Hot Water Bottle Cosy Pattern

24 02 2010

I have finally managed to write up the Hot Water Bottle Cosy Pattern, which I designed last June.  Slight delay, but just in time for the weather to start cooling down, well in the southern hemisphere anyway.

Autumn Nuts and Berries Hot Water Bottle Cosy

You can also find a link on the Knitting Pattern Page.


What I should be doing

23 02 2010

I should be sewing press studs on a baby kimono, but it is sitting on the table neglected and abandoned:

Or I should be spinning:

Instead, I am restarting my blog.

Last minute Monica

24 08 2009

Sometimes snap decisons are not always the best ones.  Belinda made a snap decision to have a birthday party for Annabel, after assuring us all that it was family only this year.  Almost four year olds have special, guilt inducing, powers which can make us all make decison that we do not entirely understand.

So then, Friday night, I made a snap decision that Annabel needed a knitted something to go with her Ballerina Barbie.  (I know, I know, bad, non-feminist gift sending out terrible messages to young girls about body image, but Mr Potato Head doesn’t exactly send out a good message either and Annabel loves ballet, ballerinas, glass slippers, tiaras and cascading long blonde hair so I know she will love it).

I knew it would have to be something quick and simple as the time frame was pretty short so I chose “Monica” from Knitty.   I thought it would make a good tank top for over skivvies in a winter weight yarn.  I didn’t have any pink in my stash as I don’t normally go in for pink, but it would have been perfect for Annabel (she is definitely a pink girl).  Anyway, I chose Patons Soft Haze cream for the body and Moda Vera Believe olive green for the ruffle.  Both knit up well, and both were bargains from a Spotlight sale.

In the end I had the whole of Sunday to do the ruffle and straps so I ended up doing a feather and fan pattern for the ruffle to add a bit of interest and because I was quite sick of knitting miles and miles of stocking stitch.  I chose a k2tog X 4 yo K1 X4 instead of six, as six didn’t go into the number of ruffle stitches and it worked well.

I knit both the body and the ruffle in the round (and managed to twist the stitches on both – I am hopeless at this).  This is also the first time I have done yo using continental style.  I had to go back and have a look at the YouTube CraftSanity video, as I couldn’t figure it out but it was easy peasy after that. 

Monica from Knitty with variations

Monica from Knitty with variations

Feather and Fan detail

Feather and Fan detail

The Secret Show

19 08 2009

I have spent the last few weeks working on gifts.  First all the St Kilda gear for James, then some top secret gear for a swap on Ravelry and now my Mother In Laws Birthday Cardigan.

The speed of the continental style is really helping me churn through lots of projects.  I am so pleased that I gave it a go.  It’s really amazing how comfortable it feels for me, AND how extremely quick it is.  Thank you, thank you Penni and YouTube.

The swap projects are for a Bendigo Woolen Mills Forum Group swap on Ravelry.  I can only give a sneaky peeky and I can not say a word more about them.

entering the cone of silence

entering the cone of silence

more secret women's business

more secret women's business

Well, perhaps I could just tell you that it is knit with Bendigo Woollen Mills Boutique shade coffee.  One of their limited runs, a merino, B/L and mohair blend – lovely to knit with and soft next to the skin but a bit hazy on stitch definition.

Now, I have gone back to my Mother In Law’s birthday cardigan.  The 28 cm of pleats seemed to be neverending but I have finished the decreases and now onto stocking stitch section.  It is moving along nicely now, and I am looking forward to getting to dividing for the fronts and backs.  It only has short sleeves too so that bit should be nice and quick. 

I am knitting it in Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply cotton, shade New Ochre.  I am finding it very slippery and difficult to get even tension.  I am a bit disappointed with this aspect but hopefully it will block out a bit.


the entire enormous thing

the entire enormous thing

the pleats, decreased

the pleats, decreased

Oh When the Saints

28 07 2009

I have been immersed in “footie” knitting for the last little while. 

James turns 7 in a couple of days, and as he is a big St Kilda supporter, I thought I would grab some Spotlight Basics Sports Supporter yarn and knit him up a footie jumper.  The Sports Supporter colours are great for Aussie Rules teams and the yarn itself feels pretty soft.  It is a 50/50 wool acrylic blend and is reasonably priced at $3.99 a ball.  The only criticism I have of it is all the joins in the yarn.  There were at least 2 joins in every skein, this is one of my pet hates and one of the reasons that I use 200g skeins of Bendigo Woollen Mills yarn alot.  200g and I can count the number of times I have found a join, in all the years I have been using it, on one hand!

I found a pattern for a V-Neck sweater and used it for the neck shaping and just did a simple rib band to finish the armholes.  When I began I thought I would be very clever and knit the body in the round, I can tell you I felt very silly when I realised that the yarn was going to end up at the wrong end of each colour section when I got to it.  So, unfortunately, I had to sew a couple of side seams.  The first I have sewn in a while. 

I am hoping it hasn’t turned out too big.  I am finding my tension is much looser using the continental style of knitting.  And, with my usual impatience, I skipped a gauge swatch.

Oh when the Saints, Oh when the Saints

Oh when the Saints, Oh when the Saints

I had a skein each of black, white and red left over and I am in a stash busting mood at the moment, so wanted to use it up straight away.  We are off to see the Saints play on 8th August and as Jenny is such a big fan I thought I should make her a “Waving Around on the Day” scarf.  It is a simple two row chevron pattern.  Easy to knit while listening to, my new found passion, audio books.  I am listening to “The English American” at the moment, and I absolutely love it.

Wave it in the air, like you just don't care

Wave it in the air, like you just don't care

In an effort to get ourselves on the big screen when we are at the game.  Elise and I spent an hour or two on Saturday making a banner to wave about at the game.  It’s rough and ready, but we had a good time making it and managed to keep the paint off everything except the banner.

Have we jumped on the right bandwagon?

Have we jumped on the right bandwagon?

Feeling too lazy to post

9 07 2009
I have had THE MOST HIDEOUS  day at work, and I can’t even tell anyone about it, as it is subject to a confidentiality clause until January 2010.  Suffice it to say that my brain feels extremely sluggish so this post will most probably be brief, indecipherable and a bit tear stained.  I really need a bit of knitting therapy but I had to post a picture of my swap parcel which I received in the mail yesterday for the Bendigo Woollen Mills swap.
parcel of loveliness

parcel of loveliness

I was very spoilt, the mitts are knit from Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury in Leaf and they feel soft and very warm.  I love the buttons, especially the tiny, little green teapots.

I also finished my slippers from Interweave Knits Holiday 2008 edition.  I knit them from Bendigo Woollen Mills 12ply rustic in elm.  The colour is good but the yarn was a bit split in places which was disappointing.  I’ve not had this problem with Rustic before so I’m writing it off as a one off experience. 

toasty warm slippers and hairy winter legs

toasty warm slippers and hairy winter legs

I persevered with the continental knitting for the cable pattern.  In all other areas that I have been knitting the continental method is going very well, I am feeling really comfortable with it.  The speed is good, great even and the tension is getting better, but sl1 to cn, k2 then p1 from cn is tricky!!  Well just the purl one from cable needle bit anyway.  Still, I am nothing if not persistent (some may call it stubbborn, but I call them unkind).

Oh, and the swap package that I sent off, a face cloth from Mason Dixon knitting and a soap sack from Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton (Bendigo is really stealing the post today!!).  Filled with ginger and cardamom soap from Beauty and the Bees.

my swap pressie

my swap pressie

Right, that’s it for today, some mindless K12 P6 knitting on my cardigan is just the therapy I need.

The Craft and Quilt Fair

29 06 2009

Judi and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Hobart Craft and Quilt fair yesterday.  We always have such a lovely day.  We don’t take the kids, we don’t take the husbands and we don’t take a budget.  It’s sublime.

Judi drove, I paid to get in and the first people we ran into, as usual, were the Handweavers Spinners and Dyers guild.  There was a gorgeous old fellow weaving on a fair sized, handmade table loom who we had a good long chat to.  He was weaving tartan scarves from commercial 2 ply 260 (or thereabouts) count yarn from a book of traditional Scottish tartan pattersn which he showed us.  He showed us some lovely soft, squishy fabric which he had made with fewer warps (or is it wefts?) per inch and some denser, stiffer, more picnic blankety fabric which he has made with heaps of wefts (or is it warps?) per inch.  It was very inspiring – I should maybe make a wish for a kintter’s loom from santa.

We spent an hour or so wandering around the stalls and then about an hour and a half admiring the quilts.  Although, I couldn’t find as many “favourites” as I did last year I don’t think.  The swirly quilting is really amazing and, even though most of them were machine quilted, it is hard to imagine the amount of time and patience it must have taken to hand quilt some of those enormous, and breathtaking quilts.  I chose, for my viewer’s choice vote, a queen size quilt which had a Japanese central panel surrounded by rose, russet, gold and similar coloured panels which had had different flower patterns quilted onto them.  I also loved the junior quilting exhibit. 

We had a chat to one of the quilting ladies about techniques and so on, but I think she failed to grasp our total and complete lack of knowledge about the craft so she was starting at a point that we are still a long way away from.  Still very interesting to look at her technique and quilting paraphernalia.

Then we went and had latte with an extra shot, always so much more enjoyable when children are not present, and we debated what we were going to spend.  Judi gave me a slap every time I mentioned the sparkly Prudence Mapstone yarn or the wool/stainless steel blend from Habu and, thanks to her, I managed to come away with zero yarn – hooray!

Judi bought a bag kit from Giggle buttons (there was such a crowd around these porcelain buttons that we had to come back a couple of times before we could get a look at them – I thought they were going to be something special but they were terribly chintzy, I wasn’t impressed at all – the bag kit was cute however), some beads from one of the many (many, many) bead stalls, some of the sparkly, metallic yarn and a freeform bag frame from Prudence Mapstone (she’s allowed, she is not on a yarn diet) and some teddy bear eyes.  I bought some 120cm cable Addi turbos for two at a time socks from Yarns Galore, some gorgeous buttons from Kimono buttons and beads (the buttons are made from Japanese fabric pressed between perspex) and the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Sock Book from Dymocks.

We had a chat to one of the bobbin lace ladies on the way out, but it all looks so fiddly and painstaking and all you get at the end of it is lace.  Not for me, but it was fun to see how it worked. 

Here are my treasures: