Archive for December, 2010

New Year’s Eve

It’s that time of year again – when we sit down, think about the year we have almost finished, and anticipate the year ahead.  I wish I had a little more time to do this right now, but I’m surrounded by a house that’s *almost* packed ready for our annual sojourn south.  I smell like a bonfire, thanks to a lovely afternoon and evening with friends. I am replete with good food and content after enjoying fabulous company. The children are tucked up in their beds, worn out after bouncing and chasing, and water squirting,  feeding goats, and playing with doggies.  I even managed a row of so of knitting (nearly 400 stitches per row, so that’s all good!)  Suitcases are nearly filled, mountains of washing have been folded, fridge cleaned out, and knitting projects for holiday have been selected.  Life is good.

So, while I owe you all some reflective, or perhaps anticipatory posts about knitting, full of plans for the future, it will have to wait. I’ll share some future plans next week, and show you a couple of finished projects too.  I even have a finished sweater, all done bar the buttons! That might have to wait until we’re back home though, since I didn’t get time to take pictures today, and I really don’t need to take a winter-weight sweater away with me.

So for now, best wishes for a happy New Year. I hope that you and your family enjoy some relaxing time together.




Wool Leaves Blanket

I’ve been putting the finishing touches on Christmas present wrapping today. The very last gift I wrapped (still wondering how to wrap a bicycle) was the basinette for Miss 2.  She is getting a Gotz Maxi Muffin doll, which I unwrapped and put into the cot. I also made a wee mattress, pillow and sheet set for dolly. They are in a cute star fabric, which I hope she loves.

The blanket I knit was from Jared Flood’s gorgeous Wool Leaves pattern. The yarn I used does not really do justice to the pattern, but I was aiming to knit from stash, and to knit something in a colour she would love. Pink and green are big favourites – so why not! 

Using two strands of yarn, the finished blanket is 175g, or 300yards of wool used.  This is The Wool Company Multicolours in Watermelon.   I adapted the sizing – so I used 41 stitches and 4.5 repeats to get a doll’s basinette size blanket – about 15.5×20 inches.  This knit up so quickly – it was done in two evenings.   Simple enough to knit while watching TV or having a conversation, it has to be considered if you need to knit a baby blanket. 

I am hoping that Miss 2 and Dolly both like this wee blanket. Can’t wait until tomorrow!!

Good and Chunky Dishcloths

I love a good chunky cotton dishcloth for wiping up in the kitchen. I also love a good fast knit.  These dishcloths are for a Christmas gift, and I was able to whip these three up in one afternoon and evening.  One more thing ticked off my to-do list!

If you would like to knit up some quick dishclothes, here is the pattern that I used for each of the cloths – the top two are ‘Dotty”, and the bottom one is “Knotty”

Each has the same list of requirements

25g/35m each of two different cotton yarns – 50g/70m in total. I used Anchor Magicline and other cotton from stash.

5mm knitting needles


Cast on 31 stitches using a two strands of cotton yarn on 5mm needles.

Knit 6 rows  and then start this pattern:

Row 1: Knit

Row 2 and all following wrong side rows: Knit 4, purl to 4 stitches before the end of the row, knit 4

Row 3: Knit 4, *k2, k2tog, yo* repeat * to last 7 stitches, knit 7

Row 4: as row 2

Row 5: Knit

Row 6: as row 2

Row 7: Knit 4 *k2tog, yo, k2* repeat * to last 4 stitches, knit 4

Row 8: as row 2

Repeat these 8 rows. ( I repeated them 4 times for a 15cmx15cm square cloth.)

Knit 6 rows.

Cast off.


Cast on 32 stitches, using two strands of yarn held together over 5mm needles.

Row 1: Knit 1 *k2tog* repeat * until 1 stitch remains, k1.

Row 2: Knit 1 *K1, pick up strands between this stitch and the next stitch and knit it* repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 3: Knit

Row 4: Purl

Repeat these four rows until cloth reaches desired length ( I did 13 repeats for a 15cmx15cm cloth.)

Cast off.

I’ll pop a project page  up on Ravelry, I’d love to see some pictures of your cloths if you whip some up too!

Dolly Knitting

Earlier this month I had a doll’s clothes binge.  Miss 4 got a lovely wee Gotz Maxi Muffin doll for her birthday, and Miss 2 will be receiving one for Christmas.  Each doll only comes with one set of clothes, and what’s the fun in never changing their clothes.

A few weeks ago I sewed two tunic tops for Miss 4’s doll, but even that hasn’t stopped the never ending stream of odd outfits I find her in: Miss 4’s t-shirt, Miss 2’s t-shirt, a baby doll’s all-in-one – the list goes on!  So under the tree will be at least two new outfits for each girl’s doll – one sewn (which I purchased off TradeMe) and one knitted.  I am hoping to have time for another cardigan each before the big day – but not sure if I will have the time. Or perhaps I should try something a bit more summery to match our weather?

First up, for Miss 4:

I used two free patterns for each outfit. Firstly the Poppy Cardigan by the lovely Tikki, and secondly a slightly adapted version of the Ruffled Doll Skirt by Nanette Generaux.  Both patterns were easy to follow, and quick and fun to knit.

The Poppy Cardigan for Miss 4 was knitted from 50g exactly of John Q Heather 8ply yarn that I picked up from Knitworld’s sale in January.  I think I paid $3 a ball for it, and it seems good value – not soft, but not scratchy either.  The colours are beautiful – I love the subtle heathered tones.   The skirt took a total of 41g of yarn including the white trim.  Instead of knitting the skirt’s body in pattern I just knit it in stocking stitch to match the cardigan.

The outfit for Miss 2’s doll is from the Wool Company’s Avocado (green) and Watermelon (variegated) yarn, also in 8ply.

I have a stack of Watermelon still in my stash, as I was gifted some by another knitter whose daughter found it too scratchy. It isn’t the softest of yarns, but at $15 for 200g I’ve found it to be excellent value for an everyday yarn. 

I again knit the skirt in stocking stitch – I didn’t think that the pattern would show up in the variegated yarn well – and it certainly sped up the knitting too!

I hope that the girls get many hours of fun from these wee outfits!  It’s so lovely to see them playing with their dolls, caring for them and being a wee ‘mummy’.  Miss 2 has just started to ‘talk’ for her toys and puts on a sweet wee voice for each character. Too cute – and such a wee copycat!

My Creative Space

Today’s creative space is *not* a sneak peek of my Christmas knitting. Instead it’s a cute project for the girls.

Meet the Octopus! The balloon octopus. Well, in fact two. Since I have two girls.

Miss 4 saw an octopus project on the TV this morning and asked straight away if we could make one. So we did.  Her sister displayed a complete lack of interest until after dinner. I thought that the very last balloon I had was black, so it was a pleasant surprise to find this lovely purple colour emerge as it was blown up. And the fact you could see the octopus’ eyes was a complete bonus. 

A balloon octopus is strangely aerodynamic. The girls had lots of fun tonight, and had to be persuaded that sleeping with an octopus would be a much better idea if they were not made out of balloons.

You can find more creative spaces here.

Christmas Knitting

I’m not knitting too many gifts this year, but I did want to knit some things from stash. So, first up are a couple of gifts for my husband’s family.

For his mother, a lovely scarf. Not my kind of colour at all, but just perfect for her. I snapped this skein of Malabrigo up from a swap box recently, trading it for a colour I had in my stash which I am sure lots of people will love. But MIL has the perfect colouring to carry off a orange scarf!

My father in law has been up visiting, so I asked him if MIL would prefer a scarf or hat – given it’s summer here, the correct answer is probably neither – that aside, he thought a scarf would be good. I decided on the very popular, and free, pattern Drop Stitch Scarf.  I wanted a quick knit as I hoped to send it back in his suitcase.  I needn’t have knitted so fast – his flight was cancelled this morning due to rather inclement weather, so he’s here with us for another day. The kids will get a lovely surprise when they get home from preschool!

Anyway, back to the scarf. I knit this up starting Thursday night, and finished Sunday.  In between I did a good few hours each day.  Including knitting through a staff lunch and farewells on Friday.  So, in maybe 7 or8 hours knitting it was all done. It is lovely and squishy knit up on 5mm needles, and blocked it reached nearly 1.5m long – I was worried it might be too short to wrap, but it’s not. Superb!

For my sister in law, I knit a cowl last year. At her suggestion – so I know she wears such things. For this year, I wanted something similar but different, and I found the Dandy Kerchief on Rav which seemed to fit my criteria – fast in 8ply, fit within the amount of yarn I had, and a little bit edgy. Cool! A complete bonus was that it’s a free pattern.

I used more stashed yarn for this – a Cleckheaton Country 8ply I took from a swap box to make the contents fit a smaller box. I had no clue what to make with it.  And to be fair, a neckwarmer could definitely do with even squishier yarn, but this is certainly acceptable.  I used two balls – and about 1.5m from the third ball.  Which took me three days to find. So, completion took a bit longer than planned! (The ball was on the coffee table the whole time too!)

You can’t really see the cute lace patttern too easily in this picture – but it is lovely and super easy as well.  Here’s an example.

You put a couple of buttons on the long sides of the triangle, and button it up around your neck.  I put on two seriously cute owl buttons – a hint of whimsy, but I think she’ll like them.

Wrapped up and in the suitcase, these will be off to Christchurch in the morning. Where it has been nearly 30 degrees this week – maybe they will get lots of wear next winter though!

At My House


At my house things have been hectic. It’s one of the busiest times of year for me, workwise, and in addition, the garden is starting to really take shape, so it needs some hands on attention. Luckily it is my happy place. Who wouldn’t be happy with the promise of delicious things to come!

I really have needed my happy place this week though! It started on Monday when DS got hit by a car while he was cycling. He was fortunate to only sustain damage to his two front teeth – not even a bruise or scratch aside from this.  So my busy week had to have police, insurance, witnesses, dentists, and bike shops added to the agenda.  Luckily the bike shop are onto it, and my brave son even biked to school again today.

Despite lack of evidence here, I have been knitting and I’ve even finished a few things – I have a very modest Christmas knit list this year but I’m making good progress so far!  I’ll get DS to help me take some pictures tomorrow.

Check here for more At My House links 🙂

December 2010
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