Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Swapping and trading appeals to the "green" me (so this is unlikely to be the last post from me talking about making something for a swap). It's a great feeling to be able to make things for people from stuff I already have on hand and swap them for things I need. I like there's no packaging, no petrol consumed driving to the shops, people use what they have and swap them for things they want - you couldn't ask for lower impact than that really....perfect . I heart handmade!

So my latest FO is a pair of gloves for Viv. She took a fancy to the ones I made for my sister so I made her a pair of Evangeline gloves (Ravelry download) using left over Bendigo Rustic 12ply (Red Tweed) from my CPH. I wasn't sure the cable pattern would suit this chunkier and slightly tweedy yarn but actually it came up rather well.


They are super duper warm so Viv, I hope they do a good job keeping your hands warm at your kids hockey games :)

This yarn is really lovely to knit. I know I said that before when I was blogging about my hoodie but it really is quite gorgeous. I knit these on 4mm so a lot smaller than recommended but gosh that tight gauge looks nice.


I have to confess , if it wasn't obvious already, that the photos are a bit rushed - trying to make the most of the last of the daylight after school while M6 can help me take the photos. My camera battery was threatening to die and someone else kept "helping" wanting one the same!!


And this is what I was swapping for....


The cutest little leather shoes for M1nextweek. Oh my word these are some very cute shoes and so expertly made!! And absolutely so perfect as she has this lovely habit of pulling off her socks at the moment and its really not the type of weather you want your baby to be barefoot in! These shoes she can't get off and they will keep her feet nice and warm. Aren't they just lovely?

And as I promised Viv here are some shots of her wearing them (they fit perfectly!)

I think these wee slippers are my favourite. Can't even begin to describe how soft they are. N2 keeps picking them up to rub on her cheek lol.

Thanks so much Viv!! Check your letterbox in a few days time :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In Training!

As most people are aware the Olympics are just around the corner. Did you also know there are Ravelympics this year too? Olympics knitting style!

I'm signed up and have started some serious training! (and I'm not the only one!)
I signed up for
-cowl jump
-sock put
-amigurumi/toy toss

Yup I am a sucker for punishment. Maybe I should have just signed up for knitting marathon or something! I figured the things I want to make are pretty small and quick so hopefully I haven't (once again) totally overestimated my knitting speed and I can get these done during the 17 days of Olympics.

So training.....

1. Find patterns for projects. Done.
2. Got wool sussed for each. Done. (all knit from stash too!)
2. Signed up and got my project pages up. (Had to go back and tag them properly with the special Ravelympics tag ....helps if you read the instructions correctly ...doh) Done.
3. Get everything else out of the way.

So still working on #3.

This means I need to have all my other WiPs finished and do a bit of spring cleaning of my knitting "things" that have, once again, started to take over the house.

I've sent one soaker off to a customer. Leah's soaker needs some finishing touches but is 90% done.

Currently on my needles are 2 pairs of gloves. I'm over halfway done on the first pair so I think 2 1/2 short fingerless gloves is achievable by August 8th.

I have one black square (half done) in my knitting bag as well. This is for M's blanket (which seeing as her birthday is next week and I havent done any more knitting on this I decided I would try and give her for Xmas). So that should be fine to finish off as well.

I've started doing a bit of a tidy up of all things knitting related. I 'filed' all my printed off patterns and leaflets etc. I collected up all the knitting books from round the lounge and made a knitting book pile in my room. I also had a bit of a tidy up of my stash box and have finally come to terms with the fact my current stash does not fit in the box.

Unfortunately my knitting seems to take on a life of its own and I will probably have to do another tidy up before I get started on my events projects. Sigh.

I was discussing with a friend about WiPs and how to keep them under control. How do you store yours? And keep them tidy and separate and safe?

My WiP bag often gets full of other "stuff" and it ends up overflowing - just about as bad as not having a WiP bag to begin with. Maybe I need more bags or stop having so many things on the go at once? Anyways I've had a bit of a sort out. I made a mini needle holder so my DPNs can live elsewhere. Sharp pointy sticks are baby magnets apparently so I needed to find them somewhere up high to live.


I used my basic needle holder pattern but a shorter tin (used to have cocoa powder in it). CO 36st.


Right, better get back to that WiP management

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Been making stuff

Firstly, thank you all so much for the lovely comments about my Central Park Hoodie. I think thats some sort of comment record for me!! I feel very spoilt by all your compliments so thank you :)

I do really love it and I've been wearing it pretty much every day. Its intensely satisfying to know I MADE it (and its all Ok and it fits!!) , and that all the time and effort (and angst) was worth it

Since the marathon that was making-something-me-sized, I've been back to do some smaller things. I want to get back to my Wicked too but the weather is so grotty at the moment I'm not in too much hurry as I'm thinking I wouldn't get to wear it till Spring anyway. In the meantime I have a few things to get on with.


On the needles are a couple of soakers. One is a swap with Leah which I probably deserve a 'bad friend' award for considering how long it has taken me to do my end of the swap. Sorry hun!! It's turned out very cute so far. I tried a new type of girly hem, sort of a vintage inspired kind of thing. I'll post directions for it once I 'm done


This week I've also had a go at making something with first ever go at beading! Very fun. I went to a local bead shop which would be heaven if you are into making your own jewellry. Walls and walls of every colour under the sun, every size beads. I made some stitch markers for the hand dyed yarn swap I signed up for - which I can't show just yet ;) of course - and since I was having so much fun (and some much enjoyed Mummy only time) I decided I couldn't possibly not make myself a couple more.

The soaker I'm making for Leah uses the fabulous PimpMyLongies pattern which involves short rows. The pattern tells you to place marker A at the start of the round and B & C for marking where the short rows this is what I made for myself


Later when you get to the gusset you need 4 markers so next time ( hehe) I go back I think I'll make a marker for "D" as well! Great way to keep track of where you are up to. They are a pretty simple design but work great. I think I'll have to be careful though this could get addictive!

Friday, July 18, 2008



Pattern: Central Park Hoodie
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12ply
Colourway: Red Tweed 4.25 skeins
Modifications: Nothing major really, apart from adding a bit of length. All the other changes I made are pretty minor (e.g picking up button bands all in one piece). Listed them all here.
Photos courtesy of M6


I am totally thrilled with how this turned out. I spent a lot of the knitting angsting that this was going to be too small - I was in between pattern sizes and was worried going down was the wrong move. But no, it fits perfectly.


I ended up just putting 2 toggle buttons on - theres no way in a million years I am going to wear this buttoned right down so it seemed kind of pointless to sew on a whole row of buttons and loops when all I need is 2.


This is a 'so me' kind of pattern. I live in my jeans and sloppy hoodies so this is going to be perfect for doing the walk to school thing. Its really dense and warm, I can see it getting ALOT of wear for what is left of winter.


Only one more thing to say really.....LOVE (1)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do you Moo?

On account of the *very large* number of knitting photos on my Flickr account I recently upgraded to a Pro account. There was a giveaway whereby you could get 10 Moo mini calling cards for free. Even free for posting way over here so of course I signed up.

And here they are....


I was going to get 10 different photos done but because of the cropping it was hard to find ones that would fit the template Ok.

They have my blog address on the back. Not sure what I will use them for , maybe swaps and things, but they are so cute!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


A friend has just acquired a *large* amount of wool from a textile research lab. So much, she's been giving it away to her knitting friends by the bag full.

Wow is all I can say, what a wholelotta wool!

Its all on cones so she kindly lent me her niddy noddy to hank it up. Some of it will need washed before use so I'm skeining to make it easier.

Have you used a niddy noddy before? What a great little thing!! Makes skeining SO easy.

Heres last nights efforts

Looks like a lot of wool eh? Hmmm hardly made a dent in the haul she gave me


And the stuff I took hardly made a dent in my friends "collection"!!!

Its going to be fab to have so much cream wool on hand for dyeing. I've made a couple of 100g skeins ready for my yarn swap packages and the rest I've been doing in 200g lots. My Mum wants some and I'll probably end up giving some of this away as there is just so much.

Its not labelled but feels 8ply-ish. Some of it is hand spun like in appearance, some is more tightly spun, some is quite waxy and will need a good wash or 2, some is silky and smooth. Its really interesting that cream wool can look the same at a glance but actually all has different 'anatomy'.

The scratchier stuff is earmarked for felted bags and some of the softer stuff will be fine for clothing. I'm never going to have to worry about stuffing up the dyeing as I imagine I have enough cream wool for a life time now lol.

Thanks Erin!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The FO finish line is in sight

My Central Park Hoodie is so nearly done I can almost taste it.

Finished so far....

The Fronts.


I measured as a 38" so had to decide whether to do the 36" or the 40". Only after I CO for the 36 did I read that this pattern runs small. So I have spent most of the time knitting this angsting whether 2" negative ease is going to result in a somewhat fitted hoodie or a simply too small one. Unblocked the fronts looked way way way too small.
Oh the magic of wool + water......I managed to block the fronts out to 10 1/2 inches which is the size of the 40" on the pattern schematic so I'm pretty pleased and I think it should fit fine. What I probably should have done was the 36 back and the 40 fronts as I am narrow across the back but have *ahem* breastfeeding equipments to factor in for the front. I'm not nearly confident enough at knitting adult things for adult shaped bodies to factor in waist shaping or front darts or anything fancy like that so hopefully blocking it to size will do the trick.

The sleeves.


Knitting 2 at once was a good plan I think - it seemed to take forever but then this whole knitting an adult size something has taken way longer than I anticipated anyway. I made one mistake on the cabling which I am bummed about but not bummed enough that I will rip back. You can actually see it in the WiP picture I posted here (no one mentioned it so either you are all very polite or its really not that noticeable lol). Its right near the cuffs, like the 2nd cable repeat, so ripping back is not an option and neither is laddering it down to fix it (whatever that is called). So one wrong way twist will just have to stay.

I read the sleeves are quite tight so did quicker increasing (every 6th row instead of 8th) and then carried on increasing until 64 instead of 58 st. At the end of the sleeve cap you have to decr by 2 stitches so I just BO 3 at those points to get rid of my extra stitches. The good thing about doing these sleeves together on a circular needle was that I could slide the sleeve down onto the cable then wrap it round my arm to see if it would fit.
I safety pinned the sleeves together (a neat trick I read about somewhere) to make sure I knitted across them both and not accidentally back&forth over just one.



I added 2" to the length to make it a more flattering length on me. I measured a favourite hoodie to get the length I would like. I think its probably going to end up a tad longer than that once worn as the wool is pretty heavy. Lengthening it seems to be what most people do.

The Bendigo 12 ply is lovely to knit with. Smooth with just a hint of tweed it's knitting up beautifully.Its dense and warm, I can't wait to try it on properly. Its never split. There are no yucky bits, knots or anything like that. Its really one of the nicest thick wools I've knitted.
This was my first time ordering from Bendigo Woollen Mills and I was pleasantly surprised how quick the wool arrived (from Australia) - I also loved how they included a sample book (for those future purchases of course) as I am one of those people who likes to see the colours IRL and pet the yarn before I buy.
I think this will definitely not be my last BWM knitting experience.

If this was a proper cardigan I'd be pretty much done and dusted. But it's a hoodie and so I need to knit the hood now. And pick up a gazillion stitches for the front bands.

Decisions to make while my hoodie parts dry - do I continue the cable up the hood? 3 needle bind off or sew the hood seam? Do I incorporate button holes on the band/add them on later/leave as an open style ala the pattern photograph.......

Its a balmy and warm day today, perfect for blocking. Hard to believe this time last week the kids were out playing in snow. Today feels almost spring like!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Have you got a Craft Fetish?


New Zealand's Premier Online Crafting Community is now open!

I know how much time and effort went into the development of this site - well done J!!! It looks amazing. This is just what we need here - the site has both a crafty forum and an online market store. And I imagine that once word gets out this will be very popular indeed and hopefully a esty-ish NZ equivalent.

I'm selling some teeshirts and may list some other bits and pieces as time allows. I'm not doing my usual sets just at the moment because I have all my current stock listed at Tweedle and am still filling current this one....


Ive already had my first CF sale so that was very exciting.It's great to have a place to feature your handmade items. I love it's not an auction site and that its a market dedicated to the handmade. Lovely

Monday, July 7, 2008

A post about nothing and everything

We've been having a cold snap. With snow even!


As you can see the kids were very impressed.

I really need to get my CPH done so I have something warm to wear next time it snows!. I've CO for the sleeves and am doing both at once, in the misguided hope this will make them knit faster. I am really loving this wool and how the cables pop. It's also lovely and warm draped over me as I knit so I imagine this is going to be a very warm hoodie. I'm desperate to get this done and off the needles. Finishing something so large (an actual proper something no less!!) is going to be such an achievement but I worry my expectations are so high, that something could still go wrong (did I do the right size???) and disappointment is only a few cable repeats away. Only time will tell I guess. At the moment I really love how it is coming together albeit much slower than the knits I am used to lol.


Speaking of high expectations a friend was destashing some Noro and I couldn't resist....


Not sure what I will do with this. At the moment its on my dresser just for me to admire. I had thought perhaps a Fake Isle hat or maybe a felted bag.... Thanks Fi, its lovely.

Normally the creative process for me is very joyous and satisfying. Over the past few days I have helped sew squares together for the blanket I mentioned here, for the little boy battling cancer. Sadly, last week while safe in his mother's arms he slipped from this world. I feel very privileged that I was able to help with this project. This time, making something was tinged with much sadness. Many squares were sent, the finished blanket is very large - much love knitted into every piece. I hope it brings some comfort to his family to know so many people are thinking of them during this sad time.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Swappity Swap

Swaps are *alot* of fun.

Recently a friend inherited her grandmother's knitting cotton collection and she's not a knitter. So she sent me a big parcel...

Lots and lots of cotton. There is quite a few balls of miscellaneous cotton destined for dishcloths and 6 x 75g of a 12ply white cotton which I'm thinking is enough to make something a little more significant, perhaps next summer.

In exchange for this cotton stash bonanza I am knitting her a few dishcloths in return
3x Grandmother's favourite. SUCH an easy pattern and knits up quickly. This would be a really great pattern for a beginner knitter wanting to do something other than just knit&purl (there are yo's and K2tog). I like how its knit on the diagonal for a change and its garter ridges should make scrubbing dishes a breeze.

Cutie cutie baby's feet cloth. The picture ones are fun to knit. I think this one would be nice in something soft like bamboo as a new baby gift.

I'm working on another one with a word on it , using letters from Picture Knits - my intarsia best friend.

I know some people are ambivalent about dishcloth knitting. Me...I like them. I like to knit them - they are fast, the design ones are fun and they are good if you just want something mindless in between those bigger projects. I also like using them on my dishes and we haven't bought washing up cloths of any kind for months and months now. I gave my aunt and mother one each at xmas time - they both decided they were too pretty for the sink and use them as wash cloths instead.

I've just signed up for another organised swap. This one is about hand dyed's going to be very fun. Here's what we have to put together

This is a themed yarn swap.

What this means is that you will need to pick a theme that you wish to build your swap package around. Your theme can be anything - a song, colour, emotion, book, quote, pattern, an era, country - whatever inspires you at that particular time.

Now, you've picked your theme, you need to put together your swap package.
Your package must have:
* 100g hand-dyed yarn
* 1 piece of knitting paraphernalia
* A pattern suggestion that will suit not only the yarn, but the theme as well!
* A recipe
* Something SMALL (i.e, a small gift. So if it is something knit must use less than 50g yarn, if sewn something using less than 1/2m fabric, if purchased something less than $10)

Cool eh? Brain child of the very clever kb. I'm in 2 times for this one so will have to get my thinking cap on

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Malabrigo is knit

The fact I've knitted the Aquarella Malabrigo already should come as no surprise to you. I just could not resist a minute longer.


A cowl thingy just for moi.

I liked the Dolores Park cowl so based mine on that with a lot of modifications because my Malabrigo was chunkier so I had less yardage than the pattern called for - I cast on a few less , didn't do the increasing , didn't do the same length and used a different needle size - like I said 'based on' the pattern lol. However the end result is a perfectly functional cowl, perfect for the cold mornings we are having at the moment.


Its shorter than your average cowl but does the trick and fits in that pesky chill- inducing collar gap on my winter coat just perfectly.

I love how the edges roll on this - its 3 knit rounds then 1 purl round and it means it curls but not too much. The top edge I only managed 1 purl round then 2 knit rounds and a BO before running out (I had 5cm left....just enough to weave in..... Talk about sweating that BO round!).


"Mmmmm Malabrigo" is certainly fitting. This was simply devine to knit. Soft and buttery - single plied but didn't split on my pointy Knit Picks. I absolutely love how it knit up and I think this simple design shows off the yarn's gorgeous colours and thick/thin texture wonderfully.

Its a super chunky yarn and knit up super quick. A couple of hours from start to finish. My favourite kind of knitting!

I can see myself wearing this every day it's so pretty and functional too. Thank you again Sonia!