Monday, 29 December 2008

Sacks 'n Socks

I seem to be hooked on making little gifts at the moment. It's also a great way to use up some odds and ends.

I made this little soap sack from some left over Moda Vera cotton/bamboo. I didn't have enough yarn to knit the full pattern so I skipped quite a few rounds but it was still large enough for a lovely little block of fragrant soap.

Then I decided to use up the last bit of 8 ply Bendigo Woolen Mills cotton on this Shetland Shopper.

And of course I had to knit something out of my new Cat Bordhi book so I knitted my first learning socks - the Little Sky Sock.

Before I launch into my first pair of full blown socks, I need to finish these Firestarters.

I'm knitting as fast as I can!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008


This morning I got the best present ever. The wonderful kelebek sent me this great parcel.

I have been lusting after Bordhi's sock book for ages. I keep checking it out on my favourite online bookshop but its been out of stock for months. And then it arrived this morning. I'm still bouncing with happiness. And yummy chocolate to sweeten matters even more.

And look at the great stitch markers.

Now this morning I had planned a post on the visitors in my garden at the moment but they pale in comparison to my wonderful book. Nevertheless here they are. First the glorious little Eastern Spinebill feeding in the Banksia.

The White-Eared Honeyeaters have moved in the last few weeks and tend to chase the other birds away from the trees they are feeding in. This one is sitting in a Calistemon (Bottle Brush).

And this cute little fellow turned up yesterday morning. Can you see him?

Now I am running away to knit some socks!

Friday, 19 December 2008

More for the gift pile

I seem to be hooked on knitting little gifts at the moment. These two little soap sacks are the latest. I got the pattern from the Holiday Mystery Gift group.

Both sacks are knitted with 6mm needles which makes it a really quick kit. I used Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply cotton for the lilac one and Filatura Di Crosa Millefili Fine for the pink one. The soaps I bought at our local Sunday market. The stall stocked a wide range of deliciously perfumed handmade soaps. Now I need to whip up a couple more of these sacks.

Mandala progress: 9 more rows to go and then I can start the edging.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

FO: Moebius and lone heart heel socks

I've manged to finish a couple more things in the last week. The first is Cat Bordhi's Moebius cowl/shawl. Now why did I knit warm winter apparel at the start of summer? Because I felt like it, of course. It so happens that the other day I bought 2 skeins of Joy because I loved the colour and I couldn't resist. When I got home I wanted to cast on immediately and opted for the Moebius. I've never knitted one before, wanted to learn the technique and I thought the yarn would suit the pattern. So here it is.

My only modifications were to knit 2 rows less of the lace edge and one row less of the garter edge because I could see I was running out of yarn. Even so I ran out of yarn with 16 stitches still to cast-off. Fortunately as its a variegated yarn I nabbed a bit of a totally different yarn in a similar colour and finished it off. This will go in my growing pile of gifts. (Thank you T, its your fault that this pile has developed.)

I also finished these socks. I used Cleckheaton Bamboo again. I really like the feel of this yarn.

Even though these socks are knitted from the toe up I was still concerned that I might not have enough yarn so I only did one and a half pattern repeats but increased the rib from 12 rounds to 17 rounds.

Okay, back to my Mandala. Only 27 rows to go and then I can start the edging.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Stocking up for Christmas Swap

On Friday I received my fabulous stocking from fitknit. I've been waiting for the weather to clear to take some pictures. (I loved the rain we had over the last 3 days - 114.5mm). She did a great job stalking me and put together a terrific parcel.

To begin with a lovely felted stocking:

And then a seemingly endless procession of little individually wrapped parcels were pulled out of the stocking.

Holiday reading matter (I love reading), stitch makers from Moggy and Me (they are always on the top of my list of things I would like), a great dishcloth (I've had this pattern in my queue to do someday), a bookmark (of course!), a tape measure (you always need one and now I have one for my keychain), a cute pen, egg cosies, a cross stitch for Bruce (how thoughtful is that!) and muppet remains (as a result of a discussion which took place on Ravelry).

Don't you think it's just the best stocking ever? Thank you fitknit - you done well!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Stockings, mice and elves

I usually don't get involved in Christmas knitting, mainly because we don't bother to celebrate Christmas but this year I got sucked in. How did this happen? Well I signed up for the Stocking up for Christmas swap on Ravelry. Spiraling organised this and provided us with this cute little pattern. Well once I did one for the swap I then decided to knit up a few more for the kids in the neighbourhood.

And here they are:

Then I needed a few fillers. Most of the little boys are getting little cars but the girls are getting mice and elves. These are Alan Dart patterns in the latest Simply Knitting.

Almost all the Christmas stockings, elves and mice are done. I'm still short a stocking and an elf but that will be done in time.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Home Sweet Home

This mound is the home of a spotted pardalote. The mound is in our backyard and we spotted these gorgeous little birds when they flew out of the nest. They are often referred to as the jewels of the bush.

Here is a close-up of the nest entrance. It's very strange that these little canopy dwelling birds choose to make their nests in the ground.

I have been busy knitting see:

All of this is a result of the Stocking up for Christmas swap on Ravelry. I sent my parcel off to my swap pal yesterday and only realised in the post office that I never took any photos of all the goodies I knitted for her. Ah well...

Ever since I have been knitting more things for the kids in the neighbourhood. All will be revealed when I've finished.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

FO: Good Luck Cowl

I made this cowl in the hope that it will work as a bit of a bribe. My sewing is hopeless and my darning is non-existent. I have a couple of hand knitted socks that have developed holes and need darning. A friend of mine has darned some of my socks in the past and she did a splendid job. Now I need to ask her to do so again. I thought the good luck cowl might be a good incentive.

I still had a ball of the Cleckheaton Bamboo left after I had knitted my socks so I thought I would put it to good use.

It turned out to be just the right amount seeing as I now only have a few centimeters of yarn left.

I really like this yarn and I like the cowl so I think I'm going to have to get some to make myself a cowl or something. The only problem is the very limited colour range. But I won't let that put me off too much.

Friday, 28 November 2008

FO: Rib and Lace ankle socks

My socks are done and I love them.

In fact I finished them a few days ago but life has been a bit busy and I've not had a chance to get to the computer.

These socks took me down memory lane. They so remind me of the socks my grandmother used to knit for me as a child. The difference though is that Ouma Betty's socks were done in pure cotton. After a few washes they used to become hard and unyielding and very difficult for a little girl to get them on her feet. Ouma taught me a nifty way of folding them so that I could get them on my feet unassisted.

The bamboo makes these socks soft and silky. I hope they last as long as those cotton socks.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

A time for lace

I had intended calling this post A Long Lacy Summer but after yesterday's snow and the wind storm overnight I had to rethink that one. We woke to find a lot of debris in our garden, a small tree over our driveway and our road blocked by this:

But despite the cold my mind is still on lace. I have completed another 20 rows of my AMS. Now that might not sound much to you, and I can't really see the progress, BUT every row contains over 500 stitches at this stage so I figure its not bad going.

And for more instant gratification I have started a pair of rib and lace socks. I'm using Cleckheaton Bamboo for these. I love the soft silky feel of this yarn. Its a bit of an experiment because I have no idea how well the yarn will wear. I'm unable to link this pattern because it is one I tore out of Creative Knitting quite sometime ago. I was going through a cleaning up spree and tried to declutter. Never made a note of the issues when I ripped the patterns out. Live and learn.

Now I have been tagged by Cathy. I’m to comment about the last ten persons who leave a note on my blog. If you’re mentioned below, consider yourself tagged.

1) Blue Kelebek is a great crocheter and a relative newcomer to knitting. Although you would never have guessed it because her work is fabulous. Check out her latest lace shawl - WOW!

2) Jack is a fabulous craftster. Her patterns are well worth investigating.

3) Val has become a great blogging friend. I always look forward to her next posting and eagerly await her comment on my blog.

4) I met T when she and J ran the Hanami Kal and I have followed her progress ever since.

5) Baruch has a special place in my heart. I love her photography.

6) Mary's lace work is gorgeous and an inspiration.

7) Phyllis' blog simply bursts with life.

8) I discovered Bells' blog through A long Lacy Summer. And man, can this woman knit!

9) And then there's Cathy who tagged me. Her blog is well worth visiting.

10) And finally Machenmachen who made me that gorgeous sun hat. She has some lovely designs on her blog.

You don't need to feel obliged to play along but it will be great if you do. Even if you don't wish to tag others please do check out the tagged blogs because its a great way to meet new bloggers and to pass on the blogging word!

Friday, 21 November 2008

FO: Isabella

I have completed my Isabella. I knitted this in Filatura Di Crosa Millefile Fine using 3.00 mm needles.

The only modification I made was to double the rows of the sleeve edging. I don't like getting the sun on the tops of my shoulders.

It was freezing when the photos were taken and thus the goosebumps!

I liked working with this yarn and it feels good on my skin. There is quite a bit of stretch in the yarn so it will be interesting to see how it wears over time. The yarn has a beautiful sheen which helps to show off the lace detail.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

FO: New Heel Socks

I finally finished these socks.

The really good thing about doing socks using short rows (yep, that dreaded wrap & turn thing) is that it works really well when you are knitting two socks at a time on two circular needles. The downside of these heels is that it is so difficult to see the wraps when you need to pick them up. Unfortunately I read this tip from Ann too late. She suggests putting in a marker at each wrap. I'm definitely going to give that a go next time.

The other discovery I made is that I think I'm going off self striping sock yarn. And that is a bit of a problem because I still have several skeins in my stash. I guess what I need is an exciting pattern that works well with a self striping yarn. Any suggestions?

Saturday, 15 November 2008

No Sheep for You!

My swap parcel arrived last night and I am thrilled. The wonderful AliMachenMachen was my swap partner and sent me this wonderful parcel.

This is the second time that I have been so fortunate as to be Ali's swap partner. Much to my delight the coffee, chocolate and sun hat came in one of her wonderful little project bags.

The hat is simply perfect and had its first outing today when I went birdwatching.

We went birdwatching at the slate quarry in Bullengarook. Only saw 22 species, although that is pretty good for these dry times. The highlight of the morning was a great sighting of the yellow-tufted honeyeater. A real little stunner.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Time to get organised again

Every now and then I reach a point in my knitting when I feel that my Wips have been hanging around on the needles for far too long. I get an itch to start new things but feel I can't until I've knocked off some of the current projects. So, over the coming weeks I want to finish some things.

I've finished my Hoodie, except for a couple of buttons.

This will have to be gifted to someone living in a colder climate than ours. Anybody out there who wants to put a hand up?

I've completed the back of my Isabella for my Melbourne Cup KAL and I've started on the front. As there are no sleeves to knit I should be able to finish this sometime next week.

Then these socks have been hanging around for ages. I don't normally take this long to finish a pair of socks but somehow they never get a fair go. I'm knitting these as part of my SSoS challenge. I wanted to try a different heel construction.

Normally I knit a heel flap and then pick up the stitches for the gusset. With these socks you knit the heel and gusset all in one using short rows. I find this a better way of doing heels when knitting two socks at a time on two circular needles. Its far less fiddly. And the end product doesn't really look any different from the heel flap method.

And finally I really have to get back to my Anniversary Mystery Shawl. I've started on clue 4 and then still need to do the edging. I like the pattern and I like the colour of the yarn but I've neglected this shawl terribly. So, as soon as I finish my socks I will start paying more attention to this shawl.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Still guessing but...

I've finished the 6th clue of the Mystery Project # 3 and I've pinned it up like this:

So, is it a hood that buttons under the chin?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

What is it?

I've now completed clue 4 of the Mystery Project #3.

I still don't know what I am knitting. A hat? Perhaps a bag? Any ideas?

After the glorious rain on Friday - a wonderful 26.5 mm - the garden is looking a treat. Look at these beauties.

Sapho is my favourite rhodie.

Unfortunately I don't know the name of these two voluptuous beauties.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Another Mystery

I'm knitting the Mystery Project #3 over on Holiday Mystery Gifts. This is another design by Terry Morris.

I don't know what it is yet but I suspect it might be some kind of cozy wrap or shawlette. I think it must be because I love puzzles and detective stories that I find these mysteries irresistible.

I've also made a little bit of progress on my Melbourne Cup KAL.

Oh, and a quick aside. It's raining at the moment and the mist is hanging in the trees. Fingers crossed that it lasts all night.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Quick gifts

I needed a quick gift for a friend so I sat down this afternoon and whipped up this dishcloth.

I found the pattern here. I used Moda Vera Bamboo/cotton and I like the fact that it is so colourful.

Blogging Friends Forever

Now the talented photographer Baruch has given me a "Blogging Friends Forever Award".

To keep the ball rolling I must now pass on this award to 5 other bloggers. I have chosen the following blogs because:

Limestone Coasties - Val always manages to amuse me, post delightful pictures and her pugs are the cutetest.

Baad Medicine - both T and J talk my kind of knitting.

Blue Kelebek - a blog that vibrates with energy, fun, love and goodness.

Mary - a knitting inspiration and a very successful enabler.

Spin, Knit and life - Phyllis is a relative newcomer to my blog. Her blog is always filled with interesting snippets.

Now it is your turn to give the award to 5 other bloggers of your choice based on these rules:

1. Only five people are allowed

2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog

3. One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world

4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Henley done - well almost

I finally finished my Henley Perfected last night. I knitted this in ColourMart DK silk and it feels lovely against the skin.

I still need to add the buttons though. I haven't had a chance yet to find the right buttons.

Note that I have not provided any close-up detail because as usual I have made a real dog's breakfast of the seaming. I simply cannot sew. Its not for nothing that I have become a lace shawl addict. All that glorious knitting and at the end only a couple of ends to weave in - definitely my kind of sewing.

Having said that I have committed to more seaming. I've joined the Melbourne Cup KAL on Ravelry. Ha, there she goes again I hear you say. But this is a slightly different KAL - you simply knit whatever you feel like knitting, starting today. I've decided on this pattern. I swatched last night and used my lovely new gauge square to ease the pain. Today I've managed to cast on but I haven't got any further than that.

As part of my SSoS challenge I have started knitting a pair of socks with a heel construction I haven't tried before - short rows with wraps. I thought I would just knit a pair of vanilla socks in a self striping yarn but found that boring so I've added a panel of full diamonds. Bit lost in this yarn but it keeps me happy.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

I've got gauge

... or at least I hope to do so with my new gauge measure made by KaraStix which I received today as my SOTSIII prize. In addition I will also be getting one of the Nautical Knitter's fabulous patterns. Thank you DK!

Isn't it gorgeous and don't you just love the snowflakes (part of the stole's theme)?

I think for the first time ever I'm actually looking forward to knitting my next gauge swatch!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The company of friends

I had a great day on Saturday. Everything worked out perfectly - the weather was lovely, the food was good and the company was great. We set our tiny hall all a buzz with all the chat.

Cute hall hey? The guests arrived at 12 pm and we partied on until evening. We came home tired but happy. Being able to share with our friends in this way was very special to us. The warmth and good wishes we received from everybody was very heartwarming.

Because I've been so unwell the last week I haven't touched my needles for seven days. Yes, I've been counting. Last night I finally picked them up again and knew that I was back to normal. So poor old Henley has been neglected and I'm still short a sleeve.

The garden remains a feast of colour. Here again a little taste of a glorious rhododendron...

and a divine tulip.