Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever 2018


"Out on the wiley, windy moors
We'd roll and fall in green
You had a temper like my jealousy
Too hot, too greedy
How could you leave me
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you, I loved you, too..."
Kate Bush 1978     



There's a fabulous event that takes place around the world called The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever.

Each year on the 14th of July, Cathys all over the world gather together to dance to Kate Bush's 1978 song Wuthering Heights.This global event originated in 2013 by a group called Shambush in Brighton UK, as an attempt to have the most people dressed as Kate Bush in one place.

I had previously wanted to attend the Melbourne event but couldn't get anyone to join me. Then I saw on Facebook that many old friends and family attended and danced at the 1st Wuthering in my home city of Canberra in July 2017. I messaged my uncle Davids wife Libby who danced, declaring "Next year I'm coming up to Canberra to Wuther with you!"
Then sadly and very suddenly in August my Uncle David passed away. 
When I attended his funeral, one of the first things Libby and I agreed on was: "This is really shit." One of the things we later agreed on was that we would still Wuther together in Canberra at the next event in July 2018.

I ordered my costume from the lady who organises the Melbourne event. 
What do you need to Wuther?

A red dress (of course), red flowers for your neck AND hair. A black scarf for your waist, red stockings and black shoes. And if you're follicularly challenged or don't quite have Kates long, dark tresses then grab a wig. I decided to go a la naturel red. I'm one of those red heads that normally runs away screaming from red clothes, but this time I just thought I'd go with it!

I practised to the choreography videos created by Brooke the Canberra choreographer on Facebook in my loungeroom.

While Sonofagun No.2 made fun of me and tried to secretly film while I practiced in the loungeroom, I practiced the sultry shoulder move, the arm waving in the breeze (I've totally stuffed my rotator cuff), the zombie walk, the wuthering spin, the Heathcliff kick (after completing 250 of these, I need a hip replacement), and the soul hands flutter

 
music copyright: EMI

The Bear and kids came along and we had a lovely, but freezing weekend in the capital seeing the iconic Canberra sights.

First stop was the iconic Black Mountain Tower in the centre of the city. We arrived just on sunset. The Tower has an observation deck that you can walk all the way around. We couldn't see a good sunset as it was very cloudy to the west.
View from the Tower through the windows (thats why the image is a bit glarey) just before sunset.
View just after sunset.

The tower is lit up at night in different colours.

Then we drove into the CBD (called Civic) for dinner!

So it's winter here and Canberra is icy. Minus 5 at night but clear sunny days of 11 celcius.  Civic was set up for winter frolicking...
Ok. So although Canberra gets down to the minuses at night, it rarely snows. But they set up a skating rink in Garema Place anyway. Tonight it was Minus 4!
Sonofagun No.2 was thrilled to see giant penguins in Civic
Ironically we had delicious tacos and sangria at a bright summery themed restaurant called Beach Burrito!
Left to right: Crumbed fish taco, O.G. Chicken (whatever that is), and shredded beef. These were so unbelievably delicious and fresh, we ordered more. And the service was super fast!

On Friday we headed out to catch up with my best friend from high school Vanessa whom I haven't seen in 20 years at the nearby village of Bungendore. She was officiating at the Bungendore Dog Show.

Sonofagun No.2 decided to wear a cat onesie. A corgi growled at him, but these spaniels were merely curious.

That night I joined Libby for the final Wuthering Heights dress rehearsal. 

Saturday morning we woke to frost on the car and with the temperature hitting a balmy 1 degree, I donned my thin chiffon red dress, thick coat and we headed back into Civic Square.

Usually the wuthering takes place in a park or woodland, but this year marked the 200th birthday of Emily Bronte who wrote the novel Wuthering Heights, so the Civic Library requested that the event take place in front of the library. Money was also raised for the Domestic Violence Crisis Centre to aid people affected by domestic violence, because in case you haven't read the book Wuthering Heights (spoiler alert) Heathcliff was a bit of an asshole.


**FUN FACT: This year marks Emily Bronte's 200th birthday on the 30th of July. It is also the same day as Kate Bush's birthday! Kate will be 60. And my brother the Red Haired Raider will be 38 although that's only exciting for my family.**

First we warmed up to 'Rubberband Man' by Kate Bush with our squats, arm waves and right leg kicks. 



There were boy Cathys, girl Cathys, a little girl Cathy (who was absolutely adorable and danced wonderfully) and even some dog Cathys (who didn't really dance, but looked like they wish they could have and barked in appreciation of our efforts, then occasionally pee'd to mark their territory).

Brooke who organised the event and lead the rehearsals also had posted videos on the events Facebook page which were wonderfully easy to follow, so I felt super confident and not at all nervous!

We all did the sultry shoulder move, the arm waving in the breeze (a good dose of Voltaren meant I could no longer feel the pain in my rotator cuff), the zombie walk, the wuthering spin, the Heathcliff kick (Once the Voltaren wore off that night I totally knew I'd need a titanium hip like my Auntie Margaret), and the soul hands flutter
 
Bear filmed this little video on my phone. It's not front on but still not too bad. Would you like to watch us? An advance warning that you can hear lots of cameras clicking and puppies barking!



There were loads of other beautiful Cathys to dance with which made it much more fun.
All the Cathys post- Wuthering. My dress had gone all static-y and stuck to my stockings so they look like pantaloons. Btw, I'm the redhead on the right!
The Fatherdom and Mothership drove down from Mollymook to watch and my brother the Red Haired Raider brought along his beautiful little girls as well.


After the Wuther, we walked through the CBD to find coffees and to sit and catch up.
I love the statues throughout the CBD. 

The Canberra Times Fountain
The Other Side of Midnight by artist Anne Ross
 Later that afternoon, the Bear took the boys to the Dinosaur museum, whilst The Parental Units and I visited the National Portrait Gallery on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

I took loads of photo, but here are a few of my favourites.

Dr Brown and Green Old Time Waltz by Harold 'The Kangaroo' Thornton
The Hon. Mary Gaudron by Sally Robinson

Actress Deborah Mailman by Evert Ploeg

Notorious bushranger Ned Kellys death mask. He had a really small head.
I forgot to note who this family was and the artist, but let's call them "Ye Old Timey Family playing Whist and conversing on topics of both sense and sensibility"!
Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark. One of our local girls from Tassie! I loved the detail of Princess Mary wearing the insignia of the Knight of the Order of the Elephant.
 The next morning we set off for the 7 hour drive back to Melbourne. 

Even though it was really cold, the days were bright and sunny. Sonofagun No.2 wanted to spend more time with his little cousins and there were many more things to see. Hopefully we can spend a few days there in Summer...





The Two Ls: Louise & Libby! Red-dy (HA!) to Wuther on the wily, windy concrete...

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Kawaii Bunny & Pussy Cat Beanie


or as I like to call it...  
かわいいバニーと猫の猫の帽子

   These 2 super cute kawaii beanies are cosy and will stand out AND you can whip one up in a afternoon!




I was inspired to make the bunny beanie when my workplace held an Easter Hat parade. I just grabbed some yarn from the filing cabinet (because of course I have yarn everywhere!) and whipped up the Bunny Beanie!

When I decided to write up the pattern, my 9 year old also requested that I make a Pussy Cat beanie.

Make one! Make BOTH!  You never know if it’s a bunny day or pussy cat day!

You can follow this easy- peasy tutorial step by step and make your beanie. You can also purchase the printed PDF version for the super low price of US$1 (may include sales tax for your country) from my Etsy or Ravelry shops. The PDF also includes the templates for the felt embellishments.


Yarn & Notions
Your choice of colours in DK acrylic: 
For the bunny I used 100g ball of mint for the beanie.  
For the pussy cat I used 100g ball of teal. 
Black DK acrylic (30g)

Soft pink DK acrylic (40g)

6mm & 3.5mm crochet hooks

Felt pieces in bright colours

Gold thread

Pompom maker
Needle for sewing in ends and attaching felt pieces to beanie
Scissors


Abbreviations:
American crochet terms are used. 
Beg–   Beginning     
Ch-     Chain
Dc-     Double crochet   
MR-    Magic Ring     
SC– single crochet
Sk-      Skip                            
Sl st-   Slip stitch    
Sp- Space
 

Bunny Beanie
The Beanie Part (for 21-24” head)
The beanie is crocheted with a 6mm crochet hook and 2 strands of DK together. Use whatever colour you like. For my bunny beanie, I chose a light and fresh mint green. 


For different sized beanies:

The pattern below is for a normal adult sized head 54– 58cm circumference.  For smaller heads such as children only work Rounds 1-4, then skip round 5 and go straight to Round 6 and continue to crochet the non-increasing rounds until the beanie sits just above the eyebrows.
For people with lots of brains and therefore bigger heads, work 1-2 extra increase rounds before proceeding to round 6.

At the end of each round, do not turn. Simply ch3 and continue in the same direction.
Where the pattern says something like *(2dc, dc, dc), this means crochet 2dc in 1st st, then 1 dc in each of the next 2 stitches and repeat as per instructions.
R1:     Starting with MR, ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), then crochet 11 dc in the MR. Join with a sl st to top of beg ch3. [12 st]
R2:     Ch 3, dc in same beginning st, then 2dc in each st around to the end.  [24]
R3:     Ch 3, dc in same beginning st, dc in next st, *(2dc, dc). Repeat to the end of the round, then join with a sl st to top of beginning ch3. [36]
R4:     Ch 3, dc in same beginning st, dc in next st, *(2dc, dc, dc). Repeat to the end of the round, then join with a sl st to top of beginning ch3. [48]

R5:       Ch 3, dc in same beginning st, dc in next st, *(2dc, dc, dc, dc). Repeat to the end of
             the round, then join with a sl st to top of beginning ch3. [60]
R6- 13: Ch 3, dc in each st around to the end of the round. Join with a sl st to beginning
             ch3. [60]
R14:     Ch1, the reverse single crochet in each stitch around. Join with a sl st to beginning  ch 1. Finish off. [60]
            Sew in all ends.
Bunny Ears
Outer Ear (Make 2)
The yarn will be worked in the same colour as the main beanie, using a 6mm crochet hook & 2 strands together.
Row 1:  Ch 5, starting in 2nd ch from the hook, sc in next 4 st. Ch1, turn. [4]
R2:       Starting in the same st as beg Ch1: Sc in next 3 st, 2sc in last st. Ch 1, turn. [5]
R3:       Starting in the same st as beg Ch1: Sc in next 4 st, 2sc in last st. Ch 1, turn. [6]
R4:       Starting in the same st as beg Ch1: Sc in next 5 st, 2sc in last st. Ch 1, turn. [7]
R5:       Starting in the same st as beg Ch1: Sc in each st. Ch 1, turn. [7]
R6-10:  Repeat R5.
R11:     Sk 1st st, sc in next 5 st. Sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [5sc]
R12:     Sk 1st st, sc in next 4 st. Sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [4sc]
R13:     Sk 1st st, sc in next 3 st. Sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [3sc]
R14:     Sk 1st st, sc in next 2 st. Sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [2sc]
R15:     Sk 1st st, sc in next st. Sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [1sc]
R16:     Sk 1st st, sc in next st. FO. [1sc]
Rejoin yarn (still working with 2 strands) to the bottom right corner of the ear. Single crochet evenly around the ear, working 1sc per row up the 1st long side, then 3 sc in the top single crochet stitch on the pointy end of the ear, and then again in single crochets down the other side. Finish off. Do not crochet along the base. You will only crochet along the 2 long sides of the ear.
Sew in all ends.
Inner Ear (Make 2)
I chose light pink for the inner ear and once again using 2 strands together.
Repeat rows 1 – 16 of the outer ear pattern. Once you have completed these, finish off. Do not crochet in single crochet around the outside.
Sew in your ends!
Carefully stitch the inner ear to the outer ear. See photo for details.
Eyes (Make 2)
The eyes are crocheted using a 3.5mm crochet hook and a single strand of black dk yarn.
Round 1:  Work 6sc into a MR. [6]
R2:          2sc in each st around. [12]
R3:          *(2sc, sc). FO. [18]
Leave a long thread end which you will use to sew the eyes on to the beanie.
Tail
Using a pom pom maker of your choice, make a 5- 6cm wide pompom.
The Felt Bits.
Here’s the super fun part! Make some pretty butterflies, stars, flowers or hearts from pieces of felt to decorate your beanie.
I have included some templates for you to copy/ print and cut out or you can design your own! You can download the template here.
If they aren’t 100% symmetrical or perfect, I apologise as I drew mine by hand. However feel free to go nuts! Add buttons or sequins if you want!
Now let’s assemble the beanie!
First sew the ears on securely. You want them to sit up nicely when you wear your beanie. I positioned the ears by folding the hat flat, and pinning the ears at the fold and with the inside corner of each ear at the top of round 2 of the beanie. You may want to move the ears forward if you wear your hat perched a little further back on your head, so alternatively you could put your hat on and see where you’d prefer them to sit. See photo for further detail.
Using a single strand of soft pink dk yarn, I then embroidered the nose over the width of Round 12 of the beanie in a triangle shape using long stitches radiating in a kind of V shape.
Each eye in positioned over Rounds 11- 12, with a 3 stitch space between the eye and the nose.
The sweet felt butterflies/ flowers/ stars/ hearts are attached to the top right of the beanie just below the ear using gold thread. However feel free to place them wherever you like!
The pompom is securely attached low on the centre back of the beanie.
And Voila! You have your very own Bunny Beanie!!
Pussy Cat Beanie
For the beanie part:
Follow the same instructions as for the bunny beanie, using a 6mm crochet hook & 2 strands of dk acrylic yarn in your favourite colour. I have used teal.
Pussy Cat Ears
Outer Ear (Make 2)
The yarn will be worked in the same colour as the main beanie, using a 6mm crochet hook & 2 strands together.
Round 1:  Ch 8, then starting in 2nd ch from the hook, sc in next 7 stitches. Ch 1, turn. [7]
R2:          Sk 1st st, sc in next 5 st, sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [5sc]
R3:          Sk 1st sl st of previous row, sc in next 4 st, sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [4sc]
R4:          Sk 1st sl st of previous row, sc in next 3 st, sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [3sc]
R5:          Sk 1st sl st of previous row, sc in next 2 st, sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [2sc]

R6:          Sk 1st sl st of previous row, sc in next st, sl st in last st. Ch 1, turn. [1sc]
R7:          Sk 1st sl st of previous row, sc in next stitch. FO. [1sc]
Rejoin yarn (still working with 2 strands) to the bottom right corner of the ear. Single crochet evenly around the ear, working 1sc per row up the 1st long side, then 3 sc in the top single crochet stitch on the pointy end of the ear, and then again in single crochets down the other side. Finish off. Do not crochet along the base. You will only crochet along the 2 long sides of the ear.
Sew in all ends.
Inner Ear (Make 2)
I chose light pink for the inner ear and once again using 2 strands together.
Repeat rows 1 – 7 of the outer ear pattern. Once you have completed these, finish off. Do not crochet in single crochet around the outside.
Sew in your ends!
Carefully stitch the inner ear to the outer ear. See photo for details.
Eyes (Make 2)
The eyes are crocheted using a 3.5mm crochet hook and a single strand of black dk yarn.
Follow the pattern above for the Bunny beanie eyes.
The Felt Bits.
Here’s the super fun part! Make some pretty butterflies, stars, flowers or hearts from pieces of felt to decorate your beanie.
I have included some templates for you to copy/ print and cut out or you can design your own! 
You can download the template via this link or purchase this entire pattern as a printed PDF document which includes the template for just US$1 in my Etsy or Ravelry shops!
 
If they aren’t 100% symmetrical or perfect, I apologise as I drew mine by hand. However feel free to go nuts! Add buttons or sequins if you want!
Now let’s assemble the pussy cat beanie!
First sew the ears on securely. You want them to sit up nicely when you wear your beanie. I positioned the ears by folding the hat flat with the beginning chains at the centre back and pinning the ears at the fold.  See photo for further detail.
Using a single strand of soft pink dk yarn, I then embroidered a little nose over the width of Round 12 of the beanie in a narrower, smaller upside-down triangle shape than the bunny nose.
Each eye in positioned over Rounds 11- 12, with a 4 stitch space between the eye and the nose.
The sweet felt butterflies/ flowers/ stars/ hearts are attached to the top right of the beanie just below the ear using gold thread. However feel free to place them wherever you like!
And Voila! You have your very own Pussy Cat beanie!