Friday, March 30, 2012

Sneak Peek

I've got a little 4ply vest on the needles for winter baby at the moment, with a sweet cable.  The pattern will be available once I have finished it.

As you can tell from the photos the light in these is terrible, and my camera is awful with colour.

Linking up once again with Creative Friday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Supposed to be

My project this week is more nappies, but I think the vege garden might need more immediate attention.  We struggle to get veges to eat during the middle of winter, and I'm thinking about a poly tunnel or something similar.  Any suggestions on how to extend our growing (and eating) seasons?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Finally finished

 For personal reasons, my blogging has been a little lacklustre for the last couple of weeks, and I thought that  I would have to show you some works in progress, just to prove that I am actually doing things.  But then something miraculous happened.  I finished my solstice shrug for P's birthday.

 Modelled by a very helpful dolly.

The colour of this shrug was really difficult to photograph - its a fire engine red, and it makes the pattern quite difficult to see.

The pattern is available on Ravelry (this one's not free).  Its described as a quick, yet interesting knit, but I have to say that I didn't find it all that quick to knit up - it feels like I've been knitting this forever.  It might be because this is the first thing I've knitted in a size 4 or it might be because it's a top down knit, which makes it seem longer the further into it I got.  However I am really pleased by how well it came out.  The pattern is really easy to follow, with some nice detailing.  So I am two thirds of the way through P's birthday presents.

Joining in with Creative Friday.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

1) Show us your house as it is, right now

For more 12 in 2012 posts click here.

So here it is, my house in its mostly natural state.
 I'm standing at the far end of my house looking down the hallway to the other end of it here.  So the first thing to say about my house is that it is small, just over 100sqm.  It was built in 1959 and is an ex state house.  For any New Zealand readers, that's actually all I need to say.  You will all have a pretty accurate mental picture of my house.  For those of you not New Zealanders, successive NZ governments built houses for NZers to rent, and those of the 1950s and 1960s are both prolific, and pretty much the same: weatherboard exterior - check, small size - check, native timber used throughout - check, lamentable shortage of storage space and general space for modern appliances etc - check.  However, we also have something of the holy grail of state houses from this era.  Our living areas face NORTH! I know, and not only that, but we have huge windows in the living room as well.

Check out the size of these things.  Also in the interests of full disclosure, yes the net curtains used to go to the bottom of the window, but they have started to disintegrate and we haven't bothered to get new ones yet (if we ever do).

So lets take a closer look at some parts of my house.

My kitchen table.  Its not normally quite so messy, but this is pretty close.  Currently home to my overlocker, a half finished nappy, two jars of pears, a fruit bowl, assorted drawings and pencils, a box of screws and DH's headphones up on the far right of the table.  This is one of those areas of my house that I really like to be tidy, but which seldom is.  Now whenever you see a shot of something on said table, you can imagine all the other stuff I shoved out of the way to take the photo.

My kitchen floor.  Why am I showing you a really dirty floor? Well yesterday it was not only swept, but mopped as well.  And now it looks like a family of squirrels has been living on it for a month.  Mopping this floor is the most disheartening thing I do, in a matter of minutes it looks like I haven't done anything.

The toy corner of the living room.  Despite appearances this can be tidied into the suitcase relatively easily, and it can't be immediately seen when you walk in the room.

Our toilet.  DH re gibbed and plastered half of the toilet, but we need to replace the toilet and redo the piping before he can do the other side.  Apparently at some ill defined point in the future, he and his father will do the plumbing themselves, and then we will have a proper wall again.

That's my house as it is right now.  Despite having lots of storage issues, I really do like it.  But if you thought I was a neat person, hopefully I've set you a little straighter.  My house gets messier than this, and tidier as well.  Every time you think, wow how does she find the time for that, remember my kitchen table, or the overflowing toys.  My house is far from perfect (and so is my life for that matter).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lack of nappies

Okay, so my project last week was to make some more nappies for winter baby.  However, it would be a good idea to check that I had the notions I needed to actually make them.  I think this baby is sabotaging him or herself from inside the womb.

So a lack of elastic means I actually didn't make any nappies last week.

A blogging milestone

I logged into my blogger account and found that I had exactly 10,000 page views since I started this blog! Wow.  A large number of these are for my free knitting patterns, but still.  Thanks so much for everyone who has read, and reads my blog.  There will be a giveaway to celebrate once I sort something out, so keep reading.

Friday, March 9, 2012

On the subject of woollen jerseys

I was asked about what kind of jerseys I look out for when I'm thrift shopping, so I thought I would go through my thought processes when shopping.  It goes a little like this:

  • Go to the Hospice/Thrift/Op shop,
  • Attempt to convince small children that they don't actually need any new clothes since the ones they already have are spilling out of their draws.
  • Ignore same small children as they run up and down the aisles squealing at the top of their lungs and head straight for the knit section.
  • Check the labels on the knits.  I'm pretty good at 'feeling' whether something is wool or not, but its always best to check the labels to be sure.  If your thrift shop has variable pricing, check these too (mine doesn't, almost all clothes are 50c each).


  • When you find something that says "100% new wool" or "100% merino" etc buy it.  The only things I wouldn't buy simply on the basis of the label are cardigans or vests with lots of pockets on the front - there just isn't enough material to make something usable out of it.
  • Take the woollens to the counter.  Allow your small children to hand things to the old ladies who run the shop, while they cluck over how adorable they are.  Smile whilst trying to keep your facial ticks under control.
  • Congratulate yourself on leaving without your children breaking something/buying something/requiring to use the toilet*/throwing a screaming tantrum on the floor.

*My children are obsessed with using toilets in public places.  If they remember there is one available, they will need to go.

  • When you get home, try on your purchases.  If they fit, score! I have a wardrobe full of very cheap woollen tops.  If not, put them in your stash for future projects (wash them first).

Generally, woollens that I buy fall into two weights - heavy weight/jerseys: these I will felt for various projects.

Light weight woollens: These are more often merino, and they are usually t shirt kind of weight.  In NZ these kind of tops are pretty ubiquitous, although reasonably pricey when new, so they are often available in the Hospice Shop.

Hopefully this gives some idea of the kind of drape these tops have.

Once you start looking specifically for these kinds of tops, you'd be amazed at how many you can find.  Sometimes I will find four or five tops, other times nothing that is wool.  Be sure to check out my posts about how to work with upcycled materials, as well some of the projects I've made with these kind of things; merino gowns, tops, smocks and singlets.

Joining up with Creative Friday today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


That's my project this week.  Although I have been the recipient of so much generosity with nappies, that my fitteds and covers are practically bursting out of my change table already.
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