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.