Thursday, January 31, 2008



What I am currently reading/plotting from/drooling over...

Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
A birthday present for myself hehe. Some perfectly scrummy things in there!! Possibly drawstring cotton pouch, fingerless gloves, something felted.

Special Knits by Debbie Bliss
Last years birthday present to myself hehe. THinking about the organza edged cardy for babyM and the vest pattern made girlie

Simply Baby by Debbie Bliss
Baby Shrug in Jet (when it arrives). On loan from my local library

Knitting by Ros Badger
My knitting 'turn to'. Don't really fancy any of the patterns in the book but it is a super reference, has a stitch dictionary, conversion charts for needles etc so is great to have around

Picture Knits by Betty Barnden
My intarsia best friend! ;)

Knitted Toys by Zoe Mellor
She designs the cutest things! Always on the look out for using up scraps ideas

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pinwheel Update : A better armhole

So.... the tricky sleeve part. There is a Ravelry group for "pinwheel support " so I read there about a better way to do the armhole. The pattern says this (for making armholes)

"Next Round: knit the first set of 18 stitches and the yo from the round before, place the second set of 18 stitches on a holder, join a new ball of yarn and cast on 18 stitches using a provisional cast on - see below for provisional cast on instructions (this will be the sleeve later), join yarn and continue knitting 4 more sets of 18 stitches plus the yo's from the previous round, slip the next 18 stitches on a holder, join yarn and cast on 18 stitches using a provisional cast on, knit the last 18 stitches and yo from the previous round."

What the???

I found instructions for a better armhole here. So that's what I did. The technique is called 'after heel' and other people have used it and apparently its much better than the provisional cast on (which is what I used for the cups on the Katja and they didnt turn out so great). The after heel approach is the same as how you do the thumb hole in the Fetching gloves - you knit with a contrasting waste yarn then later unravel it to give you 'live' stitches.

My waste yarn is the bright pink


I'm currently knitting round 61 in colour 7. I reckon I need to get to 80 rounds to get the right size circle so about 20 rounds to go. Which doesnt sound much BUT theres about 240stitches on the needles now!!! So its going to be pretty slow going from here. and b.o.r.i.n.g I think. No more yo's just knit and purl rounds to give a garter stitch border. I am wondering if it would be wise to take up the suggestion of doing an arm when I get tired of the round and round just for a change.
Anyhoo...heres where its at :)

The needles are too small now so it doesnt like nice and flat for now. I think the colours are nice , pink and girlie without being too over the top pink and girlie


Boogie Bag

DH saw me looking at the Booga bag pattern and said why are you making a boogie bag (hope I spelt that right...boogie as in the stuff up your nose aka snot!! lol)

Coming along nicely. The Vintage Hues is really soft and lovely to knit with and has a lovely colourway.

Its not going to be the hugest bag in the world but will be cute I think


AND its knitted in the round too. So lots of round and round and round knitting at the moment, which is quite good for TV watching, no thinking just knitting on and on and on

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I was telling Flea (who is the lady to see if you are after totally awesome little girl dress ups!!) that I was having so much trouble with my pinwheel sweater. Sigh. Casting and frogging about a million times. You start with just 8st and I was really finding working with so few stitches and DPNs really difficult. I knew when it got bigger and onto circular needles I would be fine. I had another go yesterday while spending the afternoon on the couch watching the cricket. And WOOHOO!! I got it going. No idea why it worked this time. Perhaps because I used a different colour/ball of wool? Who knows?

So it starts like this on DPN's

Every row you add in yo's (makes the holes) so on the next round there is extra stitches. So your circle gets bigger and bigger. Eventually you can swap to circs. This is a 30cm

And when it gets too big again, swap up another size circ ( this is a size 80cm)

Its looks really neat and is actually really easy. Every 2nd row you do some yo's otherwise its just knitting round and round and round

I am up to the tricky sleeve part now....stay tuned

P.S see the pretty stitch marker? Made by the ultra clever Neak


Here is the Tudora I made for my friend in London

Its meant to be asymetrical - sort of like a neck warmer /mini scarf sort of thing.


I made it in the same wool as the Fetching gloves and should be perfect for winter/spring in London.

DH says it hideous. But what does he know

Friday, January 25, 2008

Gabes Knitting Aims for 08

Thought I would write this here. Then I *might* actually be motivated enough to try and complete the list . If I remember at the end of the year I can look back to see how I did.

My list is just about developing my skill set a bit more. I have been doing tons of the same things for ages. 08 is my year to do less of that and more of the other stuff. I am really confident with intarsia and fairaisle, so now i would like to do more with fancy stitches and things like that.

First up. CROCHET. Ok, never thought I would have learning to crochet as an aim in life. LOL. But I really want to learn. Not so I can make kitsch crocheted peggy squares but for finishing and possibly the odd crocheted dishcloth or something. I think it would be a handy skill to have for the odd pattern that calls for a crochet edge, cast on or something else. I am in the process (Ok, lets be honest for a moment....should be in the process of ) knitting a baby blanket for M5mths. At the rate it is going (currently hibernating) she won't be a baby when I get it finished. Its made of 20cmx20cm squares and I am wondering how the hang I am going to join them altogether. So hopefully crochet will save the day there. Also for finishing/edging once I get them altogether. I have a hook. I have some magazines with pictures. Think I need a quiet night and youtube.....

CABLES Were in the too hard basket for a long time but now I am done with Fetching I think I might try something a bit more involved. They are much much much easier than I thought they would be!! Have a couple of cabled hats queued on R.

FELTING Just never have got around to doing a felting project. Have wool for Booga Bag. Really should just get on with it I guess

Circular Knitting.
I find DPNs slow and hard going. Circular needles are Ok. Its not really an aim I guess. I just need to stop being scared of patterns that say they are knit in the round. Currently trying to cast on for the pinwheel sweater. And there is this hat pattern I thought I might try.

My Fetchingly Fetching

Finished. My Fetchingly Fetching. AKA Cabled Wrist Warmers/Fingerless Gloves


Pretty happy with them actually. My first ever cables and my first 'real' DPN project. I think I might make myself a pair when the weather cools. At the moment its mid summer and very sticky and muggy so not the greatest weather for knitting 12ply wool. I think they would be perfect for the winter here though, it gets cool, not that cold so fingerless gloves are probably the perfect thing. In the meantime I have a gazillion million things to get on with so a pair for me are on the 'one day' list.

These gloves are for my friend in London and last night after I finished these I cast on a Tudora for her to match. Another cool pattern from Knitty.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Something pretty for me

None of my knitting is ever for me. Partly because I like to do small quick things and baby sized stuff...the thought of making an adult sized sweater is just well...a tad daunting. Partly because all I can do crafty-wise is knit so in terms of making gifts its only knitted for me. I love gifting my knitting.

So I decided "I" needed something made by me! And here it is...

A knitted bracelet thingy. Called Perdita (from the awesome Knitty again). I omited the beads because the cotton was variagated anyway, thought it would be a bit much with beads as well.


And on....

TBH Im not sure if I will ever actually wear it but it was fun to make. Quick and not to difficult (my kind of knitting). Its very pretty, I'm really pleased with it.

I used 2.25mm needles (very skinny) as the cotton was DMC? (lost the ball band ages ago) embroidery weight stuff. I don't usually do lacy sort of patterns so it was a nice change to do something like this.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Round and round and round

Another DPN project!! I am getting brave huh? Actually this Fetching take2 . My first one suffered from a case of not reading the pattern properly so I frogged it. So Take2 is much better. This is yarn I bought especially for it . Taieri PLains 12ply I found at our local sewing centre, for only $3.99/50g which is a nice price. I am making these for a dear friend in London. Her birthday is Xmas Eve so I am running a bit late. I also need to move it as it will be warming up there soon and might get too warm for wristy warmers. Anyway all went well. The DPNs weren't too bad once you get going. THis is also my first ever cable project. OMG they are easy (well this simple one was). Might try something else cabled soon.


The pattern said one skein was enough. The wool I bought doesnt have yardage on it so I hoped one would be enough. But of course it wasnt. So glove #2 is on hold till I get another ball. Grrr hate it when that happens.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Scraps leftovers and those annoying bits of balls

I have a big bag of these. They are almost as annoying as a collection of one balls. I do quite a bit of intarsia so do keep the little lengths for just in case.

What do you do with your scraps and leftovers?

I discovered this pattern Korknisse. So damn cute. I think its going to be my new favourite way to use up my scraps

The only problem is the cork thing. I don't drink (breastfeeding Mum here) and anyway most wines these days have screw top lids. Hmmm

Nappies and Knitting

I used to knit when I was about 11 and 12. I knit a couple of big fluffy jumpers for myself on huge coloured plastic needles (10mm??). Then in my teenage years knitting mustn't have been cool - I dont remember knitting at all during high school. When M5 was little (before N2 was born) we went and stayed with Mum and decided to have a go again. And I was hooked. Just like that. I started off with some bootees (rabbit ones no less), then a baby cardy, then progressed to knitting stuff for M5 - a poncho (size 2 or 3 I think it was...still fits her now at a size7....let's just say my newbie tension wasn't so great) and a frilled edge wrap cardigan(which again fit her for years and years) from Debbie Bliss' Baby Style book. Then one night I sat down and made another pair of bootees. And what do you know the next day I found out I was pregnant with DD2. I knitted bits and pieces of small and cute baby items while i was pregnant. Then when she was about 6months I discovered modern cloth nappies (mcn) and this site. Which has pretty much changed my life really. As well as giving me a ton of information about modern cloth nappies there is a strong natural parenting tone which suits the way I parent. Lots of stimulating conversations, great information about eco alternatives, parenting (every which way)and life in general. And lots of amazing strong generous and caring women, many who have become great friends (lots online and now some IRL ).
And knitting?
Knitting? on a nappy site? Yip!!
You see wool makes for great nappy covers. Probably our grandparents knew this well. Then with disposables I guess woolly overpants weren't the done thing anymore. However there is a strong cloth movement in NZ and around the world with many parents choosing reusable nappies. And there's *this thing* about woolly over-nappies. People love them. They work great. Look fab.
Wool absorbs moisture but because of the fibres in wool it also breathes so when your baby has a wet nappy underneath they stay warm.

So wool over pants like knickers are called soakers. They look like this:

Wool pants are called longies (from long johns???)

In a summer you shorten the legs to make shorties like this:

So 2 of our DDs are in cloth nappies so lots of my knitting is nappy related. I also sell some of these here


SABLE = Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy or something like that anyway.

I have a modest woolly stash. But now I think I have progressed to stage 2 in my self developed yarn stash progression.

Stage 1 is when you are a newbie knitter and you think of a PROJECT and THEN go get the yarn for it. Generally you don't "have" a stash, you just have the wool you are working with and maybe a bit more that is specifically earmarked for a future project.

Stage 2 is where I am. I now have a stash. Modest. But still...way way way more wool than I ever thought I would own. I started out with a small knitting box. It held all my needles and wool and patterns. Sufficient for a newbie knitter. Then suddenly, the box wasnt big enough (oops) so I got a new box. Lovely dark sea grass so it could sit in the lounge without looking out of place. Then suddenly, I don't know how (well I do really) it wasn't big enough. I had yarn all over the place , in bags in the wardrobe and all over the lounge (much to DH's annoyance). Now the seagrass box is in my bedroom full of patterns , hibernating projects and a bag of scraps/1 balls/bits and pieces. My yarn is now in a big (ok its huge) plastic box (with wheels for easier maneuvering) in my wardrobe. Its full (oops). Still its a pretty modest stash in the scheme of things. I know *some people* eh Nova? are working out how many miles they have. Soooooo not going there!!
My Mum always had a big stash. I could never really understand *why* - so much wool, no real hope of knitting it. Mum....I get it now :)

Stage 3 - Stage 3 is when, well you have SABLE. More wool than you could ever hope to knit in a lifetime. CG speaks of someone with a whole nother room *just* for wool. Wow HOW cool would that be?

Ok...and this woman is in her league of her own. DO click on the link . Its the most amazing eyepopping stash ever.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I got brave. I got some DPNs. I don't want to knit socks or anything like that but I do want to make this pinwheel sweater. Its knit in the round which I dont usually do. So will be quite a change. Like I said we live in a warm climate so this project will be more about the making than the wearing.
So far I have bought some wool for the sweater. And decided I needed to do a couple of projects on DPNs before attempting the actual jeresy.
So I made this

Its a cozy for my sister for her Ipod player, or her cellphone. She didnt give me measurements for her player so I just made it up but apparently it fits well so I must have guestimated good! I used this pattern from AnnyPurls for inspiration and did a few modifications. The flowers is from this pattern and is actually the button/closure. I am pretty pleased how my DPN attempt went and the colours are so girly and bright I think it looks lovely. B loves it.


Special Knits

As a birthday present to myself I bought a copy of Special Knits by Debbie Bliss. For my birthday last year. And its taken till now for me to finally knit something from it (my birthday *this* year was last week)!! I got given some wool by the lovely kb and there was 2 balls of a lovely chocolate brown fine merino. I decided to do something for M5mths and thought that, because it was quite a fine wool, it would substitute for the babycashmerino (which is a spendy wool and kind of like a 5ply) that lots of Debbie's baby knits are made from. The trouble with books like Special Knits is that they always use specialised yarns which are hard to get here, or very spendy if you can find them. For once in my life I actually did a guage test and was pretty pleased to find I only needed a slight needle size difference to get it correct. After much ooohing and aahhing over the lovely patterns I decided to do the eyelet vest. We live in a warm muggy climate and I don't think my kids are going to need lots of woollies this winter. The vest was a perfect choice - should be great in autumn and in winter with long sleeves
I made the 6-12mth size but TBH its a little short on M5mths. I wish I had made it longer but I would have run out of wool if I had. Otherwise the fit is good and hopefully she wont grow too much more before it cools down and will get to wear it

It looks great with pink ribbon tie and pink button. I think chocolate and pink is so nice for girls


The sunhat was just so gorgeous, it was crying out for a matching top. This is Katja from Knitty.


I really like learning more knitting techniques and this one called for a provisional or crochet cast on. Again ...really must learn how to crochet. You can see in the pic you end up with live stitches that mean you can rejoin your work without seaming. Luckily I found instructions for a noncrochet provisional cast on at knitty.


Lets start with some summer knits

I used to think that knitting was all about wool. And then thanks to knitting gurus on the nappy network I discovered there was knitting in cotton too! Cotton is perfect for summery knits...also good for dishcloths but we'll leave that for another post. Anyway cotton.....I was lucky enough to be gifted a huge ball of pink cotton by my lovely Xmas swap fairy. Its from Bendigo Wollen Mills in Australia and I was so stoked to receive it as I had been thinking about doing a summer sunhat for DD. I found a pattern but it was crochet. Just about every hat I found that was remotely summery was crochet. Which is cool if you crochet. Except I don't . Yet (its on my to do list!). Then thanks to the wonderful google I happened across this pattern. And it was free! And by Debbie Bliss. Who I adore! So I was pretty pleased. The pattern was 1-2 year, and although DD is pretty big she's not *that* big so I did end up altering it just a little bit. Half an inch less length and a less rows in the brim. And here it is....a perfectly summer sunhat.....knitting isn't just for winter~

Just another knitting blog

Is it possible to have too many blogs? This is blog number 4 for me!! But I really wanted to have a space to blog just my knitting. We have a personal blog just for family and friends (if you are a family or friend reading this and don't have the address leave a comment and I will give you the url) and I also contribute to this blog which is a group of friends from an online forum.

This is my blog where I sell knitting "SweetP Designs"

And now here. Which is just going to be me blabbering on about knitting and yarn and stuff like that.