A Pocket Full of Bling

Hello peeps!

I have a confession to make.

I have an addiction.

I’m addicted to stitch markers.

Big ones, small ones, felted ones, round ones, beaded ones, triangular ones, rubber ones, metal ones, plastic ones, attachable ones, fixed ones………

I think I might need an intervention. ¬†Seriously, no single person needs that many stitch markers (shhhh….. don’t tell Mr HK ūüėČ )

In defence of my addiction, I have used all of them and I have a variety of sizes for every project on my needles (I’m not sure if that latter one is really a good defence though ūüėē ). ¬†I have some very cute ones, like the Teapot and Teacups from Steph Cuddles.

Or the little felted balls with embroidered sheep from Jelby.


I love them, but not all of them are very practical. ¬†I find with the dangly ones that I have to move the bead/ dangly bit out of the way otherwise the stitch marker gets caught up in the stitch or the yarn gets tangled on the dangly bit. ¬†It doesn’t matter how big or small the bead/ dangle is, inevitably I have to flick the marker out of the way which takes time and is a little bit annoying after a while.

My favourite stitch markers, the ones that I find most practical (and rather pretty too) are the ring-o’s.

I am now the proud owner of 2 sets of snagless/ ring o stitch markers (in 2 different sizes, just in case you were wondering). ¬†I love these! ¬†They are pretty, they are practical, and there is no need to flick anything out of the way. ¬†The added bonus is that they can come in multicoloured sets, perfect if you specifically need different coloured/ lettered markers (although if it was me, I’d note down which colour correlated with which marker on the pattern). ¬†I bought the set above from Knits by Jo, they are the XS size and fit a needle up to size 2.75mm – perfect for all my socks! ¬†Jo is also an Aussie (and local to me too) so it wasn’t a hard decision to buy these very pretty stitch markers (I like to think I reduced my carbon footprint by buying local rather than from overseas). ¬†I must admit that I’m really glad that I bought the XS ones from Knits by Jo, it’s nice to have something small specifically for my sock projects (and it’s so good to have an excuse to show them to you, I bought them a little while a go and haven’t had a chance up until now).

The above set was my first set of snagless stitch markers and have been my go to stitch marker for all of my projects up to a size 4mm needle and I love the Fripperies & Bibelots store, there is such a great range of coloured rings and beads and they come with that cute little tin. ¬†They also make a great gift for the knitter who has (almost) everything. ¬†I really really love the snagless variety of stitch markers and would highly recommend them to any one looking for pretty but practical stitch markers. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I like the dangly ones and I have used them regularly

Millrace

… but I prefer the snagless/ ring o variety and will eventually add larger sizes to my collection.

PS. ¬†Except for the picture of Millrace, I’ve copied all the pictures from the various etsy stores so you could see how awesome the markers look, without being distracted by my projects or fingers.

The BEST Swing Set in the World

cow

On our way home from Toowoomba and the very epic Easterfest, we had a few adventures ūüėČ

dino

The first was finding a crazy dinosaur on the side of the road. ¬†I can’t remember what small little town it was but we decided to stop the car, turn around and all get out for a few photos ūüėÄ

nundle

Secondly, we visited the Nundle Woollen Mill. ¬†Nundle is a small little country town about an hour out of Tamworth (think Golden Guitar and Keith Urban) and about 5 hours drive from Sydney. ¬†I was positively beside myself with glee at this little adventure and couldn’t wait to get there.

The mill itself is set back from the road a bit and there is off road parking, however Nundle is such a quiet town that parking on the street is no drama.  Outside is a lovely place to picnic, there are a few tables around and some trees to shelter under away from the hot Australian sun.

mill outside

Inside is knitters heaven! ¬†When you walk in the door you are immediately in the shop. ¬†On the left hand side is yarn, lots and lots of Nundle yarn that has been spun on the premises (and possibly some Noro). ¬†There are lots of colours to choose from and a few different weights and blends. ¬†There was also a beautiful display of Art Viva knitting needles, made from Tasmanian oak in Tasmania (ok, they were arranged in a tin bucket but that doesn’t sound as nice “display”)

The night before we went to Nundle I sat with my phone trying to decide on what pattern to buy yarn for, I was thinking of knitting up a cardigan, but when I got to the mill I realised that I would need around 1000 yards of yarn and that seemed to be a bit too much for my bank balance. ¬†So I settled on the Hopsalots slippers by Tiny Owl Knits. ¬†I came across this pattern a week or so before we left on our adventure and was totally in love with the idea of knitting and then felting slippers – something that I haven’t tried before. ¬†The only thing that concerned me that there was no mobile phone coverage in Nundle and I couldn’t access ravelry to find out how much yardage I needed.

On the right hand side of the store were a range of clothes, socks, locally knit scarves – I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to these as I was there for the yarn, not the already made goods. ¬†At the back of the store was a door that lead through to mill viewing area. ¬†Essentially the mill is a 2 storey building, with the shop and the viewing area both being on the top floor. ¬†Unfortunately I think everyone was out at lunch so I didn’t get to see the mill in action, BUT just seeing the machinery pretty much put my excitement levels into overdrive and I almost cried (I’m an emotional being). ¬†There was also more yarn, a lounge to relax (and possibly knit) on, more clothing items, Ugg boots, lots of different books for both knitting and crochet, and a basket on a table full of beautiful ready to spin braids that have been dyed locally.

lunch

After settling the kids down outside for lunch (they were going a little silly in the mill) I went back in to make a decision about my purchases. ¬†That wasn’t easy. ¬†In the end I settled on 4 balls of the 100% Merino 8ply in hot pink, perfect for felting (and if you’re wondering, my guess about yardage was spot on ūüėÄ ). ¬†When I got to the counter I asked the lady a few questions, trying to suss out if the yarn was completely 100% Australian, and happily it is (the ball band even has the Australian Made symbol on it). ¬†Although that’s not true of all the yarns available from Nundle, it was for this one and I walked out of the store so happy to not only be supporting the Nundle Woollen Mill, but supporting the Victorian processing plant and the hard working Aussie wool growers.

goodies

By the time I had finished my rather large family had moved from under the tree where they were enjoying their lunch to the playground that sits just to the side of the mill.  For such a small town it was one of the best playgrounds I have come across, with a cubby house, slide, swing set, and other various climbing on and over things.  It was great and the kids were having such a ball, it was hard to get them back in the car.

cubby

The entire playground had a farm/ yarn theme, which for a fibre enthusiast left me wanting to play too. ¬†Above and beyond all the sheepy and farm¬†inspired¬†equipment, there was one thing that stood out from the rest…

needle

 

A swing set, made of knitting needles and yarn :p

swing

 

Wish I could have one in my backyard!

If you’re ever in Tamworth, make sure you take a trip out to Nundle, it’s totally worth it.

Have you ever seen a knitting themed playground? ¬†If so, where? ¬†I’d love to see it – even if they are only pictures ūüėÄ .

Christy

The Blog is brought to you today by the Letter M!

Generally I blog on Friday. ¬†It’s my quiet day (especially at the moment with things on Monday through to Thursday) and it’s a good day to review my week and what I’ve achieved knitting wise. ¬†Due to circumstances I can’t control (namely a pathetic internet connection) my blog from Friday never got posted – obviously. ¬†BUT that is a very happy thing as I really didn’t have much to say on Friday. ¬†Since Friday lots has happened….. ok maybe not lots but enough for me to be excited about.

Artichaut is finished! ¬†Well, I have to wash it and sew on a button but otherwise the project is complete :D. ¬†I am pretty happy with the completed project. ¬†There’s room for M.I.A to grow and it looks pretty good on her.

If you’re knitting this pattern and you’re doing the strap tie on the side (as in the pattern picture) then there is no need to leave a hole when seaming. ¬†The pattern is a little unclear and I spent about 5 minutes trying to figure out how the cardi was going to do up taking into consideration this slit in the side seam for the strap to pass through. ¬†It wasn’t until after my girl had tried it on and I’d spent another 10 minutes considering how it should be tied up and looking at the picture on the pattern I realised the error.

But it did give me an idea, considering that I want to knit another 2 I’ve decided that for J.J’s I’m going to make it so the cardi ties up in the back – something a little more grown up for my almost 9 year old. ¬†For Sunny, I’m going to forgo the straps and just have a button closure, less things that can wind up in her mouth :p.

When I asked M.I.A if she was happy with it she replied¬†“Yeah, but it needs something on it.”

“Like what?” I said

“A teapot”.

I think I will spend the rest of my life trying to understand the way she thinks.

Since finishing Artichaut yesterday, I have wound my 2nd skein of Finch and picked Millrace back up. ¬†I was a little daunted by the prospect of knitting it again as I hadn’t made any notes as to where I was up to, all I had was my row counter. ¬†I was worried about nothing, by the end of the first row I was well and truly up to speed with where I was up to and where I was going. ¬†I finished off the first lot of decreases yesterday and have started on the next. ¬†I have about 200 rows to go :p. ¬†I do love it but I’m also very aware of the fact that it is going to be loooooonnnnnggggg (I’m not exactly short). ¬†Blocking it is going to be interesting.

 

I’ve also cast on Pomotamus. ¬†To be honest I’m feeling a little ambivalent about it. ¬†I’m not sure why. ¬†I love the pattern, I’m happy with the yarn, but the whole sock thing is leaving me feeling a little empty. ¬†It might be that I’m knitting them on my Hiya Hiya 9″ bamboo needle. ¬†There’s nothing wrong with the needle….. “it’s not you, it’s me” :p. ¬†Actually maybe there is, I don’t think I should have bought a bamboo needle, it’s a little too grippy. ¬†Going from the bamboo tips to the metal Addi tips is like going from sitting on gravel to sitting on tiles. ¬†Plus there’s the whole working with such a short circular needle which gets tiring after a little while. ¬†Well, it is for me at the moment. ¬†Then there’s the needle size. ¬†The pattern calls for a 2.75mm needle and cast on of 72 stitches. ¬†However, the Jaywalkers have a cast on of 76 stitches and called for 2.25mm. ¬†I knit the Jaywalkers on 2.5mm and they feel a little loose (fingers crossed they don’t grow after being washed), which leads me to believe that knitting the Pom’s on a larger needle is going to produce a sock that is potentially too loose. ¬†Fingers crossed that knitting the Pom’s on 2.5mm works for me. ¬†It’s a lot of guess work which I’m hoping I haven’t got wrong. ¬†I think I’ll swap over to magic loop soon and just try on the few inches of the leg that I’ve completed, at least that should give me an idea of the fit.

Did you see the cute little sheep stitch markers? ¬†I got them from Jelby on etsy and they are so cute and colourful, I also have a green and a purple one. ¬†They’re nice and light weight and add a nice touch of colour. ¬†Yes, I know, I’m already knitting in colour, why do I need any more. ¬†I can’t help myself, I LOVE colour!

I also started reading Wildwood this past week and I highly recommend this book. ¬†It’s such an engrossing and intriguing story. ¬†I’m loving every moment of it, even the illustrations are fantastic and give a nice bit of interest as the story goes along. ¬†It’s so nice to be reading an interesting and engrossing novel again.

Well that’s it from me. ¬†Hopefully I’ll see you again on Friday (fingers crossed I have no tech issues this time)

Have a great week!

Christy

A Little Bit of Enabling

Ever since Sunny girl came into the world my favourite lunch has been soft boiled eggs with hot buttered toast. ¬†And I mean butter (in particular French butter, but I only get that when it’s on special), not margarine, real butter. ¬†I can’t get enough of it, and I’m always a little disappointed when we don’t have any eggs in the house, or proper butter for that matter.

Anyway, new yarn has arrived at my house and more is winging it’s way here as we speak. ¬†Back in September Sunshine Yarns celebrated it’s birthday by offering customers a discount for a day and also starting a new yarn club. ¬†I was intrigued by the yarn club, it was based on tea and I’m pretty sure it was only for 3 months. ¬†Having not participated in a yarn club before I thought it was a pretty safe place to start. ¬†Unfortunately, international spaces in the club filled up super quick and I missed out. ¬†But I did manage to score a skein of yarn in a colourway that I had been drooling over for a little while.

It took ages to arrive, I mean more than 4 weeks. ¬†Usually yarn arrives here from the US in about 2 weeks (less than that generally speaking) so when 3 weeks was up I emailed Dani to let her know. ¬†She emailed me back and said that it’s not uncommon for yarn to take 4 weeks to arrive. ¬†So I twiddled my thumbs for another week, inwardly stressing about my lost package. ¬†I emailed again and Dani emailed back saying that she’d heard there was an issue with customs and would check with the post office. ¬†By now I had lost all hope of ever seeing that skein of yarn. ¬†Then on Tuesday morning, the post man delivered it to my toilet door (well not really, but it was on the floor in front of the door – I can only assume it was left there by my hubby) and I have to say I was so thankful to have it! ¬†I eagerly opened up the package and found, not only a gorgeous skein of yarn, but a tin of solid hand lotion by Lavishea. ¬†I had originally earmarked the yarn for a pair of socks but once I saw the skein, the idea of socks was out of the question. ¬†My plan is to knit Aestlight by Gudrun Johnston but considering there is not enough yardage in one skein of Classic Sock to do the shawl, I’ve bought a skein of Yarn Love’s Elizabeth Bennet to make up the short fall…. ¬†And I’m not going to tell you any more about that, you’ll just have to wait and find out :p!

The little tin of Lavishea hand lotion is gorgeous! ¬†It smells lovely, melts easily into my hands and is lovely and gentle (my hands can be a little sensitive at the best of times). ¬†The only downside is the shipping to Australia. ¬†For 1-6 tins it’s $16.95 which is pretty expensive. ¬†I’m considering buying 6 tins just to make the most of the postage. ¬†Seriously, if you’re an Aussie and you’d like to get some of this solid hand lotion feel free to leave a comment and we can split the postage.

I also got a skein of GnomeAcres sock weight yarn in the post. ¬†The colourway is Punky Gnomester and it is seriously bright! ¬†Fluoro red and fluoro mint. ¬†It’s lovely though, certainly eye catching. ¬†I wound it up on Wednesday (looped it over the arm and back of a collapsible chair in front of the pc) while I watched The Knit Girlls and then cast on¬†The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People Wednesday night. ¬†It’s such an easy pattern and free too. ¬†I wouldn’t even call it a pattern, more like the skeleton of a shawl, and you add the skin so to speak. ¬†Stocking stitch isn’t very flattering on this colourway, so I’m doing stacks of garter ridges and despite my original misgivings this colourway is growing on me. ¬†I’m knitting it for a young person and I hope she likes it (if not I think I might just be able to carry it off).

I finished off Marin earlier in the week and blocked it on Wednesday. ¬†It’s turned out wonderfully and I would highly recommend the pattern. ¬†It’s quick and pretty easy and turns out really really lovely in the end. ¬†I’m looking forward to posting it to my friend next week, I hope she loves it as much as I do.

Last night I attended the Bi-Annual Whole School performance at my girls school. ¬†The last time it was on was 3 years ago (yes it is supposed to be bi-annually but it was cancelled last year) when my JJ was in kindy. ¬†Now she’s in year 3 and I have to admit I teared up a few times during the performance, firstly because I always do whenever I see my kids up on stage and secondly because it hit me just how quickly they’re all growing up! ¬†Even my Sunny girl is rapidly growing, she’ll be 5 months next week. ¬†Where has that time gone? ¬†Anyway, while the performance was on I worked on Kai-Mei, I haven’t measured it but I’ve got a fair whack of the leg done and it’s a nice little no thinking hand bag knit at present. ¬†I sat there wondering if the people behind me thought I was a bit odd, knitting at a school performance, but seriously I love my knitting and I love my kids, why can’t the 2 be happily married wherever I am?

I’ve also made a little progress on Artichaut. ¬†Word of warning, if you’re going to knit this, knit it according to the number of rows stated, not the length! ¬†My row gauge is a little longer than the designers and I initially followed the measurements for length for the first part of the back, I should have just knit the number of rows. ¬†The front is slightly shorter than the back and when I sewed up the right front there’s a bit of a funny spot down the bottom where I’ve squished the 2 different lengths together. ¬†It’s hard to describe without detailing the entire construction of the top. ¬†I’m pretty sure that the only person who’s going to notice it will be me and I’ll know how to do it better when I start on the next one.

This has been a crazy week for me and it hasn’t finished. ¬†I better get off my butt and get ready for #1 Son’s preschool story event.

Till next time

Christy ūüėÄ

 

1680

At 12.03pm today my littlest girl hits 1680 hours old. ¬†Or 70 days, or 10 weeks, or 100’s of hugs and kisses, or millions of heart beats – take your pick. ¬†So much has happened in such a short amount of time. ¬†I went from being a busy mum of 4 to being an extremely busy mum of 5 for starters. ¬†All our time has been taken up with feeding, sleeping, not sleeping, feeding, more feeding, more not sleeping, nappy changes, more nappy changes, exploding nappies and the subsequent aftermath of cleaning. ¬†And in amongst it all, beautiful smiles, lots of “ah-goo”‘s and more snuggles then I ever care to count but hope never to forget. ¬†I wouldn’t change it for all the world. ¬†I love this little girl so much and I’m so glad she’s mine!

Those first few hours were so special.  She cried, I fed her, we cuddled, she peed on me :p.  That white thing on her hand is a blister.  My gorgeous girl had been sucking on her hand in utero ♥

This was taken this morning. ¬†I’ve been trying so hard to get a pic of her smiling, but she gets distracted with looking at the camera, so we’ll just have to be satisfied with this one. ¬†I can’t believe how much this little angel has changed in just 10 weeks. ¬†How much my life has changed. ¬†You’d think that after 4 kids I’d be used to it all, but actually no. ¬†It’s a new little personality, a new little person to get to know. ¬†Every one of my children has been different and changed me. ¬†I didn’t notice it with the others, but with my Sunny Girl, her little face lights up when she sees me. ¬†She’s a little chatterbox already and loves cuddles. ¬†My husband keeps saying “She loves her mummy”, well I love my girl so much that sometimes my heart aches with it. ¬†One of the many things that brings total joy to me is that my Sunny Girl has fallen asleep in the arms of my 6 yo M.I.A on a few different¬†occasions.

I love that Sunny feels comfortable and safe enough to fall asleep in her big sister’s lap ‚ô•. ¬†Love them so much!!!

Knitting, can’t forget that! ¬†Things have been pretty slow, well, not really I’ve just been working on Millrace¬†predominantly. ¬†It’s coming along nicely and I’m still enjoying it. ¬†I’m still working on the increases and it feels slow going but I know that it’s not really, it just seems that way.

I’m¬†almost¬†halfway through the first skein of yarn :D. ¬†Looking at the above photo I think I like the colour….. ¬†I’m still in 2 minds about it. ¬†The problem with buying yarn online, you’re never completely sure about the colour until you see it. ¬†Some knitters like to be able to feel and squish the yarn they buy and won’t buy online because of that. ¬†Me, well, I’m just all about the colour and I buy online ’cause it’s just about the only place I can get the yarn I want to try (the internet is a¬†smorgasbord¬†of yarn :p).

I have to say I’m thankful for technology. ¬†A while ago I was looking for knitting apps on iTunes and came across KnitMinder Lite. ¬†I downloaded it (mainly because it was free) and I have to say it’s such a good app that I bought the full version the other day. ¬†The lite version only allows for 2 projects, so if you’re working on multiple projects at a time then I’d go for the full version (not sure how many projects it stores though). ¬†The reason I like it so much is that it allows for multiple counters for each project. ¬†With Millrace I have 4 separate counters to help me keep track of where I’m up to. ¬†It has made knitting Millrace a no brainer, which in my sleep deprived state is really good. ¬†I’m not particularly interested in the other functions at the moment as I have ravelry and my blog for that, but I’m loving those multiple counters.

I’ll leave you with a beautiful story, I was talking to #1 Son today and asked him if he was ready to start school. ¬†He said “No” and when I asked him why, he said that he wasn’t ready. ¬†I told him that when he goes to school next year both his big sisters will be there and he’ll get to catch the bus. ¬†At that his little face lit up and he told me that yes he was ready. ¬†I turned around and noticed my M.I.A girl looking a little red in the eyes. ¬†I asked her if she was ok and she said “I’m feeling a little teary”, which made me a little teary. ¬†I love my family!

‘Til next time

Christy

You Have to Start Somewhere

Shortly after I bought my Sunny Girl home I decided I wanted to knit her a hat (actually I’d thought about it before she arrived but put it off as I couldn’t find anything neutral enough to suit my tastes). ¬†I happened to come across Kate Oates Math for Hats book after listening to a podcast that referenced her designs. ¬†After buying it and reading it through I thought to myself (in my sleep deprived brain addled state) I can do that and proceeded to cast on. ¬†After several false starts I finally got it going (now I can say that I understand negative and positive ease!) and was on a roll up until I reached the decreases and that’s where I faltered. ¬†I’ve only ever followed patterns, I’ve never really differed from the pattern and I’ve never really given a great deal of thought as to why the designer did that particular thing there. ¬†For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what the Math for Hat book was telling me to do and even though I asked on ravelry about it I still didn’t quite get it. ¬†So the unfinished, self designed hat sat neglected in my project bag. ¬†I felt so stupid, I’ve never been good with maths and thought that it was this lack of math loving skills that was letting me down.

That is until this weekend just gone.  I looked at the weather forecast and saw that it was about to get a whole lot colder and I thought to myself, I have to finish that hat for my baby!  The last thing we need is for her to get sick (plus I hated the thought of letting that yarn go to waste).  So, I gathered my courage, plucked it out of my project bag and dived back in.

Well, what do you know, most of the decreasing process is about trial and error and making something that suits my tastes. ¬†I’m not entirely happy with the finished project but I can say that I “designed” it myself and I know where I need to make improvements for next time.

It’s not the hat that I envisioned in my head but that’s ok. ¬†For my first go at not following a written pattern it’s not bad.

Since finishing the hat I’ve cast on another Anabelle Babe Cardigan in the same purple as Sunny’s little beanie. ¬†It’s knitted from the top down and I’m only putting in 3 button holes for this one. ¬†The pattern calls for a sport weight/ 5 ply yarn on 3.75mm needles, however I’m using a 4ply on 4mm needles. ¬†I’m pretty sure it will work out fine. ¬†I’m already passt the sleeve separation and am making good progress on the body. ¬†Fingers crossed it’s finished in a few days and I can get on with my next project ūüôā

Do you like the little pink teapot and tea cup stitch markers? ¬†They’re from StephCuddles on etsy and I would definitely describe them as bling for knitting :p. ¬†I bought them with some money I had left over from my birthday. ¬†They’re pretty heavy but they’re definitely cute. ¬†My 2yo likes to play with them and pretend he’s making himself some tea :p.

Well, that’s it from me today.

Christy

Crazy Crafting Ninja

A couple of months ago I bought a new project bag from LibertyAvenueBags on etsy. ¬†I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while ’cause I LOVE THIS BAG! ¬†But first I lost the cord for the camera so I couldn’t upload the pics, then I got busy nesting (as you do) and didn’t get around to it. ¬† So here is my blog about the best project bag ever!

Firstly it’s a custom order. ¬†I tend to surf around etsy¬†occasionally¬†looking for things I think I need, I was after a new project bag and happened to¬†come¬†across the craft ninja bags. ¬†I was totally taken with the little ninja so contacted Donna about getting one in pink. ¬†She said she could do that and so I sent her the measurements for the bag I wanted.

Donna was super helpful and made some great suggestions. ¬†She made up the bag pretty quickly once we’d agreed on the¬†type¬†of material and delivery from the US was super quick (she even refunded me some of the postage as it wasn’t as expensive as first thought). ¬†Its nice and deep, and has these groovy snap yarn guides on each side so I can have my yarn threading through nice and neatly (it’s the little white thing¬†you¬†can see on the right hand sides of the picture below).

My bag also comes with 2 interior pockets, a small one for notions and such and a larger one for patterns (I requested the latter one). ¬†The straps are nice and sturdy, they’re also adjustable which comes in handy with such a big bag (13″ tall by 15″ wide at the bottom). ¬†It also has a small flap on top with 2 snaps to close it up so everything stays in (and with kids that it is a MUST).

All in all I love my new project bag, it goes everywhere with me and I’ve had a a few comments from people as to how much they love it! ¬†Anyway, if you’re in need of a new craft bag (knitting or otherwise) then please head over to Donna’s etsy shop, like I’ve already said Donna’s really helpful and I know you’ll love your new craft bag from her as much as I love mine.

Take care

Christy ūüėÄ