Friday, 31 December 2010

Bunny Love

Some squooshy woollen cuteness has made its way into our house.

Taking Random Knits' summer baby knitting advice on board (ie toys are great for summer babies), I decided to cast on this cheeky little rabbit Wednesday evening.

Our little Llama spotted him this morning with no ears or arms (just head, torso & legs), and after pointing out the 'Teddy' insisted on helping. Luckily I needed someone to put the extra wadding that had just been pulled out of the bag, back in. I was quite impressed that he recognised from the unfinished shape that it could be a teddy - the pattern is actually a base for a rabbit, bear & elephant, the differences are in the heads and ears.

Here he is, posing for a portrait on the new easel that has taken up residence in our living room.

Pattern: Lovable Toys by Marion Edmond, from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts (Rav Link)
Yarn: Bella Baby Sugar 4 ply (random 4 ply pure wool from Spotlight - originally purchased when on special so I could do some jelly crystal dyeing - guess who now has many out of date packs of jelly crystals).
Needles: 4mm knit picks. Knitted magic loop, cause I can only find one set of 4mm tips.
Mods: The base of the ears are sewn up a little, to disguise the fact that the pink inserts don't go all the way down. According to the pattern, they don't totally fill the inside of the ear, but I'd knit the the inserts a little longer next time.

All-in-all a project that I'm very happy with. Especially as it took about 3 days to make.

Next-up, a bear.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Goodies

Here's a little something I whipped up in time for Christmas.

Not for me ... but for someone secret.

The pattern is from one of my Japanese knitting/crochet books.

The only sewing is in the handle (so that it has a double thickness to keep a firm grip).

Yarn: 3-4 ply I had in my stash - some Patons, some Shepherd, some Spotlight special.
Hook: 3.25mm
Pattern: no idea as it's all in Japanese.

I've probably said it before, but it's worth repeating. I LOVE Japanese knitting & crochet patterns. Especially crochet. Soooooooo much easier to read that something written out in full.

And just to show you don't want to mess with the ladies of the CWA ... here's the cake mix for 'Christmas Cake #2' (from the CWA cookbook), before I attempted to mix in the flour (that's just a dusting on the top, the rest of the flour is in the sifter to the right).

I managed to cream the butter and sugar in the Kitchenaid (that's its bowl on the left) - but had to transfer to our largest salad bowl to stir in the fruit. It was lucky I decided to HALVE the recipe.

And the finished product ....

The small looking cake at the back is from a standard 20cm tin. Will have to have a taste test this evening.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Honey Baby

I stumbled upon this pattern while looking at shawl patterns with a friend. I loved it! But having been informed that I was not to knit it for any of my own offspring (hint hint), I decided to knit it for my niece or nephew, due to make an entrance in November this year (2010).

The pattern is meant to be reminiscent of a field of bees, especially when knit up in warm honey-yellows.

I discussed the enterprise with the wonderfully talented Knitabulous, who agreed to dye a super huge skein of yarn in honey colours. After making some (minor) modifications to my ball winder, I had a super huge ball of yarn - ready to for the long drive down to Melbourne.

The pattern was really well written - as I expected from Anne Hanson - and the changes in patterns kept my interest, and meant there were some good milestones to work towards.

I knitted the blanket/shawl nearly monogamously - there were some side projects that were more portable - hoping to have it finished before the baby arrived. Things were looking good .... until I hit the border. I love a knitted on border, it gives a lovely finish to a blanket, and there are so many nice patterns you can use. Unfortunately 816 stitches on the last round means 1632 border rows (plus 4 extra at each corner).

Samuel gave me a bit of extra time, arriving on December 1, with only 1/4 of the border completed. Luckily he's a patient baby (as is his mum), and didn't kick up a fuss that he had to wait, not only for the knitting to finish, but the rain and humid weather to go away. I finally got the blanket blocked on December 12 (while little toddler hands were away for the weekend).

Overall I'm really happy with the project. On re-reading the pattern, I think it may be a little 'overblocked'. But I felt pretty happy with the result.

Pattern notes:
Honey Baby by Anne Hanson (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Courtesy of Knitabulous (not sure on the exact base yarn) - there's a bit more variegation than what's visible in most of the photos, it's a lovely golden semi-solid.
Needles: 3.5mm Knit Picks (I even used the 'key' to tighten the tips - after I got sick of them loosening all the time).

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Oh Dear!

It's been a VERY long time since my last post.
Here's a quick update:
  • Our little boy (Llama) has been keeping us busy, and is about to turn 2
  • Baby #2 is expected in early March 2010. Currently referred to as New Bob (we don't know if it's a boy or girl ... I was talking about the new bub, and was misheard).
Knitting has been continuing, though at a slower rate than previously (I have sometimes struggled to stay awake long enough to get the Llama into bed.

Here are some pics I could quickly find:

February Baby Sweater
The neckline is modified a little. The cast-on edge was a little tight. So I snipped at the first lot of increases, and knitted back a few rows in the contrast colour. A pretty fun and relatively quick knit.

Llama's blanket. This was meant to replace his cot blanket that was lost somewhere at Shellharbour Stocklands (a tragedy)! The size was meant to be for a cot/pram blankie. He's now in a big bed, so it will just have to be a snuggle blanket. I've made up the design, using domino knitting techniques. I'm onto the 3rd square, and so far it's working - but is the current designated 'long-term project' so spends a lot of time resting while I grapple with self imposed deadlines.

And an old project reborn. I gave the peacock shawl a decent blocking, and even wore it as a 'garment'. It was able to provide much needed warmth at a wedding. I had one positive comment from a friend, and nobody laughed as I walked past, so that's a pass in terms of wearability.

Now that's out of the way, I can focus on updating the blog with current knitting projects. 'We' have a new digital SLR, so there may even be some nicer photos of completed projects.

Friday, 25 June 2010

A Winter Jacket

After knitting our little one his Star Jumper, I decided to knit him something to wear, that was made to fit him - rather than something for him to grow into. He always seems to have pant legs rolled up, and baggy tops, so that his clothes will fit him a whole season.

Well, it was time for a change, and here's what he ended up with.

He's a pretty willing model. I suggested he put his new jacket on, and mummy would take some photos, and he was really keen.

He even put on his 'jacket hat' for a bit.

But not when we played on our walk.

Project specs:
Yarn: Patons Washed Haze (cotton/acrylic) - on special for $15 for a pack of 10 balls, I used 8
Needles: 5.5mm (I think)
Pattern: Robin Hood Cardigan, by Zoe Mellor, in Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots
Mods: The original pattern was written for a heavier yarn (I think). But when I swatched I was just about spot on with the stitch count. Which worked out well, as the pattern was based on measured length, rather than row counts. The hood was joined with a 3 needle bind off, rather than seamed and (as yet) I haven't added a tassel.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Sock Blockers

I don't have a fancy set of wooden sock blockers (though if anyone's looking to buy me that special gift, I wouldn't mind a set). But I did find the perfect blockers for socks knit to fit my feet.

My feet.

These socks are knit from Lang Jawoll Magic. Purchased by my lovely husband as a 7th anniversary present - I'd been hanging out for that anniversary for a while. The yarn looks a little rough, but is actually quite soft. It holds its twist quite nicely. One and half socks were knitted from yarn that had started life as a shawl that didn't quite look right. But the yarn re-knitted really well.

The pattern is the Mad Colour Weave Sock, designed to be knitted in a variegated yarn. The woven stitch pattern looks really effective, and is easy to commit to memory (always good for a 'grab and go' project).

As lovely as my feet are. Now for some photos of a young model who insisted on trying on his new jumper.

Having returned safely from the show, it was sitting on the coffee table, when he picked it up, and tried putting his hand through the sleeve hole - not a bad first attempt at dressing himself.

There's a bit of growing room. But I think he likes it.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The show is over

But, until now, I hadn't posted any picks of my entries.

Here's our llama's jumper strung up rather painfully (top left).

Hopefully it will arrive back soon, and I can try and get it back to a 'normal' shape ready for winter.

And here is my Estonian Garden Shawl.

Notice that maroon ribbon - it was awarded a Highly Commended.

The 'deshowing' process has not gone smoothly for all. Randomknits' Venezia hasn't survived unscathed. It's totally shocking that her piece has been damaged in such a way.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


I'm on to a really good thing at the moment. The very talented knitabulous, has given me a ball of laceweight silk, a copy of the Brandywine pattern, and told me to 'Go for it!'*

Here's the lovely colourway I have to work with.

I'm not sure of it's name, but it's a lovely mushroomy kind of colour. Lightly variegated, but not enough to detract from the pattern (just enough variegation, by my reckoning).

Needless to say, with such scrumptious yarn to work with, it's progressing pretty quickly.

Notice those lifelines ???
Normally I don't bother with lifelines in my lace ... if I find a mistake, I'll usually drop down and reknit the affected stitches ... but, it does affect the tension a little, and knitting this for someone else, I'm a little nervous. So in go the lifelines.

I cast on for this project Wednesday night (3 days ago). There's a lot to be said for project monogamy, it's flying off the needles.

*The finished shawl will be a sample at the Canberra Wool Day in May.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Woolly Toy Goodness

Having (temporarily) exhausted my desire to knit baby vests, I moved on .....

.... To the knitted/crocheted toy.

First up was the knitted toadstool with spots

And it's mate, with stripes up top.

These were so much fun to knit, and are great stash busters. The only problem I could forsee was not being able to source a cat toy/rattle to sit in the cap of the toadstool. My fears were unfounded, they had some the perfect size at the local supermarket - although there was a bit of drama when my 15 month old 'assistant' insisted on holding the rattles all the way around the shop.

Also a bit of a stash busting project was the 'Frog Pond Ring Stacker'.

Crocheted on a 4.5mm hook, using mostly Patons Jet, it was surprisingly quick to make. It was really great sewing the insects together, and seeing a chunk of red crochet transform into a lady beetle.

While the ring stacker was a one off, I'm sure there will be more toadstools popping up in the future.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Retro Baby (Camo boy)

2009 saw an influx of little boys. Cardigans were out of the question, I was going to keep up with all the gifting. So ......

I made friends with The Vest.

This was the second that I knitted out of my own head.

I took the shape from the owl vest I knitted our own little boy earlier.

The first was done in Serenity (bamboo cotton) with a cable pattern in the front. And I forgot to take a photo.

This was my second attempt at the button up shoulder, and I think this one sits a lot nicer.

I think there's something quite retro-cool about a brown vest on a little boy. When I asked my husband if he liked it, he said 'yeah, it'd be good if we were trying to hide him in the grass'. I'm taking that as a compliment.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Starting afresh

Well it's been quite a while since the last post. I've started a number, but there was such a backlog of projects (and photos to take), that it never really worked.

So I'm starting afresh, making a clean breast of it.

Take it for granted that I've been working on a number of projects since my last update. (Hopefully, I'll manage to include them at some point). But here's my most recent, most favourite project.

Little Star by Zoe Mellor (in Adorable knits for tiny tots).
Yarn: Bendigo Luxury 8 ply, Ocean, Bark & Barley.
Needles: 4mm
Size: 1-2 years

The gauge is a little larger than the pattern, so there's plenty of growing room. I adjusted the sleeve length based on my actual gauge (so they weren't too short).

I haven't tried it on him yet, he'd be more interested in eating it, and I've entered into the Easter Show, so it needs to stay in 'pristine' condition.

I really love this project. I love the pattern, I love the colours, I love the yarn. Hopefully the judges (and our little boy) will love it too.