knitting Feed

Time to panic

I had a lovely few days away.  The weather was cool and the company good. The mornings were foggy,

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and the clouds as they rose over the escarpment, memorable.

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In the evenings the skys were the most amazing colours as the sun set over the western downs.

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 I was introduced to another woman who is travelling to Houston for the festival and she said,

"Oh yes, I leave in under two weeks".

  I thought,

"She must be going early." 

Now I have looked at the calendar, it is less than 2 weeks before I leave.   It is all shaping up to be a disaster.  My paper work and tickets have been sent to Boston for Guatamala, (I live in Australia.)   No paper work has arrived for my classes at the festival.  I have an email confirmation which says I have to have the paper work for the classes, the email is not good enough.  But they have deducted the payment for the classes from my account so I am hopeful that this might still work out.  I think I need to make some international phone calls and I am not good on the telephone because I have a hearing problem.  I must transfer money into another account just in case the other credit cards don't work.  (My husband has given me another 3 credit cards on top of the 3 I already have.) Stress, Stress, Stress.

 I need to get the samples finished for next years classes and they are not going well.  The drawing are great, the stitching isn't bad but I have chosen the wrong colours for one piece and will have to start again.  That is the one that needs to be finished in the next couple of weeks.

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 The furniture is still being delivered for the city town house and I need to buy a dining room set and my daughter keeps suggesting very expensive ones.  The washing machine has just broken down and as I have had it for some time I think we will have to get a new one.  No one delivers to the island so that means carriers and stress.

 On the upside I do have a new suitcase and I have got all my clothes organised.  I have cleaned out my wardrobe and the back of my car is loaded with donations for the charity bin.  My new ipad is packed ready and my camera is working well.  (Got to find that passport.)

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I finish a dummy run on the crocheted bunny, very cute.

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Look at that fat tummy, and I love the tail.

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(I still need to make clothes for the girls bunnies.)  I used left over yarn from the shawl.  Lots of adjustments to make and the next ones will be white rabbits.  Of course the only crochet hook I don't have is a size 3, the one I need for this wool.

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I think it is time to make lists and start to find some control in all this mess.

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WIPW

I got the crocheting of this shawl finished before I left for Toowoomba.  Still needs to be blocked and it is so big.  I never normally work in 8ply it is just too bulky for me.  But as this is going to my niece, who lives where it can snow, I think it should suit her.  Although I have told her if she doesn't like it give it to "knitting for the needy".

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I changed the border pattern by adding an extra shell edge with picots at the centre of each one.  I will have to pin that out carefully when blocking.  I was going to make this again in cotton but I think I will stick to the animals until next year.  I have some yarn left over so I might see how one of the animals would go?  The yarn does have acrylic in it so it might be good for that.

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Two invitations

I got this great invitation to go to a dinner in Melbourne.  Very exclusive, very expensive.  It is on in conjunction with the Dior exhibition at the art Gallery.

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But I also got a 'better' invitation.  To go and stay a few days up at Toowoomba with my Embroidery Stitching friends.  It was a no brainer really.  So, while I am stressed out over the purchase of this unit and getting ready to go overseas, which is also stressing me out, they sent all my tickets and paper work to Boston USA, I have decided to leave it all and go away for a few days.

Now I have to decide what I will work on.  The small purse for the children's classes is one.  I have to finish that shawl is another and there is those dolls clothes still hanging over my head.  But just for fun and because I really don't have time to do it I thought I would crochet some toys.

At the Quilt Show, Kerry Lord was promoting her books and I bought  a copy of "Edwards Menagerie".  Over 40 animals, that should keep me going and I have a small bundle of alpaca wool that was given to me as a gift and I have been waiting for just the right thing to use it on.

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Looking on the Toft web page I see there are lots of other things as well.  There are lots of adorable kits.  Those dogs are tempting and there on the top right hand corner is Charlie.  Have to do that at some point.

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I think this could be the start of another obsession.    There is a great interview with Kerry Lord and some lovely images here

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More sitting around

I am still stuck in the chair beside my bed.  Walking around is just too exhausting.  So I got myself a ball of wool and a crochet hook to keep boredom at bay.  I have been seeing a lot of this shawl on Facebook, especially made up in Scheepjes wool whirl  Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 1.59.16 pm

This is a cotton/acrylic blend but as you can see it isn't cheap and I am still waiting for it to arrive.  So wanting to start straight away I found a wool/acrylic yarn which is similar from Lincraft.

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For me, it isn't nice to crochet with.  It is all that acrylic in the yarn which makes it stiff and I am a natural fibre girl.  Still, it is cheap and will do for a niece who might like it or it can go to "Knitting for the needy".  I have choosen the "Namaqualand Shawl"  which is a free download from Ravelry  There are a number of different yarns that have been used in the projects uploaded.
Now I have run out of yarn,  I only bought one cake when I should have bought 2 or 3.  I can't drive to get to the shop and am itching to get finished. 

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The yarn doesn't photograph very well this is more pink and purple than orange and red but I do like the pattern.  I wonder which yarn will arrive first?  Here is a link to 20 free patterns for crocheted shawls.  Some patterns are just variations on each other.

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I admit defeat

That knitting pattern has finally defeated me.  I have unpulled my work so many times the wool is starting to look ratty.  So It has been unpulled for the last time and I have choosen another pattern.  I will have to do a big refresh (damping down and zap in the microwave) before I can show it again.  Here it is, ratty.

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I had to go back to the hospital again yesterday.  They wanted to do the operation again, right then.   I have had 4 operations in 3 weeks so I said no lets wait a month and see what happens.  (The new lens has swiveled out of position.)  I need a rest from all the stress and anxiety and I can see and it isn't bad enough that I can't drive.  So I am going to wait. 

Traveling up to the city of course means I have to get the ferry to and from the mainland and those little Welcome Swallows are always there.  The fly around the ferry on it's passage to and from the island and they live in the rafters of the jetty.  They lift my spirits every time I see them darting here and there or just sitting in the sun preening.

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There are so many things in this life to take pleasure from that one soon forgets all the stresses.


What to do when you can't see very well.

It is just over a week until I start the operations on my eyes and I can't wait for the time to pass.  My eyesight is deteriorating very quickly at this point and embroidery is becoming difficult.   I still have my last Children's Class sample and my June 'Peace' embroidery to finish and then I plan to put embroidery aside for a bit.  A bit being about 6 to 8 weeks.  That is the amount of time I am told I will need to heal.

I plan to use that time to knit.  I have one shawl on the go and it is problematic but I will eventually work it out.  So what else?  Well,  Kate Davies has a new pattern for a shawl that I think will fit the bill.

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image from Kate's Blog

It is mainly knitted in garter stitch which I can do by feel if necessary and I know the auld shell pattern pretty well also.  You can buy this pattern from her Ravelry Shop.

Then as my eyes get better I plan to knit some sheep, toy ones.  Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits has just released a couple of new patterns which are also available in her Ravelry Shop  along with her other patterns.

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Image from Little Cotton Rabbits

They are just adorable in their little dresses and sweaters.  I have knitted her animals before and I have to say I hate giving them away but the kids always get around me as they love them as well.

This is to make up for the disappointment I felt at missing out on buying the kit for the 2017 CAL from Scheepjes. There are only 2 shops in Australia that sell this wool and both were sold out.

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So my work is going to be a bit different for the next little bit.


Just something to wind left over thread on.

I remember that my Grandmother had this star shaped thing with a leg that she wound left over thread on.  As she told me, she had lived through three depressions and you didn't waste thread or fabric.  All was unpicked and put on that funny star.  I saw a picture of a similar one on Pinterest but it wasn't quite the same.

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Then I found out it's name. "Odradek".   It appeared on one of the knitting blogs I follow written by Kate Davies.  It has quite a story and that story has raised a lot off questions.  The first being where did it come from to be in my grandmother's possession?  It's source seems to be Eastern Europe and I know some of her relatives  came from Poland but that isn't even close.

The next was who is this wonderful artist I have never heard of before, Albert Anker?     I love his work.  Someone else to investigate.

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On the needles once again.

The weather has cooled down and I am able to knit again.  You have no idea how I miss knitting. I have always worn glasses and as I get older I find that sewing at night time is just no good for my eyes.  I end up with blurred vision and headaches.  Not so with knitting.  I can do that by feel.

I have now finished the shrug I started back at the beginning of the month.  It isn't for now rather it's a Spring shrug.  I think it would have been better if I had had another ball of silk.  I would have liked the sleeves to be longer.  This often happens when you buy kits from Asia.  Asian women are a lot smaller than Western women.  Still it will be a great piece right up to about Xmas.  It took a bit of getting used to the 'lumps' in the yarn but they make a great effect.

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I have a bit of a 'quest' on at the moment trying out Australian Artisan wool yarns.  I have now started a shawl Called Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander.  (The name comes from an old Finnish lullaby.)  The pattern is a free download on Ravelry Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 7.55.28 pm
I am using a new yarn from the Australian Wool Store.   I bought the yarn from a show up at Toowoomba earlier this year and it is a hand dyed 50% merino and 50% silk and the colour is called 'faded roses'.   I can't see an equivalent on their website but there is one that is merino, silk and nylon blend for $32.  Mine cost me $40 for the hank.  There are some delicious colours available and I want them all.  But not yet.  (I still think that Bendigo Woollen Mills have the best priced wool for everyday knitting.)

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I had to make do with a couple of chairs to ball the wool because I couldn't find a spare pair of hands to help.

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I am finding it quite nice to knit but the spinning isn't consistent and that annoys me.  Still I will see what it looks like when I'm finished.

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  I also bought some yarn from Kaalund Yarns where I buy my silk thread .  They balled this one in the shop for me. That will be the project after this.  Then.......

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Weather

The end of Tropical cyclone Debbie is coming our way.  The radar images just look a mess.  Let it be said there is lots of rain headed in our direction.  It is Thursday here and I thought I would get Friday's post written in case the power goes.  We are pretty exposed out here and the winds are expected to be over the 100k mark by this afternoon.  Our new Telstra tower is as yet untested.  All the schools are closed, people sent home from work and already there are limbs falling from the trees. 

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So what do you do when this kind of thing happens?  Well I have all the emergency stores ready.  I might have to put the smaller flower pots under the house.  We cleared all the gutters but already there is a lot of water on the ground.  We have checked that all the family is safe.  So now I sew while I still have power.  Lots of reverse stitching on my Assisi Sampler.  I miss counted that border.  When the power goes off I knit. 

I bought a small kit at the Stitches and Craft from Prudence Mapstone.  It is from 'The Loom' in Bangkok and is all silk.  It takes a bit of adjustment to knit with the yarn but I have unpulled it once and seem to have got the hang of it now. 

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The Loom have a shop in Bangkok which is on my list of places to visit.  For now we just sit it out.

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More Loot

On the road again and this time the destination was Toowoomba.  Always a good hunting ground. There are lots of interesting shops, artists, gardens and Op shops.

The Op shops were first on the list after I had attended to business.  I was looking for a small bar tin for baking.  My husband thought the other was old so he threw it out.  It was one like my Mother had and not easily replaced.  I found a tin but not the one I wanted but I also found lots of things I hadn't even thought about. Like these lovely little Japanese dolls.  All $2 each.

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And another bunch of things that I can't show because they are going into the Christmas draw.  But let me say that I spent another $20 on 5 presents!

Then I saw there was a sale on at Hana's, which is a family department store.  I only bought 2 shirts but I have noted lots of things for my next visit.  Out to the patchwork shops where there were sales but everything I liked was full price.  Some nice Moda fabric.

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Just some top ups on Shadowplay.

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Some nice 'boy' fabric, small scissors and thread.

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Then onto the craft show.  It was very hot by this time and I think I parked my car illegally under some trees at the University but I wasn't booked thank goodness.  Here I caught up with lots of people I knew and found some bits and pieces I have been looking for.  New blade for the rotary cutter and needles which I keep dropping and can never find again.  (I'm sure there is an imp that collects them.)

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Some Japanese thread I want to trial.

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A stand for my rulers.

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I think I could do with a second one of these as I have lots of templates still in packets!

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That was all stuff I needed.  The rest is, well I wanted it.  A lovely hand turned bowl in Campher Laurel.  The smell is divine.

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Finally I am starting to find some Australian wool producers.  With all the wool the country produces it is a crime that we have to buy from over seas.  I only bought the one hank of wool to trial.  We will see how it goes.

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Good thing I remembered to put the trolley in the car boot because I would never have got it home otherwise!

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I think I had better stay home for a while to let my wallet recover.