Monday, May 28, 2012

Feeling a bit poo

Aaah. Life.
The ups and downs.
I thrive on the ups. Don't manage so well on the downs though.
Things have been a bit tough for me lately and I am struggling.

Don't get me wrong, life is good, great even.
It's just a rough patch.
A bump in the road.
She'll be right.

I get a bit emotional though and take things to heart.
I get teary at the drop of a hat!
My husband tells me I'm emotionally retarded.
I bottle things up and can't talk about them.

Work has been consuming me.
Quality time at home is more important than ever to me right now.

I'm trying to focus on the good and the great and the wonderful.
My kids. My husband. My home.

So we've been hanging out, keeping warm, watching movies.
And I've been re-arranging, and cosying up our home with some new and old pieces.
 I find these simple things so therapeautic.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, things really aren't that bad.
In fact I really shouldn't complain at all.

Consider this post not complaining, just venting!

Everything will be back to awesome very soon.
 It will.
Do you ever have times like this?
How do you get through it?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Circle in a square granny

This pattern is the first one I ever learnt.
It is not the easiest of granny squares, nor is it the hardest. I should have started with something more basic, but I saw a blanket like this and wanted it straight away!
I'm impatient like that.
Looking back, if I'd learnt the basic granny first, I would have been able to get through this blanket quicker.
I used a 4mm hook for this square.

Ch 4, join with sl st.
~Round 1~
Ch 3. Tr 11 into ring. Sl st into top of 1st tr.
~Round 2~
Into first space, 2st tr cluster (yo, insert hook into space, yo, pull back through space, 3 loops on hook. Yo, pull through 2 loops on hook. Yo, insert hook through same space, yo, pull back through space, 4 loops on hook. Yo, pull through 2 loops on hook, yo, pull through remaining 3 loops on hook). Ch 1.
Repeat 2st tr cluster, ch 1 in each space.
Join with a sl st.
~Round 3~
Ch 3, 2 tr into first space. Ch 1.
3 tr, ch 1 into each space.
Join with a sl st.
~Round 4~
Ch 3, 2 tr into first space. Ch 2. 3 tr into same space, ch 1. This is your first corner.
*3 tr, ch 1 into next 2 spaces.
In next space, 3 tr, ch 2, 3 tr. Ch 1*
Continue *to* until round is complete.
Join with a sl st.

This is your square finished!
This is a lovely looking granny square, and when they're all joined together it is a great looking blanket or cushion!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful Mum.
She's the best.

And Happy Mother's Day to all the ace Mum's out there!
Hope you're all getting spoilt rotten!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ready for a shindig

It's been a little while since I've been to a gig.
I'm super excited that my next one is only 2 weeks away, and I'll be seeing this lovely lady!

I think she's gonna be so awesome live!
She has such a great voice, and her songs really get you moving.
Check her out here and here.
I especially love this song she did with Clare Bowditch
And we'll also get to see these young lads while we're at it.
Totally loving their song 'Lay it down'

Have you been to any good gigs lately?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A zillion things

On cold, drizzly days like today, I look around my backyard and feel depressed.
There is so much I need to do.
There's lawns to be mowed, weeds to be pulled, garden beds to be made and plants to be planted.
I'm desperate for a vegie patch.

We moved into out home 3 and a half years ago, and it was a mess. We started making changes straight away, with the inside as well as the outside of the house.

On days like today, I need to look back and see how much we have done, how far we've gotten. Not just focus on the things not yet done.
It will take time, and a lot of money. But we're not in a hurry to go anywhere.
I need to be patient.

Our house was pretty dated when we moved in. A quick coat of paint and a tiled wall in the kitchen has changed the look a lot.
So far the interior has all been cosmetic- the big changes will be happening in the next few years.

 Have you renovated a house before?
Do you have a to-do list a million miles long like me?
Do you forget to look back at how far you've come, instead getting carried away with the still-to-be-done? 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Under pressure

Love the song.
Hate the pressure.
Tonight I am feeling the pressure.
The pressure to keep everyone happy. To keep everything ok. 
I am feeling like an enormous failure. Because I can't keep everyone happy. Because I can't make everything ok. Because things I'm doing are causing stress to others. Because I feel like it's out of my control.

I have worked hard to get where I am. But it doesn't help. I feel like I'm always a step behind where I need to be. I make plans to make things run better, smoother, more efficiently. Then fate steps in with a different plan. Certain things are bigger than me, I can't control it all.

I don't want to let people down. But I am.

My business needs more from me.
My family needs more from me.
My home needs more from me.
Hell, even my blog needs more from me!

I have no more to give! How do I balance it all, and make it work??

As I write this, I see giant cobwebs hanging from my kitchen ceiling, taunting me.
'You can't even keep your home clean, let alone run a business as well!'
Those bastard cobwebs.

I need to remind myself that this will pass. Take a deep breath and be calm.
Everyone will be fine, given a bit of time.

{I am not writing this for attention, or sympathy. You needn't be worried.  I just find it hard to say these things out loud sometimes. I am a massive sook and words get lost in tears!}

Friday, May 4, 2012

Get your Granny on

Stop. Granny time.

Today's the day we get to see what kind of a teacher I am.

I've never been one to teach. I feel like I don't do things 'by the book' enough. If I don't like the way something is supposed to be done, I'll change it to my way.

But I don't want you picking up my bad habits. For the things I don't do 'right', I will send you to a page where they will show you how. You can make your own bad habits!

So today is the day to learn the simple granny square. If you havn't picked up a crochet hook before, pop over here to learn the basic stitches.

{please excuse the poor quality phone photos - my camera has been less than co-operative}
This is the most basic of granny squares, but end result can be gorgeous. The colour combinations are only limited by your imagination. They even look great as one block colour.
I love this one below, it's such a happy blanket!
I am using a 4mm hook for this granny. I find that size makes a really nice, neat square.
-Make a slip knot onto your hook (1.)
-Chain (Ch) 4 (2.)
-Join with a slip stitch into your first chain (3.)

 ~Round One~
-Ch 2(4.) This counts as your first treble (tr). Tr 2 into the centre of the ring, ch1.(5.)
-*Tr 3 into the centre of the ring, ch1*
-Repeat from *to* 2 times. You will now have 4 groups of 3 trebles, with 1 chain in between (6.) 
-Join with a slip stitch into the top of your 1st treble (7.)

You have now completed your first round!

~Round 2~
If you're going to change colours, do it now.
-Join new colour in a chain space. Chain 2(9.)
-Tr 2 into same space, chain 2.
-Tr 3 into same space again. This will be your first corner(10.) Ch 1.
-*Tr 3 into next space, ch 2, tr 3 into same space. Ch 1.*
-Repeat from *to* into 2 remaining spaces. Join to first treble with a slip stitch (11.)

~Round 3~
Change colours.
-Join new colour in a chain space. Ch 2
-Tr 2 into same space, ch 2.
-Tr 3 into same space again, Ch 1.
-*Tr 3 into next space, ch 1 (12.)
--Tr 3 into next space, ch 2, tr 3 into same space. Ch 1.*
Repeat from *to* until you have finished all spaces.
Join with a slip stitch (13.)
~Round 4~

Change colours.
-Join new colour in a chain space. Chain 2
-Tr 2 into same space, chain 2.
-Tr 3 into same space again, Ch 1.
-*Tr 3 into next space, ch 1.
-Tr 3 into next space, ch 1.
--Tr 3 into next space, ch 2, tr 3 into same space. Ch 1.*
Repeat from *to* until you have finished all spaces.
Join with a slip stitch. (15.)

Can you see the pattern here?
Once you know the basic pattern of the trebles and spaces, you can make it as big or small as you like.

Once you have your granny square to the size you want you can weave in your ends. Or you can wait til you've finished them all, but it's a sucky job, so I prefer to do it as I go so that it's done.
Pop over here to see how to do that properly.
Hopefully this tutorial is easy to follow!
Let me know if you have any trouble at all.
More tutorials to come:
Granny chevron
Circle to square granny
Hexagon granny
Crochet cider cosy

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crochet for rad chicks!

So you want to learn how to crochet?
Well, ok! I'll do my best to help you.
That's right. You can be rad and crochet, much to the disbelief of my husband!

Before I start showing you some crochet patterns, you need to learn to basics. I'm going to assume you have never picked up a crochet hook before and have no idea where to start, so if you are familiar with the basic stitches you can come back when the fun starts!

I learnt all I know from watching tutorials on youtube. Some were great, others quite confusing. I think that while learning how to do the stitches it's easier to comprehend it by watching someone do it rather than look at step-by-step photos. Once you know the basic stitches we will move onto photos, but for this part, video is best.
Now I don't have the time (or the voice!) to make a video tutorial myself, so I have watched though quite a few to find the best for you to understand and hopefully you'll be crocheting in no time!

Before you sit down and watch the tutorial, make sure you have some 8ply yarn (just get some cheap stuff to start with) and a 4mm hook. It's a medium sized hook easy to start with. By having your tools ready you will be able to follow what is happening on the video as they do it.

One very important thing to know before you start is this: there is 2 different sets of crochet terms. There's UK and US terms. Usually here in Australia we use the UK terms, so if you see an american pattern you will need to convert it. It's easy, here's the chart:
This video is great for the absolute beginner. Mikey takes you through each step slowly and explains things as he goes. I'll warn you- this is quite a long video, but it is well worth it as he explains things such as how to hold the wool and hook so that you don't loose your cool and chuck it across the room.
I think by learning these little things straight away, it can save a lot of frustration.

Remember, this guy is American, so when he says 'double crochet', it's a 'treble' to us.

Are you still with me?

Take it away Mikey!
So I want you to practice these basic stitches for a day or 2, then when you feel confident with that you can move onto a granny square, the pattern of which I will be posting in the next couple of days. Yay!

{If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!}

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sofa love

I think I'm in love with this sofa.

I can just see it in my lounge, with my yet to be finished crochet blanket draped over it.

You will be mine. Oh yes, you will be mine.
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