Yeah, you could say I have a *bit* of a yarn addiction. I originally ordered a cheap-o yarn winder off eBay. It came to the grand total of $11 inclusive of postage and was due to ship from Hong Kong. After an entire month of anticipation and waiting, the yarn winder never showed up. I was disappointed but never fear, this story has a happy ending. I got a full refund for the cheapie winder.
I ended up ordering a heavy-duty yarn winder for a little more money and a fraction of the time. It has metal gears unlike the original one I was getting, and can make balls of up to 10oz. I don’t really measure in ounces, so I don’t really know what that means, but I have zero regrets. I love my new winder.
They say it isn’t good to cake any skeins if you aren’t planning on using them soon. The problem with my stash is that I adopted a majority of them as loose skeins which have been bugging me for a while. I am planning on using them very soon, so I love that they’re beautiful centre pull cakes. Hashtag yarn nerd.
It is sososo much easier than winding a skein by hand. I did 6 yarn cakes in the space of about 30 minutes. Definitely the best thing in my maker life right now.
Each time the cold weather sets in, I’m inspired to knit something. I’ll do a separate post with the projects I currently have on the go. Off the top of my head I have about six projects on. Help. I think I may have too many. I tend to switch between each project depending on how mobile I am on a particular day. Nothing is worse than bringing 10 billion balls of yarn onto the train. I’m so looking forward to receiving the yarn winder I ordered.
T-shirt yarn (aka spaghetti yarn) has been on my radar for a little while now, but I haven’t brought myself to take the plunge. I stocked up on some t-shirt yarn at the last Lincraft sale, where giant balls were 50% off and as low as $4 each. I made a small planter out of yarn which I gifted to someone. Not too dissimilar to this planter tutorial from Wool and the Gang.
Now I yarn yearn for more. Sorry I couldn’t resist.
I’m thinking of whipping up one of those cute floor rug weavings that are very much in at the moment, but I’m not sure how slippery it would be on tiling and wooden floor boards. I also worry that they’ll only be trendy for a short time. I imagine with a larger gauge they’d work up super quick and easy. I like this tutorial from My World of Wool.
I love all things kitschy, and this macrame planter is calling out to me. I made some out of fluorescent builders rope, and it looks fab. I had never thought to experiment with yarn instead. Find the tutorial for this planter at the Clover USA blog.
There are so many fantastic yarn colours out at Lincraft at the moment. Unfortunately no longer half price, but still as steal for $8 bucks for a large skein. After I pick which project I want to do first, the next problem will be deciding the colour!
Continuing on from my last post about the nation’s capital, we stayed in the New Acton precinct which gave us a good chance to explore the surrounds on foot. Behind our hotel was the snazzy Hotel Hotel… hotel. Definitely worth a gander if you plan on staying in Canberra.
We ate brunch at Mocan and Green Grout, where there is always a wait for a table. The coffee however is amazing. As I mentioned in the last post, we went to the Handmade Markets where I bought some matching coffee cups and some cold smoked garlic. The latter with the most intoxicating smell. I have some plans for the garlic with some fluffy scrambled eggs and potentially truffle.
We ended up in the city’s centre on the Sunday, and went to Akibafor some late lunching. I had read some reviews of them having some amazing dumplings and just couldn’t resist the allure of warm parcels of goodness on such a cold winter’s day. The beef rib dumplings were delicious and tender and melt in your mouth – everything they should be.
On our final day we had a late breakfast at The Cupping Room, which was one of the few things open on a public holiday. After putting our name down we got some take away coffees and stood out in the sun. Once finally seated, we opted for a sweet and savoury dish, French toast and the bacon and egg roll which were both delicious. The citrus on the French toast would have ordinarily put me off, but it wasn’t too tart which made it perfection.
All in all it was an excellent stay and Canberra was a great choice for a short road trip. I’d definitely recommend Canberra as a place for great coffee and amazing food! Also. GO NOW while it’s truffle season! The best season of them all.
I am obsessed with furoshiki, which is the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport items such as clothes, gifts, or food. I purchased a few squares during my trip and have been using them to wrap my bento box that I bring into work every day. Well. I try to bring it. I usually forget it, but on the days that I do remember, it’s nicely wrapped in a furoshiki. I find it so quaint.
This furoshiki from Cochae is so adorable and playful. I have too many squares right now but that doesn’t stop me pining over these. Kawaii!
For the Queen’s birthday long weekend, we decided to do a road trip down to Canberra which is an approximately 3 hour drive. Let me just say that the Australian capital city has changed quite a bit from what I remember. There are loads of jobs in C-town which I guess means the foodie scene has been flourishing. We stayed in the New Acton area, which was pretty much hipster central. We made Japanese pancakes (AMAZING) before setting off on the drive down.
We got to Canberra late in the afternoon, driving to Joe’s Barfor a late tapas lunch. No regrets. We got three dishes to share (admittedly 2 fried dishes #noregrets). I started off with a floral G+T, too pretty to drink.
We got the burrata con tartufo, an oozy mozzarella made from fresh cows milk and cream, finished off with fresh local truffles. Did I mention it was truffle season? Oh and some arancini and calamari as well. Jokes aside, the calamari was pretty amazing. It was the most tender calamari I’ve had. You didn’t even need cutlery to slice it up, it was that soft. The calamari was paired with a black squid ink aioli, which despite it’s scary hue, was quite salty and went nicely with the seafood.
We stayed at the newly renovated QT hotel, which was previously the Rydges hotel. The verdict? It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t horrible either. Each QT hotel has their own theme, and in Canberra it’s no surprise that the theme is politics.
There are multiple prior Aussie prime ministers hidden within the wallpaper in the lobby and streaming political tweets all over the walls. Overall it was a good stay, however we found the mini bar fridge didn’t work well. It was faster to chill a bottle of champagne on the balcony in the sub-zero temperatures!
Dinner that night was at the Capitol Bar and Grill at the hotel, famed for their enormous tomahawk steaks. Naturally we chose to have some truffle mac and cheese on the side. Amazing. I love truffle season. M&C didn’t look too attractive, but believe me, it was the most delicious thing ever on a winter’s night.
The handmade markets happened to be on during the weekend we were visiting. We stopped by at EPIC, the Exhibition Park In Canberra. It was like a slightly less crowded version of the Finders Markets that they hold in the other capital cities. We ate a few things, bought a few things, and had a pretty good day.
I have a part 2 Canberra post lined up as we ate at so many great food places, but for now, thanks Canberra, you’re alright.
One. Have you guys been down to see any of Vivid Sydney? I really want to go and check out the cathedral of light before it closes but I don’t like my chances as time is running out. I walk over the Pyrmont bridge after work, so I got a peek at the laser light show. I can see a lot of effort has been put into it, but I’m not sure about the music choice.
Two. I’m spending every spare moment I have to get into crafting. I took a bit of a break and was a bit slack these last few months, but after buying a whole lot of yarn from the 50% off sale at Lincraft the other week, that passion has reignited. I bought some amazing fabric scissors from Japan that I’m in love with. I’m on the hunt for some really amazing craft blogs. The majority of them seem to be the traditional quilting/sewing hoo ha, which I don’t really have an interest in. If you know of any great blogs, please let me know!
Three. I’m eagerly awaiting the next retina MacBook Pro release. The announcement is imminent. My laptop is still going strong, but it’s been many years now since my last upgrade, and well, my daily use of it at work now warrants a newer, faster machine. There you go. I’ve justified it. I’ve even found some conceptual 3D renders from MacRumors.
Four. Yep I’m still super obsessed with Japan. I’m going through all my holiday snaps ever so slowly. Trying to decide which ones to print larger to put on the wall is always so difficult. I try to do a bound book of photos in lieu of a photo album (who has actually put together a physical photo album recently?). On the plus we got a custom frame made for a tenugui we purchased and hung it up on the wall. Loving it.
Five. I’ve been listing bits and pieces up onto eBay these last few days. I find eBay super fickle – one day they’ll be all over your item and bid crazy amounts, then the other moments where there are zero bids on an item no matter how many times you list them. I’ve inherited minor hoarding traits which I’m trying to break free of, so selling items feels very therapeutic right now. Besides which I’m on a spending ban post-Japan. Hah. As if.
In conclusion, I’m craving Mexican food for lunch today.
I hope that everyone managed to stay relatively dry this weekend. My succulents got a good battering in the strong winds yesterday, but at least they’ve gotten a good soak. There were some stray leaves around the place which is good for propagation. Which reminds me that I should get some more pots for them to grow into.
The weather allowed me to catch up on my crochet. I finished up making the second of the baby cardigans that I started. Picking out an appropriate applique for the colourway was the most difficult. I ended up picking between a rose and cherry, with the cherry winning out. I had some dramas picking which button to use as well. But I finished the cardigan and am more than pleased with how it turned out.
I thought I’d switch back to toy making post-cardigans. I’ve shied away from amigurumi because of the complex shapes and increases/decreases etc. BUT seeing as I’ve conquered The Cardigan, I saw no reason to tackle a complicated pattern. Granted I invested in a set of crochet hooks during the last Spotlight sale. Woops.
I bought an amigurumi book years ago that has remained untouched for too long. I picked out a giraffe pattern and am happy to report that I’m almost done. All the pieces are made up and all that’s left is sewing them all together. I even put a jingly bell inside. I can’t wait to see him pieced together.
I almost forgot about this long weekend – I always tell myself to book something in advance and always neglect to organise a thing! The last interstate trip I took was to FNQ, with the intention to snorkel and make the most of the warm weather. This time around we’re thinking Canberra. There are so many new restaurants popping up that I’m keen to try. Let’s see whether we make it down. I’ll report back on what we find!
Who else is excited for the long weekend? Are you up to anything fun?