Saturday, December 11, 2010


I was sick of the commercial bibs that we had, not staying closed, so that required making some new ones. I’ve had some luck at the thrift shops recently,gathering up some cute boy cotton prints and poly/cotton and cotton knits. The cotton print is great it has kids playing all different sorts of sports. I went the very simple route of overlocking the layers together. I did try straight stitching one and turning it through, but it was just too time consuming. I made 14 in total, so hopefully this will last til when he no longer needs them? Is that wishful thinking?

Bibs close-up

Bibs, the range

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas socks 2

Here is the another pair of socks in progress, for my massage therapist. Cotton again, should have tested some on myself first so I hope that I get time to make myself some before Christmas as well. At least the second one is in progress on this present. 6 days to get it finished! (they need to be delivered before I leave on holidays)


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas socks 1

Here are some socks in progress, 1 down 1 to go. I’m using a variegated cotton. The yarn is striping quite nicely. This is the first time I have tried cotton socks, so I hope that they wear well. They are for my Gran.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Aluminium free

A couple of months ago I got inspired. I had seen a couple of recipes for homemade deoderant and with a few other bloggers giving it a go I took the plunge. I have now been using my homemade, aluminium free deoderant for 2 months and I am really happy with it. It was so easy to make and store that I think that I am a convert for life. It also works, no whiff of body odour on a normal day and just the normal amount of smell when I get home from the cycle commute from work.
The other thing that I think is a plus is that I'm not totally icked out by touching my underarms anymore. I used to hate to touch my underarms after appying commercial deoderant, I'd rush to wash my fingers straight after touching the deoderant. Now, becuase I apply the deoderant with my fingers I am checking for lumps and being more conscious of checking the rest of my chest for lumps as well. So it has had a good side effect of finally starting regular breast checks, which I have always chastised myself for not doing. Funny how such a little change can make a change to my attitude.
I've managed to convert my sister and got my Mum to try out the deoderant as well. I think that I am going to do up a large batch and everyone of my friends is going to get a sample pot for Christmas presents.
Here is the recipe that I used:
5-6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 cup baking soda
Several drops of lemongrass oil [optional]

I have tried out a few different essential oils. I originally settled on lemongrass oil because that is all I had in the cupboard, after looking it up in an aromatherapy book I discovered it was a really good choice. It is "soothing, healing, invigorating, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and deoderising" (Rich, Penny Practical aromatherapy Siena, Avonmouth, 1996)
I've added lavendar oil - not very successful, it gets too much and has kind of wrecked the fragrance for me, wearing it all day.
 I also tried ylang ylang and I like it, I only added enough to give a subtle fragrance.
I've made up a manly version with patchouli and the boy has been trying it out and says that he likes it.
A winner all around.
Blogs that inspired this are: Sewgreen, Soozs and How about orange

Monday, November 29, 2010

Noro socks

I finished my first pair of Noro socks the other week, a belated birthday present for my sister. I'm not so sure that I like Noro yarn, everyone raves about the colour ways, but I guess that I will see how it wears.
Kylie socks, side by side

Check that turnout!

Side detail, a successful gusset for toe-up socks

Toe-up socksm my own pattern

I have really gotten into toe-up socks and the next one I try will have to be the Monkey ones, all in knit to see how they turn out. I'm also trying out some cotton socks, I hope that they wear okay, I should make some for myself and test them out, but I don't have time with the Christmas knitting that I want to get done.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quilting: numbers

I’ve recently been playing with quilting some squares up from recycled fabric, t-shirts, jeans, jumpers, flannel pyjamas. I did some play mats for Ash, he uses them for eating snacks on, which means I always have a quick way to clean up!

Here is one that I did some very rustic appliqué on. Numbering from 1 - 10


It has a couple of layers to it, a waterproof layer and flannel with an internal layer of flannel as well. This is larger than my last mats, about 1.2 m square. It has a couple of pockets included to hide treasures, no doubt I will forget to check them and I will wash an apple core!

A second top is completed but I have yet to cut the waterproofing, so it will be done soon.

I am on a dressmaking jaunt at the moment, I made a dress for Melbourne Cup day and now I am completing a jacket, as well as a few socks for Ash.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The cowl

Here is a pic of the cowl I recently made on the knitting machine. It is a blue-grey 5ply machine knitting wool by Villawool. The wool has to be at least 25 years old, but it knit up perfectly. It is patterned using a slip stitch pattern and I like it on the inside and out. On the inside of the cowl (wrong side of the fabric) you can see a diamond pattern from the held stitches, on the right side you can see little bumps in the fabric.

I’m really pleased with the fabric and the way that it wears. It is just enough fabric to keep my neck/decollatage warm when I am wearing a v-neck top. It also works well as a loose head-cover when it is raining!

Me in cowl at Floriade, could have smiled I guess, wasn't aware of photo being taken as usual!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Knitting, knitting, knitting

I've been working on a variety of projects lately. The boys were away for a week and I dragged out the knitting machine to make some cowls and shawls. This was marginally successful, I tried doing a raglan jumper with a 2 colour pattern, the back piece worked out really well, the front left had a major failure. I'll try and do some photographs sometime soon. The cowl was brilliant, just right for the last week of winter, which turned out to be quite wet and bitter. I did a large lacy patterned rectangle to be used as a shawl that could be multi-purposed with a few strategic buttons.

I finally got a copy of Barbara Walker's Knitting from the top, from the library the other day and it is terrific. I love the way that she describes the set in sleeve. It works as well, another toddler jumper is on the way. I had to rip out one sleeve, I stuffed up the short rows so the sleeves were shooting off in different directions, but this jumper should fit through to next winter so there is no rush.

So little time, if only I could knit and cook and clean and write selection criteria and sleep, at the same time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New beanie

I’m still working on quick, satisfying knits at the moment. I whipped up a new beanie for Master A in an evening. Using up some leftover baby merino. The colours have pooled in some very interesting ways. I previously made some socks for him out of this so it was really satisfying to use up the rest of the ball and destash!

New knot beanie side view

Here is an above view. Yes, he is climbing that chair and deciding to sit sideways.

new beanie

I’m finally working on a cardigan that I started when I was pregnant, hoping that I might finish it before winter ends.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Toddler knits = quick satisfaction knits

Well I haven’t been around much on this blog of late, too busy after stepping up my work hours to maintain 2 blogs, baby and work so this blog is the one that suffered.

I’ve managed to fit in a few crafty projects. The most satisfying ones are the quick knits that I have done for Master A. Two winter jumpers with a bit of striping or colour blocks. I’m still loving top down construction and now I’ve altered my technique for good. I do the sleeves as soon as possible and then work on the body. That way I don’t get sick of them so fast.

 DSC06724 DSC06726

I designed this one with a little collar and v-neck style opening. I wanted some random stipes that matched back between the body and the sleeves. I’m really happy with the result. The neck opening is easy to pull on and off, so much so that Master A has worked out he can undress himself! The sleeves are a little long so hopefully it lasts for at least 6 months before he grows out of it.

 DSC07246 DSC07240

The next one I knitted is a round neck. Very basic with a few blocks of cream thrown.

Next time… I’m still working on knee high socks for my sister, that were promised for last Christmas! Of course I am 8 rows from the end of the second sock and I have run of yarn so I will have to hunt through the stash to see if I have any swatches I can pull out and use. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Projects that are inspiring me at the moment

I’m really interested in trying a few new projects that I have seen around lately. I’ve bought an electronic copy of Interweave Knits Fall 2009 (mostly because Borders wanted to sell it to me for $22 when I can get it electronically for US$9.99). Rosamund’s Cardigan is tweaking my creative urges and so is the Every Way Wrap, it doesn’t look much in the photo on the website, but after perusing the pattern I can see so many possibilities with this simple rectangle design. I’m even contemplating breaking out the knitting machine for a last hurrah. (Before I sell it off… give it away)

I’ve also just picked up a copy of One more skein which I have had a quick flick through. I wish I had picked it up 11 months ago, as the baby projects are now a little too young for my boy. There is an interesting clutch purse knitted with fabric and chenille called Silk Gelato Clutch. I see some interesting possibilities with using up some of my fabric stash along with the yarn. I’ve seen a lot of denim knitted up but now I am thinking that some pink silk that I have in my stash may be best used on something like this. 

Of course I will have to finish the socks that are on the needles first and I have still to work on my sister’s 30th birthday present from last year.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Re-fashion: singlet top

I’ve been seeing a lot of cute embellished singlet tops around and each time I think to myself that they are so simple and I should try my hand at doing one. I have tons of notions: ribbon, braids, beads, etc., that I can try out. So the other night I got inspired and pulled a few singlets from my wardrobe cull. I was going to send them to the charity shop so I would lose nothing by trying to be creative with these tops.

Here is the first refashion.

Laying up the design Testing out the design

I was really happy with the way the ribbon pleated over the shoulder and the addition of the lace trim to the neckline. I’ve since removed the lace on the bottom of the singlet as it was giving me too much tutu attitude and flaring the hips.

Here is the second style attempt. In the end I didn’t add so many ribbons down the right hand side, but I did throw in some vintage buttons.

Before - plain singlet top  WIP - embellishments laid on 

I’m really happy with way the lace corsage ended up on the shoulder but disappointed with the ribbon stripes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Re-fashion: jeans

I’ve done another cull of my wardrobe and found 2 pair of jeans that I really like but they don’t suit my figure so I decided to make them into some skirts.

Re-fashion in progress

Here is a beaded pair of jeans that I have turned into a below the knee skirt, it is A-line and asymmetrical. I have a half leg leftover with some nice embroidery that I think that I will turn into a bag of some kind.

These jeans have only been worn once. They are stretch and way to long and baggy in the crotch. There is nothing worse than a pair of jeans that sag in the crotch and you are forever having to hitch up. So problem solved – take out the crotch! I’ve worn it three times in the last 2 weeks. It is now my favourite summer skirt.

Thursday, January 14, 2010