Saturday, July 31, 2010

Jazzy's cap sleeved spring top.

I cast off the Cap Sleeved Spring Top this afternoon. Details here.

It was the first thing I have knitted in the round on circular needles and I loved it. Oh, except for the bit when I spent ages trying to work out how to do stockinette stitch in the round. Finally I asked Mr Google who told me that it means knit on one side, purl on the other. So on circular needles its knit/knit/knit.

It looks great on Pepper too but I can't get it off Jazzy to show you.

Oh and the skipping. It seems that when a girl in our house turns six and a half then she doesn't want to do anything that doesn't involve a rope and some jumping. She's obsessed. So much so that her feet ache but its not stopping her. And she told me today that when she grows up she wants to marry her skipping rope. Go Jazzy go!

And finally for the winner of Cath's Make book.

Drum roll please...........................

The winner is PUFFY INGAL!!
(aka Mel from From Little Things. Yay!)

Thanks for all the brilliant comments. You guys had me laughing so hard that in the end I had to explain to the littles what I kept laughing at. Silly names of course.

Oh and I think Bren's is the best of all.
My husband's silly/porn name is Shlemazel Shakespeare!

And sorry to all those who landed here from some x-rated/adult movie twitter site, I know its not quite what you had hoped for. (Love those google alerts!)

I hope you are having a fabulous weekend. XX

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stuff & the Porn Star giveaway!

Miss Pepper and I went on a road trip this morning.

We hit the highway and went to visit Knitter Sue. While Pepper ate her body weight in chocolate biscuits (sorry Isabelle), I got to see up close and personal some of the gorgeous socks, jumpers and toys Sue has been busy making. I tried not to be too obviously excited by Sue's massive wool stash and got some fantastic tips for using Ravelry and looked at some of Sue's knitting and crochet books.

When we were leaving, Sue presented us with a huge garbage bag full of cottons to take home.

Thank you so much Sue! I was and still am completely over whelmed. Hopefully you'll recognise some of your cottons in my knitting really soon. It was wonderful to meet you and learn more about you and add another dimension to the whole blog experience.

Thank you all so much for your vegetarian dinner suggestions. I am about to prepare some type of rotating meal plan for our family and your suggestions will be hugely helpful.

And the winner is Lola Nova!!
Yay and congratulations to you! I'll email you for your postal deets shortly and get your fabric in the mail.

(Can anybody out there explain to me how to get that random thingy onto my blog without it messing up all the html?)

And now for the porn start bit. I had such fun hosting that giveaway that I want to do another one straight away.

What: Make by Cath Kidson. Its a book full of Cath Kidson projects and even includes a plain tote bag, some embroidery floss and a Cath Kidson pencil. You know you want it.
How: I want to know your porn star name. You work this out by using the name of the first pet you ever had as your first name and the name of the first street you lived in as a child as your second name.
Mine's Pixie Park.
When: I'll randomly draw a porn star's name on Saturday.
You: I'll post anywhere.

Let the games begin.
Happy Thursday y'all. XX

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A lucky giveaway.

Last night I finished my first top down, seamless cardi. I cast off, darned in the ends and sewed on a button and it was done. I am a bit addicted to these fuss free circular knitting projects now.

Thanks heaps Rachel for the wonderful pattern, I loved knitting it and will definitely be knitting it again before too long. And thanks to the YouTube woman who taught me how to knit in the front and the back of a stitch.

Oh and what looks like gathering in the front is really the rosettes underneath on the dress she lives in at the moment and yes, that's her breakfast down the front of it.

For those interested in the details, it is raveled here.

Now on to the giveaway.

Yesterday I got locked in an op shop!

We were on our way home from Melbourne when we stopped in Bacchus Marsh for some supplies and I made a quick dash into the oppy.

I did the quick sweep of the linens, the craft supplies and the books and then headed to the counter with my sheets. There was no one there.

I waited for a bit. I called out. I knocked on the staff room door and then peeked inside but no one came.

By this time I thought Bren would probably be getting impatient in the car, so I popped the sheets on the counter and went to the door to leave but it was locked.

Hmmmm what's a girl to do when locked in an op shop but to have another look around. So I did.

Then after a while I got a bit concerned that maybe everyone had left for the night and I was really and truly locked in. So I went to the door to check out the closing time and saw that it wasn't for another three quarters of an hour. OK, maybe she had just gone to the toilet or for a coffee or something.

So I flicked through some magazines and then I saw the shop keeper walking towards the shop and I must say I was mighty relieved.

She apologised and said she had checked every row before leaving for the bank but lucky for me she had forgotten her bank book and returned straight away. She also said she thought it wasn't exactly a bad place to be locked in.

I paid up and left thinking about how lucky I was that it wasn't a public toilet, or a dark car park or our wheat container and how lucky I was to have found these gorgeous sheets.

So I want to share my luck with you and have a little giveaway.

What: a fat quarter from each of the sheets I was lucky enough to find yesterday.
How: tell me what you are making for dinner tonight if its vegetarian. If its not please tell me a vegetarian dinner suggestion.
When: A quick game is a great game. I'll draw a winner randomly on Thursday.
Who: You! I'll post anywhere.

Have fun out there. X

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Indi's wrap.

I don't think I ever showed you the Leonie wrap I crocheted for Indi.

I crocheted it at a farmers' market a few weeks ago and it kept me so warm as it rested on my knees.

It is just perfect for the kid who lives in the coldest part of the universe but gets overheated when she wears too many clothes.

And she actually wears it. The kid who wants to dress like a skatergirl actually wears something that I made. Yay!

I used Cleckheaton's Folklore in colour number 5 and had help from Tania with the kid dimensions.

The butterfly brooch is on loan from Bren's Mum. I bought it for her a few years ago fully intending to make a few more for myself and for pressies but never did.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Bren and Indi have gone to a clearing sale and I am heading to Ballarat to a wool/knitting sale to stock up on some essentials.

Oh and I'm on Ravelry. Finally. I'm still figuring it all out. I have six friends! If you have any handy Ravelry hints, I'd love to hear them. Come and say 'hi', my name is Foxslane.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A bit of this & a bit of that.

I haven't posted for a few days and now there's a bit of catching up to do.

So the tiger finally got the beanie she's been asking for. Roar!

And I finished the Eyelet Remix Cardi.

I made it using Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply cotton in the Pink Rose.

The pattern was easy to follow for a beginner like me. I am pretty excited with the end result considering it was the first time I've attempted eyelet lace, increasing/decreasing and working on circular needles.

I hated sewing up the sleeves and body though and the next pattern I make will definitely be a seamless one.

I also received this bundle of gorgeousness from the lovely Cath in a swap we did.

I love it all but that butterfly brooch takes my breath away. I love it!

Thanks so much Cath! XX
The end of one knitting project means the start of a new one, naturally.

Actually, I started this one last night as I was sewing up the seams of the pink one. Sort of like a reward to myself. One bit of sewing - one row of knitting. It goes faster that way.

I hope you are having a lovely Thursday. My girls are having a home day and are building a doll's house from the new printer box.

Off to make them some lunch now.

See ya! X

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Knit, knit, knitting.

Well hello there!
How are you?
I hope you are having a fabulous weekend.

We went to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show yesterday but I'm afraid I have nothing to show you from there. You see I was so overwhelmed by the colours and plies and blends and itchiness and fluffiness and treatments and animals and washabilities of all the wool that I just couldn't make a decision. Instead I decided to stick with something I knew and head to Bendigo Woollen Mills afterwards. Only by the time we got there it was 3.10pm and on Saturdays they close at 3pm. Bum! Looks like its mail order for me this time.

So as you can see I've been knit, knit, knitting away at my second knitted garment, a cardi for Miss Pepper.

I think its finally getting somewhere but let me tell you, I think I am way out of my depth. This day last year I was practicing my newly found crochet skills by hooking washers and flowers. Small, manageable, learner projects.

Who knows why I skipped that stage with knitting and went straight for a project that included eyelet lace, five different sections that had to be knitted separately and then joined, decreasing, increasing, YO's, a seed stitch band and all on circular needles.

I have knitted and undone each section more times than I care to remember and I am sure there are lots of mistakes to the trained eye but for some reason I've stuck with it and now that I'm knitting the yoke, I'm kind of glad I did.

Even though Bren says it looks a bit like a skinned rabbit.

Hopefully I'll have something finished to show you by the end of the week.

And lastly, an enormous thank you to the gorgeous Candace who sent me this wonderful selection of fabric. After a few months of mail going missing, its a relief to have it all sorted out and this gorgeousness in my hot little hands. Hooray!

We're off to collect the eggs before the rain.

Have fun out there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2 unrelated tales.

Tale one:

I have just finished the back bottom (ha!) of my next knitting project. I am knitting in cotton this time and it feels lovely. I am working on circular needles for the first time and knitting seed stitch which is another first.

The stitch holder belonged to Bren's Nana. She was an amazing knitter/crocheter/dress maker. I tried to learn off her a few times but I couldn't quite get it. The time wasn't right for me. I still am a bit sad thought that I could never take advantage of her expertise.

I have been knitting like mad now for a week and a day and I have a horrible pain in my left shoulder blade. A similar thing happened to me last year when I learnt how to crochet.

I took my knitting to my pilates class yesterday and she taught me how to knit ergonomically.

  • Sit on a straight backed chair with both your feet flat on the floor.
  • Use a chair with arm rests and make sure your left (for right handers) elbow is supported on the left arm rest.
  • Make sure your shoulders are down at all times.
  • Try to make your hand and arm movements as big as possible.
  • Make sure you get up every now and then to walk around.
I'm trying.

Tale two:

Every morning after the big girls are at school, Miss Pepper and I bake the bread for the day. Once we have measured out the ingredients and formed the dough, she pulls off her own bread bit and kneads it. We oil the tins, we leave our breads to prove, we punch them down and form the loaves, let them rise again and then we bake them.

Then each afternoon, when she wakes up from her nap, she eats her bread for lunch. Sometimes, like today, when she extra hungry and 'growing up quickly', she'll have a slice of mine too.

I hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday. X

ps. Thanks so much Annette for the wonderful package of sewing and knitting treasures. XX

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Knitted wrap.

I did it!

I completed my first knitted garment!

I started it last Monday and finished it today. That's just under a week.

This morning as I was knitting the last six rows and working out how to stitch it all together, I started writing a blog post in my head about how hard the home stretch is.

At that stage I still had no idea if it would fit anyone in this house, I didn't know how to sew it all together and then Miss Pepper informed me that she didn't want or need a new jumper. She already has a jumper in her cupboard and if that one gets dirty then she is still ok because she is a tiger and tigers have fur and don't need jumpers. Hmmm.

Then I started looking through the knitting patterns I have bookmarked for my next project and going through my yarn to see if I have enough. Who wants to finish something when they can start something new and exciting?

Sometimes the home stretch is the longest part of the journey.

But then I decided to stop thnking about it and just do it. So I knitted those last six rows, pinned it all together and had a glimpse of the finished product and got a bit excited.

I decided to learn how to knit in the first place so I could knit fitted, shapely, practical garments for my family and I almost had.

And then I stitched it together, darned in the ends and that was that.

Looking at it on her I am thinking I probably should have blocked it before sewing it together so I could lay it out flat. Is that right? Can I still block it now or do I have to unstitch it?

The pattern is the Baby Kimono pattern from here.
Mr google helped me with casting on and off and increasing with YO.

Ok what's next?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Busy's skipping dress.

This is dress number three in my Everything But The Thread range.

This dress is heading up to Northern New South Wales to live with a gorgeous princess and for lots and lots of skipping and dancing and spinning.

Its made from op shopped pink and blue denim, four vintage sheets, op shopped binding and zipper and a heart doily crocheted by me.

It is a bit small on my Jazzy so hopefully it fits the little princess perfectly.

The problem now is getting it off my Jazzy and into the post. She loves it. She says its the most perfect twirly, spinney dress she's ever worn.

While we were away at the beach we celebrated a belated Mothers' Day. The girls had packed me an outfit to wear for the festivities that included my green dance party tutu. Let me tell you I had lots of fun twirling and spinning and dancing that morning. I totally get the little girl fascination with the skipping dress.

Have fun and maybe a bit of dancing and twirling out there. X

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Time away.

We've spent the last few days at the beach.

The five of us.

Not a proper holiday, just a couple of days to mark the end of the busy season and the start of the quieter season on the farm.

We've eaten yummy food, drunk lots of coffee, scootered, knitted, op shopped, read, played schools, celebrated Mothers' Day, watched a few episodes of this and played at the beach.

We haven't collected eggs, done the farm chores, carried wood and kept a fire going, or done any deliveries. Its been lovely.

We have lots of decisions to make before the new season starts, but for now its been great just to take some time out and relax and enjoy one another.

We're going home in the morning. I think I'll leave a little sand in my boots just to remind me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On knitting.

Two nights ago I was searching the internet for crochet garment patterns when I decided it was time to learn how to knit.

Don't get me wrong, I adore crochet but I have this urge to make some everyday jumpers and cardigans for my girls and I and the crochet patterns available just seem bulky and dated.

So yesterday morning we went to the op shop for some knitting needles. There was a whole jar full of them but most of them didn't have pairs, a whole lot of them were those double ended needles and then the rest were too fine for a beginner like me. I bought the thickest needle that had a pair and the quilt above that has been named 'the quilt Mum lies and knits on while the girls are on their scooters at the skate park quilt.'

I started by knitting a beanie but got impatient with the fact that it was taking so long to get anywhere and that I can already crochet beanies. Then I found a pattern for a cross over top and started on the largest size. Because of the size of the needles I'm still not sure if it will fit Miss Pepper or an eight week old baby friend of ours.

I like the rhythm of knitting.
I like the variety of patterns available.
I like saying ' the end of this row.'
I like how neat and uniform knitting stitches look.
I like learning a new craft.
I like that knitting is making me think.
I like the range of gorgeous knitting patterns there are out there.

I don't like how much stuff you need for knitting; end stopper thingies, row counters, circular needles, stitch holders, cable needles, needles with pairs...
I don't like how last night I found a hole in my knitting and it took me hours to undo it, put all the stitches back on the needles and then knit it all up again.
I don't like how many stitches there are to deal with at once. With crochet it is really only one stitch at a time, if you drop it, its easy to find it again.
I don't like how mysterious it all seems to a beginner. A bit overwhelming really.
I don't like how slow I am at it.

In the time that its taken to knit half a garment, I've trawled many knitting sites bookmarking patterns as I go. I feel a bit excited about the possibilities.

I hope you are enjoying whatever it is you are making at the moment.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I don't know.

So selling my dresses from a gorgeous gallery/shop space in the gorgeous Piper Street Kyneton sounded like a great idea at the time.

I think I have crafters inferiority complex dating back to my fine arts days at uni when the art vs craft debate waged strongly and you had only really made it when you had your work hanging in a gallery. Part of me desperately wants to have my work hung and admired in a gallery.

But I think the views of the world have changed in this regard since I went to uni. I think craft has been noticed and is appreciated. People like practical, useful things that are designed well. I think people are embracing home made, hand made and local and there is a new found respect for some very old crafts.

I think its time for me to move on with the times and let that inferiority go.

As soon as I started working on a range designed and made especially for that shop, I started doubting it. For some reason I started thinking more carefully about fabric and design choices rather than my usual process of letting the designs lead me.

The price thing bothered me. Once I took into consideration the wholesale/consignment price, they became quite pricey items.

As did the fact that I wouldn't be there to sell my dresses, to interact and explain the concept or to hear the feedback.

And once I had said I would sew up a range then I didn't really want to anymore. I wanted to crochet beanies instead. One each for my parents, one for my farm boy (pattern from here but hdc's instead of sc's), one each for my girls and some for their friends. It doesn't get much more crafty than that.

And then in the last few days I have started receiving email commissions from some of my favourite bloggers and I have realised that sewing for my family and friends will keep me busy enough and much happier.

So the range for the shop will have to wait.

And then maybe I'll work towards a summer market stall. Maybe.

Bren is going to tell me he told me so. He said I should keep it fun and not make it into a business in the first place. We already have a family business and three children and this is my hobby. He is right.

The Weekly Times article is out in this issue. You can read it here.

And the one about our farm is here.

Happy Thursday and keep warm out there. XX

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