Monthly Archives: May 2013

vivid sydney 2013…

Reagan and I went to the Vivid Light Festival last night, and it was simply stunning! He took some really amazing photos, and I’d like to share a few of them with you.

If you’d like to see the short video Reagan made of Vivid, click here!

Pyrmont Bridge tree installation

Pyrmont Bridge tree installation

A touch screen panel let you change the colour of the lights on this building. It was wonderful to play with!

A touch screen panel let you change the colour of the lights on this building. It was wonderful to play with!

Me watching the lights change colour at Darling Harbour

Me watching the lights change colour at Darling Harbour

Rats! These were floating in the water at Walsh Bay, and looked very eerie!

Rats! These were floating in the water at Walsh Bay, and looked very eerie!

Bulbs at the Citybank Pop Up Bar - Darling Harbour

Bulbs at the Citybank Pop Up Bar – Darling Harbour

Reagan walking through the illuminated poles at The Rocks

Reagan walking through the illuminated poles at The Rocks

Sydney Opera House, in all it's colourful glory!

Sydney Opera House, in all it’s colourful glory!

Ever-changing light tunnel at Circular Quay

Ever-changing light tunnel at Circular Quay

Sails at Walsh Bay

Sails at Walsh Bay

Sydney Harbour Bridge from Walsh Bay

Sydney Harbour Bridge from Walsh Bay

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

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twenty seven…

I celebrated my 27th birthday this week, and I must say, that I have never experienced a birthday like this. My (very creative) boyfriend, Reagan, named it “The Festival of Sam”, and it has certainly been festival-like indeed.

I woke up on my birthday morning to breakfast in bed, and my first gift of the day; tickets to see The Great Gatsby in Gold Class! I was then handed a certificate, informing me that I would receive clues throughout the day as to what was happening that night. My first clue was a scrabble tile, the letter L. My brain went into overdrive.. what could this mean??? Exactly one hour later, I received another tile, S. Liposuction… Sloth… Salamander… Salsa…? The letters continued to make their way to me, one an hour, all day. Eventually, I had them all, and had re-arranged them into “Shangri La“.

After work, Reagan collected me, and we headed to the Shangri La hotel. I originally thought we were just having dinner at the restaurant, but no, he told me that we had a room for the night, with the best possible view! Our room was on the 12th floor, overlooking Sydney harbour!

Sydney Harbour Bridge (left), Sydney Opera House (right)

Sydney Harbour Bridge (left), Sydney Opera House (right)

We headed up to Blu Bar on 36 and had a cocktail each, while looking out over the Sydney skyline. Gorgeous, to say the least. We had dinner reservations at an amazing Japanese restaurant called “China Doll“, where we ate Chilli Salt Squid, Steamed Prawn and Green Bean Dumplings and Peking Duck Pancakes. Yum yum YUM!

We went for a little stroll along the board walk, then headed back to the hotel, where we cracked a bottle of Moet and drooled over our view. There was one more surprise. Reagan handed me an envelope. Inside was another certificate. This one said that I would be going overseas with Reagan for two and a half weeks!! We are going to London, New York City, Washington D.C and Paris! 

Am I the luckiest, most spoilt girl ever?! I am over the moon and so very, very excited! I’ve never been overseas before, and I’m so happy that my first trip will be shared with the man that I love. We are planning to go in August, so be prepared for lots of photos and updates about our trip!

so tantalizingly close to completion…

I was going to wait until my granny square cushion was completed before I blogged about it again, but I just couldn’t wait!! I finished all of the squares over the weekend, blocked them, and then sewed them together using a whip stitch. I had enough of the light grey colour to do a boarder of double crochet, which I think really finishes it off nicely.

The completed square is roughly 37cm wide, sometimes dipping to 35cm wide, even after blocking. It should be fine when I stitch it to the backing though. I bought a creamy coloured fabric for the backing, I really hope it isn’t too yellow for the overall colour scheme.

The next time I post about this, I promise you will be looking at the completed cushion! Here is a link to the pattern I used, if you’d like to try it out for yourself!

 

morphing…

When I created this blog, I didn’t put much thought into naming it, and just settled on my user name (misssmitchell) being the title. I wanted to change this to something a little more interesting, and today, I have picked my favourite! My blog shall now be known as…

… with my very crude banner, drawn in Microsoft Paint… Maybe I’ll ask my boyfriend to make me something a little more flashy at some stage, but this will do for now!

I’m still working away on my many projects.. the knitted tie gained a few inches last night, and I have completed all 9 granny squares to make my cushion cover. I should have some ‘completed project photos’ for you some time next week.

I hope the small change from ‘misssmitchell’ to ‘this girl has knits’ doesn’t cause too much discomfort/confusion/pain/dismay!

an evening of knit and crochet…

I have a lovely friend called Nyome, she lives just down the road from me, and each week we meet at one of our houses, have dinner together and watch some trash TV. A few weeks ago, on one of these nights, I got my knitting out and worked on it while we were sitting on the lounge. Nyome’s fingers started to itch. She slowly lost interest in the TV and asked if I had a spare set of needles and some wool that she could do some ‘practice knitting’ with. I hurried off and found her the needed equipment, and we spent the rest of the night going over the basics, casting on, how to hold the wool, knit stitch, purl stitch etc etc etc…

Since then, our catch up nights have always included knitting. Last night she proudly showed me the progress on her scarf, which she’s pulled apart no more than 10 times. She’s doing a nice ribbed pattern, 4 knit and 4 purl. It will be so lovely and warm when she’s finished! See those knitting needles? I bought them for her as a gift, something to encourage her to continue knitting, and so far, my plan has worked!

You can buy yourself a pair of the needles from The Haby Goddess. They are so precious, why not grab a few!

While Nyome knitted, I worked on two more sunburst granny squares. I’ve added navy blue to the mix, just because I was running low on the taupe colour. I actually really like the navy blue with the turquoise, I thought it might not look great together, but I was happily surprised.

The size of the cushion will depend on how much wool I end up using, I don’t want to have to buy more to finish this. That would totally ruin the idea of using up my stash! Let’s see how many I can get done over the weekend!

 

sunburst granny squares…

Yarn stash. Everyone seems to have one. Who knew you could form a deep and emotional bond with yarn! I keep almost everything; the smallest ball of yarn I’ve kept could fit in the palm of my hand. What can you do with all these tiny bits of wool? Seeing as my mum added to my yarn stash on the weekend (which I am actually quite happy about), I thought I should work on bringing the stash down a few notches.

What better way to do this than granny squares! I found this really cute ‘Sunburst’ pattern on Pinterest from Priscillascrochet, and thought I’d give it a trial. I’m using the left over wool from my crochet blanket, don’t you think the colours look amazing together? I really like how the squares look slightly different when I use another colour sequence. I’m hoping to have enough wool to do 9 squares, and join them together to make a cushion cover.

I find this pattern very easy to follow, and it works up nice and quick, great for instant satisfaction! Keep an eye out to see the finished cushion!

tutorial… dyeing yarn with food colouring

Let’s get straight to it, shall we?! This method of dyeing will not work on yarn that is plant based (eg: 100% cotton). I’m using Patons Big Baby, which is 60% Acrylic and 40% Nylon. It takes the colour well, but I’m sure 100% wool would be much more vibrant.

You will need: Yarn of your choice; Slow cooker; Food colouring; Measuring spoons; Paint brush; White vinegar; Stainless steel bowl; Small cups; Cling wrap.

1. Prepare your yarn by soaking it 4 cups warm water and 2 cups white vinegar, for half an hour. The vinegar helps the colour penetrate the yarn.

2. While you’re waiting for the yarn to soak, put some water in the slow cooker and set it to a low simmer. To make the dye, I used 2 teaspoons of food colouring and 6 tablespoons of warm water. You can add a small amount of vinegar to the dye as well, but I find it sometimes makes the colour split, especially if you’re mixing red and blue to make purple. Lay some cling wrap on your work surface large enough to lay the yarn on. After half an hour, squeeze as much of the liquid out of the yarn as you can, and lay it on the cling wrap.

3. Yay! The fun part! Painting the yarn! How you do this is completely up to you! I like to use an old paint brush and dab the colour on, then using a gloved hand, gently push and squeeze the colour into the yarn. Seeing as I didn’t have a lot of yarn, I chose two colours only, blue and red. I wanted to minimise the amount of purple at the colour join, so I left a large gap in between.

4. Once all the yarn is fully painted, wrap it in the cling wrap you have on your work surface. Try to wrap it so that the different colours don’t touch. Place it in the stainless steel bowl, and put this in the slow cooker. My slow cooker has a little metal rack inside it, so the bowl isn’t resting directly on the bottom of the pan. There should also be water left in the slow cooker. If not, add some more now. Whack it up to the highest setting, put the lid on, and let it cook for one hour. Try not to lift the lid to investigate, you’ll let all the hot steam out. It is best to clean up, and just walk away, go and do something else!

5. Once the hour is up, carefully (please be careful!) remove the bowl from the slow cooker and put it somewhere to cool down. Once the yarn is completely cooled, remove the cling wrap and rinse the yarn in cool/warm water. When the water runs clear, you can gently wash the yarn in wool wash, or like me, regular old shampoo. Squeeze as much liquid out as you can, and put it somewhere to dry.

Once it’s dry, wrap it in a pretty hank and ta-dah! You’re all done! Now it’s time to marvel over your freshly dyed yarn, take a million pictures of it, look at it in the sunlight, in the shade, and decide what on earth you’re going to make with it.

The colours aren’t as vibrant as I would have liked, but I’m guessing that has a lot to do with the fact that I am using rather cheap food colouring (99 cents a bottle), and the yarn is made up of mostly acrylic fibres. Anyway, I’m happy with how it turned out, and when I finally knit something with it, I’ll let you know!

Have you used this method of dyeing before? I find it works well for me, but if you have a slightly different approach I’d love to hear it! If you try my version, let me know how you go, and feel free to share photos of your marvellous creations!!