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Category Archives: Crochet

now to neutral

 

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Layout established, all squares now blocking on my pegboard.

The rainbow hues are bright, and the fully completed squares are now blocking while I wait for some uninterrupted time to join them into their final format. The joining round will be white, and I intend to put some colour into the bordering rounds. I haven’t yet decided which colour or colours that will be.

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Another lovely pattern, but not quite so easy to remember

The neutrals are also lovely, but the pattern requires more concentration. Dr B will not leave me alone to work on them, so getting them made and joined is going to be a long job. It’s the same as ever: if I’m around, I’m fair game. And, as much as I enjoy discussing pivot notes and the harmonic ramifications of modulations to distant keys, they, too, need a fair amount of concentration. I can’t do both simultaneously without both suffering. When I’m being asked to make sensible comments about harmony, I can’t crochet something that requires strenuous counting.

But to keep it real, I’ve decided I’ll do two slightly different colour combinations that won’t tax my brain too much when it comes to settling on a layout.

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Second colour scheme. Edging round will be cream.

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Always the way, you only notice an error after you’ve made it! A better idea of how they’ll play together.

May all your mathematical and musical problems be less taxing than mine 😀

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2020 in Crochet

 

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the considerate, self-sufficient milennial

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All the squares are done now, but for the final joining round. This was the state of play when I took myself out to the pergola yesterday for a crochet session 😀

Recently, I watched YoungB cook himself brunch: scrambled eggs and ham, accompanied by fresh coffee (I was responsible for that bit). He is somewhat a natural foodie, as you might expect when food is such an important part of Italian culture and family life. He is also pragmatic enough that he could make a meal out of whatever is in the fridge and have you complimenting him when he presented the finished product. Dr B and I have both had a hand in teaching him that sort of versatility, though we approach the task in very different ways. It is certainly true that we could all “cook from the cupboard” in extremis, without missing a beat.

These are good skills for YoungB to have acquired over the years, and likely to stand him in good stead for the rest of his life. Knowing how to cook – his high-school cooking teacher nicknamed him Master Chef because she was so impressed by his pastry skills – and having spent those years working in hospitality have combined to give him a better appreciation of our quality local eateries, at one of which he and I recently enjoyed a hearty brunch.

When he returned from his year in Italy, he scoffed at our pasta machine because – he said; and rightly – it’s not a lot more effort to make pasta by hand, and there’s no doubt that the end product is superior. Quite. Not long ago, when I reminded him that he hasn’t made pasta for us in a long while, he agreed that life is often too busy to allocate the necessary amount of extra time, however small, and that – luckily for us – there are places nearby where we can buy good, fresh pasta. We often do. If you don’t support your local suppliers, you lose them and their contribution to your community.

Today, however, he has been cooking up a storm so that he has something to take for lunch most days this coming week. The gang from his workplace tends to eat out on Fridays, in part to support their local small eateries. There’s a good variety at that end of the CBD, to some extent dictated by proximity to university campuses and a major hospital. But today, YoungB cooked himself some burrito mix, prepped and rolled a couple and put them in his lunchbox ready for tomorrow’s dash out the door.

He wrapped a couple for me, too, so that neither Dr B nor I need worry about lunch tomorrow or the next day. Not only that, he helped me with a couple of domestic chores that have proved beyond Dr B – some at-height cleaning that requires ladders, steady hands and good eyesight, and defies all but the most dedicated efforts – and then let me sit and work at the baby blanket uninterrupted while he cooked.

What a thoughtful young man. He’s definitely worth the food 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2020 in Crochet, Food

 

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Sunday arvo in the burbs

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Everything at my fingertips, and that waiting square now done 🙂

Big mug of jasmine tea, good book, phone (in case anyone calls), (slowly) growing pile of granny squares, excellent daylight for ease of both crocheting and sewing (increasing number of squares with ends tidied), pleasant temperature… what more could you want for an afternoon’s relaxing?

Dr B seemed to think I was having not merely a relaxing afternoon, but a lovely, relaxing day doing nothing at all but read a good book and crochet some more squares for the baby rug. Obviously it must have looked that way to him. But by the time he said that – patting my shoulder as he passed my chair – I’d dealt with three loads of laundry and chivvied YoungB into doing a load for himself. Believe me, if Dr B had dealt with all of that, you’d probably still be hearing about it wherever you are! No matter.

He spent at least half his day with his guitar, working on Classical Gas. He did a spot of bike maintenance (both pushbike and motorbike). He did a spot of gardening (pulled up three weeds, I think). He hunter-gathered for us so that we didn’t starve (a most unlikely outcome). That is, he generally took things a bit easy so that he’s refreshed for tomorrow’s pushbike ride.

YoungB was out on Friday night: first at soccer with a gaggle of friends, then a Fringe gig with an expanded gaggle, before staying overnight with one of them and coming home late, then rushing into town for a family lunch and later a catch-up with another mate. It was a busy day and he was exhausted by the end of it, so looking for a quieter day today. He did a load of laundry (see above) and a bit of pushbike prep for the week, but that was about the limit of his exertion.

I hope your weekend has also been pleasant and productive 🙂

 

 

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three-fifths and a bit

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More squares to play with, and more than half-way done.

The rainbow blanket is now over halfway completed, in the sense that I have now completed three full stripes of seven, and a couple of squares from the next stripe. Yeah, nah, to the above layout; but I have many options to audit before I start on my white joining round. My present plan is to use white, because the colours of the rainbow combine to form white light. Logical, but perhaps not. I might decide that cream is a better choice, because it is warmer than white and will provide a softer contrast.

If I were to do this again, I would stick to doing multiples of the first square and leave it at that. Some of these colour combos I plain dislike! However, they’re sometimes the combos that others love, so there’s something for everyone, no matter what I think. I will be making another baby blanket for another baby, but not in rainbow colours, because the mum-to-be asked for neutrals. I’m likely to use a slightly different pattern because, although they have to be similar, they can’t be identical. This would also be a nice option.

The African flower square will exercise my brain initially, but it is essentially an easily-memorised pattern and beautifully clear in the video, making the whole endeavour less fraught when we talk commuting. The squares have to be something I can manage to hold during my daily commutes, or small enough for me to be able to pull out of my craft bag at lunchtime and do a round or two without major drama. That might mean the spiral granny is not such a good commute project, because it has far greater tangle potential.

Anyway, I need to finish the rainbow number first. Sunshine, showers and rainbows ensure that flowers grow. Yeah?

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2020 in Crochet

 

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a headachey week, and TDU

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These are not in final order, or any order at all. But aren’t they cheerful, even though the lighting is so dim?

When a colleague asks sympathetically if your day’s absence from work was because you had a “real headache” or a “husband headache”, you know the world isn’t entirely devoid of goodness and good humour.

The headache having been real, if occasionally exacerbated by the husband, I decided to reduce my small-screen time when away from work. This enabled me to make a few more starburst granny squares, and sit with Dr B occasionally to watch the day’s replay of Tour Down Under stages on our “we need it that large so we can read the subtitles” TV.

Dr B rode his motorbike to a couple of the stages, for the buzz and the solidarity. The days of family involvement in the community challenge are behind us for mostly practical reasons, but we remain strong supporters. However, as we’ve long agreed, the best way to see the race is to view it on a big screen. If that’s in the comfort of your own lounge room rather than the sporting bar of some local hostelry then, while you might miss the camaraderie, you certainly don’t have to queue for anything.

I should admit that the crochet hasn’t been without its moments of exacerbating the headache. I strayed from the matrix for one square – too tired or too inattentive or both – and ended up having to unpick a round; but just one round, on a granny square, so no big deal. A couple of other squares required mid-round unpicking – again, no big deal – and the one I’m trying to do now simply doesn’t want to cooperate. So I’ve stopped for a while and started to sew in some ends. A change of pace is always helpful.

The colours are, as you would expect, rainbow-cheerful, and different people like different squares. When I took my crochet to our fortnightly craft corner at work, one square that doesn’t do much for me was pronounced as the firm favourite by a couple of others. So there you are. Rainbows have something for everyone.

The Lincraft 8-ply cotton that I’m using is lovely to work with. It’s soft, but has good definition and doesn’t split. The range of colours is not bad. Because I work in the city and there’s a nearby store, I can bob in after work and grab more if I run out. I’m trying not to buy more than my calculations suggest I need, but it would be frustrating to lose the game of yarn chicken half a round, or less, from the end.

That would create a headache of its own, wouldn’t it?

 

 
 

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royg bits of rainbow

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It’s a bit sloppy, but I love the way the colours work together

The sample square turned out well, despite having been done quite late last night. Now I can’t make up my mind whether I want to do another 29 precisely like that, or continue with my original plan of cycling through the rainbow. Decisions, decisions!

Yarn is all Llincraft 8-ply cotton, the crochet hook I’m using is an F / 4.5mm, and the starburst granny square pattern comes from here. I believe I followed the instructions, but am not entirely convinced about a couple of spots. Never mind. I’ve almost finished the second square and will probably do a few more before I either pull the plug on the cycling rainbow or decide it’s working as I’d hoped.

May all your yarny decisions be equally fun 🙂

 
 

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a somewhat weird first week

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This time the mist hiding the hills is the usual sort, thank goodness. The tents are already going up for the TDU Village.

My first full week back at work was a time of discovery: first, that my colleagues are Very Funny people. Some of them – I have my suspicions as to the identity of the ringleader! – decided to put my name front and centre in a training-session slide… heading an email I’d sent them from my previous job (as recently as April last year). Hahaha. Thanks for the hilarity. It was funny, but it was also a, “Wow, hasn’t life changed in that short space of time?” moment.

Second, that complete strangers can be very kind. One morning, as I was enjoying my stroll in the sunshine en route from the bus to the office building, a woman a little younger than I said, “Excuse me, lovely lady,” and tucked in my protruding label… which is meant to be one of Dr B’s jobs, but plainly one he’d not done well that morning. I thanked her sincerely, then we laughed and shared chit-chat and comments about the hot weather and the hazards of icily airconditioned buildings.

Third, that I’m not nearly as tough as I thought I was when it comes to weird drinks. After having often managed to down some extremely bitter Italian drinks, I didn’t think a mere cup of tea would defeat me. But it did. I couldn’t even finish it!

Fourth, that the general shenanigans of various armed forces on the world stage could bring me to decide that, what the heck? I’d jolly well go and have a coffee and a cupcake during my lunch break. The cafe was charming, the iced latte acceptable, but on the whole the cupcake was somewhat disappointing. It wouldn’t have been a bad thing to have been eating, had I ended up blown to smithereens, but not optimal.

Fifth, although this is not a new discovery, that the weather is capable of anything! I found myself electing to have a sandwich and coffee indoors one day because, despite its being January and appallingly hot most of the time, that day it was actually cold and wet. I know. The view from the office window was distinctly damp, but also a reminder that the TDU will soon be kicking off.

Sixth, that my crojo is so absent at the moment that I couldn’t bring myself to join the fortnightly craft corner that’s part of our office’s wellbeing efforts. I have rather less than zero energy and about the same amount of enthusiasm for any of the patterns I’m trying. This is not a good place to be when two little cousins are going to need rugs in March. Granny squares look like being a solution I can manage.

Seventh, although this was more a reminder, that it is delightful to meet up with the Bs after work on Friday for a leisurely evening meal at the Market. Since YoungB started full-time work, we’ve struggled to get our calendars in synch. Last week, after we’d all rushed about for this, that and the next meeting, we finally managed it. That was an unquestionably nice way to end a decidedly odd week.

They weren’t all on separate days, but I appear to have come up with something that could be allocated individually to each day of the whole week, not simply my working week.

If your work week is also weird, I do hope that it’s in nice ways 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2020 in Crochet, Food

 

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