Friday, October 30, 2015

Octover: Trinity

It's the end of October, and nothing I planned to get done happened. NOTHING.

Normally, I would be rather upset about this. "I'm hopeless, I never finish anything, I can't get it all done wah wah wah...". I'm not devastated, however, because I have jobs. Many jobs. Many big jobs *snigger*.

The following is what work I have on:

1. Knit a beanie for Morris & Sons.
2. Tidy up and replace the food in Irabina's Hungry Caterpiller set with amigurumi.
3. Knit neck and armbands on a HUGE vest then seam up.
4. Button bands, sew up and embroidery on two baby cardigans.
5. Finish knitting a customer's jacket for them because "I just can't face it anymore" (any true knitter can understand this feeling).
6. Crochet a set of four placemats for Morris & Sons.
7. Knit up two Christmas stockings for Morris & Sons.
8. Sew up a blanket made of teeny tiny triangles and sew all the ends in for a customer.
9. Knit up a cowl for Morris & Sons.

The best part is that so many diverse projects means I'll never get bored! Let's start with the beanie: "Cast on 112 stitches and knit 2 x 2 rib for 60 rows."


Maybe a little bored.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Octover 2: The Quickening

My knitting life collapsed somewhat.

I had plans! SO MANY PLANS! I was going to finish the baby shawl (for the baby who is now here - smeg) and my new cardigan, and maybe, just maybe, the last two Sherlock squares.

I got cocky, kid. I had plenty of time, and a Netflix account. What could possibly stop me?

Hubris, maybe?

Instead I have four pieces of knitting to finish in the next three days and I think I might go crazy. Or possibly die of caffeine overdose.

I love it when it gets like this...

(* Disclaimer: that's a stock photo. My knitting disasters are far more subtle than that.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Octover: Winter-een-mas for crafting

First off, today the most perfectly gorgeous little boy turns six. Our Marcus is an adorable pain-in-the-butt, and we love him to pieces. For those of you who didn't know him when he was younger:

Absolutely beautiful. Also about to go into a diabetic coma.

I've been very neglectful of my knitting the last few weeks. I've started some new medication, and the side effect appears to be complete apathy. This is a drawback in a knitter/sewer/craftswoman/parent, and I feel the need to get over it. I wanted to join the Penelope KAL over at Untangling Knots but hit a snag when I saw it was knitted from the top down: I have the main colour (dark grey Zara) but not the contrast (hot pink Bendigo Milky Way) as I need to order it in and thanks to a certain child's birthday/Royal Mebourne Show/school holidays we're stony broke until next week.

The way my mind works is that I feel that if I don't start the KAL the day it starts I won't catch up. It seems rather silly, but it's true, I won't. I pointed this out to Felix and asked if I had too many projects going at the moment to which he managed to not burst out laughing and simply agreed.

So I'm going to spend the next month finishing things off so I can throw myself into new projects (like the cardigan I cast on last week). Felix was pressed for a name and that's how we have "Octover". Pretty clever, isn't it?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Truer words never spoken

Advice sent to me by my mother in law:

(Hey Sue, does this include quilting?)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Adventures in bed

Gutter minds, the lot of you. Truth is, I'm on bed rest. Doctor-mandated bed rest due to bronchitis.

It's a knitter's dream come true!

So I spent yesterday afternoon in bed (followed by hours glued to the internet and ABC news due to our nation's ridiculous political situation) knitting on the baby shawl. I have a very nice little chart I've worked up for how many rows I need to knit every day to get it done before the baby arrives, and due to the need to sew all last week I'm very behind, so bed rest will help me catch up. Once I hit today's quota I'l do that and get back to my Sherlock Square #11.

I'm currently typing while sitting up in bed, so I might get back to the arduous task of knitting and working my way through "Mr Robot".

Sucks to be me.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Welcome to Slackersville, population: me

It's that time of the year again, Royal Melbourne Show season. Did I manage to finish my shawl for the competition? Nope. Did I block my blanket for the competition? Nope.Felix's Fair Isle vest? Nope. Did I start the alpaca scarf for the competition? Hell, nope.

Instead I'm entering one piece of embroidery and going back to work on the shawl and my Sherlock blanket squares. I need to have the shawl finished by the end of the month due to a baby coming, but otherwise I might cut myself some slack.

Only a smidge, mind you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I've been motoring along with my edging on the baby shawl. I had 35 repeats to do by Friday, so I divided it into 7/10/9/9 and today I was starting on my first lot of 9 when I paused to look at the sewing up instructions and that's when it caught my eye.

The shawl is a square, knitted diagonally, with four side borders picked up and knitted on each side, then an edging added where you pick up a stitch from the border as a stitch at the end of each second row of edging (you work sideways is what I mean). Anyway, I'd knitted my border and was 18 repeats into my edging when I finally read the instructions.

See that? "Work as for First Border from ** to **"? Yes. I did that, not a problem.

Row 60, however...

This is how you work Row 60 in the first edging you do. So I did that. For the Second Border as well.

I didn't knit the stitches left at the end of the First Border, instead I cast on another 17.

That sound you heard around 2:45 this afternoon? That was my heart breaking. It was pretty loud.

Epilogue: I posted a description of how I'd stuffed up my knitting on Facebook. My friend Chantal read it and went "Wait, how did Andrea stuff up? That's exactly what... I... did......eep".

That's right. We both stuffed up the edging completely. I've pulled back 3420 stitches, and now I'm going to sit down and knit like a freakin' demon to get it done.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The B-Side

This week I'm starting the edging on the second side of the baby shawl I'm entering in the Show next month. Yes, I truly am the rightful ruler of the kingdom of Procrastination.

Now, I have 175 stitches on the needle and I decrease 5 every ten rows. So.... 350 rows of 17 stitches for the edging, and I want to have it done by Friday.

Pffffft. Piece o'cake.

With my sanity intact?

Pffffft. No.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


No doubt many people might object to their significant other being home sick. I read posts on Facebook about "man flu" and how husbands become all whiny and turn into sooky three year olds. I obviously married a good 'un because Felix is home for the week with a chest infection (requiring antibiotics disguised as horse pills) and I couldn't be happier.

Spending time with Felix (and no kids) is the best part of my day. When the kids are finally asleep we sit back and watch some episodes of "Archer" while finally having dinner (9:00pm is normal for dinner, yeah?) or else he heads off to play something on his PS4 while I sit behind him on the bed watching Netflix and knitting, either my own or customers'. Last night I came into our room to discover that Felix had started up Minecraft and I proceeded to sit and watch for almost three hours while he built a house and various adventures, and took in my suggestions (An all glass second floor? Why not?) and worked on a neckline for a child's jumper at the same time.

Sheer bliss.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Andrea and the terrible horrible no good very bad day

Today was just awful. It was a very bad day, the kind I haven't had in a very long time. I keep myself extra busy so I don't think too much, but sometimes all of the blah creeps in a brain crack and wham: Bad Day.

I eventually ended up at home around 11:30am with Dot in tow and a veneer of civility and kindness. I can fake it, I'm really good at that. I took one look at the dishes and thought "Nope."

Instead I sewed up a little teeny baby jumper for a customer.

Instead I cut up a brand new t-shirt and added three bands of amazing fabric Judith bought home from Germany to make Dot a dress.

I took my rubbish mood and made things with it and now I'm feeling better.

I think I'll finish the night by adding a crochet border to a knitted coat. Thank goodness for my customers.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Doctor Who knits.

Why aren't you?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pretty playthings

I sew up other people's knitting, and sometimes it's a grind. Sew up shoulders, pick up and knit a neckline, set in sleeves, get halfway and swear, re-set sleeves, sew up, steam, etc etc. I still love the end result, but it's not all that exciting.

Other times...

Look at this shawl. Look at it. Isn't it beautiful? A lovely knitter in Adelaide sent it to me to have the border sewn on to the center piece, and have it all blocked out. It was bliss from beginning to end, it really was. Lace is great fun to pin out and make whimpering puppy noises over, but it takes ages to knit and the commitment needed for this sort of shawl is absolute.

I told my customer that she wasn't allowed to use the phrase "I'm just a knitter" anymore. If you can create something like this, you're an artist.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Too much stash...

I have had a horror of a week. HORROR. Marcus managed to stay home on the first day back with a fever, went to school on Tuesday and Wednesday and by that night had been diagnosed with croup and prescribed steroids. No school for the rest of the week. Then Dot caught it. Our little poppet has never had croup and she's sleeping badly, almost choking every night. It's heartbreaking, it really is.

Still, I promised stash and stash I have. To answer the question: was a 5.5 hour drive really worth it? Oh hell yes! Chantal and I left at stupid o'clock and we still weren't the first there!

The sale was held at the back of the mill and while it was cold and early it was full of very desperate knitters, ourselves included. There were boxes of yarn everywhere and we threw ourselves into rummaging. Sadly, it was mostly acrylic. Now, acrylic has it's place in other knitter's stashes but I don't like it. It burns my hands when I knit with it, and I always swore I'd never go lower than 75% natural fiber in a yarn, no matter what.

Meet what.

This yarn was in a massive cardboard box and I took one look at the glorious orange and grey combination and said "Oooooooooo, gimme!". I grabbed every ball I could find in that colour and then saw the next desirable one.

Isn't it GORGEOUS?!? I saw, I coveted, I grabbed every ball they had. This may not sound too bad, until you learn that the two colours added up to 52 balls of 50% wool, 50% acrylic. Only 37 metres per ball, too.


I stuffed a bag full and went back to rummaging, which is how I found the three ply Dreamtime. If you can resist baby yarn in 100% wool, you're a stronger knitter than I. I bought four packets of ten balls. It was $5 a packet, could you say no?!?

Then we discovered the center of the room. The Danger Zone.

Rowan. $40 a pack of 10 balls. Oh sweet baby Jesus, the whole trip was worth it for that.

I grabbed a packet of Siena 4ply to make this cardigan, because I can look adorable, dammit!

Then Chantal bought me a packet of Felted Tweed as petrol money. I love Chantal. Who needs petrol when you can have yarn, right?

So for about 12 hours I was giddily happy, followed by Marcus with a fever at 4am.

Reality sucks, but hey...

I'm getting closer to swimming in the stuff.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Incoming Mega Haul

I seem to have no time to knit for myself.

I'm finishing up a teeny little baby cardigan, then two pick ups this Sunday morning will keep me busy, along with a baby shawl that needs to be sewn up, blocked and shipped back to Adelaide!

However...tomorrow Chantal and I are heading to Wangaratta. To the Australian Country Spinners mill. They make Patons, Cleakheaton, Panda and Shepherd yarns.

They're having a sale.

$1 a ball. 50¢ a pattern.

I'm going to go MENTAL.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Age is relative

What a fabulous weekend I've had: knitting dropped off, knitting picked up, knitting finished, well almost done. I'm just sewing it up now.

The jumper is for an 80 year old who chose the colour and her daughter is a bit hesitant. Bright grass green? At that age? I agreed.

Hot pink with nipple clamp attachments. Much more suitable.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Now I'm just making work for myself

I delivered two baby tops this morning, one jumper and one cardigan. Both completely adorable, both requiring more work than one would think.

The cardigan hadn't been finished entirely, so I spent an episode of "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" knitting up the fronts, then joining the seams with faggoting, then miss stitching the borders and sewing up all the seams. About 3 hours all up. For a baby cardigan.

The jumper was a breeze, I thought, and proceded to steam the pieces pre-sewing up.

...wait a minute...

The stitch was split rows earlier, and the knitter didn't notice. I did, because I can spot a mistake from 5 metres away. I could just leave it, after all she didn't notice it, did she?

Yeah, right. That'll be the day. Rows dropped, picked back up. All shiny, cap'n.

Monday, June 29, 2015

More work

Hey Andrea, how's the knitting going?

Pretty good. I haven't had time to even look at my own stuff, but I'm busy making other people happy, which is nice.

Will you get to do any of your own knitting soon?

Hehehehe... Oh, you're serious? Well, I'm heading off to the sale at Wangaratta next Saturday with Chantal, where we shall spend a small fortune on yarn. I have a station wagon, so I'm thinking if I put the back seat down, we can fill it up to the brim.

The weekend after that is Bendigo. THE Bendigo. The one where we spend a big fortune. Chantal again, I'm the passenger so I'll be knitting (finally!) and this time's going to be far far worse...

...why? Felix didn't say you could buy a sheep, did he?

I wish. No, I have a new toy.

Meet Lynette. The very sexeh Joex lent her to me. Something about the first taste being free... Anyway, I'll need to buy fibre for spinning, obviously. Lots and lots of it. More than three bags full.

Do you have room for that?

...did Felix send you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Sorry, Andrea can't discuss her own knitting right now as she's sewing up other people's knitting...

...such as mohair cardigans...

...extra squishy jumpers...

...and learning new ways to join up teeny little baby cardigans.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Slacker day

For the record, I have not improved, health-wise.

So today finds me in bed, watching Season 4 of "Supernatural" and working on a jumper for a customer with awkwardly large needles and keeping Felix active with constant tea and food requests.

Holy heckmonkeys, I could eat everything! Stupid cold & flu tablets.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Guest Post

Andrea's not feeling too good, so she asked me to write a post for her.

Unfortunately for her, I know next to nothing about knitting.


Andrea knits a lot, doesn't she?  She's pretty good at it, too.  Won awards for it and everything.  It's odd, but every time I tell her how good her knitting looks, she tells me that it's easy, and that she could teach me one day, if I wanted.  Then I take one look at some of the things she's done, and then I give her the Look.  You know, the look that most of you have most likely cultivated to use on a friend or partner (or a child), to convey a polite but firm, "Really?  Are you kidding me?"

Like this christening shawl that she's knitting at the moment.  As I started this post, she was talking about how fascinating it was, how you knit the front, and then go back and knit the lace that becomes the top and the edge.  She's been talking about it on and off for most of the last few days, lamenting on how the increasing is going to take ages, and thanks to eight-and-a-bit years of husbandly osmosis, I understand about 70% of what she's talking about - not enough to have a clear picture in my head, but enough to carry a conversation without sounding like a complete goose.  I think Andrea's developed the same skill in relation to my enthusiastic retelling of the computer games that I play.

And then she shows me the product-in-progress.

And then she wonders why I give her the Look.

- Felix

Monday, June 15, 2015

Brain? Not working so well

Hello again, I hope you all went out and enjoyed World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday. I myself hung out at Armory in a group organised by What Jane Knits and had lovely time, staring down everyone who wanted to gawp at us. I resisted partaking in World Gin Day, being a sad teetotaler now; I do make fewer mistakes these days.

I did actually finish my finger less gloves and they’re lovely and warm. I really did need some.

Unfortunately, when foraging for my beanie on Saturday I found my Hands of Cerise finger less gloves I made.

How did I forget that I already had finger less gloves?! 

Monday, June 08, 2015

Happy Knitting Weekend!

Isn't it lovely when a fellow knitter gives you a long weekend to celebrate her birthday by knitting?

Nice one, your Majesty!

Sadly, I've had to put my own knitting aside as I have to knit and sew up three jumpers for customers, with a double pick up tomorrow. Winter is here, and the knitters are calling.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015


I had a Finishing Touch drop off on Friday and one yesterday as well, so my weekend was somewhat taken up with buttonholes and sleeves and adorable widdle baby cardigans. The challenge was stripes.

Matching stripes is a mild fixation of mine. It can be incredibly frustrating when it goes wrong and deliriously wonderful when it goes right.

The Monday drop off had textured stripes to match at the side and sleeve seams, and somewhat on the sleeve caps - you can't match them but you can get pretty close. I was very happy with this cardigan, and so was the customer.

The Friday drop off was a garter stripe jumper. So many stripes to match. SO MANY.

I absolutely nailed it. I am giddily happy with these stripes. Deliriously wonderful doesn't cover this one. The customer was very happy with this jumper and I was beaming.

This wasn't a smug satisfaction piece, more of a golden glow. I am well chuffed.

(Man, I really need a new ironing board cover.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Knuckle dusters

The mornings can be painfully cold in our little house. While we no longer have to deal with cracks in the walls and slat windows (shudder) we do have a lounge room window that is the size of a wall. People walk past and stare in all day long, possibly because they don't realise that the local drug dealers were the last tenants, and the only addiction I have is yarn.

This week I started a set of Knucks for myself, using the very yummy make make yarn Joex bought me home from her honeymoon last year. I've already made a cowl and I still have 3.5 balls left. This stuff is going to last forever.

I need fingerless gloves rather than fingerless mitts because I'm a sad old lady with arthritis in a few knuckles and they need to stay warm.

I also need to make some fingerless mitts for Knit One Give One. I'll finish mine up and churn out a few pairs for the homeless. I might be cold, but they're freezing in this cold spell.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Meet Dobbin

My Harry Potter lifestyle continues, unabated. Not only am I listening to Stephen Fry's audio recordings (for the gazillionth time) but I'm still creating projects for my classes.

For Muggle Studies this month we needed to make something based off a stamp. Apparently stamps are odd, hence the need for studying. I knew what I wanted to make, so I found a stamp with some koi and got hooking.*

My lovely friend Lea found the pattern and I'm pretty sure she's a genius. Dobbin was a breeze to make, seriously. We're talking two hours, tops, for all of it.

The lovely gemstones in the bottom were a gift from Lea as well, and Dobbin thinks they're beautiful, as do I.

Best if all, I have a no-maintenance pet! If only I had a pony...

In other knitting news, I managed to make a pretty impressive mistake sewing up a customer's jumper.

I managed to sew the back and the front of a raglan together. I'm officially a cretin.

* With a crochet hook. Minds out of the gutters, people!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nerdy nerd nerd

I finished the shrug for my customer last week. Turn out that she had a ball tucked away somewhere, so I drove over and nabbed it. Two days later she was looking happy and rather blue in her new shrug. I do like happy customers. Only thing better is a happy me, and considering that Spring term for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup started May 1st I am one highly chuffed lassie.

Here's the deal: each term is made up of three months. Each month you have classes, eight of them, but your minimum requirement is one. There are OWLs, knitting projects that will take 8-12 weeks to do, and there are Missions for the Order of the Phoenix, which take 6-8 weeks. There are Quidditch matches too. To shoot goals, knit/crochet something.

This is a HUGE amount of fun for a Harry Potter junkie, like myself. I was sorted into Slytherin and have weaseled my way into everything. It's just wonderful to have others love what you love and try to combine how much you love everything together. 

So here are my classes so far:

A dragon's tooth mug cozy for History of Magic.

A Falkor-pink bow for Potions.

A ripple mug rug for Charms, based around water. I chose my colors for "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner": The water burned like witches oils, all green and blue and white." 

An oddly colored Scottish terrier for Transfiguration.

Lastly, I finished Square 10 for my Sherlock blanket. I'd started it before term began, so any project you finish up during a school month can be turned in at Detention.

See? I told you it was fun!

Monday, May 04, 2015

This is not good

I have 4 rows left of knitting on the TARDIS blue shrug.

That's how much wool I have left.

It really is bigger on the inside, because how else is all the yarn gone?

Friday, May 01, 2015

Tangled up in blue

I am starting to get very VERY tired of this shrug. Hopefully I'll get most of it done this weekend.

I have a new project planned. And it's grey. And I'm still excited.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Which came first?

Not content with basking in the glow of the finished jumper, I also completed another project on Monday.

I started this chicken for Easter and promptly forgot about it. It's using up the yellow cotton from the Jumper Which Shall Not Be Named and was - eventually - a pretty quick hook up.

Now, back to knitting up the impossible shrug band...