Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Distractions



There is so much going on here that I don't quite know where to start. Our Development Application that was submitted to local Council 4 weeks ago is progressing, albeit slowly. We have been going backwards and forwards providing additional information as requested, some of which could have been sorted out in a 10 second phone call rather than wasting an extra week here and there waiting for requests to arrive by mail and then responding in a likewise official manner. But, as frustrating as it is, we are getting there and at the end of the day tough application processes are good because theoretically it means developments are of a high standard and that is what we are striving for.

We are now halfway through the "Advertisement Period", which means there is a little white A4 sign on our front fence advertising the development and allowing anyone to lodge an objection within a specified period. Eeek! There is one more week to go. I've been watching cars stop at the bottom of our driveway, people hopping out and looking and reading and taking the odd photo. Nerve racking stuff. 

I've decided to indulge in some happy distractions to counteract the extra stress. Quite a few of my blog friends partake in Ginny's Yarn Along and I always enjoy seeing what they've been knitting and reading so thought I'd join the party too. It will be a great way to keep busy in the evenings, stay focussed and motivated to start and finish projects as well as hang out with some like-minded souls. 

Inspired by the colours of our local beach with its array of purples, pinks and greys, I decided to knit up some mitered squares for a cushion with this absolutely gorgeous skein of Noro Kochoran. The pattern really accentuates the colours and the basic garter stitch was extremely satisfying, particularly when a new colour made it's way onto the needles. Except for the green - it's appearance really annoyed me and in hindsight I wish I'd just cut the green sections out. The other issue was that neither of the layouts looked any good to me - the green ruined the colour pallet and there was too much grey on one square. Look!


No, no, no, no.

Just when I thought I'd have to knit 4 more squares for the back and hope there might be a couple that could be swapped into the front for a more pleasing look, my daughter comes along and says "why don't you just make triangles with these and then form a square and then you won't have to knit any more or use fabric for the back?". She's a genius that one. It looks so much better, very Missoni-like. The green stripe still vexes me but I can live with that as most of the green is on the back. 




And here is the finished cushion in situ. A pillow of beach-inspired squishy Angora loveliness just for me. My only after-thought is whether it needs a button in the middle to give it that button-tucked effect. Instagram friends were split on the decision, with one suggesting just a stitch-through so the centre-points wouldn't be affected. Any thoughts?



It's been a while since I read a proper book. My evening activities of blogging and crafting have taken up that space. In fact, I still have "The Snow Child" that I packed in my maternity bag 8 months ago sitting on my bedside table.  It came highly recommended so I'm going to blame my sleep deprived baby brain for the fact that every time I pick that book up I need to re-read the first pages a few times before I finally get frustrated and put reading well and truly on the back burner. I really needed an easy read to get back into it so when I walked into the bookstore and saw David Sedaris's "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls" up there on the shelf I knew this would be the book to bring me out of my reading hiatus. Sedaris is one of my favourite authors. I loved "Me talk pretty one day" and have it sitting on my shelf. His new book is a collection of essays or anecdotes from his life and travels. I finished it in 3 nights and can highly recommend it. I love his insights into social behaviour and had myself nodding along and laughing out loud as I flicked through the pages. Oh how I miss the depth of thinking that comes from reading a proper book!

Is anyone making or reading anything right now? I'm launching into Christopher Koch's new novel next but would love some new book recommendations to see me through the rest of the year.



33 comments :

  1. I love these colours, they really do echo the beachy colours of found shells and pebbles and such a clever solution from your daughter! The finished cushion is a thing of beauty! (I like it without a button)
    http://ahandfulofhope.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. Try the Rosie Project - easy but funny and thought provoking!
    Love the triangle look - she's a genius that girl
    x

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    1. I've put it on my list - thanks Ally :-)

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  3. Your cushion looks great, and I actually like the green in it. Did this take just one skein of Kochoran? I have had a single skein sitting in my stash for years and have been wondering what to do with it. Did you follow a pattern or just make it up? And what did you use for the back of the cushion. Sorry for all the questions, but I would love to have a go at this.

    I hope all the details get sorted out with your application, and that you make it through the time period where people can raise objections without hearing a single one.

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    1. I made it up but i googled a tutorial on mitered squares and it casted on 72 stitches so I did the same and got 2 squares i didnt know what to do with so purchased another and decided to make a pillow. so i used 2 skeins and cast on 72 stitches for each of the 4 squares and folded the squares into triangles and popped a 14inch cushion insert in the middle and crocheted the seams together. No need for a back-the 4 squares cover front and back. Hope that helps :-)

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    2. That helps a lot. Now I wish I had two skeins of the Kochoran. I will have to dig through the stash and see if I have something else that will work. Thanks!

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  4. I can imagine all the cars stopping to read your little sign would be nerve-wracking!! Hope everything is moving along smoothly (albeit slowly). I love your cushion Mel and Eleanor is so clever with her suggestion! I actually like the hit of green as it adds a little bit of contrast amongst all the other lovely colours. I'm in the middle of reading 'Happy At Home' by Gretchin Rubin and 'Bloom' is next on my pile beside my bed. I used to devour books... now it takes me so much longer to get through them :) Enjoy the rest of your week lovely xx

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    1. Thanks Amanda, I've popped those on my list too :-)

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  5. Another Sedaris fan here! And I think your cushion would carry a button, if you still think you'd like one.

    As for the planning application ... you know we're rooting for you in this little corner of Wales! Fingers crossed you get the go ahead soon x

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  6. I have read Dress Your Family In Corduroy & Denim. It was laugh out loud funny. I am having a readin hiatus at the moment, but would recommend The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. I read it on holiday, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Leanne xx

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    1. Excellent, I've popped them on my list too, thank you :-)

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  7. Your pillow is gorgeous. I would leave the button off. I loved The Snow Child but anything David Sedaris is great. I hope things settle down for you soon.

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    1. Everyone has raved about The Snow Child so I think I just needed a light read to get back into reading and should be right to give it another crack!

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  8. I suspect this project is going to require heaps of patience, but we are all rooting for you here. Absolutely love your cushion and the colours that you have used, it looks amazing. Thanks for the book tip, will add it to my list xoxo

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    1. Ahh patience - it's continuing work in progress for me. Thank you :-)

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  9. I loved this suchion when you IGed it. Gorgeous. I also came on to recommend The Rosie Project but can see I was beaten to it by Ally. Another essayist I always enjoy is Norah Ephron. I can also recommend The Dinner (for a really dark read).
    Carol

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    1. Great recommendations, and The Rosie Project will go straight to the top now. Thanks Carol :-)

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  10. Smart thinking placing the squares like that, well done to your daughter for thinking outside the square.
    x

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  11. Great idea doing the squares like that! I love coming up with ideas where you can use what you've already created. I think a wooden button would look amazing on the middle :) Well done!

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    1. I'm getting more and more inclined to give the button a go, thanks :-)

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  12. I was just thinking the same thing as 'dreambig livefull'...a big wooden button, the colour of driftwood, would look great in the middle. Your daughter's idea was brilliant!

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    1. Love the thought of a driftwood coloured button Carol, just have to find one now!

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  13. Beautiful colors!!! So very pretty. And very beach-like.

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  14. Dropping by from the yarn along. I love your cushion and your daughter is a genius! I like all the colors in it but agree with you on the placement of the original. The triangles look great.

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  15. Your daughter is a genius indeed. The cushion is perfect as triangles and the soft colours and stripes are very missoni. (I dream of one day crocheting a ripple blanket in missoni colours....I'll add it to the WIP list).

    I've never read any David Sedaris but he had a series of public readings that were on Radio 4 a while back - I listened to all of them and they had me laughing out loud. The man is another genius. xx

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    1. Oh me too Gillian on the Missoni-inspired blanket....it's on a very long "to-do" list x

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  16. Hi Mel, your cushion is lovely, the colours are really beautiful, I love Noro Yarn, I think I'd like to make a blanket from the Kochoran, it would be truly luxurious! Great to hear your application is progressing, nerve wracking and exciting! I just read 'Sharp Objects' by Gillian Flynn and enjoyed it, a bit of a creepy thriller. xx

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  17. The Noro is SO lovely isn't it?! I almost felt a bit bad "wasting" it on a cushion rather than making something wearable. A blanket in Noro would be the ultimate in luxury. Don't mind creepy thrillers, I've popped "Sharp Objects" on my list too! Thanks Jules x

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  18. I'm half way through The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey. Loving it. I went to a talk given by him recently and he really is brilliant. P.s loved your post on reflections of blogging.

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