Rubbish Rubbish Rubbish

Friday, January 27, 2017
Today my crafting time seems to have been spent throwing things away wondering why I kept them in the first place. I apologise in advance for the photos I couldn't see the point of making rubbish look attractive.

Exhibit A

I know that untangling this very tangled yarn will take me a couple of hours and truthfully I can't be bothered. The white lace weight yarn is left over from another project and i have no future plans for it. The neon yellow was probably discarded after I make Kiera's neon socks and I have no idea what the teal is from.

Decision made. Its in the bin. 

Exhibit B 

Why have I kept a dog chewed DPN? I think I have some sort of crafting hoarder syndrome.

This too is in the bin. I have, of course, kept the remaining DPN's from the set.

Exhibit C 

Today's lesson was bought to you from eBay its title is "All plastics are not equal' These stitch markers are cheap knock offs of Japanese stitch markers but the plastic is so brittle they all snapped. I can't imagine I spent much money on them but they are currently making my bin look very colourful.

Hopefully, my evening knitting will be more productive.

Kiera has been sat on my lap the whole time I have been writing this and says "Hello Michelle, Hello blog" (she wants me to finish up so she can have the computer!)

Finished Object - teeny tiny jumper

Monday, January 16, 2017

I started this cute little sweater right after I finished Carson's Campside Cardi.

While knitting its bigger cousin, I was lamenting the need to knit a second sleeve and was reminiscing of older simpler times when a sweater was knit in pieces and then seamed together. One of the few benefits of knitting a sweater in pieces is that you can knit both sleeves at the same time (of course I didn't take a photo to show you this). Basically, you cast on the first sleeve like normal and then you take a second ball of yarn and cast the next sleeve on the same needle. You then knit row on the first sleeve and then knit the first row on the second sleeve. Using this method you are guarenteed two identical sleeves.

The major downside to this method is that you end up with four separate pieces that you have to seam together.

The pattern was from Ravelry. It is so well written and I fell head over heels for the adorable mock cable pattern. I even modified the pattern to get more. The pattern, as written, has a section of moss/seed stitch to the centre of the back. 
After doing a few rows, I decided that I would prefer the cables to extend to the collar band. Much happier.

The only other modification I made was to leave an inch on either side of the head hole un-seamed. Because babies heads are always far bigger than you think they could possibly be.

As a further point of happiment, this is a stash down project. Hooray! The yarn was 100 grams of 3ply yarn from Bendigo found in the back room of wonder during my trip last year.

Stalking the postman

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I love ordering stuff online, because I now have the best postman I have had in my life. That's a big call, I might have to qualify it by saying 'in my adult life since buying things online became a big thing'. Where once upon a time almost all packages had to be collected from the post office due to there being 5 steps between our house and the road, we now receive every parcel, even those we are notified we need to pick up three post offices away. Imagine that. You get the text, your parcel is a good 30min highway driving at 100km/h away. Your next town day is at least one or two days away. You decide to sit tight. The next morning, poof, package brought to the door by the best postman ever. I basically shivered with happiness.

So thanks to my online shopping skills and No.1 postman, I now have the skein of yarn for the green beanie project, and I found the two sizes of interchangeable circular needle tips, and a 40cm connector cord at my LYS ( I only found out what that meant a couple of days ago - such a noob).

I need to wind the skein into a ball - this will be my first time, Louise informs me I'd better watch a Youtube video of this process if I don't want to end up in a screaming tangled mess. Next, I think I need a longer cord, because look, I can barely get the tips of the needles near each other due to the pulling of the short cord. I had to call Louise to find out if this was normal. I found out about a thing called a magic loop, more Youtubing!

Now I almost have three WIPs. One to three. I don't do multiple WIPs normally, because it typically means one will be cast aside, never to be completed. I mean NEVER. I'm reluctant to pick up the knitting needles for the Green Beanie until the Green Bag is complete.

I realised today I haven't shared any of the progress of my green bag here. It's just about finished! I'm having last minute change of heart about the handles. I had planned on natural leather, but I'm now thinking cotton webbing, because it will be just as soft and pliable as the bag itself. I've found a source for the webbing, just to actually click 'buy' on it.

This Paintbox yarn seems to be everywhere right now. I'm not surprised, it's a good price, the colour range is fantastic (the green!!!), and it's a nice cotton to work with, not rough or lumpy, but not super polished either. Nice and soft feel, but not plushy or thick. Good for the bag project but not quite what I wanted for the beanie. I lashed out and bought the ten pack, because this colour is just that good. My plan was to use five balls or less to make the bag.

I used Shelley Husband's guide to crocheting a circular circle, I did okay there. With a little more patience it might have been even flatter. Fortunately, the bag doesn't really rely on a flat bottom, it isn't structural like a basket.

 It was at this point - three balls down - I frogged it back to the base! I'd made the base circle too big, making a super wide floppy bag that would never be tall enough in my mind with only 5 balls.

See, so much better, part way through ball 4 and proportions are much better. I've finished just part way into ball five, with a few decisions needing to be made and handles to be purchased. I have to make sure I don't lose it at this point of the project and finish it up soon. What made me flip flop with the handle material was that leather won't require any thought to it's edges, where cotton webbing will have an unfinished edge. Will tucking it under before stitching to bag enough??? Oh, and I'll need thread for the stitching. Need to decide that and whether I fold down the edge of the bag and inch to make the top edge a little more sturdy.

WIP no.3 is for a good cause, I'm going to knock up some squares for this call out from Full Tilt Nanna, for a charity called St.Kilda Mums, who recycle kids and baby gear both to help mums in need and to do some good for the environment. I have left over yarn from the Big Granny blankets and I feel the need for something simple to do while I ponder all the questions I have about my bag project.

Watching:   Gilmore Girls and Sherlock
Watched:   The Crown (loved it, looking forward to season 2)
Reading:   I don't have a book on the go, after deciding I'd watch Fantastic Beasts before reading it, and needing a little breather before the next in the Elly Griffiths 'Dr.Ruth Galloway' series.
Read:   the first and second books in the 'Dr.Ruth Galloway' series by Elly Griffiths, The Crossing Places and The Janus Stone. It's set in Norwich, a place I know nothing about except it gets a lot colder than it does here. Which I like. Dr.Ruth is a forensic archaeologist - which I find kind of fascinating. I'll say no more, apart from I'm enjoying them, it's a nice change to the absolute fluff I normally read, but not too dark.

The pic up the top was looking at the bush from the beach yesterday, it was cool and breezy and overcast, my favourite.

I fell off the cold sheep wagon

Saturday, January 7, 2017
We knew it was going to happen eventually, I think I even said in my stash down post that I didn't expect to be able to resist the lure of yarn or a yarn shop for an entire year*.

As you know, I have avoided buying yarn** since August and since that time have knit up a fair amount of stash but this week I discovered that there was a yarn store about half an hour away which stocked Hedgehog Fibre, yep that was it. I needed to go squish this yarn and come home with at least a skein.

The yarn store is called Cherryhills Yarn.

They are located at Shop 7, 354-356 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills  NSW 2120. It is in an arcade which is accessed from Pennant Hills Road to the front and Geeves lane to the rear. If you are driving, the best parking is along Hillcrest Road. If you are travelling by rail, the train the station is a very short walk away.

I took lots of photos so I could show you,  I also promised Rosemary, who was working on the day I visited, that I would tell you that they are in the middle of shuffling everything around to make way for new stock coming in. NEW STOCK!!

Apparently, the owner of the shop has run the business for 17 years and until recently they sold School uniforms and yarn. Recently, they have switched to 100% yarn. A friend messaged me on IG to show me their beautiful yarn and on seeing that she had my current yarn crush in stock, I had no choice but to visit.

I was honestly impressed with their stock. I didn't take notes on what they had so I have probably missed some but I remember seeing:

Katia, Ella Rae, Filatura Di Crosa, Noro, Zauberball, Supersoft 8ply, Patons, Debbie Bliss, Magnum and Manos del Uruguay....I'm sure there was so much more.

They also had really gorgeous shop samples and I wish I had taken more photos so I could show you.

I took Carson with me because I know she needs more yarn (ha ha ha ha!).

I found some cotton! Those Patons ones in the middle are lovely and colourful.

 Bargain Baskets.

Some of the Debbie Bliss.


Delicious delicious yarn hmmm!

and of course the Hedgehog Fibres, so many knitwear designers are using this yarn at the moment and I seem to have fallen for its charms. I was so happy to have been able to find a local stockist and deliriously happy to have discovered a new yarn store too.  The shop has an Instagram account  which I'm fairly sure I will be stalking to watch the arrival of any lovely new goodies.
I am sure I will be visiting again.

Here are my purchases (the riot is for my kids who are both learning and apparently need their own stash).

And here is Carson's delicious selection, she may be going through a blue phase!

*Don't worry I am completely unrepentant. Knitting is my hobby. I love squishing yarn being drawn in by beautifully dyed fibre and getting sucked into the latest trends. I love it so much that both of my children enjoy trips to the yarn shore and seeking out the most brightly coloured yarn and begging me to buy it for them.

**well that's not strictly true, I did have to buy one 50g ball to finish a stash down project.

Happy Blogiversary Michelle!

Thursday, January 5, 2017
Did you know that one year ago today we launched our blog, with our first post being launched into the internet presumed never to be read? (we had high hopes!)

In the last year, we have written 64 posts, which I think is pretty good considering we only ever committed to writing one post a week. We have blogged about, travel, cooking, knitting, crochet and miscellaneous craft.

I have loved every minute and really enjoy reading your posts about what you have been up to.

Thank you Michelle.


So to our readers, it might have occurred to you that Michelle is the design brain of the blog. The look, logo and picture layout (which I keep stuffing up) is all down to her.

In an attempt to feel like I am contributing something, I have assumed the role of keeper of the stat's:

Our most popular post has been the one about Carson's Cardigan this was largely due to Carson posting about the Blog on her facebook page. She is much better at promoting our blog than we are!

and our second most popular blog post this year has been the one about home made yogurt. This post gets regular readers. We would love to hear from some people who have followed the recipe as we are intrigued about how it has turned out for them.

The other thing I love having a look at is where our readers are based, most are from Australia, USA and England, but we also have readers in Chile, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Israel to name but a few. Thank you to all of you for dropping in, we hope you enjoy the blog and that you continue to stop by.

Here's to next year!

Michelle's Project list

Monday, January 2, 2017
I'm reluctant to say 2017 Project list, and you'll understand why when you see the number of potential projects. Go get yourself a cuppa. I'm not usually one to write a project list, set goals or declare a New Year's resolution, but I suspect they do help you get more done. This year I would like to learn more, not just about crochet but knitting too. I would like to make things for others, I would like to make useful things, and I would like to make things that are beautiful or just outright fun. So with no more ado, here is my project list, as it stands now. Oh I should say, I fully expect this list to morph and change over time, as some project ideas are still very nebulous, and I'm sure more inspiration will hit soon enough.

1. The Black Bag

This is a crochet project I dreamt up last year some time. It won't happen until the green bag is finished. This project should extend my crochet skills, I will use a Spincushions square motif, I'm not sure which one yet, but one with a how-to video definitely! I'd like the motif to be quite filled in, not too lacy. It will be all in black, but I wanted to learn new stitches and also wanted the bag to have texture, not colour. I'm thinking I'll line the bag in a linen fabric, probably natural coloured, and it will have a leather strap, at this stage. Front and back will be the same, with the sides done in a simple continuous stitch, not sure which one yet, to form a band for each side and the base.

A combination of a square motif by Shelley Husband, with overall bag design by me.

I'm expecting to use 8ply BWM Cotton, as I'll be needing black cotton for project no.3, and it makes sense to go with the same yarn.

Need to source leather bag strap and linen for lining.

2. The Green Beanie

The green beanie will probably have to be no.1 in fact, my youngest has put in an order for a green beanie with pompom for his 5th birthday, which is end of February. I'm going to take this as an opportunity to learn to knit in the round, which will be entertaining as it has been forever since I knitted anything at all.

This hat tutorial by The Craft Sessions, I may need to adjust to suit a 5yo head, I just need to check measurements first.

Blue Sky Worsted Cotton in Pickle, from Purl Soho.

Also need to buy circular knitting needles and possibly stitch markers, and check if I have the right double-pointed knitting needles in my inherited craft stash.

3.  The Midnight Garden

Ha ha yep, this one has a name! This project will be a sofa throw blanket for my sister-in-law, who loves black, red and purple, which is a colour palette I wouldn't normally use in my day-to-day. I like the idea of challenging myself to use more colour, as long as I don't have to live with it. Rented homes (or the ones we end up in) don't lend themselves kindly to colourful interior decor. For example, our last place had salmon yellow walls in the living room. Seriously, it was an awful salmony pink yellow. Sounds impossible but there you go. I'm not sure I'd count this project as extending my crochet skills, but I will be looking for a lovely flower-like square motif (or maybe hex... hmmm) from Shelley Husband, again. Finding the right colours for this one was tricky, I wanted two shades of purple and a red that went together nicely, and it is soooo hard to tell on screen isn't it? Finally discovered the Bendigo Woollen Mills, even though only having a limited range, seemed to have exactly what I was looking for. Would have been great if the colours had all been available 10ply (I love a chunkier faster hook-up) but the 8ply will do. Also - they do nice big balls, and as I'll be needing a fair bit, that appeals too.

Blanket overall by me, using a flower motif from Spincushions.

A photo posted by Shelley (@spincushions) on

Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply cotton, shades to be finalised, but I think Noir, Regal, Pomegranite and Wild Lavender.

4. Big Grey Cowl

This is mostly to use up the two balls of Panda big fat squishy grey cotton I have (ok 50% cotton, 50% acrylic). I could do two more smaller ones, just like the last one, for Mr, but I want to do something different. I'd like to practice a different stitch in this one too. Popcorn maybe? That shell looking stitch? See I don't even know the names of them yet.

No pattern, just bigger than my last grey cowl, and using a standard stitch to be determined until yarn runs out or cowl seems right size.

The only project where the yarn is from my stash, mostly because apart from some very basic acrylic, I have no stash (umm ah!!! how can I call myself a crafter???).

5. Red Cowl

This project is very nebulous. I discussed making a cowl for a friend, using the fat grey Panda yarn from above, but I think red would suit her better. It mayn't happen. If it does, I may knit it instead of crochet, and use a nice merino wool. This friend gets cold in a way I will never understand.

Not sure yet.

I'd like something red, warm, soft, and may try to buy local. We do have a nice little yarn shop in Milton, which is normally not much use to me as they stock basically no cotton.

6. Sofa throw for Mum

Hmm, what to do here. Mum recently redecorated, using shades of taupe. Still has a pale lemony coloured sofa with some chambray-denim faces to some of the throw cushions, and likes a bit of blue thrown in. I have no fixed ideas for this one, but in saying that I like the idea of a crochet ripple blanket. Mum lives on the coast, the colours are a bit coastal, the ripple could be quite lovely. Need to think about that one a bit, and check if Mum finds wool itchy or not.

Not sure. Ripple blanket? I could go to Attic24 for that.

No idea yet.

7. Landscape Blanket (Moorlands Blanket)

This one is heavily inspired by the Moorlands CAL about to start with Lucy from Attic24. Why not just do the CAL I hear you say? Well, long before the Moorlands CAL I had been admiring the views as I drove into town, the rolling green hills, silvery fogs, and brilliant blue skies. Initially I was thinking a quilt, after visiting the local annual show last year, but when I saw the Moorlands blanket, it seemed a perfect fit - for the pattern. The colours however - as much as I love them - aren't quite right, and I'm not ready to dive into a CAL right now, so maybe I'll do the CAL or pattern later, once I've chosen the right colour palette for where I live. I also need to decide what it's use will be, so I know how big to make it.

Probably Moorlands by Attic24.

I want to keep this one, so it'll have to be cotton. Beyond that, not sure yet.

8. FLAX jumpers for the boys

Okay so this one should be much higher up the list I think. Maybe no.6. Or even *shudder* as a second WIP alongside the Midnight Garden Blanket. Oldest wants his all in black, or a very very very dark grey (no he is not Batman), and youngest would be happy with the pale grey and rainbow version - I think. Will confirm before yarn purchases of course!

Flax by Tincan Knits, put firmly on the list after I saw the above versions by Tanis Fibre Arts.

No idea yet, but will have to be cotton.

9. Sofa throw for Helen

It would be nice to get his done in time for either christmas, mother's day or birthday. So I've got a few goal posts there. Helen is my mother-in-law, and colour or pattern would not be a good idea here. Texture and neutral colours. Well, one colour. Modern. Maybe something quite chunky. Hmm.

10. Sofa throw for Amanda

This is basically the same as for Helen, Amanda is my sister-in-law, Helen's daughter. Once again, chunky, texture, and either white, off-white/cream, or blue would be the go here. Bit french provincial, bit coastal, bit modern, very classic.

The Rest

From here on out it gets even more vague, but there are a mass of almost-on-the list project ideas.
  • Simple no-fastenings wrap or waterfall style cards for me. Oversized. Knitted. Like this one, or this one.
  • Garlands and crocheted paper chains for Christmas.
  • Christmas baubles - see here and here - whilst both are extremely cute, I'd have to go with a much different colour scheme.
  • Cushions - there are never enough cushions. See these.
  • A poof made from t-shirt yarn. Not the big ball kind. A big flat cylindrical kind.
  • Baskets made from t-shirt yarn. This needs to tie in with furniture to hold said baskets. Hmm. Maybe they are project baskets/bags.
  • Rugs made from t-shirt yarn. Um. Yeah. I just want one ok? For the entry/office would be good.
  • A super exciting cowl for me, check this one out. 

Non- knitted or crochet vague project wish list things:
  • Pillow cases, where I design fabric via Spoonflower and sew them up.
  • Simple jersey batwing dress.
  • Another simple dress style, maybe t-shirt flowing to swing/a-line with pockets? Like this one.
  • Pajama pants, for the boys, maybe. Flannel perhaps?
  • Take up the mother-loving curtains you naughty naughty girl.

So probably this'll be enough to be getting on with.
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