Lest we forget

Seeing as how today is ANZAC day here in Australia, I thought that I would theme my blog post around that this week.  Last night, my eldest daughter and I sat down for a quick crochet lesson on making poppies.  They are really sweet and so quick to make up.  You may well ask why I feel ANZAC day is important.  Well, to me, I think that we need to remember.  Each year, the number of veterans is getting smaller and it becomes easier to forget why we need to remember.  We need to remember because many, many people have given their lives so that we can live in a free country, and for that I am very grateful.  But, more importantly, we need to remember because war is a horrible thing – we see pictures and hear stories of what it is like during war but living through it is a totally different thing and we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.  Complacency is a very dangerous thing.  So, on this day of remembrance, a heartfelt thank you goes out to all those who have served and are still serving in our militaries.  Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.

Happy Easter!

I hope that you enjoyed celebrating Easter yesterday with your family and friends.  We had a lovely day with a bunch of family at our house for lunch!  My post is a little late this week as my husband and I have been using the opportunity of a 4 day weekend to install a pond in our yard.  I thought that this would be a quick and easy job.  I was wrong.  It has taken many hours and lots of trips to the hardware store but we’re nearly there!  Fingers crossed by the end of today it will be done.  Sadly, today was going to be my crochet day but I’m so tired and sore from my efforts that even a crochet hook feels like it weighs a tonne!  Anyway, I have managed amongst all of this to create an Eater present for my baby niece who can’t eat chocolate yet!  I saw this sweet little pattern for a rabbit and knew it would be the perfect thing for her https://stipenhaak.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/konijntje-pluis.html.  The pattern is not in English, but even with a dodgy google translate, it was easy to follow and very quick to make up.  I love it!  It also forced me to go ahead with buying some poly pellets.  I have been considering it for awhile to use with my crochet creations but it has just seemed a bit too much trouble to do it!  However, I quickly realised that if I just stuffed this rabbit, the weight of it’s ears would just pull it over.  It really needed something to weight the bottom.  I put the poly pellets in a stocking and doubled it over a couple of times before knotting the top to make sure that the pellets don’t escape and it works a treat.  The little fellow stands up all by himself.  He also has a bit of a rocking motion if she wants to poke him and watch him roll around!  The present went down really well – an added bonus is that his ears are great for chewing on!  Now, back to the pond…..

Frida’s Flowers

So, I have a little obsession…Stylecraft Special dk yarn.  I discovered it a year or two ago and it’s become a small problem.  The problem is, it’s really hard to get in Australia! I have to order it online from the UK and then wait for delivery. Just recently, it was on special with great shipping prices so I just had to order some…..didn’t I?  I decided that I would order the yarn to make the Fridas’ Flowers CAL.  It’s something I have been wanting to try my hand at, and it seemed like the time to try it.  So, after the interminable 2 week wait, my yarn finally arrived! I could hardly wait to get my hands on this squishy goodness and begin this beautiful afghan!

However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.  I began with block 1 – white cosmos. It looks beautiful but my tension was way out. After changing hook size, it was much closer but still a little small.  So, I investigated the instructions for tension and came across a really handy link about lifting, riding and yanking https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eAvvsbdNxWU. Although I believe I am a rider already and it hasn’t fixed my tension problems, it was really interesting to learn how different crochet actions can affect your tension.  It amazes me that I can have been crocheting for so many years but still be learning new things!

Yarn bowl attempt…..

I have been wanting a yarn bowl for some time now but have been unable to afford to purchase one online so I looked into ways to create my own. I came across the idea of making one out of yarn ends from this blog https://marrose-ccc.com/tutorials-2/yarn-ends-bowl/. I have plenty of yarn ends, and I hate the idea of wasting them by throwing them out, so I started saving them.  Finally, I have enough, and today was the day to try and see if I can get it to work!

Firstly, I gathered my yarn ends.  What a lovely rainbow of yarny goodness!


Next, I made the paste.  Using the recipe on the blog but substituting salt for sugar.  The longest part of the process was waiting for the paste to cool! (Although it allowed me the time to put the washing away….).


While cooking the paste, I prepared my bowl.  I wanted the curl for the yarn to pass through, so I fashioned the shape from alfoil! This is the part I’m not sure will work….


And finally, it was time to get messy!  It was fun forming the bowl, however, I think I might need to keep on molding it as it begins to dry to keep it in shape and stop it slipping down.  I’ll post a picture of the finished product once it’s dried and let you know of my success (or otherwise…)!

The madness hasn’t stopped!

fullmandala7 madala7

As I’m sure a lot of you understand, my head is a crochet explosion of things I want to create (and every day more things are added to that list!!).  In fact, the list is so long, I thought about writing out all the projects I am currently working on, but it would take too long, so I can’t be bothered!  However, in between things that have deadlines, I am still pottering along on my mandala madness.  I got bogged for awhile on one row, left it for a week or so, tried again and have no idea why I got bogged!!  Must have been tired!  Now, she is finished through part 7 and has the beginning row of part 8 started.  I am looking forward to progressing further as the rounds I haven’t done yet look stunning in the pictures I have seen!  The pattern can be found here http://www.crystalsandcrochet.com/crochets/mandala-madness-cal-2016/ if you want to join the madness too!

Madness interrupted!

calalthemidwife2  callthemidwifepackage

My eldest daughter’s teacher is finishing up tomorrow to go and have her baby.  Being a crocheting school Mum, I decided to make her a special hand made gift.  I have been seeing the “Midwife blanket” popping up a lot lately (pattern is here: http://littlemonkeyscrochet.com/call-the-midwife-inspired-baby-blanket-free-pattern/) and decided to give it a try.  I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out.  It was a simple pattern to get going in your head, so I didn’t have to keep looking at the pattern and it made up quite quickly and easily.  I used Marvel soft 8ply yarn in navy blue (my daughter’s choice) and it is a beautiful, soft, drapey blanket, perfect for a bassinet or pram.  I gave it a wash and block before wrapping it, and I have to admit to stopping and admiring it each time I walked past the blocking table!!  I think that this is definitely a pattern I will make again and would recommend to anyone who wants a beautiful, quick and effective present for a baby!  Thank you Little Monkeys Crochet for a faulous pattern!  The teacher was quite impressed too!

Temperature Blanket

tempblan

This year, I have been working on a temperature blanket.  I have chosen a number of colours to represent brackets of temperature (eg, 21-25 degrees, 26-30 degrees), and each day, I am crocheting a yo yo (see previous post for information about yo yos!) that represents the temperature high of the day.  It began it’s life as a scarf, done in single crochet.  However, it was quite thick and stiff, and after a few weeks of working on it, I felt it wouldn’t really work, so decided to switch to my new favourite thing – yo yos!  I am also adding in a grey yo yo on days when it rains.  I have slowly begun joining them together and will have the beginnings of a blanket soon.  It is quite interesting to look at the weather in the form of colour.  I tried to mimic the colours normally associated with cold and hot with corresponding temperatures and I look forward to seeing how it changes as the year goes on and the weather changes.  Being Summer in Australia, it is mostly orange, red and yellow at the moment but we have had some sudden drops and then back up to the warmer temperatures that have made it more interesting to look at!

tempcol

New year tidy up!

corner

Well, a new year has arrived, and with it, the feeling of fresh starts…..except for in my lounge room where I work on my crochet!  This area has a large plastic box full of one project, and covered in several others, a rocking chair similarly covered and an armchair!  Much as I have created this chaos, it isn’t conducive to me working, so it’s time to get it all tidied away!  So, I indulged in one of my other loves – gumtree (an online selling tool where you can buy just about everything!!), and bought a set of drawers to put in the corner of my lounge room to store all my WIP’s in (and there is always a few!).  This idea has worked a treat – now, everything is tidy and has its own place, and the drawers are within easy reach for me to access when I need to.  My work is also being kept clean, and away from sticky children’s hands or to be used as a comfortable place to sleep by the cat!! And so far, I haven’t had trouble filling the drawers with work on the go!  Now, I just need to tackle the cupboard in my husband’s study…..but that’s a job best left for another day!