Sunday, January 31, 2016

Knitting patterns are child's play......are they not??

A long, long time ago, when the woolly mammoths roamed upon the earth, my mum taught me to knit. She also taught me to read knitting patterns. Is it only me who found those vintage patterns of old, easier to read than some of those of today??

Way, way back then, one could sit and relax and read the instructions in each row. Each row contained all the instructions of the pattern for that row, without having to don one's explorer hat and slash through the jungle of the written instructions, in search for each section of the pattern within that row. Sometimes one needs to turn the page as the Patterns from A to 'Zee' are just too lengthy!! I mean really, my brain pan is muddly enough.

It's not that the patterns are misunderstood, it's just that my eyes and brain have to perform major calisthenic feats to tie in the individual patterns into the one row. Oh......and then, Pattern A might only consist of ten rows, Pattern B...16 rows, Pattern C....8 rows, Pattern D....24 rows etc etc, sometimes leading me to Pattern Zee.......forever counting, forever wondering what blasted row I am up to within that pattern!!!! I suppose the positive thing is with all the cranial gymnastics happening I won't slip down the path of cognitive degeneration anytime soon; that is of course if I don't go stark raving mad from the hyperactivity of it all and end it all by falling on my sword knitting needle.

All I want to do is sit and  pick up my two knitting pins, unravel a ball of wool and clickety clack my evening away in a relaxing manner. I don't really want to take 20 minutes to finish a row. But then, I suppose if knitting patterns were written in the manner I prefer, I would be overcome with back problems of gigantic proportions, carrying around a tome somewhat akin to those family Bibles of old! A note to myself......"suck it up Kim and just get on with it!!!!"

Anyway.........I have decided to knit a jumper in readiness for Winter. Although at the moment the weather is quite warm here at the bottom of the world, it won't be long till Old Man Winter sneaks stealthily around the bend in our country road, forcing me and all the other inhabitants of this rural outpost to be clad in our winter woollies to ward off  'His' bitingly, freezing breath.

I have chosen this lovely mint green, 10 ply Aran wool. The brand is Royal and it is wonderfully soft and warm.

The pattern for my jumper is a lovely Debbie Bliss one dancing with glorious aran patterns. Alas....unfortunately for me, it is a pattern where I have to gymnastically jump from one pattern to another to knit each row. Aaah.....such is my life.

To make my knitting days and nights a little easier I have written out the odd and even rows onto a piece of paper to help with the taxing of my peabrain! I also photocopied each pattern onto one sheet, soooo much easier than referring to the pattern all the time and turning page after page, adnauseum.

I don't know what it is but I always seem to select a pattern which takes an age to knit. The bask took a wee while, but persistence paid off, finally advancing to the FUN part; the myriad cable patterns.

My pea brain is a jumble of RT, LT, MB, C3, BC, FC, C4B, C4F etc etc........but I do love aran knits and I do love the challenge of them, even though they do take me an age to knit.

All that woolly texture is looking mighty purty, if you ask me.

Now then, you really didn't think I would not sneak in a rose or two, did you?? After all, it is the peak of Rose season down here and I again, wanted to impart a sense of summer to you lovelies whose tippy toes are a little chilly. I just wanted to warm the cockles of your li'l hearts.

Enough of this chit chat! Time to enjoy a little more knitting and a cup of tea. Time for some more mental gymnastics. Check back in about six month's time....perhaps, just perhaps this knitted woolly, oozing with aran loveliness, will be never knows, sometimes, just sometimes, miracles do materialise in a small country town.

Until the next time.......

Linking up to Janine's, Wool on Sundays and Stephanie's, Roses of Inspiration.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Long Summer Country Drives.....and the odd teacup or two

The last couple of weeks my husband and I have been enjoying long country drives, discovering new roads that we have not yet explored and of course, stopping along the way for a coffee and a little vintage shopping when the opportunity arose. We stayed for a couple of days in a friend's son's house near Hobart which was advantageously situated with the most wonderful view of the water. Instead of watching TV at night, we would make ourselves comfy right in front of the huge picture windows and watch the constantly changing tableau. My husband would read and test his brain on the crosswords and I stitched happily away on my hexie.

Yes indeedy, my hexie went on holidays with me. It travelled in the car with me resting on my lap whilst I continued to stitch the binding on the back to cover the seams.

I wanted to finish the bindings on the hexies I had already stitched before joining new hexies to the quilt.

With the binding finished it was time to stitch more hexies to the quilt.

Although covering the seams with binding doubles the stitching time, I always love the look of it and the binding does strengthen the quilt.

Remember the delightful Esmeralda, Doris, Josiah and Jimmy who you met here.......well it seems they are still enjoying hanging out in our garden, though they have 'up sticks' and moved their little teapot mouse house to the Hydrangeas, under the shade of the Crabapple tree. seems Doris has magically whipped up some more hexies for me. I am so thankful, as covering the seams with binding does take an age....and I can use all the help I can get!

Oh my goodness, the little teapot mouse house is certainly bathed in radiant sunshine.

A lovely stack of hexies. Mmmm.....only 6 inches high....enough for four more rows. I wonder....will this hexie ever be finished?? Oh, I do hope Doris doesn't move away any time soon.

On our travels I found this really cool vintage basket, spools of vintage ribbons and other ribbons to add to my collection. Oh.....and a beautiful, embroidered tablecloth.

I love this basket. When I was a little girl I remember everyone seemed to be recycling cards and fashioning boxes from them. I am always on the lookout for them and have a few in my collection. They are hard to find these days. Do you remember these??

Then.....I walked into a really fabulous shop called T2, which is an establishment wholly devoted to all things tea. I love this shop because there always seems to be some new designs on offer. Upon entering this Aladdin's cave, one's eyes ricochet from one teacup and teapot, to another. This delightful shop has teacups stacked on top of each other, forming kaleidoscopic towers of colour and pattern. This shop truly is a feast to the eyes.

Now Carla........yes you, lovely Carla, way up there in Kamlooops.....are you sitting down, because what I am going to show you might cause you to feel a little faint. =) I realise you are very, very busy at the moment....but you might just want to have a bo peep at this pretty. I know when my eyes gazed upon it I went weak at the knees!! Quite frankly, I nearly went into a state of apoplectic shock, but my good husband was on hand with a paper bag to keep me in the land of reality!! He didn't want his wife's knees to buckle from beneath her, being the cause of towers of china teeter tottering, smashing to smithereens on the ground. That could have been a wee bit embarrassing!

A teacup and  saucer covered in hexie delight!! Isn't it fabulous??

Who would've thought, that I, one who is quite potty....actually a little obsessed....with hexagons would find such a divine teacup. Of course I had to, had to, take it home with me. What do you think like???? Me love!!!! =)

Now.....these little shopping expeditions are not always about me. Sometimes my husband happens upon a 'must have'. He actually enjoys fossicking around shops with cachepots filled with treasure. Have a lookity look at what he found.

We both laughed when he spotted this. He has been on the lookout for a lip burner for a while now and the's about as good as it gets. Quite frankly it is perfect. The quote couldn't be more perfect if he wrote it himself.

But the piece de resistance of our little vintage shopping was this.

My husband spotted these pretties and decided these would make a perfect gift for by birthday which was this week. I didn't see these at all. Unbelievable I know, because I can usually sniff out pretties such as these from a mile away! I guess he has cottoned on to a few things, living with me in the land of matrimonial bliss for 38 years!! He has seen a lot china in our married life, poor man, but I wasn't the only one who ooohed and aaahed, a few escaped from his throat as well. =)

Be still my beating heart!! One cake plate, two teacups, saucers and plates and one sugar bowl with creamer, all overspilling with pastel, floralicious gorgeousness!!

Are they not the most gorgeous china you have laid eyes on since good ole Josiah Wedgwood opened the doors of his china factory way back when!! No?? Well they are to me...give or take a hexie teacup or two!! =)

It is Royal Staffordshire with the number F14527 stamped on the bottom.  I tried looking it up on the net to source it's name and the year it was made. Me, myself and I wouldn't mind finding the teapot......then my set would be complete.

If perchance there are any of you lovelies who might have seen this pattern in your travels, I would love to know the name of it. Me thinks the teapot really, really needs to be sitting on my sideboard.

I was wonderfully surprised by another birthday present which some very dear friends gifted me. Imagine my surprise, upon opening my present, these two pretties sitting there in all their scrumptiousness. A 'pretty as', pink concoction of a teapot and a funky teacup and saucer. Just too perfect!! There were a few too may squeals of delight escaping my lips when I saw these pretties.

The teapot is called 'Petal' which is apt, as the lid has a lovely flower flourishing out to the top of the pot, blending into the pinkness. I adore the shape. I almost imagine a genie to come swirling from the spout and joining me for a cup of tea. It's a great size too. It will hold oodles of cups of tea. Look at the infuser, there are some sweet little flowers attached to the chain. The teacup is so funky. It is called eclectic, which I suppose describes me perfectly. I love the quirkiness of the pretty floral saucer juxtaposing with the modern design of the cup. I love the hint of a flower in the inside of the cup, tying it in perfectly with the saucer. Too, too perfect.

With some of my pretties sitting on my sideboard alongside my other china, I am off to play ladies and partake in a spot of tea. The thought did fleetingly pass through my brainpan, that perhaps there is no more room for any more pretty teacups. But then.....perhaps I can squeeze in a few more from future teacup exchanges. to attend to matters of paramount importance......the pretty, pink, petal teapot will be perfect....but which cup will I use??

Until the next time........

Linking this week with Bernideen's Tea Time, Cottage & Garden
Stephanie's, Roses of Inspiration

Friday, January 15, 2016

"I must have flowers, always, always." Monet

And.....who am I to contradict the great painting Master. Certainly not I.

Though Spring in Tassie is hard to beat, Summer in Tassie also comes up trumps with a most spectacular flower show. Gardens abound with riotous, impressionist brushstrokes in every hue imaginable. It is truly a dream to meander around the Tassie countryside in Summer. And....our garden is no exception. So, because our garden is overspilling with beautiful blossoms, I have taken the secateurs and picked a flower or two; and in my own peculiar fashion, plonked them in a vase or basket ready for a photo shoot. =) Actually, I have been playing "Let's Pretend I am a Florist".

Beautiful, beautiful Hydrangeas of every shade of the hue blue, with a few pinks and lilacs thrown in. They are truly stunning. There is nothing demure about these beauties, is there. Their dinner plate-sized, pom pom blooms demand one to stop and take notice. Hydrangeas are up there with my favourite flowers. I remember not so long ago, they were out of fashion, but now these vintage-like flowers are seen everywhere. I can remember having a friendly argument with a friend many years ago as to the beauty of these "grandmother's flowers". She didn't like them at all, whereas I, of course, waxed lyrical till the cows came home about their lavish beauty. Funnily enough, my friend now adores them. You might say she saw the light!

We have many cultivars of Hydrangeas.....Mopheads, Lacecaps, Oakleaf, to name a few. There is something peaceful about the calming blue shades of  Hydrangeas in a pretty white basket. This basket is about 20 inches wide, so there are oodles and oodles of Hydrangeas sitting ever so perkily in it. Don't they look opulent, en masse??

Yes indeedy, is there anything not to love about the gorgeous Hydrangeas?? Me thinks not!!

Then, there are the roses. Before my husband's operation, he designed and made a new rose garden. We have been slowly planting lovely rose bushes, all with intoxicating scents, all with glorious shades; some lovely pastels shades and some vibrant shades. Of course I again 'attacked' them with the secateurs to make little arrangements.

Some of the Roses flowering in our garden are..... Isn't She Lovely, Heaven Scent, Forget Me Not, Chartreuse de Parme, Pierre de Ronsard, Perfume Passion, Falling in Love, Mr Lincoln, Margaret Merril, Remember Me, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Darwin, Henri Matisse, It's a Winner, Aotearoa....amongst others. My husband and I have had a lovely time selecting Roses for our garden over the last couple of months.

A gorgeous hexie quilt I am restoring. Me thinks scrappy, vintage hexie quilts and beautiful roses are the best of bedfellows.....especially for a photo shoot!!

Then, there are the 'Darling Dahlias'. There are quite a few of these lovelies in our garden. Over the years neighbours have gifted us many varieties from their gardens. One of the wonderful things about living here is people are always willing to share their floral pretties. Each year the Dahlias have multiplied, delighting us with masses of glorious colours; bright pinks, mauves, salmon pinks, yellows, lemons, yellows bordered with orange streaks, deep ruby reds, whites..........there is a Monet's palette of Dahlias blooming profusely in our garden.

I cannot say it any better than Victor Hugo, when he penned in Les Miserables, "A garden to walk in and immensity to dream.....what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars."

Yes indeedy, most of the time all this gal needs is a garden in which to walk in and dream, and those amazing stars above. Me being me, of course, I would have to throw one or two hexie quilts into the mix as well. Aaah....yes the simple things of life.....such bliss!

I hope you took a li'l pleasure in strolling through my florist shop. 'Twas a li'l protracted, wasn't it, but I thought you lovely ladies up there on top of the world might enjoy a li'l vibrant Summer colour and sunshine, from way down here at the bottom of the world.  Until the next time.......

Linking up to
Bernideen's,  lovely BTTCG Party and Stephanie's, lovely Roses of Inspiration.