Monday, May 13, 2013


I've got a bit of a flash new website.

I'm not sure if you've visited it or not, but you can find it over here

That's much easier to remember, isn't it?

This new website also has a bloggy bit. It sort of makes more sense for me to blog over there in the knitting sphere, rather than here, where it's really a bit confusing as to what the blog's about. That's not to say that I won't be blogging about fabric!  I have some sewing projects on the go that I hope to share soon.

Anyway, you can find my new blog here:

Pop in and say hello so I know that you're still reading!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

our new tent!!!

Excuse me, while I squeeee just a little bit, but we have a new tent!

A brand spanking swisho new tent!!

Bushblock April 2013

And truth be told, I can't stop raving about it or gazing at it or dreaming about it.
I just want to live in it and camp every day!

I think most people I know in person are sick of hearing about my new tent; my Facebook and Instagram Friends are probably sick of seeing photos. So now it's your turn.

Can you see why I'm crazy about it?
Is not she the most beautiful tent you have ever seen.

It's so light and airy and peaceful... and just full of soul and beauty.

Camping in her is just pure bliss. So so SO lovely.

Bushblock April 2013

Look at her roof-line! Isn't it magnificent!
It's just like being in a circus tent.

And yes, I do believe that with a tent like this bunting does become one of the essential camping ingredients.
DK is not so sure.

Bushblock April 2013

Ours is the SoulPad 4000-Hybrid. That means it is a glorious 4m x 4x inside; so quite roomy.
And yes, I do like to keep a tidy tent.

Bushblock April 2013

We camped for the last week of the school holidays at DK's family bush block.
 It's lovely and peaceful and isolated; you know you're not going to see another soul there.

It's near the Grampians.

It's very dry at the moment, and it is here we see the other side of our extended glorious summer. The countryside is soo dry. Terribly, scarily dry for this time of year.

Bushblock April 2013

Nevertheless, it was a glorious time. The weather was perfect. And we had a perfect little relaxing family holiday.  We sat around our campfire at night, walked during the day, picnicked, rode bikes, swam in the dam and knitted. Well, I knitted. Lily and Toby drew and DK either dozed or read.

Bushblock April 2013

Every morning we awoke to the most glorious sunrise as the kids scampered out to collect firewood for our morning campfire which they would toast their bread over.

Bushblock April 2013

It's hard to return to reality.
It's hard to remember what I was doing before we left for our impromptu break.

We're settling back into school, kindy and routine; not without a few tears on everyone's part.

The kids miss the freedom of the bush.
We miss the solitude, peace and lack of pressure.
We all miss the sense of togetherness.

Luckily, we can go back there whenever we like.
And for that, we are very grateful!

Bushblock April 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

summer memories

We've had a very unusual summer.

Summer memories

Unusual, in that the weather has consistently been pretty much perfect.

Summer memories

There's been a cooler day here and there, and not too many ridiculously hot above 40 degree days.

Summer memories

On the whole it's been deliciously lovely.

Summer memories

Such great weather means it has been action packed.

Summer memories

Morning and evening swimming, surfing and playing at the beach or the river.

Summer memories

Great adventures to be had all in our own local area.

Summer memories

Amazing achievements attained.

Summer memories

New experiences gained.


There's been a little bit of knitting.

Summer memories

But it has had to take a back seat to all the fun and kiddie centred good times.

Summer memories

I've watch my kids grow so much this summer and start on new journeys in their lives.

Summer memories

We've eaten loads of peaches and shared many with family and friends.

Summer memories

But now school is back, and summer is beginning to draw to an end.

Summer memories

I'm thinking about the plans I have for my wee business this year.

Summer memories

It's going to be the start of a new journey there, for me too.

Summer memories

But right now, we've still got a few more memories to make.

Summer memories

I've been documenting our summer adventures on Instagram.
Do you Instagram?
I love it so!
It's now desktop/computer friendly, which is ace!

I'm tikkiknits on Instagram. Pop on over and follow me!

P.S. There's also a quick linky in the side-bar, should you ever require it ;)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yarn along Wednesday

Wednesday: a yarn-a-long one.

This week on my bedtime table you will find:

I bought Andy 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' last Christmas and have only just now gotten around to reading it. The Sunday Times described it as, "Moving and Life-enhancing... a must read." 

While I possibly wouldn't take my praise that far, I did enjoy reading this novel. 

The phrase 'Goon Squad' is a reference to the passing of time, and hence the book explores the passing of time and its consequences for a number of interconnected characters

It is a story of my generation, one that does remind me so much of my youth and made me reminisce about some of the souls that got lost along the way.  At the same time, it beautifully explores some elements and concepts of the future, such as technology, the youth of the future and the effects of 9/11.

It is tinged with sadness and in some ways it reminds me a little of my favourite poem by Allen Ginsberg, 'Howl' but whereas, the sadness for that generation was directed at their current state, in 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' the sadness comes with the passing of time for those who, I guess, were trapped by the craziness of youth; unable to escape from some of more lurid temptations that come with growing up. 

I've thought a lot about some of our crazy friends from our days of youth and where they are now; those that are now high flyers, those who didn't survive those times and those who are still lost as a result of shit that went down all those years ago.   So many of the characters in this novel resonated with me and reminded me of people I knew.

The second novel is one by one of my favourite authors, Kate Grenville. I started this at Christmas time but left it at my sister's house and have only just got it back. I shall re-commence my reading of it tonight. I know I will love it ever so much as I do with all Kate's books.

I once did a master writing class with Kate and it was so inspirational and so completely fabulous!

This week I've been enjoying knitting with some glorious 5ply. The photo above is of the lace detail in a new cardigan pattern I am working on. the prototype is knit with Plum Tree Yarns Kona Sport.

Since finishing this I've started on Lizzie, and adult version of Elizabeth in some madtosh pashmina.

Join in with yarnalong over here.

What's on your bedtime table or in your knitting basket this week?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, January 07, 2013


Last Friday I released my first pattern for the year.

I was quite amazed at that, usually by the end of the year I'm so burnt out and exhausted it takes me awhile to get into the swing of things in the New Year. In fact, last year I was so drained I took a break for pretty much all of January and February.

This year I'm feeling a little different. This year I've started the year feeling fresher and excited about all my plans for the year; hence, a new pattern already!

This is bishi.

A simple knitted water bottle carrier. 

I love the practical nature of this, it's gender neutral, a great quick knit, makes a great gift (everyone drinks water.......or at least they should!) and is a good stash buster. Bishi uses less than a ball of 10ply cotton, about 40grams to be precise.

It's knit in the round from the bottom up and has two different options for the handles; either a garter stitch strap or stocking stitch handles that can be tied for ease of lengthening or shortening. 

The mesh is super dooper stretchy and fits everything in it from a boutique beer to a nice chunky Sigg water bottle. My kids like the carrier to completely cover the bottle and its lid, so you'll notice that while on my bottle (the Sigg in the red Bishi) the carrier finishes at the lid, on Lily's, her whole bottle fits in and the lid is completely concealed (the striped bishi).

There have been quite a number of bishis popping up on Rav already, and I've noticed that those who are knitting for shorter kids' bottle have knit fewer of the lace rounds to suit.  So that may be an option you may want to consider if you're knitting for a smaller bottle.

The smaller water bottle in the striped carrier is a Beatrix NY bottle which is quite a squat 400ml bottle.  Lily also carries a Thermos Funtainer 355ml bottle in hers. This is taller than the Beatrix NY and the top of the carrier reaches the top of the bottle when resting. My larger Sigg is a 700ml size.

One question that I have been asked a lot is what is a bishi? Where does it come from?
It's the name of a friend of mine, the recipient of the first knitted water bottle carrier, in fact.  
Yes, it is her real name, it is of African origins.

Quite coincidentally, Lily has a childhood doll named Bish, which I guess makes the name seem quite normal and everyday for me.  Lily's doll was named after the sound of running water, biish biish biish, a name Lily came up with when she was about two. Perfect name really for a water bottle carrier. 

Bishi is a free pattern and you can download it here.

These would make a great quick knit item for school fetes, markets and the like. For that reason, I've decided to make pattern license free. All the normal copyright applies except that you can make these to sell if you wish without a license. All you need to do is refer to the product as a bishi water carrier and credit the design as being mine. 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

gift knitting

I probably don't gift knit, or even gift sew for that matter, as much as I'd like to. I try to knit the smaller members of the family something for Christmas, and hopefully their birthdays as well. But that doesn't always happen, and this Christmas just gone it was only the wee girls who got something.

I'd like to change that this year. And I guess that all falls under the umbrella of being more organised. It means calenderising birthdays and thinking about them a month out, not a couple of days. Thinking about how I can incorporate the gift knits into my business knitting regime.

The first birthday of the year for our extended family has already been and gone, but there was no knit I have to admit. I DID think about the required knit in December sometime but then I was too busy wading through the Christmas knitting. Shall I get to it? We'll see! But there are two more birthdays to knit for in February!

One gift that I did manage to knit last year in a very organised fashion was this shawl for Lily's teacher.
I even had it finished with plenty of time to spare!

The pattern is Ishbel by Ysolda Teague.
I knit it out of some Patons Patonyle that Lily and I hand-dyed a number of years ago. It has been sitting in my stash earmarked to become some socks for me. The reality is that I often don't have find the time to knit myself socks. The colour was just perfect for Lily's teacher, she has lovely reddish hair and she wears this colour a lot and it looks awesome on her. It was fated really!

I've made Ishbel twice before and it is a super quick knit. This really only took three days to knit. I love how the stocking stitch flows so nicely into the lace sections. The stocking stitch makes it nice and quick but as it's only a small shawl and a small section of stocking stitch, you don't get too bored.

It's a lovely pleasant and easy knit. No wonder there are nearly 12 000 Ishbel projects on Ravelry!

Are you a gift knitter?
How do you keep up with your gifting?
Or do you resort to gifting a ball of yarn or an IOU on occasions?

Or are you more of a knit for yourself type?
January is supposed to be the month for selfish knits. I'm trying to get there. I'm on my second project for the year, and it's a gift. A Christmas IOU actually, but I have good intentions of a selfish knit for me next!

Ravelled here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

a new day, a new year

I love the start of a new year.
The plans, the goals, the resolution.
The juxtaposition of the freshness of new ideas  running through my head and the optimism that comes with the fresh year ever so slightly tinged with that grungy feeling of overindulgence. 

I love doing my blog roll read on January First. I love the wrap ups, the goals for the next year and the resolutions. I particularly love the ridiculousness of crafters and their stash resolutions. I love the positiveness that comes with the new year. It's like the new year gives everyone a fresh new beginning, and all in the past is forgotten. I really like that. 

It's like a universal agreement of forgiveness. 

It doesn't matter that you didn't finish the jumper you were knitting your niece, that was last year. The new year gives you the permission to cast on something new.  

2012, hey?
  • In 2012 I knit 19, 335 yards. 
It's always my aim to knit 20, 000 yards but I've not managed that goal yet. Maybe 2013 will be the year.
  • In 2012 I published 13 new patterns. 
It didn't seem like a very productive year at the time, particularly as I didn't publish my first pattern until March, but I guess it wasn't too bad. I'm pretty pleased that I finally got around to publishing my first adult garment pattern.
  • In 2012 I finished 61 projects. 
11 dishclothes, one bag, seven vests, three cardigans for me, one cowl, a peach cozy, a bikini top (ok, that was crocheted), four doll garments, six dresses, a plethora of eggs, 12 kids cardigans, one kids jumper, five pairs of mittens, two bells, a star, two monsters, one shawl, nine tiny gnome hats and a water bottle carrier.

  • In 2012 I started seven projects that I didn't get finished.

So what's in store for 2013?
What are my plans/goals/resolutions?

To knit from stash? 
I'd love to say yes, but truth is I'm not very good at it. I guess my aim is to try and use more of my stash and only buy yarn if there is nothing suitable in my stash, and only if I plan to cast on straight away with it.  Sounds almost feasible, doesn't it? Don't be fooled. Chances are I'll fail dismally at that and be filling my cart by the end of the week. (The sale at Suzy Hausfrau is already tempting me! *sigh*)

To publish some more adult patterns?
Yes, indeed. I have one adult pattern almost ready to go. The prototype is knit and the pattern is part way written. It should be ready for testing at the start of February. I'm also planning to cast on this month a few of the adult patterns I've been meaning to knit for ages. I think either a Suzanne or an Elizabeth will be first on my list. I just have to fight the urge to cast on first for the cute little shrug design that's haunting me at the moment. I suspect it will win in the end, but it will be a quick knit. And very cute too! 

To blog more?
I would hope so. I had hoped I would keep the habit began with Blogtober, but it just didn't happen. It was a crazy time of the year for our family and something had to give. It was my blog!  So instead, I'll begin the year as I intend to continue it, with good blogging habits. A bit of encouragement will help keep me on track, dear reader!

My key goal for 2013 is one of organisation. 

I am terribly disorganised, easily over-whelmed, incredibly forgetful and a bit flitty. I flit all too easily form one thing to another. I'm not testing anything major in January, just a handful of smaller patterns that I've been meaning to finish off for ages, so I'm using my work time to employ some good organisational habits. Some tactics for keeping on top of emails and pms, keeping my website, blog and FB page up-to-date, getting all my book work organised so I don't have a last minute rush at tax time, maybe, just maybe, even creating a pattern release schedule. Doing all the day to day small business stuff that is just too much some days.  Routine, I think it's called, that's perhaps what I need.

What about you?
What are your goals/resolutions/promises for 2013?

P.S. photos are off the wee Christmas gifts the kids and I made for some of their little friends.  You can read more details on my Rav project page.