>Squishy mail

>Some things you do just because it seems like a good thing to do
and if there’s the added bonus of having fun in the process, well and good.

What I’m talking about here is the sort of thing that knitters and quilters have always done …
making quilts and knitteds for charity

tiny quilts for the premature infants that don’t make it
tiny knitted and crochet garments for those that do

Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with the anguish of watching a very prem baby fight to survive although I’ve known people who have. So there’s no personal family reason for being involved, just something very satisfying about making wee things and knowing that they’ll perhaps help ease someone’s anxiety or pain. Not a huge committment of time, energy or resources for such a positive outcome, right ?

…with this in mind, and because I’d be doing it anyway, I signed up to Sarah’s NICU Knitathon late last year and sent off my tiny garments to the hospital of my choice in Melbourne. I tend not to blog much about my charity knitting because it seems a bit like I’m blowing my own horn.

I’m making an exception this time because

Sarah emailed me in December with the news that she’s had a random drawing and was sending me something

the something has now arrived and is THIS:
Two skeins of beautiful hand dyed Koigu KPPM sock yarn in spring greens with a hint of lavender

SO not why one does it, but hey, I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t lovely .
Yes I’m a spoiled brat.
I know it
now go visit Sarah’s blog okay ?

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>Free Pattern Friday: Lyndham One-Skein Scarf

>As promised earlier in the week, here’s the pattern for the scarf that I designed for my Beginner’s Crochet class:

It’s a short trans-seasonal scarf, made with a single ball of a soft lightweight yarn and intended to be held in place with a scarf pin. If you’d like a longer one, double the quantities
British terminology used [ for US scroll down to the bottom ]

yarn – 1 ball Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino or sock or 5-ply wool or alpaca [ at least 101m ]
hook – 3.5 – 4mm
finished size approx 13cm x 83 cm**


** the blue version was made with one ball of Rare Yarns Endare 4 ply which is a thinner wool/alpaca yarn with a slight halo – not recommended for a beginner as it splits – Endare will produce a slightly lighter, longer scarf on a 3mm hook

abbreviations
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
tr = treble
st = stitch or stitches

foundation- chain 32
row 1 – tr into 4th ch from hook, tr to end. Turn
Row 2 – ch 3 [ counts as 1 tr ], tr in next st,* ch 3, miss 2 tr, dc in next st, ch 3, miss 2 tr, tr in next st. Repeat from * to last 4 stitches, ch 3, miss 2 tr, dc in last 2 st. Turn.
Row 3 – ch 3, tr in next st, * ch 3, miss ch space of previous row, dc in next tr, ch 3, miss ch space of previous row, tr in next dc. Repeat from * ending with 2 dc in tr and turning ch of previous row.

repeat row 3 until desired length or until you have only enough yarn to complete the final row:
Final row – ch 3, tr in next st, *2 tr in ch space, tr in next st. Repeat from * to last 2 st – tr in last 2 st, end off.

Don’t panic if it looks too short !!
This lace will grow narrower and much longer with ‘aggressive’ wet blocking.

US Terminology:

yarn – 1 ball sock or sport weight wool or alpaca [ at least 110 yds ]
hook – E or F
finished size approx 5″ x 32 1/2″**

abbreviations
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
st = stitch or stitches

foundation- chain 32
row 1 – dc into 4th ch from hook, dc to end. Turn
Row 2 – ch 3 [ counts as 1 dc ], dc in next st,* ch 3, miss 2 dc, sc in next st, ch 3, miss 2 dc, dc in next st. Repeat from * to last 4 stitches, ch 3, miss 2 dc, sc in last 2 st. Turn.
Row 3 – ch 3, dc in next st, * ch 3, miss ch space of previous row, sc in next dc, ch 3, miss ch space of previous row, dc in next sc. Repeat from * ending with 2 sc in dc and turning ch of previous row.

repeat row 3 until desired length or until you have only enough yarn to complete the final row:
Final row – ch 3, dc in next st, *2 dc in ch space, dc in next st. Repeat from * to last 2 st – dc in last 2 st, end off.

Don’t panic if it looks too short !!
This lace will grow narrower and much longer with ‘aggressive’ wet blocking.

and now the legal bit:
c 2009 S.Iacuone for personal and charity use. For all other uses please contact me.
Please don’t claim this as your own design or the karma fairy will come along and bite you on the bum.

>on the habits of Bears

>Considering that he gets the shakes at the sight and sound of a bath running and isn’t much fonder of the shower, Bear has a fascination with hose water that borders on obsession

he sniffs

extends a paw for a tentative pat

he pounces

he scrabbles around in it as if trying to dig out some burrowing small furry rodent

woe betide any plant that gets in his way … he’s a Bear on a mission to discover where this wet stuff is coming from and going to

which may go a long way towards explaining why the contents of said hose was subsequently applied to his small furry person before I would allow him to cross my threshold

>conquering crochet!

>Today the mercury was hovering just shy of 40C [ 104F ] so probably NOT the day of choice to add crochet tutor to my CV

but we managed

and managed quite well

it probably helped keep the temperature under control that Purl’s Palace is housed in a very old, solid brick building with 20 foot ceilings but boy! was it noticeable when we all ventured outside to the cars afterwards !!!!!

anyway

you’ll just have to take my word for it that those are looks of intense concentration from [l to r] Caroline, Kirsten, Sarah, and Zoe as they navigate the complexities of chains, double crochet and trebles, reading written directions, japanese style schematics and the totally confusing differences between American and Everywhere-Else’s terminology, not to mention the complexities of metric hooks versus the American ‘system’ which seems to revolve around every manufacturer having a slightly different set of standards for hook sizing and nomenclature.
Quite a lot to cover really but we got through it all and after some samples, everyone made a start on their Scarf-which-still-has-no-name in CashmerinoSome of you might remember that I canvassed your opinions last year as to whether I was on the right track with this being the sample, and you’ll no doubt be relieved [ yeah … I know … just humour me here … I choose to believe that you’ve all been on tenterhooks for months as to whether we collectively got it right, okay ? ]
when I tell you that everyone was completely happy with this as their premier effort.

I will be posting the pattern as a freebie sometime this week but not today as I completely forgot to measure the samples and they are back at Purl’s

>opinions please

>Nadie commented that the blog header I have had up since de-Christmassing the blog was “a gorgeous photo but too hard to read” so I’m trying out a few alternatives.
What do you all think of this one with Oakley and “Oilslick” ?

>warning warning: brain implosion immanent

>If you know anything about the layout of Castlemaine [ which granted most of you don’t ] then you would know that the Post Office is in the same street as David’s day placement albeit about a kilometre away – but in the direction of home so it’s no biggy to stop off and check the post office box [ no mail deliveries this far out y’know ]… and then as the Library is almost next door, to see if any of my reservations have come in.
Said library only gets deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays, so inevitably when I put in a bunch of reserves, it all arrives in one hit.

As was the case today

Hot Textiles byKim Thittichai
Layers to Stitch by the late great Valerie Campbell Harding and the wonderful Maggie Grey
Print Pattern and Colour by Ruth Issett
and
Fusing Fabric by Margaret Beal


This largess was just about enough to make me lose my somewhat tenuous grip on sanity
and then
I went to the post office and found my order from The Book Depository [ funded by Ma-in-law’s Christmas and birthday present ] had come in:

Stitch Cloth Paper and Paint by Angie Hughes
Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers and Textile Artists


Tomorrow if you’re wondering who the gibbering wreck in the corner of my rumpus room is … ‘t’will be me

>DYE-no-mite

>Yesterday in the midst of the near 40C scorcher that we’d been promised, I decided that some dyeing activity wouldn’t be overly taxing but might still satisfy the need for creativity.
I had in my sights a small cone of virulent pea green 3 ply [ fingering ] pure wool that has languished in my stash for nigh unto 30 years.
Its time had come.
So after half an hour’s worth of soaking it into submission, out it went to become better acquainted with the digestive tract of Dorothy The Dinosaur [ the 30+ year old monster of a microwave that exists in my carport purely for my various dyeing endeavours ]
Fast forward through six minutes of cooking in Landscapes Pacific and Night Blue, marinating in vinegar, more cooking, and then a wash and rinse in conditioner, followed by half an hour drying in the sun and this is more-or-less how it emerged from the ordeal:
The colour of the undyed hank isn’t really true to colour on this monitor but you get the idea.
Anyone care to suggest a name for this colourway ?

and Ms Sophie thinks that there have been more than enough puppy pics lately