Showing posts with label craft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label craft. Show all posts

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Guiness World Record attempt

A year ago a little post popped up in my Facebook feed for an attempt at a Guiness World Record attempt at 'the most people crocheting simultaneously'.
It was to be held at a craft fair called Craft Alive in the town of Bendigo about an hour and 40 minutes north west of Melbourne. A free crochet hook for all participants and yarn supplied by Bendigo Wool Mills for the event.
Of course I was gonna go!
Fast forward to last weekend and the Divine Miss Emma and I piled into her little car on a miserable, rainy winter morning and hit the highway to Bendigo!
I didn't take any of my current projects as they are not very travel friendly. So I threw a couple of balls of hot pink yarn and a 4mm hook in my bag 'just in case'!
The temperature was freezing and the rain pelted the little black car along the way. I left my hand mitts at home so I started crocheting a new pair on the road!
The rain eased as we arrived in the postcard pretty town. 

I was wearing a pair of socks I knitted last year and some cheap sparkly gumboots. Perfect for stomping through icy puddles and mud!

The Craft Alive fair pops up every month or so around NSW and Victoria. I haven't really bothered with going before as there is usually loads of stalls for quilters, scrapbookers, bead thing makers, button lovers and chandlers. 
Luckily there was a few yarn sellers today with some deliciously squishy skeins. I was extremely good and only bought one ball. Yes, one!!!
I know it's another ball of sock yarn but my mind is brimming with different NON SOCK ideas for this ball!

Finally an announcement was made over the loudspeaker for all participants in the world record attempt.
We all filed into the part of the auditorium with long strips of tape on the floor and stood along strips with 50 people per line. Emma and I took folding chairs and thank Holy Oprah we did as the cold, concrete floor would have been a teensy bit hemorrhoid inducing.
A man declared lots of random Guinness record type announcements through a loud speaker, however it was kind of hard to hear him in the echoey auditorium.  Emma and I kept counting rows to figure out if we were going to have enough people to break the record. We were counted, wrist-banded and recounted. We signed our name on several different clipboards. And we were counted again.
The current world record of 604 is held by the NSW town of Singleton. We were in the 2nd row, so as more rows of people gathered, it became harder to work out how many there were. But the Loud Speaker Guy kept calling for more people from the fair to come in, including exhibitors and stall holders. It didn't look good folks!  
Husbands who had never crocheted were hauled in by their wives, there were kids of all ages with hook and yarn in hand and most were quite experienced!  Many including ourselves brought along their own projects, some gladly used the supplied hook and yarn.

A local news crew was there walking their video camera up and down the aisles. You can view the news item on their Facie page (the side of us appeared once. The kid at the beginning of the interview is adorable!)

A photographer from the local rag The Bendigo Advertiser took photos of everyone including Emma and I who were happily seated, crocheting and under my Granny Stripe blanket which I crocheted several years ago from Attic 24s pattern.
photo courtesy of Noni Hyett Bendigo Advertiser
Look at that! It's Emma and I in the feature photo!! Our 5 minutes of fame. You can read the article and view all the photos here.

Finally at the official start time of 2.30pm we were told to start crocheting! We all crocheted furiously for 15 minutes! Well, not really. It was like crocheting at home, but for a much shorter time and without Netflix.
 
And before we knew it we were chanting the count down for the last 10 seconds and at last everyone gave a mighty "YAYYYYYY!"

And then wandered out chatting and laughing in search of coffee or anything else warm.
But we weren't told the result! Nobody said, "Well done everybody! We had the numbers!"
We just heard murmurs of "Um, yes we have to wait and hear back from the Guiness people," which we took to mean they fell short of numbers.
Which they did. Apparently not by much but we gave it our best shot!

After a couple of hot chocolates at a local cafe, we bundled into the car for the journey home. And I kept working on my mitts. I finished one in the middle of the record attempt and finished the other mitt when we were 15 minutes from home.
Let's hope they give it another whirl next year!


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



 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Summer Holidays 2018

Hello lovelies!

I have been having a 'gentle' summer.


I haven't exactly been lazy but just trying to take it easy on myself. 

Almost immediately after Christmas, we followed the Parental Units 10 hours north to their little slice of heaven in Mollymook on the south coast of NSW.


 I took with me a beautiful skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegria grande which is a worsted weight yarn.



 The Motherships' evil/ adorably strange looking cat Tiki watched enviously as I wound the ball of yarn...


 I started making these circle popcorny things. I rather like them. But I'm really not sure what to use them for. My original thought was to make a small shoulder bag, the kind you sling around your neck, just big enough for my phone for when we went on jaunts to the beach. 

I know it's not cool to take phones to the beach because you're supposed to be enjoying the nature and stuff, but I love having it handy to take ALL OF THE PHOTOS!!!! 


You may or may not have noticed two refreshing glasses of cool liquid in both my yarn photos. This does not indicate Louise is being healthy and hydrating with a cool glass of water with a slice of lemon.

It means it's late afternoon and therefore Gin O'Clock and Louise has helped herself to a gin & elderflower cocktail....

The Parental Units love cooking. A gene I did not inherit. Here is the Fatherdom making pasta for the lasagne we had later that evening.


My Auntie Horse Whisperer has also now settled in town and expanded her collection of miniature ponies and horses to start a sweet pony party business called Wendy's Pony Parties.


I don't love horses. They can bite, kick, and generally when I ride a full sized horse or pony, I feel WAY too far away from solid land on a moving thing I can't control. 

But these ponies and mini horses were so freaking adorable!! And super friendly! They just wanted pats and cuddles!


We only had one week, then it was back in the car for the long drive home.

And it was time to get our party shoes on. One of Bears friends is in an 80s style metal band and does rock festival promotions. So when he proposed to his lovely lady a while back, they decided to have a Weekend Rock Festival Wedding...
We packed the campertrailer, slipped on our party dresses and hit the road...

Trying on my wedding outfit.  Do you see that lovely sparkly pendant? It was made for me by my lovely bloggy buddy Vicki from Off The Hook For You at one of her Makers Cabin classes!

Rocknroll Brides and Grooms get married on stage....
 It was a blistering 42 degrees celcius that day, until a cool change swept in at 6pm. The temperature dropped down to 25c straight away. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset, then listened to live bands and DJs till we stumbled back to our campertrailer (others had tents) to sleep.


I'm very lucky as I have been able to take the summer off work (with my long service leave) to spend time with my boys and try and continue to heal.

I have given myself a break from designing crochet patterns for a little while. This is hard because I always have ideas running through my head!  

A little while ago I started making granny squares with this beautiful yarn called Moda Vera Fayette which now I think is no longer stocked (insert sad face here). I made just enough for a wrap which I envisioned wearing when I want to pop out on a cool, but not cold evening. 



I finally finished the 80 something squares (in between lots of knitted sock making), and have now started sewing them together...
Apologies for the dark photo....
 

The yellow is a bit 'muddier' than I would have liked which I feel makes the overall colours a little duller but once it has been sewn and blocked, I'll take it out into the sunshine for a photo!
Thanks for visiting! 

xox
Louise

The Red Haired Amazona