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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Wool on New Year’s Day!

Or should that just be, Wool on Friday? What’s my latest finish in all things yarny? 
A few weeks before Christmas, I finished a knitted baby blanket which was to be a gift to DsD1’s friend Amy whose first baby was due before Christmas. The parents knew the gender of their coming baby but preferred to keep it a surprise for the rest of us. 
I’d worked with a particular variegated Holiday yarn with pretty shades before, and had 2x100g in the ‘stash’, so decided to use it with some white Stylecraft Special, to make a simple ripple striped blanket. 
Baby Alyssa surprised everyone by arriving a little earlier than expected, but another week of knitting saw the project finished. 

I’m glad I chose that yarn as the colours go just perfectly with the white. 
Before I wrapped it, DH decided to ‘model’ it for me. 😁

I’m having a lovely quiet day this New Year’s Day. Being a Friday, DH is off playing golf so I’m enjoying just pottering...a bit of knitting, some packing away of Christmas decorations, sharing morning tea with Jimmy the dog, some decluttering, a lot of thinking about what I can do in the garden this year, a bit of’s amazing how much pottering one can fit into the 6 hours while DH is out golfing! 🤣

Some of my 25 Days of Christmas posts...

Eight years ago a friend suggested I join her in a project that she called ‘25 Days of Christmas’ where each day, starting on December 1, we would post a photo on Facebook with a Christmas theme. Little did I know that I would continue to do this for these past 8 years and my friend dropped out eventually when other matters in her life were more pressing. As I had changed my Instagram account to Private this year, I decided to also post the photos on that too. This brought my little project to the attention of a former principal with whom I had worked 16 years ago and she was inspired to do her own series. E’s posts were from different perspectives from mine and they really inspired me to branch out a little as they say. 
This year’s photos prompted lots of comments from others, and, best of all, they shared their memories with me. 
Here are some of those photos...not in any particular order though. 

When I wrote the post that went with this photo, so many people commented about their childhood dolls. 

Here’s what I wrote...
25 Days of Christmas; Day 20
It was Christmas 1959 and my parents surprised me with the gift of a large doll. I was rapt because I’d always wanted one as I only had stuffed toys and 2 small dolls. I called her Suzy. On the same day I received her, somehow Suzy fell on to the floor and a gaping crack appeared on her head running from the top of her head, behind her ear to her neck. I was mortified and was too frightened to tell my mum as I would have got the strap. I remember that I put sticky tape ?? over the gap and put a bonnet on Suzy’s head which I never took off! 😬🤣
John East  ( our neighbour at the back) would have agreed that my mum was scary 😂

Thanks to E, I started to look wider afield as to what Christmas meant...and here in Australia, it can mean the long summer holidays! This memory went back to the early 90s. This is what I wrote...

25 Days of Christmas; Day 16

Here in Australia, the word Christmas also conjures up thoughts of the long summer school holidays. In the early 90s Liz, Jen and I had a memorable holiday in Cairns when we visited my BFF who had moved there. Having a very limited budget, we travelled by Greyhound bus which had the cheapest fares. (I wasn’t teaching at that time and earned very little running an OSHC centre) 

 I took little surprises, crafts, puzzles etc to help pass the time on the long journey. The girls were so complaining whatsoever. In Cairns we had the best time; visiting Kuranda, Port Douglas and even snorkeled on Arlington Reef, to mention just a few of our adventures. We even found a family crypt with my family name in Mareeba! 😄

On another day I wrote about the joy I felt as a child, when a friend of my father ( and his wife) would give me a book for Christmas each year. Usually it was a Girls’ Crystal Annual and oh the memories when I found these photos on the Internet. The one on the left was my absolute favourite. 

I described how after Christmas lunch, I would sit and read all my new books for hours...yes mum and dad always included books in my gifts too. To me, it was absolute bliss. 
Friends commented on my post of similar experiences and many also had received Annuals from popular comics of the time.

Another post I wrote was how my 2 daughters have started a tradition with their daughters...making gingerbread biscuits together before Christmas. Miss Holly is very enthusiastic and very helpful in doing this, so maybe one day she will be in charge. 😜

Another post was to do with the Nativity at our church. Unlike Nativities at shopping centres, ours does not have the Magi in the stable until January 6, Epiphany. So those 3 kings make their journey gradually to the stable...

Now this next photo collage got lots of comments. You see, this lovely shop, like a lot of Patchwork Shops, has been closed for many years. Commenters had lovely memories of this I do. 

25 Days of Christmas; Day 15
In my first year of retirement in 2011, I enjoyed the extra time indulging in my crafting hobbies. So I was a regular visitor to the now long gone Patchwork Tree shop at Alderley and of course went to their Christmas in July and Christmas (in December 🎄) events. At each, Alison and staff put on an amazing spread, games with great prizes, a little stitchery to work on, Secret Santa gifts...and of course shopping the store! 😉😜

The first few years that I did this series, it was really hit and miss what got posted. The last 3 years, I work during the year on getting a lot of my photos ready in an album on Facebook. Of course, there’s always room for new ideas etc to come up and be added. All great fun! Best of all are the discussions and memories that are prompted by my posts. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day here in Australia; a day where we honour those who served in wars and in particular those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The date chosen is actually the day that was known as Armistice Day when finally WW1 ended. 

It’s 9 years since I retired but I still remember the ceremonies that school communities would hold on both Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day. At my last school, Year 7 students would run the ANZAC commemorations and Year 6 would run the Remembrance Day ceremony. Being the Year 6 teacher for a few years, my classes and I worked hard to make each ceremony meaningful. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, things have been different this year of course.  I was always going to write a post about ANZAC Day 2020 but some how never got around to it...until today! 
Due to lockdown restrictions, public gatherings for ANZAC Day were not allowed. Instead, Australians were encouraged to ‘Light Up The Dawn’ and stand in their individual front driveways with candles and follow the dawn services that were being streamed. 

DH and I stood on our front verandah and various neighbours stood in their driveways and others stood on unit balconies. It was very poignant and as we participated, the sun rose. 
We used battery operated candles...

We streamed the RSL service on my iPad...

A few days before April 25, inspired by photos being posted on Facebook, I decided to make some felt red poppies...

And then I thought I’d have a go at making a wreath...

And the 2 teddies I’d bought from Legacy stalls years ago were brought out and into service for ANZAC Day too. 
Then I decided that I’d have a go at making a knitted wreath too! 😉

So  all in all, ANZAC Day 2020 turned out to be rather special. 
Today, the ceremonies were televised once again as large gatherings are not allowed...unless it’s a football match...but that’s another story and I must resist the temptation to suggest that hypocrisy is alive and well! 🙄🙄

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Wool on Sunday...

I noticed that Janine from the Rainbow Hare blog had just written a post for Wool on Sunday. As it’s been ages since I wrote any blog post, I thought I’d make an effort to remedy that situation. I have been pondering on the fact that I don’t seem to have done much in the knitting and crocheting situation this year, but I looked through photos on my iPad and found that perhaps I’d been a bit harsh with myself. 
Early in the pandemic, I did some Christmas knitting...I made some knitted decorations. The photo is masked with a call out as some of the recipients of these read my blog. 😉

Because of the increased demand for warm items for the needy in the community, for many months I focused on joining donated squares into blankets for distribution. To this end, I also crocheted the most granny squares, I’ve done in many a year...with that ultimate goal of providing yet another blanket or two for Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy to distribute. 
In the next photo, I have sewn some donated circles on donated squares. The circles were a bit wonky and squaring them up would  have also made a square that was a bit open. 

Some more of the blankets I put together for K4BN; I used bright colors, that’s for sure! 

I think that my tally for blankets was 11...but it could have been more. 
At one stage I started a baby blanket using oddments of yarn. The plan was to make it to donate to K4BN, but a week or so after I started I found out that my nephew and his wife who live in Sydney, had had a new baby daughter about 6 weeks before. ( my brother thought I knew so didn’t bother to tell me...hmmm 😜)  So the newly started blanket suddenly became baby Zali’s gift and I quickly finished it ready for posting. 

And then there was the throw that I knitted for our parish art and craft show, which this year was all online. DH warned me that it probably wouldn’t sell as being a photo in an online catalogue isn’t the same as seeing such an item in ‘real life’, but I wanted to feel as though I was contributing to our parish’s main yearly fundraiser. And it didn’t sell which meant I could take it to Sunday Stitchers that month as my Show and Tell. And of course, I have a throw available to give away if the need arises. At Sunday Stitchers, the lovely Helen took this  next photo of me holding up the throw. 

With the restrictions on meetings due to COVID-19, our regular Knit and Natters were discontinued for a time. Eventually a very, very small number of venues were reopened with strict protocols in place and with very restricted numbers. But at one Knit and Natter, we started bringing a chair and having an alfresco Knit and Natter beside the car park of the library venue. ( With the social distancing regulations, only 4 of us could meet IN the that would NOT have worked!) 

And in these strange times I decided to use as my knitting bag, a bag I bought from the merchandise counter at The Addams Family Musical. It seemed appropriate 😉😜

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Wool on...any day ending with a ‘y’.

From February 2016 I wrote dozens of monthly posts titled Wool on Sundays. The idea of bloggers sharing posts about fibre arts such as knitting, crocheting and stitching was the brainchild of Janine who organised the link ups through her delightful Rainbow Hare blog. 
Times and directions change, and this forum for sharing ‘yarny’ projects is no longer a formal monthly feature. And even though I’ve been a bit slack at blogging in recent times, I’ve found that I really miss chatting about projects. So here’s my version, Wool on any day of the week! Lol

In a previous post written in the last month, I showed some photos of blankets made for Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy; a combination of crocheted squares given to me and some granny squares made by me. The solid squares made by my friend Susan were perfect for a plan I’d finally come up with on how to use a big bundle of crocheted motifs that had been passed on to me a few years ago. 

Originally I thought I’d square them up by crocheting more rounds. But I went off that idea as the motifs were quite thin which I thought would not make the resultant blanket warm for the homeless. So I’ve stitched them to the solid squares; the stitches disappearing into the crocheting, so the backs of the squares are neat. 

All the squares laid out ready to be joined together...

Finished blanket ready to keep someone warm. 

A few months ago I bought some Bendigo Woollen Mill’s Classic 8 ply online. It took a while to arrive which wasn’t surprising as on the BWM Facebook page they showed a photo of huge wire bins full of parcels ready to be posted. The company had been overwhelmed with the support from knitters all around Australia. And apparently the orders are still coming in  as witnessed by this recent FB post. 

Some incredible statistics there! And this is what I’m making with my order...the variegated Shepherd yarn was in my stash...completely forgotten about for a number of years too 🙄😉

It’s lovely working with wool again. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Easter 2020...

In a way my story of this year’s Easter started back in early March. I bring out the Easter decorations early now that we have grandchildren, as they love to help set them up and love hearing the stories behind some of the older pieces. 
We had been in the habit of taking Anthea out on an ‘adventure’ each Thursday and one of our last Thursdays before Lockdown, we went by bus to Toombul Shoppingtown. Riding in a bus is an adventure in itself for the grandies! 

And of course morning tea was on the agenda when we got to the shopping centre. 

Of course a ride on the escalator painted in rainbow colours was a must as well 😄! 

I love the decorations that Bed Bath and Table sell, so the next stop in the centre was in that shop. The plan was to let Anthea choose an Easter decoration to start her own collection. As in every other year the store had the most beautiful items on display for sale. I have  to admit that I tried to steer her away from the snow globes because of the glass but she really had fallen in love with after discussing how careful she would have to be, we bought it. 
Back home at our place, she was just so delighted with her gift. 

A few days later Anthea and her little sister came for a visit and with their help, we started decorating the hutch. 

And it wasn’t long after that, that we went into Lockdown. So I rearranged the display slightly and put some of the more fragile ( and sentimental) pieces on lower shelves. There was no risk of accidental breakages lol. 

As Easter got closer, I went out and found some lovely Easter eggs in a quiet local shop. I made up 5 packages for the granddaughters plus some for our neighbours. Luckily our out of town grandie was in Brisbane for appointments so we were able to give her her package in person. Two of the other households, we did drive bys and left them on doorsteps. The drive to Kallangur was actually breaking the regulations as it isn’t a near suburb, but we didn’t see any roadblocks on the highway to or from there...phew! 

I used the last of the bunnies that I bought at a sale a few years ago. They held the little eggs. 

Just before Easter, restrictions eased to 2 visitors as long as it was either in your own suburb or adjoining ones. So we went to morning tea at DsD2 and her family’s place taking the Easter treats we had for the girls. 
Nom nom chocolate 🍫😜! 

We had some FaceTime with Miss Holly and her mum so she could tell us how much she liked her package that we’d left at their place. 

I wore my bunny ears for that session. 

We joined in Zoom services for Good Friday and Easter Day...and maintaining a little tradition in our parish, the females all wore hats/Easter Bonnets. 

And our neighbour came and joined us for the Easter Day service...

So there you have it...our Easter 2020. It was certainly different but the essential elements were still there albeit a lot different. 
For our children and their families, Easter was very different this year. Most years they go away for the 4 days but travelling was banned so they all stayed home. The 2 families who camp couldn’t, as parks and grounds were closed, as were barge services to favourite islands such as Moreton and Fraser.  Since retiring, DH and I rarely travel at Easter any way as accomodation is always at higher prices, so we had usually travelled in off peak times.