Friday, October 30, 2009

it's friday ... breathe ...

It's been one of those weeks here, you know those ones where you've got something on everyday, you're out more than you're home and before you know it, it's Friday and you really haven't had time to catch your breath. 

To be honest, the whole term, the four weeks since we've been back from our holiday, have been a bit like this.  The dreaded swine bug seemed to have infiltrated our family on the boat back from Tassie and it took a good three weeks before we were able to evict him from our home.  I'm finding now that I'm craving some precious free time, just a bit of time with no deadlines, no pressures to be somewhere or get something done, just some down time to do what I want, some precious bonding time just watching and playing with the little ones.  Some peace and some time to relax where I'm not thinking about that crazy out of control washing pile that still is yet to be conquered.

So this whirlwind of craziness started out with this peaceful and calming family day out last Saturday, a really lovely relaxing afternoon at the Freshwater Creek Steiner School's Spring Fair and Market.  A great little fair, very relaxing and such a lovely educational environment. I have mixed feelings about Rudolph Steiner's education philosophy and pedagogy, but nevertheless, the atmosphere and sense of community at this little place is lovely and we had a really lovely afternoon.

Lily's favourite part of the day was, of course, having her face painted by the lovely fairy Melody. I love the serious and almost pained expression she has during the painting.  It was all worth it though,  a very cute outcome.

It's been Children's Week, which has had Lily very excited. "We get a whole week!" she exclaimed. Yep, while poor old mumma and daddy get a day.  This has meant a few extra activities and outings added to the normal weekly curriculum. 

Hopefully after the weekend the sanctum of peace will return.   

Oh and the badge Lily is wearing, is one of our few home activities for the week.  It's a Woodland Doll-head Brooch that I bought in kit form from One Red Robin back at the Stitches and Craft show in March.  Lily and I had good fun making this little one.  

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

new duds

It must be Spring. I think I'm in Spring cleaning mode.  Yesterday, I washed down the open shelves in the kitchen. I mowed the lawn. I baked biscuits, pie and cupcakes. Heck, I even made homemade orange and lemon cordial. We had an afternoon picnic.  Now I have an overwhelming urge and need to clean the craft room and get rid of some half finished projects. 

First up, a pair of denim pants I cut out for Lily in April. yep April.  I cut a pair out for both of the kids but Toby's won't fit him now. Lily likes to wear a lot of longer tops, dress style tops, over her pants. Well, she did in April. So I decided to make her a straight leg pair of pants.

Lily helped with these, she chose the fabric for the pockets and then bossed me to get a move on with finishing them.  She chose well.  Little Red Ridinghood, a lovely Japanese print.

She loves them very much.  Definitely her new favourites, which always makes a mummy very very happy.  She has also picked out the fabric for her next couple of pairs, as well as a skirt, some dresses, some matching outfits for her and the dolls .... you get the picture.  

Jemima got some new duds too, another embarrassing very old UFO *blush* I'll share that story later maybe..

And as for Toby, he got new old.  Made by me though. These are a very very old pair that I made that were handed back to us from Asher.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I love the journey that is a shawl, the way it grows and transforms from such a little bit of yarn into such a fluttery delicate piece.

I've been knitting Ishbel, a shawl pattern from the fabulously talented Ysolda Teague.  I love her patterns, she has such a fabulous eye or detail.  

I've had this lovely skein of Lara Downs Kid Mohair, which is another of my local yarns, in my stash for a really really long time. I bought it on sale with no idea of really what to do with it. It was just too soft and lush to leave behind.  It seemed to lend itself well to this pattern, although I was concerned about the yardage on the ball band, it seemed quite short for 100grams so I assumed it must be wrong. But no, I was wrong.  And I ran out of yarn.

Luckily, I ran out just at the end of a lace section repeat with just the finishing section and cast off to go. I took a risk and decided to do the finishing in a creamy white merino. I looked like it may pick up the little bit of cream running through the colourway. It came out more of a contrast.  But I like it. 

So the transformation of the shawl looked something like this.

Knitting finished.  All bumpy and rolly.

Blocking: washed and pinned out to dry.

I love how this part of the process really brings the lace to life.

All done and ready to wear.

Friday, October 16, 2009

gossamer dreams

Finally, I've had the chance to do a little sewing; the craft room is tidy, I have new denim all prewashed and lots of ideas and plans and Toby is getting to be okay with the idea of hanging around playing while Mummy sews. At first, he just needed to investigate all the noise, the pedals and attempt to reach all the buttons which obviously needed to be pushed.  But after awhile he wandered off to dismantle a bookshelf instead.  This a vast improvement from the old scenario where Mummy sits down at sewing machine, Toby decides he must be on Mummy, sewing time over. LOL  

I wonder if it's his new found freedom with walking.  Coincidentally, his mastering the art of walking has coincided with a love of books, which really does make my heart sing. Lily has always been a book worm right from her first book being read to her at a few hours old. yep. Toby, however, has always been way too busy to contemplate sitting down to a good book, he'd quickly escape and be off!  But the past six weeks since he started walking full time he just loves them, he giggles at the pictures and grins his little head off while you read to him.  The other day while I was sewing he waltzes over with a little hardback of Little Miss Muffet and hands it to me to read to him, so cute. We read and he laughs and giggles at every page turning.  It is so cute to see sitting down, quite often squatting, and flipping through the pages of a book.

Anyway, as I said I have been sewing.  In fact some of it appeared at a little stocking last night at Gossamer Dreams.  Sorry about the lack of notice things are hectic busy around here at the moment.  

Some denim shorts made with my lovely new denim, which apparently I forgot to mention the other day is ORGANIC!!! Yummo!!  Pockets are made from Prints Charming's '70's Trees-Cars' quilters cotton.

And some funky little denim flares with pockets from Jackie Shapiro's quilters cotton 'Botanical Pop'.

As it has been easier for me to knit than sew of late, I added a couple of knitted garments too.

A oh so bright red milo vest with matching mini milo for a dolly. I love this.

and a small version of bloom in a lovely white merino yarn. It's still available over there if you're interested.

right now I'm torn between finishing off a pair of knitted doll's overalls or sewing up a pair of denim pants for Lily which have been cut since April *eep* Luckily I added extra growing room length to the legs. The pair I cut for Toby at the same time, however, certainly won't fit. Luckily he's wearing standard sizings so I can make them up for the shop, unlike Lily's where I have to customise the pattern each time.  

But first off all, I best hang out some washing. The sun seems to have appeared, for what will probably be only five minutes, in amongst this crazy rain we've been having this week.  Flood warnings, goodness me!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

garden help?

with Spring supposedly upon us it's time to add some little seedlings to our vegie patch.  Last weekend we added some zucchini, pumpkin, bok choy, cucumber and peas.  Andy was in charge of the planting under Lily's close supervision.

Now we just need some real Spring weather to encourage some growth.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


It's a week since we got back from Tassie and I realised tonight I haven't shared any photos or really mentioned it.  We had a wonderful time but I will tell you more about that later.  At the moment I am nursing a sad little boy back to sleep for the third time tonight so I'm a little short on hands and words.

But in the spirit of getting into Blogtober and all that, I thought I'd quickly share a couple of my favourite  snaps of our holiday to the apple isle; one each of the kiddies.

Lily at Ironhouse Point on the East Coast ~ check out both the scenery and the weather in the background.

Toby ~ Ida Bay Railway in the bottom south down near South Port.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


You might remember this picture from a little while ago? It was the first prototype of a new pattern I was working on. A little dress that blooms into a top for a little baby to girl, knit in a lovely 8 ply yarn.

and then I showed you this one, which is the same little bloom but knit on smaller needles and in 4 ply yarn.  yes, that is a boy in a dress, no hiding that fact.

I may have alluded to a few others I was knitting, like this one in Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8 ply.  Lovely colour.

And I showed you some photos of the lovely orange yarn I dyed up to test knit the 10 ply version, which came out looking a little like this. This one is a little longer than the actual pattern as it is knit to a dress length for a four year old rather than a two year as the pattern is for.

And somewhere along the way, I snuck in this one; a dolly sized version.

All up I've knit this pattern seven times.  No there aren't seven different blooms here as I haven't added pictures for them all, just the ones I've managed to get Lily to model and my favs ;)

So why am I telling you all this? Because I have finally released the pattern! Yippee!! I am so pleased to have it finally out there as it was beginning to feel a little like a monkey on my back.

So for the details: the pattern is for three different sizes; small, medium and large.

The pattern range fits from around a 13 inch chest up to a 27 inch chest.  The different sizes are knit with different weight yarns, the small in 4 ply/fingering which I think is just perfect for little bubs; the medium in a 8 ply/dk weight and the large in  a 10ply/worsted weight. 

It is knit from the top-down on circular needles and is completely seamless, so no seams to be sewn, just two ends to weave end on finishing.     The pattern comes with both charts and written instructions for the lace as well as a photo tutorial of a little technique I developed for neat underarm cast offs (those who have knit milo and the re-released rainbow dress will be familiar with this). 

I would recommend it be knit with a yarn that has good memory and elasticity for the best results as the bodice relies on both negative ease and firm ribbing. My yarns of choice are WOOLganics Organic merino 8ply and worsted weight and Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury in 4ply, 8ply and 10ply.

it will cost you a measly $6. you can buy it here or over on Ravelry or in the ozebaby store when we re-open after our little holiday break.
oh look, that's a bit cheeky really LOL!!!

oh and for a limited time you will also receive the dolly bloom as a bonus pattern, this is the perfect little dress to gift as it fits such a wide range of dolls!!

I hope you like bloom, and if you do knit it. Drop me a link to your pics, I love seeing what other people create from my pattern.

Happy knitting!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

creative space

mmm, nothing like the prewashing process of a lovely new roll of denim. Kiddies crawling all over it as I try to fold it so it's inside out for washing.  

This one is particularly lovely, and possibly all I will ever use now. It has a lovely soft handle and beautiful colour saturation.  It needs lots of prewashing cycles though as there are no chemical dye fixers used on it, I had blue fingers from just unrolling and folding.  But it is sooo worth it.

in store soon

more creative spaces at kootoyoo

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

a new pattern to share

that list from yesterday, well, I don't think it's getting any shorter. In fact, the more I procrastinate it the more it seems I find vitally important tasks to add to it. Okay, well maybe they're not vitally important but I did remember some pretty important stuff I still need to do this month, like our tax for instance ... oops... So to add to the chaos, the Rainbow girl and I have come over all funny and sick today, she's lying on the couch with a temp and grumpy mouth and throat, poor little thing.  Toby is trying to annoy her as best he can.  

To celebrate my first "real" Blogtober Fest post, I thought I'd share a new free pattern with you all. I quickly added this pattern to Ravelry as a free download before we headed off on our holiday but I thought I would share it here too.  

It's a pattern for a little scarfette. 

 This little pattern has become my go-to quick gift knit.  I love knitting it and it knits up so fast. I originally designed it to match a pair of the wonderfully popular fetching mitts that I had knit for a gift.  I love these little mitts, it's no wonder they are the most popular pattern on Rav.  I had half a skein of the lettuce worsted malabrigo merino leftover and wanted a quick little scarf to match the mitts. Inspired by the fetching mitts, I came up with this little matching scarf that uses pretty much exactly the other half of the skein. Perfect. 

Have I told you how much I love malabrigo merino  worsted?  I'm really trying to buy only local yarns, ie. from local dyers, WOOLganics, Pear Tree and Bendigo but mal is my weakness. It really is so lovely. I love the subtle colour change in the kettle dyed yarn and the stitch definition of the single ply.  Anyway, treat yourself to some.  It's the perfect yarn for this little scarfette.

the scarfette is named paula's scarfette after my wonderful midwife :)

You can grab the pattern here

download now

 from the sidebar or over on Rav.

I probably should do something about catching up on all those emails and pms now, shouldn't I?  

Monday, October 05, 2009

a little welcome distraction amongst the chaos that is october

october is a very busy month I just realised.  

Yesterday morning we got home from a lovely two weeks in Tassie, lolled around the house, attempted some sporadic unpacking whilst the kiddies immediately proceeded to reclaim and mark their territory by completely trashing the place, gave up and settled in for some knitting and a little blog surfing and rav catch up. 

Today I began the day with a list of the things I need to get done, a pretty boring list so I won't share it, but hmm, it seems .. quite ... long ... and daunting.

so here's my distraction ...

so I'm a little late, five days in and all that and I probably won't post every day given my dismal attempts at this before, but I'll give it a shot.  And hopefully it will help distract and soothe me from the chaos that October is already proving to be.