Showing posts with label autumn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label autumn. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Rangas, Records and other things that don't begin with R.

There have been lots of things happening in the Amazona household over the past month.
So much in fact that poor Blog has been feeling quite neglected.
Firstly this has been happening...



No, I did not buy a new generator.

This is the first box I packed as we begin to pack up our little house and move only a short distance away to set up a fresh new home with the Bear. After several years of living between 2 houses (although mostly in mine), my gorgeous Bear and I are shacking up. Blending fams so to speak. It's a little bit exciting!

And a little bit sad because whilst my little house is getting old and a bit worn, I'll miss my big backyard with the eternally fruiting lemon tree. And the rainbow lorikeets that flock to the nashi pear trees in February. The fig tree that has only just started growing figs. And I will really miss our suburb. So close to the beach and with a lovely community spirit.

In an effort to get the Bears house ready for Spring, a few weeks ago we dug up a patch in the garden, set up a massive trellis and sowed a line of Sweet Pea seeds.
After they popped up their little seedling heads, the snails ate all but one. 🐌🌱

A couple of weeks ago, I gave up my Saturday morning sleep in and trudged into the Melbourne CBD to display a bit of redheaded ranting at the 2nd Annual Ginger Pride Rally!


Melbourne City council obviously thought so many gingernuts, rangas, coppertops and flaming tomatoes with their famous firey tempers were bound to cause trouble so there were crowd control wardens...

"Hey Jim, watch out for the one in boots. She looks like she's about to riot!"
"No worries Fred. I've got enough pepper spray to light up the whole bag of carrots..."

Gingers, duracells, matchsticks and freckle faced carrot tops of all shades were represented. Non-gingers were also welcome but had to be accompanied by a BloodNut friend or family member.

Because Star Wars inspired slogans make everything cool...

A non- ginger hides his shameful brown fuzz with an appropriately coloured scarf.

There were games of ginger beer pong, and even a ginger speed dating booth for those of you wanting to help spread the MC1R gene by doing the wild thang with a genu-wine Fanta pants!

The SPF50+ sunscreen and ginger beer flowed freely as pale skinned Titian creatures frolicked under the partly cloudy skies. 

There were flamed haired rock bands starting with local Melbourne band The Vanns.


Many of us frequently scampered to the shade of the small trees in Federation Square when the sun peeked from behind the clouds lest we sizzle like sliced tomatoes on the bbq.
 
The Rally also raised money for the Alannah & Madeline Foundation which raises awareness & funds to help stop bullying against children (including little rangas!)

There was loads of camera-people running around taking photos and videos. Finding myself in some of the photos of this Daily Mail article was a little bit like looking at those Where's Wally books. Can you find me?

We all like, totally felt like celebrities, like totally....
 

1500 of us marched and chanted from Federation Square and around Alexandria Gardens. The march organisers led rousing chants with megaphones such as:

"R.A.N.G.A! We will never go away!"

"We're proud! We're red! We're really good in bed!"


I am hoping the parents of our little baby rangas didn't let the kiddies chant that last one...

There were even some orange & red flowers along the way showing solidarity...


 
In crochet news, I have also been crocheting a lovely light blue cardigan from a pattern I found in an old copy of Simply Crochet magazine. Issue 34 to be precise.


It's called the Cream Soda Lacy Cardigan by Annalies Baes. I love how this already fits so well.
The pattern calls for Malabrigo Arroyo Merino and 4 and 4.5mm hooks. 

However I have 3 balls of light blue 5ply acrylic. I had bought them by accident thinking they were DK, and because I never use 5ply, thought they'd sit there unused. However after creating a swatch for this pattern decided to use them but crocheting with 3 and 3.5mm hooks.

I love love love this old Rod Stewart compilation. The cover is in the shape of a scotch glass.

Since Bear gave me a record player for Christmas, I have been finding gorgeous 2nd hand vinyls in op shops, and by raiding Bears record collection. I did still have some of my own left over from when I ditched my last record player after it died nearly 10 years ago.

It's been so lovely to make a cuppa, pop on one of these classic LPs and crochet this lovely cardigan.


Me and Ian Anderson go waaaaay back. I used to listen to my dads original copy of Thick As A Brick over and over again.

The busy-ness of life has seriously interfered with pattern writing time.
I have been trying to finish editing and photographing my latest mandala for nearly, or morely a month.  (yes I know 'morely' isn't a proper word but it sounds like it should be!)
 
I did finish one, then realised my stitch count was all wrong. So instead of frogging it, I finished it off, then started another.



I really love the colours in this mandala. I used the same cottons as my arm mitts but also added some gold thread.
 


Would you believe good old Susi Q has been amazing for inspiring wild, colourful mandalas?
 

I finally finished my mandala that has been remade and perfected over the past couple of months.  I guess it has been inspired by the 70s glam rock that I've been listening to lately such as Suzi Quatro and The Sweet (I love love love Ballroom Blitz!).
Check it out!


Stay tuned as I publish the pattern in the next day or two!


So in between cardigans, mandalas, Ranga Rallies, and moving house I am also planning a rather amazing little excursion to a place FAR FAR away.

A place where I never imagined visiting.

A place which feels a teensy bit intimidating but exciting!

It has been very 'spur of the moment' as I have a family member getting married and I was thrilled they thought to invite me but they don't exactly live 5 minutes down the road...

I'm going to keep it under my belt for a little longer yet. I'll let you know where I'm going when it gets closer to the time!

Like seriously people. Do you ever have those times when nothing happens for ages, then everything, like all of the really big things happen at once?

It's like life is nice a sleepy. A little dull, but in a nice sleepy way, then someone sticks a firecracker under your bum! Startling, makes you jump, maybe swear, but with lots of pretty colours.

Thanks for visiting!

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sunshine Lollipops Blanket- How I made this thing!

This isn't a pattern post.  Nor is it a tutorial. This post will simply explain how I made this blanket. Then if you want to make one, you can too. But it's very informal. If you have any further questions or want extra info, please feel free to message me through my Facebook page  or email me at balibelibear@gmail.com
 
 
When I'm going on holidays, I spend quite sometime deciding what yarn and projects to take. Then my choices are packed super carefully.



Back in December we went to stay in Mollymook with the parental units for Christmas and this is what I took along.

A bag of cottons to play with in the car when I wasn't doing the driving, and a basket for other projects to be packed in the boot.

I chose a nice deep blue merino (just in case), some pompoms to finish off the Winterlude Keyhole Scarflet (underneath), my hook case, and a selection of colourful acrylics. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the acrylics but I loved looking at those colours together!

After spending an hour or so choosing and packing yarns, I selected my clothes and threw them into a suitcase which took less than 10 minutes. Because #priorities


Once we had arrived and settled in, I decided I fancied making lots of colourful circles with the acrylics. I took my project to the beach.



I made lots of circles during daytime games of Monopoly, and after the kids were tucked in bed, during games of Cards Against Humanity. Have you ever played that game? Not for the faint of heart or prudish minded!

BTW the little nail clippers on the table are not for personal grooming. There is always a pair in my hook case from my last plane trip for cutting yarn when you can't carry scissors!


I set up a crochet corner in this comfy place on the Motherships back verandah.
 

Once we had returned home after a lovely 2 weeks away, I started turning my circles into squares.


Would you like to know how to make these circley square grannies?

I used a selection of colours in DK acrylic.
A 4mm crochet hook.
I also had a pair of scissors and a darning needle for sewing and trimming ends.

I use US crochet terms.

First I started with a magic circle, chained 3 (counts as 1st DC), then 11dc in the circle.


Once all 12 dcs (including the beginning ch3) are complete, slip stitch to the top of the beg Ch3 and pull that centre thread in the middle of the magic circle nice and tight!



For round 2: Ch3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in same st, then 2dc in each stitch around.
Once you've crocheted 24 dc (including 1st Ch3), slip stitch to top of beg Ch3.


For round 3: Ch3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in same stitch, dc in next stitch then work in pattern (2dc, dc) all the way around. This should give 36 dcs (inc beginning Ch3). Slip stitch to top of beginning Ch3 and finish off.



Join your next colour.



In the stitch where you joined in your new colour, Ch1, then sc in same st. Then hdc, hdc, dc, in next stitch: (tr, ch3, tr)...
 


For the next 3 sides in each stitch:
 
dc, hdc, hdc, sc, sc, hdc, hdc, dc, in next st (tr, ch3, tr)
 


In the last part: dc, hdc, hdc, sc, then join with a slip stitch to the beginning st. Finish off!.


Join the last colour, ch1, sc in the same stitch and in each stitch around. Finish off.


And sew in your ends.




video


Here are all the little finished squares laid out on a white sheet. There are 9 rows of 13 squares. Or 13 rows of 9 squares! 


It now looked nothing like what I initially imagined. But I started to love my blanket for it's new character.


After they were all sewn together, I crocheted 7 rounds of single crochet.


5 of the 7 rounds...

Then I decided to go a bit wild!  I wanted to create a tulip border similar to what I used in my Happy Flower Mandala.

I crocheted 1 round in green as follows:

Ch3, dc in same st, Ch2, 2dc in same st as 1st 2 dc. Sk 3 st, *{(2dc, 2ch, 2dc, sk 3 stitches) to the first corner. In the corner stitch (2dc, 3dc, 2dc)}. Continue from * on each side.and corners. Join with a slip stitch to top of beginning Ch3. Finish off.


 
In the next round, to complete the flower tops I made little popcorns. They are kind of in 4dc clusters made like this:
 
Starting in any ch2 space...

For the first popcorn:

Ch 3, yarn over, insert hook into the Ch2 space, YO, pull up the loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will still be 2 loops left on the hook. YO, insert yarn into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will now be 3 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will be 4 loops left on the hook. YO, pull through all 4 remaining loops.

Then chain 4, skip all the stitches to the next Ch2 space, then crochet the next popcorn:

4DC Popcorn:
YO, insert hook into next Ch2 sp, YO, pull up the loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will still be 2 loops left on the hook. YO, insert yarn into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will now be 3 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will be 4 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into same sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO pull through 2 loops. There will be 5 loops left on the hook. YO, pull through all 5 remaining loops.
To continue all you need to do is follow the sequence (Ch4, 4dc popcorn) in each Ch2 space around.
 

 
The next round simply single crochets all around including in the top of each popcorn, followed by another round of single crochet.
 
Then 2 rounds of granny stripe.  I did one in green and one in orange.
 
Because I was sewing in my threads as I went, and the blanket was simply hanging around the loungeroom, it started being used!


After just sticking to orange, light pink, dark pink and green in the border, I decided to do a few rounds with the yellow and purple.
This was a bad decision.


For some reason whenever I looked at it, the colours made me feel gloopy. I threw the blanket in a project bag for weeks and didn't look at it!

SO I frogged back to the last orange granny stripe round, crocheted a round of single crochet in hot pink, then found this wonderful border pattern.

It is by Dragana from the crochet blog Dada's Place.

She has a pattern for this lovely edging. I had tried several different styles but found this on Pinterest and realized it was exactly what I wanted. If you would like to crochet this edging onto one of your projects, you can find her pattern here.


I then pinned the whole blanket out on some camping mats which I bought solely for blocking, not for camping!


Bijoux gave it her feline tick of approval.


And to wet it, I sprayed with the garden hose on 'mist'.


It was a beautiful warm breezy day so the blanket dried super fast.


And is now inside and being used.

All stacked up with my other blankets!

 
Some of the lovely ladies who follow my Facebook page gave me some gorgeous name ideas. Like Tutti Fruity (nice one Kim!), Summer Splash (thanks Christine!), Scrumptious Fruit Medley (thanks Kae!), Shades of COmfort (thanks Nancy!), Running Round in Circles (good one Debra!) and Sunny fruit salad (xox Vicki!). 
 
I've decided to call it Sunshine Lollipops because it reminds me of summer and lollies!
 



 


I love making super bright blankets because when we use them in winter when it's cold and dreary, they brighten up your day!

Thanks for visiting!


xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona