Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Knitting

I said I wasn't going to knit any Christmas gifts this year, but then all the Christmas knitting on Ravelry got the better of me.

I decided on a pair of socks for my mum.

She's a knitter and has a few pairs of socks made by me already, so I know that she appreciates them. I don't knit for anyone that doesn't appreciate the finished item anymore. Hence why no one else in my extended family is getting any knitted gifts!

These are Shur'tugal and they were a lot of fun to knit. I love the features in the heel flap.

I did make a mistake on the second sock after picking up the gusset stitches, but you can barely tell. I'm still not sure exactly what I did wrong, but when I got to that point on the second sock the pattern didn't make any sense to me whatsoever! And I know that wasn't the case with the first sock. That will teach me to leave such a long gap between the first and second socks! Or to take notes with the first one.

Anyhoo... I have decided that I must learn to knit two socks at once to avoid this and second-sock-sydrome in the future. That will be my challenge for 2011.

I've also decided that there will be no more new projects for 2010. I currently have 2 active WIPs that I want to finish off and that will be my task for the rest of the year. One is a whole sock so that will probably take up most of my time!

Hopefully I'll make a couple more posts with more FOs before 2010 comes to an end!


We are getting in the Christmas spirit around here finally. All the birthdays are over with for the year and we are able to concentrate a bit more on relaxing for the next couple of weeks.

The tree is up and we finally got the advent calender up last night.... only 14 days late! But better late than never. Although I'm not entirely sure it's the best idea with Miss F, who is a bit too young to understand that you only get a treat from the calender once a day!

This year we finally have a tree that is taller than the adults! One day we'll have a real one, but for now it's just a fake. I like the traditional Christmas colours - red, gold and green - so we've gone with that theme. It helps that we already have plenty of decorations that fit the theme!

The kids are on school holidays and I plan to spend my non-working days hanging out with them, decorating the rest of the house and hopefully managing some crafting before the 25th. No Christmas crafting though. That's another hassle I don't need to put myself through!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas is coming

Earlier in the year I made the decision not to try to make any knitted Christmas gifts this year. I was doing ok until I decided to make a pair of socks for my mum. Then I saw all the Christmas stuff start popping up on blogs and Ravelry, and I started to get ideas.... I've managed to contain myself pretty well, but I did think that some little things as stocking stuffers for the kids might be nice.

Pattern is Little Rocket. Great use of left-over yarns!

Now I'm considering what else I might be able to whip up, and who I can gift them to! I must get control of myself...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Long time no blog

Wow, it's been nearly a month and a half since my last post. I haven't really had anything to say, and not much to show off either.

Things have been very busy around here lately - we're going away overseas very soon which is taking much organising. We've been searching for (and have hopefully found!) a new school for L & M which has been pretty stressful. All our weekends seem to have been full of kids activities and illness has been and gone and come back again. Not to mention the most boring job in the world completely sapping all of my energy. Busy, busy, busy.

I have finished another Milo recently though. I winged it with this one (although the larger sizes are now available with the pattern purchase I believe) - it's sized to fit my nearly 8yo, although I probably could have made it a bit roomier in the body for him. Still, it fits nicely and he seems to like it. And it's another Shop-the-Stash project off my needles (which means yarn out of my stash).

Speaking of Shop-the-Stash, I think I've been doing a bit more shopping-and-stashing, than shopping-the-stash, but it's the thought that counts right? I do look to the stash when I'm ready to start something new. I'm not buying new yarn to make projects with. I'm buying yarn to add to the stash. Then I can shop it.

Anyway, that's all from me for now. I don't expect I'll blog again before we go away, and in fact I'm not sure I'll blog again at all. I'm not really feeling the motivation for it right now. That could be due to all the craziness and illness that has been through here lately, so I'll see what kind of motivation (and energy!) the warmer weather brings with it when we return from our holiday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I do love this yarn. It's so buttery soft and knits up so easily. I do find it a little grabby though, and my cast on tail always seems to felt up before I've finished knitting with it. I hope that's not an indicator of how the garment will perform!

Anyway, another FO
I was going to wait to post a whole bunch some other time but I'm on a roll now so might as well go with it).

This is Just Enough Ruffles. And the pattern name is very apt - there certainly are just enough ruffles in this! Although I seem to have flattened a few of them with blocking. The colour is "Damask Rose" and although it looks quite pink in the photo, it's not so in real life. I'm not sure I like the colour all that much now. It's more of a dirty pink. But it's so so soft I don't think I can let the colour affect me enjoying wearing it on chilly mornings when I'm catching the bus to work. It was a really fast knit - the ruffles took the longest, and even those seemed to go pretty fast. I'd like to knit this again for sure.

And a little WIP.

The actual crocheting part of this is done. I intend to sew it to something else to use as a cushion cover. So far I don't have anything to attach it to. I keep meaning to go to the Op Shop up the road and check out their clothing section for a suitable item, but I never seem to find the time. I must do so soon though because our couch is cushion-less, and it looks a little bare.

I used the Neat Ripple Pattern from Lucy of Attic24. So easy to understand and follow for a non-crocheter like me!


I'm a bad blogger. I mean to blog more than I do, but I just can't seem to find the time for project photos lately. Take a look at my Rav page if you know me on there... lots of photo-less projects! I'm trying to get caught up now though. One good thing about blogging infrequently is that when I do get around to it at least I'll have a few projects to show off! I have about 6 WIPs at the moment, all in varying stages of finished-ness. Hopefully I'll be able to get my act together with posting them here.

But for now I've just got one FO.

This is Bloom by Tikki. You may recall I was a test knitter before the pattern was released. That was a medium size done in 8ply.

This little bundle of pink sweetness is a small size in BWM Luxury 4ply in "Baby Blossom". It's destined for a friend's own newborn bundle of pink sweetness. I love this colour and pattern together! The style and the lace pattern is so pretty and sweet and the colour is so pretty and sweet also. A perfect match!

In other crafty news we've been playing with Sculpey. Need a bit more practice but it's lots of fun. Hopefully I'll have some of that to show off sometime soon too.

Friday, June 25, 2010


...addicted much?

and that's not even the half of it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Miss F recently turned 2.

I decided cupcakes were the way to go for her birthday cake this year. And buttercream icing was the perfect choice too! I've got a cool little syringe-type thing with different tips for icing, so I had plenty of fun playing with that.

But then I couldn't decide which topping to go with.

Sanding sugar?



So I went with them all.

Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. Yum!

I used a packet mix, so cheated a bit, but did make the buttercream icing from scratch.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Knitting in Public

I've been doing a lot of it lately. Well, maybe not a lot by some people's standards, but a lot by mine, considering I haven't ever really KIP at all before.

Public transport is my new method of getting to and from work, and despite a few hiccups with times and getting on wrong buses which involved having to beg a driver to let me off at an intersection and running back two stops when I was already late, things have been going ok. And with the trip being approximately 30 minutes each way it's at least an hour of knitting time per day! It seems to keep the other people on the bus from wanting to sit next to me too, so plenty of room for me! Maybe they are afraid of the pointy sticks?

I've seen some people looking at me strangely, and I caught someone watching me the other day. Mostly though, I'm in my own little world. And I was going great guns on my "bus knitting" until I discovered that I'd twisted my stitches back at the start, so now I have to start again :(

But I do have another FO. Olearia - the latest from Tikki.

I snapped this one up as soon as it was released. So far just the shrug version, but I'm itching to get a cardigan version on the needles soon. Very quick knit and nice and easy. I used Woolganics 8ply and didn't swatch. I'd say that I need to go up a needle size next time. I'm a pretty tight knitter though. Miss F seems very happy with it. She especially likes the buttons. So much so that I suspect she swallowed one of them before I got them all on the shrug! One is missing and can't be found. She had some in her mouth. I'm keeping a lookout!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Foliage Shawl

Sometime ago - before Christmas I think - I participated in a pattern- swap-Kris Kringle-kind-of-thing over on Ravelry. Everyone was assigned another person and the idea was to buy a pattern for that person from their wish list. I love this kind of swap! So easy, no stress, don't have to spend time making anything - just look at their list and buy something that you know they want. Easy! And patterns are relatively inexpensive too.

I was lucky enough to get the Foliage Shawl pattern from my swapper - Kris from Monsterknits.

I had the perfect yarn for it too. And here it is:

It's done in The Knittery Merino/Cashmere Sock yarn in "Passionfruit". Sadly The Knittery is no more. Thankfully I have a small stash of this yarn undyed though!

It was a pretty quick knit, although the border took most of the time and I will confess to putting it down for a while for a break before finally finishing it off. But it's done now and I love it. I've even worn it to work already and it is super warm on the chilly mornings we've been having here lately.

Photo isn't that great since it's not really easy to photograph a shawl alone, and the only helpers I have around right now are either sleeping or likely to run off with it and use it to scoop up dirt.

It's probably appropriate that the Foliage Shawl be photographed on a plant anyway.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

So far so good

First week back at work has gone ok. Work itself isn't too stressful (yet!), it's the getting there and getting home that cause some dramas. We're still working it out, and after a minor kid-pickup disaster on Tuesday I'll be trying a new way of getting there next week. I so wish I didn't work in the city though. I know to some people that would be a huge drawcard, and once upon a time it was to me too, but now it's just a drawback. But I do (and right in the centre of it I might add) and I'll need to try out a few things to see which is going to work best now. Plan A has been a relative failure, so on to Plan B.

I know it's only been one week (and not even a whole week at that) but I suddenly feel like I've got far too much on my plate. And here I am blogging, to add to all of that! Until last week I was feeling a little bored, and now things seem to be moving so much faster. I'm certainly glad I didn't opt for more than 2.5 days. Joining the gym at the same time as returning to work probably hasn't helped either. Just another thing to fit into what already seems like too-short days.

The big event this week - if you can call it that, I wasn't all that excited about it - was another year of my life passing by. It happened without a great deal of fuss (or presents I might add :( ) but I did get woken by my boys with birthday cuddles and kisses. Having to go back to work on that day kind of took the focus away and I actually kind of forgot that it was even my birthday.

There's been no crafting of any kind at all this week. I've been far too tired in the evenings. Hopefully I'll adjust to that soon. I do have an FO to show off but it's a hard one to get good photos of and the weather has turned cold, wet and grey (which I don't mind!) so photo opportunities in good light are limited.

Back soon with something crafty I hope!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Changes are afoot....

This is my last week as a stay-at-home-mum. Work begins on Monday. Last night my "team leader" (that phrase makes me want to do air quotes for some reason) popped around to assess my home workspace for OH&S reasons. He really should have come around after the kids had gone nuts and pulled every toy/plaything they own out and strewn it from front door to back door, as they frequently do. Then I might not have passed the "no tripping hazards" criteria. But he would have got a more realistic view of my what I'm dealing with here. Ha ha.

I also took a big leap yesterday.... I joined a gym! I'm very excited about it and keen to get started, but it's a bit like the work thing. It sounds good in theory but I'm actually going to have to go there and do something. That's the hurdle I need to get over! I'm meeting with a trainer on Saturday morning though, so I'm trying to start off on the right foot with a clear view of what I need to do to achieve my goals. The good thing is a friend also belongs to this gym and she knows I've joined, so hopefully that will be an incentive to get along and make an effort. Not to mention the kilos I need to shift and the fitness I need to gain.

I've been making grand plans in my mind about how I'm going to manage all these new commitments, after 4.5 years of just having to make sure children were fed and clean and that I remembered to pick them up from school and kindy! So far it's all still in my mind. Hopefully I can put it all into practice. To do it there's going to have to be changes around here also. The other occupants of the house don't know it yet, but they soon will.

In knitting news I have been crocheting. So maybe that's not knitting news? Although when I say crocheting, I mean making chains, following instructions, getting instructions wrong when I thought I knew what I was doing and then ripping everything out in frustration. So all I have to show for it is a ball of yarn with a crochet hook shoved in it looking like some kind of bizarre stabbing implement. I did feel like stabbing myself after all of the work I put in for nothing though!

And the big news of the day is little Miss F is 2 today! Wow, that went fast. So Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter.

Monday, April 19, 2010


It's done*!

The blanket is about cot-size (assuming you are familiar with cots!).

All up about a month to make. And although I did get a bit obsessive about them for a while there, I did take a break from making the circles in that time also, so it was a reasonably quick project.

I've gone with the random look, although it's more planned-random than random-random. I did struggle with the thought of random for a while there, but then I came up with a plan.... I made all the hex rounds the same colour as the centre round on each circle. Then I put them together in rows of 9 (since I used 9 colours) and made sure I had only one of each colour in each row. I also tried to spread all the colours out evenly so I didn't end up with clusters of the same colour anywhere. I think it's turned out nicely and I'm really happy with it. It's big enough to go over one of the kids if they are lying on the couch and all of them really love it too. Even DH loves it! Actually I think he loves the fact that I'm done with it so I can get back to knitting his blanket!

I'm going to have to take a break from knitting for a while though. My hands are still giving me quite a bit of trouble so it's not an enjoyable thing at the moment. I also only have two weeks left until I return to work. I have so much to do before then! The kids have started childcare successfully - in fact they are there now and I'm at home alone!! First time in almost 4.5 years I've had an entire day to myself. Now I must go do some housework...

*It's not entirely done. I'm calling it done for the CAL at Tangled Yarns, but I would like it bigger. I have yarn left so I'm going to just add to it as I feel like until it is at least big enough to cover my legs while sitting on the couch on a cold night

Monday, March 29, 2010

Seventy Two

That's how many circles I've made...

I've finally started joining them together!

After much deliberation, I have decided to go with a random colour scheme. It's taken me a while to be comfortable with the thought of this. Although I'm not being entirely random. I'm doing the hex round on each in the same colour as the centre circle. I'm doing this to ensure I use all the colours evenly, as well as appease my need for less random-ness! Hopefully it will all work out ok. So far I've joined 5 together, and I think I'm going to have a sizeable lap blanket from what I already have. I'll see how it's looking when I'm done.... 5 down, only 67 to go....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Powering along

All up now I've made 30 circles!

We worked out that there are approximately 504 colour combinations available to me with the 9 colours I'm using! So that means that I should be able to finish the blanket without repeating a colour combination! I'm still undecided about what colour to use as the "hex" part and for joining them all together.

As luck would have it, I am currently knitting something in dark navy, so I took this photo of a circle with each colour on the edge placed on my knitting to get an idea of what it might look like.

I do like the way it looks. Any opinions welcomed :)

I do also love the fuschia and the purple, but if I use one of those then all the circles that finish with those colours will maybe be a little lost. I'm not sure. For the moment though I'm going to just continue making circles until I have used up all my yarn. I'll made a decision on the final colour then. That should give me plenty of time to think about it!

Here's some I prepared earlier

While the hex's seem to have taken over my life, I do have some other stuff to show off that are actually a few months old now.

I made these shorts for the boys for Christmas.

I "made" the pattern myself, by following some instructions on how to do this using an existing pair of shorts and tracing around them. Unfortunately I cannot find the link to the instructions right now, so I shall describe what I did.

  • Fold the existing pair of shorts in half - so that the "fly" part is folded in the centre (hope that makes sense?!)
  • Neaten and flatten them out, place them on some paper and trace around them
  • Add a bit for seam allowances to the tracing
  • Cut out the pattern piece and cut the fabric
I've probably missed something there, but it was really as simple as tracing around a pair of shorts that already fit, cutting and sewing. Don't forget to allow extra at the top and bottom for the waistband casing and a hem.

These actually turned out a little bigger than I would have liked, but I did learn a few things and I will have a better idea of what I want and how to get it if I try this again. Either way, the boys love them and wear them so all is good!

I also knit this little skirt for Miss F early in the new year.

The pattern is loosely based on the Pinwheel Sunhat. Next time I would make it slightly bigger, but as is it fits ok. If she didn't wear cloth nappies it would fit better! Must work on toilet training her!

Friday, March 12, 2010

They're multiplying

The hex's have taken over.

I've got the pattern worked out now and I don't need to read the instructions anymore.

It's so much fun choosing what colours to use each time! I've also added in another colour. I had a skein of a denim blue here which I wasn't planning on using, but after doing a few I thought the light blue needed a darker friend, so I did a few last night and I think it looks good. So that's 9 colours in total!

And I know that look like circles not hex's at the moment... but that's just because I'm still trying to decide which colour to use for the last round of each. I want to use only one colour for this part of the rug. At first I was thinking the light pink would do, mostly because I have two skeins of that one! But now I'm wondering whether a stronger colour might look better. I'm leaning towards the Fushcia. If anyone has any thoughts on this (the colours are all shown in my last post) feel free to give me some advice!

And something else I recently finished...

More DIY wall "art". Just some inexpensive canvas and fabric from Spotlight. The curtains in our bedroom are almost the exact blue on this fabric so I was extremely happy to find it in different colours! It's exactly what I wanted. And what I love about this most is that if we change the bedroom decor or I decide I don't like them anymore, I can just change the fabric!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The start of something new...

This loveliness arrived here earlier this week.

Cascade 220 in a rainbow of colours.

And see this? It's a crochet hook.

I'm a knitter, I don't crochet. It confuses me. I have crocheted a very little in the past, but nothing too fancy and I promise not to frighten you all by showing the hideous blanket I made from crocheted squares a looooong time ago.

But I've fallen in love with these. And I'm joining in the Blanket KAL/CAL at Tangled Yarns during Feb, March & April. It should be fun. I don't expect to finish my blanket by the end of April. In fact I had planned the hexagons to be a lunch-time project for myself when I return to work in May. I'm rethinking that now and I can see that they will become a little addictive, and I'm really keen to sit down and make some more ASAP!

The one above is a little wonky and I can see a mistake I've made already. I think I'll leave it as is though. I'm sure I'll get better as I make more.

And see the purple in that circle up there? I'm a bit in love with that. There's also a lovely fuschia which I haven't used yet. I'm in love with that one too. I think my stash definitely needs more of those colours...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Playing with Fabric

I don't have a large fabric stash (at least compared to my yarn stash!) but with my hands still playing up I decided it was time to look through and see what I had and what I could make.

This is what I came up with.

I had the denim fabric leftover from some shorts I made for the boys for Christmas (must remember to post those!) and the patterned fabrics were a couple of fat quarters I picked up at a craft fair almost a year ago now! I loosely followed these instructions but I adjusted the fabric measurements a little to make it more F's size.

I'm really happy with the way they've turned out, and I've certainly learned a lot about hems and waistband casings! I don't own an overlocker, so I also finished the edges of my seams off with a zig zag stitch. I didn't do that on the shorts and the denim frayed terribly after washing. Hopefully the zig zag stitch will prevent this happening, or at least minimise it.

No action shots but the recipient is definitely happy with them. She likes wearing them over her jeans when I'm not trying to get photos of them to blog with.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm back!

Did you miss me?!

I didn't plan to not blog for so long, but life seemed to take over for a while there. My hands were quite bad for some time and no knitting at all was getting done. Illness hit me, teething hit Miss F and another round of HOT weather left me feeling unmotivated to do anything much at all.

And after all this time I really don't have that much to show off.

I did manage to finish another Shop The Stash project yesterday.

Another Milo, for M this time. This one is in Woolganics Worsted in "Leura". It took just under 4 balls. I made the 3 year size even though M is 4 to allow for the heavier weight yarn. It worked out perfectly, and he put it on right away even though yesterday was warm-ish. I have another one to make for L, but I need to dye some yarn first so I can have a contrasting bodice and trim.

And during all that time when I wasn't knitting, I also didn't drag out the sewing machine once. We seem to have had busy weekends lately and that's really the only time I get to use the machine without disturbing the kids when they are asleep. Oh how I'd love a craft room!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Time for some sewing maybe

After all the excitement of organising my stash and projects I find myself not able to knit at the moment :(

I have a recurring problem with my hands and wrists, which sometimes flares up with knitting. It relates back to some work-related RSI from a time when I used to actually go to work! Most of the time it's ok, but every now and then it flares up and is extremely painful :( Things like using the computer and knitting can make it worse, but the weather - particularly humidity - seems to affect me also. It's been quite humid here lately.

So I haven't managed much knitting in the last week or so at all. I tried a little last night, but it was slow going and my fingers are hurting this morning. Usually the problem goes away if I take a little break and try not to use my hands too much. So things like the computer and knitting and (just lately) the Wii will have to be put on the backburner for now.

I was a bit sad about this - especially since I just received some lovely yarn for a project I was keen to cast on immediately, but which will now have to wait - until I realised that it was a good opportunity to get the sewing machine out!

I've got a couple of patterns here which I would love to make, and I have material here to make some new curtains for F's bedroom. I've resolved to get stuck into those for now and hope that my hands sort themselves after a week or two of no knitting.

In non-crafty news, my big boy L started Grade 2 this year and M has begun full-time kindy! M actually started kindy halfway through last year due to the speech delay, so it wasn't as emotional as it could have been! I think Miss F misses him quite a bit though, and the mornings are certainly a bit of a rush to get the boys to two different places at the same time! But he's enjoying it so far. And I'm enjoying the little extra freedom from just having one child at home in the mornings.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Getting Organised

I had some fun over the weekend organising some of my stash, matching them with projects and putting the yarn into zip-lock bags. My hope is that this will make them easily accessible and instead of pondering what to make next, perusing Ravelry and coming up with something that I have no yarn for, I'll go to my yarn-in-bags and pick something from there.

There's 12 project's worth of yarn there. Some socks, a couple of shawls, kids knits and a couple of adult knits for me.

The scary thing is that my yarn boxes - all 6 of them - are still full to the brim with yarn! Not to mention the overflow that has made it to the drawers in the base of the bed.

My plan was going well until I started doubting my choice for my next planned cast on.

So instead I cast on something that's not from the bags. But it is still stash yarn and it is something that's been on the backburner for some time - a throw rug for DH. He asks me about it at least once a day, and considering he first asked me for one approximately 2 years ago (at which time we purchased the yarn for it), that's a lot of asking!
I plan for this to be a long term project, so it will be pick-up-and-knit when I can and not a lot of dedicated evening knitting time.

I've been getting organised in other areas of life too. Have found a childcare centre that I'm happy with for the two young ones, so now I just need to fill out all the paperwork and get that sorted. I'm still trying to decide on actual hours, but I've got the paperwork I need to formalise my return to work. I'm starting to feel happier about it, and a little bit excited about the prospect of a lunch break with no little ones trying to steal my food! But then that thought also makes me a little sad. Being a parent can be such a rollercoaster.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cedar Leaf Shawlette

My quest to "shop-the-stash" this year is going well so far. Here's another FO for the tally!

The Cedar Leaf Shawlette (rav link). This was a pretty easy pattern to knit, if you're familiar with short rows. The leaf edging was slightly addictive! I really love knitted leaves. I've used Malabrigo Silky Merino, which I got from Tangled Yarns last year. I think I have to say that this yarn is now one of my favourites. I'd really like to knit another one of these, it was a lot of fun! But sadly I have no more of this yarn or anything else suitable in the stash, which would mean buying more. I hoped to get a little further than not-quite-the-end-of-January before I succumbed to unneccessary yarn purchases! Might put it on the list for gift knitting this year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Honest Scrap Award

Rach over at Stitch Sista gave me this award a while back....

This is how it works.... Receiving this award means I have to share ten honest, little known facts about me. Then I nominate 7 bloggers who inspire me.

I've been pondering what facts I could share since I got it, so this post has taken me a while! But here we go....

1. I used to think knitting was a bit lame (!) and I really didn't enjoy wearing knitted garments. I put this down to my mother's use of much acrylic throughout my childhood, and her penchant for knitting without swatching (and sometimes it would seem, measuring). I vividly remember a purple and green number (colours were actually great) that had too long arms and a too short body. And of course if I didn't wear them with happiness then she'd take compelete offence to it and start the guilt trip. At some point she did stop knitting for us though. I don't recall when that was, but I do remember the purple and green number was in high school. Anyway, given the only people I knew who knit were my mother and other "old" people, at the time it wasn't my thing!

2. I failed Home Economics in Year 9 at high school. I think the grade was a "U" - meaning unsatisfactory. The lowest grade you can get. I hated my Home Ec teacher with a passion - and I think the feeling was probably mutual! I got the U grade because I didn't do or pass in any of the homework. I don't really remember why I didn't like Home Ec so much, or even why I disliked the teacher, but I do recall thinking that they were teaching some unbelievably stupid things - it was 1986 at the time. Maybe that's why? I remember a friend saying after one class (that I hadn't attended for some reason) that she would never eat ice cream again because it was made with paint thinner. Yeesh.

3. I met my husband online. That is all.

4. I will one day move permanently to the US. My husband is American, and wants to go home. He's currently looking for a job there. It might be soon, it might not be for a few years. But it will eventually happen. We came close to possibly moving to Kansas around the middle of last year

5. I was a muso in high school. I played the flute (I may have shared this before, can't remember). Anyway, I shouldn't have been a music student, but there came a point where I couldn't give it up. It wasn't the music subject that I enjoyed, but the actual instrument playing and being part of the school band. That was fun. I wasn't really any good at music at all, and I knew that, but when Yr 12 came around my subject choices were limited, since I wasn't into math or science, and if I hadn't continued with music I would have had to do Geography. That didn't appeal at all. Needless to say I haven't touched a musical instrument since I finished high school and beyond listening to music, it has not played a part in my life at all since then. Definitely 5 years well spent.

6. I once took the train from London all the way to Inverness, because I wanted to go as far as possible in the one train trip as I could, and because I had some kind of train pass so I was trying to maximise the distance for my $$. I didn't get to see the Loch Ness Monster. In fact, I didn't even get to see Loch Ness. My trip to Inverness was relatively short, since I had to get back to fly to Rome a day or two later, but it was a lot of fun seeing the English/Scottish countryside from a train. One of my great travel memories.

7. I spent 7 years finishing a 4 year degree. I was studying part time and working full time for most of it, and I took some time off to get married also. And after all that I really don't think that I want to work in that field anymore. But I still can't decide what I really do want to do when I grow up.

8. I didn't think I'd ever have children. They really didn't appeal to me when I was younger lol And in all honesty, after L was born I didn't think I would have any more. I really didn't want to. His pregnancy was not very pleasant and I really did feel that I never wanted to do it again. Now I can't imagine life without them.

9. I don't enjoy taking my kids to the playground. There. I've said it. Maybe that makes me a bad mum, but in all honesty, most playgrounds are not parent-friendly. Or at least, not Kim-friendly.

10. I don't swim in the ocean. I don't like it. I don't like sand, I don't like salt-water, I don't like things in the water with me that I can't see. Having said that though, I have had some great experiences snorkelling in both Hawaii and recently on the Great Barrier Reef. So I will make exceptions to my dislike for the ocean, but only for something really good. Just swimming in the ocean for fun? Not for me.

Ok, I'm supposed to tag 7 people now, but I can't be bothered! lol

So if you're reading this and you feel you'd like to participate in this, then consider yourself nominated by me and go for it!

Monday, January 11, 2010


That word is rearing its ugly head around here lately.

I've had it pretty good really. I've been on either paid or unpaid maternity leave since November 2005, shortly before M was born. I'm very lucky really. I know that many women don't get any kind of paid maternity leave at all, and they certainly don't have their positions held for them for nearly 4 .5 years. I'm really lucky. But the time is coming for me to make a decision.

For a long time now I've been telling myself and my DH that I won't be returning to work at all. That there's no way they'd let me come back part-time. That it isn't possible for my position to be done part-time and they won't entertain a job-share situation. And there's no way that I'd want to go back on a full-time basis. So the plan all along had been to resign at some point this year and remain a stay-at-home-mum indefinitely. Probably at least until F heads off to school. That's at least another 3 years.

Only they threw a spanner in the works last week, by offering me a part-time position. Not my old position, but a new one that I could do on a part-time basis, at least until F was off to school. That's fine by me because I didn't necessarily want my "old" job back anyway. They are actually being really accommodating, which is nice, but a bit scary at the same time. Because now it looks like I'll be returning to work in May.

I've been on a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions since this happened. On the one hand I feel a little excited at the thought of returning to paid employment, especially since the financial side of things will work out to be quite beneficial to us, and also because I feel as though I'm in a bit of a rut with the SAHM thing. Not the kids side of it, but the housework side. I'm becoming lazy and complacent because housework really isn't all that inspiring. And if I did resign and stay home, by the time I might be looking for work again I'll have been out of the work force for nearly 7 years. I suspect my chances of getting a job that is anything close to what my current job is and pays, is pretty slim. So this is also a chance for me to keep a foot in the door for the future.

But on the other hand I'm feeling incredibly guilty about the thought of having to put M and F into childcare and sending L to after-school care. It will only be two days out of every week. And the reality is that they'll only be in care approximately 11 days out of every month. That puts me at home with them 60% of the time. I know there are many kids out there that go to much more childcare than that, and many that don't get the amount of time at home with their parents that M and F have. But that doesn't stop it keeping me awake at night, feeling guilty about "abandoning" them so I can go to work.

There's even two childcare centres nearby that bus kids to the local kindergarten - where M is enrolled and has already been attending - so he won't even have to miss out on that experience. The only change for him will be that he'll go to the centre after a morning at kindy, instead of coming home. And of course F would go to the same centre, so they'd still be together in a sense. They are both very close, having been at home together with me all their lives so far.

Nothing is final at this point. I still need to make a final decision, but I have been sent the forms I need to get the ball rolling.

If I go ahead my first day back at work will be my birthday.

Now just to shake the guilty feelings and make the decision.

The world's gone mad

Well, the consumer world seems to have anyway.

I've seen a lot of talk around the online places I frequent about Easter stuff already being in the shops. I experienced this myself last week on a trip to the supermarket - Easter eggs and Easter-themed chocolate on sale already! Christmas was only two weeks ago! On a trip to Spotlight this weekend I found Easter crafts already available too. Last time I looked there was approximately 79 days until Easter. Are people really on the countdown for that now? Do people really buy their Easter stuff this far in advance? I know if I did it wouldn't make it to Easter! Maybe that's what they are counting on in the race to get more consumer $$?

But it got weirder on the weekend.

I ventured out Saturday 9th January (middle of summer here for anyone that might be in the northern hemisphere and reading this), in the 43 degree heat, wanting to buy Miss F a pair of summer PJs. I could not find any. Actually, that's not entirely true. I found one style of summer PJs in Target, but none in her size. What were they hanging right next to? Fleecy, WINTER PJs and fluffy warm-looking dressing gowns for keeping you cosy on a cold morning or evening before bed! Nearby were two staff members unpacking boxes of stock to hang up. Fluffy, long-sleeve grow suits for babies with cute little hoods with ears! Looking around, I finally noticed that most of the clothing racks now had winter items hanging on them! Correct me if I'm wrong, but we are in the middle of summer right now, are we not?

I know I sometimes buy winter clothing in advance. But that's usually in the-end-of-season sales for the coming winter, not the new-season stuff during summer!

I'm not sure when all this started happening. It seems to me like a new phenomena, but I do have to say that I really can't remember if stuff like this has been happening over the last few years, or if it's just a new thing.

Is this happening everywhere?

It is summer afterall

Current outside temperature. It is most likely higher out in the sun. Today's forecast was 43C. Third day in a row. That box in the top right corner showing 26? That's the inside temperature. I know it's a good 14 degrees cooler than outside, but let me tell you, after 3 days the airconditioner is struggling, and that's the temp at the back of the house where the unit it. The front of the house isn't quite so cool. Have to venture out to hang out clothes soon. Upside of the hot weather is they'll dry quickly.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 - A year of changes

I'm not really into New Year's resolutions - like most people I don't usually keep them!

But I do want to make a few changes around here, and the start of a new year seems like a good time to implement some of them.

The first one is my lifestyle. I go to bed far too late every night and of course the kids get up at their usual time, so I don't get enough sleep. I'm not a great sleeper as it is, so you can imagine the lack of sleep that I'm coping with most of the time, and unfortunately it's mostly my own doing. Also, I don't really think too hard about what I eat, and I always go for the quick-fix option when I'm feeling flat or tired - coke, chocolate, stuff like that. I know this only makes me feel worse in the long run, but often I'm on the run and am not organised enough to have something healthy to grab as a pick-me-up. I also do very little exercise. Once upon a time, many years ago, I could probably have been classed as a gym-junkie. These days, I feel like I could be the #1 couch potato in the country. I come up with all sorts of excuses as to why I can't do any exercise. But really, I'm not getting any younger, and my body is really starting to feel like it's ageing, and I know that this is something I can remedy with just a bit more activity in my day. I know all of these things are compounding each other, and if I just make small changes then I'll begin to feel much better. I also need to lose some weight. I know my lifestyle habits are contributing to that not happening right now. I'm not going on a diet, but I do hope that the lifestyle changes may result in some weight loss.

I'm also supposed to be returning to paid employment later on this year. Nothing's final at this point in time, but that's going to be a major change if it happens, after 4 years of being a stay-at-home-mum. More on that to come in a future post, but the lifestyle thing needs to improve if I'm going to be able to manage to be a mum and an employee and do them both well. I need to start making those changes now.

The other major change I want to make this year relates more to knitting. I don't want to say that I'm going to go on a yarn-buying ban, or a stash diet - I know I won't stick to either of those, and like any kind of "diet" I think I'll do better at reducing the stash if I allow myself a little purchase here and there. I've recently culled my Ravelry queue significantly. Now, for the most part, the items in there are things I really do plan on making - not just things I might someday make. And they should all now be things I have either already bought yarn specifically for, or have something in my stash that I can sub with. So this year I'm going to "shop the stash" first. I'm not saying I won't buy yarn if I don't have something suitable, but I'm going to try hard not to be tempted by new patterns, or buying yarn just for the sake of buying yarn. Of course if something comes along that I just can't resist, then I'll buy it or I'll knit it! But I'll try to keep that to a minimum. I'm also open to changing my mind about what project the yarn I already have will be used for :)

So I've tried to get off to a good start for 2010. I can't say I haven't had coke - I have, but only one can of the full strength stuff this year. I've taken to drinking coke zero if it's around, and given that I dislike the taste of that, my plan to drink less is working! So far the more sleep thing isn't happening. I blame this on Miss F mostly, but I haven't been getting myself off to bed any earlier than usual anyway. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself about that though - we're in holiday mode here even though DH has returned to work, and more often than not it's been far too hot to go to sleep so an early bedtime wouldn't work anyway. The heat has affected the exercise thing too. See I'm making excuses again! But once this coming weekend is over - 3 days forecast to be 41 degrees! - I'll be making a more concerted effort to get the lifestyle thing on track.

On a postive note, everything I've knit so far this year has been from stash and has been something that's been in my queue for a while, so I'm on track with that one!

So here's to 2010 - hopefully it will be a good year for all of us!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A couple of softies

More Christmas gifts made by me, but this time on the sewing machine.

This was my first time making softies like this, and it was kind of fun. Up to the point where I had to sew up the hole left for stuffing! But I worked it out in the end. Not perfect, but not too messy either. You can see the Matryoshka Doll's head looks a bit flat.... That's because I left the opening at the top, instead of the bottom. And then there wasn't enough fabric at the top to sew it up properly. Oh well, live and learn. There's a bunch more of those dolls on the fabric piece, and I remembered to sew those ones correctly!

I'm a little disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm over them from the kids, after all my efforts! But really I should have expected that. What with all the dinosaurs, remote control cars and shopping trolleys that were under the tree as well.

Both of these fabrics are by Kristen Doran. I really want to get the Matryoshka embroidery panel too. But I really don't need another thing on my list of "to do".