Australia Day and Linen

Australia Day yesterday, which meant the traditional BBQ and kayak up at the bay. 🙂 Except it was hot and belted down rain for half the day, so Ma and I stayed in the air conditioning and only M and Poppy went out on the water.   
  
My steady ‘pacing myself, one a day’ plan for my Grandmother’s Flower Garden afghan failed, as expected. Those little hexies are really addictive! 🙂
 I am using almost all scraps for this, and in the end I decided on a ‘peacock’ sort of colour way, greens, purples and blues, set off by grey paths around the flowers, mainly because that’s what I had a lot of. The flower centres will be mustard.
My usual summer depression has been lifted slightly with some linen. 🙂 I am working on my Japanese top (that’s the pattern in the background, in case you thought I was joking when I said it was blurry!). It takes a bit of patience and a good daylight lamp, but it’s coming along.

  
Pure linen isn’t the easiest to knit or crochet with, but I love the end result so much that I persist. Here’s a few yarns in the current project queue. 

  
The thicker yellow is Rowan Creative Linen. In a strange synchronicity with Bekki from Dartmoor Yarns, I had a great desire to make a yellow cardy. I’ve never made anything yellow before in my life. Inspired I think by this one from Drops.

  
More project bags off the assembly line.

  
     
   
Unfortunately I can’t yet share all my weekly projects this time around, so some random pics about the place from this week instead.
Our wildlife watering stations attracted a visit from another goanna (in centre of pic by the black container).

  
Friendly chicken and camera shy M.

  
Excited to find this Lively Rainbow Skink, a beautiful example of a breeding male. 

  
Synchronised cats.

  

  
And Ravensridge, sweltering at dusk. Roll on winter!

  
I am thinking about having a ‘Finishing Off February’, to turn some of my myriad WIPs into FOs and frog the rest. I figured if I made a ‘no casting on rule’ for Feb, that would be a start. Naturally, I then totally panicked and cast on four more things. Just in case. Sigh. Still, I think I can do it. February FOs, here I come! :))

B

Blinky Bill

  
Last week passed in the blink of an eye. They always seem to do in the lead up to Christmas. I can hardly believe that in only three weeks I’m off to Finland! Excited much? 
Oh. Yeah. 🙂 you could say that. 🙂
Last Monday saw the arrival of my order from the very talented Pauline at The Contented Crafter. I am SO thrilled with everything! Pauline’s artworks radiate joy and positivity :)) I can only show my own part of the order because the rest are Christmas presents, but this is the Purple Bohemian Light Catcher, now hanging in the train. 

   
 I am still looking for the perfect spot to hang it (this is really hard to photograph!). Pauline personalised this with charms just for me, a book, treble clef, babushka, fairy, angel, house, and a wish. I just LOVE it. ❤ I can’t wait to gift the other items at Christmas!! 🙂

  
  
Also on Monday, my gingerbread pig cookie cutter arrived. Hooray! I have read “Christmas at Bullerby” by Astrid Lindgren every Christmas since I was small, and although I make gingerbread every year, I could never find the right pig cookie cutter like they use in the book. I found this one on Etsy. 

  
It isn’t exact, but I plan on reshaping slightly to make it so. 🙂 So this year we shall have gingerbread pigs, hearts and stars just like the children of Bullerby! Hard to believe it has taken me about thirty years to finally fulfil this dream. 🙂
Tuesday saw the arrival of my copy of Handmade magazine in my letterbox, featuring my first pattern for them! How exciting it is to see things you’ve made professionally photographed and on glossy paper! Handmade is Australia’s top-selling monthly craft magazine, they focus on smaller, quick to make projects, all different crafts, and have been so lovely to work with. So far they have accepted five of my designs. My first pattern for them is for scalloped lace and cable wrist cuffs. 🙂 Vol 34, number 3 is the one with my design. 

   
 Wednesday saw the arrival of a little needle-felting kit I had ordered on eBay. Because I totally need another craft. I had wanted to try it for a while, especially seeing lovely creations on blogs such as Noemie’s, and it was a cheap investment all up: for a total of less than $20, I got the fleece, needles and holders, foam mat, leather finger protectors and two digital books on Etsy. Bargain! 

  
I managed to stab myself just taking the cap off the needles, so it wasn’t the best ever start. Here’s my first go, a mushroom. I moved the bloodied tissue out of the way for the photo. I haven’t decided if I like this craft yet. I’m having a go at a French Bulldog for my mum next.

   
 Thursday was apparently wildlife day. The goannas here are generally not afraid of humans. I love this guy’s expression.  

  
A koala and her baby also decided to play for hours right by the back deck. It was a hot day, so the mother was in ‘casual’ mode, until the fidgeting little terror harassed her so much she had to move. I know all baby animals are cute, but seriously…that little koala! Those fluffy ears! I wanted to hug him and squeeze him and call him George. Or Blinky Bill. I’ve never felt quite so lucky to live here as I did seeing this. :))

   
   
   
    
   
On Friday the little shrike thrushes left the nest by the back door. They all plopped out of the nest onto the deck one after the other, jumped around for a few seconds, and were off before I even had a chance to grab the camera! They grow up so fast. Bye bye birdies!
A yarn order also arrived. So yeah, I know I swore I would NEVER knit M another sweater. As you may already know, he is a giant, 6’7″ with a 50″ chest. I use this to justify my lack of knitting for him, and assuage my subsequent guilt. It takes many kilometres of yarn and many weeks of work, and my last attempt throughout a hot summer nearly killed me. But…what can I say…he’s SUCH a great guy. 🙂 I am biased of course. 🙂 But he’s had an amazing year and worked so hard and been so supportive, I really wanted to do something special for him. 

  
So I picked this cabled jacket by Todd Gocken from the Wanderlust collection (hopefully I’ll be able to install the zipper a little better than the one in the photo). The yarn for M has now arrived. It’s a lot of yarn. I used a wheelbarrow to get it from where the postie dropped it by the front gate to the train.
I’ve had an absolute casting on frenzy this week, for some reason a lack of time makes me try to do more and more and more. So later this week I’ll have some knitting to show, as I’ve cast on three thousand things, including two more of my own patterns. 
B 🙂