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Category Archives: Crochet

puffing and waffling

It’s all secret stuff. But I can share that I’ve finished my sage-green yarn – all 200g that I wound, anyway; there are five more hanks, remember – and am now about to start the second 50g of the pink, whose proper colour descriptor is French rose.

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Quite a bit of to-ing and froi-ng in a half-treble way to accommodate fresh-picked cherries. No likelihood they’ll fall through those holes 🙂

It’s been good commuter work, this lot. I’ve toted it around the country on an unexpected long weekend in another state, as well as backwards and forwards to work most days of the week. I don’t always whip it out, but it helps to keep me alert on the homeward legs, so I don’t miss my bus stop. See? Multi-variable, useful for all sort of things.

May all your Christmas work be coming along equally as well. 🙂

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Posted by on December 9, 2018 in Crochet, Travel

 

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loving it all

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I’ve been carting that sage-coloured cotton yarn around the country since 1993, so it was hugely satisfying to hand-wind one of the 200g skeins and start using it immediately

Forty-or-so years ago, my Mum knitted me a beautiful wrap. I still wear it. Yes, it has a hole or two in it now, which I’ve mended. The holes don’t matter. The wrap still keeps me warm and it’s like a hug from Mum every time I put it on, although she has been dead for a very long time. It had an outing a few weeks ago to a concert in the Hills, not far from the town where Mum grew up. I thought that was appropriate. And it did indeed keep me toasty warm throughout the, er, bracing evening temperatures.

Now that our evening temperatures are (finally) beginning to lose that refreshing edge and approach the sort of balminess you’d expect , or at least hope for, at this time of year, and with You Know What looming on the ever-nearing horizon, my own “wrapped in a hug” handiwork is tending more towards utilitarian things like reusable shopping bags of varying sizes and construction, as well as tissue-holders for those dinky handbag packs that are often a lifesaver during hay-fever season. I’m making good progress with using those hand-wound balls of cotton yarn. It’s a good feeling in every respect.

May your seasonal yarny work be equally satisfying 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2018 in Crochet, Knitting, Sewing

 

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and is it really nearly midwinter already?

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Recent flurry of floral activity in the garden

I think we all know the answer to that.

Knitting progress? Not quit nil, but very slow. Crochet progress? Minus – that is to say, I’ve had to unpick the little I’ve managed. Sewing? Nil. Surviving? Yep, we’re managing that in the face of some serious setbacks. We might not be the creators we once were – I couldn’t tell you how long it is since any of us was involved in a live performance – but I think we could safely claim that we are survivors.

It hasn’t all been horrible. YoungB graduated. Yeah!! That’s not his afternoon ceremony, but one from the following morning. I thought you might like a glimpse of the lovely (nowhere near as old as you might think) hall in which Adelaide University graduations take place (as did Youngest Aunt’s in the late 1970s and Dr B’s in the early 1980s). Eldest Aunt (who graduated interstate) and Youngest Aunt attended the ceremony too, so we made plenty of noise when YoungB’s name was only slightly mispronounced – the small matter of a gender change with his middle name! – and he was presented with his two testamurs.

We had some time to kill between the end of the ceremony and our dinner booking. So we dodged downpours to consume coffee at the nearby Art Gallery cafe, then tramped up side streets to a trendy, inner-city bar with wondrous heating, for more refreshments. Youngest Uncle joined us at the celebratory dinner here, where our attentive waiter plied us with some spectacular wines. It was a long and tiring day, but a most worthwhile celebration. Well done, YoungB. That was a long half-decade, but you did it.

But it is true that matters medical, matters of family history, matters of world uproar and domestic repercussions, matters of friends and some of their woes have all tried to tip us off the planet this year. All the same, here we are. And in a delightful twist, a visiting cousin’s recent – joking – insistence on needing a splayd to eat his slice of orange-and-almond cake was met with provision of the requisite implement; a set of which had been a wedding gift from his parents. Impressive stuff. Right? Dr B was actually more impressed by the fact that I knew precisely where to go to locate the splayds. Plainly, there’s a great deal of chaos but it hasn’t yet overwhelmed us.

May your world still be wobbling on the usual orbit, and remember that fingernails don’t have to be talons to enable you to hang on. 😉

 

 

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the blessed silence

The organisation I work for has three offices. Because I was getting an inordinate number of interruptions at my home location, I recently spent a day at the one closest to where I live. That meant I could sleep till 7 o’clock. Even at peak hour, it took all of 20 minutes for YoungB to drive me there. Oh, yeah, and it was quiet. I plodded through a solid day’s work with almost no interruptions and actually accomplished a task I’d normally struggle to complete in a week or so at my usual office. I was mightily relieved, and went back to my own office the following day in a much better frame of mind.

I’d been helped in that by chatting with a fellow crafter, who crochets wondrous garments for her granddaughter. We agreed that Ravelry is a wonderful source of patterns and inspiration. And so it is. I tried trawling through crochet patterns to find some TV-watching yarny undertaking. All to no avail. So it might be a knitted shawl instead. I promise nothing complicated and all garter stitch. Something like this might be sufficiently interesting, so that I don’t fall asleep, but not so taxing that I make mistakes. It won’t be with pretty, handpainted yarn, just using up some more of that big bag of stash.

All the best with your yarny undertakings, and may you get to enjoy the silence.

 

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then, before you can say Jack Robinson…

…or knife, or whatever your favourite similar expression might be, it’s February! OK, there are two days remaining in January, to be technical and pedantic. But they’ll be gone before – see above.

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This year already feels a bit as if that excavator has had a go at it! Photo taken late last century. Dr B on the left wearing that wondrous jumper I knitted for him 🙂

Life has been hectic and full of small and not-so-small sideswipes that seem hideously unfair in many instances but totally expected (in a bigger picture way) in others. Nonetheless, you can’t help muttering with a fair degree of frequency, “Things can only get better.”

You mutter that particularly frequently with regard to technology but, you know? So far, not so much. It’s nicknamed “Cayman Mal’s Fraudband” for good reason.

Yeah, it seems that 2018 is already shaping up to be another of those years.

That’s not to imply that we didn’t have an enjoyable festive break. It’s also not to imply that I’ve actually taken down the Christmas cards. We’ve had a hot week, then today is so cool that I’m reaching for a cardigan and thinking that summer is over. It’s not. We’ll have more hot weather, but the mornings are starting to draw in; something we’d notice even more were YoungB still rowing. We miss that for all sorts of reasons but the early mornings don’t feature among them!

I have a couple of sewing projects that I should be turning my mind to – that new summer nightie that I wrote about ages ago? Yeah, I never did get around to doing that! – and there are always rescue missions on old and well-loved garments. The trouble mostly is that they are, in fact, old. Then the question becomes, how many times can you mend a jacket? And even if you can, should you?

I have one RTW jacket that was in time-out towards the end of last year because I’d had enough of mending it. After 20-plus years of hard work, it owed me nothing. But it’s a good cut, the best in-between weight jacket I own, and I needed it for work. So I mended it. Again. Ideally, I should unpick it and use it as a template. I’m not sure I have the space for that, but it appeals to me as a good option for ending up with a jacket that I can wear for much of the year. And I could spice it up by lining it with guitar-playing skeletons, couldn’t I? (I have some fabric like that in my stash, honest.)

Then there’s the, “I feel a mitten-knitting orgy coming on” urge that often hits at this time of year (as ridiculous as that sounds when the mere thought of woollen yarn makes hands sweat). The attraction of the idea is that there’s still some daylight when I get home after work, so I’m much more likely to be able to see what I’m doing. That improves my chances of completing things, particularly darker items. So if I start now, whether on something new or one of the many WIPs, I might have something ready to go when those winter birthdays roll around.

Also, I need some crochet to work on while I’m watching TV. I don’t watch TV often but, when I do, I find it difficult to just sit there. I make too many mistakes if I try to knit at the same time but I can manage simple crochet. So I’m off to dig up another lot of stash yarn to do a knee rug to take to work. Oh, wait, didn’t I say that once before?! I promise to stop earlier with this one; or make separate granny squares so that it’s a better commuter project.

Whatever the status of your year, I hope it’s providing you with plenty of crafting opportunities.

 

 

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the next stage

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2017 has been a challenging year in some unexpected ways, although we’ve attended fewer funerals, and all the overseas cousins are still with us. They are both good things. 2018 will include YoungB’s graduation and Middle Niece’s wedding, so we’ll have much to celebrate in the coming year.

It’s exciting that YoungB has finished his degrees; and remarkably odd to be giving him tips for his first serious job application! I don’t mean that his previous job applications weren’t serious; simply, they were all for part-time positions where a snappy LinkedIn profile wasn’t necessary. This is a full-time position with a government department, albeit for a fixed-length contract. Sadly, the fixed-length-contract paradigm is likely to persist throughout his working career, but you have to start somewhere. Naturally, we have our fnigres corsesd that it’s at least an interview-winning effort.

I completed the crocheted rug, finishing off with five rows of double crochet (US single crochet): four in the teal, and one in a flecked blue that worked with everything but which I hadn’t used earlier. I admit that, because I was still wrapping presents on the way to Christmas lunch, I ended up darning in the last of the ends late on Christmas Day. No harm done: I gave it to Youngest Aunt when we saw her on Boxing Day. Of course, and it really is of course, there was an accompanying lavender bag. The rug won’t match Youngest Aunt’s lounge suite, but we agreed that it would contrast beautifully. Or she could use it to keep her warm when she sits on one of the old lounge chairs on her front verandah. You see? There’s always someone who’ll love your handmade output. In the same spirit, this year Youngest Aunt gifted everyone a jar of her home-pickled olives, beautifully labelled and wrapped. Dr B is thoroughly enjoying those!

We spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day with family and friends; there are few things better. I hope that you had a similarly enjoyable celebration, and that 2018 is a happy and fulfilling year for you.

 
 

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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.

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

 
 

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