Monday, August 31, 2009

Updates

We have been pretty busy over the last couple of weeks, what with having a sick kid and organising a birthday party.


Took time out for a photo shoot, me and the boys!


Found the stash. Jules was heard to utter a non-repeatable utterance on entering the room, it's not every day you can't get to the bed for the yarn! Left hand side is stash, right hand side is stash and incomplete projects including the yarn required for them. Contents of the box at the left front is heading to Lynne so that makes it less nasty, but only marginally so. There was a mumble about not buying any more yarn any time soon, not by me though! Although there really is enough there to keep me occupied for quite a while, LOL! Remembering of course that for most of the things I knit 2-3 balls is all I require, so there's a fair amount of potential "items" in that pile!!


Jules' socks are coming along slowly, haven't measured but think I'm close to the heel so have to find my book and check the measurements and then separate for the heel.


The little cardy using the ixchel BFL/angora was further along than this both sleeves were done, but close inspection of the cuff revealed not only had I knit 4 stitches in a row instead of 1x1 ribbing, I had somehow managed to drop a stitch. Sure I could have drawn the stitch up and dropped others to fix the two knits that should have been purls but it seemed easier just to frog it.



Hunter's socks have been finished for more than a week now, he's very happy and has, like his brother, been reluctant to take them off. So a winner there as well.


and on Saturday I turned that up there into that down there!

So there you go all updated!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Silence

I'm probably jinxing myself but it's all quiet here, no coughing, no gagging, no crying.

I'm off to bed, hopefully for a good night's sleep.

I have photos of stash, Hunter's socks and the new project to show but they may have to wait as birthday party number 2 is scheduled for Sunday and I am way behind schedule for the clean up and prep due to poor Tyler being sick this week.

Have a great sleep!

The Golden Hours

No to be confused with the "golden years", I'm talking about those hours of sleep that are absolutely essential for the normal (or what passes for normal) functioning of the adults in the house.

After three pregnancies, three rounds of childbirth and three rounds of breastfeeding we have definitely isolated those key hours required to maintain a semblance of sanity. In this house it is midnight-3am for me and 3-6am for him.

Now this is normally not a problem to achieve, a kid wakes up, someone rolls over and looks at the clock and if it isn't their turn (ie it's in the middle of their key sleep hours) they wake the other up and all is, if not good, then at least acceptable. Except for when the kid in question is sick.

All rules whether spoken or not go completely out the window when the kids are sick. As a general replacement rule, kids=sick means mum=up. And so it has been for the last 3 nights.

Tyler has a cold which when the medication wears off means he coughs until he chokes, gags and almost vomits, then he screams because his throat is sore. Don't blame him, from this side of it it's a pretty shocking cold and I am so hoping that since his brothers have not shown any symptoms thus far, we are safe from them getting this particular version of this particular virus. We've had him to the doctor, no infection, just keep him warm, happy, fed, hydrated and medicated until it moves on. Excellent. Except he won't often go to dad. Not if he knows I'm around somewhere. So I have had a seemingly permanently attached almost 2 year old by my side or in my arms constantly for the last 3 .5 days and nights. Oh except for the 9 hours I was away at work yesterday while Jules was home from work with him (thanks Jules).

First night Tyler was in our bed for at least half of it, crying every I don't know how long, needing comforting, drinks, etc. Second night he came into our bed at midnight, Jules moved into the study for the rest of the night. Last night I spent midnight till 3.30 am with him mostly in my lap on the couch because every time he lay down he coughed fit to vomit (and yes his mattress is jacked up on an insane angle so the yuck doesn't pool in his head), Jules got up to him when he next cried at around 4am, I was too zonked in sleep to have any idea of how long he was up to him.

So three nights of broken, patchy at best completely crap sleep and I have turned into a bit of a wretch/wench/nightmare take your pick. The kids have been warned mum is tired and grumpy, that's all I can do, that and carefully edit in my brain before I open my mouth and launch a completely insane, over the top, irrational argument at a 4 year old who honestly just doesn't care that mum is tired, he's hungry.

So all I'm saying is please Tyler, please please please for all of our sakes can you please sleep between midnight and 3am tonight honey?? It will make all the difference, honest.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The search for Ack

Today, while the sun is shining bright, I am inside searching the stash for Ack (i.e. acrylic).

I have no problem with this, not at all. I don't have a lot, having never been a real fan.

The thing is, I keep finding more boxes and bags of yarn. Some of this stuff has not seen the light of day since I first earned an income and that's almost 20 years ago......oh and I just found a box that has stuff in it that I was given to me by both my Nan and my sister in law.

There's way more than I thought, shhhh don't tell Jules!

I may just have to go on a buying freeze, except I heard yesterday that Spotties has a sale....no, no, be strong, knit from stash until it is just a little smaller.......

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Socks in abundance

Well it is sock central over here and I think this morning I may have hit the wall.

Last Tuesday I started Zac's socks and this Tuesday I finished them. Have had to peel them off his feet he wore them for 24 hours straight and soooo didn't want me to wash them.

This Tuesday I started Hunter's rainbow socks and Wednesday I finished one. Have not yet cast on for the other. Had to go buy another set of Knit Pro 2.5mm circs so I could start on Jules'.

Wednesday night I restarted Jules' socks, doing a 2x2 rib the whole way, I've done about 2 inches, just have to decide what sort of heel to do. I don't think the short row heel will cut it, so I'm going to have to have a look at other options. Have done heel flaps before but not reinforced ones and Kylie mentioned an "Eye of Partridge" heel so I'm going to have to look that one up as well, but until then I have a lot of 2x2 rib to get through, perfect evening knitting.

But in the meantime I'm starting to look sideways at the socks and in my head there's starting to be a bit of mutiny. Going round and round and round is starting to wear a little thin.

What else can I cast on? It's been a couple of weeks since the Shiloh wrap cardy, so maybe it's cardy time again. Ah yes, that's got the shoulder's down a little. But now what yarn? A plethora of choices available to me in the stash. It's so nice that one or two balls of 4 ply is generally enough for most of what I make. Hang on, didn't I get some new "stuff" at Bendi??? There it is. OOOOoooh the rainbows (obviously not over rainbow colours yet, just socks!), but which one...settled on the Ixchel BFL/Angora in Carribean. Needs a simple pattern, how about the one I used for the Cleck Bamboo multi (rav link) a while back. Fished out the pattern book, checked the sizings and metreage and sure enough there should be enough yarn in the ball of BFL/angora for a 3 month old size cardy. I just won't cut the yarn in between pieces just in case!


Woohoo new project!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FO Zac's rainbow socks

One pair of rainbow socks done and a mightily pleased Zac wearing them instantly. Can't ask for much more than that!
They are a fraction long (maybe a cm in the toe) but otherwise perfect. If they get too annoying I can always undo them and take them back a couple of rows. No biggie.

I particularly like the heels seen in the last sock post, and the toes:

Specs: Cleckheaton Cocoon 4 ply, hand dyed by Lynne, knit by me on 3.25mm dpns for the cuffs and a 2.5mm knit pro circ for the rest. Started August 11th, finished August 18th.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Temptation

thy name is Twist Collective.

The new Autumn edition is available online now.....

have to go haven't finished....

Zac's socks...almost there!

We have hit the final straight, one sock completed and I turned the heel on the second sock this morning while he was in the pool having a swimming lesson. He is very pleased with how they are turning out!
This is the heel on the completed sock


and this is the one from this morning



My need for rainbows is being satisfied!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Advice please....

I want to knit a pair of socks for someone special so tell me dear friends what shall I knit them from?

I want something relatively sturdy but soft and I want them to last, so any advice would be most welcome.

I normally knit cardy's hats and jumpers and know what I'm looking for there, but as I'm still new to socks, I have lots to learn, so fire away!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The best sound in the world...

...is the sound of my children running around outside with their dad giggling their heads off as they run away from the "food" flying through the air from the "food throwing machine" that they have made by sticking all sorts of bits and pieces together with the aid of multiple rubber bands.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy

I have many things to be happy about.

*The behind the scenes setting everything up part of the shop is done. It has taken just over 2 years since I decided to do it, I was 6 months pregnant with Tyler at the time and did seriously wonder what I was setting myself up for. But I found the time and the energy to create the website and set up the shop whilst knitting stuff for both "the shop" and all of the other events that needed knitting for, as well as kid wrangling the boys. So now, with this huge project complete, I can just get back to doing more knitting....

*My boys are (as a general rule) happy. What mum wouldn't be happy about that?

*I have freshly manicured nails. A dark sparkly red polish with a just a hint of pink. I'm typing differently because my nails feel different and they look different on the keyboard (yes I look at the keys while typing, and yes I am getting distracted by the nail polish!) I should do my own nails but never seem to find the time, and it's oh so much better when someone else does them for you, LOL.

*I had a haircut as well today, looks pretty good right now, will see if it looks any good after swimming tomorrow morning.

*I just have to kitchener a sock toe and then Zac's first sock is done. Will do that tonight before toddling off to bed and get photos of it on the appropriate sized foot tomorrow. For lovers of rainbow, the heel has turned out beautifully, you'll see what I mean in the photos. Then I'll start in on the next one. Master Zac is immensely proud of his sock, he has been asked to do a couple of fittings and he has been grinning his head off the whole time and can't wait for them to be done, this definitely makes me happy.

*Mr Skinny feet (aka Jules) is going to have to wait for his socks as I am using the circular needle to knit Zacs socks. I have frogged round one of his socks anyway as they were too loose and when I get to them again they will be cast on on less stitches and will be 2x2 rib the whole way. The general consensus was that this would remove the need for extensive shaping to ensure unfloppy (is that even a word?) ankles. So they are in waiting for now, not sure if they'll be next or whether Hunter will shout down the house for a pair of socks as soon as Zac's second one is off the needles. Either way it won't be long as kids socks are small.

* and I'm happy because my kids understand that not everything comes from shops and mum is able to make stuff just for them and does.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The shop is done!!

The shop is open!

If you have visited the website before, you may need to "refresh" or maybe "force refresh" (hold down control key while clicking refresh) depending on how often your browser renews it's cache.

The flower over there on the right will be an active link to the website, just as soon as I've posted this. As before if there's anything that doesn't work just let me know, now that I've got the hang of it all, most things are pretty easy to fix.

So far there are 6 tops and 3 hats and more items will be added over the next few days. Unfortunately due to a slight change in plans for tomorrow I won't have time to add any more tonight.

We are heading off to the snow tomorrow, it was supposed to be to Mt Baw Baw with a 7 am start but due to the rain we are heading to Mt Buller instead meaning we are leaving the house tomorrow morning with three sleepy children at about 6 am. Personally, that is worse than the crack of dawn so it means packing and organising tonight so it's just get up, get dressed and climb into the car in the morning.

So, have a browse, a bit of a peruse and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

24 hours notice

That's right. Here's your 24 hours notice. By this time tomorrow night the shop will be open. I'm not promising everything will be up, more stuff will appear over the next few days but there'll be stuff!

Enjoy.

Rainbows rainbows everywhere

I recently posted about a search for rainbow coloured yarn. This is a long term and ongoing search for me! Lynne put up her hand and offered to dye some white yarn up for me and so I sent off some Cleckheaton Cocoon and look what I received in the post last night......


Mmm, yum rainbow multi coloured yarn. Colour me happy! Couldn't help myself of course, had to see what it turned out like when it's knitted up, so as per request, Zac is getting a pair of rainbow striped socks.


Took it to SnB knitting this morning and everyone kept saying, what yarn is that? Loving the colours, love how we're getting stripes rather than blotches of colour, just what I wanted. Thank you Lynne. Beautiful!

Oh and Zac just had a try on of the sock so far and was grinning from ear to ear, saying "Myyyy rainbow sock." So a winner there as well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

sad news

Talked to my brother yesterday and he had some sad news to share. They have had a miscarriage. We are thinking of them during this difficult time and a care package will be on it's way by the end of the day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Almost there

With the shop that is.

Received a most important delivery during the week, my business cards as well as various other bits and pieces. I'm thrilled with the results, completely thrilled.

This means of course I'm running out of things to do before officially opening and this is a good thing.

I'll be going through the list tonight.

So far I think it will be
1/ activate shop link on my website
2/ convert the stock pictures to all of the sizes they need to be
3/ input stock to shop
4/ open shop
5/ provide a link from the blog to the website/shop

Sounds simple enough but there will be something that will catch me out, there often is. If not then Woohoo, I'm almost open.

I constantly debate as to whether I announce an opening date prior to being ready and then something comes up that makes the date in my head completely unfeasible, so I'm going to go with giving you 24 hours notice. Short and sweet! And no that is not 24 hours from now!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sweet Chilli Socks

Have started knitting Jules' socks, doing top down.

This is going to be more complicated than I thought.

Measured both of his feet individually, you never know there may be differences, and there were but nothing major. And when I say measured his feet this is what I mean:

Serious measuring. Take note of that red circle, I'll come back to it.

Got out my Sweet Chilli Needlefood (4 ply merino/nylon blend) and carefully swatched in the round. Have heard round the traps that this made a difference to tension, so I bit the bullet and did it. I even used the new 2.5 mm Knit Picks/Pro circular needle I got in a pack with my most recent Jitterbug purchase (scroll down to bottom, Sweet dreams). Have used circs before just not this brand, the thought of using them for socks....well not my most anticipated event, I am a dpn girl for circular knitting.....until now.

Measured circumference at base of calf as instructed, did the calculations, removed the excess stitches (negative ease) cast on 68 (ah huh for a man!). Did the band at the top (2x2 rib), got approval of band length, started working on the leg. Noticed that the fabric was way loooser than the band. Put it on helpful leg sitting beside me, hmm bit loose, will have to do some decreases. Worked some decreases into the back of the sock, tried it on again for size. This time helpful leg removed own sock before trying, noticed something interesting and also horrifying. Ankle very skinny. How skinny you ask? Well skinny enough that it had me reaching for the measuring tape. Measured the offending ankle and gasped in shock. Now go back to my picture at the top. There's a circle around the top of the diagram foot with matching measurement (F= a normal 29cm, I only say normal because it's what mine measures and my husband has always been known for his chicken legs so I didn't expect miracles).

Now this is where it gets interesting. Anyone ever measured around their ankle and compared it to their lower end of calf measurement? Well I hadn't but just now did and got 22cm, which gives me a decent difference and certainly explains why the first pair of socks I knit for myself fall down around the ankles. At 7cm change over about 14cm height, that's something I'm going to have to remember for my next pair of socks.

That red circle up there? It's red for a reason. Jules' ankle measured a measley 20cm. Ah huh. A 9cm circumference difference, for a point of reference, I cast on 68 stitches, 9cm is about 28 sts (cue gasps of horror). My first thought was "crap", followed closely by a bit of a giggle about his girly ankles, then "Oh my lord, I'm going to be decreasing all the way down to his ankle or they'll never stay up" followed closely by "but if I decrease all the way down, he'll never get the poor sock over his heel".

So here I solicit advice from the myriad sock knitters who cruise by this here blog.
What is a girl to do???

Options
1/start again with less stitches so there is less decreasing.
2/find a heel method that has good stretch for going over the heel
3/decrease like the blazes and then increase as I do the heel (would this even work?)
4/swear and give up. (Not really an option)
Any other options??

Oh and I already know that the long skinny feet were going to have to be decreased for anyway (23-25cm compared with the 29 for the leg), so this just means I won't have to increase/decrease as much. Looking on the bright side here!

Oh and the toes, don't get me started on the toes...."normal" people need to allow about 3cm for the decreases for the toe. I'm going to have to go back and look at his feet again because the measurement from his toe cleavage to the end of his toes is 5cm. I'm starting to wonder if there's a gorilla in my midst.

While typing all of this it has occurred to me to let you know that despite all these considerations, I am sitting here with a smile on my face and anticipating the conquering of the socks!

I may just go and cast something else on though that doesn't require much thought, at least until some advice turns up because if the advice is frog and start again which I am more than happy to do if it means a great sock is the result, then there's no point in knitting any more on them.

Oh and just to give a tease, here they are so far....love the colour!


Awaiting your advice,
DrB

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bendi Bingo

Forgot to do my Bendi Bingo card, so here it is.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Secret knitting

In the next 6-8 months there is going to be some secret knitting happening over here.

My little sister and her partner have announced they are having their first child at the end of January next year and the eldest of my brothers and his wife are also due to have their first at the end of March. Both of the boys read the blog so secrecy is a must to not spoil the surprise/s!

So m
y parents score two new grandchildren two months apart (one in Melbourne, one in Brisbane) and we score two new neices/nephews in some combination. How thrilled we all are!

There will definitel
y be hat knitting, some sock knitting, have to be a couple of cardi's of course.....

Hhhmmmm what else????

The first "secret" project was completed last night, ends just need to be sewn in. Will post photos once it has been received.