Monday, June 29, 2009

June is Finished

So June finishes today (ignore the blogger timestamp it really is Tues here). How did you go on getting your WiPs finished during June is for Finishing?

I am feeling pretty good about my achievements for the month.

I did finally finish my clapotis

I did finally make the Oriental Lily for M (and N) I'd been meaning to make for a whole year

I did also make DH something with the wool I bought him last winter. In the end the scarf became a hat, a design of my own. Unfortunately since its winter and DH is leaving in the dark and getting home in the dark I still havent managed to grab a photo of it yet. Must remember to do it this weekend. I'm aiming on writing up the pattern too so if theres anyone who would like to test the pattern (mens cabled beanie in chunky wool 13st/10cm) then please flick me an email. I'm hoping that pattern writing will be my school holidays project (which can't come soon enough at the end of this week).

Unfortunately the biggest UFO of them all, M's blanket, remains unfinished. Mainly due to children + yarn + black hole. (yarn found in child's clothes drawer in case you're missing a ball of yarn too). I am working on it though which is progress indeed and have so far knit 1/4 of the edging. I want to give it to her for her birthday in August so am pretty confident I'll have it done by then.

The other thing I'm working on is my Buttercup top (Ravelry link)

I'm about halfway through and so far its looking like it will fit. The colour here is not right - think brick red. I was taking ages to decide what to use the yarn for and in the end it was the lovely top that Stitchywitch made that made the decision for me. I forsee a Gathered Pullover in the not too distant future as well (I may even have been yarn shopping!)

So I feel like I should have more to show you for nearly 2 weeks of blog absence! But theres been lots of life stuff, busy kid stuff, absent husband stuff (and exhausted me) and not as much knitting as usual. I am also way behind with my blog reading so if you've finished some Wips for June is for Finishing then leave me a comment so I can make sure I check. Here are some great projects that you can check out...

Abi's beautiful and epic crochet blanket

Mazzy's The Soaker that never ends

Shortly's Fargyles are Finished

Hopefully you won't be waiting quite so long for my next update :D

Thursday, June 18, 2009


June is for Finishing continues...

One of the things I wanted to finally get done was the scarf for DH that I had intended to make him last winter. Man wool has been in my stash patiently waiting for a whole year. He decided a new winter beanie would be better than a scarf, and so with stitch dictionary and calculator in hand I cast on last night. I am hoping this will turn out as a new pattern.


Since I am making such good progress on getting those unfinished things tidied up I allowed myself to cast on for something new. Not to mention of course that something new allows me to procrastinate even longer on the biggest UFO of them all - the blanket! The yarn is the Fruit salad sock yarn that I received for a Secret Santa swap late last year and the pattern is Outside In from the latest Knitty. The leg part went quite well but I've done something very very wrong on the after thought heel and will have to rip that out and start the heel again I think. This is quite a challenging knit and in hindsight was probably a bit above my rather limited sock knitting experience. I'm feeling reasonably resolute to continue on despite the setbacks but don't expect to see sock #2 any time soon! I'm trying to ignore the small voice in my head thats telling me to rip the whole thing and do something easier!


Local yarn store has their winter sale on now, which was rather disappointing and nothing much appealed to me, but I did buy a sweater's worth of this DK yarn. Its more brick red than fire engine red. I've got as far as pouring over patterns in my queue and trawling Ravelry for something suitable. Maybe Buttercup or possibly Gathered Pullover. I was also thinking about Tangled Yoke and Coraline but the majority of things I've made for myself so far have been cardigans (and I have at least 2 more definite cardy style knits organised for my nakniswemodo remaining 6 sweaters) I think this time I'll go for something in the round.

If you've got any recommendations I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


This was the project which inspired me to finish up all my UFO's this month - I finally got to the point where I really just wanted it done and finished up in time for winter.... (not to mention wanting the use of my long cable and all my stitch markers again)

Started in January and finished in June, it was a bit of an epic knit. But well worth the wait, I'm very pleased with the finished product


10 balls of Vintage Hues 12ply on 6mm needles makes for a HUGE, soft and squishy blanket sized clapotis. About twice as long and wide as the pattern specifies. I really wanted a blanket or wrap sized "shawl" to snuggle under, and I certainly got it. She measures 250cm long and 80cm wide (or if you prefer about 100inch by 32inch).


I didn't particularly enjoy knitting this and found it a bit tedious to be honest, which is funny considering I do normally like a good run of stocking stitch for knitting with kids or TV. I did enjoy the dropping of the stitches and once I got through the straight section it was pretty fast to finish, however I don't think there will be anymore clapotis in my knitting future.


A stupidly large number of people have knit this, it's almost like a knitter's rite of passage and I can see the attraction - the resulting fabric is lovely to look at with the added bonus of looking more difficult than it really is. The Vintage Hues did cool things with each ball and the interesting colour changes kept me at it, even when the tedium of upteen pattern repeats was driving me up the knitting wall.


If I could "dedicate" a knitting project then this one would go to my Mum. Going to holiday at her house for a long weekend and not taking any other projects was the main reason this is finally off the needles. And of course the endless dramas I had with the yarn - running out of a yarn thats been discontinued before you finish it (perhaps a lesson there in not procrastinating on your projects?) is never a good thing but Mum came to my rescue not only once but twice, sending me more yarn. So thank you Mum!!! It was the beautiful clapotis that she knitted for herself that inspired me to make one of my own too so I do really have to thank her for this one xx


I shall certainly be warm and snuggly these cold winter evenings!

As well as knocking off another one for "June is for Finishing" I'm also counting this as NaKniSweMoDo#6 , I know its an oversized scarf and not a sweater however 12 BIG things was my aim for this year and with as much as wool as a sweater (and as much labour) I'm counting this as one of my 12. I figure its my Knit-Along I can cheat if I want!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Me Me Me and Me

I've been tagged for a Me Meme by two luffly and very talented kiwi bloggers HeartFelt and Miss Smith, thanks ladies.

Right so here's some stuff about me me me (its a bit of an epic one, but fun all the same, I've been pottering away on it all week)

What is your current obsession?
I'm dreaming about spring and planting my spring garden (possibly getting a bit ahead of myself there)
Obsessing about writing a new knitting pattern, knitting things for myself, finding the perfect pattern
hmm that would be knitting then I guess. Who would have thought!

What is your weirdest obsession?
I admit to being obsessed with all things Twilight and yes I know that's weird and yes I'm embarrassed for me too

What are you wearing today?
A variety of paint splatters (Playcentre this morning).

What's for dinner?
Trying a new brand of gluten free sausage tonight, hopefully they'll be nicer than the last ones we bought which had a cardboard like consistency

What would you eat for your last meal?
Seafood chowder, a large glass of Pegasus Bay Chardonnay and a creme brulee

What's the last thing you bought?
Yesterday morning, A ream of paper for my printer , some arty crafty bits for the kids and 3 lollipops

What are you listening to right now?
Kings of Leon, Ladyhawke, and the new Black Eyed Peas single

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Adelaide for a catch up with my bestie who I haven't seen in too long

Which language do you want to learn?
I'd love to be fluent in Te Reo but for now will settle for 'rusty'

What do you love most about where you currently live?

The house? Right now I really really really love the woodburner (and its heat transfer system). Or the City? I love that we're in a really interesting neighbourhood - lots of cool little shops, the river, the community garden, quaint little community libraries, lots of friends nearby, close to everything we need in the City. Theres always something interesting to look at round here.

What is your favorite colour?
Purple,blue or red. Or black if its favourite colour to wear. I've come to realise I'm really not a fan of green. I own maybe one green item of clothing and one skein of green yarn (that was gifted to me). I don't actually mind green, its just not the colour that pulls me in.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
My new armlength mittens are the best ever winter accessory and probably my most favourite FO at the moment.

What were you doing ten years ago?
I was in my final year of University so most probably studying (and partying) hard. Good times.

Describe your personal style?
Ha! Paint splattered Playcentre Mum?

If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?
Some new clothes so I could answer the previous question somewhat differently

What are you going to do after this?
Take some FO photos of my clapotis (tomorrow's post hopefully)

What are your favourite films?
Say Anything, Sliding Doors, Little Miss Sunshine, Lantana, Memento, LOTR

What inspires you?
Colour, flair, simplicity, style, wearability, 'real' stories, hope.

Your favourite books?
All of the Diana Gabaldon books, Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine, Time Traveller's Wife, the Llywellyn series of books by Sharon Penman..I really could go on and on there but I'll leave it at that. Historical fiction is my genre of choice.

Do you collect anything?
Does yarn count?

What makes you follow a blog?
A 'voice' that makes it different from all the others, great photos, a sense of humour, superb craftiness or knitting. Mostly I love the blogs which 'keep it real'. Stories I can relate to, projects I'd like to make myself. I always go check out the blogs of people who read me.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Today is WWKIP Day (World wide knit in public day) so I went along to the local event, and I public! There was a great turn out, fun events to watch and I enjoyed a catch up and coffee with some knitting friends.....

Julie me and Joanne :D enjoying knitting in public!

The rules:1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.2. Tag eight other people.

I really hate having to choose, so feel free to consider yourself tagged if I haven't tagged you! Here are some more great kiwi blogs (and an Aussie one thrown in there too since lots of the kiwi girls have already been tagged for this). So go forth and meme (only if you want of course)
Fresh Tea
Colour Me In
Knit Spastic

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FO:Oriental Lily for Two

"June is for finishing" continues! It's great that other people are joining in too, and I love seeing all the things that people are making - I'm enjoying getting those hibernating things finally done, very satisfying.


I am a big fan of Tikki's lovely patterns and after testing the Oriental Lily pattern for her last year I really wanted to make one for M1. I had intended to make her one this time last year but intentions was as far as I got. June is for Finishing seemed the perfect time to stop procrastinating and finally get on and make one! The test knit I made was a newborn size but is still being worn by its very cute recipient (yay) and I also modified the pattern to make a doll size one for a swap with a friend. So this is #3 Oriental Lily for me and probably won't be the last - very cute and a lovely versatile design.


I made the 2-3y size and having already made the short sleeves I just knit until I ran out of yarn - thus ending up with a knee length dress for Malmost2. The bodice is roomy and I think this is definitely another "2 winters" knit which is great.

I took an enormous number of photos but my camera was playing up and combined with a runaway toddler most of the photos looked something like this:

Obviously I need to find a new bribe for photography sessions! This one shows off the yarn nicely though. Its JJ's Montage 8ply and I used all of the 200g skein. The contrast is Cleckheaton Country 8ply in Black and I used about half a ball I think. I bought this yarn when we lived up north, possibly drawn to the red/black colourway reminding me of home! It was lovely to knit with and softer than Utiku, I really love the pink and red against the black and it seems to me to be well suited as a winter knit. Mostly it didn't pool except for one triangle bit across the middle of the skirt. I haven't seen this yarn for sale down here anywhere which is a shame as I would buy it again, makes a nice change from the usual Wool Company ones.


Ravelry has the yarn listed as worsted and on 4mm I got 19st/10cm which means my 2-3y size is possibly more like a 3-4y size. So of course I couldn't resist trying it on N as well (who is 3y8m).


And I think I like it better on her!!! More a tunic than a dress it fits her perfectly and the colours really suit her. I'll probably put it on her this winter and M next year (since she is still fitting her Rainbow Dress from last year). I think the length on her is much nicer and hopefully she won't refuse to wear it like she does all the other knitted things in her wardrobe!


She's a much more obliging model, actually staying still for a few seconds!


Well mostly. Can't you almost hear the "no more photos Mum!" (I can see why they say never work with children or animals lol)

More pics on flickr and my Ravelry page.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Round Here

Winter Sky. Naked Trees
Winter sky

Book Club for June. So far, quite good.

Lavender in the garden. My favourite scent.

Knitting of course.

Will I show my age if I say the title of this post reminds me of the song Round here by Counting Crows

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lucky me

I've been a very lucky sweetp lately, winning not just one but TWO blog giveaways!

Thank you to the lovely Regan over at FreshTea for the gorgeous box of goodies that arrived on my doorstep this morning. Of course I should have guessed there would be fresh tea involved!
Fresh Tea3

I just ADORE this little dragonfly dish
Fresh Tea

And isn't the knitted cupcake the cutest little thing? I'll have to hide it from the girls I think before it gets stolen for the next dolly and me tea party session.
Fresh Tea2

Thanks so much! FreshTea is a great little NZ blog , always something fresh and lovely going on there so go check it out :D

And I was also lucky enough to be picked by Jill at Knitterella and won a pack of her new gift tags. She was so kind and actually included 2 packs! I love all her tags and cards (the perfect accessory for all your knitting gifts) but her new ones really made me giggle and I was very excited to have won some of my very own. Thanks so much ! Check out the Knitterella blog for seriously cute baby knitting and gorgeous new baby to match.

knitterella tags2knitterella tags

I'm feeling like I'd like to share the love around too so watch this space for a blog giveaway of my own!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Good day yesterday. There was a certain craft fair happening in town and I may have happened to buy some yarn. Nice yarn! (always the making for a good day).

Morning Sky

Needlefood is a newcomer to the hand dyed sock yarn market here and their yarn is just lovely. I oohed and aahed over their stall for an embarrassingly long time and finally settled on a skein of "Morning Sky". However it wasn't until I got home I realised I'd grabbed 5ply/sport instead of 4ply/sock! It's lovely though - wool/silk/bamboo and delightfully soft and silky. My queue just had a whole lot of sport weight sock patterns added to it. If you have any recommendations please let me know!

I also enjoyed meeting up with Nikki and whilst there was no knitting action this time it was great to see her for a coffee (or sugar sachets if you are M1) and a catch up.

A good evening spent with a friend - dessert, knitting and Edward Cullen.

Other good things -

The New Moon trailer is up and its good and I really want it to be November already.

Also if you are a Sendak fan then check out this link on the Mochimochiland blog for the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are. Its looking good too! Can't wait. Oh and don't forget the next Harry Potter movie - only have to wait until July for that one. There are 2 excellent trailers HERE . (Apparently I like movies based on kids books lol)

My little crocodile fan is loving the look of this pattern for.... knit crocodiles!!! I think I may have to oblige her on that one, so cute.

I'm off to spend a couple of hours on my own today. After 2 weeks suffering cabin fever with 2 sicky kids, an hour or two of child free time is going to be very very good indeed.

I hope you're having a good weekend too xx

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Finished! Fargyles

June is for Finishing is off to a good start...


Pattern: Fargyles by Jacki Kelly - Knitty Winter 08
Yarn: Patons Diploma Gold Dk (Wool/Nylon) - "Lupin" 2 skeins
3.75mm Knit Picks Magic Looped
Mods - none!


These are my first ever adult socks and I totally enjoyed knitting them. I can see why socks are some people's knit of choice and I think I will be , eventually, one of those knitters who always has a pair on the go. I don't think I'll be a 'sock knitter' but it was quite a fun knit and wearing handknit socks is a great feeling.

It did take me a long time to complete the pair. Each sock only took a few days but since I usually get second sleeve syndrome, its really no surprise that there was a period of several months between the completion of sock one and then its mate. However, finished they are and I'm now thinking the time might be right to try *actual* sock yarn and skinny neeedles!


This pattern was really fun and since the pattern repeats once on the back and once on the front it was really quite easy to convert the DPN pattern to Magic Loop. I didnt have the right size DPNS and ML is much much safer with little hands around (DPNS make good drumsticks don't you know?).

I really like the fake-argyle pattern and it was super easy to knit. I picked the pattern because it was patterned without being too over the top difficult (I thought I'd get bored with something too plain), it was in double knit (you know I like instant results!) and the designer is a fellow down under lass, Jacki from the Complete Fabrication (you've probably seen or made her seamless kimono pattern). Plus the lovely foot model on the knitty pattern is Sam, whose blog Knit Glob appears over in my blogroll. It just seemed to be the perfect pattern to choose for my first foray into adult socks!


This last one is my favourite photo. I'm sure there are lots of other crafting Mums out there that can relate to that stray little piece of lego...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When good knits go bad then come right again

Oh the difference a day makes.

Again, I am ever so thankful that my mother is a knitter and lives in a small town with several little yarn stores which carry the yarn I need when the big city yarn stores have already taken the discontinued ones off the shelves. Thanks Mum. My clapotis will have a happy ending after all.

And my big pink blob cardigan. Last night I blocked the bejesus out of it (I think the official term is frankenblocking) and added *ahem* several inches of length. The girls and I went and got some more buttons this afternoon and she is all finished. And while it will not be on my 'most favourite knit ever' list I am reasonably pleased with the final outcome.


The pattern is by Suss Cousins and is called Assymmetrical Buttoned Cardigan (Rav link). I saw it in a book of Mums and was really drawn to the simplicity with just a little twist and probably, if I am really honest, the really cool buttons they used on the sample (which of course I couldn't find anything remotely like here). I am on the only second person on Ravelry to make this jacket (and only 7 people have queued it) so I won't go into too many details about the pattern itself since it's unlikely anyone reading this will be itching to make it straight away. If you are interested in the endless issues I had with this pattern (and the questionable tech editing) then have a look at my Ravelry project page. Suffice to say it is not a pattern I will be making again!

The yarn is my "go to" for aran weight patterns - Paton's Jet Alpaca/Wool - which I have used heaps of times before, notably this exact colourway for M's Ribbed Jacket (which now I think about it looks rather similar to this one). Once again absolutely no issues with the yarn and it does respond so nicely to a bit of a bath and my stocking stitch looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

So on with the photography...

The jacket is a boxy style (no waist shaping ) designed to be worn buttoned all the way up. I wasn't kidding when I said big pink blob!


You will note how it stops right on the widest part of my hips making me look even wider than normal. You will also notice the gaping button over the boobage area which itself appears to be somewhere around my waist. And somehow I don't have a waist anymore. Hmm so flattering.

I've watched enough Trinny and Susannah to know that a girl with breastfeeding DD cleavage should really stay away from turtle necks and tops that don't have a deep or wide neckline. Not sure what I was thinking picking this pattern to be honest since I'd never pick up this sort of style top in a shop!
(Girls with bigger breasts can check out the "rules" here - there is even a page where it says not to choose boxy short waisted jackets!! Personally I hate they way they refer to "tits" but if you can get past that, the clothing advice is pretty good)

All is not lost however. Thinking more about what *does* look better on my figure I decided to see how the sweater would look without that big collar and maybe a few of those other buttons undone as well....

Perfectly acceptable yes?

Wider neckline stops the big balloon front thing happening and because its falling from the chest there is even just a hint of a waist.

It's not how it was intended to be worn but I think it will do just fine. I know you can see the neckline/button band seams and it doesn't appear so asymmetrical worn this way but I'm pretty sure no one is going to come up to me in the street to ask why my collar isn't the same size on both sides.

It may be relegated to an at home sweater but since I spend a lot of my time just at home that's fine with me. The main thing is that it was salvaged and all that knitting (and nice yarn) was not in vain.


So not a great success but not a complete ugh either. The end result was a wearable sweater (I'm so pleased) and lots of lessons learnt - there won't be any more knitting of patterns that haven't had a bit of Ravelry attention (personally I like a heads up if anything is going to be amiss) and there won't be any more admiring of sweaters who don't fit the rules! I DO know what styles suit me and this was a good lesson in using that knowledge when I'm thinking about knitting for myself. This whole experience also reconfirmed for me that top down raglan/yoked, where you can try on as you go, is the only way I want to knit - there's nothing as gutting as spending all that time and skill only to find (once you've gone through the agony that is seaming) that your sweater doesn't fit/flatter/do justice to your efforts.

So, big pink blob sweater, you may not be my best ever sweater, hell, you're not even a just plain good sweater, but you are the sweater that will make sure all the rest to follow are better!

M7 and I were rushing to get some pics before the light faded all together (winter....sigh) so they aren't the best I'm afraid. There are a few dodgy bathroom self potraits on flickr too

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

When good knits go bad

We've just had a long weekend with a teacher only day tacked on the end meaning a 4 day weekend! We went down to stay with my Mum and while I'd like to say we spent it doing fun things, the reality is that the weather was awful and the kids were still sick and we really just hung around inside keeping warm. I got quite a bit of knitting done and had a plan only to bring some unfinished things to finally get off the needles.

Right now I'd like to be showing you my finished CLAPOTIS!! Yes, finally I bit the bullet and spent a couple of days concentrating on just getting it finished, tedium though it may be. It's looking lovely, its very big and my "blankie clappy" is going to be just lovely to snuggle under.

Except I ran out of yarn. With only a couple of repeats to go on the small triangle end part. So now I have to hope Mum can once again come to the rescue and find me some more of the discontinued yarn. Sigh.

I also finished my next NaKniSweMoDo09 sweater - a lovely snuggly alpaca/wool boxy style jacket. Amongst several other 'issues' its ridiculously short and so I can't show you that either until I carry out some extreme frankenblocking. And even then I'm not sure that I really should have picked something short and boxy with no waist shaping - theres a good chance I'll end up looking like a big pink blob (albeit a warm and snuggly big pink blob). Sigh Sigh Sigh.

Really I've had quite a good run lately, of making things that have turned out to plan and probably it was about time that there was an 'ugh' in there somewhere. I wouldn't want you all to think that this was one of those knitting blogs where nothing ever goes wrong and it's all finished objects and "I'm so pleased how this turned out" because we all know the 'real' knitting world just isn't like that. It certainly isn't around here either.

So with those two projects out of the way I found myself with NOTHING to get on with. Nothing lined up, no yarn stashed for the next sweater for me, nothing on my Ravelry notebook. Gasp!

I decided that in the absence of any 'must make this right now' type projects I would make June the month to finish off my UFO's and tidy up anything thats hiding away in time out. And so June's plan looks something like this:

1. Finish off my Fargyle sock

2. Finish M's blanket that I was going to finish last winter but never got around to

3. Make M the Oriental Lily dress I was going to make her last winter but never got around to

4. Make DH the scarf that I was going to make him last winter but never got around to

(hmm possibly a theme there)

If you've got lots of UFO's sulking in a dark corner somewhere then come and join me in "June is for Finishing" - leave me a comment so I can come and check out how you get on.

Hopefully I'll be back in a day or two with something finished!