Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rain, wattle blossom and sweater clips....

Typical Melbourne winter day.

Rainy day, Melbourne, july 2009
Rainy day, Melbourne, july 2009
Although, after the horrific summer we just survived, it's not like I'd complain about the rain. And, in any case, when it's not raining there is always the wattle blossom to admire.
Cootamundra Wattel (acacia baileyana)
Cootamundra Wattel (acacia baileyana)
Cootamundra Wattel (acacia baileyana)

It's lovely, isn't it? Like frothy sunshine. That particular wattle is called Coottamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana). Believe it or not, in this part of the country it's considered an environmental weed because it seeds so easily. Still pretty though.

Anyhoo....I got a gorgeous little parcel in the mail today- my latest ebay acquisition. I haven't posted about jewelry for ages, so I thought I'd showcase my little collection of sweater clips.
Sweater clips were a 1950's thing- 2 clips joined by a chain were used to keep a cardigan carelessly, yet stylishly, flung over ones shoulders without slipping off. I remember my mother wearing them, althou sadly, I never inherited any of hers. They can be as plain or as gaudy as it pleased the wearer, and I rather like them.

Sweater clips- classy
Sweater clips- classy
Sweater clips- classy

Sweater clips- Daisies
Sweater clips- Daisies
Sweater clip- Daisies

Fluffy (these are the ones I got today- they were advertised as being made with tufts of mink, but I have no way of knowing if thats true.)
DSweater clips- minkySCF1048(1)
Sweater clips- minky
Sweater clips- minky

Happy Wednesday!!

ps- predictable the stranded work socks did not go well, although it was more about my yarn choice than anything else. I think I may have my knitting/crocheting mojo back, so new projects soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I have a terrible cold.......

....and I'm being a complete baby about it. But really, it's a nasty one. Going through tissues at an alarming rate, sneezing attacks, can't taste anything (except chocolate or chilli- hey, at least thats one positive), and am subject to sudden nap attacks every hour or so. I feel like 8 different types of revolting, and feeling very sorry for myself indeed.

So, you'd think I would be getting a fair amount of knitting done, right? Well, sort of. After the unexpected triumph that was my Aestlight Shawl (Rav link) I decided to give my rather neglected Kingscot Cardigan some love. Sadly my ability to concentrate for more than 10 seconds has been compromised quite considerably. Usually I start at the beginning of a pattern and just work my way through as written. This time.....

Kingscot Cardigan
I got half way up the back and decided that I didn't like the way I did the decreases after the ribbing. Messy. But I lack the constitutional fortitude to rip back and re- do right now. So I slung it on some scrap yarn to be dealt with later. Then I did the ribbing for both the fronts. Cos, hey, its just ribbing, right? Then I thought, well maybe I'll just give one of the fronts a red hot go, and 3 days later I am up to the armhole. Now I'm thinking about doing the other side up to the same point, but seeing as I'm only managing a row or two at a time before I need a nap....I give up. To my Kingscot Cardigan I say- I'll deal with you later!

So instead, I've been working on my Ten Stitch Blanket. Easy, mindless, soothing, and its now big enough that it keeps me warm while I'm doing it. Bonus!
Ten Stitch Blanket
This morning, however, as I was snuffling my way through today's first box of tissues, I came across this lovely pattern. And I'm thinking, this might be an excellent pattern to indulge my love of red and light blue together.
The red and white would be the main colours, with a stripe of pale blue up near the cuff.
Alternatively, I could go with this combo...
.....but on second thought I might burn someone's retinas.
I must be insane- I can barely remember where the bathroom is and I'm contemplating stranded work socks.

This wont end well.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Things that are making me displeased.

  1. I have a stomachache. I don't know why. Really, no idea. Unless my slatternly housekeeping ways have finally come back to bite me.
  2. I've made a decision about my son's education that his school is not going to be very pleased about. I've talked it over with quite a few people who are giving me very positive feedback, but the time has come to inform the people who will be slightly horrified. I am not looking forward to this.
  3. I keep forgetting that some people are just downright crooks. I'm not so naive that there are any recepts for Nigerian bridges on my credit card, but when people are charming, friendly and agree to do what I ask them, I usually believe them. This is becoming a serious character flaw. I need to toughen up a bit, but I really resent the necessity to do so.
  4. Friends are falling like flies from various accidents and injuries. I feel helpless when all I can do is hold their hands and make sympathetic noises.
  5. Mainstream media treats the public like idiots. I really, really resent this. Not just on my behalf, but on everyone else's, too.
  6. I hate doing laundry, and I am really behind. Every time I turn a corner in my house I trip over a pile of dirty clothes. You'd think this would spur me on to get it done, but noooooo...

Things that please me.

  1. My son is delighted about the decisions I have made about his education. He thinks I've given in, but what he doesn't seem to realize is that I believe in his instincts. Teenagers are not always wrong when they want something. I think he deserves a chance to make his own life decisions. I love my son to the moon and back and I want him to be happy.
  2. I made a new pair of fingerless mitts. I love fingerless mitts, but especially when they are made of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino . I get a little frisson of pleasure every time I pull them on.
Friendship fingerless mitts
Friendship fingerless mitts
They are a lovely simple little pattern, and they are sinfully soft and lush.
3. My latest ebay purchase.
Faux ivory brooch
Today I'm wearing it with navy blue.
Faux ivory brooch
4. Today could be the day that my parcel from Canada arrives. I've been saying that for weeks now, but statistically, it must be getting truer by the minute. Beautiful handyed sockyarn from my dear friend Jodi, and the new issue of Interweave Crochet. Sigh. Can't wait. My nose is pressed to the window in anticipation.
5. In honour of Mother's Day over the weekend I took myself yarn shopping. Oh yes. Photos another time, but suffice for now to say that I staggered in my front door laden with purchases. Then I sat and played with it whilst eating Roses chocolates. Bliss! Happy Mother's Day to me!!!

So, ok, these lists were a good idea. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, but really, there are some lovely things in my life at the moment. It's not all bad. Think I'll go knit a bit now and think about counting my blessings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Autumn In Melbourne.

I went for a walk this morning and remembered to take my camera. Autumn in Melbourne is lovely- a slight chill, but often sunny (although it was actually quite dark and gloomy this morning). I got some rather strange looks from people as I walked round and round trees trying to get good shots. At least, I think it was because I was taking photos. It may have been the luminous orange and pink bag that I have become so fond of.
Anyways, this is what I saw......

Snow Gum

And some foliage just starting to turn.

Turning leaves (3)
Tuning leaves (2)
Turning Leaves

A warning about the dangers of surburbia...
Beware Of The Magpies!
Some natives plants in flower..
Flowering Gum
Pincushion Hakea
My favourite native plant, the Pincushion Hakea (Hakea laurina).

So then, because I was digging this photography lark so much, I had a little stroll around my garden. Not that much happening, but a few little treasures.
The salvia is starting to come back after being all crispy and sad looking for months.

The ubiquitous daisy.
The Ubiquitous Daisy

A really pretty Ivy Geranium.
Ivy Geranium

The ever faithful red geranium that sits by my front door.
Red Geranium

And Chrysanthemums!! Just in time for Mother's Day!!!!!


Flower Brooch

More later. Just thought you'd like something pretty to look at.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Loose Ends.

I've been all gung-ho about finishing up some long neglected wips. Specifically, the type of finishing up that includes getting out my sewing machine. I can sew quite competantly, I just don't love it, so it doesn't happen all that often. But when it does, I try and do as clean a sweep as I can.

Exhibit A

Mandarin Shoulder Bag
(Rav link)

I made this little shoulder bag ages ago, but it really needed lining before I could use it. Couldn't find a colour I like for ages, and then I was cleaning out my closet the other day and looky looky- an old tshirt that was stained past all reason on the front (spaghetti sauce I think). The perfect colour! Just looking at mandarin orange and fuschia together makes me cheerful.

Exhibit B
Spring Haekelbeutel
(Rav link)

I had made the body of the bag ages ago, just needed to sew it up and put in some lining. Starting to see a pattern emerge here? The lining looks fabulous I think, and for the first time I am glad of my slightly crappy photo skillz because you can't see the dodgy handsewing on the inside. Done and dusted.

Exhibit C
(Rav link)

I had entirely made this ages ago and had it hanging on the doorknob in the study. Excellent for hiding chocolate stashes in. But it also needed lining. Sigh. I didn't enjoy it, but its done and I got to use an old pair of brown linen pants that was languishing in the rag bag.

So I'm feeling a bit accomplished, really. Sure, the lounge room looks like a bomb hit it, and I've got bits of cotton everywhere, but whatever. I may reward myself with Tim Tams shortly.

How about a little bling to finish?
Citrine Briolette Pendant
It's a citrine briolette pendant. It's not vintage, but it is close to the same colour as my eyes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Best Laid Plans.....

Today the kid had an appointment at the Childrens Hospital. Nothing special- just his yearly neuropsych assessment. No invasive surgery, no vile medications, no prodding or poking- just a nice lady in a warm office asking him questions. We've been here before. It's not a big deal. Time consuming but not painful, is what I'm saying.

The downside is that we had to be up by 7am, and showered, dressed and out of the door by 8am, because its a long drive and an early appointment. So I get myself showered and partially dressed, drag an unwilling teenager out of bed and into the shower, and just as I'm standing in front of the closet trying to decide what to wear, my mobile goes. It's the lady from the hospital saying she has to cancel because she just got back from England yesterday and she's not feeling very well and she needs to go get tested for SWINE FLU!!!!

Even the Kid, who is not at an age where graciousness comes naturally, especially at 7.30am, admitted that this was an excellent excuse.

So, a day has appeared that was otherwise going to be filled with hanging around a children's hospital eating pastries and drinking coffee and wishing I was elsewhere. Hey- now I get to be elsewhere! It feels like a little holiday! I know, I know, my life is just one chaotic, exciting whirl (NOT).

So seeing as the Kid has now gone back to bed and wont be wanting the computer for a while, I thought put up a couple of photos of the use I put the chocolate brown yarn to (idea via auntpatt).
Fan Edged Armwarmers
Fan Edged Armwarmers

I like 'em!
I got the pattern here, and I admit, I have tried them before and failed miserably.
BHSYRB mitts (big hook, squooshy yarn, retro button)
They got ripped and remade into something else. The difference this time was that
a) I used a single crochet foundation stitch rather than a chain to start them off- so much better. The interwebs is crawling with explanation, tutorials and videos of this technique. It is stretchy and neat and looks so much better. It may seem a little tricksy at first, but I urge you to persist. It's really worth it. (BTW, there was no good reason I didn't use this technique the first time I tried these mitts. Momentary madness probably)
b) Rather than a worsted weight yarn, I used a dk (8ply) weight.
c) Rather than a H hook (5mm) I used a G (4mm) hook.
Much better!

I might make the matching hat, now. Will post pics if its not too ugly.

ps- How scary is this swine flu thing? It hasn't got to Australia yet, as far as we know, but I'm getting a little nervous, especially as I am the proud owner of a child with a truckload of medical issues. Here's hoping it comes under some sort of control soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Woo hoo! Roll on winter!

After what can be officially called 'The Summer Straight From Hell', the weather has finally lurched into winteriness. We are still in Autumn here in the southern hemisphere, but there is a crap load of snow at the resorts, and it didn't get above 14 deg C here yesterday. And seeing as I have an ear infection which is making me miserable I took the opportunity to curl up on the couch and knit away the weekend.

I did my typical 'yarn dance'.
I have about 1300 yards (1200m) of both a lipstick red wool blend, and a chocolate brown acrylic (which is lovely to use, not sticky, but a bit splitty)- both of which have been ceaselessly nagging me to turn into something pretty. I really wanted to make this lovely top, and in my mind I thought the brown would be good for that. So I swatched. All good. Started the back, got about an inch in, hated it, frogged it. Forgot all about pretty top.

Spoke severely to chocolate yarn. Decided that owing to it's acrylic lightness (weight-wise) something crocheted might be good. Got excited about this little darling (sorry, couldn't find a non-rav link without significantly more coffee than I have in me), and even more so when I realized I could call it the Chocolate Cupcake. How could I not make it!!!! Swatched. Gauge close enough. Happily hooked along , finished decreasing to the waist. Had to get up to make a cup of tea, and thought 'what the hell, I'll just measure it against a t-shirt that fits well'. Disaster. Apparently the Gauge Fairies had decided to have a party and were currently pissing themselves laughing at how they had fooled me. Too damn small. Curse you, Gauge Fairies. Frogged in disgust.

Having no more inclination to look at the chocolate brown yarn (and, indeed, resisting the temptation to set it alight) my attention was drawn to the lipstick red woolblend. Hmmmm. Maybe it would look good as the original Scarlet Woman Sleeveless Tank. I mean, it's the same colour as the pattern picture. Why not?

Swatched. All good. Started pattern. Nice twisted rib stitch, very soothing. Got past the first ball of yarn, still loved it . I think...maybe...just maybe...success!!!!!

So this is what I'm currently making.
In exactly the same colour.
You'd think it would have been an obvious choice from the beginning, wouldn't you?

ps- the chocolate brown yarn was consigned to the back of the cupboard in disgrace, but about half an hour ago a pm from a lovely Raveller (hi auntpatt!) gave me an idea about what to do with it. Pics tomorrow if it works.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Distracted By Shiny.

Fruit necklace-1950's

I think of all the types of jewels I collect, the fruit necklaces and earrings are my faves. They are just so fun and lighthearted. This is my newest one. I love the red and white beads on it.
Want to see the rest of my collection? Sure you do.
Fruit necklaces.

Fruit earrings

The earrings have been altered for pierced ears- they would have been ,originally, clip ons. Fruit jewelry was popular in the 40's and 50's. A lot of it is Italian. The best pieces are glass and celluloid, but I'm happy to have the plastic stuff as well. I'm an equal opportunity hoarder.

And finally, the piece I would sell my cat for.