Friday, 15 March 2013

Moving house is hard to do

Moving Day is now officially Friday 22nd. The observant among you will note that this is exactly one week away. We then get to spend the weekend cleaning the place from top to bottom, followed by an inspection early in the next week.

My to-do list should therefore read something like this:

1. Remove plastic boxes of children's books from my parents' garage. Transfer these books into large cardboard boxes. Store in Grandpa's shed.

2. Pack the books that are currently on my shelves but that I won't be needing in the next few months into the newly-emptied plastic boxes. Store in parents' garage.

(Transfer of books is necessitated by ease of access vs. flood levels. Let me tell you, it's necessary.)

3. Move books that I will be needing/wanting and place in bookcase in new room at parents'.

4. Clear out under bed in new room. Fill space with boxes containing fabric and paper.

5. Move craft boxes to parents'. Bend laws of time and space to fit them in new room.

6. Dismantle shelving units. Store in odd places.

7. Unload chests of drawers. Move to parents'. Find room in odd places. Re-load drawers.

8. Pack wardrobe contents in suitcases. Move to new room. Fit into wardrobe despite wardrobe being half the size. (They'll squash.)

9. Move sofa-bed to Nanna's. Accept inevitability of the attempts that will be made to hang on to it when I need it back.

As of Sunday, this is what it will look like. At the moment, though, it reads:

1. Decide which skirt is going to be 'distressed' for Bellatrix Lestrange costume.

It's a lengthy process.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


So here's the thing. On Saturday I'm going to a birthday party for a friend. It's a bit last-minute - she only decided to have one a couple of days ago - and also, it's a costume party. The theme is to come as a book, tv or film character.

Which means I have 3 days to come up with a costume. Preferably cheaply and easily.

At the moment I'm tossing up two ideas:

Sandy from Grease
Costume: Yellow skirt, white blouse, ankle socks, sandshoes, cardigan?


Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter
Costume: Black top, black skirt, black corset, black heeled boots, pendant etc

I have just about everything I need to do either of these. Obviously Bellatrix would involve more work in the hair/makeup line, but there are some pretty good YouTube videos to help with that.

I'll try to get photos of both looks and post them soon.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Reader is Warned...

...that I will be moving house in the next two-and-a-half weeks. This means my posting schedule is likely to be erratic. Although the actual end-of-lease date is March 29, the requirements of getting the place clean - and the fact that the end date is actually Good Friday - mean that moving things out is going to be a gradual process.

It also means I'm not likely to be starting any many new craft projects during the next couple of weeks. I am going to do my best to finish the ones already underway - Solomon's Shrug, the navy skirt and the medieval doll's dress, if you've forgotten - and I have a dessert competition coming up next weekend that will take up some of my time and probably involve baking. Other than that, my craft materials and tools are going to need to be packed up soonish, so there may not be much activity here for the next little while. However, I have plans for the next few projects which I'll get started on as soon as I have time and space again.

In other news, my card reader apparently works perfectly on every computer but this one.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

One of those days

9:30am: Leave the house. Drive south.

While driving, be stunned at the amount of furniture on the side of the road. Realise it must be the yearly kerb collection time. Consider turning around and returning with truck (there was a really nice lounge suite).

11am: Arrive at destination. Collect the three nearly-new suitcases my kind and generous aunt has given me. Admire 20-month-old twins. Be ignored by both twins.

11:45: Back on the road. Drive north.

1:15pm: Arrive at parents' home.

1:30pm: Have lunch.

5:30pm: Leave after lunch.

6pm: Return home to find housemate's mother is visiting with her kitten.

6:02pm: Open bedroom door. Kitten enters simultaneously.

6:05pm: Kitten under bed.

6:10pm: Kitten in wardrobe.

6:15pm: Kitten walks across bed and jumps onto windowsill. (I close wardrobe.)

6:30pm: Kitten figures out how to get off windowsill. Repeats process of jumping up and getting down 8 more times.

6:45pm: Kitten opens closed wardrobe.

6:50pm: Kitten takes flying leap from wardrobe onto my lap, using me as a springboard to get onto windowsill again.

7:10pm: Kitten leaves room. Decide to do some crochet. Remove Solomon's Shrug from bag. Kitten appears in doorway and takes flying leap at crochet.

7:11pm: Put crochet away. Kitten attacks foot instead.

7:20pm: Kitten and owner depart. Pour large gin and tonic. Drink.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


So yesterday was surprisingly productive. (It did rain, but only for ten minutes.)

I worked on the Solomon's Shrug

No, it's not finished. That's the amount I got done out of one ball (Sirdar Juicy). AND it finished the yarn at the end of a row!

I also worked on the Full-skirted Medieval Dress:

which I've been working on for a couple of months, on and off. The instructions are from Medieval Costume and How to Recreate it. Please note I said 'instructions' not 'pattern'. There is a diagram on page 99 of the book showing how you layout the fabric and manipulate it, but a lot is left up to the dressmaker to interpret.

I'm hoping to make one to wear to the Abbey Medieval Festival in July (I go every year, it's awesome, if you're in the area check it out) but I thought I'd better make sure I wasn't going to stuff it up hugely and waste a lot of fabric, so I made a doll's version first, which is being modelled here by Kim. Please make her welcome.

Here's another picture of the dress which shows more of the skirt:

It is an ENORMOUS skirt. A full circle reaching down to the floor is a LOT of fabric. The good thing is that the actual yardage to buy isn't that much, since there's some pretty impressive cutting and piecing going on.

And in other news:

The skirt waist has been gathered and the waistband is pinned on ready to sew. The colour is actually a very dark navy - imagine a blue-black. The pattern is from No Time To Sew, with a few alterations. (Like shortening it by 5" and tapering the panels in an extra 6" at the waist and even then it needs extra gathering. And yes, I did make the smallest size.)

Next up, hopefully I'll be finishing these off. Although, there's always the next project to start on...

Monday, 4 March 2013

Electronics with issues

My camera is telling me it's low on battery. It just got new batteries. Telling it this is having little effect as yet, but I will persevere.

My card reader has developed separation issues. It will only work with my laptop if I hold it in place the entire time it's plugged in. The moment I release my hand, it's gone.

Pictures will therefore appear as and when the technology permits.

The Solomon's shrug progresses unfrogged (mostly), although it is now being created from one sleeve edge to the other, instead of bottom to top as the pattern says. I consider the pattern forfeited all rights to telling me what to do when I realised that following its instructions as written would have resulted in a 40cm square piece of crochet. Given that the measurements given are 90cm from sleeve hem to sleeve hem... yeah. You see the problem.

Please note I am not blaming the designer for the error. I am quite sure that in her pattern all the instructions are correct and would indeed result in a shrug exactly like the one pictured. I am, however, choosing to believe that in formatting it for the crochet magazine in which it appeared about 2 years ago, some errors were introduced. (I will leave the crochet magazine nameless. They have since been taken over by new people - I don't want to blame them for the errors of their predecessors.)

This afternoon I am definitely going to get on to the skirt. Unless it rains again.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

A little diversion into crocheting

So, I know I was going to do the gathering stitches around my skirt today, but the weather is still overcast, and besides, I started this

last night.

The yarn is Juicy by Sirday (I heard it was discontinued but not certain about that) and the pattern is Solomon's shrug by Jenny King. I'm having to learn the Solomon's Knot stitch - which, let me tell you, is not as hard as the instructions always make it look. Either that or I'm doing it wrong.

I do realise that starting a lacy summer shrug is probably not the most sensible project coming into Autumn. In my defense, I meant to start this months ago, but - and I swear this is true - I could only ever find ONE of the yarn or the pattern at a time. As soon as I found the yarn - WHOOSH - the pattern disappeared. Crafty gremlins - literally.

I'm just a bit worried though. It's supposed to be knit bottom to top, forming a rectangle 90cm wide by 40cm long. What I've produced so far is about 40cm wide. Either the pattern or I are in trouble. Possibly both.

I'll be taking it to the Oracle of All Things Crochet and Most Other Crafts, aka my mother, to get it checked this afternoon.

Season of Mists

...or, more accurately, season of rain and mist and drizzle and generally miserable weather.

I can't even see to sew the gathering stitches on my skirt. Tomorrow will be another try, possibly involving the use of the Ott-Light. And maybe wearing my glasses.