Thursday, October 31

a 'collection of sorts' sprinkling...

yesterday i pulled up my 'collection of sorts' knee socks and spent quite the while snippity snapping pictures, i would like to say i completed all the pictures required, but alas i did not. therefore i have plans on sunday to finish what i started and in turn have high hopes next week i will be able to put a finger upon the exact day my 'collection of sorts' will be in the shop window.

of course i had grand, oh so grand plans earlier in the year for it to be a most marvelous collection, filled to the brim with quantity and quality in a shiny new place on the old world wide web. things did not go according to plan but that is 'a-okay' for truth be told, its nothing short of a small miracle there is a pile of handmade goodness waiting to be placed in the window of my old store.

and so, a 'collection of sorts' has become its name. small quantities and i like to think, tippity top quality and here is a sprinkling of what will be on offer when i turn the 'open' sign on my little store shortly

crocheted lappity lap blanket shawls which go from lap to shoulders in a trice, complete with handy dandy 'lucky happy' shawl pin to keep in place

little 'lucky happy' dolls bringing luckiness and happiness to one and all

patched and pieced vintage 'lucky happy' bags with good lucky charms and pins, perfectly suited to a pottling out and about or indeed staying home and looking most delightful hanging from a peg

crocheted 'lucky happy' scarf-lets, perfectly suited to keep a neck warm and cozy on a chilly morn, or indeed most fitting as a little blanket shawl for a small being

granny chic 'lucky happy' shawls with a little bit of vintage bling, most suited to keeping one cozy whilst pottling around the nest on a winters day

a solitary 'lucky happy' patched and pieced cushion

dottie angel frocks in my most fabby fav colourways

'little medals of good lucky' most at home worn upon a coat or indeed pinned to a bag, bringing lucky and happy thoughts with their little charms of good luckiness

Friday, October 25

knitty news flash...

this just in....

knitty news flash number one:

the other night, Tif had an epiphany of the knitty kind whilst admiring fair isle sweater vests and Latvian mittens. do not set your sights so high her epiphany told her, bring them back to reality, bring them back to squares and rectangles... and so she did. after the small miracle happened, the elation she felt inside was somewhat similar to the elation felt upon completing a crocheted granny square several years and many moons ago. knowing it was a moment of utmost importance in her crafty journey through life, she pinned her little swatch of colourway goodness safely and labeled it 'a small miracle ~ specimen #1', signed and dated it for all to see in mossy shed. 

she noted after a day or so had passed, her lads of three were oblivious to her knitty miracle and so she removed it from the wall and wafted it under her man's nose with exclamations of just what a miracle it was. getting little more than a distracted 'oh yes, i see, yes that's great' she realized her feelings of not being patted on the back nor rewarded with a gold sticky star from her man were not the feelings to be carrying around. instead she must pity the man, for indeed he was unaware of just how momentous it is when 2 sticks and 2 yarns get together and 'make happy'. in the meantime, Tif plans to make more specimens and pin them to her wall, as is always the way with Tif she dreams big and dreams of a whole wall filled with framed knitted specimens of all colours and sizes and as is usually also the way... the chances of it ever happening are pie in the sky

knitty news flash number two:

whilst burning the midnight oil with Mr Lurgy, Tif realized life was too short to be a thrower and went about seeing if being a picker was her thing. after pondering the moves in her head she chose a lovely little vintage pair of jolly red needles and some lovely JoJoLand yarn (from the store) thus creating something for her display whilst dabbling in picking. (ah yes, even with Mr Lurgy visiting her clever crafty 'kill 2 birds with 1 stone' (but she didn't really literally, been over that one before) cunning cogs were still turning). less than five minutes of slow methodical picking and Tif declared to Mr Lurgy, Little Olive (the hot water bottle) and Used Dog (feeling tres old) that indeed, a picker she would be, forever and ever more for it would appear, she should always have been a picker, she just did not know it for 38 years. Tif then pondered why this was and came up with a brilliant conclusion and one she was quite proud of. as a crocheter surely it feels more right to have the yarn in the left hand to pick with and in doing so, leaves her right hand in place rather than this big old fiasco every time she wished to do a stitch of throwing her whole right hand up in the air, wrapping the needle around, whilst being held by her left hand 'steady', to come back and be reclaimed again by her right hand. by the time she got to the end of a row she was exhausted... but not any longer, right and left hands stay firmly where they should and may proceed with picking forever more

knitty news flash number three:

Tif is wise to the fact her job is starting tres soon, she is also wise to the fact tomorrow is POS training day. not knowing what POS meant she quickly learnt it meant Point of Sale. this in turn made her wonder what other abbreviated wording must she learn pronto not to let the side down. what if a work dearie were to call out "Tif, quick OHN, i NYTHWP and after that CYSTS before YTYGB". she would be clueless and instead of hearing it as "Tif, quick, over here now, i need you to help with pricing and after that can you stock the shelves before you take your grand break", Tif may well have understood it as "Tif, quick Owen Henry Neil, i no you thought he was perfect and after that can you stop the staring before you think you're gone batty". Tif realizes there is still much to learn for her new job and much of which will be learnt on the job as days are fast approaching to the big jolly grand opening day, where she will be working 2 till 6 in the afternoon. she was hopeful she may have the job of 'greeter at the door' and 'sheep stamper' of little hands and Mr Till with his jolly scary looking till like stuff going on would be put in the capable hands of another. however it would appear 'greeter and stamper' is not a job title and she may well have to summon all her snoopy courage and dabble with Mr Till while doing her deep breathing exercises

knitty news flash number four:

despite dancing with Mr Lurgy, dreaming of yarny specimens, picking away to her picky hearts content and going dolally with learning abbreviations, Tif has indeed continued with her 'collection of sorts', woolly knee socks pulled up each and every morn, doing all the fiddly things which she has put off for weeks now due to Mr Procrastinator from the 'collection of sorts' department coming to visit most days

and there concludes the knitty news flash for today,
over to Mr Weather in the other studio ...

"why thank you Mr K N Flash, well as you can see, its a bit of a mixed few old days on the horizon, lots of wind and rain heading our way and in some places, high on the hills we are likely to see a bit of sleet. good news though, after a few days this should move on through and Mr Sun will follow for a little while. my advice though for the next day or two, stay home, stay warm, stay dry and stay knitty"

Thursday, October 24

"oh a shuffling we will go" ...

on saturday i took down the old vintage shelving unit which sat atop the sideboard on one wall of our kitchen and popped it in the understairs cupboard to make a 'pantry of sorts'. this greatly pleased me as i no longer was tripping over cardboard boxes and feeling my anxiety levels rise just thinking about trying to locate whatever needed to be located from the depths of a most useful but woefully un-utilized cupboard, whilst crawling on my hands and knees.

this wonderful solution which left me jubilant also left me with a blank wall and a pile of 'misfits' on the kitchen island. but not for long! no sirree! for i had a cunning plan i had hatched just the day before when pondering the relocation of said old vintage shelving unit.

"oh Tif, pray tell your cunning plan won't you please?" i hear you cry
"why of course, since you asked so nicely" say i 
(all the time trying to ignore the little niggly itch in my ear which is mocking me from a place i cannot reach due to having a stud placed in my tragus a few months back) so banishing thoughts of relief from just a little chance to itch, i shall swiftly move on to cunning plans and spilling them...

little olive wondering if she has suitcase/housing insurance just in case...
i am sure i am not alone to have seen folks out there doing brilliant things with old drawers. well as luck would have it, i had several big old vintage drawers leftover from Gladys' 'hey days' as a pop up store and using them as shop displaying. so when my man came home from soccer on saturday morn i commandeered him as part of my master plan. i must pause here and say, i do like my man very muchly as he always seems to see my cunning plans as a priority, i think he is wise, i think he could teach our lads a thing or two before going out into the world.

and so whilst i pointed, advised, loitered and assisted in my pyjamas, dressing gown, woolly knee socks, fingerless mittens, crocheted scarf and felt slippers, he went about creating some kitchen cubbies, taking not a blind bit of notice of what i was saying and desperately trying to not take a blind bit of notice of what i was wearing

i do wish i had a picture of them before but alas i do not, because as is often the way, i was far too impatient to stop for such things... poised the momento my man stepped away, i was armed with paint brush in hand and thus from saturday to sunday, painted and pottled in-between weekend 'must dos', happy in my own little world. on sunday eve, my man having been gone most of the day, inquired had i had a good day, a day when i got lots done due to a quiet shed. i mumbled i had sort of, trying to think if i had actually achieved anything at all worthy of voicing, when Our #4 piped up "yes she has been really busy today, can't you see there are curtains now hanging on the drawer". not i might add in a sarcastic tone but one of genuine belief that using your day to hang little vintage embroidered cloths on a drawer screwed to a wall is a day spent wisely. perhaps i do not need my man after all to teach my lads, perhaps already they are wise enough...

footynotes galore:
1: my man assures me they will not fall down in the night

little loppy eyed bunny is not convinced those brackets are up to health and regulation standards
2: he can read my mind
3: tomorrow thrilling yarny notes from a mossy shed
4: "really does it get any more thrilling than that?" i wonder
5: "ummm, yes chances are high it does however we will risk it for a biscuit" say you
6: by jove Tif what a lot of pictures today

7: indeedy! i was happy snappy with frankly frank despite his winter sluggish ways

Wednesday, October 23

jolly 'lucky happy' indeedy ...

a 'collection of sorts' slowly but surely coming together nicely in time for the holidays ...

Thursday, October 17

obsessed and possessed...

yes, tis true.
i am obsessed by all yarny things of late
i am possessed by all yarny thoughts of late

from the moment i awake,
i am plotting and planning
how long it will be
before i can spend quality time 
with my yarny friends

i have finished up the chapter
on protein fibers
and find myself
engrossed in cellulose fibers.
i wonder if i should have an angora rabbit
inside the shed
or perhaps a yak or two
outside of the shed

i am wondering if Mister Muchly
may grow his coat this winter
and come spring, allow me 
to spin it right off his back

because of this thought
we are taking monthly baths. 

my creative cogs are whirring
nineteen to the dozen
with thoughts of my little crocheted corner
in the yarn store
all i so hope it will be

i have a pom pom hat
but lack a small being
i have a little string of yarny goodness
in the making...
such is my love for the little crocheted flags

i wish to make muchly more
so many more
they will hang inside our nest
as well as the store

i have four beautiful skeins
of Erika Knight's vintage wool
in a colour which bought me 
to my granny chic knees

i have high hopes 
i will get past the 100% wool
and a popcorn scarf
from her Simple Crocheting book
will be born

yes, tis true.
i am obsessed by all yarny things of late
i am possessed by all yarny thoughts of late
and i am muchly happy indeedy....

Tuesday, October 15

peachy perfect...

i am tres delighted with my $12 thrift store find of last friday. 

after bringing her home, i gave her a clean and then i popped her on. i noted the fit was tres peachy everywhere except a little bit loosey goosey on the shoulders. fret not i said to myself, nothing a little natty gathering cannot put right

after some consideration i decided a cluster of pins would be most fitting for her granny chic splendor. rustling around my fabby fav pins i came up with three

1: a lovely diamante number sent from across the border from Lynn Dearie and Diana Dearie (hello hello!)
2: a little vintage daisy picked up at Spitalfield Market whilst on a pottle with my granny chic partner in crime, Rachelle
3: a tiny vintage mosaic found at a vintage fair whilst visiting my folks last year to celebrate their 50 years of wedded bliss

i wore my peachy perfect coat yesterday whilst going over the hill and across the valley to gather yarn, 

photo courtesy of Anna from Tolt Yarn and Wool
i noted upon my return, my newly found perfectly peachy 'old coat' did wonders for making a monday into 'oh so much more than just a monday' 

Monday, October 14

a new green frock for a new peachy job...

my yarny makes wish list is growing
however i have another make also whispering my name.
many many months ago i bought some fabby green fabric
it has been waiting patiently,
 washed and folded
in my fabric cupboard.
until now that is.

on saturday eve
i thought to myself,
if i cut out the frock then surely
said frock will be made.
so i did.
and now i have the pieces sitting there
whispering my name
every time i walk past...

telling me there are only a few weeks left
until a new green frock will be required
for a new peachy job
and had i not best get a move on

Friday, October 11

my good fortune indeedy...

on wednesday my fortune cookie said
"a new friend will bring you much happiness"
i was tres delighted by this as one never knows what a new friend might be.
it could be a little mouse,
it could be a grass hopper
or perhaps
a garden sail
all very worthy little friends
and i do not doubt, most brilliant at listening.
however, if one is terribly lucky it might actually be a real life bod
who can talk your talk

today i went out and about for a thrifty pottle with a new friend 
who found me through serendipitous circumstances
(those are the best kind)
and indeed much happiness was bestowed upon us.
i found a little forsaken fellow, 
standing proud and tall

 but with quite a hefty price tag.
my newly found friend and i decided i should barter.
so i did, pointing out he had been on the shelf since august
(no doubt because of the price upon his head).
no worries, 60% off
and happiness abounds

then in the next thrift store
as we pottled and put the world to rights.
knowing full well all around us were probably quite convinced 
upon hearing snippets of our conversation
we were indeed barking mad

on a rack of despair a most marvelous coat spied me
in granny knicker pink light wool tweedy fabricy stuff
it was really worthy of a gasp
especially after trying it on and noting the fit was perfectly perfect.
upon arrival home i noted the tag was dated today.
how lucky and how happy was that, i thought to myself
no doubt bought on from a little fortune cookie
and a new friend bringing me much happiness
and a whole lot of thrifting luck...

my good fortune indeedy

alas no picture of said granny knicker pink coat due to needing a clean pronto, but hopeful one will follow

Thursday, October 10

i must, i must not...

today i must, i must, spend my time wisely on my 'collection of sorts',

today i must not, must not, spend my time unwisely adding to my growing list of yarny makes.

Wednesday, October 9

good enough, just as i am...

if you are a connoisseur on a subject matter i am wondering if that can make you a little dull or perhaps not? i debating on becoming a connoisseur on yarn and wool, however i am fearful to be such a connoisseur will mean living and breathing yarn and wool for 24 hours a day like forever. in turn i will forget anything else i ever knew as there won't be room in my aging cogs to hold all the new information and retain all the old information floating around there. then when i have learnt all there is to learn about yarn and wool and the little critters it comes from i may well be a yarn and wool connoisseur but at what cost? 

the cost of my other crafty knowledge?


and perhaps if that was okay and i did not mind, i might without even realizing it have become terribly dull in the proceedings. my clan might glaze over when i talk to them about itty bitty facts i have gleamed from pages within my yarny bibles. 

my constant canine companions might fall asleep even quicker than they usually do when i start to voice an interesting anecdote about a sheep and his woolly attire and worst still, my very own crafty soul might up sticks and leave me altogether with my connoisseur ways. i may beg and plead it to stay a while but it will turn just at the last moment before it pops out of sight forever, only to say with shaking head and sagging shoulders "Tif, oh Tif, you have become so dull of late"

so i am thinking, it will not be okay and i will mind terribly. 

hence i must tread carefully with my new found need to know more than i already know about yarn and woolly goodness. i will choose wisely what pages i remember as i read them, after all, knowledge is but remembrance. i am thinking my dusty old remembering cogs will like the challenge i have set for them, they will be grateful i have not left them to linger in a state of 'non-functioning' for more years then either i or they care to recall. however they will not be grateful if i overload them, ask too much of them, send them into a spinning whirling dervish ending in a break down of sorts.

earlier in the summer, i summoned up my snoopy courage and applied for a job out of mossy shed and in a big old beautiful yarn and wool store opening up shortly in a town close by. i was indeed rather giddy (and a little nervous) to learn a few weeks on, i was offered the job alongside of other crafty yarny souls. as the time draws near for me to join the workforce i am spending the next few weeks wisely swatting up on all things yarny and woolly.

 i must confess at first i felt my lack of knitting skills had let me down, however the positive little voice inside my head pointed out how marvelous it is i have crochetings skills to bring a lovely balance to all the knitting knowledge. however my positive little inner voice and i both agreed what would be even nicer is if i learnt more about yarn, wool and fibers so lovely passing customers who may have a question or two will not be met with a blank look followed by a "ummm, well, good question, i'll have to ponder that one. could you come back another time please"

hence the thoughts on 'to be a connoisseur or not to be a connoisseur?' rattling around in my head. i am thinking having thought it all through whilst rambling away, it would not be wise to become a yarn and wool connoisseur, forsaking all other knowledge i have carefully learnt along my crafty way. nope indeed, i fear that would not be a wise move. what would be a wise move however is to study my yarn books, then study the art of believing in myself and reminding myself 'i am good enough' and then i will reward myself with getting to grips with a lovely crochet book i happened across on my yarny wool knowledge quest... 
it made my heart skip a beat. 

tis the english version of a japanese book i LOVE, yes i do love it that muchly! 
already i am plotting and planning a crocheted hat as my reward for wisely choosing not to be a connoisseur today and instead, believing 'i am good enough, just as i am' today, tomorrow and next week

Tuesday, October 8

marvelous meatball-less muffins on a miserable pants weather day

today i did not make meatball cupcakes despite what it might look like

actually i did make meatballs last night come to think of it, turkey meatballs and 'go to' tomato sauce courtesy of Gwyneth and Julia. i cannot tell you just how delicious and hearty and good this recipe is on a cold and dreary monday evening. 

however today, on a dreary drizzley with little peek-a-boos of Mr Sunshine tuesday i felt an urge to bake. good grief, where on earth has that urge come from, i have never had such urges before but now i feel them daily. i have to literally stop myself from spending all my time in the kitchen making homemade baked goods. the only reason i do not, is because if i did, then i would eat them all day long and that is a 'no-no' for me. so i pace my baking urges and only allow them to surface twice a week, three times if i have no will power and give in.

today i opted for Gordon's Banana Oat Muffins from his Healthy Appetite tome. however i did mess around a little with the recipe. 

* instead of walnuts i used Enjoy Life choc chips which are wonderfully free of most food allergy stuff. how marvelous is that!

* instead of light brown sugar i used coconut sugar

* instead of melted butter or light olive oil i used Earth Balance

as there is no picture in the book i can find highlighting Gordon's muffins i can only presume his too looked like meatballs, hence 'no picture' 

and that was all, just a little tinkering and the results were not sweet in the least, which i imagine tis why its in the breakfast chapter. however best of all, oh joy of all joys despite their meatball appearance, they were edible! which in my world counts as a success most worthy of a gold sticky star