Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Blossom Hairclips

Last week I shared a pattern for Spring Blossoms, a cute little crocheted flower.

Since then I was emailed by Katu, who has the Etsy Shop Remembery Lane, asking permission to use the pattern to make hairclip sets to sell. I said yes (I said that it does not hurt to ask!) and she already has several pairs of Blossom Hairclips for sale!

Please go have a look at Katu's shop, or even check out her blog, if you feel so inclined!
Kathy xx
Oh, and if you want to make any of my crochet patterns to sell, please ask permission first, like Katu did. I don't bite :)

Love, Happiness and Marriage

One of my friends is moving to England (the other side of the world) to be with her fiance. On Sunday she had a farewell barbeque. To say goodbye I made her this:

I also wrote her a letter. At the end of the letter I felt like printing myself out a copy so I could remember my own advice (I especially like the last dot point). Some of this I have learnt, much of it I am still learning. I hope that what I wrote will also benefit you. Here is some of it:

...I wanted to share with you some of the things I have learnt about love and marriage. I hope dot points are okay as I should be working on my university assignment right now.
  • Love is precious, like a rare gemstone that must be guarded. 
  • Love is beautiful. 
  • Love is hard work.
  • Love is worth it.
  • When we love we put the other person before ourselves.
  • We don't love the other person so that we will be happy (that is selfish).
  • We love because that is what we choose to do. 
  • We love because we want to make someone else happy. 
  • Happiness is a by-product of choosing to love someone more than we love ourselves.
  • Many people do not understand that love does not always come naturally.
  • When we aren't feeling the love, we need to choose to be loving anyway.
  • Happiness is not the goal of marriage.
  • Learning to love and cherish someone before ourselves is the goal of marriage. 
  • This first blush of romance and happiness does not last. 
  • If you are committed, something better than what you have now will become yours. 
  • The stability and trust and confidence in a solid relationship where there is dedication and commitment is far more satisfying than the exciting whirl of romance. However... 
  • If you have a good, loving relationship, there will always be romance! 
  • Surprise cuddles are wonderful!
  • Sometimes men get grumpy when we give them a surprise cuddle. Timing can be crucial.
  • When you argue (and you will) do not say “you never...” or “you always...”
  • When you argue, make up before you go to sleep.
  • Say "I love you" everyday.  
  • Do not wait for the other person to apologise first, even if they are wrong. 
  • When you go through a hard day or year (or ten), remember what you have: do not throw it away, but hold onto it, because night does not last forever.
  • Do not try to change the other person, change yourself first.
  • Marriage is something that refines your character and teaches you how to love.
  • Learning to love is a never-ending lesson.
  • Always remember and appreciate what you have!
  • You hold the success and happiness of your marriage in your hands.

Have you got anything that you are bursting to add to this list? Share in a comment :)

Kathy xxx

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Choc Coated Anzac Slice

On the 25th of April it is Anzac Day. My dad fought in the Vietnam War and my grandfathers, great-grandfathers and other family members have fought in several other wars, including WW1 and WW2. War has had a big impact on my life, even though I come from a very sheltered country. I grew up hearing war stories and being so very thankful that my great-grandfather, my grandfathers and my father survived, not to mention great-uncles and so forth - I only know of one who died, a brother of my great-grandfather who died in WW1.

As a memorial of sorts, I would like to share this recipe with you. I first found this recipe on the Goddess's Kitchen about two years ago. Its original name is 'Afternoon Tea Slices' but I like to call it 'Chocolate Coated Anzac Slice'. Those of you who have made anzac biscuits will see from the list of ingredients why I call it this. I have made it quite a few times! It is the slice pictured in my current blog header.

Though the ingredients are the same, my method is slightly different and I use less chocolate. I hope you like it!

Chocolate Coated Anzac Slice

125g butter
2 tblsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1 tblsp hot water
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
200g milk chocolate, melted (or dark chocolate)

1. Preheat oven to 160c. Line a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with baking paper. Grease if you want to (I never grease it and it does not stick).
2. In a medium or large microwave proof bowl, put the butter and golden syrup and microwave until completely melted.
3. In a small cup or jug, mix the bicard and water. Add to golden syrup mixture and mix together.
4. Add oats, flour, sugar and coconut to the golden syrup, butter and bicarb mixture and mix well.
5. Press the mixture into the slice tin. Bake for 20 mins or until golden. 
6. Cool in tin. Pour over the melted chocolate* and leave until set. Cut into squares.

*Melting chocolate in the microwave: do this very carefully, 30 seconds at a time and stirring often with a knife. Make sure there is no water in the bowl or on the knife, and chocolate and water are mutual enemies.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Crochet Makes Things Better

Today I got some of my university assignments back. The feedback on one (on literacy) said that my conclusion was "particularly valid". Naturally, I had to read my conclusion to see what brilliant thing I had written, to discover that it mentions knitting and crochet. Awesome! Here is part of the knit and crochet friendly conclusion so you can see for yourself:

"Now, I realise that even though in general I am literate in English, I am very illiterate in other areas. For example, languages apart from English and even Australian slang, not to mention American slang. I also realised that I am literate in reading knitting and crochet patterns, both in the English form and their international form which consists of symbols. I now know that literacy incorparates far more than I thought it did."

If you were not convinced before, you must be now... knitting and crochet (though crochet more so, of course! hehe) really do make everything better! (Another edit of the essay would improve things yet again...)

Oh, and the bunny in the photo is a variation on my Amigurumi Pig pattern. Would you like a pattern for him?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring Blossoms - Free Crochet Pattern!

When you ramble through a garden in spring, you are sure to see flowers - lots and lots of them! So it makes sense to me (even though Tasmania is heading into winter) that blossoms should also be found on here, A Beautiful Ramble. 

I have had this little blossom in my head for a few days now, and last night the idea finally came into reality. Three realities, in fact. If one blossom is good, two must be better and so it follows that three must be best. (I also thought I should give my written instructions a little test run.) They only take a couple minutes each to make.

I hope, hope, HOPE this pattern makes sense! I wrote it after midnight last night. If you make it, please let me know! I would love to see. (Here is the Ravelry link).

Scraps of DK weight (8 ply) yarn
4.5mm crochet hook
Tapestry needle for finishing and sewing in the ends

Pattern uses US terminology.
Stitches used: chain (ch), slip stitch (slst), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc).
Special Techniques: Magic Ring (also called Magic Loop)
--magic loop video (here are some written instructions


Make a magic ring, ch 1.
Round 1: 5 sc in magic ring, join with slst.
Round 2: (ch2, dc, ch2, slst) in same st as the slst from Round 1, *in the next st (slst, ch2, dc, ch2, slst), repeat from *.
Finishing: cut a tail of about 4 inches (10cm), and draw it up through the last slst. Thread the tail onto the tapestry needle, insert under the very first slst (from Round 1), and back into the centre of the last slst. This makes an invisible join and is very neat. Secure the tail by taking it under a few stitches, bringing it up near the other, starting tail.

I left the tails hanging and loose so I can use them to sew the blossoms onto other projects.

There you have it! I hope you like this little pattern! I certainly do.

The copyright of this pattern remains with myself. It is provided free for personal use only. The pattern may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. If you want to sell products you have made from this pattern, you are free to do so (please refer to my FAQ page).

Creative Commons License
Spring Blossoms by Katherine Crombie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Morning

This morning I was up about five hours earlier than I usually am (this is not an exaggeration). There is something so wonderful and beautiful about early morning. Each time I get up early (that is, before 7am) I wish I was up that early every morning. I was so wide awake and energetic that I stuck my new beanie on my head (and, no bed hair! I got up and it was perfect!), grabbed my camera and went for a waltz outside. 

Hello, morning!

  This is a wide shot: right click and select 'view image' for a better look.

Geraniums with a layer of heavy dew (this is a wide shot too).

Hello, hopeful bluegum regrowth.

 Pretty in Pink: if I thought you would look good in a vase you would be inside right now.

Have you been for a dance lately? You know you want to! Stick your favourite beanie on your head, grab your camera and go for a waltz outside...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Intentio Meretrix Bug

Yesterday I was nearly stung by a scorpian. I thought it was dead and went to pick it up, then promptly squealed when it started moving. Freaky!

I was not stung by the scorpian but by something else. Here are some clues:
  • The stinger of this particular bug is similar to that of a bee: it has a little hook on it. 
  • It is select in choosing its victims. Usually, the victim must be predisposed to texture, colour and creativity. 
  • If the victim also has an affinity for mathematics, infection can be severe. 
  • In cases, infection can lead to an entire lifestyle change... even loss of certain abilities such as being able to keep a house clutter free.
  • Treatment of the infection can be costly. Usually, increasing amounts of yarn must be purchased in order to keep the infection under control.
Do you know what sort of bug has bitten me?

It belongs to the Meretrix family. It is known as Intentio Meretrix. You might know it by its colloquial term, the Designing Crochet Bug.

Internet, I was bitten early February, 2010. The infection has been spreading surely but steadily. 

Funny thing... since starting to write this my foot has gotten really itchy. Have I been bitten by a real-life bug?

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Truth be told, I am a rather lazy housekeeper in real life. Yes, my home looks nice and people like being here but the dishes are always stacked up and I rarely vacuum. Honestly, I prefer the term 'homemaker' to 'housekeeper' or 'housewife'. But this post is not about 'real life' housekeeping, it is about blog housekeeping. 

You might have noticed that I have been shuffling things around with the purpose of tidying up the sidebar. I stumbled across how to make 'Pages' so I have made three of them, which you can find just below the blog header: Yummy Recipes, Beautiful Crochet, and All About Kathy. So now the sidebar is lots tidier!

On another note, I had lots of fun creating the photo collages for the three pages! Though you might notice that one of the photos in the Beautiful Crochet page is not what it seems...

I am interested to hear what people think of the changes I have made. Do you like them? Or is it a big, fat, resounding "change it back"?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Trials of Teacher Training

Someone: "So, what do you do?"
Me: "Oh, I am at uni studying to be a primary school teacher."
Someone: "Wow, sounds good! Is it hard work?"
Me: "Yeah it is actually, much harder than my Bachelor of Arts was."
Someone: "Did you have class today?"
Me: "Yep!"
Someone: "What did you do?"
Me: "Oh, played with playdough... the usual."

True story! (Not the conversation, just the playdough playing.) I love studying to be a teacher!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh Happy Day

Well I am a bit excited right now, because it has been a while since I have received a blog award. Thank you, Erin, for my Happy 101 award!

Now I get to share 10 things that make me happy and 10 blogs that make me happy, then the people I tag get to repeat the process if they want to :)

Things that make me happy:

1. Music. Especially Steven Curtis Chapman and also, at the moment Lincoln Brewster. Unfortunately, one of my Steven Curtis Chapman cd's (my favourite one) is very bady scratched and either has to be repaired before it drives me up the wall or thrown out :(

2. Finishing something, whether it is the cleaning or a crochet project (or even a blogpost) I love that feeling of achievement.

3. Chatting to people over facebook chat! Especially my mum!

4. Cooking a dinner that my husband cannot find any fault with. Not that he is a complainer... just pedantic :S

5. Smiles, laughter, cuddles and 'smileys' too :D :) :* ;P :/ :S :O

6. My husband. Hello!!!!!!! Comment this time, sweetie! Go on the other computer if you have to! (The work computer he usually reads my blog on doesn't allow him to post comments.)

7. Seeing people make the designs I have on Ravelry.

8. Seeing people change and grow and blossom.

9. My three neices. Hello my neices mum! Give them all a cuddle for me!

10. Jesus, he makes me 'smileinsideallthetime' happy :D

Ten blogs that make me happy:

1. Alaskan Purl by Allison
2. Attic24 by Lucy
3. Generation Cedar by Kelly
4. IndieHomeEc by HollyLynne
5. Joli House by Amanda
7. Planet June by June Gilbank
8. Posie Gets Cozy by Alicia
9. The Toby Show by Jonah Lisa
10. Trends and Traditions by Heather
and one extra, because I am happy when she posts, my sister in law's blog, Meika's Little Treasures.

I am looking forward to seeing happy lists!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Urban Neckwarmer: Design Process

The crocheters (so wanted to write crocheteers, like musketeers) among my readers will be happy to know that I have been plugging away at a neckwarmer version of the Urban Shells Scarf. At the moment I am working on one which is the same as the original scarf pattern, only using 10ply wool and a 5.5mm (I) hook and worked to a shorter length (here is the ravelry link). However, the first one I made I adjusted enough to justify writing a seperate pattern for it. I have not written the pattern up yet (would the crocheteers out there like a chart?) but I thought I would share a bit of the design process.

Do you do this when you are bored or stuck at a dead end?

The starting chain for the scarf needs to be a multiple of 6 and 4 (so 12, 24, 36 and so on), but with this neckwarmer I wanted it to be slightly narrower. It was important to make sure the starting chain was a multiple of 4 so that the edging would work. This meant I was left with an extra stitch for the main body of the neckwarmer (Oh no! I just realised that I have a mistake on the chart I have drawn! Well, that explains why there was only one left over stitch when there should have been 2 left over.) Anyway, mistake realised and now feeling rather sheepish, I now know why I had to slip stitch into the turning chain! Haha too funny! 

I love the button placement in this picture.

Moving on and pretending no mistakes were made, I adjusted the amount of ribs (the 3D-esque stripe-like feature) there would be in the neckwarmer to account for that extra stitch. I was not sure at first how to change the pattern, but ended up with a double rib down the centre of the neckwarmer, which I like a lot.

 I have not figured out a good clusure yet - the button is temporary. 
Suggestions would be welcome!

This neckwarmer was so fast to make up and the Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury Yarn is just so lovely to have against the skin (and it is machine washable and so very wonderfulty affordable!). So, pattern (mistake free!) or not? I await the jury's verdict :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

If I Were...

(Thank you, Erin, for this great idea!)

if I were a month, I'd be April

if I were a day, I'd be Wednesday

if I were a time of day, I'd be 10:00 a.m.

if I were a font, I'd be Georgia

if I were a sea animal, I'd be a clown fish

if I were a direction, I'd be straight up

if I were a piece of furniture I'd be a hammock

if I were a liquid, I'd be fresh apple juice

if I were a gemstone, I'd be an emerald

if I were a tree, I'd be a cherry tree, big enough to sit in

if I were a tool, I'd be a dessert spoon

if I were a flower, I'd be daphne

if I were an element of weather, I'd be a sun shower

if I were a musical instrument, I'd be a piano

if I were a color, I'd be the green of a new leaf

if I were an emotion, I'd be joy

if I were a fruit, I'd be a nectarine

if I were a sound, I'd be a laughter

if I were an element, I'd be one of the rare ones

if I were a car, I'd be Bumblebee from Transformers

if I were a food, I'd be fruit

if I were a place, I'd be Ranelagh, Tasmania

if I were a material, I'd be silk

if I were a taste, I'd be mint followed by a glass of water

if I were a scent, I'd be eucalypt

if I were a body part, I'd be eyes

if I were a song, I'd be"Fingerprints of God" by Steven Curtis Chapman

if I were a bird, I'd be a blue wren

if I were a gift, I'd be appreciated

if I were a a city, I'd be Hobart

if I were a door, I'd be open

if I were a pair of shoes, I'd be havianas

if I were a poem, I'd be "Who has seen the wind" by Christina Rossetti

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today in the History Books

Today I am...

A variation of my Urban Shell's Scarf - a neckwarmer! This will be the prototype for a handmade stall I am taking part in with my SIL and another friend. I will be writing up the pattern for it, too!

Hind's Feet in High Places, a really sweet story that is also an allegory about living as a Christian.

Going to Cook:  
Banana Muffins - I have 5 bananas that are so ripe they are black. They are going to be so easy to mash.

Planning on implementing:
Family Dinners - we need more talk time! However, it also means clearing the diningroom table, which can be a bit of a challenge.

Listening to:
Lincoln Brewster's album, Today is the Day. I love this so much! Here is the title song. (Sorry! I can not remember how to get the video to show up here!)

Thinking About:
This Easter weekend, and all the things we are going to - church and family dinners. Also about what else to put in this post :)

Grateful for:
University Holidays! Also my husband (who is barely able to contain his excitement about two 4-day work weeks in a row), my friends (I had a great time last night!) and my cat. I love how his whole body vibrates when he purrs. I am also grateful for chocolate and homemade hot cross buns. Bring on the weekend!

What is making history for you today?