Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Back to knitting

The festivities are over, the visitors have left, the fridge has been cleared out and the washing has been done. It was such fun.
Some knitting has been done over the past few weeks. Mostly little gifts.
Lacey garter stitch washcloths.
One skein scarf (I didn't block it as I like its bobbly-ness).
And lace. Oh, that's right, I can't put up a photo because I have FROGGED it for the sixty zillionth time. Now that I no longer have loved ones inviting me to eat lots of scrumptious food and drink Margaret River wine, I might just have another go at Gail.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like xmas...

Season's greeting. Stay safe and happy.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Festive sewing

Some festive bibs for a little girl for xmas day (yes, she'll need more than one - I've seen her try to feed herself!).

And some festive aprons for some big girls. For years, I used to make my girls xmas skirts. Even as grownups, travelling Europe, they wanted xmas skirts for their northern hemisphere xmas. But I sort of thought they had outgrown that wish for their mama to make them xmas skirts. And I have been away from the sewing machine for quite a few years now. So when Daughter1 asked if they were getting xmas skirts this year, I poohooed the idea. But...I came up with a better one.

So, these aprons are for Australia's two most beautiful women, and me, to add a touch of fun to our xmas morning.

Yes, I know there's an overdose of cherries this year, but I couldn't go past the lovely Vintage Cherries from the Farmers Market range by Sandi Henderson.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Some summer sewing

So... I've started a little sewing for summer (love my Pfaff). After being seduced into parting with lots of dollars at A2F I planned to try a couple of outfits for ma minette. Her mama suggested that cherries are a nice xmassy print. I stayed up all night, having a perfectly lovely time, making this summery top and pants. Erk. Really don't like it. Too lairy. Isn't it? Too gaudy for a little one? Looks like jammies?
So tonight I've spent more time at the sewing machine, and produced this...

Monday, 15 December 2008

Sassy Apron Swap

For a bit of fun, I've again taken part in Lucy's Sassy Apron Swap. I received this festive delight from Jessica this week, along with a starry biscuit cutter and a xmassy biscuit recipe. So cute. Thanks, Jessica!
I sent off this little number to my swap partner in the other hemisphere - a sort of Australian xmas theme, with grevillia providing the seasonal look.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

So much to do... little time.

I fear that I might be trying to spread myself a little too thinly. It's not enough that I love to knit. Nor even that I am having a go at embroidery again. No, I just had to let the A2F sale inspire me to play with my lovely newish Pfaff. Plans are for a little xmas sewing.

Oops, there might also be a few Anna Maria Horner prints up the back there - very reasonably priced, they were.

But before the xmas sewing starts, there was a UFO to tackle. I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with this one. It's the All Day Tote from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing. I've tried it once before, but a construction fault led to its untimely demise. This one should be sturdier.

I also need to do a little sewing for ma minette. Sadly when she comes to visit, there are no spare clothes at Nettie's for her. What sort of a nettie am I? This prototype is just for size, and will be duplicated in many snazzy fabrics once the sizing is right.

You see, she has started visiting a little more frequently - for some doses of culture.

Book group...

...and music appreciation.I have to admit, though, that I would appreciate some hints on how to get the Watermelon, watermelon, I like, you like, watermelon song out of my head. Justine Clarke has a lot to answer for.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Sharp needles

All year my friend Beverley and I have been conniving to escape for a mid-week getaway to go to an embroidery workshop run by Lyn Piper from Highlands Country Stitches and held at luxurious Mildenhall. Work, work, work always got in the way. But yesterday we were both able to escape the shackles of the office and head up the highway to Bundanoon. Luckily for me, I was a passenger, so some knitting was done.

We spent most of Wednesday stitching with very pointy needles - interrupted only by coffee and passionfruit shortbread for morning tea, and souffle and pear and parmesan salad for lunch, hosted by the lovely Karen who runs Mildenhall.

I rediscovered a love of pointy needles and shiny thread and I embroidered a little handtowel with irises (no photo, as it's not really that good).

Some knitting was also done on the trip home, even while sitting on the roadside waiting for the NRMA to rescue us.


This little trip has actually helped me rediscover a delight for using small, very sharp needles. I'm joining others in Meet me at Mikes xmas stocking stitchalong. It's cute. And it's a work in progress.

First, we trace a stocking outline and sweet little xmas pattern, using the window as a light box...

Then, we start stitching...
I'm having fun.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Finished lace

The lovely Hemlock Ring blanket is finished. I received some sage advice in my first real attempts at lace knitting for the Long Lacy Summer. I tried a lace pattern with not-lace yarn and not-tiny needles. I used Bendigo Classic 8 ply in moss green colourway and 5mm knitpicks. I'm pretty happy with the result.
Here it is, blocking.
Here's some detail.
Here it is on the bed. It's not quite as big as I had hoped. I had been told that the Bendy would stretch a bit with wetting and blocking, but it didn't grow as much as I had hoped. Never mind, I still love it.

I've also done some xmas knitting. I finished a little item for a certain someone. It's the Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, done in South West Trading Company Oasis 100% soy silk on 5mm knitpicks.

What's next? Still thinking.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Some knitting

Again, I remind myself that this is a knitting blog. So some knitting will be shown. While away on a dreary work trip that involved not one but two overnight stays, I managed to finish a couple of small UFOs. One's just a little cotton dishcloth that has been lingering around for a while. Very plain, but the cotton is lovely and soft and was purchased for practically nothing at a jumble sale (and I have plenty left).

The other small project can't really be talked about as it may or may not involve a xmas present for someone who may or may not be reading this blog. But it is made from lovely hand-dyed yarn from Happy Spider. Here's a hint.

One of the other advantages of travelling for work (and there aren't many as far as I'm concerned) is that, if you have some spare time, you can wander the streets of the township, hoping to come across a LYS. And I did! At Knits, Needles and Wool in Launceston I bought some lovely local 5ply alpaca in a natural grey. The label says that it was 'grown in Tasmania by Concongella Alpacas'. Just right for a lacy scarf, I think.

And the other knitting going on is this gorgeous, gorgeous Hemlock Ring blanket made in Bendigo Classic 8ply, moss green colourway. The photo does not show its true mossiness.

I had been hoping to have it blocked this weekend, but that final bind-off row is going to take me quite a few DVDs worth of knitting time.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Some people have been blogging about happiness recently. Surely we all want to be happy, but sometimes it a bit hard, isn't it. We let the miseries grab hold and drag us down. Some time ago, somewhere in blogland, I read another post about writing down 25 things you love. Not just 'I love my dog', but more like 'I love my dog when he ...'. You know what I mean.

So, I wrote down my list. I have to admit, it was a bit difficult to come up with 25 things. Says something about me, non? Anyway, I have my list. I'm not sharing it. But it helps to read it sometimes. Maybe you want to write yourself a list, and refer to it when the miseries try to grab you.

Well, I might just share #2 on my list...I love ma minette's smiley face.
Who wouldn't?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Spindling, dyeing and presents

What better way to spend a rainy, windy Saturday than with other knitters, enjoying good food and good company, and learning some new skills? The talented Helen of Waratah Fibres fame opened her home in the Southern Highlands to us to teach us spindle spinning (very funny to watch - I can say that because I was pretty bloody hopeless at it myself) and dyeing (way more scientific than I had imagined).

Bells has a much better story and lovely pictures - go over and have a look. Suffice to say, a lovely time was had by all, and some of us are very excited about turning a hand to dyeing our own yarn.

And speaking of Bells, some time ago I played Pay It Forward with her. Yesterday, she presented me with a gorgeous Pay It Forward gift. Soft smoochy Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran fetchings. Thank you, Bells!!Now I just have to get cracking and Pay It Forward myself. Hashi, Rhonda, Becca and Tui have signed up to play with me. My promise to myself is to send off four little handmade gifts before xmas.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Knitter's block

Is there a knitting equivalent of writer's block? I think I have it. I just can't get started - nor can I pick up any of my many UFOs. What's going on? I think my experience with scary lace has toyed with my knitting mojo. I WANT to knit. I just don't know what to pick up. Maybe when my package of (ahem) new knitpicks needles arrives, I'll take it up again.

In the meantime, other activities took precedence:
some volunteer mulch-shovelling and pruning at Googong...
much profitable time in my own garden...
Sunday morning with some beautiful girls: Daughter2 and the ever adorable, and slightly dribbly, ma minette...
And Sunday evening in the twilight...

Not too bad for a non-knitting weekend.

Monday, 20 October 2008

I don't like Monda-ays, I don't like Monda-ays...

Sing along with me. Mondays are the first day of the working week. Four long days till the weekend. I don't usually like Mondays - who does?

But today was different. Oh, yes, same old panics at work, same old too-busy-to-leave-my-desk-for-lunch, let alone go to the gym. But it was a nice sunny evening as I drove home, and I was looking forward to mucking out Henny Penny's yard when I got home. (Well, I can pretend I'm a farmer, can't I?)

But what was this package in my letterbox? Who doesn't love getting packages? Especially unexpected ones from previously unknown persons. The Lovely Leah had sent me an apron. You see, I'm trying out this swap business, and it can really be fun. Lucy hosts the Sassy Apron Swap, based on northern hemisphere seasons. That's OK. I sent off my Autumn apron to my assigned apron lover, but this time, I didn't receive anything. Maybe she was just too busy. So Lucy put out a call for others to fill in the gaps. And, lucky me, I got Leah. My apron has lovely autumn hues, and is lined with little blue Henny Pennies. Also a lovely knitted potholder was in the package too. Thank you Leah. Pity the other item of mail today was a speeding fine. Don't even care. Love my present.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

On planning

Certain people in my family are great forward-thinkers. Mum would always have her xmas shopping done by now, and my favourite sister spends all year making lovely hand-made gifts for us all - and in time to send to us from across the Ocean. Me, I usually wait till it gets really hot, and it's only then that I think it's time to start xmas shopping. Well, maybe this year it will be different. It has in fact been warm and sunny this weekend, and I have convinced myself to not wait until December to start planning for xmas gifts.

Now, I love giving. I love the thrill of finding something just right. And this year I have decided to try to do it all hand-made. Not by me, mind you. There is such a wealth of talent around, that I am confident that I can buy all hand-made and as local as possible. I've been having a bit of a browse on etsy and finding some wonderful local talent. Today I went to the Bus Depot Markets to see what else I could find. I met the gorgeous Amy from Moyou and we had a quick chat about the delights of hand-made items. I might have bought one or two items from her. I might have to go back and buy one or two more.

Now, because it's xmas shopping, and because certain people read this blog, I can only give a little peak at some of the goodies I bought from a few local craftspeople who trade at the markets.
I'm having fun already. Anyone like to share their favourite source of lovely hand-made gifts?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Want a light read?

This entertaining piece of light fiction is doing the rounds of knitters in my part of the world. I'm now ready to send it on to another knitter who would like to read it and is also happy to track its destiny via Bookcrossing. I'm happy to send it anywhere. So leave me a comment, and I'll send it off to the first one in.

Oh, and by the way... lace....grrr.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Lace. Dare I?

Those tangly bits are my first attempts at a lace project. Bells is pseudo hosting a pseudo knitalong, the Long Lacy Summer and, although my self-imposed knitting challenges usually amount to naught, this time I'm going to try, try, and try again. I've frogged this only four times already. I can't really say what it's going to be, because it may yet not eventuate. The raw materials are Fibreworks 3ply Angora colour #7 and size 2.5mm sticks (I need pointier ones, I think. This knitting is so tiny.)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Vintage sheets

Aren't they gorgeous? They are vintage sheet fat quarters. The lovely Anne over at pinsandthimbles hosted a recent swap and this is the package of goodies that I received. I have to say, it was a bit difficult ripping up some of my own favourite vintage sheets and pillowcases to send off for the swap (Go check Anne's blog. My offering is the one tied up with blue ribbon.) But I reckon I did pretty well in return, don't you? Now... what to do with these lovelies...

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Not much knitting

But a lovely, long, long birthday weekend with two lovely ladies, Daughter1 and Daughter2. Much eating, drinking and spa-ing was done in sunny and warm BrisVegas. No time to knit.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Several years ago, my best friend and sister and I decided to pick a date to celebrate being sisters. Yeah, well, might sound a bit mushy, but we love it. So each year in September we send each other a little something to say 'thanks for being you'. It's just a little celebration of family between the two of us. My Sister's Day gift arrived today. It's not Sister's Day today, but it is a very special day for us anyway, so I opened my gift early. I think she'll understand. Notwithstanding Ralphie's hint of disinterest, it's a lovely handmade market bag, the likes of which might one day be seen on the telly. Thank you, Sister.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

The perfect stay-at-home weekend

I had big plans this weekend: Saturday in the garden (yes, I checked the weather forecast), and Sunday getting to know my sewing machine.

The plan for Saturday was to build a new vegie garden. It's still a work in progress, but it comes from stark beginnings.
There's a lot of lifting, shovelling, shooing away compost-eating puppy dogs, more shovelling, digging out awful plants and weeds that were in the way, more shovelling, lifting bricks used as useless edging, and some more shovelling involved in creating a new vegie patch. Sore muscles at the end of the day were soothed with a beer, a curry and Lars and the Real Girl.

Sunday: finished Tim Winton's Breath over breakfast, then cleared a space in the study/ storage room/ sewing room, and spent a lot of time gazing at my stash of fabric. I tackled a few little projects, but I'm most pleased with this.
Yes, bias binding. I could get hooked on making my own binding. I have a doovalacky to assist, and I really like it. I also cut out fabric for more adventurous projects that are in store for next weekend.

And to finish off a lovely at-home weekend? Dr Who, of course.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Will I ever learn... get gauge? Started knitting BSJ2, same yarn as before, bigger sticks this time. Result? This will probably fit ma minette when she's about 5.
At least I'll have plenty of time to pick the right buttons.
Yarn: lovely locally grown, homespun, hand-dyed purply stuff, and some Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8ply from the Great Cassidy's Sale ages ago.
Sticks: 6mm KnitPicks

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Bargain Saturday

$25. Big Salvos Queanbeyan. Bargain? I think so.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Documentary entry

Not wanting to bore my few readers, I just thought I'd warn you that this post is merely to document in a bit more detail, with a couple of better piccies, my lovely Pi shawl. So you can move to another blog now if you really don't want to read more about it. Try this one, or this one or, for something different, this one.

My Pi is only about a metre in diameter - just big enough to keep ma minette cosy. I finished it off with the plain garter stitch neverending border - not really happy about the final tiny join, but I'll do better next time. Also next time, I'll do some regular 'yo, k2tog' rows to counter the plainness of it all.It really was a delight to knit.