Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Generosity or insanity?

I had a pick-up this morning, so I organised my mum to mind Marcus while I took Dot with me, as we usually do. Unfortunately my mum had an appointment this morning so two of my nieces became ring-ins for the morning.

When I got home Marcus was exhausted (well done girls!) and went straight off to sleep. I put Dot down and dragged my nieces out to my workroom. While I sorted my buttons into OCD jars of varying colourways my nieces sat on the floor going through my stash, taking whatever they wanted.

No, they weren't pinching my stash. I told them to help themselves to whatever I didn't really want, and they fell upon my stash with gusto. Occasionally I freaked out and helped myself back to some yarn (like I'm letting them have my white angora! Or the baby camel hair!) but on the whole I was very nice. Ashlee pointed out that her yarn had all come from The Reject Shop and mine felt nicer. Of course it did - she was stroking a ball of Sublime Extra Fine Merino!

I've realised I'd rather buy up a huge amount of yarn to make an actual jumper than buy a small ball here and there. Unless it's looking at yarn. Looking at yarn is sacred.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

O, ye of little faith

This post goes out to my sister who requested I assist her in someone else's crochet project.

Nora (I think the name was Nora, I wasn't really paying attention to be honest) wanted to finish off her late sister's crochet projects and she was stumped on the last rug. My sister wasn't too sure how to join all of the strips either so she asked for my help to make up a border "just to show how it's done for the rest". Being both nice and an unbelievable show-off I said yes.

The pattern is called "Barefoot Summer Days" (because it looks like feet) and it's in American terminology which isn't that much of a problem for me. Then I started. 

Next month, I picked it up again, tried to re-read the pattern. Nope, still horrible for my brain.

Next month, I picked it up again, tried to re-read the pattern. Swore. Put bag in back room and went off and had a baby instead.

Next month, I put Dot down and picked up the rug. The pattern swam before my eyes and then made sense. No idea why. Two strips done in no time at all.

Baby brain assists in hard crochet work. Who knew?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ahhhhh calm...

Last weekend was Marcus' 2nd birthday. As you may expect, I was prepared and gave him a very low-key party, nothing major.


*snort* Well, I tried to keep a straight face.

I went so far over the top, I was in Belgium.

The theme was "trains", so we held the party at the Mooroolbark Miniature Railway. Marcus has never been on a train in his life when we handed him over to my da to take on his ride, and his reaction was one of indifference. My son, the dilletante at age 2. I'm so proud.

Personally, I thought his train cake was rubbish, but lots of complete strangers loved it. Well, not rubbish, but it didn't work out how I visualised. Still looks like a train, though,

Yes, I made him a shirt with trains on it for the party but I ran out of time to add button holes. Tomorrow, my mum will be coming over for a sewing morning; while I add buttonholes, she'll keep the boy from using the overlocker (this is much more difficult than you might think). I love the banner behind him - I bought them from a shop on Etsy, and everything matched. I had matching invites, envelopes, drink wrappers (which I forgot to put on), the works. I'll be using Parties by Hardie again, trust me.

Now to return to my somewhat more normal life. I have a christening to plan, after all...

Friday, September 23, 2011


Royal Melbourne Show results came out yesterday. Only one prize was awarded in the Fair Isle category, and it wasn't to me.

Excuse me. I'm going off to sulk.

(I'm fine, really. But if I act as if I'm upset I can get away with a lot more.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I only have one knitting project on the go at the moment, a very simple garter stitch cardigan for Dot. I can knit garter with my eyes shut which is why it is my knitting pattern of choice with new babies around.

The older baby is the problem now. Marcus is two next week and becoming fairly vocal regarding his likes and dislikes. One of his major dislikes is my knitting. If he spots me knitting he'll run over to me and start trying to pull the needles out of the knitting, which he then grabs and piffs across the room. As a result I can't knit while he's awake or anywhere near me, which has resulted in a drop in my knitting efforts.

I'm currently trying to convince myself he's helping me prolong my knitting enjoyment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned my hatred of dentists here before. I have nothing against individual dentists, obviously, but the profession in general drives me crazy. The day Denticare exists here in Australia I will be overjoyed.

Just before Dot was born I chipped off my front tooth on a Butter Menthol. Yes, I was crunching it. Judge not etc etc. Without a front tooth I look like a caricature of a bogan, so I swore to find a new dentist, the kind of practice where you see the same person everytime. A bit of investigating and one was procured close by.

Today I had three fillings done. (Yes, I needed three fillings. I actually need another 17 surfaces done, capping, a pin and my two front teeth replaced. Feel better about your teeth yet?) My dentist noticed that when he started drilling I dig my fingernails into the back of my hand. After he laughed and told me to relax he explained how he sometimes uses hypnotherapy on very nervous patients. I laughed myself and told him that if I had my knitting with me I wouldn't be quite so bad.

Guess who's allowed to take her knitting along next time she goes to the dentist?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lazy Link Day

After a day where Dot slept for a maximum of thirty minutes at any given time, I realised that I had worked on nothing today but keeping my own sanity. Have some links to some nice knitting stuff instead.

A beautiful print for your knitting space.

How to turn old t-shirts into yarn.

The ultimate sign of your dedication to knitting: the tattoo. (One day I'll get one. One day.)

A knitted bike cosy. To keep it warm, I presume.

A beautiful memorial for the Christchurch earthquake victims.

I always suspected it was genetic...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Before and After - The Sewing Room

I gave myself a deadline of 5:30pm today to get the room into shape. I took my photos at 5:10pm. I'm feeling a bit smug, to be honest.

Look at that: floor! A clear entry into the room is a pretty big miracle if you ask me. Bottom left is a craft cart full of interfacing and iron on padding. The jarrah shelf thingie (technical terminology) is holding my iron and my cutting boards now. Under the bench are four boxes full of fabric, all sorted into colours and folded up. I taped a list to the top of one of the boxes with my future plans for the huge amounts that I have. The best idea was setting up my old corner desk on the top to hold my lovely old machine.

Isn't he lovely? He was a present from sister's partner's mum who no  longer had need for it. Up on the desk he's far far away from a certain small boy who thinks all sewing machines are toys in disguise.

The table of generalness no longer has a pile upon it, but rather an awful lot of space, which is nice. The was enough space to add another chair to centre of my cutting table, which will help a lot!

Under the end table are a few boxes. There's my mending box, the projects I haven't finished yet box (now in order of necessity and guilt at not finishing them), embroidery projects and a box full of fabric that I use to make knitting project bags (to be sold on Etsy and Made It soon). The three trays on top have my pincushions, my felt and my unfinished lavender bags (I make a lot of those for the business).

Under the window are two boxes of various fabric that I plan to get rid of. If you want them, send me an email, okay? Otherwise that Salvos will inherit the box next weekend.

Finally, we have the new sewing corner. I moved another sewing table in, this one from my nan. She's just moved into a nursing home (at 95 - finally!), so I dibs'd it. I've put my overlocker on the new table and my sewing machine on my other table, l-shaped in the corner. Under the table is my nana's sewing basket, which is full of sewing cottons.

I've hid all my scissors in a container up the back so hopefully Marcus won't be able to reach it. He isn't that interested in the scissors, anyway, not when he can open up the front of the overlocker! Next to the scissors is my dodgy old clock radio, just for some music while I work.

It took less time than I thought it would, which was great. I'm setting myself the challenge of keeping it looking like this for a month, then adding some decoration, so you'll have to check back in then to see the result!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fabric sorting and family

After a brief visit to Ikea, I headed out to the workroom to start the sorting out of fabric and was stumped straight away. Do I sort the fabric by colour? By type? A big pile of future projects and store everything else in another spot? I started pulling out boxes and looking through them, which is how I found my da's unfinished birthday present from February last year. I needed to remove the bias binding from the edge and it meant I escaped the cleaning.

My view while I unpicked the edging was very nice. First I had Marcus in his new sandpit.

Then Felix and Dot came out to keep me company.

Much more relaxed afternoon. I'm sorting my fabric by colour, after all.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I was sure I'd cleaned this...

Sometimes your life is fabulous. Everything just chugs along nicely, you think you're coping beautifully and then you turn a corner and realise "Whoops. Guess I wasn't."

In my case, it's the bungalow. Specifically the workroom out the back. I haven't been able to sew in there since Dot was born, mostly due to Dot herself. I ventured back in there yesterday afternoon and the wool fell from my eyes. And off the table. And rolled across the floor and settled next to a.... is that a guitar?

Nothing for it, time to tidy up. I thought I'd be generous and share my humiliation with you all, because we all know there's nothing like someone else's disaster area to make yours feel better. Ditto when someone else's area makes you want to drool:

No, that's not my sewing room, sadly. It belongs to a very clever woman named Karen over at Sew Many Ways. One day, my pretties, one day.

That's mine. This is the view from the front room to the back. I was sure it wasn't this bad, so I shall simply assume that a hurricane went through at this time. A very small hurricane, obviously, as it was indoors. On the left is an amazing jarrah shelf thingie (technical terminology) with nothing in it. Behind that is my craft bookcase. It's full. Very very full. On the right is my general use table. It's a bit covered in generalness at the moment.

This is the view of the right of the room. Massive window that is pretty useless actually. Outside is a monster fern that covers half the window, and with the room facing south and a massive pine tree hanging overhead my sunlight is nonexistent. My sewing table was my nana's and I claimed it when it was time to clean out her belongings, along with her knitting needles and a sewing box. All the way along the back wall is a cutting bench that my da made for me because he's lovely.

Last, we have the inside wall. The power cord hanging off the wall is from the wall heater, and you can see the overlocker cord is pulling it halfway across the room, because I forgot about the powerboard on the floor there. Don't judge me. I have a dodgy corner desk with an Ikea mini ironing board (too small really) and the world's dodgiest iron - steam free or nothing but steam, depending on how much water is in it. Also, I really wasn't joking about the guitar you know.

My knitting section isn't too bad, but only if you're thinking comparatively.

Tomorrow morning I'm dragging Felix off to Ikea for a cot for Dot and an easel for Marcus, but once we get home (and recover from Ikea-ing) I'm throwing myself in that room and rearranging, piling up, sorting, cleaning and most likely setting a large pile of belongings on fire.

A before and after session - nice!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


My favourite day arrived again: Royal Melbourne Show drop-off day. You take an hour to drive in (what is wrong with the Eastern/Alexandra Road exit?!?), walk in and start gossiping with the woman in front of you with a huge pile of sewing to hand in.

This time the judge asked if I hadn't finished the projects I decided to not enter. "Nope, just didn't want to spend three hours blocking a 60" shawl." She looked down at my arms where Dot was and replied "I can understand that."

We'll be going to the Show this year as well. We think we'll go every year on Marcus' birthday. A very wise knitter I know* once stated that no-one should work on their birthday, and as a family we count everyone's birthday in that idea.

Plus, showbags!

* Yes, Sonia, it was you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just in case you need a reminder.

Handy and colourful:

(From Decor e blablabla)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Arrrgh! Cramp!

The business took off quite well, and I've been kept nice and busy. On top of that Dot has discovered that she doesn't need 22 hours sleep a day so my precious hours of free time have shrunk to non-existent. As I type this Marcus is asleep for his midday snooze, while Dot is passed out in my lap trapping my left hand.

This is probably a good thing, as I need to rest my right hand. I have severe cramp in my right wrist, which means I can barely knit. Hang on; it means I can knit but afterwards I can't even hold a fork to eat. It's pretty bad, so I'm trying to cut back on my knitting which - as I'm sure you'll all agree - sucks mightily.

I've been trying to work on my list, as I said I would. Two down, eight to go.

Marcus' teal cardigan received it's final train button and he's worn it so much I've had to wash it twice. Mind you, he is a grubby little boy, so this isn't an indication of amount of wear but rather of intensity of wear.

This is the only picture he would sit still for. He moves a lot more these days.

I finally sat down and sewed up the navy cable vest that Chantal knitted up for Marcus Dot. I was given the matching nacre flower buttons on Saturday, when Chantal took Felix and I to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2". She spoils us, but I still nearly strangled her for making me cry so much.

Next up I'm going to set the zip in Marcus' Tomten jacket - finally. I've found the greatest tutorial I've ever seen on setting a zip using blocking wires. It's genius, I tells ya. Embrace your fears and do it anyway, right?

Friday, July 29, 2011

That's done. What's next?

It's done! Marcus' fair isle vest was worn yesterday, photographed and immediately taken off so I can enter it into the fair isle category at this year's Royal Melbourne Show.

A multitasking vest, as well. It's actually my entry for the ACS and Spotlight competition (mainly) and the design is mine all mine.

Getting Marcus to wear it and smile for the camera was the main problem.

Point a camera at him now and all he wants to do is take it off you and use it himself. My son is a bit addicted to gadgets. Gets it from his dad.

Dot was easier to capture on film. The inability to actually do anything more than likely helped me to take the photos, but I'm pretending otherwise. I designed her little Norwegian hat on Saturday, right after I went out and bought the wool. No pressure to finish by Thursday to catch the post, nooooo. Admittedly, I didn't need to make another item or put myself under so much stress, but I really wanted to make Dot a new hat, and I am the most overly competitive knitter possible.

Now that it's all over I have a list of what to do next. I love lists. I could do nothing but make lists for everything in my life, something I've done on occasion when I really needed the organising. Here's how my list looks at the moment:

1. Marcus' teal cardigan - WIP
2. Fit zip into Marcus' Tomten jacket - WIP
3. Finish Chantal's vest for Dot - WIP
4. Dot's cardigan - WIP
5. Crochet rug favour for Bronwyn - New Project
6. Marcus' mittens - new ones and old ones that need lengthening - New Project and WIP
7. Marcus' green cable jumper - New Project
8. Block Garden Path Shawl (now I can actually bend over!) - WIP
9. Felix's Christmas Present (No, I can't say what it is, he reads my blog) - New Project
10. Marcus' farm set - New Project

Not bad, right? That ought to keep me going for a while, but keep in mind that for every new project I need to work on an old one (not to mention my sewing list - it's twice as long as this list!). Now, I have five of each on this list, but I might throw in an old WIP between each item on the list, just to see how much I can knock off in the next few months. Stick around, it could be interesting.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The comfort of knitting

Too often I take my knitting abilities for granted. Not too many knitters out there can walk and knit, or watch tv at the same time, or memorise graphs easily. To me this is all second nature, a natural part of my knitting.

Somewhere over the years I think I lost the calmness that can come with knitting. It may have been one too many projects knitted to an impossible deadline, or working in a knitting store, or just because of familarity. I never understood the "knitting is the new yoga" because I'd been at it for years. Oh, and I'm not very good at yoga.

This all changed last week. Dot was admitted to hospital last week with a staph infection and abcesses. Felix and I sat in the emergency waiting room, and I knitted. I concentrated as hard as I could on the fair isle pattern, because otherwise all I would do is worry. Then I put my knitting away and watched as they put a drip in her and enough sucrose to make her sleep for a while and we went up to the paediatric ward.

The very wonderful doctors and nurses told me to wait while they drained things. I sat in a chair in the room they'd given us and I knitted. I finished the fair isle and reached into my bag for some more knitting. A garter stitch baby cardigan for my girl was worked on while I blocked out the noises she was making from another room. That helped a lot.

That night, while Dot slept, instead of sleeping myself I knitted. I knitted row after row and gave up thinking completely. I counted every stitch in the row, sounding off numbers in my head as I went, watching the rhythym my fingers take. It's been so long since I've actually watched myself knit, and I calmed me down enough to eventually sleep. By then it was about 6:00am, but sleep is sleep.

Dot left the hospital two days later, full of strong antibiotics and wrapped up nice and warm in a knitted hat, a picture of health once more. I'd spent her last few hours there giddily happy that she was fine and pronounced ready to return home. While she slept this time I was working on some mittens for Marcus instead, fair isle again. I didn't concentrate as much, nor watch my hands, but I knew they were working out fine, just like his sister.

I don't know if I'll ever focus on my knitting that much again, but I liked the connection I felt. Over the years other women, other knitters have sat and knitted while they worried. About husbands, lives, money, war and children - the children most especially I suspect. I'd like to think that their knitting helped them cope as much as it helped me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Soooooo close...

Sunday night I worked on the left side of Marcus' V-neck vest for the ACS competition, and finished it off on Monday, around lunchtime. Since then, I've done what exactly?

Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Granted, last night I had next to no sleep (thanks for that Dot! I'll get you back when you're a teenager), but I have to have this entry in by next Friday.

Time to buckle down...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Humiliations Galore

To my darling daughter,

One day you will have a 21st birthday party. There will be balloons, cake and all of your friends. There will also be a lot of posters of pictures like this one.

This may be avoided if you're a nice teenager...

(Modern Baby Bonnet from "Vintage Knits for Modern Babies", 4ply sock yarn doubled by Stranded in Oz)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hard at work

I'm working my poor little fingers to the bone, trying to finish my jumper for the ACS competition.

The back was completed last night, right before we watched the last episode of "Game of Thrones", which put me in a pretty good frame of mind.

Staying awake from midnight to 3am took that away again. I wouldn't mind if my hands were free to knit, but Dot doesn't yet enjoy the Baby Bjorn. Soon though she'll be fine being carried around (who wouldn't be?) and my knitting output will pick up big time!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It never rains but it pours

  • Yesterday the heater in our bedroom decided to stop working. By stop working, I actually mean blow up. The plug snapped off in the socket and it's black all round. Our bedroom has slat windows on two sides, and walking in there now is like stepping into a meat locker. The electrician will be here at 3:30 today, thank goodness.
  • The piece I'm knitting for the Patons competition was far too small for Marcus, so I've had to start over again. This means I have to re-knit the back and about 18cm of the front. Which is Fair Isle. I can't re-use the wool because it'll be short as I now have more stitches.
  • Dot decided that sleep is for the weak last night and howled from 11pm until 2:45am. The last 45 minutes was in the care of her father because her mother went semi-crazy.
  • I appear to have pulled one of my stitches which makes walking near impossible. I can't do anything other than sit on the couch and knit. While this sounds ideal, try being completely dependent on someone else to get you a cup of tea sometime. If they're not around, you don't get one. I'm not a big fan of passivity.
  • The car had an incident on Monday night (wasn't me) and now needs some repairs. These will not be possible until next week. Guess who won't be going to Bendigo for the Show this weekend? If you need me this Saturday, I'll be home. On the couch. Sulking.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Five steps to bed

Apparently it's considered the done thing to give your current children a present when you have a new one suddenly turn up. I've never been a fan of following convention, so no present had been purchased.

Then this pattern turned up on Ravelry and I knew it was kismet. Marcus watches Giggle and Hoot and the chance to make him his own Hoot was too great to resist. One trip to Spotlight later and I was all set to start.

Finishing was a bit harder. This picture was taken in my hospital room as I didn't have a chance between sewing on the beak as the last thing and going off to have Dot! Marcus loves and neglects it in turn, which I think is the sign of a great toy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

New projects

It's almost here! Yes, I'm entering the Australian Country Spinners competition yet again, with an eye on actually finishing in time. I'm the most overly competitive person I know, which Judith told me last year was the reason I needed to enter. I think she knows me too well.

Last year was my little chicken boy. This year, Marcus is a big boy (with a head of magnificent curls that no hat will cover) so he'll be getting a big boy Fair Isle vest of my own design. Hey, the rules said I could design my own or use one of their patterns, but the Fair Isle patterns I like are a little bit more complex than what they can offer, and I'll need something to keep me awake at night for the other new project in my life.

Dorothy Joanna, born June 28th at 3:11pm. She's named for a wonderful lady I knew as a child, and will be known by that lady's delightful moniker of Dot. I love the name - it makes me think of cute little ladybirds for some reason. She's slotted in our lives with ease, and adoration isn't a strong enough word for how we feel about her.

I really am disgracefully lucky.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Competitive? Moi?

Chantal and I decided that what we needed was a little friendly wager to get some motivation going in our knitting lives. Chantal has been knitting the Henry scarf for her brother for a while now, and I've been ignoring my Garden Shawl for a few weeks, so we decided to ramp it up and race against each other.

8:30pm Friday night we picked up the needles and started. Within five minutes I was tinking back two rows to add a yarnover that I'd missed. Felix listened nicely to my swearing and then asked how much knitting I actually had to do to finish.

Two sides and one corner, each side made up of 27 repeats of 14 rows, each corner made up of 3 repeats of 14 rows. Since Friday night I've knitted up about 12 repeats.

I think I'm going to get slaughtered.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Niblets on the 'net

A lovely weekend was had by all here at Chez Knitamer. My mum came over to mind Marcus on Saturday so Felix and I could finally go out for our fourth wedding anniversary (it's only been a month now). One "Thor" viewing and tapas later we were home - no rest for the wicked!

Yesterday was my sister's birthday party where she overcatered once again, and we had a fabulous time, even if I did agree to knit my niece a pair of stirrup legwarmers to wear to school, our logic being that I can knit them faster than she can. This from a teenager who can run up three scarves in a week, and plans to knit 100 scarves as a fundraiser for her running!

I've been browsing my way around Ravelry the last few days, just looking up all the things my friends have been noticing, and some of the baby outfits are unbelievable.

The Small Things collection of a cardigan, bonnet and the world's cutest romper suit I have ever seen caught my eye, and now all I need to do is bribe Felix into letting me buy the ebook and ignore him while I knit for three days straight.

Jennifer Hoel's Garter Yoke Cardigan is absolutely perfect for this winter, but it's a 5-ply pattern (of which I own none!), so I thought maybe not. Having seen how many knitters have whipped up 4-ply versions all worries are dispelled! Helloooooo stashbusting!

I have to make The Kumfy™ Schl├╝ttli for both Podling and Marcus. It looks like such a fun knit, and will use up a bucket load of 8-ply I seem to be hoarding for some future occasion, such as a world wool shortage.

As for me, Felix promised me a new pattern and now all I need to do is pick my colours. I love the Union Flag (remember it's only called the Jack when it's on a boat - thanks Rose Tyler!) and the traditional colours are fabulous, but what if I used my favourite colour combination of chocolate brown, burnt orange and cream? It's so tempting and I just can't make up my mind!

PS: Happy Birthday Bronwyn!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Knitting,life and illness

I could have sworn my week was going well. Last Monday I finished my green swirl hat.

See? Cute, adorable and neutral, and sitting perfectly on our Mini-Marcus doll. So I started a second hat.

See? Cute, adorable and neutral, and sitting perfectly on our Mini-Marcus doll. Then I remembered that I'd sworn not to start another project until I'd finished something off from the WIP box in the bungalow. So I went out, reached in and pulled out a bag.

Can you believe it was the Baby Surprise Jacket I'd never sewn up in the same green? I was impressed by the Knitting Gods largesse, and promised to forthwith sacrifice many many more balls of yarn to their cause.

I must have been overly smug because on Tuesday night Marcus couldn't breathe properly and we spent three hours in the emergency rooms with a very sick little boy with - once again - croup.

The next few days were an unbridled nightmare. Marcus couldn't breathe through his nose, and he couldn't sleep properly and eventually Felix had to take a day off to help me because Sick Marcus = Feral Marcus.

To compensate I thought it might be an idea to once again throw myself upon the mercy of the Knitting Gods and pick up a WIP. This time in my foraging I pulled out the Garden Path Shawl. *whimper*

It's not hard anymore, I just have to knit the edging. My problem is that I have three repeats until I do the next corner, and then I have two more sides to do. It's going to take such a long time, and just to smack me around a bit the Knitting Gods thought I needed sinusitis to assist me in my endeavours. Then it turned into a full-blown head cold, verging on flu the symptoms were so bad.

You know you're not well when you end up strapped to a foetal monitor just in case the baby is overheating because you are. Last time this happened, I had Marcus, so yesterday wasn't all that much fun. Thankfully we still have 1.8 children and will until July, *phew*.

I've decided to stop tempting the Knitting Gods. I started a small cardigan for Marcus in bulky yarn instead.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dream on (the "Glee" version with Neil Patrick Harris)

Like most knitters, I have dream projects. The ones that are going to take ages, be nice and complex and fulfill all of my knitting dreams.

The Garden Path shawl is one of my dream projects: complex, huge and lace. I love lace, almost as much as fair isle, and my love for fair isle is eternal and sacred. I have two sides of the edging to go, and then I get the brilliant fun of wet blocking it. Well, fun for me.

I've got the perfect colours combination for the Renaissance cardigan: Jo Sharp DK Tweed in a dark forest green and a dull rosy pink. It's all packed away, waiting to become my big intarsia project. I'm a bit nervous that the pattern requires 10ply, but pfffft! Challenge!

I've spoken before about how I don't like deadlines, and I'm not about to start them again. Pressure over knitting is ridiculous, takes away all the fun and leads to excess caffeine consumption, which isn't an option while I'm this pregnant (10 weeks to go).

I want to make this for Marcus for Christmas. We've already got our eyes on his birthday present (too expensive but too cute, so we'll bribe the grandparents to come in with us), so I'll have many many months to work on this, and some of the animals are quite small and I already knitted up the cat in under two hours.

As you can tell I'm already making excuses, but when it comes down to a choice between this and a Fisher Price plastic farm set, the Steiner in me is screaming "Do it! Do it!".

Now all I need is to get started, and that will require a very nice/bribe-able husband to size up the graph for the playmat. Yes Felix, that was a very unsubtle hint.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It works!

I suspect Felix was getting a bit tired of all of the unfinished knitting projects I seem to accumulate in pairs, so I promised that each time I finished something I would pick up a U.F.O. and work until it was done.

Oddly enough, this idea seems to work. I finished Marcus' hat and mittens and picked up my retro crocheted rug that I started in January and sort of forgot about. Easy to do when you have that many U.F.O.'s...

I used Zara in colours to match Marcus' room, and just changed colour each row. As I was running out of yellow I decided to finish up and edge the rug in red using the Granny Blanket edging pattern from Attic 24. The edging pattern is great to follow and the tutorial layout is brilliant - take a look at all of the crochet tutorials, they'll have you hooking up in no time.

The ends were sewn in while watching "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1", so it was a good thing I'd sewn most of them in while I went, because it was a really fun film. Can't wait for Part 2, although we'll probably have to wait until the dvd comes out because the film comes out early July, and so does baby #2!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chicken? Who, me?

I am not scared of setting a zip into the Tomten jacket.

I am not scared of setting a zip into the Tomten jacket.

I am not scared of setting a zip into the Tomten jacket.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

I am not scared of setting a zip into the Tomten jacket.

Oh look! I can work on that crocheted rug instead! See, I'm not avoiding anything!

...Well, for now, maybe.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Remember slacking off on weekends?

I don't. I finished working at my local service station at the end of last month, and I've been ridiculously busy every Saturday and Sunday since. Next month is May, also known as the party time in our family. Every Sunday is taken up with a birthday or Mother's Day, or - in my case - an interstate visit.

This weekend was no different. Yesterday morning started off with a dangerous shopping expedition at a Hallmark sale, so if you need any Christmas cards feel free to ask. Back home for some adoring of my family before deserting them for an Ikea run with Chantal, which is always a very bad idea. Five hours later I leave with the important things: a small coffee table for Marcus to eat from, a little blue chair from his Auntie Tal and eight clear plastic boxes for yarn.

This morning Felix and I headed out back to organise the bungalow (yes, again. It got cluttered again, alright?) and my job was to sort out my stash.

The eight boxes are on the bottom with my yarn grouped in colours. I need at least another box, because currently the yellow, orange and pink are sharing a box, or they would be if I owned any yellow yarn that I'm not currently using.

The two boxes above that are slightly more complicated. The one on the left is UFO's that I've either forgotten about or are neglected. The box on the right is projects that I've set aside the patterns and yarns for, sealed up in ziplock bags, ready to go.

The shelf above has a large box of variegated yarns, which I honestly didn't know I had that much of. Above it is a small box with pompom makers, my de-piller, chunky stuff. The bag at the end has 20 balls of 12ply for a jumper for my da, but it won't fit in any of the boxes, so it gets its own bag. The fabric and shower curtain are for blocking, the basket was my Nana's knitting basket and is full to the brim with more knitting bags. I seem to own a lot.

The piggy bank? It reads "Yarn Money". You can't say I'm not prepared for anything.