Sunday, August 23, 2015

V stitch wrap

There's a bit more V stitch going on. This will be a triangular wrap. Yarn is Moda Vera Hue in Autumn Mix; aiming for something gender neutral, a hug in Australian landscape colours. Four of the ten balls to go.

The pattern has scope for being a nice way to use a skein of hand-dyed sock wool too.

Erica Knight calls this Rope Stitch in her book, Crochet Workshop. Successfully taught it at Knitters' Guild recently to some very happy crocheters. They found it easy and useful.

Pattern inspiration from :


Monday, July 06, 2015

V-stitch crochet blanket. Simple.

Using 21 colours of 10-12 ply yarn (mostly Mondial Merino Special) and this very good tutorial to make a crochet blanket in V stitch. It's only trebles and chains, so your hands get a nice rhythm. With a bulkier yarn, this stitch creates an airy, rather than a dense fabric.

I *could* just repeat the row sequence three times (one row is 1/3 ball) but that would be predictable. But utterly random is utterly random. So I'm trying half-random for the second set; leaving the odd number colours in the same order, and varying the even number colours. It will either work or it won't. But I'm hoping it will be a happy medium between repetition and variety. Worth trying.



Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Chocolate Hedgehog (recipe)

Rooruu's Chocolate Hedgehog

Melt 250g butter with three (or two, but three is better) 200g blocks of dark chocolate. Use a low heat, just enough, and start the butter melting before adding the chocolate in pieces.

Take off the heat and add a tin of sweetened condensed milk (397g).

Smash two 250g packets of milk arrowroot bickies. As a guide, you want pieces of various coin sizes, not crumb dust. (I do this while the butter and chocolate are melting).

Mix all together in a big bowl (you'll need a big bowl for it all). Aim to have all the bickie bits coated in chocolate.

Line two lamington tins or one larger Swiss roll tin/cookie sheet (one with sides) with non stick baking paper and fill with chocolate hedgehog mixture. Press down gently.

Chill; it's a good idea to cut it into squares before it's entirely set. It's rich, so cut small (nothing is stopping happy people having a second square...or a third...)



(Confession: the recipe which inspired this used three tablespoons of cocoa as the total chocolate input. I felt this needed revision...tried two blocks of chocolate, but three was better :-) ).


If you want to make a half quantity, you'll be left with half a tin of sweetened condensed milk. I never seem to have a problem finding people who'd like some, though, so I've never made a half quantity...


You could add other things, like raisins or nuts or marshmallows, but then it's heading off towards rocky road territory. This is your standard hedgehog, bickies in chocolate.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Anzac Day, 2015


Today's very large, respectful crowd was the largest gathering I have ever seen at the local Anzac Day dawn service.

While this is the Anzac centenary year, I remember particularly relatives who served, and my RAF pilot uncle who was shot down over France. Twice. The second time, he did not return, and he has no known grave. His name is recorded on the memorial at Runnymede.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Wild Tea Cosy: Coral Punk

Inspired by Loani Prior's Coral Punk design, which combines pattern guidelines, free form crochet and what I can best describe as seat-of-the-pantsery, I made a tea cosy. It's nutty, but amusing.

Design is from the book Really Wild Tea Cosies by Loani Prior.

Coral Punk on Ravelry



Thursday, February 05, 2015

Unexpected stars

Some days, you just have to hitch on and go and hope you can keep up with everything the day might bring. It's been a busy week. With 'star' good moments at unexpected times, and lots of juggling at others.


Friday, January 30, 2015





At the end of the working week, some photos of the view I enjoyed last week, at day's end.




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 diary

The working year gets serious. The day to day to do/what happened/general notes diary. I like the naive/woodcut flowers.
(Found at Kmart)


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hydrangea weather

Weather to make hydrangeas happy today. And humans who'd rather this cool rain than melting heat.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Custom jewellery

This was made specially for me (with red specifically included in deference to my affection for that colour). Special hand-made custom jewellery. I'm very lucky!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

From the air

I enjoy flying, and the views it brings.

Clouds, up close.

Farmland and the rural landscape.



Familiar Sydney from a different aspect: the heads, the harbour, beaches.

I know aisle seats on a plane are considered by many to be more practical, but I prefer the window. And the views.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

(Quirky) quilt fabric

A slightly quirky assortment from a nice little country quilt shop. I particularly liked the blue whales. The black swirls with green are snails. Can't say I've seen many snail quilt fabrics.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wool shop

I've visited several wool shops recently. Always enjoy the colour.... (And inspiration. And colour).



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Elf shoes

I was reliably informed by the happy recipients that these are Elf Shoes (found at IKEA).



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day's end

Day's end after being beaten almost hollow at pelmanism by a seven year old and teaching a three year old the strategic moves that successfully resulted in her acquisition of more avocado dip...

So, not a wasted day.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New crochet inspiration : #crochet issue 2

It's generally a good day when there's a new issue of a good crochet magazine to read. I hadn't come across this one before (it's from the UK, #crochet issue 2, winter 2014). Its contents are testament to the fact that crochet doesn't have to be daggy but can be cool and stylish and fun.

Most of the designs seem to have been sourced from books by established crochet designers such as Nicki Trench and Kat Goldin. Some examples (which make it worth the cover price, IMHO):

I was looking for a crochet egg cosy pattern...
That looks like a stitch I could use in other items, too.
How simple and effective are these? They would look good with Noro-style yarns with long runs of colour (I wouldn't be so keen on blotchy short run variegated yarn; but then I rarely am keen on clown barf blotchy short run variegated yarn...). Cleckheaton Artisan might work... (Although it's a thicker yarn than the pattern, but one could adapt to suit; edited to add and it's discontinued. But the general point remains...).
I don't know if I'd make this, but it's wonderfully cheerfully bright. (Also, black and white skin-out cow skin print Docs!!)
Easy stripes and a pompom edging. Winner! Good idea for a beginner, too.
These are around for under $30, so I don't know if I'd make one. But if I wanted to recover a footstool, having a pattern to draw on does help.
There doesn't seem to be a digital edition for this magazine, or much of a web presence (?). They do have a (paper) subs page: (to get the first issue, Hashtag Crochet 1).
(Leave a comment if you know more!)
This issue was $AU15.95 at the newsagency.



Monday, January 19, 2015

(Vint)age and beauty

A friend has embarked on the journey of renovating/restoring a little vintage caravan. It would be fair to describe its current state as dilapidated, but it has so much potential! Love this water pump tap.

The cupboard doors have these keep-it-secure-while-travelling push button handles. Almost Art Deco lines and curves.
Cupboard doors, all different sizes, the end one curved to follow the roof line.

Almost you don't see the light switch... There is beauty in the crusts and wear of age and time.

My friend is going to have so much fun!

Morning tea was rather fine too (the croissants ended up a bit high-baked as we got thoroughly engrossed in admiring the vintage caravan).




Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cogs and wheels

Saw The Imitation Game today, Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing. He was good and it was good (although I understand there are some historical inaccuracies, it's based on a true story which flags liberties...)

The gears and wheels of the computer he built reminded me of this photo. It's from an old ?farm machine now located in the garden of a local history museum. I liked the patterning of it, the shapes and repetitions. I named this blog a long time ago now, but I am still fascinated and inspired by patterns in the world. It's a very human trait, for all sorts of reasons from economy of effort to imbuing harmony and seeking peace and order.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Summer flowering jasmine

In the heavy, humid, still air of a summer evening, the scent of this jasmine hangs, sweet and welcome. This is not the rampant jasmine of spring, but her quieter, more restrained cousin. Still a favourite with the bees, though.



Friday, January 16, 2015

Noro beanie (or hat?)

I can knit, although I'd be on a learning curve with the top of this beanie (or hat) and all those decreases...

So I bought this beanie (or hat?), because it's beautiful and someone else figured out the decreases, and it's made from Noro Kureyon yarn and it feels nice to wear (but in cooler weather, later in the year...) and it's an interestingly shaped beanie...nah, hat.




Thursday, January 15, 2015

Highland Wrist Warmers

Inspired by a travelling relation and Outlander and the interesting textures possible in crochet, I've devised a design for what I've called Highland Wrist Warmers. Because it gets cold there. And while he's off adventuring around the world, I want him to keep warm.

I will write up the pattern here and include it on Ravelry.

(Yarn is Cleckheaton Perfect Day).

I'm really happy with these!



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It wasn't called Frangipani Cottage (but it might have been)

A sweet little weatherboard cottage from last week. Nice place to stay. Beautiful pink frangipani in the garden.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Work in progress: crochet cowl/wrap

In the Hunger Games: Catching Fire film Katniss wears a very cool grey cowl/wrap. You can read an interview with the designer Maria Dora {here}. She describes it as involving a combination of knitting and crochet.

There are lots of Katniss cowl designs to be found on Ravelry, Etsy and Pinterest. Lots and lots. Like the Outlander knits, it's made friends and influenced lots of knitters and crocheters.

I'm playing with a crochet cowl/wrap version inspired by this, from The Friendly Red Fox, from Kali Dahle. It's one long loop, worn doubled. {Ravelry link, in case you'd like to favourite it there}


It's been interesting because I've had to learn a couple of new crochet stitches, and am practising these and another recently learned technique, the chainless foundation.

I started it with a chainless foundation (the pattern says chain then work stitches, but I wanted to play).

YouTube tutorial on chainless dc foundation (US dc, UK treble). Getting better at these. Keeping ease in the 'chain' loop so it all sits flat. You can do these with UK treble or UK double crochet, depending on how you want to start your piece.

The texture on the Friendly Red Fox cowl involves working around the 'post' of the stitches in the previous row, from front to front or back to back, instead of using the loop gap between stitches along the top of the previous row. This is a really cool technique.

YouTube tutorial on FPDC (front post double crochet) (US dc, UK treble)

YouTube tutorial on BPDC (back post double crochet) (US dc, UK treble)

And when you get cleverer still, you can put them together to create a basket weave stitch.

Craftsy tutorial on crochet basket weave stitch using FPDC and BPDC (US doc, UK treble). This is just pictures; I'd suggest looking at the two videos first.

What I'm noticing with these post stitches is that because it's just a double or treble being worked, it feels familiar to the hand, and I can get into a comfortable rhythm. Not having to count, just work familiar stitches. So it doesn't demand intense attention.

The wool I'm using is a rather luscious Aran merino which I acquired from another knitter who was destashing. Baruffa Merinos Otto {Ravelry link}. I'm using a 6mm Addi Swing hook. The original pattern uses bulkier yarn and a larger hook; but FRF also provides measurements, so if necessary I'll add a few more rows.

This very beautiful scrap yarn blanket from Keeping It Stepford uses the crochet basketweave stitch, and the Noro knitting magazine no 5, Fall/winter 2014 has a cowl and some other crochet items using PDC stitches. For now, I'm chugging around my cowl with lovely orange merino, but I see more PDC in my future...






Monday, January 12, 2015

Rivers of London

I've had this on my TBR (to be read) pile for a while, and was happy to pick it up last week. A couple of afternoons on a quiet verandah, to the soundtrack of cicadas, paddocks being slashed and birdsong (assorted) and I finished it. It's snickering-funny in many places, and the author, Ben Aaronovitch, is enjoying himself immensely (a wee bit more than me, I think). Seems to really know his London.
I'm happy to have read it, and wouldn't mind reading the sequels...but won't be rushing out for them. (Lots of other stuff on the TBR pile...)
Props to the cover designer, using Stephen Walter's incredibly detailed work from his The Island: London series is masterly.