Previous month:
October 2022
Next month:
December 2022

November 2022


Progress on the dressmaking has been slow.  The big problem is that I have taken another 'insect hit' and my immune system isn't enjoying it at all.  All I want to do is sleep,  I only have to attach the frill and sew the hem, my little assistant keeps telling me to 'get on with it'.  (This mountain seems insurmountable!)

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 5.20.14 pm

I did pack up 8 comfort dolls and get them ready as a donation for sick children.

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 5.20.23 pm

And I am knitting, quite successfully, my jumper for 2023.  But, this will be months in the making.

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 5.20.34 pm

And I am beavering away trying to solve the design problem of the lids for my pin cushions. I'm just not happy with the finish.

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 5.25.22 pm


New Knitting Book

I can see a million new swatches on the horizon, well maybe not a million but lots.

My sister sent me a new book as a present.  "Book of Fair Isle knitting" by Alice Starmore.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 8.22.27 pm

I had mentioned that I wanted to learn how to do this method of knitting correctly and that it would be one of my goals for 2023.  I had knitted sweaters for my children with these patterns when they were children but I had just come up with my own methods, which I am sure wasn't right.  The jumpers looked quite good, but I know I didn't do it the right way and back then I didn't know of any books to look at, I knew nobody who could knit these patterns  and there wasn't any internet to Goggle it.

So I intend to start at page 1 and read every page and I will try to knit a swatch of every pattern.  There are a number of new techniques that I will have to master as well so I think that knitting swatches will be the way to go.  I'm looking forward to this new adventure and when I feel I am proficient enough I would like to knit this jacket.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 8.35.27 pm

Nothing like setting a high bar!

Thinking about a new 'long-term' project.

I like to have some easy hand stitching to take to Guild, Patchwork meetings.  I do have a box of hexigons, that keeps being added to but I was looking through my design journals and came on this quilt that I had drawn.  

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 1.40.06 pm

It was inspired by a painting from the "Floating Life" exhibition back in 2009.  The artist was Gulumbu Yunupingu, a first nation artist from Arnhem Land.  Her painting is about the Universe and when I think about the universe I think, stars.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 1.40.19 pm

(I lived in Arnhem Land and got to know some of these people when I was teaching there, so these works have a very special meaning for me.)

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 1.49.40 pm

Then I was watching an episode of "The Last Homely House" where Kate was also planing a long term project for hand piecing and her work was all about stars also.   She had found a template on the blog Wild Olive for a plus sign, that looks a bit like a star, and I was wondering if this would work for the design I had drawn back in 2009?

I think that I will have to print out that template and make a trial small quilt to test my idea.  It might work, it might not.

New Knitting

All the omens are looking good for starting this new piece.  Starting with the guage swatch.  The recommended needles worked perfectly.

Screen Shot 2022-11-22 at 4.13.45 pm

This is Sarkle by Kate Davies.

Screen Shot 2022-11-22 at 4.24.08 pm

It has such a pretty design around the neck.

Screen Shot 2022-11-22 at 4.26.17 pm

I am not using the recommended wool, rather, some I bought from Bendigo Woollen Mills, hence my delight at the guage square working so well., sometimes that doesn't happen when you change the recommended wool.

There is no rush to get this finished and I intend to knit at night, when it is cooler, and listen to audio books from my Internet Archive site.  I'm staring with Fairy Tales.  Now, I know that sounds silly but I have found an audio book that has a whole lot of stories I have never heard before.

Screen Shot 2022-11-22 at 4.31.46 pm

I listened to the first story whilst swatching, "Tom Tit Tot".  It is a Rapunsil type story but instead of a dwarf it has a small dark creature with a long tail.  I think that could be a medieval imp.  These originate from Germanic faith and stories ( Saxons?) and the imp was a small lesser demon.  These were not necessarily always evil.  Imps were often mischievous rather than evil or harmful.

Screen Shot 2022-11-22 at 4.43.47 pm

I remember seeing this one in the Lincoln Cathedral you can read about him here.


I have finished the place mats and will deliver them to the Meals on Wheels people today.  This was all from a fabric scrap bundle I bought.  I had to buy fabric for some of the binding and the wadding was from left overs.

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 7.29.42 pm

I have also finished the neck warmer to go with my hat and mittens.  These have been made from repurposed wool.  Waste not want not.

Screen Shot 2022-11-22 at 4.13.34 pm

And I am  making my Xmas dress.  This is made from a polished cotton I bought from the Fabric Store.

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 7.28.13 pm

I got out my best scissors to cut into this fabric, Oh joy Oh bliss!!  There is nothing like beautiful, sharp, well balanced dressmaking scissors.

Screen Shot 2022-11-22 at 4.13.56 pm

And the fabric is beautiful to sew.

Screen Shot 2022-11-22 at 4.13.22 pm

And I am stitching some Kogin pieces as gifts.  (I can't show those in case the recipients put 2+2 together.)

The past week has been super busy

I have had to stop and rest after a super busy week.  I'm not as young as I used to be and I have been burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, so then I went crash and had to stop. 

I had two days driving, for 4 hours plus on each. To meet a friend and to take my husband out.  Not only is there the driving there is walking to and from the ferry, 1 km each way and then walking too and from the car once I get to the main land.  That all adds up but sitting by the water watching old men fishing, admiring the view and the wildlife makes the trips worth while.

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 5.48.15 pm

Then I had a birthday.  Lots of messages and phone calls, more morning teas and a lovely day.  I felt so good I mowed my own and a neighbours lawns, (I got bitten by something again,) plus walking to visit a friend.  Then that evening we went back to the mainland to have dinner by the lake at sunset.

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 7.29.24 pm

The reflections in the water was beautiful.

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 7.29.33 pm

I then turned around and went into town to stay overnight.  Next morning I had breakfast with my daughter at a popular garden centre.  This place had a huge bamboo hedge,

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 7.28.43 pm

and this little one just loved these rabbits. He was deep in conversation with them.

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 7.29.06 pm

And I found a succulent that had grown it's flowers in the shape of a heart.  (This might make a good embroidery design.)

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 7.28.55 pm

I didn't know it but apparently I had said I would take my daughter to the fabric store in the valley.  There I did some serious damage to the credit card buying fabric.

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 7.28.32 pm

Then onto to teach and embroidery class.  No wonder I slept most of the next day!

But with all that fabric it is time to start sewing, so I am in dressmaking mode.  Good thing too.  The Xmas parties start this week and I need to make my Xmas dress.  I have the pattern pieces cut out but of course I'm going to change the style of the pattern.  (I couldn't just follow the pattern.)

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 5.40.13 pm

The only bad thing is I'm going to have to change the thread in the over locker.  I HATE doing that.

No wonder I just feel like sleeping!!



Morning Tea with a friend

I have coffee with a friend every couple of weeks, that was before home schooling, now after homeschooling we are able to meet again.  She has recently moved house and is not native to Brisbane so I thought it would be a good idea to show her some of my favourite places that are near her new home.  We started last week with fish and chips at Morgan's at Scarborough.  You can sit on the harbour and watch the boats as they bring their catch in.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 2.51.49 pm

And what a catch!  Everything is so fresh.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 2.50.49 pm

This week we went to Sandgate and bought a coffee from the Fish and Chip shop there, then, sat in the park by the water.  This is another favourite spot of mine.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 3.03.22 pmIt is an old shop that started life as an oyster bar way back before WW1.

The park in on the inlet and old Moreton Bay Fig trees offer shade.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 2.59.03 pm

They are just beautiful to sit under.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 3.09.26 pm

All the seats were full and other people had brought their own chairs. (This is mid week, it's not so peaceful on the weekend.)   People chatting, playing Scrabble and Cards with a soft breeze blowing to keep us cool.

We were amused by the sea birds that were on the sand flats.  As the tide rose they didn't move but stood in the water catching fish that came in on the tide.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 3.06.33 pm

I was sure they would move but they stayed put until they had to swim.  There were no screaming gulls in the park they had all fed well on fresh fish and sat around quite content.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 3.08.06 pm

As an adult I learnt to paddle at the club on the inlet.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 3.05.25 pm

And as this is an family friendly place you can see old boats that have been lovingly looked after still in use.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 2.59.35 pm

Nothing really outstanding, but, oh so special.


I have finished my first pair of mittens made from a pattern I made myself.  They look terrible off the hand but fit like a glove on.  I feel so pleased with myself. 


So please in fact that I then went on line and had a look for patterns so I could work out how to improve them.  There are patterns everywhere out there in the ether.  This is a great basic pattern and comes in various sizes, (and it is free).

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 11.15.17 am

And I now realise that they are a great way to use up left over wool.  I wonder where I picked up the idea that gloves were better than mittens?  Somewhere in my childhood I suppose and I would love to learn how to knit gloves.  Especially those vintage ones that my great aunt knitted and won the glove knitting section of the Royal Easter Show in Sydney back in the 1950's.  But for know I will just feel pleased with myself and my current achievement.


I have finished the candle-wicking design I said I would stitch for the sale table at the guild.  It is some time since I have done any of this type of work but I found that some of the tricks, like using a big frame and resting it on the edge of the table, came back to me.  The thread wasn't the easiest to work with because it was old.  I found it in an Op shop but I know it will wash up well and look the part. I bought half a metre of fabric from Ikea for the cushion back.  This only cost $4.50 and I know that the quality will be good. 

Screen Shot 2022-11-12 at 4.37.15 pm

When I looked carefully at it I realised that the weave was quite open, so I took the embroidery and this piece of fabric and washed them.  They have both come out of the washing machine in very good condition with the fabric only shrinking about 1%. 

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 4.13.20 pm

  It is now finished and I just need to buy an insert.

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 4.13.09 pm

I am still stitching the bindings on the place-mats, which takes as long as the quilting but they should be finished this week.

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 4.12.58 pm

I have finished a couple of them.

And I am teaching a class this weekend so have been preparing kits.  All packed and ready to go.