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ANZAC Day

Today is Anzac Day, Australia’s day of commemoration of military service. In 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops landed on a rocky beach in Turkey, called Gallipoli Cove. You may have heard of the 100th anniversary in the news.

World War 1 (The Great War) was a big deal for our adolescent country. We became a nation in 1901, and the war matured us. We heard stories of Simpson and his donkey, of great mateship, and things that would become ‘the aussie way’

For years Anzac Day, and later in the year, rememberance day, have been held dear in my heart. I love my country, I think it is the most wonderful place. I may be biased as I have never left it’s shores, but I could never imagine living elsewhere. I am humbled by others who volunteer to protect us, in our armed forces.

I had a conversation with my Mum this evening, discussing our family history. Mum mentioned her grandfather had served in the Army in WW2, in New Guinea as a driver. Mum mentioned that her grandfather never spoke of his time in the Army, but she remembers a photo  of him in his uniform that was in her grandparent’s home. I hadn’t known about his military service until today, Pop passed away when I was a child and my great-grandparent’s home was about two hours away so visits weren’t often

I was able to do a quick search on the internet, and find some details of his service. I can request a copy of his service history, but that will take time. I was able to find out some information, such as when he enlisted, when he was discharged, and his rank, and his last posting. I also googled the posting, and his company was sent to qld about the time he enlisted. That company was in New Guinea until the end of the war, less than three months before he was discharged.

With the dates I found, my grandmother would have only been one year old when her Dad joined the army. He was in the army two and a half years. It makes me think of my great-grandmother, raising her daughter. I wonder what life was like during the war?

This morning when I woke up, I knew nothing of my great grandfather’s military service. It makes me wonder how much is lost through the generations, stories about family members, lost in time.

Today I was made more appreciative of our armed forces. For me, it was never this close to home. I was proud of our country, grateful to those whe served, and even more to those families who had made the ultimate sacrifice, whose loved ones never came home. These were all someone else’s stories. The stories I knew were of farmers who looked after our country, those who kept the home fires burning. Today I learned a different story, and I wonder how many stories I am missing, just because I didn’t ask about a family member.

Tonight I am going to sleep wiser, and more curious. I take for granted, on a daily basis, the freedoms the men and women in the military fight for. They have fought for them for over a hundred years. They are still fighting for them. I don’t know how to say thank-you enough to them.

Lest we forget.

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Easter, and multiple miffys

Hi Everyone,

Can you believe it is easter already! It’s been a big few weeks, but I will go into more details later on, as it is way too much for one post!

I had a plan to knit a Miffy softie for Squeak for her easter pressie. Squeak loves Miffy, I think it might be her favorite show. I saw a beautiful pattern for free on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/miffy-and-her-balloon

miffy3

miffy1

It took a while to get motivated, as I like knitting without a lot of shaping, and also I didn’t want Squeak to see it and work out what it was. The pattern was written differently that I am used to, so I made quite a few mistakes which meant I had to knit the head twice. I will need to knit another one the same very soon, as where Squeak is, Miffy must be. A spare is definitely needed. Especially since Miffy is a creamy white, and Miffy already had a chocolatey mark on her, and she is only 2 days old.

We were invited to an easter hunt this afternoon, easter monday. I had looked for a nice easter t-shirt in the shops, but I hadn’t found one I liked. We did have some plain t-shirts she was outgrowing, so I got my collection of scrap fabric, and my heatnbond roll out. I googled Miffy colouring in pages, and found three I liked. I decided that it didn’t matter if they wouldn’t last long term, as it was mainly for easter and if they lasted longer then that would be a bonus.

miffytshirt2

I am happy with the longsleeve t-shirt, as the face details are the best. In the future I will have to embroider the face after I iron the Miffy on, so you can’t see the shadow of loose ends of embroidery floss.

This was technically a no-sew project, but I have my doubts about the longevity of the Miffys, as the light pink one started to peel off yesterday, the first day of wear. I didn’t take any shortcuts with the iron on adhesive, I am a little disappointed, but Squeak is so close to outgrowing the shirts. I might use this technique of layering fabric to make a cute shopping bag, but I think the background fabric being stretchy might have contributed to the peeling. It might also be good for a quilt,  Imagine how excited Squeak would be if she had a Miffy quilt!

I have been working on finishing some unfinished projects, and bought more yarn. There was a 30% off sale at lincraft so easter bunny bought me 2x100g balls in each of 5 colours, and a pattern book. DaddyMopar is eagerly awaiting a jigsaw puzzle I ordered for him, that we will do together. Isn’t easter great?

Lots of Love,

MummyMopar xxx

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Finished ferns and another bubbles

The green fern blanket is finished!! It is all washed and ready to be delivered to the mum-to-be. I had planned to do the moss stitch border all the way around, but trying to pick up the stitches from the cast on edge was extremely difficult, and looked messy. I thought it over, and decided a nice crocheted edge would work nice, but it would have to be nice and wide, and quite ornate and lacy.

fernblanket1

Normally I would have made the blanket square, but this one was a lot wider than I would normally do, and once I started I didn’t want to start over. I decided a rectangle would be nice. I think (or hope!) that the crochet edge suits the blanket.

fernblanket2

The first row was trebles, the second was treble, chain, treble in every third stitch.

the third row was similar, treble, 3 ch picot, treble, in the chain space below.

I think it finishes the blanket nicely, do you?

Now I have started the next project, yet another bubbles shawl.

Yep, another one. I find them enjoyable, since you use 5.5mm needles, it is nice and lacy. Squeak was swaddled in her bubbles blanket for the first few months, and the pattern is good as it is based on garter stitch, looks good on both sides, and isn’t very complicated to remenber the pattern repeats. Using circular needles makes it a lot easier, I am getting to the stage where I use circulars of everything. I think I am up to about 6 completed bubbles blankets over the years.

bubbles2bubbles1

There are 17 pattern repeats in the border, and I have completed 10. I could have this finished in a week or two. The border should only take a few days, but the edging can be time consuming. Squeak loves to grab it for a ‘test cuddle’. I think I will need to make something for her next.

I am eyeing off a small project for Squeak for easter, a Miffy! We love Miffy, Squeak calles her ‘mishy’.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/miffy-and-her-balloon

I will have to buy more yarn as I don’t have the right colours, but I cannot resist making such a cute creature, and making a toddler very happy!

Have you started thinking about easter?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar

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Green fern blanket update

I have been slowly working away at the massive fern blanket, The one where I assumed 5 stitches per inch, and it was more like 4. Over 201 stitches that makes a massive difference to the width. When I started I wrote about it in Ribbits, and crickets

I have decided it can’t be square, or it will be too big for a baby blanket. I think I am almost finished the centre, or maybe a few more pattern repeats. I will then finish off with the moss stitch border,  and then I have to pick up the cast on stitches as I hadn’t decided on the border when I cast on.

Can you see a problem?

fernblanket

Today I decided to take a few photos to put the project in perspective. It is a nice sunny day, so outside for some photos. As I was carrying it out I thought maybe I could see the different shades from different balls. In the photos it’s clear. I’m not happy, but there isn’t anything I can do now. I just won’t buy that brand of yarn again. I am a bit disappointed as I have put a lot of effort in, and this does spoil the final effect quite a lot. It is still a comfy, warm blanket though.

I also have a few more projects on the go, and a few small ones finished. I have made a toy owl for Squeak, She loves it and named it ‘Nin’. I bought the fabric as a ‘bunting and stuffie set’, so I will also likely do a bunting, or use it in a quilt later in the year. It was quick to make, just put them right sides facing, then stitch around the outside. fill with stuffing, then handstitch the opening closed.

nin

nin3

I am in the process of hand-stitching a fish, as my sewing machine needs servicing, and I don’t want to risk any damage by using it. I do have my Nanna’s singer 201k from the 50’s as well, but I’m having tension problems, and a lack of time to concentrate and work out what is causing it.

Here is the link to the pattern I am using, I am very excited as it is a sweet looking fish!

http://birchfabrics.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/free-pdf-pattern-tutorial-pond-fishy.html

I’m intending to do a 2014 wrap-up soon, I know it is a little late, and the year is flying by. 2015 is delivering some amazing opportunities, it feels like a bit of a fresh start in some aspects of my life, which is refreshing.

How is your year so far?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar

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a few random Q& A’s about me

1. What is one thing you would like to accomplish before your next birthday?

My birthday is in may so I might not have anything accomplished for me. I am hoping to knit myself a nice cardigan at some point during the year. I would like to finish it this year. I do have quite a few baby gift knits for the first half of this year. I would also like to master the basics on the knitting machine.

2. Do you have any “rules” about food?

I have severe allergies to nuts and coconut, so I can be very pedantic about food. My love of cooking and food developed as I was starting to have a bad relationship with food because of the allergies. We tend not to eat at restaurants or buy takeaway as often as I tend to be very conservative when ordering so I normally order things like spaghetti bolognese, or chicken parma. I have had a number of bad allergic reactions over the years and it is very scary when they happen.

3. Say 7 facts about your house

  • The house is believed to be over a century old
  • We have kangaroos come into our yard and are within metres (yards) of our house
  • We have a gorgeous view of both the sunset and sunrise
  • I never properly decorated the nursery for Squeak, as she slept in our room until she was almost a year old
  •  We have the lovely old-fashioned double-sash windows in quite a few rooms of the house, and cooling the house in summer is soooo much easier as they make the air circulate
  • It is the style of house that looks great with quilts, knitted things and a nice ‘shabby chic’ style. The shabby chic style is great as I have eclectic taste at times and I have bought 3 cabinets for the televison to sit on, luckily I am happy with the third one!
  • The house has high ceilings which is really nice looking, but can make things difficult keeping the place warm in winter. Luckily it is summertime and I can brainstorm ways to reduce my heating bill over winter. I am considering curtain pelmets.

4. You favorite ice cream?

I love homemade ice cream, as my mother-in-law won an ice cream machine in a raffle and gave it to us. I tend to buy a litre (about a quart) of custard or yoghurt and we can make a delicious frozen treat. DaddyMopar loves the frozen yoghurt, I love choc custard, and my brother loves the vanilla! It does set harder but about 5 minutes after I take it out of the freezer it is perfect.

5. What’s your favorite television show?

Daria. An animated cartoon from MTV that aired during my teenage years. For years I watched episodes I had taped off tv, then a few years ago they released a box set that my brother gave my for xmas. I love watching them in bed as I fall asleep. I rerely get a chance to, but a girl can always dream!

6. If you were a crayon what color would you be?

This is funny as Squeak loves crayons at the moment. I have to watch her carefully as she wants to have a little nibble at times, and although nontoxic, I don’t think she should eat them. I don’t really prefer any colour crayon though.

Do you have any questions, are you curious about anything?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar xxx

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Impossible quiche?

Yesterday was a very long day, Squeak woke at 6am, and I had went to bed close to 2. It was a long day, but I managed to get an hour-long nap when Squeak had her nap. I thought I would whip up a pressure-cooker casserole, and   I wanted to put kidney beans in it, I loove kidney beans!

We had 500g (about a pound) of diced chicken, diced up 2 zucchinis, 4 carrots and 3 potatoes. I then added a 400g tin of each tomatoes, and kidney beans. I also added some vegie stock and some dried oregano. I pressure cooked it for about half an hour. Once it was cooked and the pressure reduced, I thickened it with some cornflour (cornstarch). It was delicious!

casserole

Tonight’s dinner was something I never tried before. I saw on an old episode of Masterchef Australia about Quiche. I haven’t ever made quiche, and it seemed quite daunting. I googled a few recipes, and one site suggested an impossible quiche. It has that name as it seems almost impossible that the gloopy mix will come out of the oven with a nice crust on the bottom, tasty middle and golden top. The recipe is HERE

quichefinal

Cue Success!! DaddyMopar has said he loved it, and I should make it again sometime. Squeak happily ate her serve, which is great as I love finding healthy meals, especially ones that are reasonably easy to prepare. Since I tend to prepare dinner earlier in the day (while Squeak naps is the most common time) the fact that it bakes for an hour isn’t a bother.

Have you made impossible quiche before?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar

 

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Finished Feathers!!

My Feathers blanket for Squeak is finished!! I finished it late friday night. It had been languishing in my pile of things to finish later, along with the persille pullover. I tend to put off sewing up, and blocking, and finishing, sometimes til the clothes are too small for the recipient. Then I forget about them, so I must get them out to finish them off

I posted HERE about knitting the blanket, it was while I was knitting the persille pullover. I must finish that off soon, I am sure Squeak would love to wear it.

The blanket was almost finished, All I had to do is sew up the diagonal seams on the border (not the edging) which was to be sewn up in herringbone stitch. I had to google how to do this, but I think it came out nice. It is a 4-ply cotton, Heirloom brand. I heard a rumour it is from Bendigo Woolen Mills, but it hasn’t been confirmed. I love the woolen mill, I could spend a small fortune in there.

feathers

Hopefully I can get the persille pullover sewn up soon, I don’t enjoy sewing up, but I would like to reduce the amount of unfinished projects, You could say it is one of my new year’s resolutions. My yarn stash is very tempting, but technically I have 4 blankets being knitted. I would love to knit up a few nice cardigans for Squeak, she loves them, and she looks so sweet in them. So I must finish some items so I can cast on new ones.

Are you making any changes for the new year?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar