Monday, June 30, 2008

Mid year round up

Today is July......Half the year is gone already. Wow It's gone so fast. So much has happened, it's been a busy one. And a productive one!

I had a play on Ravelry to see how many FO's I've managed so far this year. 57!!! More than I thought! Hehe sounds a lot but that's mostly one skeins, little things and lots of baby knits!

Here are some of my favourites

1. The Toys!
TOYS mosiac

2. The Little Bitty Baby Stuff!
Baby Stuff Mosaic

3. The warm stuff....mittens and hats and things!
Hats and gloves mosaic

4. Some other bits and pieces!
Other stuff mosiac

Can you tell I've had some fun with FD's flickr toys? The mosiac maker is FUN!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The day I microwaved the yarn

I've been wanting to make use of my Ashford acid dyes for ages. Unfortunately my last minute rushed research suggested one shouldn't use your normal kitchen utensils, surfaces or microwave to dye with acid dyes and because the powder is toxic , a mask is a good idea.

Hmmm I had to admit to being just a little unprepared (and with 2 small 'helpers' at home the idea of toxic powder in bright "child magnet" colours was suddenly less appealing). So I decided to dye using KoolAid the lovely Sonia included in my recent yarn package from the US. I had a read of this tutorial which helped a lot.

Here is the sweetp version of yarn dyeing in all its inprecise glory

First up I picked the yarn to dye. Patons Patonyle sock yarn. Yesireee folks I'm gonna try socks!! (sometime) Boring cream socks just wouldn't do

Next I made my ball of yarn a skein of yarn. I was hoping for self striping so my handy chairs were quite a distance apart.
Small helper is an optional extra

I soaked the yarn for awhile in warm-ish water and some vinegar (precise huh?!). Luckily I didn't forget to tie up my yarn BEFORE I took it off the chairs. Some nice acrylic that wouldnt dye so I could find it later. One colour for ties that are keeping the skein together and another colour tie for where I have guestimated the colour changes to start.

Next I prepared my very expensive yarn dyeing equipment and made up my very expensive dye solutions. I'm using KoolAid which isn't available in NZ but if you have a friend in the US maybe you can ask them nicely to send you some. I also hear you can use Raro which I'm going to try sometime .

I was wanting red pink purple blue (or something like that).....the blue packet turned out to be tropical (=orange) so last minute colourway change to red purple orangey lol. No worries.

2 packets of red KA/1 packet of purple/1 packet of red/1 packet red&1packet tropical. I dissolved the packets in a 'jar full' of hot water then added my yarn


Next time I might remember to leave a bit more room in the jars for the yarn!! These jars were a good size for 50g of yarn. That much KoolAid is alot for just 50g but I wanted deeper colours so went for overkill.

Then I put the jars full of yarn in the microwave for a couple of 2min bursts. I think I did 6min total

I gave the yarn a bit of a stir with a utensil I didn't mind turning orange and could see it was going the required cloudy/milky colour

When the colour was all gone I knew I was all done

I gave the yarn a bit of a soak and wash in the tub then a spin in the washing machine. The yarn was in a mesh washing bag so it didn't get all tangled up. Then I hung it outside to dry...

Voila! Hand dyed sock yarn

It's pretty bright but I like it! This yarn has some nylon content so it is a little streaky (I don't mind ). KA only works on animal fibres (wool & silk)


It ended up 3/4 red-ish and 1/4 purple so will probably make for some "interesting" socks. The red part goes from deep red to orange red

And here it is all balled up and ready to knit. Better go pick myself a very plain sock pattern I think!


Ok I am a dummy. I assumed since they sold SOCK yarn in 50g balls that would be enough for a PAIR of socks...50g isn't enough for a pair of socks it is? Could I get a pair of ankle socks for me out of it? Or am I going to have to make toddler size socks with this? ARGGHHHH!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mmmm Malabrigo!! (more mailbox madness)

I am a spoilt little sweetp. Yes I am.


Gasp. This colourway is so perfectly "me" - I definitely would have picked this one. STUNNING! Super Bulky Malabrigo Aquarella "Midas".



Kettle Dyed Merino Worsted - colourway "Sealing Wax" - this was a colourway I'd drooled over online. I can't help but sing lines from Puff the Magic Dragon (as a child I wondered why Puff and Jackie played with ceiling wax).

Could this be any more gorgeous?


In my favourite colour some Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair.

So beautiful, so soft.

Yarn envy anyone? Its a crime you can't get Malabrigo in NZ (that I know of anyway...if I'm wrong DO tell). Someone should be importing this yarn so we can enjoy it too! Hmmm SweetP Yarns has a nice ring to it.

I'm so torn between wanting to cast on right now and just leaving them out on the table so I can wander past and pet them. My el-budget camera really doesnt do them justice so you will have to take my word for it that these are some beautiful yarns!!

Wondering how you can get Malabrigo in your mailbox too?

First you have to have a lovely & talented blog buddy on the other side of the world who likes to do yarn shopping. Then you have to let her twist your arm into doing an international yarn swappie ( there was no convincing needed really.... she said 'shall we do a swap' and I was like OF COURSE!!). She'll be so kind and get you some yarn you've been wanting to try and send you some much coveted yarn made close to her home.

Thank you thank you thank you Sonia. I love it all. You picked the most perfect yarns and colours. I'm totally blown away.

Check your mailbox in about 10 days :)


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blanket of Knitted Love and Strength

Last night I knit a small 15 x 15cm square. On its own the square is nothing much but once its sewn together with lots of other squares it will be a snuggly and warm blanket to comfort a little boy who has a long hospital stay ahead. My square might be boring garter stitch but its soft and warm and it was knit with lots of love. The lovely Sharonnz is organising and co-ordinating a knitted blanket project for a friend who has just had the kind of bombshell news every parent hopes they never get. Sharon has asked her knitting friends to each donate a square so they can be sewn together to brighten a hospital bed and let a family know there are lots of people sending love and best wishes. A blanket of knitted love and strength.

Making a square for this project got me thinking about my Great Un Finished Object. It's really the only project I'd say is officially hibernating..... Also a blanket made with donated squares from some lovely friends. It's with much embarrassment I realise this has been hibernating for almost a year as I began making squares before M was born. It was meant to be a cot blanket or baby blanket, however its now becoming obvious that she may well be no-longer- a-baby by the time I get this done.


Theres about 6 weeks until M's 1st birthday. Could I set myself an impossible goal of giving her a completed blanket for her birthday?

I had a count and sort out of all the squares last night. I need to knit 5 coloured squares and (ugh) 10 plain black squares. But that's not the part I'm stuck on. It's the construction/sewing it together/blocking a million squares/backing it with something that is really not that appealing. I've talked this through a friend already but any tips about how to make this easier /quicker/more appealing would be greatly appreciated.

Until I finish her a blanket of her own, Baby M uses my old baby blanket to keep her snuggly in her pram when we walk to school in the mornings. P6250930

Its bright and very retro (which apparently is very fashionable...right?) - you can probably tell from the colour scheme that I was born in the late 70s heh.


Wonder if I looked that cute wrapped up in it as a babe

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Koha Fairy alive and well


Look what turned up in my letterbox yesterday. The scrummiest yarn!! and this very clever little pin/brooch (which is going to look very cool on my winter coat).... And a lovely little card which said my pressie was from the Koha Fairy.

Cept I'm too good at the old detective work and guessed it was Nikki. Do you read her blog? V.E.R.Y funny (in a good way Nikki!) and one of my favs. She also knits! Isn't she a's a welcome back to *the city* present just for me.

I'm so blown away. Thank you Nikki. You are such a sweetie.

I'm off to Ravelry now to queue some ideas for this lovely yarn....stay tuned.....

PS. Just realised you non-NZ folk won't know what koha is.... its a Maori word which has made its way into everyday NewZealand speak means a gift or present

When it pays to be a knitter

In my last post I alluded to feeling a bit guilty about procrastinating on other people's knitting. The other people's knitting is mainly orders for my SweetP Designs - my little knitting pocketmoney hobby/not really a business thing I have going. It's been pretty quiet for most of this year which has suited me just fine as I have lots of knitting of my own I wanted to do anyway. But in the past few weeks there has a been lots of interest and I'm now flat out making things for orders and have sold most of my existing stock on Trademe. It's not exactly an income but it keeps me in yarn money ;)

sweetp wips

So if there are lots of not-knitting posts from me over the next wee while it's because I'm busy working on 'business' knitting (which isn't that interesting for blog readers!).

I'm also really excited because I was also approached by Tweedle - an online nappy store to stock SweetP - check it out here! Thanks Rachael for the opportunity.

Since I'm going to be busy busy busy on that front Wicked has to be relegated to snooze while I finish stocking up. It's almost looking like a top now....


Excuse the I just got out of the shower look

I'm very pleased with it so far. The yarn is great for this design and it shows off the twisty rib neckline perfectly. It also looks like its going to be a great fit - I was so keen to get started I didn't do the swatch thing (I know...I am a naughty knitter) and just figured one size up would be Ok (pattern is for aran and I'm using DK). The colour has come out brighter in these photos - it's actually deeper and more like the pics from yesterday's post.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

I had a plan

I had a plan and the plan was this:
Make this month all about swaps and gifts and little things that need to be done so that NEXT month I could have a selfish knitting month and finally get that CPH done. Hence all the finishing off things and little gifts and bits and pieces.

I get a bit stressed when I have a 'to do' list half a mile long - my so called relaxation/"me" time hobby becomes something of a burden, I start to get the guilts that I 'owe' things to people. It's one thing to procrastinate on knitting for oneself but I hate to do that on other people's knitting.

Sometimes however, the call to cast on just becomes too much

Next month (when it's all about ME) I plan to finish the CPH and make me a Wicked. This pattern is 'so me' , I know I'll get tons of wear out of it as I have a similar styled top that I wear almost every day. Another 'actual' something that takes more than 1 skein...impressed? Also the 1st time I've knit something totally in the round (apart from longies of course). This one is neck down and I'm putting my new KP needles to good use ;)

Gurnard raved about this new yarn and when I saw the colour range I just had to get some......Patons Smoothie DK 100% acrylic.
I know..... ACRYLIC!! But oh my, this is some lovely yarn. Smooth and sleek, it's got gorgeous stitch definition and is lovely to knit with. I can't believe I'm raving about a yarn that isn't a natural fibre but this one is very fine indeed. Not squeaky and it doesn't have a plastic feel to it either, it's almost cotton like in appearance but with more shine.

The smoothness is perfect for showing off the twisty rib patterning on the neckline

I just need to get a teeny bit more done (so it's out of my system you know) then it's back to 'the list'...promise

Friday, June 20, 2008


Oh lookie....

Shaun the Sheep is on the Fuzzymitten blog. Cool huh!


How cozy do we look?


This is going to be super for frosty mornings at Playcentre when N2 wants to play outside! Now I can keep wearing my winter coat and BabyM is going to be snuggly warm too.

I first saw this pattern on Ravelry and immediately queued it, as I wear my baby every day and it was cute to see a "baby wearing accessory" I could make myself!
Originally on Magknits the designer has now added her Seaweed babywearing cover to her blog.


It's a very simple knit, nice and quick and great for picking up for a quick couple rows here and there. You do have to do some maths (not too hard) at the beginning to custom make your cover to suit your coat and carrier but once the knitting begins it's really very simple. I took this to Wellington with me as I was in that tricky in between projects stage and didn't want to take anything complicated with me (so I could take full advantage of chatting with friends while knitting). This is a great project for knitting while watching TV too.

I scored this wool from Mum, it didn't have ball bands but I'm sure it's wool, nice and cozy and knitted up pretty. I have some leftover so might make her a matching hat perhaps.

Raveled here.

PS. Miss 12(!!)kg is in an ergo but you can make this for any type of carrier :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Afternoon Tea Surprise


The Crafty Crow is a great kids craft blog that the lovely Kat suggested during my blog competition. Some super ideas for fun things to do with kids. I really liked this idea and yesterday made the kids a muffin tin afternoon surprise.

Carrot sticks, apple, dried apricots, rice crackers, grapes and marshmellows.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Only a month late

I'm trying hard this year to make all my presents and gifts (or at least a good part of). I think something made specifically with the person in mind, with time, effort and love is so much nicer than something cheap and nasty bought at the last minute. So far I'm not doing too bad and can tick off my auntie's birthday, mother's day and lots of new baby gifts.

For DD's birthday last month I promised her a pair of slippers. I let her pick out a pattern and yarn. She wanted ballerina slippers so we went for this Fiber Trends pattern and the last of my stashed Pink Jet.

Unfortunately I assumed (wrongly...doh) that the pattern was a PDF download. Only after DD had her heart set on them did I realise the pattern was a leaflet and would be shipped from the US. Let's just say it cost me significantly more than the $5.95 I thought it was going to be. Lesson learnt!! It also took a little longer than I had expected (funnily enough international post isn't as quick as 'save this file') so they are a little late for her birthday but better late than never!


Hmmm maybe I should have vacuumed before I took the photo

The knitting part is relatively easy - knit loose as you like and make a giant clown slipper, then chuck it in the machine (so fun and yet somehow it feels sooooooooo wrong!). The first one took an age to felt down to size and I was beginning to think I had made a big yarn choice mistake but it got there in the end. The 2nd slipper I made a size smaller and it felted to size with much less effort (and hot water!!). I finished them off (as requested by her highness) with some felted flowers which I loosely based on this great pattern.


The Jet makes a nice sturdy fabric and I think they'll be nice and warm.

I'd be quite keen to make myself a pair and maybe even modify to make smaller ones for N2 and BabyM...........oh for more hours in the day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Can't beat Wellington on a good day

I've just had a weekend away in Wellington. Yay!

Just me and the baby (and only because I'm the only one with the right equipment and luckily for her she's the easiest of the 3). 2 whole days of not having to be cleaner/cook/referee/taxi driver/entertainer. I feel so relaxed and refreshed and re-energised. It's been a busy few months and a break away was just what I needed.

I love Wellington. I could move in a heartbeat but DH won't hear of it sadly. We had such a nice time just hanging out, crafting and enjoying the sunshine.

I stayed with the lovely Becks of Ecobubs. She makes the bestest nappies and her clothing line is to die for gorgeous. She's also uber talented and very generous and is always sending me little parcels of cute for BabyM.

She made her this gorgeous merino beanie

and this OMG so soft minky lined jacket. Perfect for the cold down here and super cute. THe minky is so soft, I can't stop patting it!! Thanks honey. (and the blue ball she stole from Beck's little girl...oops...she loves it though, hasn't put it down yet). Thanks so much for a fabulous weekend, we had the best time!


A trip to Wellington wouldn't be complete without a visit to Nancy's. I know you'll understand that I just had to come home with something special...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And the winner is...

Thanks to ;) the winner is.....#8....Amanda from Joli House.
Congrats babe, I will be in touch soon.

If you don't have Amanda on your reading list then go add her. She has a fab blog and takes the most delicious photos.

Thanks everyone for entering and for all the great suggestions. Great to see some new people leaving comments.

I really appreciate everyone (whether you comment or not) who visits here, thanks for your support.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Anouk is all finished! Blocked even and ready for me to post


Pattern: Anouk from Knitty
Wool: Plain hank from The TinShed dyed by me with Dylon Cold Water dyes
Size: width 12m, length 6m
(Not many) Modifications: I-cord ties at side, I-cord heart detail

You might recall June was my gift/swaps month and this is being gifted to an online friend whose baby has clicky hips. She has had an operation and will have to wear a body cast for a few months....this presents all sorts of clothing challenges (and its winter here). I hope this fits little E. Her Mum has posted to say that her hip has dislocated again inside the cast and she will have to have it reset again. Poor wee thing.

I made this the 6mth size but a bit wider to better fit the measurements I was given. Hopefully it will fit over her body cast Ok as I made I-cord ties for the sides so her Mum can adjust, next year she might get to wear it as a tunic.

I am really pleased how this turned out. I wasn't so fussed on the yarn post dyeing but quite like how it knitted up in the end, especially the pooling on the bodice. (Neak - it did lose a bit of colour when I washed it but not tons - I put a note in for J to handwash on its own).


This is a great design, very versatile and there are super clever renditions of this on Ravelry. It does pay to read ahead as you work on it though as I found it's not that well written/sequenced IMHO.

A bigger one for babyM is on the 'one day' list ;)


Just a reminder... competition closes soon! I'll close this off when I check my email tomorrow morning. So still a bit of time if you want to enter and win some cool stuff!

Great to see some new people leaving comments too.

There are some great blogs in the comments so go check them out! I've added them all to my reader already hehe. I'm going to spend an evening going through all the wonderful pattern suggestions too! Thanks everyone for all the great new ideas :)

My turn...

Here's my suggestion for a blog you might enjoy - taking pleasure in the small things

And a baby pattern I'd like to make one day is Presto Chango which is a neat design for a jeresy with an interchangeable front panel.

Tentacles the Monster

Remember awhile ago I blogged about the awesome Millipede that M10mths received in a one-skein swap I participated in? Well unfortunately there was one person in the swap group who never received her swap gift :( I've always had great experiences with all the swaps I've been in - my fear is always that my gift will get lost en route after I've posted it. I've been lucky enough to never have anything go missing on it's way to me and all my gifts have been awesome.

So I thought I would RAOK my friend and make her a one skein gift to make up for her disappointment.

She has a one year old son so I made him something

Tentacles the Monster! (If you're from that swap group you'll guess who I'm sending this to)

Made in Spotlight's Basic Wool in the orange I bought for the fish. I used pretty much the whole ball (less one fish of course).


The pattern is available as a Ravelry PDF download (Rav link) and is very quick and easy. I think I whipped this up in a evening plus an hour or 2 the next day to finish up. I only made a couple of really minor mods - like picking up stitches to do the Icord tentacles/tail instead of sewing on etc. I used a random button I had in my stash and just made one eye (because I think that's more Monster-ish)


I'm going to post him off this afternoon with some other goodies before the kids get attached ;)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Finished Fish Finally!!

I had to go back through my blog archives to check when I actually started this. Turns out it was February. The knitting part was very quick and didn't take 4 months really. Just it took me that long to find some suitable beads.


So cute!! This is from Zoe Mellor's Knitted Toys book that I had from the library. I did make one small modification to the tail so that I could knit all in one piece. I also added a bell to one of the fish.


This was such a great project to use up some little leftovers in my stash. No orange in my stash though so I ended up buying a ball of Spotlight's Basic Wool in orange to knit an extra fish because I didn't think the colour combo without it was quite right. I'm using the rest of the ball to knit another toy (coming soon).


I have like a million pregnant friends at the moment (well probably not a million but I am 'that age' when everyone seems to be doing the baby thing...we started early hehe)so this will go in my new baby gift box.

I might just have to make another one, it's so cute!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

100! and a (closed now) competition

My 100th post!!

I started this blog back in January because I wanted a space of my own to share my work and obsession passion for knitting. A place to share my stuff, go on and on about knitting and Wips and yarn and to share ideas and ways of doing things. In the beginning I didn't realise how much fun this little blog would be and how many awesome cyber/blog friends I would make, finding tons of great blogs to inspire me and learn things from and make connections with other knitting folk.

My little corner of the internet has been a lot of fun!

So to celebrate 100! and because I want to...a competition.

Here's what you have to do to enter:

Leave a comment on this post with
1. Your name and a way of contacting you (email, Ravelry name, TNN name or a link back to your blog etc)
2. your favourite baby related knitting pattern (toy, clothing, anything that would make a nice gift for a new baby). I'd prefer online (free or pay is fine) patterns so leave me the Rav link or link to actual pattern.
3. A link to a blog you think I might enjoy reading. Doesn't have to be knitting, anything interesting is fine. A list of blogs I read is on the sidebar.

2. & 3. are optional - I'm just looking for some new ideas :) You must do 1. of course and you must make sure I can contact you as it would be a bit hard to email 'anonymous'

The winner will be drawn by random number generator or if there's only 5 of you I'll get DD to draw a number out of a hat or something.

Prize is yet to determined. Hmm let's see.....
I'll make you something. There'll also be some yarn. Probably something to eat as well and something 'kiwi' perhaps.
Entries close on midnight Thursday 12 June (my time).
I promise to post the prize sometime in the next few months (you'll have to be patient), and I will post internationally so no excuses for not entering heh.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Love is...


An alternate title for this post could well be "A lesson in patience" - I paid them off slowly. Or perhaps "Well worth the wait" - I'll never go back to my mismatch of straight needles now!

Thank you to Vintage Purls for the most excellent service - the place to go for Knit Picks needles in NZ!!

I've putting them to good use, transferring all my current WiPs


I couldn't be happier with them - the perfect weight/smoothness/warmth and pointiness. And oh so pretty...... Ahhhhh....knitting bliss!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The one that jumped the queue

My CPH is lovely. It's knitting up nice and all that. It's just,'s taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r

I am the queen of one skein, little things, mittens, hats and baby stuff. I like quick results, instant gratification. I'm all about the FO ...right now!

So knitting a big adult size something was always going to be a big undertaking for me. I am plodding along with it. Not as much as I would like because I have other things I want and need to do as well. At the moment its a hoodless CP vest. Once I get some 5mm circulars I'm going to do the sleeves together - then I'll be on the home straight with just the hood and finishing to go. I'd really like to wear it this winter so I'm going to flag everything else next month and plow ahead with it.

Unfortunately my desire to knit an actual something for me hasn't lessened in the meantime.

So I let one jump the queue.


I don't really "need" a shrug. I'm not even sure why.... but I just had to! I just couldnt resist this colourway of my at-the-moment-favourite-yarn Jet . 4hrs of knitting later I had an FO.


The paua button finished it off perfectly

The pattern is from the one skein wonders website. I knit this on 6.5mm so the fabric is very soft and lofty. Quite gorgeous to touch, I keep picking it up just to admire the softness and pretty colours

I tried all day to take a self potrait - not a happening thing - much better to wait until Miss 6 gets home from school - she does a fine job


BTW. 'that' rumour about Jet isn't true!! Hoorah! Just some colours of Jet are being discontinued not the yarn itself. Yay!! (yip I am that much of a geek I emailed Paton's Australia)