Thursday, 21 August 2008


I'm so sorry poor blog. I have been ignoring you for so long I'm surprised you are still here. Life has been rather busy these past few months and blogging time has been non-existent. Heck, any form of personal time has pretty much gone.

Well we have actually had the baby so I didn't go to 4 months overdue :-) I was 40+15 which was hard enough. Our little girl Nadia was born on May 1st at 11.47am weighing 9lb10. It was a fairly straightforward homebirth lasting about 4 hours or so. Couldn't say that it was better than my hospital birth. Guess there were pros and cons for each. Anyway here are some pics:

Both kids in the first few days

Having a play

Our little girl

Have been doing a little bit of knitting but will update next time. Don't have any batteries in the camera. Sorry

Sunday, 13 April 2008


Nothing happening on the baby front so we are all just waiting. Some days patiently, other days not so :-) So to kill the time I've started something new. I'm bored of baby stuff, Euan's jumper is driving me crazy and so is Dan's, so I thought I'd make something for me. Chunky sweaters seem to be all the rage so I've been through the stash and through Ravelry and found a pattern that I can start with. It's called the Shalom cardi. I'm planning on making a heap of changes but it's a good starting point. You can find the pattern here and this is my progress shot:

Doesn't look like much but it's fast knitting (double worsted yarn on 6.5mm needles) so hopefully I can show you something that looks like a cardigan soon.

Now just a matter of who finishes first, me or the baby!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

OMG I am so slack!

I can't believe it has been well over a month since I last posted. I'm so sorry about that. I guess all the late pregnancy stuff just got too much for me and I haven't really had the energy to do much. Things got really hectic around here when our little girl turned breech which meant I couldn't birth on the government funded homebirth program. It turned out to be a bit of a blessing though, as I really didn't like my midwife and I am so much happier with the lovely independent midwife that I have chosen instead. Of course as soon as I found a midwife I was happy with our little one went head down so there are no issues with that any more. Cheeky little thing!

We've also gone through the wringer a bit with the house. We gave up on the first builders as they were twats but luckily found someone else who could do what we wanted for a much more reasonable price. We spent a while tweaking that plan and discussing various bits and bobs and finally signed up with them a few weeks ago (at Easter in fact). So they are now working on our plans and we should have something happening fairly soon. Luckily we won't have to move until after the baby arrives.

On the knitting front I have been fairly unproductive. I just can't seem to find the time or energy to knit. I have a heap of projects on the go or in my ravelry queue but I can't see when they'll ever get done. I would love to finish Dan and Euan's jumpers before winter so I'd better pull my finger out on those. Luckily I have at least one knitting project to show you. It's a little set that I made for the bub. I don't really know what the yarn is. Some Spotlight rubbish that I picked up ages ago because it was worsted weight and that stuff is like hen's teeth in Oz.

The top is a free Debbie Bliss pattern and the pants are just my usual made up pattern. I think I put a few extra short rows in the back for the bulky newborn nappies. They're not 100% wool so I'm not sure how they'll go as a cover but I think they'll be ok. I think the top will look cuter on than flat. It's hard to make that ribbing sit well.

In the last week I've found my sewing machine and had a burst of energy. This was mainly spurred on by the fact that I didn't have any newborn nappies and lots of fabric lying around. So using Shar's Newborn fitted pattern I made up a bunch. Aren't they the cutest.

It's been years since I made nappies and I actually found these quick, easy and enjoyable to make. My wonderful friend Pip has also lent me some little nappies so now we have a decent stash for when this one finally arrives.

While I had the machine out I made up a few things for me for the days and weeks after the birth. I know these aren't everyone's cup of tea but they are so comfortable and I'll be doing loads of nappy washing so they aren't any more work.

I've been meaning to make these for years, and once again they were so quick and easy to make. I'm thrilled with how these have turned out. They look just like ones I've bought in the past. I feel so clever :-)

So here's a nice little picture of all the baby things I have made so far.

Not a huge collection but I'm happy with it. I just can't wait to have some pictures with a baby in the clothes. 39 weeks now so it won't be long but it will always be longer than I want!

Monday, 25 February 2008

BSJ Modifications

I've had a few people ask about my modifications to resize the Baby Surprise Jacket so I thought I'd post them here. Sorry it took so long. I really need to update you all on the last few weeks but I'll save that for another day.

For these mods to be of any use you'll need the original BSJ pattern. I don't want to breech anyone's copywrite by posting the pattern, but hopefully these instructions will make some sense. If not, let me know please.

To make a newborn size BSJ using 100g (or a bit less than 230m or 250y) worsted weight wool and size 4.5mm needles (I haven't actually worked out my gauge but I'll have a look later)

Cast On 128 stitches

Mark stitches 29 and 100

After 8 rows (4 ridges) increase 7 across each end

At 70st work 3 even

At 86st work 8 evenly across middle

At 114st shape neck by bind off 4 at each end

At 118st work on centre 66 for 16 rows (8 ridges)

Mark stitches 34 and 100

4 rows then make buttonholes then 4 more rows

Then you should end up with something cute like this:

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

The big one!

This is the FO I've been wanting to show you for ages. It has only been finished a few days but it has been a lot of work and I'm really proud of it. This little labour of love is a present for my Nan's 90th birthday, which isn't until March but I didn't want to rush it. It took me a month to complete which is slightly quicker than I expected although I wanted to have time to resize it if need be.

Anyway, without further a do, may I present my Swallowtail shawl:

Isn't she pretty? Not a huge shawl but a good size for a little grandmother.

Here's the blocking shot:

This made me realise that I really need blocking wires so I'm saving up for a splurge at The Knittery asap, especially as I already have more lace on my needles.

Not sure what to say about the swallowtail. It is a fairly simple pattern to follow if you don't have a 2yo helping out. I used Knittery 2ply merino on 3.25mm addi lace needles.

Oh, and it has really whetted my appetite for lace. So I joined a Secret Stole thingy (for all my free time!). They send me a clue every week for 9 weeks and I knit them up and see what happens. Unfortunately I needed my only lace needles so I had to wait until the Swallowtail was finished, which meant I was 3 clues behind. Luckily it is fairly easy knitting so I got the first clue done in 2 days and have made good progress on clue 2. I'm really hoping to be up to date by the time clue 3 comes out on Friday night.

Here is a little progress shot of the stole:

Terrible pictures, but it looks pretty good in real life. I've done a fair bit more since this picture but I'm only going to take pictures at the end on each clue.

Unfortunately due to the lace bug that I've caught everything else has gone on the back burner. I hope I can get a few more things finished off in the coming weeks as I hate having lots of WIPs bugging me.

House report: who knows and not worth talking about. Hopefully we should start knowing a little more by next week but until then we're trying not to think about it.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Another FO

OMG has it really been that long since I last posted? How terribly slack of me. Sorry about that. Things have been on the busy side here and I have actually been getting quite a bit of knitting done. I started and finished another project in the last 2 weeks, actually it was in the last week! I while back I made this gorgeous little jacket for a friends baby and last week I decided to make one for my own impending bub. I thought it best to do a little bit of stash busting but only had worsted weight yarn that I wanted to use so I had to change all the calculations. Basically I took 10% off everything-ish and it worked out really well. I can't really post my number because that would give the pattern away but if anyone really wants to know I'm happy to give them a hand.

Anyway, not real point with the progress shots so here is the finished item:

It took 2 balls of Noro Silk Garden on 4mm needles. Sorry I don't post all the details on my blog. I put them all in Ravelry now and can't be bothered cross posting. Lazy aren't I :-)

I made a terrible cock up on the sleeves. You are supposed to increase a certain number of stitches across a section and when I wrote out my notes I forgot to mention this and just increased the stitches at either end. This meant my sleeves looked like this:

So I had to undo my cast on and frog down from the top. This was a PITA as the decrease stitched would not just pull out so I had to pull the yarn through everyone. It took bloody ages! But it was worth it in the end and I am really happy with it. It should be a perfect size for her first winter.

Stay tuned because I have an even more exciting FO for tomorrow!!!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Knitted baby FO

Here it is, my first knitted item for our little girl. It has been a nice knit and the yarn is just so scrummy. I just love it! Dan has reminded me, however, that it will probably fit her around her first birthday and not as a newborn, but who cares really. Knowing my luck and poor judgement it'll probably fit her around 9 months which will be the middle of summer, so not great sweater weather. Ah, who cares. Here it is:

Knitted in Knittery merino/cashmere sock yarn on 3.75mm needles. It's the February Sweater Pattern from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. Sorry, I'm sure I should add more details but my brain isn't working and I need to head out. If I can think of anything important I'll write it up later.

I managed to save my lace but haven't had the courage to do any more on it. Hopefully I'll get some child free time this weekend and I can get a few more repeats done. This one cannot be late!

Thursday, 17 January 2008


Long day + very tired + late at night + fine lace = disaster.

What else do I need to say except that I am very glad that I am a lifeline maniac. Sigh

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

A good day!

Things have been going a little better lately and not before time. I seem to have stopped feeling ill (touch wood) and have now made it to the 3rd trimester. Only 10-16 weeks to go and I sincerely hope it's closer to the 10. I'm so bored of being pregnant but at least I haven't got any of the major ills that I had last time. I won't list them, it's not pleasant reading. Suffice to say that everything is working fine thank you and I have normal sized feet. I'm sure the 39 degrees tomorrow will challenge my feet but that is why we have air con. The bub has been spending most of her time head down so at least she knows which way is out. This does mean that I constantly have a sore pelvis but it's better than a breach birth.

Even though I keep saying I won't start new projects until others are finished I guess I don't really mean it. The Swallowtail is coming along slowly as I can only work on it when Euan is asleep, which doesn't seem to be too often these days. The Cobblestone is easy and brainless but far too big to carry around all the time. So you see I just had to start something new. Something portable and requiring little though. I though this was just perfect. A little baby sweater. Straight out of my new Elizabeth Zimmerman book (actually I bought 2 books but they are knitting essentials...honest!). I have seen some gorgeous examples before and new I had to knit it. Anyhoo, here's a progress shot after about 4 days of on off knitting:

Sorry it's blurry. It was getting dark outside and I just couldn't get it right with the flash. But you get the idea.

It's a nice knit with a really simple lace pattern. Easy to memorise so I don't have to carry the pattern around. The sleeves will be a quick knit so it should be done before the weekend. I might even have enough yarn left over to make something equally useless for little babies like a beanie or booties :-)

Another positive this week is that our house plans are coming along nicely. We got the second version and they are much closer to what we wanted. We are still tweaking a couple of things but we are almost ready to go onto the next stage. Unfortunately the next stage is when they cost it all up and we faint at the price. We know what we can borrow and we know what we can afford and they are not quite the same thing. But it is a lovely house and we really need a new one. Maybe we should start seriously looking at the lottery!

Anyway, things are going well at the moment. Doesn't it make a nice change :-)

Friday, 11 January 2008

Wonderful knitting

Well I have to say that the year has started really well knitting wise. I have a couple of FOs already and a few lovely new WIP on the needles. Knitting Daily is proclaiming this the year of fearless knitting and that has made me think about what things I have always wanted to knit. once I'd got the hang of the basics these are the things that I always wanted to try:

  1. Cables
  2. Lace
  3. Socks
  4. Adult clothing
  5. Entrelac

So far I have done all except entrelac, but only at a very basic level. So my first projects for the new year are:


This is the Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits.

As soon as I saw it I decided that it would make the perfect present for my Nan who is turning 90 in March, but I have been too terrified to start it. I have had the yarn and needles sitting here for months but kept putting it off. However, after the success of my Branching Out I felt brave enough to start. The yarn is 2ply merino from The Knittery and is like knitting with sewing thread. It is so thin that it makes me feel all thumbs. I hope it gets easier! This is a progress shot so far. not much done but it's only a day's worth of knitting with no mistakes so far.

Real Adult Clothing

The second project on my needles is the Cobblestone Sweater, also from Interweave Knits (the impossible to get Fall 2007 edition - yay for subscriptions!)

I've been wanting to make Dan something for ages and I thought this would look great on him. I decided to have a bit of a splurge and bought some really speccy organic wool from Beaverslide. I had a really hard time choosing a colour as Dan always wears blue and I didn't want him to have another blue jumper. I'm not 100% sure that I chose the right colour but I'm just going to knit it up and see how we go. The yarn has the strangest feel to it. It doesn't even feel like real wool. But I diligently knitted up a swatch (yes, that's right folks 2 swatches in as many weeks!!) and washed it and it feels just gorgeous. That was enough to convince Dan that it will be a comfortable jumper so here's the start:

And now for the things that I have finished. I've already shown you some pictures of the Branching Out but I think this one is slightly better, well at least the colour is slightly better.

It was sent off last week so I'm hoping it has arrived in France by now. Will let you know when I hear.

The other FO is the maternity shrug. The bamboo yarn was a little slippery but looked great knitted up and has made a fabulous top. I haven't actually got a photo of me wearing it. I tried in the mirror but it was so dirty that I looked like a smudge. I know I could clean the mirror but that could take weeks. But here is a pic of the finished item:

This is preblocking so there are a few ends hanging out, but post blocking it really does look great. I'll see if I can get Dan to take a decent picture of me in it, which could be rather hard considering the ginormous state of my tummy!

Wow, I can't believe I found time to write all of that! Off to watch Play School now. Bye!

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

First FO for 2008

Well I said I was going to try and make some headway on my Branching Out and yesterday was the day. While the boys were out playing I got 7 repeats done and then a few more in the afternoon. After 32 repeats Dan and I decided that it looked about right so I got it all ready to block overnight (it was going to be a minimum of 20 last night so I knew it would dry pretty quickly). It was all done this morning and I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with it. Here are some photos, though I warn you that I have trouble taking good pictures of scarves.

The whole thing blocking:

A close up of the repeats (the colour really isn't good in this one)

And Koshka doing a bit of modelling for me (this is probably the truest colour)

So now we just need to get it in the mail and on its way to France.

On a sad note I have decided to frog my Something Red. It just wasn't working out between us. The pattern is fine and easy to follow but I think my choce of yarn was a disaster. It was the most horrible to stuff to knit. It was Mission Falls 1824 Cotton and I really think my biggest problem with it was needle size, but I just don't feel like changing the pattern to suit a bigger gauge so it's gone. So sad.

But to fill the hole it left I have started another project. I know I said I wouldn't until my WIPs were finished but this replaces Something Red so I don't think it counts. All I really wanted was something I could wear while I was pregnant that would be wearable later. Oh, and something that may be useful during summer, which cancels out most knits. So I'm knitting a shrug. It is loosely based on the Shrug This from One Skein Wonders but I'm changing a few things around. I'm stash busting some Sidar Just Bamboo that I had laying around which should be perfect. I was a little worried about how it would drape (it's a bamboo tape and looks pretty heavy) so I actually decided to swatch, which is very unlike me. I'm so glad I did because it looks much better when it's washed and actually loses some of it's openness.



I'm hoping this will be a quick project as it's on 6mm needles and just a top down raglan. Progress so far:

Another hot day here today and it'll be worse tomorrow so Euan and I will probably curl up in front of the cricket with the air con going and I can get some more knitting done.

Oh, and we have some plans from the builders. They were all wrong so I have redrawn them, given them a list of amendments and sent them back. Hopefully they hurry up and get it right so we can get it off to the council. I just hope to find out where we might be living when this little one arrives.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

UFO Malaise

Well Happy New Year everyone! Dan and managed to see 2008 in (just) with a bottle of bubbles. We regretted it when Euan woke up really early in the morning though! So I have sent the boys off to the playground so I can straighten my head out. And it wasn't the champers. I had half a glass for the whole night although even that was enough to make me feel wobbly. Bed early again tonight methinks as tomorrow will be 39 or 40 degrees and that'll kill me on no sleep.

Anyway, I have woken up this morning just itching to start something new knitting wise. I'm sure this wasn't helped by reorganising my Ravelry project queue last night. It reminded me of all the wonderful projects that I want to start, most of which I even have yarn for. But I am trying to be good and finish a good chunk of my UFOs before casting on something new. I know my WIP list doesn't look like much but that's mainly because I haven't loaded them all onto Ravelry yet. I figure if I can finish the ones listed then I can start something new. So while the boys are out I'm going to get cracking (although I've already wasted half a hour having a shower and typing this).

Euan's ABC jumper is coming along well. I finished knitting the body yesterday and then had to deal with this:

Oh how I wish I'd learnt how to weave in the ends as I was knitting. Must head back to TechKnitter and read her instructions. So I spent all of yesterday weaving bloody ends in! Still, it looks much better after that hard work and I have finally started adding some letters:

I really should've blocked it before starting the duplicate stitch but I have to remind myself that this is a jumper for a 2.5yo and he will probably kill it or only wear it once, so close enough is good enough. I still have the second sleeve to knit but I want to finish the body so I can feel like it's almost done.

Now I'm going to make some more headway on the Branching Out scarf. It was supposed to be a Christmas present but obviously it wasn't done. I've done about 22 repeats and I'd like to make it to 30 today so I only have about another 10 to do. I really want to get it to France while it's still Winter! Wish me luck!