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the usual caveats re cold

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Oooh, yes, it was cold. The colours didn’t matter 😀

I know I’ve said it before: people from truly cold climates can start laughing now. I hear you, and I acknowledge your right to be amused, but I don’t care. Friday here was bitterly chilly and most of my WFH colleagues were lamenting their inability to type because of the icy fingers factor.

You might argue that we need better heating, or a heavier intake of calorie-dense foods and hot (or alcoholic, or hot and alocholic) drinks, but whatever we lacked, it seemed that we all lacked it, big-time. Warmer clothing wasn’t the whole answer, and I can say that with some authority because Dr B laughed at me for being so rugged up!

I was cold, despite the fact that I was wearing my thick, handknitted jumper – you know, the one I made for the first winter in Italy, where it helped to keep me warm even when there was snow? I was also wearing my grey beanie – you know, the one I originally made for YoungB but miscalculated the size and which has been keeping my head warm ever since? And I was wearing my fingerless mitts – you know, the ones I made for someone else, but then needed myself, and which I wear often to assist in keeping my fingers nimble when I’m typing at the computer?

But, yeah, all of those lovely, woollen bits and pieces just weren’t doing it. And my crocheted, scrappy cowl – the one that was just a protest against things that weren’t working terribly well and the fact that I’d knitted so many mittens I needed a change (Ravelled here, but never blogged)? That helped a bit, but by the time I resorted to donning it, I’d had an afternoon snack that consisted of a big mug of hot, milky cocoa and a serve of cheese and crackers. It could have been the snack as much as the extra layer of cuddly warmth. Who would know?!

May your woolly bits keep you warm, even if mine were abysmally not up to it in that particular instance!

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2020 in Health

 

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the CAL cowl again

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Slightly bumpier texture on what is technically the wrong side. It’s long enough that I can pull it over my nose on cold mornings!

I realised that I haven’t shared a photo of the reverse side of my completed CAL cowl. It’s not reversible in the sense of being the same on both sides, but certainly in the sense of being able to be worn either way. Therefore, I wear it both ways. Sometimes, I like the smoother texture against my skin.

As previously detailed, the yarn is Moda Vera Malibu, a pure wool 8 ply purchased at my LYS in April. I used a 5.75mm hook. For those using other measuring systems, it’s described on the hook as J/10. It wasn’t a complex project, and the resulting article has been a great addition to my wardrobe these last few weeks when winter has been biting hard. I know the sun is on the way back to us – and the mornings are noticeably lighter – but that memo hasn’t yet reached the planetary thermoregulation system.

May all your lovely cowls be fabulous for keeping you warm. If they’re reversible, that’s also fabulous 😀

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2019 in Crochet

 

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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 😀

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Crochet, 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 of  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 🙂

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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degrees of difference

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My phone camera is dying, so apologies for the poor quality. You get the idea, however. Another tidy little scrapbuster.

There I was, sitting with Dr B and watching a TV program. I needed something to do with my hands. And I need to keep whittling away at that stash. So the other night, while YoungB zizzed on the mattress with the aircon at full bore, I crocheted up a beautifully soft, warm cowl. Yeah! Just what you do when it’s above 40C.

This is a mix of yarns, all with a high acrylic content. The lighter stripe is Lincraft Big Wool Solids, in what I think was described as denim. It’s a blue colourway, rather than green. The yarn at the bottom of the photo is Moda Vera Manor in colour 52, dye lot 1010109, and it’s definitely a green colourway. The starting blue-green colourway (at the top of the photo) is a mystery, but possibly Moda Vera Bouvardia leftovers from an earlier beanie. I used a 9mm crochet hook.

Best wishes for all your stashbusting, and may you never be afflicted with unidentifiable yarn 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2019 in Crochet

 

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the backward glance

Made it to the end, just like the year.

Made it to the end, just like the year.

Here it is, New Year’s Eve again. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope yours was happy. If you go all out for the New Year’s party, may it be wonderful and you not have too sore a head tomorrow.

2015 has been a messy year and not one I’d consider particularly productive. Having said that, my Ravelry page reminds me that I knitted fingerless mitts and crocheted (mostly Moebius) cowls, some begun long ago but all finished this year. There were 13 in total. I also failed to complete mitts that I began around the time we were moving offices, although I might well complete those in 2016, and another pair where I ran out of yarn and couldn’t find anything matching. That will require fancier footwork than I had time for when I was making them, but they have not been frogged.

With regard to sewing, apart from rescuing various bits of this and that – YoungB’s jeans, mostly – I made four cooling neck bandannas for the Bloody Long Walk. I also produced 270 metres of bunting for Eldest Niece’s wedding and some lavender bags for a raffle prize, as well as some pockets for YoungB’s motorcycling armour (additional protection for a couple of long road trips). Perhaps I didn’t need to do a lot else.

My other mighty commitment and achievement for the year was training for and completing the Bloody Long Walk, with splendid support from workmates, everyone in the family and my HiTec boots. Even though I said I wouldn’t do the BLW again, Youngest Aunt and I agreed only the other day that we need to start training soon 🙂

YoungB returned from Italy and has managed to reach the end of his academic year with reasonable results. I think that’s as much as we could have expected from him, considering how much he struggled to regain momentum and motivation.

Also, Eldest Niece is now a married lady and her wedding to Mr Eldest Niece was one of the happiest such occasions I have ever attended. The bunting looked good, too 🙂

Christmas? Yes, it happened. I managed to get our Advent Calendar hanging a few days before it was required and the tree up before Christmas Day. Winner! We spent time with family and friends and if things were more chaotic than usual because of unexpected equipment failures – vacuum cleaner, gearbox in family car – and some equally unexpected medical issues, then it didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the occasion.

I’ve managed to read a few books – too few; but I generally don’t have a lot of opportunity to read except on public transport and, although I’m on that for hours of every working day, I’m sometimes too tired to make the effort – and feel particularly chuffed to have finished the latest title in the Inspector Ricciardi series by Maurizio De Giovanni, one that YoungB brought back from Italy for me.

I’ve successfully reached the halfway point in an online family history unit I’m undertaking through the University of Tasmania. In real terms, my genealogical research is often shelved for months at a stretch because life happens and it’s not the most important thing. In this instance, I’ve renewed subscriptions to this, that and the next genealogical website and/or organisation and started delving into written records because there’s nobody left to ask. Like most of us, I don’t have to look far to find mysteries. I’m toying with which mystery to investigate further for the long, final assignment.

And in something utterly unrelated to anything, we’ve wound up the year splendidly with a trip to the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens to see a rare event: the flowering of an Amorphophallus Titanum, also known as Titan Arum or corpse flower. The day was stinking, even if the flower wasn’t (at least when we were there). There were koalas watching us from some nearby tall gums. It was a fitting finale for 2015.

 

 

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shall we cross our fingers and hope it’s third time lucky?

Taking it at a run makes it easier but sometimes you have to plod along until you get to the other side

Taking it at a run makes it easier but sometimes you have to plod along until you get to the other side

Two previous posts vanished. One might have been my fault, the other was not 😦 and I’m uncertain if this will make it beyond my desktop. Fnigres corsesd.

So it’s oh well, here we are again and, you know, it’s still winter, I’m tired of the cold (how about just tired?), the Bloody Long Walk is frighteningly close and I’m still somewhat under the weather with a tail-end-of-winter bug that has made, and continues to make, training a fairly unappealing if not occasionally impossible task though everyone else is going great guns with their training, work is so busy I don’t know what to tackle next from the pile, I finished Nonna’s cowl (using remnants of the Moda Vera Ambruni), and YoungB is home and it cheers me to see him still wearing the grey sweatshirt I made for him and even – take note! – to see Dr B wearing a balaclava I made for YoungB. It’s so cold we don’t care who wears what, really, it’s whatever it takes to keep the heat in (Dr B is not entirely bald. But there’s not a lot on top).

More worryingly, I haven’t started the bunting for Eldest Niece’s wedding, though she assures me she has all the fabric. The trouble is, the wedding is in October and, you know, I rarely have the luxury of full days available to me for sewing (especially with training to catch up on and maybe one weekend day with shared availability because of domestic interruptions). Never mind, we’ll get there. We will, one foot after the other. It’s really no good stressing about it because nothing I can say or do will change the situation.

I’d like to make all our Bloody Long Walkers a cooling neck collar – there are 11 in one team and six of us loosely associated but not precisely a team – so that’s another sewing task I need to address more urgently than the wedding decorations. If push comes to shove, I’ll do the six for my immediate crew and let the other team manage without but it would be good to have something for everyone. I think it’s unlikely to be hot in September, on present indications, but it’s foolish to be unprepared. Neck coolers are at least simple and, in this case, I think Great Aunt’s nurse’s uniform fabric might be just the shot: quality cotton and plentiful, no matter how many collars I make.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re up to and whatever weather surrounds you, I hope you’re finding a comfy spot to pursue all your favourite activities. I’m off to do some sewing.

 

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you’ll have to believe me on this one

Nonna is frail at the moment and feeling the cold. I’ve put aside my other crafty endeavours to crochet a neck-warmer for her. She already has a hot-pink one that I made her several years ago, but it has seen lots of use and is not as fresh and cosy as it once was. Enter the Moda Vera Ambruni white yarn, leftovers from Youngest Niece’s birthday present, and the demonstration moebius cowl I worked on with Colleague DS the other week. She’s making progress with hers, but has decided that, much as she loves to wear black, it’s too hard to work with. She’s changed to a grey instead. I know that Nonna would prefer something other than white (the hot-pink was a winner), but white is what I have so it will have to do for now. It works up nicely and the end results will be soft and warm.

I took a photo – not exciting, of course, but a photo – only we are having major technical problems (again!) so at this stage, I can’t share it. But, honest, I’ve done about six inches already. And isn’t it keeping my fingers warn on this very chilly day?

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2015 in Crochet

 

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sharing is truly caring

Here's one I prepared earlier: a completed Moebius cowl

Here’s one I prepared earlier: a completed Moebius cowl

I work for an organisation that helps people who look after other people. Some of my fellow workers are themselves carers and, although there have been tough times with YoungB, I know I’ve had it easy. Odd as it might sound, and this is not entirely age related, I’ve found fellow knitters, sewists, crocheters and crafters among my colleagues. Many admit to using such things to counter work-related stress. Colleague DS is about my age with sons around YoungB’s age. We share a star sign and a similarity with a couple of major life events.

Things are in severe upheaval at work, with packing the second part of our office making steady progress while the first half are unpacked and already settled in their new premises. We’re all busy, it’s winter and sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is almost more effort than we can manage. I was humbled and gobsmacked when CDS presented me with a thoughtful little, handmade-by-herself gift of a necklace and a handbag pack for tissues (always welcome, because I’m so prone to allergic reactions to pretty much everything that I can never have too many tissues).

CDS says that her crafting days are what keep her sane through the struggles of raising her special needs son. I understand that. I used to knit while YoungB had swimming instruction in a pool specially for asthmatics (no entry without medical certificate). Tomorrow I’m taking a crochet hook and some yarn. During our lunch break, I’ll show her how I do the Moebius cowls, and she can then share that with her fellow crafters at the next session. I might now be one of the privileged, whose son is apparently normal and certainly doesn’t qualify as special needs, but I appreciate how easily my situation could be very different and if I can share something to help with the tough moments, then that’s a fine contribution to the caring.

 
 

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getting round to things

Eldest Niece's mitts have finally left my hands and I hope they'll soon be keeping hers warm.

Eldest Niece’s mitts have finally left my hands and I hope they’ll soon be keeping hers warm.

Today, the Aunts, two of the Nieces and I joined a fundraising walk, a gentle 4 Km circuit beginning and ending at a beachside venue familiar to me from the occasional Audax Christmas dinner. I don’t think any of us came remotely close to working up a sweat. No matter. We did it and enjoyed ourselves. Also, it provided an opportunity for me to hand over Youngest Niece’s birthday cowl (crocheted using Moda Vera Ambruni yarn) as well as the fingerless mitts for Eldest Nephew (knitted using Country Tartan 8 ply yarn) and Eldest Niece (photographed above and knitted using Bendigo’s Murano yarn, nominally an 8 ply). Middle Niece is pondering her options and will probably put in an order for one or the other article for her birthday in June 🙂

Meanwhile, I’m about four stitches away from completion of unpicking the sticky beanie (knitted using Moda Vera Bouvardia yarn) and hope to be back on the knitting of it by tonight (the four stitches are where I’ve woven in the ends, so I’m finding them particularly tricky). I won’t complete it tonight but it will only take a couple of evenings of work (it’s knitted in the round so there’s no seaming to contend with) to have it where it needs to be: ready for popping in the post to the friend whose head it’s intended to cover. Then, and I’ve promised myself it will be only then, I can make a start on some socks for Dr B.

And that’s as much of a plan as I can wrap my head around at the moment. Work is manically busy and we continue to have computer problems on the home front. I hope you’re faring better, whatever your weather and whatever you’re getting round to 🙂

 

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