Wednesday 12 April 2023

Time For Tea!

Winter is fast approaching here in Australia and what is better than a cup of tea by the fire?

And of course our teapots deserve their own special outfit. 

Tea cosies also make a wonderful knitted gift - quick and simple to knit, no real need to worry about fit, and you can often use up those leftover yarn bits that we all have stashed away somewhere. 

So time for a free tea cosy knitting pattern parade! 

You cannot go past a classic! The Classic Pleated Tea Cosy has been around forever. And deservedly so. The pleats work to trap the heat in and keep your teapot warm for quite some time. 

Or this version, with the addition of flowers. 

Another classic looking cosy is the Shamrock Tea Cosy. Knit it in two very similar colours as pictured or use two contrasting colours for a bolder look.

Flowers on a tea cosy are always pretty, such as the Camomile Lawn Tea Cosy.

Or Monet's Garden Tea Cozy

Cute animal tea cosies abound, such as Mrs Bunny Rabbit Tea Cozy

And the amazing Winter Wonderland Tea Cozy

A very simple fox

And this adorable squirrel on the Autumn Walk Tea Cozy

Cupcakes are a popular theme for tea cosies, such as this one

And the I Love You Cupcake cozy.

 Or do you fancy some colourwork? The Fair Isle Tea Cosy would be a great introduction to colourwork. 

Or practice steeking on the Time For Tea Cosy

A quick Google search or a scroll through Ravelry will find you many more free tea cosy patterns for the perfect stash busting project. 

I am planning to cast on at least one new tea cosy this year, possibly one for the May coronation. So a tea cosy parade will be coming soon! 

Wednesday 5 April 2023

A Whole Lotta Stash Busting Is Required!

Yarn Mountain was commissioned for the Festival of Love 2015 at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London Summer 2015. It was part of LOVE the YARN: Lasmin Salmon in collaboration with Celia Pym.

I am actually thinking that my yarn stash would make a bigger yarn mountain than the actual Yarn Mountain! 

I have been watching Retro Claude on Youtube, in particular her stash busting series. Stash busting has been a regular theme here and although I am knitting through my yarn, I am also adding to it. Simple maths will tell you what is happening here! 
So I decided to import my yarn stash to a spreadsheet so I could actually total up the meterage and grams in my stash. And wow, that was an eye opener! Despite the fact that I can look on Ravelry and see that I have quite a few pages of stash, it is not until you add it up in cold hard figures that you get the full picture. And it is a lot! A lot, a lot! 

 Ok, am I brave enough to expose my embarrassingly large stash? Don't get me wrong, I love my stash; it is just that I know some people will find it excessive and wonder how I could ever actually use it. Believe me, I wonder that as well! 

Well, here goes! 
I just have the total for all yarns - all fibre types, all weights, everything mixed together in one total. It would be another whole exercise to divide them out into categories - maybe a task for another day.

Total metres of yarn I currently own: 365,429.9 mtrs

Total grams of yarn I currently own: 116,465 gms

See why stash busting must become a priority?! 
I am also needing to pull my belt much tighter due to future potential financial changes, so no more buying for me - no more books, no more yarn, no more cross stitch, no more fabric. Stash busting or its equivalent is required across all these categories - so there will be more to come on each of these as well. 

A long post to say, let's get knitting! 

Saturday 1 April 2023

1933 Has Finally Arrived!

 It is finally time to begin 1933! 

As I have still been unsuccessful in finding anything to do with December 1932 Stitchcraft (I still hold out hope of one day finding this unicorn!), I have moved onto January 1933. 

I have begun the Jumper That Is Kind To Extra Inches. 

I always love how these size jumpers are described as being for the 'matronly figure.' So different to our modern size inclusive patterns!

Yarn wise, I am using Bendigo Woollen Mills Athena in a colour called Gunmetal. This was a limited edition yarn that has been in my stash for a long time (more on stash busting in another post!) so is no longer available. It is a wool/bamboo/silk blend. The contrast yarn is also Bendigo yarn, the standard favourite Luxury 4ply in Cream. 

Progress so far is on the right front.

It is impossible to see the pattern without blocking and I am also hoping that blocking will improve the way the button band is sitting. Not sure if it is due to using two different yarns or whether blocking will make it look more cohesive. 

While knitting on my 1933 pattern, I have been watching a 1933 movie, as you do! A search on Youtube found many full length 1933 movies available to watch, so I may have a few more viewed before this pattern is completed. Especially as there are a few Clark Gable movies - he was a busy man at the studios in 1933!

The one I was really hoping to find is Dancing Lady, starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford and with Fred Astaire making his acting debut. But no luck! 

It is about a burlesque theatre and is pre-code so would make for some interesting viewing, I am sure! 

Anyway, the movie I am watching is called Deluge, an apocalyptic science fiction in which New York is levelled by an earthquake and subsequent tidal wave and we follow the survivors.

Way before the days of CGI! Models of New York had to built for all the disaster scenes. I hope they managed to get all their footage in one take! 
It is good so far, rather over the top, as you can imagine, but interesting to watch and compare to the plethora of disaster movies that are prevalent at the moment. 

Off to spend some more time in 1933! 

Monday 30 January 2023

Stitching And Other Updates

 Joining in today with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.

The only stitching/crafting I have worked on this week is cross stitching. I have completed one of my WIPGO goals for January, having stitched 14 hours on the 2020 Pandemic Sampler (a free pattern by Sarcy Gurl that you are still able to get here).

My progress at the beginning of January, before the WIPGO call.

My progress after 14 hours of stitching - WIPGO call completed.

I am only halfway to my 14 hour goal on Lavender and Lace's Ice Angel. It just requires more concentration so I have found I cannot stitch on it with a house full of kids. Summer school holidays finish in a few days, so many I can squeeze in a little more time before February starts. Progress photo to come! 

I have also found a fabulous year long free stitching challenge that I think will be amazing for motivation. It is hosted by Creatively Crafting and is very simply called Free Cross Stitch Challenge.
I did invest in their PDF printable planner as I do like to have a printed version of all the challenges and planning pages to mark off physically. And being a PDF, I can just print off the pages I need. I am not fussed on the aesthetic so have designed my own more primitive/vintage cover on Canva. But it has all the planning pages I will need for 2023! 

As January is pretty much over, I will start the challenges in February. You can join the free challenge without purchasing the planner. The link to the challenge page will be emailed to you before the beginning of each month. 
What I like about this challenge is that none of the squares are too difficult or daunting to achieve - ticking off little steps always seems more rewarding and it all adds up in the end. 

For example, some of January's challenges include:

* Stitch with your favourite drink
* Stitch 50 stitches
* Stitch with dark blue
* Stitch a snowflake
* Stitch on a Friday

All the little challenges are super achievable and I feel it will be very motivating to have lots of opportunities to tick challenges off the list. 
There is also a points system for number of stitches completed. I find accumulating points very motivating as well. It must be that I am just a competitive person?! 
Speaking of competitive, maybe I can get a few of January's out of the way quickly before month end?! I need to do some ticking! 

Walking wise, my street view has remained the same for the last few days - the ferry terminal at Dover.

I am currently 'walking' across the English Channel and surprisingly there are no street views along the way! 

Hope you have been getting some crafting or other fun stuff done this week!