Sunday, 29 January 2017

Return To Adventures In Stitchcraft

Some of you may remember a while back I started Adventures in Stitchcraft as a way to have some fun with vintage crafting and use my collection of Stitchcraft magazines.

I had my copies of earlier 1930s Stitchcrafts stored as PDFs. Due to a computer crash and complete loss of all my files (stark reminder to keep backups!), I stopped this series.

I had begun the Shoulders jumper and had completed a significant amount when I lost the pattern file. I guess this discouraged me for a while! This project sadly became one of the unravels from last week.

Then a few weeks ago, Pamela, a confessed Anglophile like me, stopped by and commented on an Adventures in Stitchcraft post and reminded me how much I love my vintage Stitchcraft magazines. So here I am, back to it!

The first print copies of Stitchcraft I have are Nos. 54 and 55, from February and March 1937.

I love both the cover designs from these, but you will have to wait to find out what is inside and what I am planning to make from these issues!

Here are some links to vintage blogs while you wait.

The Vintage Patterns Files - free vintage patterns from the 1800s through to the 1970s.

The Sunny Stitcher - great free patterns here from the 1920s to 1970s.

Subversive Femme - a great range of free patterns here from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Vintage Gal - and for some 1930s sewing inspiration.

And lookie here! Oh my, I am in love with this website! I have often thought, I can knit, I can sew, but I cannot make shoes. And here, Royal Vintage Shoes,  is where you can get shoe styles from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Wow!

How much do I love these Two-Tone 1930s Pumps?! I may have to save up my pocket money!

I would love you to visit every Sunday as I revive Adventures in Stitchcraft!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Some Free Knitting Patterns

While hopping through the rabbit holes on the internet, I have found some lovely free knitting patterns that I would love to try. I need to do some serious stash busting this year!

But you know how it is - I have WAY more knitting patterns saved or bookmarked on my computer than I could ever hope to knit. If only I didn't have to sleep! Imagine if you could spend all those hours knitting!

But if I stay up too late knitting, I just do this. And then I drop stitches and it is a mess!

So, on to some freebies!

Superior Waves Shawl by Willow Yarns.

Love the feather and fan pattern. But must admit to being daunted by the instruction to cast on 589 stitches! I prefer shawls that start with a small number and work outwards. Not sure why it feels like less work that way, but it does to me.

Love Knitting have tons of free patterns. And they are a great yarn shop too. Some of my favourites from here:

Pax the Alpaca

Owl Sweater - owls are always cute. This is sized from newborn to 18 months.

Tiny Baby in a Basket. Oh my, this is SO cute. The basket is only 9cm long and the baby only 5cm. Little girls love little toys and the designer of this freebie has some gorgeous patterns for dolls and rabbits of all sizes.

Easter potholder - Easter will be here soon! Although this looks too lovely to use as a potholder!

Hot water bottle cover - This looks so warm and cosy, knitted in a bulky yarn. Maybe hot water bottles (hotties!) are a bit old-fashioned, but we love them here. Do you still use one?

Sally the Eco Fairy

Catbird Hat

Hobbit Cottage tea cosy - thought I needed a tea cosy or two, just for fun!

Mrs Bunny Rabbit tea cosy

And last but definitely not least, if you have not checked out Frankie's Knitted Stuff on Ravelry, you are in for a treat! All the patterns are free, for the below reason:

All my ravelry patterns are free to download but, if you enjoy them, please consider making a donation to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, a charity which funds research and supports the families of children with a liver disease.

I just love the knitted wreaths.

And any of the knitted wreath components can be used as embellishments, toys, anything you like.

Hope you enjoy just a few of the many free knitting patterns around the internet. It really is a neverending treasure trove!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Unravelling for Yarn Along This Week

Linking today with Ginny for Yarn Along.

During the week, I finally unravelled some projects to reclaim the yarn.
You know those projects that you begin and after a while you realise they just aren't right. They aren't going to fit or they just don't sit right. So what do you do with them? You put them away in a cupboard, in the vain hope that they will somehow change into the project you envisaged when you started knitting! They hide away in the cupboard for months, sometimes even years, because you don't want to waste all that knitting time you have already invested into these projects.

Yet, they do not become what you hoped for!
So I decided to bite the bullet, close my eyes so I couldn't see all my work disappearing and unravel.
And now I feel better for it - and I have some 'new' yarn!

Just as a side note, when I typed 'unravel' into Google, it came up with this gorgeous game from Sweden. Who knew that there was an Xbox/PS4 game called Unravel?! You should watch the trailer, it is so cute!

So what am I actually making? Just working on my heat mat and Green Fingers gnome. But more planning than anything, as it is SO hot. Hot weather and knitting just do not go together for me.

While browsing through Ravelry, as you do, I found THE most gorgeous toy designer. Oh my! Tatyana Korobkova designs the most adorable things you have ever seen!

Photo from Masha Doll pattern page on Ravelry.
How gorgeous is the Masha doll? She reminds me of the designs from the Gorjuss collection, which I have always loved. I think I may need to budget to purchase some of her patterns.

For reading, I am working my way through the Kauffman Amish Bakery series by Amy Clipston. I am currently on book two, A Promise of Hope. Lovely light reading, but I don't think I have met an Amish fiction book that I didn't like, so I am easily pleased!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Linking today with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday.

I am a much happier homemaker now that the gastro bug is behind us, that is for sure!
Today starts the last full week of the school holidays.

On The Weather Front
For fear of sounding like a broken record, it is hot! There is some rain predicted for later in the week, which will be a welcome relief.

I am nearly finished the first book of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series by Amy Clipston. I am enjoying it so far. I love Amish fiction so will happily read any and all Amish related books.

Still enjoying my Little House on the Prairie trip down memory lane.
And look at this cute fabric I found at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Oh my gosh, I want it! But I told myself, I would use up all the plastic crates of fabric and yarn that I already have this year before buying any more. Oh the dilemma!!

I'm Hoping
That the boys will have a great year at school and that it will not be as terrible as either they or I think it will be. We must all have faith that God has a plan for us.

I'm Learning
To let go and just breathe in situations that are beyond my control. I am trying to not get over emotional and just to be happy in the moment.

Still knitting away at my heat mat. It has been a bit hot, of course! Does working through the huge neglected pile of mending count as crafting?!
Also working on baby's quilt and one for my second daughter to take to uni when she heads off in only two weeks! Where does the time go?

Grateful For
Coming up to Australia Day, I am grateful for this wonderful country we live in.

Dreaming Of
Rain! I need to hear rain drumming on the tin roof while I am lying in bed!

Favourite photo
During the week, we went to Cirque Africa. What a show! Such high energy, amazing acrobatics, totally addictive music and dancing. We loved it. It is coming to Adelaide soon, if anyone lives there. Well worth a visit.
And such lovely people - we were walking to the Big Top and the ringmaster, Papa Africa, stopped to ask if we wanted a lift in the circus van. So we arrived in style!

Devotional, Scripture, Key Verse

Have a lovely week!

Friday, 20 January 2017

Horrible Bug At Our House!

The gastro bug struck big time at our house this week! And when you have six people in the house, it is loads of fun.

Last time we had gastro, everyone was sick at once. It was about 36 hours of a horror movie, but it was over with fairly quickly. This time, it was a one by one illness, so it has lasted about a week so far. Last child down now, so thank goodness the end is in sight!

Hope to be back on board properly next week!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Linking with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday.

On the Weather Front

I don't want to be hot any more! I really do not like the summer at all, which makes me feel very unAustralian and makes people think I am strange. So I was happy to read an article in Earth Garden magazine, where the writer was equally unimpressed with summer!
As Tanya Jenkyn writes in EG No 174:
"For the record, I am NOT a summer person by any stretch of the imagination. As everyone around me stretches with joy like a well-fed housecat as the first rays of summer sun hit their upturned faces, I recoil like a vampire in the face of a garlic wreath."
I agree!  Tanya then goes on to say she should just move to Tasmania - my all time dream!
So I am hoping for it to cool down and rain very soon.


May I Be Happy - A Memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing My Mind by Cyndi Lee. I am really enjoying this, although I do tend to love these self-discovery, introspective journey type books. I picked this up as I am planning to incorporate yoga into my everyday routine this year (won't be standing on my head any time soon though!)
Not me!!


I watched the new Ben Hur DVD last night. It was easy to watch and quite interesting. I haven't read much about Ben Hur so cannot comment on the historical accuracy.
Tonight I plan on watching The Butler. I saw this when it came out a few years ago and loved it, so am looking forward to a re-watch.

I'm Hoping

Same as last week - that the school holidays never end. As the end draws closer, I (and the boys) are getting more and more upset that it looks like they will have to head back for another year of school. I just need to try and pretend to be positive about it, but it is very difficult.

I'm Learning

Or trying to learn and remember some of the names for the basic yoga poses. I'm sure it will become second nature after a while.


I have been getting in some knitting, later at night when the weather has cooled down a bit. Working on a heat mat for my teapot. And still quilting away at grandbaby's first birthday quilt (31st March deadline - I've got this!)

Grateful For

My sweet boys. Away from school, their true natures are beginning to shine though again. Particularly Mr 12, who doesn't have to try to be 'cool' in the holidays.

Dreaming Of

Same big dreams every week! But I need to start having some smaller dreams, so also dreaming of fields of flowers. I have been looking through the spring bulb catalogues that are just starting to arrive - so many gorgeous tulips, daffodils, ranunculas.

Favourite photo

I haven't had the camera out very much this week, but I think this photo of my surprise chick is my favourite. One of my hens (who I thought had been taken by a fox) appeared last week with this solitary chick.

Devotionals, Scriptures, Key Verses

I mentioned this one a week or two ago when I said I had decided to make it my motto for 2017. I had been reading Living Courageously - You Can Face Anything, Just Do It Afraid by Joyce Meyer. I always find Joyce Meyer to be an absolute inspiration for me and this book was no exception.  I found it amazing that I had reached my age and not worked out this simple concept - that if you don't do the things you are afraid to do, you will never do anything. So obvious!

Have a lovely week!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Using Your Own Containers When Shopping

After mentioning that I have decided to finally be brave enough to ask to use my own containers at the deli and meat departments in this post, I came across these two blog posts the very next day.

Gippsland Unwrapped talks about what the law says about using your own reusable containers. This was particularly handy as Tammy is from the same state as me, Victoria, so the legislation is valid for me.

I am thinking of using the above plastic containers as they are light. I would love to hear how other people manage their shopping.

Our Permaculture Life talks about is my reusable cup illegal.

I am planning to work harder toward zero waste this year.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Independence Days Challenge: Week Eighteen

As I've gone through all of Sharyn Astyk's Independence Days, I will now move on to her Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front. This is the more hard core discussion, without the recipes! One of the first books I read that I felt really called it as it was - no tiptoeing around the issues, saying we can fix it with technology and still live the way we live now. Brutally honest, but I feel this is what everyone needs to read so we can all accept life needs to change and move on.

'So far the message most of us have received about climate change and peak oil and our financial situation is "We can go on exactly as we have been, with just a few little changes to renewable energies." Unfortunately, that's a fairy tale.'
Depletion and Abundance by Sharon Astyk pg 7

Really, I feel like the typing out the next two pages of the book as I feel getting that mindset change is so important. But instead, I urge you to look for the book at your library, if you haven't already read it, or one similar.

1. Plant something

I planted a few more zucchini seedlings, but really it is time to be thinking of autumn plantings. It just doesn't seem like it with the heat!

2. Harvest something

Same as last week really. The chooks are laying really well at the moment, especially considering they are all 'elderly'. They would be considered well past laying age commercially, yet most of them are four to six years old and still laying consistently. They are doing a great job scratching through the weeds as I pile them up.

Note the new fence in the background - yay!

Even had a little surprise this week - one of the hens, who I thought had succumbed to a fox, appeared with a little chick. Only the one unfortunately. If I'd known she was sitting, I may have been able to keep the others warm. She is one of those hens that hatches the first one and hops straight off the nest, thinking 'thank goodness that is over!'


Still harvesting some flowers, but I will be leaving the rest to set seed.

And one of the dahlias that I grew from seed. They have all formed tubers so will stay in the ground to over winter and hopefully will have more and bigger blooms next year.

Some wild garlic hubby found in his travels.

3. Preserve something

The very hot weather has made me slack off here. I just couldn't face canning in the heat! We just ate our last jar of applesauce and are down to one jar of mint jelly and we use a lot of both of these. Definitely need to make some soon.

4. Minimise waste

I have decided to be brave enough to front up to the supermarket and ask to have my deli and meat items put in my own containers. I know that sounds silly and I don't really know why I am reluctant - all they can say is no. I'll have to work out which containers weigh the least!

5. Want not

I am hoping to get lots of upcycling done this year, in various areas. Also planning to add regular op (thrift) shop trips to my to-do list. I keep a running list in my handbag of items to look for at the op shop, but then I hardly ever make the time to get there!

6. Cook something new

I must admit to loving those tie-in books they always come out with when a series or movie is successful, especially the cook books.
Enter The Outlander Kitchen.

I made Father Anselm's Almond Pastry - yum!

The end was a bit bulgy, but it was delicious! And very simple to make.

7. Manage your reserves

That whole getting organised thing is a work in progress!

8. Work on local food systems

You guessed it, a work in progress!

I will just show you some photos of one of my veggie gardens so you can see why my harvesting is not great. I am ashamed but I will show you anyway!

On the plus side, look at that lovely healthy rosemary in the bottom left!

And also a huge plus, hubby did the fencing! Which means that the gardens are now fenced off from the paddock and we can get some sheep again.

Very dry at the moment.
How are things in your neck of the woods? I would love to hear your plans for 2017.