Saturday Musing – Day 26 NaBloPoMo

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kunanyi/Mt Wellington late this afternoon

It was a strange day, but typical of Hobart in the spring.

Chilly westerly wind, and dark clouds off kunanyi/Mt Wellington, making Hobart look very gothic. One moment rain. Then sunshine and a reminder that summer is officially less than a week away.

My mood was equally odd and quite gloomy, I felt decidedly unsettled.

After running around chasing my tail most of the day I settled to doing some more to the shopping bag I started yesterday. I find repetitive tasks like this calming. Amazed, I realised I’ve nearly finished it!

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I got to the end of the netting section and discovered that I wasn’t going to have enough of the main colour to finish, so found a skein of  cream for the top band and handles. I’m very pleased with it but the real test will be when I take it to the shops and fill it with groceries!

Finally, when I went to the evening feed tonight, I decided to pick a few sprigs of lavender from my newish Munstead. I’ve got two bushes, both less than a year old, one in the ground and one in a tub, and they’re doing very well. Lavender is a wonderful herb, I love the scent and using it in sachets as well as desserts. I recall my mother used to keep a fresh sprig in her pocket to take out and sniff occasionally when she had a headache or was feeling out of sorts. She always said it cleared her head.

But tonight, I just wanted to enjoy having a little pot of it in the kitchen, to smell, enjoy and clear my mind  ❤

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The Joy of Making – Day 25 NaBloPoMo

Super quick post today, as I’m about to go out for dinner and board games at my friend Karen’s place 😀

First of all, happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends. In countries like Australia and the US, we have much to be grateful for but I (like so many people outside of the US) are deeply concerned about the new regime that will come into power in the new year. I only hope that in four year’s time we will still have as much to be grateful for!

As the holiday season is only a month away, I’m making presents!

A couple of years ago, I got sick of washing my dishes with cloths that are really just softened plastic. So I started making my own knitted cotton ones from new and salvaged thread.

I’m particularly fond of purple and I paired this purchased 3 ply with a fine white cotton I found at the local Tip Shop to make a fairly chunky cloth that can be put through the washing machine and reused until it starts to fray. Then it can go in the compost and become worm food!

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The pattern couldn’t be simpler. My mother taught me this when I was very little. Every row is plain (there’s no purl rows) and I use whatever size needles take my fancy:

Row 1: Cast on 2 stitches.

Row 2: Knit 1, bring the yarn forward and k 1. (Bringing the yarn forward or to the front of the work means you makes a stitch when the yarn loops over the needle to knit the next stitch).

Row 3: Knit 2 bring yarn forward and k 1.

Row 4: Knit 2 bring yarn forward and k to end.

Continue in this manner, increasing 1 stitch every row until you have a decent sized triangle of cloth – about 50 rows is good for an 8 ply cotton. The selvedge will have an eyelet effect from bringing the yarn forward for that one stitch at the beginning of every row. This eyelet is continued with the reducing rows too.

Reducing Rows:

Knit 1, knit 2 together, bring yarn forward, knit 2 together and knit to the end of the row.

Continue in this fashion (reducing a stitch) until you get down to the last 2 stitches. Knit them together and make some chain at the end to make a loop to hang off a tap or hook in the kitchen.

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Too easy! I can make one in a night – if I don’t get distracted with other things!

Today I bought 2 balls of vibrant red 3 ply cotton to pair with the rest of the white cotton. I’m going to make four or five of these in red and white for a friend who’s just refurbished her kitchen and bought some rather dashing red chairs. I know she’ll appreciate something handmade ❤

And I splurged and got a couple of balls of 8 ply cotton to make a shopping bag. This pattern came via a friend of mine who’s always on the look out for new and interesting ways to use yarn and fabric.

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This crocheted cotton bag is a present for me! If it turns out well, I might make a couple more for friends. When I was kid, we had old fashioned netting string bags that my father showed me how to make with twine. I’m really tempted to get a netting needle and go for it!

Anyway, must dash! See you all tomorrow ❤