A few finishes

Okay I’ve been really lousy the last few weeks/ months at actually getting the blog posts written. As has happened before, I write bits of them in my head under the shower, but somehow this long, hot Aussie Summer [ hottest since they began keeping records ] which is now continuing into Autumn, just saps my ability to put a coherent thought together by the time I actually get to the keyboard. Currently in our third week of temps above [ often well above ] 30C, with several more days in this current spell.

So, while there are momentous family things to show-n-tell, like a double baptism, a new great-nephew [ yesterday, to Rebecca and Nick, a boy, Edward, no other deets yet ] and loads of baby cuteness, as well as the usual round of ‘life in the country’, I’m just going to settle for photos of a bunch of finished bits and pieces that I largely forgot to document.

These aren’t necessarily in order either.

So first, a crochet blanket in 4ply/fingering cotton, made to fit Abby’s big girl cot [crib] so 106cm / 42 inches square. Mostly BWM Cotton from the stash with a border of a variegated yarn that you can’t see in the pics, so you’ll have to trust me that Maz gave me 3 balls of this pink/jade/mint/magenta colourway a few years ago and this just seemed like the perfect project for it. There’s a shot of the yarn in this post if you can be bothered going back to look.

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Now, this next piece is the fault of my friend Alex from ZigoZago who has recently been bitten by the crochet bug. In addition to all sorts of throws and table mats and so on, she’s been making little crochet covers for empty jars.  I know that sounds perhaps a bit insane, but they make really cute little containers for hooks, needles, pencils, or in my case, spindles.

Alex has them scattered around her shop, and I thought … well … okay, maybe just one

So this is vintage cream wool, about 6ply/sport weight, and playing with faux-cables,

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which were then fulled/felted to fit an empty container.

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I really like how the ‘cables’ pop after a bit of soap, hot HOT water and elbow grease.

This next blankie, I mainly constructed back before Abby was born, in fact most of it was done before we even knew that she was a she, and only the final mauve was added once we knew that she was ABBY.

Anyway, I didn’t originally block the blanket, so when Nadie decided that she wanted a wool one big enough for the cot, I only needed to add the turquoise and cobalt, and then to block it out, for it to transform from bassinet to big girl cot.

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and speaking of cots, I needed to make a fitted sheet for the Portacot that stays at Nannie’s, so a quick dip into the humungous stash of suitable 100% cotton quilt fabrics produced a couple of metres of this happy print of suns, that  suits the red cot.

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and a cotton blankie for same, which happily – and totally coincidentally  – contains many of the other colours in the fabric that I used for the sheet [ and, surprise, surprise, this blankie somehow ended up down at Nadie’s with all the others, so either this, or the one earlier in the post, will eventually have to make the trip back up here, once someone decides which one suits  which bedroom best ]

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By now, you’re probably getting a bit glazed around the eyes, and hoping this post is finis.

Nope

Not finished yet.

One of the little tops I made before Abby arrived, proved to be a little too tight at the hem, so I unpicked it and added a couple of rows of ruffles [ this one is also in BWM’s 4ply cotton ]008

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and finally this week, did a quick test knit for Madeleine of YarnMadness for this new pattern she’s designed. It was going to be called ‘Spik’ which is Swedish for Spike, but someone objected to an imagined ethnic slur, so now it will be named ‘Tagg’ instead, which means thorn. I’m sure that you can all work out why she’s given it that name. Cute pattern, easy knit in DK or light worsted, so keep an eye out for the pattern release.

Mine’s in the 3 month size – for Abigail obviously – and in BWM cotton yet again but this time the 8ply.

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So there we are all caught up on the ‘making-things’ front .

Now if I can just catch you up on all that other stuff.

Maybe if the temp drops a bit later in the week.

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If the hat fits…

It started with a perfectly straightforward and reasonable request. Could I please make a sunhat for Abby?

The chance to sew something small and cute? I think we all knew what my answer was going to be.

So I trotted out this bit of super cuteness

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and duly cut out the newborn size. The pieces seemed a bit large but these days, my efforts at baby millinery are more likely to be knitted or crochet than sewn, so I trusted that the people at Butterick knew what they were about,  found the appropriate colour thread, adjusted the needle position on the machine to a dressmakerly 5/8th inch, as opposed to my default quilterly 1/4″, and off I went.

Two ‘rabbit ears’ to form the bow

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an inside and an outside

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it all went together exactly as it was supposed to … and it would fit a newborn just fine

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… so long as the newborn was a hippopotamus.

Okay. Slight exaggeration there. The hat will probably fit a baby, oh, say, about  … mmm … six months old … like, say, my other Granddaughter, Asher. But it certainly won’t fit Abby until long after she’s grown out of the matching dress.

So then I decided to just have a crack at fudging together a simple brimmed sunhat pattern of my own. Without the fancy ‘rabbit ear’ bow. Just your basic garden variety sunhat.

My ‘template’ was a  china cat-food bowl with a circumference a few centimeters bigger than the desired finished size, I guessed at the height of the rise on the crown, and just cut another circle a few inches bigger than the first for the brim, once again using my handy dandy cat bowl for the cut out in the middle.

The fabric this time is vintage Laura Ashley, and I made a bow out of even-more-vintage pink satin ribbon and a flower cut from a piece of scrap lace from my English quilting friend Val G.

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Perhaps my sewing/pressing wasn’t as smooth on the tiny brim as it was on the first one Yes, I mean that point there in the front. I’m trying not to beat myself up about it too much [ damn the perfectionist gene ]

Obviously I haven’t tried the result on anyone animate yet but I think the size is about right for a certain young lady formerly known as Cookie.

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Last project for 2012 ?

After falling way off the radar in the middle of the year post-surgery and in the throes of the Golden Staph that hitched a ride home with me, there were a couple three lost months where nothing was read, knitted, gardened or written about. That was followed by an extended period in wrist splints so again, not a lot of note.

All things considered, given the paucity of posts, I’m thankful that so many of you stuck around.

Then Silly Season Christmas hove onto the horizon and suddenly I was back.

The last couple of weeks have been a blur of visits to Melbourne [ new grandbaby ] more visits to Melbourne [ Nadie needing emergency surgery and transfusions as a result of post-partum complications ] More more visits to Melbourne [ Opera Gala Concert  and more baby snuggling ] and finally more, more, more visiting Melbourne [ Christmas ]

Somewhere in the midst of all of this, there was time for a bit of gardening [ gentle – may I refer you to the bit above about wrist splints? ] and even some post-Christmas knitting: another cotton dress for Abby [ ravlink ]

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and some crochet time. I have made a start on next Christmas’s snowflakes. About a dozen I think.

and just yesterday morning, I decided that I should make a small lightweight wrap for Nadie to use while feeding in public

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… or possibly it’s for Abby’s bassinet  for days when it’s a wee bit too warm for this wool one.


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The yarn is a lovely silky soft drapey bamboo and was originally ivory. I used it to knit a sort of cami thing a few years ago. Then dyed the finished garment purple. Then decided I wasn’t going to wear it and frogged it [ rippit ] Which made for an interesting mottled, obviously hand-dyed yarn where the dye had permeated some sections of the knitted yarn more fully than others.

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I’ve used this stitch a lot in the past but it’s particularly suited to baby blankets.

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Not too lacy for small fingers to get tangled in, looks good and works up at a reasonable speed … AND it only has one pattern row that you repeat and repeat  until you’ve made a piece the size you want … or run out of yarn … or gotten tired of doing it. … or all of the above.

So that’s my official last creation for 2012.

and here’s the link to most of the rest of it [ except the ones that I didn’t photograph and the crochet snowflakes that got given away so fast I lost my count ]

So … last one unless I get my skates on cos it’ll be the New Year in a little over ten hours.