Archive for December, 2009

Happy Blogiversary!!

It’s my blogiversary today!

Yes, a year ago today I sat down and *did* rather than make a resolution to do. I had been meaning to get around to starting a blog for ages, and I decided that the time had come. And I am so glad that I did. I have had a wonderful year of blogging, ‘meeting’ lots of new friends, gaining encouragement and inspiration from wonderful knitters and crafters.

So, how to celebrate? I’ve decided that a giveaway would, of course, be most appropriate (how surprising!)  What I am offering is a chance to win a custom made pair of handknit socks knit by yours truly.

**picture your feet here**

How do you get in to win? Simple! Sign up to follow my blog and leave a note to say you’ve done it. Already follow? Great (thanks 🙂 ) Just leave a note in the comments for your entry too! 

I’ll make the draw in one week’s time, and then contact the winner to discuss colours and patterns.

Good luck!

PS. All sisters are welcome to enter 🙂

Beautiful Gifts

In my enthusiasm for finally getting to share my Christmas knitting with you, I have not yet taken the chance to show you the beautiful gifts I recieved.  My sisters and I have an understanding that we will give hand made gifts to each other – but this year two of them broke the rules and gave me knitting enabling gifts instead!

Check out this stunning sock yarn from Needlefood. Delicious, this is hand dyed in Christchurch, and it is my first skein. Yep, I am ashamed to say I’ve yet to try it out. But the sister who gifted this to me recently knit herself a pair in another colourway and they are lovely. This colourway is called Plum Ambrosia.

And the other gift is a book I’ve been wanting for some time…

This will be a super addition to my knitting library, and I have really enjoyed reading it and flicking through it. I even had a go at knitting a sample and changing to to top down for a pattern idea. *Must* finish the current patterns before I go writing another though!

I love this bag my eldest sister made me – must fend of eager junior bag lovers!  And this lovely wee tin has a teeny scrapbook with photos and information about my grandparents, great grandparents and great greatgrandparents (?) that she put together. What an amazing piece of history to have access too. Lovely!

I am so grateful for these lovely and thoughful gifts. I hope that you had a blessed Christmas too.

Christmas Knitting Part 3 – Monkeys

My lovely sister sent me some photos of the Monkey socks I knit for her, so I thought I’d do a brief update here to show them off 🙂

And a modelled pic…

I am rather lucky my mother and sisters all have the same size foot so are easy to knit for. Unfortunately it’s not the same size foot as me, so I don’t get to borrow shoes. Given they all live too far away from me to make this feasible, I can’t complain too much.

We were off visiting some friends of the PIL earlier today and the husband commented on my sock knitting and wondered how the needle ‘worked’.  On a demonstration he declared the needle (an 80cm circ magic looping) to be a ‘brilliant invention’.  I couldn’t agree more.

My MIL commented last night that every time she sees me I’m knitting something different. Oops! I’ll finish something new to show you all soon, I promise!!

Christmas Knitting Part 2

Today’s instalment was brought to you by the letter S, and the number two.

Yes, two pairs of socks today 🙂

I was a bit naughty when I was choosing my patterns for sock knitting for Christmas and chose patterns I had knit up before. First up were some Monkey socks.  Despite spending the last twenty minutes looking through my photos, I am can’t find a single colour picture of them anywhere. Sis? Any chance of a picture?  They are knit from a Limited Edition Vintage Purls colourway, and are super snuggly. One of these days I’ll knit myself a pair of Monkeys!

Something that I *do* have a pair of is Kai-Meis.  I chose another lovely LE Vintage Purls colourway for these socks – its exact name escapes me right now. Using the “I enjoyed this pattern the last time I knit it” logic seems to have worked this time too.  My sister, coincidentally,  also got the book with this pattern in for Christmas.

And apparently they fit a treat 🙂

Oops, this wasn’t quite the inspiring pic-packed post I was imagining – sorry about that!  Must remember to make a better record of things before I post them off!

Ohh, and my nephew (Mr 5.99999)  was rather surprised by his frog too. He got a knitted Ribbit in his parcel. I hope he enjoys living on that side of the pond!

Christmas Roundup

I hope that you all have enjoyed a blessed Christmas with family and friends. We have been very lucky this Christmas, spending it our wee family, and both sets of grandparents. The children have had an amazing day, too many sweets, many treats and been given lots of lovely toys and awesome activities too. And so now I sit inside alone but for sleeping children whilst Dh and my PIL enjoy an amazing calm night outdoors, still 22 degrees at 10pm. I tried joining them, but the wee bitey bugs found out I was there and came around for their Christmas feast too. Hmph.

Before I show you some of my Christmas knitting, I thought I would share this lovely picture of my girls in the car coming back from lunch with the grandparents. Needless to say, they were a *little* worn out from a morning’s excitement.

 You will be well aware I’ve been holding back on you on the knitting front of late. Here are some FO’s from the last few months – I’ll show you some today and some tomorrow. My sister in the States won’t have opened her pressies yet so I don’t want to spoil her surprise!

For my SIL, I knit this cowl.

The pattern is the Crofter’s Cowl, and it was a simple and enjoyable knit. Well, I say that now – but the first night I started knitting it, I just could not make it work out. The second attempt was a breeze. Lesson? Remember to sleep, it helps with knitting comprehension. This is knit in two pieces and grafted together, which did take a whole hour – am I a slow grafter or what? The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Vermillion. I wanted something super soft, and this fit the bill admirably. I’d been given a list of preferred colours, and it was nearly impossible to find any 10 ply locally in any of these colours, so I ended up ordering this from overseas. I used only around half a skein so there is plenty for a second one or another small project. SIL has deemed the colour ‘perfect’. Yay!

Another gift I got to give in person today was these socks for Mum These are Daphne by Vintage Purls – from the last Summer Sock Club – both the yarn and pattern.

Yesterday I was not sure these would be wrapped and gifted today. I had decided to leave the gifts to be given in person until last, as you do. Since I had knitted one sock of this pair way back in July, I thought it would be easy to finish the pair by Christmas Day. But on Tuesday I discovered, when putting the socks up against each other, I had made a fatal error in the heel of the first sock. I had to rip back the sock right to the beginning of the heel flap and reknit it. Gulp. So, in order to complete these in time I knit the leg a little shorter than I would have otherwise, and switched out the cuff in the pattern for 1×1 rib which was faster. I think that they will suit Mum’s tastes nicely at the length they are – thank goodness! I seriously contemplated wrapping up one sock only, but I got both done and blocked in time, and they dried super fast thanks to great weather on Christmas Eve.

And while I’m on a green theme, I’ll show you the lovely Rose Red beret I knit for my eldest sister. She is the token non-knitter in the family, so I asked her if there was anything I could knit for her, and she asked for a hat like mine. So after a colour conference I selected some yummy Malabrigo Silky Merino in Dill. The end result in a much less dense knit than the Worsted version I knit for myself, but I hope it will keep her warm during winters nonetheless. I have to confess I enjoyed knitting this pattern every bit as much the second time around, it is a super pattern and I would not hesitate to recommend it to any knitter who can follow very well written patterns.

And this is where I’ll leave you for today – tomorrow’s instalment will be more socks 🙂

Up up and away

In order to distract you from the fact I am *still* doing Christmas knitting and not showing you… I thought I’d fill you in on an adventure we had yesterday.

My FIL has a friend with a helicopter and he organised for him to, erm, drop by yesterday. It is a wee three seater, so there was room for Mr 12 and I to go up. He also let me take Miss 1. Miss 3 had the chance to go too (in a separate ride) but she thought it was altogether too noisy. The intention was just a quick run around the perimeter of the property and over it to see the highlights (my PIL have a rather idiosyncratic garden).  However this plan was scarpered by the fact that my PIL live under the flight path for the local international airport and we were unable to get clearance to do this. 

So, instead we were treated to about 15 minutes worth of flying over the local environs, checking out teeny wee sheep, horses and orchards from above. You will just have to believe me about the stunning view over the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps though as DS only managed one shot on the PIL’s new camera before it said “memory full”. 

However DH did better from the ground and he was able to capture our landing, and was suprised to see Miss 1’s reaction to the trip.

Oh, hard to tell from there. What about this shot?

Yes, that’s her fast asleep 🙂

Summer Sojourn

It’s that time of year again – summer holidays have begun and we have made the trek south to visit family and friends.

Leaving home is probably the hardest part of taking a holiday. Especially when you’re leaving home behind for more than a week. Some dilemmas:

The packing dilemma. Not just what clothes to take – I’ve become a very efficient packer over the years, especially once I realised packing a good outfit in case my husband saw fit to take me out for a nice dinner was just silly given all the travel my nice outfits got, in comparison to how much they got worn. My biggest packing dilemma was the knitting one. How much yarn to take, *what* yarn to take, which patterns to pack, what *will* I feel like knitting during our stay and so on.

So, I have packed my Whisper Cardigan and then realised I forgot the second ball of yarn, so there isn’t too much more to be done on that these holidays. And I packed my Cotton Fleece, some for the girls and some for me, project as yet undecided. *And* I went pattern-less – yay for Ravelry’s Library function – it means I can access any paid patterns I’ve purchased from wherever I am. Just as well really as my printer spat the dummy last week. I think it is on a permanent vacation. Hmph. And I packed the two unfinished Christmas projects destined to go under trees close to me. One was a single sock and the rest of the ball of yarn, with the pattern lost. Thankfully the pattern writer emailed me a new copy of it – bless you my friend!  So that sock has been flying off the needles today in my quiet moments. Which there are so many more of when there are four adults to share the care of the three kids!

One other project I bought with me is a pattern I am writing and testing at the moment – I’ve a couple of testers lined up, but if anyone is keen to try a baby and toddler sock pattern, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll contact you.  I’ve got two sizes, one for babies, the other to suit older toddlers, and I am looking at sizing up a third size for slightly bigger feet too. It’s a lacy pattern more suited to girls. But I am working on a unisex pattern as well, so boys’ mamas will be catered for in the new year too.

But back to the dilemmas

The garden dilemma. It is so hard to leave behind a newly thriving vegetable garden when you go away! We planned our trip to leave 2 -3 weeks earlier than usual, so hopefully the garden will be in full swing when we return.  I spent a good few hours in the flower garden spraying, weeding and trimming the week before we left, as well as stakeing out the vege garden as well as I could. Where we live we can get a lot of rain, which tomatoes hate, and it results in blight. Hopefully I’ll avoid it this year and the wee yellow flowers on the plant now will be yummy ripe tomatoes by our return. Our blackberry was in flower with wee fruit starting to form as well, so I will be keen to see what this looks like on our return.

The toy dilemma – it’s very difficult to justify packing *any* toys when you know there’s a whole suitcase of presents packed already. Luckily Mum came over with a box of stuff yesterday so the girls have been very well amused between that, the little things we brought with us, and the paddling pool.

I think those are the biggest dilemmas. The best bits of travelling for Christmas has been that (aside from the knitted gifts to finish) I have a smooth run up to the big day – our presents are all wrapped and labelled, tree and stocking ready, the travel has been accomplished before the big rush, and here we are all relaxed and ready to enjoy this special time with family and friends.

Oh, except I appear to have forgotten to pack the Christmas stockings. I wonder if that means Santa doesn’t know where to find us this year?


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