Archive for February, 2009

Slinky Ribs in progress

Knitting is coming along well on the Slinky Ribs sweater.  I have finally reached the stocking stitch portion of the knit.  All this despite distracting myself with a bit of teddy knitting 🙂

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I am liking the way this is looking, it’s hard to see the rib detailing here, but it’s cute 🙂

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I was also delighted to score two more balls of the yarn from my local yarn shop in the same dyelot – given that this was a gift bought goodness knows where (from a still secret swap!) this is incredibly good luck.  I should now be able to have long sleeves, which will make this so cosy! And there are more balls in the shop too, if I need them.

While some people might complain at the idea of 10 or more inches of stocking stitch ahead of them, I’m not going to. We are heading away for my Uni course this afternoon, which is about 5 hours drive each way. I figure that even with sharing the driving, I’ll be grateful for some plain knitting to keep my fingers busy on the drive.

Harvest Season

Well, it’s time to harvest the vegetables in the garden, and I’ve been doing just that recently.  We have enjoyed fresh vegetables with dinner almost every night since we’ve been back from holiday – so the last month or so.  And no sign of abating either. I scored a 7kg box of tomatoes for $5 from the local vege shop too, and I spent a good part of Saturday turning some into puree. Tomorrow: Sauce! Mmmm, they were beautiful!

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But it’s not just vegetables that I’ve been harvesting. I finally set to and ripped apart the Sublime hoodie that I’ve been eyeing up for the past few months. Long story short: 3 balls of very expensive yarn went into this newborn sized hoodie that was soon grown out of.  And not that cute after all that work!  So, I have been thinking about what it could  become. So, first it had to be picked apart.  It seems like ages since I made a seamed garment, so picking one apart felt odd. But, I’ve finally got there.  Does this look like $45 worth of yarn to you?picture-1785

Nearly 3 balls of Sublime Baby Merino Cashmere DK. And it is destined to become a knitted teddy for DD2. After all, what could better suit a yarn addicted baby?

This is the pattern I have chosen:

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This is the Teddy Bear from Debbie Bliss’s Simply Baby book which I borrowed from the library. I think this yarn will make it so incredibly snuggly!  Apparently it’s all knit separately, and I’ve love to work out how to make it with less seaming, so I will have to get my thinking cap on and see how I can adapt this for a more enjoyable knit.

What do you do on a rainy day?

Today was rainy.  Really rainy.  And it just wouldn’t stop! So, we decided to hang out at home today. What to do? First we had a serious puzzle marathon, while I tried to knit and read my Uni text.

Then Miss2.5 and I made some yummy bread rolls for lunch. 

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After lunch I attacked the mending pile in an effort to unearth my sewing machine.  Nothing earth shattering – mending seams, buttons back on, labels inserted, that sort of thing.

And then, a wee secret project for the little miss – another addition to her dress-up box. 

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This wee ladybird cape is made from a nappy cut of sandwich PUL. I made it double sided, so the otherside is white with a cute red print pattern spots.  The black spots are demin which I appliqued on.  It’s fastened with velcro around the neck, so she can put it on herself. And it’s versatile enough to fit even an adult sized neck (Yep, I made Daddy into a ladybird).

And, since I had the machine out, I got around to a project I had been meaning to do for ages – an apron for DS11, which he needs for ‘Food Tech’ at school.  He chose a red cotton fabric (well, I didn’t have much in my stash that wasn’t totally girly).  I teamed it with a worn out pair of jeans to fashion something I hope he’s not embarrassed to wear in class.

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I cut binding for around the seams from strips of demin, added a pocket to the front, and cribbed the button from the waistband for a neck closure.  The ties are from demin as well.

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And once the kids were in bed, it was time to take the knitting out again.  I have chosen to cast on the Slinky Ribs from the new Custom Knits book I got on the weekend.  So, lots of 2×2 ribbing has been the theme of the day here.  It’s super cosy in Merino Possum yarn too.

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So, it’s been a day of productivity for us here, but nevertheless I am hoping to see rather more sunshine than rain tommorrow.

Patience Rewarded

Yay! In my letterbox yesterday was a parcel of yarny goodness 🙂  It was my yarn swap yarn!  The posting deadline had been Saturday, so I was certain its arrival was imminent.  I made myself finish pegging two loads of washing up before opening it though!

And this was what I found…picture-1763

This is what my swapper wrote:

The Gypsy Girl
Your theme is Gypsy Girl. I dyed Bluebell 5 ply in shades of purple/pink/lilac just like the colours of a vibrant skirt a wee gypsy girl would wear. As you wanted the swap for you I’ve inlcluded 150g of wool which should be plenty for a pair of socks with some left over for some socks for your gorgeous wee girl. The pattern is Spring Pools. I came up with this as I’m sure gypsies used to take a dip in rivers on their long journeys.
Your paper work is a poem by Ralph Hodgson called The Gipsy Girl.
The gifts are some stitch markers and a sock knitting bag made by me, just like a gypsy would sell/trade their creations.

Now, purple is my absolute favourite colour, so this bundle of gorgeousness is well received. And the sock project bag will be fab, especially once I wrestle it back off the toddler, who is going through a bag stage right now.  The stitch markers are really cute and will come in handy, I have a big collection now, but I can never seem to lay hands on them when required!

I do realise the above photo of the yarn isn’t the best, but my DD1 was hovering trying to snitch the bag, casting shadows left, right and centre.  After she moved on, I got this shot…picture-1767

which I think does the colours more justice.

The first swap I received, I got back in January. Before I’d got either of my parcels finished, which felt a bit naughty.  Put together by the lovely Fi it was based around a theme of Honey.

 

It included a poem by Charles Tennyson Turner:
“The little bee returns with evening’s gloom
To join her comrades in the braided hive
Where, housed beside their might honeycomb
They dream their polity shall long survive”

Also included was a recipe for Bee Nutty Choco-Chip Cookies – which uses peanut butter and honey ( I think my boys will love them! ), a gift of cute wee yellow stitch markers, and a funky yellow dishcloth of a bee.

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And the yarn -drool- the yarn! I received beautiful BWM Rustic 8ply yarn dyed in shades of yellow and brown, using acid dyes via the kettle method. Beautiful semi solid colours.  The pattern I was sent was for some honeycomb socks which look cute, but are sized a bit big for me. So, I’m currently mulling over ideas for its use.  Any ideas people?

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Fi was a bit unsure about the colour as I specifically said ‘no yellow’, but this is anything but ‘yellow’.  And it was only ‘no yellow’ as I don’t wear yellow – the result on my complexion means I’m often asked if I’m ill.

Talking about ill, I’m feeling rather awful about my latest knitting project. Which I frogged last night. Back, 1/3 done. Front, 1/2 done.  Solution to serious issue that caused frogging: thought of overnight. Okay, it might not have worked, but hey, it would have been worth a go, I think.

Nuff said.

If you’re watching this space for FO’s, it might be a while, as I need to regroup a bit 😦

Yarn Swap Parcels

In the middle of last year, some online friends started a themed yarn swap.  It was around the time DD2 was due and a baby, so I sat out and watched as magnificent parcels of hand dyed yarn and themed knitting accessories, gifts and recipes made their way up and down the country. I was a little sad I hadn’t been able to join, but was delighted the another swap was mooted right away. So I signed up 🙂

The first swap I did was headed for someone expecting her second baby. The time of year and her blooming condition inspired a theme of Spring. This was before I had my acid dyes, and I used Dylon Cold dyes to produce this yarn:picture-1186

The results were a bit too subtle for my liking – this was a green with hints of blue, pink, yellow and purple.  But it was suitable for a wee baby, so that’s all good.  I finished off the parcel with an Addi circular to knit the pattern I sent (Boheme), a set of handmade stitch markers, which were the ‘gift’ portion of the parcel, and for the ‘paper’, I made a wee picture for the wall using scrapbooking supplies.

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The yarn I received in return became my Pohutukawa socks.

Immediately this swap was complete, registrations were called for a third swap, and I decided to sign up for two parcels.  The first person I was to swap for likes quick knits, so I chose to dye up some 12 ply for her.  I chose Cleckheaton Country 12 ply.  I wanted to dye some berry shades, and did a couple of processes on the yarn, first dyeing the three shades really dilute and then overdying them with more concentrated colours over their own section.  This is the result:

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I called the theme parcel “Very Berry” The pattern I chose was for the Knitting Needle Knitting Bag, which is done in ‘berry stitch’.  And the gifts I sent were what was necessary for making it – the knitting needles – as you superglue the top of the bag to the needles instead of casting off, fabric for the lining,  some extra yarn as this is a very thirsty pattern,  and some Black Forest Chocolate for, um, sustenance.  The recipe I included was for raspberry and white chocolate muffins.

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The second swap was a chance to play with my purple dyes.  The first process was to use the three dyes (indigo, violet, bright violet)  in a semi solid fashion. It was waaaaay more violet than I counted on, and so overdyed it with the indigo in patches, and then dip dyed the skein in dilute boysenberry dye.  This is what it looked like reskeined:

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I called this parcel ‘Little Luxuries’. The colour of the yarn is reminscent of the purple of Cadbury’s chocolate wrappers.  The pattern was for a lovely wrap , and the gifts included some little luxuries to enjoy: chocolate, a body gel, and some Soft Haze yarn to make a hat that my recipent has been hanging out to make.  And I included a recipe for Tiramisu, yummmm!

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Both parcels have been received now (thank goodness neither went astray!) and I’ve got one of the two coming to me.  I’ll post about them both when the second one arrives 🙂  But for now, I am wearing a path between the house and mailbox, impatiently waiting for that second parcel.

Self Congratulation

Well, decluttering *does* bring its own rewards. The obvious one is less clutter.  You can usher in a new era of organisation, space and tidyness. 

So, the last few weeks I’ve been decluttering.  DD2 is 8 months now and well grown out of newborn nappies, and well on her way to outgrowing her smalls. No more babies means those lovely nappies were just cluttering up the place.  As were the baby clothes.  And the maternity gear.  And random alsorted junk too!  So I’ve been trying to work through piles of things and list them on TradeMe , smaller items or things I just *knew* would be too big to send via the post, I sent to the local hospice shop.  I’ve taken maybe 4 loads of things down there in the past few weeks, including the findings of outgrown clothes from DS11’s drawers today. And it feels good!

But I’ve got lots more work ahead of me, as DH uncovers things in the garage (you know, I’d honestly forgotten I had a swift before the one I have now!), as I decide what to do with *all those baby clothes!!* etc.  So, how does  a girl inspire herself?

Self congratulation of course!

This is what arrived in my letter box yesterday…

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I can guarantee you, these take up much less room that what they replaced, and are much more relevant to my life right now too 🙂

So, in order to inspire me to keep up with the NaKniSweMoDo challenge of knitting 12 sweaters in ’09, I chose two books full of sweaters and cardigans that are knit in one piece, mostly from the top down.  I got both from South Seas Knitting and was really impressed with the service. They had a great range of books and magazines in stock, and got them here within just a couple of days.  And they even used some recycled packing materials! Their site also has a great selection of delicious imported yarn, but I steered clear of that right now.  For now.  But boy did I drool!

I am thinking my first projects from these books will likely be these:

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From Fitted Knits, the Drop Stitch Lace Tank which should work up nicely in some navy Soy/Cotton I got from Spotlight a few weeks ago.

And from Custom Knits, the Slinky Ribs which I also hope to make from stash.

There are so many cute patterns for sweaters and cardigans for the colder months too, so I am really stoked with these purchases.

Now I need to not only get on with the decluttering, but with the knitting as well.

Grey Skies, Blue Socks

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Thanks to a day of atrocious weather and staying at home all day, my sock club socks were finished today.

We had not planned to stay home today. In fact, I was really excited about taking the girls out to Mainly Music today. We have had about 8 weeks off thanks to extended school holidays, and it would have been nice to get out and do something active since the weather was so inclement.  However, it appears Miss 2.5 did a little ‘driving’ of my car when we got home yesterday, including turning on the car lights.  Needless to say, that left the battery rather drained by the time I tried to start it this morning.  Therefore we stayed at home. We popped on our Love To Sing DVD and made music at home – but nevertheless I am looking forward to Music next week.

And, thanks to playdough and indoor activities, I had plenty of knitting time, finishing the leg and picot cuff of the second sock. So, I present to you… Grey Skies, Blue Socks.

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Knit to the Blue Sky Baby pattern, this is the first installment of the Vintage Purls Summer Sock Club 2009 that I received last week. The concept of a sock club was new to me – you get sent the yarn and pattern, and we got extra yummy goodies too, which I will allow myself to eat now I’ve finished this installment. 
Because this pattern was selected for me, I tried some new things. This was my first completed toe-up sock pattern.  I’ve got a pair of toe up socks on another needle, and a sock I frogged that started toe up (remember the ugly yarn?) But, the first pair complete anyway.  They also featured a French Toe, which has three sets of increases, two at the front which make  a V shape, and one at the centre back.

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Another new thing for me was the cool increases for the gusset which is centred at the bottom of the foot.

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I hadn’t done a patterned heel flap before either , it looks cute in this pattern.  I was really impressed with the toe up approach to the heel gusset, I think it makes for a very tidy sock.

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This was  a great start to my sock club experience, and lovely change from sweater knitting too!  But I’ve been busy salivating over what the other ladies have been producing on the NaKniSweMoDo  and have an ever increasing list of want-to-dos. So it’s back to the sweaters for me for now.


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