Friday, December 30, 2011

One Two Three Four

Tell me that you love me more.
I don't feel like talking - I just feel like knitting. I feel like showing you my beautiful hydrangeas, how my dog likes to sleep, my new scarf which is the most beautiful purple malabrigo sock yarn (colour doesn't work so well on my little point and shoot), a hat before it is blocked, mitts for my daughter in law and one sock for my grandson - now back to the knitting.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Fifth Day of Christmas

I'm sitting here alone, in my living room, Christmas tree lights blinking and stormy clouds outside my window. I miss my family, some of whom are in the states right now. I look forward to having Christmas with them in the coming years here, where it's warm and lovely on the day. My son, right now, is wrapped up in a winter coat and hat when all he wants is to grab his surfboard and head out for some waves after present opening on Christmas Day. My grandson knows who Santa Claus is for the first time and doesn't especially like him. He has a 'Gaga' (that's his name for me and now it's stuck) who lives in the computer. I long to give him a cuddle and hold him on my lap while I read the Night Before Christmas to him.

I don't really care about Christmas. I like it enough but it's awfully forced for too much liking. To me it is a day to spend with my sons - only one this year but he'll do - and eat good food, special food, that we wouldn't have the rest of the year. It is a time to talk to family and old friends. It is some time away from work and school to reflect on life and get some of those 'Isn't it a Shame' (I didn't have more time) things done. It's my time to go to galleries and exhibitions, movies and out for lunches.

I am sentimental over old Christmas years. I miss my Dad and other good friends and family memebers who have passed away - Dad loved Christmas for the same reasons as I like it - food and family. But as lonely as I feel, as sad as I am that I only get to Skype with my family, I also feel incredibly lucky in my life. I have health, safety, love, freedom, hot water and a toilet, hope, money, food, my eyes, the internet, quiet, independence, books, a creative mind, music, yarn and an open mind. Lucky. I will not take any of these things for granted in the future. I will revel in the fact that I can have a shower every day, go for a walk with no fear, drink clean water, read Salmon Rushdie and speak my mind. I will pay attention and be merry. I will drink a glass of eggnog and toast my good fortune.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Knitting, but not Today

Last night I stayed up late and finished a beautiful (I hope) shawl knit with beautiful Malibrigo (I know) sock yarn. Today I was going to soak it and block it but I just didn't get to it. Anyone who has knit lace knows that if I post a photo now it will just look like a purple lump of tangled wool. The blocking deserves attention so it will have to wait until next weekend.

Last week I finished one of two socks knit out of left-over stash yarn. I used the Bendigo 4 ply for another project and had bits of three balls left-over so my brother will get a pair of socks. These aren't a Christmas present, just socks. But who wants to post a picture of one sock?

I am also madly crocheting away on the big blanket for my friend's 60th coming up in February. I love the way it looks and it is about 2/3rds finished. I'll be very proud of it when it is done and will absolutely post a picture when it is.

Lots of knitting but no photos.

Today I made some more aprons. I got the pattern from Sweetwater's Simple Home book. I really love this book and plan to make more projects from it.

These are late Birthday presents for two friends in the states. I hope they like them. They were a lot of fun to sew. I have turned my study desk into the sewing table for December and January until uni starts again. I have a couple of projects ready and I also will be sewing some pants for myself.

A couple of weeks ago I sewed a shirt for myself and when I went to trim a seam I cut a huge hole right in the front. I'm not sure how to save it - I was so disgusted I just folded it up and stuck it in a plastic bag to look at later.

I am so looking forward to sewing and knitting with abandon over the next couple of months. I am taking 3 weeks off over Christmas but I am not giving myself any sort of list of things to get done in that time. I always feel so guilty when I don't accomplish all I said I would. I will make a list each morning of things I would LIKE to do on the day, but they will just be suggestions. I'll just see how I go.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Finished and lovely

These are Embossed Leaves Socks from Favorite Socks. The wool is Socks That Rock and I love it. These socks were an absolute delight to knit and my ball of wool lasted only until the very last stitch. I can't believe that there was exactly the right amount of wool for these socks.

When I got this book I made a promise - well, more like a suggestion to myself that I would knit every sock in the book. I have knit 6 of the 25 in the three years I have owned it. And now I've gone and bought another sock book because I just can't help myself. The Knitter's Book of Socks by Clara Parkes and I will have to knit every one of them too. Lots of socks to look forward to this summer.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fire Trucks, Star Wars and Baseball

My Grandson is waayy into Fire Trucks at the moment. Everything in his little world stops cold at the sound of a siren. It's hard to find Fire Truck fabric.

Grandson was introduced to Star Wars by his Star Wars crazy father so ... Thanks Sarah Bradberry for the design, our little Storm Trooper has a Bendigo Cotton cap for winter. BTW he isn't 2 yet and loves the Wookie.

I am a huge baseball fan. One of the only ones I know here in Australia - well, one of the only girls I know. My mother is a big fan too so we Skype about it sometimes. I buy a subscription to every year to watch games on my computer. I don't watch too much tv so this is a great time for knitting, crochet etc. And I always have a World Series (I know - it is the worst title for a final since really, it's only the US and one Canadian team in the league although there are mostly players from other countries) project - usually socks. These are Embossed Leaves Socks from Favorite Socks. I'm such a fan of lace patterned socks that are easy but look spectacular. This is a good pattern.

I always worry about running out of wool so I either buy too much or knit short socks. This is a very old ball of Socks that Rock bought 5 years ago in the states so there is no chance of getting more. So I knit part of one, break the yarn, knit part of another, and continue until I run out of wool. This is probably not the most efficient way to do it but at least I will run out of wool at the same spot on both socks if I do. I have some lovely purple sock yarn just in case.

Yesterday's game was the most exciting games I can remember ever watching. Today will be the last game of the year and I won't get those socks done - I have housework to fit in between innings and pitcher changes so I won't have solid knitting time. But I am so excited about this game today - Go Cards.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I mowed and I sewed

Bush Figs even the birds won't eat - worse luck.

Spring has sprung and I had a mowing frenzy this afternoon. Feels good.

Inspired by my friend Nettie (who knits, sews, works fulltime at a highly stressful job, mothers, grandmothers - all in one life! Inspiring) I got out the sewing machine and made a couple of aprons. My grandmother used to have 'house aprons' that she wore around the house constantly - I have photos. I have made some patterns but these aren't them. A while ago I was given some old dresses that a friend's mother sewed for herself but didn't finish before she died. I said I would make aprons and now I have.

The pocket is the yoke.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I love them but....

What do you do with the bright hot pink fake flowers you got from your son on mother's day?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm a Catherine's Wheel Fan

I really love Catherine's Wheel - thanks Catherine wherever you are! I just hope I don't burn out and die! The one with the alternate cream wheels is for me. The other for Catherine's 60th birthday next February. I can't believe we are all getting close to 60! I started it well and truly with enough time to finish it and with these cold evenings lasting a little longer it is quite nice to have it on my lap.

It is quite strange that 3 of my best knitting friends have been crocheting lately - all independent of each other. I love it. It's great to mix it up a little. Can't wait till next long weekend to get stuck into Breaking Bad season 3 and Catherine's Catherine's Wheel.

I'm on the lookout for my next project. I have three blankets on the go, so need small things to break up the monotony (IF it all gets boring, which so far it has not). I bought My Grandmother's Knitting (there's a lovely little shawl in there) and have ordered The Best of Interweave Crochet. Fun things to come over summer! Happy Needles everyone.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I have been knitting too.

But I have also been crocheting. First time for anything other than a border in years. I have always loved this pattern and wanted to do something with it. The only problem is I have to look at it while I do it. Knitting I don't have to look anymore.

These are for my god-daughter's sister. Calorimetry from

Several babies due soon so I am prepared with two boys sweaters - Debbie Bliss inspired cardigans.

And a new spring jacket for Daisy. Just needs to be ironed and mailed.

And finally for me - Multnomah scarf. Really lovely and I wear it a lot.

I have been searching for another crochet afghan pattern that I like because I have a lot of wool to use up before I can buy more - and I am feeling an urge to buy more. So if anyone has any favourites please let me know.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've been having some fun sewing.

A good friend sent me some photos of her darling little granddaughter and I had an overwhelming urge to knit her another little cotton cardigan. This one is a Debbie Bliss wrap around. More pic when it is done.

I have been quilting some, too. I collected this feedsack material over the past couple of years with full intent of recreating my Granny's unfinished quilt. She made it with papers and it is all hand pieced. I just couldn't take on another long-term project so I am making a Wonky Log Cabin Quilt from Block Party. I am enjoying putting this together now that I have more whold days off from work.

I also sewed some aprons. One half apron and one full with a little Collett Dinigan lace off-cut for friends having birthdays. One's been delivered and the other hasn't yet. It's been a bit hard to get to the post office with a broken toe. But my foot is much better now so it will be mailed on Monday. I hope they like them.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bridal Shrug

I have had the honor of, again, knitting something for a bride. This is Cascade Yarn's Something Lacy Shrug, knit from Bendigo cotton. This is the exception of the year of knitting for me. In fact, I have right now decided that that rule of knitting only for me this year, is going to be tossed out the proverbial window.

I have enough knitted stuff to last me quite a while. I will knit myself one beret starting this coming weekend when I have some time to go through all of my magazines and books to find the perfect pattern. And I am working on a sock yarn blankie for myself, but then I think it is time to knit for children again. The world is a better place when all of my friends under 5 years old are dressed in handknit garments.

One of my son's good friends, who is also a friend of mine now, lost her dog a few months ago. He had bone cancer and was quietly, lovingly put to sleep. I made her this silly little pin in memory of Moose. He was a good dog.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


This was a very easy knit. The main yarn is Bendigo Luxury. The pattern is King of Confidence from I used 2 balls of Habu A-29 tobi moire, that I bought several years ago on a trip to the US, around the yoke.

The yarn is just too heavy for the pattern - for the larger size anyway. And the Habu, although quite delicate adds weight to the cardi too. It will be great for wearing out on very cold days but I won't wear it for dressing up at all - it makes me look even bigger than I am already. I would try again with a finer yarn someday maybe, if I need another mindless knit.

Now I think I am in the mood for difficult.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I just wrote a little piece on The Approach over at my Bookviews Blog. I am interested in knitter's approaches to new projects. Do you have a ritual approach or do you just dive in without much forethought?

I always read the pattern through and swatch. Usually the knitting goes smoothly but sometimes, even though I've read the pattern, it gets squirrelly on me. I like that about knitting. I like solving problems. I like less the mundane and predictable.

I also love thinking about approaches. Maybe I'll write a book.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Something small

I got tired of knitting something big.

So I knit something small.

A whole bunch of my son's friends, who I have known since they were 15 years old, are starting families so I thought I would stock up on some neutral baby knits. I'll make them into boy or girl cardigans with buttons. I really love knitting baby clothes.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Today, thanks to a young friend, I got a great lesson. I was complaining about the fact that 3/4s of my family are overseas and I just can't seem to get past it to happiness. My family is really important to me. She said maybe this striving for happiness thing is over-rated. Maybe I should go for contentment. Well, it felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I know how to make myself content.

There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment.

If I go for contentment I will succeed and then be closer to happy. Knit, quilt, read, watch movies, cook and eat tasty and healthy food, ride my bike, see my friends, listen to great music and hang out with my dogs.

Table cloth is finished - now time to find the quilt pattern for my feedsack material. I am leaning toward modern quilt style - lots of white. Sigh. Contentment.

Oh, and the pattern for my red and white table cloth is from Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Clean or Quilt?

Well, I could say a little of both but actually there has been a little cleaning and a lot of quilting. I feel a little obsessed. I don't mind feeling obsessed with craft, especially when I don't have any homework to do. I have started out small and am gathering ideas for big! Something to think about besides Othello and ancient architecture (although I am still thinking about that too - so interesting!)

This is my small project - a table cloth.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Promises

I had a really lovely day last weekend with Nettie and a another friend drinking tea and knitting, talking about books and knitting, making decisions about life and knitting. I am doing a year of me knitting out of my stash. And the best suggestion of the day for me was knitting the Sock Wool Blanket. I love it. It is fun to knit, doesn't take too much concentration, really colourful and portable (well, right now anyway). It will be my Masterchef knitting for the winter.

And I promise to weave the ends in as I go!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I promised.

I promised myself that I would finish things. I have the same problem that a lot of people have - I don't always finish things. Sure, I finish my essays because I have a deadline and I need a grade. I finish cooking the whole meal and I mostly finish a book.
But my craft projects often sit by the wayside for way to long.
So! I am going to finish at least most of my projects before I start others - and I have got some great ideas for the 'others'. (I am going to reproduce my Granny's 1930's feedsack quilt that I have the unfinished top of and was told by the expert quilt lady at Addicted to Fabric not to finish or it would diminish the worth of the quilt - whew! I have started collecting material but that is for another blog)

So here are the projects (mostly quilts) that I am going to finish before I start another one - except for the Baltimore Quilt - I gave myself 10 years to finish and that was 5 years ago - five years left (it will take at least 6 months to hand quilt it so that makes it only 4 1/2 years to finish the top!)

Hopefully, soon, I will be blogging about projects that I started years ago - 30 years for the burgundy baby quilt - that are finished.