Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A day to count your blessings.

I went to a funeral today. It was for a student of mine, a 16 year old boy who died last Wednesday of a particularly aggressive form of leukaemia. He was just such a beautiful boy and I and everyone who knew him are richer for the experience.

He was the youngest of three boys and as I looked at his poor parents I couldn't help but offer up my silent thanks that it wasn't me. Sometimes we forget how blessed we are and we forget to be thankful for that which we have. Rohan has been a three year old pain in the rear of late but this has reminded me that even to be able to argue with the headstrong little bugger is a privilege.

Give your loved ones an extra hug tonight and tell them that you love them. You never know what is around the corner.

Rest in peace Jack.

When I should have been finsihing off WIPs

Like these Yarn Harlot basic socks in Monster Knits Turkish Delight colourway.

I decided to start (and finish) this:

It is the One Skein Wonder by Stefanie Japel (Glampyre Knits). What a delightful little project. I have been hoarding this skein of Zen String bliss aran pretty much since I got back into knitting with absolutley no idea what to do with it. This was the perfect project. It shows the yarn to advantage and it was quick, easy and fun!
Now back to those socks.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Name is Jacki and I have a problem

Inspired by the Woolaholics chocolate swap, I decided to dye yet more wool! Dyeing is such fun and now that I have sort of worked out how to do it better I am so pleased with the results that I am getting. This is food dye again and I am so happy with the way that the brown came out, even though I think next time I will add a smidge of black to the mix. The bluey-green is nice too (or at least I think it is).

Anyways, I cetainly have more than enough yarn here right now so I have sent this one off with some delicious looking handmade chocies and organic, free-trade coffee to someone else. Hopefully they like it and find some use for it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A hard earned thirst needs a....

VB dishcloth of course. Here I was thinking to myself "What is that the world REALLY needs?". The answer came to me in a bolt, a VB dishcloth. What better to mop up a little spilt beer?

Done in VB green (of course), here it is....

CO 40 stitches using 4mm needles and 8 ply cotton (of some description) or another combo that suits. Let's face it, it is only the finished size that is going to vary.

Knit 4 rows

  1. K3, P34, K3
  2. K ALL
  3. K3, P34, K3
  4. K ALL
  5. K3, P8, K18, P8, K3
  6. K9, P22, K9
  7. K3, P4, K26, P4, K3
  8. K7, P26, K7
  9. K3, P4, K26, P4, K3
  10. K7, P26, K7
  11. K3, P4, K26, P4, K3
  12. K7, P8, K10, P8, K7
  13. K3, P4, K6, P14, K6, P4, K3
  14. K7, P4, K18, P4, K7
  15. K3, P4, K3, P20, K3, P4, K3
  16. K7, P3, K20, P3, K7
  17. K3, P4, K3, P7, K6, P7, K3, P4, K3
  18. K7, P3, K5, P10, K5, P3, K7
  19. K3, P4, K3, P4, K12, P4, K3, P4, K3
  20. K7, P3, K4, P2, K2, P3, K3, P2, K4, P3, K7
  21. K3, P4, K3, P4, K1, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K1, P4, K3, P4, K3
  22. K7, P3, K4, P1, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P1, K4, P3, K7
  23. K3, P4, K3, P4, K1, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K1, P4, K3, P4, K3
  24. K7, P3, K4, P1, K1, P2, K1, P2, K3, P2, K4, P3, K7
  25. K3, P4, K3, P4, K1, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K1, P4, K3, P4, K3
  26. K7, P3, K4, P1, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P1, K4, P3, K7
  27. K3, P4, K3, P4, K2, P3, K2, P1, K2, P1, K1, P4, K3, P4, K3
  28. K7, P3, K4, P12, K4, P3, K7
  29. K3, P4, K3, P5, K10, P5, K3, P4, K3
  30. K7, P3, K7, P6, K7, P3, K7
  31. K3, P4, K3, P20, K3, P4, K3
  32. K7, P4, K18, P4, K7
  33. K3, P4, K6, P14, K6, P4, K3
  34. K7, P8, K10, P8, K7
  35. K3, P4, K10, P6, K10, P4, K3
  36. K7, P26, K7
  37. K3, P4, K26, P4, K3
  38. K7, P26, K7
  39. K3, P4, K26, P4, K3
  40. K7, P6, K14, P6, K7
  41. K3, P4, K3, P20, K3, P4, K3
  42. K7, P1, K24, P1, K7
  43. K3, P4, K3, P20, K3, P4, K3
  44. K9, P4, K14, P4, K9
  45. K3, P8, K18, P8, K3
  46. K ALL
  47. K3, P34, K3
  48. K ALL

Knit 4 rows

BO and weave in ends.

This pattern is provided free for your own personal use. You may knit it for yourself, as a gift, a swap or for charity. This pattern is not intended for commercial use. Any intended commercial use requires permission in writing.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A little fun with some food dye.

I spent a little time yesterday dyeing some wool. You might remember my last attempt at a dye job. As a first attempt it was okay but it was highly variable in places and not nearly how I ecpected it to turn out. These ones I am VERY happy with. I decided to dip dye them rather than pour the dye on and that is something I will do from here on in. I also like just the two colours. Last time I really tried to over complicate things. What will I do with these? Hell, I don't know! It was therapy.

The technical details if you are interested. Yarn is 100% wool "Clinker" from Kmart - dirt cheap, takes colour well and in my opinion perfiect for the beginner. I used Queen food dyes. The pink and green are diluted "Rose Pink" and plain old green. The purple is a mixture of cochineal and blue and the orange is the "Pillarbox Red" and yellow. The yarn was soaked for about 30 miuntes in a vinegar bath (equal parts vinegar and water), were dipped into a dilute solution of dye in a bowl, the excess dye squeezed from them, wrapped in gladwrap, microwaved for 6 minutes on high, dried and then reskeined.

This is the tutorial I used if you are interested.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Alexis' gifts.

Now that they have arrived in the US, I can show you the things I made for my dear friend Dreama's newborn daughter, Alexis.

There is a one-piece baby kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting and a nappy roll for speedy changes.

Some close-ups of the kimono....

I sewed a button on the inside right of the kimono to hold that corner across using the bottom eyelet as a buttonhole.

The ties are three stitches of garter picked up from the sides.

I received the yarn in a swap so all I know is that it is 8ply 100% wool. It was hand-dyed by the lovely Donna and I am sure you will agree that she did a lovely job.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Shamelessly Passing on the Good Word!

I received some yarn today, some very lovely yarn. From the lovely ladies at Monster Knits Yarn Cafe! You can find their yarn here and here!

This is Corriedale Super Bulky in their Blue Fish colourway. Whilst it is absolutely not the season, this is just begging to become the most luscious scarf for next winter.

This is Nundle Mill 12ply in the Earth Sky colourway, I have to say that this photo just doesn't do the colours justice.

I must confess to being in awe of the dyers of wool. Whilst I think I have a reasonable eye for colour and pattern in fabric, I admit that I don't have the same skill when it comes to yarn. For some reason I have absolutely no idea what it is going to look like knit up and for that matter I have very little idea of any good colour combination. Not for me the custom dye slot - I would have no clue what to request.

My friend Sam on the other hand has the knack as do the marvellous ladies of MK (obviously, look at their work). She on the other hand claims that she just can't see the same thing in fabric. It is funny how essentially the same skill can be so difficult just because you change medium.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Goddaughter Hat

So named because the first one I made was for my Goddaughter who almost always has her hair in piggy tails! This one is for a friend's daughter who is also a big piggy tail fan. Now of course we have no girls here, so here it is on teddy...

And to prove my pattern contention that it is one size fits most, here it is on Rohan....

And here it is on me....

It is knit in the round with piggy tail holes built in! See..

Here is the pattern if you are interested.

Sizing: One size will fit most

Gauge: 22st/10cm


1 50g balls 8ply yarn

4mm 40cm circular needle

4mm DPNS

1 stitch marker

Darning needle


Using the circular needle, CO on 96 stitches. (long tail cast on will give a nice stretchy edge but suit yourself)

Join in the round, place marker and knit 6 rounds of 2x2 rib.

Next 18 rounds: knit

You are now going to work the front portion of the hat to make one side of the piggy tail holes, working back and forth.

Row 1: K1, SSK, K42, K2Tog, K1, turn

Row 2: P46, turn

Row 3: K1, SSK, K40, K2Tog, K1, turn

Row 4: P44, turn

Row 5: K1, SSK, K38, K2Tog, K1, turn

Row 6: P42, turn

Row 7: K1, Kfab, K38, Kfab, K1, turn

Row 8: P44, turn

Row 9: K1, Kfab, K40, Kfab, K1, turn

Row 10: P46, turn

Row 11: K1, Kfab, K42, Kfab, K1,

Cut yarn and rejoin to back section. Repeat Rows 1 – 11 on back.

Continue knitting past the marker rejoining the two halves into one round.

Begin the decreases for the crown (at some point you will need to change from the circular to the DPNs):

Rnd 1: *K14, K2Tog, repeat from * to the end of the round

Even rows: K to end of round

Rnd 3: *K13, K2Tog, repeat from * to the end of the round

Rnd 5: *K12, K2Tog, repeat from * to the end of the round

Rnd 7: *K11, K2Tog, repeat from * to the end of the round

Rnd 9: *K10, K2Tog, repeat from * to the end of the round

Continue in this manner until 6 stitches remain. Knit 3 rounds, thread tail through remaining stitches and pull tight. Weave in ends.

If you want a less pointy hat omit the even rows at the crown.

This pattern is provided free for your own personal use. You may knit it for yourself, as a gift, a swap or for charity. This pattern is not intended for commercial use. Any intended commercial use requires permission in writing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I am in LOVE with this pattern!

I have just about finished my second baby kimono from this book.

It is just absolute simplicity in design. One piece, knit in whichever stitch you fancy (I have done one in garter and one in stocking), using whatever yarn you find and so easily adjustable that it is laughable. Sheer genius! And here is one I prepared earlier, almost finished, knit in gorgeous Merino Supreme.

I can not recommend this pattern highly enough! For quick and easy baby gifts there is none better. Bravo Mason-Dixon Chics!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My to do list is to done!!!!

I finished the sling a friend asked for (another friend of a friend job). She asked for gender neutral and I stumbled across this chocolate brown Indian cotton which looks great. Well I think it looks great and it is definitely gender neutral.

And here is a full photo of the semi-custom that I finished on the weekend in case anyone was interested.

Now I can start work on a new product I have been mulling over.....

Powering through!

I marked another order of the to do list today! And I liked it so much that I decided to offer some in the store . Just a few little personalised bibs for a friend of a friend. Once I had finished them I thought what a cute, cheap little gift for a new baby - especially one with a slightly unusual name.

I hope Lanae's mother likes them.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I have been crafting, really I have!

I would hate people to think that I haven't been doing a thing these last few weeks but the things I have been working for are for people who haven't seen them yet so posting photos didn't quite seem kosher. So here are some teasers to prove my craftiness and dilligence.

Firstly a gift for a dear freind who has just had a baby girl. Full pictures once she has received her things.

And the school holiday semi-custom in a gorgeous Robert Kaufman print that is just to die for. Hopefully it's new owner should get this today or tomorrow so I can show you the whole project.

Oh and

GO CATS!!! and GO STORM!!!