Saturday, January 31, 2009


It's hard not to be inspired by all the colour in my garden at the moment.

Roses - I counted almost a dozen different colours when they were all blooming. Not so many left in flower now but good to know I didn't kill them off entirely with my mid summer (you're not supposed to cut them now) hacking back
Pink Rose

This is so pretty. I am sure some clever commenter will be able to tell me what it is. I want to say gladioli but I could be (Probably!) very wrong there
Colour in the garden

Even colour in the vege patch (zucchini in the making)
Zuchini yellow

And the best colour of all....
First Red of the season

M1 is our little botanist in the making, although perhaps once she gets over her inclination to eat the dirt. I love the concentration in her face and how lush the green looks.

My little dirt eater

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Leslie shared her pattern for a super chunky beanie this week. Simple but stylish I could imagine myself wearing such a beanie on frosty mornings while doing the walk to school thing.

When I saw it I immediately thought of a single skein of unlabelled white single-ply thick wool I had in my stash. I'm not sure what it was and I can't even remember where it came from but I knew it wanted to become this beanie.

Chunky white

I used my yarn held doubled and the thickest tips of my KnitPicks (8mm) to get a beanie a little bit smaller overall than the pattern states, nothing a hard block couldn't fix though. I think I spent less than 2 hours knitting this. Yup, its that fast.

And yes I know. *Another* chunky knit from me, who is supposedly enjoying summer sun. Unlike our Australian neighbours who are sweltering in record temperatures we're having a (much enjoyed) cooler spell. Knitting wool is bearable once again.

And at least I'll have warm handknits at the ready once winter does arrive!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January that was

January has been a month of celebrations and taking pleasure in the simple things in life.

Happy Birthday
I had a birthday and was treated to a sleep in by my children, a beautiful necklace from DH, a niddy noddy from my Mum (awesome she gets the need for knitting gadgets), a grown ups lunch out with my auntie and many other treats and well wishes on the day from friends and family. The little love note above was made by M6 and left for me to find on the table.

I wasn't the only one who had a birthday. January was also a chance to reflect on and celebrate one whole year of blogging! Thank you to everyone who reads here, it is all of you who makes this blog such a pleasure for me. My little corner of the internet has been a lot of fun! I hope to "meet" many more friends this year too xx

We spent alot of time hanging out as a family and enjoying the sunny outdoors
Playground fun

Going for bike rides
when it gets tough to ride

Just hanging out (being cute)

And enjoying summer fruits
Watermelon yuminess

Watermelon yumminess

I also got to hang out with bloggy and knitty friends who I normally only see once a year or so. Nikki and Hannah came to melt in the heat knit outdoors, Shortly brought her gang to come and play and just this week another friend from the north island popped in for a visit. We had Nan and AuntieB come and stay too which meant entertained children and more knitting time for me (thank you both xx). January was the month for catching up and spending time in good company.

January was hot, laidback and cruisy. Its such a shame it has to come to an end

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What Next?

Issue: Can't decide what I want to knit now.

Solution: Cast on something new every day.

Fargyle Socks (for me). Diploma Gold DK in the same colour as the socks I made M6.
Socks make good knitting in hot weather. I'm still not brave enough to cast on with my sock yarn but taking the first step by knitting some socks for me in double knit.
Fargyle in Lupin

Clapotis (for me). Vintage Hues (bulky wool and big needles and hoping for something big to snuggle under for winter). One for the cooler days. This colour way is quite pretty - maroon and gray with a little bit of yellow.

Pink dishcloth (for me). Made from pink cotton leftovers.
Mindless knitting for in front of the TV or when the heat is melting my brain
Scraps in pink cotton

I may even cast on something new tomorrow!

Friday, January 23, 2009



Owls by Kate Davies
500g of 14ply Fontana Polo. Colourway "Silver Cloud"
7mm Knit Picks Interchangables. Magic Looped the sleeves.


Notes and modifications are all listed here. Basically the only changes I made were to leave out some of the back increases - the first time I knit this the back was baggy and didn't fit well. Second time around I chose to knit the owls on 6mm needles (also omitting 2 rows of the chart) to try and make them smoother looking, since my row gauge was off (using 14ply instead of 12ply) I didn't want the neckline to be too high. I think my 2nd owls are better looking! - I love how the buttons give them different personalities.


The yarn was a gift from DH's Granny and is what I am lovingly terming "vintage" - unfortunately it's no longer being made. I was probably just one ball short from a long sleeve version , hence the 3/4 sleeves. 100% pure New Zealand wool - this is going to be a super warm sweater. Its thick and warm but the shaping doesn't make it look super chunky.


I am really pleased with how this turned out, especially since the pattern was so new there were no other FO's to look at and compare. A wonderfully fast knit - less than a week start to finish and that is with me basically knitting it twice over! Speedy! The only downside is that I won't be wearing it for another 6 months or so!

The photos aren't the greatest I'm afraid - M6 and I were rushing it since it's set to be another scorcher today. A little too warm for chunky handknits even at 9am! The summer sun is also not that accommodating with getting a good shot of the colour. I think the pic below shows the colour best.


Hoot! Hoot!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How to Tuesday: No more cable needles

My current knit has me finally learning how to magic loop (easy! should have tried it earlier) and...

cabling without a cable needle!

I'm using the always brilliant instructions from Grumperina which you can find via her blog. (Left cable/front twist and Right cable/back twist ).

I think I might be saying goodbye to my cable needle now

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lightening Speed

Selfish Knitting.....On Friday I was still deciding what I might like to do next for me, quite happy pottering along with some small things for my doll clothes swap in the meantime.....And yes to everyone who commented , doll soakers are on the to do more *ahem* baring it all photos ;)

Now its Monday morning and I'm more than halfway through my next knit for myself. My needles have been flying! Granted, I haven't done much housework either but we have 2 more weeks of summer holiday before the routines of daily life suck away at my knitting time. I'm making the most of it!


I stumbled across this a few days ago and knew right away I was going to make one.

Luckily I didnt have to wait long for the pattern to go up.

Luckily I also just happened to have a sweater's worth of gray chunky wool in my stash.

Knit with 14ply on 7mm this really is a super quick knit.

Normally I browse the pattern pages on Ravelry for hours and hours looking at how designs look on different body shapes and looking for comments about the pattern and any issues. This is the first time I've leapt right's exciting! And just the kind of knitting I want to do in 09. Knitting for myself. Because I want to. Right now.

I'll be cabling the owls today....

Friday, January 16, 2009


Recovering from a big 'me' knit I've been enjoying knitting some small things.

I love the satisfaction of instant gratification knitting.

A soaker for a friend's wee boy. A swap which will see our doll stroller get a new lease of life!


Jogless one row stripes
using the punk knitters pattern.

And for another swap some more little things...

Best Dressed Babies

Plus I finished the LAST square for M's blanket (just the edging to go now...maybe when the weather cools I think)
and some swatching and pattern browsing trying to decide what to do next....for me!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Starting the year how I mean to continue...

...knitting for myself.

Only fitting my first 09 FO is one for me

beaded cami1

I'm calling this my "FrankenTank" because I took 2 patterns and melded them together.

This was knit from the bottom up starting with the Beaded Cami pattern . I knit the lace on straight needles, then joined for the round roughly following the A line decrease shaping, then knitting straight until I had the right length. Once I got to the armholes I switched to the Summertime Tunic pattern and completed the bodice instructions from there (you can purchase this pattern for $5.50 from KnittingDaily or go here to Interweave Knits and download a free copy!)

beaded cami2

This was a lovely easy knit. A little bit of maths to get the 2 patterns together but mostly just easy (and just a little bit tedious) stocking stitch in the round making it a lovely relaxing and very portable summer knit. In fact the hardest part was trying to decide what ribbon and beads I wanted to finish it off!

beaded cami3

The yarn (Patons Serenity Bamboo/Cotton) was for Cherry but actually I think I'll get much more wear from this. I love how it drapes and so it seems to perfectly suited to the gathered neckline (made by whipstitching live stitches...very clever). It needed quite a hard block because, like most cotton, it does show every little change in tension but other than that it was quite lovely to knit with. I have 70g left over which probably isn't quite enough to do anything with unfortunately.


Now I just need to decide what my next selfish knit is going to be!

Dashing DH

My last FO for 08 was the 2nd Dashing glove which I gave to DH.


I've had it done for a couple of weeks but only just managed to get my DH to (begrudgingly and not very well!) model them for me

Dashing for DH

This pattern + this yarn = very nice match indeed. I think these gloves look so much nicer on a bigger man hand. Hopefully they will keep his hands nice and warm come winter. I definitely recommend the pattern if you are looking for some thick and warm 'manly' gloves or if you have some leftover Bendigo Rustic 12ply!

I had to modify the length of the pattern quite a bit (all listed on my ravelry page). There are more photos on my flickr too.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Knitting Outdoors

Knitting outdoors

It was a gazillion degrees today. Like it was yesterday and it will probably be again tomorrow. Thank goodness for summery yarns like bamboo/cotton, I can *just* bear to knit in this heat.

Nikki and me

Today I was joined in my outdoor knitting by the lovely and talented Nikki and her cutie pie Hannah. Its quite a strange feeling to meet someone for the first time even though you 'know' them so well! Internet friendships are a strange but wonderful thing! We had a delicious lunch, talked knitting and hung out with the kiddies by the paddling pool. Eventually it reached eleventy hundred degrees in the shade and we both sat knitting with our feet in the paddling pool too (I'm sure that would have made a very amusing sight). Very cool to finally meet Miss Devilish Red and her not so devilish child!!

Paddling pool snacks

Great company, great weather .......A perfect summer afternoon...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Summer Holiday

Its nice not having to wake at a certain time, make lunchboxes, rush out the door, break up afternoon play to do the school pick up, make tea at a certain time so bedtime can happen at a certain time, keep an eye on my diary for who needs to be where and when this week. I'm in full on relax mode. I also have my DH home to help out so I am making the most of his vacuuming and cleaning up skills ;)

I wish summer would last forever.

Yesterday I took DD1 to High School Musical 3 at the movies (yes I love her that much). It wasn't too bad actually. It has been so long since I went to the movies, the price seems to have escalated as much as petrol (!) so it was lucky we picked the discount day to go. Next week I am planning a movie trip on my own to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Bells says its quite good and I personally think you can't go wrong with Cate Blanchett (and Brad of course, who I think is much more my lead man type than Zac Effron).


We also went to the LYS sale where I picked up a sweaters worth of Naturally Sensation - merino/angora. The only colour that was discounted ($4 instead of $10.50) was navy so lucky thats a colour I would wear and do like. Navy didn't sound that interesting when I read it on the flier but its actually got quite a deep purple tone to it (its a bit darker than the pic) which I really like so I'm feeling happy that I have my next selfish knit half sorted. Now to pick the pattern....


Lucky me got Custom Knits for Christmas (thanks Mum!). I'm currently thinking the Sensation will become Jane although Old Classic is a close runner up at this point (both of those links are to the Ravelry page). I think they both look quite wearable. Old Classic would involve me buying 3 more skeins for the colourwork though and since I already blew my nonexistent yarn budget I think I'll probably stick with Jane which only needs a ribbon.

The book is great, a lot of the patterns are something I could see myself making, or modify to make suit (and there are tons of instructions on how to do this). Once you get past the styling (most of the photos depict the knitwear worn either with swimwear or underwear) of course. I'm also very keen to try the duct tape dress form!!

Also for Christmas DH bought me this CD which I am loving alot. I have found it hard to listen to music since the children arrived but this year I'm going to try and make more effort to enjoy music as part of my every day instead of those rare times I am home alone and remember to put something on. My song of the summer is this one (and she is a kiwi too).

Hmmm, this blog post has turned into a post about everything under the sun...On with the randomnesss.....I bought new shoes! Some people blog about their shoes on a regular basis (and if I had a collection like that I would too!) but since this brings my wearable-in-public shoe count to *one* this will probably be the one and only time I ever mention footwear here! Sadly, so sadly, I had to say goodbye to my gorgeous summer sandals which I wore almost daily when we lived up north. They were the best but since I wore right through the sole it was time to say goodbye :( The replacements are super duper comfy, not quite as funky or colourful, but they will do.

Goodbye Old Shoes

Goodbye old shoes

Hello New Shoes

Hello New Shoes

Great to have some new summery shoes!

Final piece of randomness from me today......Summer wouldn't be summer without the odd thunderstorm and torrential downpour now would it (and there was hail too) . Normally I am struggling to take photographs in the daytime at the moment as the bright summer sun is washing out all the colours. This one was taken just after lunch! It was so dark we had all the house lights on.
Spectacular !!!- the kids loved it (although the smallest one , and the cat, were a little scared by all the noise)
Thunder storm Jan09

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Serenity by Patons

I've been wanting to cast on for Cherry for the longest time but I forced myself to wait until all that gift knitting was done. The longer I waited the higher my expectations became. I had plans of knitting nothing else and wearing my new summery bamboo cardigan in just a few weeks.

But guess what? It's not working.

I want it to work. A lot. But I'm about to admit defeat.

The yarn is too 'drapey' for this pattern. I think a close fitting cardigan like Cherry needs something with a bit more substance and structure and I think this yarn needs a pattern that flows.

The pattern is not difficult but requires a certain amount of concentration I cannot give - or rather, my 3 small interrupters (home all day long on holiday) will not let me give.

I want something I can knit without having to write out the pattern line by line and concentrate on every stitch (one of those patterns that assumes you know where and how to place decreases while maintaining your stitch pattern even when the start of the row keeps moving and there are only limited pattern set up know the type - nothing missing from the instructions but there could have been a whole lot more added).

I'm in holiday mode and I want a no brainer.

I've moved on already...
Serenity Work in progress

It doesn't look like much just yet but I am hopeful it will turn out Ok

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yummy Mummy

You can read the definition of a 'yummy mummy' here. (I'm more of a paint smeared jeans and flat shoes type playcentre Mummy myself). The designer notes "these were designed to warm the wrists of a particularly stylish mum as she takes her new baby for walks on crisp spring days." I made them for my Mum for Xmas. No new baby for her but I think they will be a lovely addition to her winter wardrobe all the same.


"Yummy Mummy Wristwarmers" Pattern available as a Ravelry Download here. I made them in Rowan Pure Wool DK which the lovely Megan gifted to me. What a dream it was to knit, lovely and soft and knit on 3.25mm it had lovely stitch definition to show off all those cables!


I shortened the pattern considerably as I only had one skein. Unfortunately this involved some rather arduous knit surgery involving removing one pattern repeat from the cast ON edge (not an experience I want to repeat anytime soon). Hopefully Mum won't be too worried by the little imperfection there.


Merry Christmas Mum!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008: the knitting that was

I wasn't going to do a recap on 08 but there are some lovely blog posts at the moment with 08 knitting and I got many things *did* I make?

Wanna take a guess??

I'm not entirely sure.....but theres 96 something FO's in my 2008 flickr folder (I know theres a few thing missing in there) and on Ravelry when I subtract the yarn swaps and things that ended up in the frogpond I also get about 96 (!!!)


Granted...ALOT of baby things, hats, mittens and other small things that don't take long. I suspect 09 will look something different if I manage to do all the ME knitting I plan !!

So what did I make?

Everything! From dishcloths

To Toys
Sean the Sheep 2

And Gloves

And Hats

Lots and lots of baby knits

I even had a go at pattern designing. Simple though they are :D

And knitting for me. Sweaters even! More of this in 09 I hope

February Lady Sweater

Central Park Hoodie


Looks as though 08 was a productive year indeed. I'm hoping 09 will be the same.

I am hoping my recap at the end of 09 will see many more sweaters for me. I am also planning a beret , some mittens and some fingerless gloves (for me, me and me). I also want to knit some lace and some sort of dressy type scarf (for me). I am hoping I'll get Cherry done reasonably quickly and manage to squeeze in a lacy tank or cami before the end of summer also. It won't be 100% about me as I do have a couple of quick swaps to do and a couple of things I'd like to do for M1 (some longies and an oriental dress) plus for DH I'd like to do the scarf he never got last winter and some thick man socks. Oh yes, speaking of socks I have sock yarn now and a million sock patterns I'd like to try, so hopefully 09 will also be the year I knit myself socks in sock yarn on sock needles!! Thats the plan anyway :) Let's see how it pans out. I hope you'll stick around for the ride xx