Thursday, 31 May 2012

Making an Effort

Hello my lovelies, 

How are you all? I have been keeping really busy lately, hence my lack of blogging on a regular basis. I thought if I switched off my main blog for a bit, I would actually post here more but that kind of backfired. Instead I actually stepped away from the computer a whole lot more. Which I guess is good really isn't it? 

I have been spending time with my family, coping with school drama's with boys who have decided they really don't like this school place so much after all and just trying to juggle it all and try and make things work. Even though its been a bit cold here, we have made many trips to the beach for walks and to just breathe up that beautiful ocean air. And of course to cuddle that new baby, little Tao. Here is my baby girl holding him. She would like to keep him I think. He is sporting a gum nut beanie made by yours truly. :-) 

I have also been doing a twenty minute yoga workout everyday. Not your usual gentle breathing type of yoga but the type that makes you sweat a bit more. LOL I have been introduced to muscles I never knew existed. 

Of course there has been a bit of knitting and crochet going on. Isn't there always? I aim to post a bit more about that when I have time to take pictures.  For now, here are some more cute snuggly baby ones. Of course sporting yet more of his knitted wear from Aunty K. I don't know about you, but I could sit and look at him ALL day! He is so damned cute! Bless his little heart! 

Did I mention today that I am in love? NO, well clearly I am hey? 

This picture is totally plucked from my facebook page. Taken by Gemma. 

Hugs and smoochies to all, have a beautiful day! xoxox

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Knit Tag

The lovely Hilde, has tagged me with some questions. Well, thats one way to get me to post Hilde, thanks lovely, I had not at first realised how long its been since my last post.

So without further are the questions....

1. Are you always happy with your FO's (finished objects)?

Rarely as a matter of fact. I am extremely self critical when in comes to my knitting and/or crochet projects. Or in fact anything creative I take up. I am not sure why but I will see something in my mind and if it is not exact, well, it just does not look right to me! Regardless of how many people around me tell me how wonderful it looks. 

I am working on this bad habit and trying not be this way but its a bit of an old habit so is dying hard. My attitude has tended to lean towards thinking "well that will have to do" rather than " this looks great", and I settle with that, lest I never get things finished.  My biggest problem is imperfect seams. You know when you can see the stitching? Which is most of the time. LOL Someone just slap me already. 

2. Are you sometimes so disappointed that you frog everything and start a new project?
Why? Colour? Yarn? Making? Too small? Too large?

Of course, however most frogging happens here quite by accident. Usually because I underestimated the yarn requirements or the pattern was too boring to keep me interested, or I did not like the pattern once I started knitting it. (Like one of the jumpers I am supposedly knitting right now. It should have been finished ages ago but  I am really not loving the second part of the pattern and finding it hard to want to pick it up - sigh). Generally its my habit of starting yet another project and forgetting to get on with the ones I already started. And of course it the project is for me, there is no rush is there?  Sad but true. I have no less than 6 frogged items right now that I really should finish but am lacking the time and inclination to do so right now. Hmmm

3. Do you wear your knits or do they end up at the bottom of a cupboard? If so, why?
How do they age after being washed and worn?

Yes I do! On the rare occasions when I actually finish something for myself that someone else does not see and love so much I just have to let them have it, that is! Last year I actually kept one of the beanies I made for myself, only the one, the others were claimed. LOL And I have this jumper that I love, made from Patons Zhivago, been in the washing machine over and over and still kept its shape although its starting to wear just a little after about 5 years. I wear it to death in winter as it is so warm. So really its not doing too bad. 

4. Do you always make a swatch?

Ummm NO, As much as I see the use of this, I find that my mind thinks "theres a whole twenty minutes where I could have worked on the project!". The only time I have ever tried this was with my Amiga Cowl as I wanted to test needle and hook sizing. I only ended up testing the hook and a few different yarns. BUT this was so I could see if the thicker yarns etc would work so others could use them not really for my own benefit. 

5. Finally, would you rather work with some yarns you know well rather than others to avoid bad surprises?

A bit of both I think. I am a bit of a pure wool lover and love nothing more than to work with soft pure wool or cotton. However, I am not against trying new yarns or using things like ribbon for different effects etc. I do have my favourite all rounder yarns and of course my favourite company because their yarn is soft and lovely and extremely affordable. Their service so far has been impeccable too. Very helpful and prompt service from the staff. So if I can get what I need from them, I call them first. However, they don't sell variegated yarn of which I am a bit of a fan so I get that elsewhere and am often found sifting through op-shops to see what is up for grabs at bargain prices. 

I guess avoiding bad surprises is par for the course. You learn as you go. I am currently knitting a project with acrylic yarn that is very soft and that I was prompted to buy by sales staff. I am feeling however a little uneasy with the results which are far from perfect compared to pure yarn. Hmmm here I go being self critical again. I will at least finish it before I start going down that path. 

Now, I am not going to tag anyone today but if you feel like answering these questions. Feel free! 

Have a wonderful day everyone. Hugs and smoochies xoxoxox


Monday, 14 May 2012

So do you remember the bush baby cardigan I showed you a while back? I was planning on felting some wool and making a little applique to go on the front and there it sat for ages and ages, just waiting for me to get off my back side and actually do it? 

The baby's mama decided that with all my gum nut hat making, that she would like a gumnut picture on the front, and I have to admit to not really knowing how I was going to do it. 

Well, the little angel decided to arrive yesterday, so this morning I was like well, I better get on with it then. And so I did, in a right old hurry because I wanted to go and see him and give it to him, along with his other knitted gifts of course. :-)  There was no more time to procrastinate or worry about how it was going to turn out. I just grabbed a hook and decided to use my new found free form experience and just wing it.

Turned out pretty cute, even if I do say so myself. Do you like it? 

Well, its not too bad for a rush job and with a couple of pictures quickly snapped I got down to the serious business of meeting my newest little friend. 

Today I felt truly blessed to sit and hug this little man for the first time. 

I hugged him for a very long time. 

He is extremely huggable! Yes he is! 

Welcome Earth side little Tao! Aunty K is indeed smitten by your loveliness!

Yes people I am totally in LOVE! (Again) 

Hugs and smoochies xoxoxox

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Waiting for baby.......

Yesterday we were talking about the immanent arrival of the latest baby in our midst, who is in fact due today.  The expectant mama was joking that the baby will not come until I finish decorating the little gumnut cardigan that I made ages ago, well decorating it anyway. The challenge was that I would come up with a little gumnut baby decoration to add to the cardigan. 

In my usual fashion as I had yet to work out how I was going to do this, I went ahead and casted on yet another little cardigan for this baby. One can never have too many knitted goods you know? I had it started before we went camping but ended up knitting most of it in the last couple of days. 

This time I went with the Eyelet Yoke Baby cardigan which is a really easy and quick pattern to work up.  A very good pattern for beginners. I like projects like this especially if I am working on bigger harder projects at the same time. 

The only problem with such projects for me is my habit of tuning out and turning to what I call mindless speed knitting. This is fine with most yarns but this yarn has a tendency to break as it is not tightly spun.

I used Sean Sheep yarn which is really really soft and fluffy. Great for felting but not always the best for knitting if one is not careful. It tends to come apart. Several times I had to remind myself to slow down and "look" at the yarn as I was knitting instead of day dreaming or looking elsewhere. A couple of times it was too late. 

That said it turned out quite nice and I am happy with the finished result. Fluffiness and all. 

I did make one mistake, can you see what it is? LOL In my habit of mindless knitting and not paying attention. I forgot to add the extra three button holes down the bottom. I found the that button holes where a bit too far apart for my liking anyway so am not to worried about it. 3 is enough for a small baby who will more than likely get changed a lot anyway. :-) 

Overall, I am quite satisfied with this one. Now I need to work out how to make that little gumnut baby! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Have a wonderful weekend all, Hugs and Smoochies xoxoxox

Friday, 11 May 2012

Bright Blessings

Just a quick hello this morning. I was planning to show you my latest baby cardigan but I am yet to add buttons so maybe later today.  For now, here is a little headband to feast your eyes upon. Because we all know pictures are very necessary when reading a blog post right? hehe! 

This little gem is off to Bali in a few weeks to a beautiful lady who I met when over there last year. Her name is Ida, and she sits everyday, outside her little shop and crochets headbands and little baby born swimmers to sell. She does not know how to read patterns and was selling thin headbands when I met her. At the time the headbands were not selling too well and I took off the one I was wearing and gave it to her to copy. (It was one I made myself). 

She whipped up several and sold them all while I was there.  :-)

So when my friend asked me the other day if I would mind making one with a flower for Ida to copy as she is going over next month. I could not say no. I am a little wary as to whether she will be able to copy the flower as they are a little harder than the plain stitches. Fingers crossed or else I might just have to go for another visit myself. LOL While we have definite plans for next year, this year was not really on the cards. What a great excuse to go though hey? Crochet and learning in the sun! I could manage that. :-) 

Anyway, I am hoping to make a couple more with different flowers and maybe some little clothes as well. Trying to keep it simple though and a bit pressed for time with all my other projects so will see how I go.  Oooh I would really love to go and visit Ida again! Yes I would! 

Have a beautiful day everyone! Hugs and smoochies xoxoxoxox


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Amiga Neck Cowl

Hello my lovelies, What a glorious day it is down here! Germs aside, the sun is shining and I spent the morning in my craft room, soaking it up while my boys slept in for hours (I really suck at being a real "school" mama, my bad, no school today but they are sick afterall :-( ) and sewing in all the ends and adding buttons to my Amiga Neck Cowl. 

So today we have a great big Ta-dah......... In all its sunny glory...... :-) 

OK, it needs to be blocked, but lets just pretend we don't notice okay? Otherwise we would have had to wait a little longer to see it! 

I really loved this pattern, designed by Torrirot Design , found for FREE on Ravelry. And decided to suggest it as a CAL/KAL on our Everything Zen group over there. So far it has been lovely watching the progress as each person posts and seeing how different yarns give such different effects.  

While I would have loved to have gone outside and taken pictures in nature as the colours suggest they would look good out there, I am still not up to heading outside so in my impatience to show you, we opted for inside shots. A little too white in my opinion but at least the cowl stands out. :-) 

I used Noro Kureyon Sock Wool, Colour S221. This was the first time I have ever used this yarn and at first I was a bit un-impressed as it felt quite rough to touch. However, I loved watching the colours emerge and also once I got up to the knitting section the wool felt much softer. I can imagine it would knit up into a lovely pair of socks. 

I  very much loved the pattern, it was easy to understand and well set out. I think I will have to make this one again. I am thinking in more earthy colours for myself. I would like to try it without the buttons too. This one slips easily over my head with the buttons done up so I think it would work well. 

Here are a couple of pictures of the back of the cowl.......

Lovely and warm and ready for winter! 

What a fun project this was! 

Have a beautiful day everyone! Hugs and smoochies xoxoxox

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Greetings and WIP report...

Greetings my friends, long time no see hey? I have been keeping very busy of late. We went off on an un-schooling camp and then one day after getting back my youngest went off on a school camp which after 10 days of constant camping, getting wet and cold a lot left him and then me with a chest infection. We are fighting away at killing off those germs with herbs and soup. Right now I am wishing I could go back to bed with a good book and stay there. 

So, as you can imagine, not a whole lot of crafting time has been available but I am chugging away at a few projects and hoping to get them finished as my to-do list grows daily. I really do need to learn how to say NO sometimes. Easier said than done hey? 

Anyway, I did finally finish this bag.....

And am still chugging away at this ...

and this..

which kind of came to a standstill when I got to this its really not much I promise I will finish it though.....

I think I lost interest when I realised that I probably will not really like the finished result. The urge to rip it all out and make something else with this lovely yarn is on my mind a lot, so I put it aside for a bit. 

I am very nearly finished my KAL/CAL project, the Amiga neck cowl. 

The wool knits a lot nicer than it crochets and I am really not sure of the colours at all, although quite a few people have expressed their love for it.. not sure if I will keep it, gift it or maybe sell it when finished. I am pretty tempted to start an etsy store after so many suggestions from friends to do so, however, I keep giving everything away so I don't have a whole lot of stock. LOL My baby pile is growing though, so nearly sorted for presents for the up and coming births this year.....

And of course mid everything I could not resist casting on just one more.......

Will give you all the details when I am feeling better and able to link etc. For now I am off to rest. Hope you are well. 

Hugs xoxox