Friday, December 19, 2008

I love moo!

I just wanted to take the time to do a quick Shout-out to Moo.

Late last month I ordered a set of stickers and a set of 100 minicards. The minicards were posted first, but I received the stickers first. And they are SOOOO fantastic! I was really impressed with the quality, and love all the little quirks and suprises in the packaging! Well done that company.

My minicards, sadly, have not found me yet. Post seems to be a complicated affair where I am concerned, both at home and at work - I receive mail meant for random strangers halfway across the city and I'm sure there is a special someone somewhere who receives mail for me that I never know about. Well, the minicards are with that special someone methinks! Anyway, I emailed moo yesterday and mentioned to them that the minicards were being a little wayward, and simply asked that if managed to make their way back to whence they came, that I'd love it if they could resend them to a different postal address (my parents - they never seem to have mail problems).

This morning I had an email from one of the lovely people at moo delighting me with the news that they weren't ok with just updating my address, no, they were going several steps further and had requeued my minicard print job and would be sending me another set!

Moo, I don't think you could delight me any more! Thank you so much for being a wonderful example of what customer service is all about.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Cuffs

For the first time in absolutely ages I actually made some jewellery today. I've been promising mum I'd make her some simple, pink crystal earrings for months, and I know she wants them for a wedding she is (hmm, what's the right word - conducting, executing (!), doing (how boring), presiding over, celebrating), anyway, she is the celebrant and the wedding is next weekend. So I thought I'd better hurry up a make them. That took all of 3 minutes. Yes, after months of avoiding doing it. How embarrassing. Seeing as all my equipment was out by that stage I figured I might as well make myself something while I was at it. Not abandoning my current obsession with crochet, I whipped out a light weight wire, a 2mm crochet hook and produced a couple of christmasy cuffs, or bracelets if you prefer, both of which I'm really pleased with! And for your viewing pleasure.... (NB: its actually really hard to photograph your own right hand. Yes, you're right, I should have put the bracelet on the left hand and it would have been a whole lot simpler.)

Crochet Jewellery

Crochet Jewellery

For a few more pics, see my Jewellery set on Flickr.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Addicted or Obsessed?

Am I addicted or obsessed??? I can not get enough of yarn and crocheting and creating all manner of wonderful things.

stash

See? I went shopping today. (Shh, don't tell Simon. I spent more on one visit to Spotlight than he did on 2 nights of accomodation at Oakune this weekend. Ok, so his accomodation was REALLY cheap, but still!)


So much lovely, beautiful wool. Actually, I think there's only 2 balls of wool in that lot, (and they're both Merino). With the exception of the 2 red balls (which are a bit of fun, I think I'll try and make something christmassy or even for decorating christmas presents with these), the rest are all either bamboo, cotton, or a combination of the two (with a bit of Soy thrown in for good measure). Yay!

On an unrelated note, we're having dinner with my folks tomorrow night. I'm thinking of Japanese. Not something they get a lot of exposure to in Huntly. :)

I've had a splendid weekend! Simon (as hinted at) has been skiing so I've had another weekend to myself. I got through all the necessary but tedious and boring chores early yesterday (washing is usually a late Sunday night event around here) and have proceeded to make stuff, tidy stuff, grocery shop (twice), indulge in a little impulse buying at the Warehouse - I was looking for a small infuser teapot, (no joy) and stumbled upon the most beautiful little green mini basins, single serve type mini (ie I don't think you'd even get a whole scoop of ice-cream in them), just so lovely! So 4 of them started wandering around the shelves with me, then within, ooh, half a metre, we (me and aforementioned mini basins) found some lovely little white, square low edged dishes. About 6cm square and about 1cm high edge. They leaped up and jumped underneath the mini basins and proceeded to enjoy the ride. On the way out I was captured by the praticality of command adhesive hooks - so they too came along for the ride, all declared themselves at the checkout, I paid the necessary fee and they have found themselves all comfortably at home in my kitchen and laundry. And now my broom and mop are tidy. Instead of falling on the washing machine and banging during the spin cycle, they are happily hanging from the wall.

Good grief, that almost sounds like domestic bliss. Eep!

So I've spent the last hour photographing my wool and a couple of crochet projects I hadn't photographed yet, uploading to flickr and then updating my Ravelry stash and projects pages, all while listening to Chill Radio on last.fm. In the glorious sunshine with a loving, loyal cat at my feet. The same cat who wrenched a blood-curdling scream from me this morning. Honestly, I was worried the neighbours were going to call the police! I was peacefully tidying up in the walk-in-wardrobe, and I knew Brulee was at my feet. I leant over to throw away a broken coathanger and next minute I felt this searing, shocking, terrifying pain in my ankle and leg. It was at this point that the involuntary scream was released, then I looked down and all I could see was Brulee attached to me by both claws and teeth! He scarpered, but then almost instantly came back to me. I'm not sure whether he was checking whether I still loved him because I'd stood on him or because he was desperately sorry for hurting me! It was very funny, but I expect you had to be there.

I have to stop writing now. I think I've almost reached my limit of enjoying being on my own and am now using blogging as a way of fooling myself that I have company.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

that little guy!



Here he is!

Thanks to gianouts for taking these action pics.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

MUST prioritise my photo transfer (an excuse to ramble)

Argh! So much to tell and no photos to accompany. :-(

Unfortunately because my PC at home is so old (9 years and counting) I cannot download my pictures from my 'real' (as opposed to crappy cell phone ) camera. So the current process is to turn on my computer (where I still store and process all my photos - oh, as long as I don't want to process raw which is completely beyond the capability of my PC), turn on my husband's PC, connect my camera to his PC, transfer the pics over the LAN to my PC and then finally go back to my PC and begin the slow process of weeding out the duds, fixing poor white balance and uploading to Flickr. THEN I need to add pics to Ravelry and such like.

Currently my Ravelry notebook is thoroughly unengaging due to an almost complete lack of pictures. Ravelry without pictures is kind of like having windows installed, but insisting on using a full screen COMMAND window for absolutely everything. Its still useful to me, but has absolutely no 'social' appeal.

And I have to admit, I tend to avoid writing blog posts unless I have photos to accompany it. Text is hard to digest (bwagy has a style which is a clear exception to this, but I simply have way too much rambling to get out of my system to emulate his style!).

Well, anyways. Updatey type things...

  • the Kea is happily united with his new playmate and playmate's dad is working really hard to make it playmate's favourite toy. I'm flattered! :-) (yes yes, photos to come - didn't you read the pre-ramble????)
  • I nearly finished and then nearly completely frogged (a term I now understand - when you have to undo knitting (or in my case crochet) because you've stuffed up or simply don't like what you've done, you have to 'rip it' back - thus 'frogging') the Olivier cardigan I reported on in my last post. This was because of 2 reasons:
  1. I stuffed up the tension (suprise suprise) on the body of the garment and it was WAY to small
  2. And far more importantly, my mother has taught me that Merino Wool and Acrylic do NOT go together. I should have known this. I just kind of figured I'd learn these sorts of things along the way. So I learnt. Merino shrinks. Acrylic doesn't. Merino needs to be handwashed. Acrylic doesn't. Merino is lovely and soft. Acrylic can be soft, but rarely lovely. So I'm back to just the apple-green merino border of motifs. And I need to buy more merino wool if I plan to finish this.
  • The yellow bunny has not changed since last I wrote about him (strictly speaking you can't really call that an update, but hey)
  • Mum frogged (there I go again, skiting about my new found knowledge of an 'in' term!) an almost completed cable jersey that I remember her knitting at least 2 decades ago. She didn't like it and has no intention of finishing it. So I now own many many many meters of lovely orange 100% cotton yarn which is wonderful to crochet with.
  • With aforementioned wonderul cotton, I have begun making a funky cardigan, hopefully for Olivia, but that all depends on what size it ends up. Yes, I know, very hit and miss. But I'll work it out. I have complete faith in my ability to wing it and win. :-) (This habit horrifies my husband - I cook the same way - the recipe is merely a source of inspiration, not a set of rules to be followed with maddening rigidity and a stubborn unwillingness to deviate and improvise. This makes him very very nervous, but as he will no doubt attest, the vast majority of my culinary creations are actually pretty damn good. Although I've lost my mojo for now, but I'm still in the cotton cardy bullet so really ought not to be going on about cooking. )
  • Anything else? Hmm, I've had to sellotape my noise-cancelling headphones together in 3 places now. So I've got suitably annoyed with them after becoming very reliant on them and have ordered a pair of Phitek M14's. More on this when I get them!
I could talk about the wonderful service we experienced at an unexpected location recently, but shall save that for another ramble. It's lunch time now and having had breakfast this morning (a rarity I fear) I have been hungry since 10am and my colleague is begging me to give her and excuse and to take a break.)

Happy days everyone!

Update - 1.5 hours later!

EEP! I lied! The yellow bunny HAS changed since I last wrote about him! Now his head is stuffed, his body made and stuffed, head attached to body, arms attached to body, nose and mouth embroidered on and 1 ear has been made! I didn't realise how little I'd written about him!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Special little bird and a bigger undertaking

I have discovered the joy of ravelry.com. Splendid! Now I no longer have the dilemma of 'ohoh, what size hook was I using on this project I started a week ago and got bored with but now want to pick up again?'.

So, I finished a special little bird (who started life as a frog, go figure), but I can't post him here until he is safely in the hands of his intended playmate. But here's a little hint...

And I have commenced working on a larger piece, that I can't finish in a couple of evenings (argh!!!) but so far so good! The pic is from the pattern site, I'm making it in 2 colours. Am working the motif border in apple green and the body in white. So last night I got to 11 motifs down, 2 to go! I was itching to get all 13 done so I could start the body of the garment, but sadly the contact lenses had other ideas and dried up at about 11pm, forcing me to bed. Ah. This weekend hopefully I'll make some more progress on it. Kind of over those motifs by now though!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crochet project update!

I remembered what project number 5 was:
  • amigurumi bunny in bright YELLOW wool! Head done so far, waiting to be stuffed.
And the 2nd attempt on the bootie, was, um, terrible. :-( I found out that a Size H hook is not a 3.5 as I was using the night before, but a 5.0. Knowing my tension is usually quite tight, and not actually owning a 5.0, I redid this last night with a 5.5. Oh dear. It worked, but I don't like it at all. So I've decided to abandon the pattern and simply make it up as I go - that, I am pleased to report, is working out much better for me! (Oh - I also learnt today that american patterns say double crochet where UK patterns say Treble, and single crochet is double crochet, oh gosh! It explains a lot be honest. No wonder I've given up on patterns!)

2 more rows on the beach bag last night, no progress on the kea or cardigan. That's ok. Busy week anyway. Book club at my place on Thursday night - so lots of tidying up and getting the place in order in anticipation of that!

And of course Carcassonne distracted me last night too. But my husband negated all my beautiful cities with cathedrals and went on to beat me by, oh gosh, at least 70 points. Yes, that's a HUGE win. Very discouraging. Never mind. If my beautiful cities had worked things would have been different. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Seriously Retro Bag

I have recently resurrected by crochet skills. Blame mum. She keeps knitting clothes for all the babies our friends and family keep introducing to the world and she got me all inspired to play with yarn again. And I've had soooo much fun! I'd forgotten how relaxing it is is as a hobby. And how easy it is to sit in front of the telly, (or at the table at work while your colleagues are drinking beer on a Friday afternoon) and hook away. So much fun! I have at least 5 projects on the go. And one complete! Well, it's complete enough, but already I have so many ideas on how to improve it and how I would do it a 2nd time. So those on the go are:

  • amigurumi Kea (it was originally going to be a frog, but the soft green wool wasn't green enough for a frog, so it has metamorphosed - and I'm having issues attaching the wings evenly)
  • string beach bag (had to start this twice - the first time my tension was WAY too tight and the gaps were not gaps. Ah dear. But to be fair, it was the first thing I tried this time around and it has probably been a decade since I last crocheted.)
  • baby cardigan - I'm happy to report this is going well!
  • booties (hmm. I've made one. It would fit a large doll, and only a really really tiny baby. Tension issues again. Fortunately they only take about an hour to make. So I'll be trying that one again tonight)
  • I can't remember what the fifth one is. Maybe I'm lieing. Maybe there's only 4 on the go.
The completed project is my divinely retro bucket bag, complete with very full flower! I took it out for a trial run yesterday and the lady at Atlas Cafe was SOOOO impressed and made such a fuss of it, I was quite delighted. :-)

Anyway - here's the pics, yes, cell phone pics again, I'll take proper ones with my camera later.

So it has 2 handles, and as you'll see in the below pic, I've made a closure for it - I don't like the idea of having a completely open bag with no way of securing my possessions within! Not to mention the tempation to swing this bag is very srtong and swinging and open topped bags are not a good mix!
Improvements would include making the bottom out of canvas, having a credit card pocket on the inside, making the straps and flower interchangeable by attachging them with buttons - this means I could have a red flower with matching red straps for my numerous red days, and go with the blue on others, and, well, you get the picture!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yamulka crochet reminder

Very basic crochet instructions I've found for yamulka .

Yamulka

1 ball #10 size 10 crochet cotton. & size 7 hook.

Start with a little thread circle & crochet 8 sc into it: then pull the thread to close the circle tightly. Mark the first stitch, then work on continuous rounds.

  • rnd1: 2sc in ea sc around. 16sc
  • rnd2; sc in ea sc around
  • rnd3: 2sc in ea sc around
  • rnd4:sc in ea sc around
  • rnd5:*sc in next 2sc, 2sc in next sc* around
  • rnd6: sc in ea sc around
  • rnd7:*sc in next 3 sc, 2sc in next sc* around
  • rnd8: sc in ea sc around
Continue till it's the desired size. All even numbered rounds are simply "sc in ea sc around" Odd numbered rounds are increases. with ea reound the number of stitches between ea increase grows by one. End by working sl st into next 2sc & then ending off.

And a cool site of pattern ideas - http://www.kippadesigns.co.uk/choose.html

Monday, April 21, 2008

A new creation! Astounding!

Yes, I still exist, and sometimes I even get around to making something!

I made a new necklace and earring set the other day. Actually, other way round, I made the earrings first (which I like) and then the necklace (which I don't like). So given all that, I'm going to sell them. Hopefully someone will buy them! It will be my first trademe sale if someone buys them!

Anyway, for your viewing (I'd say pleasure, but, well, as I said, mixed feelings on this one).