Sunday, December 30, 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas

and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse !!  BUT outside was a very different story.  We had the most dreadful storm with torrential rain and extremely strong winds.  A tree in my neighbour's front yard split in half right down the middle of the trunk - don't know if it was the wind or whether it was lightning.
It barely missed the caravan - that's it with the silver cover over it. This next pic shows the other half of the tree where it split. The branches and leaves fell onto bushes in my front yard.
My dilemma is that the tenants are away and I have no idea how to contact the owner of the house (don't even know the name). I'm hoping someone will appear soon or at least before we have another storm like that one. My house is the one on the right and that's my bedroom which is quite close to the remainder of that tree.

Not much crochet or knitting has been done this past week. I've continued to work on my crochet baby's blanket and finished this little knitted premmie hat today.
This (along with a few more) will be going to "Little Angel Memory Boxes" (LAMB) which is an Australian charity that donates Memory Boxes and Memory Bags to hospitals for families who suffer the heartbreak of losing a baby or child.  They have a facebook group - Crafty Little Lambs - if you'd like more information.

With just over 24 hours left for this year, I'd like to wish you all a very happy new year. I hope 2013 brings you good health, much happiness and of course plenty of time to do whatever you enjoy most.  I think its going to be a good year for my family - just had a phone call from my daughter Karen who is currently holidaying at Bermagui.  He popped the question, she said yes, and they are ectatically happy.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

With just a little over an hour left before the big day, I thought I'd pop in and wish everyone a wonderful Christmas.  Tonight we had our usual family Christmas Eve dinner on the raclette which is always relaxed and enjoyable.

We originally planned to have our meal outside under the pergola at the back but late this afternoon we had a huge storm and some very heavy rain so we decided that the dining room seemed a better option. I just heard on the news that a fallen tree has severely damaged a home in a few suburbs away from me and four homes in another suburb had to be evacuated because of a gas leak.  When the rain stopped and as the sun was setting, the gum trees at the front of my house looked as if they were on fire.  This picture was taken through the dining room window.

I cooked our turkey this morning so its just the veggies to be done tomorrow after all the excitement of gift giving/receiving is over. We'll be having ham, turkey, roast potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, onion, peas and beans, followed by plum pudding and custard.  Very traditional - that's us !! Hot Christmas dinner with the whole family - I love it !!

Merry Christmas 

Friday, December 21, 2012

How cute is this ?

Look what the postie brought yesterday ..

This was tucked inside a Christmas card from one of my Knit4Charities friends. I love it - thanks L & A.  The teapot and cup are made of felt (glued together around edge of cup), the piece of holly is stitched on and of course you can see the teabag is tucked into the cup.

In case I don't post again before Tuesday, I'd like to wish all my friends a very happy Christmas and a wonderful 2013.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thought for the Day

*** Stay Calm ***

*** Keep Shopping ***


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cleaning Up

Just relaxing a bit this weekend after a very hectic Friday. We had our usual craft morning at CWA, followed by the break-up Christmas Party in the afternoon. Home for a quick freshen up then out to dinner with the family to celebrate my youngest daughter's birthday at a lovely Thai restaurant overlooking Lake Ginninderra. One of her work colleagues had given her this beautiful arrangement - aren't they lovely.

Anyway, I did manage to get one row of knitting done this afternoon. In my clean-up I came across a UFO that I must have started quite some years ago. Its a baby's hug-me-tight which is done in white baby yarn with soft baby coloured dots every now and then in the yarn.  I'll show a pic when (if) it gets finished.  In the meantime, so I won't lose the very old pattern which is on a scrappy piece of paper, I thought I'd post it here.


2 balls of baby wool (mine looks like an Aussie 4ply). Sizes 10 and 12 knitting needles. Crochet hook, 1 metre ribbon.
Measurement from cuff to cuff - 20 inches.

Using size 12 needles, cast on 40 stitches.
1st row - K2, then P1,K1 to end of row. Repeat this row until work measures 4".
Next row - Increase once in each stitch. Using size 10 needles, work 16" in garter stitch (all rows plain). 
Next row - Using size 12 needles, knit 2 together all along row.
Repeat 1st row until work measures 4". Cast off.

To make up. Using a flat seam, sew up cuffs and side seams for 2". Fold cuff ribbing in half. At centre of one side fold over an edge for 2" to form a collar. Sew ribbon to front of collar. An edge can be crocheted around garment to finish.
* * * * *

On the same piece of scrappy old paper, here's another idea for anyone into recycling.  This could be used (filled with sand) for a door stop, or as I'm imagining it, if you used a smaller bottle, as a vase.

A Door Stop (or vase) - with a leather look
Materials. A bottle with a pleasing shape. Masking tape. Shoe polish (oxblood or mahogany give a good colour). Polishing rags. Sand or gravel.

Method. Tear off lots of small pieces of masking tape. Cover bottle with these, overlapping them to make sure none of the glass shows. Rub in a thin coat of polish. Buff up well. Repeat with 2 or 3 more coats of polish to get a good effect.
Fill bottle with dry sand or gravel and seal bottle carefully with a plug of paper. Cover plug with masking tape and polish this to match the rest of the work. Use to prop open your door.  (NB: obviously if you plan to use this as a vase, don't do the last bit!!)
* * * * *
Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Curious Cowl - still a mystery

Well, the stitch is still a mystery but the cowl turned out quite nice. I've made two as has Bev from One Yarn After Another but nobody seems to be able to identify the stitch.  Its not quite reversible but both sides look ok as you can see.

I've had some Patons Jet in variegated autumn tones in my stash forever, so I decided to whip up another cowl to see how it works with the variegated. Not too bad eh?

If you can identify this stitch - (the link to the video is in my last post) I'd be keen to hear from you.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh dear, what can the matter be ?

For some strange reason I've been lost for words lately, hence my excuse for not posting for so long.  Of course I've been keeping up with all my bloggy friends and enjoy reading about what everyone has been up to.

I do have one FO to show you - this little baby's dress which is for charity. It was a very enjoyable project and I'll be making this one again ..

The pattern included some leggins too - might make them one day.

Last night I stumbled on a video on YouTube for a scarf in a stitch I don't think I've seen before - maybe someone can let me know what the stitch is called. You can see the video here. I had some Lion Brand Wool-Ease in my stash so I used it to start one of these cowls - its very soft, very stretchy and looks good so far. I should have a picture for you soon.

When I had lunch with my friend L last week we got talking about op-shop shopping which we both enjoy.  I promised to show her a pic of a sweet little jug I picked up for a few dollars at Vinnies - it stands about 4-5 inches high and looks pretty with a few flowers in it.  Unfortunately I didn't have anything in the garden the day I took this photo.

Another goodie I was lucky enough to get from freecycle is this little chair (child's size) ..

I intend to make a small cushion and throw for it and I think it will be perfect for my Berenguer Reborn doll Charlotte.   You've met Charlotte before - here she is wearing a hat I made for her a few years ago.

Before I finish, I'd like to congratulate Bev from One Yarn After Another on having her Tunisian Mitered Square baby blanket pattern published in the February 2013 issue of Crochet World. I received my digital copy today and have already added this blanket to my 'to do' list. Its a beauty Bev.

Thanks for visiting and if you can enlighten me as to what that stitch is called I'd be grateful.  Mind you, I could be having a 'senior moment' here but I really don't think I've seen it before.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Back after busy month

Can't believe its almost a month since I wrote a blog post. I've had a very busy three weeks away at Forster/Tuncurry on the NSW north coast attending to some important family business however I did manage to get away for a couple of days to drive up to Port Macquarie and meet up with a dear 'crafty' friend, K who brought a blanket she'd just finished to show me - isn't it gorgeous ....

I love the braided edging - apparently it took forever to do but its so effective.

While away I didn't do much crochet or knitting but I do have a finished baby blanket to show you.

I bought the pattern from JustCrochet and decided to use the specified yarn which was King Cole Superball 200. The yarn is self-striping and it took just over 200g for the blanket.

It seemed sensible to buy a few more balls while I was at it because the seller offered flat rate shipping so I am now working on another blanket in shades of blue with white, using another one of JustCrochet patterns.

Earlier this week I spend three days in Sydney attending a computer conference which was amazing !!  So much interesting information from excellent speakers. I was lucky enough to win a flip video camera in one of the lucky door prize draws and here's my first attempt.  Madison is totally bored with the whole process and perhaps a little camera shy !!!  Not sure how this will show up when I hit 'publish' as it looks a bit strange here. The original file was 26MB and I got it down to 5MB by resizing in Windows Live Film Maker.  Might have to play around with some other software if this looks yukky.

Whilst away I've kept up with everyone's posts on my blogroll and have enjoyed hearing about your crochet, your travels, your families etc. etc.  Isn't it marvellous how computers have changed the way we live these days?  I've made some wonderful 'cyber' friends since starting this blog a few years ago and I just want you to know how special you are to me and how much I value your friendship. Now that my routine is back to normal, I'll try not to leave it too long between posts.  Thanks for visiting.   xoxox

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Free Pattern - "I Feel Pretty" ladies hat

Since my last post I've been busy getting this pattern written and tested and now I'd like to share it with you.

"I Feel Pretty"

Size: Ladies
100g 8ply yarn
4.50mm hook
Aus/UK terminology

ch - chain
htr – half treble crochet
ss – slip stitch
beg – beginning
dc – double crochet
tr – treble crochet
sts - stitches

Beg ch 2 counts as first htr in every round.

Round 1 - Commencing with a magic loop, ch 2, 11 htr, join with ss to top of beg ch2 (12 htr)

Round 2 – (ch2, htr) in first htr, 2htr in next htr and in each stitch around, join with ss to top of beg ch 2 (24 htr)

Round 3 – (ch2, htr) in same place as ss, 1htr in next stitch, *2 htr in next stitch, 1htr in next stitch* repeat from * to* around, join with ss to top of beg ch 2 (36 htr)

Round 4 – ch2, htr in each stitch around, join with ss to top of beg ch2 (36 htr)

Round 5 – (ch2, htr) in same place as ss, htr in next 2 stitches, *2 htr in next stitch, 1 htr in next 2 stitches *  rep from * to * around, join with ss to top of beg ch2 (48 htr)

Round 6 – ch2, htr in each stitch around, join with ss top of beg ch2 (48 htr)

Round 7 – (ch2, htr) in same place as ss, htr in next 3 stitches, *2htr in next stitch, 1 htr in next 3 stitches* rep from * to * around, join with ss to top of beg ch2 (60 htr)

Round 8 – ch2, htr in each stitch around, join with ss to top of beg ch2 (60 sts)

Round 9 – (ch2, htr) in same place as ss, htr in next 4 stitches, *2htr in next stitch, 1 htr in next 4 stitches* rep from * to * around, join with ss to top of beg ch2 (72 htr)

Round 10 – ch1, dc in same stitch as join *tr in next stitch, dc in next st* rep from * to* to last stitch, tr in last stitch, join with ss to beg dc, ch1, turn

(NOTE: for remaining rounds you will be alternating dc in top of tr from previous row and tr in top of dc from previous row, always ending each round with a tr.)

Round 11  –*dc in next stitch, tr in next stitch* rep from * to * around [ending with a tr] join with ss to beg dc, ch1, turn

Repeat round 11 till hat measures 18cm (7”) from top of crown.

Next round (right side) – ch1, dc in same stitch and in each stitch around, join with ss to ch1, do not turn.

Repeat last round 2 more times.

Finish off.  Weave in ends.

Embellish as desired.

© Dorothy Silver (2012)

I'll be away for the next two weeks and will try to post to show you some of the beautiful places I'll be visiting but if you don't hear from me you'll know I'm having too good a time.  :) 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Hats and Butterfly

Firstly, I must apologise for being MIA for two weeks - guess life must have got in the way of my blogging !  I have enjoyed reading everyone else's posts though - its my morning ritual now - sit down with the morning coffee in one hand, iPad in the other and enjoy reading about your adventures in both craft and life.

My go to favourite when I'm not inspired to do anything else, is baby hats and I've made a few charity ones over the past week or so. I want to make a few more in other baby colours before sending them off. The original pattern uses American WW yarn and the size is for a 6-9 months baby however as usual, to work with our Aussie yarn, a few modifications had to be made.
These should fit a newborn and for my Aussie friends, I used 8ply (Big Baby 8ply or Magnum Soft 8ply) with a 4.50 hook. Added another round of the pattern before starting the sc border, then did an extra round after that to give it a kind of picot appearance (sc 1ch in each stitch around). You can find the original pattern here and you'll need to scroll down past the jacket pattern to find the one for the hat.

Another project I enjoyed was this puff stitch ladies hat which I will be donating to our CWA craft stall coming up in November. For the life of me I can't lay my hands on the pattern for this one but it has to be around here somewhere. Yes, there were modifications but if my memory serves me correctly, the pattern used sport (DK) yarn so the changes were minimal. I used Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply Classic and a 5.00mm hook.    

The only other little item I'd like to show you today is this cute little butterfly -
He (or she) will be winging its way to the Holocaust Museum in Houston, along with others being made by members of our Knit4Charities group. Although this is not a group project, one of our members is co-ordinating a contribution from us.  In an effort to memorialize the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered during the Holocaust by the Nazis, Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies for a special exhibit next year. I understand they are pretty close to the 1.5 million target but K thought it would be a nice idea for a few Aussie butterflies to be included.

On a final note, I was saddened to read that Alice is closing down her "Crochet with Raymond" blog. It was always bright and cheery, very inspiring and so colourful. It appears Raymond has left home and Alice and KB are devastated. The link to Alice's post explaining everything is here.  I'll sure miss Crochet with Raymond as I'm sure many others will too.

Hope you enjoy the coming week.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yarn Snobbery

I think I'm becoming a yarn snob !!  Whether that's a good or bad thing I don't know. Last week I made a toddler's vest and it was undoubtedly the worst thing I think I have ever made. Was it the yarn, was it the hook, or was it me ? I used a cheap acrylic yarn from the $2 shop and started off with my KnitPro crochet hook. After persevering with the back which was a nightmare as the yarn kept splitting, I decided, after about a quarter way up the front, to change to my Etimo hook and that seemed to make things a little better. Anyway, I'm now thinking that even for my charity projects, pure wool will be my preference in the future.  And no, I'm not going to show you the vest from hell.

I'm starting to think about items for a stall our CWA branch is having at the end of November - here are a couple of things I whipped up on the weekend ..

The smaller of those stockings will take a pack of lifesavers nicely but I think I'll fiddle around a bit and try to work out a size in between those two. We had a brainstorming session on Friday and these items were a few of the suggestions. I'd be interested to hear from any of my lovely 'bloggy' friends (yes, that's you) if you've discovered anything that sells really well on a craft stall.

Spring has sprung here (at long last) and we're having some lovely warm days. My plants are blooming profusely and look good.  Not being a 'gardener', I don't know a great deal about what's what in the plant world and tend to get Azaleas and Rhododendrons mixed up.  Here are a few pics of some of my plants - can you identify them for me please?

Finally, here's a little plant I bought last year - I think this one is an Azalea ..

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quick update

Its been a busy and exciting weekend for us.  My grandson's footy team played their Under 10s grand final yesterday at the Canberra Stadium. They were runner-up but it was a close game 18 to 16. My two daughters and I braved the 9am start but the weather was kind to us - no wind, nice and warm. (That's him ... No. 15)

Today was the club's presentation day which wound up the 2012 season. Had to pop in to show Nanna his goodies on the way home.

On the crochet front, I'm still working on the baby's blanket and hope to have it finished this week. Here's the progress pic I promised.

I like the way the yarn is doing all the work here and even though it acrylic, its very nice to work with.  I also started on the little vest I mentioned in my last post - also acrylic but its the acrylic from hell with knots and fuzzy bits !!

Hope you all have a lovely week and happy crocheting (or whatever)

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Crochet Book

If there's one thing that our local public library does extremely well is to get some excellent crochet and knitting books. I don't know the procedure for procurement but it may help that the librarian at the branch I borrow from is a knitting enthusiast. In any case, this book just begged me to take it off the shelf and I'm so glad I did ..
Its another great book by Nicki Trench, published 2012, and contains 35 patterns for 0-3 year olds covering abilities from beginner to enthusiast.  I must confess that sometimes I copy patterns from books but there were just way too many I wanted from this book so I ordered my own copy from the Book Depository. I'm thinking this little vest would be cute over one of those grow suits (might be known as something else these days) .. and will be good for charity donations.
This is nice too ..
(Just had a preview and the scans of the book didn't turn out too well - will have to fiddle around with my new printer and see if I can adjust the settings).

I'm making reasonable progress on the baby blanket using that yarn I got from Ireland.  I love the way the stripes are working out and will take a photo of it for my next post.

Tomorrow I'll be spending all day at the Canberra Institute of Technology learning "everything I need to know about my iPad".  I've had mine for 2 months now and love it but I decided to do this course as there's probably much more it will do that I haven't worked out yet.  Unfortunately I'll be missing out on my grandson's birthday party but Monday is the big day when he actually turns 10 and I've been invited for dinner so we'll be able to celebrate then. Shame I won't be able to have a go on the jumping castle along with the 15 other kids!! :)  Gosh it only seems like yesterday that I was crocheting the little matinee jacket he wore to come home from hospital !!

Happy Birthday Ryan

Monday, September 3, 2012

KAL reveal and a UFO finished

What a beautiful day .... spring has arrived here in the national capital of Australia and the sun is shining (at last).  Its not all that warm in the house, even though the central heating is still running, but I just went outside and it is beautiful.

The KAL square for Meg has finished and here is the result - I think its very pretty and with all the other squares done in blue and white, they will make a beautiful blanket. If you'd like the pattern you can find it here.

Another finished project is this little bag that started as a mystery KAL (knit-a-long) at the Knit4Charities (K4C) conference in June 2011.  Here's the front ..
here's the back ...
and when you stand back, this is what you see ..

I'd never done illusion knitting before (sometimes called mosaic knitting) and must say its quite fascinating and fairly simple.

Having finished these projects has made me feel less guilty about what arrived on my doorstep this morning .......

Those are 200g balls of King Cole DK which I bought from a supplier in Ireland. They are destined to become baby blankets and I'm itching to get started. The balls on the right are for this.  I thought Heather's blanket was so pretty that I wanted to do one in the same colours.  Haven't decided what pattern I'll use for the blue and white yarn.

I'm off now to do some shopping at ToysRus ... my grandson is turning 10 next week and he wants one of those 'retro' skateboards (like mummy had) - also think I might get him an iTunes voucher so he can buy whatever he likes with it.

Speaking of shopping, went to the supermarket on the weekend - can you believe this?

 ALREADY ?????

Have a lovely week.

Friday, August 31, 2012

My first Mobius

Its finished ... ta dah !!!!  This was such a fun project and I'm certainly be going to make a few more. There was no pattern for this one - just a few rows of this and a few rows of that. Magnum 8ply Soft with a 4.50 hook.
It really fascinated me how you work out from the middle in a never-ending round.

I've just finished day 2 of the mystery KAL and here's what it looks like today ..

Don't think its a mystery any more, do you?  It is a very pretty pattern and I hope I'll be able to show you a picture of the blanket when everybody's squares are all stitched together. Tomorrow is the final day - I'll post a pic of my finished square.

Supermarket shopping has never been one of my favourite things and I've been putting it off for as long as I can. I'm starting to run out of essentials so I really must put down the knitting, get off the computer and go shopping. Yuk !

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Order and the Mystery

What do they say about the best laid plans?  I was set to get started on my baby blanket - had it all planned on paper as to how many of each colour etc. and was about to go into the stash to get the yarn when I had a phone call from my daughter saying that their office was very cold and could I make 2 pairs of fingerless gloves for her and her colleague and can they be ready to take to work tomorrow.  Well, what can a mother say but 'of course dear, what colours'?   Managed to get one pair done for her to take as requested but the other pair only got finished yesterday (just a day late).

You might recognise these - inspired by a pattern I found somewhere on the intetnet but heavily modified for our Australian wool and with a few design changes.  They're a big hit with the girls in my daughter's office.

The mystery KAL (knit-a-long) has started and I've just finished today's instructions which arrived by email this morning.

The KAL is being organised by Knit4Charities and is to run over three days. The squares (all either blue or white) will then be sent to one of our members who will make them into a blanket for a lady who, although not a member because she doesn't have a computer, is a very dear friend of the group and has supported many of our charities. She is facing a very difficult time at the moment.

I've always been fascinated by the Mobius scarf and especially so after receiving one in an Australiacrochet exchange a few weeks ago.  Because I'm easily distracted, I was playing around with some yarn last night and started a Mobius which is fun.  Now I have to finish it before getting back to that baby blanket. I wonder if other people are like me - see a nice pattern - have to try it, want some instant gratification - have to make something quick, and end up having lots of UFO's hibernating all over the place?

I'll pop back tomorrow and show you day 2 of the KAL but now for me, its back to the Mobius.