Friday, 11 September 2009

Birthday Lace

My mother's birthday came and went very quickly this year. So quickly, that I didn't even manage to purchase yarn for her present before the day came.


My initial plan was to knit her a ring of lace to wear around her neck - something in between a cowl and a smoke-ring. I even had a pattern picked out (Nachaq). But when I swatched up Knitabulous' lovely silk/wool laceweight, I decided it was singing out to be tranformed into a triangular shawl.


After a bit of research on Ravelry, I decided on Percy. Relatively intuitive, with some chart changes to hold my interest.


This photo was taken just after I started the second chart (with no rest rows!). It's progressed quite a bit further now ... I'm working my way back through the first row of nupps in the final chart. Woo hoo, Nupps! I love 'em!


I'm really loving this project. I think I was feeling a bit lost without a lace project on the needles. Now I just have to get if off them!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Dying for Comfort

The quest to produce the ultimate piece of knitted comfort for our little llama is ongoing.

One of his favourite scarves is one I knitted out of some cream coloured angora blend handspun, that I picked up at a knitting exhibition a couple of years ago. It's lovely and soft, and he has excellent taste.

However, I wasn't too comfortable leaving him in the cot with the scarf ... he's mobile even when sleeping, and the thought of it wrapping round his neck could not be borne. So I decided to knit him a comforter with the left over yarn.

Only one problem ... it's no longer cream.


Back into the dye pot it went. And came out this lovely purple ... if I were to give it a name it would be something like Midnight Passion.


Then after some rather boring, but very practical knitting (in the same stitch pattern as the scarf) it ended up squarish, and ready for use.

Can you see the two finishing touches? There's a wrist/pram strap, and a fringe (how nice is a fringe to suck on huh?).
His third piece of knitted comfort is this fierce bunny blanket.


The pattern is from the Drops Baby collection, and can be found here. It's knitted in Shepherd Colour 4 Me. One of my favourite basic DK yarns.

I decided to embroider the face in duplicate stitch, giving it a rather scary appearance. But he doesn't seem to mind.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

And this is a holiday???

No knitting pictures this post ... we're on holidays at 'the snow' (staying at my parent's place, outside of Jindabyne).

As far as holidays go, it's been rather stressful. What have we been up to? ....

Getting up early enough to get myself and an almost 10 month old ready and in the car by 7:45.

Sharing a room with aforementioned baby who has decided that 3 wakes per night is now a minimum.

Donning layers of clothing to protect against wind/rain/snow, making it very difficult to carry a 10kg child across the carpark to the creche (especially as his super cute ski suit is slippery too).

Gradually remoulding my calves with ski boots.

And skiing from one landmark to another as the weather closes in.

Despite all this (and partly because of it), I'm still having a good time. Will be doing it all again next year.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Comfort

Our knitting obsessed son was just about strangling me, trying to eat my scarves while I put him in the cot/car/pram. One nap time, after 10 minutes of wailing, I gave up, and gave him my scarf ... he was asleep in 2 minutes!

So how to give him his knitting fix, without the risk of potential strangulation??? A new knitted blanket is still a while off (though I have a plan, and I think it's going to work), so I made him his own mini-scarf comforter.


Here 'tis



And here it is being devoured.



It's two sided, worked in double knitting (using two strands, you alternate yarns and knit/purl stitches, so that you knit both sides at once). A smaller version of the Exchequered Scarf from Knitty. The photos are actually of the second one I knitted. The first was dropped from the pram 2 days after it was completed (you'd think I'd have learnt by now).


I've also finished another baby cardigan for 'the stash'. I've been working through an old book of Patons patterns. Not sure what I'm going to do next.



And in between all this, I've been having some fun with the a new yarn from heirloom. It's called bliss, and I know why.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Tragedy (and another FO)

I've posted before about the blanket I knitted for our llama while I was pregnant here.


I like to think he loved it. It was a lovely size for a pram, and being knitted, he liked to suck on it when feeling a little sleepy, or whenever he got his hands on it. (Elijah's ears a looking a little worse for wear because of his taste for knitted objects) It was special, cause I made it just for him, before I knew him. I took the squares along to appointments with the obstetrician, in the car on road trips, whenever I needed a project that I could grab and take with me at a moments notice. And with all the grafting involved I'm ever so confident whenever I come to a sock toe, or soaker gusset.

Alas, the blanket is lost.

Probably in Target at Shellharbour. But nobody has handed it in.

So after a day or two of mourning, I started thinking of a replacement. I'm now thinking something blue and cabled. I've had a look around, and nothing is quite what I fancy, so it looks like I shall have to design one myself (not so hard, it's just a rectangle with some cables running around).

While I've been pondering this future blanket, I have actually finished a cardigan (buttons and all).


This baby cardigan will either go to a friend's son, or enter the stash of 'cardigans to be distributed as babies arrive'.

The construction is really interesting. Starting at the bottom front, you knit up and over (splitting for the neck, then rejoining at the back). The sleeves are made by casting on then casting off stitches, with the cuffs picked up at the end. Only 2 seams and 3 buttons. What a lovely pattern.



While I remember I have been meaning to thank RubyGirl for asking if the striped jumper was a top down raglan (on account of the stripe alignment). What a compliment! As there are seams lurking in there ... very carefully counted mattress stitch seams.


And on the matter of baby socks. Charmaine should recognise those socks keeping his feet warm. Such a useful baby present. Right when he was big enough that most outfits no longer had feet, and the weather turned cold, there was a stash of socks to keep those tootsies warm. They're probably a little small now (we have a large-footed llama), but I can still squeeze them on in a pinch. Of course the ability to find only one sock of a pair is seriously exacerbated when they are so small, and can lurk in all manner of places.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Quick cheap knits

A week or so ago Spotlight was selling off their cotton blend summer yarn. At 50c a ball it was too hard to resist. Especially when I had these projects in mind.



Owl Baby Vest (rav link)
Yarn: Patons Serenity
Needles: 3.5 & 4.0 mm knitpicks options
Mods: Worked in a stripe around the bottom, neck and armholes. The armhole stitches are picked up in the contrasting colour but the neck stitches in the main colour (before knitting the next row in the contrast). I think I prefer how the armholes look (not as many reverse stitches visible).


This was a quick and easy knit, with enough going on to avoid monotony.
And with the left over contrast yarn I was able to knit this:


Pattern: Based on a hat owned by a friend's daughter
Yarn: Patons Serenity
Needles: 3.5 & 4.0 mm knitpicks options

I'm currently working on another version of this hat, trying to adjust the size, and see if it looks better worked completely on the smaller needles (I forgot to change, so decided to experiment).




And for a friend's daughter:


Yarn: Patons Washed Haze
Needles: 5.5mm knitpicks options
No mods made, knitted as written. The designer has a number of other bib patterns that I'm likely to work my way through. I like the pattern, and the bib is nice and large.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Is there an excuse?

For the lapse in blogging ... Not really, no.

I wanted to post about a really cute hat I knitted for our little llama ... a three cornered tam from EZ's Knitters Almanac. But I can't find it anywhere, and have no photos.

I could have posted about how I've finished the Estonian Lace Garden shawl. But it's still not blocked (the blocking foam is now under the play pen).

I could have posted about the garter stitch baby kimono I've knitted up, and plan on dying with onion skins ... but I knitted a stitch at the beginning of a row (instead of slipping it), and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it - there's a bump that sticks out of the edge, between the two button holes.

But the weather's getting colder, so I bit the bullet this morning, pulled out a needle, and sewed the buttons on Llama's new jumper.



He decided that while not happy to sit on the lounge, roll around the play pen, or try and take a nap, he would gladly be plonked in the middle of the floor, and watch me wind a slumped bendigo ball into a yarn cake. And then my brain woke up, and I thought ... "I can take a photo of him in his new jumper!"

So here he is again.


And here he is playing with Elijah (the elephant). I'm not sure what's going on with this child, but he has a taste for knitted items ... jumpers, toys, blankets, shawls ... if he sees a knit or a purl stitch it's headed straight for his mouth.



I'm nearly 1/2 way another red baby cardigan, and need to seam and knit the neckband on blue cardigan .... I'm trying to build up a stash of baby items, there are 12 coming between now and Christmas. And I want to finish Joe's jumper, and knit myself a cardigan too! So better quit blogging, and pick those needles back up, while llama's still napping.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Running Down a Steep Hill

Have you ever run down a steep hill. The wind in your hair, as you pick up more and more speed. Your legs have to move faster and faster to keep up. You can't stop till the bottom, if you stop, you fall (and it hurts). It's scary, exhilarating and so much fun!

That's the feeling I get as I approach the end of a lace project. That's the feeling I had 2 weeks ago, as I completed the 41st repeat of the main stitch pattern in the Estonian Lace Garden Shawl. I was up to the nupps. Oh what fun the nupps were. Yarn over, pull it loose, knit, pull it loose, yarn over, pull it loose, knit, pull it loose, yarn over, ready for the next stitch. What a lovely rhythm. And purling back, the sense of accomplishment as I managed to pierce all 5 loops of the stitch, and purl them together, finishing with a little tug as they slid off the needle, to sit neatly in place. I was flying down that hill, and it was great.

And then I tripped and fell (metaphorically)

The dreaded T word - tendonitis.

Generally, it's not considered a good thing when your wrist suddenly explodes in pain, and looses most of its power, while holding you 4 month old son (who now weighs in at a hefty 7.5 kilos). And when it happens 3 times in one day, it's a cause for concern.

So the shawl is still not finished (though gradually getting closer). And all those little 'fill-in' projects ... the baby's hat for the next arrival (there are a few approaching); the 'stay-on' baby socks for the son whose feet are growing at an alarming rate; the warm snuggly socks started at Christmas and suffering a severe case of second sock syndrome; the baby cardigan, so pretty in pink ... they're all on hold.

To extend the metaphor a little further still, having tripped and fallen, as I picked myself up, I caught a glimpse of another path, promising treasure. For the last week, I have been scouring websites, searching for the elusive icon of the March 09 Great Down Under Nappy Hunt. Who would have thought an online scavenger hunt would be such fun. And the sights/sites to see ... I've come up with so many ways to spend Kevin's money, but which to chose?
So the knitting has been a little slow of late. But I can report that I am up to the trellis edging on the second edge of the shawl. Four more rows, a bind off and blocking to go. I have finished increasing on the sleeves for the cardigan (I always love that point). And in an attempt to see if maybe crochet was less aggravating on my wrist, I created this little guy.


Mr Rectangle (as we have dubbed him, what an imaginative name).

Yarn: Assorted scraps of Anchor Magic Line
Hook: 4mm


I liked the look of his arms and legs for our little llama to chew on. And so does he. He also likes the corners. I made him in cotton (the rectangle, not the baby), and stuffed him with scrap fabric so he would be nice and tasty for our little one.

And a photo of something made a while ago, but forgotten last time I posted.




An alpaca hat to keep a little llama warm.

Pattern: Baby Hat, One Skein
Yarn: Handspun Alpaca purchased on eBay quite some time ago
This yarn is really warm and cosy, but we do find fibres caught in the dribble monster's neck creases.
Needles: 4mm knitpicks options
Modifications: Knitted on smaller needles than the pattern, with the number of stitches for the larger size. Which gives a hat nicely suited for his 'in-between sizes' head.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Fairy Floss

After a run of baby boys, my friends and relations have started to produce little girls.
Time to break out the oh so pretty pink yarn.

This lovely stuff was handed to me by someone who had acquired it from someone else etc etc. I'm glad it ended up in my hands. It's lovely and squooshy and soft, and oh so elastic! I never thought I'd like a crepe yarn so much.

There's some blue balls still in the bag, so looks like little llama gets some Superfine action too.

Also pink is my current 'long term lace project'.


I started this when I finished the Pretty as a Peacock shawl. I honestly think it's the perfect project. It sits happily with it's cone of yarn in a large ziplock bag ready for me to grab as I head out the door (along with the other bags of nappies, spare clothes, toys, blankets etc).



The lace panel in the centre is made up of an 8 row pattern. To be repeated 41 times. So I don't even need to pack the pattern! I'm up to my 32nd repeat, so will have to start concentrating soon .... the nupps are coming.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

One of those moments

We were discussing the bushfires in Mothers' Group on Tuesday, and again at bible study last night. The consensus has been that they're one of those events that stick in your head ... like the gulf war, Princess Diana's death and 9 11.

They bring a rather stoic, reserved nation to tears. There's something heartbreaking about watching your prime minister struggle to keep composed on television.

They show up the worst in humanity - arson, looting, the selfishness of people, a rejection of how God would have us live.

But there is hope too. In the 8 year old Girl Guide who asks her leader, "What are we going to do to help the bushfire people". In the blood, food, toys and clothes donated. The hugs given to the suffering.

We pray that those affected would know the eternal hope found in Jesus. We thank God for the generosity of total strangers, for the courage of fire fighters.

To donate to the relief efforts, click here.
To find out more about the hope found in Jesus, click here.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The problem with buttons

I have 2 blue cardigans sitting with my stash. They're sitting with the buttons I (eventually bought) to sew on them. One has been sitting there for over 12 months now, the other for only 3.
I just don't like sewing on buttons.

It doesn't take me long ... I sewed four on this top while feeding the (no longer particularly) little llama this morning (ie less than 10 minutes)

Do you like it?


The cables aren't as sproingy as in the pattern - to be expected when you knit in bamboo/cotton. But they don't look too bad, and it was a quick knit (except for the buttons).
Yarn: Patons Serenity (bamboo & cotton)
Needles: 4 mm knitpicks options
Modifications: None.

The most frustrating thing about the pattern was the number of ends left to weave in. If I thought about it more, I could have avoided a few. But by the time I was weaving in the last ends, I had to be careful not to try and weave an end under an end (and hence have an end pop out).

Also off the needles are these bootees (booties?). Really quick (and no buttons).


Yarn: Adrafil Floris
Needles: 2.75 mm Harmony dpns
Modifications: None
Comments: Doing a toe up cast-on on dpns is really tricky (but doable if you're persistent)

And finally

Wrist/ankle rattles. The bells are worked in as part of the knitting, so relatively secure. Just a couple of rounds of twisted rib, an easy morning's work.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Duds

No, not rejects. Pants!


Shaped around the back to fit the ample derrier of the cloth nappied baby.


Cable feature along the outside leg, and cuff.

Very cute. And designed by me. I even wrote down what I did in case I want to do it again.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Thankyou

To all the lovely people who have showered our little llama with gifts.

Since his birth, we have purchased 4 items of clothing, such has been the extent of the giving.

And an extra thankyou to those of you who crafted (knitted, crocheted, sewed) something special for the cutest little boy ever!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy Birthday & Merry Christmas

My birthday is in July. Last year (ie 2008) my sister-in-law ordered a copy of One Skein for me. It arrived at the beginning of December.
Since then I've knitted up two items from its selection of yummy patterns.

Petal Bib (Rav link)

Yarn: Bendigo 8 ply Cotton
Needles: 4.0 mm Knitpicks options
Mods: none

and Baby Hat (Rav link)



Yarn: Cleckheaton Bamboo
Needles: 3.25 Addi Turbo
Mods: knitted on smaller needles than pattern. Pattern knitted as per the larger size to give a hat for a newborn.

I'm really enjoying knitting patterns from this book. Probably because they've been pretty quick to knit up (duh).

So Birthday knitterly goodness flowed right up to Christmas.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, we drove up to Petlins, at Rhodes, to purchase a ball winder, and this



Now it's out from under the bed, and able to be used. I totally love it. Joe seems quite taken with the mechanics of the ball winder, and wanted to know if I had any more to wind. Well not just yet, but he can wind the next ball.

And from my parents in law I received something with this label.





Here it is sitting on the ottoman.



It hold so much, it reminds me of Mary Poppins' bag (though not made of carpet).
I only knitted one Christmas gift this year ...

A tie for my brother in law.


This was the project that spurred me on to try blocking with guitar strings. It was a lot more work than I imagined. Mostly in the lining ... I had calloused fingers from the sewing needle. He's promised to wear it at the next 'suitable occasion' (hmmm).

Yarn: Patonyle
Needles: 3.25 Addi Turbos

I had a lot of trouble blocking the skinny end as wide as the specs indicated, which affected how well the lining sat. If I were to make this again (and I won't) I'd line it in a colour similar to the yarn (like the pattern suggests).

Looking through the photos on the camera, I actually knitted one and a half Christmas presents. Here's the half.


With the Christmas knitting out of the way, I'm plugging away at my Estonion lace stole (promise to post pics sometime soon), Joe's jumper (as soon as he tries it on to check the sleeve - again), and a pair of socks (in yummy squishy Koigu).