Sunday, March 27, 2011

Flowers for You

This morning I was wandering about in a local garden with my camera and thinking of all the lovely people who visit my blog. Do you know, when I started to write here eighteen months ago I didn't, for one minute, believe I would be able to keep going. For goodness sake, I lead a pretty ordinary sort of life and can't manage to get done most of the crafts I'd like to do, how could I possibly find something to post on a blog for others to read? But you are a lovely lot and it gives me such a thrill when I find that someone has stopped by. I find it exciting to receive comments from across the world and at the other end of my country as well as just around the corner. And isn't it marvellous that although we were reared in different places, at different times, underneath we have pretty much the same basic values with kindness to others coming out on top.
So thank you, dear readers, and please enjoy this little snatch of autumn sunshine and best wishes that come with these roses.
Bye for now until next time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Among my treasures.

I read a quote a while back from A.A. Milne, that said (paraphrasing because I've forgotten the exact wording), "One of the nicest things about being disorganised is that one is always making exciting discoveries." How true Mr. Milne. My life is one continuous adventure. Yesterday I went looking for the one-hole-punch and turned up all sorts of things I'd forgotten I had and, yes I did eventually find the punch. But here's something I thought you might like to see. It's a crocheted baby outfit that my Mum made for me when I was a baby. I was born on Christmas Eve one very hot summer 72 years ago and this little set is made from a silky sort of thread that isn't available any more. Mum gave the set to me when our first baby was born but being a July baby, the outfit was too cool for her to wear. To be honest I wasn't game to dress her in it as by that time it was 25 years old and I thought it might be a bit too fragile. It's been tucked away in a plastic bag in a drawer all these years and, of course, has yellowed a little with age (haven't we all?). The bootees are knitted on fine needles, about 2 or 2.5 mm. The waist had a ribbon tie, now missing, I suspect because Mum said she found me one day with most of it down my throat. Using that as a lesson I never put ribbon ties on any of my babies' garments.
I suppose the set is just about a museum piece now and should be packed in something a little more respectful than a battered old plastic bag.
Do you know. I'll bet Mum didn't even have a pattern for this outfit - she could do things like that - just look at a garment, count the chains, double crochets, trebles etc. and away she'd go.
Must be off now. I hope you're having a nice day wherever you are. Bye for now until next time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thank you Mishka

My sister arrived for a visit in February and after "Hello" the first thing she said as she handed me a shopping bag, was, "Here is some of Mishka's fur for you to spin." Mishka is my sister's little pomeranian dog. A tiny little thing. It has taken my sister 8 months to collect enough of his coat to make these three balls of yarn for knitting. There are now 5 balls, counting the two I spun at Christmas a year ago. With dilligent brushing there should be another bag waiting for me when I visit my sister later in the year. This drawn out process occurs because Mishka lives in Queensland with my sister and we don't get to see each other very often. There's enough there for a hat at present but who needs a woolly hat in Queensland? We're aiming at a vest so we have a little way to go yet.
The lovely soft stuff that I spin is from Mishka's second coat, the fuzzy stuff you can't see until you part the longer hair. All spitze variety of dogs have this second coat and it is an absolute dream to spin. It feels like a cross between angora and mohair. I use a lightweight drop-spindle to spin the yarn as I find I get less overspin this way. And I used 6.5 ml needles to knit the sample. I'm looking forward to seeing what my sister will make from it.
It's newsletter time again so I'd better be off. I hope you are having a good day in your corner of the world. Bye for now until next time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

From little things

These are really boring, aren't they? Bits of dowelling that look like firewood. In fact they're the handles of the little prams that the man of the house and I have been making at the woodworkers club to which we both belong. Looking at them I get all philosophical: plain, little and ordinary they may be but our prams would be incomplete without them. The wheels require more work. The man of the house tucks himself away in his shed whith his band-saw, cutting out lots of flat discs which he then has to shape, on the lathe, into the wheels. Not for me the lathe work. I'm not very good at it. A few more weeks down the track and we'll have some prams ready to paint. Here's one that we made earlier. The quilt is one of my few attempts at patchwork. I leave this to the lovely ladies of the patchwork group in a neighbouring suburb, who made a hundred of them last year, all different patterns.
This year, due to a shortage of wood, we are only making thirteen little prams. The generous man who used to supply us with the offcuts from his business (and more than offcuts quite often) has retired and so our supply has dropped off a bit. We wish him a happy retirement anyway. So we woodies are in scrounge-mode and every so often someone will arrive with a car load of useful timber that has been donated to us. People love to help.
Autumn is having a last shot at hot weather down here and today is steamy and sticky.
Must go now. Hope you are having a good day. Bye until next time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Starting again

There's no doubt about it, I really enjoy knitting these little patches into a blanket. So here I go again. At the request of the welfare group I'm knitting for, it is acrylic - easier to wash for mothers in situations where facilities don't lend themselves to handwashing wool. As usual I'm picking up the stitches of the previous patches, which I find easier than sewing up. The other WIP will be leg-warmers for our oldest daughter who likes to wear purple. These are being made from a cone of one-ply wool that I bought at the op-shop (love the op-shop) I'm using seven strand together to achieve the tension required in the pattern and and a collection of needles to form a tube. It's taking ages; I'm slow at 1 x 1 rib.
The rellies from Canada are due to leave on Monday, heading for Queensland where it will be a little warmer than we've had it down here. Life will feel a little slower without them. We have really covered some ground with them over the past few weeks.
Lovely gentle autumn weather here today. Hope it's a good day wherever you are. Bye for now until next time.