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telly-watching shawl

As long as you  understand that by watching telly I mean, “Keeping Dr B company by sitting there knitting while HE watches telly,” then it gets the telly-watching-suitability tick. The pattern? As I said, it’s based on the idea of Dreas Shawl, but I’m using stash yarn. And my photo doesn’t want to play ball, so this is just me checking in and maybe tomorrow there’ll be a photo 🙂


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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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the various suggestions

I posted a progress photo of my not-quite-square, whatever-it-will-be commuter crochet project (only, as I said before, it’s now much too large for commuting with).

It could be for knees, throwing or picnics. Or even to cover a motorbike!

My friends made some interesting suggestions. Two caught my attention: make another, then turn it into a very large floor cushion for the Bs’ motorcycling friend; or keep going and make a motorbike cover (that was from the Bs’ motorcycling friend), I think it needs to be larger for any rug purposes (and definitely so for motorbike covering purposes). It wouldn’t cover knees sufficiently well just yet, though would make a reasonable shawl if folded into a triangle. In any case, it’s certainly depleting my stash of bits and pieces yarn, but there’s more I could contribute. To my eye, that exuberant autumn-coloured stripe – mostly leftovers from making beanies, mitts and scarves for redheaded family and friends – needs balancing.

I was gifted a bag of the teal green (that ball of yarn at the top of the photo) and immediately thought it would be good at helping tie together a lot of disparate colours. It’s nice to occasionally put a plan into action, don’t you think? And, as I have plenty more of it, as well as various shades of blue, I reckon I’ll continue on that trajectory for a few more rounds and see where I end up.

In the meantime, YoungB needs to be given a wake-up call – he worked late last night, but his final exams are looming and he needs to plug away at revision – and I can probably do almost another round while he eats eggs and bacon. The joy of this is that I can just sit and work at it fairly mindlessly while the business of the household goes on around me. Don’t ya love that?

I hope your projects – whether they’re crochet or knitting or even macrame, whose knots and intricacies are calling to me again as I see it enjoying a resurgence among some of my younger friends – are potentially able to be considered for as many uses as my rug 🙂


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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Uncategorized


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and how dangerous could it be to clean your sewing room?

Brother Sewing Machine BOBBINS | eBay

Just bobbin’ along – but not suitable for my machine

You might recall I mentioned having made some inroads with tidying my sewing room? I’ve made no further progress with that, but I can at least get to the machine now. So I sat down to finish a spot of sewing the other day, There was white thread in the bobbin and I was working on some dark blue fabric. I always have spare bobbins. Always. I couldn’t find any for the Janome (but a dozen or so Singer bobbins precisely where they should have been; and, sadly, not  interchangeable). I searched high and low, looked in all the likely and unlikely places I might have put bobbins. Nothing. Well, heck.

Today I went off to buy some! And the truly dangerous thing about that? It wasn’t the having to get down on my hands and knees to read the label on the packaging, or even having to brave the industrial aircon at full revs. No. It was that bit of fabric that someone else was buying at a reduction of nearly 70%. I wouldn’t normally be tempted by it at full price. But we have a wedding coming up in a few weeks, and I would like to have something a little bit dressy and decent for the occasion (for once, there’s nothing truly suitable in my wardrobe). So a couple of metres came home with me, as well as the new bobbins.

However, I DID return the fabric I’d picked up to make myself a new summer nightie. I’d thought it was out at sale price, but that proved not to be the case. I couldn’t justify that sort of expense for something I’m going to treat like a rag, though I’ll wear it for years. Of course you’re right to suggest that, balanced out across the number of years – or even only one year – it wouldn’t be an extravagance at all. But I’m sure I can find some suitable leftovers in my stash. Perhaps the fabric won’t be as soft, but that doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t worry about making a new nightie except that the previous one I made is wearing out. I whizzed it up in a hurry five or six years ago. The seams are still neat, the neckline reinforcing is still doing a wonderful job, and the hems are holding up remarkably well. But it’s badly sweat-stained and the fabric has holes in it! It’s truly the baggiest, shaggiest nightie I’ve ever had but it’s been fantastic during hot, summer nights. We get quite a few of those in this part of the world.

So I reckon that’s me sorted for a few weeks. What have you been up to lately that’s proved more dangerous than it seemed at first blush?!


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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Uncategorized


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the unexpected, sideways wallop

Looking the goods in a nicely masculine colourway.

Seems as if it’s looking the goods, in a nicely masculine colourway.

Day 3 saw the tension square arrive at the point where I thought I’d done enough to check it. Then Life did one of those, “You’re getting too complacent. I think it’s time I walloped you with a bit of four be six,” numbers in the shape of news of the sudden, unexpected death of a close cousin: not only close by blood and near in age, but one with whom I’d remained in contact as we’d both wandered across the globe and through life. Yeah. Not truly conducive to knitting for a couple of days, that’s for sure. Sorry, Meredithe; I know you’ll understand.

However, given the restorative power of creativity, I’ve checked the tension and it does look the goods, so I’m now tinking that to reuse the yarn and get cracking on the socks. Straight knitting is going to be easier than the tricky stuff involved in doing a circular sample with a straight technique. You get lots of dangles at the back and it’s messy. Goodbye to all that and on with magically looping both socks at once. That will have its own mess, I dare say, but I should at least hit a good rhythm with genuine circular knitting and the wonderful Old Joe pattern.

So it’s on with the knitting and on with life; and may all your news be good.


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bean(ie) counting?

Bright and cheerful and bound to be deliciously warm

Bright and cheerful and bound to be deliciously warm

You remember how I’d hoped to finish that second beanie really quickly? Yeah, I know. Dooming myself to failure at the outset, wasn’t I? It has been such a busy time at work that there was an evening last week where I was asleep at the table, face down in my dinner much the way a toddler sometimes is. You can’t count stitches and decreases in a beanie when all you’re eyeballing are your beans. And that’s my excuse for the appalling miscalculation with beanie 2, which is too small! I could perhaps wear it and one of our extremely petite female friends could certainly do so, or it could be put in a raffle as a child’s beanie. Someone, somewhere will be able to wear it. No harm done, though I don’t think I want to knit another to that pattern just yet. Something with unambiguous cables will be fine.

But in true, “You thought that was tricky? Try this!” fashion, I’ve found myself suddenly needing another cowl for a friend who’s unexpectedly about to undergo major surgery. I’ll once again knit a 3-hour cowl. It takes me longer than three hours – I’ve already had to unpick! – but it’s a quick knit even at my pace and the resulting cowl attractive as well as something different from anything you could purchase.

The yarn is I’m using Moda Vera’s Fitzroy, which I think is a new season’s release. I bought it at my LYS on Sunday while Dr B and YoungB hunter-gathered some groceries. Fitzroy is a 12 ply/bulky weight and I’m knitting it on a 7 mm circular needle. As with my previous make, I’m not following the instructions religiously, but the difference in appearance caused by my knitting the slipped stitches in situ then passing them over – rather than, as the instructions advise, moving them around then slipping and knitting – is minimal. For me, there’s less likelihood of dropped stitches and if I say that’s what it’s meant to look like, I’m sure the recipient won’t argue.

So, yeah, beanies? Not entirely 🙂


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no knitting but lots of walking

Just a few of the stairs in store for us

Just a few of the stairs in store for us

Beyond all that greenery, you can see some steps, I think. Youngest Aunt and I managed to scamper up and down – well, that was more Youngest Aunt, the scampering part; but I went up and down them, however badly – quite a lot of stairs last Saturday, clocking up 19.95 Km, according to my tracking device. We’d been aiming to do 20 Km, so that wasn’t bad. Had Youngest Uncle met us just a few metres farther along the road, we’d have romped it in. Well, we’d have made it. By that time of the day, very late afternoon, there wasn’t a lot of romping.

However, I have managed to do something a bit craft related: last night, I bought some wetting beads to use when I make the cooling neck collars. Also, the fabrics for the wedding decorations are exercising my calculating abilities. I cannot reconcile the differences in area in any meaningful way! My suspicion is that I might have to get some more of one to balance the other. Headache-inducing, but in the nicest way.

May all your crafty problems be equally enjoyable 🙂

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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


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