Sunday, October 31, 2010

day 28: finishings

Today is a day for finishing things.It's always a bit of a plan of mine to get things finished off at the end of the month and start a new month fresh. So today I'm focussing on the finishing.

1. I finished the tax.
This has been a comedy of errors. Of course, I left it until the last minute to lodge it, on Saturday. And only then did I discover some hanky network settings on Andy's laptop that wouldn't let me access the internet in the windows environment using boot camp blah de blah blah. I always do my tax on the laptop. so I had to fill in the forms and post it much more complicated that way!

2. I finished this darwinia dress.
I have an embarrassingly large amount of WIPs on the go at the moment, and this has been sitting there with only a few rows to go, after the lovely yarn fairy came to my rescue. There just seemed to be more pressing things to finish (such as a milo for baby Otis)....
and more pressing things to start.

3. I'm finishing this darwinia babydoll right at this very moment. Pretty much the same story as above.

After this one, there's a couple more oh-so-very close WIPs that I really need to sort too.
And if I can get this baby on my lap back to sleep, I just might finish a pattern.... or two tonight.

4. I finished answering all my emails about the KAL from those who didn't get their email. If you still haven't one and you should have; email me.

5. I, however, did not finish the washing or folding.... or the vacuuming.... and it looks like a bomb has gone off in Lily's room... but oh well.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

day 27: musings on that KAL and yarn choice

So if you're a part of this little Mystery KAL you should have received an email from me yesterday with a link to the pattern folder. If you're one of those people who emailed me yesterday afternoon, fear not, I will return your email either later this evening or tomorrow. If you were expecting an email because you thought you were signed up and didn't get one, email me and I'll fix that up.

It's been a little hectic around here today. I've been frantically trying to get our tax done in time for the lodgement deadline; tomorrow. Not without a bit of angst and technology frustration to contend with, as is always the case when you leave it to the last minute. Andy has been pre-occupied with packing and organizing for his trip away which involved a 2:30am wake up call tomorrow morning. Lucky him! So the kids have been running free and feral. Lily actually snuggled back into bed for an afternoon nap! Toby sprinkled Weetbix crumbs from one end of the house to the other, fun fun fun!

I suspect I may have confused a few people with my comments about yarn choice.

Let me re-iterate;

Cotton is fine to use, it will work just fine.
However, some of the pattern features will appear to their best when knit in a yarn with a little bit of memory. That's pretty common with most things featuring some cabling and/or lace. Memory gives them that bit of spring and hold; stops them from flattening and stretching out too much.
But if you want to use a pure cotton, go ahead, it will be fine :)
Think about whether or not you like lace or cables knit in cotton, what you think of the look; if you're fine with it GO FOR IT!!!! :D

I knit both the prototype garments in wool, glorious organic dk wool. The girl's version in The Sanguine Gryphon FreeRange and the boy's in WOOLganics Organic Merino Knitters Yarn. Both great great yarns. Both perfect for these garments.

the pattern names are fratello and sorello; Italian for brother and sister.

I've knit both garments with the intention of them being tran-seasonal; so suitable for any time of the year. Obviously on a 40 degree day in the middle of a sweltering Victorian summer, the kids may not want to wear them.. but they will be good through Summer on those cooler days and into Autumn and Winter, they'll still be appropriate wear.

I'm trying to remember if there were any more FAQs I've noticed on the rounds... If not, I might go and do a bit of knitting and catch up on some blog reading.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

day 26: Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore

And you know what, I'm not sure it's the 26th day of October either. But in a vain attempt to blog everyday for the month, I will "pretend" it is the 26th. That way I still have 5 days left to get my tax sorted too.

*eek* and I must get it sorted. Andy is off on yet another diving trip this week to the Coral sea. He'll be unreachable while gone, so my aim is to get it done tomorrow before he goes.  He probably won't be seeing any of these little fellas, but I needed a pic and he's cute. ;)  this photo comes courtesy of some of Andy's underwater footage. It's a frozen still taken from his video footage.

so as not to confuse anyone, I'll be back later to post about the Mystery KAL.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

day 25: laugh laugh laugh

random things that make me laugh

1. the phrase "loose purler"
Don't ask why, it's just pretty funny.

2. That Toby is so obsessed with penguins, whom he calls Happy Shit (toddler translation Happy Feet), that he pulls all the books with penguins on their spine off the book shelf to look for the penguins in them. No, he hasn't learnt after the first time.

3.  That tinselling means dropping rubbish in Lily's world.  I love that she is horrified whenever she sees any "tinsel" on the ground.

4. The Goodies....still.

5. the number 69 written anywhere, yes juvenile I know...

6. Withnail and I... ridiculously, until I cry, no matter that I've watched it like 5 billion times.

7. my husband's blue/black colourblindness.

8. Toby blaming Andy "Daddddd-y!!" anytime he farts.

9. The silly jokes both my children tell me.

10. Red shoes; in a happy way.

day 24: getting a leetle confused

Ok, so I will be the first to admit that I am getting a little confused about what day I am up to with the Blogtober thing.  I'm really not the best at knowing what the date is at the best of time, but there's something about those days in the 20s when I get really really really confuddled. And playing blogger catch-up isn't easy.

We're back from visiting the lovely pint household and as always we had the bestest time.  Gosh we love those guys, I think even if Megsie wasn't my sister we'd hang out with them cos they are the best.  And what an awesome little addition to their family is gorgeous little Otis ♥

We arrived home last night around 6ish, and then I hastily dashed off to my knit night.  This morning involved some cleaning and unpacking, this afternoon a little playdate.

My email box is looking a little tad overwhelming today. *eek* I didn't realise there would be so many more interested in the Mystery KAL.  I'm thinking about the best way to do this so it doesn't become a ridiculous amount of work... stay tuned. I shall update here..

ooh, and I think I can feel a giveaway coming to squeeze one in before the end of October...along with my tax.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 23? Is it?

So I didn't quite make it with the Milo on our four and a half hour trip. I came pretty damn close though, just had the garter stitch band to go on the bottom when we arrived at the pint household.

I think possibly I could knit one in that time on such a drive. On this drive I did however, have a little sleep. (although Andy says I was knitting in my sleep, who would have thought, I COULD ACTUALLy knit in my sleep, albeit pretty slowly apparently). I was awoken by Andy saying, "You're knitting in your sleep!" I also added a little extra length to cater for a full x, I did the hugs and kisses cable.

It is oh so very cute and tiny!! And I can hardly believe that this is actually the first milo I have knit in WOOLganics! not sure how many milos I have knit in total....

no photo yet as it's blocking...

I can share this little sneak peak photo of both the boy and girl Mystery KAL knit though ;)

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

day 22: road trip

Tomorrow, ok, today....

we're going on a road trip to visit that new little nephew of ours, Otis.

The challenge is to knit a newborn sizes milo in the car on the way there; yarn a ready and waiting!

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Friday, October 22, 2010

day 21: what i learnt today

Never under-estimate the enthusiasm of knitters.

When I posted the sign-up last night I based my expected number of sign -ups on a thread on Rav and was expecting 80, tops. by 10 am this morning my sign up form maxed out at 200. Well, actually it kept taking sign ups but only told me about the first 200.

Throughout the day I've had a steady stream of peeps asking, begging, pleading for a spot in the KAL. Just secretly, Idid not expect this, it's all a little daunting. Gosh, what are all these people expecting?

and you know what? I keep thinking about those people who followed the thread on Rav from the birth of the idea who may have missed out because I said the sign up would be open all week. :( To me, that's not right. So I decided tonight, I don't want them to miss out. That's not fair. Not when they may have thought they had all week to sign up. So if that's you, shoot me an email and let me know which KAL you want to do. I won't be able to get back to you straight away, I may not even get back to you before the end of the weekend as I'm going to visit my beautiful new nephew Otis, but I will get back to you. And you will be included.

And yes, I will leave the sign up open for the week, just email me as you guys have broken the sign up form.

Please be patient while I get this all sorted, the extra extra extra participants makes for a hell of a lot of extra work. It will take me a while to sort the extra stuff, and meanwhile I have a family to care for; nappies to change, washing to do, lunch and dinner to make, and perhaps even a little knitting to do.

Gotta share the knitting love around.


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 20: sign up

ok, so here it is the sign up for the Mystery KAL.

If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, then you obviously haven't been hanging out where all the cool kids do; over in my cool gang group on Ravelry. ;)

So here's roughly how it all goes.

The Mystery KAL is a Knit-a-long with a difference.  You don't know what it is you're knitting, all you do know is the size you're knitting and that it is a child's garment. In the sign up you get to elect whether you want to knit a girl or boy garment.

About once a week, you will receive a small section of the pattern to knit. Slowly over the course of the KAL as you get each additional piece your garment will grow until you have a completed piece that hopefully, you will love!! Can you tell I'm a bit nervous about that bit!!!

Finer details

  • sign up is free.
  • the garment is knit in dk/8ply weight yarn on 4mm needles with a tension of 22 stitches over 4 inches/10cm. 
  • the garment is suitable for wool, cotton or blends.
  • best yarn choice is solid or semi-solid, if you choose a variegated, I would suggest one that is similar in tones or colour.
  • both garments I would consider easy intermediate knits, featuring basic increasing and decreasing, yos, longtail castons, circular knitting, simple cables, hmm, that's all I can think of at the moment.
  • I shall add more approximate yardages in the next few days but to give you a rough idea it ranges between about 300 -500 yards.
  • Sizes covered will range from 6months up to 10 years, and correspond to the usual sizings I use.
  • Signups will remain open for one week.
  • A few days after the week is up, you will receive and email to a link to a pdf file, which will be the first step of the KAL.  
  • Thereafter, I will post here and on my Rav group when the pdf has been updated.  I will aim to send an email as well, but it would be a good idea to follow my blog so you can keep up to date with any KAL news. :) (It's a nice blog to read anyway :P) 
  • places are limited; but I'd be totally surprised if we hit the limit this form gives us, for sure. 
Any questions?
Fire away!!!!

ETA: Sign up now closed... a few more spots later this afternoon!

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day 19: a knit for me

It's not often anymore that I get the time to knit a pattern other than my own. I seem to spend a great deal of my knitting time knitting prototypes and test knits for new patterns, so it's rare that I knit others'. When I do they're more often than not test knits for some of the other Aussie or enZed designers.  It's even rarer that I knit something for myself.

It's not that I don't like knitting for myself. Nor am I one of those breed of knitters who fears knitting adult garments.  Quite the opposite in fact. One of the first major garments I knit was as a year 9 student. It was a gigantic, and I mean FRIGGIN HUGE, big yellow cabled cardigan complete with dropped shoulders. Very very 80s. My god I loved that thing!  And you know what? It won't surprise anyone who knows me well to hear that, yes, I do still have it. It's in the top of my jumper cupboard.  Sometimes on really cold days when I'm just at home I drag it out and wrap up in it, and wonder at the hellish amount of seaming in that sucker.

But you know, I obviously enjoyed it because my next adult knit was another giant cabled cardigan, this time in green, but a different pattern. Sadly, I don't have this one anymore, but I can still remember exactly what it looked like. .... mmm, best not to think about it, really.

So a few months ago I managed to score some Cascade eco in a Rav destash, a ball and a half for an exceptionally reasonable price (Thanks Anna :) )  When I buy something from a destash it's quite often on a whim and I'm not always sure what I'll do with it; I tend to be lured by the pretty colours.  But with this, I knew exactly what I wanted to knit. I'd been so tempted by the Tangled Yarns KAL on it a few months ago...

Rosamund's Cardigan by Andrea Pomerantz
Interweave Knits, Fall 2009

So very very unlike me I actually started it as soon as the yarn arrived.  Usually when I buy jumper lots of yarn for me it seems to get shoved to the back of the cupboard where it just... I don't know.. takes up space really.

So not only did I start to knit it straight away but I also finished it in the same month. I didn't get distracted by something more shiny and new. Ok, so I wasn't monogamous but I didn't ever completely discard it, like I so often do with adult knits... Honestly, these days it's like I have some sort of inbuilt  calendar that says I can't finish one without a lengthy hibernation stay.

but this one I did finish quickly.

And best of all, I wear it. LOTS.
I so love this!!!

The one thing I would do if I knit it again would be to leave out the hip increases.  It's supposed to have little hooks and eyes and do up all the way up, but I like it left open much better. The hip increases don't really make for a flattering line when worn open...sometimes I think I might frog and fix it...just sometimes, you know.

so the specs for this little beauty:

Pattern Rosamund's Cardigan by Andrea Pomerantz

Yarn Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool, in 'Nightvision' colourway. 640 yards (1.34 skeins - yes, very precise there)

Needles 4mm and 5mm nickel Knit Picks

Worked two less increases in the raglan to scale the pattern down to fit me by an inch or so
Worked the waist shaping a little lower than per pattern
Added an extra buttonhole for better visual balance
Worked extra length
Knit the armhole bands circularly instead of flat

Excuse the sun-in-eyes squint which makes me look a bit hungover or stoned. I'd have my sunglasses on but the little boy aggressively pulled one of the arms off them. That's the exact same fate for the last two pair of sunglasses, same scenario, different child. Good thing we only have two children.

Monday, October 18, 2010

day 18: spring clean

Today i indulged in a little bit of work avoidance; avoided the vacuuming, avoided tackling the washing and folding, avoided quite a bit of housework by finding a far more urgent job that needed my attention....

a bit of a spring clean to my blog .

new banner, cleaner background, a bit more "space".

I said goodbye to the fabric addict. I'm still a fabric addict, total ho really, but given there's so much more knitting on this blog now I thought it was time to go. Next I might register a domain name...maybe, if I can get that organised.

It feels fresh for me, just right for Spring.
I hope you like it too.

maybe now the Spring weather will finally come back and stay.

day 17: stealing 5 minutes

I'm taking one of those five minute gaps that appear in your day, when you're a mummy, to steal five minutes for me. I'm using my time to catch up on yesterday's blog post. I'm not so good at this blogtober thing, am I? I am trying though!

I'm perched on the bench in the corner of the kitchen looking west. The sky furiously hurling darker and darker clouds across it, no doubt bringing more rain. The tree ferns are dancing a frantic jig outside the window, they look like they're shivering. Why is winter back?

I have this five minutes as Andy has packed the kids into the bike trailer to take Lily to kinder. The two of them will be tucked up snug hidden from the rain while Andy, in his flouro orange bike parka, will be battling this wind. They love it!

Right now I'm off to get out of my jammies, and have a shower... wait for it.... BY MYSELF!! with no little toddler in there too. Then it's on with the vacuuming, and washing, and folding...

Where do you steal five minutes for yourself in the day?

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day 16-ish, sort of, well, let's just pretend, ok....

Gosh, I just love this photo.

I'm ever so proud of this photo I took of Lily today.  You would not believe from this photo how incredibly hard it is to get a good photo of her, you wouldn't believe how many I have to take of her to get a couple of good shots.  She is the original flipperty jibbiert, the arms go up, she spins around, opens the mouth wide, kicks her legs up, pretends to fly, grimaces, jumps around, pulls her dress up and flashes her bum at me, sticks her tongue out, looks up at the sky, and generally just goes a little silly when the camera comes out.

The purpose of this photo was to try and capture this test knit in progress for my testers who will be starting on theirs in the next days.  How exciting!!!

The only problem is that I really wasn't able to capture this, the babydoll petal, perfectly.  Have a careful look at this:

Notice that hemline?
See how it's pulling in, rather than out (as a ruffle should).  Notice the stitch marker, the knitting cable ends; all holding the garment together while it waits to be finished... yep, this is one of the knitting dangerously results. Pretty yarn, isn't it?  It comes from Never Ending Obsessions

And some more gorgeous shots of my Lily Rainbow. Man she blows me away with her gorgeousness some times!!


and this..

gee, she's getting so all grown up!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

day 15: late again, oh well.........

Last night I had a bit of a night out. One where I didn't get home until after midnight. Yeah I know, madness!! Anarchic. It's the reason my post last night didn't get done. The fact that I'm only doing it now, I can only put down to pure laziness... And an almost two-year-old who hogs the iPad.

but last night I went to Lily's kindy's trivia night. It was a fun night, laughter, drinks and nibbles all round. Some stretching of the memories, some uncertainty and some definite certainties that were wrong. You know how trivia nights go.

The highlight of the night for me was the artwork that the kids produced. Beautiful group work on canvas. One piece was divided into squares into which each of the children had drawn themselves. Each of the two classes created one of these. The other piece Lily's class made, it was an amazing Aboriginal inspired piece in lovely bright colours with the kids' handprints around the outside. It was wonderful to see how appreciated and wanted these pieces were by the parents, they went for more than I had in my purse and could afford.

We're very blessed with the kindy we chose for Lily. Under the guidance of her wonderful wonderful teachers she has blossomed and grown in such confidence it's amazing. They encourage her artistically and creatively and create such wonderful playspaces for the children. All three of her teachers are truly beautiful souls.

What I did come home with was this:

That's a bundle gorgeous gorgeous organic fabrics from Organic Fabric Online. I had just enough money in my purse to win the bid on this. Lily thought it was wonderful that I won some fabric, the yellow is already assigned as a dress for her. So impressed was she that she organized a knitting competition for me tonight, a shawl knitting competition. It was a tough field I was up against Gwyneth the teddy bear and Darfodill the Polly Dolly. I suspect the field had been checking out my knitting though, as the shawls they produced for the "test" looked suspiciously like two I've knitted before. Strange! The guinea pig judge awarded me the winner. My winnings were some beautiful pictures of us all at the beach.

Kids are precious, hey.

(back later with today's post ;) )

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

day 14: creative space

I was sort of looking forward to the return to the school term, looking forward to slowing down a little and not having quite so many people in the house needing me all the time. Andy was supposed to fly north last week for a spearfishing charter but it was canceled in the holidays, so he was not a happy man these holidays. Because of this trip we decided not to go away any where too major. So I was looking forward to a little space around here again, some time to contend with just me and the little man.. that small window every Thursday where Toby sleeps in the afternoon and the place is quiet and I can do what I like.

Clearly I was delusional. The return to school has been nothing like that!!! It has been one complete crazy week and a half of pure bedlam. I feel like today is the first time I've even had a chance to draw breath. (Of course, Toby is not asleep).

So today, housework sort of done, I'm sitting down to have a bit of quiet-ish (well as quiet as it gets with an-almost two year old running around) time. Enjoy a cup of love chai and work on a little pattern.

My tea cup is a new one that Andy bought me this week. It's the perfect size but not quite what I'd choose. I'm always amazed at how different Andy thinks my taste in things like cups is to what it actually is. If you're reading this Andy, red is nice, plain is nice, spots even... Oh well, I'll love it regardless.

This all looks quite peaceful and relaxing but take a look what happened as I stepped back to take this photo.

hmm, sometimes I think the iPad is just a little too user-friendly!

for more creative space pop over to kootoyoo

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day 13: more on the yarn search

I like organic yarn.

No, let me rephrase that I LOVE organic yarn.

Choosing organics and the green option is really important to me, so wherever possible I like to choose organic yarn. Sometimes if I see a yarn and it is organic i do find it hard to resist buying it, even if I don't really need it. It's worse if it's on sale.

I am lucky enough to regularly knit with WOOLganics Knitters Yarn. If you haven't heard me say it before, let me just say, this is the number one supremo yarn in the world. It is my yarn of choice. It is so buttery soft and melty, it is pure bliss to knit with. In fact, tonight I cast on that blue that you saw in the photo last night, which is the WOOLganics in the Raindrops. Funnily enough, I found another random ball of this today, so that game of yardage chicken is probably off.

I have to say, the other side of the equation and the organic cotton option hasn't been as easy to come by. When I think about yarn and cotton production, it's possible that using an organic cotton is perhaps even more fundamentally important. So my new little yarn search is for the perfect organic cotton. Again, it must be a dk/8ply weight. So far, the contenders are the ecoyarns organic cotton(pictured above), which feels lovely but as yet I haven't knit with it.

Another contender is the Rowan Purelife Organic cotton

Gloriously, gloriously soft. And the colours are pretty lovely (these are destined to become a skirt). What I love about the Rowan and the Ecoyanrs is that both these cottons are dyed using natural dyes.

And today I got my hands on some Sublime Organic cotton. mmm, also very nice. Shame it's being discontinued. And something to look forward to is Heirloom's organic range this summer.

All these options to try now mean I really really need to avoid that Bendigo sale that's due at the end of this month. I do not need stock up on BWM cotton. These organic options mean I do not need to buy BWM cotton (gotta keep telling myself that)

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

day 12: the mystery knit

Did I tell you the mystery knit is finished?
Did I tell you I'm very excited about it?

so excited I thought I'd show you a bit of a preview pic.....

well, the knit is in there ;)

I love it when the bubbas are happy to just sleep anywhere. Tonight Toby was curled up on my lap having a feed all drowsy and dozy. He hopped off and wandered off, I assumed to the next room to climb in bed with Daddy. Five minutes later I looked behind me and found him curled up on my blocked knitting asleep.

Good thing there were no pins in it!!
Good thing for him it was already dry!!!

The colour is soooo gorgeous, and hopefully this picture tells you nothing at all except that it is yellow and knit in stocking stitch. hehehehe This is fun!!!!

See the WOOLganics balls in the front... I'm thinking about playing a bit of yardage chicken with them tomorrow...Right after I visit Twisted Threads, my LYS for their sale!!! I'll be picking up some Sublime organic cotton, me thinks ;)

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

day 11: mondayitis

Oops! but I really did think about posting...honestly!!!

does a cute sleeping bubba photo make up for it????

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 10: Lazy Sunday

We've had a gloriously lazy Sunday filled with Sunshine. Oh how I love these first heady days of Spring!!!!

I spent the afternoon knitting and watching Lily boss her father around, making him play dress ups. He's always a reluctant participant but she always manages to charm him into it and before he knows it,he's following her around dressed in some outlandish costume. I like that he doesn't question the fact that there are adult male outfits in the dress up box!

Lily then decided to join me for a bit of crafting. She knit her obligatory five stitches for the month, and then had a bit of a play with her sewing basket...she didn't achieve much but sure looked cute.

Don't you just love her outfit? I mean, who doesn't sew in their pettiskirt? The tshirt is one of mine, as is obvious from the G. It's a cute little hobbytex one from the 70s. Love it!!!!!

The knitting has gone super. I have churned out the mystery KAL prototype. I've tried it on Toby, whom it was cute on albeit a little too long, but not Lily yet. I have one small section to go and it's done. Wooot!!!!!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

day 9: ahem....

So the knitting is going very well and I'm much happier with this garment than I was with the other one.  I think this is probably more suited to a mystery KAL as I can break it down into steps far easier than the other one; which will make it fun!!

No pics though as that would ruin the surprise!!!

In case you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, a little background: on the forum where I test some of the designers were having a little chat and the idea arose for a mystery KAL, mainly because Shannon of Crafty Desires wanted to knit a skirt pattern of mine that I haven't even knit up yet and she hasn't seen the photos for!!! Crazy chick!! (The temptation is oh-so there to write a pattern for something really fugly and give it to her as a joke.... if only it wasn't for the loads of time that goes into knitting something)  The brainchild for the Mystery KAL came from Rachel Evan, who's responsible for the Kaia Babydoll and Spring Butterfly.

So I put the idea to my group on Rav thinking there might be a handful of people interested.

So now I just have to sort the pattern... but it's all okay as I'm waiting on one of my knitters to come back from holidays to start the KAL... so really no pressure!

(but it is looking good good good) and this yarn (The Sanguine Gryphon FreeRange) is pretty awesome to knit with.  Not buttery soft and melty like the WOOLganics, but still very very nice and lovely subtlety in the colour variations.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

day 8: a little late

I'm a little late posting day 8 but I'm sure it's still the 8th of October somewhere in the world still, so technically I'm not really late; just feeling a little...I don't know, what country is in the last world time frame for each day?? Yep, so no doubt I'll continue to trot out that excuse.

I had an early night last night. I was feeling a bit pissed with my current knitting project, which is a new pattern for a KAL. I decided at 10pm that I wasn't happy with how it was working and cracked it. I must say I was feeling a little pressure at the people who are waiting for this KAL, but decided that really it wasn't quite right. I know I can get the pattern to work eventually, but I don't think it is quite the right one for the KAL. So off to bed I went.

Luckily I had an inkling of a back up plan. As it does often the plan formed more thoroughly overnight and I woke up this morning knowing exactly what I needed.
Don't you love it when sleeping on an idea really does sort it all into place.

So on to a little bit of yarn balling...

Wish me luck!

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

day seven: from a non-creative space

I had one of those days, no crafting or creativity. Completely drained.

But I do have hugs.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

6: Knitting dangerously

My WIP basket is looking like this at the moment:

Two almost, oh-so very close to finished garments, that only have four or five cms left of the hem to go. But unfinished.

All because I knit dangerously. *scoff scoff* *ho ho*
And I NEVER learn from my near disasters not to.

How does one knit dangerously?
Well, I engage in a little game that my fellow designer and friend, Shannon, has termed, playing yardage chicken. I like that.

So what is yardage chicken?
It's pushing your yardage to the limit, flirting with danger and seeing just how far that ball of yarn will go. so why do it? Is it the tightarse in me, not wanting to see yarn go to waste? Possibly.
But you know, there's this awesome little rush of adrenalin you get when you finish a garment and you've won that yardage game and have a couple of metres left. It's a strange sort of kick I'm sure only knitters understand.

I've always played this game. Original rainbow dress, yardage left over mmm, maybe 30cm. Same with the Oriental Lily, and to be honest most rainbow dresses I've ever knit. I've even had to find some matching yarn scraps because I've lost the game and run out on the cast off.

Lately I've had a few near disasters with yardage chicken. At one stage, it seemed every test knit was becoming a flirtation with danger.

the dolly cassia: lost
tobias: lost
acacia singlet: should have lost but cast off a little shorter than it should be (shh)
darwinia baby doll: lost
darwinia sundress: lost

hmm, so with so many losses going on, why don't I learn? Because in every one of these situations, disaster has been diverted.

Dolly cassia and tobias, both knit in WOOLganics, ordered more yarn.
Darwinia baby doll: the dyer is dyeing me some more yarn. She's even had me send her a metre or so of the stuff I have so she can match it better.
Darwinia sundress: Now this could have been a total disaster, BWM have discontinued the colour I'm knitting this in. But you know what, I put a call out on Ravelry, a desperate one albeit, and a yarn fairy is coming to my rescue, so this little baby will be finished.

Lucky? Flukey? Assy?
Who knows.
But you know, until I experience complete and unretrievable yardage disasters, I'm probably still going to flirt with it dangerously. It's just too tempting.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

day 5: testing a new pattern

I've just spent the last little while setting up my little private testing forum and granting all my testers access                                               .   Which all means I'm just about to start testing a new pattern.

This one is called Acacia.  It's a two petal pattern that is part of my Australian wildflower collection. It's a pretty quick little knit that looks like this:

or if you're feeling a little adventurous, this:

So far I've graded this pattern from sizes 1 -10, suitable for an 8ply/dk weight yarn. It will work with cotton, wool, bamboos, blends; etc.  Just about any yarn composition really.  At the moment I'm knitting a delicious newborn size in 4ply (awwww, uber cute) I thought the baby sizes would be better in a 4ply as the gathering will work better across the bodice in a 4 ply where I can factor in two sets, whereas with an 8ply only one set. Makes sense?

I was thinking about this cute little newborn singlet and wondering if the baby arriving this month at the pint household will be a girl or a boy. What I will be knitting for this little one all depends on the sex!

Anyway, seen as I'm testing all through this month, I'll probably be updating pretty regularly with the progress of this patterns... I'll probably run out of things to talk about otherwise...

four: perfection

I am on a little bit of a quest at the moment.

It's a quest for perfection.
Perfection in the form of yarn.
Perfection, more specifically, in the form of the perfect yellow yarn. Dk weight preferably. Organic would be the ultimate.

Now what makes the perfect yellow yarn?
It needs to be the colour of sunshine, no pastels, no neons, no orange or brown undertones; just pure sunshine.

This comes pretty close on all counts.
(sanguine gryphon free range dk)

It's dk, it's organic and it is very lush!

As does this, except it's not a dk or organic:(
(malabrigo worsted)

this one would win hands down, except it's not organic.
(Madeline tosh dk)

This is pretty close too; organic, lovely colour. Local organic even, yet a 10 ply.
(Ladybug Loops WOOLganics worsted)

Now what to knit with all this luscious yellow?
(nb: these are not all new!!!!)

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

day three: musing about finishing

Is it somewhat ironic or bizarre that at the very beginning of this blogging marathon that is Blogtoberfest I am already waxing lyrical about finishing?  Perhaps so, but anyway that's what you're getting today, or rather tonight at precisely 11pm.

There's nothing quite like the sense of finishing when it comes to knitting. Except perhaps the elation of starting something new, which explains the embarrassing state of my WIP basket.  But finishing brings with it that little rush of adrenalin, and those anxious moments wonderings of will it fit, will they like it or even does it work. That excitement is even more heightened when it's something that's taken a while to knit.

tTis is one of those stories.

Meet Tobias, so named for the cheeky little boy it was intended to adorn.  A sweet little cardigan with a touch of leprechaun (yep, you read correct) knit in what is becoming my staple yarn, WOOLganics.
Can I just say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this green just a wee bit muchly!

I started this little cardigan last September, with the intention of finishing it on our two week holiday in Tassie. There was a bit of driving involved and I was knitting a 12 month size so it really was quite a reasonable aim.  The lengths I went to to knit this cardie will have non-knitters backing away uncomfortably and pointing and whispering "weird".  I flew to Tassie with the kids and spent a night in a motel while Andy came over on the boat.  A night in a motel equals ample knitting time. One problem. We were flying Jetstar light, which meant only carry on baggage and at that time in history, no knitting needles allowed. You would not believe the far fetched and ridiculous ideas I came up with to get my needles to Tassie. Luckily a fellow knitter came to the rescue and dropped some tips at the motel I was staying at for me, so all I needed to bring was my yarn and cable.

I almsot finished Tobias in Tassie, all bar a sleeve. Then I tried it on him. Too small. bugger.
So, I threw it into the corner in disgust.

Obviously, I picked it up again and finished it. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be writing about it. But it did take me until all of September school holidays this year to do so. I think I finished two days before the one year mark.

I like. Toby likes. so we're all happy...
I particularly like the little pockets in it, they're real little boy pockets.
now I've just got to grade the pattern.

And of course, then Toby cut his hair just as I wanted photos.... so I'm not sure about this photo.  It seems almost a bit of a piss-take to be honest. There's something about it that seems incredibly funny to me, maybe the pure stupidity of the hat and the crazy overly innocent I've-just-come-down-from-up-a -chimney look on the kid's face???

Blogtoberfest. ~ day 2 (somewhere in the world)

So I'm not quite on top of this blogtober thing yet and almost forgot my day two post! Lucky I live in the southern hemisphere, so technically it is still October 2nd somewhere in the world!

We took the kiddies out for Chinese at our local last night, which is always loads of fun and an experiential eating experience for them. It's walking distance which makes it even better, though I'm not surer why it always seems to be the five year old hitching a ride in the pram at the end of the night and the not-yet two year old walking. Hmmm.

We were all so tuckered out we were all asleep by 10pm. That would be a first (and totally my excuse for forgetting my blog post). Chose the right night for an early one though, as I noticed DST ticked over, so it's an hour later than it normally would be. So of course, I'm bright eyed and awake now and have been for about an hour. Not that I'm out of bed, nooooooooooo! Not when I've got a cute little baby boy to snuggle with.

Mmm, not getting up to get my camera so the photo this morning is one of my favs from our recent trip to "the block".

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Location:From bed

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Blogtober ~ Day One (some firsts for the first)

I noticed that it was Blogtober again while mindlessly cruising today whilst feeding Toby. It seems quite timely really, and a good kick up the bum for me to whip this blog back into shape and try and regain some blogging mojo.

It's been a week of firsts here this week.

Toby got his first haircut and went from this:

to this

after he decided to hack off half his fringe in an asymmetrical fashion.
He looks so grown up, my little boy :(
At least he still loves cuddles and asking "more kisses" every time he gies you a kiss. He's going to break some hearts when he grows up that one!

Lily's first was having her ears pierced. We'd always decided that she could have her ears pierced if she wanted once she was five. We'd talked about it a few times when she was younger with her and decided at five she could make the decision for herself. It's taken until this week for her to work up the courage to go for it. We had talks about how it would hurt a bit, she didn't have to, and if she changed her mind when we got there, that would be ok.

But she bravely faced up to it and went for it. There were quite a few tears afterwards and loads of cuddles. She too looks so grown up with her shiny silver diamond studs!

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