Monday, April 27, 2015

Baby Gift 1: Teeny tiny booties and a hat (2015 Fos #5 & #6)

Today's post, like the things it features within it, is bite sized. I present here the perfect Tier 2 friend baby gift.

First up, Fleegle's seamless version of Saartje's famous bootie.


So cute!


Paired with a Mandie Harrington swirl hat (88 stitches, 2.75mm needles).


This hat looked alarmingly tiny when I cast off... 


..but fortunately relaxed during blocking to look of appropriately matching size with the booties.


Took about 25g of yarn (Knit One, Crochet Too left over from a Baby Surprise Jacket) and one week relaxed knitting to get done. Paired with a lovely soft Country Road cashmere blend washable baby blanket and a nice card, this is an excellent gift for a new bub on its entry to the world. (I just hope the parents-to-be think so too!)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Friday FO: Colour-block cowl (2015 FO #4)

Today I am sharing one of those projects that is really of interest to noone but the knitter and the recipient. You know, like the plain stockinette socks that will be really appreciated and worn till they have holes all over them but look really really boring in a blog post? (I should know - that's the majority of my output!) Today's finished object is the cowl equivalent of striped stockinette sock - it's a striped sockinette cowl.


I provisionally cast on 80 stitches and then knit in colour blocks of 20cm. Once the scarf was long enough, I flipped it inside-out, wove in the ends, flipped it back the right way and then grafted the two ends together, resulting in a simple tube. (For citation purposes, this project was inspired by the look of Turnstile but all design elements are my own). It used 50g each of the blue and white yarns and about 75 of the beige, thus using up almost all of my Patonyle single ball stash (yippee!).


The only problem I really ran into was grafting the last five stitches. They required a bit of fancy needlework and although blocking fixed most of the problem, it still looks a little bit bit wonky. Fortunately, because of the colour blocking, the wonkiness is almost impossible to notice unless you're looking for it specifically, so I'm not too fussed.


Since I finished it I've worn it almost every day. Although the tube means the scarf is double with, it's knitted with 4ply yarn, so I can leave it open when it's not too cold but also loop it whenever it gets a bit chilly. The colours are neutral enough that they go with most of my wardrobe but still very nice in their own right. I am really really happy with the way this scarf worked out and I know I am going to get a lot of use from it.

Please forgive the lack of modelled shots - it was a windy day and I just couldn't not get my hair to sit right! For your amusement, a collage of my failed attempts:



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The 2015 Australasian Quilt Convention

Last weekend I went to the Australasian Quilt Convention. I have huge admiration for quilters, having tried quilting myself in the past and failed dismally (as the two started but never finished quilts sitting in my garage can attest!) and I was super excited about seeing what was produced. I was not disappointed.


It was held at the Royal Exhibition Building which, despite having lived in Melbourne my entire life, I have never visited. I found out that this building is where the first Commonwealth Parliament of Australian was opened and where Australia's current flag was first unveiled. 

It is a gorgeous building. I haven't captured it well here but there were amazing paintings across the ceilings and walls.


The quilts too were absolutely amazing. This is a beginner quilt! 

Colour My World by Gail Scobie

I think it would look fantastic as a knitted blanket...

Some changed my expectations of how quilts should look:

The Definition of Stitch by Sarah Fiekle
Audrey by Andi Herman
There were also more traditional quilts:

Mr Hoffman's Peaches by Robyn Coots

There was a Gallipoli-themed series of quilts as part of the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing (I don't have the attribution for these - I'm sorry, artist!).




I have only poorly captured a few of the many wonderful quilts that were on display. I was blown away by the quality of work and breadth of creativity on display. It was a really amazing show.

Plus, to make it even better, there was a wool shop there! I was pretty good and only bought one skien of sock yarn but I was very, very tempted.

Look at my wool-buying concentration face...
It was an excellent very enjoyable event.




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WIP Wednesday: A Tale of Two Hats

Babies always seem to come in waves. There's never just one person who's pregnant - it's always three or four due within a month of each other. As a knitter who likes to welcome new babies with something special made just for them, this can be very inconvenient (shout out to the friend who told me at brunch today she was trying to get pregnant so I would have lots of time to get her blanket ready. That's a friend who knows what a knitter wants!).

So, Baby 1 is due in about two weeks. It's for a Tier 2 friend (I like them a lot but we are not very close), so that means a hat and booties. First up is another Swirl Hat made in some leftover sock yarn:


It looks a bit narrow! Hopefully it'll stretch enough to fit a newborn.

Unfortunately, despite the very close deadline for the baby stuff, I was able to get my hands on an ARC of Knit Nordic and I could not hold off from casting on for a new grown-up hat.


The 12 centimetres of 1x1 ribbing was brutal but it was worth it when I got to the colourwork.


I'd forgotten how much fun stranded knitting is! I clearly haven't done it for a while, though - my tension is all over the place. Hopefully blocking will fix it.

The knitting of this hat has not only been marred by baby-knitting-related guilt. Yesterday when was heading out to go to the doctor I reached over to grab my project bag and saw this:


A spider having a nap on the handle! Needless to say I ran out of the room without my knitting and locked the door behind me. When I got home two hours later, the spider was gone.

I hope...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Slow and steady edition

As I started to check what photos I had for today's WIP Wednesday post, I realised I had taken photos of my Patonyle Tempest-inspired scarf, always on Wednesdays, but just never posted them.


Really, it was that kind of project - row after row of the knit stitch, changing colour(s) every 7.5 inches, then continuing to knit.



It was actually a bit of a surprise yesterday when I realised it was actually done! I flipped it inside out...


..and wove in all of the ends...


Grafted the two ends of the scarf together, and popped it in a wool wash bath.


 It was like time-lapse knitting photography. I liked it! I think I need to do it more often on these long projects because sometimes, when you're working on them, it does feel like you're slogging away and not getting much done, even though you actually are. 

Next time: two hats and some booties. Booties!


Friday, April 3, 2015

FO Friday: Endless Rainbow (2015 FO #3)

Guys, I have had a mental week. I've easily worked 65 hours in my quest to meet five deadlines (Five! That's freaking ridiculous). I am completely exhausted and really basically dribbling words from my melty, melting brain. But I couldn't not share with you my latest favouritest FO: my Endless Rainbow Scarf.


It took my a few goes to get my head around the triangles but once I did, they were easy and the scarf travelled with me all over the place.


Boobs! (and belly...I've got to get of my arse and do some more exercise...) 


The yarn is a super special skein of Needlefood merino sock that I've been saving that I finally used as part of the Summer of the Single Skein KAL on Ravelry. I paired it with some beige/neutral Patonyle and they blend really well both with each other and most of my wardrobe.


I'm happy that I've used up a lovely bit of stash on a lovely pattern that resulted in a lovely scarf. Now, even though its 9.50pm on a Friday night, I'm going to go to bed! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......

PS: How nice is my beach?


It was much colder than it looked though.





Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hot cross buns and the butt-must-be-bigger project

The days have slowly been getting colder. The couches are now all strewn with blankets to snuggle under while watching TV and when she wakes me up at 5am to come under the doona (!!!), Lucy's feet a teeny tiny cute kitty ice blocks. Rather than feel depressed about the inevitable change of the seasons (winter sucks oh so so much), I have decided to approach the cold head-on by using a never-fail strategy: increasing my personal insulation by eating lots of baking.



Step one involves picking a recipe for delicious hot cross buns and then doubling the amount of sugar the recipe suggests to compensate for not putting in any fruit.


I did the usual knead, rise and rise thing but as you can see I was too lazy to pipe on the cross (it's just for show anyway!).


While they were baking, I went outside the house about fifteen times so I could walk back in and smell the delicious spicy aromas.


Look at how lovely and fluffy the insides of the buns are! They are super delicious, especially when toasted and smeared with lots and lots of butter. Winter definitely still sucks (and it would be nice if Lucy would stop waking me up ridiculously early every day) but freshly made hot cross buns definitely make the seasons passing just a little bit easier.