03 December, 2014

Scrappy colour

I'm at the start of a project for Christmas and have been a bit worried about my colour choices. I had started out with all reds and then had a sudden change of heart and went with oranges and pinks. Doing that always stresses me out because I start second-guessing myself; but as I was clipping corners off I looked down at my pile of scraps and realised that I think they look great together! I've got quite aways to go on this as there's nothing like adding patchwork to a simple object to make it an inordinate time suck, but at least I can relax with my colours.

Colourful scraps

02 December, 2014

A polarising song choice

When I listen to the radio it's always to National Radio, one of the govt-funded stations here in New Zealand. I started listening when I first moved here partly because I was so used to having the CBC going in the house growing up and partly to figure out how this new country worked. I sometimes think National Radio taught me to be a New Zealander! In the last couple of years they've had a segment in the afternoons called The Best Song Ever Written where people nominate a favourite song and have a chat about it and themselves. I've often meant to write in and nominate one song or another and last week I finally did. Four days later I was being interviewed about it, talk about a fast turn around!

I nominated KD Lang's version of Hallelujah which turned out to be a polarising choice with quite a few people expressing their opinion that it was the worst version ever, including one guy who felt moved to say he'd turned off the radio as a result, but several other people were supportive so I didn't feel too picked on! 

It was an interesting experience but I have to admit I was pretty nervous and thought I probably sounded it too! Amazingly I didn't, so I'm happy to share the audio link with you. And yes you can tell me how wrong wrong wrong I am in the comments and how Leonard Cohen has the only decent version, or how KD sucks - just be gentle ;) 

01 December, 2014

Advent calendar for 2014

One day the first of December won't catch me by surprise, but at the moment it's like a yearly ritual, the last minute panic and arranging of daily treats the night of November 30th. This year, to make it worse, Hazel wanted a change from the one we've been using for several years, and I had to make up something new. She'd seen a very cute paper village in a magazine but it turned out to be quite expensive so I went looking to see if I could find a printable of some sort. We both really liked this free one from Mr. Printables so I set to making it. I think in hindsight I might have gone with the option of buying it ready-printed and cut but needs and no time for international shipping must so it was the free DIY version! The only issue I had with it, other than a bit of RSI, was having to scale it down by about 10% to fit A4 paper, which means the houses are a little on the small size but I can just put in paper clues to larger items.

Advent calendar from Mr. Printables

 I love how bright it is, perfect for a summer Christmas, and it looks so happy on the mantelpiece.

27 November, 2014

Pixie bonnet

As soon as I saw this little hat on Ravelry I knew it had to be made for the impending niece, and in red just like the pattern. If Hazel were younger (and living in a colder climate) she would have had one for each day of the week.

Pixie bonnet
I know, how frickn' cute is that? AND it's free! I love Ravelry so much, I really do. If I was so inclined to come up with patterns I'd be posting free ones there to say thank you back to all the nice people who have done the same for me. I buy patterns there, and they're (usually) good value for money but when you get a cracker pattern and it's free then my day is kind of made!

I used 4 ply baby merino wool doubled instead of 8 ply and it worked perfectly, bang on gauge and when I blew up the balloon to the 38.5cm of Hazel's newborn head (yay for Plunket books!) it fit perfectly. Hmmm...just occurred to me that she had a 100th percentile head so it might be a little big for more average babies - she takes after her giant-brained parents (harhar). Good thing my brother has an even bigger head than Mat or me so the baby might be well-endowed too! The shaping of the bonnet is incredibly simple - I wasn't exactly sure how it was going to work when I started and half way through I was all "are you sure this is shaped?" but voila, stitch up the back and it's all pixieish and adorable.

25 November, 2014

Christmas thyme

Three years ago I was working on one of these gingerbread men up at a bach we were renting when I foolishly put all the pieces, the skeins of embroidery floss and my scissors into a paper bag that was then thrown out when we tidied up before leaving. It took me quite a long time to get over being such an idiot but I've finally gotten that monkey off my back. Hazel asked me why the brown one has white legs and I was forced to admit I had no idea but that's the way the pattern is. She thinks it looks a bit odd but I don't - or at least I didn't before she pointed it out! Maybe I should try a different brown and do brown legs as well. They do say things in three are more aesthetically pleasing...

Gingerbread men

I'm pleased to have kicked off Christmas so early, although admittedly this isn't present-related unless doing it for myself counts! The weather here has been rather dreary lately, warm and wet, but the bright side is that my herbs are going gangbusters and the thyme is looking rather picturesque between the sage and lavender (parsley and rosemary are off to the side ��). 

The pattern is from the Fa La La Felt book. 

23 November, 2014

Baby crochet

When I had Hazel I didn't know how to crochet and we were reliant on the kindness of others to supply hand-knitted goodies. Then I learned how to crochet but there were NO babies to be found anywhere! At last my brother and his wife took pity on me and decided to have one so I could learn to make tiny cardigans and little booties. Yay! I keep saying "just one more" because I just cannot seem to get the size down to an actual newborn, despite having the correct gauge and all that. But hey, I'm happy to keep trying! I had to find one of Hazel's newborn cardies to get an idea of how I was going and was slightly appalled how tiny it seems now!

This one is close, I think it's probably a 2-3 month old size.

Cecily Baby Sweater

The pattern is the Cecily Baby Sweater by Alicia Paulson and it's nice and simple to make up and is super-cute!

I wish I could say that we should have smell-o-vision so you could appreciate the sweetpeas but despite being touted as 'old fashioned scent' they aren't. What's the point of them if they don't smell? Sort of like freesias that don't have a scent, as much use as tits on a bull. Fortunately the roses do so spring is not ruined.

22 November, 2014

November block lotto

I'm not sure why I feel guilty that I did the December block lotto before November but I do! Here is November's made using the tutorial at We All Sew. It's nice making two blocks at once like this and I like the result, although I'm really annoyed that I messed up the direction of the lines in the blue fabric like I did. Hopefully it annoys the recipient less than me!

November block lotto


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