Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FO: Bella's Mittens


This is the project that got me back in the knitting groove - I took all the great advice you suggested (thank you!) and found something for ME, something small and pretty easy, something instant gratification, something in a yarn I've been wanting to try, and a pattern I couldn't wait to start.

Bella's Mittens from SubliminalRabbit.

Made in Shepherd Lambswool Felted 12ply (nice to work with but not as soft as I was hoping ( I could tell it was lambswool and not merino) and probably not 'sweater-worthy' given it made my stocking stitch look pretty awful but perfectly warm and hard wearing for winter mittens).

bellamitt3 bellamitt2
Excuse the camera cord on the right there - Miss 7 doing the photography again

I love the length of these. They are so warm and cozy and are going to be perfect for the cold weather that we've been having of late. Cold weather also brings winter ills and my little ones have been really sick this week - sleepless nights and emergency trips to the A&E department - it hasn't be fun. A perfect little knitting project was just the thing for days spent on the couch with 2 sick and clingy ones. Once they get better and we start doing the morning walk to school again these mittens are going to get a tonne of wear!

Andrea at AtHomeMommyKnits made some of these too - hers are a gorgeous green. In fact quite a few Ravelers have made these, and it's really no surprise - it's a great pattern. I think these will be one of my most favourite FO's - I love the length, the fit, the warmth, the cable, everything really!

The other drawcard for this pattern is the Twilight connection (yeah, I'm still not *over it*). If you haven't seen it, Bella wears mittens like this in the movie - hence the name "Bella's Mittens" ....So with that in mind I couldn't resist a cheesy Twilight FO photo too....


the cover of the book is a couple of posts down the page if you don't get it ;)

Friday, May 22, 2009

DragonFly in Amber

I finished something!! Thanks for all the great 'lost mojo' advice on my last post, I think it's on the way back now and as evidence that I am indeed knitting again, here are the finished longies I made for M1.


They're nothing flash, just "run of the mill" longies knit in The Wool Company Utiku DK. I used Jenny's great PML pattern which gives a really nice fit and is perfect for in front of the TV knitting as mostly its just round and round and round. I was going to do ruffles but in the end I just went for simple stockinette rolled hems - somehow (despite measuring her leg, trying them on and using another pair of pants as a guide) I managed to make the legs a bit short so at least the rolled hem will be easy to unpick and add some length to for next winter! So, not the world's most exciting FO but with the very cold spell we've been having this week its good to have some warm PJ pants at the ready. And its a finished object so I'm pretty pleased :D


Wondering about the title of this post? Well, if you remember the question I asked about the stitch markers in my last post, the correct answer was of course "Dragonfly in Amber" by Diana Gabaldon (my favourite book in the series which are my all time favourite books). And the colourway of this yarn is "Amber" (replaced last year by the similar "Russet"). Ha!

I am hoping my nappy days will soon be over with DD coming up to two years, no more babies planned here (!!) and I wondered when making these if they would be the last longies I'd make for a baby of mine? I've also decided to close my SweetP "hobby" (calling it a business would be a bit disingenuous) where I was knitting soakers (wool nappy covers) and selling them with matching tee shirts. Just not enough hours in the day to do it justice and a variety of other reasons that made giving it in the best option. The last of my stock is listed on TradeMe here. So perhaps my "nappy knitting" days are coming to an end. Knitting longies and soakers was what got me hooked on knitting again and so it will be a bit sad once they aren't a regular feature in my knitting repetoire anymore. Clever Kelly has just released her seamless graft free longies pattern which sound very intriguing though, perhaps I'll give them a go before I give up on that nappy knitting....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Knitting Bling

I seem to have somewhat lost my knitting mojo, and my blogging mojo for that matter too. I think a bit of winter blues might be to blame there and a busy few weeks with non stop reading of the Twilight saga family life (my big girl turned 7 a few days ago). So I'm afraid there's no interesting knitting to show you today.

At the moment I'm working on a pair of longies for M1 which are my 'mindless TV watching' knitting but being toddler sized the legs are taking forever and I'm quickly losing patience with them! I realise M1 seems to be doing very well in the 'knitted by Mum' department this year and as much as I'd like to be doing only the selfish knitting she does need some warm pj pants.

I've also resurrected my clapotis and have done a few more repeats of the middle section, but again, its not exactly riveting knitting and as much as I'd like all my stitch markers, cable and tips back thank you very much I find myself unable to stick at it for any length of time! I really should be a bit more motivated as I'd hate for it to sit around over winter and not be able to snuggle under it while the weather is cool.

And the other thing 'on the needles' at the moment is a snuggly warm wool/alpaca (Patons Jet) cardigan for myself. I've completed the back and I'm thinking I'll pick that up again in the hope that some 'me' knitting will inspire that knitting mojo to return!! Let's hope so anyway!!

If anyone has any tips for getting over the 'meh' then please share them with me!

So in the absence of the knitting stuff here is some knitting bling. I recently joined an Australasia only swap group on Ravelry (link here if you want to join too). The group is new but is looking like it could be quite a bit of fun and the best bit is that postage isn't going to be a killer since only Aus and NZ people can join.

The first swap was for 3 stitch markers. These are the lovely ones that Maree sent me:

St Markers from Maree

The photo doesnt really do the beads justice, when the light shines on them they shimmer and are really quite gorgeous.

I was sending to Pixie and decided I would try something a little different by making my own needle felted beads. (Of course inspired by Julie's wonderful creations). They were really fun to make, I must make some for myself one day.

Felted stitch markers

I'm looking forward to seeing what the next few swaps are.

Also on the topic of knitting bling I recently made some markers for a friend. She wanted 'word' ones and these turned out really well.
I loved the little coloured beads I used on these so made a couple of sets of 'rainbow' inspired markers which I sold at the expo stall I mentioned awhile back. They are so cheerful I'm glad I bought a whole tube of these beads so I get to use them again and again.

And some special beads that were for a themed yarn swap, again for a friend. Can you guess what the theme was ?
Dragonfly and Amber

A hint...its a book :D and it got mentioned by me not so long ago.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blame Stephanie

I haven't been knitting this week hence the lack of blogging from me.

I'm also very behind in my blog reading. Actually very behind in *everything* this week. House work, home work, emails, my volunteer stuff. Everything!

I'm blaming Stephanie Meyer

New Obsession

I've read 3.5 of the books (and the half finished manuscript of the 5th book which isnt published but available on the internet) in less than a week. As well as watching the Dvd just a couple of times. At the risk of sounding like one of 'those Twilight people' I just can't get enough. I'm going to be quite sad when I get to the end of book 4!

I guess I am a sucker (hehe) for an impossible and irrevocable love story. I haven't *sighed* this much since Jamie and Claire.

They are not literary works but being aimed at teenage readers means they are a light, fast read and perfect for my Mummy mush brain. I haven't read like this in a long time and it feels so good to be absorbed in *books* again. I realise how much I have missed reading - I think I've only managed 1 or 2 novels since M1 was born - it used to be my past time of choice. Getting so absorbed in books that you can't tear yourself away isn't so compatible with having 3 young children who need you all day long! One day though....

Right better go, I have a book to finish :D

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hello Mr Crocodile

"Hello Mr Crocodile"- N3's greeting of choice for everyone at the moment. No Mrs or Miss Crocodiles, everyone is Mr Crocodile.

Her crocodile obsession, obviously, is still in full force!


It was very cold this morning walking to school and icy cold toddler hands giving me a cuddle when we got home, was just the push I needed to finally get these finished up.

They get the seal of approval!


The pattern is Lator Gator Mitts from Stitch and Bitch Nation. I used Cleckheaton Country 8ply (doesn't felt, machine washable, seemed a good choice for kids mittens) and 4mm dpns. The pattern is actually in worsted so I just did the next size up making a few adjustments for length. They are still a bit big on her but if that means I won't have to knit her another pair of gloves next winter , I'm happy! (although yes, there is the possibility she'll have moved on from crocodiles and I'll be needing to track down a pattern for zebra mittens or something!)


These were quite a fun knit and I even learnt how to do something new - french knots! Something I've never quite mastered before. Unfortunately one of the gloves only has one eye - somehow in the short space of time between getting in the car at the LYS and getting home we lost an eye button, even though I didn't actually open the bag and definitely saw 4 eyes go in it. This sort of 'black hole' phenomenon happens often here and is one of the more delightful hazards of raising 3 small children. N3 doesn't seemed phased by this glove's disability though so all is good.

I really must get on and knit myself some nice new winter mitts now! If you're all about mittens at the moment too then pop over to see Andrea at AtHomeMommyKnits and join her Mitten KAL! I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone makes :D

Monday, May 4, 2009



Owlet by Kate Davies
Cleckheaton Country 12ply - Indigo - 200g
5mm KnitPicks
2-3y size with added length and short sleeves

owls closeup

Hoot Hoot!

I ADORE my own O W L S sweater and when the owlet pattern was released I just had to make one for M1. Normally I am quite choosy about buying patterns (because of the hideous exchange rate 3.5GBP = 9NZD and going to USD isn't much better!)but this one jumped in my Ravelry cart straight away. One of those "I must make this right now" patterns!

owlet back1

Hmm she looks cute but actually she's pulling flowers off....the price I have to pay to get a good FO photo I guess.

M is 20mths and according to the measurements on the pattern she would have fit the size3/18-24mth but since I'd really like this to last 2 winters I ended up doing the size 5/2-3y. I also added an inch to the length. At the moment its almost tunic length on her which I really like - good to have some extra coverage I think. I think next winter it will look better as she'll be bigger, the owls will pop out more.

It is however, in my totally unbiased opinion, extremely cute just as it is right now!


Bananas also make good bribes for photography sessions

I had been thinking about some sort of short sleeved vest for M for autumn/spring so I incorporated that idea into this project and did short sleeves. This also meant I got it knitted in about a week and only used 4 x 50g of yarn - win win I think. I figured she already has several lovely winter hoodies and cardigans and jackets so something a bit more versatile seemed just the ticket. I also love the colour (clearly, since I bought 15 balls of it) - will go with everything and its not PINK!! (pick the mum of 3 girls!). Though I did resort to just a little bit of girly-ness with the buttons...

owlet buttons - sparkly!
The only part of making this I disliked was sewing on the buttons! Sparkly buttons!

The pattern includes both baby and child sizes. I suspect this will not be the last owl sweater I make! Can't get enough of that owl cable....

owls & owletowls & owlet 2

Why, yes! We DO have matching sweaters....promise we won't wear them out together in public though ;)

There are more photos on my flickr and Ravelry page.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Busy Busy

It's been a busy week. First week of the term (I really hate the first week of the term), getting back into the routine, early mornings, organising lunchboxes and packing bags, extra meetings, tired children, busy busy. I really could have done with an extra week of holidays.

On the crafting front I have also been busy ( as always!) I've finished M's owlet - just need to get some buttons for the eyes and it's done. Stay tuned for a FO post for that in the next few days.

As well as that I've been trying to get a little bit of stock together. I'm helping at a cloth nappy expo tomorrow and decided I would try and sell some of my soakers (wool nappy covers). It's REAL NAPPY WEEK - if you've ever wondered about your cloth nappy choices in New Zealand then go check out The Nappy Network. So I've been busy trying to get a few things together for a stall. I'm quite excited as I've only ever sold online before and having a craft stall is something I've often thought about doing. Here is hoping I sell a few things!! I have my usual tee shirts and soakers, but as you know , knitting isn't exactly the quickest of crafts so I also whipped up a couple of sets of stitch markers and dyed some wool to make it look like I actually have a few things to sell! Fingers crossed it goes well.