Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm going away :-)

I'm spending the weekend with my Mum at a quilting weekend away.

I should be packing, there's lots to take and I'm leaving mid afternoon on Friday.

I'm hoping to bring back a mostly if not fully complete quilt.

But I've been to the dentist today for a minor filling and since it was in the very back tooth my jaw is now quite stiff and sore so I'm really not in the mood to pack.

Maybe after a cup of tea :-)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

2011 FO #7 - Lanesplitter Skirt

I was given 4 balls of Noro colour 205 (pinks and purples) as payment for knitting my brother a Jayne's hat  a couple of years ago. This yarn sat in the stash for quite a while until I saw this skirt pattern.  The pattern recommended about 9 balls for the size I needed so I searched through Rav and found another ball in the same dyelot from Teri and then another 4 balls in a different dyelot from a lady in America.  I used one dyelot as "foreground" colour and the other as "background" colour.  I only used 6 balls in the end, so have 3 more floating around.  This is a lovely simple knit and I'm tempted to make another one in the greens/blues colourway I have in stash, except I'll need to find 2 more balls...

Picture credit goes to Teresa who kindly took this shot in our Tuesday SnB location at Bien Food, a little fresh fruit and veg market and deli mixed with a coffee shop.  Helen and Gina let us take over a fair amount of their cafe section for our Tuesday morning get togethers and are both very lovely about it and the mess the kids sometimes make.

Vital statistics
Pattern: Lanesplitter by Tina Whitmore
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, colourway #205, dyelots A and D
Needles: 6mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started: 13 November, 2010
Finished: 21 February, 2011
Modifications:  Instead of the waistband as directed in the pattern, I have bought a half slip from Kmart and oversewn it to the skirt evenly spaced.  This works ok but I will be going back and doing the waistband as described in the pattern as I think it will create a more stable (non-rolling) waist line.
Verdict: Love it!  Have worn it a few times now, it's comfortable, doesn't look like it's dropping or getting a terrible "seat".   It's currently in the hand wash pile. The boys find it fascinating and I am regularly unhooking their fingers from the purl ridges on the surface :-)
Find it on Ravelry here.

2011 FO #6 - Miss M's cardy

I'm very pleased with this project.  I took a multi piece (back, 2 fronts, 2 sleeves, button bands) bottom up pattern, turned it upside down and made it into a top down body with button bands knit at the same time, with the sleeves knit down in the round from live stitches held until the body was done.  No seams, not even at the underarms (I picked up stitches over the cast off stitches at the underarm) just 6 ends to be sewn in once the knitting was done and buttons to be found.  The body (both fronts and back) were knit from one skein with a whole 5 cm of yarn to spare for sewing in the end.  The second skein was wound into a ball to complete the sleeves.  Buttons were a bit of a challenge, green,and yellow ones were "lost", navy and purple ones weren't bad, orange ones weren't quite right, but the brick red I found were perfect.  It has been a hit in terms of size and has been worn regularly from the day it was delivered.  Can't ask for more than that!

Vital statistics
Pattern: 14. Raglan Cardigan from Patons Australia Classic Baby Knits #54.
Yarn: Ixchel 4ply spun Blue Faced Leicester/Angora, hand dyed to our request.  Thanks to Charly for a lovely colourway.
Needles: 2.75mm bamboo straights (neckband), 2.75mm Aero circular needle (sleeve cuffs), 3.25mm KnitPro interchangeables with Harmony tips (body and sleeves).
Started: October 29, 2010
Finished: February 12, 2011
Modifications: Lots and lots, almost a new pattern really except I used the stitch numbers and measurements as a basis.  Stitch counts from the size 2 used.  Started with the neckband, added extra stitches for the button bands as well and knit the button band in garter stitch which is more dense than stocking stitch so could be knit on the same size needles.  Did the raglan increases as the reverse of the outlined decreases in the pattern (going top down).  Cast off the stitches for the underarm and held the sleeve stitches on a spare needle cord while the body was completed. Knit the sleeves in the round with decreases down towards the cuff in the reverse of that outlined in the pattern.  Measured against Miss M and pulled out the cuff added another inch and then redid cuff.  Need to actually measure the lengths of sleeve and body for future reference.
Verdict: Love how this ended up.  Will probably do it again sometime.

ETA: Find it on Ravelry here.

More coming soon!

I appear to be "stashing" finished objects.  That is I have a pile of finished objects again that I have not written up and posted.

Anyone interested in the actual state of play on the finished objects, there's a list at the top right of the blog there, just click on Finished Objects for 2011 and it gives you the complete list.  As soon as they are done projects are listed there with the Rav link and then once I post it a blog link is added.

Also I've added a KnitMeter widget thingy to the sidebar which will keep track of how much yarn I have knit for the year.  I only add the yarn for a project once the project is finished because that's when I can weigh it and calculate the total. Which means it goes up by jumps, but it's a pretty good as a guide really.  

So look out for more Finished Object posts as I get myself sorted out :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eventful weekend

This weekend has been a busy one in some ways but also slow in others.  My parents came and stayed the night last night to babysit while we ducked off to a friends 40th.  This is the first of at least four 40th's for the year including one for Jules in October.  It was a great night and the Birthday boy was surprised that it was something for him which is great because he's normally got his eye out or nose in on everything going down.  His wife and oldest daughter (6) have done an amazing job at keeping the secret with only a few near reveals that were quickly covered up and he was none the wiser. 

Today I took my parents out to the Eltham Craft and Produce Market and they enjoyed a wander, bought a CD, a plant and some fig and fennel bread (Matisse Bread).  Then we left Jules and the boys to supervise my Dad while Mum and I went across to the Botanic Gardens and sat with the girls and did some knitting :-)  It was great to catch up with the girls.  Mum sewed on some buttons to a little cardy to finish it off and spent some time on a cowl as well.  I worked on a pair of socks for Zac.

Over the weekend, Dad mowed the lawns and converted two Magnolia trees that died in the hot Summer 3 years ago to this:
 The trees now look like this:
 and this:

These pictures can't tell the full story.  My Father is notorious with both his pruning and his poor judgement.  The chopping down was sanctioned, the cutting of the cord of the circular saw with said saw and the blowing of the house fuse, not so much.  The repair of the cord and subsequent use - definitely NOT allowed.  He was lucky, holding the handle and no metal parts meant he wasn't electrocuted.  Was he warned to watch the cord?  Absolutely. Are we surprised?  Not one bit.  I'd like to say he'll know better next time, but that is highly unlikely.

It was great to have Mum and Dad to babysit and help out.  Next time Dad won't be allowed near the Power tools!

It was lovely

Our holiday was lovely last weekend.   The weather co-operated with a total of 6 trips to the beach out of 7 possible trips, only one was missed due to it raining.  We saw dolphins a couple of times and other native fauna as well.

The kids were happy and we were happy, it was nice to be out of the city for a few days and not have the responsibilities of home.

I took some knitting and had some time here and there to work on it.  Should have taken it to the beach on the last day as the boys were all happily puddling around making sandcastles and didn't need constant supervision so I just lay around on the beach watching them.

I think we have reached the beginning of that golden time when they are old enough that you can be out and about with minimal supervision and before they hit the teenage years of "Do I have to go?" or wanting to meet up with friends also on holidays, that sort of thing.  Either way I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts and I see many more beach wanderings and knitting time in my future.

I love the colours at the beach.

I didn't get a chance to cut out my quilt fabric because after I worked out how much of each piece I needed to cut and had it all set out and ready to go I realised the blade on my rotary cutter was too blunt and I didn't want to ruin the fabric so I packed it all up and did some knitting instead.  I have since come home and bought a new blade and cut out most of the fabric for the quilt.  I also realised that not only did I have all of the fabric ready to go for the quilt top, I also have the batting and the fabric for the backing as well.  So happy.  So I'm all set and it isn't going to cost me anything in supplies to have a whole new quilt because the money has already been spent.

We came home late Monday evening to this:

Considering it was decreed by Jules to be harder to lift than our car, we're guessing someone hit it with a car.  The bit that's down is accompanied by another section about 2 metres long that is rocking on it's foundation.  The insurers have been rung, goodness knows how long it will take to get it fixed.  In the meantime I hope we don't have too much rain because the postie is still putting letters in the letterbox despite it's current mangled status and location.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Heading off

We are heading off for the weekend to the beach.

I am taking knitting and some fabric to chop up for a quilt.  I'm going on a quilting weekend with my Mum in April and I'm supposed to bring a UFO (un finished object) or two to work on but don't have any quilts on the go so I need to start one!

It's the long weekend for us so we'll have three whole days at the beach and it's going to be nice to stop and recharge :-)

Hope you all have a good one too.