Saturday, October 30, 2010

The fruit of Time-To-Myself

Time-To-Myself happened again this morning! T took the girls out to the Toy Library which gave me the chance to get back to those drawstring bags that I'd had limited success with last weekend.

I'm very excited to report that they're finished!
Looking at this photo, though, I've just realised that my time-saving attempt of eliminating the bottom seam by folding the fabric has resulted in an upside-down-animal side of the green bag. Oops. Note to self: Pay attention to the directionality of fabric in future!

Still, I'm rather pleased with them. All bits were already on hand (the benefits of stashing for the future!), and these bags are REALLY basic so they were a perfect project for me right now. The original instructions are from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

Time-To-Myself is a wonderful thing. I appreciate it even more than ever at the moment.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A very nearly finished object

While we were on a break a couple of weeks before the baby arrived, I started knitting a little vest for my nearly 2-year-old. I finished the knitting 8 days later (a small miracle in itself), and since then it's been hybernating on my craft table waiting to be blocked.

Today I finally managed it!
There were a few conditions that needed to be met for me to block it: a blocking surface needed to be sourced, and the weather needed to be good! Fortunately for me (and my daughter), today those conditions were very satisfactorily met.

Yesterday I bought some large foam floor-mat-pieces to act as blocking boards (completely inspired by/copied from Helen of Bellsknits who talked about her own camping-mat-blocking-boards AGES ago), and the weather today is lovely and sunny, and the last day that we're likely to have like this for at least a week.

Typically, I'm blocking by guesswork rather than knowledge, never having wet-blocked anything before. I figure that I want the shoulder straps and neckline to sit properly, the vertical knitting lines to sit vaguely straight, and the bottom cast-off row to sit kind of flat rather than kinking up all over the place. Who knows at this point whether I've succeeded? I'll find out before too long, I'm sure.

Do you block your knitting? If you do, what's your approach? Hints and tips will be enthusiastically received!!

Hopefully I'll have fully finished, modeled photos with project details in the next week or so.

P.S. If you're wondering what the beans are for, they're acting as weights to stop the mat blowing off the top of the clothes rack it's resting on to keep it out of reach of inquisitive chooks...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How good is Ravelry?

My heel is turned, and I'm about to start on the next clue BEFORE the one after that is released!! I won't say I've caught up (that would be a little optimistic), but I'm rather chuffed that I'm currently not *too* far behind!
The next step involves picking up stitches along the outside of the heel to start knitting the gusset (that bit on either side of the back of the heel that has a diagonal line pointing up towards your ankle - have a look at your sock and you might get what I mean?). Picking up stitches is something I've generally made up as I've gone along in the past, with varying success, so instead of making a mess of my otherwise rather lovely socks, last night before (theoretically*) going to bed, I asked for advice on the sock-a-long forum on Ravelry. By the time I woke up this morning, a number of smart knitterly types had responded with much sock-knitting-stitch-picking-up-wisdom! So, while the execution may still leave something to be desired, I have the theory this time which surely must increase the odds of success.

Ravelry is really good. If you're even vaguely interested in yarn craft, you should go there and check it out!

*Last night my 1 month old slept for 40 minutes between 6pm and 1.40am when she finally went to sleep for nearly 6 hours straight. I am simultaneously ecstatic and exhausted. Hoping for more of the long-time-sleeping and less of the long-time-waking in the near night time future!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

sans heel

There was three quarters of one until I decided that my stuff ups slipping one at the start of the heel flap really needed to be fixed. And I'd nearly caught up!
Even so, I'm still having fun, which bodes well for the potential completion of sock 2.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A tiny glimpse into the workings of my brain...

I was gifted a very precious 90 minutes this afternoon of Time-To-Myself while my husband took the girls to the park. I decided to use it wisely and make a couple of small drawstring bags for some things in my oldest's special feeding-time bag. Very do-able.

I pulled out my fabric options, and chose a couple that would work nicely. I ironed the first fabric and cut the piece I intended to use.

Speed bump number 1:
How do I thread the bobbin again?

After consulting the manual and still having thread-breaking issues, I re-threaded the top thread after consulting the manual again, and the machine sewed. Success!

Temporary success.
The right side is supposed to face IN when sewing seams.


Now where's my seam ripper?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010


Look what arrived this morning!
It *may* contain [cough] 23 200g balls of yarn, BUT 13 of them are for my mother! The remaining balls that will be living at my house will eventually be turned into washcloths and winter knits for the smalls for next year. I hope...

Bendigo Woollen Mills has a sale on at the moment. Who could resist!?!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

my creative space

Running repairs.
It only took about 6 weeks after the button-meets-bottom-of-heel incident to do something that required 5 minutes of my time...

I'm quite impressed that I realised (before tomorrow) that today was Thursday and My Creative Space day. Lately I've been at least a day out one way or the other, but today I'm spot on! [I think.] Thanks Kirsty, for helping keep my week somewhat predictable!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


On their way out, but beautiful all the same.

Please excuse the hideous fire screen in the background - I've been meaning to replace/re-cover it since we've been living here but that's the case for lots of dreamed up projects in this house...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Meal planning?

Over the last few weeks, meals at our place have been a bit different to usual. Cooking from scratch is not something that we seem to be able to manage for now as we gradually get used to an evening ‘routine’ (ha ha) that involves all of the normal things as well as throwing a newborn into the mix! We figure we’re doing fairly well if the oldest gets a bath, the chooks are put to bed for the night and we sit down to eat sometime near dinnertime.

Fortunately, we are part of a community that has been incredibly generous. At least one meal has arrived at our front door every day for the last week and a half, so the most we’ve had to do is to heat something up and make a salad (often with ingredients provided by the dinner-maker!).

As such, meal planning has involved saying thank you at the door, or making a decision about which meal we eat and which one goes into the freezer! I expect this week to be slightly more complicated as the dinner roster prepared by friends is unlikely to cover every single night, so we might need to make decisions about which meal from the (rather large) freezer stash we will eat!

We are very blessed by the people who are taking care of us, and are extremely grateful for their generosity. Thank you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy day!

I missed a day. Bother.

As you might remember, *someone* permanently disabled my computer last weekend, and I've been relying on using my husband's computer in the evenings to make blog posts. Rather than making a blog post last night, we were sent out for dinner by my parents who looked after our big girl for the evening. We had a rather lovely dinner at Lulo in Hawthorn, and our littlest girl slept through the whole meal! I think I'm quite OK about missing a Blogtoberfest post when it was due to such a good cause!

And today I collected my replacement computer! Ahhh. It's an exact replacement for my old (spewed on) MacBook which I loved (probably more than I should), so I'm very happy. After much thought and discussion with people who know about these things, I decided that I really needed a laptop rather than an iPad, particularly if I go back to study in the near future. There will just be very strict rules about not combining babies and computer usage from now on!

If I had managed to post yesterday, it would have been to show you my creative space, which is centred around this yarn and this bag for the time being. The bag is a Sunnyboy from Michelle of Buttontree Lane. I discovered that she was not making any more and discontinuing her Etsy shop a few days after she first announced it, and was very relieved to discover there was still a handful of bags still available. As a Buttontree Lane Sunnyboy and/or Box for Socks was already firmly entrenched on my Christmas wish list, I couldn't let them disappear without getting myself one. And I'm very glad I did - I love it.

Sleep update: 7.5 the other night and 8 last night! And last night was only broken twice!! Things are looking up...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Not so sure about this getting dry thing...

Much prefer the being wet option.

Sleep update: 7 hrs in total last night.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In the garden...

We did some planting in our vege patch a few weeks ago, and things are starting to appear!
Rainbow carrots

Zucchini. Or cucumber. We planted both and I can't remember which one's which.

Heirloom corn

Purple beans

And finally, our abundant spinach, which was planted a while ago. We're having trouble keeping up with it, eating lots ourselves as well as giving lots away! It's starting to go to seed now, so it probably won't be with us too much longer. We'll enjoy it while it lasts.

After a few gorgeous spring days, the rain has started tonight. It's good, steady rain, so our young plants will enjoy it immensely.

I love having a vege patch!

Sleep update: 5.5 hrs last night, plus a 30 minute nap yesterday afternoon (no opportunity for napping today). For some unknown reason, I've felt more functional today than yesterday even though I had less sleep. Hmmm. Trying for an earlier night tonight...?

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's a good thing I'm so cute...

Sleep update: 1.5 + 2 + 2 + 1.5 = 7 hours. The total sounds good, if only it was with less breaks in the middle...

Sunday, October 10, 2010


These gorgeous blossoms greet us whenever we go out the front door at the moment. And the beautiful weather over the last couple of days has made them look even prettier! A lovely opportunity to take a moment whenever I walk past.

Which is a good thing. Last night, my smallest projectile vomited all over my MacBook, rendering it kaput, according to my Mac-guru-friend. (Though the hard drive should be salvageable. I hope.) Bugger. Times about 7000.

This afternoon has involved some exploring of replacement options, including the possibility of an iPad. Any thoughts?

Lucky there's a thing called the Baby Bonus.

We're hoping to set up my email to go to my phone, but I may be more non-responsive than usual for a little while...

Sleep update: Two lots of 3 hours each (yay!!), but none before midnight. This parenting of more than one child business has it's challenges!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A sock cuff - spoiler alert

I have a sock cuff!

Just in case there's anyone out there who is participating in the sockalong and hasn't finished the cuff (highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened...), a pic of my cuff is below.

It's rather fancy, and involves tiny cables which I managed using a spare dpn because I don't own a cable needle and there's no way I was going to learn how to cable without a cable needle at this point in time!

The clue for the leg came out last night, so hopefully I'll find some time to work on it soon!

Sleep update: About 7 hours, including one 2.5 hour block. More like this, please!

Friday, October 8, 2010


About 6 weeks ago we were given the honour of fostering a friend's chooks for 6 months while they get some serious work done on their backyard. In addition to the eggs they give us every day, we also get to watch them as they potter and scratch around the backyard.

I especially enjoy watching Maisie.
I think Maisie is one of the best looking chooks around! I have no idea what breed she is, but she's lovely. And she's been our best layer! The other two are Isa Browns, which are also rather nice to look at, but Maisie is special.
Sleep update: Apparently 5 hours but it felt like about 2. Being chucked on twice (including a projectile vomit up the sleeve of my polar plus jacket - good aim it seems), which required a complete baby change (waking her up again) and mother change made for a rather challenging night. Hopefully tonight will be better!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My creative space

A bit hazy and distracted at the moment, I have managed to knit enough of a swatch to be confident that my gauge is about right for the Through the Loops Mystery Sockalong (rav link, blog link here for non-ravelers).
I think I love this yarn.

This is the reason for the hazy distractibility - NOT asleep. Though fortunately very tolerant of my attempts to learn how to wear a Hug-a-Bub baby carrier!

My Creative Space can be found over at Kirsty's place. I suggest you check it out!

Sleep update: About 7 hours in total - a good night!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


It's been raining on and off here today since lunchtime.

It's lovely.


After a couple of hideous sub-four-hour nights of sleep due to a combination of what has turned out to be a toddler ear infection and newborn nighttime feeding, I've decided to keep a 24hr sleep log (from midday to midday) for the next few weeks. Given I'm planning to be in this space every day during October, I figure it's the perfect place to do it.

Last night was a very good night. I managed 8.5(!) hours all up, with 2.5 of those between 8 and 10.30am this morning (loving having a husband home on paternity leave!). I also made a concerted effort to have the light out by 10pm last night, which gave me an extra hour at that end, too. Ugh. Not good at this broken sleep thing. It will pass, though, it will pass. Eventually!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Socking along

Because I'm a few neuronal connections short of sane at the moment, I've decided to join in (late) with the Through the Loops Socktoberfest Mystery Sock-A-Long. I remember this time last year a few bloggers were participating and I was thinking that if I knew how to knit socks that it would heaps of fun! I was reminded in the last few days of the potential adventure by Leonie, and thought it still sounded like fun. Now that I've knitted one and a half socks in my lifetime, I figure I'm qualified to join in...?!
I'm planning on using Fanny's Fingering Yarn* in Chilli Pepper from my stash (above), because it fits with the recommended solid or semi-solid colourway. It's a gorgeous deep rusty red, and I hope it will be lovely!

I figure that if I've finished one sock by early November, I'll be doing exceptionally well, and if I've managed to get anything done on the second sock, it will be a bonus! Now all I need to do is wind my yarn, knit a small swatch and then knit a cuff, which looks like fun. I already know all the stitches involved in this bit, which is a bit of a miracle!

*Does anyone else find themselves needing to stifle a very primary school-esque guffaw at this name? Or have I just spent too much time over the last few years working with primary school aged boys?

Monday, October 4, 2010

A question of gauge and stitch definition...

The swatch is done.

There's a couple of complications though. Any advice that knitterly types might be able to offer would be greatly appreciated!

The first issue: unfortunately I get 27 stitches in 10cm rather than the required 22. I figure this means increasing my needle size - this swatch is knitted on 3.5mm needles. Do you think increasing to 4mm needles will make a big enough difference? Or will I be likely to need to go up to 4.5mm?
The second issue: I seem to have managed to get an odd stitch definition in the swatch. See those vertical lines running down the swatch? Rather than getting nice uniform v's in my stockinette, each stitch has one side that's vertical and the other side is on an angle. Do I have some kind of weird knitting technique that makes this happen, or is it some weird feature of the yarn (Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino)? I have a little cardi that my MIL knitted out of the same yarn that also has the vertical line thing happening, which isn't particularly obvious in the cardi she knitted for my other daughter out of BWM Luxury. Any ideas?

P.S. Blogtoberfest day 4 meanderings are somewhat affected by severe sleep deprivation due to normal nocturnal infant behaviour combined with a sick toddler who kept all the adults in the house up late then up early (from 4am). Brain blur.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


itti bitti d'lish snap-in-one shells (small size). We think they're brilliant!

The weather today was perfect for getting organised for the transition from sanity-saving disposables to sanity-and-conscience-saving cloth nappies. Given the number of nappies we're going through each day at the moment, we probably won't have enough cloth nappies in the stash, but for every one we use, that's one less disposable. We've got to start somewhere!

Saturday, October 2, 2010



It's only a swatch, but it's knitting. Good stuff.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Against my better judgement, I've signed up for Blogtoberfest. This means that I'll be attempting to post daily for the month of October.
The new addition, not yet a week old

You might be wondering why I would do such a thing given our current life circumstances, and part of me is too! However, I'm working on the assumption that it will be a good thing to try to extract my head momentarily each day from the craziness that's involved in adding a new person to the family, even if it's just to take a picture, or to make a (very) short post.

Given that the main focus of this blog is making and not parenting (even though it makes a necessary appearance here occasionally), I'm hoping that you don't get inundated with gratuitous baby shots because I'm besotted (it's true) and can't think of anything else! I'm hoping to snatch a moment here and there to do a row of knitting, or admire the carrots that were planted a couple of weeks ago, or even pull out a dandelion or two! We'll see.

Thanks, Cathy, for hosting Blogtoberfest again this year. I know that through Blogtoberfest last year I connected with a few bloggers who have become firm friends, and hopefully this year there might be a few more!