Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So let me take you on a little tour of what's going on over here on day 2 of school holidays. We have been to SnB this morning for two hours with all three of my sons who were in fact impeccably behaved (they had been warned) and we had to stop on the way home at Woolybutt (see below) and also at the bakery for a bacon bread roll each. Now the washing is on and the kids have been fed the cup of tea is half empty and I can do something for me :-), well SnB knitting was for me too but you get what I mean.

I know I still have a long list of WIP's to deal with (8 left of the 2009 ones), but I have until the end of the year and some items only need a button or a seam and some stuffing, and I've finished the scarf now so I thought why not give into temptation??

Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words....yes??

Busy children

$3 a ball :-)
Ready to go, can you guess what the pattern is??

Tension square (gauge swatch) time.

Will let you know how we go.

Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 FO #6 and #7 socks!

Both of these pairs of socks have been made using the same pattern. The first with more of the blue/green Merino Bambino seen here before. Ravelled here.

The second with the Rainbow Cleckheaton Cocoon Lynne dyed for me last year. The colours are a little out but they are definitely that bright :-) Ravelled here.

Needles for both were 3.25 mm Knit Pro fixed circs and they were completed in the space of 3 days early in March. Needed a few additions to my Market table.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Can't wait until Monday

Maddy cat had a lump removed last Thursday and she has been stitched up ever since. We had to put an Elizabethan collar on her the day after her surgery to stop her pulling her stitches out so we have a whiny cat locked in the study who is desperate to get out and be free but can't be until she gets the stitches out on this coming Monday. Until then either she is locked in the study or we are locked in the house. Personally I hate being locked in the house so I don't blame her, but with three small boys in and out of the back door constantly she can't be out of the study or she'd be off like a rocket! We let her free in the evenings after the boys are in bed so she gets a chance to stretch but she is soooooo hanging out to get outside. The other side of this is of course that our other cat Sammy knows she is unwell and hisses apallingly at her whenever she sees her, and is herself either allowed free access to the house or is locked outside! It's a fine balance and thankfully the stitches are removed on Monday because today is the last day of term so the school kid and the kinder kid will be home non-stop for the next two weeks and having a housebound cat on top of that was not going to be a good thing at all.

2010 FO#5 - M-B's hat

This little set was a request from a friend living in Florida where the weather is not so conducive to woolly knits! The little one is due to arrive at the end of May and while the socks will probably be a bit big at first, the hat should be a great fit because of the ribbing (and yes I did check it on my current newborn test subject!). I am not so secretly hoping to add a second, smaller pair of socks that should fit from birth.

Pattern came straight from my head and I already have my brain working on a slightly different way of increasing the ribbing to create V's in the ribbing of the hat so keep an eye out for that.
These were knit from Cleckheaton 100% Bamboo on Knit Pro 3.25mm fixed circs.
Started the socks on December 21st last year and finished them on New Years Eve, so they were added to last year's FO count. They are Ravelled here.
Started the hat sometime in February and finished it on March 5th this year. It is Ravelled here.

Edited to change title to #5 sorry!!!

2010 FO#4 - bamboo singlet

This little singlet was dreamed up in my head and knit from a single ball of Cleckheaton 100% Bamboo yarn on Addi 3.25 mm fixed circulars. There are no seams, it is knit all-in-one with the shoulder straps being attached during the knitting using a three needle bind off. As it turns out the ever expanding Miss M outgrew it as it was being knit so she will be receiving another version in a larger size....hmmmm I think I see a pattern emerging here.
It has been Ravelled here.

2010 FO #1 - Ixchel cardy

Little Miss M has been seen out and about sporting the Ixchel cardigan which was finished just hours after her birth. Apparently it has gained a few compliments as well :-) It had been waiting for buttons and they were attached during the trip to go see her. After much debate navy blue buttons were used as every other colour was either lost completely or clashed due to tonal issues. Also despite being sewn on on the day, the buttons were actually purchased weeks before and we didn't know whether the new baby was going to be male or female so navy seemed a safe option.

Vital stats:
Ravelled here

Cardigan made using a pattern from Patons #1078 - 2. Baby's cardigan and bootees
in the three month old size. This pattern doesn't give a side length measurement for checking against and I probably should have made it longer, it is currently baggy in the arm length but due to her excellent eating she is outgrowing the length of it at the ripe old age of 8 weeks.

Yarn was Ixchel 4 ply handspun BFL/Angora in the Carribean colourway. Beautiful colour and beautiful yarn.

Needles used were Knit Pro 2.75 mm and 3.25 mm fixed circulars.

Only mod was to knit the sleeves in the round rather than flat and seamed. Next time I would certainly add extra length.

Started:August 20th, 2009
Finished: January 24th, 2010

Time length in no way an indication of difficulty much more an indication of laziness :-) those buttons hung around for simply ages before jumping into position.

My sister was here on Tuesday and we were discussing the need for another cardigan for little Miss M in a much bigger size that might last longer than 8 weeks!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sage advice....

When walking home along the beautiful river path on the way home from school with three small children, 1 in the pram asleep, 1 jumping in and out of the pram and 1 running ahead to sit on the seats dotted along the path's length, it is worth checking that all of your belongings stay in the pram EVERY time the in and out child does his thing or else you'll be doing what I did this arvo and have to walk almost to the other end of the path again in search of the hand knitted rainbow sock that was dropped along the way........

Saturday, March 20, 2010

2010 FO#3 - Chouwa socks

I am very happy with this pair of socks they are gorgeous and very comfy and warm.

Pattern is the Chouwa or Harmony socks from Knitted socks East and West by Judy Sumner.
I used KnitPro 2.25mm fixed circular needles.

Yarn was Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select 4 ply Yarn in the Spring Frost colourway that I received as a prize for completing the Through the Loops Mystery Sock KAL last year.

They have been Ravelled here.

FO of the sewing kind!!!

So the first FO post after getting everything sorted isn't actually a knitting FO. There are quite a few of them to come, but first I thought I'd get my sewing FO out of the way!

Tyler's car quilt (for using in the car, not made of cars).
It is just two layers of flanelette fabric stitched together with no batting in between, so it is nice and light and folds down small and at about 1 metre square is perfect for using on your lap in the car. His big brothers have had theirs for ages and I have finally gotten around to his.

The process:
A month or two ago I cut out a pile of squares:

People who know me well will not be surprised by the next picture at all, the plan:

again not surprising in a house with children, the helper:

In fact big brother Zac was a really good helper, picking out the right colours and getting them ready for me to sew, Tyler was more of a "helper" one of those that hinders more than helps but since it was for him, I figured I'd let him go for it, there's not much damage you can do to a pile of squares when you can't wield scissors....

This is the strips sewn together for the "front" of the quilt, laid out as they were to be sewn to each other to check it looked ok:
these are the strips for the "back" of the quilt again checking layout:

and these are the two finished squares which were then pinned together carefully to ensure all joins matched on both sides and then they were sewn together to keep the shape stable:

For quilting: I sewed a big cross right through from corner to corner, and 4 more lines cutting across all of the corners to hold it together so it doesn't flop about too much.

The big boys declared it a success if for no other reason than that Tyler can no longer claim either of their quilts for his own!!

For Tig: with the 3.5 hours this took, my sewing hours total = 18.75 over all projects since starting to count for our challenge. Which means I have 21.25 hours left until I can make something specifically for me....if it's for Jules as well does that mean I can count it in the challenge hours????

The big thing to note for me is how quick sewing is compared to knitting for the size of the object made and the amount that can get done in a short period of time. Knitting will always be the first love though for both it's portability and the ability to do it without looking which means watching children play, swim or carry out other tasks can all be doubly productive, because the knitting keeps on growing. If I ever learn to sew without looking, the knitting might be in danger but I don't see that happening any time soon :-)


The new laptop finally arrived yesterday afternoon. Delivery time was scheduled for between 12 and 5 and while that may be reasonable for office workers it is not so reasonable for an at home mum with one kid at kinder and another at school. Kinder pickup was 1pm so Nanny (J's Mum) kindly agreed to pick Zac up for their Friday afternoon rondezvous and an SOS was sent out to the Mum of one of Hunter's school friends for him to be dropped home after his 3.30pm pickup. Computer arrived at 4.25pm, hmmmmm, at least the folding was all done!!

So I have the new laptop and the process of transferring files from one computer to the other has commenced. Thank goodness for both being on the home network you just set it to go and it does and you can ignore how long it takes because you can still use the computer.

Of course I would be happier if our download limit hadn't been reached so I could actually download and/or access all the stuff I need in a reasonable amount of time, but hey at least all the keys work :-)

Keeping one of our cats company in the study at the moment, she had a lump removed from her hind leg on Thursday and while she came through the surgery really well she is now going to drive me insane having to keep her inside and "quiet" while the line of stitches (8cm long) up the back of her leg heals. Have had to put an "Elizabethan collar" on her which she thinks is pure torture but she has been pulling at her stitches so she has to wear it at least for now. Back to the vet on Monday to have the stitches checked and then again a week later to have them out. I'm hoping I can take the collar off before then or both she and I will be climbing the walls. We do let her out of the study for a bit of time in the evening after the kids are in bed but she is adamant that it isn't enough and is constantly pulling on the door trying to open it. Have had to move from the desk to the bed so she isn't sitting on either of the keyboards. She is now having a lie down on the bed beside me. Much better!

I've just been having a look at the last few posts and have realised that there's an awful lot missing in terms of FO' s. Apparently I have been doing more than I thought. Always good :-)
So prepare for a series of FO posts, now I have my photo shrinking software back I should be able to get some happening :-)

Oh and the new laptop.....slightly different from the old one, as it would be, much bigger touchpad and screen and all of the extra keys (insert, delete, page up, page down) are all in different spots so I have to keep looking for them, also different layout and operating system but I can see us getting along well. And there will be no cups of tea coming near it......

Oh and the photo up the top comes to you courtesy of a day of boredom during the last school holidays when Zac decided he needed a train track made in the shape of his name...who am I to say "No"????

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

hijacked...Jules' laptop

Have had to hijack Jules' laptop to let you know I'm going to be at the Northside Makers Market again this Saturday, details below.

Northside Makers Market
Saturday 13th March

Northcote Uniting Church
251 High st, Northcote
10.30am - 3.30pm

Also the keyboard on my laptop died courtesy of the cup of tea I was drinking while sitting at the kitchen table in the presence of two competing and overenthusiastic children. I had already lost the "y" key several months ago due to the 4 yo throwing his drinking cup at me in a fit of 4 year oldness, snapped it off and had been using "control+C" and "control+V" to cut and paste "y's" ever since then. Unfortunately for me when the tea upended itself in the keyboard last week the "c", "v" and "space" keys went and so therefore did the "y". Also the mouse scratch pad became dodgy and the two mouse buttons stopped working too. Anyway the good news is that we had already ordered the new laptop prior to this most recent accident and it should arrive either Friday or Monday....I hope. The computer itself, i.e. harddrive, so far appears to be ok, it's just accessing it thats a pain. Also there's some new knowledge to share as a result: an alternate way of cutting, copying and pasting!! So for copying it's "CTRL+insert" and for pasting it's "Shift+insert", cut is "Shift+delete" do have a laugh with me as we all picture a room full of IT (nerds) workers scrambling to offer this advice while laughing at my interesting spelling of words when using the dodgy keyboard to communicate with Jules at work last week after the incident. Words like"kopi" and "kut" and "kreatif" and the best one which was why commenting on blogs was impossible was the "word ferifikation."

In the meantime my online time has been severly curtailed because while Jules' laptop has the form of a laptop it is in fact a desktop as it chews through batteries and spits them out so it no longer has one and is therefore completely attached to a power source. So way less mobility for a Mum supervising small children. So commenting, blogging and the perusing of blogs has been restricted for the last week or so and will continue to be until the new laptop arrives and is set up with all the stuff I need on it. Also haven't been uploading photos and stuff because my programs are on my laptop and Jules doesn't have them so I'm being lazy and just waiting until everything resolves and we get back to status quo before bothering.

In knitting news:
1/ Have finished the reknit of the singlet and while it is now longer, it is also now not wide enough for my niece as she has continued to grow at a great pace, so I will make her a new one and will probably have the finished one on the stall on Saturday. The singlet was on last years WIP list so that's another one down on the challenge for the year hooray!!
2/ Finished adding in the extra length to the green hat I was making for an American friend. Had Miss M try it on last night while she was here for tea and can now send it off to the intended recipient in the knowledge that it will fit them along with the matching socks.
3/ Have finished 2 pairs of baby socks and started on the third pair since Saturday as socks were a seller at the last market and I was in need of more. Hope to get the third and even a fourth pair done by Saturday. They are very cute too!!

So there you go a summary of the disaster and successes of the week! Hope your week has been getting along nicely and that the coming weekend has wonderful Autumn weater for us all....Oh how I love Autumn :-)

Thursday, March 4, 2010