Sunday, November 29, 2009

My creative space

Officially, since our youngest daughter & her husband moved out and took off to live in sunny Queensland three years ago, I have a sewing room, (lucky me but I miss my daughter)
Somehow most of my mess seems to migrate to the whole house, so I have no particular space. Baskets of yarn adorn the spot where I sit to watch television and knit, and the dining room table is the resting place for the latest doll that is being dressed. I use the top of my washing machine with a board on it to cut out small items for sewing because its a nice height and saves my aching back. Fortunately I have a most patient husband (bless him) and I do get around to putting stuff away every now and again. I manage to keep the couch and an armchair vacant for visitors to sit down. I have given up making excuses, I'm just plain untidy and I wish I weren't, I'd love to be neat and organised but after all these years I know its just not going to happen, my brain doesn't work that way.
Anyway, I finished off the garter-stitch set that I was working on. Added a hat and bootees and a picot edge. Here is a doll modelling it for me. I don't think any self-respecting baby would be ashamed to wear the outfit, so non purl-enabled knitters take heart.
Must go now, time to feed Pepper our daughter's dog. (dog sitting again while daughter & family are on holiday) Bye for now until next time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Their creative space

Yesterday I visited the Pakenham Patchworkers for their AGM. I had been invited to attend as the ladies had a great bundle of beautiful handwork that they wanted to give me for the Woodworkers. The members of this busy club dress the dolls cradles, beds and cots that we Woodies make for our Annual Gala Day toy giveaway. The pretty things that they make put the finishing touch to our work and we are very grateful. I came home with my car full to the brim with little quilts and mattress-pillow sets - enough to dress 70 of our toys. I learned that the quilt-in team comprises 24 workers and as if their gift to us were not enough, they also handed out literally hundreds of items to other needy recipients. I saw a table laden with knitted baby wear and toy teddies, made with the help of some knitters from a local retirement village or nursing home (sorry I can't remember which). These goodies along with some beautiful quilts were given to the Newborn Unit at Monash Medical Centre here in Melbourne. Over the past three years the club has given thousands of quilts away to the needy such as bushfire sufferers, victims of domestic violence and those families struggling with unemployment. My head buzzes with the figures so I won't quote them for fear of error. In addition they give away cash donations which they raise through special efforts. What a band. I take my hat off to them all.
Pictured are just a few, probably less than a quarter of the lovely quilts that were given away yesterday. The small ones on the table were for us, the Woodies and those plastic bin-bags are full too. I might add that a lot of them are in the workforce and so fit this activity into their spare time. (spare time - my goodness) There are some lovely people in the word, aren't there?
Anyway, I'm off to look for something useful to do. Hope you are having a nice weekend. Bye for now until next time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gasping for breath

No picture today, I'm still drying off after the wettest drenching I've ever had (short of going swimming or taking a shower). Just came home from shopping through the scaryest thunder storm. Rain driving sideways in great washes, lightning streaking the sky. Was I scared - you bet! I had to get out of the car to open the gate to drive into our carport and before I reached the gate I was drenched through to the skin. Gasping as each gust of rain hit me. The man of the house had gallantly offered to do the job but as he was driving and would have had to get back into the car wringing wet, so I got all brave and did it. I had to peel my clothes off and wring them out afterwards.
My goodness, what an experience. Anyway, all dry now. Bye for now, until next time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I love the simplicity of garter stitch. I love its folksy look. To me it always looks cosy. The knit stitch is the first one we learn and although it can be varied many ways to make fancy patterns, it has charm and versatility all by itself. Because it doesn't curl at the edges, garter stitch is ideal for beginners as it doesn't need a rib, so new knitters can get started on a project as soon as the basic skills eg. cast on, knit, increase, decrease and cast off, are mastered. I've seen some pretty classy looking tops knitted in garter stitch, jackets, hats, handbags, the list goes on. I've been playing around at my place with some odments of yarn and thought I'd show you some of the results.
The face washer is made from dishcloth cotton with a crocheted picot added later, - wrapped around a cake of soap and tied with a pretty bow it might make a nice gift or an offering for a Mothers Day stall. That's a baby's bib on the needles. The little jackets were actually made for dolls but they would fit a prem or new baby. I knit them all in one piece so that I only have to sew up under the arms and sleeves. The yellow one was knitted on bigger needles because I wanted a softer fabric. I'll add a picot edge to them too, I think, and possible embroider a flower or two.
Too wet to get out in the garden today. All that rain last night - luvly. Bye for now, until next time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Guess what I've been doing this morning. It's cooler here today so I've been able to get at some of those weeds. Very therapeutic. Yes, that's a hole in the finger of my glove. I've worn the poor thing out. I've dodged a whole squadron of blood-thirsty mosquitoes - such noisy eaters - I'd never know they were there if they'd just keep quiet about it. Things I've uncovered: an azalea bush that's been struggling under a mass of erigeron (seaside daisy) and a dainty little pink pelargonium that I thought had died. I've filled a big wheel barrow with stuff for the compost heap but you can hardly see where I've been. I'll keep at it - remember that mountain.
All the while I've been listening to the baby magpies pestering their mother for food. Mum, Mum, Mum. Poor her - those kids are as big as she is. They are doing their best though, it's a scream watching them peck at everything to see if it's edible, wrestling with great lumps of bark and sticks bigger that they are then in the end going back to Mum, Mum, Mum. I'll bet there's not a Mum out there in blogg land that can't identify with her. Painting flowers on prams this afternoon. Nearly finished. Hope your day is a good one. Bye for now until next time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Flanders Poppies.

I should have posted this picture yesterday - Rememberance Day. These lovely bright things adorn my driveway every year in Spring. Self sown from just a couple of plants that I grew from seed three or four years ago, in a nearby garden bed, they are never watered except from the rain and they grow in the most dreadful stoney ground that is dry, hard packed 1 centimetre gravel. For the few weeks that they flower visitors very kindly carefully avoid running them down with their cars and though I've tried to grow them elswhere they never do as well as in this most unhospitable spot. Sort of symbolic I think, considering what they've come to represent throughout the world.
So hot here these last few days, I've been up early to take Penny for a walk before it gets too sticky. I must say she wasn't very enthusiastic this morning - sensible dog that, knows when to find a shady spot and stay put. Hope you're keeping cool - or warm as needs be, wherever you are. Bye for now until next time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's a jungle out there

I'm fighting a losing battle against the weeds. There is actually a path in there, somewhere to the right of the birdbath, but it's very hard to find. I keep in mind a Chinese proverb that I once heard. Apologies to the Chinese if I've got this wrong but I think it goes something like, "If you want to move a mountain, take one stone at a time." So that's what I'm doing, only for 'stone' read 'weed'. Every time I go out there I yank up a weed (or two).
I hear my baby magpie practicing his warble. Sounds a bit like a rusty wheel that needs oil but he'll get it right in time. I read that a magpie's warble is like a fingerprint - no two are alike - and it is true that I can tell the front yard magpies from the back yard ones by their warble.
Anyway, I'm supposed to be vacuuming so I'd better get at it. Bye for now until next time.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More wooden lace.

Our friend Joe from the Woodworkers has been at work with his scroll saw again. This time it is a plant pot stand. Can you imagine the patience that must go into creating this. Joe tells me that there are 690 holes in this work, that means that he had to undo the saw blade, thread it through a hole and refix the blade so that he could cut out the next little bit of pattern 690 times. I have managed a small wall decoration for a gift once, that required about 40 such maneuvers, and found that pretty tedious so I can really appreciate this lovely thing.
Not much doing today but I'd better go and do it. Bye for now until next time.