Archive for August, 2010

One of my favourite FO’s ever

Or is she still a WIP?  Either way, photos of my lovely test knit for Tikki are still waiting to be taken as we have been busy preparing for today’s big birthday. Yes, finally the long awaited day, Miss 3 is now Miss 4.

We planned a princess party. We decorated our own cupcakes…

And crowns too (which I forgot to photograph..). We ate together at the table and drank out of real teacups. We wore our best princess dressups (and the lone boy invitee wore his best pirate gear!), and had lots of fun.  

We even had a castle cake. Purple because the shop had run out of pink icing dye (!).

And my so grown up girl handled it very well when her small sister blew out two candles as soon as the final peals of ‘Happy Birthday’ were sounded. 

Happy Birthday my princess.


Benji at the beach

I’m really pleased to announce that my new pattern Benji is loaded up  and ready for sale.  It has been in testing for the last couple of weeks and I got such great feedback from my fabulous test knitters – it saw an extra couple of sizes being added to the pattern, and some instructions for making a custom fit beanie, because despite what some patterns would have you believe, one size really doesn’t fit ‘all’ very well! 

I have knit five of these in different sizes while I was developing the pattern- Miss 2’s above was knit first, and is a little tight – moving up a needle size didn’t change the gauge but it does change the way the fabric behaves – so, I really recommend you use 4.5mm needles for a more flexible fabric. 

Miss 3’s was knit next. I adore the 100Purewool yarn – the hats for all us girls are in this yarn – this is the undyed and the Quebracho. Delicious, and topped with a Buttons By Benjii button it’s really popular with its owner.  In fact the fourth hat I knit is indentical except in Newborn size, for her not-so-anatomically-correct baby doll.  I didn’t photograph this one yet because it’s minus its button. I *know* I have one more from this set somewhere, but the *where* is currently alluding me.

And then one for me…

In Chocolate and (I think) Lust.  I love it – I think this may be the first beanie I’ve ever owned. Certainly I’ve not been a fan before, but it fits well and is super soft and really warm.  I’ll definitely be getting lots of wear out of it.

And the final version was the man-sized one. The Robot button was custom made for me – a gift from Nicci at Buttons by Benji.  The yarn is John Q Heathers – and it took just a smidge over 1 ball (thank goodness for another ball in the stash!) and the variegated yarn is some Wool Company Seaweed.   Heathers is not the softest of yarns, but it passes Dh’s scratch test, so that’s good.  And another good fit 🙂

All these pictures were taken today at Oakura beach. Sundays are, for us, usually a family day. Sometimes it includes visits to friends, fortnightly we visit the library, and sometimes we just hang out at home. Today Miss 3 suggested we went to the beach. She dressed herself in short shorts and a t-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt underneath. The sun was shining in through the conservatory, warming the house up. She suggested she pack her togs. Despite the fact she is ready for summer, and it was a beautiful day, there is no denying the fact it’s still winter here. She was amenable to suggestions of warmer clothes and we packed a snack and headed off. I packed lots of beanies for a quick photoshoot while everyone played. DS made a hut out of driftwood, the girls found tiny shells and threw sticks into the river.  Everyone wrote (or ‘wrote’) messages in the sand. And eventually we all packed off home, tired and hungry. Miss 3 commented in the car “We came to the beach because I thought of it.”  And what it brilliant idea it was. Thanks sweetie!

Good Things

Rather than focussing on the negatives (like my washing machine dying…) I thought I’d share some good things that have recently come to live at our place.

A nice, shiny brand new machine complete with Eco options to run my laundry 🙂

Half price containers meant a newly organised pantry 🙂

And a lovely present from a swap that arrived well packaged in the post.

I’m looking forward to the Spring, and this thoughtful gift makes me look forward to Spring gardening too.

Her Pinkness

Her Pinkness (otherwise known as Miss 3) has had a few new knits made for her lately, so I thought I should show her wearing them, since it does happen.  A few weeks ago I posted a picture of her finished Hotshot hoodie in the gorgeous Chocolate Rose colourway of Family Roots Willow Merino. This has been languishing in her drawer due to a wave of warmer weather. Today it was approved as a clothing choice both because of the weather, the pinkness, and the addition of this label.

The label was part of the package of goodies I got last week and Miss 3 has been coveting them ever since. I, of course, was happy to oblige!

The hood on this is definitely too short – I am now hoping to score some leftover trim from somewhere to lengthen it. Miss 3 doesn’t mind it how it is, but I think that it would be good to have it a bit longer. Other than this it’s an excellent fit. I knit the size 4 (goodness, she nearly *is* four too!), and it is a nice roomy fit with plenty of growing space for her. The yarn is lovely – it feels odd when you are knitting it, but I trust the feedback I’ve recieved that it’s amazing in terms of wear and low-pillage. (Sooo not a word, but hey, you know what I mean!)

Always one with her eye on a chance of pink knitting, she noted with some jealousy the yarn I was using to knit her sister a pair of Epicene socks.  I assured her there was plenty for a pair for her, and she waited a little impatiently until they appeared.

And when they did she wasted no time putting them on, and she’s worn them pretty well non-stop since then. So you might need to wait until *after* they’ve been washed for a better photos. Until then…

And now her Pinkness can be dressed from head to toe in pink knitted goodness. Just the way she likes it.

Treasure Trove

I had a lovely parcel arrive on my doorstep yesterday. It was full of tiny treasures, a prize that I won in a draw on a forum I’m on, for entering a project in their theme of the month competition. The theme last month was embellishment and I submitted the cushions I made and was lucky enough to have my name drawn for the prize.

Fittingly enough, the prize contains a real treasure trove on things for embellishment – everything from size labels to printed snap caps (the owls have to be my fave, I have an owl thing going on right now), crocheted flowers through to seriously sparkly bling, a hoard of brightly coloured zips thought to handmade buttons.  I have been utterly spoiled.

Thanks so much to the Gingham gals for putting together such a beautiful and generous prize pack.

Idyllic Days

For no apparent reason, there are some days that are just so lovely. Yesterday was like that. It started cold and crisp – not a frost, but close to it.  The sky was blue, reaching right across the sky and the mountain was visible, covered still in its winter white coat. I put on a beret as I hung out a load of washing, grateful for the time to put it out, and the knowledge it would dry on such a splendid day.

I work as a secondary teacher, part time on a rotating six day timetable. Effectively it means I start an hour later every second day, and twice every six days I get to finish early. Yesterday was a late start and an early finish. Bliss. I got to potter around getting the house tidy, two loads of washing out, nappies folded, rubbish out, beds made, all without a rush. And all the while two fairies played, chatted, snuggled (hard with fairy wings), and chilled in front of morning TV. 

After work it was time to pick up the girls who needed naps but wanted to play. Ten or so stories later they were both snuggled up and I could finally have lunch and knit a few rows. More bliss.  And then it was time for some study, a little time with DS when he got home from school, and I put on some bread dough. 

Dinner was homemade burgers, chicken for us and Felafel for DH.  I so love dinners everyone eats! And then knitting night – I turned up to find that the person who I had helped cast on her first ever sock the week before had completed one pair of toddler socks, one child sock and was just casting on sock number four. Dessert and knitting with friends, yarn in hand, the sound of chatter and knitting needles all around me.

Yesterday was perfect.

Today has been pretty awesome too – work early, enrolled my lad at high school which he will start in February, home to work on my study, and then back to work for the last class, to discover I’ve been assigned a teacher aide for this lesson which is awesome!  Add in a delightful interlude in the garden planting some passionfruit vines I scored for 50 cents each on the weekend, and watching the girls playing outside, and today has been delightful too.

It might be winter, but the days are getting longer, and warmer. On days like we have had, I feel the promise of spring in the air.

Testing Times

I am an easily distracted person, I have decided. I am not, repeat not, counting the number of projects I have on the needles right now.  I’m also not counting the number of half finished designs and tests of new patterns in the works. I am working on just two things right now.

First I’m super excited that my new hat pattern (as above) is being test knit by me and some awesome volunteers at the moment.  I ran out of yarn on mine and am having to reknit the crown, so that’s tomorrow’s knitting sorted.  Above is a sneak peak at Miss 3’s hat, which is so incredibly super soft, knit in 100PureWool 3 ply worsted (as is mine).

And the second thing I’m working on is a test knit for Tikki.  Also for Miss 3, and it is lovely.  Piccies to come when I put it on a large enough needle for it to look like something other than an unshapely mess.  I’m using some long stashed yarn, BWM Harmony for this – a wool, cotton lycra blend, and a crepe yarn. Totally unlike anything I’ve knit for a while but the one garment I made for myself from it wears really well so it seemed ideal for a kiddie knit. And it’s pink, so not going wrong there!

So, what’s happening with my tunic? It’s calling to me, but I’ll knit some more on it when I’ve finished this hat, and when I reach the endless stocking stitch section of my test knit. After all, I never promised to be faithful to knitting just one thing at a time, did I?

August 2010
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