Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31

Well, well, well... it's with a great deal of tiredness that I greet you this morning, dear last day of the month. This tiredness is not from my relentless blogging for all of blogtober. No, no, no, dear last day of the month I am made of stronger stuff than that.
Am I pleased I made it? Hell, yes.
Did I for one tiny minute consider joining the daily my creative space posting for November?
The most teeny tiniest of minutes I did. Then I shook myself out of it.
Will I continue to blog regularly? Only time will tell, dear last day of the month, only time will tell.

I'd like to say yes... but you know me and my organisational skills.

So how has your day been, last day of the month? What about you, dear readers?
Was it a pleasant day? Did you have such jolly lovely weather as we did?
How did you spend your day?

Mine, went a little like this:

12:30am:  Went to bed. Bed nice and cosy thanks to the two already sleeping bodies in there.

7:00am:  Woke up very tired and remembered that despite this being Andy's day off, I had promised Lily I would help out at school this morning. sigh.  Got up and made lunches and did all the boring morning mum stuff.

8:30am:  Rode to school with the two shorter family members. Beautiful warm morning. Bliss.

8:45 - 11:00am: Helped out in Lily's classroom's Working Bee for their school fair's stall on Sunday. Finished it off with a wee bit of macrame.

11:00am: Rode home with this wee lad, stopping at the shops for something to eat and some chai.

From thereon, time seems a bit vague and I'm not sure what happened.

I attempted to lay down and sleep, no real luck as Toby just wanted to play and jump all over me. *sigh*

I got up when Andy came home with his catch of the day; some snapper and squid.

I spent about five hours this afternoon working on a pattern in testing, ironing out a few issues and making it easier to follow. Lace can be a real bitch at times, I tell you.
The pattern? this one.

All sorted! Had some yummy dinner cooked by Andy, who also took the kiddies off for a walk after dinner to visit a few neighbours.

Completed and submitted my tax return. 9:04:34pm. Even in quite early this year comparatively!

Had copious cups of tea, and looked in despair at the unmade beds and toys scattered everywhere. *sigh*

Did not get to finishing off de-pilling Toby's cardie. That can wait until tomorrow.

Wrote blog post and thought about the final touches on this pattern:

Decided it could wait until tomorrow.
Thought about all the pms and emails I have to answer.
Suddenly felt very tired.
Decided to go and knit for awhile before bed.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

my absolutely essential I couldn't live without it crafting gadget

Do you have a nifty little crafty gadget you can't live without?
I don't mean like a sewing machine or something obvious like your knitting needles.
I mean something that's not really considered a necessary gadget for your craft, but for you it is.. absolutely.

I'm sure if I thought hard enough I'd have quite a few.

But my utter favourite and definitely couldn't live with out gadget is my flash-ass depiller.

I love this baby so so much.
It's electric, which means it's got some kick-ass guts to it. But not too much.

If, like me, the general recipients of your knitteds are rough little nuts who go hard. Or if you love certain yarns that do tend to pill like crazy (I'm looking at you WOOLganics and Malabrigo Worsted!!!); this baby is for you. It seriously makes knits look like new again!

Tobes, in particular, goes hard.  Check out his normal treatment of his clothes..

All that rolling around in the grass and rubbing himself along the ground like a tiger creates a very pilly WOOLganics cardie. I tried to take some photos today but it was a wee bit bright and I'm not sure you'll see how bad it is. I might try and get some better shots of the worst of it tomorrow.

I'm partway through depilling this baby, picking Lily up from school got in the way. I shall finish it tomorrow and take some after photos. And blow me away, it will look like new again! gotta love that!

P.S. Link to the retailer where I bought my electric lint remover; The Fabric Care Company.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation at all with this company, just love their product.

Monday, October 29, 2012

looming deadline

As we count down to the end of October and the end of Blogtober, I realised another deadline was looming.  Tax return deadline. Yep.

For those not in Australia, the financial year runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. I have no idea how that compares with other countries.  It only just occurred to me now to wonder whether that was universal. I don't know, you tell me. :)

You can start submitting your tax return from July 1st. The deadline to have it done by is October 31st. There are other extenuating circumstances, but if you're doing your own tax; you have that four month window. Seems plenty doesn't it.

A few people have asked how I manage to fit it all in.

The answer is badly.

I have not done my books for many months... many many months. So many that doing my tax is a bit of a chore.

And typically, as with every year here I am working to submit it at the last minute before the deadline.

Once my tax is done, and I'm nearly there! My next deadline will be the Gwendolyn pattern, which I hope to have ready for release on Thursday.

Are you just as hopeless at things like tax as I am?
How do you stay organised?

My plan is that every fourth Monday (I have every second one without Toby as he goes to his little bestie's house for the day) I will spend some time making sure my financial paper bits are up to date. Yep, that's going to be the new super organised on-top-of things business-type me!

Can't wait!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

rockin' good time

I missed a day of blogtober.

I had been doing so well until this weekend, I'm even managed to prepare blog posts while away on holiday, amongst house reconstructions and painting, while releasing new patterns. But this weekend did me in. I don't mind though as we had a hooting good time.

I had a real weekend off, took my pleasure knitting and headed with the family down to the south west for Kennedys Creek Music Festival.

And what a fabulous little music festival it is!

It was like returning to the days of our youth, a fabulous little non-commercial music festival in a bush setting. In this case it was a wee cute hall in a bush clearing, with campsites for anyone who desired one in the bush.  

The music line-up was incredibly awesome! And we got to feast on the silky tunes of Jackson McLaren, the thumping awesome beats of Red Eagle and this year's Splendour in the Grass winners Kingswood, plus heeeeeeaps more great music. Every single band was awesome!

What we particularly liked is that it is a family friendly festival. And our little people had a ball!

Lily was the fashion hit of the festival. Both Lily and I had sooooo many people ask us about her dress. Apparently she told one lady, "This pattern hasn't been released yet but my mum will releasing it soon." bless!

And in between all their dancing, exploring and playing with cars and other assorted toys, there was drawing to be done.

More dancing.....

and back to the drawing..

and then when night time came there was still no stopping them...

more dancing..

and more drawing (by torchlight!)

The kiddos did really well and rocked it out until almost 10pm. We took them back to our tent, tucked them into their sleeping bags and wondered how on earth they'd get to sleep. Lily nodded off pretty quickly. Toby was a bit more of a monkey, and I had to lay down with him. Finally, both Toby and I succumbed to sleep despite Kingswood playing in the background (what I did hear was great, and Andy said they were his favourite!)

It was a bit of disrupted sleep, well for me but Toby and Lily slept through any outside noise and appeared bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning.

Sunday morning was a more relaxed pace, which the kids took full advantage of and stormed the stage while it was vacant. 

And doesn't every little boy dream of playing guitar on stage?

Did you have a good weekend?
Did you party like we did?

P.S. Looking back at these photos I realise how full of knits they are! I just counted 10 different items I knitted, not to mention the giant granny square rug my mum created!

Wool rocks!

Friday, October 26, 2012

stash storage

How do you store your stash?

Are you one of those knitters who has it tucked away in every possible crevice and hidey hole in your house? Or are you out and proud about it?

My approach is a bit of both.

The majority of my stash is incredibly organised, mostly. Which for me is something pretty amazing. I have a number of larger tubs in my craft studio (which is so not as impressive as it sounds ~ trust me!) dedicated to Cotton, Organic Yarns, 8ply, Worsted, 4ply, etc. You get the picture, all wool yarns are all organised according to weight. I have to admit I do have one or two random tubs that are basically stuffed full of all the extra stuff that has arrived since I did that wonderful organising. For the majority, it works for me as I know where to look if I need some 8ply wool or cotton.  It would work a lot better if I just organised those last couple of tubs properly too.

I do, however, like to have some yarn on display. I'm not a cabinet type of display person for yarn. I prefer yarn in more unexpected places. 

This is my favourite spot.

I like to also have a small basket inside of the yarns I'm planning to use next, for a quick swatch or reminder of we're I'm heading. I haven't been getting much knitting done at all the last few weeks so this little basket is looking quite full.

Do you have any interesting or unusual ideas for displaying your yarn?
I'd love to hear about them.

Today's Spring KAL sponsor is:

who is donating a gorgeous selection of yarns. I love that Suzy Hausfrau stocks such a wonderful array of organic yarns, all of which I am very eager to try. I have some gorgeous Swan Islands 4ply that arrived from Suzy a few weeks ago that I am super eager to cast on.

P.S. I am really enjoying reading everyone's knitting stories. Some have bought a tear to my eye, some have made me clucky, some have made me laugh but they have all made me smile; they are all such gorgeous stories. Thank you every one for sharing them with me!

Don't forget you have until the end of the month to add your story if you haven't already. You can add it here and be in the running to win 10 of my patterns!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I have been so so tired.
A combination of late nights, too much work and an overload of pressure.

I tried to have an afternoon nap, which I never do, but Toby would not let me. He thought I was lying down so he could jump on me and cuddle me. Sweet boy!

Today I forced the kids down to the park for some photos of them in their Griffin and Gwendolyn together. They were complete ratbags and I gave up on Toby after awhile, thinking the photos were going to be crap. He kept squinting and putting his hand up to his eyes like a pirate.

But perhaps I should have persisted as the photos were really pretty good.

WARNING: Photo overload coming!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

new pattern: Griffin

You know, the excitement of releasing a new pattern never goes away. The nervous anticipation. The relief. The just crazy feeling of excitement. It doesn't matter that this is my 47th pattern release, I'm still pretty stoked about it.

I'm particularly pretty stoked because this is a special pattern that I wrote for a special friend of mine to knit. I wrote this especially for a special yarn, Noro Kureyon. O how I love thee, Noro! It is without a doubt the crack of the yarn world. Terribly addictive. Terribly.

Have you knit with Noro before?
How addictive are the colour changes!

So this is Griffin

I blogged about Griffin and the whole process of the design development back in September, and it's pretty exciting to see it come to final fruition.

Griffin is a fun and relatively easy knit, but it's one that's definitely not boring. It has some unusual and fun techniques, that many of my test knitters learnt something new from. 

The most quirky aspect about this design is how it starts. It starts from a saddle shoulder construction, but it is a wee bit different and I haven't seen another garment constructed like this. It makes for good knitting though as there are less ends  to sew in and less stopping and starting. 

I have no idea how I came up with it now, but gosh, I am sooo glad I did!  I really like to challenge myself by mixing the usual construction up a bit and subverting it. You might have noticed that ;) I love little moments of amazing insight like those, when something spectacular comes to you in an otherwise mundane day!

Griffin is all seamless and knit topdown.  The pocket is knit in as you go, with again minimal finishing. It has a cute split seam hemline and you can knit it with a hood...

or without.

You can even choose which yarn weight to knit it in; aran weight(heavy worsted) or dk(8ply).

I really love the mitred neckline that finishes both versions.
For me, that is probably the key to the design. There's something about it that reminds of classic 70s styling; particularly in the Noro. And I really like the shaping in the collar that works in an opposing way to the mitred part of the neckline.

My testers have knit this up in many many different colours and yarns, and they all look sensational; variegateds, self-striping, solids and semi-solids. The pocket and neckline looks great in a contrast.

There's a sister pattern to Griffin, that will be released next week.

Meanwhile, if you want to know a bit more about Griffin or even purchase the pattern, you can do so over here in my Ravelry store. You don't need to be a member to access it.

P.S. I'll introduce another KAL sponsor tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

some knitting books

Would it surprise you if I said I'm quite fond of knitting books?

Today, I thought I might review a few of my favourites, but with a little twist.
These are knitting books that we share as a family, that we read together. We are big readers here in this household and we do like knitting books!

(I should point out here that it is not unknown for my kids to take one of Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries to bed to look at. )

But you guessed it, I am talking about our favourite knitting picture books.

I'm sure I'm not alone and quite like it when I find a portrayal of someone knitting in a kid's book. Just tonight, Lily was reading Roald Dahl's 'Danny the Champion of the World' and she very excitedly read me a passage about his mother knitting.

Have you read any of the books above?

We've had 'Milo Armadillo' the longest. I was quite excited to find a picture book about knitting with the name Milo in the title, I have to say.  I bought this for Toby for perhaps his first birthday.

I love the illustrations in this. I love the way the illustrator captures the fabric of both knits but also other textiles.  Have a look at the clothes and the backgrounds, it almost feels like you can touch and feel them!

'Milo Armadillo' tells the story of a little girl who desperately wants a pink rabbit. Unable to find one anywhere, her grandmother franitically knits her one.  It doesn't quite turn out right as you might's more of an armadillo than a rabbit.

It's a beautiful story about learning to appreciate what you have, and that sometimes being a bit different is a bit better.

I so love that there is even a link to the pattern to knit your own Milo Armadillo.

I love this picture of the grandmother knitting.

'Knitting Nell' reminds me a bit of our Lily.

Not that Lily can knit that well though.

'Knitting Nell' tells the story of a wee girl, who at the start of the book is perhaps a bit shy, doesn't like to speak up too much in front of others. Through her talent, which happens to be knitting, she learns to do her own thing and also develops a sense of herself and her confidence in who she is. This is something we've really watched Lily come to terms with over the last year or so.

I love the juxtaposition of these two images from the near the start and end of the book.

The final book, is, I think my favourite.
It's just stunningly beautiful.

I love the fairy tale nature of this story about a young girl who finds a box of yarn and starts knitting from it. and knitting. and knitting. and knitting.  It's bottomless. Of course, a bad man comes to steal her box of yarn but it is worthless to him and so he throws it away. It finds its way back home to her.

I think what I really like though, is that the little girl runs out of people to knit jumpers for so she yarn bombs the whole town. Ok, they don't call it yarn bombing in the story, but that's what she's doing.

Do you have a favourite knitting picture story book?
I'd love to hear about it if you do. 
Christmas is not far away and traditionally my children always get a couple of books each. If I can sneak in a knitting related one, all the better!

ANNNNND, before I finish up. I'd like to introduce you to my second sponsor for my Spring has Sprung KAL.

Yay! for yarn is an Australian based on-line store that stocks some fabulous yarns that you don't find in your normal LYS. Ella Rae, Cascade, Noro and Dream in Colour are just a few.  Kiri also stocks the Knit Pro range of interchangable needles.  

Yay! for yarn has generously donated a $40AUD gift voucher to her store.

I asked Kiri what Spring meant to her and this is what she had to say:

Hmmmm, Spring nights, there is something special about those warm evenings when the days start to get a bit longer and you linger in the gardern a bit longer than you should before starting dinner/baths/dishes/stories (all those joyful chores before that wonderful moment when the kids are in bed!). What else, I'm looking out my window and even though it's actually raining today (yay!) everything is various shades of yellow, brown and yellowy-brown greens; dusty, dirty and dry. 
Spring in Brisbane is hot and dry.