Current definition of old dog…

… new tricks!

I did my first ever crochet chain on the weekend – high fives, champagne, streamers! I have wanted to learn for years, and for some reason on the weekend I had the gumption to give it a go. I think this was fuelled by the fact that what I was making simply required a single chain. Not a perfect chain, but I think pretty good for a beginner. Yay me!

crochet north melbourne

Yarn appetite sated for now

According to my Mum, my grandmother always used to say a little bit of what you fancy does you good.  I have always kind of liked that, in fact I kind of try to live by it.  And as part of ensuring at least a little bit of time to myself (a working mum’s rare treat!), about a month ago I went to the Yarn and Craft Market hosted by the Handknitters Guild.  So much beautiful yarn…I was very restrained and purchased with my new baby bootie range for my Made in North Melbourne Etsy store in mind – two merino in the traditional pink and blue and one utterly gorgeous yellow in merino/cashmere.  I was so taken by the name of the wool, how can you resist Mother’s Love for making baby booties?  This is a locally hand dyed yarn by the almost eponymous Dyed By Hand Yarns.  I have not started knitting with it yet, but will show you when I have.  I think sunshine yellow booties might appeal.

And very recently I purchased some wool just for me.  It is delectable.  I know – not a word you would normally associate with wool, but it is just so divine.  I had the good fortune recently to be in picturesque Arrowtown in New Zealand, and wandered into The Stitching Post (what a cool name for a store) and knew I could not leave without a purchase, it was just a matter of what.  There it was, hanging up, a big loose hank of incredible softness, lightness and colour, hence delectable.  The yarn is Alpine (though that might be the colour) from Touch Yarns, and is a super fine kid mohair, merino wool.  And for the far more seasoned knitters that I, this would come as no surprise – because even though to the eye the yarn is slender in appearance it knits as 12 ply.  The lovely man at the store wound it into a ball for me (read he took pity on me, may have been something to do with the fact that I had asked whether I could knit the wool directly before it was wound up in a ball…!).  They even gave me a free pattern.  I started knitting my delectable new scarf last night.

If your dream home does not exist, create it

My now, back on track, inspiration for the month is

“If your dream home does not exist, create it”

This can be taken large or small.  Home to me means more than just a house, it means how you live your life at home.  I have mentioned earlier this year, in a post or three (!), that I am trying to put the balance back in.  An opportunity for me to really make this happen has transpired, albeit in an unexpected way.  I am changing roles at work. This weekend has been the in-between, between old and new, and while the role is equally senior my shoulders have lifted.  I was not expecting that, but the stress of the role has really dissipated.  Furthermore I am not going to be crazily busy to start with so I am about to lock in the no work in the evenings and weekends routine, so I can have a life, so much so that I do not want to give it up.  And hoping this simple technique sets some parameters with my boss.  So this is the first step for creating my dream home.

Today I visited the Craft & Quilting show in Melbourne.  With life being so hectic both in reality and as afore mentioned also self inflicted I have let weekends slip by.  But not this one!   It was a real treat to head off into the city for a couple of hours leaving the wee sweetheart at home and being responsible only for myself – freedom!  I walked into this hall of amazing creativity.  Just being there was inspirational.  Now my love affair with craft goes back a long way, but it has waxed and waned it terms of attention.  But I came away thinking you never really lose anything, sometimes it just takes time to come back to you.  I was also really touched by the wording on a quilt, “From good deeds sown, friendship grows”.  So my next two steps for creating my dream home are pretty straightforward, craft, craft, and craft some more because I love being creative and I love colour (that is one step!), and the other is remember to have and make time for other people without thought to the outcome.

Last, but definitely not least, we have also made a very big step in creating our future dream home.  Way back in February when I posted this the idea seemed a little left of centre to say the least.  Now we have a view just like that, or at least the makings of one.  It will be some years before we actually build.  But now we have all the fun of imagining a whole home and garden, and a changed way of life.  For the first time in a very long time I feel like my life is back and it really is in my hands to keep the balance. What would you do to create your dream home?

snow capped mountains

My last craft gift

Well it probably won’t be entirely.  But I am genuine about trying to turn my hobby into an income stream.  Not in the sense that I want it to make money, but in the sense that I love to craft but there is a saturation point to which friends and family like craft gifts!  So for me this is really about having a creative outlet.  Some balance in my somewhat uncreative work life.  Not that it was always this way.  Science I believe is one of the most creative careers you can do.  You are always on the edge of discovery, and scientists are innately creative.  I have had the privilege to walk this path.  Science has and will continue to change the world.

So ostensibly what is my last craft gift.  A baby blanket for an upcoming baby.  Mother Nature doing her finest.  No challenge whatsoever for a true knitter.  I am simply making the most of that yarn known as pom pom wool.  But as a working mum of a toddler it is the thought that counts, and at the end of the day I did make this.  And the Mum & Dad to be could not believe I had made this.

Crazy woman now resides here

And I’m so excited!

Why am I crazy?  Well look what this mad woman went and bought.

wool

Why on earth have I added to my already wool purchase frenzy of the other day? Well I have managed to turn a purchase from the first batch into a finished product in a record minimum amount of time.  My delusions of an Esty shop have run wild!

knitted scarf

Now this particular scarf is intended as a Christmas present for my M-o-o-L (Mother-out-of-law, instead of in-law).  And I think my Esty mad dream may get pushed aside for an even better outcome.  I do love having a project on the go and while I genuinely purchased this and the first batch of wool with the intention of seeing if I could sell some items on Etsy, it has suddenly dawned on me that there a whole lot of people in my life for whom I could make a gift for.  Now I know the knitting here is not technical, quite the opposite.  But it is the thought behind it. And eventually I will run out of people to create gifts for, so really I am just delaying the launch of my Etsy vision (I have the name already to go).

And there is also an absolutely unintended consequence.  These will actually be exceptionally cost effective presents.  Naturally I am not including my time in estimating the true cost of the present.  The fun is in the creation for me.