Saturday, July 25, 2015

Christmas in July

Sending out a Thankyou to Carol from Blessed Mum for the gifts she sent in the Christmas in July Swap.

This is what I sent to Kerrie from Channel Creations....... I hope she enjoys using the homemade candle melts and soap and is able to use the other items.

I'm flying out in the morning to Brisbane to tend to some family stuff up there - Pete will be staying here taking care of the home front and poor old Scruffy is struggling with arthritis during this cold weather .....poor old doggie!
Not sure if I will get a chance to blog while I'm away since the iPad does not always allow photos to be uploaded to blogger......hmmmmmmm
Sorry for the short post - trying to pack and clean house as I do this.......

So have a great week everyone just incase I can't get back here for a week or more!
Hugs sharm

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Back from Bendi

Bendigo 2015 trip ........... What a great time with a bunch of like minded ladies from one of the
Ravelry groups ....... Last year was my first time going to the Bendigo Wool Show weekend and it was soooo much fun, I just had to go again this year!  
It's only about 2-3 hrs drive by car from here and since DD is in Melbourne, she decided to catch the train up to Bendigo to meet me so we could have a mother / daughter day .......

And I was able to give her the rainbow ripple to go home with ........ I think she is pretty happy with it ......

I had seen on a post that if you wore bunny ears to the ixchell stall the bunny lady would give you a nice little goodie bag filled with bunny fibre and fun items.... I mentioned this to DD and with just a nights notice she made two of us up some Bunny Ears to wear into the show.....  And this is what was in the goodie bag ...... some bunny fibre, bunny yarn, lollies , a bunny button and a 10% discount for an online purchase!! What a great thankyou!!

I visited the Bendigo Woollen mills as well since I'm going to need extra yarn for the blanket I'm in the process of figuring out for our bed .......I'll share more if that with you in another post

So here is my yarnie goodness harvest from Bendi this year!!! So many lovely yarns and lots of projects queued as well as the beginnings of some ideas brewing......... 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ripple Magic!

The Rainbow Ripple is done!  Yes, I can hardly believe it myself either, but I really, really wanted to get it finished to be able to give to my daughter before Winter here finished........ And oh boy, we sure have been having a colder Winter this year with snow falling in lots of places (unfortunately none at our house).  The pressure really started when DD said she would catch the train up from Melbourne to meet me at Bendigo........ So I've managed to meet the deadline...... Just!!!

I have to say I really, really love working with yarn!  I just find it so easy to pick up and put down - well, more so with crochet than knitting perhaps - although having said that, English paper piecing can be like that too ....... But that's more for the summer months when the hands are looking for cool cottons to work with!

It's still Winter here, so I need to keep moving on more of my knitted projects that have been put to one side while the ripple took priority ........... I'm just really, really wanting to start something new and fun......hmmmmmm Poor DH, wonder if he will get his sweater this winter! 
If you want a few more details about this ripple .....
I used 17 shades for almost 3 full repeats (2 rows for each colour / double row : ending up with 47 double rows of colours)  I cast on 213 chains for the foundation row.  This blanket is pictured on a Queen Size Bed with finished measurements  of approx. 155 cm (60in) wide x  140cm (55in) deep.  I haven't done a border until I find out if DD would like one around it.  The yarn is mostly acrylic in 8ply (DK) and I used a 4.5mm hook .

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lemons and Eggs Create.......

We are so blessed to have lemons in season during the winter months when our bodies need that extra zap and zing from citrus to help fight the colds and flu.  Our lemon trees here are only producing a couple of fruit, so I was very excited when Pete came home from work during the week with 2 bags full of juicy lemons freshly picked!   We are further blessed that a couple of our hens are still laying ...... so I have an ample supply of eggs to go with the lemons .........
Lots of yummy lemon baking is taking place .......
Lemon Butter .... so quick and simple to make and it keeps in the fridge for about a month.  I like to just make one or two jars each time, but I'll be freezing some of the lemon juice so I can use it over the next few months ......
and an interesting new recipe for a self sauce lemon pudding - initially it looked like the sauce would be too thin, but it was just scrummy, especially with a bit of ice cream to go with it.

Today I made my first Lemon Meringue Pie, I've put off making one of these for years for one reason or another .... mostly it's a time thing..... it's a bit of a process by the time you make the pie crust from scratch, then the filling which had to chill for 3 hours ....... it finally came out ready for after dinner tonight looking great - but wow, it's rich!!  It's soooo big - I think it may have to go to work with me to share around!

On the crafting front, I've posted out my packages for the Christmas in July swap, but can't really show you those pics just yet till my swap person has received their package and opened it up.......
On the last section for the Rainbow Ripple and will be able to share the finished pics before too long I hope.  I've really tried to get moving on this project so my daughter would be able to use it this winter!   The blanket I started for our bed last year has hibernated for a number of months..... I've putlled it out a few times, but I'm not really happy with it ....... so I've decided I'll be frogging it and making up my own design.  I currently have 4 colours I'm using, but I may just pull in a 5th colour to spice it up a bit .......maybe........  I'm heading to Bendigo for the big Wool festival in a few days time, so I'll be going to the Bendi Wool Mills and deciding on a 5th colour while I'm there ..... hopefully I'll have made decisions on the pattern by then!
Happy Sunday everyone!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sunday Cowl

Remember on Saturday I mentioned getting distracted whilst working on a bit of Decluttering?  Well I'd been visiting various blogs earlier and came upon a simple crochet pattern for a cowl .......The Sloppy Sunday Cowl by the lovely Heather from Pink Milk Blog.   In the midst of cleaning up piles of paperwork, it occurred to me that pattern would be just perfect for the skein of King Cole Bamboozle a friend had given me for my birthday.  This yarn ranges from bits of fibre down to strands like embroidery silks ....... so I've been hanging off, trying to find something that would only need the 1 skein and would also show off the lovely variations.
I started on it Saturday night after dinner and such and then sat down with it and my morning coffee on Sunday and had it finished in a couple of hours!  I left a couple of twists in mine as I prefer the twist when I'm wearing the cowls single.  The other week at work, one of the girls was asking the best way of getting a skein wound up into a ball, so I thought I'd share for anyone else who might be wondering how else you can do it aside from the old fashioned using the back of a chair method.  In the pics below you'll see what looks like a wooden clothes line, called a Swift,- it works the same way as a rotary clothes line and can be opened to hold whatever skein you have - pop it on so the yarn isn't so twisted over on itself ......... then pull the outer thread to the ball winder and you are ready to turn that handle. I usually pop my finger in the strand between the two to keep the tension a bit looser.  The Swift and Winder together will set you back about $100, however the time, and the sanity saved is definitely worth the investment!  Just before you take your newly wound cake of yarn off the winder, fold the label from the skein and pop it into the centre so the ball comes off the winder with the label in the centre so you have the details still with the yarn.

And over the weekend I found out I was one of the June winners from Cottage Craft Angora for some 100% Quivet which will be knit into one of their scarves!  I'll be getting the Artic Blue.  I've never even felt what quivet is like, so I'm really excited - although it will likely be another couple of weeks at least before it arrives here from Canada.  Quivet is from the Musk Ox which you can see in the pic below.  Well I have the next couple of days at work before I'll have the chance to be getting back to numerous homefront lists waiting to be tended to!  What will you be doing over the next couple of days I wonder??  Have a fantastic day,  Sharm

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Acorn or Gumnut?

I took advantage of linking in with Cheryll for the monthly FNWF and did some more work on the crocheted  rainbow blanket.  It's coming along nicely and I'm now part way through the 2nd repeat of colours.   But I also wanted to do another bit of stitching ........ Crochet Stitching ...... so I made this little pincushion ..... the  free pattern  from calls it an Acorn ....... but once I had it sewn together I kind of wondered if it didn't look a bit like a Gum Nut ....... and since we don't have any Acorn Trees, but do have  several Gum Trees on our little block, I figured it was fitting to have it photographed in one of the gum tree branches!

I've spent part of today clearing out part of the spare bedroom (which was DD's until she moved out a few months ago) ...... I'm planning to turn it into the guest room .... with room for  my letter writing desk and a bookcase so it can be used and not just sit vacant.  Our home is only small, so I need to use the spaces we have ...... but being small, it also shows up the clutter really, really well!!!  Decluttering is a  work in progress ...... no photos until I get it a bit cleaner lol ...... Unfortunately the Decluttering took me to the little cabin ........ where all the pretty yarn is .........
It doesn't take much to get me sidetracked .............. and I think I've found just the pattern for  this .........

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Comfy Crochet

Yesterday was my first day back at work after a week home with the flu.  I'm not one for staying in bed, but I'm very happy to rest up in one of the lounge chairs in front of the fire with some Yarny therapy!  It's funny how I've been concentrating so much the past year on getting my knitting from beginner to something with a little more experience and excitement, but when it came to not feeling well my hands went straight to my crochet hook.  My DD had seen a pic on FB and immediately tagged me with a "I want one of these Mummy" (25yr olds still call you mummy when they really, really want something lol).  I think I may have mentioned this in my last post ...... I still have a bit of brain flu fogginess ????   Anyhow, I was overjoyed to have this "new" project to give me a sense of purpose whilst being sick and resting up!  Some lovely, delightful  Comfy Crochet Happiness!   
In fact after a long day back at work yesterday, I couldn't get dinner over with quick enough, jump into my jamas and snuggle into my chair with the crochet hook again!  I'm really enjoying the way this rainbow ripple is coming together.   While I started with the same number of chain (213) as Lucy suggests for a single bed size (110cm) - I'm using a slightly larger hook (4.5mm) and therefore the width of the blanket is somewhat larger -  155cm without any border.  With 17 shades playing part, I've decided on doing 3 - 4 repeats. 

 I'm not entirely sure, since I'll decide as I go along....... you know how it is :)  If you are making a ripple of your own Lucy has a great tutorial available - just always remember to have 5 trebles at the start of each row,  check as you progress along that you are keeping in pattern - you should be putting your 2 x 2 trebles (the peak of each ripple) into the middle 2 of the previous row. 

It's pitter pattering with rain outside this morning, but the Kookaburras have flown in for a quick feed before it gets too heavy!    They come each morning and evening during the winter months and we are happy to give them a feed of mince since they then tend to make their presence known during the summer months keeping an eye out for snakes! 

  I decided a bit of wholesome baking was needed, so here you see some banana bread (a new recipe that I'm not thrilled about); a date and walnut loaf which is lovely and moist and I will make again!  I'll be freezing some up in ready cut slices for lunches.    And a first attempt of coconut macaroons with jam filling - my DH buys these from the supermarket, but I've discovered they can be made very cheaply and extremely easy to make!  Give them a go.  I used the end of my wooden spoon (dipped in a bit of flour) to make the holes to pop in a tiny bit of my home made plum jam!   Well, I'm on a "home " day today - shopping, errands, cleaning, washing ect (funnily enough, I would welcome one of these days above a "head off to work" day in a heart beat ...... unless I ever reach that long time dream of having my own little crafting, coffee happiness shop, which at 53 is becoming extremely less likely, but thankfully I have my crochet hooks )
Have a great day whatever you are doing today
Hugs Sharm