Tuesday, 21 August 2012

I'm On A Treasure Hunt

My crafting and gardening has taken a back set over the last few weeks. You see I'm on a treasure hunt of sorts. I've become some what obsessed with family history.

It started back at Christmas time when I was presented with a box of bits and pieces that had belonged to an aunt. So with the older generation now all in their 70's and 80's, I decided it was time I ask lots of questions and get their stories down.

So what have I found out so far?

- The family story of a convict ancestor transported to Australia for stealing roofing nails, hasn't been proven YET!

- Children "born out of wedlock" is not a modern day event.

- Despite my great grandmother's insistence, there is no "blue blood" in the family.

- An ancestor found gold and was worth the equivalent of 350 years of the average yearly wage at the time of the his death in the 1890's. And before your ask, it's not in my bank account!

What I have loved are the fashions being worn in some of the photos. I know the exposure time needed in the old photo's meant they had to stand still for a long time, but do you think they ever smiled?

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The week that was

There has been another trip down the freeway to Melbourne, but this time Mum took the opportunity to come along and catch up with friends in Melbourne. We spent the evening with her friend Lorraine, and she has set me a task. She wants to copy this stitch, but we really struggled to come up with how it is done. It has a very three dimensional effect. Any idea how to recreate this stitch? Hope someone out in blogland can help.

The latest Kosciusko cushion has been completed and delivered.

There was a detour on the way home from Melbourne to catch the sunset from the ruin of the Ovens Goldfield Hospital at Beechworth

And time to enjoy the Bottle Brush from Mum's garden. I love how so many of the Australia natives flower in the colder months, when the exotics are at there barest.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Turning a circle into a square

When I posted my "Spring Is On The Way" cushion recently, Carol asked me for some hints on turning a circle into a square. I'm sure this isn't the only way to do it, but here's how I turn a circle into a square, pentagon, hexagon etc.

It's important to have a circle that sits flat from the start. So my circles tend to follow a simple formula, and in the examples below I've used an 8ply yarn with a 6mm hook, and English stitch terms.

Round 1 - create sliding loop and work 12 tr in the loop -  join 12th to 1st stitch with sl st - pull the sliding loop just tight enough so the stitches are all sitting flat.

Round 2 - Ch3 (counts as first tr) - work 1 tr into the same stitch - work 2 tr in next stitch and continue around - join 24th stitch with 1st stitch with sl st.

Round 3 - Ch3 (counts as first tr) - *work 2 tr into the stitch, 1 tr into the following stitch* and continue around - join 36th stitch to 1st stitch with sl st.

From here I visualise the shape I want to form, and work out the stitches I'll need to "fill in the blank" If you have trouble visualising, try drawing the shape you want and laying the circle in the centre.

The key to being able to turn the circle into a square or any other shape with an even number of edges, is to have an even number of stitches. To make it even easier, the number of stitches should be able to be evenly divided by however many sides you want to create ( 4 for a square / 6 for a hexagon etc).

I tend to work from centre edge to corner to centre edge, as a section and work out how many stitches I'll have in the section. For example, the circle above has 36 stitches. To make a square, I'd divide by 4, to give 9 stitches per section. So from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock is one section of 9 stitches.

Round 4 - *Ch2(counts as 1dc) - 1dc - 1htr - 1tr - 2dtr, 1ch, 2dtr (to form corner) - 1tr - 1htr - 1dc - 1dc* - Repeat to form the remaining 3 sections - join 48th stitch to 1st stitch with sl st

You will see the stitch length extend as you work away from the "12 o'clock" position and towards the corner, then reduced as you work away from the corner towards the "3 o'clock" position on the circle.  

I've used this method to make a hexagon and a pentagon as well. As the pentagon has 5 sides, this doesn't divide evenly into 36, but it is close enough with each side being 7 stitches with 1 left over. I've taken care of the 1 extra stitch by working 2 stitches together in one section.

Don't be put off from giving this a go. You can come up with some fantastic results, just like  Trudy's great circle work.

The week that was

There's another "kosciusko" cushion under way, to fill an order.

When I was wandering the neighbourhood looking for our missing cat, I found this fantastic fungi growing on a dead log. (Horrie did eventually came home in his own sweet time). Love the colour blending, and just might have to use this for a little inspiration.

There was a little birthday present purchase to myself, from the local second hand furniture guy. Plan is to use this for storage in my "work room".

And we now have toasty toes thanks to Mr's efforts at insulating under the floor boards (but I do have some pretty filthy washing to do).

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