See ya later, June

See ya later, June

We’re halfway through the year already and I don’t really know how time is flying by so fast! I’m just trying to stay dry today. I left the house with my gumboots, my fab new Elka rain jacket I got from Europe *love* and a brolly.

In an effort to keep myself accountable I’m going to document my current work in progress (in terms of my craft projects). I brought a few bits to work on whilst in Europe, but I’ve gotten a bit discouraged with the length of time that it is taking. Lesson learned I’m focussing my energy on short and portable projects that I can put down and pick up without recalling too much pattern information.

At the moment I’m making a turban style headband which will be perfect for keeping ears warm in winter. It’s a gift for someone that I started maybe one or two nights ago? I’ve already had to frog it and restart twice, but I’m pleased to say it is almost done. All I have left to do is sew all the ends in. It uses the brioche stitch which is perfect as I’m a continental knitter, but I can get easily distracted by things and miss a stitch.

I adore how chunky these stitches are!

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All wound up

All wound up

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.

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T-shirt or spaghetti?

T-shirt or spaghetti?

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.

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Jeans planter 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.

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Rug 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.

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A neat woven plant holder from 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!

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Five things

Five things

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.

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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!

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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.

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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. P1050053

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.

On a crochet roll

On a crochet roll

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

The weaving game

The weaving game

I’m obsessed with crochet at the moment. I tend to flit between different mediums and projects at any one time so writing about it is a good chance for me to take stock of what I have left to complete.

I’m working on a teeny tiny baby cardigan (everyone I know seems to be having a baby). I’ve not really crocheted or knitted anything more than a square or rectangular flat shaped piece, so I’m pretty excited to see how this project turns out. Perhaps I’ll move onto making me-sized clothes next. I find crochet so therapeutic on the train. Besides which I love seeing garments slowly come to life.

One crochet hook offers portability and zero risk of poking the passenger sitting next to you (unlike them pesky knitting needles). Although during the recent Lincraft 50% off everything sale, I stocked up on circular needles which are perfect for travel.

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I found a pattern on Ravelry called the 2.5 hour nap cardigan (believe me I was under no illusions that I would finish this in under 2.5 hours). I’ve been working on it on and off for a few days now and it’s starting to take shape! I’ve even made a small rose to attach on the chest.

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I’m loving it so much I’m thinking up different colourways for my next project. I need to find some boy cardigans too.

What have you been making lately?

Japan!! (Part 1)

Japan!! (Part 1)

Guys! Japan is amazing and I’m staying in Japan forever because Japan is awesome and cool and has everything I could ever want slash need. But not really, because I have work. But seriously. One month in Japan is just not enough!

Perhaps I’ll do a more thorough post as we travelled through multiple cities: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kobe and Nara. One regret was not going to Hokkaido (However I got to sample a tonne of Hokkaido soft serve in a delicious lengue du chat cone), but all in all it was an amazing trip. Lots of shopping and lots of culture, I think it was a pretty good balance.

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I was a little intimidated by the language barrier, having not spoken Japanese since my high school days, where the most advanced thing they taught me was how to read hiragana and ask for someone’s phone number. We survived! On the plus my pronunciation was spot on as I multiple people attempted to have full on conversations in nihongo thinking I was fluent!

We made it just in time for the tail end sakura season and were treated with beautiful blooms on our shinkansen trips. It means no traditional hanami, i.e. laying out tarps and eating and drinking sake all day. I’m not complaining! I got my fair share of sakura. The photo below is from Ueno Park.

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The other thing that killed me was all the cute, crafty Japanese wares. I wanted to take it all home, and believe me I tried. I. Bought. So. Much. Stuff. So many DIY craft instruction books that I had to pass on because I couldn’t understand them. Sadface.

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The main reason for the trip was to celebrate some upcoming birthday milestones *cough30cough* and celebrate we did. We went to a small fishing village and stayed at an onsen (WITH THE BEST VIEW EVER: see below).

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More Japan to come.