Thursday, 29 October 2009

Apologies and explaination

Hi everyone

Firstly I should apologise for not saying a BIG THANK YOU to all the very kind people who have left compliments and comments about my Rainbow Hex. I got so caught up in reading them I forget to pass my thank you on - so thank you kind bloggers and Flickr's.

Secondly, just for your info - I usually blog early in the morning, from about 8ish, so I usually am a day behind those in England or USA. And I never blog on weekends - love Monday morning when I get a good read from all the feeds.

But extremely luckily for me naughty Kate, from The Garden Bell, was having a late night and gave me a suggestion for colours. Now The Garden Bell has completed quite a few ripple projects, so I took her advice (cause I was leaning that way already) and I raced back up the shops to acquire more yarn. Along the way I thought of another project, so of course more yarn was purchased. The new project uses some of the colours I already purchased and will be a Xmas gift. I had to race back up as there was not that much yarn there at that price and for once I really did not want to miss out.

Also a huge thank you for the advice that came through about my ripples, which I have browsed and used and will show photos of later. If you remember, I am a self-taught crocheter and I needed a little correction with technique. And possibly the yarn I was using could have been the cause - it was horrible!!!!!!
Now to explain my excitement over the yarn yesterday. I had budgeted for more cotton to complete this DD3's wedding project ......
and more wool for this Xmas project for DD2 .........
but instead came upon this ........
and yes there is another colour in there, but I did leave out one of the silvers (which actually is showing a slight blue tinge in the photo).
My excitement was because the yarn was only $2.00. Most nice acrylic blends in Australia retail for $4.00. So that is why I got so very, very excited.
Now do you think 800g of yarn is enough to make a small ripple? :-) Or do I need more?????
Also for those who asked - I found 'Crochet Today' at Borders at Hornsby, it is not a place I normally look for my magazines. The local newsagents had not got copies yet.
Now its another lovely day to practice my rippling as it is cool and overcast - perfect.
Bye for now

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Oh my

Hi everyone

Mrs Twins sent me instructions for her ripple which was written by her friend Brenda. If you view Mrs Twins blog you might just happen to notice that she has a few ripple blankets (read that as a lot). I wanted to try someone else's instructions after not feeling so pleased with my Green Baby Ripple. So I grabbed some yarn (very old acrylic - yuk) from a bag that my MIL gave me to give it a go.

See Mrs Twins & Brenda it worked - I did it - just my starting chains are too, too, too tight (any advice with this would be very much appreciated).

It is very easy once I got started ......

and then I went to the shops to pick up some food for home and have a quick peek in a few shops for some specific Xmas presents that my DD3 & us were looking for and

oh dear!!!!!
what happened ......
I found something else ????????
which insisted on coming home with me, even if .....

its not wool ..... it is a combination 55% acrylic & 45% cotton. Not overly soft like the Luxury yarn, but way soft enough for me. And the colours are what I was looking for. They did have a dark, warmish blue - should I have added that too????? Looks like I needed something nicer than the old acrylic to practise a ripple with.

Can I also please get some advice from the ripplers as to how many stitches I should start with for a smallish blanket?

And then I found this .........

I'm sure Mrs Twins would like to attempt this ........ although the ones she has already stitched are so very, very nice

and her skirts are so much prettier than this one, but maybe its one I will attempt (don't feel like stitching!) and the pleating reminds me of her latest plays with her ripple blanket

Xmas is one its way!!!!!
Bye for now

Monday, 26 October 2009

Next ....

Hi everyone
Well no-one had a guess as to what the this was going to become. I did finish it the same day, but forgot to blog about it. So here it is ....... now please sssshhhhhh ......... of course its a secret ...

Hope you can work out what it is, not sure with the photo - its a Santa washcloth.

Now this is what I did Friday, I decided to do a test run with these .......
and used a recipe from the good old "Commonsense Cookery book - Basic biscuit recipe" and added a few choc bits and this is what they became ......

Now the photo was taken immediately they had cooled
- before anyone was at home
- cause by that night
- there was nothing left to take a photo of!!!!
And there was only 3 of us - ooppss. Well it was a test run, so now I know the recipe is well liked. Next time I will play with icing etc.

Now on to the next project. This one is for DD2 and is a BIG secret. She stills thinks I am not making it for her. Lovely Xmas colours, but for her they are the colours of her favourite NRL football team - South Sydney Rabbitohs. The black sort of ties it in with her partners favourite team - Penrith Panthers. So it will be a joint Xmas present for them.
I have discovered my eyes do not like dark colours. The black has become very hard for me to see stitch definition, so will probably start avoiding it from now on

We went and watched "Julie/Julia" yesterday with DH and loved it. Did not expect it to be as funny as it was. Loved the '50's fashion, especially for the women, developing from suits and skirts to the more relaxed trousers. The shoes were gorgeous!!!! Could not help noticing as she was so tall
Its raining fairly solidly here today, so a great day for sitting back and getting on with the projects running at the moment. mmmmmmmm ....... that might mean ordering for wool. Oh well!!
Have a great day - bye for now

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

It's done!!!!!

Hi everyone

Well its time ..... the wool arrived ........ and I have worked for hours and hours on the last 6 rows. And I do mean that literally!!!!! Really had to hurry and do the hours as it has been getting hotter n hotter and the blanket is so very, very warm and heavy!!!

Now for some background. My first requirement was that the wool had to be Australian. We have the finest merino and yet it is difficult to get our own wool in Australia as most is exported (then re-imported). It had to be affordable, wool has become so very expensive. And yes I am a yarn snob. I don't like working with acrylic and this blanket was to be special (oh what did I start!!!). And I wanted a Rainbow Blanket, a couple of other colours snuck in too!!

Here is a glimpse of it folded .......

And here is most of it on display on the lounge - it extends over the back of the lounge

And on my Queen size bed .........

Details -

Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply Merino Wool worked with a 5mm hook.

Colours - Sunrise, Orange, Citrus,Delphinium (Blue), Lavender, Purple Storm, Baby Blossom (Pink), Leaf & Forest

Total yarn - 1 ball (200g) of each colour + a little of 3 colours, so approx. 1.8kg
Measurement - approx 1.4m x 1.4m
Pattern - 9 Hex's wide, 9 Hex's long and then 2 rows of each colour around the outside (18 rows)

I am so happy with it and it does look like a rainbow with the edging which ripples slightly

Bye for now

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Hi everyone
Just a quick message. Salihan Crafts is having a give-away!!! and the yarn is ........ Malabrigo. Now I would really like to win the Silky Merino, but I think you should have a chance to. So pop on over here and enter.

Bye for now

Monday, 19 October 2009

Rainbow scraps

Hi everyone
While I am waiting for my extra wool to turn up to finish off my Hex Blanket I was wondering what to do with the remains below ......... So to keep myself amused/busy/interested I started this .......

from the pattern here

Friday, 16 October 2009

Lime Green became ........

Hi everyone
Well, no guesses, but you can see what the knitting became - a Green Tree Frog Washcloth!!! The pattern is here. This is a quick, fun knit - maybe an idea for stocking fillers.

Now what could this be ......??????

I think it is also about time I explained the title of my blog. Firstly it is the country where I am from (well the abbreviated word for it) and love.

I am a dark-haired, olive skinned person. My name is Maria. So when people meet me for the first time they automatically think I am Italian. I have spent many years denying this to heaps and heaps of people.

I have always been a proud Australian. Love my country!!! Find certain qualities heart-tweaking such as certain trees, scenes, animals etc.

Over the last 10 years or so I have researched my family tree and guess what?????

Nope - no Italians. I am actually a 7th Generation Australian. My origins are a mix of Irish, Welsh, English, German and Latvian/Russian. And as Jack Thompson said, I am "Australian Royalty" in the fact that I have convict ancestors!!! Love that fact!!!!

Can't match DH who is descended from 3 First Fleeters and is 9th Generation Australian. His family all started procreating very, very young :-)

Have a great weekend and good luck with guessing

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Lime Green

Hi everyone
Started this last night as I decided to try something that is new to me. Had the right colour yarn, the pattern is of something I do love (think it might be their colour) and I wanted a quickie, as I am thinking of gifting small Xmas presents.

Can you guess what it might be? There are clues in the photo ;-)

And for those who asked - the blanket is not for anyone in particular, just something I wanted to try. So I will store it away for the next baby that turns up.

Bye for now

Before you go, pop on over here cause The Garden Bell is having a give-away!!!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Ripple green baby cot blanket

Ripple green, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

Hi everyone

I have been working on this for a little while, trying new techniques. I am a self-taught crocheter and I worked this by going through the front loop and working dc/sc.

I do not like crocheting this way!!!! I was never able to let it flow, it was hard work for me. Never again will I do something this way. It means that I did not enjoy making the blanket.

The yarn also had something to do with not liking it. I bought the green from ebay, it is either a 3 or 4ply doubled, lots of knots and splits. The white is BWM 8ply cotton - yummy and soft. Will definitely be using that again, actually I am using the cotton for my DD3's flowergirls. I worked it with a 4mm hook.

It is also not wide enough for me, but I could not find a way to get around that. So I finally gave up and worked 3 rows of dc/sc down the edge to finish it off as the whole thing was starting to annoy me. It measures 80cm (31-1/2in) x 50cm (20in).

Wish I could find the love that other bloggers do for this type of blanket, so I may have to try again - doing it my way (tr/dc) and larger hook.

On the DH health front, he has completed his first chemo cycle and is doing very, very well - yeah!!! Only 7 to go now :-)

Bye for now

Friday, 9 October 2009


Hi everyone
Last night I got to thinking before falling asleep - now that is dangerous for me, especially if it is something I am trying to work out. And last night it was colour!!!!

All through our winter I was craving, needing, wanting rainbow colours - Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Lavender & Purple and thus my rainbow Hex blanket started. Unfortunately I ran out of Yellow one row short, which leads to the possibility of Red & Orange going the same way, so will have to wait while I order the wool online from here.

So my mind is wandering - I have started my DD2's Rabbitohs blanket (which even better is Xmas colours!!!!!)

Now a lot of people love colour in cold, dull winters - so I am "normal".

But last night .........

The colours racing through my head were inspired by this and this.

So yes, I now feel the need for ....

deep, liquid Shiraz red
soft, pumpkin orange
liquid gold
dark, forest green
and lovely, chocolate, yummy brown

Am I in the wrong hemisphere ??????

The colours are autumn colours!!!!!! And I am going very shortly into summer.

Now I am NEVER, EVER, EVER ahead of fashion, trends etc. So then that means I must be a season out on the other side of the world!!!! :-))))))

And some of my most favourite flowers also match this - daffodils (which I have never managed to grow too well as the weather is always too warm) and tulips - I love them!!! Need to get to the Bowral Tulip festival or even better Tasmania.

Lucky DH found me some to watch open :-)
Bye for now

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Hi everyone
Look at the prettiness that came home with me on the weekend. No fancy plant, not even an Australian native. Just a humble pelargonium. But oh so pretty and so easy to take care of.
Then look what the mailman delivered today from The Yarn Cafe. It is Australian Organic Merino Wool 8ply/DK in the shade of Violet. It is so lovely and so soft. Can't wait to knit with it, but what????

Here is a close-up. The camera does not like doing that and goes slightly off focus, but you can see the colours.I really should admit - I am a Yarn Snob. I just find it too, far toooooooo difficult to knit/crochet with acrylics. And I was given 2 huge bags of acrylic yarn which I have been using for Charity Knits.
Thank goodness I can use the lovely soft merino (or cotton) for my projects.
Bye for now

Friday, 2 October 2009

Me & Xmas

Hi everyone
Firstly - I was one of those people who adamantly insisted on writing Christmas as such and not as Xmas. Then via the power of the web I discovered that XP was the old symbols for Christ. So in other words I am still saying "Christmas" when I write "Xmas". See here for more info if your interested.
I now have permanently adopted the word Xmas and celebrate with it.

We (DH & I) have always loved Xmas and love celebrating the time with the old basics - sharing, family, caring and the good old Xmas spirit. Slowly over the years (only about 8 or so) we have collected quite a few ornaments, moving figurines etc. We set up a display in the front room of our previous house filled with them (we don't seem to have taken photos, but I will continue looking). The children, young and old, loved coming around to see how we had set up our display and what was new. We had a constant turn-around of setting some of them into action. I loved their faces, young and old, they all seemed to be sharing the spirit. And our street, which was a cul-de-sac, would have the street Xmas party here and the display would be on ALL night.

Well, to cut a long story short - I/We lost the spirit last year and did not put a single decoration up!!! Very, very, sad. No spirit, no will to get into the spirit. Very bah, hum-bug!!!!

Well, this year I am determined to find some of that spirit and have been keeping my eyes open for new ideas. So when I say these ..... well, what could I do, but take them home!!! Especially as one of the cookie cutters is my favourite animal - penguins (especially the little fairy penguins) so here is hoping that our Xmas spirit returns this year with a vengeance
Bye for now

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Hi everyone
I have been busy, even if the blogs are not numerous. I have made 8 of these and posted them off.

In the good old days, I was a one project person (except when I had to make two or three of everything for my DD's). But now I seem to be restless and like to move between projects, although I do have one major one at a time, which must be finished first, then either smaller ones, or the next major one - like here

This is the start of the next major project. I won't identify it as it will be a gift. There are still 2 colours missing though - black & white

And here are 2 projects lying together - the top one is the start of 1 of 2 I need to make for DD3's wedding for her flower girls and just peeping through underneath is the ripple blanket which somehow got waylaid. I need to work out how I want to finish it off as I don't like the straight side edgings of it and want it a little bit wider, but ideas are there

And my major project - the Hex blanket. Working around the edgings now. To go around it once takes me 1-1/2 hours!!!!! 10 rows to go!! Bye for now