Saturday, December 19, 2009

At long, long last!

Felix's Cardigan has been resized and is available up to a size 6!

Click below!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is this the coolest thing ever?

Sam made me this for Christmas! I know it isn't Christmas yet but she was so excited about it that I got it early! BONUS!!!!

I have been eyeing of this pattern for an eternity but knew I was a long way away from having the crochet skills to make it myself. And if he isn't cool enough leaning on the window sill with his bottle of beer, check this out!

He smokes his cigar too! Could it get any better? Bender is off to live on my bed with my other new "toy" babelfish that I bought at the Daylesford Maker's Market.

It is made by the very talented Jodie from Ric-Rac!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Introducing Tayla Jade!

After having a fantastic time taking photos today with my little friends Bella and Hannah, I can now give you "Tayla Jade". A halter neck top for girls aged 1 to 12. This one was designed for my goddaughter Tayla and I wanted it to be light and cool (hence the lace) but also have good coverage in the back and top, after all she is my angel!

For sizing reference, Bella is wearing a size 8 which has plenty of room to be worn this season and next. Hannah is wearing a size 2 which would have fit last season and still fits this.

The pattern for Tayla Jade is available from Ravelry. Just click the button below!

Felix coming this week, I promise!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I have been very busy!

First a little teaser of the mystery lump in the basin and one of its little sisters...

All going well, the pattern for this should be ready tomorrow. Don't hold me to that though.

Felix is nearly ready for release too. I just need for Mum to come home from a little break with her sister to get some notes off her copy. What moron jots notes on someone else's pattern? Yep, that would be me!

Just to whet the appetite for Felix, here is the size 2 I made for my niece. Gotta love machine washable, $3 a ball (clearance at Kmart), pink but not too pink Cleckheaton Country.

And who could resist the little ladybug buttons?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Drought has Broken!

Ir rained and I did some designing. Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Three beautiful boys all dressed up for the Ballarat Cup!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And I looked and nearly a month had passed...

How the hell does that happen? One minute it is three weeks ago and now it is today. I am sure a bazillion things have happened in the interim but they seem to have flown by in a blink.

Since last I posted there have been four birthdays, a kid's dance concert and the usual array of "stuff". I have turned 38, Duncan has turned 8 and we have got two new cats -


and Mia.

Both from the local RSPCA. Georgie is 3 and was a stray. Mia is 9 months old and was surrendered. They are both very sweet and the house feels like a home again with cats in it.

I have finished my Wheat Cable Vest by Lisa Gonzalez in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran.

I really like it although it a little large on me. It is off to a new home as a birthday gift. It has given me a gift though, it forced me to learn to cable without a cable needle. It is modified a little. the bottom is knit in the round with a cast on 4 stitches shy of the total back and front and there are only 2 purl stitches between cables at the sides. I also cast off more stitches at the underarm for a narrower shoulder. The pattern called for 1x1 rib at the neck and shoulder but I chose to continue the 2x2 of the bottom. Well that and you all know how much I love 1x1 rib.

In further news, the Felix cardigan is in test knit up to a size 6 and should be ready for release soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

This week I lost a friend

I would love to be able to regale you with tales of crafting misadventure but I am afraid that this week such things are the last thing on my mind. Crafting has been a nice distraction but that is about it.

On Wednesday I found out that one of my dear friends was a victim of the tsunami in Samoa. I have known Viv since I was a teenager. Back then she was a teacher and I a student but even then we shared a passion for the performing arts that bonded us. I remember the productions that I did with her when I was at high school as some of the highlights of my education. I was never the star but none the less she appreciated my contributions and treated me as though I was as special as any of the leads.

I can still remember sharing mushroom pizza with her and another teacher (John Stubbings) before a performance, 'Bats' I think it was. I had never tried mushroom pizza and in her particular style she told me just "give it a go". I did and actually enjoyed it.

Later we became colleagues when I returned to my old high school to teach. That same passion was there and the same happy smiley face greeted me so many years later. Viv knew that I loved the performing arts and soon I was roped into all sorts of things.

I have had so many magnificent experiences with Viv. School productions, Rock Eisteddfods and other endeavours. We got cross with each other at times, we probably yelled at each other some times and we certainly didn't always agree but we always had the best time and we shared a love of the process and the product and an immense pride in the efforts of every student.

Later we shared a homeroom and together we loved and cared for those kids. Each one of those students knew that there were people looking out for them and they appreciated it. Like me, Viv loved a project, she loved to help a kid that needed an extra nudge or some adult attention.

Viv and I also worked side by side as subject leaders - she Arts and I Science. We went head to head at times. She a dogged advocate for her great passion and me mine. We also supported each other often when we could see the way and others couldn't. Later when I was head of curriculum I could have cheerfully strangled her on many an occasion when she was such a passionate advocate. Regardless I always appreciated that passion.

Most importantly Viv was my friend. She was caring and loving and she seemed always to know the right things to say. She was there when I needed her and I her. I remember calling her from the winery next door to her place one monday night from a hash run. I was quite slooshed and it was probably 9 or 10 o'clock. She got her shoes on and came over for a drink. I knew she would.

The news has been a bit surreal of late. I keep seeing Viv's face and hearing about the teacher from Ballarat. Viv was not just a teacher from Ballarat. She was Rod's partner, Carla and Steph's Mum and my friend. I am going to miss her terribly.

Monday her desk next to mine will be a stark reminder.

Viv's family have requested donations to the Red Cross appeal for Samoa and Tonga. I would be grateful if you could spare a few dollars.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I knocked down the fence!

Fence has been sitting on my knitting pile for weeks (maybe months) now staring at me in a most accusing fashion saying "when ya going to finish me?", "why are you starting something else when I still here?" and "come on, I am nearly finished, just finish me."

I was sort of feeling the love for this for as little while. I really liked the lattice lace and I still really like the look of the finished product but the thing just did my head in. I decided to do to the armholes in the round which was a bad move and the pattern was just damned hard for me to read. Maybe it makes perfect sense to some but it just isn't written in a way I like and that bugged me. I am quite sure that there are people out there who think the same of my patterns. I like my instructions to be sequential. I would rather read the exact same thing in four different places than be skipping here, there and everywhere. It is the same reason I like APA referencing over footnotes.

Well I have fixed my dilemma, fence has gone to the frogging pond and will no longer be looking at me unloved and unfinished. Now I need to work out what else to do with the Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran. I really would like a vest. Any suggestions?

And in other family news, my baby turned 5!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Now see the problem is....

I have been working on big things again and I seem to think that no one (not even my nearest and dearest) want to hear a never ending stream of WIP in posts or the mundane details of my pedestrian life.

Well I have finished something so here I am!

An Ishbel (yes, how original) knit in Jolly Jumbuck's Gradient Dyed Cashmerino in Sandry's Rainbow colourway. It took a hair over a full skein. Thank goodness that Sam also bought a skein and thus I could steal some of the purple from her. As beautiful as it looks on me it is in fact a gift for a dear friend to say thank you for her support and love over the last year. She has no idea she is getting it so hopefully it will be a nice surprise.

The pattern was a lovely easy knit. The stockingette section made perfect out of the house knitting and I managed most of the lace portion whilst in the company of others. I did however stuff the whole stockingette section by Evelyn-A-Clarking it, by not really reading the pattern and doing what every other shawl I have knit has done and ancreased only on the knit rows. Oh well, a little fudging and a well placed increase and all was well. It has changed the shape of the finished object a litlle but it is still quite lovely. Oh hell, here is another shot for good measure.

I have put Fence (the vest I was doing in Jo Sharp Silkroad) in the naughty corner for maybe the rest of its life. Maybe it is because I tried to over think the process by doing the bottom in the round, or maybe it is because the pattern is difficult to comprehend or maybe the stars just aren't alligning but I see this one heading to the pond.

And in news just to hand, I have started the process of sizing Felix's Cardigan up to size 6. Hopefully that won't take an age and then it will be similar to my other patterns in that the original size will still be free and the others sizes will be available for purchase.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday's are for being lazy

At least that is what I am telling myself. Long time no blog huh? The horror of larger projects is that there isn't much to blog. I haven't even had anything non-craft related to blog about. Life has been blissfully boring (well sort of).

I have finished something though in the last two weeks. Duncan wanted a Geelong hoodie, and given that he loves his handknits so much, I agreed that this should be done.

Rather than strict Geelong hoopss I opted for a more abstracted Geelong approach (read, I did it in navy and white). Duncan decided that he didn't want sleeves so I have just finished off the arm holes with a few rows of garter. To be honest I could have kissed the boy when he said he didn't want sleeves, I was getting pretty sick of the whole kit and caboodle.

This is knit in Bendigo luxury 8ply. I still can't rave enough about this yarn. The hoodie that I made Rohan is wearing really well. As I suspected it needed a shave (and may need another) but it is blissfully soft underneath the fuzz and kid's handknits should only be machine washable if you ask me.

I now have some Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran on the needles that I am trying to turn into a vest. Hopefully it won't be another 2 weeks before that is done.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I tried to resist, honest I did....

Damn Sam for leaving her Noro striped scarf here. Damn me for having 4 skeins of Noro Silk Garden on hand. Damn the boredom caused by knitting another hoodie.

I succumbed. I made a Noro Striped Scarf.

I have to confess that it looks really cool. What I thought were muddy sections when I was knitting at night ended up having the most delightfully subtle variations in the light. I also have to confess that it is warm and snuggly and goes with most outfits in a casual sort of way. I also have to admit that I quite love it and it was a quick fun knit.

It is no where near the full 4 skeins, in fact I think I probably have enough of each colour (251 and 268 for the purists) left for a hat of some description. I knew all along that the full 4 would be too long but whilst debating where to finish I hit a join between red and navy blue. I took it as a sign from the gods and cast off.

So now I am the same as the rest of the internet knitting world. I have a Noro Striped Scarf!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Yet another trip to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show has come and gone. Sam and I ventured over on Friday via Purls Palace and the Chocolate Mill in Daylesford before landing at the Bendigo Woollen Mills and then onto the motel. After check in, there was a brisk walk of town with the main intent of finding a bottle shop and hence wine before returning back refreshed and exercised. It was then, clearly, wine o'clock. Rach, Grant and Neko arrived shortly there after. Excellent timing I'd have said!

I was declared the queen of wine and wool and presented with my shell soap-and-toiletry-holder tiara and very long Sam-made knee sock sash.

Wine, pizza, chippies, chocolate lava cakes and Eskimo Pie were consumed and we settled in for some knitting and TV (and more wine).

Saturday saw us head off to the Ravlery breakfast which was a hoot and saw us walk away with a range of prizes and consume the most long-awaited coffee of the weekend.

The show was of it's usual standard. The stallholders had some magnificent wares and both Sam and I purchased a range of beautiful things (although I think I was very controlled coming home with only a little over 500g of yarn).

Here I am showing my justifiable love for some Wooldancer rainbow organic merino and some equally loveable Tailored Strands Alpaca.

Sam was enamoured with her Jitterbug from Sarah Durrant that she has been babbling about for the last month (year, century..) or so.

There was some amazing wool craft like this...

And some VERY ugly jumpers like this...

There was a sheep that Sam tried to speak nicely to...

It didn't reply so I gave it a seeing to.

It was much better after that! There was an alpaca that really belonged in "The Big Book of British Smiles".

And lots of other cute alpacas and big-bummed rams.

And all I came home with was this "little" pile...

See, some of it isn't even yarn!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

As Promised.....

The Rose Ribbons Shawl is done and dusted. Another lovely Evelyn Clark design from her book "Knitting lace Triangles". The book is a bit of a bugger to get in Australia but well worth the effort as a learning exercise. In it Ms Clark goes through the complete design process for this particular style of shawls as well as including a number of pattern suggestions.

This is "nearly" as the book prescribes. It went a little askew when I got a little carried away and did the flower beginning and then two repeats of the flower lace instead of one. I then continued on as prescribed but decided that I had enough yarn for an extra round of double repeats of the flower and the leaf lace. I finished it with the first six rows of flower lace and transition 1. The edging is two rows longer than suggested just to get the lighter tone on the cast off edge.

This is a lovely shawl and I am very pleased with the end result. The Kauni Effektgarn 8/2 (ED colourway) is again not the softest of yarns but forgivable for the great colour changes. If you are after a soft-as-silk shawl stick to something else. If you love the subtle gradient changes then go the Kauni.

Oh, and I would like you to note from the last photo that I do not have the 37 chins indicated in the first.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Marriage and the art of the school holidays

Today is my parent's 46th wedding anniversary. That is not a typo - forty-six! That is one hell of an effort any way you look at it. I have been married 13 years. Jas and I have been together now for 17. Most of those years have been marvelous, but I think any married person will tell you that there are times that aren't so great too. There are times that you could easily pack your bags and walk away without a moments thought, yet you don't.

I have seen my parents marriage and take it as an example. I know there were times that were less than great. I know that there were times when either one of them could have walked away. I also know that they hung on despite this and they have had many great and happy times together in that 46 years. Making a commitment to stay with one person forever isn't an easy one.

Jason and I married young, or at least what is considered young these days. I was 24 and he was 22. I sometimes say that we are still together as much through good luck as good management. What I mean by that is that we are both quite different people to who we were as young adults. Thankfully the changes have been positive (or at least bearable) and we still love the person that the other has become. In many ways it could have easily gone the other way.

On a less serious topic it is school holidays. Oh how I love school holidays. I know that some parents dread it but I love the casual, relaxed nature of a school holidays spent at home. I love the lack of time constraints and the lack of pressure (and I confess, the lack of work). Currently the kids are still in their jammies. Bevo is on the computer completing a very important Scooby Doo related photo collage and the two youngest ones are entertained with a cubby made from the couch, the coffee table and two blankets. They probably should be dressed but where's the hurry? We aren't going anywhere.

I also love that the holidays is a chance to tackle some of those bigger jobs that seem to much trouble for the weekends. So far I have sorted all the boys clothes, taking the too small to a friends house and shuffling the rest down a boy. I love that my kids are so unconcerned about these things that they are excited to receive "new" clothes from their bigger brothers. I also finally tackled the bathroom cupboard in our ensuite. I am sure that I haven't organised that since we renovated nearly 5 years ago! The knitting stuff in the lounge also got a going over. Needles back where they belong and all that jazz.

I have also got a little knitting done in the hols.

Pattern: Omo Scarf by Lucia Tedesco
Yarn: Cashmere 8ply from Ebay
Needles: 5mm
Comments: I just love this scarf. The pattern is beautifully textured without being fussy and easily remembered being just two rows.

Pattern: Hannah by Blake Ehrlich
Yarn: Cleckheaton Merino Supreme
Needles: 6mm
Comments: This is my new hash hat. I need to have my hair ponied to run and my old headband had lost it's elasticity. The only mod I made was to add about 3cm to the hat as I wanted it further down my ears. This thing whipped up so quickly. Even with pulling all the decreases to make it a little larger, it still only took about 3 hours.

Work continues on my Rose Ribbon Shawl. I anticipate an end very shortly.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Where to start?

I finally think I am fully back in the land of the living. At least I am finally getting up to posting an update of sorts.

The school holidays are here and I am enjoying a relaxing day at home with the kids. No pressure for any of us. Just bumming around doing whatever we want. Bevan only got dressed because I needed him to pop to the shops for some bread for lunch. Failing that I am convinced he would still be in his jammies. I did a little housework and have just been pottering besides.

I have been doing some knitting since last I posted, although I must confess, not a whole lot. Most of this stems from falling down the stairs (think from 1st floor to ground) and tearing a rotator cuff muscle in my shoulder. For a few weeks there knitting was just a touch to painful. Luckily though it was/is my left shoulder and although it is a long way from "right" I can knit pretty easily now. Ballet however is a whole other question.

The finished objects...

Pattern: Children's Hooded Tunic #232 by Diane Soucy
Yarn: Luxury 8ply from Bendigo Woollen Mills in Brick
Needles: 4.5mm
Comments: This is the new yarn from BWM and I cannot rave enough about it! It is soft and fluffy, knits beautifully and goes through the machine without an eye flutter. In my opinion it is far superior to any of their other yarns. An absolute winner.

Pattern: Edna Rose by me.
Yarn: Jo Sharp DK Silkroad Tweed in Berry
Needles: 4mm
Comments: I modified this to make a slouchy hat rather than a beanie style as the pattern was originally written. I cast on 100sts for the rib and then did an increase row of k4, kfb before commencing the pattern. In reality I probably picked the wrong combo of yarn and pattern for this but the end result isn't bad. If I was to do another (and I might), I would use a lighter yarn and switch to 4.5mm needles for the body of the hat.

My current WIP is a Rose Ribbon Shawl by Evelyn Clark in Kauni (EP colourway). It is great fun and running along. Pictures will come when it is finished. I also have to start another hoodie for Duncan as his is getting a little small and he loves it so much. I have some navy and white Luxury to knit him a "Geelong" hoodie. Should get onto that but the lace does becon....