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Tag Archives: Bendigo Woollen Mills

scrub-a-dub

So now what? More than one day’s effort, really, but a good little wind-down exercise.

Because I’d had a weekend day in front of the computer doing something far too much like work – not complaining, because I was helping a friend, but admitting that it was a little too much screen time – and because I had the yarn Right There where I was sitting, I made some giant face scrubbies. YoungB thought they were coasters, but they’re not quite large enough (in my opinion). They’re pure cotton, so eco-friendly. Because they’re cotton they’re washable, meaning reusable many times. Eco-friendly again. Could they get any better?!

The question now is, do I make an accompanying laundry bag? Or should I simply enclose them in some heavy paper with the laundering instructions? Given how cold it is in my sewing room – much too cold to work there – the paper sounds like an appealing option. The purists would argue that paper isn’t quite as eco-friendly as a reusable fabric bag, but if I’m providing laundering instructions, they have to be written on something.

Made with 10-ply Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton held with 8-ply Lincraft cotton using a size G / 5.0 mm crochet hook and a mixed and matched pattern from several www sources. They’re nothing very extraordinary, but the crab-stitched final round is nice.

Please forgive the very poor photos and believe me when I say that they’re the pick of the bunch!

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2020 in Crochet

 

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the idea of blue

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It’s amazing how little you can have to show at the end of a day without even one long meeting ๐Ÿ˜€

Restrictions on our movements are relaxing, and we are slowly returning to our offices. I am not relaxing at all with regard to my crochet. Having completed the rainbow blanket, I am now re-energised in terms of the neutrals. It really is mostly neutrals, and they are lovely. I thought that a round of colour in each square would help to define each petal without overwhelming the generally soft palette. Initially, I aimed for things not associated with current gender norms, but my dodgy colour vision has probably let me down.

You can imagine how it goes: what I think is lilac will probably turn out to be someone else’s idea of blue. What I think is pale jade will probably turn out to be someone else’s idea of blue. What I think is dark jade is probably going to be someone else’s idea of blue. So, in case all of that is true, I’m adding in a couple of colours that are unquestionably whatever they are. One is a yarn whose name is French rose, so when I say it’s pink, I’m not relying solely on my judgment of its appearance. It works beautifully with the cream and grey that are the dominant colours in each square. I’m trying to source some mustard yellow – which Dr B was unable to find – and wondering if I could possibly wind off another 50g of sage green and some berry, to make sure that at least some of the outline colours won’t be anyone’s idea of blue.

Does that sound ideal?

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2020 in Crochet

 

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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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defuzzing my mitts that fit

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Now, isn’t that a bit smoother?

In case you were wondering, I do actually tidy up my fingerless mitts now and then, using my defuzzer (aka fabric pill remover). There’s a variety available. Mine is battery operated and I’ve had it for years. It does a good job.

Those mitts were knitted in Bendigo Woollen Mills Murano, a sturdy 8-ply that’s now discontinued. I have a few leftovers that will doubtless contribute to more fingerless mitts. The colourways are delightful and the weightiness of the yarn perfect for keeping fingers warm. The base design is ideal for computer work, providing no inter-digit bulk to hamper ease of movement.

I’ve made many pairs of these mitts, some true to pattern, some – like those above – altered slightly.

May your mitts always keep you warm, and your fuzziness be controlled ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2019 in Knitting

 

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that was the CAL cowl

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Fit for purpose and very warm

Tracy was running a series of KAL/CAL events, with a range of themes. For the March event, I knitted the Bloom-ing beanie for Nic, and delivered it for her 50th birthday, as planned. I’m sure it’s been getting a great workout since then as she dashes about suburbia on her morning walks. We are past midwinter and the daylight hours are noticeably longer, but early-morning temperatures remain appallingly unfriendly.

I managed to crochet a cowl for the April event, with the intention of wearing it under my new, maroon jacket. That’s it in the photo. I used Moda Vera Malibu, a pure wool 8-ply yarn, with inbuilt colour changes and slightly irregular thickness. The colourway is 86718, which is mostly shades of blue and grey. I used a 5.75mm hook, and worked half-trebles (UK terminology) into the back loop only. The side outermost in the photo looks knitted and is delightfully smooth. The other side is also attractive enough to wear facing out. It is bumpier in appearance and rougher in texture, but not harsh against the skin.

For August, the theme is to finish a WIP. I have so many that you’d think I could gallop to the finish line. You’d be wrong. I find myself well occupied with other sorts of creative work: reinventing oneself requires new ways of looking at everything. Repackaging and presenting to best advantage is surely creativity at its finest.

I am also rewarding myself by catching up with a few old friends during the interlavorum. This is a new word I coined in the style of interregnum, to mean “the time between jobs”. Purists – that is, people who are Latin scholars – might argue that it ought to be interopum, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue nearly as easily and, you know, it’s my word. I can do what I like with it.

All the best to you with enjoying your interlavorum if you happen to be at such a stage ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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not matching, merely meaningfully mended

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Well, it worked!And, trust me, nobody is going to see it when he’s working on his computer.

The other night, YoungB came into the kitchen for an evening cuppa. On his head? The grey, cabled beanie I made for him last year. Gosh, that makes me happy. I’m sure you’ll understand why I don’t mind continuing to feed him, even though he’s well able to cook for himself ๐Ÿ™‚

And on his hands? Nothing! Because, ahem, I hadn’t mended his fingerless mitts. Ahem, indeed. OK. I quickly grabbed my darning needle – still threaded with yarn from my last knitting effort, namely the Bloom-ing beanie – and fixed the hole. It’s not neat, it’s nothing like a similar yarn but it’s effective. He’s now delightedly wearing his mitts. And, as I say, when he’s using his computer, nobody will even notice what is keeping his hands warm ๐Ÿ™‚

May your yarny rescues be every bit as effective and much, much neater ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2019 in Knitting

 

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or with the brim not rolled over

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And if the brim isn’t rolled over, the beanie fits better because it sits closer to your head. It also keeps your ears warm.

As a matter of interest, and the spirit of full disclosure, this is how I would wear the Bloom-ing beanie: with the brim up, rather than double-rolled. In my experience, it provides a tighter fit, hence a warmer head. It also means that the crown sits flatter, rather than tending to the conical.

It wasn’t a quick knit for me; but then, as I’ve said frequently, I’m not a quick knitter. I started it on about 6 March and finished it by the KAL deadline ofย  31 March, so I’m not complaining unduly.

This month’s Knit Spin Weave KAL/CAL is cowls and/or scarves. I have a reasonable success rate with cowls, so I’ve signed up. Yeah. Right. I’ve already frogged two efforts!! Sigh. I don’t think I want to do a scarf, but then again…Perhaps the better part of valour might simply be to admit defeat now ๐Ÿ™‚

I do hope that your crafting endeavours are meeting with slightly more success than mine. One beanie is good. A cowl as well? That would be even better!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2019 in Knitting

 

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fully blooming

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Nic’s Bloom-ing beanie, finished by its KAL deadline.

With some dedicated knit-on-the-bus efforts and only a couple of late nights, I managed to get the knitting done and the seams sewn. I would be lying if I were to suggest that the sewing is good. It’s not. I’ll have to do it again. I’ll also need to block the beanie. However, I met the KAL deadline.

Am I pleased with myself? Given how much ordure is being thrown around our section of the globe right now, I am inordinately pleased. Also, I am still slowly crocheting my table runner, which is the background fabric in the photo.

I hope you’ve managed to meet all your crafty deadlines ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2019 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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but I have been doing stuff

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Since this photo, I’ve begun shaping the crown.

I don’t want you to think that I’ve stopped knitting. I haven’t. True, I have been busy crocheting my table runner while watching TV. But I have also been knitting, sometimes while watching TV and sometimes while battling insomnia. Neither is particularly wise when you have trouble counting.

I have also been dedicating time to the 3-Legged Challenge, a world-first fundraiser whose aim is to support unpaid carers. As I work for one of the charities involved, my signing up was a no-brainer. I cajoled YoungB into participating, which has, I think, well and truly exhausted my annual quota of filial goodwill from him! Never mind.

Yesterday, he and I did a truncated version of our original idea. Between travel to and fro, a special soccer match and his work commitments, we were never going to get as much 3-legged silliness as we’d originally planned. This photo of him being not too rude to me is the best I could have expected.

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“I will kill you later, Mum.”

Today, Dr B and I joined a group of staff in a 2-Km walk along part of the Hallett Cove boardwalk. We were promised no steps in the out-and-back loop. Yes, well, not quite true! But only half a dozen or so either way, and we managed those reasonably well. Let me put it this way: nobody fell over, or down, or caused anybody else to do either of those things. Win-win. Right? Lots of laughs and, no doubt, some excellent photos from our fundraising and marketing manager in due course.

The nice thing about travelling from our north-eastern suburb to the suburban far south was the amount of knitting time it afforded me. My beanie has now reached the stage where the rows are noticeably shorter and the end in sight.

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I am not enamoured of the brown. But it works with the rest of the colours and it’s not yellow, so it’s staying ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m on schedule to finish the beanie by the knitting store’s CAL/KAL deadline. Let’s hope I haven’t just hexed myself!

What have you been up to?

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2019 in Knitting, Travel

 

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…little bit…

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New yarn and old needles for a new project

I have to admit, when I knitted along that first row of my tension square last Wednesday evening, I just couldn’t help myself. “Oh, I love knitting,” I exclaimed to anyone who might be listening (mostly dust and spiders, to be fair, because there was nobody else around at the time). And I have been happily knitting ever since.

I did a little bit on the bus, a little bit while watching TV, a little bit at lunchtime, a little bit after dinner, a little bit on the suburban train, a little bit in the car on the way to our Thursday dumplings and coffee date (and during that, of course; the Bs barely notice nowadays), and a little bit at the bus interchange as I sat and waited for a connecting bus and chatted with an elderly Italian woman who prefers crochet but complimented me for my dedication to the cause: “It’s good to see.”

I did a little bit in the car while Dr B drove us to an early-morning appointment and a little bit more while we waited there. I did a little bit at the coffee shop, a little bit while Dr B bought motorbike things from the local dealership where he and YoungB are habitues, and then I had to have a little bit of a pause because I didn’t have the pattern with me and I needed to check it.

At this time of year, the mornings are cool and dewy and the evenings chilly enough for a shawl. I’m sorry to see the end of summer, but at least when the weather is like this, nobody looks at you strangely when you whip out the needles and knit for the 10 minutes it takes your homeward train to reach the city, or if you do it while you reminisce over coffee and cake before heading back to the busyness of the day.

I haven’t suddenly stopped crocheting. In fact, I have a plain crochet project at which I intend to keep plugging away while watching TV. It uses a thick, light-coloured yarn and a large hook, so is easier on my eyes. However, there’s that series of KALs/CALs I mentioned and this month it’s beanies and, well, there’s a workmate who’s about to turn 50 and who likes to walk in the mornings – those increasingly chilly mornings – so I thought a handmade beanie would be just the shot. And there’s nothing like a deadline to maintain the momentum with ticking off rows, as it were.

Anyone who knows me would agree that my doing a tension square is a little unusual. It’s true that, if I am knitting a familiar pattern using yarn I know well, then I might give it a miss. In this instance, although I am using a familiar pattern, I’m working with a new-to-me yarn; hence the tension square. Also, I was interested to see how the colours looked once knitted.

Satisfied on both counts, I unpicked the tension square and cast on the first row of theย  lady’s size for Pattern 23 – Knitted Family Cap – from my old Patons Winter Warmers, Book 483. And I am more than a little bit pleased to have now reached the body of the beanie.

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Very pleased indeed with this progress ๐Ÿ˜€

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2019 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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