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Tag Archives: Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton

enabling or providential

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Sing me a rainbow! I hope you can read the colours, in case you want to order some, too ๐Ÿ™‚

My mother was a great enabler. I well recall the day she came to me and mentioned, oh so casually, something along the lines of, “I’ve just been to the local second-hand shop and there’s a set of hardback Dickens novels there for $10.” She didn’t suggest I should buy them. But, as a uni literature student, it was pretty much a given that I would do so. And I did! I have them still, and they don’t look at all out of place with the variety of other books in my library shelves including a good selection of other Dickens titles.

How could I forget the time she encouraged me to buy a piano, accompanying duet stool and assorted sheet music, at auction? We had a piano at home, but I was about to head out into the world on a permanent basis and would need my own so, you know, it was not a silly suggestion and the instrument was in fair condition. We decided on my upper bidding limit, which was obviously dictated by my then financial resources. My limit turned out to be higher than that of my chief rival bidder, because the piano came home with me. Once tuned, it moved with me to various suburban locales and enabled me to put in a lot of hard work over many years before I sold it to a fellow student and bought a more serious instrument. Every now and then, I dust off some of the sheet music that formed part of that original auction item.

When it comes to yarn, however, I must say that Bendigo Woollen Mills (BWM) do it every time! I receive one of their new shade cards and oh, the colours! Or, oh, the softness. Often, it’s oh, the colour and the softness. I’ve been looking around for cotton to crochet little blankets for a couple of new cousins. I generally trawl my LYS in the hope of finding something appropriate because I like to shop locally. The dilemma then is that, if I do find anything, although I’m keeping my spending local and can start straightaway, I’m generally buying overseas product. BWM takes a little more time, but it’s local enough to be a better environmental option at least with regard to its travel-related carbon footprint.

Luckily, time is on my side for these blankets, as they’re not required until next year. I will use up some stash yarn, but wanted a splash of brightness and my stash is largely on the sombre side. I haven’t seen anything in the LYS that could hope to rival the colours in the latest shade card from BWM. The two new colours are particularly appealing. So, you know, I might have to bend the plastic and crochet a few extra blankets while I’m at it, just in case there are to be any other new cousins.

May all your enablers have such providentially helpful timing ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

 

 

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Tom’s tote

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String bag by any other name

I finally finished the market tote, and immediately gifted it as a birthday present.

What should I do next?!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2019 in Crochet

 

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still on the go

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Probably larger again by now, but this will give you an idea of how it’s going.

The green string bag/shopping tote/market bag is still going. It’s much larger now, but I’m back at work. Hence, exhaustion is already creeping in and although I well understand the value of retaining craft work as some sort of therapy, I cannot summon sufficient energy by day’s end to do much more than sit with Dr B as he watches TV. Often enough, we both pump a lot of Zzzz’s and decide to call it quits without much TV-watching and certainly no crochet.

Work will continue to be busy for most of the year. There will be some easing of pressure in a few weeks, but the sector is in such upheaval that it’s unrealistic to anticipate a huge improvement. I’ll keep going on the crochet when I can. it all helps a bit. Right?

So, as I say, we’re still on the go: I and my crochet. Hope you are, too ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2019 in Crochet

 

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rulers of our kingdom

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I couldn’t get my head around the bag I was trying to make. So I started another of the market tote/string bags.

I’m not sure if the requisite rest is being factored in, although I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve simply collapsed after lunch because I could not manage to stay upright. Once or twice, the Bs have done the same thing ๐Ÿ™‚ YoungB has been so tired and out of synch – a drawback of shift work, as I’m sure you’d agree – that he hasn’t yet managed a day at the beach. He’s occasionally been lucky enough to visit friends with a pool.

Every now and then, Dr B and I sit under the apricot tree in the backyard and survey our little world. The lawn is looking summery – ie, dry, brown, and crunchy underfoot – but it’s still a lawn, and not mud (or, given the time of year, dust). Our fences are mostly high enough that neighbourly intrusion is kept to a minimum, so we sit and survey our realm, as it were! Sometimes I take my crochet with me.

This is the same cotton yarn I used to make Youngest Aunt’s Christmas present. I’d intended to something more akin to Dr B’s cherry bag, but was not having any luck at all. Oh, well, there’s no harm making yet another of the old favourites. They’re always useful; and this is at least easy to do while semi-watching TV with Dr B. I won’t make this one with a long enough handle for it to be used cross-body, but have yet to decide precisely what I will do in that regard.

I hope your 2019 is rolling along smoothly and that you’re making good progress on your projects.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2019 in Crochet

 

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it might look like nothing

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At the end of a lot of calculation and measurement, cutting, sanding and painting, this is the present state of affairs with the refurb. It might not look much, but it’s been a huge amount of work. That’s Dr B just making a few notes in his project book.

Do you remember I mentioned that Dr B has been busy with a (re)construction project? It’s actually some overdue maintenance and upgrading of our pergola, and has involved, inter alia, removing and replacing rotten timbers and reinforcing the new, slightly narrower beams. The new work has all come together within a remarkably small error margin – we’re talking a few millimetres – so the doc is very happy. He reckons the next bit will be faster. I’m not entirely convinced, but it is probably true that the trickiest calculations are over and that the base for the rest of the work is now in place.

You’ll notice a couple of agapanthus flowers (really; you can clearly see one but believe me when I say there are two; and there’s a bud just beginning to show colour). There would normally be more blooms at this time of year, but I think the disruption to their micro-environment might have affected them. Or then again, who knows? They might just be late blooming this year because of the climatic disruption.

I’m finishing ends on a pile of face scrubbies, and am about to start another lot of crocheted string bags. Once again, I’m using Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton, and this time I hope I’ll remember to photograph the finished articles before I give them away. I’m much taken by this bag, but might have to pass on it for now, even though she explains very clearly with good visuals. I love the shape of the finished article.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re neither melting nor freezing and that both your DIY and crafting endeavours are bearing fruit ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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we made it, sort of

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This should put an end to cherries falling out the holes and rolling down the hill. Dr B doesn’t mind the colours (all of which were readily to hand when I started the bag).

Yeah, that went well. Not. I think that’s the best way to describe our Christmas, which was a topsy-turvy one, thrown into disarray by varying availability. In itself, that would not be a problem. We can work around that. Indeed, we did. But decisions to change things, and change them again, then change them a bit more… well, that was too much for me. I just sulked.

That is to say, I worked till the usual time on what is colloquially known as Black Friday. It’s the last working Friday of the year for many offices, mine included, when nearby watering holes do a roaring trade. At my place, we had an exhausted sort of in-house happy hour (the accompanying snacks were everyone’s bits and pieces of leftovers and Christmas gifts donated to the communal cause) then headed out the door. I was home about the same time as usual. From then on, I managed to misunderstand – or misinterpret or have to clarify to the point of seeming rude or stupid or both – almost everything that was said to me or requested of me by anyone else in the family, up to and including Christmas Day ๐Ÿ˜‰

It reflected my level of mental and physical exhaustion, but there was no opportunity to rest or do anything I wanted to at my pace. When asked for a Christmas tree for photographic purposes, although it was considerably earlier than my traditional Christmas-tree-erecting-hour, I managed to dig one out of a box, throw a few lights and some tinsel at it, and call it ready in about five minutes flat. It looks awful, because I’ve done nothing else since, but it’s a Christmas tree. To be fair, it doesn’t look too bad when the lights are on. I put the Christmas wreath on the front screen door, complete with Santa. Major effort. Shiny-halo stuff, really. Right?!

Dr B and I celebrated a large wedding anniversary – not a particularly significant one, but lots of years – and I managed to stay awake long enough to share the toast. Then after everyone else was in bed, I wrapped some of the presents (those that required it). For the rest, I tied ribbon around a couple of hand-crocheted shopping bags and a waffle-y dishcloth (or facecloth; the recipient can decide which it’s to be) like the one I made Youngest Aunt for her birthday, attached a gift tag that included yarn-care instructions; and didn’t photograph any of them. So, yeah, I’ve been busy with making things but have no evidence. And I couldn’t get to my sewing machine, so no wine-bottle carriers have yet eventuated. Nor are they likely to, but it’s always possible I might manage them for birthdays throughout the year. In some respects, that 2018 is ending as chaotically as it has progressed is not at all surprising. But, as I’ve remarked a few times lately, we’re all still upright and relatively coherent most of the time. That might be enough for this year.

I’m about 20 stitches away from completing a crocheted market tote for Dr B (the one in the photo). It’s not in his colours, but he will enjoy using it when he goes out foraging for cherries up in the local cherry orchards. I made it specifically with small holes – no cherries should fall through them – and a long strap, so that he can wear it cross-body over his motorcycling clobber. And that’s all I have to do: simply join that long strap to the other side of the bag. Now that things have quietened down a little – visitors gone home, no more parties in sight till New Year’s Eve – I might be able to sit down and do that without too much trauma in the very near future. It will require me to count a few stitches to ensure it’s centred, but if I can find a few uninterrupted minutes, that’s all it will take. Oh, and sewing in the few ends, of course.

But you notice I said “if”? That’s because Dr B is in building mode, continuing to work on an upgrade to our pergola. It’s a big undertaking and, although YoungB and I have both helped as and when our work commitments allow, we’re not the ones doing the bulk of the work. However – you might have known there’d be a “however” – because I’m now home on so-called holidays, there seems to be this immediate assumption – there’s been no request; just an assumption – that, as well as dropping everything at a moment’s notice to assist more frequently with the building work, I’ll also take over all the domestica, including the cooking. Yeah right.

The cooking has certainly been going by the wayside since the construction started and I’m fine with that. After all, Dr B and I built our own house together. I know about the need to prioritise building work over food prep. Luckily, we have good local options for fast food that’s also nutritious: various Asian takeaway restaurants that don’t break the bank and provide authentic food that’s as good as what we’d make at home. I’m not a bad cook, and in the days when I did more cooking I enjoyed it; but our kitchen is not ours at all. It’s Dr B’s. We’ve been together for a long time and, if pressed, work well together in a kitchen – witness our having cooked and catered for a couple of rowing camps over the years – so it’s not even trying to find my way around the weird – to me – places he puts things that gets to me in this instance.

It’s that I’d like some equity! I ought to be able to get on with my own backlog of domestic work, of which there is plenty, because I have been so busy in my job-that-pays-the-bills that I’ve had next to no energy to do little more than the barest minimum of laundry and cleaning since about the end of July. I’ve been coming home and falling asleep in my evening meal (or going straight to bed almost as frequently) for almost half the year. Having a lie-in would be a good start to getting some energy back, but making inroads on those chores is by now pretty high on the list and some of them require access to my sewing machine. For example, there are these wine-bottle carriers I want to make…

I’d also like some time to read a book. Dr B goes out on weekly motorcycle jaunts (sometimes pushbike rides as well). I think I ought to be able to read a book in peace. It need only be one. I’m not asking for sufficient time out to read the entire trilogy I’m presently working my way through. But it would be nice to finish the first one which I’ve been reading for an uncharacteristically long time (I find it not good commuter reading because of the tricky typography and its physical bulk). Mind you, a good start on the second title would be fabulous, but I can’t see it happening.

On Boxing Day, Youngest Aunt and I were discussing my holiday, and what I plan to do during the fortnight I’m not at my place of paid employment. While we agreed that reading ought to feature, we also acknowledged it was unlikely to. Dr B seems to think I should be able to fit in some reading. At least, he asked if I intended to bowl over a few books while I wasn’t at work. Uuh, yeah, not so much. Unless he comes back to his proper place in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on December 28, 2018 in Crochet

 

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2018 in Crochet, Travel

 

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