Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Cold nights, warm blankets.


It's Winter now.

It's the time for blanket making!

I've been stash busting by crocheting a classic granny stripe blanket.
I rolled a bunch of my remnants into cakes. Yarn cakes look amazing until you use half of them. Then they look like hollowed out yarn shells and start to fall in on themselves.
Chuck Norris likes to try and sleep on the blanket while I'm crocheting. Just like a cat except heavier and his big clumpy claws pull out little threads in the blanket.

I'd like to show you a photo of the size of this blanket, but Chuck is always lying under or on it...
 This is a photo I like to call 'Dog in crochet on crochet'.
This is another photo I like to call 'Kid under crochet under cat'. 
When Sonofagun No.2 is sitting on this couch playing PS4 or watching tv, for reasons unknown, he does this with the blanket on the back of the couch.
His ever watchful guardian Bijoux, then sits on the back of the couch like this....
Whenever I have almost used up a yarn cake for the new granny stripe blanket, I roll it into a little ball and put it in another basket.
I started making up some random granny squares with these.
I sewed 5 of them together in a ring. They look very pretty!  
And made them into a lamp shade. 
This isn't really the right sort of lamp shade as the base was designed for a desk lamp so it has an awkward knob thing that sticks out the side.
It doesn't get hot enough to worry about being a fire hazard, so I don't have to spray with any kind of fire retardant.
 
Once the blanket has finished and I have some more little yarn balls leftover, I have the perfect lampshade waiting to be covered next to my bed!
I also stretched my baking skills. Not in doing any challenging baking. Just baking.
I bake about once every 4-5 years. I don't really like baking. But Sonofagun No.2 had just returned from school camp and was excited by something he had never had before called 'a scone'! 

I thought if my 10 year old could be excited about this mystical thing he had never had before, then I would blow his mind by baking some!
These were lemonade scones which are gluggy and sticky to make but come out of the oven super fluffy.
Sonofagun No.2 told me as he stuffed his face full of scones, jam and cream that my scones did not look like the real scones he had at camp, but they were 'adequate'.
On the weekend I made a super fast solo trip up to Mollymook. Look beautiful and sunny, doesn't it?
It's a lie. It was freezing and windy with occasional rain squalls.⛈

Aunty Horse Whisperer was getting married. So I flew up to Canberra on Friday morning.
As the plane landed, I looked out of the little windows at a brilliant blue sunny sky.
And the pilot said this:
"Welcome to Canberra where it's a sunny one degree outside."

That's the thing about Canberra winters. It lies to you. You look outside at 10am and think, "Wow it's beautiful and sunny!"
But you step out into arctic temperatures!
The Fatherdom was waiting to pick me up and drive me back to Mollymook.
That night the Parentals and I shared a delicious Italian sausage, fennel and fetta pizza.
 

On the day of the wedding, we all chipped in. It was a lovely backyard wedding at Aunty HWs little farm.

The Mothership had spent the whole week before the wedding preparing and freezing delicious mini quiches, meatballs and chicken wings for the big day. She then worked from 9am that morning with my Nana in the kitchen at Aunty HWs house preparing sandwiches, snacks etc for the guests. 
I helped Aunty Martha Stewart to prepare a grazing table full of deli meats, crackers, pate, cheeses, fruit and chocolates.
The next day it was straight onto one of these cool double decker Sydney trains from Kiama to Sydney airport. Our Melbourne trains are boring single level things. It only cost a couple of dollars for a 2 1/2 hr trip up the coast.
Thanks for stopping by!

Louise
Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Corin Crochet Cowl

There's a place just outside my home town of Canberra called Corin Forest.  In summer it's a lovely place to go for a picnic. In winter it gets cold enough to snow a little bit. They have a snow play area which is supplemented by a snow-making machine and a really fun 1.2km alpine slide.

It's no Chamonix, that's for sure! But we used to take day trips up there when Sonofagun No.1 was little. We'd take a big thermos of piping hot soup for lunch and make snow men, have snowball fights and slide down the hill on plastic toboggans.

I have had these chunky yarns tucked in my stash for a few years. I'm not big on chunky yarns as you have probably seen all my little birds which use super skinny cottons!


The first thing I made with the chunkys was a new dog coat for Chuck Norris the pugalier. He loves it!

With the rest I made something for myself. A chunky, granny square cowl. Named it the Corin Cowl as it will keep you warm in Alpine temperatures with those lovely soft alpine colours!

It's super easy to make. 

It's made up of 2 rows of 11 granny squares sewn into a loop. You can make more or less depending how tight or loose you want it to be. So let's get started!


Yarn & Notions

Your choice of colours in chunky acrylics. I have used Moda Vera Mawson.
8mm crochet hook
Scissors
Needle for sewing in ends

Choose your own colours!
Round 1: Starting with a magic ring, chain 4 (counts as 1st dc and ch1), then {dc, ch1} x 7. Join with slip stitch to top of beginning ch3. Finish off. [8dc, 8 ch]



Round 2:  Join your 2nd colour in any Ch1 space. Ch3 (counts as 1st dc), 2dc in same space. Then 3dc in each ch1 around. Join with a slip stitch to top of beginning ch3. Finish off.  [8 x 3dc]
Round 3: Join your 3rd colour in between two 3dc clusters.
Ch3, then 2dc in same space. Sk 3 dc, *in space between next 2 clusters {3dc, ch3, 3dc}, sk 3dc, in next space between 2 clusters {3dc}. Repeat from * three more times. Sk 3 dc, then in space between next 2 clusters {3dc, ch3, 3dc}. Join with a slip stitch to top of beginning ch3. Finish off.
Your completed square should look like this:

Make another 21 squares or more if you wish but in multiples of 2.

Sewn together in 2 rows as per the photo below.

Then sew the two short ends to form a loop.

This cowl is so thick, chunky and soft and SUPER warm!









Wednesday, 22 August 2018

I don't hate August anymore.

I normally ignore August.
It's still technically Winter. It has a grandiose sounding name (AUGUST!) but I spend so much time yearning for Spring which starts in September, that I don't really pay much attention to August. Poor August.
But the early blossoming trees are doing their funky thing.
So this year I stopped whinging about the sleety, cold rain and horrid winds that charge through our city and paid closer attention to August.
I realised August isn't really Winter. It's 'pre-Spring'.  It's just as fed up with Winter as us humans are, and is trying to shed the bad rap.
The days are trying to be a little bit longer at a rate of about 2 minutes per day. Sounds like a snails' pace but after losing sun at around 5-5.30pm, by the end of August, there will still be a lighter sky around 6.15-6.30! Reminding us that long Summer days aren't far away.
We have prepared the vegie garden for the summer crops. Turned in bags of horse poo and I set up a Snow Pea Teepee complete with fairy lights!

The Earlicheer Jonquil lives up to its' name with flower heads so fat, they keep falling over.
This rose had a nice sheltered spot through Winter, so kept flowering but needs a hard cutback as all its' flowers come out slightly fasciated.
After a couple of years of poor tulip performance, I kept this batch in the spare bar fridge for about 6 weeks before planting.
And they are looking beautiful!



I also planted Ranunculus in random spots throughout the garden and in some pots. It's been fun seeing where they have popped up because I usually forget where I plant bulbs.
I planted more shallots. We love them in salads and stir-fries!

I made a sweet Lalylala lady bird from a free pattern that was included in a magazine, I think it was Inside Crochet? All the good crochet and craft magazines come from the UK & the US but we get them 6 weeks after they are sold there. It feels very 1950s waiting such a long time for stuff like that when I can order something from the UK direct and get it in 7-10 days.
Like this!!!
I literally squealed at the courier when he arrived with these 2 big bundles. Like girlie/ psycho squealed. He looked kind of freaked out. A 40 something woman with her hair in a towel, no makeup (and not in one of those Instagram- worthy casual glam ways. But haggard, real life, 'where the f*** did my youth go' ways).
I was lucky enough to have a little tax refund after I lodged my return this year. I could have saved it. I could have put it towards bills. Sure! That would be the responsible, grown up thing to do. And because paying bills and saving are grown up, adulty things, I immediately spent it.
Deramores UK were having a nice sale of Stylecraft DK and Scheepjes cottons. With free postage on international orders over I think $75.
I thought to myself, "Hmm, it would be okay if I bought $75 worth of yarn!  That's a nice splurge."
I bloody blew that limit out of the water!
But here's the thing...
Our local craft stores have double knit acrylics but the colour range of Stylecraft is gorgeous. I prefer to use small local yarn shops but they tend to stock very expensive boutique yarns. Stylecraft yarns aren't sold in Australia and if someone does sell them here, they are horrifically expensive. So I bought a nice batch for super cheap from Deramores, but I could have bought 2 or 3 of every single colour and I think they have more than 80?
I also chose a pretty armful of cute little Scheepjes Catona. 
And these 7 skeins of Scheepjes Sweet Treats. Aren't they sooooo delicious!

Just before I received my lovely big bundles, the Mothership and the Fatherdom came to Melbourne for a visit and brought along a present for me.

This is a wooden suitcase which I made in woodwork class when I was 16. Nearly 30 years ago! For ages (probably nearly 30 years) the parentals have used it to store irrigation sprinklers in the back shed. They cleaned it up, painted it cream (it was plain pine) and vajazzled it.
Now it has a new job!

Holding all my old and new cottons!
The delicious colours of the Scheepjes Catona and Sweet Treat has inspired me to go back to making something that I used to love crocheting.
Birds...
This little sweet bird above was the first of a new type I am making. He is a kind of plain green here as this was Prototype No.1!  He isn't wonky, I placed his beak and eyes so it looks like he is looking to the side. Kind of being coy!
He has some way to go before I'm happy with the end design but he was made with the Scheepjes Sweet Treat colours.

I'm in the middle of making this one below using the same design but with Scheepjes Catona!
It has colourful pins for eyes and a beak at the moment while I sew the wings on. Then I have to make certain facial decisions!
Phew! There were a lot of photos in this post. Thanks for visiting!

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona