in 2016, and another pair where I ran out of yarn and couldn’t find anything matching. That will require fancier footwork than I had time for when I was making them, but they have not been frogged.

With regard to sewing, apart from rescuing various bits of this and that – YoungB’s jeans, mostly – I made four cooling neck bandannas for the Bloody Long Walk. I also produced 270 metres of bunting for Eldest Niece’s wedding and some lavender bags for a raffle prize, as well as some pockets for YoungB’s motorcycling armour (additional protection for a couple of long road trips). Perhaps I didn’t need to do a lot else.

My other mighty commitment and achievement for the year was training for and completing the Bloody Long Walk, with splendid support from workmates, everyone in the family and my HiTec boots. Even though I said I wouldn’t do the BLW again, Youngest Aunt and I agreed only the other day that we need to start training soon 🙂

YoungB returned from Italy and has managed to reach the end of his academic year with reasonable results. I think that’s as much as we could have expected from him, considering how much he struggled to regain momentum and motivation.

Also, Eldest Niece is now a married lady and her wedding to Mr Eldest Niece was one of the happiest such occasions I have ever attended. The bunting looked good, too 🙂

Christmas? Yes, it happened. I managed to get our Advent Calendar hanging a few days before it was required and the tree up before Christmas Day. Winner! We spent time with family and friends and if things were more chaotic than usual because of unexpected equipment failures – vacuum cleaner, gearbox in family car – and some equally unexpected medical issues, then it didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the occasion.

I’ve managed to read a few books – too few; but I generally don’t have a lot of opportunity to read except on public transport and, although I’m on that for hours of every working day, I’m sometimes too tired to make the effort – and feel particularly chuffed to have finished the latest title in the Inspector Ricciardi series by Maurizio De Giovanni, one that YoungB brought back from Italy for me.

I’ve successfully reached the halfway point in an online family history unit I’m undertaking through the University of Tasmania. In real terms, my genealogical research is often shelved for months at a stretch because life happens and it’s not the most important thing. In this instance, I’ve renewed subscriptions to this, that and the next genealogical website and/or organisation and started delving into written records because there’s nobody left to ask. Like most of us, I don’t have to look far to find mysteries. I’m toying with which mystery to investigate further for the long, final assignment.

And in something utterly unrelated to anything, we’ve wound up the year splendidly with a trip to the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens to see a rare event: the flowering of an Amorphophallus Titanum, also known as Titan Arum or corpse flower. The day was stinking, even if the flower wasn’t (at least when we were there). There were koalas watching us from some nearby tall gums. It was a fitting finale for 2015.

 

 

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shall we cross our fingers and hope it’s third time lucky?

Taking it at a run makes it easier but sometimes you have to plod along until you get to the other side

Taking it at a run makes it easier but sometimes you have to plod along until you get to the other side

Two previous posts vanished. One might have been my fault, the other was not 😦 and I’m uncertain if this will make it beyond my desktop. Fnigres corsesd.

So it’s oh well, here we are again and, you know, it’s still winter, I’m tired of the cold (how about just tired?), the Bloody Long Walk is frighteningly close and I’m still somewhat under the weather with a tail-end-of-winter bug that has made, and continues to make, training a fairly unappealing if not occasionally impossible task though everyone else is going great guns with their training, work is so busy I don’t know what to tackle next from the pile, I finished Nonna’s cowl (using remnants of the Moda Vera Ambruni), and YoungB is home and it cheers me to see him still wearing the grey sweatshirt I made for him and even – take note! – to see Dr B wearing a balaclava I made for YoungB. It’s so cold we don’t care who wears what, really, it’s whatever it takes to keep the heat in (Dr B is not entirely bald. But there’s not a lot on top).

More worryingly, I haven’t started the bunting for Eldest Niece’s wedding, though she assures me she has all the fabric. The trouble is, the wedding is in October and, you know, I rarely have the luxury of full days available to me for sewing (especially with training to catch up on and maybe one weekend day with shared availability because of domestic interruptions). Never mind, we’ll get there. We will, one foot after the other. It’s really no good stressing about it because nothing I can say or do will change the situation.

I’d like to make all our Bloody Long Walkers a cooling neck collar – there are 11 in one team and six of us loosely associated but not precisely a team – so that’s another sewing task I need to address more urgently than the wedding decorations. If push comes to shove, I’ll do the six for my immediate crew and let the other team manage without but it would be good to have something for everyone. I think it’s unlikely to be hot in September, on present indications, but it’s foolish to be unprepared. Neck coolers are at least simple and, in this case, I think Great Aunt’s nurse’s uniform fabric might be just the shot: quality cotton and plentiful, no matter how many collars I make.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re up to and whatever weather surrounds you, I hope you’re finding a comfy spot to pursue all your favourite activities. I’m off to do some sewing.

 

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you’ll have to believe me on this one

Nonna is frail at the moment and feeling the cold. I’ve put aside my other crafty endeavours to crochet a neck-warmer for her. She already has a hot-pink one that I made her several years ago, but it has seen lots of use and is not as fresh and cosy as it once was. Enter the Moda Vera Ambruni white yarn, leftovers from Youngest Niece’s birthday present, and the demonstration moebius cowl I worked on with Colleague DS the other week. She’s making progress with hers, but has decided that, much as she loves to wear black, it’s too hard to work with. She’s changed to a grey instead. I know that Nonna would prefer something other than white (the hot-pink was a winner), but white is what I have so it will have to do for now. It works up nicely and the end results will be soft and warm.

I took a photo – not exciting, of course, but a photo – only we are having major technical problems (again!) so at this stage, I can’t share it. But, honest, I’ve done about six inches already. And isn’t it keeping my fingers warn on this very chilly day?

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2015 in Crochet

 

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sharing is truly caring

Here's one I prepared earlier: a completed Moebius cowl

Here’s one I prepared earlier: a completed Moebius cowl

I work for an organisation that helps people who look after other people. Some of my fellow workers are themselves carers and, although there have been tough times with YoungB, I know I’ve had it easy. Odd as it might sound, and this is not entirely age related, I’ve found fellow knitters, sewists, crocheters and crafters among my colleagues. Many admit to using such things to counter work-related stress. Colleague DS is about my age with sons around YoungB’s age. We share a star sign and a similarity with a couple of major life events.

Things are in severe upheaval at work, with packing the second part of our office making steady progress while the first half are unpacked and already settled in their new premises. We’re all busy, it’s winter and sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is almost more effort than we can manage. I was humbled and gobsmacked when CDS presented me with a thoughtful little, handmade-by-herself gift of a necklace and a handbag pack for tissues (always welcome, because I’m so prone to allergic reactions to pretty much everything that I can never have too many tissues).

CDS says that her crafting days are what keep her sane through the struggles of raising her special needs son. I understand that. I used to knit while YoungB had swimming instruction in a pool specially for asthmatics (no entry without medical certificate). Tomorrow I’m taking a crochet hook and some yarn. During our lunch break, I’ll show her how I do the Moebius cowls, and she can then share that with her fellow crafters at the next session. I might now be one of the privileged, whose son is apparently normal and certainly doesn’t qualify as special needs, but I appreciate how easily my situation could be very different and if I can share something to help with the tough moments, then that’s a fine contribution to the caring.

 
 

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