Sunday, August 30, 2009

a little unfinished business...

I've been a naughty little blogger and haven't posted for 10 days!! And tonight I got a little prod to remind me to post, so here I am.

Today was a wonderfully sunny but cold day in the groovehood.  We spent the morning and early afternoon in the backyard enjoying a picnic prepared by Lily and a game of hopscotch, or as she calls it hotchscotch.  It was a dress-up picnic, have you been to many of those? I have.  I was instructed I needed to wear my pettiskirt to this one.
Anyway, while wrapped in our shawls sipping hot chai I remembered that I had never taken photos of this finished shawl.  You might remember the amazing ball of yarn this started out as.  The 300 odd stitches in each row by the end.  Me running out of yarn with a quarter of the cast off to go?  A few metres short of yarn.   No, you don't remember.  That's okay, it probably wasn't as scarring for you as it was for me.

I did get to finish it without frogging. I stalked Australian knitters on Ravelry who had recently knit with the kauni and sussed out from their projects what colour they had cast off in. I needed green or yellow.  I was in luck. The lovely Lis has knit this same shawl, she cast off in green.  She had some left over. She responded to my begging. I love Lis, she is the frogging saviour :D

I have to admit after finishing this sucker it sat in the knitting basket for, oh so many months before I finally blocked it.  Keepinh the kids out from under your feet while blocking a shawl isn't easy.  I blocked it on a single mattress that was placed on my bed during the day and then back on the sewing room floor during the night.

It was such an addictive knit.  The beautiful vibrant colours, the enticement of the ever changing rainbow and the gradual unfolding of the pattern. I was totally transfixed awaiting to see how the colour changes panned out in relation to the yo rows.

If only this yarn wasn't so coarse and harsh to knit with. I had to put this project down on a number of occasions as the yarn rubbed my tensioning finger, like kitchen cotton does. 

Golly gosh, it was worth it though. We love it. The rainbow child and I decided to share it.  Sometimes she lets me wear it.

Yarn:  Kauni Effektgarn 8/2 EQ, 170g (+ extra gram or so from Lis) from Jolly Jumbuck
Needles: Knit Picks 5.5mm
Mods: none

Promise not to leave it so long between posts next time. I have loads of crafty goodness to catch you up on, mostly knitting ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

creative space

Cheating a little, here's one I prepared earlier.

We're heading out for Lily's gymnastics class soon, so once she's well and truly tuckered out, hopefully some of my afternoon will involve this.

* A refreshing beverage (although cold and rainy so most likely a chai rather than a nudie)

* A new mag (mixtape arrived yesterday and as yet I haven't had a chance to read it.)

* A little knitting (hopefully the postie will bring me the green yarn I am waiting for to knit my second bloom as I've actually finished the knit in the photo above, which is a milo vest.  I've also actually finished that nudie juice, they never last.... )

more creative spaces to be found for sure over at kootoyoo

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


another test knit, well, this is actually the test garment.

This one is one of mine, and it's called bloom
 ... or if you're four 'The Diamond Castle top'... oh well, at least she'll wear it.  

I'm pretty happy with this one, as is Miss Lily. I think it will be a perfect Spring garment for any little girlie.  

It can be worn either over a t-shirt or just as is, Lily prefers it over a t-shirt.  
It has a little bit of subtle detailing which might be hard to pick up from these photos, but it's there.

And one of the things I like the most about it, is its wide size range. It fits as a dress on a little bub and grows or blooms with the child into a peasant style top for a preschooler.  And yes, that is my beautiful boy wearing the dress ... the things mummas make their sons do, hey.

cute little toes and hem detail, you'd never know they were boy toes, would you?

Here's the dress length on a 9 month old, maybe on the tall side, maybe not, who knows?

cute little capped sleeves ...

Anyway, I need to reknit this dress to test my now written pattern. Just waiting on the right shade of green yarn to arrive. And then once that's done it's off to my test knitters.  

Release date: Spring sometime ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ultimate longies

Another test knit from someone else's pattern, this time Shannon's

Shannon has just released this pattern, so I thought I would share some pics.  

Firstly, Toby in his pair, knit in DK weight Utiku 'Chocolate Swirl', a discontinued colourway.  His have the bootleg option.  

I have to admit this photo was taken after about the third wash.   I found it really really hard to capture this colourway and Toby's mobility and eating seems to mean his longies are in need of a wash rather often.  He just needs more, hey ;)

I heart this pattern, it really is the perfect mix of increases and short rows. I particularly love the way the waistband works on negative ease (i’m quite partial to a bit of negative ease myself) which means there’s none of that bunching that you get with traditional fitting longies.. Uber clever.  It has a perfect sized rise and neat little gusset crotch, and a wonderful little tut that leaves you with the neatest picked up stitches around your gusset.   

The pattern is written for three different weight yarns and comes in five different sizes with a heap of hemline options to keep you interested.  

so where can you get it?  Ravelry, of course, and Shannon's store on ozebaby, Crafty Desires.

And because I loved the pattern so much I volunteered to do a second pair.  Sadly, these won't fit Toby as they are a size small and are perhaps a little pink for his father's liking. 

These are knit in 12 ply Australian wool dyed with Kool Aid by Lis as part of a Woolaholics swap many moons ago, and can you guess who they're being sent off to?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

testing, testing, one, two, three ...

kniiting time of late has involved a fair bit of pattern testing; some for me and some for others.

this is one of someone else's; uber cute little mitts in 8 ply yarn for kiddies by Shortly.   
These are an awesome little knit, very quick and used somewhere between 30 and 40 grams of wool; hard to tell on my very retro and cool as scales, but not highly accurate for little numbers like that.

I am really honoured that Sheryl has named these the milo mitts, as the cable on them matches the milo vest. How cool is that!!  This little pattern will be available some time this month, so keep an eye out for it.

You should also check out some of Shortly's other designs on Rav, she has some awesome sock patterns. One of my next cast ons will be the toddler socks for Lily.

I knit them on my teeny tiny 9 inch(23cm) circular needle which was heaps of fun.  I think I actually like the HiyaHiya more than the addis for short length circs as the tips are so short. The 9 inch was just as easy, if not easier, as the 12 inch addis.

It's into the mail for these little beauties as they fly their way off to keep a little schoolgirl's hands warm but still allow her to pick flowers on her walk to school. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

9 months

Toby is 9 months old today.  I'm not sure why, but I think 9 months is one of those age milestone thingies. You know, like one week, one month, 6 months, 12 months, when you stop counting in weeks and start counting in months.  Nine months I think seems significant as theoretically it means the baby has been existing outside for as long as they were inside. Anyone who has had a baby or has basic knowledge of human gestation periods however, knows this isn't quite true.  It certainly isn't for Toby as he hid away for nearly 42 weeks.   Nevertheless, I'm feeling a little mummy moment at my little boy turning 9 months.

He is such a grown up little fellow, he seems to be so quickly leaving behind his baby looks and looks more and more like a little boy everyday. 
His favourite things to do at the moment are drawing (well scribbling) He picked a crayon up while we were up at the block and did a rudimentary scribble. Ever since then if he see pens or pencils he'll pick it up and have a go at it; crawling around outside and trying to eat dirt, stones and leaves; banging things together; watching the washing in the washing machine go round; attempting to get into cupboards and beat the childsafe catches; eating anything he can and trying to steal other people's food; squealing in delight at his sister's antics; cuddling with mumma and riding in a carrier; and playing the guitar. He can actually strum quite well ... usually with one of Lily's dolls. 

Awww, I love him so very very much!!!   The journey so far with our little Tobias has been one of bliss. (of course, after saying that he will probably wake me at 3 am for party time!)

oh, and check out the pants he scored from the Local Love stocking.  
Yes, he's a bit of a smarty pants.



Random lottery number between 1 and 5020


Congratulations Kristy, I shall be in touch to send your goodies :D

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

local tourist

A wonderful thing has happened to our family recently. Andy has come to the end of filming and editing his tv series Spearing the Menu.  You might have seen it on Channel 31 Melbourne and Adelaide, or TVS in Sydney or QCTV in Brisbane. It's pretty cool.  But as the editor of the show, it is pretty time consuming and does take up a good deal of his weekend time.  But now he's finished editing we have him to ourselves again. Hooray!! And I must say it's been bloody fantastic. We've been dedicating a day every weekend to get out and do something as a family. And it has been loads of fun.

The weekend before last our outing was the Bollard Walk in Geelong.  Lily has had a fascination with bollards since she was little and loves pointing them out when we drive by them or giving them a good cuddle if we see one close up. 

If you're not familiar with the bollards in Geelong. There are many many bollards scattered along the foreshore at Corio Bay in Geelong. They are the work of the very talented Jan Mitchell and depict many aspects and characters that capture the history of both Geelong and Australia. 

Rugged up in our winter gear, coats and beanies, and hopeful that the weather forecast for scattered showers would hold out for us, we set off to cover half of the bollard walk with Lily on her bike.  

Integral to the history of Geelong is of course the story of the introduction of the rabbit to Australia. Some silly pastoralist many many moons ago thought it would be a jolly good idea to bring some rabbits over here, and the rest, well you know the story.  On many of the bollards you can find a little rabbit hiding.  This was such a great game of exploration for Lily, she loved riding off to the next bollard to find the rabbit.

Toby observed the day from my back and relaxed right out and slept through most of it. Argghh, the life huh!

I loved seeing the excitement in Lily as she rode from bollard to bollard calling out to us, "Hurry up!" "Next one Mummy and Daddy!"  

This lady here was definitely her favourite.
A few familiar faces to be found here ;)
It was a terrific outing. The whole walk is supposed to take about an hour, we did half of it and walked from the Rippleside Park to the Carousel (what an awesome half way point) and it took us over two hoursto get there!!  That did include a stop off at the play ground on the way though and the way back was much quicker. We only had to skip to shelter once too, which was pretty awesome!  

Saturday, August 08, 2009

why is the rainbow dress now for sale?

I don't know why, but I sort of feel like I should explain why the rainbow dress is now for sale.  Yes, it used to be a free pattern, and it was a very very popular free pattern. And now if you want it, you need to buy it.  I guess I feel the need to explain this change because I know there actually will be some people who will be miffed about this, strange as it is, as it is my pattern and how I share it really is my decision. Nevertheless, no doubt some won't be happy.  I don't really like upsetting people and I guess that's part of the reason I have been so nervous about relaunching the pattern.

I first knit the rainbow dress back in January 2008. I designed it specifically to suit some gorgeous gradient dyed rainbow yarn from the yarn cafe.  I then published it free on my blog from where literally hundreds of people have knit it.

It has been popular, far more popular than I could ever have envisaged. To be honest, I was surprised that anyone else at all knit it.  This morning the original pattern was the most popular child knit pattern on Ravelry (before I changed it to a baby pattern as I was adding the big sis version).

I've  knit plenty of rainbow dresses since then, and as I have done so I've improved and tinkered with the pattern.  I ironed out a couple of little things that weren't quite right in the first pattern,added other bits and "unvented" a technique to improve construction.  That's part of the reason I decided to re-publish the pattern.

The other reason is the pms and emails and messages. I get stacks of them asking me for variations; how do I do a hem like this or that, can you add instructions to your blog for doing that, how does the bodice actually work, can you explain the construction I don't understand how it works, how do I knit it flat, can you upsize it for me for my 5 year old daughter, how do I knit it in different weight yarn, where can I find the yarn you use, how do I knit on circular needles, etc. etc. and etc. and so on and so on. If you've contacted me with a question like this please don't feel I'm singling you out, as I literally have received so many of those type of questions that at times it has been impossible to answer them all. Some I've found in my junk box, some who've left comments on the patterns themselves I often don't find until months later.  Some simply got lost when Andy swapped my computers over .. a number of times.  But most of them I actually answered.  Very time consuming I can tell you. I often found myself writing the what seemed like the same email over and over again

It seems if you offer a free pattern you're also expected to offer free pattern support.

So then I decided if I rewrote the pattern I could add all those things that repeatedly come up and hopefully I wouldn't have to answer so many emails and messages. 

I reformatted and have now re-published the pattern, a process that has taken months and months. I've added a stack of options and pictures and information to help you with the construction of the dress itself. I've had it test knitted by a wide range of knitters, got feedback from graphic designers, and generally feel like it's been perched on my left shoulder bugging away at me.

During the process a couple of my knitting friends who I respect dearly, asked me if I was planning on selling the pattern; after all, there was a heck of a lot of work going into the rewrite. I hadn't considered it.  But after discussion with my husband, sister and other people who would listen, I decided that it was the right direction to take it.  

And so from today, the Rainbow Dress, the much improved and hugely versatile Rainbow Dress is available for sale.  

It comes in 14 different sizes from 15 - 28 inch (newborn to girls size 10).  It has 9 different hem options and a couple of different things you can try on the bodice.  There are two versions of the pattern; the baby sizes (15 - 21 inch) and the big sis version (22 - 28 inch).  the pattern is easily printed out as a 15 or 16 page booklet after you receive it in pdf format via email.

I'm really proud of how far this little pattern has come. And I'm really pleased with the finished product.  I hope you like it too. :)

oh, it still doesn't have instructions for knitting it flat; as that would be at total odds with what the dress design is all about; NO SEAMING!!!  

It's available from Ravelry or my ozebaby store for $7 per pattern, or you can purchase both together from my ozebaby store for $10.

go on buy, it you know you want to ;)

 oh oh, I forgot to add

To celebrate the launch of the new Rainbow Dress I'm having a little competition.  Leave a comment below and I'll randomly draw a name. The winner will receive hard copies of both Rainbow Dress patterns as well as some other little knitty surprises ;)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

creative space

my creative space has been occupied of late by this; working on the new improved and much more detailed version of my rainbow dress. It is sooo close to completion now, one last edit tonight and it should be set to go.  Who would have known that rewriting a pattern could take so damn long!!! 

oh it does have new sizes too, though.
for more creative spaces visit kootoyoo

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


aww, this is very sweet and tiny. A cute little dolly cardigan designed for a cute little doll. A 40cm(16 inch) tall doll to be precisely, the gorgeous Waldorf style dolls from poppy, bean and bloss.  If you read Michelle's blog, you'll have seen that her dolls will now come with their own version of this little cardie.

Finding a model in our house wasn't so easy though.  Lily's Waldorf style doll, while the same measurements around the chest, was shorter with shorter arms.

Ironically, the best model I could find was a Disney princess named Belle, who loves her new cardigan.  shhh, don't tell Steiner. 
ahh, it's been so lovely to knit some dolly clothes again, this is where I did my first designing as  a wee one.  I think there may just be a few more dolly knits on the horizon. 
Oh and shh, don't tell anyone I knit this in acrylic either ;)   

Monday, August 03, 2009


Pattern: Foliage
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted 'Emerald'
Needles: 4.5mm Addis and Knitpicks
Mods: none.

This is my new favourite beanie. I've had it in my Rav queue for ages and finally decided that with winter upon us the need for a new beanie  had arisen.   I started this up at the block, got the crown done only to discover a certain little mischievous boy had eaten part of the pattern.  Ah well.  A really quick easy knit, I think I'll be knitting this one again. Black would be nice, hmmm.  I can totally see why it is such a popular pattern, I love  it!

It even fits the aforementioned mischievous boy. 

And because I love a good knitlist I've borrowed Sam's List of the top 20 patterns in Rav to see how many I've knit (see Sam's post for the links to patterns ;))