Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A present for my sister


Hasn't she got beautiful hands?

This is Evangeline by The Sweet Sheep which was on the Magknits site. Thanks to Leah for getting me the pattern from internet archives when magknits went down. There is a note on Ravelry that the pattern will be available on the Yarn Forward website at some stage

I used 10cm (yes that close) short of an entire ball of Paton's Jet. The alpaca wool mix should keep my sister's hands nice and cosy. I really love this wool. It knits up so nice and is so soft.


The cable looks complicated but wasn't too difficult. The only mods I chose to do were to knit them on 4mm DPNs instead of 4.5mm as my sister is only 12 and very slim. I also added some 2x2 ribbing to the thumb instead of doing st st as per the pattern. If I did this again (I really want a pair for me now!!) I would do the thumb gusset as it's done in this pattern for no holes whatsoever. This pattern involved picking up stitches and it's not as tidy IMO.

Me and the girls are on holiday at my Mum's this week so I bought this WiP with me so I could check the sizing on my sister and show Mum how to get started on DPNs. I was stoked how quick these were to knit up (one evening each) and that they only used one ball (all I bought with me). Gorgeous.

Its all about the buttonloops


I whipped up these bootees quickly as a raffle contribution for a Cloth Nappy Information Expo I helped out at over the weekend. I had the cute car buttons in my stash just waiting for a cute pair of bootees to adorn. The yarn is Spotlights Basic Merino which was nice to knit but very thin and I think, more like a 4 or 5ply weight. I actually bought it with the intention of using it as a sub for Baby Cashmerino which is a 5-ish ply weight so I think it will be great for that.
The pattern is , of course, Saartjes Bootees by Saartje

I found instructions for the buttonloops here


They give the bootees a lovely finish and I totally recommend you try these buttonholes if you're making these cute bootees

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lest We Forget

Today is 25 April - Anzac Day, a day in which New Zealanders remember those who have fallen for their country and acknowledge those who have served.

The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. A battle that was fought and not won. A battle that helped NZ define itself as a nation as the soldiers fought for the British Empire on the other side of the world. Nearly a third of all New Zealanders taking part in the campaign, that was finally abandoned after nine months, were killed. Communities back home in our tiny country were devastated by the loss of some many young men.

It is a public holiday today. Shops are shut until 1pm. People attend dawn parades and memorial services. We wear a red poppy which is a symbol of war remembrance the world over.

The red or Flanders poppy has been linked with battlefield deaths since the time of the Great War (1914–18). The plant was one of the first to grow and bloom in the mud and soil of Flanders. The connection was made, most famously, by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his poem 'In Flanders fields'.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields


We will remember them

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Settling In

So.....the move went well!!

I managed to survive the 2 plane trips with 3 kiddies in tow. Some days I wonder if I am cut out for this mother lark and despair that I am not doing it right. My girls were total angels for both trips and it really wasn't that stressful (even though it was late when we got in and a very unsettled day and there was just me trying to keep a 5yo, 2yo and a baby entertained, fed and cajoled) , so perhaps I am doing something right after all. I am pleased to report there was no repeat airport disaster story!

Our new house is lovely and warm. It has a vege garden and lots of living space. There is even a little study/office/small bedroom off the lounge which the girls have claimed as a play room
I've always wanted a playroom to contain the mess and much enjoy closing the door on the day's debris each evening

All the living areas are north facing so it gets sun all day. There is a nice patio area which I have claimed for drying washing but will make a nice messy play space

My only disappointment is that the previous tentant had not cleaned it so I am having to clean and scrub just about everything. And its filthy. :(

The girls seem to have settled in amazingly well. . M5 has been to her new school for a visit and to meet her new teacher and is looking forward to starting properly after the holidays. We've been busy this past week getting her uniform etc sorted and walking round our new neighbourhood. Here they are (standing on the windowsills) watching our load of firewood being delivered by a big "twuck"


It sure is a shock to come back to south island weather. We are all suffering from sore throats and coughs which is probably due to the dramatic change in air temperature at night. I've had to go shopping for suitable clothes and thermal tops for the kids. I'm going to be busy knitting mittens and scarves for everyone I think!!! For me I'm making a Central Park Hoodie.


Im using Bendigo Rustic 12ply in Red Tweed. The colour is a bit darker IRL. I've only done one cable repeat so far but am itching to see how the cables will look in this wool. I'm pretty excited to be finally doing something 'proper' for ME! and something like the grown up knitters make. SOmething not small. Imagine that :)

New Beginnings

It seems only fitting that my first project in our new home is something for a new baby


Punk Knitters soaker
size small in Hummingbird Fey (8ply) knitted in the round on 30cm 4mm Addi Turbo. I knit the leg cuffs on straight needles before I graft and I like the look and fit of the rolled cuffs so usually do stockinette. I really despise kitchener but I am getting better and better at it. I use these great instructions from Knitty.

This is a gift for one of my "nappy" friends. Wool makes for a great nappy cover and sure beats those horrible plastic covers they sell in baby shops. Its Real Nappy Week here in NZ at the moment which is a week where alternatives to throw away/one use nappies are promoted at events through out the country. More info at The Nappy Network

One of my friends has written a pattern for a soaker knitted in the round with no grafting! I'm going to help her by test knitting it and possibly hosting the pattern here. I think it's going to be a fun knit and once this moving in chaos is over, I'm going to pick something from my stash to CO (or PCO as the case may be, hehe)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bon Voyage

This will be the last post from me for a week or so, as the girls and I are off tomorrow. I can't believe it's almost moving day already. It's been a crazy few weeks but everything has fallen into place nicely so I can't help but think we are meant to be back in the mainland. Wish me luck travelling alone with 3 kiddies!! We're spending the week with family, hanging out with friends and hopefully all our wordly possessions (and DH) will be arriving this time next week at our new place. See you then!


Note bag packed with essentials....Mummy made wool jumpers, wool hats and the little snaplock bag on the right is my knitting project ;)

In the meantime I just thought I would share this little story describing our trip up here , a little over a year ago ( I was 3mth pregnant at the time and travelling on my own again with the kids, then 4y and 15mth, despite it being summer the weather was atrocious and the 2nd biggest airport in NZ was closed due to the weather ). I posted this on a Random Act of Kindness thread on a parenting forum I belong to. Lets hope I don't have a repeat experience this time round !!

See you soon xx

I just have to share my airport disaster story. If you read my post about moving house you will know we've just moved from the south island to the far north of NZ. DH came up on Wed and was here when the movers arrived on Fri with all our gear. Me and the kids were booked on late flights later that day.
So.......... it all started swimmingly. The airport was quiet as, no crowds at all. I had TONS of luggage - a 30kg suitcase, toddler carseat,2 smaller bags and carryon right at the max allowed weight but since I wouldnt have to deal with it at any stage it wasnt too much of a bother. There was so much stuff because we were moving and there was stuff the movers wouldnt take - impt documents, jewellery plus I had packed tons of clothes to deal with the changeable weather (everything from sundresses and sunhats to polar fleeces and raincoats - all of which got worn the week we stayed with my auntie while our gear was in transit). Anyway the flight to Akld was fine, no dramas at all and the kids were great. Get to Akld and have some tea and a short wait till our connecting flight. REALLY looking forward to (FINALLY) being in our new home and seeing DH again. Hurry down to the lounge to find the planes been delayed by an hour...sigh. Its now leaving at 7.30 (instead of arriving at 7.30). The kids are getting tired but we are coping. Fill in an hour....get to lounge again and M notices our luggage going around the carousel. Im thinking WTF - isnt that supposed to be on a plane???? Next minute "...we regret to inform passengers..." I think I swore outloud as they announced our flight had been cancelled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next I have to get 50kg of luggage off the carousel by myself holding a squirmy 15mth who is trying to hop on it or pull other bits off. I get to the desk and they say they can put me on a shuttle (NO WAY JOSE I think, not at this time of night with 2 tired kids....probably a 4hr+ drive in torrential rain) or rebook for the next day. I choose the latter and get to the rebooking counter to discover the first 2 flights of the day are full. So we get on the 1.05pm flight. And of course the last flight to the next nearest town(which was going) had just closed a minute ago.....
They don't have to put passengers up in a hotel if its weather related so I am thinking what on earth am I going to do for the night......I am txting DH at this stage but he cant get hold of the one friend we know who lives in Akld....gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Its taking ages, M is whining about why cant we go to our new house, N is wayyyyyyyyyyy past her bedtime and crying and I am just standing there thinking I want to cry too.
Then I did.... when the absolute darling of a lady at the AirNZ Booking Counter said she would put us up in a hotel for the night and include dinner and breakfast plus a shuttle there and back.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU You really made my day. I am sooooooooooo appreciative and realise you didnt have to do this, I am so grateful you did!!! So this post is all about thanking you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I also want to thank my Australian Angel. A lovely lovely guy whose flight to Rotorua had also been cancelled and who was put up in the same hotel,who helped me put my 50kg of luggage onto the airport shuttle to the hotel (I was hoping for a shuttle with luggage trailer but no this was one where you have to take your bags ONTO the bus and LIFT them into a luggage rack
... Yes entirely possible while you hold your baby and are 3 mths pregnant ). If it wasnt for you putting my bags on and off the bus I dont know how i would have managed. Thank you for talking to M all the way on the bus, for entertaining her when I was checking in, for getting us a trolley and loading it all on, for holding N so she could see the fish................you rock! Thank you thank you thank you. I didnt even get your name but will be eternally thankful for your help.

Thank you to the kind couple again the next mornigng who loaded my stuff on and off the bus and found me a trolley. Also eternally grateful for your help.

Thank you to the people who were behind us in the queue to check in the next morning for holding our place in the line and pushing our stuff along when we had to take M to the toilet.

So a day late to our new home but here at last. Quite an adventure really. We also survived the longest queue in the world to check in (this was the day Wgtn airport had been closed for 2 days so the airport was manic, the busiest I have ever seen any airport full of p*ssed off travellers who just had to sit and wait and hope Wgtn reopened, plus tons of people like me who were trying to get places they should have got to the day before).

I have decided that any form of air travel is off the agenda for quite some time now

Thank you to everyone who took pity on me and helped me out. I really do appreciate it.

Thank god for the kindness of strangers

Just in the nick of time



I am naming these Gloves Of Doom, which eloquently describes how I feel about the FO and the process of making.

Lets not dwell on that. All that matters is...... they are DONE!!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008



Pattern: Odessa by Grumperina
Raveled here

I used a smidgen over one skein of Crucci 8ply I had leftover from the pinwheel sweater. The beads have been floating around in my craft box for ages.

When I first saw this pattern I thought it looked rather complicated and I actually thought it was rib (and therefore slow). I was pleasantly surprised to find it was not at all difficult and doesn't involve any purling at all!! It's also very intuitive which is probably the thing I liked most about it. I just love how it spirals round and all that's involved are some ssk and some yo. Very clever.

I would love to make this again. Because the beads I used were bigger than the tiny ones used in the pattern I did 7 plain rows between the beaded rows (instead of 3). Next time I think I'll omit the beads as I think the hat is interesting enough with just the spiral. In retrospect I wish I had just done a plain hat as I think my beads are probably a bit big.
Not to worry. Mission accomplished...I have a hat for taking with me next week.


OMG! I can't link to the pattern because Magknits has been taken down! The Lumpy Sweater has an interesting article summarising it all here. I'm really quite shocked, and not to mention freakin thankful I did this BEFORE the 2nd glove (haha so there !!! procrastination does have it's uses!!). Thank goodness I got this done BEFORE the site went down. Phew. Hopefully Grumperina will post her pattern on her blog so people can continue to enjoy making this cool hat.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My challenge is going well

Week one of my challenge is done and no non-essential spending for me! The only money I spent was on groceries and to sponsor a friend of mine who is shaving her head for charity!!

The fundraiser is the ShaveforaCure which is an annual event raising money for the Leukeamia & Blood Foundation

Earlier this year my 5 yo nephew was diagnosed with Leukaemia so this is an issue close to my heart.

If you would like to sponsor too click here

Good Luck with your shave Jacqui!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How to Tuesday: Pumpkin Loaf

Things are busy here so just something quick today.

I've been trying to empty our fridge before the move this week. I cooked up a big batch of pumpkin (I freeze in icecube trays for ready to go meals) for BabyM and made some pumpkin loaf with the rest.


I don't enjoy pumpkin usually but this is YUMMY!!

1 1/4 C Sugar
1 3/4 C flour
1 t baking soda
1/2t cinnamon
1/2t nutmeg
1/2 t salt

Mix dry ingred together

1/2c salad oil
2 egg
1/3c water
1c cooked and mashed pumpkin

Mix wet ingreds together then add to dry mix. You can add 1/2c chopped nuts if you wish. Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 60min.


It's best still warm with lashings of butter but is lovely and moist so also keeps well.

I have this recipe handwritten in my recipe file. I think it may possibly have come from a La Leche League Family Cookbook I borrowed from my local LLL group.

Saturday, April 5, 2008



Yes I know. I'm going to say it before someone else does. *Another* WiP that ISN'T finishing off my auntie's birthday present. My auntie whose birthday was...yesterday. So much for being organised. What can I say....2nd sock syndrome strikes fingerless gloves!

I did however send her a parcel with some goodies and the hat I made her. She loves it and it fits her so I am really stoked. She has a dog that she walks in all weathers so I made this for her with cold winter walking in mind.


It's Smariek's 3Am Cable Hat made in Cleckheaton Country Silk 8ply. Great pattern! I didn't do any modifications but chose to do the extra ribbing which I thought was the better option since I didn't want to ask my auntie to measure her head! The wool is gorgeous to knit with, really soft and the little bits of silk heathering in it just give it a little bit of interest without detracting from the cables.

I've told my auntie that there are gloves to match on the way so I can show you now (CC if you are reading this, look away now!!).

There is no matching glove pattern for the 3am hat so I picked this pattern and thought I would modify the cable to match the hat.


You know when you have a great idea about modifying a pattern to make it *even better* and then your great plans don't quite live up to expectations? Well this is my project like that. I mean,the glove is *fine*. It looks better on the hand when the cable is stretched a bit and I really like how the thumb gusset is made. But I don't know. It's not as nice as the *actual* cable on the *actual* pattern that I really should have used *instead*. It's also a bit large. Not falling off my hand large but a bit baggy. I don't think my auntie has huge hands so chances are, they will be too big. So with all these things weighing on my mind I got a bit unmotivated and moved on to some other instant gratification knits. And some more. And some more. Then I realised I wasn't going to get it done in time to send to her, so I told her I would bring the gloves in my suitcase when we move. That would be in 6 days time. Better get cracking! So last night I picked up the glove again and realised I NEVER WROTE DOWN MY MODIFICATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean, how dumb can you get? I have a large sketch book I bought at the beginning of the year especially for mods and pattern notes and ideas etc. A book dedicated to the type of notes one should keep if one is modifying a pattern and needs to repeat it again. Yes. And then there is my Ravelry notebook. That's the place to write your modifications online isn't it? Yes.

So. Now I have less than a week to finish glove. Hopefully remembering what exactly it was that I changed. And finish hat WIP for myself so I have something warm when we move to colder pastures. Next week.

Hmm. Maybe as well as unrealistic expectations of my ability to modify patterns, I also have unrealistic expectations of how fast I knit.

Friday, April 4, 2008

My credit card is going to thank me

Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008

I signed up for a BuyNothingChallenge!!


Info from the CrunchyChicken blog...........

For the month of April buy nothing. Now, I'm not talking about food, medications or other essentials, but everything else.

This is like Buy Nothing Day. Except that it lasts all month long. Sort of a mini-Compact. A compact Compact. A sub Compact.

Anyway, this means none of the following:

  • No new clothes
  • No new gadgets
  • No new furniture or housewares
  • No salon services
  • No makeup
  • No tools
  • No whatever the hell else people buy

If you must absolutely acquire something non-edible or not essential to growing your own food or for your survival, then you must borrow, barter, or buy it used. If you end up buying something new that is non-essential, I'll be hosting a weekly Sunday Confessional for you to justify your purchase. So, just think about having to confess to the world what you couldn't hold off on buying.

So far I am doing pretty well and haven't purchased anything that isn't considered 'essential'. (The only money I have spent so far is on groceries). We have sold our car (Yay!!) so we will be without transport for the next week so not buying anything next week is also going to be easy peasy as I will be housebound. Once we get to the City however, it will be very tempting to make up for lost time and go a'shoppin in REAL shops.

I am a bit of a cynic and tend to view challenges like this as a bit of a gimmick because its hard to know if they really make any difference. However for me the point of doing this in this sentence

I want you to really focus on whether or not what you are buying is a necessity or something frivolous."

It seems so simple a concept and yet I think of all the things that I spend money on that really are a bit frivolous. It will be interesting to see, at the end of the month, what I have considered to be essential to my life.

No whatever the hell else people buy. Well that would be yarn (doh).
So my much anticipated visit to a "real" LYS in the City may have to wait. Sigh.

Wish me Luck!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Shaun the Sheep!


So named after our favourite cartoon sheep. (Yes he has his own website!). He's made from this pattern from Fuzzymitten.com which was quick and easy. The only bit of this project I didn't like was sewing on the face. Embroidery is not my thing apparently.

I used some delightful acrylic I found at the big red shed which was THE worst wool I've ever used - all the things I hate in yarn....thick/thin, boucle, fluffy and not wool. It even squeaked when I knit it. YUK! However, I queued this pattern just a day earlier and when I saw the yarn, I knew it would be absolutely perfect for this wee project - and it was! Despite it's nastiness on the needles I'd definitely get some more if I ever see it again to make another of these cuties. $1.97/ball I shouldn't really complain heh. The wool is supposed to be knit on 5mm and I used 4mm so the stuffing wouldn't show. The white is some 8ply leftovers which I used doubled over to match the thickness. Funnily enough the yarn brand is called Sean Sheep.

Too cute!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Forever Rib

I'm on a FO roll folks! Here's another one...

I finished the Ribbed Baby Jacket from Special Knits I started over Easter.


It's a quick and easy knit. It's constructed by knitting up the back, casting on for the sleeves, then dividing for the fronts. So the only seams to do at the end are the under arm and sides. I really liked the fact there was not much seaming and it was something new for me to try, knitting all in one piece. This style (without set in sleeves etc ) is a little bulky fit-wise but it is a jacket so it means it will fit fine over other layers. The only ugh part is picking up the 150+ stitches and doing 4 or so inches of double ribbing. This is the project I taught myself how to do continental knitting!


I absolutely loved knitting this in Paton's Jet. Its a wool/alpaca mix so is lovely and soft and will be gorgeous and cozy for winter. I used almost 5 whole balls on this project, which sounds a lot but its an aran weight yarn and only has 70 odd m/ball.

I knit the 9-12mth size so that it would fit Miss growing -like-a-mushroom right through winter. My only modification was to add some length.

If you clicked on the amazon link you will see the Ribbed Jacket is on the front of the Special Knits book. I love the flower pin they use to close the jacket. I knew I'd never find something like that here, so made my own.


This is the second time I have used this pattern to make a flower embellishment for a FO (I also used it for my sister's MP3 cover here). It's nice and easy and is great for using leftovers. For this one I made the lighter pink (also Jet) as per the pattern and the darker pink one is slightly smaller. I attached them using a baby kilt pin. I think the jacket also looks fine open too.


I'm really happy with how this turned out.

And so is BabyM!

Even Puddy agrees

Ok, just one more. She's just so cute


See it on Ravelry here