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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The BEST Swing Set in the World

cow

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

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 😀

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 😀 ).  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 😀 .

Christy

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

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

Inspirated

Have any of you watched MKR (My Kitchen Rules for non Australian readers)?  I’ve watched about 10 minutes all up.  I’m not a fan of watching people pour everything they have into succeeding at something while other people do their utmost to tear them down.  Anyway, leading up to the start of the latest season were some rather interesting promo ads, one of which featured a little blonde home-maker talking about feeling “inspirated”.  I’m not sure if she truly thinks it’s a word and uses it regularly, or if she made a faux pas that ‘the powers that be’ pounced on to make the show more appealing.  Regardless, I like it!  It sounds like a combination between inspiration and perspiration (and as I say this my husband rolls his eyes).

If you’re a regular reader of the blog then you know I’ve managed to score myself some Lollipop Yarn, 2 balls in fact and they’ve been singing to me, serenading me with a song about socks and the socks they want to be knit into.  I’m not a vanilla sock knitter, I need something with a bit of oomph, a bit of pizzazz, something to stop me from falling asleep.  In all honesty the only thing that got me through the Kai Mei ribbing was the pattern detail across the foot that I knew was coming!  So, I wanted to knit something pretty, but not something that would take away the lovely self striping goodness of the yarn.  I went trawling through ravelry for inspiration, I decided to try my hand at designing my own sock and wasn’t entirely happy with what I came up with, then I found these socks by Patons.  It’s just a simple feather and fan stitch and I thought, I can do that.  I wasn’t keen on the projects that were available on ravelry in the feather and fan pattern so I decided to make one up myself.  I’ve got Barbara Walker’s First Treasury, so I can play with the pattern undeterred until I’m happy with the result (for instance, I don’t like the purl bumps).  I’ve also picked up Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting Master Class and although there are some lovely patterns in there that I’m keen to try, none of them suit the yarn.  My plan is to combine different elements from the book and morph them into one glorious pair of socks (I can dream can’t I?).  I figure, if I ever want to try my hand at designing then I need to start somewhere, so why not with something fairly tame and ease myself into it?

latvian

I’ve begun with a Latvian Twisted cast on, as featured on the French Market Socks by Nancy Bush.  It’s something completely different and adds a nice amount of interest as well as incorporating all 3 colours of the yarn.  For the rib I’m just doing a simple 2 x 2 rib.  I had originally thought about a twisted rib but as it tends to make the stitches stand out more the rib was competing with the cuff so I decided to stick with an untwisted stitch.  So far, so good.  I’m not sure how long I’ll make the ribbed section, I think I’ll keep going until I feel like it’s long enough (isn’t that how designers operate, going by feel and aesthetic?).  It’s nice to be working on something of my own, even if it’s almost the most basic pattern, at least when I’m finished I can say that I designed it.

I’ve been making slow but steady progress on both the Gimli socks and J.J’s Artichaut.  I’m still working on the rib of the socks, although I think I might be just about done.  I’m not in too much of a rush to get through those as I really don’t want to make any more mistakes, not like the last time.  I’d rather the socks take me the next year to get through and have a perfect sock then make a stack of mistakes and have to rip it out because I can’t live with the mess.  I’m now through the armhole decreases on the Artichaut and I’m picking up the stitches down the side for the seamless version.  Ok, I’ve picked up one stitch.  I think I’m already regretting going for the seamless option, I have the feeling that it might be a bit fiddly if the first pick up is anything to go by…… too late now, there’s no way I’m ripping it out and starting it all over again.  Plus I don’t think J.J would ever forgive me if I ripped it out…… ok, she would, she’s 9, but it would take a very long time for her to get over it.  So I shall just have to plunge ahead and hope that it works out alright!

I started my last post with a promise to blog twice a week and then I didn’t.  I got to the weekend and everything went a little pear shaped and by the end of the weekend I never wanted to knit again let alone blog (a long story I won’t bore you with), so the desire to put myself out there just wasn’t forthcoming.  It still surprises me how emotionally tied to my knitting I am.  I knit more when I’m stressed or feeling anxious; when I’m sad or upset it’s the last thing I want to do.  Do your emotions affect how or what you knit?

On Monday, as a result of my rather emotionally draining weekend, I took time to appreciate the little things that bring me joy and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Lily

Beautiful flowers that my wonderful, kind and thoughtful husband bought me for our wedding anniversary.

socks

The way my M.I.A rolls down her socks, not because it’s cool, just ’cause she wants to – marching to the beat of her own drum ♥

sisters

One big sister taking the time to play dolls with her baby sister

princess

Forever exploring the world around her, even if it includes taste testing a plastic Princess

autumn

The colours of Autumn.  I may not be a big fan of winter, but red leaves set my heart aflutter

darkies

My kids and how much they love each other and love spending time together.  And of course all the joy they bring me every single day with all their hugs, their kisses, their giggles, their smiles, their everything ♥

What has brought you joy this week?

See you soon

Christy

 

Unfinished

I’ve come to the conclusion today that I do enough “craft” during the week to justify 2 blogs a week.  It makes more sense to break down my posts into smaller chunks, then try to bombard my readers with a plethora of information (and miss telling you stuff because there’s too much to say).  So, lucky you, you get to hear from me twice a week 😛 .  Now to organise my life around that!

flower

Yesterday Mr HKWT and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary and #1 Son celebrated his 5th birthday.  When we found out our 3rd child was due on the 4th of March (the day before our anniversary), Mr HKWT stated that we’d never get to celebrate our wedding anniversary again.  I blame him for our son being born on our wedding anniversary, he jinxed it 😛 .  But he was right, every year our anniversary becomes less and less and #1 Son’s birthday takes over a little bit more.  I think it’s par for the course, #1 Son is only a little boy, he doesn’t understand the importance of Mummy and Daddy’s wedding anniversary and that’s ok.  It won’t always be that way, in fact, one day he’ll be all grown up and will be happy to not be the centre of our attention for the entire day, at least that’s what I’m hoping.  At least Mr HKWT will never have an excuse to forget the date we were married 😀 .

card 1

Saturday night I went to another card making evening.  Well, it’s a craft night with the option to make cards or take your own craft.  I took my knitting but I also took some stamps with the view to make at least one card.  As you know (if you’re a regular reader) I’ve been participating in the Postcard Swap on ravelry and the next theme is Bobmas (which I’m assuming is the birth of ravelry).  So I made a knitting themed card.  Not sure if my swap partner is into knitting or crochet (she may hate this card 😕 ) but I wanted to use my very cute knitting stamps from Stampin’ Up.  I’m pretty proud of myself to be honest, it took ages to get the creative juices flowing.  I also made another little Tea themed card for a friend to go with a tea cup I’ve bought her.  I would have kept going but just those 2 card took about 3 hours to make, like I said it took a while to get the creative juices flowing.  Since then I’ve signed up for a stamp club which operates every 2 months (it’s kind of like a yarn club but I get to choose my products) so there will be lots more stamping and card making in my future.

card 2

Sunday afternoon found me knitting away like some crazy knitting woman as I tried to finish off the V Junkie sock.  I got there, eventually.  As it was I didn’t need to add extra rows at the end of the foot before the toe decreases.  I didn’t follow the pattern to the letter with the toe, Alice Yu has the toe decreased to the last 6 stitches (or some other tiny number) before grafting, I think I left it at 9 stitches on each needle (18 all up using the magic loop method).  I have thin feet so I don’t think it would matter all that much, going down to the smaller stitch count, but I don’t like the idea of having an almost complete triangle at the end of my foot.  I don’t know why.  I doubt it would change the fit, I just prefer a more rounded toe.

v junkie

I’ve been trawling my way through the Socktopus book and I’ve settled on Om Shanti as one of my next sock projects.  Aside from the lovely pattern I’m intrigued by the short row toe, the toe up short row heel, and the cuff which I think might be grafted on somehow.  It will have to wait awhile though as I have a few other things to get through first……. I will resist the temptation to work on it!  According to the pattern though, it’s a provisional crochet cast on……. I don’t like crochet 😐 oh well, it will be worth it to learn a new technique.  Why is that everywhere I turn crochet in knitting comes up.  Maybe it’s just my taste 😮 .  Anyway, I’m going to alter it a little bit and make them longer in the leg, I have no call for ankle socks and those particular socks are too pretty to be relegated to luxury bed socks – they need showing off!!!!!

Since finishing off the V Junkie sock I’ve made the decision to finish off some of the other WIP’s I have sitting around.  I’ve picked up J.J’s Artichaut and made some progress down the right front.  I’ve made so many mistakes though that I’ve had to rip it back more than a few times.  I think I need to slow down.  I’m in such a rush to get everything finished that I’m making careless mistakes, aside from the fact that I’m really really tired and that’s not helping my ability to follow simple instructions, especially at night.

For a while now I’ve had the Gimli socks on my mind.  I started these last year for Mr HKWT but made so many mistakes in my sleep deprived newborn baby haze that I ripped them out (I’m not sure why I think I’m going to have more success now).  Yesterday I started them up again, and yes it is no coincidence that I started them again on our anniversary.  So far so good, mind you I’ve only worked on the cuff.  I’m knitting them in Top Draw Sock yarn from Skein.  I love Skein yarn, it is so soft and so smooth, and best of all it’s Australian 😀 .  It’s absolutely beyond beautiful!  Since purchasing the yarn last year there have been quite a few new colourways added to their range, I am so keen to add some of that to my stash, but first things first, use up what I have!  I’m really looking forward to getting to the Legolas socks that I’m planning on making for me.  I have a thing for those Middle Earth Elves 😛 !

Little rabbit

From me and my little Easter Bunny to you, hope you’re having a great week!

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