Saturday, June 2, 2012

Knitting tests

I am here to reveal two beautiful test knits that I have completed recently. First is Katniss, by Julia Stanfield. This is a fabulous pattern that both looks fantastic and is also incredibly practical. Tess loves it and refuses to take the hood off - even indoors! The pockets are really cute, but also very handy for treasures that need to go everywhere ;).  I knit this in 100Purewool yarn that I dyed myself, but the colour didn't quite come out how I wanted. I will be attempting to re-dye it this weekend - and hope that I don't felt it in the process!

And the next one is another awesome pattern from Georgie Hallam, Suzanne, which will be released soon. I loved the construction of this cardigan and the very cute little daisy stitch detail around the cuffs, mid section and hemline, which add to the cuteness factor. I dyed this yarn myself about 2 years ago at a craft retreat weekend I went to with a bunch of friends. I've been waiting for the right project for this yarn, and this project was definitely perfect for it, as I only had 5gms left over!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Op shop treasures

Well, I had a fun and productive day today :).  Fridays are my day off and I try to make the most of every minute that I have with Tess at kindy for 4 hours and the big kids at school. Today Tess wanted to walk to kindy and it was a perfect day to do that, so I drove most of the way down the 'mountain' so that I wouldn't have to walk all the way back up again (yes, lazy I know!).

On my meander back to the car I managed to acquire a beautiful coffee from my favourite local cafe, Zuleika, then stopped in at our local St Vincent de Paul shop and picked up an Olga Berg handbag, a really cute Duraware set in a gorgeous red and three cute little Crown Lynn espresso cups. Feeling very happy with my purchases, I got back to the car and realised it was facing away from my house, which I took to be a sign that I needed to visit the 'tip shop' only a short 5 minute drive away!

I was pretty delighted to discover they had a very cute little Pfaff 1027 sewing machine that looked to be in good condition. I also found a set of Crown Lynn, with three each of saucers, bowls, bread and butter plates, lunch plates and dinner plates, two large-ish lamp shades in cream that I intend to pimp with some funky fabric, and two large pieces of fabric.

For all of these things across the two stores, I paid a grand total of $32!!

Now, back to my cute little Pfaff, it had none of it's accessories (spare sewing feet, bobbin case or foot pedal) with it, but I have an older Pfaff at home (my trusty and much loved Pfaff 1222E) so I figured I could probably use bits from my other Pfaff. Sadly, the foot pedals are incompatible, but I could use the bobbin case, so I threaded it all up and took it down to my local sewing shop to try it with one of their foot pedals. Unfortunately, some idiot had taken it apart at some stage and put one of the plug prongs in the wrong way! I took it home and my clever husband took it apart and fixed the prong, so tomorrow I will take it back to the sewing store and hope like crazy it works when plugged in! I have bonded with this cute little machine already!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lazy Sunday

I seem to have no time these days for blog writing, so I'm just going to do posts with mainly photos of what I've been up to, which doesn't seem like much!

Firstly some recent test knits:

From Cathy Rubin, this is called 'a little love, a hooded scarf'. I really enjoyed knitting this, using 100% super soft merino from Uruguay (100Purewool) that I dyed myself. Such a great, practical pattern for winter - especially here in the windy, chilly weather that Wellington can produce!

This one is called the Benji Beret, by Sheryl Greenfield and is part of her fabulous Benji collection. This is such a fun and quick knit!

There are another couple of test knits I have done / am doing, but I won't blog about them until they have been officially published.

Here's a wee Eden's Adam, by Georgie Hallam I did a wee while ago for a custom order:

And I don't think I've shown you the cutest wee shrug I made for Tessa. It's called the Cornwall Park Shrug by Kelly Brooker and I just love it (as does Tess)!!  I actually knitted this lovely little lacey shrug at the end of last year, but didn't get decent modelled photos until April.

And, finally, I made another wee owlie Milo for my friend Justy's beautiful new grandson, also called Milo. Of course, I had to knit him a Milo, it would've been wrong not to ;)!

That's it for now. Catch you next time :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Catching up

Slack, slacker and slackest! I have been very bad, and not posted for aaaaages. And the worst thing is that the longer it is since I last posted, the harder it is to get back on the horse. Too much catch up stuff to do!

Well, I'm going to cover January's and February's doings with a photo mosaic of each month.  Ollie turned 12 in January but his bad mother didn't really get any photos of his party (bad mother!!) and Izzy turned 10 in February and I did get some pics of her birthday.



I also had my birthday in February, right towards the end, but the less said about me getting older the better!!

I've just completed my first March knit, in preparation for the cooler Autumn weather. This is another test knit for Georgie Hallam, Tikki on Ravelry. It's called Lavender and was originally designed to be used as a chemo hat, knit in gorgeous WOOLganics organic merino yarn, with the softer, stocking stitch side of the yarn on the inside, so as not to irritate sensitive skin. But, of course this is a fabulous hat for anyone to wear and the very cute, mock cable resembles lavender as it hangs upside down to dry. It was a really fun knit and I am excited to be able to add this hat to my list of custom knits (once it's released).

And as you can see, it fits my 10 year old as well as me!!

I have several projects lined up for this month, including a 'quiet' test knit which I'm really excited about as it's very cool!!  Right, that's it from me for now - hopefully it won't take me as long to post again ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Intentions

No New Year's Resolutions for me this year, but I do have some good intentions instead ;).

This year I intend:

* to spend more time creating things for others
* to divide my creative time more evenly between my chosen crafts
* to actually sew some clothes for my girls and myself - less procrastination and more actual making!
* to cook more!
* to read to my children every day
* to make sure my children get individual time from me every day
* to do more fun, family stuff
* to not put pressure on myself by over committing
* to reduce spending and start saving for a house deposit

That's it. Keeping it simple - and hopefully achievable. I really want to focus on my non working time being fun and fulfilling.

Further to my up-cycling/re-purposing mission from my last post, here are some bargains I've picked up from local thrift stores in the last week.

These are vintage sheets to ad to my small collection. These will be turned into at least one, probably two, duvet covers/quilts for my girls.

These are some laces and ribbons I picked up along with a new in it's packet Egyptian cotton sateen pillowcase, that will hopefully reduce the knots in Izzy's very curly hair - all for $2!!

On a very sad note I just heard that good friends of ours lost their lovely 18 year old nephew last Friday. He had a nasty, aggressive form of cancer that moved very quickly and unfortunately he lost his battle - such a wonderful, intelligent, energetic, friendly, fun loving boy who has gone from this world far too soon. I cannot begin to imagine what his family are going through and my heart goes out to them ♥  RIP Nick  ♥

Cancer is such  an evil disease that breaks hearts and destroys lives!

Last Friday (the 13th) was also Ollie's 12th birthday and I realise how precious life is and how lucky we are to have him and our other three wonderful children. They drive me crazy at times but I love them so much cannot imagine life without them ♥.  So, hug your loved ones and hold them close, cherish all the precious moments you have with them - and don't forget to tell them you love them!

Friday, January 6, 2012


After my bright idea yesterday, I went out to pick up Kim's replacement turntable (the one I bought him for Christmas got stuck on the wrong speed - somewhere between 45 and 33!) and drove past a Salvation Army shop. So I stopped - as you do when you've decided to make a quilt/duvet cover using only pre-loved materials! The first thing I spotted was a really cute wee art deco-ish armchair. I immediately asked them to hold it for me while I ruminated on it (and searched for fabric). I got a whole heap of clothing and vintage sheets to re-purpose and decided I should really pass on the armchair as I'm also trying to spend as little as possible at the moment.

Well that worked for all of about 10 seconds before I turned around, went back and paid for the armchair! I'm hopeless - it's no wonder we can't afford to buy a house yet!!

Anyway, here's my progress on my patchwork duvet cover from stash and my newest piece of furniture:

Oh, and I don't think I ever blogged about my little foot stool either. I bought it at a local thrift store early last year (2011) and peeled back all it's ugly layers and recovered it.

From this (blerk!)

I quite like the inside fabric, so have left that.

This was interesting to discover! I quite like the candlewick effect, but sadly it was stained and a bit ick, so had to go.

And this was the original layer of fabric. Not heinous, but not really my style either. It's still under there though, just in case!

I also love that the wheels on both the armchair and the footstool/glory box watchamacallit are the same! It's the little things ;)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January's Mission

Right, I have made a snap decision (not unusual for me) that this month I am going to make a patchwork quilt/duvet cover out of materials sourced solely from secondhand stores. I love vintage fabrics like old sheets from the 70's, but they are like hen's teeth these days (oh dear, I sound rather old!) so I'm going to find some fabrics that I like in whatever form I can find them in and I'm going to make something new from them. Recycling and reusing.

I'm halfway through a duvet cover for one of my girls, but I realised that despite working from stash, I'm not in love with most of the fabrics. I'll finish it and one of the girls will be happy, but I'd prefer to make something I really like and feel proud of.

I'm in a bit of a funk at the moment, so hopefully this small challenge will help to get some neurons firing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Out with the old ...

Well it's taken me a few days to get around to writing my first post for 2012, but here it is finally. I read on Little Tin Bird's blog about not having resolutions, but having intentions for the year instead. I really like that idea as it feels as though there could be less failure that way! I am still formulating my list of good intentions for 2012, but that will be the focus of another blog entry.

Tomorrow I want to reflect a little on the year that has finished - part of which will feed into my intentions for the year ahead. But for today I'm just going to show a couple of pics from the new year.

The girls started sharing a bedroom at the beginning of 2012, but they have had their beds in bunks so that they could maximise their floor space. We decided that it wasn't working so well any more - especially when Izzy's bed (top bunk) was so hard to make and the floor just ended up as a 'storage' space for clothes and toys! So, out with the bunks and in with the beds as singles, leaving much less floor space, but for now it's tidy and organised - and both beds can be made easily.



First souvla of the year - and it was delicious too!


And our first el fresco dining experience of the year! Yum!!

I've also changed the boys' room around and managed to rid the house of some excess furniture, which is currently languishing in the garage until we can either sell it or take it to the local thrift store!

This year I intend to start doing a pictorial monthly mosaic of what I've been making as I love seeing these when I read some of my favourite blogs. For some really lovely ones, check out these blogs:

Crochet with Raymond
Little Tin Bird
Le Monde de Sucrette
Yarn Around Hook

And, yes, there's a common theme here - crochet! I've been loving getting into crochet these last couple of months and I've done very little knitting in that time. Another one of my intentions for 2012 is to spend equal time on all of my favourite pastimes - and have finished objects to show off as well. My list of wips is getting longer every day, which is most unlike me. With knitting I tend to stay monogamous to each project until it's finished, but crochet is a whole other kettle of fish (or basket of yarn!)!!

Anyway, more of that tomorrow ...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The month of merriment

Well Christmas has been and gone. It was a mad rush leading up to it, as always, with dance recitals, end of year gatherings and presents to be made and purchased. I felt slightly more in control of things this year, but there was still the last minute crazy frenzy of finding gifts and organising meal menus.

We had a wonderful time with friends and family and are now looking forward to a few weeks of fun and relaxation to recover!

Here are a few highlights of our Christmas Day:


Some of the carnage while two of them are engrossed in a favourite gift

Dancing Queen

Some crochet samples I've done from my new crochet book, Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman


Eddie taking advantage of a basket I just cleared out to use for my crochet!

A birdcage 'skirt' I made today to try and decrease the amount of seed mess that gets tossed around the place by the naughty little budgies.

My kitchen windowsill

The sunset last night (from my living room window)

Edited to add: I completely forgot to add pictures of all the gorgeous handmade Christmas ornaments we now have. Many of these are from swaps from this year and last year, and all the rest I made.