Posts Tagged ‘knitting lace’

Last year was a very poor year for mangoes. The rain came at the wrong time and we didn’t get a single mango off the tree (there were a few on the tree, but they got picked by people other than us before we could get to them). This year we have so many mangoes we are giving them away.

The black is from the sap and they are perfectly fine inside.

I did not grow up in the tropics, so I was really surprised to see that mangoes grew on really long stems like this.

I always thought they grew closer to the branch like apples…

It’s not just people who are enjoying the mangoes. The flying foxes leave evidence of their visits as well.

Unfortunately, I have confirmed that my severe allergic reaction last year was related to being in contact with the mango tree. I’ve been really careful, Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl have done all the picking, and Gorgeous Man has dealt with all the peeling of the mangoes because I was being careful to avoid the sap. But it would seem that eating them causes a reaction as well. I woke up this morning with tiny  blisters on my lips and looking like I’ve had a collagen injection and a few hives here and there. So no more mangoes for me.

We’ve frozen a lot for Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl to enjoy once mango season is over.

One thing I wanted to do when we found out we were moving to Papua New Guinea was grow orchids. We’ve amassed quite a collection in the last 20 months.

This one is flowering at the moment.

I really like the curly petals.

I finished this shawl ages ago, but have delayed photographing it. I think one reason is because I’m so disappointed with it. I spun the yarn, got gauge, and followed the pattern, but it turned out tiny.

It’s Gorgeous Girl sized, and then only for a little while. :(

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I finished two pieces of knitting recently. They are currently sitting on  a shelf waiting to be put into a ziplock bag and packed away for when we are in a colder place…

Firstly a linen stitch scarf from two balls of left over sock yarn. I love how this turned out. I keep eyeing the stash to see what other combinations I can put together.

Secondly, I finished a beaded silk cowl from handspun yarn. This was also left over from another project. It seems I’m all about using up the scraps at the moment.

I had the urge to sew this weekend. I added another two borders to the Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt. No photos. My design floor is currently occupied with train tracks… and then because I didn’t want to do the maths required to add another border I played with some scraps.

Here’s the scrap block before trimming.

It looks like a bit of a dog’s breakfast. There’s some left over fabric from my quilt in there, some scraps Kate sent me a while ago, some Saffron Craig fabric I found in an Op Shop (thrift store) and some fabric that I received from retiring quilters. I don’t foundation piece these. I just have a template next to my sewing machine that I measure against – it’s slightly larger than the size I trim to.

Then the block is trimmed.

And at some point they will be sewn together.

I find it amazing how well such a random selection of fabrics go together. I have piles of fabric set up and take the first one that fits in the space. The only proviso is that I don’t use the same fabric twice in a block.

I also made some cards, but sealed up the envelopes before I remembered to take a picture. I’m a bad blogger.

In other news we finally got insurance approval last week (for the car accident I had on the 14th of May). Our next door neighbour actually used photos of our car at a presentation he was giving at a conference on insurance in developing nations. We were his example of bad practice since it had taken so long to be processed. Anyway, we dropped the car off this morning to be repaired. Hopefully it won’t take too long to get done.

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I finished this little hat last night. I think it’s ridiculously cute.

The green is a little bit brighter in real life – late afternoon sun washed the colour out a little.

Green is more accurate here. I’m very proud of myself that the tension is even where I had to carry the yarn along the back and that you can’t see it from the right side of the work.

But the pink is off. Don’t you just love the little leaves. I can see a few more of these in my future. It only used 18 grams of the pink yarn and even less of the green, so it’s a great scrap buster.

I have tentatively earmarked this for someone I know. If they have a girl it will go their way, if not then I’ll donate it to charity.

I finally got seascape stole blocked, and only lost 2 pins which went rusty while the blocking was done.

I need a better blocking system. The edges are very wavy.

Yarn is handspun by me. 80% merino and 20% silk. Of course it’s far to hot to wear it here. I’ll throw it in my bag and hope for cool weather when I visit Perth in September.


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It’s Tour de Fleece time over at Ravelry (for non-spinners/knitters this is a spin-along that mirrors the Tour de France). I missed the first two weeks due to being away, but I’m making up for lost time now.

This is merino dyed by me way back when I first started spinning. I’ve finished spinning all of the fibre and have decided to leave it as a single, so it just needs to be washed and set.

On the subject of yarn, recently some lovely cotton (not spun or dyed by me) was turned into this.

Another view.

Pattern is Modern Mermaid. The yarn is Vinnis Colours Nikkim.

Before we left for Australia I sat down and made some cards. Here are some that I’m particularly pleased with.

I love how this turned out and it’s made from scraps. The brown came from my friend Kerin and is left over from my Zambia mini-album, the flower decoration came from SMIL and the green is the last remnant of a very old piece of paper. Tag is hand crafted from a tiny scrap I had in the scrapbox. I love it when things come together.

A fair while ago my friend Kerin spent some time punching circles from her scraps for me. She gave me a vast array of patterns and sizes when I visited her and I’ve been slowly using them up.

Card number one.

Circles and hand-drawn elements. Then I took it a step further

and added some hand drawn petals for the second card.

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First, let me show my fabulous new project bag.

It’s fully reversible and able to hold all three of my current knitting works in progress. This was a gift from Jody when I met up with her in the US a few months ago. She made it herself! I love it and carry it around the house with me for no apparent reason…

This WIP is a garter yoke cardigan.

If I was to make this again, I’d do left and right leaning M1s, but I’m a bit funny like that. I’m up to the point where I need to divide for the sleeves.

Next project is a simple lace scarf. I love it when I can memorise the stitch pattern. One of my friends need a hug, so I’m knitting them one because I am too far away for a real one.

This one is in cotton. It’s unblocked, so looks a bit skinny. I’m planning on crocheting around the edges a few times so that the recipient doesn’t have to worry too much about blocking it when they wash it.

Speaking of works in progress, I was planning on showing you the giant pile of books on my desk (and on the floor next to my bed) that I need to read, but that was too depressing…

I’m hoping to spend some quality time with my sewing machine tonight, if my foot cooperates. Yesterday it was too sore to manage, but today seems a bit better. I’ve been having a good run with the foot lately, just need to keep remembering not to overdo things.

We will be heading to Cairns for our mid-year leave in a few weeks. We think we have found the perfect holiday accommodation, please cross your fingers for us that they have a vacancy.

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Even though Gorgeous Man has been away since Friday for work, I did manage to sneak in a little bit of sewing. These place mats are so quick and easy to make. Again I’m ignoring my internal OCD which is telling me that they are printed off the straight-of-grain.

Two different backing fabrics as I didn’t have enough of just one. This time around, in order to stablise the batting a little more, I did a line of stitching around the inner picture. This was in addition to the top stitching I did around the edges of the last one,

which you can sort of see in this picture. The African Hoopoe was one of my favourite birds while we were living in South Africa, it was really lovely to see them in the front yard on occasion. These are the first set of Christmas gifts I’ve finished for the year. We won’t be arriving in Australia for Christmas until just a few days before, since (apart from exceptionally good local produced chocolate) there isn’t much to buy here in PNG (aside from touristy items) I’m hoping to make most of our gifts again this year. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m slowly chugging away on some lace using some handspun.

Of course unblocked pictures of lace do not show off the full extent of its glory. Pattern details can be found here.

Gorgeous Man gets home late this evening. Gorgeous Girl has been promised that she can stay up to see him when he gets home (because he is arriving after dark I am not doing the airport pick-up). We’ll both be glad to see him home.

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We’ve been busy doing all the things that need to be done. I’ve had my more treatment on my foot, a broken filling repaired and a new small cavity fixed…

I have managed to sneak in a bit of knitting. I seriously lost my mojo on this piece, especially after having a brain freeze and missing two of the lace rows. Blocking will have to wait until I’m reunited with my blocking pins. In the end I just cast off and called it done.

It’s a beaded lace cowl. I’m a bit disappointed with the yarn. It was so soft in the ball, but feels a bit scratchy on. Still it will keep me warm when I visit colder climates.

Today I’ve scheduled a reading day. Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl are out for the day and I’m trying to get some books read before I have to take them back to the university library.

I’ve also managed to finish a cardigan for charity while driving in the car, but it needs the ends woven in and a photo session.

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I’m back in PNG after a week in Australia. Two orthopedic surgeon visits, an MRI and an injection later I’m able to mostly walk without pain and am hopeful that things can only improve.  I may need another injection in 6 weeks time, but we won’t know that for about 4 weeks. I’ve been instructed to take things very easy for a week (to let the pain be my guide) and to avoid anything strenuous for a month.

The staff on the plane going over were most concerned about the cane and the hobbling and provided me with a cushion and a blanket. Since I was wearing summer clothes and the air conditioning was freezing I appreciated the blanket.

I had three seats to myself and put my foot up and got on with some English paper piecing.

I made a thank you scarf out of some handspun silk for the friend I stayed with in Brisbane. It was hard to give this one away…

It is straight really.

There was beautiful colour variation in this yarn.

As usual there were lots of books to pick up from my long-suffering sister-in-law who acts as our post box while we are away. There was also some beautiful fibre for me to spin.

This is my first yarn/fibre purchase for the year (I’m on a self-imposed stash down) and makes up part of allowable purchases as part of my spin up two lots buy one lot scheme.

This is wensleydale fibre. My first time to spin this fibre. The test sample I did last night doesn’t have much bounce to it, though it isn’t as scratchy as I was expecting. I’ll try spinning from the fold today and see how that turns out. Any advice on spinning this fibre is most welcome!

I also knitted three charity beanies while I was away. I had a fair bit of down time waiting for appointments and stuff, they aren’t very exciting though.

Today my mum arrives for a visit for a few weeks so I’m not sure how much crafting I’ll get done. Now that I can stand without pain I’m very keen to cut the fabric for a quilt for my brother and his partner. I’ve had the fabric waiting for a while, but have been unable to get it cut.


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Another scarf finish. This is Diagonale. The pattern is for a stole, but since I only had a small amount of yarn I limited the number of repeats and made a scarf. The yarn is handspun seasilk. (The fibre is made from seaweed).

A close up.

My limited photography skills don’t really show up all the lovely colour variations in the yarn. I’m hoping it will still be cool enough to wear this when I head to Australia late next week.

Finally, if you leave a coconut long enough this happens.

There are two  that are sprouting. We’ll find a suitable place in the yard and plant them and watch them grow.

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A little while ago I finished and blocked this shawl.

This picture shows the stitches better.

I also broke out the crochet hook and did an 8 inch square for charity.

Nice way to get rid of some stash yarn. I’ll post it when I’m in Australia next. Hopefully that won’t be  too long.

I’ve been having some problem with my right foot.  I acquired a cane to help me get around this week. Anyway our insurance company has approved travel to Australia for treatment, so as soon as they have found a Dr who can see me on short notice I’ll be off.

In other news, there will probably be a lot less crafting going on as I have returned to university.  I’m going to be writing a 60 000 word thesis over the next few years. My field of interest is the Republican Period of China (1927 – 1949).

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