FO 4 – all about hats

I was fortunate enough to be given a copy of She Makes Hats to review.

I always enjoy hearing other people’s stories and am particularly curious about how other people got the knitting bug.

About 10 pages in I had already decided that Robyn and I were going to be friends.
She Makes Hats tells the story of Robyn and how she fell into knitting and decided that she would make 1000 hats and give them away.

Motivated by a need for knitting and noticing all the cold heads that needed warming she set to work and is now knitting 10,000 hats!!!! I won’t go into too much of her story because she tells it better than I ever could.

If that completely hooks you in, (as it did me) I’ve got a digital copy
to giveaway.
I wouldn’t be giving it away if I didn’t like it and think you would like it too. The only criticism that I have is that it didn’t have enough pictures. Fortunately Robyn’s bloghas all the pretty pictures of hats that you could ask for.

To enter this giveaway, leave me a comment about your favourite hat or hat pattern and I’ll randomly pick a winner next Friday 28th March.

In other hat news, I finished a Gwen Slouch hat.

This will be given to my Mum who recently had a shonky haircut. You know those haircuts when you want one thing and the hairdresser completely ignores you? She had a hairdresser who had little consideration for her hair. And so she is in need of my hat collection.

Dad will be required to collect a hat or two, but absolutely cannot be trusted to choose a suitable hat for mum, so I made her a video so she could choose herself.
Dear ol’ Dad has many lovely qualities, but his taste in hats is somewhat questionable. The hamburg hat at the end of the video is proof enough!!!!





Answers to questions I’ve never been asked

If I cosplayed who would I be?
Romana channelling the 4th Doctor

Why don’t I wash my hair more often?
My dad always told me that going to bed with wet hair would make me sick, which is probably true but with bleached hair I hate blow drying my hair so instead I just don’t wash it except when it’s during the day and has time to dry

Why don’t I own any cats?
As we’re dog sitting too cutie pies in July it would be unfair on my future cat to put up with Bob & Cookie.

What is my favourite episode of Friends
I don’t know but I like Joey teaching a dance class, Ross pivoting a couch up the stairs, Monica needing a tiny vacuum to vacuum her vacuum cleaner, and any Joey & Chandler montage set to sad music.

How many pairs of converse do I own?
Seriously do you want me to count? I’m asking the questions and I should know I’m never going to count them so let’s say between 10 & 20.
Counting them would involve them not being spread all around the house.

What piece of furniture is next on the to buy list?
The practical Bek says more chairs, the less practical Bek says a hat stand.

How many pain killers have I had tonight?
Who are you my mother? Because she cares about me and loves me which is totally awesome.

How many fingers do I have?

10 – last time I counted.

What are my feelings about men tucking their shirts into jeans.

So not cool.

If I had to throw a fruit at a foreign species to save the human race, what sort of fruit would it be?

Not a satsuma. Possibly a nectarine. Or maybe an apple. Apples have good throwing properties.

Would I do the squelchy with a man in socks
Absolutely not. That’s just weird.

Do I hog the blankets
Hells yes. If you want to sleep next to me and be warm, bring your own damn blanket to bed.

What music gets stuck in my head when I’m waiting for shit to happen?
The jeopardy theme, or The Girl From Ipanema

Would I embroider a “Bruce’s Bar & Grill sign for me little brothers non existent bar area.
Hells yes.
UK comedies that make Australian references are few and far between. Plus Sir Gregglesworth appreciates this shit.

Why didn’t I squeal like the squeamish person you are when you saw that cockroach running along your bedroom floor?
It’s crawling along the floor and it helps the compost.
If I ever wake up to it in my hair (like I did with the mice when I lived in
Kalamunda) I promise I will squeal. That’s awful and really icky.

Why do I sleep under a doona even in 40+ (100+F) weather?

Because it feels awesome. Everyone else is weird. Sleeping under a blanket is normal I tell you NORMAL!!!

Why is my brothers hat styling so amazeballs?
He gets it from his sister. His sister is pretty awesomesauce.

Why can’t I come up with a strong last question?

Because I lack imagination and it’s late and I need to sleep.



SOTW – Lily of Laguna

It’s Australian sportsball time again!!!!

Which means all my non-Australian twitter followers get really confused and probably ignore me while I swear profusely and talk about things like marks, free kicks & holding the ball, use hashtags like #weareportadelaide and #shutupBT, and overuse exclamation points, with the end result being something like “Woooo! Cmon Westy!!!! What a goal!!!!! #weareportadelaide #4inaquarter”.

So my Teal, Black & White team (Port Adelaide) won their first game on Saturday (WOOOOOO!!!!!) against Carlton denying them the chance to sing their club song.

Naturally I’ve been singing it instead. But not the Carlton version, the Bing Crosby version which fortunately is the less racially offensive version.

For those who are utterly confused about why a group of grown men in short shorts are singing shouting Bing Crosby, please see this post from last year about a group of grown men in short shorts singing Ziegfeld Follies



FO 3 – mystery yarn socks

The first pair of socks for 2014 are off the needles.

They’re made with mystery yarn that I forgot to catalogue on ravelry, didn’t keep the ball band, and couldn’t understand the language it was written in.

But I liked the colours and figured it was probably a fingering weight.

As my beloved 2.5mm addis currently make my fingers all tingly when I use them (thanks old lady bones) so instead I found a pattern that used 3.5mm needles.
Which doesn’t sound like a lot but that 1mm makes a big difference on my tingly fingers.
I’ve got three pairs on the needles at the moment, 2 on bigger needles again (3.75 & 4.5mm) which also are helping the old lady bone situation and one on 2.5mm which are in hibernation due to the finger tingles.

The pattern is ampersand- upside down, and predictably was knit toe up & two at a time. Let’s not get too crazy here.

I substituted in a fish lips kiss heel which looks pretty good and is really comfortable to wear.

There is still enough yarn left over for at least one other pair of socks. Or maybe something else. Lets see what the mystery yarn tells me to do.

Thanks to Moo for modelling but they are a bit too big for his tiny cow footsies.






creative kindness – lets all play hopscotch

March is creative kindness month at Magical Daydream.

Marielle is always coming up with special little ways to be kind and spread some job in the world. (She has even made a kindness kit full of ideas and supplies to help make a kinder world.)

I’ve always liked the idea of doing something big to spread a little kindness, but have never found the right balance of self confidence, time, and budget.

So I’ve started small. So small that until I actually thought about it, I didn’t actually recognise it as ‘being kind’.
I’m a kind and generous person by nature so smiling at strangers, giving money to people begging, stopping to let people cross at cross walks, and holding doors open for people are just part of being a courteous member of society.

A few weeks ago I had a different kindness experience.
It was a fairly normal Friday night, the boyfriend and I went out for dinner and inexplicably ended up at the Inglewood Hotel. Somehow we always end up there even when we didn’t plan to.
A member of the bar staff who we hadn’t seen there for ages was working so we had a chat with her. There were a couple of other regulars there and a couple of faces we hadn’t seen before.

I ended up hearing the story from a lady who had the most lovely smile I’ve ever seen.
She had a severe stroke during childbirth 7 years ago, so the conversation was fairly slow going but I heard about her son. She loved her son very much and was very proud of him. She was there with her husband who had been in a motorcycle accident some years ago and so there were a few motorbike noises and miming.
Alcohol laws in Australia are pretty specific about not serving alcohol to those who appear intoxicated, so this couple follow around this member of bar staff who is familiar with them and their particular characteristics.

Conversation was slow going, but we got to a point in the conversation where we discovered that we were both born in May.
Earlier that night I had made a wire-wrapped ring with a fake-emerald stone and by the end of the night I had gifted it to her.
I really valued the few sentences that we were able to share and wanted to show her somehow.
It was pretty easy for me to make another one, but that small gesture meant so much to her. Her eyes lit up and she showed her husband and some other friends with such pride in her eyes.

I’m not sharing this to make me look like this really super-awesome person who is kind to everyone, but I wanted to share a story I may not have ordinarily shared with you. I come in contact with a lot of douchecanoes, particularly as I catch public transport am a lady with bright hair who likes sport and drinks beer. Something about that combination seems to attract douchecanoes. To have an awesome, sparkling conversation and developing a connection about something so simple as both being born in the same month was really cool.

I still wanted to do something that I could actually show you all whilst sticking within my comfort level, budget and time restrictions.

And so I invested in a 50c packet of chalk and drew a hopscotch board out the front of our house.
Of course as soon as I did that we had the first rain for 100 days and it partly washed away.
But for that evening, every person walking their dog or taking an evening stroll past out house had the opportunity to play hopscotch.

The message of ‘have fun!’ still remains though.

There’s still 2 weeks left of March, so have some fun, and go over to Marielle’s blog and prepare to share kindness with the world.






Marmalade making

I had a go at making marmalade in my bread maker.

I found the concept a little strange to comprehend (isn’t a breadmaker for making bread?) until a friend explained it can get really hot, it can mix itself and it’s a nonstick pan.

So I set I cutting up oranges, added the required amount of sugar and jam-setta and a squirt of ginger for good measure. (Tubes of ginger are totally a thing in Australia if this is a weird concept to any readers.)

I then I pressed the jam button and let the bread maker to work it’s magic.

The end result was a little runny and chunky.

But totally edible. Which for a first jam making attempt is a success.

I would imagine any attempt using thermometers, crock pots and stirring would not gone so successfully.






The quest for the missing R

While my hair was looking all shiny and pretty, and inspired by Anna at The Dusty Attic, I made a vlog.
I’m working up to doing a proper house tour, but for for now here’s me babbling at a camera.

At the end I was trying to quote Pride & Prejudice how in the 1994 series Wickham says “let us not say goodbye, but as the French say au revoir”. But I got a little tongue tied.


FO2 – Parcel

My first ever jumper is off the needles.
Well it was finished last week, but it’s been too stinking hot to try and model it. (It’s officially Autumn and today is set to be 38 degrees. That’s 100 for all you Fahrenheit folk.)

I started Parcel over a year ago. I remember knitting it at Perth Festival last year. When Perth Festival came around this year I decided it was time to knuckle down and finish this damn thing. As much as I liked the set in sleeves it did mean that whilst knitting them I had a jumper on my lap. Fortunately Hewhofishes likes living in an igloo so it wasn’t too bad.

It was a well written pattern (having no experience to compare it to) and I chose it carefully wanting something with cables, that was knitted in the round, and didn’t have any seaming.

So here it is! All ready for some cooler weather.

I still haven’t figure out how to take a good picture in my crafty room and don’t know whether to blame the model or the lighting.

I knitted a jumper that fits!!! That’s a pretty big achievement.





Ravelry Pattern Page – for those who want all the gory details.


Reading Roundup

I’ve been on a book buying binge recently. It seems like every where I look, cool people that I trust are recommending books. I set myself a challenge of 20 books this year, and I’ve finished 5 already.

Sarahcastically is responsible for me racing through Crewel, only to discover the second book hasn’t arrived yet. (Hurry up!)
The premise of this book is really interesting and difficult to explain.
Really difficult.
But it’s a fascinating world with references to weaving and looms with a bit of political intrigue and of course there’s a love triangle.
The second book is in the mail and hopefully it will arrive soon.

The lovely Marnie recently leant me Patrick Rothfuss’ first book The Name of the Wind. I devoured that last year and then needed the second book straight away.
I’ve recently finished that and am now anxiously awaiting the third book which is still being written. This was one of those situations where she leant me the book, and then I had to buy it.
It will be re-read as there’s so much in there to digest, frequent call backs and hints about what’s to come.

Sylvia Plath has always been on my to-read list, and I actually got around to reading The Bell Jar this year. I’m glad that I did.
I wish I had read it years ago.

Touch of Power by Maria V.Snyder was on sale at Big W for $10 a book. There were two Maria V.Snyder trilogies on sale and I chose the one with the prettiest covers. The Goodreads consensus is that I chose the wrong series, but it was an easy read and kept be entertained. Onto the next one.

The Toast told me about Red Dress Walking.
I’m a sucker for a story told from two perspectives, particularly one about relationships. I wasn’t completely sucked in by the story, a couple of times I rolled my eyes at the actions of the characters. But overall I enjoyed it and would probably read it again in a year to revisit the story.





SOTW – Cold War Kids

I participated in the rite of passage which is learning piano.
Sometimes I hated practicing. Other times it was the only way I could think.

Lately I’ve been wondering if I could still play.
Of course I would need to find an in tune piano somewhere that no one else could hear me.
And as I can’t think of where that place might be, I have to be content with daydreaming.

This is the song that started my wondering. If I could find my magical piano of solitude this is what I would try to play.



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