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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Blankie progress

My crochet blanket is coming along like a house on fire.

That’s a pretty bad analogy considering all the bush fires in Australia at the moment.

But it’s coming along really quickly.

I’m bound to slow up soon.
At the moment I’ve got the squares memorised.

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I still think I’ll be lucky to finish it this year but I’m making a go of it.

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Sending snail mail to friends – FO1 – may your WD-40 be ever cozy

Firstly let’s back up a little bit.

My dad is ridiculously difficult to buy presents for. You can pretty much rule out any of the usual golf/alcohol related/fishing/ sports merchandise ideas that the catalogues have as their ‘fathers gift guides’.

I think over the years us kids have bought him every single train DVD imaginable. I’ve also bough him reticulation connectors and a dustpan and brush. They were both on his list, so I bought them for him.

This year for his birthday he got a pair of socks, which he dutifully wore on Christmas Day and even colour coordinated his outfit so they matched.

And so for Christmas I bought him a can of WD-40.

Because I am Bek I made a crochet cozy for it.

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And again because I am Bek I ended up with a custom request from a twitter friend.

I didn’t quite have all the right colours on hand so I dyed up some yellow.

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There was then a slight hiccup with this sizing.

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(Fortunately the colours are familiar in this house so HeWhoFishes now has an Adelaide Crows coloured scotch cozy)

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So @parhwy a parcel is now winging it’s way (or it will be if I make it to the post office this arvo) to you.

May your wd-40 be ever cozy.

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14 in 2014

Last year I did 13 things. Well I did a lot more than 13 things, but I set out to do 13 specific things.

This year I’m doing 14. I don’t know what I’m going to do when we get to 2025 but I’ll cross that bridge when/if I get to it.

Andi and Jesse have already posted their lists, so it’s time to get my butt into gear and write out my own.

So without any further ado, this is my list of things to do in 2014.
1) Knit 7 pairs of socks
2) Read 20 books
3) Try 3 new crafts
4) Make an artwork for our house
5) Keep making cushions (Related: Find people who want cushions)
6) Sew (and wear) a garment
7) Write a guest post for Marielle’s Spread the Love feature
8) Crochet a granny square blanket
9) Make jam
10) Dye a yarn collection
11) Send snail-mail to friends
12) Spin 100g of yarn
13) Learn 3 new embroidery stitches
14) Actually finish a Knit-A-Long

So these are my goals / tasks / things to do but if I don’t then I’ve probably found something more interesting to do.

May 2014 be my craftiest year yet!

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