Monday, January 26, 2009


Yarn Swap Version 3.

This was sent to Sheryl in Taranaki. She has let me know she received it, and she knew it was from me, so here is a shot.

Its Bendigo Rustic 8ply, and the theme is honey.

I originally dyed this up to make another rainbow dress, but I ended up liking it so much, and it fit with a theme so nicely, so I decided to send it to Sheryl instead. She is on a campaign to knit a sweater a month at the mo, so I doubt socks will make on her needle until she gets through her February and March jumpers ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lunch Bag

TNN are doing a series of yarn swaps at the moment, I have just sent off #3, so I shall put that up next week when my swapper receives it.

But this project was started right back from V1. Its been sitting there because I had run out of white 10ply hand wash wool. BUt I found some last week in my stash, and decided to put it to good use.

So here is the before shot:

And the after shot:

I need to find a fun button (oh damn - a trip to spotlight, or knit world.....) but I'm pretty happy with the result. A new lunch bag!

Pattern was from Knitty, and is called Brown Bag. I never found out who this swapper was, but I hope they like what I did with the wool.

(I'll be honest and say I pushed this project ahead cause I needed my 6mm, 40cm addis for another project ;) )

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Going live soon at Craft Fetish

This is my latest idea to sell through my online store Yarn-A-Du at Craft Fetish.

The Rainbow Dress by the lovely Tikki is a very popular item to knit in NZ. After the great comments on my last dresses on both Ravelry and TNN, I decided to dye up kits for people who want a similar sort of effect. Tikki thinks its a great idea too ;) - Thanks Georgie!

Rainbow kits, using a superwash NZ made DK/8 ply wool, come with two colours. The main colour is a variegated wool dyed with different repeats that will pool in unique ways on the skirt. Included in the kit is matching semi-solid, kettle dyed wool designed to be used for the bodice.

The approximate breakdowns are 50g and 150g, but there are small, medium and large kits.

I anticipate that there will plenty of wool to make one rainbow dress, and possibly a matching dolls dress, or maybe a beanie for your little girl.

Of course - there is nothing to say you have to use them for rainbow dresses - maybe for a special boys item of your choosing.

Going live Wednesday 21st Jan at 7pm. 7 kits available at this stage - more to follow!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rainbow Dress Take 2

So someone else asked me to knit them a rainbow dress, but this time I did something a little different.

I started with this

Which I then dyed into this

And added this

To make this.

Unfortunately my vision wasn't the same as the orderer's vision, so I have 1 rainbow dress that needs a new home. Anyone interested? Sized about 18m-3y. Its overall length is about 41cm.

Its verrrrrry pretty and I am sure I can sell it to someone :)

The dreams begin...

So the new career starts in 2 weeks. And I am ashamed to admit I am having "those" dreams.

You know - the ones that show you have no control over your class (and you are screaming at them.....), you have no knowledge of pedagogy or content, you upset all the others in the department at the staff meeting.

The list goes on. Everytime I think of the dreams I start packing myself about the fact that the dream will be a reality in a very short time.

But then I remind myself that I am OK with this teaching thing, I do know my content, and I am totally into power sharing - so I dont actually have to yell at the kids, I am all for negotiating the best situation and environment to suit us all.

Still - I dont remember having these nightmares about engineering? Maybe its cause I cared less back then, and I am far more interested in making a jolly good go of this teaching gig.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meet Crawford

This is the latest addition to our family.

A West Highland White Terrier who we have chosen to call Crawford (Yes one member of the family is obsessed by the Hawthorn Hawks - an AFL team......)

Crawford arrived here this morning, much to everyone else's surprise. We had been looking at them all week after a recommendation from our Vet, and their temperament all week had been lovely. This little girl is the quietest of the little, with I think the nicest face - not that I know anything about the breed! While she is from purebred stock, she comes without papers, which is just fine. We may look at having puppies down the track, or maybe not - keep options open.

The kids are besotted, Dermot the Burmese is doing OK, and so far no accidents.

These dogs are supposed to be fantastic companion dogs, great with kids and older people. Hardy, cheeky and intelligent, Crawford will be a welcome addition and with any lucky a great little dog.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The wierd questions you get asked....

So I am booked in for an MRI on Monday for my ankle. Turns out that the ortho surgeon I went to today identified a loose piece of bone in my ankle, which is likely to be the reason I have been in such pain for the last 8m. It seems the "bit" is well rounded, so it possibly is old, and comes from the initial sprains in my ankle from when I was 13-14.

Anyhoo - I am looking at surgery, 6w in a cast, a couple of weeks off work (possibly....) and an ankle reconstruction to tighten up sloppy soft tissue.

But the interesting thing was when being asked medical questions for the MRI, I was asked about claustrophobia (I can understand that one), metal inserts or plates (again, I get that one) and then out of the blue - have you had metal removed from your eye......

Well actually I have! In the BC (Before Children) days, when Shane and I used to be able to have some fun, we went go-carting, which resulted in a metal splinter in my eye. Roll on the hospital, a sharp implement to remove said splinter, eye drops, pain and a scar left on my eyeball that gets commented on everytime I visit an optomatrist.

So evidentally it will all be OK since the whole thing was removed (under the watchful eye of about 6 baby doctors and the specialist who narrated the whole thing) but imagine that - in the MRI, and BOOOM - your eye gets punctured from the piece of metal in your eye flying out towards the strong magnetic field.

Cool :)

Just thought that was amusing - I've never been asked that before, and it just sort of surprised me.

The downside of the surgery - No netball this year. 6-12m recovery. Unhappy school with teacher on first year of service taking sick leave. Cast and Moonboot for 6w. Pain. Possible weight gain - thus diet.

The upside - more knitting time!! Excuse for said beginner teacher to sit in the corner of the class and issue instructions. No whiteboard writing for 6w. Development of lots of OHT and Computer based resources for kids. Next year - Painfree netball, running, swimming etc.

Wonder what my HOD will say next week when I fill him in. Hopefully I can schedule said surgery for end of term 1 or 2 holidays. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wollmeise - first project

Well I have finished my first project for the year.

I turned this

into this

And I love it.

Used around 70g of fingering weight wool, and had a few gauge issues as you can see in the colour repeat. I thought about frogging it, but decided it would be a constant reminder than gauge is important!

Plus it doesn't affect the size at all, just the colour pooling.

Onto the next project.......

Friday, January 9, 2009

Rainbow Dress

I got to make a rainbow dress!!! YAYAY! I have always wanted to make one, but dont really know anyone to make one for, as it seems a bit strange to force knitted items on people with girls ;)

A few days ago someone on TNN asked if there was anyone who would make a rainbow dress for them, as they are a non-knitter. I jumped at the chance!

I scoured my stash trying to decide what I was going to use, as there was nor real colour specification. Finally I cracked into my shop stash (Yarnadu at Craft Fetish) and decided to use this 10ply rainbow and another ball that was sitting in a very tangled skein that I had put months ago in the too hard basket.

What a result! I used every single scrap of the yarn - so all up about 180g of 10ply, and knitted the pattern as a 12m size with 4mm needles - hoping that it would come out the right size for a 2-3yo.

I absolutely love this dress, I love the colour repeats, and the combination. I am so proud that I dyed both the yarns, and they make me feel very "competant" as a dyer. Not quite enough to throw my job out the window and dye wool, but all the same enough to get the creative juices going to do some dyeing in the next week. I haven't done any dyeing for a few months now - been busy and all that, but you know, I should do some more as I am pretty good at it!

So now that one rainbow dress is done, I am trying to decide if I want to do anymore. I think that if I do, I will need to ensure that I have a cool colour change to look forward to, as it was this factor that made me charge ahead and knit it in silly heat for a whole day!

Well done Tikki - a great design, and I think a lovely result.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My jungle

I am a homebod - a typical cancerian. Love to have all my things around me in the nest that is my home.
I have always had trouble being away from home for more than about 2 weeks at a time, so our holidays tend to be 10-14d things. Any longer out of the country and I get antsy.

On this holiday my worries were a little more grounded - I was petrified about the garden - specifically the tomatoes and my sunflowers.

I had been growing the sunflowers from seed, and before leaving they were nice and tall, and looked like they were ready to pop. I was so afraid I was going to miss the blooms while away in Oz.

Thankfully they behaved, and only one went into bloom while we were away - the others have decided to come out one at a time. Which is nice of them.

I was also worried about the tomatoes. Having never grown tomatoes successfully, this was all a bit of trial and error. While we had staked them before leaving, the amount of growth they went through in 2 weeks was nuts - and it was like a jungle! I have been pruning them for the last hour, and there were alot of clippings, and some lost green tomatoes. But I had to try and get them a little more happy.

I'm not sure if they are now good or not - I guess time will tell whether they get attacked by bugs, or blight, but hopefully the green ones will continue to ripen and we will have lots (or at least a few) nice fresh tomatoes.

We are also having lots of luck at the moment with the carrots (although most of the seeds didn't germinate), courgette/zucchini, beans, beetroot, spinach, and we just picked our last 2 cabbage.

This little beastie is something that has self sown beside the tomatoes and the compost bin.

Not sure what it is. I *think* its a pumpkin. If there are any other suggestions, please leave a comment so we know how big to let it get.

Our plums, pears and apples are all going along nicely. The kids picked most of the first years crop already, so the trees only have to try and ripen up about 3 pieces of fruit each. Now that the cherry plums are in season, and there are plenty of strawberries to hunt for, hopefully their little minds will be distracted enough to let the rest of the fruit on the trees ripen.

How are your garden's growing this summer? Enough rain around for them?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bag Swap

Gee - I just love swaps! Well actually thats not entirely true....

I dont like the stress of getting the swap out, but I love receiving swaps and I also love getting my swap wrapped up and out the door!

My latest was a bag swap with TNN - The Nappy Network - which is an NZ cloth nappy website.

The criteria was a $10 max spend and the bag had to be made yourself. I decided to knit a bag since most of the others were sewing, and well, knitting is so much more portable! Actually the real answer is my sewing table is covered in uni stuff, and I can't be bothered sorting it until I have my new office at school.

So unfortunately I didn't get the swap finished by the deadline, which was about the 20th Dec, and as we flew out to Oz on the 16th, I was kinda stuffed. Luckily I got an extension, which was very nice, and here I am showing my swap before its sent.... I think the post office is closed now isn't it? No point in not showing it :)

It is the Elissa Nest Tote from the Purl Bee (I love this website!!!!!) and I'm pretty happy with it. The applied I-cord border took me a couple of goes, but I got there in the end.

As it was late I decided to add a couple of extras - some hot pink tea-towels, a ball-band dishcloth in contrasting colours, some choccy and I have regifted some seeds from the lovely Shae, as we already had these in our stash ( and I thought the idea of brown packet, rainbow silverbeet worked well with the whole theme ). Its now wrapped up in monster fabric and ready to be sent on Monday!

I received a lovely package in return from my swapper in Hamilton.

Not sure who - I am hopeless at trying to figure these things out! 3 bags, I think they will be good for the library. Red and black pirates for Hamish, purple butterflies for Jenna, and a nice black and green bag for me (I guess?).

Thanks so much swappers (for your patience and your great work) and here's to the next swap. Hand Dyed yarn swap in Feb 09.

Wollmeise - spolier shots!

About 4-5 months ago I signed up for the Wollmeise sock club on a bit of a lark. It was 180Euro, and realistically a poor student can't afford that luxury, but I thought if I got a place, I would pass it on.

Well I got a place, and on the day I got it, Shane and I had a jolly big row so I decided - its mine!!! Bang on the credit card, and it was kept secret for a few weeks. Actually - its the only time I have ever been completely secretive about a wool purchase!

So I have had 2 deliveries now, and they are totally gorgeous. I was going to split the sock club with a couple of others from Woolaholics - a forum I frequent - but as I do love them all, and I have been completely unsuccessful at any of the Wollmeise updates to date (and I have sat through 3!!!!!) I have decided to keep them all. Sorry girls.....

So here are some droolworthy shots now that the spoilers are all done with - I think?

From the first shipment we have Buxkranzl (Box Wreath) and Hollerstaud'n (Elderberry). Lovely!!!!!!

Not sure what I will use these for - probably not socks.....

Then last shipment (December) was Jultomte and Saami.

Now if you have never been lucky enough to get a bit of Wollmeise, I shall show you how each skein is wrapped...

So far, Saami is my least favourite, but that really doesn't say much as they are all stunning, so it was the first to be removed from the skein form.

I have decided to try the Saami on two projects - hopefully enough as each skein is 150g. I am going to try the Chickidee Cowl (rav link), and then some forget-me-not socks, and see how I go for yardage. I have actually bitten the bullet and skeined this up, and of course taken some shots ;).

I cannot wait to cast on. Its killing me!!!!! But at least having the wool balled up makes me feel a little closer to using it. The colourway is very very strong, so I am hoping the linen stitch on the cowl will break up the colour repeat, and the socks because they have a small yardage. But we shall see - I have no problem frogging if its not 100% great :)

How I have neglected thee.....

Oh Blog - poor thing - I have neglected you for a couple of months now.
But here I am - back with lots of news! This is a family post - crafty ones to follow.....

We have just returned from Oz where we went for a 2 weeks holiday over Chrissie. Great fun! Kids had a ball seeing their grandfather and aunts and uncle, and of course a cousin.
Hamish had his second birthday while we were there, and I admit I couldn't be bothered cooking a cake, so we bought this one from Baskin and Robbins, and it went down a treat! Best thing I could have done.

Grumps has the greenest garden in Geelong, thanks to several water tanks that catch rainwater from every surface he can manage, and the kids loved picking all the green apricots, roses, green apples, green cherry tomatoes, beans and whatever else they could get their hands on.

Poor grumps will be happy to see the back of us! As will the cats.

I got to catch up with a few friends which was really nice, and may have nursed a few hangovers. My mothers group from when Jenna was born is still meeting every 2 weeks, and we got to catch up. This isn't all the kids - there are 3 missing, but a happy healthy, rambunctious mob if ever you saw them! Great kids though.

And as with all good trips to Oz, ended up a couple of kg's heavier, lots of credit debt, and of course suitcases full!