Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Yesterday was a day for good news, exciting news, and news we had been waiting to hear!!

celebration may 08

Firstly we had our application for our new rental property approved and signed the papers - yay!!

And MOST excitingly.. I was given a fabulous job offer and have accepted! Hurrah!! =D

So we are very happy campers at the moment, and although these two changes will bring quite an alteration to our lives over the next few months, I feel they will be positive and we're definately ready for them!

*dances with glee*

This actually comes at a time when a lot of people I know, friends and family, have had similarly awesome and spectacular things happen in their lives and opportunities come up. I wonder.. Is there something in the air? The wind of change? A time of flux and resolution perhaps?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Blurry progress

It seems lately that the knitting has been FLYING off my needles! It's very fun and exciting, particularly when I see my Hoodii zoom along so quickly after being a WIP (work in progress) for ever so long!
cph sleeves seamed may 08
These blurry pictures (sun had already set but I was determined to take them, and take them without flash!) are proof that the Hoodii sleeves have both been completed and seamed to the torso! Hurrah!!
cph sleeves seamed may08
The torso hole was slightly larger than the sleeve hole (I knit the sleeves in the round) but I tacked the sleeves on at four points before beginning the seaming process, and that kept any puckering or buckling at bay.

I'm onto the hood now and can almost TASTE the victory of a timely finished knit! If I can finish it by this weekend I'll be wrapped!! The weather will still be cool enough for a little while that I'll hopefully get a lot of wear out of it! Wheee! Now.. must keep my eyes out for suitable buttons..

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bosko's Pixie Hat!

This week past has been the week of Finished Objects - I'm loving it! The Dandylions handspun has finished its journey and become a Pixie Hat for baby Bosko!

dandylions pixie hat FO may 08 006
Chevron shaping colour contrasts

I used the Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap pattern, but added plaited yarn for the cords rather than crocheting or i-cording. I felt that the handspun's irregularity of thickness might make quite a chunky i-cord which would be difficult to tie up.

dandylions pixie hat FO may 08 007
Plaited ties and ear peaks to keep miniature ears snug!

I'm very pleased with how it's turned out! The chevron shaping in the pattern shows off the striping of the handspun very well, much to my delight! The stitches are small, then large, puffy then taut which gives an excellent rustic look to the finished knit, perfect for Bosko's alternative and artisitc parents :) The knit fabric is quite thick so will be excellent insulation against the wind and cold seeing as Bosko and his parents will be moving to a colder climate soon. Luckily the fabric is also a little stretchy so that will allow for a longer time of wear - I'd hate for him to grow out of it before the end of winter!

dandylions pixie hat FO may 08 004
Almost pointier than a kitten!

I ended up using 2.75mm DPNs (knit picks harmony dpns) as I don't have that size circular yet. I have to say I've become a pretty devout convert to the ways of magic loop these days! But it was nice to use the traditional method of DPNs again, I do enjoy those tiny pointy sticks :)

My childhood (and current) companion Hop graciously offered to model the Pixie Hat and has done a brilliant job! :) hehee His little ears are folded together slightly at the top, so the pointy tip of the pixie hat is perfect for his head shape!! Maybe I should knit up another one just for him...

dandylions pixie hat FO may 08 005
Hop the Outback Orphan kangaroo, adopted many years ago and now hip knitwear model!

Friday, May 23, 2008

No doubt about it...

When she grows up, Rachel is SO going to be a yarn ho, just like her mama!!

rachel w yarn may 08 005 (2)

rachel w yarn may 08 005 (1)

rachel w yarn may 08 005 (3)
( clearly obsessed with tweed )

rachel w yarn may 08 005 (4)
( my spotlight VIP card, apparently delicious )

rachel w yarn may 08 005
( desperately reaching for my lace on the nearby table - she spotted it from across the couch! )

Rachel and yaarrrn may 08
( developing a taste for handspun yarns too)

Some might say "yes well.. but you're a knitter! So when you're with a child, the child is SURROUNDED with knitting paraphenalia, yarn, craft cards etc.. So of course the child will play with them!" But noooo.. I'm afraid that point is invalid, as whenever and where ever we play I put out all sorts of exciting toys: her doll Sally, an envelope, pillow case, pencil case, brightly colours hat etc... and she always makes a bee line for the yarn! Even when I'm not playing with it!
Case closed!
dandylions pixie hat WIP may 08
She even enjoys modelling Works In Progress - look at those bright eyes!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back to Blocking

I got a little ahead of myself there in all the excitement of a finished lace project! So now I'll take a step back and document the blocking process!!

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 001

After soaking the shawl I squeeeezed out the excess water, did the traditional towel-stomp and carefully threaded my metal rods through the top eyelets. I prefer the metal rods for any straight parts of the shawl - stops that annoying scalloping that is evident no matter how many pins you use!

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 003

It's so handy having a spare mattress, my very own 'blocking board' to transform from the above photo, to below!

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 004


Always such a 'ta da!' moment blocking, isn't it? It's like magic!! I love the opportunity to get right up close and take juicy macro shots of the stitches, all taut and lacey!

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 006

And those 'batman peaks' at the tips are one of my favourite elements of a triangular shawl *grin* So fantastical and pointy!

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 005

I realised I didn't include a picture in the FO post to give an idea of scale, so here's one for the road :) It's turned out just the right size. If I hadn't added an extra repeat I think I would have been disappointed with the size - too small. But this is juuuust right!

wisteria shawl model

And I still have some yarn left over! Perhaps a little kerchief or some such? hmmm....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Several weeks ago (as you konw from my somewhat teasing swatch post earlier!) I got my spin on with some Spunky Eclectic Fibre Club I'd kept hoarded away for some months now - the Dandylions colourway- gorgeous!

Fibre spunky club dandylions

Inspired by the spinning antics of Faith the Knitting Cook, I decided to get a little more interactive with the fibre rather than just spinning straight from the pre-prepared cooshy ball of loveliness.

I had wanted to make a Baby Surprise Jacket (ha! what was I thinking! It would have had to be TINY forthe amount of fibre I had!) so I separated the fibre into colour sections to be able to control the striping a bit better.

Dandylions prep

From there I spun up the singles following a gradual but not too scientific colour repeat.

Dandylions spinning

I went over the one bobbin, but that gave me the chance to wind off one skein (on that handy ps3 niddy noddy!) while the other rested. I love how theskein goes all curly wurly when you release it from the niddy noddy - sproing!


But after a soak and a good hang in the bathroom to set the twist the skein was a lot better behaved :) You can see the other bobbin still on the wheel.

dandylions bobbin skein

A nice little skein of Dandylion singles!

dandylions skein

As you can see the singles weren't very even, I was feeling pretty relaxed and unstudied as I spun the danydions up I must admit! All the same I found myself quite determined to record all the details after completeing the spinning!

dandylions wpi 3

I recorded the yardage when I was widing the skein, I wound the yarn around a ruler to check the WPI (wraps per inch - a way to determine the 'weight' or thickness of the yarn) and even whipped out the tiny accurate scales to measure final weight!

dandylions weigh in

Of course, now that I'm actually documenting the process I can't find where I wrote the yardage.. and thought I weighed that first skein I haven't gotten around the weighing the second one... I CAN tell youthough, although again, somewhat vaguely.. that it ended up being around a fingering weight - but very changeable as it is SO thick and thin!

I quickly realised that a BSJacket would not be an option so amended my plans and have been knitting up a little something that still using the striping of the yarn to its advantage. In fact.. only a few ends to weave in and little tails to do up and I can tell all about the project too!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wisteria Basket Shawl

I am delighted to present my second lace shawl, knit for my maternal Gran, a fellow knitter!

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 015

Gran has always loved nature, flowers and plants in particular. She worked for a time as a volunteer in Kings Park giving tours and educating people on the native flora abundant in the gardens.

So it was an easy choice of shawl for her - the Flower Basket Shawl of course!

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 019

The colour choice was also easy, after a little consultation with my lovely Mama =) Gran and Grandad have had, for as long as I can remember, a fantastically huge wisteria vine growing in abundance over their back patio. Masses of blue and purple flowers would fill the sky, wafting down to the paving to land like snow adrift on the floor. This has always been one of my favourite memories of Gran and Grandad's house, and the colours are Gran's favourite too! Perfect!

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 017

I purchased the skein of 'Seabreeze' laceweight (2 ply) merino from Daphne at The Knittery some time ago, and started the shawl this Januray, holding the yarn doubled (from inside and outside of the yarn cake) so as to work as a fingering weight (4 ply). This also helped in the colour pooling stakes - I didn't want the splashes of colour to detract form the lace patterning, so holding the two strands together was perfect as mostlmy one strand was at a different shade than the other giving a nice mottled affect. I chose 5.5mm needles as I wanted very open lace work.

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 016

I'm very glad I added an extra repeat of the flower baskets - it would have been tiny without that! I also added in a garter stitch row (i.e knit the purl row) before binding off, in an attempt to stop any curling- I can't remember where I read this hot tip, but 'thank-you!' to whichever blogger it was! :)

flowerbasket shawl FO may 08 018

I'm VERY happy with how it's turned out and can hardly wait to gift it to my Gran =) As far as I konw she's unaware I've been knitting it for her, so it should be an awesome surprise! It was Gran who first taught me toknit back when I was about 8 or so, having a weekend sleep over with one of my cousins at Gran and Grandad's. Gran had a little kit for us both of needles and a few colours of wool, we burned through the wool provided so then Gran plucked out some colours from her stash for us to continue with. We had to ask Gran to change colours for us when we wanted to get a new colour going, but we knit on and on and on with our little scarves that weekend! I still have mine somewhere, a little bit holey and with some intersting bumps on the side where I got a little creative with increasing and decreasing! I didn't keep on with the knitting as that stage, but have very fond memories of my first initiation into the knittiverse and Gran's part in that :)


flowerbasket shawl may 08

The Flower Basket Shawl is officially off the needles!!!

flowerbasket shawl may 08 (2)


flowerbasket shawl soakmay 08 (1)

It is now having a nice relaxing soak before blocking - how exciting! =D

flowerbasket shawl soakmay 08

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dad's Hiking Socks!


I have finished Dad's socks! *beams*

Dads socks! may08
Chilli helped Dad model the socks - see how enthusiastic she is?

These had been languishing on the needles for some time, but after giving them some serious dedication they were finished in no time! Yay! =)

I found the Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch nice to work with, although a little easy to split at times (general knitting was fine but for doing increases etc..) due to the multiple colour ply and springiness of the twist! But of course the coloured plies are what gives this yarn such a gorgeous colour transition, and the springiness gives the finished fabric sucha nice bounce factor! Perfect for lots of walking!

Dad was delighted with his socks, as he's been aware of their creation since Christmas time and has seen the first sock come off the needles and as such has watched their journey from yarn to object! He was very excited when I brandished them for him and tried them on immediately (even though lunch was on the table going cold!) with such glee! He then said he needed to test them, and did a little sashay around the room, flicking his feet out as he walked! Heheee!! John Cleese would be proudof such a silly walk! =D

Dads socks may08
Two warm sets of tootsies!

The results from the sashay came in a resounding success! Great fit, perfect height and excellent coloura - hurrah!! I actualy think one of the socks ended up a little longer in the foot than the other - how that happened I don't know, since I check and rechekced measurements so often! But nevermind, Dad said it'll be perfect to tell the left sock from the right sock - as one of his feet (like mine!) is ever-so-slightly larger than the other! Yaaay!!

So all in all a very positive (if somewhat tardy!) sock knitting expedition! Plus, now that I've found out that the Mega Boots yarn is machine washable Dad's even taking them away on holiday with him! They shall be very well travelled socks indeed =)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunshiney days

How lovely to sit out in the sunshine with the shweetie and knit lace.

flowerbasket may08 (3)

Blissful weekend behaviour!

flowerbasket may08 (4)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dr Who Woes

Oh dear!!

My lovely friend Binkett sent me this link to some recent Dr Who fan knitting drama!

Bink's not a knitter but always keeps a finger on the pulse for me for all things fibre! Thanks Bon! *huggings*

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Spoils from across the globe

Within two days of each other I have received two special and touching parcels from friends overseas - friends who I have in fact never met!

As some of you, fair readers, may be aware I take part in voice acting and general mischief on Sage Tyrtle's podcast QN (formerly Quirky Nomads). Through this involvement Sagish and I have become very good friends, bosom buddies if you will *grin* we share the same sense of humour and find the same pictures/comments/issues hilarious/unusual/apalling.

Since around Christmas time we had both been dropping hints (albeit less than subtle!) that we were crafting something for each other. Sadly my craft endeavours fell to the side with the onslaught of Christmas, but that has turned outto be for the best as now I am creating an ever MORE fantabulous craft surprise *wicked grin and cackle*

Sage told me her parcel had been sent from far off Toronto and we both waited.. and waited.. like small children jumping on the spot and bursting out of our skin with excitement. At last the parcel arrived!

Sage is a mistress of crochet and can bend most any corchet task to her impressive will. She has created for me a stunning bag that I am so blown away by.

sage's bag may08 002
The woman and the tree

sage's bag may08 003
The swing and the roots

sage's bag may08 004
The stunning base, free hand crochet!

sage's bag may08 005

FREE HAND people!

Then a mere day later I checked the PO box and found an exciting striped note from the postal folks saying 'URGENT! See inside for pick up!' Pick up.. I thought... hmmmm, I wonder if za shveetie has ordered something from e-bay that's been delivered... little did I know it was the generous and magnificent gift from Bekk of Bowerbird Knits, waiting for me inside!!

I knew the parcel would arrive at some point but had one of those delicious moments where I had forgotten it was on its way, so picking it up was such a delight! Bekk and I have become friends in fact through Sage. I first encountered her loveliness when I was judging the Australian accents on a Quirky Quiz Sage did, and Bekk was a contestant! Since then it has been laughter, shared knitting (and spinning) tips, advice and general friendly hilarity at 'Tea-Time' (which I sorely miss since lately I've not been able to get to Skype in time to join in!)

I'm constantly in awe and wonder at the yarns Bekk spins up. They are so even, so beautiful and spun with such impressive techniques - how does she do it!

happy rainbow
Care of Rebekkah's flickr set

Such an inspiration to this poor unpracticed spinner!! So imagine my delight when Bekk asked if I would give a good home to a skein of her handspun!

happy rainbow may08 003
Happy Rainbow Handpsun Merino

happy rainbow may08 004

happy rainbow may08 005
Look at those COLOURS!

I feel so grateful and so touched by the generosity of friends, and friends so far afield who I've never been able to hug, or grin at, spend the day with or whisper with conspirationally. Thank you SO much Bekk and Sagish Rabbit :) I hope I can return the favour and be a like friend to you both *snuggly hug*

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some things pretty

For the next two weeks I'm NannySash! The gaurdian, sitter, cuddler and life-teacher to Jolene's gorgeous little 7 month old bubbler. Well, it feels like that's my job description!

We spend the day together encountering the world and all its delights and surprises - the switch above the couch that she can just reach that turns the light on above her, the lawn in the back yard, all the things we see on our walk around the neighbourhood and above all... my YARN!

Beautiful (yet considered "weeds") flowers we found on our walk - they carpetted the park

We were sitting out the back on some blankets I'd put out over the lawn and I would knit intermittently while she played about sitting up, standing, tumbling, crawling, playing with the blanket edging etc.. when she discovered the bright green strand of yarn coming from what I was holding her face lit up and she made a bee line for it!

(Stunning colours and markings - like butterfly flowers)

She pulled the strand til it was quite long and then tangled herself up in it quite nice - I would disentangle her and take a bit more yarn for me to use, leaving the looseball-end with her to play.. then she discovered the BALL of yarn! Well! She gazed at it in amazement and held it aloft! Then of course it was the "I'm going to eat you" game and I had to rescue the yarn! I think we can safely say she wil be a yarn addict just like her mama!!

The yarn she so adored is the handpsun I promised to speak of - but still haven't, ack! I promise photos and details soon! In anycase, I managed to eke out half a swatch while we were sitting outside together and it's looking good!

dandylion swatch may08 002
(swatch beginnings)

I love how the stitches are made irregular in size and 'poofiness' by the handspun's changes in width!

I've recently started working one day a week in the metal trades industry, to get a feel for that environment for when the Shveetie and I get work away. I decided on my second week there that everyone could use some homebaked loveliness, this time in the form of vanillabutter cream cupcakes!
They were a big hit with the lads (I'm the only woman and, unsurprisingly given the context, only knitter too!) who got stuck in, but notably avoided the purple ones - Ha!!

To be honest I picked the colours because last week when Jolene and I were crusing around spotlight I saw some yarn in colours that spoke to me - bright orange, purple, green... stunning. But alas, I cannot go spending willy-nilly at the moment, and even more annoyingly I had pegged the yarn for a french market bag (the colours would be fantastic in stripes together) but alas! The yarn is superwash!! But neverind, I will simply have to adjust my plans for those colours into some other item where superwash is a good thing, and then wait til I have the fund to indulge!

Okay, I'm off to prepare for another baby day!! I must do my stretches and warm up - don't want to pull a muscle with all that cuddling!