Wednesday, November 16, 2011

our favourite boy turns three

The weekend just gone we celebrated a very special birthday, Toby's third birthday!
And what better way to celebrate than to meet up with some cousins and go to the Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Toby is just a wee bit animal obsessed; that and trains are his constant thing, so a day out at the Werribee Zoo is like Nirvana for this little lad. So many animals to see. Our favourites for the day were the lions,

the zebras,

and the giraffes.

Toby and Lily did so love the hippos, but not the real ones so much as the crazy concrete ones that squirt water out of their bums! I think they spent more time there in their undies playing in the water spray than anywhere else!

Here's a photo of the exact moment the milo boy turned three. It's easy to take exact time photos when your birth time is 11:52am. He's pretty pleased with himself as you can see. Just quietly, I'm pretty pleased with him too. He's a charming, gorgeous, extremely funny, sweet little lad who tells me daily "I love Mummy and Daddy and Lil. But best of all I love my family."

The best thing about spending your birthday with your cousins is getting to hang out with Sage, who is just 3 months younger than Toby. These two are mischief together, for sure. Can you tell?  

And of course, the obligatory blowing out the candle shot. This was one very big long and forceful blow for the little boy, but he got all the candles out. Too funny!  It's a very serious business blowing out your candles!

I guess he's really no longer my baby now, hey!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

new pattern: ziggidy doo

A new pattern for the Spring months here, and the Autumnal months in the Northern hemisphere.

This little pattern is quite a bit later to be released than I anticipated. Who would have thought that the start of the fourth term of the school year would be so out of control! I started the term looking forward to a chance to catch up on all things knitting related after spending the school term break sick and then away. you know, I'm still waiting for that chance to catch up now, how many weeks in? I have no idea how many weeks in we are now, four maybe, quite possibly five.

Anyway, I with loads of crazy school related and other general stuff going on, this wee pattern was a bit later in being added to the zig-zag ebook. You know, I guess that's all part of the indie designing-Stay-At-Home-Mummy juggling school kid, full-time at home toddler and a business of sorts gig. I think the schedules we (ok, maybe that's I) set ourselves are probably a lot tighter than they would be if we were publishing in a magazine or book. But you know what, Ysolda Teague's new book took a lot longer to get out than she expected, so I figure I'm in good company here!

So this skirt, hey.

It's knit seamless from the top down and has a super dooper perfectly fitting to your size waistband, that covers the range from 19-25" (or sizes 9months to girls size 12).

From there it's divided into three sizings; small, medium and large. Hidden increases throughout the skirt create a simple A-line shape.

The pattern also includes instructions for optional short row shaping to suit those little sticky out tums and bums that some toddlers have. They're also perfect for those in nappies, particularly cloth bums.

Lily's skirt is knit in MonsterKnits Blue Face Leicester DK, colourway 'Sock Monkey'.
Unfortunately, Kris is no longer dyeing yarn but there are some suggestions for other great yarns to use in the pattern.

Lily's skirt is a size 4 waist, knit to a size 6 length.

You can purchase the pattern via my Ravelry store; as part of the zig-zag ebook or just by itself.

Right now I'm working on the adult version of this skirt for me. Wanna see a sneak peak???

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

so when last I pimped..

it was October.
and I was giving the old Blogtober thing a go.
Did you participate? How did you go?
If you went better than I did you deserve a big HIP HIP HOORAY!.
I managed six posts for Blogtober... ahum, yep, a wee bit crap really!

Oh well, November is another month, one that looms a wee bit less crazy than October. Today I'm feeling a bit of a weight lifted from my shoulder as I managed to get through two big outside imposed deadlines this week. A couple of things that have been stressing me out just a wee bit... but all good now, as that is all behind us for the year!

so how about another pattern pimp?

Last post I shared one of the zig-zag patterns, so while we're on that train let's chug-a-lug along and meet a few more of the zig-zag patterns.

These, I think are the funnest of the zig-zag patterns.
They're zeg warmers. What else would you call them, hey?

Really quick to knit and super fun to wear. The pattern is written for a dk/8ply weight yarn, but it has included in it the finished sizes if you decided to sub with other different weight yarns; 5ply/sport, 10ply/worsted and aran/heavy worsted weight.

Sizing ranges from baby to large adult, so you could make a pair for all the Flashdancing floosies in your house if you wanted.

These ones are knit in madelinetosh tosh merino dk, a gorgeous single ply dk weight yarn that I am a wee bit smitten with now.

Lily's are the XS size knit to a wee bit longer than child length.

The pattern also has a number of links to tutorials and videos to learn a few new skills that make these little zeg-warmers look very professsionally finished! Gotta love that!

Just like the ziggy pattern, you can purchase zeg warmers either individually from my pattern store for a mere $3 or as part of the zig-zag ebook that will contain 5 patterns for $16. (just between you and me, the last pattern which is long overdue will be released this week)

as you were ;)

Friday, October 21, 2011

pimping ziggy

so I'm back on the pimping bandwagon today.

I think I'll preface this post by saying that this design might just be my most favourite thing I've knitted all year. That's a pretty big call, and particularly considering that this is a boy knit but ...I'm going to put it out there.

This is ziggy, a wee pattern that had me thinking outside the square I live in, quite literally.

I so love this hoodie, not just because Toby has worn it to death this winter, but because visually it just really appeals to me.  Ask any kids' knitwear designer and they will tell you the struggles of designing for boys, trying to find a new angle or something slightly different without it being too out there. Despite lots of knitters asking for more boys' patterns, we do tend to knit quite conservatively for our boys.

I love that while this is a hoodie, it's got something else going on with it. I love the zig-zag stitch pattern on the front and the way it works up onto the hood. I love the shape and fit of the hood. It was well worth the ripping and reknitting and ripping and reknitting! And I particularly loved the rolled hems. I had sort of envisaged sewn hemlines but I couldn't be bothered sewing them down  I decided I preferred them rolled.

One of the most exciting things about this pattern though is that while it looks super cute on my little two-year-old Toby, it looks absolutely awesome on the boys at the bigger end of the age scale.  You have no idea how pumped I was when my big knit testers started finishing these up. Have a peep at the projects on Rav.  You know, I even have the need to knit DK a man-sized version!

I am really proud of this design, simply because it is a good boys' pattern. Something a little bit out of the box. It will probably never be as successful as milo, but I don't care! I love it just the same!

I do have a little bit of a secret in relation to this pattern though.
The first version and the alternate version in the pattern looked like this;

What you actually can't tell is that the first garment was knit top-down and the second one, the hoodie was knit bottom-up.

My preference for kids' knit is top down because it's easier to custom knit length, try it on and even add length later, hence the prototype was knit that way. But when I came to write up the pattern, I realised it was just going to be so long and convoluted to write it up that way, particularly having to incorporate the changes in the zig-zag stitch pattern into every raglan increase across the size range. This is a pretty lengthy and detailed pattern as it is, without that.  The option was there to use instructions like, "Work into existing pattern" but.. that's not my style and those who knit my patterns are used to me detailing each step of the way thoroughly, so that wouldn't really be fair to them.

I was a wee bit stressing over it when my friend Shannon suggested I go bottom-up. Simple. Sensible. Pure Genius. That's Shannon. So that's what I went for.

It was fun thinking outside my normal design box and designing something bottom up. I'm so glad I did it. It's opened up a whole other avenue of thinking in terms of design for me, which has been great. Who knows where I'll head next with it?

So if you're in the market for a kids' jumper, ziggy could be just the one you need.

It's sized from 6months to size 12 (17 - 30" chest).

It is very much a modern take on the classic hoodie/henley. The pattern contains instructions for knitting either the henley style tab front and collar, or the hood. The hood borrows construction techniques from sock knitting to create a fun little hood that fits perfectly.

It is a seamless construction and knit bottom up. The only special techniques required are circular knitting, simple cable knitting (this can be done without a cable needle), a small amount of kitchener stitch and picking up stitches.

You can purchase ziggy either as an individual pattern for $AUD6, or as part of an ebook containing four other patterns.

 Both are available for purchase via my Ravelry store.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

blogtoberfest: er...umm. day.....20?

So we can establish that as predicted, I am pretty crap at posting every day in the blogtober thing. Not to worry!
Maybe I should try again for November?

Whence last I was home and blogging I did so promise a pattern pimp fest, as my sister Megsie reminded so nicely, "What happened to the pattern pimpest?"
Yes, well...good intentions and all that.

It's actually been so long since I blogged regularly that there are patterns that I released way back in June that I haven't blogged about. (I just looked that up, and to be honest I thought it was much longer ago than that!)

Today's pattern pimp is for a garment I finished and blogged about way back in March.


Well, after a rigorous testing process this pattern was released in June.

I must say it has served us well this year. I have another one on the needles that I had intended for my niece Tully, but she's changed school and blue is now not the colour for her. I think I'll save it for next year to make another for Lily with longer sleeves, because she won't grow widthwise!

My testers tested this in different colours, like maroon and red, and I have to say I so love it in those tones. I can almost see me knitting myself a red one. Oh for the time to do so!!!
I think this is a cardigan that definitely should not be just for school!

Lily's worn this all through the year and it looked equally cute with her summer dress and her winter kilt.

I bought an electric fabric de-piller and that has been awesome for tidying up any pills to keep it looking its best. Apart from that a quick wash in the machine has kept it going. And at almost the end of her first year of school, I have to say it's in much better nick and far brighter than the faded windcheaters many of her class mates wear.

So if you feel so inclined to knit your little scholar a school cardie, the pattern is available in my Ravelry pattern store for $AUD6.

It's seamless, topdown and fits chest sizes from 21" to 31".
The ribbed pattern is worked into the raglan shaping and the pattern contains very explicit details on how this is done. No second guessing required!

My challenge for next winter is to knit her a lovely blue school hoodie; something that will look pretty good with her kilt AND can be handed down to Toby!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

blogtoberfest: day 4

King of the Playground

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:wye river

Monday, October 03, 2011

blogtoberfest: day 3

You know, it's been so long since I've been regularly blogging that there is so much crafty goodness I haven't blogged. This becomes apparent when I mention to my sister Megsie from over atpint something I've made and because I haven't blogged it, she doesn't know what I'm talking about.

We're away on hols at the moment. Today was the mad rush of packing last minute things into the car and the attempt to get away on time,we never manage to do this. We're always later than we intend. oh well.

One of the most important last minute things to pack is Lily's favourite dolly Evie. I love that this is Lily's favourite dolls and she HAS TO sleep with her every night.

I made Evie a month or so ago for Lily. She is made from the Sally the Eco Fairy pattern on knitty (you can easily find it on Ravelry or by googling - sorry about the lack of a link) with a few very minor mods.

Lily saw this dolly knitted up on Rav and wanted one for herself. I always meant to knit to knit this dolly for her, it's been in my queue on Ravelry forever. So when she asked one I figured I best do it, she is after all six now! And I just really needed a change, something different to knit. Something that wasn't an item of clothing. you know how it gets.

Gosh, toy knitting is fun though! Tiny thin little limbs and pieces of clothing, oh so very cute! I have to admit I didn't enjoy sewing her limbs and head on too much though! I'm hoping to make another of these dollies but next time, she'll be completely seamless.

Our little Evie is an Eco girl too.
Her body is made from a ball of Sublime Organic cotton.
Her dress from WOOLganic Organic Knitters Merino Yarn. (and it's a modified dolly rainbow dress too)
Her hair is The Sanguine Gryphon FreeRange 8ply. I attached it as per instructions for Waldorf style dolls.
Her eyes and knickers are Rowan PureLife Organic DK wool.

She is very much loved,and is right now cuddled up and snoozing away with this big girl who refused to change out of her Pippi costume, or wash her hair the whole weekend! she's a bit cute as redhead,hey?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Wye River

Sunday, October 02, 2011

blogtoberfest: day 2

A random photo for a lazy day.

A lazy day in our neighborhood, roaming through the nature reserve looking for Spring Wildflowers, making daisy chains and avoiding swooping plovers.

DK is pretending he's not nursing a hangover from yesterday's bloody football ho-hum event.

Tonight it's time to pack and prepare to escape our seaside town for a few days. We're off to another one nestled between the mountains and the with a jumping pillow.

the random photo is another recent mummy-made dress-up for Lily. This one was for her Arts Celebration Night. The theme was sea creatures, so Lily asked if I could make her a jellyfish costume.

so I did.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, October 01, 2011

perhaps rather stupidly....

Tinniegirl Blogtoberfest 2011

I've decided to be a participant in Blogtoberfest again this year.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's stupid to be involved in Blogtoberfest at all. It's super dooper fun good idea.

It might be a little stupid for me though, not just because my blog mojo has vanised, but we're going camping next week...possibly somewhere where there is no internet connection.

that's going to make blogging every day just a wee bit tricky, hey.. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Let the pattern pimpfest begin!

It would be no surprise to anyone really, to hear that I seem to have misplaced my blogging mojo. I suspect the cleaning fairy took it. I wish she'd bring it back, I'd much rather write a blog post than dust the architraves.

I suspect she took it because I've been flat out with pattern development of late (between you and me, just a little bit too nutso flat out) and she took it to punish me for my lack of dusting around the house. She's not one of those nice fairies, this chickadee. She tends to hold grudges if certain household chores aren't done.  I thought she was supposed to do them if I don't but my cleaning fairy is a bit of a stubborn little beast and thinks it's her job to actually punish me.

I still haven't dusted the architraves, but I am going to attempt to regain my blog mojo. And what better way than a pattern pimpfest, because seriously with all this pattern development going on, there are quite a few patterns that have yet to be blogged..... it's a little embarrassing really. So where to start?

How about since we're doing a bit of blog Spring-cleaning, we start with a pattern for Spring.

My most recent pattern release is Jane.

I love Jane.  I love her simplicity. I love her clean lines. I love how easy and quick she is to knit. I love that she took under 200g to knit a size 6. aha.

The construction of Jane is quite unusual. I call her a raglan hybrid. I can honestly say I've never seen a pattern constructed in the same manner as this. That of course, doesn't mean there isn't one out there, though. It's big wide pattern world out there!

I knew when I was knitting the prototype exactly the sort of look I wanted but it took me a few tries to capture it exactly. I knit and ripped, and knit and ripped, each time trying something slightly different until I got it just right.

For me as a designer, *cough cough* (yes, I do find that funny!)  the tinkering is an important process. I like to play around with different elements of construction, I always have. I think I always will, because it can make the simplest look totally new and different.

And I think in the case of Jane, that's what works so well for this pattern. It's a simple style, but the construction process makes it an interesting knit. The combination of simplicity and newness, always works in my opinion.

So the all important specs on Jane:

She's sized from 12months to 12 years, so a 19 to 30" chest range.  I did consider grading this in smaller sizes, but I'm not so sure about open cardies on wee little ones.  A bit too easy for them to shrug off?

It's written for 8ply/dk weight yarn that knits up at a tension of 22 stitches and 28 rows in stocking stitch on 4mm needles.  The best yarn for Jane is one that has a lovely drape, a lighter DK weight or even a superwash works well.

The yarn I knit Lily's in is The Sanguine Gryphon FreeRange. This is a gorgeous organic yarn from the US which both drapes and wears beautifully. Unfortunately, it is being discontinued.

As with all my patterns, it is completely seamless.  The most difficult technique required is picking up stitches.

You can wear the cardie as is, open or thread a ribbon through the eyelets to secure it.

Like all my patterns it's available for purchase through my Ravelry store.  You don't need to be a member to pop over and purchase there.

At $6 for the pattern, I'm sure this is a pattern you will return to again and again for quick Spring knits.
I know I will.

I enjoyed this pattern development so much, I'm actually working on a pattern for adult sizes, a Lady Jane or Mrs Jane.  I am very very close to being finished and hopefully will be done on it by the end of the weekend. So all going well, pics next week.

for $6AUD.

So what do you think?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Pippi Longstocking

I love a good literary dress-up day, no dress-up excites me more than one that is book themed. So I was pretty stoked to hear that Lily's school would be having a dress-up day to celebrate Book Week, and the children were encouraged to come dressed as their favourite book character.

I was even more pleased that Lily didn't choose a fairy character or one of the many princesses that have been Disneyified. No, she chose a classic book character. Pippi Longstocking.

Pippi Longstocking is one of our absolute favourite books to read. Our copy of Pippi Longstocking is the version that contains illustrations by Lauren Child. While the stories are still the same crazy and hilarious adventures, Pippi takes on a whole new look with Lauren Child's influence.  Gone is the patched dress and daggy hat. While the iconic striped socks are retained, our Pippi has a preference for floral dresses.

With this in mind we set about creating the perfect Pippi.

And I think we got it pretty right!

I love this Pippi outfit!  It's so much fun and has lots of impact for not a lot of effort.

When I took Lily to school so many people thought we must have got up so early to get this all done. nope. Easiest hairstyle I've done all year.

All you need is 6 pipe cleaners, (or chenille sticks as I think they're called now), 4 elastic bands, 2 ribbons and a can of red hair spray.

Tie hair in two low pigtails. Stick three pipe cleaners in each pigtail and using each pipe cleaner as the basis for each section, plait the pigtails. Tie them up. Spray head liberally with red hair spray (remember to cover face and clothes). Let dry and tie on some green ribbons.

The thing with the red hair spray is to make sure the can says water soluble. Don't be conned into purchasing the stuff from the $2 Shop either, not a good idea. We got ours from the Pharmacy, it's made by Zo and washed out super easy. No scalp staining either. Before I washed it out, I tested it by running a wet cotton bud down Lily's part and it came off so easily.

Add some extra freckles with a eye liner pencil.

Slip into a floral frock, pull on some stripey knee high socks and buckle up your school shoes; and Pippi is done!

If you're feeling extra adventurous find a toy monkey (Mr Nielson) and your favourite hobby horse, and trot on off to school!

She soooo loved being Pippi, so much so that she wore the outfit to bed complete with pigtails still in (we covered her pillow with a towel).... and all the next day too!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

zigging along

Literally, that's what it seems like I've been constantly doing of late; zigging one way and zagging the other with barely enough time to stop and breathe.

Why the madness?

Possibly because of a little case of over-extending myself with new patterns and testing.

As I type this, I have four patterns currently in testing, another two ready to go into testing and a quite a few more in various stages of productivity.  That's not to mention the ones that are desperately waiting to be cast on. I'm trying really hard to resist the urge to begin something new, because I know there's already too much going on.

Unfortunately though, that's often how I work best though. Grab an idea completely immerse myself in it and run with it is what seems to work for me.

I know, I know, I can take notes and draw sketches... but it's just not the same. And you know, there's nothing worse than when you've done that and have an awesome design sitting there on paper awaiting transformation... and then you see something similar pop up on Ravelry.


So anyway, in all this craziness I have released a couple of patterns of recent.

You might remember some pics of this little dude in his beanie from a few months ago.

My he still looks like a baby here! Not so now. When did that happen?

This is the ziggy beanie. A beanie for newborns to large adults.  You can knit one for everyone in the family pretty much. A fun seamless knit perfect for dk/8ply weight yarn.

The pattern also includes instructions for knitting a beanie to your exact sizing to get the perfect individual fit.

You can purchase this pattern individually or as part of the zig-zag e-book. A wee little book with five ziggity patterns in it. I'll tell you some more about the other one that has been released maybe tomorrow. I've been meaning to blog about its design process for sooo long it's not funny!!!

For more details just visit my Ravelry pattern store .
Pssst: you don't need to be a member of Rav either to visit the store now ;) cool hey!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

a skirt pattern...revisited

a wee while ago I posted some photos of a pattern I was working on, a skirt pattern without a name.
Well, it now has a name, and it is very very nearly ready for release. 

Today we set off to get some better photos of the skirt for the pattern pages.  The photos I took were quite wintery with Lily wearing her school undergarments [leggings and thermal] under it.  The weather here has been so totally glorious most of the time here of late. We've had a really cold and wet winter, and it has been so nice to be enjoying a burst of early Spring in most of August with temperatures hitting around 22 degrees celsius.  

Bye bye winter, I say! The cold I don't mind (and ok, I admit it really isn't that cold here, average day time maximums are around 15-17 degrees in winter.  The lowest maximum we've ever really had is perhaps 10 degrees, but to be honest I'm not sure it's even been that cold.) But the rain, far out brussel sprout, it drives me absolutely bonkers!!  We've had sooo much rain this winter!!  Which, yes it's good as we've been suffering drought for years and years but we're to school walkers and in winter, rain and cold is the pits!

But today, was another glorious day. Sunshine, how lovely it is! Flower buds appearing on the fruit trees, the garden blossoming with lots of purple and pink, which seems to be the prominent colour for Australian natives in late Winter/early Spring.  The daffodils providing an elegant burst of yellow from their pot on the back deck.  The beach, even at 5pm was sensational. 

We swapped the blue jersey for a light summery pink t-shirt, and I have to say I was pretty stoked with the results. Beautiful Spring photos full of joy and life and laughter. Gosh, she had some fun dancing in those waves!

So this little pattern will be available not too soon after the calendar turns to true Spring.

It's part of an e-book, which if you're following me on Facebook or in my Ravelry group, you might know about. But I have to admit I have been a little woeful at updating the blog of late.  

Ziggidy-doo is part of the zig-zag e-book, a little pattern book with five patterns. Two have already been released, ziggy jumper and ziggy beanie.  The other three, including ziggidy-doo, will all be released in September. All five patterns are also available individually.

I best come back tomorrow and update you on the three pattern releases that I've somehow missed out on chatting about on here.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It might seem like I've lost my blogging mojo a bit lately, I truly haven't. I just seem to be lacking in that essential ingredient called 'time'. I thought I would have so much more 'time' with Lily at school but it's just not so. I didn't factor in a couple of essential ingredients;

1. Two year-olds demand more attention and create far more mess than one-year olds.  Far far more! I cannot stress this enough! I am blessed that both my children were gifted with an over-abundance of imagination, but it does mean things take extra time when even doing a simple task like making the beds, I have to be some random character.  Often Alice or Max.

Toby really misses Lily when she's at school. So do I for that matter. They have a beautiful loving relationship and play really well, she really fosters his creative play. He constantly play acts now with everything. He has an amazing memory and often re-enacts stories we have read with his toy animals or trains. There is a dinosaur and a duck having a conversation at my feet at this very moment. The duck is asking the dinosaur, "are you my Mother?" Can you guess what we read last night?
Toby needs me to play with him far more now that Lily is at school and not filling that role, he is constantly wanting someone to play with and we're having to go down the road of organising play dates for him!

Two-year olds also try to raid the pantry and fridge a heck of a lot more, and seem to be constantly wanting something to eat. Or raiding their sister's room to get into all those things they're not allowed to do when she's at home. A two year let loose with the Sylvania family collection is not a pretty sight.

2. I insist on walking Lily to school and back every day; rain, hail or shine.  This takes a good 80 minutes out of each day; more if there is glorious sunshine and things to explore on the way home. I'm sure you know those things, unusual shaped leaves, new blossoms on trees, butterflies or gumnut things that are stangely shaped like witches fake finger nails and so much fun to collect. This morning we were nearly late for school as we spent way too long admiring a couple of spiderwebs in a bush all glittering and bejewelled with raindrops. On Tuesdays, I walk for over 2 hours total, once the walk to gymnastics and home is factored in.

3. Helping out in the classroom also takes up time, but I so love that and would not give it up for the world.  As an English teacher I really love the time spent listening to the kiddies read. It's startling how much the gap between the more advanced in the class and those beginning to struggle is, even at this age. It makes me quite sad actually that so much of a child's reading ability is already set in stone before they even start school.  Reading to kids when they're little really does create such important building blocks for their own literacy acquisition. You can never start too young.  Lily had her first book read to her at a few hours old, Toby the same.

I also love working with the kids in Investigation time when they get to explore their creativity to its fullest, such an important part of education. I love that our school offers this, I think it's so important for kids to develop their love for craft and creativity at a young age, along with the confidence to explore and try new things. That freedom of expression without the burden of expectation or societal pressure is not something we ever get another shot at really.

4. Having to get up early EVERY day for the school run means no more regularly burning the midnight candle. That was when I used to be at my most productive, once everyone else in the house was tucked up in bed and I had the house to myself to relax and ease into my craft.  Sometimes I'd have to shoo myself off to bed as the clock approached 2am.  It was do-able last year on two early mornings but five, no way!

But you know, I wouldn't change anything for the world. If it means this blog is not updated as often, or the floors are in desperate need of a sweep; I don't really care.  Time with the little ones is what it's all about, this staying at home being a mum stuff.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

a pattern release

Meet Girl's Best Cardigan, my latest pattern.

I actually knit this little baby last year; not just say at the end of last year, but June last year. For a whole lot of reasons, many including life itself, it sort of never really got written up into a pattern. The scribbly notes for this just sat there in my little kikki k notebook unattended.  It wasn't that I didn't like this cardie, I loved it but winter came to an end and it just got passed over.

Luckily for me, some knitters have long memories. And the infrequent requests for this pattern became a bit more regular and frequent. I was getting a kick up the bum and hurry along to get on with this one! A good thing too, I reckon!

I learnt a lot when it came to writing this pattern, a lot about my style of note taking and pattern writing. I 
think, I hope, I've learnt not to take so long between the prototype and the pattern again. What can seem obvious to me at the time of knitting, may not seem so obvious later on... particularly in this case, a year later! In fact, since writing this pattern, each prototype I've knit has been immediately written into first draft pattern form awaiting grading. So not only am I taking much better notes but also transferring those notes into pattern form much quicker.  All a good thing, and will hopefully make my job a lot easier in the long run. Not that anything disastrous happened with this pattern, mind you. I just had a couple of moments where I had to "read" the garment to make a little more sense of what I'd written in my notes; or hadn't written.

So now that this little baby has been through testing and tech editing, it's ready to purchase. I have to say that this is probably one of Lily's favourite knitted garments. It's really got all the design features she likes rolled into the one pattern.

So here's a bit of the pattern spiel:

Every little girl needs a special cardigan, one for best. One that’s pretty and special and girly and makes her feel oh so lovely!
This is that cardigan.
Perfect for parties and dancing and afternoon tea parties; even if they’re just with her dollies!
This is a sweet little seamless cardigan, knit top-down. It features sweet lace panels and eye-catching little gathers at the cuff and hemline. A dainty picot edging finishes off the cardigan.
Sure to become every little girl’s best!
Pattern contains both chart and written instructions for lace panels. Photo tutorial is provided for completing the sleeve and hemline gathers.

6m to 12 years (17 " - 30 " chest)
All colour-coded for ease of following.

Recommended yarns:
WOOLganics Organic Merino Knitters Yarn (what else!)
This garment is knit at a tension of 22 stitches per inch/4cm over 28 rows, so subbing with a similar dk/8ply weight yarn will work equally well.

Special techniques used: 
Provisional cast on 
Picking up stitches 
Simple lace work 
Circular knitting
6m-3y: 380/350 (420/385, 460/420, 500/460, 550/505, 600/550) 
4y-12y: 650/595 (700/640, 780/715, 850/780, 950/870, 1050/960, 1220/1120) 

You can purchase here via paypal for a teeny tiny $6AUD

or on my Rav page!

Happy knitting!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Spotlight: Never Ending Obsessions

Last weekend I finally had the opportunity to go to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show; yarnie mecca.

I say finally because every year I get all excited about finally getting to go, and then the date of the show dawns on me about the time I think about booking accommodation. It's the weekend closest to my niece's birthday, every year. This niece is not just any niece though, she's my Lily's best friend. So the idea of missing Lily's best friends birthday for anything is not something we even go into. It's just a no go zone. So every year we head off to said niece's birthday and have the most fabulous time, and to be honest I don't even give the Show a second thought.

This year, however, things changed. My niece and her family moved house the weekend of her birthday, which meant all celebrations that weekend were out. So off we headed for a bit of little jaunt to Bendigo; stopping for two nights in Daylesford first.  Then Castlemaine on Friday night, and headed down to Warrnambool for nephew's 21st! phew!!! And of course, back to school on the Monday.

One of my favourite stands at the Show was definitely Never Ending Obsessions, so I've decided to chat a bit about NEO in this Sunday Spotlight.

The colourway above is Hungry Caterpillar, and I think it must be considered Tammy's signature colourway. I remember when she first started doing this colourway it would be snatched up very quickly so I was very pleased to be able to grab one at the show.  I love the deep colour saturation in this skein, the brightness of it, the rainbow colours and the fact that it's dyed on my favourite yarn base, WOOLganics, makes it a big winner all round.

I also picked up three skeins of this glorious yellow from Tammy. Yellow perfection! Totally!!!
Again, the colours are so bright and rich and despite it being a worsted weight, I couldn't resist it. I even have plans for what I'm going to knit with it.

Now apart from this wonderful eye candy I have also knit with some of Tammy's yarns before.  I've knit some lovely socks for Lily from Tammy's organic merino sock yarn. It was an absolute pleasure to knit with and they have worn soo well! I mean to say we're talking kids' socks here, and some pretty constant wear.

I also used Tammy's yarns for the prototype of my Darwinia baby doll pattern, this time some of her BFL DK. I love BFL DK as a yarn base, it is beautifully hard wearing and has astonishing just seems to go on and on and on. It's a beautiful yarn and in this colourway it just becomes sensational.

You can check out Tammy's gorgeous yarns at minicuteture
She's on a little break at the moment but I'm sure she'll be back soon.  You can also find her on Facebook