Posted in craft, Knitting, Life

Minimal Crafty Update

I have been so slack!

For the first time in many many years I’m not crafting much. Randomly I am beginning to feel very guilty about this. I don’t think this is normal.  Hobbies should not inspire guilt if you aren’t doing them.

I have made exactly 1 knitted square for my patchwork blankie.

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The Stripey Rib Square

I have started the Dr Who scarf for my husband for Christmas.

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He has been practising his surprised face for Christmas as I have been knitting it while sitting beside him watching TV.

Finally I have started my Christmas makes.  These are some butterfly jars that I have made for my housekeepers and one of my daughters.

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I actually love these and feel the need to make more.

I have started the fairy jars for my trainer and my daughter in law and have bought everything for dream catchers and mini cross stitches.  I’ve also pickled onions for some cheese and cracker baskets I intend to do up so I am actually on track but its weird not having enough done to write about regularly.

On the other hand I am spending a lot of time outside.  I’m taking my book over to the beach and reading in the afternoons before its time to cook dinner.  I’ve completed a 5, 6 & 11km race.  Not well.  I wasn’t last but I certainly have room for improvement.  I’m catching up with friends that I haven’t seen enough of in the past couple of years.  This weekend I am having a flying lesson in an actual plane.  I’m getting out and I’m doing things! And I’m not sitting on my butt watching TV all the time.  None of this could be bad right? 😉

Till next time

Ka Kete Ano xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Knitting

Adventures In Knitting

Gosh we are busy in my house over the past few weeks.  We are constantly on the go with loads of visitors when home.  Working 12 hour days and all the rest.  Why this weekend coming we are in Rotorua friday night, I have a run Saturday morning, my handsome boy and his beautiful partner are home for lunch Saturday lunch time and then we have Canadian Thanksgiving at a friends Saturday night.  Sunday will be made for sleeping I feel.

In the past month I have been knitting A LOT.

My next door neighbour was very pregnant and I still hadn’t decided on what to get her when I stopped at Spotlight on the way home from work.  They were having a wool clearance and I found some lovely soft baby chenille with a blanket pattern attached to the wrapper.  All three balls required normally $20 each but I got the lot for $15 so we had a winner 🙂

The race was then on as to who was going to be done first, me or the baby.  The baby won by a week hahaha And an extremely beautiful baby girl she is.

I discovered a few very important things while making the blanket.

  1. Chenille is bloody awful to knit with.  Learner knitters drop stitches and you can not for the love all things wooly find the dam stitches again
  2. Don’t knit chenille while sitting up on your bed watching telly while darling husband is watching sports at night with only bedside lamp on.  You will drop even more stitches.
  3. Wine makes it harder to find dropped chenille stitches. Also possibly attributes to number of dropped ones
  4. You can darn holes made by dropped chenille stitches very successfully and no one will ever know 😉 except when you tend to tell everyone
  5. Dropped chenille stitches can cause fewer numbers of actual stitches on the needle making one end of a blanket wider than another. This can not be fixed when you are finished and the baby beat you by a week and you just have to roll with it.
  6. Blankets need long needles for knitting. All those weird little bruises at the top of my right thigh are from bracing the needle to push the wool down every minute or so.  It literally took me 2 weeks to figure out what the heck was causing them hahahaha

After 3 weeks of frantic knitting we had a completed blanket that the neighbours tell me they love, flaws and all 🙂 Of course because I was tremendously nervous about the gift as not everyone appreciates home-made I had to tell them the entire tale of its birth and they laughed till they cried but they assure me they are not lying and do love it.

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In the end I was actually very happy with it considering.  There is enough wool left to make another one so I may do that next year at a more sedate pace and see if I can make a nice one 🙂

After frantic knittings of the previous 3 weeks I am, surprisingly, totally in zone and picked up my knitted squares again.  This is a weekends worth of them.

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Diagonal Striped Square

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Mock Rib with Garter Stitch Stripes Square

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Big Checkerboard Square

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Little Ladders Stitch Square

I think I am getting better at this knitting stuff.  There was hardly any back-knitting and only a couple of minor re-starts.  Might be getting ready for some real stuff 😀

Oh, and in a final word.  It was my birthday very recently and my step mother made me the most beautiful quilt.  Check it out! It’s currently residing on the back of my couch but I am going to get it dowled and hang it in the second lounge 🙂

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Ka Kete Ano xx

 

 

 

Posted in craft, cross stitch, diamond painting, Knitting

A month without a post

Goodness! A whole month has passed since my last personal crafty post.  Have I been sitting on my laurels? Pretty much lol 😉 Yea I have not been tremendiously productive but I have done a ton of knitting.

I have nearly made my second bunny.  Just need to get my act together and sew and stuff 🙂

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I finally started my first ever jersey.  I have only had the wool about 18 months.  I have finished the back 🙂

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I picked up the stripey strip for my knitted blanket.  Its probably been a year since the last time I picked this one up BUT I have been putting some serious time into it and have knitted probably 11 stripes in the past week.

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AND I got out my diamond painting again 🙂 Not a huge amount done, but a little 🙂

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And I got a row done on my cross stitch

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Not an epic month for crafty stuff but at least we are still moving forward.

Oh dear, Christmas is coming.  I’m gunna need to get me shit together and start the presents if I don’t want to end in mad panic.

Ka Kete Ano xx

 

Posted in craft, cross stitch, Knitting

Where Did That 3 Weeks Go?

Wow! Its been 3 weeks since my last crafty update.  Whoops! My bad.

Its been a little hectic here, but then when isn’t it.  All we seem to do is dash about getting older, and boy do I feel old lately.  My legs been taped up for the past 5 weeks.  I’m still not allowed to run and I have now been banned from climbing that big hill in my back yard.  There has been minimal improvement lately so if none has occurred over the next week my physio is bringing out the big guns and getting his boss to have a look.  He’s getting concerned that there might be something major going on that he’s missed seeing acupuncture, massage and rest have had no effect.  Here’s the thing, I’m not a sook and I push through pain so we really are starting to wonder what the heck I’ve done to myself.  Oh well.  At least its winter so I’m not missing out on the fun summer stuff 😀 Always a bright side right 😀

Crafty wise I have been right into my knitting.  Last night was the first night in a week that I haven’t knitted.  I’ve managed a few squared for the Patchwork blanket 🙂

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Garter Stitch Square

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Moss Zigzag Square

That one has a minor hiccup where I apparently zagged when I should have zigged but I didn’t notice till I had cast off.  On to the ‘re-do’ pile it will go 🙂

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Moss Stitch Square

I then put the needles down for a few days and did a little cross stitching on Warm My Heart.

Only 1,500 stitches achieved over the past 3 weeks thanks to knitting bug.

So then I went back to knitting and made myself a wee hat 🙂 Now, bear in mind that I have only achieved one completed knitting project so far which is my bunny from a few weeks ago.  I am super chuffed with this even though it’s probably more kid sized and I don’t suit hats.  Going to have another go in a few weeks and make one a smidge bigger so I can get my ponytail in it 😀

Then this past weekend I suddenly realised that I had yet to complete this months craft for next Saturday.  As it was too late to start something new I dug out an old mosaic kit that I started around 4 years ago and had a play with it.  Wouldn’t you know it, kit didn’t come with enough bits! So I go creative and stole some from Natalies that I bought at the same time.  As that was 4 years ago I doubt she will miss them 😀

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I kinda like this and now have a wee idea that I might like to make hearts for above all the doorways in the house as I have a wooden one that is already insitue that my cousin made 🙂 Might just add a little quirk to my world 😉

Then I went back to knitting and started on my first ever jersey. After a week I have nearly finished the back and I am rather proud of myself 🙂 I had to un-stitch a couple of times because of errors but it has been rather easy.  Mind your it’s just a stocking stitch so not super complicated but I am about halfway up the Raglan sleeve hole bits which has been a bit of a learn.

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Its a yoga jersey and will have a hood for which the instructions kind of scare me but I am determined lol 🙂

The wool is a joy to work with.  A Cashmere and Marino blend and the colour is a sort of dusty sea-foam.  I can’t wait to wear this but I am picking it will not be finished till next winter.  I am going to finish the back this week and them go on to my stripey blanket which is yodeling from the basket at me and has been neglected for too long.  I also need to get my second bunny both started and finished.  Anyone know where I could find an extra 4 – 5 hours each day hahaha 😉

Ka Kete Ano xx

 

Posted in craft, Knitting

When You’re Busy Busy But Not Busy Crafting

We’ve been super busy in the Semmens household recently.  We’ve been out way more than we’ve been in, and when we have been in we’ve had visitors everywhere 🙂 This is a good thing! I introvert way too easily and too often so this has gotten me out of my comfort zone and made my husband happy. We’ve been for walks and runs and visits and had people over for dinner and drinks and games of pool and made stairs in the bush and . . .

I fear I haven’t picked up a needle in 2 weeks and chances are rather high that I won’t this week either lol We are out to dinner Friday night and have a party to go to Saturday night but who knows.  The weathers supposed to be bollocks so we will be in the house the rest of the time.  Plenty of crafting opportunities  then 🙂

That doesn’t mean that I have done nothing, just that I haven’t done a lot.  I’ve managed to get 2 squares done for my patchwork blanket!

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Double Moss Stitch Square

This one came together quite nicely 🙂 Knitted up in an evening.  No restarts and no dramas.

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Checkerboard Square

I hate this one! and please don’t look at it closely.  It was re-started 4 F@#$%^G times!!!! and I should have restarted it again cept I’m pretty sure they would have put me in one of those jackets that let you hug yourself in one of those rooms with the squishy walls if I did.  I have no idea why this one had a hate on for me because I have certainly done more complicated works but I just couldn’t get it to work.  It took me a week to get 50 rows done which the most ridiculous thing ever! GRRRRRRR!

One day I will attempt to redo this square . . . one day before I sew the blanket together . . . today is not that day.

Not only but also I made this.  It’s a bit shit, somebody described it as ‘looks like a monkeys penis, and looks way better from a distance (So I made a smaller picture) but, hey, you live you learn 🙂

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Finally to round things up, this isn’t crafty but I love the way the light is reflecting so I’m putting it in here to end the month with 😉

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So to sum it all up, I have been as lazy af lately but what the heck.  Tomorrow is another day . . . oh that’s right, its July even and this year I am once again going sober for the month to raise money for people living with cancer 🙂 The money raised through this campaign goes towards upgrades in the chemo centres as well as other areas.  It pays for the free wifi and the non-government-issue comfy chairs that the patients can be in for several hours at a time, books and magazines, morning and afternoon teas etc. and that’s only the beginning.  Such a worthy cause that is often overlooked by the other fundraising drives that you see and, trust me, one that my liver thanks me for every time that I do this.  So far over the 3 years I have participated I have raised around $600 myself and look forward to contributing more again this year.  Please feel free to sponsor my Dry July – http://www.dryjuly.co.nz/users/toni-semmens

Ka kete ano xx

 

 

Posted in craft, cross stitch, Knitting

Love A Good Craft Store Sale

This week went a little better than the past couple regarding pretty much everything.  Last Monday was a bank holiday here in little ole NZ and it was miserable as far as the weather was concerned.  My darling husband ended up downstairs for the afternoon with our neighbour playing pool and calling each other rude names.  This left me unchaperoned upstairs with the movie channel, fire, furry fat friends and my cross stitch.  That combined with yesterdays effort has resulted in some good progress on Warm My Heart and a page finish 🙂

Wednesday night saw me wander downstairs with my knitting while my husband was watching the Lions test.  I was hoping to knit up a bobble square for the patchwork blanket but I didn’t get that far along before I needed to find my bed.  The next night saw 2 more rows before unravelling the whole thing and starting again.  2 rows of bobbles done and I spot a mistake further back that means another total unravel so I threw it in the corner for the night.  Friday night saw 2 rows of bobbles and I ran out of puff so it was bedtime. Saturday I spotted a mistake 2 rows back that meant a minor unravel.  Sunday saw to more minor unravels and FINALLY a completed square.  I now officially hate bobble squares!

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There are still way to many mistakes in that square but I just needed to accept this and walk away.

Friday I checked our bank account and got a lovely surprise of an unexpected dividend payout.  Rather than be completely practical and pay bills then put the rest in savings I took myself off to the craft store to kit up an idea that I have had scratching at my brain for the past few weeks.

I have a Storykeep Selina Fenech cross stitch chart that I think might make a pretty cool floor rug.

I must have looked a little mad running around the knitting section at Spotlight.  I got the skeins of DMC that the chart called for and ran around colour matching with balls of wool.  This lead to loads of talking to myself and running around in circles pushing my basket with my toes as my hands were full of chart, skeins and wooly balls.  It took forever but I think I am happy with the choices.

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I have no idea how many ‘stitches’ I am going to get per ball of wool so went with 1000 per ball and am hoping for the best.

I love that the rug canvas comes in 10 x 10 squares.  This is going to make life so much easier with the ‘stitch’ counting.

Of course I then couldn’t wait and just had to have a go 😀

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Its going to be interesting as the balls are all different textures.  I have either made a huge error in judgement or something that is going to be texturely sumptuous 😀 Only time will tell.

Its going to end up 0.5 x 2 metres in size so it may take me a week or 2 😉

Ka Kete Ano xx

 

Posted in craft, cross stitch, Knitting

I Made A Bunny!!!!

Bunny number 1 is done!!!

Turns out it looks a lot better in pictures than it does in real life and I am not sure about my sewing skills putting it together but this is my first ever completed knitted project 😀 Oh and I put the arms on upside down (whoops) . . . and her head might fall off at some stage in the not too distant future . . . and I sewed up the wrong end of the torso hahaha All learning curves 😀

It was a huge amount of fun to knit 😀 Putting it together wasn’t quite so much fun and actually took me at least 6 hours, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing lol

Bunny number 2 will start next week 🙂

After completing the bunny on Saturday I didn’t really feel up to starting the next one right away so I picked up Warm My Heart.  Made some good progress on her with 800 stitches for the week and a hoop move 😀

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I hate it when the photo flips sideways

I really do love stitching this one ❤

Further to last weeks completed stitch, Tash & Kids, it has been to the drycleaners and is currently at the framers.  I am very hopeful that it will be picked up over the next couple of days and be able to head off to its new home very soon 🙂

Ka Kete Ano xx