Thursday, January 28, 2016

January Projects

Yesterday was Australia Day here in the land of OZ, but I'm afraid we had a very quiet one around here - basically just enjoying having the day to sit and rest (for the most part, since I did do a bit of  cleanup and a bit of gardening).  Since the last post was all about my garden plans, I thought I'd use this post to share other projects .......  Those library bags I made for 2 of the grandies in Townsville were met with happy smiles .......    and thankfully the painting smock made for grandson fits ...... it will be his very first day at school today!


Somehow I've found myself with several WIP sitting on needles ...... as you can see ...... I admit to
having actually forgotten about a couple of these as they got put to the side (or under other things) when the cabin was cluttered up with everything from inside the spare bedroom that needed moving out temporarily a few months ago ..... cleaning up the cabin has revealed an awful lot of sewing WIP items as well!!  From this photo of knitted WIP  is a pair of fingerless gloves (Grey Islands , by Laura Aylor) ;  the lovely Qiviut Yarn that was won in a competition and will turn into "Tundra Fern Scarf"  ;   A shawl I started for Mum with some hand dyed 4ply Blue faced Leicester-Bunny Yarn; a Woolly Wormhead designed beanie (Staggered) which will be a birthday gift for eldest son; and of course one you are all familiar
with ..... Stonehaven (by Laura Aylor) which is the marathon sweater I'm knitting in navy blue yarn for hubbie!  At least I'm onto the first sleeve now and have begun the decreases on it as it needs to get finished for Autumn this year!


Its been so hot here the past week, but as I'm sitting here this morning writing this the rain has just begun ..... good steady rain - which is nice (although a tad inconvenient since, after 5 yrs putting it off, I have the pest man coming today to spray!  Kinda typical now isn't it lol)

I have managed to finish off another beanie.  Remember my first ever knitted beanie was the one made for DD's partner for Christmas? Well it was a Woolly Wormhead pattern and I ended up visiting her group on Ravelry ...... they were just getting started on a "wonderful idea" ....... 12 Woolly Wormhead hats in 12 months ......hmmmmm ......I did find her pattern quite good to follow and I was blown away by the variety of beanies and styles of caps she has ......yep, you guessed it, I'm taking part, especially since I could see that these make a great gift.  So one has been completed "Beamish" for eldest sons girlfriends youngest. 
And I have also managed to finish off the Mystery Knit Along from Laura Aylor that was a free pattern just prior to Christmas as a thankyou to all .... I'll have to wait till winter to see if I end up wearing this very much as I'm not usually a big fan of cowls - but this one is a little different, so we shall see - excuse the horrid selfie!  Well it took the whole day to get back to here, so I best get this posted!
 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Summertime Thoughts

Mary, with Joy and Jack the 2 chicks
Remember those 2 little chicks that were put under Mary ..... they have grown ..... here they are with Mary's head just poking out over the top of Jack's back (yes, the little stipey one turned into a rooster).  Mary still manages to call them into line ..... here they are helping clean out the chook shed ...... I usually rake it up and then leave it a couple of hours for the chooks to go get any bugs and check things out before I go back and rearrange nesting boxes etc.

My little  crafting cabin at the side of the house is what used to be the single carport when we first arrived here ..... actually, it was the only carport!  We used to use that area for splitting the wood and then piling it against the fence where we could walk from the kitchen doorway to get it during the winter months.  It's never had a shelter put over it, so was always open to the rain and frost.........  last winter, we stopped putting the wood there since with the cabin now sitting there, we bring the trailer in through the back gates and split the wood in the back yard, and after a few goes of wheelbarrowing it around to its former place, we decided that was no longer convenient!  I was actually doing the happy dance, since I'd much rather the wood be brought inside from the back door which is closer to the fire and prevent so much dirt and wood droppings being constantly dropped across all the floors!

This means also that this area of the yard, which also has the clothes line is not really used by much else.  It gets sun all day long, including the afternoon sun, and being behind my crafting cabin, near the kitchen door and laundry door, with a tap at that side of the house .......... yep ...... I think its the perfect spot for a kitchen garden!!!!   I began a little experiment a couple of months back by moving some of the wood and creating a space for a raised garden bed ..... just a small one ..... without making much fuss about it ........  

Today I sat on the veranda on that side of the house with a cool drink and just looking and thinking about that space. ..........  Naturally, I've come up with some awesome ideas for what could possibly happen out there.   It's not going to happen overnight ....... after all, that wood won't be going anywhere until it gets used during winter!   And the ugly piece between the windows on the back of my cabin needs painting,  the mop and bucket need a new home, and the worm bin has definitely NOT worked where it is!  Unfortunately the afternoon hot western sun pours down on it from about 2.30pm and has pretty much cooked all the worms I had in there :(    I think I have a new spot for it ........ just need to get hubbie to move the hose holder to the other side of the tank stand .........    And I want a big piece of lattice work to sit in front of that big window where one of the bedrooms are, so I can grow peas and beans, which will act to shade that bedroom during summer and still let the sun in during winter when its cold.  It's a big pain to mow that area as well and its mostly weeds, not grass that is growing ........... I see old bricks or cheap pavers .......... just have to find some first lol


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Starting the New Year

Happy New Year to you all!  I'm starting this year with a feeling of positivity that it will be a good year ....... and by that I mean to say that it needs to be an improvement on the past 2 years which have been quite dramatic and draining to our family in numerous ways!  So here is to the beginning of positivity for 2016!!  I have some hopes and goals of my own for this year, but I'll save those for a future post and fill you in on the past couple of weeks instead.........  I signed up and completed a test knit for a poncho "Wednesdays Child" by Laura Aylor. 
 It's made using 10ply / worsted yarn and I chose to use Luxury, a Bendigo Woollen Mills Yarn in the colour Denim.  It was a quick and easy knit and I can see this being perfect to throw over my head when going out to do chores during winter, or going walking and so forth.  The splits at the elbows certainly make it more user friendly than a lot of other ponchos I've tried!  I think I may make another of these!  I went down to my daughters place to spend a day and a night and got it finished while there, so I was able to get her to take me down to these cute little bathing boxes on Brighton Beach (just close to where she lives) and get some great photos!  This was my first time seeing these in real life ...... they are soo cute!!  They are all privately owned and kept locked up until the owners are down on the beach to use them.
I really enjoyed spending the day with Stace and having a sleep over at her and her partners unit ..... I managed to get some good shopping done at one of the large shopping centres (all the bits I haven't been able to buy up here!), and we also managed to get in a movie, go out for dinner and had breakfast at the pancake parlour before I had to hop on the train to head back home.

The train ride from Melbourne to Wangaratta in around 3 hrs so it was nice to sit back and do a bit of reading and also make a start on a beanie. 
Once back home again the sewing machine was kept busy while I made up a couple of library bags and a paint smock for 2 of the grandies up in Townsville, after I got a phone call from DIL asking if I could make them up (well, no guesses that was a big YES!!) ...... our youngest grandie starts school this year!  How time flies by.  I was able to pick out some materials from my stash,  then took a photo of them all, got on the phone to them and they got to choose 2 fabrics each (1 design for each side of the bag).   I have to say I was pretty happy that I had spent those couple of days over Christmas reclaiming my little cabin! 

....... and I do seem to have a number of sewing projects on the go ............ in various tins and tubs.....hmmmmm,  its a very busy little cabin!!   A big thankyou to Qin from France who sent me a signature hexie for my country scents table cloth that I'm making.  This is the first hexie that has arrived as yet. 

I do feel like I'm already running behind, given its now the 12th day of January and I'd hoped to get the first post of the New Year written within the first couple of days........ My calendar is already filling up, and as usual work just seems to take up that extra chunk of time I need here at home right now (currently I work 3 days one week and 4 the other, but with travel of 45km each way,  I'm gone from just after 7am and don't get back home till between 5 and 6pm - later if I have to stop at the shops for groceries).  Perhaps I just need to get myself a little more organised (like I always was until a couple of years ago - but then, I've not had such length of travel time to and from work before either ....... more food for thought for another time and post. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015 ...... Hello 2016

The busyness of December is almost at a close, given its the very last day for 2015!  I did manage to get some gifts made up which included the Beanie for daughters partner and the Sun Hat for her.  The brim proved to be a bit tricky since the 10ply cotton I purchased from Bendigo Yarns just isn't quite as course and thick as the stuff like sugar n cream that comes from the US ..... it was also impossible to find liquid starch around here and the spray starch just doesn't do much........ instead I used water mixed with PVA glue which dries clear and worked great after about 3 coats!!  Hopefully she gets some use from it!  It sure has been pretty hot these past few days!  I was really hoping we might get a day of rain and cooler weather today .........

A number of crocheted hand towels and dishcloths were made and all received gratefully which was rather nice given the time we put in to do handmade gifts :)  I posted a pic of those last post so I'm sure you don't need to see them again.

Need to find a home for all the empty baskets!
Hubbie and I have been blessed to both have from Christmas Eve until the 3rd Jan off work.  We've been taking it a bit easy to have a bit of a break, but also putting time into the garden ...... and I spent a couple of days in the craft cabin getting it somewhat sorted!  The past few months it became a dumping ground when we had to quickly make room in the house........... I've yet to get the table tops cleared, but the storage unit was completely emptied and I moved things around so that all my yarn is sorted ready to grab for various projects through the year!
Found the lounge lol - bottles waiting for cordial making

  My fabrics have been moved to the other end since I'm finding it's easier to get knitting and crochet achieved than it is for me to get much sewing done since I picked up the extra day at work.  Amazing how just 1 extra day a fortnight can have such a huge impact on what can no longer get fitted into doing at home!  I'll review how things are going mid year to decide if I keep doing the extra day or not.

I really enjoyed making the Beanie for daughters partner and the fact he was so excited and pleased with it has made me want to knit more of these little projects!  So since the pattern was such a great one being simple to follow (Woolly Wormhead design and it was a free pattern called Noma) ..... I went to her group on Ravelry and it just happened that they have a little thing going for knitting 12 of her hats in 12 months ...... hmmmm ...... Perfect!!!  These will make great birthday projects I'm thinking ....... I've had a bit of fun looking through all the patterns of different styles of hats she has for all ages and trying to pick out only 12 ........ I've ended up picking about 19 which will give me a choice as I go through my stash during the year.  Yes, I will be knitting these from stash, especially now I have it all sorted and there sure seems more than enough for 12 hats!!  So stay tuned for the hat making!     
Getting hats sorted for the next 12 months has also got me thinking about lots of other things that I would like to have sorted to plan out over the next 12 months ...... still in the planning stages for now so that will be another post!
In the meantime, I will wish you all the very best as 2015 comes to a close and a brand shiny new year is about to unfold .......Happy 2016 Everyone xo
Yep, caught myself in the mirror taking the shot :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December: Catching Up

It's been so crazy busy around this place since my last post, and although I've thought about
Baby Willy Wagtails out of the nest
 getting a post out, it just hasn't quite got there till now ..... kinda.......  I'm starting this morning, but I soon will have to run out the door to work, so it will be tonight no doubt before I can actually post! (as it turned out that was yesterday morning and I'm trying again )  No doubt everyone else is busy as well, especially those of you who have to fit in working outside the home!!  It really does cramp my style and stop lots of things from getting done, that I really would like to be doing..... oh well, guess I'm lucky to only have 7 days a fortnight rather than 10!  Anyhow, I'm sure nobody wants to hear about that .......
I've been busy getting a few little crocheted kitchen towels made up for Christmas giving, and I've also managed to get that Beanie knitted up which will be going under the tree for daughters partner. 
I'm actually quite pleased with how it turned out, being my first knitted beanie and all lol
 

I'm wanting to get a summer hat crocheted up for daughter for Christmas, but it needs some thick cotton yarn.  I've ordered some online from Bendigo Woollen Mills this week when I found out its currently on sale  for $11 for a 200gr ball!  I got a couple of colours  in 10ply cotton and also purchased some other yarn which took me over the $60 (which then gives you free postage!) It should arrive by Friday ..... at least I'm hoping it will so I can make a start over the weekend, and hope its a quick crochet lol

In the meantime, I've been working on getting my Park Slope finished up, and I'm really pleased with the result and the fit!  The yarn I used is the Wollmeise fingering and its so nice and light to wear!  I will definitely be making more of these in the future.

Summer time here means all the stone fruit are coming into season.  We've been blessed to have our eldest son bringing home some very yummy cherries.  I now have some pitted and frozen ready to make cherry pie to eat on Christmas
Day.......  and our Apricot tree is just about ready to be picked, so it will be time to get making the jam sometime in the next week or so I expect!    Although we pulled out the large vegie garden, some pumpkin seeds found their way down into the garden bed where Dad had been drying some seeds when he was here ........ the vine is doing so well, we have decided to just let it keep going and I see it's beginning to set some pumpkins. 
 I've put a few tomato plants and capsicums into the front flower garden to companion grow ...... most seem to be doing well ......... and yes, couldn't help myself ....... I moved some of the wood pile and put in a temporary garden with some cucumbers to see if a garden would work here in this area.


The little chicks are growing nicely, Mary is such a great foster mum.  They should be grown and ready to begin laying come winter, which will be perfect for keeping up the egg supply!  I lost a couple of hens a couple of months ago - both older girls, so these little ones will be replacing them.  I may even set a couple of fertile eggs (I'm sure I'll be able to find somebody willing to give me a couple) if I have a broodie hen towards the end of summer, in order to keep my little flock up.  Well, now I think we are pretty well caught up ....... except to say that I have received a lovely little embroidered hexie all the way from France to put in my table cloth, but I think it deserves a post all its own, so you will have to wait to see that photo for another day or two.    Take care and have an awesome day!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend Snippets

This was the 3rd Friday of the month which meant joining in with other gals from around the world for FNSI.  My stitching tended to extend over the entire weekend in bits and pieces here and there ......... I got some more embroidery done on the centre piece for my blog table cloth ....... I'm ready to begin working on some hexies for the flower petals now, and hoping to have enough friends who are keen to embroider their names onto a hexie to make the centres. (If you are interested, please read this post - I'd love to have friends names on my tablecloth in my craft cabin). 




Magic Loop Success!
After quite the challenge, I finally worked out how to do the knitting "magic loop" which enables you to "join" 6 stitches on a circular needle!  Finally I'm now making progress on a beanie for a Christmas gift!  At least, I sure hope it works out ok..... guess we shall see.








And also managed progress on my Park Slope top, getting the waistband completed.  Just have the neck and sleeves left to finish, but I'm happy with how it's looking this far....... what do you think?

 Turned out to be a busy, but enjoyable weekend as  we ended up heading  out for dinner on Friday night,   and then on Saturday afternoon called in for a wonderful catch up with some friends before they get busy with harvest, ...... Sunday we spent some time tending  to the garden - the grass and weeds are just growing like wildfire at the moment!  I've moved my swing chair ........ currently searching for just the right place, you know - morning sun and afternoon shade as Summer heads towards us!  I'm not sure I have it quite right yet, this spot seemed to be getting more and more sun as the afternoon extended.  What a shame the weekend is over so quickly! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

FNSI

Get yourselves ready for FNSI with Wendy this coming Friday!  I'm looking forward to getting some sewing and knitting done along with all the other girls in blogland who will stitching along together.  Why not come and join in ...... head over via the link and pop your name down and then go and visit everyone to see what they are making!