Showing posts with label yarn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yarn. Show all posts

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

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Saturday Night Movies & Crochet 2017 Recap in Pictures!!!






Can you believe it's time for my 3rd annual Saturday Night Crochet & Movies Recap?

If you'd like to read the recap for 2016, it's here, and 2015: it's here!!
If you follow my Facie page, you'd know that most Saturday nights (or Sunday nights), the Blonde Bombshell (aka BFF Emma) and my lovely Bear and I watch movies. And crochet. 

Once I moved house in June, I am now a bit further away from the Blonde Bombshell. This means she isn't able to join us for Saturday Night movies as often anymore.  Which is sadder than a closed yarn shop. But the show must go on!
 
Now you and I both know that there's nothing more wonderful than curling up on the couch with a bit of tellie, or a movie and picking up yarn and hook. And drinking the tea and eating the munchies.

Sometimes we've had Ring Ins join us.  And without fail they have been all like, "So you really do crochet AND watch movies?!?" like it's the last bastion of crazy multitasking and it's as weird as if we told them AND demonstrated that we read Beowolf underwater AND had our eyeballs tattooed at the same time!
 
So to wrap up our year in movies, I thought I'd indulge and give a recap of my photo mosaics from Facebook.

January

I was sewing in the ends on some circles for a blanket while the Bear & I watch this goodie on the Netflix. I quite like Tom Hanks. And this was a goodie. As long as he doesn't call a random piece of sports equipment 'Wilson', I'm happy.🏀
 

August: Osage County was my choice of veiwing tonight. At this stage I felt forever drowning in a sea of circles, gradually turning them into squares.  Meryl is amazing but she reminded me a little too much of a certain (now deceased) relative to enjoy this movie 100%!


Holy Xmas movie in January Batman!!!
Debbie Reynolds & Neil Patrick Harris in a 'straight to tv' Hallmark Christmas movie. There's no method to our madness. Next we'll be drinking Gin for breakfast and wearing knickerbockers before lunchtime!



An old classic tonight. The classic-est of classics! I only had 3 more granny squares to make on my bright blanket. Then I'll be sitting down for hours trying to sort them in the right order like a giant jigsaw puzzle!




February

The Bear and I have found a juicy modern classic on Stan. The Hateful Eight! I was playing with a basketful of cottons and trying to make another mandala. 



 You know that thing when you crochet lots of granny squares and you're all like, "Aww these are so cute! I love granny squares!" Then you gotta sew the little buggers together and it takes FOREVER!!!!
So that's what I was doing tonight while watching How To Be Single which is already making me think, "Oh my god, I was totally a 54kg Rebel Wilson in the 90s. I'm soooo glad I'm not there anymore because 20 years, 2 kids & quite a few kilos later and I am just too damn old!" 




You can tell I really don't like this movie. Because in February I wrote:
"Whilst there's nothing wonderful about a movie that tries to convince millions of young women around the world that it's totally ok to fall for an abusive, control freak and that Yes! you totally can change him and you totes are not a victim of emotional abuse because he's totes in love with you (can you hear me dripping with sarcasm?), we are watching the delightfully trashy, psychotic thriller Fiddy Shadez tonight. The Blonde Bombshell is studying for her Irish dancing exams tomorrow and I'm still stitching my granny blanket together!"


March

Oh Zac! My secret/ not secret young boy crush. I could just crochet and watch him for HOURS! Well, I could crochet for hours. And watch Zac Efron for hours. Or days. Whatever. 



The Bear & I are having family movie night with the boys with popcorn, corn chips & salsa and chocolate watching Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. I just thought of a new spell:
Crocheto! 




Stoick the Vast, er... Gerard Butler saves the day again! London Has Fallen and so far poor fake Justin Trudeau, fake Angela Merkel and fake Japanese Prime Minister have been blown up or shot. No word on any fake Australian Prime Minister Trumble who hasnt even appeared or blown up (no one would even know who they are unless Trumpy is yelling at them down the phone).



We found this old Ryan Reynolds movie on Stan. It seems to be a little Van Wilder but in a restaurant!



April

What a fun find on the tele tonight! The Blonde Bombshell is working on another big fluffy blankie and I'm finishing my arm mitts (I ran out of a certain colour for my blanket). 



After a day on the streets of Melbourne chanting about Ginger Pride, we're now cosied on the couch watching The Edge of Tomorrow. I was crocheting a cute little soft blue cardigan I found in a magazine.  I wore this cardigan all through winter. I might make myself one in another colour!!
 

May

Hurricane Bianca. I'm perfecting my mandala and The Blonde Bombshell is crocheting a big fluffy pink blanket.



Not a movie tonight because it was semi final 2 of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. Still crocheting the blue cardigan. Finally onto the 2nd sleeve!

 HAPPY EUROVISION EVERYBODY!!!
🇭🇲🇩🇰🇨🇮🇨🇭🇦🇱🇷🇸🇸🇪🇬🇧🇫🇮




Fifty Shades Darker: Some say it's a romantic, dark chick flick. I call it a movie about domestic violence and stalking. Tomayto/ tomarto!
The Blonde Bombshell is once again working on her big stripey while I play with my favourite cottons!




June

And it was a family night out at the cinema to see my number 1 favourite superhero on the big screen Wonder Woman!
The crazy pic in top left corner was taken at my 40th birthday next to a poster my mum gave me. And like a true Wonder Crochet Woman I took my crochet to the cinema!




I love this movie! A Wes Anderson classic. If you haven't watched Moonrise Kingdom, in the words of the great man Molly Meldrum: do yourself a favour! 



Have you discovered Designated Survivor on the netflix yet? The Bear and I decided to watch the last episodes of Season 1 on this particular Saturday night. It's so darn good! I'm wearing my cosy new el-cheapo fairisle slippers and crocheting in some crazy bright colours. I thought it was going to be a cushion cover. Sadly it became another neglected WIP... or mandala. I can't remember!
 
 
July

Tonight we were all cosied in watching some yummy Marky Mark badness. The Blonde Bombshell was crocheting some wrist cuffs and I'm still crocheting a shell stitch blanket.  
 

 It's movie night with our 2 younger Sonofaguns so their choice is Monster Trucks. As long as I have crochet & tea, I'm good with that!



We had a family night out with burgers for dinner, some street Jenga and Spiderman Homecoming at our favourite local cinema. So far one of my favourite of the Marvel movies! And of course i took along my crochet!
 


On this night we found a random Netflix flix called 30 Minutes or Less.



August

A little TV guilty pleasure as I had a bit of Netflix binge on Teen Wolf.
It's not the same without Michael J Fox but nothing like a bit of teen angst and werewolves!
I'm crocheting some easy shells rows for my blanket. 



After a day in the garden, the Bear and I were vegged out on the couch in front of the box.
I had a couple of wips on my lap while we settle in for some Shoot Up The Aliens action in Independence Day Resurgence. 👽👾🤖
 



 "I Have Had It With These Motherf*cking Apes On This Motherf*cking Island!" At least that's what Samuel L. Jackson would want to say in tonights movie Kong Skull Island.
I'm crocheting a little heart.




September

When the Spring blossoms came out, I was inspired to play with bright colourful cottons.
Tonights movie is an absolute treasure from the land of the long white cloud called Hunt for the Wilderpeople. The same guy who directed Thor Ragnarok. If you'd like to check it out, I've included a link to the preview: https://youtu.be/n8Xvsjy57X0

Quirky, funny and visits parts of New Zealand you didn't see in Lord of the Rings!




Just before I jetted off for the U.S.A, I watched this magic movie which is my parents favourite movie to watch together. I know this looks like another random pile of cottons but I was actually packing a little crochet project to take on the plane for my little trip overseas Tuesday. I've packed the passport, Timtams and vegemite!




October

Last night I picked up 2 delicious balls of rainbow yarn. I have absolutely no idea what to do with it but I have a 3.5mm hook, Pitch Perfect 2 on DVD and who knows what's gonna happen!


  
The Blonde Bombshell Miss Emma and I are actually binge watching the first 5 episodes of season 3 of Outlander tonight and it's so bloody good Sassenach!!!!!  
A couple of years ago, one of my favourite bloggers Teresa Kasner casually mentioned this TV series in one of her posts (check it here) and gave it a big thumbs up! She also posted a photo of the extremely hunky Jamie Fraser. I showed Miss Emma and we both agreed we need to watch this show ASAP and have been hooked ever since. Thanks Teresa!!!



Family movie night out to our favourite local cinema for Thor: Ragnarok. Earlier in the year I said Spiderman: Homecoming was my favourite Marvel movie. Now THIS is my favourite Marvel movie.
Freaking HILARIOUS! 
I was making some more psychedelic granny squares while watching.



 November

A new superhero movie means family night out!
I took my boys (and my crochet) to see the Justice League. My goodness, Aquaman has had a rather favorable new look!
 




December
 
Were you here last year? And the year before? Then you'll know The Blonde Bombshell and I start our Xmas movie month with all the trimmings: Egg Nog, crochet and our favourite Xmas movie of all time: Die Hard!
Because it isn't Christmas until Hans Gruber falls off the Nakatomi Tower!


 




I love Elf! The Bear hasn't seen it yet so we've cosied up on the couch with caramel tarts and ice cream and I have a lovely big ball of Scheepjes Whirl to play with.


"PUT DAT COOKIE DOWN!" I love Arnie! And Christmas Arnie is almost as good as Christmas Bruce Willis!





So there it is Lovelies!  A year of Saturday Night (or sometimes Friday, Sunday or Monday) Movies & Crochet!!

Catch up with me on my Facie Page every Saturday and tell me what you're watching/ crocheting!
xox
Louise


The Red Haired Amazona