Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Can you resist a gadget? I can't - hopeless. Its one of the traits that I inherited from my Mum. Back when I was a little girl Mum actually belonged to a gadget club which sent her a different kind of gadget every month. Many of the weird wonders that came our way are still in existance today and lots fell by the wayside. Handbag holders (to hang your bag from a table), honey pourers, bread slicers, a quick flip egg lifter for flipping pancakes and many more all got their chance to strut their stuff at our place before they went on the market.
Anyway, today I found this at the op-shop; it shouted to me, "Take me, I'm yours." and I didn't need a further invitation. I've had a go at using it and although I'd probably get quicker and less ham-fisted in time, I don't feel the need to abandon my trusty knitting needles.
The idea is interesting anyway. The stitches are achieved by pushing the threaded eye of the needle through a previous stitch, grabbing the loop that results and holding it while you withdraw the needle and take the next stitch. You must then push the needle through another stitch as well as the one you're holding, grab that loop and withdraw the needle again ready to take the next stitch. All this must be accompanyied with the appropriate mutterings such as, "Go through, darn you." and "Now what have I done wrong?"
So, back to the knitting needles. I mutter at them too sometimes, but we've got used to eachother.
Gotta go now. The kitchen floor needs a wash. Looks like being a nice weekend here. Hope you enjoy yours.
Bye for Now until next time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ah Spring

In my corner of the world Spring has arrived and everywhere I look there are blossoming trees and flowers - except in my exact spot, that is. We live at the bottom of a hill and all the cold seems to end up on our block. No kidding, some expert on the radio said that frost flows downhill, so I imagine that cold does the same. Anyway the upshot is that our garden flowers later than the rest of our suburb.
Still I have the helebores bravely keeping me company. Shy little plants, trying very hard to be flambouyant but I had to get down on my knees to get this photo. Also I have had the camelias positively bursting their buttons all winter and there are still a few of them left to enjoy - though not as many as in this photo which I took a few weeks back. Magpie babies have arrived, so it feels like Spring even if it is cold. I hope you're enjoying life in your corner of the world.
Bye for now until next time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From the past.

A very long time ago my Nana made a little Knitting Nancy for me. They weren't called that back then, they were just cotton reels with 4 nails knocked into one end and we used them to make a little knitted cord. These days that has a name too; I-cord and its very easy to make using two double pointed needles. Anyway, back to the cotton reels. It's just about impossible to buy wooden ones now, they're all either plastic or cardboard, so when I had a mad desire to make some knitting Nancies I had no option but to start from scratch and make some cotton reels. I am not a woodturner so the man of the house had to show me what to do and this is the result. I started out with a squared length of wood, turned it with a sharp thingy which is called a gouge, then sanded the result with coarse, then fine sandpaper, and now they are ready to be cut apart with a saw. Next I must drill a hole down the centre of each, for the wool to go through, and lastly hammer some nails in one end. That little one you see there with a cord partly made is a commercial cotton reel that I used years ago and had laying in a draw waiting to be reborn.
I remember how I used to love to change the wool colours often and couldn't wait to see the new colour appear at the bottom of the cotton reel. Nothing has changed, I can't wait to see that pink come through.
I used a toothpick to work the stitches over the nail heads. When I was little I used either a longer nail or a hair pin.
Gotta go now, I want to work on that pink until it shows at the bottom of the cotton reel.
Hope you're having a good day. Bye for now until next time.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Much as I like garter stitch and enjoy making rugs, every now and then I get a yen to knit something pretty (there is a limit to my Capricorn practicality). I love to knit lace and enjoy the concentration that it requires. I found this pattern in a book of knitting for dolls and have found that it fits a newborn baby quite well. I changed the instructions a bit and knitted the sleeves and yoke all in one instead of in separate pieces that need sewing together. I don't like bulky seams on baby things and no matter how I try I find a flat seam never looks as neat as I want it to.
Note the absence of buttons. The knitters group, that I will give it to, has a supply on hand and instructed me to leave the buttons to them to sew on. This group collects knitteds for Monash Newborn Centre which, I think, covers several types of needs from tiny prem babies to those whose Mums are finding times difficult at the moment. Its nice to think that my stash can be useful.
Are you a compulsive wool buyer? Me too. If its pretty and going at a good price I can't resist it. Do I need therapy?
Just finished another newsletter. Time to catch up on some sewing. A good day to be indoors, Spring is really not trying very hard but we've had some marvellous rain. The states dams are over 45% full now so that's something to be really glad about.
Must go now. Bye until next time.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My lovely new book.

I'd love to show it to you but I'm nervous of contravening copyright laws. Its called "Color by Kristen" by Kristen Nicholas, and for anyone who loves Fair Isle knitting it is mind blowing. Just think cerise, chartreuse, orange, blue and gold, with embroidery added once the knitting is finished. I borrowed the book from the library and couldn't bear to send it back so I ordered it through Dymocks. If, on the other hand, you prefer your colours muted and in pastel shades this book is not for you as there is positive zing on every page. The book is full of patterns for all sorts of goodies: socks, gloves, hats and scarves, cushions, cardigans and a gorgeous coat. All are knitted in Fair Isle designs in colourways that would leave the islanders gasping. I can't wait to make something and then I will show it to you.
Meanwhile, here is my latest spinning project. A kind soul gave me a bag of alpaca fibre and I am spinning it up. I'm not at all used to alpaca but am pleased with the way it is turning out. I thought you would like to see the grubby stuff as it starts out to compare it with the finished yarn; so soft and very strong. I have no idea what I will do with it. Probably turn it into a lace shawl but that will have to wait until I make something from my lovely new book.
A beautiful day here today. I've spent time in the garden, ripping out enough grass to keep a horse going for a couple of days - oh my poor back but the results are very satisfying.
Hope your day is turning out well too.
Bye for now, until next time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blog Birthday

Yes it's a year since I started this blog. I really didn't think I'd last half that time and I've got to say I have been encouraged by those of you who have visited my site. Indeed many times I have decided to fold up my tent and move on only to find that some lovely person has popped in to say hello and I decide to stay a while longer. I must say it's a real buzz having visitors from far flung lands as well as those who pop in from just around the corner but its also a bit overwhelming - finding something to say that might interest others is a challenge. Also, two years ago I was completely computer illiterate and have not yet learned to pretty-up my site to make it worth looking at.
Now I come to a problem: I am delighted to have 3 new followers and would like to visit them but they don't appear to have sites - so, to Pattas, Jontina and Sue, hello and welcome. I did try to send a message when I clicked on your little pictures but got myself into a big mess there - found I'd joined my own site. Perhaps you might leave a comment for me and then I can answer you.
Not much doing here today. The man of the house is in bed with the dreaded lurgy, poor love, and I am plying him with hot lemon drinks etc. However, I plan to weild the crochet hook for a bit today. After looking in on some of your sites I am inspired to lift my game. Really ladies you do some beautiful work. I'm off to put the kettle on and then to round up some of my smaller odments.
Bye for now until next time. P.S. The camelias are from my garden. Winter has some compensations doesn't it?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bits & pieces.

What to do with all those short ends of yarn that are not enough to knit up into anything is always a problem. I hate throwing them away and they tend to mount up a bit. I thought I'd use them up in an old fashioned granny blanket. I know I should have been adventurous and done some pretty stitches but, pretty stitches equal holes and holes let cold air through. Blame it on my practical Capricorn nature but I thought I'd fill up all the holes with wool so have done this rather utilitarian stitch. I've worked out that it takes roughly two-and-a-bit arm lengths for the centre part, four for the second round and five-and-a-bit for the third round.
I must be insane because I hate sewing up and darning in ends, but I leave a long end on the last round and use that to sew the square to its neighbour. That saves a little of the darning in thing. To make a blanket 40 inches across by 70 long will require 336 squares. That'll keep me out of mischief for a while, won't it? I've done 97 so far.
The first one of these that I made was many years ago before I was married and my Mum, Nana, and my Sister Thelma all helped. Thelly was only twelve at the time. It's still around, though Mum & Nana aren't and so, naturally it's one of my treasures.
I managed to clean up the mess I'd made of my last post. Clicked in the wrong place and lost my URL and posted images, then doubled up on the latter in an attempt to fix it. Oh dear, 'bear of little brain' in trouble again.
But it's Spring!! That's better, and the man of the house is taking me out for dinner tonight.
Bye for now until next time.