Ta da! #blogjune

I finished my cowl! It took a couple of goes, as I didn’t have the correct needles, so it was a case of trial and error ie making it up as I went along.
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It is incredibly thick and warm, and was perfect for warding off the chill when I went to the local for a counter tea.

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Keep calm and carry yarn #blogjune

In my defence Your Honour, it was a really cold day, and I needed a new scarf…

As I promised Miss BG, I went to Lincraft and purchased a knitting Nancy for her to celebrate her completing George’s Marvellous Medicine (she is on to the next book The BFG).

Lincraft is a crack den for yarn/craft addicts, and it is not the easiest place to enter without getting something else. When I saw the yarn, I was instantly reminded of a pattern I had for a cowl that had suddenly reappeared on my desk after being trapped under a sheaf of other papers. Clearly, your Honour, it was fate. The yarn was calling to me, its seductive green tones and silky strands beckoning to me. It was also 40% off :).
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With any luck it will be off my needles and around my neck this long weekend!

 

Finishing the unfinished

Polyxena asked me about the projects I was determined to finish by the end of the year, and for the most part they were done

  • 1 amigurumi doll I have to sew up- DONE
  • 1 scrapbook of a week in the life from 2011- DONE
  • 1 crocheted cardigan for Miss BG that when finished, will not fit her – RIPPED OUT and restarted to fit my little niece
  • 2 crocheted bibs for my niece-DONE!
  • 1 crocheted washer- DONE!
  • 1 half finished cardigan for myself- I lost my count doing a sleeve-RIPPED OUT SLEEVE and restarted
  • 1 half finished scarf – RIPPED OUT and restarted
  • 1 granny square blanket which needs to be sewn together after I finish putting the final trim around the squares- DONE!
  • Several pieces of fabric begging to be made into dresses, skirts, capes for the kids.- I have started on a dress, and will have some spare time in a week or two for some serious sewing.

Along the way I also

  • Framed 7 prints and posters that we bought overseas

From where I live-in my yellow hallway! #fmsphotoaday

  • Made a fez for Master BG- my first attempt at millinery

Fezzes are cool #drwho #halloween #madeitmyself

In my year of Being Mindful I want to finish what I start. One thing I never started last year was a ripple blanket; I ended up donating the wool to a retirement village in Ballarat for residents to use to knit toys for disadvantaged children. One of the ladies had a knitting machine and ended up using the wool to make teddies!

knitted teddy bearsI have a few balls of yarn left over from my granny square blanket which will be making their way to them very soon :).

Unfinished business

Sometimes it can be the death of someone, which brings home the reality that you have things left undone, things left unsaid. For Mr BG, his father’s passing made him realise he didn’t know enough about World War Two, and so proceeded to watch the entire series of The World at War, over a period of three months, day in, day out. His mother’s passing spurred im to start playing music again- there was obviously unfinished creativity begging to be released.

For me it’s something else.

While getting things together for Miss BG’s upcoming birthday celebrations I came across a cute crochet kit to make a little scarf for her. In a moment of weakness, it was bought and I returned home to the realisation I have committed myself to yet another crafty thing to do :).

Currently I have

    1 amigurumi doll I have to sew up
    1 scrapbook of a week in the life from 2011
    1 crocheted cardigan for Miss Bg that when finished, will not fit her
    2 crocheted bibs for my niece
    1 crocheted washer- halfway
    1 half finished cardigan for myself- I lost my count doing a sleeve
    1 half finished scarf
    1 granny square blanket which needs to be sewn together after I finish putting the final trim around the squares
    Several pieces of fabric begging to be made into dresses, skirts, capes for the kids.

Miss BG’s little cardigan, bibs and washer were created on our trip overseas and had to be jettisoned/sent back home after I ran out of space in my luggage halfway through the holiday. The amigurumi, cardigan, and scarf have been buried under stuff in my bedroom wardrobe (more of a case of out of sight, out of mind. The granny squares I had been working on, then I ran out of a specific yarn and have had a bitch of a time trying to get the right colour.

The scrapbook has been sitting on the bookshelf in the dining room cleverly camouflaged against the other books. Speaking of scrapbooks and photos, I also have small mountain of photos from my wedding in 2001 which have yet to be organised into an album.

Why oh why do I have so many craft projects on the go? I have reasons/excuses as to why they’re unfinished, but it seems that I seem to run out of puff, lack the crafty stamina needed to see something through. And it is easier to pick up a book, read blogs online, blog, do laundry, shop, look after kids, than it is to tackle all the sewing in you need to do to finish something off.

So enough is enough- there will be no scarf made for Miss BG until I finish up the other projects, or reassess their value. And what’s more, they will be finished by the end of the year.

I have already started the reassessment! I also had about 15 balls of yarn which I had intended to transform into another blanket, but after having done the granny square blanket, have realised I have overstretched myself. I ended up donating the yarn to a retirement village in Sebastopol for the ladies who like to knit for charity. They will also recive some wool leftover from a blanket I started in 2004, in the midst of pregnancy hormones and nesting :).

And once the more tangible bits of unfinished business are done, then perhaps I can move to the less apparent and infinitely harder business of saying the unsaid…

10 books beside my bed

This is not a picture of the books by my bed, but my bookshelves. My bedroom is a bit messy at the moment 🙂

As I mentioned, there is a pile of books beside my bed, which gets organised and tidied regularly. Some books are simply in transit- they’re on their way back to the library or back to the bookshelf, while others are destined to stay there for some time.

1 The lieutenant by Kate Grenville- I read this ages ago and am re-reading it. She is a fantastic Australian author, whose prose evokes the initial European settlement of New South Wales with such colour. I was looking for The Secret River so I could read the next book in my pile which is

2. Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville. I’m looking forward to this one!

3. Family Circle- okay, a magazine, but there are some really great knitting patterns in this issue, which I am dying to try out. I also find by keeping it near my bed, I am more inclined to be hit by the inspiration to hunt for wool and knitting needles!

4. You Sew, Girl by Nicole Mallalieu. A book aimed at the beginner sewer, with tips and tricks on sewing something you can actually wear. I’m not the best sewer (it’s the pins, and the need to cut very carefully which does my head in), but I’m up for a challenge.

5. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon- will be re-reading this. Time travel romance is a guilty pleasure for me, amongst other things which will remain private 🙂

6. Sams Teach Yourself WordPress 3 in 10 minutes– for the WordPress geek in me who is in the process of migrating the blog to a hosted site and getting a domain name registered

7. Op Shop Guide Victoria by Kelly Lainson- I had this near my bed looking for op shops in or on my way to Inverloch when we were there on the weekend. Good to dip into.

8. Baby Bible- I have no idea how this got into my book pile, other than Master BG was given this as a christening present, and the stories are at his reading level. Needless to say, I have taken great umbrage at the fact that the book says Jonah was eaten by a big fish. It was a WHALE.

9. The truth about love by Jospehine Hart. A book that is described an ‘an ambitious and poetic weaving of a long-ago family tragedy into the tragic history and histories of our time,’ by Jon Banville. The first three pages are like a stream of consciousness which were a huge turn-off for me. Going back to the library virtualy unread.

10 The Thirsty Moose by David Orme and Mike Gordon. Another of Master BG’s library books, about a moose which drinks all the water in the river. It reminded me of Tiddalik the frog when he read it. On its way back to the library.

What books do you have beside your bed? Do you read a couple at the same time or one at a time?

 

Bookgrrl’s Creative Space

It’s been a while since I did anything crafty. I must admit, I associate knitting and crochet with the colder months and my days have been filled with other things like school, kinder, house, garden, kids and husband, and now work again after a hiatus.

Summer is now autumn, so out comes the wool…

1. Baby Blanket- finished project!

My baby blanket which was started about 3 years ago, is finally finished, and will be going to my sister and my lovely nephew soon.

I had to do the lace edging, and sew up the panels, which was what slowed me down. It was a labour of love and if I do another baby blanket, it will be in crochet- it’s so much faster.

2. Cardigan- work in progress

This was to be a knitted blanket aeons ago, but I lost heart and decided to unravel it. The yarn is Jo Sharp and such a beautiful soft green. The cardigan is an easy pattern and so far, I’ve finished the back, the fronts and am starting on the sleeves. It’s in stocking stitch and once I’m past the increasing/decreasing part of the pattern, I can let my fingers fly while I’m watching the TV or a DVD.

I’m hoping to have this finished by the end of March, or at least by Easter :).

3. Dress- project in waiting

Now this is where I will readily admit to being slightly crazy. An initial shopping expedition saw me buy some fabric offcuts in Daylesford, with the intention of making a dress for Miss BG. Six months later, another shopping expedition to Aldi saw me pick up a admittedly cheap sewing machine, with the intention of making a dress for Miss BG. Pattern has been bought and the pieces have been cut. now all I have to do is get the machine out of the packaging, learn how to use one after 25 years, and make the dress. I’m making it a size larger, as I figure it’ll be good for next summer rather than this one :).

One thing I am determined to do is to focus on completing something before embarking on another. It’s too easy to abandon something for another more interesting project. This time I am determined to do one thing at a time. I just have to stay out of Lincraft and Spotlight for the next 6 months…

Perseverance

Master BG is back at swimming, with a new swimming teacher. It’s the start of term and his confidence needs rebuilding. Usually after a couple of weeks, he gets to know his teacher, then he starts to enjoy it. At the moment though, he doesn’t want to try. We’ve explained to him that it’s important to try and to practice and then he’ll get better. He’ll never be the fastest swimmer, but what we want is for him to be confident in the water and to enjoy it,and that means practicing.

We’ve pointed out that Mr BG (aka Dad) practices playing his guitar every day and plays the same songs over and over and over again. He’s bought it, somewhat reluctantly.

Just as some members of the family are persevering with their own challenges, I realise I should be persevere with my own.

I should bite the bullet and toilet train Miss BG. Atlthough I may succumb to procrastination on this one and wait until it gets a bit warmer.

Crochet- I was making a scarf for Mr BG to practice my crochet and stopped about halfway through. It was a ball of acrylic yarn I had bought to practice with and it feels a bit scratchy through my fingers. The hook I’m using may be a bit too big for the yarn and the weave is quite loose, but that could just be my tension which needs adjusting. I’m getting onto that, in between doing granny squares to make up a blanket. They’re quick and make you feel you’ve accomplished something.

Knitting- I have a baby blanket which I’ve finished knitting and which just has to be sewed together. I’ve been doing this blanket for nearly three years, mainly because knitting is a winter activity for me, and the person for whom I was knitting it keeps changing (ie the babies are born). The sewing up is the most boring part, which is the reason why I’ve put it off.

I also have a larger patchwork blanket which I started 5 years ago, and it is this one I’ve decided to pull the plug on. The wool is really nice and I can see it being used as a nice cardigan, beanie, or maybe even fingerless gloves. Given the amount of wool, it will probably be all three for which it’s used.

I can see a bit of sewing and unravelling coming my way in front of the telly…