Creating and destroying

I’m late posting this week because this was one of those weeks where I went backwards more than forwards. If you look at time linearly, anyway. Spatially, I guess I was just creating and destroying at the same time, in no particular order.

Hot weather makes my concentration evaporate. The end of the week saw 3 full days of knitting and crochet frogged in a fit of pique. Everything went in the time-out basket. I don’t want to talk about it.
In total frustration, I buried myself in vintage patterns to self soothe. It worked. πŸ™‚

  
Stitch by Stitch was an English series of pattern magazines. I found these folders of them at an op shop (charity shop) for a dollar each years ago. I hadn’t revisited them since I began to crochet, and was pretty excited to discover a whole new range of weird and wonderful patterns that I had previously ignored. But…wow. Late seventies/ early eighties was a special, special time.

   
Shame M’s not a bit more hipster…and 20″ smaller in the chest….

 I don’t know how to begin to comment on this one. Ummm…that’s an awesome… tuxedo jumper.

  
It’s easy to mock, but I do so affectionately. There’s actually plenty of patterns I’d love to make. Who doesn’t need a rainbow pompon bath mat?

  
And a lot of the cable patterns never go out of style.

  
Eventually I forgave my own projects enough to allow them out of the basket. This was one I had started four times. 

  
Four times through the whole waistband to discover my gauge was out, or the yarn wasn’t appropriate, or both of those were fine but it was huge for no apparent reason…and why was I crocheting a pair of shorts anyway for fricks sake? I have no good answer. I just liked them. I never thought in a million lifetimes I would ever be a crocheter of shorty shorts. But everyone is full of contradictions and paradoxes I guess. Queensland’s heat has warped me. I plan on doing a lacy camisole to go with these as summer pjs.
Also, because I accomplished a pair of shorts with a fourteen page photo-rich tutorial, I feel I can definitely tackle this. Which has no instructions, a blurry diagram and is in Japanese. What could possibly go wrong.

  
My passion for grandmother’s flower garden quilts has extended to the crochet version, to use up DK scraps. Nevermind that I have three fabric versions on the go too. :/ This is an Amish hexie pattern.

  
One hexie a day should have me finished in a year (Ha! Because I’m so methodical and consistent, that plan is sure to work…) πŸ™‚
Bags bags and more bags. I like making them.

   
   
And to finish the week…a knitted hood. Because…oh it was one of those weird weeks. I dunno, I just felt like it. This one is into the shop too. πŸ™‚

  
And the shrike thrushes are back! They chose a different hanging basket on the back deck this time. They took ages to build the nest, then an egg got laid every day for three days.

Here’s the first one.

  
Found a cool wasp’s nest that had fallen down.

  
A couple of goannas visited too. Bottom left of the first photo, amongst the Old Man’s Beard.

   
 
Next week, if it cools down, I will be back to the knitting, including some secret projects for secret people. 
B πŸ™‚

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64 thoughts on “Creating and destroying

  1. As a 70’s survivor, I have to agree it was a special, special time. So much to love in this post such as the “time out basket”. I will definitely borrow that expression! I too experienced knitting frustration and ripped out a shawl I’ve been working on and off and off and on for the better part of a year. Kept getting the lace trim wrong, wrong, wrong despite having stitch markers galore to show me the way. Oh well. Some things are just not meant to be, like crocheted shorts for frick’s sakes!

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    • Lol thanks so much Susanne πŸ™‚ sorry about the shawl, annoying isn’t it, but I try to think that it’s all good ‘practise’ in the end! Yep the time-out basket gets a workout some weeks. πŸ™‚ I think Kate Hudson wore crochet shorts in a movie and it sunk into my subconscious….scary….but could have been much worse I guess! πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks very much Tina! πŸ™‚ yes I feel the same about the old patterns, so much fun to look at, I always find they cheer me up. I picture the women (and men) knitting back then and the colours they chose and the types of needles they used and feel all nostalgic. I have a real fondness at the moment for the chunky brown and white crocheted coats of the seventies, to the point where I’m now sort of collecting them. I imagine your very early patterns must be fascinating!

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    • Oh sorry to hear that Bruce 😦 hope you get some warm sunshiny days soon β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈβ˜€οΈπŸŒ»πŸŒ»πŸŒ»πŸŒ» we’ve had a week in the high thirties and another to come so there’s plenty to share! :/

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  2. I just downloaded your 2 hr shawl from Ravelry – perfect for my daughter who is just learning to knit! Thank you for making it freely available!

    I love your hexagons – that blue makes my heart sing for some reason! The shorts are really sexy and that poncho top is gorgeous – good luck with that!! Despite your heat induced melt down you seem to have managed quite a bit of productive time. Don’t those 70’s patterns make you smile! And inwardly cringe, just a little! Sometimes I’m really glad for the passing of time πŸ™‚ Look at that shrikes egg – it is beautiful! And your goannas too – I’m fond of a lizard as long as they are smallish – I wouldn’t want to meet one of those giant ones! I hope this week is better for you Bianca and really, good luck with that poncho pattern it looks beautiful!

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    • Thanks so much Pauline, and I’m glad you found the pattern useful! πŸ™‚ oh I agree, that turquoisey blue, I just fell in love with it too! I found it the other day in the bottom of my overflow stash trunk and had to use it for the blanket…I’m thinking I’ll put hot pink with it if I have any… (hahaha, “if I have any”). M agrees with you about the shorts πŸ™‚ I started the top this arvo and it is hard, but I shall sit in the air conditioning and persevere πŸ™‚

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  3. Wow, you have been busy, despite you not thinking so. πŸ™‚ I know all about knitting less when its so hot. Our weather is slightly cooler, and I look forward to grabbing needles again.
    I love those old patterns, they always make me smile. The grey sweater is still stunning.
    I love the hexies, so cute. I know you will have a blanket for winter. πŸ™‚
    And your bags are super pretty. Gorgeous fabrics.

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    • Thanks very much!! :)) yep I’m guessing the blanket will be ready for winter too lol πŸ˜‰ those little hexagons are quite addictive….Yes the summer can be such a pain can’t it, I have found it easier sticking to cottons and linens this year but motivation is hard to find when it is sweltering as you know…I promised myself no woolly jumpers this year but if I were I would do that grey cable one, I loved the leaf design…looking through old patterns makes you realise that there is nothing ‘new’ as such, just new versions…I love the idea that (probably) no one else would be wearing that exact design…:)
      I really enjoy collecting fabrics for my bags, this week I got some Beatles and flamingo fabrics. πŸ™‚
      ps i have to tell you that I love your little dog so much that we are talking about getting a little dog now!! :))

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      • lol. I think winter blankets is the new “in thing”, I have my daughter now crocheting a blanket (in squares) for their new place. They just got a loft in the city and are quite modern. πŸ™‚ Will be interesting to see her blanket.
        Our weather has turned to more crafty weather, its cooler and we have had overcast and rains as well. πŸ™‚ I am happy.
        I like that sweater, I have not knitted something biggish for myself for a while, and “may” think about a sweater or top some time. Its very pretty.
        You get the best fabrics. I dont have many, but when I see pretty ones I will buy and keep them. πŸ™‚
        lol. My dog is very spoiled, she is actually very small. We rescued her from a puppy mill and I adore her. Dogs are fun, and even though I had 2 cats when we got her, she got on just fine with them. I think you will enjoy being a dog mommy. πŸ™‚
        Have a good week.

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  4. Oh wow, what a busy January you’re having! I loved looking through your latest projects (or at least the ones that survived the Great Frogging of 2016) and those 80s knitting patterns are AMAZING. Weren’t you even a little tempted to make the lovely lipstick sweater?! Nice to meet some of your wild neighbours too πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend!

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    • Thanks Helen! πŸ™‚ hahaha no not even a little, but I do actually like the tuxedo sweater! Hope you’re having a productive January with your Beasties, the grim reaper and the diver were just AWESOME! We discussed a Crocodile Dundee Beastie the other night, perpetuating terrible stereotypes I know, but M wanted to have him ride on the back of a goanna…. :))

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      • Hahaha, that would make for one incredible photo! The goannas must be pretty chilled out and friendly if you reckon you’d be able to get them involved in a Beastie photoshoot. I do enjoy seeing the wildlife that stops by to visit your garden or workshop… Documentaries on this side of the globe tend to focus on the more lethal critters you have there, so it’s nice to meet the friendly ones for a change! Oh, and so I’m looking forward to the debut of the tuxedo sweater πŸ˜‰ I can see its appeal… You’d never feel underdressed again!

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      • Lol it will be ambitious of M to get the Beastie on a goanna, more likely a python I reckon, they are more likely to stay still! Yep I can’t deny there plenty of dangerous things creeping about, but also plenty of cuties too :)) I’ll keep you posted on that tuxedo sweater… πŸ™‚

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  5. I agree, this lipstick sweater is a must knit! πŸ™‚ and I love that rainbow pom-pom bath mat! I badly want to make one now πŸ™‚
    I have started knitting hexipuffs… Little hexagons knitted with dpns that you fill with toy stuffing, to eventually make a cosy, squishy quilt… But it will probably take me a few lifetimes to complete it πŸ™‚

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    • Hahaha thanks Noemie, I’m totally with you on the bath mat! πŸ™‚ It’s rainbow so of course it’s awesome, but I keep imagining how great it would feel underfoot too! πŸ™‚ is that the tiny owl knits beekeeper quilt you’re doing? (I can’t remember the name correctly but something like that) Those hexipuffs are hard work, I am sooo impressed, I have nowhere near the patience required for that one though I love to look at the pics. It’s sock yarn too as I recall. Even a lap quilt size looks amazing, I hope you get it done! πŸ™‚

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  6. I also loved the ‘time out basket’ … in fact, have so many things in it – it’s starting to compost down! Love that 70s crochet and have to wonder if the reclining gentleman by the pool is also donning crocheted swimmers – highly likely in Bowie’s era! That is such a sweet, sweet little nest the shrikes have built in your hanging basket, watching for little chicks would certainly take the ouch out of undoing so much hard work especially on hot days.

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    • Hahaha composting down, I love it! Know the feeling! Yes a crocheted version of budgie smugglers would just about sum up the whole era I reckon πŸ˜‰ (and must have the requisite band of scantily clad women in tow!) you are exactly right about the nest, I watch the little birds work so hard (they share the load fifty-fifty too :)) and it’s a good reminder to keep some perspective. πŸ™‚ can’t wait for the babies to hatch. πŸ™‚

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  7. Those patterns were called “Stitch by Stitch” In the USA and each booklet cost $0.95 with the binders costing $3.50 extra. They were sold one a week at the grocery store. I bought them in the early 1970s and have the whole set. They were actually assembled for print in the late 1960s. They have brought me years of enjoyment. I hope you enjoy them as much.

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    • Oh that is so great Katherine, I knew somebody else would have to have some too!! πŸ™‚ I wonder if the patterns were identical for the US market, mine have the UK terms so I imagine they had to change the whole lot. That is brilliant you have the whole set! :)) I absolutely love them too. Apart from the great styles, I like that they also give you just enough to use designs for a springboard, such as a page of pretty floral drawings, without the need for any instructions. Very different to today’s magazines, which give paaaaaainfully detailed instructions. πŸ™‚

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      • I apologize for getting confused (I’m old so I’ve got an excuse — grin). Those magazines were called “Golden Hands” in the USA in the early 70s. They were from the UK company, Marshall Cavendish (still in business).

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      • Hahaha never fear I do that ALL the time Katherine! Funny thing is I also have about a dozen copies of Golden Hands, also an excellent magazine, slightly more sewing based and some more interesting articles rather than just all patterns. πŸ™‚ so jealous you have the lot!! πŸ˜€

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  8. Great post! As always. You did make me laugh with those old patterns. I hope they cheered you up at the time. Love the blurry Japanese instructioned top. Please send the translation over when you’ve written it πŸ˜‰ Have a great weekend!.

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  9. The ‘time out basket’ is kind of like the naughty corner of misbehaving knit/crochet stuff!

    The little egg is so pretty. I hope the birds have a 100% success rate with their babies! How do the wasps make their nests? They’re amazing.

    And, ta-da … I made a sweater very much like that cable pattern. I wish I still had it!

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    • Thanks Yvonne, Yes you are spot on with the time out basket. Naughty naughty knitting! πŸ™‚ oh I would have loved to see your cable jumper! 😦 I really love that pattern. Yes the birds had 100% success last year so fingers crossed. They are smart to build so close to the house and under cover. This basket is right outside the glass door so we have a better view than last year. Always amazes me how hard they work! πŸ™‚

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  10. Oh, I just love the blue Japanese pullover–so pretty! And the bath mat! I’m glad you were able to have some success with your cute little bags after the frustration involved with your knitting.

    You may scoff at the skinny guy’s twin set (don’t deny it!), but I swear I remember a picture of David Bowie from the same era wearing a similar sweater (jumper). Therefore, it must be cool. QED. πŸ˜‰

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    • Lol absolutely, if Bowie wore it it rocked!!! :)) I am actually really excited about the Japanese top, if I can work it out just using the diagram it will open up a whole new world of possibilities! (Cos I really need more projects…:/ ) I really like this whole crochet thing!

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  11. I laughed and shuddered at some of the 60’s/70’s stuff. As a survivor, I look upon much of the design from that time with dismay. The sleeves on that twinset…eeek. I hope the goannas aren’t going after the bird eggs. Perhaps they only eat insects????? They are otherwise charming looking. I also like your little hexagons, especially their colors. AND everyone needs cool summer pjs. You go.

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    • Haha thanks Lisa! :)) yes shuddering all round, although I was pretty young in the seventies I still remember the fashions quite clearly, etched like a bad dream in my brain forever I fear! πŸ™‚ goannas do eat birds eggs (and carrion) but fortunately would be pretty hard pressed to get up on the deck where the nest is. Touch wood. πŸ™‚

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  12. Yeah I hear you. Things keep getting put together and disassembled (like Number 5) in this house as well. I start with amazingly good intentions and then suddenly it’s either “too hard”, “too tangled”, “Too much NOT like what it said it would be” or just “BLAH!” I am sure the hot, dry weather has had me in permanent pique mode here but I couldn’t be bothered most days. I have been trying to wade through a novel that was perfectly designed to be a door stop (and I should have heeded the warning and left it to that purpose) and now that I am a third of the way into it, I can’t for the life of me warrant not finishing it because it has taken a lot of my last few days that I could have been inventing a cure for hives or brewing cognac or invading Poland all by myself. On the plus side I made some mighty fine curry yesterday and a “just as fine” Indian rice dish to go with it yesterday, the weather has started to cool down a bit, the garden is loving this heat and I don’t have to go back to TAFE for another month. There are definitely more pluses than minuses still :). Oh I LOVE that shrike thrushes nest. We never see them aside from on the window calling or tapping. The conditions have been so hard here for all of the local animals that they all seem to be piling up into the safety of regular supplied water and at least some food here. The shrike thrushes refuse to give in and by the look of them are onto their third batch of babies. The blackbirds are pretty close behind them and brought their batch of 4 (so far) out to sample the cheese platter where they promptly abandoned them and raced off to feed their new young. I don’t think I have looked forward to autumn as much, quite so early on in the season to be honest. Roll on winter! πŸ™‚

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    • Oh man, I second that lovely narf, roll on winter! πŸ™‚ can’t wait. I so understand where you’re coming from. I did discover an excellent audiobook trilogy that has had me fairly riveted (age of iron series) for about 50 hours, so that has been some relief in the quiet hours, but I feel claustrophobic trapped in the air con and my concentration is zilch too. Glad your garden and birds are thriving though, and hoping you enjoy your final month of hols before the big return! πŸ™‚

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      • Once a bit of cool (normal Tassie) weather returns and Queensland takes back it’s weather for the year (PLEASE!) I am going to start some of the hooky projects I have found lately and crammed away in my “crafty bollocks” Pinterest board. Till then, I am either reading or gardening for the duration. No air con here, just natures air con (sweat πŸ˜‰ ).

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  13. I think you’ve been busier than you realised. The shorts will look great with a lacy cami as summer pyjamas. I really enjoyed the old patterns, too. What a giggle! I think all men should wear twinsets! πŸ˜‰

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  14. Delicious eighties photos…of course you need a poncho in the swimming pool especially when a handsome fellow is around ;0) But great writings and great projects and great photos. Xo Johanna
    Ps I once had a knitted bikini, it was fabulous untill I jumped in the water and all of a sudden the garment increased 4 sizes…

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  15. Ahhh wonderfull..I have never seen crocheted shorts. .πŸ˜‰I love your bags and the knitted hoodie ..its just amazing..and lizards in the backyard 😯ahhh not too find of them..but love the little birdies eggs..😊have a great week ahead. .πŸ‘

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