Wednesday, September 14, 2016

on the needles.

in my last post about what was on my needles, i mentioned needing to get to this mammoth and slightly heartbreaking task...

mid-frog of the siberia anorak, sweater becoming noodle-y mess becoming neat and tidy yarn balls

frogging my ill-fitting jumper... well it's all done now! it took a surprisingly long amount of time as the mohair was nice and sticky he he. i managed to get all of the yarn separated into the two different types and neatly balled up.
bets on how long they'll stay neatly balled up and not in swatch/jumper form?
could be quite a while seeing as i've started not one, but TWO other projects... and have approximately 23901840 baby knits on the backburner while i wait for our little one to be born and reveal it's size he he!

anywho, enough talk about baby knits, more talk about actual current projects!

deco city shawl by amy van de laar knit in dark green 'gingko' skein merino silk sport deco city shawl by amy van de laar knit in dark green 'gingko' skein merino silk sport. close up of central triangular pattern

this is the beginnings of a deco city shawl in skein merino silk sport.
i brought the yarn home with me from the craft sessions last year, knowing that i'd have to do something beautiful with it, and this shawl caught my eye earlier in the year when flicking through pompom issue 15.

i'm loving how it's knitting up so far, and am fully intending to extend the length and width a little by continuing the repeats until i run out of yarn. i have two skeins and would love to use up as much of them as i can. oh and i'll have a beautiful generous shawl to boot!

the other project i've made a start on is a little more of a brainless project... i figure i'll have some times coming up (and well, sometimes at the moment if i'm a bit tired...) when i won't be able to focus on the lacy pattern of the shawl and will need something simple.
enter, the vanilla sock.

the beginnings of a pair of toe up vanilla socks knit in circus tonic handmade jubilee sock in 'magpie lark'

simple stockinette sock body, with the choice of two heels, knit up in gorgeous circus tonic handmade jubilee sock.
i love the way this colourway is knitting up... mostly white/cream, with little swathes of grey/black and every now and again, a wee little speckle of random colour. called 'magpie lark', it really is the perfect name for it!
this yarn i picked up at hannah's shop pop up in sunspun almost two weeks ago now! i just couldn't wait to get it on my needles!

i decided it best to knit them both at the same time, to ensure they actually both get finished... and that they end up the same size!
these are for bb, as the last socks i knit for him have most definitely seen better days. hopefully because i'm using proper sock wool, and not a highly inappropriate for boy socks yarn, they'll wear a lot better he he!

what's on your needles at the moment? any baby knit recommendations?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

taking stock

i thought i'd play along and take stock with pip because why not!?
i've nothing but time at the moment ha ha.

pink blossoms on an unknown fruit tree in the orchard the very beginnings of a new project in a beautiful green yarn healthy chocolate pudding with berries and crushed nuts with a silver knitted swatch on the needles in the background a wee collection of purple blossoms, lavender and hebe, from my friend's garden

Making: quite a few things actually... there's a couple of new projects on my knitting needles, which i'm hoping to share tomorrow, and i'm working on a little baby-centric sewing project too!

Cooking: and prepping all of the food. there's a few meals in the freezer pre-cooked and ready to go for when the baby comes, like bolognaise and lasagne, and then some slow-cooker go-bags too. they can just be dumped in the slow cooker at the start of the day and cook and cook, low and slow and be ready to feed us when we'll need it the most.

Drinking: lots of tea! it's been lovely to have the time to have a pot of tea. and i bought a fancy milk frother a few weeks ago too. it's nice to have warm, steamy and frothy milk with a beautiful chai. or to skip the tea all together and have a hot chocolate. i found a delicious low-gi, vegan hot chocolate mix at the source and it has been a lifesaver!

Reading: lots of books. i've been giving the local library a good work out, borrowing lots of books about natural dyeing, eating less sugar and simplifying things. it's quite lovely to have such an expanse of books at my fingertips!

Wanting: to do wayyyy more things than i have energy for at the moment. slow and steady and making compromises when i need to. phew!

Looking: around at all of the new spring growth on everything. it's pretty amazing huh?

Deciding: on names. yep. it's tricky stuff!

Wishing: my belly wasn't quite so itchy... poor skin is pretty much stretched to it's limit!

Enjoying: the thought of being able to eat whatever i feel like in the next little while. it's been a long time!

Waiting: ... sure am!

Liking: the pandora app on my phone. bb's big computer is currently down for the count so i'm 'borrowing' his speakers currently and playing nice tunes when it feels right. it's a little lovely.

Wondering: what the plan is for dinner... waiting to hear from bb as to what he is up to. i'm never not thinking about food really...

Loving: slowly reading through the new lunchlady edition while i eat breakfasts and lunches... it's so rad! seriously contemplating treating myself to a subscription...

Pondering: just what life will look like on the other side...

Listening: to dad start on some renovations in the shed next door to our house. they've been a while coming, but should look great when they're all done!

Considering: plans for the future. everything is, and has been, on go slow with the baby waiting, but next year, next year could be an interesting one...

Buying: as little as possible. we've been very lucky to get a lot of baby stuff secondhand, either free, or at a fraction of the sticker price, and that is just the way i like it! keeping our budget under control and reusing precious resources!

Watching: so much tv! lots of down time and knitting time means lots of tv time. i've managed to catch up on shameless, bust out awkward, gotten hooked on australian survivor and make a good start on homeland.

Hoping: some pals that have been going through some tough times are doing ok.

Marvelling: at how many times an hour one person can need to use the bathroom... it's a lot fyi.

Cringing: whenever i have to prick my finger. will be very happy to be rid of this nasty gestational diabetes stuff.
Needing: to keep the fire window really clean. need to see those beautiful flames to be truly cosy he he!

Questioning: everything. over and over. my poor brain is tired from running around in circles. the waiting game is driving me slightly batty i think...

Smelling: the lavender in the wee posy of flowers a friend brought with her when she came over for lunch last week. such a lovely gesture.

Wearing: mostly normal clothes... i've been very grateful to still fit into most of my wardrobe (i do miss my jeans...) and not have had to buy a whole load of maternity clothes. biggest purchases have been a few bras and singlet tops with clippy things which should help out on the breastfeeding front. phew!

Following: not a lot. not trains of thought, not conversations... baby brain is real folks.

Noticing: how dirty my glasses get constantly. super annoying!

Knowing: i should be really trying to get lots and lots of sleep... easier said than done though!

Thinking: i'll be lucky to get through this list... lots of prompts, not a lot of brain power he he.

Admiring: the efforts of those folks who are zero-waste. i'm trying to take baby steps towards that goal, but there's quite a bit of organisation needed. hoping once the baby arrives, i can get a bit of a routine happening and take some more steps towards reducing our waste more, little by little.

Getting: things tidy. well trying... the tidy up is a constant, daily task.

Bookmarking: lots of baby knitting patterns. naturally...

Coveting: a wee little dilapidated country cottage on a real estate site. i've had it open in my browser for quite a while now. i'm sure someone will buy it one day and break my poor dreaming heart, but until then, i covet, and wish, and hope he he.

Disliking: heartburn/reflux. have been copping it for about 20 weeks now and i am DONE! very much looking forward to satisfying portion sizes and sleeping soundly. well as soundly as you can with a newborn around he he.

Opening: the doors and windows when the weather allows. not this morning, but last week? the doors and windows were constantly open.

Giggling: at all of the movement going on in my abdomen. and occasionally wincing... strong little tyke in there!

Feeling: strange with the lack of control i have over certain aspects of my life at the moment. again, waiting game doing my head in a bit. everything is up in the air!

Helping: things move along with lots of long walks, sitting on my fit ball... all making me feel like i'm doing what i can.

Hearing: the radio. lots of early-mid 2000's music making me groove and putting a smile on my face.

Mixing: up lots of batches of the healthy chocolate pudding in that photo up the top there. so easy! just whizz up a banana, an avocado, a heaped teaspoon of cacao/cocoa and a date if you feel the need for a wee bit extra sweetness. i've been eating it with berries and chopped nuts or seeds AND freezing it in icy pole moulds. it is delicious!

Slicing: up paper and framing it! bb and i splashed out and spent a little of the money we were gifted for our wedding and bought frames for all of the zillion things we had put aside... there was quite the collection but now they're just about all ready to go... let the hangings commence!

Celebrating: my auntie's 60th yesterday. it was ace to catch up with lots of my cousins and a couple of my aunties and uncles. there was also delicious food and lots of cake that i snaffled a wee mouthful of. portion size is everything when it comes to affecting blood sugar levels i've found...

Forgetting: lots of things. all the time. much walking into rooms and trying to remember why i needed to be there a second ago he he!

Pretending: i can't see the cobwebs in the corners... nope, they're definitely not there!

Embracing: the little community that we have in our new home. family nice and close, and an abundance of awesome like-minded folks all around too. i've been to a few different knitting groups, have an idea of some spinning groups i'd like to check out in a few months time and have met so many lovely folks who are passionate about locally sourced food and products. it makes my heart so happy!

phew! made it!!
these lists do always test my endurance a little he he. a whole lot of introspection and thinking required.

if you want to play along too, pip has a blank list at the bottom of this post.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

twenty-first.

the twenty-first make of the year came off my needles a couple of weeks ago now... i had grand intentions to get it blogged straight away. in fact, i wouldn't let my brother leave until i had taken some quick snaps of him with it on!
and here we are two weeks later ha ha. never mind.

front view of matt's hoodie, knitted in jo sharp aran tweed aran in 'tartan' a dark green colour

this has been a project that's been on my mind since the start of the year, promised to my brother as a christmas/birthday present (his birthday is in mid jan) so i feel like it's been a loooooong time coming...

by the time i got him to choose a pattern, choose a yarn base and colour, order the yarn, wait for the order to come in, and then free up my knitting queue enough to get it started... it was june!
so a make that feels like it took forever because of the planning side of things, really only took me a couple of months or so... and i kind of delayed the knitting on it while i was at it too. only bringing home a couple of balls at a time from work, so that i could keep getting other things knitted up at the same time! oops!

side view of matt's hoodie, knitted in jo sharp aran tweed aran in 'tartan' a dark green colour. with his hood up.

anywho, let's talk about the nitty gritty of this jumper!

the pattern i used was 'his favorite hoodie', sans hoodie drawstring as my brother wasn't interested.
it was a fairly straight forward pattern to knit, the large majority of the pattern being knit in the round, with a small amount of seaming to attach the sleeves to the body and a wee bit of grafting to finish off the hood.

the yarn i used was jo sharp silkroad aran tweed which i didn't love to start with, but thoroughly enjoyed coming back to when i put it down to knit something else.
it did have a fair whack of vegetable matter still in it, i feel like i was constantly picking little prickly bits out, but the yarn handled really beautifully. it was soft in the hand and i liked the little colourful bits that popped up through the tweedy nature of the yarn.

back view of matt's hoodie, knitted in jo sharp aran tweed aran in 'tartan' a dark green colour

i have a feeling i'll be knitting this pattern again, bb has expressed his jealousy of the hood on more than one occasion! i might have to do some kind of mix between his jumper and this one though, as he loves that kangaroo pocket he he.

i feel like i have to knit myself a jumper next though... maybe if i get it started sooner rather than later, it'll be done by the time it's cool enough to wear it again ha ha!

i have a few more posts on the brain, so hopefully i'll be back in the next day or so yet... all depending on what baby decides of course...
ruling the roost and it hasn't even arrived yet. oh dear ha ha!

Friday, September 9, 2016

september.

blossoms on one of the fruit trees in the orchard, not sure what they are, but will hopefully find out this year as i have netting plans! a pot of chai, set up to enjoy while casting on a new project, in the beautiful spring sunshine treated myself to a pedicure with a nice green polish. can't. reach. toes. getting ready to cut into some vintage floral to make bassinet sheets stacking and counting hexies on the kitchen table

this post has been on my mind, well for about nine days. we're NINE days into september already, can you believe it?

august saw me finishing up at work, and heading into maternity leave. early on in august to be honest. i thought i would get a bit more time to play here, but i've been filling up my time nicely with appointments, thinking about, and preparing, lots of yummy food (freezer is full! now working on mum's chest freezer, little does she know, mwahahaaha!), baby preparations and a bit of sitting on my backside, knitting and watching tv.
probably more the latter one than anything else...

after an absolute cracking few days of beautiful spring weather, my mind is quite firmly fixed on all things green and i am absolutely champing at the bit to get some things happening. alas, as we are in victoria, it's raining quite steadily this morning and dampening my spirits a little.
hopefully this afternoon brings some sunshine and then, tomato seeds, you're going to meet soil!

september is going to be quite the exciting month around here, because it will see the bb and i become parents!
i'm currently sitting here, typing away, with my big 39 week belly between the keyboard and myself! bubs could arrive any day now, and personally i'm hoping for sooner rather than later as things are getting mighty uncomfortable in my abdomen!

in getting myself prepared for our impending bundle of joy, i've been keeping myself busy with little tasks like making bassinet sheets, washing all of the things, and playing with my hexies. that last one obviously has nothing to do with the baby arriving, and everything to do with procrasticrafting.
i also realised that i hadn't touched them since february 2014! poor neglected hexies!
i grabbed them all out and stacked them up, counted them out and popped them neatly back in their case (there are 909!). along with a few hundred more cut out and ready to baste.
i figure it might be something nice to pull out and have on hand for in between feeds of the wee one... if i ever put my knitting down that is...

the first week of this month saw me starting on a couple of new knitty projects, which i'll share hopefully in the next couple of days, along with another big finished projects. well with any luck any way...

has your september gotten off to a cracking start? how was your august?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

on the needles.

a few slow burn projects happening in these here parts, hence why the projects aren't flying off my needles to be blogged about...
let me share some stories though...

this first project has been on my needles for quite a while. since april according to my ravelry page and this post.
however, i did a silly thing... in my haste to gleefully cast on a beautiful new project, i neglected the one thing i constantly talk about, SWATCH!
what a fool!



while the texture is absolutely gorgeous, my row gauge is CRAZY different to the patterns... this means that my jumper won't cover nearly what i would want it to in the belly area, even once it's current tenant has left!

i've been thinking that i would just rip it back to the pocket, and fix it from there, but i think it will be much better served if i rip the entire project out and start anew. eventually.
i need to find a particularly motivated day to do all that ripping and re-balling as i have moved onto bigger and better things...

this jumper was one i promised my brother for his birthday. his birthday was in january folks!



it is obviously plenty overdue, and i'd love to get it to him sooner rather than later. especially as this whole winter thing seems to be wrapping itself up!
the body is done, and i'm just working on the sleeves... though i'm not unconvinced i won't run out of wool! thankfully i know exactly where to get more he he!

i've banned myself from starting this project until i get my brother's jumper finished, but...



this yarn, and this swatch are going to become a little crocheted baby blanket.
i couldn't help but swatch for it over the weekend just gone, which i spent away with an absolutely gorgeous group of crafty ladies in an equally gorgeous old country homestead. i'd write a post about it, but i took ZERO photos and just spent the entire weekend eating, crafting, chatting and relaxing in equal measure. i'm sure i'll mention it a bit though as it was truly invigorating and just what i needed!

anywho, back to the crocheted blanket... this yarn has been in my stash for a while, and i have a decent amount of it too. pretty sure it was inherited from my grandmothers stash when she passed away, or potentially her sister's... either way, a nice, light, vintage yarn, in a gorgeous navy that should make the perfect lacy baby blanket!
when i allow myself to get started...

this project is still not even beyond dream stage... i took it away on the weekend, thinking maybe i could get a swatch done for it, but it just didn't happen!



the yarn was purchased at last year's sheep and wool show, and there are plans bubbling away in my brain to turn it into a milo vest.
but nicole, i might hear you say, you've knit 1283702 milo vests. but i've never knit one for myself dear readers!
the milo vest pattern goes up to a 6 year old size, but i'd really love one for myself!
hence why this project is in the 'dream' stage, it's going to take a bit of work!
grown up adult ladies have quite the different body structure to 6 year old folks so it'll take a bit of manipulation to account for the extra lumps and bumps.
i'm confident i can get there though, though maybe not for a while...

and finally, the last thing on my imminent knitting agenda...



i've been on a bit of a mission the last month or so of work, to get all of the single ball samples (a single ball, knitted in stockinette stitch to show off the texture of the knitted yarn) that were missing in the shop, completed! these are the four that are left.
they don't take too long (a couple of nights of knitting at most) and are super mindless! i think i'll aim to get these done in between running out of wool for my brother's jumper sleeves (which will happen after a few rows this morning) and being able to get to melbourne town to pick up some more (most likely next week!).
hopefully while i'm in the shop, picking up the extra ball i'll need, i'll be able to resist the siren call of new yarn! although i've brought the stash down a wee bit with lots of baby knits, it's still a sizeable beast! would love to bring it down a little more before starting any other big projects!

what have you been working on lately? what stories are your needles telling?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

green love.

thought it might be high time for a bit of a garden update, seeing as it's almost been two months since my last...

the rocket is doing all sorts of good things.
i'm having more than a little trouble keeping up with it's output actually! there's been quite a few rockety salads with meals, but i'm also thinking of some rocket and feta mini quiches for the freezer are on the cards too!

established rocket plants in a wooden planter box

it's somewhat overtaken the bed, though there has been one or two other things popping up too...

brassica of some description, popping up in a corner of the rocket planter box

this to me looks a bit like a cauliflower... but it could also be a cabbage i guess... definitely some kind of brassica in any case. and i'm more than happy to have it there!

speaking of brassicas...

semi-established broccoli seedling

this little broccoli seedling sure has grown since i popped it in the ground.
i made an attempt to grow my own seedlings, and by attempt i mean i threw some (quite old) broccoli seeds at the soil. not surprisingly, nothing came up!
thankfully i found some seedlings at my favourite little produce place and for only 50 cents a piece to boot!

i planted four, and so far they're all looking pretty happy!

this collection of leafy greens are slowly SLOWLY making their mark...

semi-established spinach plants, interspersed with little raspberry shoots almost fully established rainbow chard plants, some with yellow stalks

the poor spinach is constantly battling against raspberry shoots that are popping up from the neighbouring bed, though it's certainly coming into it's own.
and the rainbow chard is looking like it's just about ready for a few small harvests!

i'm so excited to see so much growth in this little patch in the chook yard though...

very tall broad beans surrounded by a wire fence to keep the chickens out. they're now as tall as the fence!

check out how big the broadies are getting!!! and how splendid they look in the late afternoon sun!

while i was taking these photos, i started to get a little worried for the carrots i'd planted in between the broad beans...

a thicket of carrots growing between the broad bean plants

but they're looking pretty happy too!
they could probably do with a little thinning... i may even get out and get that done tomorrow morning if the beautiful weather we've been having keeps up!
the days have been gorgeously sunny, the wind at a minimum and it has been inspiring me to get done all sorts of spring cleaning type activities! might be that ol' nesting instinct kicking in too i guess!

what's been growing in your patch recently? are you feeling any spring vibes yet?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

fourteenth to twentieth.

and an alternative title for this little collection could be ALL of the baby knits...

after putting off starting baby knits, as i had my big five unfinished projects to finish for the year, i'm now well and truly hooked!
they're so teeny and quick to knit, oh and they are ridiculously cute!

the first off the needles was a milo vest for milo may.

milo in purple scraps from stash

i knit it up in some bits and pieces i had in my stash, hence the two different colours, and much shorter body than i'd prefer...
the lighter purple knit up as more of an aran weight, than a dk, so it's going to be super toasty warm as it's super dense!

next up is the hundreds cardigan.

hundreds cardigan knit in miss click clack 'patience young grasshopper'

this one is knit up in a skein of miss click clack dk i picked up at the hand-knitter's guild market.
i love LOVE this colourway, it's called 'patience young grasshopper' of which i had none. this skein was knitted up within a month of purchase he he!

then there was another tikkiknits pattern, what big eyes you have.

tikkiknits 'what big eyes you have' vest knitted in scout in 'winter's day'

i found this pattern a little more of a thinker than georgie's other patterns, with a few tricksy bits of picking up stitches and such to keep everything seamless. but as always with georgie's patterns, the finishes are superb! well worth any fiddliness.
super glad i tried something new as look how gosh-darn cute this looks!
i knit it up in wooldays scout and my-oh-my do i love this yarn. if it came in a bigger range of colours, it would be my desert-island yarn choice for sure!
and if you have no idea what i'm talking about with a desert-island yarn choice, do yourself a favour and check out the pomcast, lydia and sophie are the coolest and cutest folks podcasting around! they never fail to make me giggle!

these little baby hats FLY off the needles! each one was completed in an afternoon of knitting, and both were made without a pattern, just using my off the cuff, that looks right, time to start decreasing method.
maybe i should do some proper maths and actually make these things into proper patterns... one day!

a sweet pair of baby hats, knitted up with no pattern, from scraps from stash

anywho, back to these hats...
both were knitted up from wee balls in my stash. another great thing about baby hat knitting, they don't use much yarn!
the colourful one was colinette jitterbug leftover from these socks, and the yellow was bendigo luxury 8ply leftover from a scarf that my mum knit a few years ago.

and lastly, there are this pair of twin milos, for the cutest little twin boys.

twin milos for twin boys, one knit in merino magic in a teal colour, one in bendigo woollen mills luxury in 'stone'

while i was knitting up the wee purple milo above, i couldn't help but think of how ace it would be to knit up the boys a pair of matching, but not really, milos...
both of these beauties were knit out of yarn i already had in my stash, the teal, merino magic, and the neutral, bendigo woollen mills and i knit them both in the 18month size, with a little bit of extra length... hopefully that will mean they might get a couple of winters out of them! fingers crossed!

if you have a little peruse of my ravelry projects, you might notice that a lot of these projects have been done for a wee little while... i procrastinated making button choices for the cardigan and grey vest, and then took my sweet time to write this post!
the combination of commuting to melbourne for work, and being quite heavily pregnant have definitely sapped a lot of motivation for writing posts, hence it being almost a month and a half since my last post! hoping that now i'm on maternity leave, i'll find the mental space to get back here and writing... before i no doubt drop off the radar again when our little one comes along he he.
we will see what the future holds!

what are you favourite baby knits?