Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ooh I'm spoiled

My friend Beryl, who has spoiled me so much already with lovely magazines and books, saw the gorgeous tray mat Bev made for me as part of the Colour Swap and gave me this beautiful tea cup and saucer to go with it. Oh, I will look so dainty and civilised with my very own tea set! The tea set is just sooo pretty with delicate violets and butterflies. It goes beautifully with the mat. Thanks so much Beryl! You are too good to me.

I also received my present from Heather (also no blog as yet) as part of Jewell's Easter Swap. I certainly wasn't going to wait until Easter to rip it open! I got lots of yummy chocolates and these gorgeous gifts:

The tea towel is a lovely generous size and the fabric band has the cutest Easter print. The dishcloth is too nice to use on dirty dishes. I wish my knitting was this good. Oh, and don't you just love the hand-made gift card?

I finally finished my Easter swap presents to send to a mystery person who I won't name because she won't have received it yet. I hope she likes it. I feel I could have done much better. My inspiration has just been lacking of late.

I finished this little tea towel I blogged about previously, by giving the bunny a collar and adding a couple of rows of pretty braid:

And I gave up on knitting dishcloths so made two crocheted ones. They don't have an Easter motif but they are in bright spring colours, so I hope that counts.

Along with these little presents, there are the mandatory Easter choccies and magazine finishing off the Easter gift.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What I've been up to

I haven't been doing much crafting of late, so my blog has been abandoned for quite some time. I just lost my enthusiasm and motivation for a while, but I think it is on its way back.

I have been knitting this cabled top, the pattern for which was in the latest Better Homes & Garden magazine. Although I love the look of handknits, I am not a very quick knitter, so I very rarely finish any big knitting projects I start. This one knits up super quick though, so even though I only started this on Monday, I just have the sleeves to go now and they are short so they'll only take an hour or two.

I'm using the specified yarn which is Moda Vera Shiver. I kind of wish I hadn't. It is acrylic for one thing (I'd never buy an acrylic jumper!) and quite pill-y so I can't imagine this top is going to look new for very long. Also, the pattern called for 12 balls, so I diligently bought 12 balls. I was wondering why it looks as though I am going to have 4 or 5 balls left over and double-checked the pattern - it called for 12 x 50g balls. But the yarn comes in 100g balls so I have twice as much as I need. And my last whinge is that, unlike most patterns with a cowl or long neck, the pattern doesn't reverse so it shows on the fold-over, it is meant to drape naturally so the outside is still the outside. My neck is a bit big and floppy (the top neck, not my neck!), and making it drape right takes some care. If I were to do it again, I'd probably change to smaller needles for the neck to make it a firmer, tighter knit. Still, my fingers are crossed it is going to turn out ok! And one good thing is, I also overcame my fear of circular knitting needles in this project.

While I was at Spotlight looking for the yarn for this top, I also splurged on these bright and cheerful rainbow coloured spot fatties:

I am thinking something simple and quick and colourful. Maybe chunky four patches or nine patches with bright white sashings.

But my project for this weekend is going to be my washcloth and tea towel for Jewell's Easter Swap. I have been fiddling with ideas for weeks now, making false starts, becoming discouraged with ideas half-way through. I'm now running out of time, so I think I am going to be doing something wth these bits and pieces:

In the last week, I've changed my mind completely about taking a redundancy and accepted an ICT Project Manager job at my place of work. I realised I was only planning on rejecting it and leaving to make a point and to stand on my principles - which eventually were not good enough reasons to make myself unemployed. I officially start next week and will be moving to a new office and have been told they've been waiting for me to make up my mind as they already have about 10 projects that need managing that will be landing on my desk next week!

I've also said goodbye to my faithful old Suzuki Swift and welcomed this Toyota Corolla into my home:

I think it will take a while to get used to. It drives and feels so different. I had the last car for 10 years and knew it so well parking and everything was a breeze. I have no spatial awareness of the size of this car so it just feels weird and I have to concentrate and check mirrors etc to do anything and in the blind spots have no idea whether I am going to scrape against anything. I guess I'll just try to drive it as much as I can to get used to it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Colour swap parcel arrived!

I received a wonderful package in the post today filled with all these beautiful blue parcels, tied with gorgeous ribbons and labels. This was my gift from the lovely Bev Cooper, as part of Maree's Colour Swap!

The rules for this swap were we had to include a food, a fat quarter, some thread and something pretty in our swap partner's preferred colour. Mine was blue, as you can see. The fat quarter is just gorgeous, and the ricrac will come in handy. I am very impressed though with how clever Bev was in finding blue food!

And I was a bit gob-smacked at the beautiful gift Bev made for me - a wonderfully embroidered journal cover with this pretty matching bookmark:

Bev's machine embroidery is just incredible, just perfect. But there's more! She also sent me this gorgeous tea tray mat:

Which is way too nice to slop tea all over, so I think it might soon be found hanging on my kitchen wall.

Thanks Bev! You made my day with your generous and thoughtful gifts!

I haven't been doing much crafting at all lately. With everything going on right now, I just haven't been in the mood at all. But a couple of weekends ago I did go to the markets, bargain-hunting, with my good friend Lyle and bought this timber quilt rack.

I like the little cut out heart motif.