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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

'Tis the season to be studying..

All over Australia at the moment, students are busy getting ready for end of year exams.. and I am one of them! My books are spread out all over the house, and my helpful assistant is making sure that I don't miss a beat and keep my nose in my books!!

I discovered many years ago, when I went through uni the first time, it is really, really, really important to have some downtime when trying to study and accordingly have been trying to do just that.

The green socks - finished! Yes, my very first pair of socks, and I am so pleased with them. I knitted these cuff down, mainly as that is what the pattern said, so I followed! I know some people love the whole toe up theory (coz you put your toes in a sock first!), but to be honest, I don't really think for me it really matters. Like my cooking, I tend to over cater, so in knitting, I tend to over purchase and normally end up with half a ball left over at the end.

I've already started my next pair - this time in a sparkly blue from Stranded in Oz - so stay tuned for how they turn out!

I was also fortunate enough to have a Sunday on the drive home from the beach to be able to stop at one of my favorite patchwork stores, Lily Lane. If you are even in Gippsland, more specifically Rosedale, I would highly recommend the stop (right across from the bakery!). Anyway, back to the story, I had started to build the Farmer Wife Quilt from a Layer Cake, which was made up of some amazingly bright colours and designs (the phtots are in the Flicker stream!) and was not 100% happy with the results. On reflection, whilst I do love the colours, I did not enjoy the way it was developing for this pattern in particular. I found another Layer Cake which is based on more traditional French fabrics from around the early 1900's, in browns, reds, greens and creams. I am much happier with the outcomes of this selection, and will continue to piece this together by hand (yes, a longer term project!!)

Also, I've posted some pictures of a completed project in my "Completed Projects" page! Hope you enjoy them!

Well, best be back to the books. Only a week before exams! EGAD!!!!!!!

Jo

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Starting again...



Wow, had not realised it had been so long since I had last put fingers to computer to blog!

Anyway, let me update you on the way things are... I am no longer trying to juggle study and work - work all finished (yippeee) and as I keep telling my husband, I am now retired! Really I am another "R" word - Retrenched!! Either way, the result is still good! This means my friends, lots of time to do the things I want to do, after doing the things I have to do!

My creativity has taken a bit of a back seat to school over the last few weeks, with the build up to the end of semester and the very time consuming EXAMS!!! But fear, not, after receiving a "care" package a few months back now from Melissa at Stranded in Oz, I found a gorgeous green cashmere and merino mix, and the creation of my first sock (literally! Only one done so far!)!!!


The pattern was a fairly basic one for me to start with, and it is a cuff down job - easy and thankfully quick, which as we know means fairly instant gratification from creative being!

Next job - finish the other sock and then... let's see what the summer brings!

Off to hit the books! have a great week all!

Jo

Monday, August 8, 2011

What to do next...



The last few weeks have been incredibly busy. Study has consumed my life, and have returned to working only part-time. The balance is proving to be entertaining, but thankfully so far, so good - with nothing being left behind!

I started to think over the weekend about my next major project - lots of bits and pieces are about, and I do have a "baby project" to finish before the recipient is actually born in September! No photos on that one as I would like to have the pressie make it to Queensland before I post!

The other week, my husband was questioning why I had so many plastic tubs in the dining room, and suggested that I might want to find some shelving for make things look a little neater (and yes, he was right!), so now I have created a 'Fiber Shop' all of my very own. All my fav bits and pieces in there to keep me amused - the trick - to keep it all contained in the shelves!!
One of the batts of fiber from Bendigo - this one is a mix of Wool, Mohair and Silk - amazing browns and blues! I cannot wait to start spinning this, just working out when!!!

I've also been starting to hand sew the Farmer's Wife Sampler. I know a couple of people who are machine sewing this, and have on more than one occasion complained about the sheer number of pieces in some squares (up to 40 little triangles had the effect of yelling, screaming. etc) I stopped to think about the time of when this piece was first constructed (1920's / 1930's) and realised that the home sewing machine would have been non-existent, so in keeping with the tradition, have started to piece some of the squares by hand. So far I am happy with the construction.

The fabric I have chosen is from my stash, and is a Layer Cake by Moda. Cannot remember the name of the series, but it is bright and really fun!


Finally, just to keep that creative brain going.... at the Stranded in Oz shop at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Festival, was fortunate enough to locate this little beauty!

I want to make a shawl out of this -- I have a pattern, and I have every intention.... I have just got to learn how to count a pattern! Two tries so far.... all pulled out due to stupid counting mistakes! Maybe its a third try lucky!!!

Anyway, back to the books!

Have a great week everyone!

Jo

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nanacraft Adventures' photostream

a new toy from Bendigo...machine quiltingP1000354P1000351-1my orange helper!

Still Learning Technology

Strange things happen when you have no idea what to do with technology...

Anyway, some photos to start the adventure.

First, one of my helpers - this is The Orange Cat




I had attempted to start to learn machine quilting - I found it was not easy for me to get my seams straight, but here are some of the results.


Bendigo 2011 - a story in itself... went with a shopping list, and lots of ticks on the list. Problem was I fell in love with a Majacraft Aura spinning wheel...the very lovely Mandie from Ewe Give me the Knits had a wheel in stock, and it just had to come home with me - a little friend to go with the Little Gem from earlier in the year....



Back to the books!

Jo

Welcome to Nanacraft Adventures

The idea of keeping a record of my Nancraft Adventures, seemed like one of those things I should actually do. Problem was until now, had started the idea, put down the idea, moved on from the idea, moved back to the idea - normally all within a very short space of time.

So, it is a cold Melbourne Saturday afternoon, I have one cat asleep on the sofa the other on the arm of the chair, a movie playing (for those interested - 2006 Casino Royale) and most importantly the heater on HOT, so it is the perfect time to start my story...

Going back, yes, I am a Nanacrafter, and I love all things crafty (except I'm not so good on the scrapbook thing - just don't get it!). A lot of my craft exploits are self taught so my technique may be a little on the "interesting" side of thing. But, I do love what I do, and sometimes, I even finish things!

At the moment, my love is knitting, spinning and hand sewing. I did try quilting on the machine, became despondent with not being able to get the level of exactness I expect, so have gone back to quilting and piecing by hand!! I am very fortunate to have some great friends around me who share my love of all things Nana-ish (and yes, some that just don't get it!!) and also have some friends who are prepared to feed my yarn and fleece habits!

Just to get everything up to speed... I've put a few pictures of what I've been up to, and the pieces I am working on now!

I expect that between my day job and my studies, I will only get to post weekly, and with a bit of luck, by having something to keep me honest, I may actually get some things finished!! Anyway - let's see where this takes us!

Thanks for stopping by - hope you enjoy the pictures and stories to follow!!

Jo