Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rosebuds and Catherine Wheels

Just found this video on YouTube which you might find interesting. I haven't tried the pattern yet but it appears to be much easier than others I've seen. What do you think ?

While 'surfing' on YouTube, I came across this excellent tutorial by Theresa from The Art of Crochet, on how to do the Catherine Wheel stitch. In this tutorial she makes a swatch working in rows. Its rather long but well worth watching if you want to master this fantastic stitch.

If you'd like a written copy, here's the link.

I still prefer to work the Catherine Wheel stitch in the round, as in what I call my Honeycomb Afghan or the Reversible Hungarian Rug. Here's the pattern ....

REVERSIBLE HUNGARIAN RUG (Note: Australian terminology)
Make 6ch, join with a sl st in first ch to form a ring.

1st round: 1ch, 1dc in the ring, *4ch, leaving last loop of each dtr on the hook, make 4dtr in the ring, yoh and draw through all 5 loops on the hook, (4dtr cluster made) 4ch, 1dc in the ring, rep from * 3 times, omitting the dc at end of last rep, join with a sl st in first dc made. (there should be four clusters)

2nd round: 1ch, 1dc in same place as sl st, * 2ch, 12dtr in top of cluster, 2ch, 1dc in next dc, rep from * 3 times, omitting the dc at end of last rep, join with a sl st in first dc made, fasten off.

3rd round: Join next colour between the 8th and 9th dtr from the dc, 1ch, 1dc in same place as the join, *4ch, holding last loop of each dtr on the hook work around the stem of dtr (from back, across the front then through to back again) make a 8dtr, yoh and draw through all 9 loops on the hook, (8dtr cluster made) 4ch, 1dc between the 4th and 5th dtrs, 4ch, make a 4dtr cluster around the next 4dtr, 4ch, 1dc between the 8th and 9th dtr, rep from * to end, omitting the dc at end of last rep, join with a sl st in first dc.

4th round: 1ch, 1dc in same place as sl st, 2ch, *8dtr in top of the 8dtr cluster, 2ch, 1dc in next dc 2ch, 12dtr in top of the 4dtr cluster, 2ch, 1dc in next dc, 2ch, rep from * to end, omitting the dc at end of last rep, join with a sl st in first dc made, fasten off.

rep 3rd and 4th rounds, working one extra 8dtr on each side, the 4dtr cluster should be in each corner.
Ah well, back to my scarf. Another thing I could add to my 2010 list is to finish each project before I start the next.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Year (almost) Over

Its been awhile since I've posted here and I hope you've had a very happy Christmas and looking forward to all the exciting things the new year may bring. I want to share with you something I received in an email from Debbie Macomber (the author) who said she looks at the empty pages in her new diary as a journey yet to be travelled, surprises yet to be revealed or an empty canvas awaiting the stroke of the artists brush. Debbie and her husband Wayne sit down every January and make a list of places they want to visit and people to see in the coming year. What a nice idea !!! I'm not one for making New Years resolutions (as such) but some of my plans (hopes) for 2010 include - go on a cruise, spend less time on the computer, support a charity every month (on the Knit4Charities internet group), sort out my craft room and maybe give away the pattern books I don't want, lose weight LOL, oh, and blog more often !

Haven't been doing much crochet or knitting lately. Guess I must have got caught up with all the things we do leading up to Christmas each year. I put my name down to contribute to one of the K4C December projects and will be sending this little jacket and maybe a few hats off for the Royal Womens Hospital in Melbourne.

I've had some Classic Bendigo Woolen Mills wool for awhile now and yesterday started a scarf which will either be given to a family member or used for another charity later in the year. I love working with this yarn and just wish all those tubs of acrylic lurking in my craft room would disappear so I can stock up with more from Bendigo. I started using a pattern from a website but didn't like the way it was curling inwards on opposite corners. I think it might have been something to do with the fact that there was a right and wrong side to the pattern. Anyway, I frogged it and decided on a very simple V stitch scarf which will be softer and will drape better. Here's a pic of the beginning and I'm going to write the pattern here so I'll remember where it is if I want to make more.

13cm wide (5 inches) x as long as desired.
Bendigo Woolen Mills 8ply Classic
5.00mm crochet hook

V stitch = 1tr, 1ch, 1tr (Aust. terminology)

Ch. 27
Row 1: Vst into 4th ch from hook, *miss 2ch, Vst in next ch* repeat from * to * to last 2 ch, 1tr into last ch, 3ch, turn

Row 2: Vs in 1ch space, repeat to last ch space, 1tr in last tr, 3ch, turn.

Repeat row 2 to desired length.
Before I finish this post, here's what I bought myself for Christmas ..

Its full of hints and tips for crocheters of all levels and its a bit like a coffee table book - you can just pick it up, flip it open to any page and you'll find lots of interesting things to read. I don't know if its available in Australia however it is available for A$16.89 from the Book Depository in UK and they have free postage worldwide. Here's the link.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

All the Cs .. cute, Christmas, chocolate & crochet

I've discovered a really fun site on the net that I want to share with you, also a very easy and very more-ish recipe which is great for this time of the year as its ideal for 'take a plate' Christmas functions.

First let me show you this ....

Its been so much fun for the past hour or so making magazine covers for my family. When you're done, its easy to copy and paste into an email, or save the image as a .jpg file on your computer. ├Łou don't have to register or anything like that and its so easy to do. Here's the link if you want to amuse yourself for awhile. The gorgeous baby is, of course, my grandson who is now 7 years old. I think he'll get a chuckle seeing his pic on the cover of this mag.

The silly season is well and truly here and I got my first (secret) Santa present yesterday. I received this lovely teatowel and a veggie peeler wrapped up in pretty paper and tied with a bow ! It will be very useful as some of my older teatowels have become a bit grotty and need replacing.

We had a lovely morning tea and of course everyone brought a 'plate' (with food on it of course) to share. If you're looking for an easy, no-cook, no fuss slice recipe, try this ..

Peppermint Crisp Slice

1 tin condensed milk
2 peppermintcrisp bars
1 x 250g Marie biscuits

Crush biscuits, add chopped bars and condensed milk. Mix well and press into a slice tin. Melt 125g cooking chocolate and 50g copha. Pour over slice.

I lined my tin with baking paper and it was very easy to lift out. By the way, I dare you to stop at one piece !!!

On the crochet scene, I've been hanging out for my order from Bendigo Woolen Mills to arrive. I have three balls of their "Luxury" machine washable wool on their way and I'm dying to get started on another baby blanket which I hope to have ready for our CWA craft competition in March. I'm going to use this pattern again. Its from Leisure Arts "Our Best Baby Afghans" and I used it for this gift for one of my DD's co-workers about a year ago.

Think I've rambled on enough for tonight so I think I'll go make a cup of coffee and have a piece of that Peppermint Crisp slice that keeps tempting me every time I open the fridge.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

There's a Bear in There

I pop in here every day to get to the link for Jessica Watson's blog as I'm following her progress around the world. Figured it was time I wrote a little so you don't think I've fallen off the perch ! By the way, if you're interested in reading Jessica's blog about her attempt to sail around the world solo, the link is just under the blog archives on the right hand side of my page. Its a very interesting read and I wish her every success. I'm sure she'll make it ok. What an amazing 16 year old.

Anyway, I haven't any crafty stuff to show you at the moment. I've only made a dishcloth to go with my secret santa gift at a Christmas party I'm attending in a few weeks. Its very Christmassy looking in white, green and red. So as not to have a post without a picture, I'd like to introduce you to my little friends who sit by my computer.

How cute are they ? The roses are still blooming and our Leonardo da Vinci had so many flowers on it, the bush was leaning almost to the ground. I think I'm going to have to get a stake to keep it upright. Here's a few I picked yesterday.

Because you've twisted my arm, I'll finish this post with a Nanna brag. Here's the boy and his dog(s).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

There's no Snooze Button on my Cat !!

Feeling sorry for the poor little thing, I let her sleep with me last night because my dd and sil have gone away for the weekend and she normally sleeps with them. Big mistake !!!! After fussing around for ages, she eventually settled next to my head on the pillow - this was well after midnight. Then, at the crack of dawn, the meowing and nudging started until I eventually gave in and provided the pats she so desperately needed. Then the dog alarm went off at precisely 6.30am which is her usual feeding time. (My dd is up at that time getting ready for work.) And all this is happening to me on a Sunday - the day of so called REST !! So, after feeding the dog, having my breakfast (well, I figured I might as well have it seeing as though I was up) .. then locking the cat out of my room, I went back to bed, only to be woken by a phone call from my next door neighbour wanting to know if I had electricity as they didn't ! What is it they say ... no rest for the wicked ?

Isn't it lovely now that the warmer weather is here? My flowers are starting to come out and are looking good. One of my rose bushes has five beautiful blooms on it at the moment with lots more buds ready to come out. Here's a couple of pics of my roses.

This next pic is of a tree in my backyard. I have no idea what it is but it blooms like this every spring.

The wall of my front courtyard is covered with these pretty little flowers which I think are called Banksia Roses. I'm not a gardener so not sure of the names.

Finally, here's a flower from a bush which thrives in a very shady spot around the 'other' side of my house.

Haven't been doing too much knitting or crochet of late but am now starting to make a few things for our CWA fete which is in November. Here's a hat and a few dishcloths I made last week.

Actually the dishcloths are so soft they could be used for facecloths. I might package them up with a bar of soap and tie them up with a pretty ribbons. We have lots of offices nearby and the girls are always checking out our fete for secret santa gifts.

Only 55 days to Christmas! Haven't been to the mall lately but I bet the decorations are out already.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Listen to The King

Haven't had much spare time to blog in the past weeks as I've been doing the end of year financial stuff for our CWA branch. However, a friend of mine found this on YouTube and I want to share it here ........
What a great way to relax on a wet Sunday afternoon !!! Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sydney Soiree

It hardly seems that a week has gone by since I was at the CWA in Sydney learning how to make these lovely beaded tassels ...

I was very pleased with the result and the picture really doesn't do it justice. The most difficult part for me was threading the needle but then I always have trouble doing that anyway. The next day we learnt how to do spiral crochet. I chose three rather strong colours for the class and because a big piece might look a bit much in these colours, I think I'll finish it off soon and use it for a placemat. A row of crab stitch around the edge will finish it off nicely.

I am thinking of doing a spiral baby shawl using white with maybe pink and a variegated for the other colours.

Here's another version of spiral crochet - this one is done in all trebles ..

The two days were very enjoyable and its always nice to meet new friends. I returned home on Friday which was a big day in the NRL footy and special trains were running from Sydney Central to Olympic Park to transport the thousands of eager fans. Two of the country train platforms were being used and as you can see, CityRail certainly got into the spirit of things for this big event. There was certainly excitement in the air but not for me as I awaited the departure of my train and a long, four and a half hour trip home ..

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Google unfortunately

I've just read something funny on Kylie's blog "The Lazy Knitter" so thought it would be fun to try. You do a google search on "Unfortunately (your name)" eg. "unfortunately dorothy" .. Pick the ones you like. Here are some of mine.

Unfortunately Dorothy isn't very bright and she's a terrible bore, as I'm sure you'll realize when she calls on you. And such awful taste in hats!

Unfortunately Dorothy hasn't written very many novels, so I am left to reread the ones she has. But for those few I am extremely thankful

Unfortunately Dorothy seems to have stayed on the Yellow Brick Road like many other mobile browsers and does not support Flash at this time.

More importantly, her sister's enchanted slippers are now on Dorothy's feet and the Witch wants them back. Unfortunately, Dorothy can't take them off.

Unfortunately, Dorothy's health began to deteriorate about a year after this move. Even as her health declined, Dorothy continued to enjoy church suppers

Unfortunately, Dorothy's dog Pluto chews off Brian's fingers before they can do anything with him

Unfortunately Dorothy's bloodlust continues unabated, with many customers falling prey to her crafty work with power drills, pokers, and sharp kitchen objects

Unfortunately, Dorothy's sexual and emotional awakening proves to be something of a sleeping pill for the viewing audience.

Unfortunately, Dorothy was at an age that she did not work with stallions.

... because the breeze blew it between the seats, but unfortunately Dorothy did whilst rummaging for something or other and all hell broke loose. ...

Unfortunately, Dorothy isn't cured and begins luring victims to the farmhouse through her tarot card readings.

Try your name and let me know how you go.

Can't finish a post without an "awwww" for the day

Thursday, September 17, 2009

He's the Voice

Jack’s back but he sure isn’t whispering !!! If you get the opportunity to see John Farnham’s latest show “Live by Demand”, go for it.

My friend and I experienced this amazing event on Tuesday night at the Lyric Theatre, Star City in Sydney. The place literally rocked and this 60 year old man had the entire audience in the palm of his hand throughout the whole performance. In addition to the string of great songs, the staging was amazing. It was totally AWESOME.

I have to tell you about the lobby of the hotel where we stayed. A big section of the floor is glass and under it lots of goldfish lazily swim around in their huge home.

Its a weird feeling walking on the glass and having the fish underneath.

After studying all the brochures we picked up in the lobby,

it was off to one of the hotel's restaurants for a light snack. Can you imagine our surprise when all this arrived ..

and it was only three hours to dinner at the Casino !! Oh my ..

Yesterday we had all day to spend in Sydney before catching the 6.15pm train back to Canberra. It was a lovely day in spite of the very overcast weather. The whole place had a grey tinge but I still manged to have a bit of fun with my camera. Here’s a few pics so you hopefully can enjoy the day with us ........

After spending an hour or so at the shopping centre above Paddy's Markets we decided Darling Harbour would be a better option, so off to the Monorail for a quick lap of the city ..

Following our very quick stroll through the shops we decided to take a ferry to Circular Quay. There were quite a few jettys and, obviously looking like lost 'tourists', we were wandering around trying to figure out where we should wait for the ferry. The driver of this people mover was kind enough to point us in the right direction.

I can remember as a child, riding across the beautiful harbour in this ferry on the way to Manly. It was considered a rather majestic ferry in its day but is now permanently moored at Darling Harbour having been converted into a restaurant. She's looking a bit old but not too bad.

I think this lighthouse and ship must be something to do with the Maritime Museum which we passed on the way to the ferry wharf.

Eventually we found our way to the ferry and just in time

No need to explain this next pic. Probably two of Sydney's most famous landmarks -

And after a wander around Circular Quay we stopped off to socialise with some seagulls. This little guy tried very hard to steal a Big Mac right out of the hands of a man - just missed by a whisker - or would that be a feather ?

Without further comment I'll leave you with a few more pics of this beautiful city.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Don't worry, be happy ......

I often say to people "don't worry about things you cannot control, or things that may never happen". Well, I should take my own advice! I finished that baby's jacket I was stressing about regarding running out of the yarn and the 2 x 50g balls of Baby Lustre 8ply were plenty. Here's the completed jacket ....

I would have liked to stitch a little pink rosebud on each side of the yoke but didn't have any so this will have to do for now. If I manage to find any I'll add them.

This jacket was a pleasure to make - such a quick and easy pattern from JustCrochet in the UK. I think I might try another one in a different yarn and colour.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Why was email invented ?

Its only 113 days till Christmas so here's something for all you animal lovers ...

Keep those cards and letters coming !!

I now have everything organised for my trip to Sydney in three weeks time. Tickets booked, accommodation booked and classes booked !! CWA are holding classes on spiral crochet and read tassel making and I'm particularly interested in the spiral crochet. Here's what it looks like, with the tassels we're going to be doing in the foreground.

In the meantime, I'm hoping to finish a baby's jacket I started a few days ago. I thought I had enough wool(2 x 50g balls) but am now starting to get a bit worried. Started the second ball today and I still have 6 rows of the skirt part plus both sleeves to make. Oh well, fingers crossed !!!!! Here's how its coming along

The picture is a little dark - sorry 'bout that !

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Memory Lingers On

I was reprimanded by my daughter the other day for not having any of her wedding photos on my blog. So, here are just a few of my favourites.

The ceremony was held at St Johns church, Reid ACT on 5 July 2008.

This photo was taken in the middle of Anzac Avenue, Canberra with the Australian War Memorial in the background.

Sunset on Lake Burley Griffin then off to the National Press Club at Barton for the reception.

Did you notice the wrap my daughter was wearing for that last photo? I had three weeks to knit two - one for the bride and one for her bridesmaid (my other daughter). Each wrap was 15 inches wide and 65 inches long. It was a rush but I guess it took my mind off worrying about other things !

I've decided to take a break from knitting for awhile and go back to my favourite craft - crochet. Here's a little cardigan I started last Friday and had it finished by Saturday night. Almost instant gratification - that's the good thing about crochet vs knitting.

I got the pattern for this cardi from JustCrochet in the UK. I must say this lady's patterns are such a delight to use - well written and easy to follow. She has some lovely patterns from Premmie to 12 month sizes plus some beautiful blankets and shawls. Well worth a look if you like to crochet for babies.

If anyone reading this has a spare ball of Panda Baby Lustre 8ply (Col. 52B, Lot 742729) lying around that you don't need, can you please contact me. I'm halfway through a jacket and realise I'm going to need another ball of yarn. I'd be very grateful for your help.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Liberace Eat your Heart Out .. Here comes Nora

Finding this video enticed me out of 'lurkdom' and back to the blog !! Nora is a four year old cat that was rescued from a shelter by her owner Betsy Alexander who just happens to be a music teacher. If all this sounds a bit far fetched, take a look at this video to see Nora having her lesson. Don'tcha just love it ? By the way, Betsy and her husband own four other cats, none of which show any inclination to learn the piano.

Can't publish a post without a pic or two so here's a bag I made at the Rosehill Stitches & Craft Show last week.

Its just a simple tote but is reversible, washable and folds up easily to fit into a handbag.

PS ... Watch out for Nora's new CD single. One side "Three Blind Mice" the other "The Sound of Mewsic". And finally ...........

Cat Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray this cushy life to keep.
I pray for toys that look like mice,
And sofa cushions, soft and nice.
I pray for gourmet kitty snacks,
And someone nice to scratch my back,
For windowsills all warm and bright,
For shadows to explore at night.
I pray I'll always stay real cool
And keep the secret feline rule
To NEVER tell a human that
The world is really ruled by CATS!

~ Author Unknown