Friday, August 28, 2009

Up on blocks

Here is Ishbel again. Being blocked.
And yes, this is the reverse side. Once I pinned out once side I folded the other side over as I couldn't seem to get them symmetrical as I was pinning it out.I blocked it outside on my back verandah. It was extremely warm and by the time I'd finished pinning the whole thing only needed about 15 minutes before it was totally dry - there was a lot of the heat coming through the bricks and towel.

Still the reverse side.
It's all finished now and I must admit I've tucked it away until to become part of an outfit I'll wear at a friends wedding in September.
I have got a couple of photos of me wearing it, all finished that I'll fish round for later.

Song Sung Blue, everybody knows one

I finally got all my stuff together for the blue swap.
For being a colour that I really like, this swap did not seem to come together easily.
All the blues that jumped out at me were grey-blues, denim type colours, and my partner is not fond of that shade of blue.
But here's what I managed to get together -

I wanted to make a box type bag, but the piece of fabric I had was just not the right shape to make a squarish box, so an oblong one emerged. Actually it fits and enormous amount and if you're carrying fairly short straight needles they fit too. The shape grew on me as I carried the bag around, but I hope my partner likes it. I wanted her to be able to use it for sewing notions as well and I thought the long shape would be good for carrying things like pincushions and scissors.
The bag is reversible (if you so desired, but all that really means is that no seems are visible on the inside, this was close to an impossible task, must figure out how to make that step easier!)

I made a little card with buttons on the front - decorative and functional.
This bag holds 5 balls of yarn plus other odds and ends. It's big.
Some of the other odds and ends.
A bit of blue Kool-Aid, blue sticky notes, blue tape measure, blue scissors, blue low fat doughnut, blue bookmark, blue idea notebook, a blue sheep purse, and a blue pen/highlighter.
Some of the crepe I dyed. Dyed with Earth Palette cold water dyes.
Good for socks, I hope.
Some lovely bamboo. It's a nice fresh summery colour.
Lovely soft Filatura de Crosa Zara in quite a strong rich blue.
The best kind of doughnut :o) minimal calories. These are becoming a habit aren't they?
Oh, and some stitch markers, blue with little pink roses in the glass.

The lot. I hope my partner finds a home for some of it and some projects for the other bits.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Granma Biscuits

Granma makes biscuits. Well not as much as she used to, but my kids still race straight to the cupboard where the biscuits should be when they get to her house. They bypass the containers filled with commercial biscuits and dig around until they find Granma's secret stash (she has to hide them from Grandad).

So the other day I happened to be parked right opposite the ingredients I would need to make the '10 minute biscuits' (so named by me because they're 10 minutes to make, 10 minutes to cook and 10 minutes to finish off an entire plateful) so I grabbed them (they were on special which also helped) and tried to make them when She-who-loves-to-help wasn't watching. It didn't work and the almonds on top are expertly placed by her loving (and completely clean as I made her wash them twice, hands.)

The biscuits lasted about 3 days and now I need to make more.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dear Ishbel

As my time with you draws to a close I can't decide whether I feel a little sad that you and I will no longer be sitting down together at night, or in that 30 minutes before I have to do the school run, or whether I'll just be relieved that we'll no longer be having any of those very long conversations we had together... you know, the ones that went back and forth between us, often more back than forward.
I must admit there were times were I distinctly disliked you, but in the end I really came to enjoy you.
And casting off seems a little sad.
But never fear, I feel you will have a friend before long.

And I'm very sorry that I just can't seem to get these photos to do justice to your colour which has much more deepness in the red than the pinkyness that is showing up here.

You were my first adventure into lace and have taught me many things the most important being
  • don't attempt lace with children around, even if they have never touched your knitting before something will posses them and they will jump all over it causing major disaster
  • don't attempt lace with a migraine or even severe headache or while you're more interested in the show on tv than the knitting
  • and finally, count before you do the purl row.
(I won't mention the one that goes, don't think you can squeeze it out if you are a few metres short of the yardage you need or you'll be out dyeing more hoping the colours blend enough not to notice, that one should be bleeding obvious)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Look out, it could be dangerous

How cute is this little one?If I can catch this one it's going out in a swap parcel at the end of the month. Pattern

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Baa baa white sheep have you any tea?

How cute is this sheep tea cosy?
It was a bit of a struggle to start and to get the right size, as well as getting the thickness in the fabric that I wanted (well it is supposed to keep the teapot warm) as I had to work with 8ply (worsted weight wool not common here), which I ended up doubling up.
Also we only have tiny teapots, maybe a four cup at the most teapot, but generally a two cup pot. I only drink herbal tea and DH, although he'd drink his share and everyone else's too, tries to keep his tea drinking to reasonable levels after drinking more than humanly possible while we lived in the UK.
Uh oh sheep, here comes trouble.... can you see that little hand sneaking into the background for a pat? On the face is a HUGE grin.
I wonder if he knows what it is...
I asked him whether he'd like to hold it and his little arms went out in an instant.
See that look, that is pure trouble. Watch out sheep.
I made sheep noises and he giggled his head off. He also liked the loopy fabric.
... and there he goes.
He accompanied the sheep on a very fast paced tour of the back yard. (Which, let's face it, if it had been a real sheep it would have done anyway... however the sheep wouldn't have thrown back its head and let out a mischievous cackle)
Nice sheepy. I told him to pat it gently.
So he made some funny noises at it
and then, in true boy fashion, tried to pull its head off.
Oops, the sheep needs some exercise again.

He will stand still at points, but he knows he's far enough away that you have to take two or three steps to get to him and by the time you've done that, he's run off, giggling.
He loves the sheep...
...and I think the sheep might love him.
Ah sheep, I've put you up high now... you're safe.
uh oh...
Never fear, I threw a Thomas the Tank Engine on the ground and my little helper scampered after it.
If you want to knit this pattern it's called Sheepish Look by Caroline Lowbridge and is in the book Tea Cozies
This sheep is on it's way to a tea cosy competition in Morpeth, NSW. I'm pretty sure I won't win anything, apart from being cute it's not really a remarkable tea cosy, but it will be part of a display for my Knitting Guild Group - Little Bo Peep.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Bendigo Haul

I won't say we were full to capacity at the end of our Friday at the Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show, however we were certainly happy to dump things in the car!This was just Mum's stuff on the table.
She got some spare bobbins for her spinning wheel, and quite a bit of nice stuff to spin.
She's holding up a sheep print that will go on the wall too.

A stop at the Bendigo Woollen Mills got this nice pink cotton from the back room too.
And there's some lovely silky wool at the front, some wraps per inch measures and a nostapin (if that's the right spelling) for winding balls of wool by hand.
This lovely pinky purpley mixture came from Ixchel Bunny and the plan is to spin something for my DD (who chose the colour) I would advise leaving this until she will actually wear it - so the 12th of never. (Don't believer her when she says she'll wear it, your hard work just sits on the floor. Ask me how I know!)
I think that might be some orangey reddy purpley camel bunny in the plait next to it.
The nice green came from Pear Tree. I think it might be an alpaca blend or something like that.

And some of my stash. Some melon green cotton for a jumper I'm planning - cotton jumpers are great for Sydney. Some ten ply for a project I have in mind and something else, maybe 12 ply, for the achievement certificate.

I bought some very cheap Opel sock yarn (and will attempt them soon, I promise, especially if DH goes to the US and brings me back some knitpicks to knit them on), some Landscape dyes, some Pear Tree yarn, some cashmerino and some silk plus some wraps per inch measures.
One very full table.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm all rainbowed out..

"The vest" is finished.
I managed to knit, finish and block it all in the time the Tour de France was on.
OK, so it was drying as they were riding up and down the Champs Elysee, but that's splitting hairs.

The good news is that it fits, and the bad news, she's worn it twice (at my insistence) and just doesn't seem keen on wearing it (however she got upset when she found out I was knitting something for me, it wasn't fair I had two things, she had one!!!!). She complained that it was scratchy on her neck... it's baby wool! I did that on purpose because that is always her complaint.
It literally leads me to one conclusion, I will have to make her things out of synthetic yarn, take any scratchiness factor out of it.

Needless to say knitting her anything new at the moment is waaaay down on my list of things to do.