Friday, November 28, 2008

Monkeys

I cast on the socks I will be knitting for my Nan for Christmas yesterday afternoon. The boys had been sent elsewhere to play in the house or outside because mummy needed a break from them, so for the first time all day I had some personal space!! I had a quick peruse of Ravelry and have decided to join the masses and knit a pair of Monkeys (non rav link). There is something about them that I think will work really well with the yarn I have...ooops that's right I haven't shown you yet. (She whips out the camera and goes looking for her yarn)


There you go. Blues, purple, cream a touch of brown. Perfect Nan colours.
Oh and of course, I didn't just cast on, by the end of the evening I had finished the cuff and the first pattern repeat:


The yarn has come from a sock kit I bought at my LYS and appears to be of German origin (Rico Design Knit-Kit) the colours are ones I think of as Nan's, the blues and cream and the hint of purple, all good. So the sock is underway and I am pleased with how it looks so far. I am using my great grandmother's dpns to knit with again, so in a convoluted way my Nan's granddaughter (me) is knitting her a pair of socks with her mother's (my great grandmother's) needles!! I like the links through it all. I am a little sad about it all though because my Nan is unwell. (I have rewritten that last sentence about 8 times and I just can't express my hopes, my fears, any of it really, so I've left it simple).

We are travelling down to Mums this weekend (Gippsland) and I will be visiting Nan this weekend as well as catching up with my big sister and her crew (Leongatha) for my nephews birthday. So a busy one coming up. Have a lot of organising to do today as I am swimming in the morning and voting after that in the local elections and then travelling across to Brunswick for the Sister's market (with my little sister) before heading down to Mum's all hopefully before lunchtime so there will be no time for packing tomorrow so that is a task for today. Shouldn't be too hard an ask as T slept last night. I had 7.5 hours UNBROKEN sleep!!!!!!! I am a new woman, at least for today :-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A request

Just now Z asked me

"can you make me a jumper, because I am cold" (28 degrees C here so far today, I think he might be pretending!)

and followed with

"out of your wool"

and then

"where is the pink wool? we have to go look for it."

Yes he is a boy and yes his favourite colour is pink.

He may get the jumper, but I don't think I have enough pink anywhere.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SnB Knitting

So I have recently had just one project that I have been making only when I am at SnB on Tuesday mornings with "The Stitchers". Usually I just bring the project I'm working on and often it is something different each week, but not recently, so here it is.


That's the back and 1 and a quarter fronts. It looks a litttle higgledy piggledy, that's the garter stitch bands curling up. They will be right once it is sewn together and potentially blocked. The best bit about this knit is the rainbow colour, it is just Cleckheaton Merino Bambino in the multicolour, but it is lovely and sometimes it's nice to knit with something that you know is just going to wear and wear and wear and still stay nice. Think I'm doing the OOO size, would have to get off my butt and look for the....ahh it is actually just beside me, hang on!! Nope it's the OOOO, so quite tiny, though it is looking bigger than I thought it would be, will see what happens when it is sewn together. Have been working on a quilt in my "spare" time so the knitting at home is on a slow down.

Really need to start knitting my Nan's socks, Christmas is coming.......

Monday, November 24, 2008

My design update

Ok so this is the last one for today, I think.

I have another couple rolling around in my head but they will have to wait as it has been a long day and I have been swimming this evening (50x25m in 30 mins. Yay for me almost back to top speed!!!), so I am running short of that thing called energy. It has been a very busy and fruitful day. Lots of washing done. Progress made on the quilt I'm making. Happy boys who didn't spend the whole day annoying each other. The weekend was a bit trying, wet weather and all. Check out the hail in my backyard from Saturday morning! It was amazing :-) Yes that is hail not snow!!! Oh and the stuff everywhere? The usual state of my backyard with three kids moving things around it changes every day (grin).


So the knitting....

The design even.

I am very happy with the back, it's the right length, width, everything.


The right front is the one without the button holes. The button band is rib one side, knit the other (in other words the stitch pattern from the bubblegum jacket) and the edge is pretty good. I'm pretty sure I slipped the stitch at the beginning of the row to help it be tighter, but honestly I'd have to pull it out to check and it's in my bedroom and I'm not... I like the curve of the neck decreases I think it will look lovely on.


The left front is the one with the button holes. I'm not so sure of it. It seems to be looser on the edge but it shouldn't. I wouldn't have thought adding buttonholes would have that effect, but maybe that is what is going on. Anyway, it is just the mirror image of the right front, so the decreases are all the same, etc.

So the next step is the sleeves. Having a ponder with that at the moment, will need to sleep on it some more, just trying to decide whether to have a cuff or not. What do you think?

Will leave you with a very cute picture that I took a couple of hours after the hail storm. I have called it "Hail the boat" LOL! Maybe I should just name the boat "Titanic" and no it wasn't posed, if you look at the first picture with the whole yard you can just see a yellow "blob" on the edge of the table and this boat was it.

A Book List

Slightly different from my other lists, this one was posted by Ally at Born to Read and Knit. The list is from a NEA reading initiative, apparently more lists are available for NZ and the UK.
Anyway the bolded ones I have read (19, sorry T miscounted), the commented ones are as per comment (duh!) and the ones I intend to read are italicized. I will probably get to them all eventually now I have a list to go from!!!

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (can’t remember)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (never have, never will)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (got it, don’t think I’ve read it)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (can’t remember)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (can’t remember)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (on the shelf, haven’t got to it yet)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (on the shelf, haven’t gotten to it)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (can’t remember)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac (featured in a Waifs song, must read!)
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (can’t remember)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton (J recently read this with the boys, so it is on the shelf)
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (on the shelf)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

So anyway more ideas for reading for me!

Twinkle twinkle little star

I had a look around for knitted Christmas tree ornament patterns thinking that they might make good kinder teacher/carer presents for Christmas. I have since decided against that, thinking it will be better if the boys make their own gifts but in the meantime I played...

In "The Big Book of Small Projects 2" from Patons I found Christmas stars. Make 2 pieces sew together and stuff, but when I had finished the first piece it looked much more like a flower to me, see:

so I had a think, played with some numbers and came up with this:


It's not perfect but it is knit in one piece with what I think are called short rows and stuff like that and I stuffed it before doing the last couple of rows so when I finished knitting all I had left to do was sew in two ends, the beginning and the end. Not bad. Will make another one as their is a bit of an oops on one of the points. Maybe one for each of my boys...

Oh and I figure I have so much to write about each thing is getting it's own post in between doing everything else today! So stay tuned for more updates :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

My poor blog

You poor thing, no, I haven't forgotten you, you are in my thoughts, even if you aren't at my fingertips. There is knitting to share, progress on my design, progress on my SnB knitting oh and yesterday I made half a star that looked suspiciously like a flower and then made up a complete star including stuffing and NO SEAMS! Yay for me. Now I just need piccies and I can show you there are no fibs happening here.

In other news, I have finally gotten back into setting up my shop, there has been a very busy period here recently, heaps going on, lots of illnesses involving everyone at least once and all the usual stuff that happens when a house is in the presence of 3 kids under school age. Finally getting a grip on everything, and hopefully now that T is down to 2 feeds max in a day, his overnight sleeps will continue to lengthen and my sleep deficit will right itself and then it will be full steam ahead!!!!!!! (I hope :-P)

Anyway pics will turn up soon, I promise. Have a great weekend everyone :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mega Ravelry Meet in Melbourne

It was a lovely afternoon sitting in the sun, or under umbrellas, and knitting with a whole new group of Melbourne knitters.

The big boys played with their dad in the Children's garden and then had a wander over to the Shrine where they witnessed a simple ceremony where a wreath was laid, then back to the Children's garden.

T had a nap while I knitted in good company. Thank you ladies for being so welcoming :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Perfect Book

Must have

Alt Fiber by Shannon Okey

Will have to add to Christmas list.

Man is this book just what I want/need/have been looking for.

Go Shannon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Book lists

When I attended a craft fair a few months ago (don't ask which one, I'm lucky I remember that's where this all stems from ;-), I filled in my name and address details for a book shop to send me their catalogues. I know, I know, giving out details at events leads to various types of spam of both the email and snail mail variety, but I think I have struck gold. Psssst don't tell J!!!!

So every month I get three little catalogues with short descriptions of the books and the idea is that you either send in a completed form to order them, ring them, or go online to buy the books. But I hadn't gotten around to reading the catalogues until a couple of days ago, they were on the list of 40 remaining items, make that 39 now. I have trouble finding new books to read when I'm at the bookshop or the library and now I can get a taste of some of the books out there that are crafty without having to go to 6 different shops or several libraries, and I can do it at home so no carting three young kids off for mum to stand in a bookshop aisle unmoving except for turning pages.....dead boring for the kids, very annoying for the mum who has to keep looking up to check the kids aren't pulling pages out of other books!!

So the collection of interesting books that I now know I want to have a more in depth look at are:
1/ Natural Knits for Babies & Toddlers-Tina Barrett (for me)
2/ Natural Dyeing-Jackie Crook (for me, it looks interesting tsb)
3/ 50 Science Things to Make and Do- no author listed (for the kids, maybe a niece or nephew)
4/ Free Stuff For Kids- we had one of these when we were kids, it made life interesting for a while!!!
5/ Making Wooden Toys-Geoff Rugless (My BIL might be interested in that one)
6/ 101 Things You Should Know How To Do-Michael Powell (for me, I'm always up for learning useful stuff)
7/ 365 Things to make and Do-no author (for me, more learning, kids play maybe)
8/ Clean Sweep-Give Your House More Than a Once Over-Alison Haynes (for me, I'm up for a healthier way of cleaning and organising our house-why not?)
9/ Crafting a Business-Making Money Doing What You Love-Kathie Fitzgerald (for me, I'm setting up my online shop, honestly I am)
10/ Loose Threads-Stories to Keep Quilters in Stitches- Helen Kelley (My mum needs this one, she needs more excuses to laugh!)
11/ Young at Heart Quilts- Julie Popa (for me, I have young kids, nieces and a nephew and I quilt)
12/ 150 Blocks for Baby Quilts-Susan Briscoe (for me, see above!)
13/ Jelly Roll Quilts-Pam and Nicky Lintott (for me, someone gave me a lovely fabric gift for my birthday and I haven't decided what to do with it yet)
14/ Playful Quilts for Kids-Carolyn Vosburg Hall (for me for the kids)
15/ Rolling Along-Easy Quilts from 2.5" Strips-Nancy Martin (for me to help with that birthday gift)
16/ Origami Deluxe Book & Gift Set (Origami makes my kids and nieces and nephews think and concentrate and gives them a product at the end, from a single square of paper, that they made themselves. Who could ask for more?)
17/ Going Green- Hints and Tips to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint-Vivien Head (for me, my only hesitation is it is a printed book and that can't help with the carbon footprint....)
18/ Printing By Hand-Lena Corwin (for me)
19/ Natural Dyes-Linda Rudkin (for me, another interesting one tsb)
20/ Seductive Shoe-Four Centuries of Fashion Footwear-Jonathan Walford (Something a certain blogger might want to look at)
21/ Fashioning Kimono-Annie Van Assche (the history aspect may be appreciated by this blogger who recently declared an interest in this topic)
22/ Simple Knits for Cherished Babes-Erika Knight (for me, need to check out the designs!)
23/ Simple Knits for Little Cherubs-Erika Knight (for me, have a couple of cherubs, wouldn't hurt to look!)
24/ Christmas Stockings-18 Holiday Treasures to Knit (for me, don't normally knit objects but I could make an exception!)
25/ Show Me How-500 Things You Should Know ( for me, self improvement again!)
26/ Organic Home-The Australian Guide to Clean, Green Living-Rosamond Richardson (for me, thinking about the boys growing up healthy)
27/ Great Family Songbook- Dan Fox and Dick Weissman (for us!)
28/ Spot the Differences-100 Challenging Photo Puzzles (for me, I have a brain in there somewhere, maybe if I exercise it it will come back quicker...)

It looks like I will at least have some direction next time I visit a bookstore or go online at my library to check the catalogue for matches!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lists

I am a list writer.

Especially when things start to feel really out of control.

The best list are ones you can cross things off of straight away.

I have had days where the list was:
Wake up
Get out of bed
make cup of tea
drink tea
Put washing in machine
turn machine on
hang washing out
bring washing in
fold/sort washing
put washing away

I'm not kidding, the more I need the thrill(?) of crossing off items, the smaller the breakdown of components.

It works!

Yesterday I wrote a list.

It is not finished yet, it is currently at 48 items and there are more floating around in my head that haven't made it onto the paper yet, mostly because I ran out of space and don't want to turn the page over.

I even managed to cross some off, a whole 8 of them.

I paid bills, called people I needed to call, paid for our beach holiday accommodation for January (10% discount for paying early!), sorted out all sorts of bank stuff (new credit card, debit card, pin numbers, internet banking).

That still leaves 40 items.

Some of them are big ticket items, none of them have been broken down into component parts. this is going to take a while....

The longest running list I ever had was finally completed after oh about 5 years or so. Hopefully this one won't take so long. In fact I know it can't. There are a fair number of time sensitive items on the list, and time waits for no woman.

Bugger, just remembered I was going to take a photo of the two different side fronts I had made for the red cardy before I frogged the dud. Obviously I forgot that part of the plan because I frogged the dud this morning at S'n'B and there are no photos. Again, bugger. Oh well the keeper has been approved by the girls and so now I can make it's mate, next challenge button holes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spazzing out with the crew!

I have joined in with Julie's Spaz-out-along, we all need to share the fun of the holiday season!! How cool is the button! (see side bar)

Have to think of all the things I need to complete for this holiday season. A couple of things come to mind: a pair of socks for my Nana and two padded fitted sheets to go on the boys' camp beds for camping in January, that and buying the huge list of camping items we need (maybe I should actually make a list of all the things we need!). There will be more, I just haven't got to them yet!!!

What have I been working on since finishing my socks? The red cardy I'm making from all of the ideas in my head. Have made one front piece, but the button band is too loose so I've played around a whole heap with different options for a button band knit at the same time as the body piece and think I have come up with something that will work. Once I've finished the second front I'll compare the two and probably frog the first one, especially if the second band isn't all curly and wavy! So it is all progressing slowly. Think I have made another face washer in between but have completely lost track, my cold turned out to be infected sinuses and so my brain has been on a hiatus for a week or so. Oh did start a little cardy with rainbow multicoloured Merino Bambino at S'n'B last week, but haven't worked on it since. Might keep that one for S'n'B only and do other stuff at home....

Anyway that is where we are at, life is settling down again at the moment, the calm before the storm of the Christmas season I think.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A surf sock and a holiday

Well after blogging 31 days in a row we went on holidays and were computer free for 4 days straight....talk about cold turkey!

We had a lovely time lots of beach time, lots of knitting time, which leads me to the surf sock. My first sock has been dubbed the city sock since it was knit at home, the second sock was started and finished while at the beach so of course the photos are:

at the beach house (city sock on right, surf sock on left)
and at the beach
The weather while not perfect EVERY day it was pretty darn good! The kids had a ball as did their dad (if you ever go to a beach and there's a dirty great big hole you wouldn't want to fall in in the dark, there's a fair chance J has been there first!) The grandparents were, as usual, the perfect hosts and amazingly tolerant of having three kids 5 and under running not quite completely mad in their house.

Vital statistics on the socks? Colinette Jitterbug in the Lagoon colourway, knit on 2.5mm dpns (my great grandmother's) using the pattern on the ball band. Started Monday October 27, finished Monday November 3rd, 2008.

If I was to make them again, I would cast on less stitches for the leg section as they are a hint loose and after leaving the instructions at home for the cast off, had to do it from memory and so here's the extra bonus of the cast off, I remembered it!!!! Would attempt a different way of doing the heel too, just to see what it looks like :-)

Very happy with them. Have just bought some yarn to make my Nana a pair of socks for
Christmas, they come with their own pattern so maybe I'll try that....I think I might be a little hooked on socks I kept thinking about the bits and pieces of yarn I have lying around that I might be able to convert into small socks...