Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

We had a lovely, but hectic visit to Australia. Lots of running around getting things organised. I got new glasses, still learning to love them; sourced goodies for the goodie bags for Kidlet’s birthday party in October; picked up birthday presents for Gorgeous Man (a bit later in the year) and caught up with friends and family.

There are a few finished objects and some fibre and yarn acquisitions to show you. First something I took right down to the wire. I knitted this scarf last year and then got stalled when it came to blocking. In my defense it was rainy season when I finished it and I knew it would have problems drying. I finally got it blocked and dried the day before we left so that I could gift it while we were in Australia.


It blocked out really well. I love the look of it puddled on the couch.


This went to live with my sister-in-law Rockmelon Recycled who as a maker herself (both of my sils are makers) appreciates the handknits. To keep this in the family, this yarn was given to me by my step-mother-in-law. When I saw that the colour was almost identical to the hat I had already knitted Rochelle I knew I needed to make a scarf to match.

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A friend of mine is having a baby soon. I believe that babies should be welcomed with handmade goodies, so I decided to crochet a blanket. Since I didn’t have enough coordinating yarn in the stash and friend lives in a different country to me I sent her a link to the Knit Picks web site (they now deliver to Australia) and asked her to choose a few colours. That way I could be sure that what I made would fit in with items she already has for the baby. When we visited Australia at Christmas time I picked up my order of yarn, I used Knit Picks Shine Sport, and began.

This was worked on while flying to the USA and it covered my legs in the cold Maryland weather (I’d forgotten how nice it was to snuggle under blankets while working on them). I then finished it off when I got back to PNG and  finally, last week Gorgeous Man posted it to my friend when he was in Australia.

The pattern is Neat Ripple and the instructions were really clear and made the whole process very easy. This was my first time doing chevrons.


It was also my first time to do a crochet moss stitch border.

Neat ripple 1

Neat ripple 3

Colours are most accurate in the last photo. The mother-to-be has received the blanket and tells me that she is thrilled with it.

I really enjoyed making this pattern and working with the yarn. I suspect that I’ll be making a bigger version for myself one day (when/if we live in a cooler place).

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Last year Gorgeous Girl asked if I would make the birthday present for her best friend. We looked through Ravelry together and decided on the following patttern: Tiny Long-legged Cat.

I used yarn that Gorgeous Girl and I had dyed earlier in the year. This yarn was found in an opshop (thrift store) and was truly horrible to work with. Very rough and scratchy, at the completion of the project Gorgeous Girl was given the remaining yarn to play use as she saw fit (this has resulted in yarn mazes around the house and yard).

cat 2

According to Gorgeous Girl this cat with attitude was a big hit at the party.

cat 1

Gorgeous Girl’s friend has now relocated back to Australia, but the girls are keeping up with each other through weekly skype video calls. I’m so thankful for technology that allows the tyranny of distance to be defeated.




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The end of the year was, as previously mentioned, a bit frantic but I did want to make something personal to tuck into the gifts for Gorgeous Girl’s teachers this year. In the end I settled on making some crocheted bookmarks. This Radiant Rose bookmark was crocheted out of handspun. You can find the pattern here.


I hot glued the rose to a large paperclip.

The second bookmark I made was a bird. I really loved how this turned out, it was lots of fun. Pattern can be found here.


This was made from sock yarn scraps. Many moons ago I made Gorgeous Girl a cardigan from this yarn and there’s still yarn left over. She liked the bird so much she asked for one of her own. I don’t have a picture of that one though.

I like the bird so much that I think when I get back to Papua New Guinea I’m going to make myself one.

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I’m working on another blanket. Pattern is on Ravelry here.

randdbs baby

If you’re not a member of Ravelry, you can find it here.

I’ve adapted the pattern to join-as-you-go because I’m not a fan of sewing lots of squares together.

I’m really loving how this is coming together. Hopefully the recipient will like it just as much as I do. I’m a bit worried that I might need to buy more yarn for it as I changed my original plan…

I’m a self-taught crocheter and I’d really love to be able to take a class or three as I’m sure that there are things I’m doing wrong, or that there are things that I do which I could do better. Perhaps when we move to our next place there will be a local yarn store with classes. (One can dream right?)


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Gorgeous Girl was invited to a birthday party a while ago. We raided the fabric stash to make the gift. Fabric was bought in South Africa, so it’s at least five years old.


Eric Carle fabric.


Gifts weren’t opened at the party, so we have no idea if it was well received or not, but Gorgeous Girl and I liked it. It was actually hard to give this one away…

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In August I will have been blogging for 7 years. Over that time I’ve been blessed to meet people from all over the world and some of my blog readers have become true friends.

When we got back from Cairns there was a pile of post waiting for us in the mail room (all of our post gets sent to Gorgeous Man’s work). Three of the parcels were for me (the rest was magazines for Gorgeous Man and some books from Grandma for Gorgeous Girl, but I digress).

I’ve known Kate  as an online friend since I started blogging. Recently she had a destash/clean out of some of her paper crafting stash and thought of Gorgeous Girl and put together a little package for us, lots of odds and ends for Gorgeous Girl to use in her paper crafting. (This is appreciated more than you would know as crafting supplies are hard to come by here and I usually have to plan and purchase for a few months at a time when we visit Australia).

There was also a few goodies for me. I kept the maps and the text (I now have some french text to add to my pages – it will make a change from the Chinese history book I’m deconstructing!) She also included some fabric scraps. Most of these have gone straight into my strip bin to be added to my current strip quilt in process. Thank you Kate!

Recently I won a prize on Cathi’s lovely blog. I’ve been reading her blog since 2006 and we’ve become friends, though we also haven’t managed to meet in person yet. We decided to risk sending the prize to PNG and test the postal waters. Cathi, the package had been opened and resealed, but the contents seem to be intact. I can’t wait to find some time to play with these lovely things.

Doilies, wood veneers and perfect pearls! None of which I’ve had the opportunity of playing with before. Thank you so much. Cathi also quilts and so she also few in a few scraps of black and white fabric for me (I’m slowly collecting black and white prints for a scrappy log cabin quilt I have in mind) which was greatly appreciated.

Last, but not least, a new Ravelry friend recently sent me some camel fibre to try.

It went straight onto the wheel as my second Tour de Fleece spin.

It’s told me what it wants to be when it grows up, but I’m going to wait until it’s plied to see if I need to exercise the power of veto or not. Thank you so much Mazz. 

You all should totally check out her blog. She’s in Australia and does amazing things with dyes from native Australian plants.

I’m also in the process of test knitting a sheep for Yarn Miracle. Her designs are really well thought out. I think the big difference with Emily’s designs is that she makes use of directional increases and this produces a more professional look than many of the other patterns out there. This pattern is no exception. I’m hoping to get the head stuffed tonight and then move on to knitting the body. If you don’t for some inexplicable reason  knit Emily specialises in the placement of pre-knitted companion animals. 

This shameless plug helpful information is to make up for the fact that due to being unable to download the pattern while we were away I am two weeks behind the rest of the test knitters (ahem).

I have permission from the long-arm quilter to share the photos she took of my quilt. Guess you’ll be getting a blog post tomorrow as well. Don’t keel over from the shock of regular blogging! 😀

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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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The first order of the day was to open presents (in her lovely new Christmas dress). Gorgeous Girl is turning into a keen bird watcher thanks to Gorgeous Man’s influence and she was thrilled with this gift.

They will get lots of use when we travel to Brazil next month.

She was very impressed with this flying toy from Grandma.

There was a train – this will get packed into small boxes and taken back to Papua New Guinea with us, but in the meantime it is providing hours of fun to a little girl on holidays.

After opening the presents at home we headed up to Gorgeous Man’s sister’s place for brunch. Just a light breakfast of pancakes, hash browns and fruit: cherries, mangoes, water melon and peaches (all in season and lovely and fresh).

Then it was off to lunch with more extended family. After lunch we drove to the ferry.

We caught the ferry across to Coochiemudlo Island.

Our Gorgeous Girl loves water so she was thrilled to be able to swim.

Her cousins received inflatable boats for Christmas and these were a big hit.

It was a really lovely relaxing day.

I’ll leave you with my favourite picture of Gorgeous Girl for the day.

I hope you had a happy and joyous holiday season.

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I’m pretty sure that the intended recipient of this bag doesn’t read my blog, so it should be safe to show this here.


This used up every last bit of the owl fabric – I managed to cut one strip and some 3.5 inch squares for the scrap bins from the odd shaped leftovers. The spotty red lining was an off-cut off something – it had been trimmed with scissors, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was used for or when I acquired it…

I’m pleased with how this one turned out. Though I still have issues with the lining not sitting as well as it should. This is the last of these bags I’ll make for a while. Once we live in a less dusty house some may appear to help keep stuff in my sewing area corralled.

Next up on the sewing list is the artsy clutch and some orphan blocks which are going to be turned into coasters.

How is your Christmas sewing going?

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