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virtually

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YoungB’s toes were once irresistibly tiny, too. Hard to believe how many years ago that was 🙂

About to celebrate YoungB’s birthday, and arranging to have an on-screen call with the rest of the family… these are trying times worldwide. Both YoungB and I are still at work, but unsure as to how much longer that will be the case. Other businesses and government departments have already implemented shutdown and work from home, where feasible. Retailers are reducing their trading hours and shopping centres are no longer crowded and bustling. But we are still out and about, whether or not we should be, and public transport is still being used by too many people.

To brighten the world, there’s another new baby cousin in the family. We’re not going to be able to visit to check out her toes, although I’m sure they’re every bit as tiny and irresistible as her cousin’s. In fact, as irresistible as any baby’s tiny toes, as the above photo illustrates. Yes, it’s blurry. The focal point was not on the toes; they’re a happy inclusion. If you could see those feet now!

I’m still working on the crocheted blankets. As I’ve said, they’re extras – likely to be christening gifts – but I am continuing to work on them. If we do go into shutdown, I might have more time to dedicate to the final rounds of both.

Wherever you are, I hope all is well with you and yours.

 
 

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yeah, orright

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Just about time to crank out the handknitted headgear, too 🙂

All things considered, it’s looking like time to reinstate the winter sheets. You what?! I  know. Sunday was warm to the point of being what some might consider hot – we reached the forecast maximum of 31 degrees – but the nights are cool enough, and YoungB’s cabin doesn’t retain heat as well as the house. He asked for warmer sheets. I’m on his side. The only delay might arise from the need to purchase new bedlinen for his new mattress (a larger, thicker one than its predecessor).

On the weekend, I was looking at wool over at my LYS. Only looking, honest (as well as checking their bedlinen; nothing suitable for YoungB’s bed, alas). Wool is something of which I need no more for years, but I like to check out what’s in vogue this season, even if I don’t purchase anything. I have a large enough stash to keep me going for a while and for the sorts of things I make, stash yarns are usually  more than adequate; unless someone requests something specific that requires yarn that either I don’t have or couldn’t substitute.

Further progress on squares for baby blankets? Yeah, no, not so much. YoungB and I had a night-time outing on Saturday, after what had been a busy working week for both of us. We caught up with Youngest Aunt and Uncle for a meal together at a nearby pub before heading off for what was actually the second part of Youngest Aunt’s birthday present:  a night-time walking tour of West Terrace Cemetery, with theatrical re-tellings of some of the more hair-raising tales. Adelaide is renowned for bizarre murders, so the selected stories didn’t disappoint..

The tours do run outside of Fringe and Festival times, but for us it was a Fringe gig. It was also a cemetery none of us had ever before visited, as we have no forbears buried there and YoungB – who did his high-schooling practically next door – didn’t visit it as part of any cultural excursion. It’s large, and would repay a visit during daylight hours, one of these days. My godfather is buried there with his family, so I could take a bunch of flowers for him to make it worthwhile.

I hope your weekend was more productive than mine, but I’m claiming cultural education as my reason. Could you really disagree with that? 🙂

 

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impediments all round

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Even without green thumbs, I seem to have done quite well with this plant. It’s flourishing in a way my crocheted blankets certainly aren’t 😀

I acknowledge that many of my impediments to productivity are mental. I truly despair at the bureaucratic cynicism that permeates my workplace. It taints my thinking and I can’t drag myself to higher levels of recognition that, cynicism notwithstanding, our sector does a lot of good for a lot of people.

Real impediments also include a recent finger injury that’s painful and inconvenient, and makes sewing tricky no matter how dedicated I am with wound dressings. I think we’re just about out the other side with that one, so perhaps the sewing will ramp up again.

Let’s hope so. There’s only a couple more weeks before B-day, so I must get those rainbow squares joined asap, so that I can start on the next little blanket. Neither baby will be getting the blanket immediately, but lest you think I’m a terrible person, I mention only that these are extras, and I have already gifted more immediately useful items to both young women.

May your impediments be few, no matter what you’re up to 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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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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