I Was…. Then I Wasn’t

I bought some Kauni yarn in a very vibrant turquoise, online of course from Scandinavian Knitting Design.  I had originally earmarked it for Kate Davies (Get Off My) Cloud hoodie.  I guesstimated how much I would need and as the Kauni comes in big 600m balls I bought 2, thinking that 1200m of yarn would be more than enough for the project.  The yarn arrived yesterday, I purchased the pattern and printed it out……. there isn’t enough yarn 😦 . Well, that’s not entirely true, there is enough, but considering the length of the original project is 16 inches and I’m going to need at least another 5 inches in length I think I’d be pushing it to make it work.

Enter stressed, anxious and somewhat panicky Christy.  What was I going to do, what was I going to knit?  I considered leaving off the hood, even leaving the finished project at 16 inches.  But I know I wouldn’t be happy with the end product if I did either of those things.  So I went hunting around and found the Plain and Simple Pullover by Veera Valimaki (the same designer behind the very popular Color Affection Shawl).  It takes a minimum of 1094 yards to knit the small size and the length is only fractionally shorter than what I would want.  Considering that it’s meant to be layered, I don’t think it’s going to matter if I knit it to size as I can wear a longer t shirt underneath.  Plus it’s free, what’s there not to love about that?

I think I’m happy with that decision.  I think it will be a great knit and a great way to ease myself back into doing larger scale projects.  I haven’t knitted any adult sized jumpers/ cardigans for a very long time, simply because I have had too many failures.  I don’t want to fail at this type of project again!

Early last week I came down with a cold, which left me feeling tired and achy for a few days.  I didn’t want to knit but I did want to knit.  It was strange, but the best way to describe it is that even my fingers were sore, so the thought of making them work was off putting, but my heart wanted to keep at it.  I looked around for something easy to knit, something with a simple pattern and larger needles, something that I didn’t have to think too much about and something that wasn’t tiny 1×1 ribbing.  Millrace it was!  I’ve worked so diligently on that project for the last week that I’m almost up to the final chart (and when I say almost, it’s only a couple of rows away).  I’m so happy with that!  The project that felt like it was never going to end is almost complete!!!!

Millrace

When I pulled it out of my knitting bag last week all of a sudden I loved the colour.  Nice and bold.  It’ll be a great pop of colour during the cold dark days of winter.

Biscuit tower

 By Friday last week I was itching to do some baking, it’s been a while since I’ve baked anything beyond a packet cake mix.  I remembered a blog post from Raspberri Cupcakes of cookies made from 3 ingredients – a tin of sweetened condensed milk, some flour, and some butter.  That seemed easy enough, so I whipped up a batch, adding a 200g bag of milk choc chips to half the dough, and rolling the other half in sprinkles (ok, it wasn’t quite half and half, there are definitely more choc chip cookies then sprinkly ones).  They’re not too bad, more importantly, they’re super simple and the kids loved them!  I used about 1/2 of the dough (there I go guesstimating again and I’m probably wrong) and I froze the rest to use later.  It will definitely be a recipe that I turn to again and again, just for the sheer simplicity and ease of it.  Although next time I might add some brown sugar and vanilla extract, they’re not as sweet as I would like them (says the lady that still eats fairy bread sandwiches for lunch on occasion 😉 ).

3 Cheeky Monkeys

Well, that’s it from me until sometime next week.  I hope you all have a wonderful Easter, however you celebrate it.  I can’t wait to share with you what I get up too 😀

Take care

Christy

xo

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Rainy Days

This blog, written, was not supposed to happen.  My plan was to produce a video blog and get that up instead of a written one.  But, it’s not as easy as it seems.  In fact, I realised just how much I don’t know about podcasting, the internet, RSS feeds, uploading massively large files, etc etc.  So, that’s not happening this week, however I am much more educated now and there will be a podcast released by me in the not too distant future :-D.

Fern drops

On Saturday we celebrated Australia Day, and being the country of the long weekend, today, Monday, the celebration continues.  I love a long weekend, not that I have work to skip, but I do love having everyone home and for a change Mr HKWT is home too.  This week is a big week for us, the 2 older kids are back to school on Wednesday and we start the gear up for #1 son to start school next week.  Essentially I go from having everyone home to having hardly anyone home in a day and that makes me a little sad.  I’m going to miss the noise and the company, the sleep ins and late breakfasts, the time to drink my morning coffee and all the cuddles, kisses and conversations throughout the day.  Today we’re having a quiet day at home, well as quiet as you can get when everyone is crammed into a small space, it’s raining outside and arguments are starting here there and everywhere (yes, the smell of school and peace is in the air and yes it is inviting, even if I will miss them).  I love these quiet and cool home days, it gives me a chance to do what I truly love, bake and knit (oh and spend time with my adorable family).  Generally speaking I don’t bake during summer (or at least I try and avoid it but the call of cake sometimes gets the better of me), my oven has a tendency to turn the entire house into an oven so I try to keep it off as much as possible during the hotter months.  But the rain today has brought cooler temperatures that require warm pants and a desire for warm cake in my belly.  It was just a packet mix but I loved my slice of Date Loaf with a cup of tea.  It reminded me of my childhood, my mum used to make Date Loaf when I was kid and serve it to us fresh out of the oven smothered in margarine (I’m sure butter would taste better but hey I’m not complaining) and I did the same for my kids today, minus the margarine.  When my kids have flown the coop I really hope they have fond memories of me baking them yummy things and of quiet days at home filled with warmth and love.

Date loaf

I’ve been wanting a Nostepinne for a while, after looking into getting a ball winder and then feeling very convicted about buying more plastic someone suggested the Nostepinne.  I went looking for one but they are hard to find in Australia and so I turned to etsy and found a few nice ones from overseas.  After inquiring after the cost of postage to Australia and finding out it was going to cost almost as much as the Nostepinne itself I put the idea on the back burner.  Until I got an email all about the joy of winding with a Nostepinne.  I went searching again and this time my search was fruitful.  Ecoyarns have Nostepinnes on their website, there were none available but I sent them a quick email and within a few hours I heard back from them saying that there were 2 in stock that hadn’t been put up on the internet, made by a local wood turner from Australian Blue Gum.  I didn’t think twice about buying one and quickly shot back a reply saying that I was more than interested in purchasing one.

Nostepinne

I’m certainly not adept at winding with one yet (and yes I came close to giving up), but I love it.  I love that it’s made by an Aussie, I love that it’s made from a native Australian wood.  I love it.

Aestlight

I’ve been working on the Aestlight Shawl pretty much monogamously.  Very little sleep = a desire for very simple knitting and the Aestlight fits that bill, at least the garter stitch triangle does.  It felt for a little while like I was never going to reach the stitch count for the triangle, then all of a sudden I had too many stitches and I had to rip back, but at least it’s all done.  I picked up all the stitches along the loopy border and ended up with an extra stitch.  I thought that maybe I had miscounted my end stitches on the triangle and just proceeded with the border (who wants to rip back all that work?) but after a false start with the border, I ripped it all back and started again.

Aussie

The border is a little mischievous, at least to a sleep deprived and addled brain.  I found out where I was picking up the extra stitch – I was mistaking one of the stitches on hold as an edge loop.  Then I got to the end of the border, just before I started on the Birds Eye lace section, and I don’t know if it’s me and my “no sleep” addled brain getting in the way or if it’s the pattern.  But, when I follow the pattern I end up with 2 extra stitches and the right side facing.  I really don’t understand how that happens.  Anyway, after much deliberation and pondering, I finally just tinked back a row and, thankfully, had the correct number of stitches and the wrong side facing.  The Bird’s Eye Lace pattern is simple enough, but if you’re going to knit this, I strongly recommend going off the chart rather than the written instructions – there seems to be some inconsistencies between the 2 and my WIP works with the chart but not the written instructions (does that make sense?).

I think the yellow works with the After the Storm colourway.  The colours are very Australian though and that kind of makes me feel a bit funny about them.  I love my country, but I’m not into wearing the flag or national colours.  I’m hoping by the time I’m finished I love it so much that I’m not bothered by that.  At least I’ll have something patriotic to wear on Australia Day :-p

flag

Have you got little people starting back at school this week and are you looking forward to it or dreading it?

Happy Australia Day one and all.

Christy

Something different

Believe it or not I have other interests apart from knitting.

Baking is one of them.  I love to bake, unfortunately my oven doesn’t share the same passion for baking.  The plan is to retire it soon (we’ve been saying that since we moved in about 6 years ago) and replace it with something pretty spectacular (ok, bigger and newer and working properly).  I’m looking forward to that day, I’m looking forward to being able to make sponge cakes and macarons and all sorts of other deliciousness that I currently avoid because my oven refuses to work properly.

I also sew and dabble in quilting.  I’m not sure if I could say that I love it but I can do it and I do enjoy it.  Last year I thought it would be a great idea to sign up to a Block of the Month quilt – It’s a Dollies Life by Rosalie Quinlan Designs.  I was so sure I could do a block a month, between 4 kids and everything else.  I started with a passion on the first one, I had so much fun choosing my material, cutting out the pieces and ironing them on.  It was great fun, until I started the blanket stitch.  That got deadly boring very quickly.  And then the next block pattern arrived and I wasn’t even half way through the first one.  In the end I packed it away and conveniently forgot about it, until I fell pregnant.  I’m not sure why, but knitting whilst feeling morning sick only made the morning sickness worse.  So, when my husband made me stay in bed all day to rest, I picked up the block and went back to blanket stitching my way through the quilt.  There was something very therapeutic about it and I finished the first block and started on the second.  I worked steadily on the second until I realised that I was almost finished and I hadn’t bought material for the 3rd block, then it all came to a screeching halt (even though I had gone out and bought the material for the next block).  Recently I’ve been feeling rather convicted about this poor neglected quilt so I pulled it out the other day and started blanket stitching again.  I’ve decided to just do bits here and there so I stay interested and it gets finished.  I’m already looking forward to sewing up the next room simply because I love the material I’ve chosen for it :p.

On to knitting.  Well, I’ve been working exclusively on the Jaywalker socks, poor old Artichaut is sitting in the bottom of my project bag being seriously neglected.  As of sometime today (I hope) the gusset stitches will all be picked up and I will be onto the foot.  Once I have the first Jaywalker done I’m hoping to finish off a Citron shawl I started at the beginning of May then I’ll be back to Artichaut (I hope).  I started the Citron simply because I had a skein of Malabrigo that needed to be used (and I just happened to have a case of Cast-On-itis) and I’m still not sure why I put it away.  I know that I’m about half way through.  I think I put it away so I could start on the Manolo socks but I’ve just never come back to the Citron.  Anyway, I’m happy that I haven’t finished it as I have found a home for it and am now keen to finish it off so I can gift it to a very deserving person.

I’ve added to my stash.  After seeing a few vodcasts (Snappy Stitches and KnitPsychoKnits to be exact – both can be found on iTunes) mentioning Lollipop Yarns, I went looking.  Unfortunately the shop was empty.  I bided my time for the update, making sure I was in front of the pc and refreshing every minute or so.  Somehow, despite that, I still missed out – my goodness, that shop sells out in minutes.  Thankfully Joan was very understanding (I thought that she may not sell internationally and had blocked international buyers from seeing her store content) and put up a custom order for me.  Self striping yarn in Pretty Pretty Princess and my it sure is pretty!  Can’t wait to knit with it.

Well, better run, children to pick up and ballet lessons to get said children to.

Happy knitting

Christy