Saturday, September 25, 2010

patchwork crochet blanket

I finished The Boy's blanket this morning... just in time for his birthday next week. It's big and man-sized that's for sure!

After an hour or so weaving in those dreaded wool ends I now feel free to begin another project (WOOT!). A sewing project which has been waiting for me for a few months. Looking forward to dusting the cobwebs off my machine!

Make sure you see Tiff's tutorial on how to join crochet squares as you go. If you're curious that is ;P

Friday, September 24, 2010

knitting and sushi

The cardigan is zipping along .... I think I'll look for a tiny cardy knit pattern for Clementine, my clothing deprived Blythe girl. My next knitted children's piece will definitely be using a higher ply wool and bigger needles - I wouldn't suggest anyone begin knitting clothes with 4 ply wool! Thanks Melissa, Lisa and Julia for sharing your knowledge and comments. It's nice to know someone out there is reading :)

aaaaand, tonight I made delicious sushi on a whim with teriyaki chicken, avocado, carrot, cucumber and the my favourite Japanese rice addition - furikake. It's a dry seasoning available in various savoury flavours which you normally add to onigiri or inside sushi prior to rolling. Yummo!

Thanks for your support with job hunting,it is much appreciated x

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ups and downs

Oh hello little blog, I have missed you. The Boy and I have been on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster and feel a bit rutt-esque (you get the picture...). I'm going to share, so you know why Ive been quite absent from blogging of late, and also because I find my posts being all about 'Creative Tracey' .... but there's more to me than that :)

Fabulous blue and green paint treatments in Old Quarter in New Delhi, 2006

You see, we're at a stage in our lives where we're starting to think about having a family (cluck! My heart melted whilst typing that word!) but we also have a strong urge to travel and live overseas for up to 12 months. We'd love to wake up every morning for a year and be somewhere different, learn something new each day, immerse ourselves in an unfamiliar culture and maybe learn a new language. 

Tie Dye in Rajasthan, India, 2006

So yes, second or third world is what we're imagining. We both have a desire to feel like we're making a difference to a less fortunate community who can also teach us something. I'd like to learn to live more minimally. We're both fairly scrupulous and I'm very proud of the thriftiness mum seems to have instilled in me... but I think that growing up and living in a Western country has some of us feeling as though we want more and need more to be happier. Although we do this well, I think there's room for us to do it better.....perhaps those in less fortunate countries have some answers for us?? 

Halong Bay, northern Vietnam 2008

So The Boy applied for a job in Cambodia and got it a few weeks ago and were extraordinarily elated, scared and of course super excited. We sat beaming on Cloud 9 for almost a week, however moments from accepting the job and emails to-and-fro the office we found out that we wouldn't be able to live together. So we're no longer going on that adventure, he is gutted as it would have been his perfect job and it has left us feeling a bit flat and pretty disappointed. 

Laotian hilltribe folk near Luang Namtha, 2009

So where to now? We have started looking for teaching jobs and we'll just have to hope that something jumps out at us. The quantity (ridiculous numbers!) of ESL teaching jobs that require a simple 100 hours of study and tend to employ those willing to teach as an English tutor after school hours to 'well off' students is crazy. With every Google search tens of thousands of websites invade my screen and it's not fun rummaging through to find which might or might not scam us.

The search continues. Wish us luck x

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Over the past few weeks I have been trying with all my might to learn a new craft, one which I never imagined I could experience even the teeniest degree of success. Mum and Nana used to knit my brother and I jumpers and vests, and Oma was a super knitter, knitting dolls clothes and jumpers for all the grandkids up until arthritis set in a few years ago. As for me, I tried knitting during uni, and recall getting told off during a lecture for not paying attention (which is silly, because I truly absorb spoken detail better when my hands are busy) but aside from making a bottle green scarf the knitting thing ended soon after. 

After watching multiple clever Brown Owl girls knit adorable kids clothes, I plucked up the courage to try again and this time fight my fear of learning how to read the dreaded knitting pattern. I'm generally an optimistic person and can follow a crochet pattern quite well but the thought of following a knitting pattern almost almost brought sweat beads to my brow.

I chose to begin with a Panda baby cardigan pattern and it's been .... an interesting adventure. There has been lots of referring to borrowed library kitting books, watching youtube videos (repeatedly) on what the HECK to do for certain obscure instructions, and a knitting night at mum's, counting and re-counting, and attempts at drawing the pattern as a grid - which I found helpful.

I'm about 2/3 through and have one major problem - it's curling ...alot. The pattern asks for stockinette stitch and some garter at the cardigan edges. Perhaps I am a tight knitter, but its curling heavily and I can't imagine that it won't continue to curl once its sewn up and on a little body.

 I have read of a finishing technique called 'blocking', but can only find it's use to get the clothing size correct. I will definitely block at the end as it's VERY handmade looking lol, and it might reduce this a little... but can't imagine this curl flattening out.... any skilled knitters out there with any suggestions? x

Sunday, September 12, 2010