Showing posts with label autumn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label autumn. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 May 2018

A Quick Catch Up


It's not as though I haven't been doing anything.


It's just that I feel like I haven't had much to blog about!


Autumn and the decline into colder weather kind of brings me down and makes me feel boring. And kind of blah. But that doesn't mean I haven't been crocheting!

I have had several projects on the go over the past month.



My fairy godfather had a birthday coming up. And in his little NSW country town of Boorowa, it gets really really cold in winter.


So I found some super soft yarn called Lion Brand heartland in a lovely denim blue. 




 It's ironic because last year I was in New York and wanted to visit the Lion Brand Studio but other things kind of got in the way.


I had one opportunity when I went out exploring on my own to visit Lion brand Studio. I recently discovered when I was hotfooting it over to the Highline, I practically walked past it without realising!  But that day I desperately needed to walk in some nature.


Then at a point when I thought, "I should go find that Lion brand Studio place!" I kind of went off on a desperate last minute mission....


Yes. It is true. I am a dedicated, hard core Pokémon Go player. I admit it. I chose Pogo over yarn. But I had a luggage allowance to think of!!!! And a virtual souvenir weighs a lot less than the amount of yarn you and I know I would buy!
I raced across to Grand Central Station to catch this guy (as they are only found in the USA so it was a true PoGo souvenir!), then it was time to head back to the apartment for dinner.

So it feels a little bit cheaty to buy Lion Brand yarn at my local craft shop here in Melbourne. And probably for twice the price it would have cost me if I bought it instore!




I found this wonderful stitch online. It's called rib stitch. It is gorgeous as it looks like knitting but works up VERY fast! 

I found the tutorial for the stitch on the blog My Hobby is Crochet which has a super easy to follow tutorial!

I also crocheted a matching beanie.


Excuse me for looking a little bleary eyed! I was up late finishing this so I could send it off in the first mail bag to Boorowa!

To make the beanie, I crocheted a rectangle using rib stitch, then slip stitched it together on two sides, then pulled the yarn through the top part so it bunched up tight.





If you recall I crocheted a quick little bunny beanie for an Easter Hat Parade at work.  I am in the process of writing up the pattern.



It is just very hard finding spare time lately. Personally this is kind of devastating!  I used to have so much time to design and publish patterns.  Now although I crochet all the time, pattern writing is much more time consuming and it's very difficult finding that time! 



I have also been working on a project which may take a very long time. For this type of project, I'm a perfectionist.  I won't say too much yet in case I throw it in the corner out of frustration but I'll give you a little hint...

Image courtesy of Australian Geographic.
If you've read my blog a little over the past few years, you may have picked up on the fact that Eurovision is my Christmas.

The Blonde Bombshell Miss Emma, the lovely Elise and I got up at an eye-watering 4.30am a couple of weeks ago on Sunday morning to watch the grand final live from Lisboa, Portugal.






We had a yummy breakfast of bacon, eggs and pancakes!



We LOVE the wacky acts so were super happy our favourite singing act won!

A song that features Wonder Woman, Pikachu, a chicken dance sung by a gorgeous lady wearing a hot pink kimono and yarn balls on her head is a winner in my book!

Thanks for visiting!
xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona





Friday, 6 April 2018

A Delightful Autumn

We're having a lovely warm Autumn. There is a dry crackle to the air but it's sunny and warm. 
The garden is still churning out food and flowers.

Check out these gorgeous Bishops Hat (Scotch Bonnet) Chillis.  My dad grew them in his garden, then at Christmas he gave the Bear one of his own propagated plants.  The fruit turns a glossy red when ripe.
I'm not sure where it is on the 'heat' scale though!


Violet and Jerry the guinea pigs are the very willing recipients of any trimmings that don't make it to the kitchen. 


I feel like I've been waiting forever for the limes to be ready to pick...



The strawberries never stop. Unfortunately we have an ongoing battle with some stealthy slugs. So far we have been keeping them at bay with coffee grounds (we have PLENTY of those) and crushed eggshells. However we have had to use occasional light sprinklings of snail bait when they get particularly active.


We're also still getting tomatoes. And mostly from the plants which popped up from compost!


Can you smell the basil?  It's amazing! 


I also planted some daffodils, jonquils and ranunculus for Spring. The ranunculus are already popping up through the soil. Our winters aren't very cold here, so I have 2 bags of tulip bulbs sitting in the fridge for a few weeks.


Lately the Bear and I have been watching this UK gardening show on the Netflix called Big Dreams, Small Spaces with a deliciously, curly haired bloke called Monty Don. Weird backwards name.

Sounds like his name is really Don Monty, but they wrote it backwards by accident.  

 He's got a beautiful voice. The narrator of the show loves to describe him as 'Englands head gardener' or the 'chief horticulturist of the UK' and other grandiose titles.

And because I don't live in the UK, I believe her!

Monty hugging his fuschia

He's kind of gorgeous!  I found a website online which described him as the 'thinking womans crumpet'.  

I think it would be more accurate to call him 'The Weeding Woman's Sex Symbol".


So the Bear and I have been watching his show and while I lust over those beautiful green, lush English gardens, the Bear draws up little garden plans for our gravelly, out of control front yard.

My favourite red Salvia


After many years of murdering poor innocent indoor plants, I’m finally having success.


I’ve been growing orchids, fiddle leaf figs, hoyas and these very groovy ‘Magic Beans’.
They are apparently a rainforest tree thingy.



I've been doing more crochet than I have the time to keep up with. I'm starting to suffer from 'Too Many WIPs' syndrome!

After completing my bolster, I began crocheting a scarf type thing in the same style. I really love making those random, colourful stripes. But it may not be long enough to be a scarf. It might have to be a table runner instead.  I've put it aside for the past 2 weeks until I make up my mind...



If you follow me on Facie or Instabrag, you may have seen my Easter Bunny Hat.



So first I saw a note from Sonofagun No.2s school announcing a FULL WEEK AHEAD of the Easter Bonnet Parade.

He dresses up for Book Week, Japan Day and some other random dress up day.  But for some reason I didn't think he'd want to wear an Easter Hat. 

So I exercised poor judgment and had a mega parenting fail and didn't say anything or make anything because #imabadbadmum .

So the evening (Monday evening) before the Easter Bonnet Parade at exactly 5 minutes past his bedtime, he jumps up and is all like:

"Mum. The Easter Bonnet Parade is tomorrow and I need to wear some sort of Easter Hat!"

and looks at me like I will say, "Yes, I know, and I've spent all weekend working on it for you and here it is, the most magnificent Easteriest of Easter Hats you have ever seen in your life and all you friends will be super jealous!"



Instead I was a total Bad, Worst Ever mum who will die a thousand Bad Parenting Fail deaths as I looked at my child.  

I thought to myself, "Oh. Shit. How are you gonna get outta this one Louise?"

I heard myself saying, "Oh really? Oh dear darling! You should have told me a few days ago that you wanted to wear a hat in the Easter Bonnet Parade. It's too late now!" 

And tried to tell myself I was teaching him a lesson in Planning Ahead.


So the next morning we arrived at school and there were lots and lots of well organized and totally Super Dooper parents dropping off children with Amazing Spectacular and Magnificent Easter Bonnetty Hat things and Sonofagun No. 2 turned and looked at me.

And gave me that look that is totally accusatory and I have failed at parenting.

Fortunately there were also loads of other parents who failed at parenting as they walked their Hatless children through the school gates with the same hunch-shouldered walk of shame that I was doing....

After dropping him at school, I went to work.  And got to my desk, turned on my computer and read my emails. One of them announced that 2 days later on Thursday (The day before Good Friday), our section of very serious and hardworking office grown ups would be having an Easter Hat Parade.

I'm not telling a lie when I tell you I have a rather substantial collection of yarn and craft items in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet.

I have yarn, spare hooks and several of those extra craft packets that are usually stuck to the front of Molly Makes magazines.

And without hesitation, I grabbed some things and over the next 2 days (in break times and at night watching Netty) made this:


Of course my eagle eyed Sonofagun No.2 was quick to point the finger and jump up and down at the evil mother who fails to make him an Easter Bonnet, then makes one for herself.


So I gave him my hat and told him he can wear it next year.  

That didn't work. In his 9 year old wisdom, he was quick to point out that it is a whole year away and I will probably forget because... (get ready for some classic 9 year old emotional blackmail)... I am a bad mum and don't love him and I should make him his favourite Tuna casserole to apologise.

Now someone who is way more forgiving of my faults and foibles is my Bear.  I am outside my comfort zone and making him a scarf in brown.

The Mothership was given some lovely alpaca from a friend (who owned the actual alpacas) and she passed it on to me.
I didn't know what to do with it because I don't really 'do' brown.

But Bear said he would like a scarf as he doesn't really 'do' bright colours.

I thought a knitted ribbed scarf would be a good manly scarf type thing.


These abominable 3 cms of knitting took 4 HOURS!!! 4 bloody long sweary hours! It was from a pattern of purl 1, knit 3 etc and just didn't work. And I'm a very slow knitter.

And I don't want to do something where I'm sitting hunch shouldered over it mumbling that repetitious sentence, "Purl...one. Knit, knit, crap! Bloody needle... knit..... Move the yarn to the front.... puuuuuurlllll..... one. Knit.... knit. Hang on. How many knits have I done? 1, 2, 3, 4. Crap! Put that back, Puuuuurlll....one!"

So I found a crochet tutorial for ribbed stitch, grabbed my 4.5mm hook and off I went like a speed demon down the rows.


So far I've used 2 out of 3 skeins and it's looking a lot better!


So that's my little ramble for this afternoon.

Thanks for visiting!

xox


Louise


The Red Haired Amazona



 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Rangas, Records and other things that don't begin with R.

There have been lots of things happening in the Amazona household over the past month.
So much in fact that poor Blog has been feeling quite neglected.
Firstly this has been happening...



No, I did not buy a new generator.

This is the first box I packed as we begin to pack up our little house and move only a short distance away to set up a fresh new home with the Bear. After several years of living between 2 houses (although mostly in mine), my gorgeous Bear and I are shacking up. Blending fams so to speak. It's a little bit exciting!

And a little bit sad because whilst my little house is getting old and a bit worn, I'll miss my big backyard with the eternally fruiting lemon tree. And the rainbow lorikeets that flock to the nashi pear trees in February. The fig tree that has only just started growing figs. And I will really miss our suburb. So close to the beach and with a lovely community spirit.

In an effort to get the Bears house ready for Spring, a few weeks ago we dug up a patch in the garden, set up a massive trellis and sowed a line of Sweet Pea seeds.
After they popped up their little seedling heads, the snails ate all but one. 🐌🌱

A couple of weeks ago, I gave up my Saturday morning sleep in and trudged into the Melbourne CBD to display a bit of redheaded ranting at the 2nd Annual Ginger Pride Rally!


Melbourne City council obviously thought so many gingernuts, rangas, coppertops and flaming tomatoes with their famous firey tempers were bound to cause trouble so there were crowd control wardens...

"Hey Jim, watch out for the one in boots. She looks like she's about to riot!"
"No worries Fred. I've got enough pepper spray to light up the whole bag of carrots..."

Gingers, duracells, matchsticks and freckle faced carrot tops of all shades were represented. Non-gingers were also welcome but had to be accompanied by a BloodNut friend or family member.

Because Star Wars inspired slogans make everything cool...

A non- ginger hides his shameful brown fuzz with an appropriately coloured scarf.

There were games of ginger beer pong, and even a ginger speed dating booth for those of you wanting to help spread the MC1R gene by doing the wild thang with a genu-wine Fanta pants!

The SPF50+ sunscreen and ginger beer flowed freely as pale skinned Titian creatures frolicked under the partly cloudy skies. 

There were flamed haired rock bands starting with local Melbourne band The Vanns.


Many of us frequently scampered to the shade of the small trees in Federation Square when the sun peeked from behind the clouds lest we sizzle like sliced tomatoes on the bbq.
 
The Rally also raised money for the Alannah & Madeline Foundation which raises awareness & funds to help stop bullying against children (including little rangas!)

There was loads of camera-people running around taking photos and videos. Finding myself in some of the photos of this Daily Mail article was a little bit like looking at those Where's Wally books. Can you find me?

We all like, totally felt like celebrities, like totally....
 

1500 of us marched and chanted from Federation Square and around Alexandria Gardens. The march organisers led rousing chants with megaphones such as:

"R.A.N.G.A! We will never go away!"

"We're proud! We're red! We're really good in bed!"


I am hoping the parents of our little baby rangas didn't let the kiddies chant that last one...

There were even some orange & red flowers along the way showing solidarity...


 
In crochet news, I have also been crocheting a lovely light blue cardigan from a pattern I found in an old copy of Simply Crochet magazine. Issue 34 to be precise.


It's called the Cream Soda Lacy Cardigan by Annalies Baes. I love how this already fits so well.
The pattern calls for Malabrigo Arroyo Merino and 4 and 4.5mm hooks. 

However I have 3 balls of light blue 5ply acrylic. I had bought them by accident thinking they were DK, and because I never use 5ply, thought they'd sit there unused. However after creating a swatch for this pattern decided to use them but crocheting with 3 and 3.5mm hooks.

I love love love this old Rod Stewart compilation. The cover is in the shape of a scotch glass.

Since Bear gave me a record player for Christmas, I have been finding gorgeous 2nd hand vinyls in op shops, and by raiding Bears record collection. I did still have some of my own left over from when I ditched my last record player after it died nearly 10 years ago.

It's been so lovely to make a cuppa, pop on one of these classic LPs and crochet this lovely cardigan.


Me and Ian Anderson go waaaaay back. I used to listen to my dads original copy of Thick As A Brick over and over again.

The busy-ness of life has seriously interfered with pattern writing time.
I have been trying to finish editing and photographing my latest mandala for nearly, or morely a month.  (yes I know 'morely' isn't a proper word but it sounds like it should be!)
 
I did finish one, then realised my stitch count was all wrong. So instead of frogging it, I finished it off, then started another.



I really love the colours in this mandala. I used the same cottons as my arm mitts but also added some gold thread.
 


Would you believe good old Susi Q has been amazing for inspiring wild, colourful mandalas?
 

I finally finished my mandala that has been remade and perfected over the past couple of months.  I guess it has been inspired by the 70s glam rock that I've been listening to lately such as Suzi Quatro and The Sweet (I love love love Ballroom Blitz!).
Check it out!


Stay tuned as I publish the pattern in the next day or two!


So in between cardigans, mandalas, Ranga Rallies, and moving house I am also planning a rather amazing little excursion to a place FAR FAR away.

A place where I never imagined visiting.

A place which feels a teensy bit intimidating but exciting!

It has been very 'spur of the moment' as I have a family member getting married and I was thrilled they thought to invite me but they don't exactly live 5 minutes down the road...

I'm going to keep it under my belt for a little longer yet. I'll let you know where I'm going when it gets closer to the time!

Like seriously people. Do you ever have those times when nothing happens for ages, then everything, like all of the really big things happen at once?

It's like life is nice a sleepy. A little dull, but in a nice sleepy way, then someone sticks a firecracker under your bum! Startling, makes you jump, maybe swear, but with lots of pretty colours.

Thanks for visiting!

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona