Saturday, January 29, 2011

Have been doing a bit of crochet.

As a result of the extensive floods in Australia all sorts of craft initiatives have sprouted to provide both funds and goods for those in need.

Various people around and about have provided all sorts of links for ways to help out.

Handmade Helps Out has been reactivated with a pile of crafty helping links.
Soft toys are being gathered for Hope Softies.
Auctions and sales have been organised.
If you are a quilter there are a couple of options here and here.

While I am planning on making some quilt squares, they will be a slightly more long term project.

In the meantime I pulled out a crochet hook and some lovely bright wool and made some granny squares to be sent off to Sarah London for the Crochet a Rainbow initiative.

By all means pick up a hook and some wool or some fabric and a needle and help out if you can  :-)
I have also added the Crochet a Rainbow link to the sidebar.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Good Timing...

At the beginning of the year there are a set of jobs that I feel need doing.
Making some resolutions/intents to keep me striving and looking forwards.
Assessing the past year and reminding myself of the successes.
Changing the calendars and very importantly, transferring all of the Birthdays to remember on to the brand new calendar.

Today I got out the calendar to do the Birthdays.

Happy Blogiversary to me :-)

It's been 3 years, 416 posts and a whole lot of fun and memories.  Thanks for being part of the past 3 years and here's to even more fun and interesting knitting in the next 3.

Instant gratification

Or maybe reward for your endeavour, not sure which is more appropriate really.

I could say we came home from holidays and needed to do some work in the garden but the reality is that we didn't make use of the vege patch this past spring, the weather and my lack of interest were the main factors, so it was left to get overgrown and out of hand.  Just like the rest of the backyard!

At one point we had poppies, they were self sown and left to their own devices.

They were gorgeous

and a lovely play space for the kids

But when taking this photo yesterday

I realised I had an immediately rewarding job just staring me in the face.  It may not be clear to you but I know Tyler is standing in the middle of the Vege patch!

So this morning after swimming and coming home to fresh pancakes with maple syrup and a touch of butter for breakfast, I decided to ride that energy high and do some weeding.

Instant gratification :-)

Don't know when I'll get to planting anything but at least I know I can!  I'll probably follow Kate's plan and put in things I know the kids will eat: lettuce, carrots, beans and maybe snow peas.

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 FO#2 - Travelling Sir Walter

One of my plans for myself for this year was to make myself a shawl from the yarn I received as part of a Christmas gift.  Having never made a shawl before I decided trying out a small one on some lovely baby alpaca I had in the stash would be a good start. I had been looking at patterns for the finer yarn and came across the Travelling Woman shawl bLiz Abinante which turned out to be a perfect pattern for my lovely green.  She still needs a block but so far I am very pleased with the results.  Will provide pre and post blocking measurements on my Rav page, but at a guess the wingspan is close to 165cm since I can hold each end in the ends of my fingertips...just!  Will see what it's like after blocking.   Would prefer more depth rather than wingspan so will block accordingly.  Here she is shortly after completion adjacent to my cooking space at our camping spot last week.

Details, details...

Pattern: Travelling Woman Shawl by Liz Abinante
Yarn: Moggy and Me Baby Alpaca, in Sir Walter colourway.
Needles:  4mm KnitPro interchangeables with Nickel tips
Started: January 1st, 2011
Finished: January 12th, 2011
Mods:  Did the stocking stitch section as per pattern and then did some calculations to check how many repeats of Section A and B lace I could do.  Ended up with 4 repeats of Section A lace and then 1 of Section B.  Have used 92 grams out of the 100grams. Very Happy.
Comments:  Despite mucking up the last few stitches of the lace pattern a couple of times and having to rip it back a couple of rows about 3 times, I love the yarn and love the pattern (errors in knitting were mine, not the pattern).  I was especially happy when reading the pattern to see it was inspired by one of my favourite characters (Angela) in one of my favourite shows (Bones).  Maybe
I'll have to look at the other two shawls inspired by the characters in the show...

2011 FO#1 - Arden hat for Mel

My first FO for the year was a crossover project really.  I began it on December 29, 2010 and finished it on January 1, 2011.  This hat was completed for a friend and I am very happy with how it has turned out.  It has two types of cables, both of which I did without a cable needle including a 5 stitch crossover with very thick yarn (12-14ply) on 5mm needles.  First time doing cables without a cable needle and found it oh so much quicker!  Loved the yarn, really strong for a single, didn't feel like it was going to come apart at any point.
Details, details....

Pattern: Arden hat by Mikka Tokuda-Hall (Rav link)
Yarn: Manos Del Uruguay, Wool Classica.
Needles: 5mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips
Started: December 29th, 2010
Finished: January 1st, 2011
Mods:  This is a thicker yarn than the pattern calls for so I used thicker needles.  Apart from that it's all to the pattern which was simple and easy to follow.
Comments:  Made for Mel as part of a swap on Rav.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We're back

It was wet but warm, no flooding just rain.  Finished a shawl and the last Harry Potter book.
Will be back with some details and pictures when I've found the house LOL!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Off to the beach

We are heading off to the beach this evening for our annual camping trip.  Jules and I with the three kids in our 4 room tent (Taj Mahal) and my sister and her husband with their 4 kids and their camping trailer for a week at the beach.
I am packing knitting and reading.
I am packing half the house LOL!!!
We'll be back in a week, have a great one I'm sure I will :-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Crazy Maths

No one would be surprised that I can't leave something to chance if it was even vaguely possible to calculate it would they?

I've been working on my Travelling Woman shawl and have done all of the stocking stitch section and I'm onto the seventh row of the third repeat of the Chart A lace section.  I am nearing the end of the first of two balls of my yarn and I am trying to use as much of the yarn as possible without wastage and without running short.  So I opened an Excel spreadsheet and started inputting stitch counts per row and tallying up the number of stitches worked so far to work out whether I can do one more repeat and then the 19 row Chart B or whether I wouldn't make it.
It looks like I can do it , hopefully by about 2 rows worth of yarn, LOL.  Cross your fingers for me!
As long as the second ball is not shorter than the first.......

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Here we are in 2011 with yet another year behind us.  Thank you to everyone who has participated in this blog over the past year, your comments and suggestions are always cheerfully anticipated and received.

Last year was definitely a big year for me, not just with the knitting but with the kids, trying out markets, helping out on the Kinder Committee and trying to maintain a remotely clean house.  I honestly don't know how full time working Mum's do it, this year has made me realise that I wouldn't be able to.

My big resolution for last year was to drink more water.  It didn't take me long to realise that not only do I normally not drink enough water, I actually struggle to drink 1.5 litres of plain water in a day.  On days when I do manage it I feel like I'm going to float away.   So an improvement on other years, but there is certainly room for more improvement!

I'm heading into 2011 not with Resolutions really but with "intents".
*Take a step back and gain some perspective.   This is going to be a big challenge for me.
*Be greener: we have solar panels up for power and I'm hoping to get a water tank in some time this year as well.
*Use things up:  soaps, body lotions, scrubs and other bathroom items that have been gifted to us over the past few years, there's no point keeping them for "special" they'll never get used, so lets just be special all the time!
*Sew more.
*Declutter the house: We have toys the kids have outgrown, paperwork that's been hanging around for years, all sorts of things that are just taking up space that don't need to be.
*Sort myself out: I'll be seeking help to prevent a recurrence of the dark cloud I've been under for the last 3 months
*Knit bigger items: my goals this year are to make myself at least two cardigans, one small and one large shawl and of course some socks.  I also want to make the hooded cardigans I have the yarn for for my boys and a replacement pair of socks for Zac for the rainbow ones that mysteriously had one disappear at my Mother in laws house one night last year.

And who can start the year without casting on something new?  Not me :-)  I have cast on for a small shawl using my Moggy and Me - Sir Walter 100% Baby Alpaca.  Gorgeous yarn.  Using the Travelling Woman shawl pattern by Liz Abinante.  I am still searching for the right pattern to use for the Christmas Lace yarn, I figure I should get some practice in first!