Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas is coming....

50% off Christmas decorations + hot glue gun = DIY Christmas Wreath!

I got the idea for this off Ravelry, although the one's I saw there were made from polystyrene balls wrapped in scrap yarn.

I didn't have scrap yarn in the right colours, or the time to hot glue yarn to foam balls, so we did it this way. All the baubles and the plain wreath were half price at Spotlight.

The boys helped with bauble placement and I manned the glue gun. L got to use the glue gun too which he was happy about.

I'm happy with it as is, and it looks just as I envisioned, but maybe it needs something more?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Spongebob Squarepants!

Ever since our holiday to Qld, the boys have been interested in Spongebob. I don't think they'd ever seen him before, beyond maybe an ad or two on tv or something in a catalogue. We don't have Foxtel and as far as I know he's not on free-to-air-TV (which is the only tv I'll ever have!).

Anyway, we saw the Spongebob show at Dreamworld... we rode the Spongebob Flypants ride at Nick Central... and lucky us got to watch a Spongebob marathon at our apartment on the Gold Coast, on one of our "down days" that also happened to be a bit rainy and cold.

So when I discovered that a local bowling alley had a Spongebob themed party for kids, we booked them in. And the perfect opportunity to make a Spongebob cake!

And yes, I know he doesn't have his spots, but I had got that far without anything going wrong, it was late when I finished and I had no time to make another one if the spots didn't work out, so I quit while I was ahead!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just when you think you've won.....

So here' s my finished Rusted Root (Rav link).

Still unblocked, but I only finished it yesterday and I was eager to show it off. The endless rows of stocking stitch, broken only by a small patch of lace were actually worth it, because it fits! And I like it, and I'm sure to wear it!

I'm so happy to be finished.....

But wait.

What's that piece of red scrap yarn dangling away there on the side?

Lets take a closer look......

Oh, hi there... DROPPED STITCH! Didn't see you there.... until I had completed 43cm of knitting!

Not sure what to do about this. It's in the sin bin until I can work something out. Anyone got any suggestions?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Birthday Treats

My big boy L turned 7 on Saturday. It's been a weekend of cake and gifts. I'm all caked out, but I had enough left in me to make these tasty little treats for L to share with his classmates today.

Made with the trusty Eggless Muffin recipe. I got to use my new toy, an icing syringe for these too. That was fun, but I think my technique needs some work. They were tasty anyway!

A Declaration for December

With the end of the year nearly upon us, I've decided that December will be UFO Month.

I don't want to start the new year with outstanding WIPs. Well, not too many at least.

Remember this photo?

Well I have to confess that it's not a truly accurate representation. There are two other WIPs that didn't make it into the picture. I discovered them after I posted. I did know they existed, they had just momentarily slipped my mind. Yeah, that's right.

But the good news is that one of them just needs some finishing touches, and the other is halfway done.

So out of the above projects, 2 of them will be finished in December, plus the other 2 that aren't pictured. So that's 4 WIPs to be finished before 31st December. The other 3 are socks and I'll keep them as my take-along WIPs, since I haven't worn socks for about a month now and I'm not likely to put any on until maybe March.

The good news is that as a parent of 3 young children, I have no social life, which means plenty of evenings at home to get these done!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oliver + S - Popover Sundress!

With the recent heatwave my inclination to sit and knit has waned a little. And since my sewing machine's recent lack of use has been playing on my mind a bit, I decided it was a good opportunity to do some sewing instead.

I'm still VERY much a novice at this, but this cute little pattern - Popover Sundress - was pretty easy going. The instructions were really clear (even if I did manage to attach and sew the first arm strap on wrong!). Once I worked out what I had done it was plain sailing from there. I also managed to burn my thumb twice while pressing the straps, before I decided to turn off the steam.

The fabric is just some from the quilting section at Spotlight that I picked up some time ago. Fortunately I had contrasting shades in the same print so they go well together. And they were the only pieces that I had enough of to not have to go and buy more.

Seems to be a hit with Miss F. She arrived next to me at the computer this morning with it on - albeit inside out and not over her shoulders, but the fact that she had both wanted to put it on AND managed to do that much herself, impressed me and tells me she likes it :)
The sewing bug has bitten!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I'm slowly making my way through a number of things that need to be done around here. One of them was to sort out my WIPs and see just what I've got sitting around waiting to be finished.

These bags contains all my WIPs. Fortunately, for all but one, they live to be finished another day. I'm actually in two minds about the unlucky one. So for now I haven't ripped it out, but I have taken it off the needles (to use for something else). What will be will be on that one.

One very unlucky, longstanding WIP, has been layed to rest though. This one is from waaaaay back. It's presence in the drawer has been bothering me since I put it there, who knows how long ago. I finally decided that I'm never going to finish it. It was likely going to be too small for me anyway. So this is what it now looks like.....
R.I.P Central Park Hoodie....

And a recent addition to my crafting paraphernalia....No chance to even have a play with it as yet. I'm hoping to get to some lessons. For now it's decorating the bedroom. The kids are fascinated with it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This is getting ridiculous

Forecast for Monday
Fine with high cloud. Light to moderate southwest to
southeast winds.

Precis Fine. High cloud.
City: Min 19 Max 28

Tuesday Fine. Sunny. Min 15 Max 34
Wednesday Dry. High Cloud. Min 20 Max 41
Thursday Possible late thunder. Min 25 Max 41

It's not even summer yet!

In knitting news I have restarted my Rusted R o o t and finally got back to
where I was when I ripped it out
. It's amazing what a sweat you can
work up just sitting, knitting.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Make It Perfect

Make It Perfect are having a mega-giveaway on their blog.

So get on over there and get yourself an entry! I did :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not really knitting weather

Warning Summary
The SES has issued an Extreme Heat Watch for South

Forecast for Monday
Dry, hot to very hot and sunny. Light to moderate northeast
winds, tending
southeast in the evening. Light to moderate
afternoon sea breeze.

City: Max 37

Forecast for Tuesday
Dry, hot to very hot and sunny. Light to moderate northeast
southeast in the evening. Light to moderate
afternoon sea breeze.

City: Min 24 Max 37

Wednesday Dry. Sunny. Min 25 Max 39
Thursday Dry. Sunny. Min 25 Max 39
Friday Dry. Sunny. Min 20 Max 36
Saturday Dry. Sunny. Min 16 Max 34

Please note, I don't live by the sea. Maybe it's time I started that dress in
cotton that I've been planning to make for F?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Eggless Chocolate Muffins

Take this...

and this..
put them together...

and you get this...



Recipe here. I added chocolate chips.

Monday, November 2, 2009

If I could turn back time

I would have listened to that voice in my head that said "oops, you've knit a bit further than you probably should have before joining the front", and I would have ripped it back a bit then.

I would have tried it on just a little bit earlier.

And most importantly.... I would have checked the pattern before ripping it out entirely, and then I would have known that the next size down actually requires casting on the same number of stitches as the size I originally started.....

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I know some people don't like Halloween. That it's just an *American* thing (which it's not really, but that's a whole other discussion). But we do find it a bit of fun and the boys are interested in it. And hubby being of the North American persuasion, means that it gets a look-in in our home.

We get a few trick or treaters around, so we *decorate* the front of the house a bit to let them know they are welcome to knock on the door.

Last year was the first year I relented and let DH take the boys around to a few of the neighbours houses. Luckily they were all very accommodating and the boys had a great time.

But another bonus of Halloween is the opportunity to do some themed crafting with the kids.

Felt bats and pumpkins, ready to go!


I've been monogamous with my WIPs lately. And I'm making good progress with the one I've chosen to be with me day and night at the moment.
Maybe I'll even get to wear it during the season it was meant for, and within the same year it was made!

I do feel a spring clean coming on though. And maybe a UFO week coming up. I feel it's time to be realistic about a few things that have been sitting at the bottom of the UFO pile. A few breakups are going to happen. My mind is made up. I just need to break it to the UFOs gently.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some more TY purchases

Here are the rest of my purchases from Tangled Yarns...

Malabrigo Silky Merino in "Plum Blossom" - there's two other skeins, this one is balled and waiting to be transformed into this (Rav link).

One of these little cutie-pies....

A Stitch Pixie project bag,

And one of these gorgeous shawl pins.
Not that much yarn really. I was more restrained than I thought!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knitting vs Housework

I was pondering these two things this morning. Mostly because the piles of folding and washing seem to be multiplying faster than I can take care of them. And because my children seem to have in-built crumb-spreaders, and I'm forever sweeping or vacuuming up crumbs. And that's not even the half of it.

In some ways they are both alike. Housework is repetitive and boring. Knitting can be that way too. I can see why some people might think that knitting is about as interesting as folding the clothes, or doing endless loads of washing. So why would you bother?

Well my pondering led me to the conclusion that yes, while knitting can be repetitive and boring and sometimes a project can feel endless (especially when my mind is already thinking about the next thing I want to start making!), that at least there is an end to it. Sure, you might knit something that isn't terribly interesting to make - something mindless for tv watching perhaps - but at the end of it you'll have something. Even if it is the most mundane thing you can think of. A bit like this....
Not-very-intersting garter stitch (to me at least, I'm not a fan of knitting garter stitch). But as I was making it I could see it growing and changing and become something. Something that would be useful. It's this pattern here. A not-terribly-interesting cushion cover. And it's only one half of the entire pattern, so I still have more garter stitch to go. But it's going to be something I can use. And there is going to be an end to it. This project isn't going to continue to haunt me - I can never make another one if I like! And when it is finished I'll have made something.

The housework never ends. I never feel like I've achieved anything with it, because as soon as something gets "finished" I turn around and find more there waiting for me.... more washing to do, more clothes to fold, more dishes to clean, more tidying to do. The list goes on. It's not satisfying to me.

So in my world, in a Knitting vs Housework match-up.... Knitting wins everytime :)

I suspect it's the same in your world too?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Some sewing

In a frenzy yesterday morning, fuelled by the thought that if I did something constructive it would take my mind off the shocking headache I had, I made this.
Does this fabric look familiar?

I had a bit left over.... perfect for making a matching cushion cover for our new couches. Although I'm actually going to put this cushion on our *old* chair from IKEA.

I followed this tutorial for making the cover. Super easy to follow. My first time inserting a zip. It was really easy to do. Sadly my workmanship is still lacking a little, so I won't show you the stitching around the zipper LOL but it is good enough.

I have a few more I need to do so I'll be more careful with the next ones. Turns out I was sick anyway - the headache was the beginning of something worse :( - so that's my excuse for my less-than-perfect stitching, and my can't-be-bothered-unpicking attitude.

There's no place like home

It's nice to go on holidays.... but it's nice to come home too. I think we probably stayed away a few days too long. It was fun though... rainforests, reef, mountains and finally, beach.

I got a little knitting done. Mostly completed on *rest* days when Miss F was napping in our apartment(s). Fortunately for us our accommodation was overlooking either the pool and/or the beach so DH was able to take the boys out for some fun and I could still be a part of it while knitting from the balcony.

I was also lucky enough to make a visit to this place....

I could have spent all day in here (not to mention how much money I could have parted with!) but I had DH giving me the *hurry up yarn shops are boring* look, and hungry children that needed to be fed. I got to catch up with the lovely Lesley from Cherub's Kiss too.

Here is one of a few purchases....

There were a *few* more. I'll post those a bit later.

We also got to meet up with the lovely Sarah Bean and her boys for a play in the park. Sadly I don't have any pictures of that as I left the camera in the car.

And now we are home. Back to the old routine. Except the old routine is a bit off since the car isn't working :( But happy news is that it will be fixed tomorrow. And I will no longer have to rely on other people to ferry my children about. More happy news is that due to not having to ferry my children about, I am stuck here at home, with time to knit :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Last blog post for a bit and a DIY project

Holiday time is drawing near, and I've been thinking about holiday knitting. I won't tell you DH's reaction when he saw that on my "list of things to pack" lol Needless to say he clearly wasn't expecting me to bring any knitting!

I'm torn about what to take though.

I posted this photo of current WIPs a little while back....

I'm thinking I should take one of these, but I'm not feeling the love for any of them. In fact, the blue-green shawl is actually off the needles and cable altogether. I'd love to knock the striped vest off, but it's just too fiddly and probably not a relaxing knit for a holiday. The green sock requires close following of a chart, which I don't think will suit holiday knitting.

I originally thought I'd do the second sock of the purple one picture top-left, but the first one is not a good fit, so I need to fix it first.

So it looks like my choices are limited. I want an easy, thoughtless knit, that doesn't require charts or close pattern following. I don't want to knit anything that I've already got on the needles. I want some new and exciting yarn and a new project (even if it isn't exciting!!) on my needles. I think I'm going to take my Dyelicious Sock Club cashmere blend and make some more plain socks. Or maybe not. I've got a few days to decide.

And something else I've been meaning to post for a while. My DH made me this swift some time ago. I think he was getting tired of (a) hearing me cursing at my yarn when I tried to wind it msyelf and (b) being used as a swift himself! He used an online tutorial as a guide (can't find the link), but he made the entire thing out of wood - no metal parts at all. Works a treat! And now I can wind yarn to my heart's content, all on my own!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Miss F sure is just like a little doll to me :) And so I couldn't resist making her a cute little babydoll top for spring/summer. The pattern is Kaia Babydoll and it was super-quick and easy to do.

It is knit in BWM 8ply Cotton. I used "Wild Lavender" and "Parchment". The colour looks a little blue in the pics, but it is actually a lovely purple. I did make a small mod to the pattern - I knit an extra 4 rounds after finishing the increases, before casting off the arms, as it looked as though the armholes were going to be too small. I was right, and it has turned out perfectly! I want another one on the needles asap!

Oh, and at almost exactly 16 months, Miss F decided she'd like to try walking :)


I was very lucky and privileged to be asked to test knit Tikki's new pattern "Bloom"

I used WOOLganics 8ply in "Kyoto". The one dress is designed to grow with your child, and it's pictured here on a 1yo, nearly 4yo and a 6yo!

Love it! Can't wait to knit another one! Look out for the pattern release soon :)


Some people may have seen this on the late news on Channel 10 last night. It was a plastics factory.

I walked into our bedroom around 6pm and for some reason decided to look out the window, and this is what I saw! Must have just started. You can see that the smoke plume is *new*.

The next pics are about 20 minutes after the first and the smoke is just starting to be blown around. Look at those toxic fumes!

We could actually see the flames from where we live. If you look at the very last pic, although it's quite blurry, the orange lines about 3/4 down just below the horizon line are flames.

2 hours later and we could actually see the building itself burning from here, and the smoke was still billowing out. I think they had a hard time containing it.