Monday, March 30, 2009

Projects I am not knitting

Clapotis in progress
I am not knitting my Clapotis. Because well, it just got a bit boring. I'm a little way into the middle straight section and have dropped a few stitches , which was fun. But not fun enough to keep me interested. At one stage I wasn't sure if I could find any wool to continue with it since it's now discontinued and off the shelves everywhere here (Cleckheaton Vintage Hues). Luckily Mum (again) came to my rescue and sent me some more (thanks Mum). Unfortunately that means I can no longer use 'ran out of yarn' as a valid excuse to give up on this. I *do* want to finish and snuggle under it this winter. I just don't especially want to knit it right now.

If you would like to see a lovely finished Clapotis then check our Shortly's sportweight version here and Mary's stunning one here

Juliet Scarf

I am not knitting my Juliet scarf. I'm not sure why I'm not knitting it. Actually I'm not sure why I AM knitting it. A very unlike me project in colour and in style. I think when I CO I was feeling like I should attempt something a bit more substantial for the Long Lacy Summer I signed up for but didn't actually really complete anything for (although I did make about 4 tops with LACEY bits , I didn't actually knit any LACE). It needs concentration. I have 3 small children.


I am also not knitting my Fargyle socks. I have one done and now after reading this fantastically written and funny post from Rose Red I am feeling very sad for my poor lonesome sock. But not so sad I'm going to CO for its mate! Second sock syndrome? It would appear so.


I spent my summer holiday finishing up the squares for M1's blanket. But currently I am 'not knitting' the edging. I was waiting until the weather cooled you know. Obviously its not cooled quite enough yet.


Also 'not knitting' this cute swing dress I talked about here. Knitting a summery bamboo top when summer is ending probably wasn't a wise move so I frogged back the inch or so I'd started and will leave that for next summer.

I AM however making good progress on M1's Robin Hood Jacket and have completed the back and half a sleeve. So far its coming along nicely and although the cables looked quite intimidating they really aren't so bad.

I'm going to get this done and then think about going back to some of my hibernating projects. Maybe.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Navy and Indigo

Apparently that's my choice for sweaters this winter. Indigo. Navy. Dark blue with a hint of purple.

I just bought a sweater's worth of "Indigo" 12ply for a Garter Yoke Cardigan (from the latest Knit1 magazine). The ravelry pattern page is here. The last time I used this yarn I bought it from the same Trademe seller and learnt 10 balls isn't enough. This time I bought 15 and got a great price (about half normal retail). Its a pretty basic wool but knits up quick and smooth and was cheap so can't complain.

CC 12ply

I'm very keen to make a start on this as I think it will be a fantastically wearable and warm knit for winter. The FO's on Ravelry all look great so this is going to be my next 'me' knit (well, at this point anyway)

I FORGOT (my yarn stash is not big by any stretch of the imagination and I rarely have a sweaters amount of anything) I ALREADY had a sweater's worth of navy wool. Proof perhaps 3 babies have indeed turned my brain to mush.

The Navy Naturally Sensation I bought earlier this year


I was going to do "Jane" from CustomKnits with this but I wonder if it will be too fuzzy so now I'm wondering if I should use this for the GYC and the Cleckheaton for Jane. Perhaps a good reason to swatch properly this time!

In the Spotlight sale a few weeks back I picked up some Serenity bamboo/cotton for $1/ball - yes a sweaters worth (well tank or tee for next summer) and yes. Its purpley/blue.


At least I know what I like!

Heart Felt

M1 has a brand new cardy! And as much as I'd like to take credit for making it , I cheated on this one.

If you read Jannelle's LOVELY blog (one of my most favourite reads) you will recognise this as a Heartfelt design

Miss M in her heartfelt

I actually took about a dozen shots but missy has decided that posing, standing still or in anyway co-operating with mother + camera is now out of the question. And out of all those shots this was the only good one (even if I did cut off half her head!). Lucky this is about the cardy not the cute kid.

I've been coveting Jannelle's great work for ages so was pretty pleased to grab this for M. Just in time for the autumn weather we've been having! If funky, one of a kind "upcycled" knits are your thing then check out Jannelle's creations - they are really clever, and very cool.

I *am* planning on knitting her a winter cardy too and tonight I finally managed to make a start ....

Robin Hood Jacket

Robin Hood Jacket from Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots. (You'll need a Ravelry account to see those links). I've wanted this book forever and found it by chance in a local bookstore last week for under $20 (I've looked for this online and its always over $40). As well as scoring a great deal on the book, the yarn was a whole $1/ball at Spotlight's end of season sale a few weeks back. Got to love a great bargain. I've wanted to knit this jacket (also) forever, I'm just hoping its easier to knit than it looks...There's a whole lot of cables going on there!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another slouchy beret


This one is Reverie from the latest Knitty. A great little knit - I really like patterns where its really intuitive and you can still make something with pattern while watching TV or being interuppted a million times by the children!

(Please excuse the craptastic self potraits)

I used 1.5 balls of scrummy Woolganic (its Australian organic merino) that I got via my yarn mule (thanks Kelly!). Now I wish I'd got more when Kelly ran the co-op because it really was lovely to knit. This colourway is called chilli and its a lovely red red. (you know, not orange red or pink red but just red red). Just lovely.


The pattern was written for 4ply at 24st/10cm and since I was using DK at 22st/10cm I just CO for the smaller size of the pattern. Preblocking this looked just right (slouch is good with me) but after I washed it, it grew in size so is a teeny bit big all over. If I did again I'd do a few less repeats before the crown shaping (there's a LOT of fabric back there). Overall I'm pretty pleased though and it will be handy to have a hat that easily covers my ears - as I look outside this morning its definitely autumn now.

I love the spirals!

Now I'm sorted for my autumn slouchy berets, I need to think about some gloves!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A post of few words

Getting used to a carpet free house. I love the way the sun lights up the floorboards

wooden floors

I'm trying to be enthused about this project but have to admit its really not doing it for me at the moment and I've sent it off to hibernate. I imagine this is what knitted candyfloss looks like

Juliet Scarf

I love new stationery but always find the blank page rather daunting. I have so many ideas buzzing in my head - I needed somewhere to let them out.

Blank Page

I'm knitting another beret. The pattern is Reverie from the latest Knitty.

My photos have lots of shadows. Autumn is here!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Testing Vanilla

Vanilla soakerJust plain Vanilla

My latest FO - a small 10ply Vanilla soaker.

Vanilla is a soaker pattern designed to be simple with its seamless and graft free construction. It's the brain child of my dear friend Kelly who is one of those clever "thinking" knitters and this is her latest pattern that's just been released on Ravelry. You can buy your copy here.

I was very happy to give her pattern a little test knit. A very fun and quick knit using a pattern that has great explanations, notes and links to new techniques. The pay pattern covers sizes NB to XL in 8, 10 and 12ply so it would be a great one to cover all the bases.

Even though just plain vanilla is (one of) my favourite icecream flavours, I decided the soaker needed a little va-voom so I dip dyed it using Wilton's cake dyes (Pink Terracotta). So now it's a not just plain vanilla soaker (maybe raspberry flavour now?).


This was my first attempt at dip dyeing (which I think I didn't quite master but at least I know what not to do for next time!). The yarn I used was John Q Mia - angora/cashmere/corn/silk/alpaca/merino/acrylic ...a bit like frankenyarn! But it is lovely and soft and dyed well so in that I'm pretty pleased.

This is too small for my nappy girl so I'm going to send it off to a friend up north for her baby girl #4 who she is expecting later this year.

Thanks Kelly for another great little pattern xx

Garden Notes

Tomato homegrown

I will miss my vege patch!

I salvaged the important things (strawberries) in buckets and containers and bought them with us. There's no vege patch as such here but I am planning planting winter veges in amongst the other plants anyway.

Zuchhini crop

I am rather proud of my beginner efforts. Very much a mixed bag with some great successes and some other dismal failures. I was aiming to eat *something* from the garden every day and I didn't too badly. I still have a bit to learn about rotation and timing of crops

Beans crop

Notes to self
Cos lettuces grow anywhere. Hearted lettuces turn to slimy goo.
Eat the rocket quickly before it goes to seed
Don't transplant your coriander else it sulks and bolts
One zuchhini plant produces LOTS, two or 3 next year would be great.
Cucumbers went in too late.
The capsicum produced teeny fruit but they tasted 'real'
Peas are good for snacking while weeding
Carrots? Nope
Spinach - one crop did well, the other didn't. Not sure what the secret was there.
I can grow herbs very well. Must remember to use them more often.
Strawberries feed the hungry gardener (and her little helpers). 10 plants per person is my aim for next year.
Brocolli - definitely again.
Broans beans not so sure.
Normal beans - need taller stakes than you anticipate but produce more than expected too! Very good.
Tomatoes were fine in plastic buckets. Plant more than 6 next year and have a go at chutney.

I had to leave the pumpkins behind

When we moved in it was empty.
Aug08 and Feb09
P8311519Garden Feb09

My winter vege seedlings are going in the ground tomorrow!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

FO: My Meret

Meret front view

The specs
Meret - Mystery Beret by Woolly Wormhead (free Ravelry download)
Size L with slouch (one extra pattern repeat)
4.5mm handmade DPNs and 60cm Knitpicks interchangeables
Naturally Merino Fine 10ply - 75g
Cast on Mar 5. Cast off Mar 7.

Meret side view

The verdict
I've not knit or worn a beret before but this is the project which has changed all that. I absolutely love how this turned out!! Love love love.

How did I never wear a hat like this before? I need more!! (Candidates for next up include this and this and this - all Rav links)


The pattern was very well written and was an easy construction but with just enough going on to make it a really interesting knit as well. Very quick with 1 1/2 skeins of worsted weight knitting up in just over 2 days. The yarn was reclaimed from a WiP I'd forgotten about and frogged awhile back. Its from Naturally Handknits but one they are no longer making (such a shame as it was lovely to work with and there is a really shortage here of good 10ply). I have another 75g leftover and am pondering making matching handwarmers. (Matchy matchy..there's a fine line isn't there? Hmmmm.... will ponder that one some more)

More pics etc on my Ravelry page.

Friday, March 6, 2009

We're going on a ...crocodile..hunt!

The weather today was glorious. After a few colder days I thought Autumn was here already but it seems, perhaps, Summer wants one last play.

We went for a walk around the new neighbourhood
In the neighbourhood

The river is at the end of our street and is quite the hive of activity - today there was a truck with a crane bucket on the back cutting down a riverside tree. Yesterday we saw a special river cleaner boat-thing scooping out weed (and duck poo according to N3!). Many a conversation already about the goings on in the river. N3 has been asking me all week about crocodiles so today on our walk we went crocodile spotting. We looked long and hard and hard and long....

And then we think we saw one! Can you see it too?
Crocodile Hunting

You may have to use your 'little 3 year old ' eyes and a dollop of imagination ;)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A post about knitting

There has been very little knitting happening here lately for obvious reasons. Not for lack of wanting and trying of course.

What few minutes I managed to find to knit over the past few weeks I used for knitting some good old dishcloths. Quick and easy and no thinking involved.

Linda commented "Moving is a very stressful time and it's times like that you so need your knitting. Catch 22 huh? " which is so so true. Right when you really need your knitting to destress and keep you sane and you just can't fit it in.

So I managed a little bit...

I made these two for Viv's prize - she was a winner in my blog giveaway.

Bobbles the Sheep because Viv lives on a farm!! (Rav link) in Moda Vera Bamboo/Cotton

DW dishcloth
Darrell Waltrip cloth (I have no idea who Darrell Waltrip is...something to do with Nascar apparently) in Wendy Supreme cotton. (Rav link)

I finished this pink scrappy one I started ages ago. I used some little bits of leftover pink cotton an had 4 balls going at once which I soon discovered was a recipe for entanglement. Its huge and great for mopping up spills though

Scraps in pink cotton

And I also made this ladybug dishcloth which was sent to a friend in Australia. This was my contribution to a dishcloth swap with a group of knitting friends. We are all wanting to be selfish knitters and were lamenting how we never have time/want to knit dishcloths for ourselves so we decided to make a swap group. In keeping with our selfishness we got to suggest the pattern/s we wanted our secret dishcloth knitter to make us....


This was made in Patons Washed Haze which is an aran yarn so the cloth came out quite big.

And this is the one which was sent to me...


A dalek washcloth called "Exfoliate!" - totally love it. Unfortunately the pattern webpage doesnt appear to be working now. I have fond memories of watching Doctor Who in my childhood so when I saw this cloth it was a must make. But better, I didn't have to! Thank you to my (still secret!) dishcloth knitter, its fabulous.

I was also lucky enough to receive my pincushion from the pincushion swap group. Lovely Aimee sent me this cool pincusion. It has beautiful wool felt on one side (great choice as I wanted to use for my thicker darning needles) and super soft green polar fleece on the underside.

I always think the best bit of swaps is the making and sending off but have to admit the opening of parcels rates right up there too.

So, that's the knitting update from the past few weeks. I'm hoping I'll be back into the groove very soon. Amanda asked me if I'd managed to knit in the new house yet and I can now report that yes I have!! And cast on for something "proper" too...

My Meret  5%

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Abode

Thank you all for your well wishes on my last post and for reassuring me we aren't the only ones crazy enough to move lots with kids in tow. It's been a busy few days but I think we're 99% settled in already. The unpacking seems to be so much easier and much more fun than the packing up and we're pretty much done. The 1% we haven't got to yet looks like a little pile of 'stuff' in each room - do we REALLY need this? where ARE we going to put this? does she even FIT this anymore? - moving house is a good declutter exercise!

I'll be glad when the last few remaining things are done at the old place. Cleaning (ugh!) "just do now" and picking up the stuff that didn't fit on the truck.... "just one more load" and don't forget the "....." (repeat about 10 times). Once we're finally DONE around there I'll feel like I can really relax here. I for one will be looking forward to having my evenings back for knitting!! More on that next post maybe.

I'm not so sorted for a room by room guided tour but thought I would share some of the colours from the new house.

My new kitchen is perfect - lots of storage, all new cabinetry and brand new oven (the easy to clean type), big windowsill for pretty stuff, and lots of things to make life easy. Its also a beautiful blue colour - lovely to have something in colours I would have chosen myself.
I bought myself a coriander plant and a pretty blue pot to put it in as a house warming pressie.


We picked the lemon tree before we left!


I can report the bath is deep and luxurious. The bathroom also features original leadlight windows (concave and jammed shut though they may be!). Its the little things which give a house a personality.


M6's room might just about be my favourite spot in the whole house. Its not a huge room but its north facing, sun streams in all day. It was only right she got the room with purple curtains, framing the purple lavender outside.

All our things found a place.

For the first time in 7 years I don't have to share my bedroom with a cot! (It went in the moving house declutter I mentioned). To celebrate I'd love to give my room a makeover but unfortunately I have a zero budget to do so (our moneysucker car needs 4 new tyres and a whole lot of other 'stuff') - but I did find a brand new unopened white duvet cover set during my unpacking that was a wedding gift.
So its a start at least and since white goes with everything I can keep an eye out for 'bits' (on sale!) and make it a 'work in progress'.

I'll be back tomorrow with some actual knitting content xx