All that Glitters…..

Cheeky Elves eyeing off the chocolate

Sometimes all that glitters is not gold but chocolates wrapped in foil.  Despite wanting to make the Hot Chocolate spoons I simply didn’t have the time.    As it was I was still gluing felt to beads and pom poms this morning before breakfast – today is the last day of school.  So the elves came right down to the wire and I simply ran out of time for anything else.  Mr HKWT suggested just giving out the elves with a Hershey Kiss (these are not readily available in Australia, I just happened to find a lolly store that seems to specialise in American sweets and I bought a big bag) but of course that wasn’t good enough or even just enough for me to be comfortable with.  I managed to pick up a box of Ferrero Rocher’s and a box of Lindor Balls both on special when I did the grocery shopping.

All wrapped up and ready to go

The cellophane bags are biodegradable.  I bought them from SideStreetVintage on Craftumi.  I had originally intended them for the chocolate spoons but considering I didn’t make those, they make sweet little gift bags too and they’re biodegradable which makes them even sweeter.

Just hanging around

I was a little concerned about the gifts, I mean they’re nothing spectacular and not everyone appreciates handmade.  Up until I spoke to one of the teachers at #1 Son’s preschool.  She was telling me that after 20 years in early childhood work she can still remember which Christmas tree ornament came from which child she taught.  It was nice to know that she would always remember my boy, just from a little elf.

I am so happy that they are all finished and off to their new homes!  By the time I finished the final one my fingers were sore from working with the wire and my eyes were tired from all the stitching in bad lighting.  Next year I think I’ll have to start Christmas gifts in July (I’m sure I say that every year :/ ).

It felt weird picking up my knitting again after so much time spent sewing and twisting wire.  I can honestly say that I missed it and it’s nice to be able to sit and knit without having to think much.

The beginning of a muddy puddle (and the most awesome pink jeans ever!)

The weekend before last I cast on Mud Puddles by Kelly Brooker.  Kelly is the designer behind Beyond Puerperium, the cardigan that I knit for my Sunny Girl to bring her home from hospital in.  I’m knitting Mud Puddles in the Utiku yarn from The Wool Company that I wrote about in my last blog.  I would describe the yarn as a work horse yarn, it feels nice and dense as it runs through my fingers and the fabric it’s creating feels durable.  I guess the best way I can describe it is that I won’t be afraid to let my toddler run around in it.  There is so much yarn and I love the pattern so much that I’ve already decided to knit another one for my cousin’s little baby who was welcomed into the world a few short weeks ago.  The pattern itself is pretty straight forward, it has a top down seamless construction and (other than a little bit of fiddling with the sleeve caps) it is pretty basic.  In many ways it’s very similar to Beyond Puerperium, so if you’ve knit from that pattern and enjoyed it then I would highly recommend Mud Puddles.  Because I’m knitting such a small size it’s working up really quickly which is nice, it always feels so good to have something off the needles and ready to wear quickly (not that it’s the weather for it), especially with so many bigger projects on the go.  The sizing is also a bonus, the pattern goes up to a size 10 (72.5cm chest), so I already have plans to knit one for J.J and M.I.A….. I’m wondering how I can put a different twist on each one just to make them a little individual for my other 2 girls.

The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People continues to grow.  I only have a golf ball sized amount of yarn left so I think in another few rows I’ll be ready to cast off.  I would love to have that finished before the weekend, just so I can have it washed and blocked before Christmas.  But we’ll see, I’m not sure how much I can achieve in the next few days what with all the Christmas craziness that abounds at the moment.

Well, that’s it from me until sometime after Christmas.  I figure that I won’t have time again before the weekend between having all the kids home, packing, washing and family gatherings, so it’s better to not plan to blog then promise something that I may not be able to achieve.

So, on that note.  I hope all of you readers out there have an awesome Christmas, however you celebrate it (or whatever you celebrate).  I’m hoping ours isn’t too hot.

‘Til next time

Christy

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“Hi”

I hate being sick!  And, unfortunately for me, the past week and a bit has seen me sick with varying things.  So, rather than posting a rather long blog I’m going to split it in 2 – one today and another early next week (fingers crossed I stay healthy).

The Saturday after my last blog (during the middle of a heat wave) we went up to the Bluebird Markets, held in the car park of the Alexandra Hotel in Leura.  Despite the heat it was quite a nice little market.  Lots of lovely handmade goodness ranging from soaps, clothes, cards, and jewellery through to food and coffee.  From what I could see it was pretty good quality stuff, at least the sort of stuff you want to see at a handmade market.  I bought the kids some marshmellows and some Espresso Shortbread cookies for me – they were so yummy!  I also got the funkiest pair of earrings from Poppy and Belle (you can also find them on facebook here)

Could a pair of earrings be more friendly?

I love wearing these friendly earrings, they are my go to accessory when I need a bit of a pick me up and they certainly attract some interesting attention :p!

I also added to my stash.  I bought some Utiku (8ply Corriedale) from The Wool Company in New Zealand.  It came in the most massive hanks I’ve ever seen (although that might have to do with the fact that it’s 8ply/ DK weight yarn and it’s over 420g).

Left:  CyclamenRight:  Mallard

Left: Cyclamen
Right: Mallard

It’s a nice change from the Bendigo Woollen Mills yarns and comparable in price.  There isn’t a massive range in colours but I was very happy with the colours I chose and would happily buy from them again.  I’ve balled up the Mallard hank and started a little top for my Sunny girl, with plans to knit another one for my cousin’s newborn bub.  But more about that pattern and project next time.

With the arrival of December comes thoughts of Gingerbread houses (among other things :p).  For the last 2 years I’ve participated in a Gingerbread Fundraising night held through the playgroup that I sometimes attend.  This year I ummed and ahhed about going, simply because I’m so tired.  But I’ve started a tradition of taking the Gingerbread House to the in laws every Christmas and I wasn’t about to let everyone down, so off I went for my 3rd year.  This year I was a little uninspired and it ended up being a case of throwing as much sugar on (and in – it’s filled with chocolates) as possible.

The House of Ginger

 

The main thing is that there are enough lollies and sugar on the house to share between 7 kids.  Maybe next year I’ll have the energy and inclination to do some research and come up with a themed house……. oooohhhhhh I wonder if I could do a knitting theme.

The Cheeky Little Elves I’ve been knitting up for the teachers Christmas presents are coming together nicely .  I honestly hope the teachers like them.  Unfortunately being sick set me back a bit and I’m spending my whole weekend cutting out, blanket stitching, and gluing bits of felt.  So far I’ve finished off 3, only 6 more to go.  I’ve promised myself if I can get through 3 today I can have a nice bath tonight with one of my special Lush Christmas bombs.  I’ve finished off 1 this morning and have started on the 2nd one, so far so good :D. (ETA: that didn’t happen!  I only got through 2.5 yesterday.  Desperately hoping I can finish off another 2 today if not 3, otherwise I think I’ll be figuring out who can miss out on an elf).

A plethora of pom poms

My darling M.I.A volunteered me to make pikelets for her class Christmas party on Monday, so I’ll be frying up those later (some for J.J’s class too) and also making hot chocolate spoons to pop in the teachers gift bags as well.  I’ll be so glad when Wednesday is over and the kids are on holidays.  I think I’ll need the rest almost as much as they do.

Have you been to any good markets lately?

Back in a few days with part 2

Christy

Pip

Not much knitting has happened this week.  Sometimes, unfortunately, life is simply too busy to fit much in.  I have been working on The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People and Millrace has had a little love.  I keep adding projects to my queue (and resisting the temptation to cast on) but I don’t seem to be finishing anything in a hurry, which frustrates me.  I want to knit ALL the things NOW!  I know, that’s physically impossible, but it doesn’t stop the desire to do it though.  Oh, if only I could have a super power :p.

Anyway, I may not have managed to get much knitting done but I have started on Christmas presents for my kids teachers

I got the directions for this happy little fella from the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Edition (I think it’s the Australian November issue).  He’s so sweet.  It’s also a really quick gift to whip up….. that’s if you’re not a perfectionist like me.  I took so much time blanket stitching the little mitts and socks.  I think for the next one I won’t be so particular.  I have 9 of them to get through in 3 weeks (2 would be better, the race is on!) so I don’t have the time to be fussy.

The one in the pic is my prototype (I like to see how a project is going to turn out before I start the mass production – you did read that I have to make 9!  Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment :p).  I think I might need to make a few little changes, but otherwise I’m really happy with how this little guy turned out.

Aside from making pom poms and blanket stitching felt I got……… wait for it………. wait for it……. A NEW CAMERA!!!!!  I finally have a DSLR camera, which has taken a little bit to get used to but I can tell you that I love love love it already!  I finally have managed to get some pics of Sunny smiling that aren’t fuzzy.  It’s already paid for itself :D.

I can not get enough of her smile!  Her little face lights up so quickly and she’s so eager to smile at everyone.  Love her to bits!!!!!

Can you believe that she’s 6 months already?  Time flies far too quickly!

Finally, a camera that I can take decent pics with!  I can see why people get addicted to DSLR cameras, I’ve already said to Mr HKWT that we’ll need to buy another lens.  I’ve been having so much fun taking all sorts of pics, including the fog at dusk during a thunder storm the other night, the tree fern out the front with rain drops on the leaves (is that what they’re called?) and of course all my kidlets.  I’ve also signed up for the Photography Primer course on Craftsy.  I haven’t started watching the lessons yet but I am eagerly looking forward to learning more about how to make the most of my camera and get the best pics of my projects.

Well, we’re in for a heat wave this weekend.  I think I’ll spend most of it trying to hide in the cool of the bathroom.  What are you up to?

‘Til next week

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