Thursday, February 28, 2008

A little in the dumps

Feeling a bit low, and down-in-the-dumps today. I think with our current work situation, and the Shweetie being away so often, the spark and vitality of life has been draining away a little.

I have loads of things I've been wanting to do, loads of things I NEED to do, and of course that damned study too. But none of it appeals today - especially the study. I feel apathetic and listless. All I want to do is sit and knit until the Shveetie gets home.

A good friend has suggested I do something that I'm proud of - which always helps lift one up and out of the aforementioned dumps. So I'm thinking I'll attack the incredibly disorganised study, get that ship-shape, then maybe cast on some socks for Skoot with some nice thick DK/8ply yarn? They'll go very quickly.. might even be able to finish them before he gets home!

In anycase, I'll trundle along. The next installment of the BBC Pride and Pejudice is bound to lift my spirits too - but I'll only allow myself that as a reward after knocking the study back into a semblance of order.
yellow shrooms (1)
I leave you with another fungi photo - remember the fungi that popped up in the hanging basket not too long ago? Well the day after, when I was watering, I saw that over night the biggest mushie had popped open like a 'brollie! It really does give thruth to the saying "coming up like mushrooms". Isn't nature an incredible thing?
mushie pop!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Alpaca Silk Secret

After only recently extolling the virtues of knitting groups - the companionship, generosity and skill-sharing found therein, the Kwinana fibre Arts Group has completely reinforced my statement!!

The fun and gorgeous Lisa gifted us all with fabulous little goodie bags including stitch markers, soap, knitter's pin exclaiming "i knit, therefore I rock!" (to be worn here-after on EVERy item of apparel) & lip balm. She even gave me a belated birthday gift of magnificently bright Cascade Fixation - four balls!

Possibly the most exciting gesture of generosity and knitterly companionship, though, was her gift of a skein of Blue Sky Alpaca's Alpaca Silk, so each of us. I chose the red skein - of course I almost always go for the green and aqua palette, but have recently been exploring other shades and have decided it's a good thing to experience different things you wouldn't normally go for and discover new colours you adore! And I ADORE this little puppy!
alpaca silk
You can see just how excited we were - big grins on everyone's face (except of course.. for mischief moneky me, who just HAD to kiss the camera on impulse...) and we're all clutching our delicious alpaca silk!!
Knit sibs
[Me (notice I'm wearing Dad's just-completed beanie!), Lushorama Lisa, Jolene & Shazzy]

Lisa's one condition was that we all knit something up from our single skein, but keep it secret from the others! Then we can bring themall together and do the big reveal!! I was SO excited about this adventure - I couldn't WAIT to cast on! I search books, magazines, Ravelry and so on 'til I found just the right pattern for my luscious yarn.

Luckily I have also recently discovered one of my long-lost moving-house boxes! Phew!! It contained a whole lot of my wonderous knitting supplies - including my ball winder! So I'm very relived to have finally unearthed it!
box o' goodies!

And just in time too!


I oh-so-carefully balled it up into a VERY sensual and edible looking yarn cake - mmmmmm!! - and cast on!

alpaca silk

I have been SO enjoying knititng with this yarn that... I've finished!! I was left with only about 2cm at the very end of my bind off - yikes! So now I need only sew in the ends and my LOVELY secret item is officially completed! Hurrah!!

But no telling of course... I shall keep my mysterious and suspenseful secrecy a little longer yet!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oceanic Dad :)

I finished Dad's beanie this week past and I am delighted with it! Hurrah!
Dad's Oceanic
I knit it with handspun Finn fibre I spun up while demonstrating at the Perth Royal Show last year. It was dyed by the lovely Amy of Spunky Eclectic, but I wasn't at all sure what I would use the yarn for, since the bright pinks and blues weren't my normal colour pallette. To my delight the colours blended with the spinning (Amy really is a very clever muffin!) and became a range of shades in blue, white and a subtle peachy colour - like the sunset or inside of a seashell. PERFECT! Ocean colours for my wonderful and ocean-loving Dad! =D
Dad's beanie
I followed the Thorpe pattern, but given the different gauge of my handspun, I altered the pattern a little. Did increases up to 11, extended the ear flaps slightly and also left off the crocheted egding. For the ear-flap tails I used 3 stitch i-cord. LOVED that this pattern is knit from the top down. That element of the pattern really helped me slay that savage beast that was my gauge inaccuracy! Despite my careful swatching I just couldn't get a brim-up hat to come out the right size!
Dad's Oceanic up
I have wanted to knit something up for Dad for a long while now, and have been hanging out to use this handspun for him! Dad is super pleased with his new snuggly warm head-wear. He particularly likes that he can tie the ear-flap-tails beneath his chin, adopt a peculiar expression and exact a marvellous imitation of Steve Martin as "Ruprect" in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels! I particularly like that the ear-flaps can be tied up, when one desires extra listening power! I'm hoping Dad'll get a lot of good wear out of this beanie - brisk early mornings in the car park gazing out at the waves before a surf, or on the snow fields keeping his ears warm under his snowboarding helmet! Now all we need is some weather cool enough for him to wear it!!

Pattern: Thorpe, Kirsten Kapur- slightly modified.
Yarn: Handspun Finn, around 100m.
Needles: 4mm
Modifications: See above!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Today I dusted off the spinning wheel and finally got spinning again!!

The motivation, or rather, the justification, because it's not that I haven't WANTED to spin, it's a time issue! You know how it is, life takes up so much time that you can't fit any life in? uhmm.. hang on.. I'm sure that's how it works..

In any case! The reason I got my spin on was to create a little giftie for Shaz's birfday! :)

I had about 100 grams or so, maybe a little less, of this unREAL pink and purple fibre Helen gifted me a while back, but since then I had removed it from its cover and have lost ANY details about it! No idea who dyed it, the type of wool... Nevermind!! It spun up very prettily despite its incognito ways!
pink purple singles
I spun it up while Jolene was over with GORGEOUS bubblie Rachel, and they were both mesmerized by the spinning wheel in motion! I'm sure it won't be long 'til we get you spinning, right Jolene? *grin*

I managed to spin the singles relatively evenly onto the bobbins - despite the appearance in the picture! One bobbin still had a few remnants of a previously spun yarn, so it appears a bit fuller at that stage. It plied up really well, apart from a few lazy kate issues *deep breath* in which the top bobbin kept spooling yarn too quickly and coiling around the edges of the lazy kate rod. None-the-less, the few 'tags' that resulted in the plied yarn from my distractions withthe lazy kate add character and I'm very pleased with this Pink Purple yarn that Pops with colour!!
pink purple pop

I didn't have time enough to soak and set it, but I did hang it for a short time - and have devised a new hanging method! The fabulous hanging basket is just right, hangs a few centimeters from the ground and is a suitable weight for setting the twist! Yay!

pink purple skein hang

It felt really good to be spinning again, and I'm sure it won't be long 'til I'm at it again!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Knitting groups of JOY!

Aaren't knitting groups just the BEST! Times spent in the company of friends knitting away, oooh and aahing over each others projects, being inspired and motivated - you've gotta be happy with that :)

The only danger of the knitting group.. is the enabling *serious tone of voice* Oh yes, particularly when someone brings an entire SUITCASE of delicious yarns with them to tempt us all!
tempting smooshy
Oohhh so delicious, oh so smooshy.. but I am proud to admit - also oh so resisted! Phew!! I do have a couple of skeins in mind for knitting up Jeanie at some point.. but right now my needles are FULL! Ahhhh.. the joys of knitting groups!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lost in Inspiration

I have become lost in the world of Yarn Wench's inspirations!!

I feel compelled to spin SPIN, dye, knit, felt, create and enjoy all the fibre-licious delicacies nestled in my stash!

Weekend Wonders

Well this weekend we tried our normal blanacing act: enough lounging around, relaxing and luxuriating in each others company to keep us almost content all week, PLUS a certain amount of productivity and progress around the house and such to satsify too!

I think we managed satasfactorily :)

A little baking to reward the housework - Upside Down Cashew Maple Cake.. oh. my. goodness.
cashew maple cake
We ate this STRAIGHT from the oven, standing out the back together so we didn't drop gooey mapley spicey crumbs on the kitchen floor - it was deluxe.

Between more lounging, playstation sessions and generally getting about in our pajamas, we got out into the garden to repot some of our 'babies'. With no pets at the moment we tend to pour all of our nurturing lurve into our plants, particularly our little chilli forest! I started growing about 4 chillis from tiny seedlings for Skoot a while back - I don't eat chilli at all, complete over-sensitive here, Scrumptious Bum can't even cook with chilli oil in the kitchen without me running from the lounge room coughing and spluttering!! But I digress.. so we've reared these little chillis from their teeny tiny state and they badly needed to move house!

So we've now sorted them out and they are MUCH happier! I mean, wouldn't you be? They've got delicious organic (i mean, obviously organic as in 'comes fromthe earth' but what i MEAN is chemical free) potting mix, expanded clay balls to help with water retention, blod and bone mix and worm wee - YUMMO!!

While we were pottering around the garden together we noticed a little addition to one of our hanging baskets...
yellow shrooms (1)
It's become a FAERY GROTTO!!

Pretty much overnight these BRIGHT yellow fungi have sprung up!
yellow shrooms (4)
Aren't they incredible?! We love them so much we now have them as our computer desktop too - hehee!

Oceanic knitting!

Dad's beanie is coming along verrryy nicely, thank-you!
Dad's beanie 17jan
I'm SO pleased with how my handspun yarn has knit up, and although I've modified the pattern slightly along the way to adapt it to the yarn and such - I'm almost fnished! Have sewn in the ends, need to make the dangley bits and then.. c'est fini and ready for Dad's bonce! Hurrah!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Historical Event

Today marked a momentous event in Australian politics - the official 'Sorry' given to the Stolen Generation of indigenous Australians.
The full speech is available to view here - and is definately worth a look. I feel it was given with great respect and well carried out as an inclusive and uniting experience for all Australians, with a look to the future, in being able to acknowledge the past. My faith in the future is somewhat renewed, and if that is what I feel, I can't even imagine the joy and gambit of emotions those who have experienced the impact of the Stolen Generation acts must be feeling right now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Knitter's Arsenal

I recently added a few lovely item to my knitting arsenal!

Want to see? Of course you do!!

I had some birthday spending money burning a hole in my pocket, but I knew exactly what it would turn into! A set of Harmony interchangeables! Hurrah!!

harmony needles

I love LOVE the interchangeable knit picks needles and adore the metal needle set I have. But when the laminated wood set came out I decided they would be an excellent addition to my tool set. The metal needles are awesome, but such speed and swiftness is not always a good thing - the wooden needles will be great for lace and slippery yarns. Plus I always seem to have more than one project on the go that needs the same needle size - gah!! Well, not a problem anyMORE! *triumphant cackle* Suffice to say I'm thrilled to bits and have nestled the needles comfortableey away in the zippered binder with the metal ones :)

While I was over at Helen's catching up, clutching my new needle set and drooling over all the other Knitting Inspiration goodies I came upon this fabulous Lantern Moon DPN holder and decided it should come home with me too.


It's absolutely gorgeous - blue silk, fabulously soft and made with ethical practicies and community support - what more could you want!?


Well.. nothing!! Particuarly after Helen tucked a set of 2.75mm Harmony DPNs in for me as a birthday pressie - so sweet! Thanks Helen! :)

You can see some of my DPNs sitting there snug and happy in their new home - I shall no longer have to hunt through the house and nestie searching out my DPNs, whee! Maybe I'll have to search the house for the DPN holder! But still.. at least I'd find them all in one spot ;)

The lovely silky holder even has a little zippered section which I've used to store the little DPN bum-bears while I'm not knitting with their companion DPNs.


All in all, a very satisfied knitter here :) So many lovely goodies to cast my eyes over and play with - why must I STUDY when there are so many fibrey delights to tempt me?! :) Nevermind, study is my 'work' at the moment, and I need to pull my weight, or the weight of my conscience will be the bigger issue! So I shall plug away at the books, then reward myself with some more luscious fibre fun!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Socking along :)

An update on my progress with Dad's Hiking Socks is definately due!

I had planned these for Dad for Christmas 2007, but didn't get much past the TOE before I had to wrap up the yarn, needles and partial sock and put them under the tree!

Now I'm pleased to announce I've finished the first sock and am a few centimetres from the heel on the second one!

Dad's socks #1
[Here modeled by Skoot's tootsie! ]

I'm really enjoying how this yarn is knitting up - a nice thick, juicy fabric - perfect for hiking boots! I also asked Dad where he tends to wear out his socks first, to which he replied the back of the heel. So next time I'm knitting up socks for Dad I'll make sure I put some extra strengthening in there - perhaps knit with some nylon through there too, or do a slip stitch heel. The slip stitch heel is my preferred method, but withthis pair I was zooming along and didn't actually stop to think of doing it! haha! Nevermind!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Pidge Podge!

Here's my pattern for the super-quick, super-easy, super-SNUGGLEY Pidge Podge neckwarmer!!

I've given the pattern in details of the yarn, needles etc that I used - but you'll see the pattern is dizzyingly straight forward, so can be easily adapted to suit whatever yarn your heart desires!


6 easy steps to instant and delightful snuggliness!

Pidge Podge 1

Required goodies
Yarn: Twilleys Freedom 100% wool (5-6wpi), 1.5 balls
Needles: 10mm
bits'n'bobs: Yarn needle, 2 x Paddington bear style toggle buttons
Gauge: No specific gauge required - however mine was 8 sts&12rows /10cm

  1. Cast On 20 Stitches
  2. Work in 2x2 ribbing 'til measures approximately 65cm
  3. Cast off
  4. Using same yarn, perhaps reinforced with some strong thread, sew the buttons on to the Cast On end of the pidge, approximately 6 cms apart.
  5. Weave in all ends
  6. Find somewhere cool and windy, button on your new Pidge Podge and enjoy the delightful snuggliness!
pidge podge buttons

The cast off edge will not be as flexible as the cast on edge, which gives the desired flared end to be the top layer of the pidge, and gives an elegant, somewhat dashing line to the finished, buttoned pidge angle.

No button holes are worked! This magic feat is accomplished by way of the large needles and slightly open gauge. The wearer is able to simply slot the buttons through the fabric of the pidge where-ever they fancy!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Don't you just ADORE instant gratification!!

What with the Flowerbasket Shawl and Dad's socks tonking along without much change or excitement (consistent enjoyment, don't get me wrong, but no "I've finished a sleeve!!" moments) added to my recent rediscovery of my stash goodies, I decided to cast on for an instant knit!

I give you.. something a little pidgey*!!
Pidge Podge (2)
Hehe! I'll write up the pattern and post it here - super easy to knit and so fast on thick wool. This one will be tucked away for a present later in the year - either birthday or Festivuss, we'll see :)

p.s. I am actually a lot more thrilled about this FO than I appear in the photo - it was EXTREMELY crazy bright and sunny when I took the shot!

*Pidge = neckwarmer

Monday, February 04, 2008

*drum roll*

And the winner is..... !!!

Yes indeed, it's FINALLY time to reveal who was drawn out of the Fantabulous Birthday Goodie Bag hat - except.. it's not a hat they're drawn out of, and that was the delay! I couldn't decide how to actually -draw- the winner! I decided a hat was not exciting enough for my tastes, then all of a sudden it came to me!

gum ball machine!

This fabulous cast iron, dinky di gumball machine made its way to me from my parents - the initial owners and adorers of such a fabulous item! I've had it decorating my surroundings since I was a teenager and now it sits happily upon the mantel piece bench and.. well doesn't do very much except look nice.

Until now!!

I armed myself with the following materials:
tasty peanut m&m and jaffas

initial entrants
a black permanent pen

many ten cent pieces!

and a big bowl of 'randomizers' to put into the fabulous Gumball Machine, and we were off!! Of course I had an m&m AND a jaffa written on for the people that had given me their excellent suggestions for future fantabulous dress up parties!

So... Put the coin in.. turn the knob and who will it beeeee!!?!????!!!

no one.
no one

hmm... some randomisers!

This happened quite a lot actually and I had to scrounge around in my wallet and such to find any 10c pieces lying about so I wouldn't have to take the gumball machine apart to re-use the others!

But then FINALLY... The first price Fantabulous Birthday Goodie Bag person...
Shaz ball!

Hurrah! :)

Shaz takes home the delicious un-birthday gift of this luscious skein of The Knittery's Merino Cashmere Sock 4ply yarn - mmm...
knittery cashmere sock sea life
In colourway 'Sea Life' - I can tell you as I browsed Knitting Inspirations' yarns to decide which one to purchase as the un-birthday giftie this one was an easy choice for such supreme softness and mooshability! Hope you enjoy it Shaz!

I couldn't help myself though, from picking ANOTHER fantabulous un-birthdayer, and just kept turning that knob til I found one!

Who should pop out but the blue m&m of..

Ann ball!

I saw Ann at Citiknits this weekend past so was able to gift her the little goodie she received - a gift voucher for a set of Aija's stunning stitch markers over at Zero Markers. Such delicious freshwater pearl and semi-precious stone stitch markers, nice and light to hold on your needles and SO divine, yay for Ann! :)

Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes and for getting involved :) I had so much fun with this, apart from being so delayed, and will definately have another one soon.. just as soon as I know what to quiz you on next.. hmm...

Friday, February 01, 2008


Don't be afraid.. trust me, it's ok..

I know the "dermy" part can be a little off-putting, all the images of beady eyes and stiff fur it conjures.. but CAST them from your minds people... for I have just discovered something quirky and marvellous of the 'dermy'!!




She also has an etsy store where she sells her fabulous wares, but no feltidermy at this moment I'm sorry to report: But many other fabulous plushies to behold!