Friday, July 10, 2015

Working the List: #1 - Arielle's mermaid cocoon

The theme of completion continues with the first item on the list of UFO's being crossed off - Arielle's mermaid tail cocoon. It even takes on a satisfyingly fishy shapes when you smooth it out flat on the table.

Knitting in the round wasn't nearly as tricky as I imagined it would be. The instructions were delightfully easy to follow, although I still managed to make a few mistakes here and there (which I've managed to forget to photograph - oops!). The wool is acrylic (easy to wash and dry...important when you're dealing with a small person), and when I went to buy the 5 1/2 mm needles for "in the round" knitting they didn't have any. I rounded up to 6 mm, so it's all probably a bit on the large size, but this it's meant to be.

This "closer" up is meant to show the scales, which are a result of a nifty little stitch slipping technique. Now, as I mentioned earlier I've never knitted anything more complex than a knit-purl kind of pattern, so in the process of doing this I've learnt how to slip stitches to lay a loop and then lift the loop to create the appearance of a fish-scale on the tail.

Oh, and grafting. I learnt about grafting too, although I'm not sure that I actually did a decent job of grafting the two halves of the tail together. It looks okay when you dangle it over the back of the chair, so it can't be too bad. The point is that she has something fun to snuggle in, and hopefully something that will be a fond childhood memory.

And this time we wrap up with a skyward view of some fuchsias that are all dangly and pink and pretty. There's something particularly pleasing about fuchsia pink and that bright blue together.

May your weekend be fabulous and lovely! XX

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


A decade long journey has pretty much come to an end (corrections pending).

Last week I handed in my thesis for my Bachelor of Engineering, marking the end of a journey that started with half a bottle of red in my tatami-matted bedroom in Japan after a particularly challenging day of teaching small people*. I think it was a repeated kancho** from one kid who had so much fun that he forgot I was his teacher rather than his classmate. Anyway, long story short, I decided I'd like to grow up and become an engineer who could help to fix the energy supply needs of the world. That was the Japanese autumn of 2005, so we're a few months early, but nonetheless here we are; ready to start the next leg of the journey. (And if anyone reading this happens to have a gig in the Renewable Energy industry that's based either around Perth or South-East Queensland, feel free to get in touch!)

Anyway, getting back to the theme of completion...

After a few days of catching up on lost sleep, and washing up (I have clean dishes!) and doing laundry (I have clean sheets!) and sweeping the floor (there's no sand on it anymore!), I've started to clear all the surfaces and dust; and compile to-do lists. Among these being the list of UnFinished Objects in my home. This it the sewing/knitting specific list, and I somehow seem to have accrued 10 UFO's. One of them is a quilt that dates back years. I have other lists for renovations and job-hunting, but they don't really belong here. Although there's one that I managed to finish out of sheer pants-less desperation (thesis weight gain makes it difficult to do your pants up).

10 projects to finish! Sheesh. I've lined them all up along the bench. I've even managed to add a shiny gold dress to it (because I'm too fat to fit into any of the ones I've already got hanging in the wardrobe, and Friday night is going to be Whiskey & Jazz at a secret gig...HELLO! Social life :-) It's nice to see you still exist.)

In the mean time I've been gently pursuing the one at the top of the list: a Mermaid Tail baby Cocoon for a friend's new baby. Her name is Arielle, which I've probably spelt incorrectly, she's now 6 weeks old, and her mother has been obsessed by mermaids for as long as I've known her. So I'm knitting a toddler-sized Mermaid Tail Cocoon that she can grow into while I'm lying on my bed and watching old episodes of Dr Who. Because I can do these kinds of things now!

It's going surprisingly smoothly for someone with newly acquired tennis elbow, who hasn't knitted anything more complex than a knit2-purl2 scarf using giant needles. With any luck it will provide a nice cosy little snuggle pouch for a few years, anyway.

And just for sitting through all that chit-chat that has little to do with sewing, here's a puppy dog luxuriating in an amazing sunset we had on the west coast back in May.

I'll torture you with stories of ill-fitting Thurlows at a later date. In the mean time, enjoy every moment of chilling out that you can.

*Small people being my general description for anyone under the age of 12.
** Just google "kancho" if you're not familiar with the term; a cultural experience I could have done without.