Monday, September 29, 2008

The smell of spring

The little DDs and I went for a visit to a local Daffodil Farm last week. It was the perfect way to spend a sunny spring day. So picturesque, and the smell of spring was everywhere.

I'm very much pleased with this shot, my camera is a plain jane and yet very occasionally I manage to get a stunner out of it

The girls had a lovely time exploring

It was so nice to simply spend the day enjoying the fresh air, the sunshine and the good company

Actual Knitting Content

So the last few posts have had zero knitting content. Shocking! I have been knitting (lots!) but the things I've made are a gift and the recipient reads here so they'll have to remain secret for a wee while longer.

Can show you these though.

Bella's Longies

Another swap (I sent Nic some PUL to make some nappies as a present for my new niece and she sent me some wool to knit her DD some longies..thanks Nic!! )

Another pair of longies made to the fantastic Pimp My Longies pattern (this time XL ....toddler size...a bit of a mission especially the legs!)

Another FO made in The Wool Company Utiku - this one is Amber (no longer made but the replacement Russet is close)

I promise next week there will be lots of knitting and lots of FO's :D

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our gluten & dairy free party

It's not the most 'professionalle' looking cake but hey, she liked it and everyone knew it was a bee so I'm happy

Little baby bee cupcakes to go with it

It would appear N3 has a 'thing' about bees ( bees made from my pattern)

The recipe I use for Gluten free chocolate cake is here (I sub the butter for oil). Very easy and very yummy, and hard to pick as GF - it's nice and moist. I made it yesterday and put it in the fridge over night and was pleasantly surprised to find it cut very easily today. No crumbling and not too moist that it fell to pieces, perfect!
I doubled the recipe, filled my 12 cupcake patty tins and used the rest to bake a large rectangle cake that I shaped this morning. Decorated with dairy free frosting using Wilton's yellow cake gel and Hansells black food colouring. Pipe cleaner antennae, Pam's DF choc chip eyes, baking paper wings! Voila...bee cake as requested, safe for little miss intolerant :D

Add some popcorn, cold chicken, crackers/carrot sticks/celery and hummus, chocolate crackle cake (made with vegetable shortening), fruit kebabs (pineapple, strawberries, grapes, GF marshmellows) and dried fruits and nuts and you have a yummy 'safe' birthday afternoon tea.

She had a great day with those who love her most and was very lucky with lots of lovely gifts. Thank you to everyone who left her a Happy Birthday comment :D

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My sweet sensitive N2 had a birthday this week. Three now! Hard to believe in three (fast!) years she has grown from tiny wee babe
Sisterly love

to gorgeous little girl

(This being her favourite pose for all photos at present!)

She's at a lovely stage - right into all things pink and princeeeeeey (princess)

We're having a family party for her in the weekend. She told me she wanted a black cake (black!!) but eventually compromised and said yellow and black would be Ok, so I'm going to (attempt) to make her a bumble bee cake - a gluten, dairy and soy free bumble bee birthday cake. Fingers crossed I can pull that one off!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Like...

Some of things that have made me smile today...

Picot edging. So simple but such a lovely finish (and I like Wool Company's Amber too)
picot rocks

Knitting with bamboo/wool. So soft, perfect for little baby things
bamboo wool

Reading books by Barbara Erskine. This one is new: "Warrior's Princess". If you haven't read Lady Of Hay you are missing out on a seriously great read.
reading barbara erskine

The smell of freshly picked lemons

YarnADu hand dyed wool. Wow this is seriously pretty, made by talented Fi. Not for me I'm afraid, but now I've seen in real life I think I'll have to put this at the top of my covet list!

This flickr group. The person who thought this up is a genius. Basically its an online karmic clothes swap (NZ only sorry) - you list clothing you dont want anymore and post it off to anyone interested in it, and if someone else lists something you like, you get it sent to you. So far I've got a couple of groovy things coming to live with me and I'm sending off a couple of things. Love it.

And edit because I forgot one....
Listening to my almost 3yo practising her
LoL I just love it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Simple Pleasures

Enjoying the simple pleasures

Our first al fresco dinner now that spring is here

Complete with greens grown in our very own garden! Spinach grown outside and lettuce grown inside on the windowsill

Having fun creating our own parcels of dinner - rice paper rolls - the kids love these - lots of fun and important for us they are dairy and gluten free (and added bonus, very inexpensive). Usually we have chicken but these were tinned salmon with soy sauce ( flavours that are reminiscent of sushi).


We sure are enjoying the warmer weather! It's amazing how a little sunshine is so invigorating and inspiring. I'm even....spring cleaning!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I have been tagged by PeacefulKnitter and LuckyKnitter for a random things about me meme that is doing the rounds at the moment. Thank you Sonia and Mary! and very timely as there hasn't been much knitting action (that I can show anyway) happening at SweetP's house this week.

So here goes....Random Things About Me...


1. Dh and I have our 5th wedding anniversary in a few weeks. We met in my 2nd year of Uni when I flatted with some friends of his. I thought he was a beer drinking hooligan!! He remained as an aquaintance until a chance meeting a few years after Uni developed into a friendship and the rest is history. It still makes me laugh that we ended up happily together

2. My friend T and I met at Playcentre (before school) and have been friends ever since. My oldest daughter was born on T's birthday! My 2nd daughter shares her birthday with my best friend who I met at Uni. I am waiting for a new friend to arrive in my life who shares a birthday with M1.

3. My younger brother and sister are closer in age to my children than they are to me

4. I studied Chemistry at University but I have no desire to ever work in that field. When I was young I wanted to be a pilot - I never did get over a fear of heights though.

5. Random things I'm going to do today...attend a meeting, buy some buttons, post some parcels, pick up some library books, hang out the washing (sun shine yay!), walk to school, watch my favourite Kiwi TV show

6. I can't think of anything remotely random or interesting, perhaps I need another cup of coffee!

Okey Dokey, I would like to know some random things about these bloggers


No pressure though, feel free to ignore if meme's are not your thing! Everyone else can enjoy checking out some new blogs :D

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Now that's one wicked cool sweater yo!

Zephyr Style girls I think you are right.... it is a wicked cool sweater indeed


Loved the pattern - top down raglans are my new favourite kind of pattern to knit. I CO for a size up since I was using 4.5mm with DK not Worsted weight yarn but later discovered I was spot on for gauge, so even though I totally bumbled my way through the raglan and ended up with an inbetween size it still fits perfectly because I could try it on as I went. Brilliant!


I didn't modify much, just added some length and chose to do the twisty rib at the bottom hem instead of moss stitch. These seem to be fairly standard mods for this pattern. I also knit the sleeve rib on 4mm because I wanted to use a short circular so I picked up some extra stitches under the arm. I actually like how the sleeve rib is a tiny bit tighter and if I were to knit another Wicked I would do the neck ribbing on smaller needles too.


I love the detailing on the pocket. The twisty rib is quite simple but looks really effective. The weather is slowly warming up here and I really looking forward to wearing this.


My camera hasn't captured the colour very well, its actually more like this last photo, not so bright blue. The yarn I used is Patons Smoothie which is acrylic. A really really nice acrylic that reminds me of bamboo cotton. I'm surprised how much I liked it - nice and soft and drapey and much easier on my hands than cotton - doesn't feel like plastic and no squeak!. I think it should be a really nice alternative to cotton for spring and summer. I used 3 balls and 15g of the 4th ball and at $5 for 100g this is an incredibly cheap top! I even have enough left to make something for one of the girls. Don't worry I'm definitely still a natural fibres girl but I might just make an exception to that for Smoothie. I do have to say though, it will be a very LONG time before I knit myself something in double knit yarn again!

The only thing I'm not happy about is my hem BO - its a little tight and so it rides up a little bit and makes it look like its a little short. I'm not sure if its best to undo and BO again using a larger needle, just wear it a few times and see if it 'gives' , block it and see if I can stretch it or something else.... any ideas?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Awhile ago Bells posted about how it all began for her and her first knit...then Anna did the same and showed some wonderful treasures from her memory box.

And here is mine....

Rabbit Bootees!

Not technically my 'first' knit - when I was around 11 or 12 I made a cardigan and a jumper for myself on fluffy wool and big thick needles. I don't have those anymore and I didn't knit much else after those big knits either. I suspect knitting wasn't "cool" when I was in high school.

Fast forward a few years and on a visit to my Mums when M6 was just 2, I decided to have another go at this knitting thing, a raid of Mums impressive stash and a look through her patterns and voila ....a pair of rabbit bootees. Cute looking but despite the fact I've had 2 babies since making these they have never been worn. Cute doesn't mean functional and they don't actually stay on babies feet!

From there it was on to scarves made in "Feathers" yarn, a couple of baby jumpers I gave away (I'm so sorry for the people who were inflicted with my mis-shapen sleeves and hideous seaming), baby bootees (proper ones this time) and a couple of things for M (including a poncho in size 2 that still fits her now at 6yo lol)

Then I discovered TNN and began making woollen nappy covers for new baby N. I have to thank lovely Helen for being so supportive of my early attempts at knitting longies and soakers. Her encouragement has even lead me to selling nappy covers every now and then.

From there, a little hobby I dabbled in every now and then progressed to a full on addiction. I never thought I would *ever* knit on circulars and DPNs, try knitting socks, knit something "proper" for myself, have a blog reader just so I can keep up with all my favourite knitting blogs, join an online knitting community and have a stash that almost (not quite yet) rivals that of my mother ...but here we are....

Now I even have my own knitting blog! Thank you to everyone who visits here and leaves little words of encouragement, I really do appreciate it. to show your 'first' knit?....leave a comment if you do and I'll be sure to come and visit :D

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



Lovely Anya from Crazy Crocheter (she calls herself crazy but really she seems very sweet ;) ) gave me this blog award. Awww thanks so much!

I'm going to pass this on now to some Brilliant/Brillante blogs I love. This time blogs not in NZ :)
Have fun checking them out....

Anna at PrincessPea - her blog is always full of beautiful englishness (is that a word?) and her love of all things vintage is quite infectious. She's also a very clever princess having had her very own pattern published in Popknits! A blog where you always feel welcome. I see she's already been tagged for this so she must be very brilliant indeed!

TheKnittyVritti - I love KV's blog - knitting meets pyscho-analysis (or something like that). Check out her fabulous summer of gloves series for some *serious* glove inspiration

- if shoes are your thing then make sure you visit on Tuesday/Shoesday. Fabulous! A lovely knitting blog from over the ditch in Oz.

NevernotKnitting - Alana's knitting is just incredible. Always perfect, always stunning. And she even has her own podcast if listening is your thing :)


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

FO: Eyelet Vest


Eyelet Vest from Special Knits by Debbie Bliss
2 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Size 6-12m

This is the 2nd time I have made this pattern. The first one I made for M1 last summer. It is a lovely pattern - sometimes the simple ones just turn out so cute. I didn't make any mods, if I had more yarn I might have lengthened a little but I was pretty close to using 2 entire balls. The baby cashmerino was a dream to knit with, the type of yarn that makes your knitting look nice without much effort on your behalf!

I made this for Beck (of Rapunzel fame) for her new baby girl who is due next month. Since Beck knew I was going to make this and chose the yarn colour herself when we went yarn shopping together, I guess it's Ok I blog this as it was never going to be a surprise anyway lol. Hope you like it Beck and look forward to meeting your new daughter sometime soon.

And that folks is my last startitis project all finished. Yay. And Wicked just needs a pocket and a twisty rib hem and thats all done too!! September is for finishing!!

The story of Rapunzel

Once upon a time there was a little girl who desperately wanted her mother to make her some Rapunzel hair. The mother was busy and didn't really know how to make Rapunzel hair and told her daughter she would do it 'one day'.

Many days passed and the little girl wished and wished for long long hair just like Rapunzel.

Then one day, much to everyone's surprise, a package arrived for the little girl. Inside was a beautiful handmade Rapunzel wig with long long yellow hair.


The little girl was delighted and wore it every day after school. She declared that Mum's friend Beck was the best Rapunzel hair maker in the whole wide world and the mother just had to agree.


Thank you Beck. You made her day!!

Thank you Louise!!

I was a very lucky SweetP winning a blog-giveaway over at Twenty Cent Mixture. The lovely Louise sent me a handmade clutch and some scrummy organic chocolate. Thank you very much!!

I absolutely love the wee bag and am trying to think of something fabulous to use it for.


Right now Louise is thinking to herself....but I sent her 2 bars of chocolate. Lets just say the day it arrived was one of those days where chocolate was much needed hehe. There was also a gorgeous hand made card from Anemone - gosh there are some super talented crafty peoples here in NZ. Thanks Louise!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Today's blog post is...

Over here.

Nova is the hostess with the mostess - letting guest bloggers play at her house. (A format you might recognise if you read Uncommon Grace).

Her theme is "Promise Is...." Have a look through the last few posts to see some lovely pics and some gorgeous interpretations of 'promise'.
Thanks Nova :)

Anna if you see this.....there are lemons in my post!!

FO: Rainbow Dress


Pattern: Rainbow Dress by TiKKi
Size: 12m
Yarn: The Wool Company Flamingo (approx 50g) and Watermelon (approx 100g) Utiku 8ply

Mods: My gauge was 20 not 22 per 10cm so mine is probably a slightly larger 12m size. M1 is quite big for her age and since there is not an 18m size for this pattern this works out well for me. I also added a few more rows to the bodice and did the skirt increases a little faster than the pattern - I wanted to make it a bit wider a bit faster to compensate for a cloth nappy bottom and a 'well covered' tummy.


I loved this pattern - the way the straps are made is just ingenious really. Nothing too tricky and the end result is just very cute and very wearable. I did suddenly think as I was knitting this that perhaps making a woollen dress as we are coming into warmer weather was not my brightest idea, however I think this is going to be just perfect for spring and autumn with a top under and for those cooler summer days and evenings.

The fit is lovely and the bodice has quite a bit of stretch so I'm hoping she'll get to wear it next winter as well. Lengthwise - I used the very technical approach of knitting till I ran out of yarn (my 100g ball). It comes to just past her knees which is perfect for now and will hopefully allow for growth.


Love how the Watermelon knitted up. I bought this wool quite awhile ago with the intention of making (the then very new)M something cute and girlie but with nothing specific in mind, so it has taken a long time to find 'just the thing'. After spying the lovely little rainbow dress Kb made here and doing a test knit for another of Tikki's patterns (will blog about that one once the pattern goes up) I just couldn't resist celebrating the arrival of spring by making something bright and summery.

Now if I could just get little miss to stay still for a minute or 2 while I take some photos!


Monday, September 1, 2008

Because you asked

For Sharon - wool for my FLS. Its Cleckheaton Country12ply - a bulk lot on TM that I got at a very nice price. I thought 10balls sounded like heaps but now I work out I have 780 yards and the pattern says size down I would need 750yards so I am close. Options include trying to track down some more (havent checked but knowing my luck this will be a discontinued colour or something), weaning the baby (should result in an inch or 2 less in that department), a mission diet to lose a couple of inches (oh the things I will do for my craft) or shorter sleeves/length. (BTW just kidding about the weaning....I'll go the easy option of shorter sleeves I think).


I like the colour.... I think......but I do worry that it might be a little bit "little-old-lady-ish" ?? I'm currently thinking I could do oversized black buttons or something to try and modern it up a little? Thoughts?

And for Julie who asked about the summery dress I am making for M1. I'm doing the garter stitch bodice in The Wool Company Flamingo and the skirt in Watermelon, also by The Wool Company.

The Flamingo is leftover from the shorts I made here and is a lovely match with the Watermelon (I've used about 50 or so grams for the bodice). Its a shame they don't do this colour anymore as I hear the new pinks this season are harder to match with watermelon. Coming along nicely...