Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warming




It's the last day of summer here in Oz, the weirdest, wettest, coolest summer that ever there was. The rain hasn't let up for over a day. And on this day, while I wanted to curl up under a blankie and clickety-click the hours away, I kept my knitting goals modest and achievable. Finish the cuff on the second Legwarmie, cast off, Zimmerman style, and weave in the ends. It took most of the day, amid kid-wrangling, but I managed it. 

They haven't been blocked - note the aforementioned relentless rain. I experimented a little here, perhaps dangerous when knitting a pair of anything. The first was knit on DPNs, the second on a circular using the magic loop method. The verdict - absolutely the magic loop. Not only quicker and less fiddly, but one less vertical dip in the fabric where the needles change. Tell me, sock knitters out there, is this unavoidable? If so, how? Will it all come out with a wash and dry? Or are they there to stay?

My Stella was happy to model. "Look, socks, Mama," she said. Not quite, baby girl, but perhaps soon. I'm just warming up to that. In the meantime, I'll post these off to their chubby-legged recipient tomorrow and set to work casting on another pair, or three, for my girls. If that was summer, I fear what winter will bring. Better prepare.



Reading some copies of Mollie Makes that I finally got my hands on during recent trips to Sydney.

Ravelry notes for the Legwarmies here.

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along, as usual.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Liebster Loving



I mentioned yesterday that a lovely blogger gave me an award. Thanks, Colette. You are very nice and I am quite chuffed. And that you think I am straight-talking pleases me no end, given my tendency to waffle often and regularly ;)

Colette, for those of you who haven't found her yet, is a mum of two little cuties from London. She sews and crochets beautiful stuff. Which is why I like her blog so much. Go check it out! It's a nice place to visit.

Apparently the Liebster is for blogs of less than 200 followers, and these are the rules:

1. Thank the giver and link back to her/him.
2. Reveal your top picks and leave a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

So now for my picks. Go check them out.

Annie at Four Happy Hens is a beautiful knitter with the most amazing vegetable garden. She's a city girl from America but I always forget that because there's so much country goodness on her blog.

Vanessa is raising her two boys on the Central Coast of NSW, and doing an amazing job of it. She's also a food writer and cooks the most incredible food. Her blog is called Finding That Place Called Home.

Tahnee from Milk Please Mum tagged me recently for a blog questionnaire. I haven't got around to that yet, but in the meantime I'll send this award her way. She's a mum to three beautiful kids - the littlest just had his first birthday. She writes beautifully and takes amazing photos.

And finally, Nicole from Milk and Manna. Not only is Nicole a midwife (I have a very soft spot for midwives - my mum was one) but she's just had her second baby, little Joy. She and her family live in Western Australia.

So there you go. Now for the awards after party... Is there an after party? Maybe there's an Oscars one still going somewhere that I can crash. Or perhaps I'll have an early night.
 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Business, and the Taking Care of It


Today I've been taking care of some business. Mostly boring business that's been lurking on the backburner for too long. I've had a phone meeting with the boss, I've paid bills, sent invoices to people who owe me money, finished a little photo project (this one wasn't boring) and typed up official sounding letters to our tenants. That feels good.

So while I'm on a roll, I'll tie up a few loose ends here in blogland. Firstly, the vintage sheet swap. I signed up a little while ago, which gave me an excuse to seek out and purchase another dozen or so old sheets from the oppy. Oops. But there were some lovely finds in there. I reckon I've pulled together about 25 fat quarters to send off to Kellie, keeping back plenty of goodness for myself, of course.


I also thought I'd send big thanksies out to lovely Colette, who has passed on the Liebster Award to me. I'll be sure to send it on to some other nice folks when I get a chance in the next few days. And also thanks to Tahnee from Milk Please Mum for tagging me. I'll add this to my to-do list as well!



And lastly, today one of my little projects went up on the Kidspot site. You can check it out here. This sling bag was really fun to make. Come to think of it, I used a vintage sheet for the lining. Go have a look. That's my lovely friend Sophia modelling for me. 


Alright, that's business taken care of. How good is that lairy orange floral number there? It's my absolute favourite (my sister found it and gave it to me - thanks, Gig).


Now I might go and plan some sewing projects with the leftovers from all this old-fashioned floral loveliness. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Lovelies






A snippet of lovely from the past week:
1) Birthday nudies girls
2) Homemade ricotta cheese
3) Incredible plum cake from the latest Delicious mag (recipe looking a lot like this one)
4) New paints
5) My favourite pork belly from my favourite Japanese restaurant in Newtown, Sydney, and a gaggle of lovely girlfriends to enjoy it with.

Wishing you a lovely week x

Friday, February 24, 2012

this moment


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
Via Soulemama


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Picking Up


Another Wednesday, another Yarn Along. I had the highest hopes of being finished with my Abalone this week, but a very special occasion got in the way of my knitting time. That, and the fact that I'm up to the bit where I have to pick up a million stitches for the band. Or it might be a zillion. The pattern has been very relaxed about how many stitches I'm actually supposed to be working with. Even how many I cast on was optional, based on a quick calculation using my gauge swatch and the distance between my nipples. Yes. I sat there looking down at the tape measure in front of me wondering how that was meant to translate into anything (22cm if you're interested) until I finally realised, literally as I was lying in bed one night, that the measurement was supposed to be taken from one nipple and around my back to the other. D'oh. 


Anyway, the shoulders have been Kitchener-stitched together, the whole thing fits nicely, and now we just await the energy for the great stitch pick-up. I'm ready to wear it now so I'd better get on with it.


Instead, as one does, I've cast on a new project, a tiny thing on four needles! Not socks, but striped Legwarmies. I've never been enamoured with working on double-pointed needles, and working with the two colours just adds to the tangle. But I persist because I know they'll be super-cute on a pair of super-chubbly-wubbly little legs that turn a year old this week. And it's a great way to use up all the leftover Baby Cashmerino from that cardigan.


Reading this week - birthday books and not much else.


I'm off to see what everyone else is knitting and reading over at the Yarn Along.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Very Handmade Birthday


There was a flurry of activity in the days leading up to this birthday. A flurry of making. Apart from a handful of books and some clothes, everything the girls unwrapped yesterday morning was handmade. Since moving house, I've been trying to cull the *crap*. There is just so much stuff. Lola was inundated with stuff when she was a baby and toddler, so everything a pair of two-year-olds could need is already on the shelves and in the baskets. So for fun, we passed up a trip to the shops, and Lola and I got busy making gifts for our girls. 


First we turned a stack of old crayons into some cool new ones following this tutorial. They were going to be heart shaped but I found out just in the nick of time that our heart-shaped ice-cube tray wasn't silicone like I thought it was. I grabbed it out of the oven milliseconds before it melted entirely away. We settled instead for round crayons made in a mini muffin tray.



Next we made some simple two-piece puzzles using the pages of a falling-apart book of animal photos. We stuck them onto some heavy cardboard with adhesive spray, then cut different ziggy-zaggy shapes from them. Jigsaws and matching pairs all in one.


I haven't seen Fernando since we went rural. Something tells me he jumped ship, destined to remain an inner-city frog forevermore. Never mind, now we have Fred and Phyllis to take his place. They haven't got eyes yet, and to be honest, they're a bit wonky. That's what happens when you're cutting and sewing a few minutes before midnight the night before.


And finally, the tepee. I've been wanting one for the girls for ages but couldn't bring myself to part with all that dosh. Then I saw an easy tutorial in a magazine and decided to give it a go. I used bright fabrics from IKEA, the ones from the kids department that come in three-metre bolts. The dowels are from the hardware shop and the ribbons came from here. I found the instructions for the tepee online via here. Easy-peasy. Let the lounge room and backyard camping trips begin.


There was one other handmade birthday surprise. This one I knew nothing about. Lola had taken herself off one afternoon into my sewing room (yes, I know, I have one now!) to turn pipe-cleaners and cupcake papers into flowers. She also decorated some toilet rolls with stickers to make telescopes. Then she wrapped everything and presented the parcels to her sisters on Sunday morning. It might just have been the sweetest sisterly thing I've ever seen.

Monday, February 20, 2012

1 + 1 = 2








We began the celebrations with a tea party in the sunshine. There were two cakes for two little girls who were just about two.





Today we awoke to presents and playing, lots of singing and more cake. We wondered where the last two years went and reminisced about this day, two years ago, when two little monkeys arrived to turn our worlds upside down.


Happy birthday, my pair. You are so loved. xxx

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Lovelies








A sample of lovely from the week that was:
1) Scootin', rural-style
2) Backyard bucket bath
3) Taking the new pasta machine for a test-drive
4) Little helping hands
5) A party for a pair - more birthday action tomorrow
6) Family gathering to celebrate (spied through the window)

I hope your week was lovely.

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