Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Baby, Another Hat

This time it is baby Mischka. I love the name. It's so Russian princess don't you think?? Mischka is the new bub of Freya and Jelle. She's so awake and alert but calm. In the time that I was visiting her she hardly made a squeak, just looking every where. And here's her Helix Hat.

Oh and here's some swatches for another vest for John. Two winters ago I knit him a red vest from a Jo Sharp Pattern, which I am so happy to say he wears all the time. This winter I'm going to have a go at another Jo Sharp Pattern but I doubt if he'll get to wear it till next winter.

It's going to be the Cable and Rib Vest from Jo Sharp's Knit - Issue Three.
I'm using a discontinued Cleckheaton Tencel and Wool blend which knits up nicely with a bit of shine and drape. Hopefully it won't be too sloppy for JT.

But JT will be way too busy to be lying around like that all day! What kind of model pose is that any way?

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Jumper I ever knit...

....or my mum keeps insisting.

I took up this tag from Kate at Knitting and Knotting. Behold: The first jumper I ever knit. It has never been worn! It was WAAAY too big for me and the neck was funny - there was not quite enough yarn for the collar (hence the stripe) . The arms are different sizes. It weighs about two kilos. Hilarious.

The yarn however is (still) utterly divine. It's Australian wool from Willow Creek Yarns. I don't know if they're around anymore. My mum bought me the while lot one year at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. (In the good old days when it was still at Moore Park. ) I was a poor uni student then. It might have been around 1990.

Mum must have really been feeling generous (which I remember with fondness & appreciation to this day) because she even bought me lovely bamboo needles in the two sizes required and the yarn and the pattern all on the same day. Not to mention probably buying me lunch and paying for me to get into the show as well!! Aren't Mums wonderful!!

Can you see the shot on the pattern? It even looks frumpy on the model. But those were the days when I had an aversion to anything slightly fitted. I was at uni and it was Grunge all the way to the pub and back!

After I dutifully knit the thing which was a mission for the new knitter. I knew I would NEVER wear it. My mum thought she might and took it home to put on the buttons but it didn't happen, it's languished in her knitting cupboard for longer than 15 years. Until I asked for it back last week.

It looks kinda cute on Gemma tho. I'm going to frog it and make a suite of arans for the little girls I think. It's such lovely yarn.

It's funny to see how uneven my tension is and how SIMPLE the pattern is and to remember how scared I was about knitting it. I didn't knit anything seriously after that until more than five years later when I had babes to knit for. Still what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I love Denise!

Oh I am soo naughty! I just did a very naughty thing! I should not be left home alone. I just went on-line and bought an new organiser for my Denise Needle Set. This is what it will look like except (after much agonising) mine will be red.

But? But?- I hear you ask - Why do you need an organiser when you already have the nifty Denise plastic case that the needles come in when you buy the Denise Kit? You know the answer don't you? I just wanted it!

Well.... that and ages ago I bought the companion set with extra lengths and more connectors and end stoppers etc - Well of course the existing kit can't fit all the extra bits and they are all floating around my knitting bag BUT THE ORGANISER CAN fit them all in- oh and organise them!!!

While I was there a whole new pink kit fell into my shopping cart. (I can't quite believe I did that!) It's partly because the whole breast cancer thing is particularly resonant with me at the moment AND they've slightly changed the needle sizes to be truly metric (not those wierd not quite right US sizes) !!! So My trusty much loved blue set is the 'OLD version' And I just couldn't resist the NEW VERSION!!!

Oh and then I had to buy a pink expansion set too and a new set of 4mm's (I use them the most).......Come on...the Aussie is doing so well against the USD that it's all practically FREE! But don't tell JT. I might be in a little trouble..... Well he started it really- he have me the first set for my birthday three years ago and I've hardly used another needle since!

PS - Thanks so much for all your lovely comments about my Lady E Poncho. I am enjoying it so much. I've worn it nearly every day since it came off the needles. So much for blocking!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


OOOh! How happy am I with this??!! It began as a Lady Eleanor stole from Scarf Style. Look at this beautiful Lady E by Fig and Plum. But half way through I decided to make it into a poncho. The kind that you make by sewing together two rectangles.

My thinking was: If the aim was to keep my shoulders warm and I wanted to be able to wear it daily rather than just on kid free evenings I would need to keep it hands-free. You know - unless you can do a keyhole loop with a scarf it's long gone with kids. I figured Lady E might end up a little too fiddly with on-the-go kidlets. So here tis....

And look- Holding hands and it's not falling off. (Lovely Magnolia and totally overgrown pond in the background.)

And now: being a total dork in a photos (with brilliant chook shed in the background) and it's still not falling off - FABULOUS!!

Specs: 6 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Lite. Colourway #2023. US#8 Denise Circulars. Basic Instructions for the entrelac initiated: 7 diamonds across and 10 stitches wide each diamond =CO 70st if I remember correctly. Then I just kept knitting till I had a rectangle 7 diamonds x 10 half triangles. Then I picked up stitches along one side and knit the same. Here is a progress shot of it around this point. Then I cast off the second rectangle and mattress stitched up the two pieces, wove in the ends and put it on!

I haven't taken it off since. Not even for blocking. No crochet edging. No tassels. Nada. Perfect as it is! IMHO. Possible mods. Maybe one or two diamonds longer and I would have had a slightly bigger neck hole.

So is it coincidence that in the weeks since Knitting Camp I have been blogging more than in the last 12 months and at the same time have more FOs than usual to show?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Baby Rose

We have a new bub in our midst. Our lovely Berry friends Matt and Kristy have a new baby, Rose Louise. She's a week old. Here's the hat I knit her from the Helix Hat pattern. Finished yesterday. Knit in two nights worth of TV sessions. CO 70st using 4mm addis and heirloom Cotton 8ply held double. I rave on about the pattern & etc here.

And here's Milly holding her in her hat. Look at how big my baby is compared to Rose!

And here's me holding her in her hat. She's so lovely. So tiny. So sleepy. And so not keeping me up at night!!

Here's another finished Helix Hat. For another Berry bub on the way. Hope it's a boy!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Learning Spinning from the Guru!

The week before last was filled with all things fibery chez stripey! Berry Spinners & Weavers hosted our Biennial two day Fibre Muster. It was a two day event with filled with workshops, competitions, stalls selling fibre & related equipment, yarn, fleece and even sheep!!

Over the last six months in the spare time I don't have, I joined the organizing committee and volunteered to run a kids corner for visitors and coordinate activities by the local preschool. I cursed my big mouth for weeks beforehand as I tried to squeeze in time to come up with some fibrey activities for children. Of course it all came together in the end and all the visiting kids and my own kids had a great time making pompoms and spiderwebs and collages of Alpacas and Sheep with real fleece!

Here is a gang of kids, mums and my fabulous off-sider Hennie (far left) in her own handspun alpaca poncho. See the alpaca and sheep collage in the background hanging off the stage? And see loads of spinning wheels inn the foreground and background.

I also signed up for a two day advanced spinning workshop with our headline guest, world reknown NZ weaver and spinner Anne Field. She wrote the Ashford book of Spinning and others. I was very excited to meet her I even had my copy of her book autographed!

So I'm totally converted about spinning alpaca after spinning some really really decent fleece. I spin up some totally fabulous mulberry silk (can't wait to do more of that!) and I had fun learning to woollen spin mohair! If you're a spinner and you've ever done it you'll know what I mean when I say it's like riding a bike with no hands! What fun! I'm all inspired afresh with fibery ideas as it should be when you go to an event like this!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What I knit at camp!

So you might have heard all about our knitting camp, the workshops, the hijinx and meeting the real people behind the cyber alteregos from Anne, Ailsa, Bells, Donna, Donni, Jill, KMS, Mel, Rose Red, Tianne, Rae and Zena. Phew!! Have I missed any one. I hope not all that linking was such a pain!

So I'm not going to tell you about any of that stuff - go look at their blogs. Instead I'm going to show you what I was knitting.

This one is a no colour jog striped hat knit in the round. It's heirloom eight ply cotton held double and knit on 4mm addis. Fab technique! I've been trying to work out how to do it for ages and then one day I stumbled upon Helix Hat patterns on Ravelry. So I wasted no time; printed out the pattern, got started and realised after a few goes that the pattern I'd downloaded was wrong. Arghh! Thought hard, thought hard, examined the knitting, thought hard some more and worked it out! I'm sure you are all cleverer than me and wouldn't have to think quite as hard to work it out. It's quite a technique! Brilliant really but way too hard to explain how it works.

So once I got the stripes happening I got a bit carried away. As you can see - It's a little long for baby. Will have to frog back and take and inch or so out.

The second project I've got going at the moment began as a Lady Elenor from Scarf Style. I didn't have the pattern so I cruised the web and checked out everyone's pictures. Taught myself entrelac from my Vogue Knitting Stitchionary and hey presto!!

Only it's not going to be a Lady E any more. It's going to be a poncho. You know the kind where you sew two rectangles together. Not long to go now! Just check out that Noro!! It's silk garden lite. I know many people don't like it but I really a Noro Fan!!

If I had more time I'd love to spin yarn like that rather than buy it! *sigh* One day....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Knitting Retreat

Just back from Knitting Camp. (See last year) Met so many fab gals whose blogs I had cruised. I love knitting on the web and LOVE LOVE Love the community that is Ravelry of course but Oh how good it is to meet up in person, have a few wines, a few Tim Tams and knit for almost 48 hours solid! I almost finished my 'Morphed Lady E'.

So I'm inspired to blog and I'm even inspired to share some pix with you. Just have to get the whole camera thing up and running again soon. But in the meantime here's a couple of shots I lifted from Donna's flickr page.

Zena and I knit knit knitting!! (Me on the left Zena on the right).

In this shot (L to R) Bells, Zena, Donni, Ailsa and Me all chasing the sun

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lace & Sewing

I'm knitting a lace scarf. Just an easy one. The only lace project I've managed to actually complete has been a feather and fan scarf. I can't finish Branching Out, it just takes too much concentration and I really think the pattern is unnecessarily complicated so I thought I'd go back to something easier and work up to something more complicated.

So this easy little knit is the second project 'Scarf or Shawl with centre pattern' in the Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. Check out some of the wonderful things people have made from this book on Ravelry.

I'm knitting it in Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in Tidepool. Here's the details in my Ravelry Notebook. Isn't it weird how it's pooling in such an obvious zig-zag. Well it's not actually weird when you understand how yarn is space dyed- actually it' to be expected- but you know what I mean. I'm hoping the effect will be softened slightly when I add the border. I'm sure that will be weeks from now at the pace I'm going.

Here's my lovely Aunty Sue at her recent very special birthday breakfast with the cushion I made her for the occasion.

It's linen, hand and machine quilted and I've sewn on vintage buttons from my collection. It was a special 'number' birthday. I won't tell you which one but If you're keen you can count the buttons and that will tell you.

All is well here Casa Chaos I'm getting used to the swing of the year and already it's March! JT has just bought himself a massive new desktop PC so the lap top is mine all mine...insert evil we can surf the web side by side.

Friday, February 22, 2008

First Day at School

Milly Started BIG School!!

Ok - I know that it was three weeks ago now but I'm still getting used to the new routine. Here she is posing for the obligatory photos with all the family before we left on the first day.

Here she is with her bag all ready to go.

And here she is going in to the classroom for the first time. Ahhhh She's loving the whole thing!

Her teacher seems just lovely and she started catching the bus in the second week which I just love to death!! If the little girls are asleep at home time I don't have to worry. I just leave them be because the bus drops off at our front gate. No more waking sleeping babies for the preschool pick up. Woo Hoo.

I'm knitting a few small things lately photos when they look a bit better than blobs and I'm having a bit of fun playing with Ravelry and Flickr. I signed up some time in the middle of last year but it's taken me till now to get my head around all the features. HOW GOOD IS IT!! I think my blog will be even more neglected than before. It's taking me a while to load up things I've done and am doing because I've been too busy checking out all the patterns and galleries. Too much Fun!!