Monday, 25 November 2013

Dandenong Show 2013


So proud of myself.  I made, no, designed and created this tea cosy myself.  Not the easiest of tea pots to work with due to the handle across the top, rather than the traditional side handle.

I decided to enter it in to the Dandenong Show.  As there was no 'tea cosy' category it had to go under 'other'.  Interestingly, the items that came first second and third in the knitted 'other' category were all tea cosies.

I came second in the 'other' class, beaten by a chook cosy.  I'm sure I've seen the chook pattern before, but I take comfort in knowing that my cottage is all my own design.  I can't remember what it was that came third, but for being another cosy.
I was told when I took the cosy in that they have professional window dressers to display the works.  One has to wonder though, because when I got to the show the cottage was displayed from the rear.  Doh, wouldn't you display it with the front door and the flowers in the window box showing?  I can only hope the judges picked up the items to get a proper look.  You can see just at the front of the photo a crocheted heart shaped box of chocolates.  They too were all jumbled and not displayed to their best.  As it happened, the maker of the 'chocolate' box arrived as I was looking at the craft.  The look of disappointment at her display was disheartening.


 Looking at and admiring all the various crafts on display at country shows, I also enjoy watching the sheep dog trials and the wood chopping.  Alas, neither were happening at the Dandenong Show.  However, there was a short sheep dog demonstration happening just to the right of the craft shed.  On the other side was the hot chainsaw competition.  Whilst the Stihls beat the Husqvanas hands down, it was watching one of the men carve this chair in just a few minutes with his Stihl.  I was suitably impressed and told him so, to which he kindly carved another one for me to bring home.  How nice!  Mountain ash I think he said the timber is.

Once I found a stand that sold Dagwood Dogs (my other show requirement) and got a small show bag for each in the family (alas! no Bertie Beetle bags), my day was complete.  I'm past going on the scary rides.  I like the contents of my stomach to remain there.

Once the exhibition shed closed I waited with the other exhibitors for about an hour as the wind picked up and the weather closed in.  Brrrr, biting cold, but I had a good chat with some ladies.  Seeing walk out with their exhibits, I must say that there a some mighty talented people in the area, be it cooking, sewing, knitting, photography, etc.

Ah well, what to do for the next show ...

Friday, 15 November 2013

Assassins Creed Beanie

My teenage son asked me to knit him a beanie with the Assassins Creed logo in it.  I said to him "You find me the pattern and I'll give it a go", thinking to myself that I was quite safe for a while.  I even casually mentioned the Ravelry website. 
Hmph! Not 5 minutes later he calls me to his computer screen to say "Is this what you need Mum?", showing me a charted Assassins Creed logo.
Actually this is another case of more stitches than those that show.  Since I took this photo yesterday I knitted up another dozen or more rounds, only to discover the changeover from intarsia to swiss darning would not go smoothly.  Oh well, it's a learning curve.  Now I've frogged all the extra rows and a few more.  Now I'm going to try knitting the beanie in plain stocking stitch, then swiss darning the top half of the logo.  I just hope that where I have done intarsia, the red carried behind doesn't show through too much.  Like I said, it's a learning curve, and who better to practise on than teenage boys that hopefully won't be as picky as I on the finer points of intarsia.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Aran and cable scarf

I seem to have been knitting this forever, but I'm nearly there.  My sister sent me a gift voucher for my birthday for CrafteeCottage in Oakleigh.  Mum and I saw the scarf in their booth at the Stitches and Craft show at Jeff's Shed in July.  The pattern is by Louisa Phillipson, winner of Craftee Cottage's 2013 scarf competition.  Because it was the last day of the show, there was not a huge choice of colours, so we went the next weekend to the store.  Heaven!  So many yummy yarns.  I like the colour we chose.  We were trying for a unisex colour, but I think the scarf is turning out quite manly, The yarn is Heirloom 'Chelsea' 8 ply.
Yay! It's finally finished and now it's for sale.  70% wool / 30% bamboo.  Approximately 7' or 2.1 mt long.
Funny how the colour changes from one photo to the next.  I would describe it as a moss green.  My train buddy and I did the calculations and there are nearly 27 .5 thousand stitches in this scarf.  Probably closer to 30 thousand if you count the back tracking, tee he he.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Death by cable needle

Aaargh! My cable needle will be the death of me one day.
At the moment I'm knitting a cable and aran scarf.  When I'm in the middle of a row I tend to hold the needle in my mouth between cables.  Not always a good look on the train I know, but what can one do?  Between rows I tend to stash the needle in the weave of my jumper or cardie.  No worries, if I forget to put it away, enough strange looks will alert me to a cable needle being worn as a brooch and it soon gets put away. 

Death #1 (actually blindness)
I have a favourite jumper my Mum knitted in the 80s.  It has a farmyard scene (yes it's the Patons 8 ply Herdwick one) with a crossover neckline.  I have discovered it's a great place to stash the cable needle.  Until I forget to put the needle away and it pokes me in the eye when I take off the jumper.

Death #2
When I get to sit in my armchair in my PJs and knit, I'll put the needle in my top pocket.  Of course I forget to put it away, until I roll over in bed, it slides out and tries to stab me in the throat.

Death #3
Last weekend we went for a drive. I got my knitting out, no cable needle. Darn it, where was it? Oh yeah, I was knitting in my PJs last night.  Hmmm, I didn't get stabbed and it wasn't in the bed when I made it in the morning.  Gasp!  It was still in my pyjama pocket and now it was in the wash.  Oh no ... I had visions of it getting caught in the holes in the machine and a) blowing up the machine which was washing when we went for our drive, and/or b) getting stuck in one of the holes of the drum and shredding my clothes as they went past. Thankfully when I got home both the machine and my clothes were in one piece with the needle sitting at the bottom of the drum.  Yay! All is good with the world.

Have a close look at the needle though.  See the little scratches about 1cm in from each end?  I thought surely my teeth could not have done that?  I would have no enamel left.  What could have caused these marks, so severe it snags the wool?  Aha!  It did get caught in the holes in the washing machine. 

So lucky am I that I
a) have not yet poked myself blind
b) have not yet stabbed a hole in my throat, and
c) not killed the washing machine and my clothes are still in one piece.
Someone up there is looking after me and I say a little thankyou.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Reflections of Post Uno

Sunday 22.09.2013

I'm sitting on the bank of the Loddon River at Laanecoorie.  Still lots of tweaking to be done on the blog. Did I jump or was I pushed to hit the 'Publish' button.  I think I was pushed to jump.  My poor little lap top was soooo slow, we ran out of time to tweak.  Then I still had to write 'Post Uno' off the top of my head, without any forethought.  Hmmm, not good.

Sitting here in the sun with peace, pelicans and tranquillity, there is so much more I want to say.  I'm not sure what I've already said because I don't have access to the internet to find out (well I do now, now that I'm home).  this blog is being written in the original notebook, with pen and paper, no power or internet required!

I gave up smoking at about 23:57 hrs on 30 June 2012, not counting the one I botted for my birthday in July.  Knitting is now my drug.  Before I gave up smoking knitting was a hobby.  Now, my stash is almost (I only said almost, not completely) out of control and I have too many ideas for projects running around my head.  According to the Quit poster, in 1 year a pack-a-day smoker will save over $4000.  That means I should have saved over $2000.  My receipts from Spotlight tell me otherwise.

I can tell you one thing, I won't be blogging everyday and most likely not every week. I can even see myself going a few weeks between posts.  Why?  Who wants to read about me every day, this stuff takes time to do, I'm too busy knitting to write, I'm not in the mood, or sometimes, LIFE JUST GETS IN THE WAY.

Back to the blog.
I guess it's like many things in life, practice makes perfect, or at least better.  I hope to share with you fabulous patterns, yummy yarns, ideas for projects, etc.  One day I hope to be able to write my own patterns, add 'How To' videos (as if there aren't enough already on youtube) and maybe, just maybe, get published.  I mean in a real book, with pages of paper that one can touch and turn.

Gotta go ... need a knit fix.
And Carly, I want my 'A' bit as a capital. (yay! I worked out how)

Friday, 20 September 2013

Post Uno

Gee what do I write for my first post?
I looked at other blogs but wasn't smart enough to find their first blog post, but I got a message from the Grand Purl Baa telling me to "just write", I think she said.
I started this blog because my knitting was getting out of control and I need an outlet for it. So someone suggested I start a little "business". I want to post photos of my work and hopefully one day someone will say "ooh, I like that, how much?"
I designed and made this!
And this one too!
And these bags won a prize at my local country show!
I love to travel. I keep two travel notebooks- a paper one and a laptop - but it's hard for my friends and family to see where I go when they're private diaries. This blog will be good to share my travel thoughts and photos with those I love.
This photo is of Blue Lake, Mt Gambier in South Australia.
My writings are whimsy, to you they may be waffle, but it's me.
I could not have started this blog without the help (and persistence) of Carly Findlay - blogger extraordinaire and very patient lady.
So bear with me while I get the hang of this modern communication medium. Refinements to follow.