Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crochet. 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



 

Monday, 12 March 2018

Back on the crochet wagon: Bolster Cushion Cover Reveal







I have been having a little clean out of my bedroom as we have bought some new lovely bedroom furniture.There was a large, useful but unattractive blanket box at the end of the bed which I opened for the first time since I moved in.  I wanted to take it out of the room but it was filled with random items which really could have been stored elsewhere.  I threw away some things, but there was also a couple of cushion inserts. 
I always feel bad throwing these things away as they are still fat & puffy.  I have had them hidden in the blanket box, and before that in the top of the cupboard for YEARS!!  I kept telling myself that one day I would crochet new covers for them. 

One is for a tubular bolster.  I didn't take a photo beforehand as it was kind of scruffy looking.
I grabbed my box of cotton oddballs and first crocheted 2 circular ends.

This is a nice, neat tray of cotton balls that I chose....

I didn't use a pattern.  I made it up as I went along.

If you look towards the bottom of the photo, you will see what my cotton oddballs really look like... a mess in a box!



Starting with one circle end, I just crocheted evenly around.
There was very little planning involved. I decided the colour and stitch for each round after I finished the last.


Each round wasn't very big so the cover grew quickly. Every few rounds, I'd try it on to make sure it was still the right width. Some stitches blew out the width a little so I had to occasionally adjust my stitch count.


Soon I was nearly at the top!



And finally I was finished!  I sewed on the remaining circular end. Then finished with a simple round of single stitch in gold.


I did try a few different edges including pompom stitch but in the end I preferred this simple edge.


What do you think?


I still have one remaining cushion insert which is another thin, long cushion but not in this tubular style.  I'm itching to get started on that one!


I've realised that I really love this random, bright sampler style work. My Twinkle Star Hand Mitts are a similar style. 


I'm kind of in love with it! 

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