Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Crochet Books & Crochet Hooks

So now its 9.25 pm here in my part of the world and the big day is almost over for another year. I do hope you've all had a lovely day with your loved ones and have enjoyed all the edibles and drinkables (is that a word) that we're allowed on this special occasion. Back to the 'good eating' tomorrow girls and boys !!

I bought myself a few presents this year so let's have show and tell time shall we?

These were the first to arrive and I must say they were quite a surprise. The whole set cost me $4.99 with free postage so I wondered what the quality would be like. Well they are almost as good as my very favourite Etimo hooks, and that's saying something !! The sizes in the set range from 2.5mm to 6.00mm and the handles are a bit like the Knit-Pro hooks - not hard, not real soft but quite comfortable to use. I read somewhere that if your hook doesn't glide easily through the yarn, put some hand cream on it, give it a little rub then wipe it off so that's what I did with these hooks and as I said, they're surprisingly good.

Next came two books from the Book Depository - more free postage and one of my fave online bookstores.

"Connect the Shapes" by Edie Eckman - I love this book !! It has 101 new motifs with innovative, easy-to-follow techniques for joining them together. The designs are modern, patterns easy to follow and the colours amazing. The patterns include a place mat, shawl, pincushions, baby blanket, flower garland, vest, lacy skirt, lamp shade, and more. The book has 271 pages and I reckon its well worth the $21.16 AUD.

The second book is "30~Minute Crochet" by Carol Meldrum and it contains 60 quick and easy projects.

I'm thinking this will be useful for embellishments or small gifts that can be whipped up quickly. Too many projects to list but the book has 128 pages and cost $15.18 AUD.

So there we are .... show and tell over. I'm happy and am sure everything will be quite useful.

Before I finish this post, here's a small glimpse of Christmas as it was at our place -

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Santa Paws is Coming to Town

Warning - If you're not a dog lover you might want to skip this post.

Saturday before last I had to take Quincy to visit Santa (DD2 was away) and what a fun time we had !!  Quincy is very friendly with people but other dogs are another matter. A big Golden Retriever was ahead of him in the Santa line so that revved the little fellow up a bit. Nevertheless, he was still able to offer Santa a big sloppy kiss - the photographer caught the end of it.

In an effort to get Quincy a little more dog friendly, he has been visiting the local dog park and I do believe it is doing him the world of good. Its hard to take photos as the dogs are rarely still (except for one little old Westie that could have passed for a statue) ..

The park is right on the shores of Lake Ginninderra and as you can see, seats are provided for the doggy parents - very pleasant for all. Its quite a big dog park, very well secured with double gates and different sections for large and small dogs. Here you can see our little fellow doing a lap of the area. Actually you might need your binoculars to see him :)

Meanwhile, back at home, every morning we get to open a little flap on the advent calendar and guess what's inside ?   Yep, you got it .. doggy treats.

Of course Madison couldn't care less and just needs another few hours in bed ..

I have been doing little bits of crochet and knitting here and there, as well as playing around with my stash. Today I spent an hour or so winding my odd balls of yarn into lovely 'cakes' so they're going to take up much less space in my plastic tubs. I'm making beanies in the colours preferred by our Indiginous people (red, yellow and black) for one of our December charities in the Knit4Charities group. I'll take some pics for next time.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I promised myself to write a post today ... BUT

Anyway, since I'm here, I must share this with you ......

Once a woman invited some friends and family to dinner.
At the table, she turned to her six-year-old granddaughter and said, ”Would you like to say grace?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.
“Just say what you usually hear me say,” the grandma answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
“Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gorgeous Doily

Awhile back I did a small favour for a bloggy friend - she wanted some hooks that were only available in Australia and it was my pleasure to send them to her. Well, today's mail brought me a wonderful surprise. My friend sent me this gorgeous doily which goes perfectly with the colour scheme in my dining and lounge rooms.

Isn't that beautiful ?  Also included in the package were some more treats which I'll enjoy as these are not available here in Oz.  Thank you so much P .. way too generous but I do love it all.

While playing around with photos today, I took a few with my Olympus and some with my iPhone 5S to compare the results.  The first pic above was taken with the iPhone and the bottom one with my Olympus.  Although close, I think the colour in the first photo is more what it should be - a pretty soft mint green.  So, to give the iPhone a real road-test, I tried a few more shots ..

This was taken about 6 inches away and the next one was from about one inch away.  I think I'm happy with the results from the phone and will try to get some outdoor shots next week when I'm in Sydney for a few days.

No post would be complete without some Quincy news.  Poor little fellow had a visit to the vet Friday before last to get desexed. Didn't seem to bother him much though as he was tearing around the backyard like a maniac the day after his op. We gave him his first real bone - what a laugh !!  At first he stood back not knowing what it was or what to do with it. After a few really long back leg stretches, he decided to give it a try ..

Uh Oh .. can you believe it ??

Someone is trying to steal my bone !  OK .. war declared ... this magpie will never set foot in my yard again.  Each time the magpie came back, Quincy hunted it away but the funny thing is that he wasn't the least bit concerned about the other little birds in the yard.

That's it from me for now.  I'll be away till the end of next week at a 2 day computer conference followed by a bit of retail therapy.  Will take my mini iPad so I can visit my favourite blogs.  See ya later.


Thursday, October 24, 2013


Its been awhile since my last post so I thought I'd pop in to say hello and fill you in on what's been happening in my life. Well, actually nothing much !!  I've been doing a bit of crochet and knitting and have two WIPs (works-in-progress) so can't show those yet.  I felt like fiddling around a bit the other night so made this little card holder ..

My wallet is so fat from all the plastic that I've decided to keep all my store loyalty cards in this little holder which should be easy enough to find in the dark hole of the handbag.

DD gave our new baby his first bath since we've had him .. wanna see ?

He was such a good boy and didn't seem to worry at all. Mind you, I think he was glad when it was over because he got lots of rubs and cuddles.

I won't bore you with many more dog pictures - well, maybe just this one which I think is rather cute don't you ?

No spoilt animals in our house eh !!!!

Got my iPhone 5S yesterday and after a bit of a hitch with transferring all my apps, settings etc. from my 4S, I'm really happy with it. As luck would have it, the Apple store had gold ones in stock - very pretty and apparently very much sought after. I must say the technical support from Apple is second to none and they were wonderful when I needed a bit of help.  Very impressive indeed.  Anyway, I haven't been anywhere interesting to play with the camera but went outside this afternoon and took this shot of my rose bush which was looking wonderful a few days ago but most of the roses have died off and the new buds aren't quite open yet. There were a few nice ones though ...

This particular bush flowers profusely for months and months and has the most beautiful fragrance. It was a bit hard to get a good shot as the wind was blowing.

Finally ...

I could tell you this is a hot air balloon on a lovely morning in Canberra ... but I won't lie to you. Actually its just a picture I took of our calendar which is hanging in the kitchen.  :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hot off the Hook

All day I've been searching my folders of patterns trying to find this pattern which is one of my favourites. I eventually found it in the last of my folders - always the way isn't it? Anyway, after all that, I had to grab some yarn and a hook.

This "Frilly Cup Doily" was designed by Crobeanie, aka Bea Wells, aka Janie Herrin who sadly passed away on March 19,2010 aged 65. Janie was a member of Crochetlist and I often chatted with her in the monthly CAT sessions. She was a delightful lady and a talented designer. Unfortunately the pattern for the Frilly Cup Doily is no longer online and I'm not sure where, or even if her patterns have been published elsewhere. I also have one of her other patterns which is a gorgeous, tiny angel done in #10 thread.  I'll show you that another day.

As per doctors orders, I've been sticking to small projects and to be honest, just fiddling around.

I'm also making mini Christmas stockings for the CWA fete in November. Today I ordered some Avon Lip Balms to go inside them - at 99 cents each, they are cheaper than Life Savers and more useful.

I need to report a stash enhancement that I simply just couldn't resist. Bendigo Woollen Mills offered our Knit4Charities group, 1kg charity packs of 8ply machine washable wool for just $35 which included postage. I love working with their wool and will enjoy making lots of charity items with this lot.

Nothing much else is happening around here.  Quincy is settling in nicely and is such a gorgeous little dog. My eldest daughter's Pug Tommy is here visiting for two weeks and they're having lots of fun together.  The cat is still not too fussed about it all.

The warm weather has arrived at last and the garden is looking nice. I counted about 30 buds on one of my rose bushes the other day. No photos of that but I did take a couple of my azaleas which were planted last year and are flowering for the first time.

Well, its past midnight so I should be off to bed. Thanks for popping in for a visit.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Exciting News

I've been itching to tell you about this but decided to wait till the big day arrived. Our family has just increased and we now have the patter of four little puppy dog feet in our lives again. Meet Quincy ....

He's a Griffon Bruxellois and I bought him as an early birthday present for my youngest daughter. Nat and her husband live with me so I'll get to enjoy Quincy's company whenever she's out. He only arrived at 1.10pm today and is already sticking to Natalie like velcro. Such a sweet natured little fellow - gentle - really well mannered and so very very cute. Quincy has had a really big day today as he travelled all the way from Ballarat in Victoria (Australia). By car to Melbourne and then on the big plane to Canberra. He's a tired little boy right now and is curled up with his new mummy on the lounge.  Here's another pic taken this afternoon.

Our cat Madison is not all that keen but at least she hasn't fizzed at him. We're hoping they'll become friends eventually. Quincy has never seen a cat before and it was quite funny watching his reaction.  Maddie gave him a good stare and I think they've already established that the cat will be the boss.  My other daughter's dog Tommy (the Pug who you've met before) is coming over on Tuesday to spend a week or so at our place while Karen and Glen are away. I think Tommy and Quincy will enjoy each others company.

Now I'm off to spend an hour or four on Ravelry looking for little things to make for our CWA (Country Womens Association of NSW) fete in November.  Any ideas please?

Have a great weekend.   We will !!
Dorothy xoxox

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bath Time

Every now and then a girl really needs a bath to get rid of all that loose hair fur.

Ahh that feels good
All Soaped Up
Purrfect behaviour
Squeaky Clean
If you're really sure you want more, here's the 'live performance' ...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What a difference an Edge makes ...

For the past few hours I've been searching for the pattern of a diagonal square which I had half done but had forgotten how to get the little squares along the edge. Turns out its called 'Grandmothers Favourite Dishcloth' and what a versatile pattern it has turned out to be.  Have a look at these gorgeous baby blankets some ladies have put on Ravelry ...

Doesn't that edging turn it into something really special ? There are dozens more on Ravelry - well worth a look.

I haven't got anything to show you today - I'm just trying to finish off a few knitted 10" squares so I can make a delivery to the Wrap with Love collector. I think I might have mentioned in an earlier post that I'm getting pain in my right upper arm and my doctor is quite convinced I have RSI from a combination of playing games on Facebook and knitting and crocheting. At first she said I should rest the arm for at least two weeks but when she saw my reaction to that idea, we came to a compromise that I hold off on the games, crochet for short periods and knit using circular needles only.  I think the fact that my doctor is a knitter herself (and a very talented one too) helped in her making that compromise as she would know that two weeks without hook or needle would drive a person nuts !!!

Today has been a sad day but one of fond memories for me.  My husband who passed away almost 9 years ago, would have turned 74 today. We would have been out to dinner with the family and come back home for coffee and birthday cake. We still celebrate our birthdays that way but its not quite the same without 'Dad'.

One of my favourite photos of Errol. It was the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) publicity shot they used for the photos sent to listeners or anybody else requesting one. A bigger version of the same pic was also used in a special exhibition at Australia's Parliament House (about 2005/6) on the occasion of the anniversary of 50 years of parliamentary broadcasts.

Now for a few more rows (on circulars) before I go to bed !!  Thanks for visiting. xox

Monday, September 16, 2013

Is it a Banana ?

For ages now I've been meaning to try this pattern so when Knit4Charities had a KAL (Knit Along) a few days ago, using this pattern, I decided to join in and give it a try.  Can you guess what it is?

With 8ply yarn doubled and 6.00mm needles, you cast on 30 stitches and do 6 rows of k1, p1 rib.  On the 7th row you increase to 60 sts by knitting into the front and back of each stitch. Rows 8 to 47 are garter stitch and on row 48 you need to decrease by k2tog all across, leaving you with 30 sts. Rows 49 to 54 are k1, p1 rib again and then you cast off, leaving about 12 inches (30cm) or so for sewing up.

Next, you fold in half and sew the cast on and cast off edges together then continue sewing 'around the corner' to close one end.  This is what you'll end up with ...

Have you guessed what it is yet ?  Well, its a one size fits all and is very popular in nursing homes as they don't fall off.

Its a Banana Bedsock and here it is on my daughter's foot - she's a size 7. It also fits my son-in-law's huge size 13 foot too but of course on him, the cuff is much smaller.  I just now have to make another one so I'll have a pair. Oh if you're interested, the pattern comes from this site.  I think its a very clever pattern.

I've only been able to knit or crochet for short periods lately as I'm experiencing pain in my right upper arm which I'm hoping and praying has not been caused by my knitting or crochet. Seeing the doc about it later this week so I hope it can get sorted out soon.  In the meantime, I'm sticking to small projects and made another baby's jacket last weekend.

The pattern for this little jacket is available on Ravelry here. I used Patons DK Smoothie with a 4.00mm hook. I bought this yarn from the Mill Shop for 50c a ball and have about 7.5 balls left so goodness knows what I'll make with it. Couldn't resist such a bargain though and its quite nice to work with - very soft.

That's it from me for now. Enjoy the rest of the week and thanks for visiting.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How the time flies

Yesterday my grandson had a party to celebrate his 11th birthday which is actually on Tuesday. Only seems like yesterday he was like this ..

and look at him now ..

The party was a huge success and everyone had a ball, including his Mum (my DD1). Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the party but will certainly be joining in the family celebrations on Tuesday.

I took time off from my baby blanket the other day, to make a little newborn cardi as I was in need of some (almost) instant gratification. I used leftover King Cole Baby DK (which I used for the blanket at the bottom of this post), a 4.00mm hook and this pattern.

The colour change in the yarn did its own thing but its not that noticeable in the actual cardigan and I don't think the baby will worry all that much. 

Came across this while cleaning up some papers and thought I'd share it with you ..

In my Footsteps

An acquaintance of mine who is a physician told this story abut her then four-year old daughter.

On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it.

"Be still, my heart," thought my friend, "My daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!"

Then the child spoke into the instrument:

"Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"

Have a great day and happy crocheting.