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.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

365 Leaves : numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

I've undertaken various Project 365 ideas in the past - in photographs, fabric, yarn. I'm not sure if I will confine this one to a calendar year, or Just Do It as the whim takes me (several today, none tomorrow...).

But I've been thinking about leaves for a while. Maybe a crochet leaves project (I seem to have collected some green wools with this in mind...). I've been looking at crochet patterns for leaves, of which there are not a few.

And it makes sense to photograph leaves. Surely I can find 365 leaves to inspire me. It's also a lens for a default daily photograph subject (itself a good mindfulness exercise...).

I know, this is the third time for this photo. But it's also such a good start. Green and grey-green and bruise-purple and bruise-yellow and plum-raspberry; and the chewed edges, and spots, and the variety of shapes, narrow/broad, long/rounded. And the grey-white stalk. So much to see and consider. All on the one small start of a tree.


And here are some more, caught after a day of rain. Same thing happening, nature's intriguing game of not-repeating, same-yet-different.


So, #365leaves, numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Three hundred and sixty more to find... A year of hunting leaves. Hunting a year of leaves. Keeping my eyes open. Looking.

There's an element of wabi-sabi in this for me, too. Those imperfect leaves are as beautiful as the perfect ones; if not more so.

  1. Wabi-sabi (侘寂 ?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".
  2. Wabi-sabi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



(Photos are taken via Hipstamatic app, Kodot Grizzled film and John S lens).


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Crochet with others

Helping someone else assemble what will be a sweet, pretty crochet blanket.

Lots of lovely conversation as it started coming together. Which is one of the pleasures of crocheting/crafting with others.


Pattern is from Nicki Trench, it's in her Cute and Easy Crochet book and has featured in Mollie Makes and Simply Crochet. Ravelry link: Springtime Throw.


Cormoran Strike

I enjoyed these. Possibly was drawn to them because of the JK Rowling connection, but enjoyed them for themselves.

I hope the BBC series casts Cormoran Strike as written, and Robin as more than a pretty girl.


Friday, January 09, 2015