Saturday, July 4, 2015

Acorn or Gumnut?

I took advantage of linking in with Cheryll for the monthly FNWF and did some more work on the crocheted  rainbow blanket.  It's coming along nicely and I'm now part way through the 2nd repeat of colours.   But I also wanted to do another bit of stitching ........ Crochet Stitching ...... so I made this little pincushion ..... the  free pattern  from calls it an Acorn ....... but once I had it sewn together I kind of wondered if it didn't look a bit like a Gum Nut ....... and since we don't have any Acorn Trees, but do have  several Gum Trees on our little block, I figured it was fitting to have it photographed in one of the gum tree branches!

I've spent part of today clearing out part of the spare bedroom (which was DD's until she moved out a few months ago) ...... I'm planning to turn it into the guest room .... with room for  my letter writing desk and a bookcase so it can be used and not just sit vacant.  Our home is only small, so I need to use the spaces we have ...... but being small, it also shows up the clutter really, really well!!!  Decluttering is a  work in progress ...... no photos until I get it a bit cleaner lol ...... Unfortunately the Decluttering took me to the little cabin ........ where all the pretty yarn is .........
It doesn't take much to get me sidetracked .............. and I think I've found just the pattern for  this .........

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Comfy Crochet

Yesterday was my first day back at work after a week home with the flu.  I'm not one for staying in bed, but I'm very happy to rest up in one of the lounge chairs in front of the fire with some Yarny therapy!  It's funny how I've been concentrating so much the past year on getting my knitting from beginner to something with a little more experience and excitement, but when it came to not feeling well my hands went straight to my crochet hook.  My DD had seen a pic on FB and immediately tagged me with a "I want one of these Mummy" (25yr olds still call you mummy when they really, really want something lol).  I think I may have mentioned this in my last post ...... I still have a bit of brain flu fogginess ????   Anyhow, I was overjoyed to have this "new" project to give me a sense of purpose whilst being sick and resting up!  Some lovely, delightful  Comfy Crochet Happiness!   
In fact after a long day back at work yesterday, I couldn't get dinner over with quick enough, jump into my jamas and snuggle into my chair with the crochet hook again!  I'm really enjoying the way this rainbow ripple is coming together.   While I started with the same number of chain (213) as Lucy suggests for a single bed size (110cm) - I'm using a slightly larger hook (4.5mm) and therefore the width of the blanket is somewhat larger -  155cm without any border.  With 17 shades playing part, I've decided on doing 3 - 4 repeats. 

 I'm not entirely sure, since I'll decide as I go along....... you know how it is :)  If you are making a ripple of your own Lucy has a great tutorial available - just always remember to have 5 trebles at the start of each row,  check as you progress along that you are keeping in pattern - you should be putting your 2 x 2 trebles (the peak of each ripple) into the middle 2 of the previous row. 

It's pitter pattering with rain outside this morning, but the Kookaburras have flown in for a quick feed before it gets too heavy!    They come each morning and evening during the winter months and we are happy to give them a feed of mince since they then tend to make their presence known during the summer months keeping an eye out for snakes! 

  I decided a bit of wholesome baking was needed, so here you see some banana bread (a new recipe that I'm not thrilled about); a date and walnut loaf which is lovely and moist and I will make again!  I'll be freezing some up in ready cut slices for lunches.    And a first attempt of coconut macaroons with jam filling - my DH buys these from the supermarket, but I've discovered they can be made very cheaply and extremely easy to make!  Give them a go.  I used the end of my wooden spoon (dipped in a bit of flour) to make the holes to pop in a tiny bit of my home made plum jam!   Well, I'm on a "home " day today - shopping, errands, cleaning, washing ect (funnily enough, I would welcome one of these days above a "head off to work" day in a heart beat ...... unless I ever reach that long time dream of having my own little crafting, coffee happiness shop, which at 53 is becoming extremely less likely, but thankfully I have my crochet hooks )
Have a great day whatever you are doing today
Hugs Sharm

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rainbow Happiness

We've been having a combination of rainy days and very cold ones - this frost was still here in the front garden at 9am when I decided it was waiting to be photographed .... and combined with the shorter daylight hours I've been needing something to brighten things up a tad!  Working on DH's jumper in navy blue is slow going .........

 So poking around in my little cabin I pulled out this crochet book and found a great little crochet project that I've been able to make up for the Christmas in July swap which seems to be suddenly getting closer!!! I guess I can show you since nobody knows who they will be receiving from...... and I may end up making a couple extra to have for stocking fillers .... What do you think?
DD recently found a picture of  some rainbow ripple afghans and asked if I could maybe make one up for her since she's currently spending her first winter in Melbourne in her own place and doesn't have a good supply of that type of thing.  So after a bit of stash diving, I've managed to come up with these 17 colours of rainbow goodness ........
I love the way they just fit into my basket so well, and I love the brightness of it sitting in the lounge room adds a " Happiness" factor I think :)  I'll be using a size 4.5mm hook with this lot of 8ply yarn.  Once I've done a bit, I'll be able to show you how it works up with that size hook.

I also have another blanket I started work on around Springtime...... It was put away over the Summer, and I've just pulled it out again and started a bit of work on it.  This blanket will end up going onto our bed once it gets finished.  I had thought I'd have it finished ready to use on our bed by July this year, but that was before I got bitten by the knitting bug making up sweaters, scarves and other items....including that sleeveless dress which I've actually worn quite a lot!
Anyhow, winter is such a great time to work on an afghan or blanket - is anyone else working on one as well I wonder?  if you are looking for the pattern for the ripple, or numerous other blankets, check out the Attic 24 blog where Lucy shares her free patterns.   
Today while sitting pondering with cup in hand and pen and paper trying to make sense of how we might even begin to manage retirement in a few years time (well, DH will retire in a few years, I'm afraid I will prob still be working part time for a few more years lol) ........... it's tricky when you still have a significant mortgage and the loan statement tells you there are still almost 11yrs left based on current interest rates and weekly loan repayments!  So after sitting a bit contemplating and praying about the situation.......  along came this lonesome little bee on this cold morning.  We have few flowering plants at present with all the frost, but these Winter Glady's which are more like a weed and I was trying to get rid of,  actually were providing the nectar this little bee was searching for ....... and bingo  -  I found myself checking out interest rates and checking our loan details ...... we may just have found a little nectar of our own!   So I urge you to check on your loan statements, check the various interest rates (and charges) that other banks are offering and see if your bank will match them if they think you will leave to take up a better offer (no exit fees then).     So it seems I've had a nice dose of Rainbow Happiness today!  I pray you get some happiness in your day also
Hugs Sharm

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A light in the Fog!

The mornings here are dark now, even at 7am it's only just starting to lighten up, so when I had to go out to grab something from my little cabin (my craft cabin for any who don't know), and that meant turning on the light to see what I was doing...... when I came up to the kitchen and turned around, the little cabin looked so cute with it' lights on, that I couldn't resist taking a "winter morning photo" of it!   As you can see, things are getting a little "full" in there ..... kind of "overflowing" a little with skeins and balls of yarn! 

I am happy to report that I am using some of them though lol  Remember those balls of yarn I showed you last post that I was using to make "Therapy" ?  Well, here it is all finished!! (you can join in a KAL here if you want to see more about it) 
And I'm wearing it here with the Ingonish Jumper/Sweater I finished in May. It was a great pattern and I'll make more of  these in the future.

 On Saturday we had a gathering of knitters meet up at the café here in Bundalong which coincided with the Worldwide Knit in Public Day!  We ended up with some  members from the local Ravelry group, and also some locals from Bundalong and Yarrawonga - 19 ladies all up and what a great time we all had!  The café was a wonderful venue as we took over half of it and there was heaps of room for us as well as other patrons!!

I arrived home from work on Monday to find a parcel full of wonderful goodies waiting for me!  I had
taken part in a swap a couple months back now it must be, - I sent one over to the UK,  and as happens from time to time the one meant for me didn't show up.  Nobody knows if it was actually sent or not as the lady I was swapping with left the group and deleted her account soon after receiving her parcel so I don't know exactly what happened ..... except that a wonderful "angel" stepped in and sent me a parcel far beyond what was required of the swap! 

I feel so blessed by it all!  Part of the swap was to include something you had knitted, so here is this
lovely scarf Bonnie knit - in one of my favourite colours I might add!   The Angora Yarn and the Madeline Tosh are in Neutrals since I had put down initially for neutrals and wow, are they gorgeous!!  And don't you just love the project bag!  Bonnie and I are both nurses, so it has that wicked sense of humour that we can do with some days!!

Well now, I didn't think much had happened in the past week and a bit since I last posted, but it seems it may have been fuller than I had thought!  Work is just so crazy busy at present, and this time
of year I tend to leave in the half dark, or foggy morning and arrive home with little if any daylight left to quickly tend to the poor chooks and see to other chores!   I'm thankful I have tomorrow off, and don't head back to work till Tuesday - hopefully that will give me time to catch up with a bit of sorting that needs doing around here!   Well I'm off to see to a few quick chores before I leave for work...... looks like another foggy morning with lots of drizzling rain around!
Hope you all have a wonderful day, whatever you are doing
Hugs Sharm


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hello Winter

 We went from some lovely Autumn weather in May to a freezing cold day on the 1st June -
officially the start of Winter  downunder! Now as we move into Winter, that also brings with it the season for catching freshwater Crayfish!!  What a wonderful change to the normal dinner around here!  Plus it's also a bit of fun getting the big cooking pot and stand kept specifically for this purpose out from the shed where it's been sitting since last year ..... getting the fire going under it to boil them up ready for dinner tonight!
And what a weekend of "gourmet" eating we had.........  about a week ago  
we were blessed with a large bag of frozen cherries from a local farm - ones they are unable to send to market due to having split skins and had planned to cook up, but since they have sooo many bags, they gave me one!  I've only used about 1/2 the bag, but made up 4 jars of yummy Cherry Jam and also made a Cherry Pie!! 

 I think in 32yrs, we have only ever had enough cherries to make 1 cherry pie before, since they are usually eaten fresh and finished off quite quickly!!  We were all so keen to have some that I nearly missed getting a photo lol   Hubbie has ordered another pie from the remaining frozen cherries lol
Naturally, I'm getting in some knitting ...... I've slowed down on Pete's jumper to work on something else that I just couldn't resist...... knitting as one of a few testers for a new scarf Laura Aylor has designed.  Unless she changes the name of it, it is currently called Therapy......... and it is a lovely relaxing knit, with just enough variation to keep you  from getting bored.  What I will say though is that I am having not so nice a time with some of the Wollmeise yarn I'm using ..... the multi coloured one seems to have an issue with it and the smaller "tastie" skein has knots through it!! Hmmmm!   Perhaps today I'll get a good bit more of it finished off.................  Hope you all had a great weekend too!
In Progress - Therapy by Laura Aylor, soon to be published



Homefront Happenings

on the blocking mats
As this post was meant to publish at the end of May,  I'll do a quick catch up instead.....
During May, I  finally was able to complete my Ingonish Sweater!  It's quite a warm one being made up in 10ply (worsted weight).   
Progress is being made on some other knitted items, and I have dishcloths to make up as well as beginning to work on some items for the Christmas in July Swap I'm taking part in.  It will likely be my last swap for the year so I can use the last 6 months to work on Christmas gifts
While things have changed around the garden/yard here with DH pulling out the large vegie garden and other flower gardens that we were battling with grass that came up from underground runners, putting up the new front fence and doing other shed repairs ........ dead leaves have been raked up and added to the compost, which got another turn over and emptied into a raised garden bed I had down one corner of the yard.  It's been sitting empty - mostly because it had been filled up with the dirt and clay from when we dug out the pond about 4yrs ago.  So I emptied out half the clay mix and added the compost to it ....... it now has some pea seeds and cauliflower seedlings in it.  If it works ok being here, then I'll be able to use it  for some Summer Vegies. 

My herb garden was cleaned up, and I added some silverbeet in here ....... and the added compost has grown a tomato plant (not so sure it will make it through the winter with the frost, but I'm happy to let it grow for now and see what comes of it!

I've been trying to get on top of things here - cleaned out the kitchen cupboards and pantry, and the next major job is to attack the piles of paperwork!  Over the years I've tried a number of ways in which to keep the incoming paperwork under control - unfortunately when "life" gets in the way of routine, it seems that  paperwork has a way of reproducing in copious amounts and taking over every place it can get to!!  Hopefully I'll be able to tame it over the winter months!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Canberra OBDM

I'm sure you noticed from my previous post that I was pretty excited to be heading off on my own to meet up with a bunch of girls in Canberra.  The girls are all knitters from one of the groups on Ravelry and we were meeting up for the annual wool festival at the Old Bus Depot Markets (OBDM) held in Canberra each year.    Naturally that involves spending a few extra days, (especially with it coinciding with my birthday!!), and particularly when we had girls meeting up from all over the place ..... Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, NSW Coastline, Canberra and of course Bundalong lol.......  So let me share a bit of the adventure with you......   
It's about a 5 hour drive from Bundalong to Canberra and my first time to Canberra ..... being on my own I stopped in at Jugong to check out the Long Trail Café on a suggestion from a work colleague and she was right - definitely worth the stop!  It's a very small, cute little place .....

Finally found my way to the Australian University House where we were staying ....... what a great place to stay!!
Grounds at University House Canberra

Chris and I outside the war memorial
Friday we visited the War Museum ........ wow!  We didn't see all of it, its pretty full on with settings that are just amazing!  I think if my photos have turned out it might need its own post!

Vicki and I out for a morning walk around the lake

Knitting was the theme for the weekend, which did mean having something portable to work on wherever we went... ..... the variety of projects were great and once again I managed to learn so much from this talented group of ladies ...... all those knitted items you see in the photos are all made by the wearer, so keep an eye out :)  It was also a time for purchasing from each others "destash" - I managed to increase my stash with these beauties......
Saturday was my birthday, and oh, what a way to celebrate the day!  First off a morning walk with one of the girls I had met in July last year at the Bendigo Wool get together......

Followed by High Tea at the Hyatt Hotel ........ I may have over indulged ....... a fraction....... but oh was it yummy!!!  We thought the doormen were so dressed up, we should include a photo with them.....
Sue & I loved the way the doormen at the Hyatt were dressed for the occasion
High Tea at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra

The afternoon was spent knitting in the Uni courtyard, soooo relaxing ...... before we all headed of to dinner in the city precinct
which was naturally followed up by the most amazing "dark chocolate - hot chocolate"....YUM!

 Sunday morning we all packed up, headed to the Old Bus Depot Market to look for other fibre related goodies ....... and I was not at all disappointed ..... ahem!  Gotta love market prices

Goodbyes were said and each of us began to make our separate ways home.  What a fabulous group of girls to spend the weekend with, reviving old acquaintance's and igniting new ones!  I can't wait to see some of these girls again in a couple of months time at Bendigo!