Saturday, November 10, 2012

lace knitting

I just recieved a book in the mail that I had ordered from the Book Depository (how I love that shop!!).  It is a lovely book full of beautiful lace shawls.

And after i pored over the beautiful photos for quite a while I got down to business and had a closer look at the actual patterns.  Oh wow; what have I done I wonder???  I have only just started using charts for knitting instead of the written instructions. And while I understand the basics of it, this book seems well beyond me!  Some of the terms i have never heard before. I think it is lucky that I have other things on the go at the minute and so can't be tempted to try one out.  (if in doubt I think my motto is not to try and therefore not fail) LOL!
I do think i will take the plunge and make a shawl out of here, and I do think that once I have done one, i think I will be making many more.  Although I would like to be able to knit as fast as a certain friend of mine (you know who you are) but that is not going to happen.  So it will be slow and steady wins the race. Like a lot of things I think i have to do it to understand it.

We have just gotten back from a quick family holiday to Queensland. We dont go away on holidays very often (if ever) but with a son studying for his VCE it was a good time to have a holiday away without disturbing his studies.  We had a great time, the weather was fantastic.  We did find out however that when stung by a bluebottle (jellyfish), my son tends to blister (ouch!!)

The photo doesn't show the blisters, but this sting goes from his stomach, all the way around to the middle of his back. There was a second stinger above this one on his back that the lifeguards got off for him.  He was very brave, i think I would have been in a blubbering mess on the ground.  One good thing was the cute lifeguard who gave him ice.  Yep, no vinegar (or urine) anymore, just ice.  And time.

we did the usual theme parks, had a great time.  My hubby and my youngest son did all the rollercoasters and rides, and I mean ALL of them.  My other son and I watched!!
Rides like this:
And this...
And waterslides like this:
Makes me feel queasy just looking at them; yuk!  The family did convince me to go on one waterslide, one of the tamer ones, and I hated that (and they are not yet forgiven!!). So I will leave the rides to others. The last day we were there was the best; I sat by the pool and alternated having a swim, and reading, while the other three went off and did the waterslides.  To each their own!!

So now it is back to work and school and all the running around that that involves.  It was good to have time out though. I think we all need to take some time away, and recharge the batteries every so often. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tuxedo booties

I saw a pattern for this online at Ravelry and knew I just had to make them.  Not for anyone in particular, just for fun.  They were quite easy, the pattern was easy to follow, and they knitted up really well. 
The beads are knitted in, and could probably, as was pointed out to me by a well meaning friend, be pulled off by an older baby but these are not sized for older babies so I think they are pretty safe. 

In other news, my DH has been growing some sunflowers from seeds.  We were about to put them in the garden when i had a thought; rabbits have eaten more than one plant over the years we have been here. So I get online, to discover that rabbits dont just like sunflowers, they LOVE them!  So most of them got planted behind the side gate, in the hopes that our dog will keep them safe.  We planted three just outside the gate, which have, sadly, been used as rabbit food :(  Most of the ones in the back are growing but we have lost some of those as well.  Darn rabbits!  It is a shame as i had visions of nice tall sunflowers growing in our front yard. Oh well, we will have to think of a plan B.
With the frost, drought, rabbits, I am not sure how we get anything to grow!!  We do have a nice garden, but it is all due to DH's efforts, gardening is not my 'thing', but I dont mind the occasional weeding, if I am in the mood.  Hey, I will clean silverware when in the mood; I just love seeing the difference with just a little bit of polishing.
If we actually manage to get some sunflowers to grow to maturity, I promise to post photos (do not hold your breath!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Show results

I realise that no-one is waiting with baited breath, but I will tell you all anyway...
The local show went very well. And yes i did get the Needlework aggregate again this year (eight years running!!). I have my eye on the knitting aggregate next year but that may be difficult; there are a couple of ladies who put in so many beautiful knitted things, I doubt I could compete with that.

So, these are the cards and ribbons:

You know, really, it is just a bit of fun, and a chance to show the world what we are capable of as we sit at home on our own and craft. And it is great to see what other people are doing. The hall always looks so nice when everything is set out after judging.
My two boys were stewards again this year.  They both worked very hard and did a marvellous job.  Sadly my youngest then spent the next 24 hours with shocking gastro, where he couldn't even keep water down, the poor little kid.  (okay he is 14 but he is still little, and will always be little to me).  He seems to be almost fully recovered now but it was an awful two days. I am assuming (with absolutely no proof I admit) that it is the lunch we had on the Show day. He had fish, the rest of us had chicken.  And while i love living where I do, having the nearest hospital an hour away is not an ideal situation.  I was about to take him in to the Children's when hubby suggested Nurse-on-call who were great and gave us suggestions about his management, all of which seemed to work. Thank goodness for this valuable service.
All's well that ends well.

Speaking of all being well, my eldest had a great two days away lasy week doing driver ed.  And has spent the rest of the week pointing out when I don't indicate for long enough, or hold the steering wheel correctly. Sigh, it is going to be a long two years!!  At least once he actually gets his L plates, I will be able to pay him back (insert evil laugh!!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

a little bit of smocking

Oh how I miss sitting and smocking. I have been doing so much knitting, and loving that, and have so many more projects I want to do but I so miss just sitting and smocking something.  So this is the latest effort, which is for the local show this weekend, then hopefully next week I can sell it at an art exhibition I was aasked to contribute some smocking to.

It has turned out very nicely, and is in such a lovely floral fabric.  A friend said yesterday she can always pick my smocking; I often pick simple fabrics with not too much of a print and I usually do the smocking tone-on-tone. I did get half way through this one though and think maybe i should have done it in cream, maybe with a row or two of the deep red I used in the flowers. Oh well, next time maybe!  i need to take a lead from my friend and do some things that are more colourful; although that is a bit of the motivation behind the last dress; with the colourful smocking around the waist.
Anyway, the smocking looks like this:

And the back looks like this (because every "swishy" dress needs a lovely bow on the back I think...)

And yes, there is a petticoat underneath this; which will NOT be for sale; I do not really enjoy the tedium of making petticoats. 

As for any other news, my eldest is away with school for two days on a learner driver course. What a great idea and should be done by all schools.  Hopefully he will come home fully capable of changing gears in my manual car; it was the thing I really did not want to have to teach him.  He wont be driving out on the roads for a while yet though, he doesn't turn 16 until December, so it will be two months of playing in the driveway I think.  I am not sure what I think of him getting his learner's permit; hopefully it will for the most part go well, with few arguments!  Time will tell. We have already made a pact where he will do what he is told without the eternal questioning and arguing back and i will try to be a bit more patient. If we can both stick to that, we should be okay!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Keeping busy...

and getting not much done. Do you ever have those days? I often have great resolutions to spend a day getting lots of things done.  yesterday was one of those days, and as usual, I got to the end of the day wondring just how DID i spend my time??
The kitchen bench was a little bit cleaner, as was the table; there were just a few less weeds in the garden. Maybe if I didn't chop and change activities every two minutes I would have more to show for my efforts. LOL!

What I did manage to achieve yesterday morning was making up this little dress. It is for a friend to give to her niece for Christmas (and will help with my Show entries in a couple of weeks too!). it is reversible, and has a cute cross over back:

It just needs buttons and it is all done. Only, it is supposed to be for a nine month old, by my reckoning, but it seems much bigger than that to me.   It has been a while since I held a baby in my arms so who knows.
One thing before i go, and this is why I have not much idea of the size: i understand that babies and children come in all shapes and sizes but as parents we generally know what size our kids will fit in to. Can we stop pattern manufacturers from just putting measurements on patterns. Yes, it can be helpful but only if you have the child in front of you to measure.  We have this problem in the wool shop with knitting patterns, and we usually have to go and find a pattern that has measurements AND sizes on it so we can compare.  Can't they make our lives just a bit easier and include both?
And the next pattern that suggests cutting elastic for legs etc to be a couple of centimetres longer than the child requires; how would I know what the child needs as the leg elastic as she is in SA and I have no hope of getting measurements. So it looks like the matching panties will have to wait.

(Off my soapbox now!!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New toys!!!!!!

Who doesn't love getting something new?  I bought this set of circular knitting needles last week. They are an Addi circular lace set, with eight pairs of needles and three different length cords.  Equivalent to 24 pairs of needles. 
I do like the Addi circulars. I have a couple of their standard circular needles and i love the way the wool slides across the needles with no fuss.  I can't wait to use these. But I do have a couple of things on the go so I will have to wait I think.  until then I will just look at them and plan....

(nice aren't they?)

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I have to say I love, love, love the Ravelry website.  it is such a fantastic resource for knitters to find patterns, ask advice, anything really.  I have spent countless hours just cruising through the patterns on this site. A friend told me it was wasted time if I was looking but not 'doing'.  i heartily disagree.  I have had such wonderful times looking, dreaming and even planning projects.
this is the latest that I have made from this site. it is a free pattern, in a newborn size, but she does have a pattern you can but with bigger sizes and a choice of four or eight ply. (This one is done in eight.)  I am planning on buying her expanded pattern when I get a chance to sit and have a look.

Anyway, here it is:
It is knitted from the neck down, all in one.  it was quite easy and is so sweet. I can just see a newborn in this.  The pattern has tapered sleeves or straight; I chose the straight sleeves but am wondering if next time maybe i will do the tapered ones.  These look a little like they might flare outward but they don't.
The sleeves are done on double pointed needles after the body of the cardigan is done.  I love the knitted in one piece idea. No seams to sew up, but also no seams to make it bulky.

I have nobody to give this to but I am having fun knitting baby things and they can all go away for when my grandchildren start coming along (not yet though!!!).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So adorable

We got some new patterns in the shop on Monday afternoon of some vintage type aprons, so after my boss chose some suitably appropriate vintage type material, I whipped this up yesterday.
I love it, it is so cute.  And without the ric-rac it would be perfct for a boy as well. We have some great Cat-In-The-Hat laminated fabric at work so i think I might have to make some out of that too. 

The pattern come from this:

The pattern asks for snaps on the sides, but I used ribbon instead (it was much cuter with ribbon than snaps).  And instead of using binding or ric-rac, I chose to use both.  I think I prefer the binding on the armhole edge, and it covered the ends of the ric-rac nicely.

I also sat and sewed an apron for me, well for me to enter into the show. I have done pretty embroidered ones in the past and i do use them (and get them very grubby) but this one has pretty lace on it, and I am not sure if I can bear to make it dirty.  It just needs ribbon for the neck and it is done but I will wait until it is finished to post a photo.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

back again

I am still not sure where tthe time goes. It seems to fly by faster each year, which is a frightening thought! 
I have been busy doing the usual; running kids around from here to there, working, being a wife and mother.  It is all fun, but it all seems to conspire to keep me away from the keyboard.
So, while I am sitting here I will show you a couple of things I have done.  I have been knitting madly away; working in a fabulous wool shop, amongst such nice wool and patterns, how could I not be knitting?  But, it is also Show season, with all the agricultural shows coming up, so i am trying to get some sewing done for those.

Firstly  though is a pair of bootees I made for a friend of my son's who is pregnant. I had an epiphany while making these; as I don't know the sex of the baby I decided to put ribbons in for either boy or girl.  Such a simple idea, and I am sure I am not the first person to do this, but what an easy way to cover for either.

These turned out really well and I hope she liked them.

Another thing I have just finished is this smocked dress. it was so nice to do some smocking after not doing it for a little while. I bought this fabric before Christmas and had this idea floating around in my head for the past six months. Bargello was one smocking technique I hadn't tried before and I am happy with the end result. It is actually really nice for the dress to turn out exactly as it had been in my head.  It does seem to need a hook and eye, or two, between the buttons where the smocking is. Although I might try to reblock it first to see if it sits a bit better.  The smocking has much more give in it than I thought it would.

Besides these, I am in the middle of a knitted wrap, with a shawl planned after that. I have done some other bits and pieces of knitting too.
And I started a smocked dress yesterday. There is a local church group holding a quilt/craft exhibition as a fundraiser and I have been asked to put some smocking in.  Things I am happy to sell. So i am busy with that, I do have a few things they can have, but I am trying to sqeeze out a couple more dresses to include.  They want a christening gown. I have two here, one I am not prepared to sell and the one I made earlier in the year, which I do not really want to see but if i put a high enough proce on it and it sells than I guess I can just make another one.  
So it is all busy busy busy here in my house.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Down Memory Lane

I have been going through the bag of baby clothes that I kept from when the boys were little. There is a reason for it today, and without going into a long and probably boring explanation, there is a family joke about me crying over baby bootees when my kids leave home.  (I deny that this will happen, while knowing it probably will!!).
Anyway, my eldest is on work experience this week and is making a big trek into the city each day. He, of course, has been quite excited and I have been quietly worrying more grey hairs out onto my head.  Day one yesterday went without a hitch, as I expect the rest of the week will.
Anyway, thinking about the family joke over bootees when he goes out into the big wide world, i dragged out the baby clothes today in search of some bootees. I really thought I had kept heaps of their baby clothes but now that they are all but grown up I do wish I had more!
Anyway, I found these which I thought might be fun to look at. When the kids were toddlers we had a lot of family weddings and events and so I would make them little suits.  So this is a progression of the vests they have worn over the years.  The one at the top is a more recent one; my youngest son looks oh so smart in a vest and suit pants.

There are more floating around in wardrobes i think.  The two at the bottom were done in fabric picked by the kids; the stars glow in the dark. The frogs were what the youngest boy wanted so I made it, much to my husband's horror! 

And just to show you, I DID find some bootees in all that tripping down memory lane:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Australian wool and sheep show

this weekend Bendigo hosts the Australian Sheep and Wool show, an annual event.  We closed the shop for the day and took a mini bus up yesterday.  It was a lovely day.
It was cold when we got there so my first purchase was a pair of fingerless gloves made from the softest alpaca.  So nice!  (I forgot to take my nice long rainbow ones).  We then spent an hour wandering around before going into the ladies lunch hosted by Deborah Hutton with guest speakers Quentin Bryce (Governor-General) and comedienne Rachel Burger. 
After a nice lunch with lots of laughs courtesy of Rachel, we wandered around for a bit longer and then got back on the bus to come home.  There was lots of lovely wools to look at, and hold.  I did manage to buy wool, not sure why as i do happn to work in a WOOL SHOP!!!  but I found some lovely sock wool, a blend of bamboo, merino and nylon. It is so soft I am thinking of making a shawl. My head is full of shawls at the minute and I am dying to make one.  Actually, if I were being honest here, I am dying to wear one but am not sure I will stick at knitting a whole shawl!!!

Anyway, this is what i came home with:
two skeins of wool, fingerless gloves, two scarf/shawl pins, a set of stitch markers and three little badges.  The stitch markers are so very cute; again, I do work in a wool shop, and do have plenty of plastic ones, but these are soooo sweet i had to have them.
The only disappointing thing about the day was there was no-one selling knitting needles, row counters, circular needles; any of the tools actually required to knit with. So you could buy plenty of lovely wools, but nothing to use them with.  Such a shame.  I only saw two stands with shawl pins; I really was on the look out for something quite special. These are very nice and I am happy with them but they were really the only ones.  I believe it is a relatively new sho, and is growing bigger by the year so hopefully nect year there will be a stand with tools for knitters, and crocheters, on it.
Anyway, it was a lovely day and I had such fun. I have promised myself I will finish the little baby singlet I am halfway through before I pick up any stitches to start a shawl. (it isn't the only thing I have on the go, it is just the smallest and at least i will have finished something before starting something else!!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In the garden

We are in the middle of a cold cold winter that has been wet and miserable and not much fun, so there is not much to see in the garden except this solitary plant I have.  i love these when they come up every year, they are so pretty.
The good news is that I planted some daffodils earlier in the year as mine seem to have mostly disappeared as garden beds have been moved around.  I can now see my new daffodil bulbs pushing up through the gardens so I wait to see what they will all look like. I am a little excited, i love spring bulbs. 
The kids are on school holidays currently. They have not had much fun, with me working through the holidays and the weather not nice outside.  Today we went to the movies; eldest son went with a group of friends and the younger son and I went to see Brave. Such a sweet movie, and I did have more than one giggle to see the mother in the movie trying in vain to get her teenage daughter to listen to her.  I doubt my son found it funny in the same way I did! i did love listening to the sound of Billy Connoly's voice as the father; such an awesome accent!!
This is what the kids got up to the other day; wrestling on our lounge; naughty boys!
It looks like cuddles; but is actually wrestling. Fun and games on a wintery day!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Daygown pattern

I got this in the mail today, it was a recent ebay purchase. I just love old fashioned baby clothes and saw this and couldn't resist.  (the photo is not clear but you will get the idea).
I love that on the pattern it has a lovely scripted writing, so old fashioned. The date on the front of the pattern says copyright 1980.  it feels older to me than that, but then I grew up in the 80s and they still feel like yesterday so I am not going to count how many years ago it really was LOL!!
So i will not cut out this page but will trace it onto some butcher paper.  I am looking forward to having a play with this and have some material that will be perfect.
I have been asked to put some smocked dresses etc into a local art show that is being held as a fund raising exercise. items are for sale and the committee are only asking for a 5% comission which is more than reasonable, so maybe i can whip up one or two of these and put them in along with a bishop or two and a couple of smocked dresses that I already have. I have also cut out a christening gown to enter, we will see how much of my planning will actually happen!

Just before I go i want to share with you the chocolate birthday cake my youngest son made for me last week. He made it from scratch with no help from me, only a quick conference with his brother on one or two things.  It turned out very well and was very yummy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Wow, two finishes in as many days. Gloves are done, I finished them yesterday and wore them to work today. very soft and lovely and warm. Here they are modelled by my eldest; for the barest minimum time possible before they were pulled off!LOL!!

I am really happy with them. I wear them bunched down near my wrists more. They just look colourful and the stripes don't really matter.
I have sat tonight after dinner and made up the two redwork panels into a simple bag. The whole point of doing this was to point people's attention to this fabric in the shop, and I think this will achieve that.  It is a good way of showing people what they can do with these fairly plain panels.
I did not choose the fabric, I would have gone for the darker fabric as the main one (which happens to be the lining).  But other people seem determined to get me out of my "boring" use of colour so I am happy to go along with it (besides when the boss says she likes this; it is what gets done!!!). And you know, I seem to find that  coming out of my comfort zone usually does yield good results, this bag is a good example I think.  i would not have used this check fabric in a million years, and is far removed from all the florals etc that i was looking at.  It has turned out really well and I can't wait to take it into work tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I have been working on these for a few weeks; shouldn't have taken that long really but I have been knitting in between. i finished the second panel this afternoon:

We got a bolt of fabric at my work not so long ago that has a number of printed panels on it; i think twelve pictures to a panel.  They are all vintage type ones of children playing at something or another.  So we decided to sew along the printed lines and then they will be made up into a library bag.   You can still see the lines that go around the border, they will be covered with piping (at least that is my plan). i do love piping, it is quick, easy and gives anything such a lift.
So now all i have to do is find a nice red fabric that will match. We had a bit of a quick look at work the other day and couldn't find a red that looked nice.  Like everything, not all reds are the same! I am sure we will find something that looks good. We certainly have enough fabric at work so we should come up with something. Maybe a different colour, who knows. I will have a look on thursday when I am at work next and then hopefully it will be done over the weekend.

fishy hat 2.0

So here it is, the second fish hat.

As often happens; the colour isn't quite right in the photo; the darker green is a bright more vibrant that what it would appear here.  My boss wanted an orange one so orange she got.
I can see my double pointed needle technique requires more work. The socks were the first time I had used them so I guess I still need to perfect my technique; you can see the spiral lines where I have changed from one needle to another (I read a great tip that suggests knitting the first couple of stitches from the next  needle before starting the empty needle - does that make sense?). Anyway, i have ended up with a spiral pattern on the beanie where it was too tight on my joins; I am a little annoyed as my son's hat didn't do it, and it is this one that is in the shop; and in the front window no less!  I am not sure it fits in with all the beautiful things we have in our window LOL!!  It does make me laugh to see it there.

Now I am determined to get my second fingerless glove done. I am halfway through the second one, it really does knit up quickly. And I am loving watching the colours change as the ball gets used. And so soft! It is a sock wool, called Katia Darling.  We have quite  a few yarns from Katia in the shop now.

I have some very nice acrylic that i want to make another feather and fan scarf with, but not a lacy one this time; one that is in an eight ply and hopefully wont catch on everything.  It will be more useable I hope. The alpaca one is gorgeous and I do love it but it is a little impractical.  It will be worn on special occasions.

Today I am home with my son who has a cold; not a bad one but he is home, and hopefully back at school tomorrow. it is a good opportunity for me to rest too as my dizzy spells have come back this week thanks to a nasty prank last week where a child from the high school called to tell me my son had been hit by a car; real funny prank that. He hadn't and is fine (except for his cold) but the stress of it has aggravated my Meniere's Disease.  I will be fine and feel better than i did but i think rest is the order of the day.
I believe two children have been suspended for three days over the prank that they thought was so funny they did it to nearly a dozen people.  I wonder if they would think it so funny if I gave them the medical bills I am going to have to pay as I try to get it under control again. And the lost wages as I very nearly had to leave work the other day as I couldn't stand straight for the dizziness.
Oh well, what is done is done. Now I just have to get better I guess and wait for the next episode.  being a relatively new condition for me, it is all a wait and see journey.

So today is a good day to get more of my glove done. I really do like it, I should show you how it looks; I decided not to have the stripes in the same place and just go with the wool as it came off the new ball, and I am happy with it. One glove will be more blue and the other will have more red. I can't wait to wear them, I am getting quite excited at the thought now.  And it is so very cold here so they will keep my hands nice and warm.
Perfect for the frosty days. My grandmother used to comment on how warm my hands always were; not so these last few days!! we had a heavy frost this morning, luckily some trees that we have had trouble getting established are covered. They nearly died last winter and they have just recently looked like they were going to survive so we will hopefully nurse them through this winter and they will be happier and healthier next year.
Stay warm everyone!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fish hat

So, here it is. the fish hat.  After much deliberation i kept knitting it in the 8ply, and it has turned out just fine.  Evidently worsted weight can refer to either 8 or 10 ply wool, depends on the country.  So while I am still unsure of which she used ( I do suspect it was an 8ply), this has turned out really well.
My son likes it so that is good.
And this is what it looks like on...

Pretty cool huh???  I am now knitting on for the shop, in shades of greens with orange.  my boss has made one for her husband in more muted tones of olive greens and browns.  I am assured he will happily wear it (wouldn't happen in this house!!LOL!).

I have not started my other fingerless glove but will do it when I have finished this other fishy hat, hopefully later today.  I will have to sit and wait for however long tomorrow while my car gets serviced so that will give me a good opportunity to make a start on it.  I had to take my son to basketball last night and sit in the cold cold stadium and all i could think about was having my lovely rainbow gloves on.  I better make a move on it!

P.S. a little word about the eyes: the original had a felt circle with crosses sewn onto them; i wanted my fish to be alive, not dead, and so, instead of felt, I used two buttons, a large white one, and a smaller black one.  Overlaying two buttons is not unusual in our shop; it can give a wonderful lift to a garment when done with nice buttons; try it; the combinations are endless. And the results can be quite stunning.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

some starts, a finish and much undoing

It has been a funny week in my house for achieving anything.  I finished hubby's socks, have finished my first fingerless glove, have started knitting a tea cosy, which I promptly undid with only a few rows done, and have begun knitting a beanie for my youngest child which is also about to be undone.

So, first things first,
my first glove looks like this:

I have to say I really really really love it!! How bright and happy are these (and i am pretty much guaranteed no-one else I come across will have a pair!). I cannot wear wool as a general rule and as these are 60% merino I fugured it was a gamble but it seems to have paid off; it feels lovely and soft and not scratchy at all. Although, as I have only got one done, I have hardly worn it for any decent amount of time.
And the second glove will be started in a different spot, colourwise.  there was wool left on the ball but not a lot and I dont want to muck around starting a fair way into the new ball and have it run out near the end and be left having to join it and have the colours not line up. So they will both be different and I am happy with that, unlike the socks that i sweated over trying to start them in the same place.

As for the tea cosy, I was making a sheep; it is in a book I love so was keen to have a go but it didn't look like I thought it should so pulled it out. I really should have persisted but the fun had gone out of it; and after planning it for ages i was disappointed. So it can sit for another day.

The beanie looks like this:
And here is where i found it:
knitty fish hat

It is so much fun I had to make it. After much discussion at work about what ply wool she had used (worsted evidently does not always mean the same thing in different places), my son chose some shades of blue and purple, very funky.  But after spending a lot of time yesterday knitting the beginning of it, it has become apparant that I am using the wrong wool and it is too small. My choices are to finish it and give it away or undo it, keep the wool for something else and start again with other wool.  I am leaning on the side of undoing it, eventhough it is a good chunk of my Saturday's work.
I am sitting here pondering though; as a smocker, we have a great term for undoing our smocking, it is called reverse smocking. I wonder if the term can be used for knitting as well, instead of undoing, can I be reverse knitting?  Sounds somewhat better!!

Speaking of smocking, I am desperate to be doing some sewing again. Nothing is stopping me except seeing all the nice wools and patterns at work and and finding more excuses to knit than to sew. 
i will be spending tuesday whipping up the vintage dress now that I finally have feedback on how the trial bodice fitted ("like it was made for her" I was told this morning).  And I do have a smocked dress in mind I want to have a play with so maybe I can cut that out at the same time as the dress. We will see.
  I am not sure how I changed from a sewer who knits to be just a knitter??  But I ache to do some sewing.
Whatever craft you are doing at the minute, I hope it is fun.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


So here are the socks I have been knitting.

i finished them yesterday morning for hubby's birthday yesterday.
What a shame after all that work that he doesn't actually like them.  Grrrr.  Was only happy when i told him he could wear them around the house and didn't have to wear them out where, God forbid, anyone might see them.
So that is the sad end to the very long sock knitting episode.

To the next things now I guess. i am knitting this sock wool, which is so soft and gorgeous:
...into fingerless gloves for me. I can't wait to have them done.  The wool isn't quite as bright as it is here. it is bright, just not this glarey bright.  They shouldn't take long to do as I only started these last night.
The question with the gloves is this (and I think i know the answer): do i need to start them in the same place, colourwise, or will it be okay if both gloves start the colours in different spots. Any ideas???

I am also going to knit a beanie for the youngest child, i will show you the pattern later, but it is a fish.  Very cool!  The child has seen the pattern, and chosen the wool so I expect this to be better recieved than the socks were.
off to the knitting needles...

P.S. On second thoughts, after having looked at my completed blog post, the rainbow wool really is that bright!!!  Awesome!!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

early Mother's Day

My kids, on the days that i work, walk to work after school and then we drive home together.  Much nicer than taking the school bus.
Yesterday they were taking longer than usual and I was starting to wonder where they were when in they walk holding a beautiful bunch of flowers.  I was so touched. My eldest had paid for them with his own money and had even (I found out later) emailed the florist the day before just to ask about getting some flowers, so he had put some degree of thought into it. 
Isn't he a sweetie? 
So it will be a lovely Mother's Day in my house, and in yours too I hope.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just for me

While my family was out on Saturday having fun without me, this is what I got up to:

It is a raggy edge quilt, usually just two layers of flannel back to back, sewn together in squares with the edges left exposed.  i have wanted to do one for ages and yet, even with 300 bolts of flannel in the shop I couldn't find anything I like.  Amazingly, I found a tutorial for this quilt here, and got an inspiration happening. I like this one as it has batting in the middle so it is thicker and warmer. And I must have walked into work with fresh eyes as i had no trouble finding exactly what i wanted, and it had all been there the whole time!!
 Because I then had to quilt each block before putting it together, it took more time than the traditional one but i do like the results.
The edges look like this:
I told my children in no uncertain terms that it was MY quilt, and they were NOT to use it, and so, it came as no surprise whatsoever an hour after it was finished and i was happily snuggled under it in my armchair that my youngest (13yr old) climbed in under it, on my knee.  He is quite small and hasn't hit his growth yet, so i treasure these cuddles knowing they cannot possibly go on for much longer. 
i never for even a minute thought they would obey my command (they knew it wasn't for real), but I did think i might get it to myself for longet than an hour.  LOL!!!
I took it in to a very cold basketball stadium, against my eldest son's wishes last night.  He might have been mortified, but I was warm, and the other mothers thought it was a very good idea!!!

So, now to what I need to be doing!  Hubby's sock is not done, at this stage, after his birthday next week he is either going to have to cut a foot off, or hop everywhere!!  I do need to get a move on with it but it wont be done on time.
And now i have also been asked to make a dress for the school musical. They want this made:

After looking at it I dont think it will be terribly difficult, but the instructions are just typed, no pictures. I do think I have it worked out for the most part, it really is quite simple once the pieces are assembled.  I have been put on notice by the Other Half though; I am not to grumble if i get halfway through it and have difficulty; he says I should say no more often (and I should) but then who would do these things?  I always feel bad that they would be left in the lurch.

Okay, housework beckons. Must go and make hay while the sun shines, as they say.  This looks like being a lovely day, the first for quite a while, so i will be making use of it and doing washing.  (What exciting lives we lead!!)

P.S. i was going to crop the first photo but it shows our old dog coming to have a sticky nose at what I was doing so I have left her in it. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


I have been thinking about hibernating ever since Dianne's comment on my 'new beds' post.  Thinking about how nice and soft my bed is and how I do not want to get  up in the morning.  It makes me think of something I have on my fridge and which I look at often. it seems to strike a cord with me on many levels, so here it is for you all to share:

Gonna be a bear

In this life I am a woman. In the next life I'd like to come back as a bear.  When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months.


before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid.


When you're a girl bear you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you are sleeping and wake up to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs.


If you're a mamma bear, everyone knows you mean business.  You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too.


If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.


I really think there is some wonderful truths to this! Wouldn't it be great??  Although, yesterday was spent mostly in bed with a migraine (Don't worry, I am fine today!), I think if I were to hibernate, a working tv in the bedroom might not be a bad thing!!
Just thinking........

P.S. I would love to credit the author who wrote this particular piece of what i think is pure genius, but I don't know who it is. Sorry.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

more finishes

Since starting work last year I have been struggling with the work/home balance. Not just with the housework aspect but with the knitting and needlework also.  There are things i want to do for me, just for fun, and there are things I am doing for display at work, and there are problems juggling the two.  Everything takes time and i need to divide my time equally.
I have been frustrated lately, feeling like I am getting nowhere, but all of a sudden I have come up with a few finishes.  Mond you, in the strictest sense of the word, none of these are actually finished but they  are close enough to be included here:
this is my little baby cardigan; only needs buttons. I can't seem to get a good photo today of the colour but it has been on my blog before with the colours more correct.  I am really pleased at how it has turned out and I love that, through not much effort on my part, the two front bands have come out with the pattern matching.  Woohoo, I like it when things just happen!

These are three stitcheries I have done for work. I class them as finished as (as far as I know...) i am not the one making them into little soft toys.  i had fun stitching these, and must admit I like the giraffe the best.

I have also managed this week to finish my first sock.  And yes, while I have finished one sock, it isn't truly finished until there are a pair of them. But as i had never done one before, or used double pointed needles, I am going to count it as a finish.  The second sock has been started, and will hopefully be done for a gift in a few weeks.
Forgive the photo, it isn't quite clear.

And forgive my premptiveness of calling all of these finishes!  i think when things become overwhelming it is good to sit back and take stock of what has been achieved instead of dwelling on what hasn't.  I actually feel like I am getting somewhere but am determined not to begin anything else until I get a move on with the other things i have on the go. I do have some sewing planned but will have to be good and leave it be for now.