A no, a maybe, & a soft yes

When we moved out of the apartment I pressed a few flowers to remember it by.

Turns out I pressed a lot of lavender, which we have at the house, but I still want to make some sort of artwork out of the pressed flowers.

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Things didn’t exactly go as planned.
Whatever way I arranged it, things didn’t look right.

I looked through my paper stash but nothing seemed right.

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The plan was to modpodge the dried flowers and some pretty paper to a canvas and that would be that.

My original plan was to make a crayon artwork like McStabby’s nugget made for her. But that failed dismally.

I was however able to use the canvas to test how the paper and flowers would stick, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted exercise. Even if I don’t have anything to show for it.

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So it wasn’t an entirely failed experiment.
Although I still don’t know what to do with the pressed flowers.

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the post i meant to write

So this is the post I wanted to write last night before my lovely new yarn became horribly tangled and I spent all last night trying to untangle it. And it’s still tangled!

I bought a new toy!

I am now the proud owner of a ball winder.

Spotlight has a 30% off everything sale at the moment, so I went down on Saturday to pick up some more yarn for my hitchhiker (as I had underestimated its requirements). I managed to nab the last ball of that colour (hurrah!) before buying two more colourways for more hitchhikers. I’m really enjoying that pattern.

Then on Sunday, my Bloke needed to pick up a part for a fishing reel and the fishing store just happened to be right next door to a Spotlight! Not being the usual store I go to I had more of a poke round at the different range, and happened to spot the ball winder.
My usual store doesn’t stock these so I hadn’t seen them before. I couldn’t resist. The price tag was $50, but with the sale and being a club member it came in at half price. Bargain!
I also dreamt up a plan for another blanket with pretty ocean colours. Now I need to find a pattern to suit.

I practiced winding the colours for my planned blanket, and thought that I was doing pretty well. Well enough to try the lovely skein from Ladybug Fiber which came in the mail a few days ago (with a bonus ladybug stitch marker) which is in the exact colours of my football team.

The back of the chair method of ball winding worked well until the final stages. I then tried to use my hands like they do in movies, but it quickly spiralled out of control.

I’ll chalk this one up to experience. Although if anyone has any tips I’ll be grateful.

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Frogging Friday.

I was always taught pride comes before a fall. Mostly through Enid Blyton novels, and Sunday School.

After feeling so chuffed with myself, for thinking I may have been able to make a pair of socks in a week, I failed.
Not just made a tiny correctable mistake, I failed.

I didn’t follow the pattern correctly and had too few stitches in the toe.
To compensate I increased randomly in the foot of the sock. In hindsight this is where I should have started the gusset.
So I started the gusset massively late.
When I tried it on to start the heel I started early (again to compensate). Stuffed up my maths with turning the heel which meant I had one really lopsided heel.

And when I tried it on it was about an inch too big.

So the project got flung across the room and a few expletives hurled at it.

I frogged it back to the toe and started again from there.
6 rounds in I realised that it still looked wrong and I gave up.

The next day I started again from scratch.

Just when I thought I was getting the hang of this and getting cocky I realise the value of slowing down and reading instructions.

When I was in primary school (and occasionally in high school) there was a test. It consisted of a page or 2 of instructions. The first instruction was to read through all the instructions and then follow the instructions.
Usually the instructions were things like ‘stand on your chair’, ‘say or sing something out loud’, ‘turn around 3 times’, but the last instruction always read ‘now that you’ve read all the instructions, sit down quietly and don’t so anything’.

It was meant to be an exercise in following instructions. It inevitably turned into people sitting smugly, watching other people making fools of themselves.

By the 2nd time a well meaning teacher instituted this test, my first action was to skip to the end and read the last instruction.

Obviously I was a smart arse and should have paid attention to the actual lesson.
It may have resulted in a finished sock instead of a frogged* sock.

*for those non-knitters who are utterly confused, ‘to frog’ is to unravel a piece of knitting, or rip-it (ribbit) back.

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~~~
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Worst photos ever.

It has been a headless chook week. As in I’ve been doing a very good impression of a headless chicken.

My grand plan to knit a pair of slippers for my mums birthday (tomorrow) didn’t go according to plan. I have two soles, and I thought I was right on track to just finish off the one remaining top until I realised the one top that I had, wasn’t to the pattern.
It was so off I couldn’t make it work.

So instead of just finishing the slippers on Wednesday (ready for birthday tea Thursday) I was frogging one slipper top and searching Ravelry for another idea.

Which ended up being a mug cozy.

And as I’ve been so disorganized this week I took photos after I have it to my mum.

So here’s to a long weekend to chase the headless chook blues.

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Things my left arm is useful for

It’s been 4 days of being one handed. And in that time I’ve discovered how little I valued my left hand.

My right hand gets all the glory. It’s stronger, automatically gets the jar opening jobs, and (when I used to play piano) all the pretty melodies.

The left arm is not so useful. Yes it would hold stuff. But I’ve since discovered a whole heap of stuff my left arm is useful for. There’s the usual, getting dressed, cooking dinner, washing dishes which I’m milking for all it’s worth delegating to other capable members of the household, but there’s other things the left hand helps with.

* holding the spoon whilst trying to get enough liquid out of a tea bag to get it from the cup to the bin without making a mess (and another potential slip hazard)

* opening packets of biscuits which you had sticky taped closed but now it’s impossible to get the end of the sticky tape to open.

* opening an umbrella. This task is made more difficult when it’s already raining and the umbrella is sheathed in what is now referred to as The WORST INVENTION EVER!! Inevitable you will end up swallowing all pride and walking the 100m from the train station to work in the rain repeating “I am not the wicked witch of the west” underneath your breath like a mad woman.

*brushing my teeth was surprisingly not difficult. The child proof cap on my mouth wash is discriminating against one handed people and don’t get me started on flossing.

*ziplock bags are most knitters friends. But is there anything more sad* than packing up ones wip’s because they’re not going to receive any attention for a while, placing them lovingly into ziplock bags, but not being able to close them by yourself.

There are some things that you cant trust others to do.

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*please read this in the spirit it was written. I am not in any way insinuating that my out of action elbow is a serious thing. I am hugely grateful that I can get good quality medical care, and that I am privileged to have 2 working arms to begin with.
I am laughing at myself and the predicament I find myself in.

~~~
lets talk!
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Just another boring weekend

But that was just why I wanted.

I rediscovered Enid Blyton and spent Saturday reading the entire St Clare’s series.
As a result, smashing and cracking as adjectives have crept into my vocabulary.

I also watched this wonderful famous five parody.

I rediscovered tumblr thanks to the new iPhone app. Hello wasted hour’s of looking at doctor who tags.
find me here

I also finished my first item for my etsy store!!!

That’s the really exciting one.
I also failed at making a sponge cake. I turned it out and it was still liquid in the middle even though it was brown on the outside. It got tipped back into the pan and back into the oven. Needless to say it was very flat.
Even the whipped cream on top didn’t whip.
But they say practice makes perfect. I may just try again.

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Lesson learnt.

Always, always write down why projects you’re working on.

Particularly when you run out of yarn and don’t know when you’ll buy more.
Particularly when it ends up being about 6 months between shopping trips.

Because you’ll probably forget what pattern you were working too. There’s a lot of lacy baktus scarf patterns around.

Lesson number 2? When you don’t know what pattern you’re using, put a lifeline in place so when you have to frog back it’s a bit easier.

And frog back I did. 4 times.

I really was ready to thrown the damn thing out the window. Perhaps use it as a mop, or leave it in a draw with velcro.
But I persevered and ended up finding this photo still on my phone.

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So apologies to whoever created the pattern because I’ve lost all other evidence.

But I’ve finished the damn thing and now I don’t know what to do with it.
I really don’t like it.
It’s not something I would ever wear, and dear ol Mumsi took one look at it and declared it not to be her either.

So it will sit in the gift bin until someone deserving comes along.

It’s such a pretty yarn too (Moda Vera Beauvardia) and fortunately I have a lot left to make something that’s actually pretty.

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I make mistakes (sometimes) (quite often) (a lot really)

And so a long weekend passes with plenty of football, season 6 of Buffy, and a bit of knitting.

I finished my ‘sexy vesty’ which is rediculously too short. Almost a midrif vest. But really who else can I blame but myself.
I finished a pair of socks (which I knitted two together) but failed at the last minute by opting for a regular bind off instead of super stretchy. They’re super difficult to get on now. Lesson learnt.
I also started two scarves but frogged them both because I didn’t like what they were doing.
It sounds like a bad knitting weekend but it wasn’t. Ok it was, but it didn’t seem like it at the time.

I also discovered knit princess and am now in live with this comic.

I’ve never been an avid reader of web comics. My dedication has only really been to queen of wands and it’s sequel punch n pie.
And scenes from a multiverse for entirely different reasons.

But knit princess speaks to me as a knitter.
I particularly enjoyed her camping series (even if I don’t agree with it). Some of the comments are very insightful too.

So I went to sleep last night peacefully dreaming of knit stiches, pretty yarn (I bought some from etsy a whole back and am not so patiently awaiting its arrival) and knitting comics.

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Does anyone know how to get rid of that hole when rejoining the heel to the rest of the sock? Or is it a curse of toe-up.
I had forgotten about that knitting mistake.

slowly, sewly.

Well disaster’s probably a bit strong. I can probably save it, but I have to do a crash course in dress design before I would even attempt looking at this again.

I think I mentioned that I had a feeling that I had bit off more than I could chew? Well guess what! I bit off more than I could chew.

Some shaky seams, some terrible measuring, a wonky zipper, and a very low waisted garment means that it’s not going to be finished for a very long time. But I’ll post some unfinished pictures anyway.

Did I mention how terrible the lighting is in my apartment
I need more practice sewing zippers
the waist is in completely the wrong spot for me

So without further ado, here are 5 things I learnt about sewing.
Also titled, things Sparkles should have researched better or looked up along the way.

1) Basting means sewing it first and then unpicking it. Not just sewing the seam twice. It’s very difficult to press flat when you have two seams.
2) When transferring a pattern to fabric you actually cut out the triangles. That and transfer all the marks, even if you don’t know what they mean at the start of the pattern it generally becomes clear half way through.
Things like ease, I now know that’s important.
3) Cut slowly. Actually, do everything slower. You know how much you hate making mistakes and unpicking things, so just slow down.
4) When sewing something with lining make sure that the lining and the real fabric are the same size. Measure, measure, measure. You’re dating a carpenter, you’d think you would have picked this up by now.
5) If you think it doesn’t look right, don’t worry. You haven’t got the skills to write a pattern, so trust that companies that manufacture these things for a living know what they’re talking about.

I think my next project will be one that comes with step-by-step instructions, with actual photos, not a diagrams and a schematic.

But I had a lot of fun making my so-called dress.
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