Blogging

Expanding Horizons

What one new thing (or two) are you excited to learn or explore in 2019? πŸ™‚ (We gotta keep levelling up, right?)

Howdy amazing folks! We are moving into the final month of the current year which … likely means that you’re giving a think about the year ahead, right? πŸ˜‰ And if you haven’t yet then I would love it if you used this prompt to do so πŸ˜€

So that up there is Question #4. Give it some thought and share your answer/s below so we can inspire each other with awesome ideas & positive intentions πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ And don’t worry if it’s not final yet, we’re all entitled to brainstorm! πŸ˜€

~ My answers:

  1. Β crochet earrings
  2. crochet with beads
  3. creating “floor doilies” with t-shirt yarn
  4. crocheting owls
  5. macrame
  6. sewing – if my 1 year old will allow it

Okay that’s 6 instead of just one πŸ˜‚ but, except for #6, they’re all related so I think I can squeeze them all in in 2019.

What are your answers? πŸ˜€

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Staying Sane

May: Parties, Heels & Lace

partayThe marvelous month of May turned out to be much, much more than I anticipated πŸ‘

This coffee date earned me 3 invitations to all-wives-only get-togethers that did wonders to my soul. Of course, they were a bit challenging to work up to, not just because as a SAHM with a small baby I have difficulty finding time to even get a decent shower every day, but that I’m also an introvert whose default mode is a preference for solitary activities.

Nevertheless I noticed that these get-togethers energized me so much that I felt like treating myself to some heels 🀣 🀣

Out of all the urgent things that my wardrobe needs RIGHT NOW, I focus on my feet (which is not the first time) 🀣 Well, for one they’re so easy to dress up, they don’t have flab to skillfully camouflage with cut or color!

I bought them for special occasions (or just for walking around the house when I’m feeling sassy πŸ˜‰πŸ˜†) since I’m always scrambling at the last minute for what to wear whenever a special occasion pops up. I guess the vague plan is to work from the bottom up as far as updating my wardrobe is concerned πŸ˜†

I also finished a huge lace doily. Is it still a doily if it’s that huge? I think it’s earned table cover status πŸ€”

Channeling my inner home decorator ….

This house, although spacious and I love its location, is old and old fashioned. It’s got paint chipping off a few of its boring white walls, the furniture is ugly & uncomfortable (but they came with the house and they function 🀨), and it only has windows on one side so it can get hot and gloomy during daytime. I am grateful but resigned. 😏

— digression:

We can’t do any remodeling because it’s a “staff house” that comes with my husband’s expat package, rented long-term by the company to house any given foreign employee for certain periods of time. We can only request for repairs and maintenance; re-painting walls would fall into that category but we have a baby so we’re not very keen about that at the moment.

— end of digression:

Anyhoot, I decided no harm could come from letting my colorful personality shine now that I’m no longer pregnant & sleepy! So …

We had an A/C unit installed in the living room to counter the heat, I then claimed one of the boring walls with some frames, & put a carpet on the floor.

living room

And now this is where the family loves to hang out, including the baby 😍 It gets really cozy in the evenings when only the lampshade is on, there’s a good movie on TV, and a huge bowl of popcorn is being shared 😘

The kitchen also needed some color so I was truly pleased that a simple yellow tablecloth could make such a huge difference!

yellow happy

What else …?

Oh yes, I did read a book, just need to finish a few more pages, but it’s technically done so I can rake this up to a May finish as well:

May read

And the reason why I’m taking so long to finish this book – which is a lovely read by the way πŸ’˜) is because right after the pineapple table cloth, I went right in with my knitting needles for a racerback tee:

racerback tee

This is the back portion of the tee. I’m working on the front portion now alternating work on another project, a lace crochet pullover. I don’t know, I guess I’m just on a creative roll right now 😁

And that, my sexy friends, was May for me πŸ’–

How about you guys, what did you do in May?

Crochet

May’s Pineapple-y Finish πŸ

IMG_E5656

Look at “Catherine”. She’s so “yuge” I can’t even picture her properly. We don’t have a large enough table that can properly accommodate her full size! 😁

IMG_E5654

She’ll be even more gorgeous (& yuge) once I’m done blocking 😍 Which, from the looks of it, is going to be a bit of a challenge πŸ€”

IMG_E5655

And errr … wasn’t staying away from crochet a goal of mine for May? 🀣 Talk about a preposterous idea! 🀣

Crochet

Avoiding A & B Has Led Me To C: An Almost-FO Friday Post πŸ˜

A is for Anne

“Anne” is basically finished. I finished her last month already and yet, she still sleeps inside her project bag awaiting the day when I will finally perform the finishing touches that will move her from WIP to FO.

Is there anyone else out there who procrastinates when tucking-in tails & seaming? Please tell me I’m not the only one! 😁

annenpiddles

B is for Black’s a Bitch

I do not know what I was thinking. As a lover of lace motifs, I let feelings overrule logic and set out to crochet an obscure “something wearable”Β  made out of black lace motifs – which aren’t even square to begin with and hence, require the invention of a filler motif.

Imagine the gazillion tails that I will need to tuck away eventually πŸ€ͺ Plus, working with black yarn is very difficult for when you need to correct something and have to unravel. #Crazy! πŸ€ͺ Already I burned through my supply of this yarn and will have to purchase more if I want to finish.

What I learned: motifs really use up a lot of yarn due to their tails – 2 eachΒ πŸ€ͺ 😁

lace-flower-panel.jpg

And finally ~

C is for (Creative) Constipation 🀭

I recently bought this beautifully variegated crochet thread that I was very excited to crochet a table centerpiece with. Well, 3 failed centerpieces later and I realize the variegation just doesn’t lend itself well to anything ornate such as a table center. The thread colors interfere with the ornate design creating a visually noisy item.

I wish I took a picture of it before unraveling so you could see what I mean but, here’s the thread up close:

IMG_5350

Hmmm … I’m feeling a bit defeated today but I’m aiming at finishing at least one of them for next Friday.

This is nothing but a temporary dry spell, nothing that a jolt of Pinterest can’t cure, yes? πŸ˜‰

How about you, how do you get yourself started again when experiencing a creative block?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 😘

Crochet

Dippin’ My Hook In Filet (Stashbustin’ Part 2)

chemin-aux-papilllons
source

I’ve been crushing on filet crochet for the longest time now (maybe longer than my crush on Irish crochet 😍) but have always been daunted to try it.

Isn’t it difficult and labor intensive? It’s gorgeous but … won’t it take too long to finish say, a table runner? And can you do it while listening to an audiobook? Or must you focus your attention on it 110% that even stopping to breathe renders a mistake in pattern execution? πŸ€”

(I ask because of this exercise which turned out to be quite stressful).

But I have this project of using up all the yarns I currently have on hand you see. I am shifting my focus and creativity into thread crochet and crochet for warm weather (excited much!πŸ™ƒ 😁) and I didn’t want to be burdened with the cold weather yarns I bought back when I was into sweaters.

I have this fancy turquoise yarn I used in the past to make an infinity cowl and my Kindle cosy with. It’s got good drape but the metallic thread that runs through it gives it a bit of a rough texture that bites into skin. It’s not really that bad, but enough to make me push my cowl into the back of the closet. You know how soft always trumps everything else when it comes to wearables!

metallic turquise silver

The metallic thread also gives it a fancy look that I don’t quite know what to do with. I think you can use it best to crochet embellishments with like trims and edges. Or perhaps fancy accessories that you only wear for special occasions. (Another obstacle in buying yarn online, you don’t get to use the important sense of touch).

Anyhoot, I decided to use it for my very first ever filet crochet experience. Ta-daaaaah!!!

filet crochet

As you can see, I just started with the simplest filet pattern I could find. And I didn’t know where the project was headed, I just wanted to use up the yarn πŸ˜„

Notice how I progressed in pattern choice from very easy to easy and then to okay, now we’re talkin’? 🀣. Surprisingly, I found the whole filet exercise to be hassle-free.

The verdict on filet: definitely thumbs up! πŸ‘πŸ‘ I know it depends on the pattern of course, but this project was quite easy to do. I didn’t even have a print-out of the pattern, I just took it right off my laptop screen.Β  (For more intricate patterns though, a print-out is imperative I would say).

And what’s best, I was doing it while listening to my audio studies πŸ‘ Score!

Filet crochet is definitely going into my crochet bucket list. Plus, I used up all that fancy turquoise yarn!πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

Crochet, Knitting

Stashbustin’ Like A Boss Part 1

What do you do with something that has lost its purpose? The first answer would be to give it away to someone who might have use for it. The second answer would be to re-purpose it.

Well, prior to us leaving for Indonesia,Β  I had already donated quite a lot of my cold-weather yarns to my daughter’s school in Melbourne. I don’t know why precisely I hung on to these that I chose to keep but likely, I was feeling wasteful and wanted to redeem a bit of my guilty conscience.

At this point though they’re at a risk of seriously inhibiting my crafting mojo if I don’t do something really soon.

So I made the decision not to buy any warm-weather/tropical/beach yarns unless my stash of cold-weather yarns are at leastΒ  80% used up.Β  I figured I would still use the yarns to make items – even if these items are for cold weather and will be shipped off for donation at the end of this goal – as long as the projects expose me to new lessons in crochet & knitting.

Kinda like investing in collateral materials in a self-imposed knitting & crochet class.

Genius! 😎😎

And so for this first entry, may I present a knitted cowl and a crochet baby cocoon:

stashbustin part 1

Ze Cowl:

This project presented me with the opportunity to knit in a particular stitch pattern that required copious amounts of expletives and the frustrating experience of frogging 7 times (I kid you not, I actually counted the times so I could tell you afterwards).

This pattern required absolute concentration lest I forgot a single “K1” or “YO” or whether it was a “K2tog” or an “SSK” and whichever came first 😡😡😡. As a matter of fact I ended up reciting the individual stitches out loud while executing them to help keep me on track. For all 12 pattern repeats! I couldn’t wait for it to get finished πŸ€’

As you can see, I persevered and am proud to be able to claim having experience in the following:

  • Following a lace stitch pattern – it’s my 1st time to do it and I just find the result very encouraging even with the frogs and the errors πŸ˜Β πŸ˜†
  • Provisional cast on – my tip: be very careful when unraveling
  • Kitchener stitch – mine is a bit wonky but still exceeded my expectations
  • How to frog with grace πŸ’©

Here is the beautiful pattern if interested.

Ze Baby Cocoon:

Now this I might end up actually using for B3 😍 – although I still have to check later on if it won’t be too stuffy. Compared to the 1st project, this one was a breeze and I learned the following:

baby cocoon

  • Crocheting in the chevron pattern
  • Crocheting in the round (I need to improve my joining stitches)
  • The back post double crochet (or bpdc)

Here is the pattern if interested.

I think I reduced my stash by 2 1/2 skeins of yarn by the end of this project 😁 Yay!

Now on to the next!

Crochet, Knitting

Knitting Cables While Pondering The Fate of My Chosen Craft(s)

I was inspired to learn knitting because of the prospect of moving to Australia where colder weather was to be experienced.

knit kindle cosy

Oh the shawls, mittens, hats, sweaters, socks and what else I would knit!

kindle cosy opening 2

Now that we’re back in sunny, tropical Indonesia however, I’ve temporarily lost my mojo (this includes crochet) 😟 πŸ˜• πŸ™ ☹️ Will it just be doilies and curtain tiebacks henceforth?

kindle cosy opening

But my hands are restless and want to create, so while I’m assessing this tangled situation that I am in I decided to knit a Kindle cosy and practice knitting some cables while at it 😌

knit cable pattern

Turned out pretty okay 😁 I shall find my crafting way very soon. Like next week soon. Because the best way to get back on track is to just do it 😊

Have a wonderful weekend, y’all! πŸ’‹β€οΈ