I ♥ Autumn

Hello lovely people!

g

We celebrated yet another family birthday last week.  This time my little G turned 3.  We have at least one birthday a month from November through to June between our family and Mr HKWT’s brother’s family – that’s a lot of birthday presents!  I’m thinking of doing a celebratory give away when all the birthdays are done!

leaf

Have I ever told you how much I love Autumn (or Fall as our North American friends call it)?  Aside from the milder temps I love the colours.  I mean, I really really love the colours!  I get excited seeing the trees turn all sorts of amazing shades of reds, oranges and yellows.  I love them so much that I want to paint my house in those colours.

leaves

On Saturday we took the kids up to Blackheath Memorial Park, it’s a great place for the kids to play with 3 separate playgrounds.  It’s also set on the side of a hill so it totally wears the kids out with all the running up and down the hill plus it’s great for rolling down 😛 .  It’s a great place for a picnic and so that’s what we did – fish and chips in the sunshine.  Perfect day!plane

Blackheath is a beautiful part of the mountains, it’s further up then Katoomba and well worth the visit, with lots of lovely shops to browse through (not that I get to do that with 5 kids in tow) and plenty of cafes.  In my opinion the place comes alive with colour in Autumn, I’m sure the same is true for Spring but as I’ve already said I love Autumn :p .  It’s also the home of a new and very cool yarn store, The House Of Wool (I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before) and of course we had to stop in and have a browse!  I was pleasantly surprised by lots and lots of new Australian indie brands, including Augustbird.  I stumbled across Augustbird sometime last week when I was trawling etsy looking for Australian yarns, so it was quite serendipitous that The House of Wool has started stocking this particular yarn and of course some of it came home with me 😀 .

"Wild" Rich Sock

I think my stash is growing faster than I can knit :/ .

It’s funny, I’ve talked a lot about everything but what I’ve been knitting over the last couple of weeks and yet I don’t really have much to show you (I still don’t, I have taken no pics 😦 ). I have finished Millrace.  I haven’t blocked it yet and I have no photos of the finished project BUT it is finished and I am so happy that it’s done!  I do need to take myself to Bunnings to get some more rubber mats so I can block it and that is near the top of my to do list.  It would be great to have it done soon, just so I can wear it as the weather gets cooler.

I started my 2nd Jaywalker sock while we were away and I am well and truly into the foot.  I’m still decreasing the gusset as I’ve been busy with other things and it’s pretty much become my travelling project so only gets worked on here and there.  I’m kinda at that point where I’m wishing that it was done already, just so I could move on to the next thing which should be finishing off another pair, or at least working on Mr HKWT’s Gimli sock.  Why couldn’t God have given us 4 arms?  I could get so much more accomplished!  Anyway, it’s closer to being finished then to being started and that’s a good thing!

I also finished off the right front of J.J’s Artichaut.  I had a migraine last week (reason why I only blogged once last week, I can only do so much when my head is throbbing) so took the opportunity to sleep and knit whilst Mr HKWT did everything else.  It’s so nice that now I only have one side and the bottom edge to finish off but I’m going to have to find the motivation to do that.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply is not a good yarn for anything beyond baby clothing.  (Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not claiming to be the next Clara Parkes) I think the yarn is plied rather loosely, making the yarn very lofty, airy and soft, but also making it rather stretchy/ elastic.  It’s beautiful on the skin but the weight of larger garments and the elasticity of the yarn don’t mix.  M.I.A wore her Artichaut a few weekends ago and it’s already losing it’s shape and falling off her shoulders.  I guess it doesn’t help that she’s a bit rough with her clothes (she’s a very active 7yo who likes to pick up her baby sister) but still, I would have thought that it would survive better than that.  As a result M.I.A took of the Artichaut before we went out and I’m not sure if she’ll be very keen to wear it again any time soon.  I’ve already decided that I’ll knit Sunny’s Petit Artichaut out of something else, just not sure what yet.  (I just google translated Artichaut from French to English…… it means Artichoke…….. mmmmkay 😯 )

hops

The first Hopsalots slipper out of that lovely hot pink Nundle yarn I bought while we were away has been started and finished – well at least the knitting part.  I still have to knit the ears, felt the slipper and then ears, let it dry and then attach the ears, then do the 2nd slipper.  But the knitting is done 😀 .  OH MY WORD!  The 8ply (DK weight) Nundle 100% Australian yarn is to die for!  It is so incredibly soft, smooth and a dream to work with!  I love it!  I tried the unfelted slipper on my foot and it was so lovely and soft and warm.  I can’t wait for these to be finished.  They’ll be my luxury slippers, for when I’m sitting around spending my afternoon knitting, or reading (yeah, like that happens very often.  Oh well I can dream).   I will definitely be buying yarn from Nundle again!

Aside from some swatching, I have cast on and knitted the first 4 rows of Sempervivum.  I will be totally honest with all of you and say that I’m totally disappointed with Brooklyn Tweed Loft.  But I think I’ll save the reason why for my next post.  I will soldier on with the project considering that I bought all the yarn for it and I’m dying to make Sempervivum but I doubt I’ll be buying Loft again.  I’ve been looking at the Rock Island (another gorgeous Jared Flood design – see I have nothing against the designer, just the yarn) and I have decided that I will be knitting that out of something from Skein in all likelihood.  On the upside, if I hadn’t have bought it I would have gone on wondering what it was like.  Well, now I know.  Fingers crossed the finished object looks great :/

Here in the Have Knitting household it’s school holidays and it’s raining today.  So, better tear myself away from all of you lovely people and get back to entertaining and feeding the troops (I’m sure they eat more when they’re all home).

car

What’s your favourite season?

Christy

PS.  There is now a facebook page.  If you’re on facebook please swing by and “Like” me 😀

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Aestlight

So, I’ve finally had a chance to wear my Aestlight.

Saturday at Gloria Park 025

I love it!

When we went to the park on Saturday to take some pics it was pretty warm, too warm to be wrapped up in wool anyway.  So we just snapped a couple of pics before we left – not much of a photo shoot, but I hope it shows you just how pretty it turned out.

Aestlight

The only thing that I would change, if I could travel back in time and tell myself what mistakes not to make, is to make the larger version.  I could have gotten away with it, especially considering how much yarn I have left over.  But I didn’t think of that at the time, and I thought the large one would be too large.  I don’t know, it’s smaller than I thought it would be, but maybe I’m considerably taller than Gudrun Johnson so it looks bigger on her 😕 .  Hmmmmm….. maybe they should put the models measurements on patterns so you can gauge what it’s going to look like on you 😕  What do you think?

G

The kids had a blast at the park, as always.  It can be such an effort to get all 7 of us out of the house, but I think Mr HKWT and I forget how easy it is once we get to the park, no complaints of being bored, no demands to be entertained.  Just an hour or more of watching the kids enjoy themselves running off all that energy.

Mia

It’s Autumn now and I can feel the change of season.  The days are getting shorter and it won’t be long before daylight savings and those light filled evenings are over.  It makes me sad.  I don’t like winter, I don’t like short days, I don’t even like the cold (says the mad knitter).  It always seems that winter is far longer than summer, and I will miss summer, the hot days, the long evenings, the ice blocks and water guns, the long light filled evenings, the sunsets, the sun dresses and skirts, my thongs, the washing drying off in a few hours.  Everything.  I know it will come again, but it’s too far away 😦 (now I’m sounding like my kids waiting for their birthdays to come around again 😛 ).

83b6219e-e518-4cfd-8fe1-797534097ad9

But at least with Winter approaching I’ll have a chance to wrap myself in all that knitted goodness I’ve been working so hard on!  Speaking of which, the socks I’ve been “designing” have been ripped back about 3 times now.  It’s frustrating and demoralising (and a lesson to be learned in using that grid pad I bought) and I keep wondering why I’m putting myself through this and is it really worth it?  Do all designers have this same issue?  Or is it just me (because if it is I think I’ll give up now)?  I like to think that for as many great new working designs that each designer puts out, there are at least 2 that didn’t work out the way it was planned – or am I totally wrong and great designers are born, not made?  I know that it’s hard work, this designing caper, and maybe it’s something that I’m going to have to really push at in order to succeed.  It’s a shame that my automatic reaction to this is to give up and walk away before I’ve even really started.  Maybe 2013 should be the year of positive self talk.

The Gimli socks are a slow work in progress.  And I mean slow!  I was looking at them the other day thinking that I must have at least an inch of the cuff already, I measured it and was way of (as in there wasn’t enough).  The cuff is supposed to 1.5″ and I have thought about reducing it to just 1″ just because it’s so time consuming and a pain in the butt!  However, considering that they are for my husband I think a longer cuff is probably a bit more masculine, so I’ll tough it out!

Just over a week ago I discovered gradient yarn.  It started a little bit of a fascination and I spent a while trawling through etsy looking at all the different colours.  I came close to buying some, but I thought better of it and ended up doing a google search for Australian hand dyed gradient yarn.  I came across the House of Yarn in South Australia.  Not only is it a functioning yarn shop, both online and a physical store front, they also dye their own yarn and they have gradients.

Peony

So the above (I don’t know what I was thinking when I took that photo) is 4 ply/ fingering weight sock yarn in the Peony colourway.  It’s a 75/ 25% merino nylon blend and at 400m I’m pretty sure it’s going to make an awesome looking pair of socks.  In fact, I’m already planning on making the Om Shanti socks with them.  When it comes to Australian indie dyers, I don’t generally think twice about buying, I love supporting Aussie made 😀 .

Well, that’s it from me for today.  I have a little girl home with an ear ache.  It’s always nice to have an extra set of arms around that are willing to help.

Do you know of any good indie Aussie dyers?  Post them here and share the love 😀

See you soon

Christy

Restore thy Soul

It has occurred to me recently that in order to be a good mother and wife sometimes I need to put myself first and take care of me.  I will be the first to acknowledge that putting myself first grates against everything that I am.  For the last decade I’ve become well practised at putting my needs aside (although as I write this I’m also aware of how selfish I can be) but because I love my kids and my husband, I need to show myself some love too.  And it’s not always healthy to show that love by buying more yarn or even casting on another project 😛 .  Last weekend I endeavoured to show myself a little love and ventured across the road to my neighbours Stampin’ Up party.  I spent 3 hours without children, 3 hours of talking to other adults without the interruption of my little ones, 3 hours of being creative, and 3 hours of concentrating on a craft other than knitting.

Car card

I had a great deal of fun.  A short while after Mr HKWT and I got married I started making cards, I had a decent assortment of stamps and inks and it wasn’t long after the birth of J.J that I was hooked on scrapbooking.  There’s something really wonderful about choosing pretty coloured papers and embellishments and marrying them together.  It’s a whole different tactile crafting experience that I love and hope to do more of.  I gave up scrapbooking because there were too many little hands leaving little gifts of fingerprints all over my pages, and to be honest I don’t think I could go back to that particular craft.  I’m very particular about how I do my pages and I tend to steer away from bombarding each page with as many photos as possible, so I think if I were to take that up again I’d be 200 years old and still not anywhere close to finishing off an album for my 3rd child 😛 .  But making cards and playing with stamps, now that is something that is a lot like knitting – what insanity is that woman going on about? I hear you say – well, it’s pretty and it’s practical.  I can make a card and give it to someone who needs a little cheering up, far quicker than I can knit them up a shawl (although that is something that I will continue to do).  I can make several cards in a few hours in many different styles and colours, I can’t do that with knitting.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stray from my first love, I’m just going to have a little hanky panky on the side with card stock and stamps 😉 .

Card 1

This last week saw Aestlight finished.  WOOHOO 😀 !!!!!!  Unfortunately the weather has not been kind and it still remains unblocked.  But it is finished!  I think my stitch count was off at some stage, either on the lace section or in the border, I’m not sure which.  However, I resisted the temptation to rip it back, recount and then start the edging again.  You can’t tell, at least I don’t think you can tell.  I’m happy with it and that’s the main thing considering I’ll be the one wearing it.  I bound off the centre garter stitch triangle with the Banana (light), Elizabeth Bennet yarn I was using from Yarn Love, 2 friends of mine made that suggestion and I’m glad they did (and I’m glad that I listened to them), it looks really good.  I used a traditional Shetland bind off that Chrissy Graham of Snappy Stitches talked about in one of her podcasts.  It’s a really pretty bind off, which I know probably sounds a bit strange, but because the bind off has been done in the contrast yarn you can see it.  Seriously, if you plan on making the Aestlight – or any other shawl that needs a stretchier edge – use this bind off, it’s worth it, and it’s so easy.  I’m finding myself hoping to cast on a pair of toe up socks soon so I can see if the same bind off will work well with the cuff.

Aestlight

In a fit of anxiety and stress I wound up a skein of Loft from Brooklyn Tweed in the Blanket Fort colourway.  As with so many of my online purchases I’m still unsure of the colour.  I’m hoping that once the Sempervivum has been knit up it will look far less like the colour of dryer fluff.  I love the colour believe it or not (there is something about cleaning off the lint filter on my parents tumble dryer that I’ve always enjoyed – yeah I know, I’m weird) but I’m just not sold on it for this particular project.  I’m not so sure what it’s going to look like once it’s finished, it’s such a pretty pattern that I want the finished project to look striking, not a confused mix of purple and grey which is what I think it looks a bit like at the moment.  I love the pictures of Sempervivum on the Brooklyn Tweed website so much that I don’t want to be disappointed with my end project, I feel like that would not only be letting me down but a designer that I admire – not to mention all the hours spent working on the shawl.  I also bought the pattern and OH MY GOODNESS!  This is going to keep me on my toes!  All I can do is give it a go and cross my fingers, arms, legs, and toes that I’m able to grapple my way through it without making too many mistakes.  Wish me luck!

bag 3

The V Junkie socks have had a whole lot of love this past week and I’m happy to report that the short row heel fits my foot wonderfully.  I’m really really happy with that heel construction and plan on using it again and again and again.  Does anyone out there know what the wear on that is like compared to a traditional heel flap?  Hmmmm…….. Anyway, I am through the foot and onto the forefoot part, the pattern stated to end the foot section on row 15 once a certain measurement was reached.  I didn’t do that.  I was a centimetre off the measurement and the pattern repeat is 2cm long (yes, I sat there and measured it like the knitting dork that I am), so I decided that instead of adding an extra centimetre to my sock I was going to start on the forefoot section and add extra rows before the toe decreases if necessary.  I think that’s a good decision.  I just have to remember to make sure I take good notes so I can make the next sock exactly the same, otherwise there could be trouble.

I realised the other day that I have 2 pairs of finished socks and 3 single socks currently, plus 1 on the needles (well 2 if you consider the Pomotamus socks I started a while back but I’m planning on frogging them).  I think it’s time to start on the other socks…… why can’t I grow an extra set of arms just for sock knitting?

bag 2

Last year I got a bee in my bonnet about sewing up a drawstring bag with a boxed out bottom for my sock projects.  Well, after far too long I finally got around to sewing one up.  It’s not perfect but boy am I happy with it!  Not only is it pink, it has those cute little houses on it (reminds me of the Smurfs or some other cute cartoon character), it makes me happy and it’s the perfect size for my current sock project.  It holds my yarn, my extra long circular, the project, the pattern and a small notions tin, with a little bit of room left over (I managed to stuff the Aestlight in there as well on Thursday to take to my craft group).  I am very very happy with it and I’m looking forward to sewing up more in the not too distant future.

bag 1

The next week is a going to be a fun one.  On Tuesday we celebrate not only #1 Son’s 5th birthday but our 13th wedding anniversary.  I’m hoping this year everyone is well  as last year everyone was throwing up 😕 .  What a way to celebrate a wedding anniversary by delivering a baby!  At least that is one anniversary that I’ll never ever forget!!!!!  Or even be able to celebrate without thinking of my son.  J.J is generally so sweet on our anniversary, making sure that we don’t get forgotten in all the birthday festivities.  I really do have the sweetest kids.

Smoochy Kiss

What do you think of the new blog theme?

Have a great week 😀

Christy

…. more than meets the eye!

Growing up, my brother had a lot of Transformers, and I mean a lot!  I was always fascinated with them, something about taking one form and manipulating it into something totally different, all encapsulated in a toy.  Every time my brother got a new Transformer I would have to have a go of it at the first opportunity, I couldn’t always figure them out but it was fun trying (not so much fun admitting defeat and asking my little brother for help).  The Aestlight shawl is a little bit like that.  With a lot of knitting and a bit of manipulation it transforms into something completely different to what it started out at, and I’m not talking about the transformation of yarn into fabric.  Its construction, to me, is completely unique, I’ve never come across anything like it and I love it.  It’s so addictive and as a result has been my only knitting over the past week.

 aestlight

In a former post related to the Aestlight I said that the pattern had errors, well the only thing in error was me.  I have no idea what I was thinking but I was reading the pattern chart back to front and disregarding the centre stitches as irrelevant (and now I sound like 7 of 9).  Anyway, once I figured out what my mistake was and got the hang of the lace pattern (which is really simple by the way) it worked up really quickly.  Within a few days the centre panel was complete and now I am working on the border, which feels like it will take forever to do.  I still have some reservations about the colours together but the yellow in the Yarn Love Banana and the yellow in the Sunshine Yarns After the Storm are a perfect match.  I think once it’s finished and blocked all those reservations will be a distant memory and it will look awesome, but first I have to finish that border!

I’ve been considering what to work on once the Aestlight is finished, I’m super tempted to cast on Sempervivum but I think I’m going to have to finish Millrace.  I don’t know why I’m so resistant to getting that finished off, I honestly don’t think it’s going to take that long to complete, but I’m just so unmotivated……..  I like the pattern, the colour – though not what I expected isn’t horrible, so why can’t I just finish it off?  Plus I have that Artichaut to finish off (Miss 9 is reading over my shoulder pestering me as to when it will be finished), it’s not like that’s a horrible pattern either.  What is my problem?  Not enough knitting hours in the day and too many beautiful things to work on I think is what’s at the core of this.  Teething, non sleeping baby makes Christy a frantic and desperate knitter.  It’s like somewhere in the back of my mind I have this idea that I’ll never feel awake enough, or never have the time to just knit without little people constantly demanding my attention, so I have to try and cast on every beautiful thing right now, while I have the least amount of time and energy.  Deep breaths Christy, it won’t always be like this.

teething girl

On Thursday my craft group – aka mummy’s sanity time – started up again.  I was so excited about being back – not so much my little G who clung to my legs like some kind of 4 limbed, curly haired octopus.  He was excited to be back until we got there and all of sudden there were a whole bunch of kids and no big brother to protect him.  Funnily enough, when it came time to leave he was having such an awesome time he didn’t want to go.  Once he was wrangled off me and I had a chance to make a cup of tea and breathe, I got to work on a crewel embroidery (much to the shock of a few people).  Yes, I am a knitter of many talents including embroidery.  I’ve never attempted crewel before but, despite it being a slow process at the moment, I’m really enjoying it.  I’m working on the Bee’s World pattern from The Floss Box for J.J and I love it, I’ve already started making plans for the next one.  It’s a secret from J.J which is why I’m not knitting at Craftworks.  There’s only so much time during the week that I have where she can’t spy on me and Craftworks is the perfect opportunity for those secret projects.  It would be easy to get obsessed with embroidery I think, it’s like colouring in but with pretty coloured string instead of pencils.

 Pics 007

I know what you’re know thinking, it’s no longer a secret…… ha!  J.J went to bed shortly after her little comment about her Artichaut, the embroidery remains a secret so sssshhhhhh!!!!!!

The last week has been a blast, busy but a blast.  Last Sunday was spent at the beach celebrating Mr HKWT’s birthday.  We don’t get to the beach very often and it was so much fun.  Every year we promise ourselves that we’ll go more and then don’t follow through.  Tomorrow is M.I.A’s birthday and the plan was to go again, but it looks like rain so I guess there goes that idea.  One year we’ll get to beach more than once annually.  Until then, I’ll cherish the trips we make now.

beach babes

#1 Son has really enjoyed his first week and half at school.  Every day he goes with a smile on his face and he told me the other morning that he loves school!  I was a little concerned for a while last year that he wasn’t quite ready, well, I obviously was very wrong.  Friday he had his first assembly and brought home his first Principal’s Award.  I am a very proud mummy that is so happy to see her little boy thriving in an academic environment.  I hope he always loves learning.

Have you ever tried crewel embroidery?

Have a great week.

Christy

Technical Difficulties

I am soooooo desperate to podcast BUT my PC doesn’t agree with my desperation, nor does the weather for that matter.  I had every intention of this particular posting being a video, but after 5 + failed attempts at recording, I thought it was better that I just write my blog.  My PC is an old one (circa 2007) and it’s pretty slow, add heat into the mix and the poor old thing just about packs up and dies every time it’s turned on.  So, without dissolving into a puddle of tears and disappointment, I will put off the dream of podcasting until a) we get a new PC or b) the weather cools down enough for the PC to be comfortable.

Awwww

The last 2 weeks have been super busy with school going back a week and a half ago, and #1 Son starting school on Wednesday just gone.  He was so excited about starting, the day finally came and from the moment he was dressed he was nagging Mr HKWT and I to go and that we were running late.  When we finally arrived at school (on time) he was cranky with me because I wanted to take some photos, when we got to the classrooms he dumped his bag and ran inside without saying good bye.  At least I know that he was happy to leave us and keen to get started.  He was even disappointed yesterday when Mr HKWT said that it was the weekend 😉 .  He is in the same classroom that both of his older sisters were in when they started school and he has the same teacher that M.I.A had in kindy.  I think that familiarity with the classroom and the teacher has made the transition more than easy for him and, despite thinking that I’d be a blubbering mess, I am more than happy to let my little man go.

Since my last post the buttons for the Mud Puddles top finally arrived.  I had contacted Corina from Color My Buttons about my missing delivery and she was in the midst of making me a new set when the original order arrived.  It was such a relief and I was so happy to be able to send her a message letting her know that I’d received them.

buttons

I have 3 buttons left, another white feature button and then a blue and an orange flower button.  I’m hoping to knit up another Mud Puddles in the Mallard Utiku yarn as a gift and the left over 3 buttons will feature on that particular project.  They give the top such a lovely lift, I can’t wait to see my Sunny Girl wearing it 😀 .

Because life has been so busy – crazy busy! – my time for knitting has been somewhat limited.  It’s a little bit sad that I haven’t had the time for it that I would like, it would be great to be able to churn out finished objects far quicker than I do, but there is nothing wrong with moseying through a project either.  I should be easier on myself and just enjoy the process.  I’ve been fairly monogamous with my work over the last 2 weeks and I’ve stuck to the V Junkie sock that I started a little while ago.  I’m still loving the pattern and I can honestly say that I love it even more now that I’ve done the short row heel.  I’ve never done a short row heel before and I was keen to give this new-to-me technique a go.  I had no issues with it and I really like how it looks.  My only concern is that that it won’t fit my foot properly.  I have a long heel and short row heels don’t exactly accommodate “irregular” footed people like me.  So far so good, I’ve made a bit of progress down the foot and I’ve tried the sock on a few times, it feels a little tight across my instep but it nonetheless it fits and I’m not struggling to get it on – given that the sock doesn’t have a lot of stretch to begin with.  I have to admit that my favourite thing about the short row heel is there are no stitches to pick up.  There is a small hole at the side of the gusset but that’s because there is a slipped stitch right next to it, to me that’s an oversight with the pattern design, not a flaw in my knitting.

sock junkie

Recently I’ve seen a lot of podcast and blog posts on the Color Affection shawl.  I saw this shawl a while ago and even though I was fascinated with it I wasn’t about to attempt it.  Then I saw all the projects and colour kits and the temptation to give it a go grew considerably.  The podcasts and blogs started and I was done!  I originally thought about knitting it in teal, or something in that blue green family.  I went looking with the intent of knitting it in Elizabeth Bennet by Yarn Love but  I couldn’t find anything that grabbed my attention that was available, so I continued looking and settled on MadelineTosh.  There are so many colour ways and EatSleepKnit endeavours to stock all of them.  I liked the look of Corsage and considering that it’s a discontinued colour I decided to go ahead and purchase it.  After a lot of ummming and ahhhing I settled on Dried Rose and Fawn as the other 2 shades.  I finalised my purchase and then double checked it, O Oh………………………. I had purchased Dusk instead of Fawn.  Panic set in……… but after having a long look at the 3 colours together on my computer screen I decided that it would work.  My package arrived in the flesh earlier this week, and as always what you see on the screen is inevitably different to what you see in person.

Color Affection

From left: Corsage, Dusk, Dried Rose

Despite the mistake, I’m happy with my choices and think they will work better than the Fawn, I think that it will make a beautiful Color Affection.  My only hesitation is that these aren’t colours that I would normally wear.  Not that I don’t love them, but I’m a bright colour lover and tend to wear those rather than the earthier shades (although a lot of grey has snuck into my wardrobe in recent years).  I’m not worried about wearing it, I’m more worried that I don’t have anything in my wardrobe to go with it…… oh well, it gives me a reason to buy some new clothes 😛

My husband and I have started a tradition that when one of our children start school or preschool, we go out for breakfast.  On Wednesday, after we had dropped off our eager beaver, we went to our favourite little breakfast haunt (ok we only go there once a year, if we’re lucky, but still it’s our breakfast place) and on the walk down the driveway we found some tiny little pine cones.  They’re so sweet that I just had to stop and pick one up to bring home with me.

pine cone

Do you do anything special to celebrate kids back at school?

Have a great week!

Christy

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

Exciting Times

Well………. I’ve been missing for a couple of weeks (if you haven’t noticed), no dramas other than switching internet providers.  Our last provider decided to dig their heels in and made the transition rather drawn out, so I have been without internet access for a little while.  It’s good to be back online and it’s wonderful to be able to blog again :D.

In the last 2 weeks lots has happened but not a lot of knitting.  It’s been so hot that the physical action of knitting has taken a back seat, but I’ve done lots of thinking and talking about knitting, lots of looking at patterns and adding things to my queue, lots of drooling over yarn and choosing colours for different projects (lots can be done from a small phone with internet access) and of course my friend has enabled my knitting addiction by gifting me the Blomster sock pattern.  I bought yarn for it ages ago but it’s just been sitting in my queue not moving (while I’ve bought more yarn and started other projects, including socks).  You can read about the yarn I bought here.  Now I have no excuse but to get started on it, although I think I might finish at least the first V Junkie sock first.

I’ve been steadily working on the Aestlight Shawl, at least as steadily as I can in extreme heat (I have no air con) but as a result of not spending much time actually knitting it’s not grown much.  But it’s still very pretty and I can’t wait to see the finished object.

I’ve finished the back of J.J’s Artichaut, once I started on the sleeve caps it seemed to go really quickly, even though I was increasing every other row, maybe it’s because I wasn’t having to keep track of 50 odd rows – things always seem to go quicker when you’re only dealing with a few rows at time.  Breaks it all up a little bit.  Since finishing off the back I haven’t done any work on it (and that was over a week ago) which I feel a little bad about….. but I will finish it, no doubt about that, I have a 9 year old that will never let me live it down if I don’t.

In between row sections on Artichaut I’ve worked on pattern repeats on my V Junkie sock.  It’s a lovely little honeycomb stitch and I do love its ease and simplicity.  Just enough to keep me interested.  However, the cuff is comprised of 3 rows.  Yes, you read right, just 3 little rows.  On the needles that cuff rolls over the top of the sock and it looks wrong.  I’ve been a little paranoid about it, as it seems loose and there’s no ribbing.  But when I try it on and pull it far enough up my calf it seems to sit up properly all by itself.  I’ll definitely be trying this sock on before I work on the heel, just to make sure that I have the length right so that tiny little cuff sits properly.  Despite my doubts on the cuff of this sock, the colour I’m using is amazing.  It’s such a lovely red (and it kind of looks like something under a microscope in that pattern :p), a beautiful deep red with hits of purple here and there, I’m definitely looking forward to being able to wear them.  Actually, looking at the sock now reminds me of the Sound of Music (stay with me), when the Von Trapp family are hiding in the cemetery in the convent?  You know when they’re hiding from the Nazis in that little fenced in corridor that has gates all the way along?  Yeah, I know, it’s a bit of a weird association but I’d rather think of catacombs when I look at my sock then blood cells.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, I use an app on my iPod as a row counter.  The week our internet went down my iPod crashed.  I’m still working on Millrace (ok, I haven’t done any work on Millrace for a while but it’s there waiting patiently for my return) and I was pretty upset when the iPod crashed.  I was seriously concerned that I had just lost all the info of where I’m up to with Millrace.  I spent over a week reassuring myself that I could figure it all out, that it couldn’t be that hard to count back rows and decipher where I was up to in the pattern repeat, but still, I was concerned.  Thankfully when we were finally up and on the internet again I was able to update the iPod, the update backed up all of the data stored on my iPod and my row counters were saved (and yes I said counters because the project alone has 4)!  Honestly I don’t know what’s worse, relying on temperamental technology to take note of my rows, or an actual row counter that will inevitably be played with by my children (nothing is safe in this house unless it’s put up and out of reach).  Note to self: finish Millrace before there are any more issues!

bunny

Sunny’s favourite little toy is this tiny bunny softie that came with romper I bought her a few months ago.  She absolutely loves chewing on it’s ears (seriously with all the pulling on it that she does with her little gums one ear is longer than the other).  This little bunny is white, Sunny is now on solids, guess what hasn’t stayed very white despite frequent washing?  At least I can say that it’s well loved.  Anyway, considering that she loves this little bunny so much I thought I would make her one and started looking on etsy for a pattern.  I came across RetroMama and my goodness! I love her designs.  I was pleasantly surprised by all of her little patterns as they are just as cute and I would happily sew them all – next will be the Greta doll and the little bear!  I love this little bunny, the instructions are nice and clear and the project itself seems to be relatively simple.  I haven’t started sewing yet but I have cut all the pieces.  I’m using corduroy from some pants that I picked up at a second hand store and quilting fabric from my stash for the rest of it.  My only complaint about this pattern (and it’s probably more my fault for not reading it through properly first) is that the pattern pieces tell you to cut pieces from fusible interfacing and WonderUnder (I’m using Vlisoflex) as well as from the material.  When I’ve sewn on previous occasions I’ve always ironed on the interfacing and Vlisoflex before I’ve started cutting – isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?  Anyway that’s my only beef so far.  I caught that before I cut the pieces that require the Vlisoflex but not the fusible interfacing, not quite sure how I’m going to tackle that bit.  But once again it’s been too hot for sewing so all I’ve done so far is cut.

I’m looking forward to cooler weather, the last few days have been nice, it’s been rainy and misty but I know the heat is on it’s way back.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those people around the country that have lost homes due to the spate of bush fires we’ve seen and my very deep thanks and appreciation to all the Rural Bush Fire Fighters fighting those fires across our nation.

I have so much more to tell you but I’m going to leave it at that because…… with any luck……. the next blog might be a little bit different……

webcam

Can you guess what I’m planning on doing?

Have a great week

Christy