hi from the sky!

In a bit of an experiment and challenge to myself, I’ve not brought my laptop or a tablet (or a camera) on this trip.

My phone and my kindle will be doing the technological heavy lifting, but it is a good opportunity to do a bit of a reset.

I’m also keen to begin travelling with a minimal amount of stuff. Don and I are both very keen to spend the next years travelling as much as possible (annual leave and finances permitting!). I know one can never truly optimise everything, but the less we have to cart about, the more pleasant this will be!

a finished object

I was knitting the Be Kind Shawl by Veera Välimäki for about about 6 weeks. I’m a fairly monogamous crafter, so I knit a couple of rows most days. I tried not to go too hard at it because when I do, I invariably end up with an injury – slow and steady for all crafts this time around.

I’d never knit a shawl before and there were several new-to-me techniques (knitting back and forth on a circular needle, short rows, stretchy bind off). I absolutely loved every minute of knitting this and am keen to try another.

I finally completed it on Monday evening. It took me about an hour and a half to bind off the 550+ live stitches using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which is indeed quite stretchy.

I normally don’t really care for garter stitch, but this was such a squishy and snuggly ball of warmth. I was smitten.

When I gently hand washed and very carefully laid it out, it grew and grew and grew without me doing anything to stretch it to shape. It is now a bit less snuggly and squishy.

I thought it was enormous before, but Holy Goodness! I did size-up my needles to achieve gauge and undoubtedly this was a rookie error.

I really love the self-striping sock yarn (Rowan sock in the Ocean [006] colourway), it made very pleasing random stripes.

unfurled – a little scraggly at the bottom – I’d not woven in the ends at this point

i could wear it like this

or like this

You can’t really tell from the above photos how epic this is, but behold the Action Shots …

BabyKitty is interested

I’ve been wearing it around ThePalace(OfLove), tangling myself in things and tripping over the trailing ends – elegant shawl-wearing lady I am not. I definitely need to get myself a shawl pin.

While I’m away I’m going to consider whether I’ll frog it and re-knit with smaller needles. Definitely more evidence that I’m a process knitter – because this doesn’t phase me at all and seems like it would be quite fun.

but no tim tams

Gifts for the expat:

+ mint slices
+ cheese twisties
+ milo
+ cherry ripes
+ Murray River salt
+ klorane dry shampoo
+ codrals – the good kind **

Two more sleeps

** cold and flu tablets containing pseudoephedrine. After buying 2 boxes in a week I’ve been flagged in the system and can’t buy any more for two weeks.

so much for resolve

My last day of work was unexpectedly busy and a little frenzied – I spent many hours very deep in technical problem solving mode.

+ I did not take a break
+ I did not go outside
+ I ate peanut butter on toast for lunch at my computer

But … I am now on holiday. Hurrah!

I will not return to these bad habits after my holiday.


When I spotted this number 8 on the way in to SML I thought it was affixed upside down because it looks all imbalanced and wrong.

Now I think it’s just a bad typeface – because I flipped the image and it looks equally “not right” the other way around.

Such are the deep and exciting thoughts that occupy my mind.

5 more sleeps.

100 days of tiny treasures: day 4

What an amazing and liberating thing to realise these 100 days don’t actually need to be sequential! Magic!

day four: Arabia Ruska tiny coffee/tea cup

Bought in a charity shop late last year because I loved the shape. It’s perfect to hold and perfect to drink from.

I spent many years coveting Arabia Ruska dinnerware, but I had no idea this was that until quite some time after I bought it (the stamp has rubbed off).

I took to eBay and bought a few more. I now have one at each of my desks.

Tininess: 7.8cm

burning bright

You might recall back in March when I made a candle from beeswax candle remnants and used a jar to contain it – because moulds were prohibitively expensive for a potentially one-off experiment, and my dabbles with other moulding options were not overly successful.

Then a couple of weeks ago, when browsing in the surprisingly interesting craft section** in Kmart (I cannot even begin to remember why I was doing this), I found the exact silicon candle mould of my imaginings! For a mere $5!

Honestly there was nothing for it but to buy it – and a bag soy wax and a roll of wick and give it a crack!

On with the pix …

Supplies! Most interesting to me was that there’s a hole in the bottom of the mould to thread the wick through. Who knew this was all there was to it?

We’ve been here before …

I still adore the shape of this jug! Look at this spout!

L: 250g of wax for the mould
R: a tiny sliver of red colouring from the kit I bought at my candle-making class – in the hopes of achieving a pale pink candle

Poured! After filling, there was some remaining wax, so I made a tiny tea-light.

When buying supplies, I also bought a packet of pre-made wicks because I wasn’t sure which were right for the mould – these will be super-handy for more tea-light sized candles.

Waiting …


The temperature had changed quite a lot in between the day of pouring and the unmoulding, so the candle surface was a bit sticky for a couple of days. The InformationSuperhighway tells me this is normal for soy wax – and fortunately it resolved itself without my intervention.

Action shot!

I was really happy with the outcome! It was very fun, simple and satisfying. I see more candles in my future.

** while I have extremely mixed feelings about fast fashion, fast furniture, and now fast crafting. I think it is wonderful that craft supplies are so accessible – a brilliant way to try something new without a huge investment.

eventual finishing

You might remember the cowls I recently knitted (here and here) which heralded the return of my knitting mojo.

I finally got around to blocking both and it definitely does make a difference! They really do look much superior to when just off the needles.

But how do they wear?

Sadly this was one of those yarns that is quite soft on the ball, but itchy itchy itchy on my neck.

May need another soak?

Honestly? Probably unlikely to be worn.

This remains ultra-soft, but is very floppy. I’m not convinced about the level of warmth it will afford.

It does look pretty though. I wish my wardrobe consisted entirely of garments in this colour.

I do still have another ball, I’m considering unpicking the bind off and adding further height.

I only have two Very Long rows and very long bind off remaining on my Be Kind shawl/scarf/wrap.

I’m hopeful this is a regain-softness-when-blocked, because it is another that isn’t feeling like the wonderfully soft balls it started with.