Monday, 12 December 2016

Musings from the 9.14 to Southern Cross

After being absent for a whole month, I wanted to pop my head in and say HI!

It's Summer in Straya!

It's been rather frustrating for me that all the end of year busy-ness has kept me away from my little bloggy space here in the Interwebs.

I've still been able to crochet daily, but I've been limited in time for designing and writing. Hopefully the upcoming summer holidays will give that back to me because I've really missed hanging out with you guys! I've been so desperate to blog, I'm currently writing this up on my little phone on the train to Southern Cross Station on my way to work!

I'm on the train. Bloggin' and stuff...
I have finally finished a delicious scarflet pattern I have been working on. That was created using some yummy Debbie Bliss cashmerino which was lovingly hand dyed and posted to me by Vicki from the blog Off The Hook in the UK.

I then became quite excited by the idea of these scarflets and made a slightly different variation using Moda Vera Shiver. This is a super soft, chunky acrylic yarn.

I have the idea of releasing the pattern with the 2 versions. One for cashmerino style yarns and one for chunky yarns. So stay tuned for that in the coming weeks!

I also took some time to make a variation of my Stevie Bird pattern.

What do you think of this little Cockatoo?

I love him! I'd like to try making other Aussie birds too!

If you follow along on Spacey Facey, you'd know I love Xmas and Xmas movies! I have some goodies planned for my Saturday night Movies & Crochet.

We started off last weekend with one our favourite Xmas classics Die Hard! 

Once I had a glass of Egg Nog in hand, Die Hard on the tv and the lights twinkling on the Xmas tree I had that delicious, cosy Christmassy feeling!

And our old friend Rocko the Elf has arrived again this year. He always makes his debut like this:

The following day, we woke up and he continued the superhero theme.

Aren't these little masks adorable?  They were designed by Simple Made Pretty. You can download them for free after you subscribe to their site. They are designed to print so each mask perfectly fits your Elfs face. The eyeholes are even in the right place.

Our Christmas tree is up.

I wanted to go with a pink and gold theme this year. But I have so many cute little ornaments that are not pink and gold, and I absolutely HAVE TO put up that once again my tree is a mishmash of things.

Like these adorable little mushrooms I bought online a couple of years ago...

I recently discovered that we don't have to travel all the way to Phillip Island for Sonofagun No.2s penguin fix.

A couple of weeks ago it was Bears work Xmas party. It was held at a lovely restaurant called Little Blue on the St Kilda pier.

We got all dressed up and I spent a great deal of time ironing my hair and twisting it into lovely waves. I felt a bit glam!

We caught trains and trams to St Kilda, then had to walk along a very long pier to the little restaurant at the end. 

Unfortunately piers and bays are kind of windy. My hair did this....

Definitely NOT glam!         btw Where's Wally?
After taking refuge in the restaurant and grabbing a medicinal glass of bubbly, we realised on the otherside of the restaurant through some rather largish small windows, we could see a small crowd gathering around the rocks. We watched and were able to see some Australian Little Penguins emerge from the bay. 

One of the Wait Staff told us it was a nightly tourist attraction, so the Bear and I decided to take Sonofofagun No.2 and his Bear cub along the following weekend.

Now we were on the otherside of the glass!

Sonofagun No.2 waits for penguins....
These penguins certainly weren't shy!

They swim in just after sunset every night.

Many waddle their way up into the breakwater boulders to their nests but quite a few perch on top of the rocks to preen and perve at the two legged visitors.

So that's just a little recap from the train...

 If I don't get the chance to pop in again before Christmas, stay tuned for the end of the year when I do my Year of Saturday Night Movies & Crochet wrap up!


The Red Haired Amazona

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Rules for Kids: let Mum pee alone. K, thx.

This image may or may not represent some of what this weeks blog post is about.
Image source unknown, but not mine. K, thx

As a human being and a mother, I don't have many strict rules for my kids.

There's the usual like:

  1. Don't make people dead or hurt.  
  2. Don't lie to Mum.  
  3. Don't do drugs until you're old enough to not be living with Mum and not the really, really bad ones. Which is most of them. And after that don't tell Mum. And do all that while obeying Rule No.2.
  4. Don't be mean to other people or animals. 
  5. Treat everyone with respect. Unless they are being an asshole to you. Then take the high road and find clever ways to get back at them without being an overt asshole (eg don't be racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc etc), so they don't realize you've made them look stupid until you're far enough away that they can't hit you. 
  6. Don't disrespect Mums music. Holy Janice Joplin you'll be in trouble if you speak against the mighty Foo Fighters or any band Mum has a tshirt for.
There are a few others which generally confirm to societal norms, or I make up on the spot, but one of the more important ones is:
  1. Unless the kitchen has exploded, ninjas are busting through the front door or you really need to use it yourself, Don't bug Mum while she is on the toilet.

Now I don't know about you but there are certain places where you should just be left in peace. The toilet is No.1 on my list.

In your household, how many times do little people come banging down the door, yelling random things at you through the door, or even try and come in to tell you something while you're in there?

As parents and as human beings aren't we all entitled to a little peace and privacy while we take care of our least attractive bodily functions? We don't have to share EVERYTHING with our families. Sure we should do everything we can for our babies but we don't have to sacrifice ALL OF THE THINGS for our kids. Like time alone on the loo. Who wants to have pairs of little eyes watching you wipe your bum? Seriously Ladies!

Some people are totally ok with leaving the door open and having conversations with any passersby while having a pee. Some couples view this as a sharing part of their relationship.

Not this Amazona.

From a young age, when little people come yelling down the corridor, "MUUUUUUMMMM!!! THE TV ISNT ON/ I WANNA BISCUIT/ CAN MY MATE BRUCE COME OVER? MUMMMM THE CROC ATE MY HOMEWORK!!!!"  while I'm ensconced in the old water closet, I first ask:

"Do you need to go to the toilet?"
"Is the kitchen on fire?"
"Are there ninjas busting down the front door?"
"Are you dying?"
"Then it can wait till I get out!"

In the Bears previous relationship, he was used to being walked in on while on the throne by all members of the family for any reason at all. And he'd sit there, sigh and answer their questions.

After we started dating, he relayed this information to me.

I looked deep into his lovely green eyes and said, "Babes. I love you and I promise I never, ever, EVER want to walk in while you're on the loo and talk to you about ANYTHING! Your peace in the throne room is guaranteed."

I think that's when he fell in love with me.

So it was startling when the other evening I happened to be in there (let's not go into details Ladies), and Sonofagun No.2 comes thundering down the hallway. For an 7 year old he does an awfully good impression of a herd of elephants.


Amazona says through the toilet door: "What? Is every thing ok? Do you need to wee?"

SOG2:  "No."

Amazona: "Is the kitchen on fire?"

SOG2: "No"

Amazona: "Are there ninjas busting down the front door?"

SOG2: "No"

Amazona: "Are you dying?"

SOG2: "No"

Amazona: "Then it can wait!"

SOG2: "But it's important!!"

Amazona: "What is it?"

SOG2: "I have to tell you there's something bigger than the Milky Way. It's the Universe. And in the Universe is like, stars and other planets, and like they're bigger than Earth. And like, there's kabillions of other Milky Ways and other universes in this bigger thing called the Multiverse. And yeah... Can I have ice cream?" Yep. Hello parenting.

It's so been so wonderful having a growing teenaged Sonofagun No.1. Now he can reach the top cupboard for mummys wine glasses when she needs a Medicinal Moscato.
In other news, apparently it's Spring.

But down here in Melbourne, long sunny Spring days have been few and far between #crazymelbourneweatherisgivinglocalsthes**ts

On the occasional sunny day, I've been enjoying the beautiful scent of jasmine, sweet peas and crab apple blossom. I love those scents!

One of my potted roses is also blooming. I seem to have lost the label but I think this is one of the David Austin roses.

I haven't really done anything in the garden this year. It is a bit of a mess. But the regulars keep coming back each year...

This morning the weather was really windy, with clouds threatening rain, and some sun. I decided to take a long walk along the local beach. Despite the wind, it felt good to stretch my legs after a yummy big breakfast of bacon & eggs.

The rain stayed away from our part of the city, while a storm whips up in the middle of Port Phillip Bay (on the right of the photo)

Some beautiful roses from someone's front yard.

I have been steadily working on a project with my Best Bloggy Buddy Vicki from Off the Hook. It definitely has been a challenge to create something with a 100gm skein of variegated yarn, that's for sure! Stay tuned for that one!

Whenever I need to take a break from focussing on one project, I go to my messy tray of bright cottons and whip up a mandoily (mandala/ doily).

I love experimenting with the colour combinations. I am not exactly a colour expert. I don't find it easy to choose palettes (that's why I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to colour combos!)

The challenge with going round and round using different stitches is keeping it even so the circle doesn't get too tight from too few increases, or start to buckle from too many increases.  Alot of frogging happens!

The Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Kamila Cardigan- The Stripey Version. A finished project (Designer Ling Ryan)


I have had a busy few months.

I've had my head down working like a crazy woman on project after project. I haven't really devoted much time to designing new patterns even though I often write ideas down in my pretty notebooks.

Let's just say I've been selfishly crocheting for the sake of crocheting without creating anything new.

This is totally fine and I've had a lot of fun doing it.  I finished my Yarn Bombed Stag, the Bear Cubs Lean Mean Green Blanket, my Icicle Scarf, and now at last my Candy Striped Kamila Cardigan.

This is my 3rd attempt at crocheting a cardigan in the past 12 months. 

The first was a Tunisian crochet cardigan I found in a magazine last winter.  I restarted it so many times, found numerous errors in the pattern which resulted in a couple of emails to the magazine who then published errata that I gave up.

I then tried another pattern I found on Ravelry but was not happy with the way it was shaping up. No errors this time, I just realized it wasn't very flattering for me.

Then I found a new pattern published by a crochet designer called Ling Ryan called the Kamila Cardigan.

The pattern shows a lovely soft grey cotton piece.  I decided to purchase the pattern and give it a go.

This pattern was really easy to follow as Ling includes lots of photos and extra 'explainy' bits.

I have always envied those bright stripey little girls cardigans and jumpers that you often see in the shops, and decided to try making mine like that. 

As I also started it just before the beginning of Spring, I think the cardigans colour choices were a direct result of my environment....

I received these flowers from Bear one day....

I began crocheting in THIS place, under THAT blanket.  Please ignore my manky couch with the extra dodgy padding under the seat cushion. I'm putting off getting new couches until Sonofagun No.2 has grown out of the phase where he smears all of the grossest things on my couch arms.

I was also wearing these socks.

And this was happening in my garden...

So as you can see, I was surrounded by bright, vivid Spring colours everywhere!

And so I began...

I used a selection of Patons 8 ply Cottons and some beautiful Cascade Ultra Pima Cottons which I purchased from the Little Woolie stall at the Australian Sheep & Yarn show.

And at last I finished!
What do you think?

The pattern calls for a row of buttons down the front, but I decided to use a hair pin to fasten the cardigan in the middle. 

Although the bright Hair Pin (bought for me by The Blonde Bombshell in Hong Kong) is lovely, I am concerned it may stretch the fabric, so I am going to look out for the perfect button to put here instead.

I also decided to make my sleeves slightly bell shaped.  Not because I think the pattern should do that but because I like bell sleeves.

I know stripes shouldn't be worn on anyone over a size 10 but haters gonna hate!

The big question is: Have I worn it in PUBLIC????

By Jingo I have!

This photo was taken the very second after I finished sewing the last threads in, before I gave it a light blocking.

I first wore it with jeans to Sonofagun No.2s school concert, and then yesterday it was a slightly chilly day so I wore it to work!

Yes. I wore a bright, candy- striped cotton crochet cardigan into corporate work land. Because that's how I roll people!

If you'd like to have a look at Lings pattern or even purchase it yourself to make one (perhaps in one colour or candy striped!) you can visit her Ravelry page here. 

By the way this isn't a paid endorsement. I don't do those. I just really liked it and bought it and made it and am now sharing with you lovely people!

In other crochety news, my Best Bloggy Buddy in Jolly Ole England, Vicki from Off The Hook sent me a surprise package for my birthday last week.  I don't know if it actually was for my birthday or out of the goodness of her heart because she has a wonderful habit of sending me random pressies.

So the package?  2 balls of Stylecraft 'Merry Go Round' acrylics, a crochet hook with a lovely polymer clay handle which she made herself, and a skein of delicious wool which she also hand dyed!

The hand dyed wool came with a challenge.

Vicki has a very very similar, almost identical skein as well. And she challenged both of us to each create something with our skeins.

1 week to make 1 thing with 1 skein.

1 week! Ye Goddess I panicked! And delved into the Pinterest, and wracked my brain and tried a few things and then after 3 or 4 days wrote to Vicki and said, "Can we pretty please maybe make it a month? Because I'm not so awesome I can pull a new thing outta my brain in a week!" And she agreed and said she also needed a month. Because we are good but we are not THAT good. I mean that would take super human powers of ignoring everything else in life for a whole week. Which as Mothers and Livers of Real Life and Workers in 'Real-Life non-Crochet Boring Jobs' is not humanly possible.

So stay tuned. Have you ever dyed your own yarn?

Check out Vickis blog post and see how she did it!

The Red Haired Amazona