Monday 24 June 2013

Mr Cockerel Comes Home To Roost

Hello my lovely friends - so nice to have you here again and I hope everything is going well for all of you! A special welcome to newcomers - it's so good to have you here too, and I hope you will find something of  interest here! A big thank you to everyone for your lovely uplifting messages, they really mean so much to me and brighten my days!

First off, I have been longing to show you Mr Cockerel now he is in his frame. I am delighted at the wonderful job Haese's of Albany (Western Australia) did on him, and for anyone  in my locale who is looking for a good framer then I highly recommend them. Some of the silk fabric on Mr C was a little wrinkled when I took him in to be framed, but they managed to stretch it all out and away. What do you think of him now?

Yes, I know, it looks a bit twisted - but that's just my photography!

I've had a bit of a bad week with a cardigan I began to knit and, although I'm showing it to you, (to prove I haven't been idle!) sadly I'm about to 'frog' it! Why, you ask? I have pushed myself to do all of this - the back and most of a front - knowing that it really wasn't 'doing it' for me! I had had this gorgeous soft yarn for ages and been looking for a pattern that I really liked, then one turned up but I knew the yarn really wasn't suitable at all. I worked out the tension and adjusted needles but the pattern was really calling for a more stable yarn all together. I finally came to the realisation that it had to go when I took a closer look at the front band, (which is worked along with the body), and saw that it was nothing like firm enough and that the thing would gape and drop and be a regular nuisance! I'm sure I'm not the first to go through something like this and it's been discussed before: if you're not happy with it it's better to frog and start all over again, so that was the difficult decision reached yesterday. It doesn't help that J keeps saying "But you've spent so much time on it and done so much work!" I will use this beautiful yarn for something else by and by; it's such a lovely light  cocoa colour with a slight dusty pink tinge to it, but difficult to replicate here. Anyway, watch this space!

I bought a new book last week from my local yarn supply shop (A Good Yarn) and it's full of great ideas for borders and edges, and even includes a few projects - scarf, hat, bag, shawl etc.. It's published by Interweave, so uses American crochet terms, but easy enough to translate into the UK terms which is what I use. Kristin Omdahl is the author and she has put out several other crochet and knitting books, besides this one.
That bright razzamatazz pink is my tryout of the Deco Scallops, which was the first of the patterns to grab my attention. Do yourself a favour, if you come across this book do have a look at it. Oh and by the way, I'm not being paid to advertise - I just think it's nice to share with like-minded folks such as yourselves!

The sky was looking a bit threatening on Sunday morning, but isn't it lovely to see a rainbow - especially a 'double' one! Those birds are pink and grey gallahs, not close enough to properly see their lovely colours, but gives you an idea anyway! Incidentally, the rain did come but not until later in the afternoon, and then it poured down!

We took a quick drive right up the top of the Mount Shadforth tourist route and I took a couple of quick pics of the view over to Mount Frankland. What a vast and beautiful land! And isn't that sky wonderful!

And yesterday morning the park was very quiet so I managed to get a few more pics to show you, now that the planting is coming along. You may remember me mentioning this park and the adventure playground that was under construction? Well, a lot more progress has been made and it's such a lovely place for families to spend time together.
Aren't the kangaroo paws quite stunning - these are young yet and will put on a lovely show as they mature.

These pics give a wider view of what's been taking place. The hand-painted tubes on wooden stands 
are what the children use to enable them to speak to each other across the park - for want of the correct word let's just call them 'intercoms' - and they are very popular too, as you can imagine! And some very clever person has been really busy etching and moulding our native species onto hunks of granite - there are quite a few of these scattered around the park.

This is the Chime Construction - I don't pretend to understand how it works but one day a while back we were having a chat with the architect of this wondrous thing and he said that it was to be tuned and balanced - these drops are all secured to the ground and I think the kids can wallop the little shapes against the more solid framework and play music! Well, it certainly looks fascinating to me! I'm sure it cost a small fortune to construct and hope it can stand up to energetic kids' play!

I am so looking forward to getting into some serious crocheting now that the cardigan is 'out of the way' - especially the hexes - I could have had a mountain of those made in the time spent on learning another lesson in life, which is: Listen more attentively to that little voice that tells me it's not quite the right thing!
Wishing you all a happy and satisfying crafty week!

Joy xxx

Sunday 16 June 2013

Hexagon Mystery

A big hello once again, and a special welcome to those of you who are new to my blog - I hope that each and every one of you always feels welcome here and derives some pleasure - maybe even a wee bit of inspiration, from what I get up to!

Gosh, almost two weeks since I last posted but no pressure, no stress, I've been enjoying browsing and commenting on some of your lovely blogs that I regularly follow, as well as some new, and they have cheered me up no end when I couldn't quite get my 'get-up-and-go' to get up and go! Thank you!

Today I'm going to begin with Hexes! Whilst browsing a couple of weeks or so ago, I came across a lovely blog  here  and was so taken with Jen's kindly offered pattern for her pastel hexagon throw that I decided to have a go!
Then, having completed a few of these very easy to do little shapes, I remembered the beautiful joining together stitch (flat braid join) that I'd absolutely fallen in love with  here . However, when I checked out how to do it I then decided that my patience wasn't as enduring as that of the gorgeous Shari, so I hunted around and found a simplified version of it! Not quite as lovely as Shari's but nevertheless, I do like it and think it suits the hexes. Have a look  here and scroll down until you see 'Simulated Braid Join' - that's the stitch I used. And by the way, while we're on the subject of sharing information and patterns, if you're not familiar with Shari's blog, do take a look anyway, for she makes the most beautiful and cuddlesome blankets - and you're sure to fall in love with her site whether you are interested in blankets or not!

I'd better let you have a peek at these hexes and the joining stitch!

But here's where the 'hexagon mystery' comes into play! I really don't know where I'm going with these gorgeous little things - I was sooooo enjoying the making of them, and was sooooo keen to try out this joining stitch, that I just had to go for it and see what would eventuate. It's neither one thing nor another at the moment but as usual I seem to follow my nose with these new tries and it slowly develops into 'something'. Did I hear you say "Not another blanket, surely"? Well, my sentiments exactly, but wouldn't it be lovely for a new baby .....  .....  ... or a fancy-it-up cover for a dresser .....  ....  ... a stole perhaps .....  .....  ... a bit light in colour maybe for a bag? Any suggestions from you lovely imaginative folks out there would be gratefully received - please?

I have also finished with the squares that I showed you last post - I didn't know what I was going to do with that piece either for a while, but here is the completed - yes - blanket - again! Blankets are so safe!

I think this could be my favourite among those I've already crocheted! What do you think?

How about a few little pics from my garden now?
 These are Lilly Pilly trees: there are three of them altogether (it's a privacy thing!) The first two are a different 'strain' to the more mature one in the background there, and have now developed lovely mauve berries, whereas the bigger one sports the deep pink colour. The foliage is so pretty with its changing colours and the fruit can be used for jam making and such like. I am a bit late in snapping them really, for most of the berries have now dropped off, but they are still rather lovely, don't you think?

Then there's the 'Hebes' giving us some lovely colour for most of the year.

And last but not least, I rescued these last few blooms before J cut the rose bushes back!

I do love roses - the complexity of each bloom is, I find, breathtaking! And the perfume - WOW!!!

Have a wonder-filled week one and all, and I'll look forward to reading and responding to your lovely comments - oops, does that sound presumptuous?  Well, I just want to express how important your 
messages are to me, and to quote the old cliche: they make my day! Thank you!

Joy xxx

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Cockerel, Squares, and Pretty Town

Hello blogging friends! Well I don't know where the past week has gone - but gone it has and it won't be back! I know by some of the recent posts I've caught up with that there has been a general busy-ness among you with lots of lovely results showing from your activities, and so now it's time to show you what I've been up to!

First off I'm showing you a cockerel that I appliquéd a while back - and in fact it may be as far back as five years ago! You see, I went to a day workshop and 'produced' this bird - finishing it off at home cause there wasn't enough time to bring it to completion in the class - but since then it's been folded up in a drawer as I couldn't decide what to do with it! Well it wasn't that I didn't like it - I really did - but making it into a cushion would have been a bit risky because when it finally needed to be washed, as it surely would sometime, I thought the little bird might disintegrate.

So there it's been hiding, quite forgotten for a while, until I needed to appliqué a little thing onto the front of 'Annie's' apron (see previous post), and needed to re-check on how to do it! Well, like I said, it was a while ago! Then on one of Sue's posts sweetpeafamilyblog.blogspot,com I spotted a lovely chook on a card so that was another prompt for me to do something about my poor little cockerel. Anyway, to cut a long story short, as soon as my little bird hopped out of the drawer J said we should have him framed and hang him up, so that is the next job planned when we make the next trip into Albany.

Do have a look at him before he goes behind glass!

Do you think he's worth the expense of framing?

So what have I actually been doing this past week! Well, for starters I have rested my ripple blanket because I needed some calming colours, just for a change. You may remember me mentioning a while back that, apart from the rainbow colours for the ripple blanket, I had quite a few more muted shades in the Stylecraft Special DK with which I would probably do another blanket? Yes, well, that's what I've been doing, using two blocks from Jan Eaton's '200 Crochet Blocks' book, namely Number 35, Tricolour Square, and Number 55 Centred Square.

I did run into a slight, but easily fixable, problem which unfortunately I didn't realise until joining time: the stitch count on the final round of the No. 35 squares was a bit less than those on the Number 55, and the size was slightly smaller too, so I then had to work another round and increase a little on the corners. It worked out fine but was a bit of a nuisance 'cause I really wanted to get those squares joined up. You know the feeling I'm sure, you've come to this stage and longing to see it all together but have to be patient a bit longer! That's all! But another lesson learned and I will be more particular another time and maybe just follow Jan's suggestions regarding her mix-and-match blocks, for after all, there were plenty others I could have used!

I chose blues:

And pinks and mauves;

Then I laid them out, working towards a nice balance, and at the same time pairing the colours up as best as I could:

And here we have them joined and waiting for the next step: will it be more blocks or will it be a wide stripey granny border, or what? I haven't decided but I do know there won't be any more of no. 35 or no. 55 because I need a bit of variety again! Well, that's just me isn't it! Do you need variety, or can you carry on with the same thing over and over again? I suppose it depends on the situation eh!

Now it just remains for me to show you some pics of our lovely river. This is prompted by me seeing a particular pic on Sharron's last blog  ('Annie's Place' -,) which really resembled, to me, this part of the river area in our little town. Perhaps if I saw the two photos together, side by side, I may say no, they're not all that similar, but the resemblance was enough to get me busy with the camera anyway:

And so my friends that's it for this time! I'm off to feed a hungry husband - and myself probably - then back into working on that blanket to see what creative notion takes me - I kinda think it's beginning to feel like lots of coloured stripes - we'll see - watch this space!

Thank you all again for your lovely comments on my previous posts - I do so enjoy reading and replying to them, as well as following your lovely blogs. This blogging has become quite exciting for me and it's all due to you lovely folks out there who take the time and care enough to connect with me. Thank you!

Be good to yourselves and each other and I wish you happy crafting times.

Joy xx