Monday, 31 December 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great 2007. 2008 is going to be a huge year for us and I think we are a little nervous. Our little girl is due in April but just to make things more interesting we have decided to knock down our house and rebuild. We really need the extra space and thought that it would be easier to do it while we only have a toddler and a newborn instead of 2 toddlers. This may not be a wise decision but we'll have to find out the hard way.

Anyway, I have some knitting shots but I haven't uploaded them yet so that can come later. I really just wanted to include this little message from Euan that he made for my Dad who is spending the festive season in Canada.

Happy New Year All!

Saturday, 22 December 2007

3 days 'til Christmas

Well it's nearly the big day and I think I'm less organised than I was 2 weeks ago! The little Christmas knitting I had going all had to stop because low and behold, I got sick again. I went from gastro to a nasty cold and then back to gastro. After spending too many hours in emergency I decided that the knitting had to go and I just had to get some energy back. I don't want to be sick on Christmas Day. So I haven't got anything else exciting to show you for either my Branching Out or Flirty Skirty. They have both come a bit further than my last pics but nothing too exciting.

When I got a bit of energy back I took myself off to the local library (which I have never joined) to look through their collection of knitting books. I was shocked to discover that they have a fabulous collection of books (it is a very small and slightly crappy library) but I limited myself to 4. 3 kids books and Knitting Nature. I thought I could start something for a little baby girl as baby clothes are so quick and easy to knit but Euan got to the books before me. We flicked through the books together and he instantly fell in love with one of the patterns. He stopped and looked at the page and proclaimed "I'll have one of those when I'm older", which is his way of saying I love it (he knows that there are some exciting things you have to wait for). So I asked him if he wanted me to knit it and his eyes lit up. We then headed straight for the car and drove to our brand spanking new Spotlight (which has the worst yarn section ever - I think I will write and complain). Euan chose his colours and we headed home so I could start.

Now I would like to say that he has chosen something quick or simple or even elegant. But the reality is that he has chosen this:

But he chose it all by himself so how can I resist!

The scary thing is that the pattern isn't even on Ravelry (well it is now) so I can't look at other example. Even a google search brought up almost nothing. The one thing I did quickly realise is that I am not knitting the whole thing as intarsia. It's hard enough for me to do the squares let alone the letters, so they will go on in duplicate stitch later. This way I can make sure I have the entire alphabet (which tha pattern doesn't) as I know Euan will check thoroughly!

This is my progress so far:

Dan's first suggestion was that I could knit all the little squares and then sew them all together. After the disparaging look I gave him he soon realised that, although I appreciated him taking an interest, he was better off leaving the knitting to a knitter.

Right, back to the sofa. I'm feeling tired again.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Just a few WIPs

Just a quick post while the boys are out playing to show you my currents WIPs. It is so nice to have refound my knitting mojo, now I just need to stay about past 8.30pm and I'll be unstoppable!

Last post I mentioned that a soaker skirt thingy, better known as a Flirty Skirty. I've made ok progress on it so here are a few shots.

This is the finished, though unblocked, skirt.

And this is the rather small progress made on the soaker. This bit is quick to knit though and can be done with Euan's help so I should be finished tomorrow.

Sorry, I'm just starting to play with Flickr a bit more so the pictures may not do exactly what I want.

I've also been spending far too much time on Ravelry and came across this beautiful scarf that Bec is knitting for her mum (sorry, it's a Ravelry link). I realised that this would be the perfect Christmas present for Dan's step mum so I've pulled out some yarn and am giving it a shot. The only problem is that it's not very Euan friendly, being lace, and it's got to get to France before Christmas. Anyhoo, it's great fun to knit and is looking great so far.

Only 6 repeats out of 30 odd so I've got a little way to go. Hopefully Euan has some nice long day sleeps this week so I can get a load more done.

Nothing much on the baby front. Still gestating happily and ignoring those people who are worth my effort :-)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

3 weeks 'til Christmas!


Ok, I feel a little better now. I always hit this time of year expecting to be organised and every year I'm shocked to find out that I've done as little as the year before. At least this year I managed to drag the boys out on Dec 1st and do most of the overseas shopping. In fact we had a very productive day. Then of course we all got gastro! I'll spare you the details but it was absolutely horrid. I couldn't even keep water down. After throwing up for a good 7 or 8 hours I eventually made it to the Dr who gave me a shot and sent me home. After a little while I could start drinking a little and steadily improved from there. Euan had a small bout of throwing up and Dan has woken up today with a dodgy tummy. Everyone I know is or has been sick over the last few days so I guess it's just a nasty virus doing the rounds. Still, I really felt like I was going to die for a while there. Luckily Dad was brilliant and helped look after Euan while Dan looked after me. Thank goodness for being near family!

Of course this means that I have only just finished the purple thingy that I showed you last time. I'm just getting ready to block it now so you'll have to wait a while for photos. I have to deliver it first so it could be another week or so (I'm staying quarantined. I don't need to get sick again!). I have just started on a skirt and soaker combo which should be pretty cute. I'll wait until I actually have some progress before taking some pics. It's only about 4 rows so far.

The pregnancy is going along very smoothly now. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my last pregnancy and how things have differed. Last time was really hard on me physically as I was in the lab full time and had no chance to rest, eat or drink during the day. I know that's why I ended up with pretty impressive oedema and a severe kidney infection. This time I get lots of relaxing when Euan has a nap and he is pretty happy for me to lie down during the day. I am also going to the osteopath regularly and watching what I eat, so my body is much happier. Mentally, however, it is a completely different story. Last time I didn't know anyone with kids, had no pregnant friends but really felt like my friends cared and were interested in what was going on. I felt like I had support and it was really great. This time I have all the friends with the kids, the experience, but I have never felt more alone. It is really bizarre as I had expected the opposite. Sometimes I think I could post on JB that I was going to kill myself and my family and get no response. I really thought I had friends out there but maybe I really don't fit in. I don't know.

Anyway, the important bit. Here are some pics of our little bub. They aren't the best as the scan wasn't great quality but they are beautiful all the same.

There's a cute little foot.

And a slightly hard to make out face.

Isn't she beautiful! Unfortunately most of my friends (acquaintances?) have jumped on the "scans are evil" bandwagon so I can't even share my joy with them, so I'll just tell cyberspace who I know doesn't care so I don't have any expectations.

Oh, and if anyone feels the need to leave a nasty comment, don't bother it's very tedious and a waste of my time. If you don't like me don't read my blog.

Going off to knit now. Bye!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Big huge thank you

Firstly I'd like to say a big, huge THANK YOU to my lovely Secret Swap Pal, Denise. She has been so wonderful at keeping in touch and sending little cards and presents over the last three months. It was especially great when I was pretty crook and felt very sorry for myself. She has fabulous taste in all things so make sure you pop over and check out her blog. She has really great taste in knits and seems to get so much done. I'm hanging out for my kids to be teenagers just so I can get some solid knitting time (I will pretend that all the difficult stuff won't happen and that the teenage years will be a breeze!). Her are all the pictures from her wonderful parcel that arrived this week:

Let's start with the yarn and knitting stuff. Some gorgeous Lantern Moon dpn in that always hard to get in Oz size US2, or 2.25mm. Perfect for almost every sock pattern ever written! Some gorgeous lace weight merino that I have no idea what to do with yet. I really want to knit lace but I am so scared of it. A great hand massager that is sorely needed (excuse the pun!). I tend to knit until my hands ache so this will be a great relief. And lastly so beautiful merino yarn that perfectly matches the silk yarn that arrived a few weeks ago.

Just the perfect colours for me so I might have to hunt through Ravelry and find the perfect project.

Some yummy cookbooks that should encourage me (or Dan) to face up to the kicthen. It has been getting ignored lately so this might perk it up :-) Some great books on Canberra too. That would be Australia's capital city for anyone that doesn't know (no, it's not Sydney).

Some more lollies for me. This time I have been good and haven't eaten them all yet although if Euan is still asleep by the time I've posted this then that might change.

Now, look closely at these. They are the most amazing cards that you will ever see for a knitter. They are fabulous watercolour painting of knitting scenes, all done by Denise herself! See, I told you she was talented. She was even featured in the latest copy of Yarn magazine. If you have some knitting friends that just have to be spoilt with these you can buy them here. I think I'll have to keep mine. I might even frame them up for my craft room (when it is finally built).

And last but not least, she is so clever that she included a present for Euan. This is him doing his totally overexcited face, it isn't actually a grimace. He was so excited to get his own present that he has been showing everyone. He even has some cars etc that these fit into so he even more thrilled.

Once again, a really big thank you to Denise for all her kindness. It has been really appreciated over the other side of the continent.

And now for something completely different...

After my last post I decided to pick up my Something Red again. I gave it a few more hours but, to be honest, something is just not working for me. I think it's the yarn. It is very knobbly cotton and it is horrible to purl. It doesn't pull tight enough without a heap of effort so my ribbing looks holey and crap. Anyway here's a progress shot:

Not sure what to do. I might try and do a bit more and see if the ribbing works out. I don't want to frog it but it is creeping towards the pond.

Here is a project that is working out:

I just can't tell you what it is :-) It is supposed to be finished by this afternoon but it'll be touch and go. I guess If I hadn't spent the past 1.5 hours stuffing around on Blogger, Flickr and Ravelry I would've finished. If anyone can tell me how to get Flickr photos on here I'd really appreciate it. The help is crap on both sites and it's bugging me!

Oh, and we had our scan last Monday. The baby is all healthy and gorgeous. We found out what we are having and have told a few people but not sure if we're going to make it public knowledge. I'll sort out some pictures for my next post. This is long enough already!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Stash busting

At the end of my last post I promised I would let you know about those last few pictures. Well it has taken me a few days (funny that) but I have finally found 5 secs to hop on here and let you know what I'm on about. I know a lot of people have been stash busting this year. I kept seeing little icons on blogs talking about busting (although many have since disappeared..I wonder why?) but never one to jump on band wagons I have waited until the dying weeks of the year to think about a little busting myself. After finally sorting through all my yarn a few weeks ago I realised I had more than I would ever use, in fact I had more than I wanted, so it was time to get rid of some. Luckily this coincided with my morning sickness disappearing so I can knit without vomiting, oh and I'm always broke in the run up to Christmas so I thought I could make a bob or two. So I have resorted back to the quickest, simplest thing to knit - soakers. Everyone I know has or is having babies and we all use cloth nappies so obviously they all need new soakers. And I'm not being stingy here, I do knit them as presents too but I always forget to take pictures so they never end up on my blog. I started the busting process by knitting one for a friend's son's 1st birthday (but didn't take a pic), then made one for Euan as he needs a few more for night times (that's the brown one in my last post), and now I'm on to serious busting.

These are the soakers that I've knitted since last Friday (so 5.5 days)

I think that's a pretty good effort considering my lousy output for this year. I have another ball all wound and ready to go, and I also have a present I need to knit up. Part of me wants to get back to my Something Red too as it is sitting there looking very sad at me. I think I will have a little knitting break and then work out what to do next.

Anyway, I hope I can whip up a heap more of these and then find someone who might actually want them, otherwise they'll join the finished-but-what-to-do-with-it pile.

Oh, and this hasn't made even the smallest dent in my stash. I think I'll have to do some more dying and get rid of a load of white and cream yarn. Maybe one day I'll even start the sweater that I promised to do for Dan and the heap of tops I want to make for myself. That might help :-)

Friday, 16 November 2007

I'm such a lucky girl!

Well, woman really, but there is something about getting presents that makes you feel like a kid. Firstly huge apologies to my Secret Pal again. I have been trying to blog about your wonderful parcel all week but every time I get near the pc something happens (as I write this I hear Euan waking up so there another delay). Ok, I'm back an hour later :-) Anyway, I wanted to say a huge big thank you for my fantastic gifts. Here a terrible pic, I'll take some better ones when I'm not so rushed.

The skein is the most amazing hand spun silk in my favourite colours. I'm not sure exactly what I'll make but I think it'll be perfect for some lace work. The stitch marker are gorgeous and badly needed (I keep losing mine) and I'll pretend that is a full packet of Mentos. There is no way anyone could demolish the whole packet the second it came out of the parcel wrapping, no even a pregnant woman!

Thank you so so so much Secret Pal. This was such an exciting parcel and everything was just perfect. I will try and find or make up a garment worthy of the beautiful yarn.

As it's now really late (I told you I keep getting delayed. It's about 6 hours after I started) I'll just give you a few shots of my latest projects. I add more tomorrow.

At least knitting doesn't make me vomit any more :-)

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Back again!

Peace! Dan is out for the evening, Euan has gone to bed early and without a fight, so I am writing a quick update while running the bath. I really need a nice relaxing time so I'm going to enjoy myself!

Last weekend we went to Sydney as Dan has never been further east than Kalgoorlie (which is only 600kms east of Perth) and I thought it was about time that he saw the nations commercial capital (our political capital will have to wait). Oh, and it was also our 5th wedding anniversary so that was a bonus excuse. We headed off on Thursday afternoon, running very late for our flight but making it with minutes to spare, and arrived late Thursday night. The flight was fine. We flew Qantas on my frequent flyer points and it was just ok. The staff, food, entertainment etc was rubbish compared to our Emirates flights to Europe. The staff were not very helpful and not that good with kids. Luckily Euan adores flying and just likes playing with the headphones, eating the alleged food and looking out the window. Sydney airport was hell! I have never seen a queue so long to get a taxi. There were literally hundred of people waiting and almost no cabs coming or going. Everyone was saying that it was extraordinary. Luckily another family with a kids told us that if we asked for a child seat they would sort it out quickly and it worked wonders. They could see Euan was really tired so they got us a cab straight away. Dan was amazed. He is always impressed by the level of customer service in Oz, especially after living in the UK where they take equality very seriously, so if you have a baby you wait like everyone else.

Our apartment was in Darling Harbour, which is pretty central Sydney, and we could walk to most places. We spent one day at the aquarium which was absolutely fantastic. Much better than the one in Perth and the one in London. Euan just love all the fish and especially the crocodile.

We then spent a day at the zoo. It was transport heaven day for Euan. We started on the monorail, then took the ferry to the zoo, a bus from the ferry to the main gate, then ended the day taking the cable car back down to the ferry for the trip home. Taronga is a fabulous zoo and one of the best in the world. Every time I've been I've been amazed by it. Both the boys had a great time and we saw as much as we could with a toddler.

We spent the next day visiting friends down the coast a bit and that was great. The last day we had to check out by 10 ish and tried to spend the day around Darling Harbour before heading to the airport. Unfortunately it was a 34 degree day and just too hot to be out and about. Euan was really tired so we found a quiet cafe with sofas, bought a cold drink and he passed out on my lap. When he woke up we headed to the aiport for some airconditioned plane spotting. The flight home was fine again, but not great. We were delayed taking off and delayed getting to our gate in Perth so it was tiresome. It was also well passed midnight when we arrived home so everyone was tired and a little crabby. Still I'm glad we went.

The silly thing was that I completely forgot to visit Australia's biggest yarn store when I was in Sydney. Tapestry Craft was just down the road from where we were staying. I had fully intended to go but ran out of time (and money) and actually forgot about it until I got home. Damn! I was hoping just to play with some beautiful yarn. I'm a bit of a lousy knitter aren't I?

Anyway, I didn't get a single stitch done the whole time we were away and haven't managed anything since I got back. I've been extremely tired, actually fatigued, and just don't have the energy to do anything. I'm off to a naturopath nest week to see if she can help because I think this is more extreme than normal pregnancy tiredness. I want to be able to stay away past 9pm so I can see my husband and get some knitting done.

On a positive note I finally got my acceptance letter from the Community Midwifery Programme which means I can have my government funded homebirth. I am now just waiting to hear from my midwife, who sounds like she is pretty good from all reports. Of course I have no idea where this birth will occur because we are hoping to do something drastic with this place so we may be in a rental property. Luckily I really don't care where I give birth as long as it is peaceful and private.

Ok, bath is all ready now. I will try and get some knitting type stuff done really soon so you don't all get bored!

Friday, 19 October 2007

Tidying up

I decided that since I was having so much trouble coming up with project ideas, or had ideas that weren't that sensible considering my current state, I should sort out my stash. I did have everything in boxes (sort of) but there was no order and every time I looked in a box I would go "wow, I'd forgotten I had that yarn" or "you're kidding, that's actually worsted?". So I sent Dan down to Bunnings (the Aussie equivalent of Home Depot) for more boxes and got sorting. I had one great afternoon of organising and then of course I got distracted and lost interest. But here is a progress shot.

I wonder if I should add this to my side bar? Nah, it'll never get finished.

The boxes with labels are the wool and the ones on the floor are too. The other boxes are fabric. I think I have about 5 other fabric boxes in storage somewhere. I really must get back to sewing. I'm trying to convince myself that I will make nappies etc for this bub but I can't see how it'll happen. Anyway, look I'm trying :-)

Knitting wise, I have made fairly slow progress on my Something Red. I've been so tired lately that I've been going to sleep with Euan every night and so I have lost my normal knitting time. Today I picked up the needles again because I decided that I would really like to take this to Sydney with me. We go on Thursday so it's a bit of a pipe dream but at least it spurs me on. I've just taken the sleeves off the needles and I'm onto the body. See...

It would be going a little quicker if I wasn't purling like someone who had lost all their fingers in a terrible knitting accident. That's why I love circular knitting, no purling. My technique is terrible but at least the stitches look fairly even. It should go a little quicker now that I'm onto the body. I might even stay up tonight and work on it.

Morning sickness is still hanging around and it's been a pretty crap week. Still haven't heard anything from a midwife yet and would really like to. It would be nice to know who my care provider is likely to be. Another thing making life a little difficult is that we have decided to renovate our house. We had originally hoped to have it all finished by the time bub was due so I could birth in our own home, but we doubt that'll be done. I guess we'll have to start looking for a rental somewhere for a few months and bubs'll be born wherever I happen to be living. No point stressing about it. Having a bigger house is more important than where I give birth.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Here they are!

Yesterday was the big scan day. Dan and I had been really stressed leading up to the scan for various reasons; some sensible and understandable, while others were not. I can't begin to explain our huge relief to look at a screen and see our little bub, with all their bits, moving around, waving, kicking etc. I just felt relieved, Dan shed a tear and Euan couldn't quite work out what all the fuss was about. It's such an abstract concept to a 2yo. We talk about it a lot but I can't expect him to go "yeah mum, makes perfect sense". But he's happy with the baby in the tummy thing so we'll leave it at that until we get closer to the birth and then we'll start talking about that.

So here is our new little one:

Aren't they cute :-)

Funny thing is, since the scan I have been feeling a bit better. I haven't thrown up today which is exciting and I'm not feeling nauseas. I even been able to drink some water again. I'm not going to get my hopes up though, as morning sickness is very mean and likes to give you a few days off before flattening you again.

And because I'm feeling a little better I've actually started some knitting again! I know, what a shock. Talking about knitting on a knitting blog, it's just not the done thing any more. After the list of possible projects I wrote about a few days ago it was very easy for me to pick something. Of course what I picked was not on that list. I decided to knit this. And wouldn't you know it but I have the perfect yarn for it flying its merry way across the globe to me and it arrived yesterday. How's that for coincidence? I'm trying some Missions Falls 1824 cotton which seems a bit rough but as I've never knit with cotton before I have no idea what to expect. I think it'll wash and wear pretty well though (I guess I could've tested a swatch but, honestly, who does that?). I'll get a little more done and put up some pics.

Back to work while the boy sleeps.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Ooooh. Two posts on consecutive days!

Lets see who can pick the afternoons where Euan is having a long sleep? It's great because, not only is the house quiet, but I can waste time doing things like taking photos of wool and blogging. Aren't you all so lucky :-)

Anyhoo, here are some pics of my recent sock yarn purchases. I actually have most of them lined up for projects and I'm just waiting for my stomach to settle down so I can get started.

These two skeins I got from Knitterly Things, which stocks the most gorgeous hand dyed sock yarns.

This one I'm planning to use for a pair of Jaywalkers (and here for all the other relevant stuff). I must be the only person on the planet not to have knitted these but I was waiting for the right yarn to come along. I saw them knitted in this exact yarn and they looked so great that I have to stalk the site until they released some more.

I haven't completely decided on a pattern for these but I'm thinking Monkeys. This site has oodles of Monkeys, in fact I think she is Monkey Mad. But they are great looking socks.

The other two skeins I got from Ecoyarns, which is an Aussie site that yarns :-) They have really nice organic cottons, wools etc.. and I gave in and joined their sock club. It's my first club and I was nervous that I wouldn't like it or it would be to expensive, but so far so good.

This is my special sock club yarn. It came with a pretty funky pattern so I might give that a whirl.

This is some other yarn I bought because I love purple. I was thinking of trying these socks as they look like great summer socks and it would be a novelty to not sub yarn for once.

Part of me is thinking I should make one pair of socks for my Secret Pal as I haven't got my shit together and sent her anything yet. I have lots of ideas but am struggling to sort stuff out. Luckily I have a bit of time but I did want to send her a few different parcels. Hmm..I guess I'd actually have to knit something first though, which may be the sticking point.

There you go. Another update. Aren't you lucky! I feel sick now so I'm going to lie down. Bye.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

I'm so so so sorry!

I feel like the world's worst blogger right now. It's been almost a month since my last post and that must be horrible boring for all of you. Unfortunately my morning sickness still hasn't abated and I find spending time on this thing a bit nauseating. Couple with that my camera was playing up so I couldn't take any pictures. Oh, and I still haven't actually knitted anything due to aforementioned sickness and lack of inspiration.

But the most important thing I have to do first is send a huge, big, virtual thank you to my Secret Pal. She sent me the most lovely parcel which I received 2 weeks ago and I feel so terrible for not coming on here and thanking her. As my punishment I wasn't allowed to eat the lollies that she sent until I'd blogged about it (well ok, maybe one or two). So here's the terrible photo. I didn't notice the smudgy 2yo fingerprints on the lens until well after I took this so apologies for that.

Since taking that I have polished off the entire packet on Sunbursts and feel great (I hope it lasts). The wool is just gorgeous and I'm thinking it will make a great felted bag either for me or for a Christmas pressie. There was also some gorgeous handmade soap and some lavender scented powder, which smells just divine.

I do feel a little bit sorry for my Secret Pal though. Here was me thinking I'd get someone from overseas so I'm asking for all these things that I can't get here in Oz. The poor woman is probably reading my list and nodding, as she also lives in Oz! So Sunflower, ignore most of what I asked for. The stuff is so hard to get here that I don't want to worry you. I'll just keep hoping that designers will start writing patterns for DK wool or that we will suddenly get great, affordable worsted wool in Oz.

Another big thank you goes out to all the people who emailed and chatted to me about my last post. I know it was a pathetic case of self pity but it was very real at the time. I know I have a great bunch of supportive friends out there, I guess it is just hard to ask for help. I think now that I have got into the swing of my daily puking I'm feeling a lot less stressed (does that sound weird). The big thing for me is the scan next week. I've had too many friends lose babies recently so I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about it all. I can't wait to see this little one and make sure everything is ok.

And to help me with my knitting block I finally got my Ravelry invite (I really wished I joined when I first heard about it!). I'm OzSusie for anyone else who's on there. I'm trying to look for patterns but my pc nausea makes it a slow process.

I will try and take pics of my new yarn to show off and get this blog back to interesting status.

Big hugs to everyone!

Friday, 7 September 2007


I'm so sorry that I have been ignoring you. It's not actually ignoring but a severe lack of time and information. The morning sickness has really taken hold and I just can't spend that long on the pc without feeling crap. Adding to that Euan has become extra clingy so bedtime is a real hassle and most nights I go to bed with him rather than take an hour or more to settle him only to get up, brush my teeth and go back to bed. I know it is temporary but it is very draining.

None of this has helped my craft inspiration. I still can't seem to knit anything. I have started a couple of little, insignificant projects that I would normally finish in a day or two but they are still sitting around after about 2 weeks. I may have to photograph them just so there is something to look at. Thanks for the book and pattern suggestions. There is some really nice stuff there and I think I will grab some soonish, though I will wait until I'm feeling less sick as right now I'm not going to attempt something big like a top for me. I felt a bit better after reading this post. This woman is a craft queen and even she is struggling with first trimester knitter's block so it doesn't make me feel so useless.

The biggest problem I seem to have right now is that I'm really depressed. I didn't have this last time but it seems to be an issue this time. I feel really unsupported and really lonely. On paper I should have lots of support but it just doesn't feel like it's there. There are other people around me who need the support more than me so I have to take a back seat. This makes me really sad. I had hoped that this time 'round I would feel part of a group and would have great women helping me out and stuff, but I guess I'll just do it on my own again. Luckily Dan is wonderful and Euan is doing his best to deal with a sick Mummy. He is so loving that it makes me want to cry!

I have some great pictures of last weekend, which was Fathers' Day here, on my phone so I'll upload them asap. It was such a fun and hot day that they are worth sharing.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Going slowly

Sorry for the lack of activity over the last week or two. I still have a fairly bad case of knitters block. I keep myself awake at night trying to decide what to start next and how to do something without buying more yarn. I have a big enough stash right now to complete all my summer knitting if only I could decide on a pattern or two. Thanks for the suggestions last time. They are the sorts of things I'm looking for but each time I decide to knit one I get confused by which yarn to use and it all goes wrong. TBH, what I really, really, really want to knit is this:

But when I factor in the ridiculous postage costs and the horrible exchange rate it ends up being at least $100 which is a bit much really. But it is exactly what I want. ~sigh~

So to kill time while I think about what to knit for me I have start another top for Euan. A cardigan this time using the leftovers from his last jumper. I am using this as an excuse to try steeking. Something that seems like the most sensible yet terrifying technique, especially as I love knitting in the round and hate seaming. I thought it would make more sense to start with a child's jumper instead of a full adult one as if I totally screw it up then I haven't lost much. This is progress so far.

The funny ridge down the middle is where I'm going to cut it. As it's only Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and therefore mainly cotton, it's not ideal for steeking but I'm hoping with a lot of sewing-type reinforcement that it should be ok. I'm going to put a zip in which should also help keep it together. Now if only I'd knitted it on 4mm instead of 3.5mm I'd be finished by now.

On a positive note my friend Laura recently got back from South Africa and, although she would never knit to save her life, she brought me back some gorgeous hand spun wool. Ahhhh what I great friend! She couldn't remember what type of sheep it was from but it was something African. It has such a gorgeous shine to it and the colours are just perfect for me. I really don't know what to knit with it, but I've calculated it's at least 130m so I could get something fairly decent.

Isn't it just beautiful!

Now a little family aside. I haven't put any pics of my boys up lately so here are a few of them. They both love cooking so last weekend they got together and made a great chocolate cake. Euan is so good in the kitchen now. Not only does he keep all the ingredients in the mixing bowl (better than his mum) but he also lets me lick the bowl! What a boy!

Some very serious stirring going on there.

And this is the finished creation:

It was as yummy as it looks.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Did you notice???

I know, I'm so sad, but so excited at the same time. Yes my good news was that I'm pregnant. Finally, after many, many months of trying. I know it's early days but it's such a relief for Dan and I. Just hoping the next few weeks fly past without incident and then I can relax a little. The first few weeks are always a little nerve wracking.

So my great dilemma now is what do I knit? I had all these patterns lined up but most of them are fairly fitted and not much use for a large bump. So do I stop knitting for me? Do I knit comfy cardis? (yuck!) Or do I find something that may be suitable during and after pregnancy? I think the latter makes the most sense, so now I'm on the lookout for some good patterns. I have a few ideas so I'll get back to you asap.

Yay! Happy dance!!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

I jumped on the bandwagon...

and made the gorgeous little jacket that everyone in knitting land seems to be making. As women around me seem to be having babies left right and centre it seemed appropriate to give it a go. What is she talking about you all ask. Here it is:

To me this looks like a giant piece of brightly colour pasta (farfalle perhaps?) but with a simple fold and 2 seams you magically end up with:

Another Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. Here are the details:

Pattern: Umm..what I just said.

Needles: Addis 3.5mm 60cm circs. Smaller than recommended as I was making it for a very small bub.

Yarn: Lovely 100% Aussie merino hand dyed by moi.

Duration: About 5 days.

Comments: Great pattern, easy to follow and loads of fun. My only issue was with the stitch marking. I didn't have any good markers to hook onto the stitches and safety pins were just too slow to undo and redo every row. I really need to find something more appropriate. That was what slowed the whole process, otherwise this could've been finished in about 2 days. Oh, and somehow I was 10 stitched short at the end. My counting went haywire and I have no idea where those stitches went but I don't think it looks that different.

Hopefully I can get some pictures on the recipient when she wakes up! I have also used this yarn to make soakers and longies for some babies so I will try and get some pictures of those too as they look so so so cute! I think I need to make a few more of these jackets as they are a great stash buster and so lovely. Best of all it's all garter stitch so I don't have to purl!

Not sure what to start next. I think the Tree Jacket is going to be shelved until next winter as I just don't like the wool I have used. I think it is time to start some summer knitting as Winter is coming to an end. Or I could make a few more pairs of longies as I know a few babies that might want them. What to do, what to do?

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Good news week

There is so much happening this week and most of it is great, if not fabulous. The only problem is that I can't really tell you about it yet. Sorry. I just wanted the world to know that life is wonderful at chez moi!!!

I have another FO and an almost finished FO so I'll sort those out tomorrow for you. And I have to post my SP11 questionnaire so I'd better sort that out and make it interesting. I don't want my Secret Pal to think that I'm really boring.

Off to have an early night so I can catch up on a bit of sleep and have enough energy to enjoy my week.

Hope everyone else is having a great one too!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Oh my god!! I'm in stash heaven

After feeling a little down this week due to family illness and other more personal issues, that needn't fill the pages of a knitting blog, I decided that have a little retail therapy. There is a beautiful "yarn shop" (I'll explain the "" in a sec) near me whose website makes very pleasant reading. They are one of the few places here that stock the proper yarns like Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Artyarns etc the only problem being that their prices are usually a fair bit higher than other places online. Now, if I could actually walk in, handle the yarn, get advice from the staff etc I wouldn't mind paying a little premium, but no. They operate not far from me but they won't even let you go and pick up your order. It's online only, which I find very disappointing. So I generally boycott them. (On a side note, there is one other shop that sells really nice yarn, but who is going to pay $20USD for a single ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino?? Honestly). Somehow, on Wednesday, I was wandering around the web and I happened to drop into this website and had a browse through their Sale section. $350 later I came out with some lovely, lovely, did I say lovely, yarn. The therapy worked for me!

Would you like a peek? I thought so.

Here is Euan showing just how big the bag was that it all came in. He's a pretty tall 2yo, btw.

And here is Koshka, just dying to climb in a sleep on all that lovely yarn. If you've never seen a Maine Coon then you may not appreciate how big the stash is. She's a bloody big cat!

And here is the all important close up:

Now how do I justify the expense (oh, the green stuff was from a different store, but happened to arrive at the same time. I won't add it's cost into the total for now. I think Dan would cry). The Cashmerino I had to have because I am in love with it. I have 15 balls in a deep burgundy that I bought in the UK but I have been too scared to use it in case I make the wrong thing out of it and waster the yarn. I thought it I had 30 balls of Cashmerino then I wouldn't feel so afraid and could use it for multiple projects, so I bought 15 balls of blue (no idea what the name is).

The Blue Sky Organic Cotton was going to be used for the Ribs and Lace Tank from Interweave Knits Spring 07, but I'm a bit concerned that the top looks a little like a bulls eye and I'm not sure I want that effect. Either way, I will knit something similar-ish to this for summer. The yarn is so incredibly soft I can't wait to wear it.

The Rowan Cashsoft is for Dan. I've been wanting to make him something for ages and he finally decided that he liked the look of this, but as I refuse to knit him anything that big in a silk blend we had to look for other wool. It couldn't be itchy, it had to be fairly hard wearing and it had to be good quailty so we went with Rowan. Luckily this was on sale too at Angel Yarns, who are great and buy heaps from them. Though don't order if you're in a rush. I think this took about 6-8 weeks to be posted as they had run out of stock. They aren't very good at keeping you up to date but luckily I didn't care. I'm just hoping that the Boyfriend Sweater Curse doesn't apply to husbands too!

And last but definitely not least the silk. Debbie Bliss 100% Pure Silk. I have no idea what I'll use it for but it was so so so cheap and I've always wanted to try silk so I bought heaps of it. 15 skeins to be precise (or 750g). It is D-lux stuff and will take dye beautifully so I have a few projects in mind but will take my time with this one. God knows what a mum with a toddler does with silk yarn. I wonder if it gets badly stained by vegemite?

Oh, I am actually working on something right now. After putting the Tree Jacket on the backburner I started the little surprise and have got this far:

I'm sure loads of you (you know, all my readers Hahahaha!!) will know what this is as it is so popular right now, but I'm not going to tell the rest of you until it's done. The colour pooling is a bit annoying but I can't wait to see the finished item. Still don't know who it's for either. Any suggestions?

And one last look at the silk. Couldn't you just swim in it!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

I really had nothing to say until...

I finally discovered what all this Secret Pal business was (should've googled it a few months ago, lazy me) and got myself signed up for SP11. Yay!! It'll be so much fun. I just hope my obvious lack of talent isn't too disappointing for my swapee. Can't wait to start planning.

Apart from that it has been a lousy knitting week. The Tree Jacket is just lagging. You'd think that straight garter stitch sleeves would be a breeze but I'm just finding them so boring that I'm avoiding it. In fact I've only done about 6 inches on one sleeve since my last post. I'm thinking of putting it aside this week and making a little surprise. For those who know knitting it's a little Elizabeth Zimmerman surprise, and for those who don't knit, you just have to wait and see. I have the perfect yarn and oodles of recipients so I think I'll use it for a distraction this week. My only issue is that I don't understand the stitch marker placements but I think I can wing it.

I think the other thing contributing to the knitting lull is the fact that Dan has been sick and off work all week. We have such a small cottage of a house that it's been like having two toddlers under my feet all week, and one of them complains an awful lot! He finally seems on the mend today so hopefully he'll be less whingey and he can help out with Euan a little bit. It's not fair that he eats into my knitting time (joke!!). To ease my pain I did a "little" bit of yarn shopping but it is all so lovely that'll you have to wait until it arrives for further details.

Well we finally have a sunny day after weeks of rain so I'm off to do loads of washing and then start my next little project. Hopefully I'll have some progress for you soon.

As there are no pictures here's a little yarn p0rn for you:

Old stuff of mine, but ever so pretty.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

One down, one to go

Well it would be nice if it was only one more WIP to go but, like most knitters and general craftsters, it is impossible to have nothing on the go. If I'm not knitting I'm planning a new knit, or sewing, or cooking or something. But I have at least knocked another project on the head and given myself a bit more time for the next one.

May I present the first sweater/jumper that I have knitted for Euan:

Pattern: My own. I just made it up as I went along. That did mean that I finished the body (knitted in the round then split) grafted the shoulders and realised that it was too short for Euan. So it got ripped out and redone.

Needles: Addi 4mm 40cm circs (do I own any other needles?)

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Kelp Green with Olive green stripe.

Duration: about 5 days due to the ripping and the babysitting

Comments: I just loved working with this yarn. It is so soft and looks great knitted up. I bought a heap of it from The Sheep Studio who are really, really cheap and really, really lovely. I've got a few balls to make Green Gable and possible Rusted Root. I think I could probably squeeze another jumper or cardigan out for Euan too.

Here's the boy showing his pleasure:

As soon as the end were woven in and it was laid out to block I started my next project. I was trying to decide between the Ribby Cardi or Rogue until I saw this. Those nasty Zephyr girls have done it again and I happened to have the perfect wool lying around that I was trying to turn into a Central Park Hoodie with minimal success. I used the bits of CPH that I had already knitted as a swatch and got going immediately. After 2 days I had:

The colour isn't perfect but it's a quick knit and will be really wearable. I've almost finished the body now so hopefully I can get the sleeves wrapped up quickly and get it blocking tomorrow. Yay!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Little progress

I'm sorry to say that things have been moving rather slowly this week. One of my close friends was in the final stages of pregnancy and needed help with her kids and so I discovered that looking after 3 kids (ages 2, 3 and 4) is not that conducive to productive knitting. The baby arrived at 11.59pm Sunday and after a few days of readjusting their lives have settled back to normal (well, as normal as it can be with a newborn) so I've taken the opportunity to get a few projects finished....almost finished.

Ok, one project. And here is Euan modelling the little bit that I have managed to get done on his jumper/sweater thing.

It's all made up as I go along but it seems to be fitting ok so far. I made the body far too short on the first go so it all had to be ripped and started again. In all honesty I wish I'd still made it a bit longer but I'm not adjusting it again. Hoping to finish it today as we have a rare patch of sunshine and I want to block it before I start the next exciting step (that's a secret).

I decided that I needed a bit of a treat and finally gave in and bought 2 things that I have wanted for a long, long time.

The book is Barbara Walker's First Treasury of Knitting Patterns which is the most fabulous book for all sorts of stitch patterns; laces, cables et al. It's one of those basic books that everyone should have in their collection. It arrived from the US yesterday and I've flicked through it about 3 times already and picked out a load of patterns that I want to incorporate into garments. If only I could design! I bought it from Schoolhouse Press (the publishers) as they have recently reprinted it. I'm sure most people in the US have it in their local library but my local libraries are severely lacking in knitting books and, anyway, I didn't want to have to give it back!

The second thing is the Elizabeth Zimmerman Surprise Baby Sweater Pattern. This is the most fabulous little garment and with all the new babies arriving this week (there have been 3!!!) I thought it was a good time to try this. Yarn Harlot has a great description of this jacket. This came from Schoolhouse Press too. Can't wait to make a start on it.

I promise I will get some better photos of my argosy really soon. I think it would look better modelled than lying flat but I'm in no shape to have photos taken this week. Blergh!