Sunday, September 28, 2008

Party time

Today was T's first birthday party, his actual birthday isn't until Tuesday but having a party then wouldn't work, so today it was. We had lovely weather, good food and lots of friends and family present and T had fun playing with all of his new stuff!

Have had a busy week, school holidays means no kinder so we have had more things to do to keep children busy. This has left less time for knitting, but have managed to fit a little in.

Have finished knitting the silk blanket, just need to sew in the ends and it is done.

Have finished the back of the purple bubblegum jacket and cast on for one of the fronts, think I will have a go at that this evening and see how much I can get done.

Feel like I haven't done much knitting recently, have been organising stickers and business cards for the shop just need to decide on what size to make the stickers and I can put that order through and be one step closer to opening! Getting there it is just a long slow process :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Delivery complete

Well today we completed the trek to my friend T's house to meet the new addition. He is two weeks old now and is growing like a weed, so now that the present has been well received I can show you the completed project. He was presented with a 3 month old size, 3 colour stripe chocolate/fawn/cream alpaca cardy with the chocolate used as bands and collar as well. It is too big for him just yet, but he will grow into it!


I used one ball each of Eki Riva superbaby/supreme alpaca in 4 ply. There is at least half each of the two lighter colours remaining and less than half of the chocolate.


The Rosanna S'N'B girls can attest to the fact that some of the seams were pulled out a couple of times each to make sure that the stripes matched, the finished product was well worth it.

I really love the softness of the alpaca and will be using it again lots....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where are we at?

So where are we at? Time for an update. I am so behind on keeping everything up to date. Sidebar WIP's, ravelry, all sorts of things really so here is a small portion of what I need to update:
The bamboo face washer that I designed a pattern for, pattern came out pretty much as I wanted, but do you notice anything in particular about the top edge? Yeah no needles. Why? Other thing about that top edge, it's about 3 lines short of the end and oops I've come to the end of the yarn. It is the second half of a ball, but even though my scales said 12g for each obviously this is the almost 12g piece and the other was the closer to 13 g piece (25g ball). Bugger. Will probably frog the lot and take out the spacer line at the start and finish and maybe one of the ones in the middle as well and we should make it. I like the daisy, got a bit of a thing for daisies really and will probably make quite a few of these over time. Thought of some tweaks to the pattern on the first run so will incorporate them when I do the rerun.

Next comes the bubblegum jacket being knit with Colinette Jitterbug in the Velvet Bilberry colourway, it comes out a tad blue in this photo, I'll get it right for the finished item. So this is the back piece and this view is the outside of the back or "right" side.


This on the other hand is the "wrong" side


that looks like we need a closeup really, hang on....left="right" side, right = "wrong" side

Ok so the girls last Tuesday at S'N'B Rosanna thought they liked the "wrong" side better, I have made this one up both "right" side and "wrong" side out at various points. Will have to decide which one shows up the shading in the purple better I think. If I do this pattern again with this yarn I might actually go up a needle size as this is knitting up quite firm compared to usual, probably a factor of the tight twist in the sock yarn.

(just had to close the Jitterbug webpage, too many things to tempt me, lovely, lovely colours.)

Last but not least the silk blanket is being rejigged. I received the final skein that I needed last week and after coming back to the piece I had completed felt that it was a bit densely knit and a bit coarse feeling, so I am knitting it again on 6mm needles as I slowly frog the piece I had already completed. It feels a little softer in a good way and it is sliding off the needles a little easier now and not sqeaking as much although J still was grinning away "under his breath" as I was knitting on Saturday night. So that is half done as well.

Lots of projects on the go for me, quite unusual really, I'm normally a one project kinda girl, that's what happens when you become a part of a bigger community I suppose, you get exposed to different ideas like UFO's are ok!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jeweled balls

I spent my very few and far between spare moments yesterday and the slightly more abundant ones last night (post kids bedtime) converting skeins of silk into balls for knitting. Do you know what? Now I have a pile of jeweled balls with which to play. They are so soft and shiny and full of traces of other colours.The red ones are a lot smaller than the others and they shed a lot of bits when I was rolling them up, Michelle suggested using them as accents of colour on something rather than as a fabric, so I will have a think on that and see what I come up with.



Forgot to say the other day that apart from being silk they are in fact recycled silk, some of it comes from sari's that have seen better days and other bits from leftovers from other manufacturing processes. Don't be alarmed, the yarn is gorgeous, clean, lustrous, amazingly eye catching and as an extra bonus by using it I am helping to recycle what was otherwise waste from a relatively limited supply of silk (poor silk worms, this way their hard effort gets appreciated for even longer!).



Still have one left to roll up might do that when the kids go out to play this morning.

Z gets to play at his grandparents this afternoon before we all join him for dinner, so maybe H and T and I will do some gardening, if the rain holds off that is....

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Post attempt #2

Bugger it my laptop froze and I lost it so here we go for round two!!!

Well after last weeks houseboundness, we are out and about again. Somehow I ended up being the only one who didn't have a stomach complaint-go figure. But all the sickies are over it and the baby is slowly regaining some of the weight he lost (4 days with no solid food makes for a waif :-( not so good).

I had a lovely surprise on Monday when my package from Michelle arrived. T helped me unpack it, taking each item out of the package and saying "Ta" as he handed it over (VERY cute), so what did we have??? Another skein of the spiced chocolate silk so I can make the blanket that bit longer so that it is more functional, will have to fit that in sometime.

What else??
Oh some of this


and a bit of this



and just a little bit of this



And the plans? Well the purple will be a double knit blanket like the spiced chocolate, the gold/orange will be a single knit blanket (so a little lighter) and the red, well probably something small, there isn't heaps of it, maybe I'll play with some really big needles and make it into something more shawl like...hmmm still thinking on that one. Oh and just too make them even more yummy, they are all silk. Thanks Michelle it was a lovely package to receive after the busy time we had last week, it is nice to have some planning to do!

Many thanks to those who have left comments over the last few days, your thoughts and well wishes have made me feel very welcome in the blogging world. Thanks especially to Bells who tagged me for the meme, I have found so many more wonderful blogs to read by checking out the others she tagged and the ones that were then tagged....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend away and a meme

Well we have just been away for the weekend down at Mum and Dad's in Gippsland, it was Dad's 65th birthday yesterday and we had a party today, so yesterday was preparation day and today was feasting day! Somehow managed to drive both there and back and was busy with kids or preparations all weekend so no knitting happened. It's a bit confusing really, normally I fit some in at least in the evenings but not this time. The kids fell asleep in the car on the way home so they were deposited in bed and I sat down to read a whole heap of blogs and found that Bells has tagged me with a meme 7 Random things about me

Here are the rules:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Write seven 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.
And here are 7 random things....

1. I had a crush on my grade three teacher and knitted him a pair of man sized gloves, I would have been about 8. I was annoyed when he went and bought the yarn and needles because I wanted them to be a gift.

2. Chocolate is now food of the gods but before I had kids the only way I could eat it was if it came straight out of the freezer so that it didn't stick my mouth together with its tackiness (blasphemous me).

3. I moved out of home when I was 18 to attend University in the City, we had about 2 weeks to find me somewhere to live and it was the best thing I ever did.

4. In an effort to foil the procrastinator in me, two years ago I made the best New Years Resolution ever: "Take Action." It worked and I have carried this through as an ongoing theme/motto to this year and as a direct result will be opening my online shop in the very near future where I will sell my handknits and I can't wait :-)

5. I have a weird ability to remember numbers, long ones, phone numbers, visa card numbers....my husband was on the phone as we were driving one day and asked me to remember a number, I was protesting as he read the number out, then he hung up and asked what the number was so he could dial the mobile phone number he had to call and I recited it back for him.

6. I struggle to have a favourite thing e.g. movies, books, tv shows. I enjoy lots of them but don't have any particular favourites.

7. (J helped me with this one!) My husband thinks he knows me better than I know myself.

Well there you go, it was a bit of a challenge but lots of fun too. Thanks Bells.

Now who to tag???
I'm relatively new to the blog world so I have no idea of whether there are others who have had this meme before, so if you have I apologise in advance. I look forward to reading the blogs of the following people the most so lets go with that (in no particular order at all)
1. quiltingmick
2. teresa
3. samuraiknitter
4. tree fall
5. born to read and knit
6. Aunty Cookie

In knitting news I am waiting on the third skein of tussah silk to arrive so I can complete the blanket, and I have fished out the purple (velvet bilberry) sock yarn I bought from Sarah at the Melbourne Craft and Quilt fair and I think I will make another bubblegum jacket.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pleased

I am pleased. "Pleased?" you say, "yes, pleased," I answer.
Now why would I be pleased??? I have sooooo many things to be pleased about:
The baby only woke once during the night so I've had a decent nights sleep,
H slept through,
Z woke once for the loo and went straight back to bed,
I awoke this morning to warmth-the sun and the breezes,
the washing is drying on the line at high speed,
the baby is sleeping,
the big kids are catching ants and other crawlies to inspect in H's bug magnifier (read-they are leaving me in peace, after days of having sick children crawling all over me this is heaven),
I have decided what I am going to do with the frogged face washer and
best of all we had a quick trip out this morning in the wild wind AND PICKED UP MY LABELS!

They are beautiful, exactly what I wanted, simple, the artwork transposed nicely and they were done with no fuss or bother by Akie labels in Thornbury and they cost a fraction of what some of the other places I had quotes from wanted. Thanks to Gaye for providing me with their details.

Do you want to see???

It feels funny to go and photograph something that I have a digital design of so maybe if I show you both?

Hang on I"ll just get the camera out...here you go, aided and abetted by Z and his grubby fingers because the wind kept blowing it off the table! Gives you an idea of the size of the label too since he is only 3 and his fingers look pretty big right there.



and here is the digital design.


As I said VERY happy with the results so off I go, there are necklines and hat bands to attach these to :-) (yes that is me grinning from ear to ear).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Plans...what plans???

Well so much for plans. I haven't picked up my labels yet, nor have I posted off the cardy as I have had two sick kids for the last three days and was not putting either of them in the car...cleaning mess off polished floors is much easier than out of a car!

So T was pretending he was getting better on Tuesday and spent Wednesday returning any food I gave to him about 10 minutes later, not only that but H started on Tuesday night about midnight and J was up with him for about 3 hours until the worst ended and H could sleep again. He spent yesterday on the couch watching lots of ABC kids and Shrek and Nemo DVD's. He seems to be all better today if the energy levels are anything to go by. T is currently asleep but I'm not holding my breath, he has kept everything down today and is starving, so keeps getting grumpy for more food.

I decided that between keeping track of two low energy, sick children and one highly energetic 3yo who somehow has managed to stay well, the knitting would have to be limited to face washers!!! 20-30 stitches and essentially no pattern so putting it down would mean I wouldn't get lost and have to search for where I was up to all the time. This worked and I have 2.5 face washers done, although I think the half finished one will have to be frogged as I am running short of yarn and it won't be square.

Quick trip outside to take photos and...

first up is a hot pink number garter stitch


Next up is a bamboo washcloth in a orange/pink multi comes as 4ply and I have knit it doubled on 5.5 mm bamboo needles (Cleckheaton 100% bamboo)



and last but not least we have the work in progress, which as you can see is not going to make it to square, so it will probably be frogged so stay tuned for what it evolves to!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lots of updates

Well I have officially run out of yarn on the silk blanket and it measures 50 cm x 42 cm which is a little short for what I had in mind. I have checked it in both the pram and the carseat and it would work but not quite as well as I intended so I have put an enquiry in to see if I can get some more of the silk, 1 more skein would do it to take it to 50 x 60 cm or so which would be more workable.

This means of course that I am project less again....hmmmmm this is not so good, time to stash dive I think for some inspiration.

T has been very grumpy today after being ill yesterday, he is slowly coming back onto solid food so that is good, but wants to be held all the time because he feels crappy so not much knitting time today. Didn't make it to s'n'b he was asleep.

Had a call today from the lady making my labels and they are all done so I will be picking them up tomorrow morning . Yippee!!!!

And in the best news of the day, my friend T has had her baby yesterday afternoon and she has a baby boy Dylan Henry who weighed in at a whopping 9lb7oz. I will be sending off the cardy I made tomorrow (with label attached) so photos of it will be displayed as soon as she has received it!!

Dinner at my sister's tonight so I must be off and organise the kids stuff before picking them up, T has also just woken up so I'd better go and fish him out of his cot too.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The blanket is growing...

Well we are 18 cm in to making the silk blanket and to try and get a better idea of the colour for you I decided a reference of milk chocolate callebaut buttons might help!!!



it at least shows that the colour isn't a standard brown and some of the richness is more obvious, a closeup of the stitches gives you an idea of the "rustic"ness of the fabric.



We were quite amused last night as I was knitting, odd looks from J kept coming my way because as I was knitting the silk on my bamboo needles, it squeaked! Well squeak isn't quite right, more like creaked, it reminded us of someone wearing leather pants walking past!!! So I'm keeping J amused as I knit these days, just adding to my multitasking abilities :-)

Not sure if I will make it to s'n'b tomorrow, the baby isn't quite right, he did some vomiting during the night and this morning and we aren't sure whether he has a bug, whether his cough is causing him to gag or whether all the pulling to standing yesterday has resulted in worn out tummy muscles that result in vomits when he burps/coughs. His breakfast rebounded (straight down my cleavage-yucko-thank goodness I hadn't showered yet) but a feed and a light lunch seems to have stayed with him so far so we will see how he goes.

Hope you all have a great week.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Silk Blanket

Well after assessing the state of the stock cupboard, there is a pretty even spread of colours, sizes and designs in both the cardy's and the hats so it's time for something new.....



Pulled out 2 skeins of spiced chocolate tussah silk (and yes I did just check that out on wikipedia but didn't find a definition. Google came through though). The picture doesn't show the depth of the colour it is more of a rich burgundy brown...I bought it online at A Stranded Yarn and when it came it was better than I expected.

So I am knitting a blanket to be used in a pram or while baby is in a carseat, so I will have to see how far the silk goes. Just keeping it plain stocking stitch with a garter edge, the silk has variation in its thickness so it is providing the interest, it is looking a little rustic. Beautiful. Also has the halo effect of silk happening as well, this blanket is going to look great!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

7 Hats in 7 days: Day #7 update

Well the verdict is in the hat is a winner!



Granted J looks almost like he is about to go hold someone up, but he is happy with the hat and that is what counts.

So vital statistics: 1 ball of Eki Riva Supreme 4 ply alpaca on 2.75 and 3.25 mm needles, circumference 61cm (for future reference I would actually make it slightly smaller so that it would have to stretch just a little to fit, instead of fitting exactly). Actually not the whole ball even, there are leftovers for another day.

Ummm what else oh yes, had a very busy day yesterday grocery shopping and preparing dinner for the in-laws and the BIL and the rest of my little clan so didn't get much of a chance to knit during the day so had to take it out with me to dinner last night with my little sister and she graciously allowed me to keep her out until the stroke of midnight just so I could finish sewing it together in time to make the 7 day deadline. We went right down to the wire. If we hadn't have been gossiping quite so much I might have remembered to have it out a bit more often and I would have had it done earlier in the night but I'm not fussed, it was midnight, it was done, so all good :-)

So "what next?" I hear you ask, hmmm maybe a silk blanket, have some that's probably a little coarse for a garment but would do well as a car or pram blanket, think I'll keep it pretty simple if I go with that, or maybe I need to go and count how many of what size cardy's I have in the stockpile and even it out somewhat. Don't think I need to do any more hats for a little while (*grin*) but now I know just how quickly/slowly I can get some together so it has been well worth the challenge! Will have to go look at the stash, also need to update my ravelry projects to include all the hats and need to upload all my stash as well, have taken all the photos it's just a matter of time and perseverance to get it all updated really.

Here it is!

So here is the last hat, I will try to get a pic of it being worn later today, currently on the way out of the house for a kid's birthday in the park but thought I should show you all the proof!!

7 Hats in 7 days: Day #7

Success, just!!!
Had to take the hat with me out to dinner to finish it and got it finished and sewn together literally with seconds to go.
Will photograph it in the cold light of day tomorrow for you.
I'm off to bed....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

7 Hats in 7 days: Day #6

Well it is day 6 and how are we going you ask? Slowly is the answer.

J's hat is coming along, the band is finished and I am probably halfway through the length, but it is pretty slow going knitting all those 161 stitches in 4 ply yarn. Much slower than I'm used to considering I normally knit for very little people not full grown adults.

J has inspected the progress and has expressed a liking for the results. He likes the softness of the alpaca and is impressed by the fact that even though it does feel light and almost "thin" it will be so warm. Have asked if there are any special requests in the construction and he came up with two.

1/ He is happy to have a folded over band but could I stitch it down in a couple of places so it stays there? I'm pretty sure I can comply on that one, and

2/ Can I make it so it doesn't pucker up and down around the crown? I will endeavour to do this, I personally don't like that either so had planned on trying to avoid it. Hopefully I won't have to pull anything out because it takes so long to knit I don't think it will be nice to have to pull it out again!

So that's where we are up to, I am going out for dinner tomorrow night with my little sister and am preparing dinner for everyone else before I go tomorrow so I'm hoping I'm going to be able to get the hat done before I leave because I don't plan on being home particularly early :-) Will let you know how we go, it' s looking ok, it just depends on how much time the kids let me knit during the day tomorrow.......

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Above average

Managed to catch J's head and measure it after he returned from the kinder trip, they were running late earlier so I patiently waited for their return and the verdict is J's head measures 61cm with the tape measure so the hat he measured this afternoon may in fact have been pretty spot on. This means if the average is 59cm for a grown man it is his fault that our kids heads were big at birth (35, 37, 37cm) not mine!!!! J is out at boys night now, the kids are all in bed, 'So you think you can dance' is on and I have a fresh cup of tea made....time to cast on 161 stitches yep you heard me right 161. That is literally double the previous hat, this may take a while!!

7 Hats in 7 days: Day #5

Hat #6 is complete, sewed it together just before kinder pickup and took several pics trying to get a good one. Vital stats: Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino (55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, 12% cashmere: this one was a left over ball from making H a cardy when he turned 1), it is a beautiful dark grey and feels gorgeous in the hand. Knits as a 4-5 ply on 3.25 mm needles, have made a prem size. Bought it from Sunspun a few years ago, it is colour #207 on this colour card.



and just to show off the gum nut effect...



Completion of this hat leaves me with just one to make in just over two days...easy you say...well not quite. The next one is for J and apart from being knit in 4 ply alpaca (millions of stitches required) I have forgotten to measure his head :-(

So I called him to ask if he knew what his head measurement was, nup doesn't know. Asked if he had a measuring tape he could use to measure his head for me, nup works in an office full of computer (nerds) people (just occurred to me I should have asked him if he knew if anyone there knits but the chance of that is pretty slim anyway). It did occur to us both that he has a hat that he wears (dodgy acrylic thing-big yuck from me-hence the alpaca) and he could measure that but he didn't have a ruler on him, so he's going to email me the answer.

And the answer is 62 cm which according to all of the patterns I have and can find on ravelry means he either measured it a bit wrong or he has a real boof head as the average is 59 cm!! Checking the tag resulted in "one size fits all" and "Made in China" so it looks like I either guess (not a fan of that idea) or wait for him to come home. Today is Wednesday so normally that would mean close to midnight (boys night) but lucky me, he is due home about 4.45 pm because he has an event at Kinder with H, Father's night at kinder for Father's Day on the weekend so I will get to measure his head and get started about then, children permitting of course!

If I sort out the kids dinner now and do the dishwasher I will have more time later to knit so wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

7 Hats in 7 days: Day #4

Well hat no# 5 is off the needles and all stitched up, had to frog it at s'n'b this morning as I realised I had cast on on the wrong size needles, had only done a couple of rows so no major dramas there. I love the colour of this one it is slightly darker/deeper in reality but this is pretty close. The gumnut effect is more pronounced in the smaller hats.


This one is very small to fit a prem baby (head circumference 30cm), knit from Trends by Patons machine washable "Real Wool" 100% wool in 5ply on 3.25mm needles. I bought this so long ago, it has been sitting as an odd ball in the stash so I thought it would be a good candidate for both stash busting and a hat. Have ended up with a little left over, maybe a stripy hat with the rest??? Will have to see.

So we are definitely on track for 7 in 7.

Have to go hang out the washing and make the tomato sauce for the spinach and ricotta canneloni we are having for dinner tonight, C&D are at our house tonight, then off to pick up the big boys from childcare.

T has had a fabulous day chatting up the girls at s'n'b this morning and scooting around all arvo getting into his brother's toys without them taking stuff out of his hands, he is currently putting casino type coins in and out of a set of drums that he has tipped upside down. Now he has emptied them out and is playing the hand drums!!! Clever chicken :-)

Monday, September 1, 2008

7 Hats in 7 days: Day #3

Well the end of day 3 sees me one hat up!!! That's right I have finished 4 hats, the washing is done, the kitchen is clean, the kids have been fed and played with and I have finished 4 hats.....yes I am somewhat surprised.

So hat #3 was knit from Jaeger Baby Merino that I bought quite a few years ago now. It's an 8ply knit on 4mm needles following the same pattern as before. This one is 3 month old size.



Hat#4 was a double knit, a combination of Merino Bambino rainbow multi 4 ply and Biggan Design DK (8 ply) in bright orange (Z picked it, he said "I like orange, it's my favourite"). Knit on 4.5 mm needles. It has ended up very bright, the photo doesn't quite do it justice. I might see if I can get a better picture tomorrow in daylight. Oh and it's newborn size.



That leaves two prem size ones to go and the hat for J. Cast on for one of the prems this evening, will take it to s'n'b tomorrow and see how far I can get!!

Oh and I nearly forgot, some things I found in the garden yesterday:

a violet in hiding


barely opened jonquils


a self sown lettuce


and plum blossoms


it is funny what pops up when you aren't looking!