Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Do you go through different phases with your knitting? Or whatever craft(s) you like to do?

After a few years of knitting it's becoming apparent to me that I do. For a while it was socks. I couldn't get enough of knitting socks. I even started this year out (again!) with my stash-sock-club, and I did well with that until my new phase started to take over...

Next it was scarves and cowls. Particularly cowls. I think this was fueled by the super-bulky and extremely lovely Head, Heart & Hands range. Of course I nabbed some of this when it first came out and then wondered what on earth I'd do with one skein of super-bulky yarn! Scarves and cowls it was! I couldn't get enough of them. Strangely so, considering scarves were never really something I wore and not something I really wanted to knit because I perceive them to be generally boring. Not so when they're done in chunky yarn! And they've come in extremely handy when I'm standing at the bus stop at 7.45am and it's only 5 degrees!

But now I can feel a new phase coming on... this time it's cardigans. I can't get enough of looking at them on Rav and queueing them or favouriting them. I've even finally cast one on for myself!

Hopefully I can finish it before the next phase starts. Socks are looking good again.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Do you plan your days/lives at all? Even just a little?

I try to. We menu plan and I've also tried out a few purchased things to help me keep things in order and running smoothly. I have finally decided though, that good old Microsoft Outlook works well for making sure that appointments and deadlines are noted and easily seen. I just put everything into the calender, print out the month and put it up on the magnetic board. Anything that comes up can be written in and we (hopefully!) don't miss or forget anything.

That is as long as I remember to check it. But it is up there and it means that I don't necessarily have to have all the information in my head. Anyone else in the family can look at it and see what's going on too. At least that is my theory.

Recently though, things have gone a bit pear-shaped. I've lost my focus and I'm starting to do things on the fly again, rather than plan it out and stay on top of things. One of the big problems I'm finding is fitting in homework with everything else. We now have two children at school and we also changed to a new school at the beginning of the year. Not only do we now have two lots of homework to supervise each night, but the level and commitment expected at this new school is much higher than we've previously been exposed to. Add to that a 3-yo who is the Queen of Tantrums (especially in the afternoon when I'm not paying as much attention to her!) and things get kind of crazy around here. Just tonight we've been doing a last minute project due tomorrow which I completely forgot about and of course the 8-yo has not been proactive about. Of course most of this falls to me to supervise because I'm at home with the children most afternoons. It's draining to say the least!

So I've been reading Planning With Kids. I now feel even more disorganised than I already did! I don't know that I want or need to be as structured as their family is, but there are certainly some tools available which might help me get things back on track here. This page has lots of things that I'm interested in giving a go. I certainly need help with making sure our afternoons run smoothly and it's definitely time to get the kids doing some regular household chores.

My biggest problems really are that I don't seem to be able to sustain any long-term organisation. I find myself giving myself a break (and knitting when I really shouldn't be, or procrastinating on the computer) when I think I'm on top of things, and then within a few days we're back to chaos, and forgotten homework, and the big one - what on earth will I make for dinner?!? I love getting organised, it's just staying organised that I have a problem with!

So this weekend I'm planning to plan! As long as someone remembers to get new printer cartridges so I can print all my plans out. I should put that on the calender.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Milo Madness

There was a Milo KAL over on Ravelry during May. Of course I completely abandoned all my other knitting projects to take part in this event.

It was a lot of fun seeing all the different Milos popping up on
Tikki's Ravelry group.
The Milo would be one of my favourite kids patterns. It's so adaptable and suits girls and boys. Plus it knits up really quickly, which is always a bonus with growing (and fickle!) children!

I managed to churn 3 out during the month.

I charted the cupcakes and the hearts myself with the help of some online knitting graph paper. It was a lot of fun making them up and then tweaking them to get them to fit.

Fortunately Miss F has deigned to wear them all and even wore all three in one day! I'd call that a completely success! There's plenty more KAL Milos to be seen on Rav, so go check them out if you're already a member there.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Passive-Aggressive Much?

I got some beautiful hand-made Mother's Day cards from my boys this year.

Inside the one from L were these lovely sentiments...

Hmmm... good candidate for ?

He did clarify, after I asked, that my "complaining" relates to them not doing what I ask them to do, for example, cleaning up after themselves, tidying their room etc, so it's not really about me just complaining A LOT. Still.

And I like how he wrote I cook "food". Not "great food" or even "good food". Just "food".

This card is definitely a keeper.

Monday, April 18, 2011


These little guys have been popping up on Ravelry and they are so cute I just couldn't resist making some!

My plan was to hang them on the "tree" with the other Easter decorations I picked up recently. The "tree" is actually just some branches with lights on them.

They make a nice decoration in the room and at Christmas it occurred to me that I could hang some baubles on them and it might look good. It did! So when I found some sparkly Easter egg decorations in Spotlight I brought them home and decorated the tree for Easter.

These little guys lasted on the tree for about 5 minutes before Miss F figured out a way to get them down and spent the rest of the night running around with her chick-chicks. I think I'll let her have them for Easter. She can really do without all the chocolate.

I used WOOLganic 8ply for all of them and they were really quick to whip up. I did two in a couple of hours and one more later that night. They still need some feet, but for now they are ok and looking really cute.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I'm obsessed with them at the moment.

So far I've turned this

into these.

And I've cast on (and ripped out) another two pairs.

I've decided that I need to challenge myself a bit more now though, so I'm itching to cast on one of these patterns also - bmp and Vellamo

I'll probably go with Vellamo.

I've got some variegated sock yarn that I just can't find a good pattern for (hence the ripping out!) so I'm thinking it might look good broken up with some black.

I'm not sure I'll have a finished pair of socks by the end of March, but I'm trying!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Hello Blogger my old friend...

ok, I won't inflict any Simon & Garfunkel on you, but I will give you a run-down of January. And yes, I know February is half over already.

During January there were socks...

Leyburn socks.

This is one pair.
Fun pattern and great for variegated yarn.

There's another half-pair of a different pattern (one lone sock) which is going to the frog pond soon.

There were child-sized shrugs...

Never Not Knitting's Chloe.

Not quite finished, just needs buttons and loops.
Miss F is not bothered about the lack of these and is wearing it anyway.

And Cowls...

Dew Drop Cowl

This was from a Ruby & Sage club slot, and I actually started it right after receiving the yarn.
Halfway through I discovered I'd twisted my stitches and that was the end of that for a while!
Just needs blocking now and it's done.

A Noble Cowl

This is one of those patterns that has survived many Ravelry queue culls since I joined up.
It would easily be my most favourite knit for a long while. The yarn is madelinetosh DK and it's just beautiful. Now we just need some cold weather so I can wear it!

February might not be as productive for me though.

I do have these on the needles...

Whisper Lace Socks

I've been a bit addicted to these. The lace pattern and the colourway are both so pretty and I haven't been able to put them down. Unfotunately this means sore hands, so I'm taking an enforced break from them and the other WIP I have on the go.

Both the boys are now at school also, so things have become a bit busier around here. More homework to supervise plus a new school with a longer commute. The upside is I only have one child at home with me, but without a brother around to play with her or distract her when I need it, it's actually a bit more demanding than having two at home. She even tells me to stop knitting these days if it's not a convenient time for her to have me doing that!

Hopefully I'll also have some sewing to show off next time. Fabric is all cut, I just need to find the time to sew it together.

Friday, January 7, 2011


I used to read a lot pre-kids. Until recently though I don't think I've read a novel in about 5 years. Sometimes I just don't have the patience for it. Sometimes there are just too many distractions around here for reading - I certainly can't sit down with the kids around and quietly read a book! And with little ones that for a while didn't sleep through the night, picking up a book often put me to sleep!

Somewhat ambitiously though, I bought Eat Pray Love to read on our overseas holiday. I thought I might get an opportunity to read on the plane - that didn't happen, but I did find other times to get through it while we were away. With nothing else "new" available to read when I was finished with that, I picked up Pride & Prejudice which I've had sitting around for years. I hadn't actually read this one before, but I am a great fan of the story and of course of the BBC mini-series. I'd tried to read the book many times in the past, but for some reason couldn't get a rythmn going with it so never got very far. Maybe it was being able to picture Colin Firth's Mr Darcy that helped this time?! Not sure, but I flew through it and then hit the Book Depository for more reading material.

And now that I'm riding the bus for nearly 2 hours each week, I've decided I can use that time to really pick the habit up again.

So far I've read all but one of the above books in the last 3 months. I'm currently on The Book Thief, which is turning out to be quite intriguing. It's a lot longer than the others so it might take me a while to get through with only 2 hours a week to devote to it! If you haven't read The Lovely Bones, then I recommend you do, but have your tissues handy! I couldn't put that one down.

I do try to read a bit at home these days too. Now that the kids are getting a bit older and less dependent on me, it's easier to feel less guilty about taking some time out for me. Although it can be a bit difficult trying to read with a 2yo climbing on and off your lap! There was even a lovely moment last weekend where L and I were both lying on the couch together and reading our respective books, undisturbed. Bliss.

I did get another book that I wanted for Christmas too. Not a novel:

Even the kids are interested in this one! I know a lot of this is on the Bakerella blog, but the book is so cute and I needed a suggestion for DH for a Christmas present. I probably wouldn't have gone and bought this for myself, so a perfect opportunity to get my hands on it!

And I treated myself to something knitted related too:

I thought it was about time I learned how to do this so I can avoid Second-Sock-Syndrome in the future. I'm yet to give it a try, but I'm planning a DIY Sock Club for this year with the sock yarn I've accummulated, so hopefully this book will help me plough through those less painfully and with 12 PAIRS of socks to show for it! My only disappointment with this book is that the socks pictured on the front don't appear in the patterns in the book.

Do you like to read? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bye bye, 2010

I achieved my goal of finishing my two WIPs before the end of 2010! The first was my mum's Christmas socks, and then these:

Flutter-by socks (Rav link)

These were a really fun pattern to knit up. They went pretty quickly too, which is great when you have two of them to make! I had knit the first sock before I even started my mum's socks but I put them down to make hers. I had actually intended to knit one of these and then knit one of hers, and then do the same with each second sock. But Christmas crept up on me and I needed to finish mum's socks first.

Anyway, I scraped these in by finishing up the foot on our little after-Christmas camping trip, and grafting the toe on New Year's Eve! Yes, what an exciting life we lead... me knitting at home on the couch on NYE. But really, we had spent 6 hours driving home that day and life with small children means our days of partying are kind of over. I even skipped the ringing in of the new year and went to bed at 11pm!

So apart from a couple of UFOs which are really long-term WIPs, I was project free at the beginning of the year. Kind of.