Thursday, 17 March 2011

An award

Well I have failed miserably at achieving the goals I set myself for my time off. It wasn't entirely my fault as I was a bit under the weather so pretty much couch-surfed my way through the break. I did manage to finish my blanket project and buy the buttons and mostly finish the flutter sleeve cardigan - which will probably be the next thing I show you. The dress is still without a zip, facings and hem and the jacket is still not lined.

I often find the change of seasons a difficult time for mustering my mojo. Far from being all inspired and enthusiastic I am usually crippled by indecision. There is so much I need that I don't know where to start and I haven't yet got a feel for the type of look I want to go for (it may be hard to believe but I do actually try to have some kind of a look!).

Fortunately, Melissa has saved me from having to come up with something useful to post about by awarding me the Versatile Blogger award. Not that I think I deserve it at the present time but thanks for having faith in me Melissa!

The task is to come up with 7 things about me you don't already know. I am pretty much an open book so I will struggle to surprise you I think, but I'll try:
  1. I have been terrified of peacocks for most of my life - I would freak out if one came near me. One day I commented to my Mum that I didn't know why they scared me so much since no one else seems to be afraid of them. She told me that, when I was about 3, we were on a picnic and I was messing around with my sandwich instead of eating it. A peacock came right up and took it out of my hand. I had no memory of this ever happening but it was obviously traumatic! Since Mum told me this story I haven't been afraid of peacocks any more.
  2. Of all the sounds in the world I hate whistling the most. It just goes right through me! When I am out and about and someone starts whistling I get really tense and just want to leave.
  3. I cry all the time. Seriously, I would at least well up on most days. I have to carefully restrict what I watch on TV - sci fi and horror is fine, Secret Millionaire no way! On last week's Grand Designs, the husband died before the house could be built and I cried so much watching the ad for it I wasn't sure I'd be able to get through the actual episode!
  4. I would love to write a book. Part of my job is preparing reports and I enjoy technical writing but I think it would be satisfying to find a story and tell it in your own way. Problem is I haven't found my story yet. Although I am seriously considering taking on a PhD in the near future so maybe that will scratch my writing itch.
  5. I took six years off between the third and fourth years of my degree. During that time I spent 4 1/2 years working as a casino croupier. I learned a lot about people doing that job!
  6. I am a terrible sleeper. The conditions have to be exactly right for me to get a good night's sleep - and they rarely are. Add to that an extremely cranky 16 year old cat demanding breakfast at anywhere between 4.30 and 5.30am and, perhaps that explains why I often look haggard in my photos!
  7. My hair used to be really curly, like a red Afro. When I was 4 I got the nits and they couldn't work the comb through my hair as it was so thick and there was loads of it. So they had to shave my head. When it grew back the colour was still the same and it was still super thick and plentiful (not bragging - it's a nightmare!) but just wavy instead of curly - weird!

I am now supposed to nominate a huge number of blogs to pass the award on to. I hope you don't think it's a cop out if I don't nominate anyone. I am a bit late getting to this and loads of people have already had this and another similar award. So if you haven't already done this exercise then I nominate you!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Is it really Autumn?

Hi everyone,
Well there is not much to report in chez Josie lately.  Perth is still suffering through the hottest summer on record or some such rubbish.  It's not the hot days that are so difficult but it hasn't dropped below 20C at night for over a month.  Long story short, no one is getting any sleep, everyone is cranky and it is way too hot to venture into my sewing room.  The good news is I now have a week and a half off work, the forecast looks bearable and I have several UFOs and USOs (Un Started Objects) calling my name.
  1. Another version of the Garden State dress - this time work appropriate and with a good fit at the bust.  It is about half done so one good session should knock it on the head
  2. A cropped jacket I started before Christmas - I haven't been able to think about sleeves, even 3/4 length ones since then!  I only have the lining and finishing to do
  3. I have knitted and blocked the flutter sleeve cardigan and just need to sew it together, knit the sleeve bands and find buttons. This is another one that has been too hot to contemplate.
  4. I am also knitting another blanket but that is a relaxing/TV project so no hurry on that one - it is over half done.
  5. And finally a crocheted cardigan which is also about half done.

A couple of Saturdays ago I was invited to meet up with the ladies from the Burdastyle Perth club (I didn't even know they existed but was so glad they found me!) and shop at the Potter's outlet shop.  It was great to meet so many people with a common interest and even a couple of local bloggers (I met Jacquie, Sewanista and the Curious Kiwi).  I was very restrained and only bought one piece of fabric, it was pricey but only because I needed a lot.  It's a knit print poly-rayon blend and yes, I am aware that every time I sew with knits I swear I never will again! I refuse to let them beat me.  No photos yet, hopefully this is one of the USOs I'll get to while on holidays.  Their next meet-up is next weekend so I am hoping to go along to that - maybe I'll take that pesky jacket lining!

Because I still have a back log of projects from my Christmas/New Year flurry of projects I can actually show you something finished.  This is a baby blanket I made for Jess (now can you guess why the wedding has been postponed?).  I made the pattern up myself but was inspired by several similar patterns I've seen over the years.  The yarn is a mystery, bought in bulk from Jo Sharp's shop but it is similar to her Alpaca Silk Georgette.  I am really pleased with how it came out, the yarn is lovely and light but warm with no fibres that will upset delicate baby skin.

Here is the first square in progress:
I picked up and knit each square onto the previous one so I only had ends to darn in on the end of each row:

Since making this blanket I have learned a better decrease that would have a single ridge through each square (a S2KP if you are wondering - it's in the new Stitch and Bitch book - 'Superstar Knitting' which I highly recommend if you want to learn a bunch of clever new tricks) but I used SSK and K2tog (I can't remember which order, I have it written down somewhere!) on this blanket which gives you the double ridge shown here.

I cannot wait to get on with my sew/knitcation.  My fella is going to Soundwave on Monday (it's a public holiday) and quite possibly Future Music tomorrow so that will give me plenty of time to get started!  Oh, and I just remembered I have a hen's do at the races in April so I will need something to wear to that...Maybe it's finally time to try out one of the Patrones cocktail dresses I've been ogling.

Right, well that's enough from me - off to the sewing room!