Wednesday, 7 September 2016

All of the Spring, All of the Colour & a Hot Physio


One little word that makes me want to prance through meadows and shove my nose into every blossom I see.

I've been a super busy Amazona over the past month or so. Busy and not busy. The last half of winter saw me get whacked with a few health issues which meant periods of not busy-ness, then extreme busy-ness as I spent all my time trying to clean and play catch up with life from when I was incapacitated.

I've also been out enjoying the lovely Spring weather with bike rides and walks around the local lake and the Esplanade at the beach.

What? How did that get there? I swear I was walking for exercise and taking pretty pictures. I absolutely was not ever Poke Hunting....

I've even been enjoying some Spring colour in my garden...

And how's this for colour? Bear went away to the V8 Supercars in Sydney for a week. He missed me in his gorgeous, Beary way so upon his return he bought me these dyed Chrysanthemums from a REAL FLORIST (instead of a supermarket which he normally does but I don't mind because I love getting flowers no matter where they come from. It's sweet someone just made the effort, yeah?!).
I used to be a florist many moons ago and kind of am a bit snobby about dyed flowers but these are mesmerizing!
#nofilter !!!

I popped them in a vase with some double daffodils I bought a few days earlier....

Do you know how people says things happen in threes?

First I sprained my ankle. It was so silly. I put on a pair of those rocker sneakers so I could go for a walk, then walked out of the kitchen and turned my ankle. So dumb. And I didn't fall gracefully. I'm only 5 foot highish, but fell over like a baby giraffe with legs going in strange places. Then I'm on the floor saying, "OW OW F*&#*&*#ING OW!" while Sonofagun No.1 tries to help me up and over to the couch.

So that limited my ability to do stuff for a little while. Peeps who follow me on Facie may remember this photo.... So glam with the nail polish (although don't tell anyone but I only applied nail polish to that one foot for the photo. Then a day later decided I felt lopsided and did the other foot.)

Then after I was back at work for only one week, I caught the mother of all colds. It was horrendous! I thought after a day up at the snow I had sore muscles from snow play, but no my friends! It was just the beginning. Then came the aches, the shivers and high temperature. The hacking cough, the sore tummy muscles from the hacking cough. And then the weirdest thing. Day 3 of The Mothertrucking Cold From Hell I developed a bad headache and BURNING EYES!!! Can you believe it? My eyes were streaming and red and burning as if I squeezed lemon juice in them. Then finally after a week I was ok and it was back to work as well as trying to get the house back in order.

Then 5 short weeks after I sprained my ankle, I sprained it again. The same one. Yes. I am that uncoordinated with my appendages.

So I decided it was time to visit the physio.

I haven't been to a physio for over 20 years.  

So before my physio appointment, I went for a nice easy walk along the local beach. Nothing strenuous but it involved buying coffee, saying hello to random dogs being walked and losing track of time. I had just enough aforementioned time to race home, have a quick shower, squirt some moisturizer on my leg (just the one the Physio would be looking at) and race out the door.

My Physio was an extremely good looking young man called Ty. Ty asked me to take my shoes off.

It was at this stage I realized in my hurry to get out the door I hadn't made the crucial 'pretty foot' check.
My feet were clean but desperately needed a go over with a buffer, and my nail polish was last applied 5 weeks previously when I took the photo above of my 1st sprained ankle..

So now it was chipped and showed 5 weeks of toe nail growth. Gross.

Then after going through a few exercises, he said he was going to massage my ankle and would I please sit up on the love bed, er Physio bench, and roll up my leggings.

Soooo several blog posts ago I wrote a few sentences about how as a Red Haired Amazona, our leg hairs are like almost invisible, fairy gossamer threads of nothingness.

Not today. In the presence of the very good looking Ty the Physio they stuck out like wild, vicious cactus thorns.
He massaged my ankle while I sat up on the love bed, er Physio bench.
Then asked me to roll over and lie on my tummy while he worked on my calf muscle which was torn last year. I was wearing a short little sports skirt and leggings so I was sure this was modest enough to cover my rather wide ass.
He started working on my leg. I think my calf muscle had an orgasm from his kneading. He asked if he was being too rough.
I know that I thought "Oh yeah, you gorgeous man-child. Go hard." But hopefully I just said, "No, that's very good thank you."

Physio session finished, I booked in another for the following week and went home where I had to change so I could go out to lunch.

When I took off my leggings to switch to jeans I realized, that in my haste to leave earlier, I pulled on my crappy leggings meant for the bin. They had a rather large hole in the crotch. I desperately hoped that while Ty was massaging my leg from down that end of the table, he didn't glance up to see my rather large ass up the skirt with a hole in my leggings flashing my large flowery granny undies.

This is a moderately accurate depiction of Ty the Physio...

This week I made sure that legs were shaved, toe nails were cutely polished, legs and feet buffed and moisturized and there were no crotch holes in clothing. But if Bear notices later, we won't tell him it was for another man!

In Crochet Land I have been busy!

I purchased a wonderfully written Kamila Cardigan Pattern from Ling Ryan of Hooked On Patterns . The original shown in the pattern is a lovely grey, but I've gone a bit crazy with bright cotton stripes. Some of the Cottons are Patons 8Ply, and some are from a selection of Ultra Prima Cottons I purchased from Little Woolies stall at the Sheep & Yarn Show a few months ago.
I know stripes have a fattening effect but I really, really wanted a bright stripey cardigan! 

This pattern is so well written and easy to read. I have tried attempts at 2 other cardigans over the past 12 months. They were disasters! Confusing, they didn't turn out right. I'm not having any of those problems with Lings pattern. Thanks Ling!

I'm also finishing this bright lime green blanket for the Bears Cub. My Bear has cubs of his own. The youngest asked if I would make him a blanket in his favourite colours Lime Green & Yellow. I've thrown in a little bit of soft grey to tone it down a bit.

It is 12 squares of large green granny squares, then a row of grey in double crochet, followed by a row of single crochet in yellow. Then it will be all sewn together in a 3 x 4 grid. Possibly then edged in a few rows of moss stitch? Not sure yet.

Now I'm off for another walk down to the beach before I pick up the Sonofaguns from school!
The Red Haired Amazona

Monday, 22 August 2016

Banjo the Amigurumi Woodland Owl

Do you remember my sweet little amigurumi owl which I made for Staggy The Yarn Bombed Stag?
I did promise you a tutorial!
Would you like to make one? It's not that difficult!
This little owl is made in a few pieces: body, head, wings, tail and feet. All quick and easy!

Note for the body of my owl I used a variegated cream and brown cotton yarn which gave a nice mottled finish. But you can use a soft beige, or cream or whatever you wish.
Let's get started...

Amigurumi Tips:
All amigurumi is crocheted in rounds of continuous spirals without joining to beginning of round unless stated otherwise. If the patterns states to stop working in spirals, finish rows, and chain up according to the pattern.
Always use a stitch marker when working in the spirals or you'll lose your place!
All thread ends can be hidden in the body of your Ami.
Never talk about fight club.
Tools of the Trade:
  • I have used Patons 4 ply cottons in a range of cream to browny colours or whatever takes your fancy for his head, body and tail.
  • Cream cotton for the circle parts of the eyes and brown or black 4ply cotton for the eye details
  • Soft orange 4 ply cotton for feet and beak.
  • 2.5mm crochet hook (you can use a 2mm hook for a slightly smaller owl if you wish)
  • Scissors
  • Darning Needle
  • Polyfill Toy Stuffing
Abbreviations:  (US crochet terms used)
  • Beg: beginning
  • Ch: chain
  • Dc: double crochet
  • FO: Fasten off
  • Hdc: Half double crochet
  • Inv dec: invisible decrease (for my invisible decrease tutorial video click here)
  • MR: Magic ring  (for my magic ring tutorial video click here)
  • Sc: single crochet
  • Sl st: slip stitch
  • St: stitch
  • Tr: treble
First let's start with the body:
Round 1: Work 6sc into MR

Round 1 done

R2: 2sc in each sc of the previous round [12]

Round 2 done!

R3: (2sc), sc in next st [18]

Round 3 done!

R4: Sc in each st of the previous round [18]

R5: (2sc), sc in each of next 2 st [24]

Round 5 done!

R6 & 7: Sc in each st of the previous round [24]

R8: Inv dec, sc in each of the next 10 st, inv dec, sc in each of the next 10 st [22]

R9- 14: Sc in each st of the previous round. At the end of Round 14, FO.
The finished body.
Now let's make the head!
Ch 23, join with a sl st to the 1st st to form a loop.
Continue working in the round.
Round 1-7: Sc in each st around
The head after Round 2

The head with Rounds 1-7 finished!

R8: Sc, hdc, in next st (dc, tr), in next st (tr, dc), hdc, sc, sl st across next 6 st, sc, hdc, in next st (dc, tr), in next st (tr, dc), hdc, sc, sl st across remaining 5 st.
FO leaving a 4-5 inch tail length of yarn. then use this to stitch from the tip of one ear to the other to close.

The shaping of one ear in Round 8

Round 8 finished after the shaping of the 2nd ear.
Ready to stitch the top of the head together?

Folding the head in half from the middle tip of one ear to the other, use the left over tail end of yarn to slip stitch across evenly.

So your head should now look like this:

To sew the head to the body, turn the body inside out.
Then without turning the head inside out, slide the head into the body so the ears are pointing down towards the base of the body.
Stitch the neck edge of the head to the neck edge of the body, leaving a 2 cm gap at the back.
Through this gap, turn the owl out the right way. Now stuff polyfill toy stuffing in through the gap until comfortably full, then sew the gap closed.
 Now let's make 2 Wings!

Round 1: Work 4 sc in MR [4]

Round 1

R2: 2sc in each st [8]

Round 2

R3: Work in pattern: 2sc, sc [12]

R4: 2sc, sc, sc [16]

Round 4
R5: In first st sc, in next st (hdc, dc), in next st (dc, tr, ch 2, sl st into 2nd ch from hook, tr, dc), in next st (dc, hdc), sc, sl st to beg st & FO.

Round 5
Once you've finished your first wing, then make one more!

Now let's make Banjos Tail!

Row 1: Ch 5, then starting in 2nd ch from the hook work 2sc in that ch, sc in each of the next 2 ch, 2sc in last Ch. Ch 1 & turn. [6]

Row 3: In first sc (hdc, dc, hdc), sl st into next sc of previous row, in next st (hdc, dc, hdc), sl st into next sc of previous row, in last st (hdc, dc, hdc), the sl st into the side of the tail to finish. FO, leaving a length of yarn 5 inches long. Use this tail length to sew the tail to the body. (Position photo to follow a little further down!).

Now let's give Banjo some Peepers!!!

Round 1: 4sc in MR [4]

Round 1
R2: 2sc in each st. Finish off. [8]

Cut a length of brown or black 4 ply cotton yarn and embroider sleepy eyes as shown below.

Then sew onto Banjos head!  Now he's starting to look cute!

Beaky Schmeaky
Cut a length of soft orange yarn and embroider on Banjos beak like below.  I'm a crap embroiderer so am probably not the best to give embroidery advice, but I stitched in 6 long lines in the shape of a triangle for the main beaky part, then 3 short lines across the top.

Those dancing feet! (Make 2)

In a 4 ply cotton yarn, simply start by making a Chain 4...

Row 1: Starting from 2nd ch from the hook, sc in each of the 3 stitches. Ch3, turn. [3]

Row 1
Row 2: Sl st in next st, Ch3, sl st in next st, Ch 3, sl st in last stitch, FO. Leave a length of yarn to stitch Banjos feet on...

Now you can use the photo below as a guide to sew on Banjos feet and tail. I positioned them between rounds 3 & 4 from his bum.

Now if you haven't done it already, you can sew on the wings. 

To give them a slightly open, resting appearance, I have the wing tip pointing towards his belly button and stitch from the middle top of his shoulder, then stitch around the back and finish at the base of the wing tip only. I don't stitch the wing to him all the way around on his belly.

And you're finished! Well done!  Did you make your own little Banjo the Woodland Owl? Did you make him in colours like mine or go bright and wild? Show me! Tag me on Instagram (@red.haired.amazona.crochets) or on my Facie Page. I'd love to see your makes!!