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?