Sunday, 8 December 2013

Waffle Blanket 2 and Milestone Birthdays

This week has been hectic in the lead up to the Christmas season. Dance sport, Christmas cooking, house renovations - you name it, it was all on the go. I am not quite as prepared this year as I usually am. I will not be knitting individual gifts for the boys' teachers and I have just to accept that my Christmas cards overseas will not arrive on time. However, I have started my Christmas shopping and managed to bake some cookies. Here they are (Hermit cookies from my Betty Crocker  cookbook) in my brand new spotty biscuit tin. I am very excited about this tin, bought recently at Spotlight which came with a larger red cake tin with white spots. I have always wanted cake and biscuit tins!
The waffle blanket is drawing to a close (this picture is from a couple of days ago) despite being sorely tried by my social activities. It is not every week you have a milestone birthday! I have had a lovely decadent lunch/afternoon with girlfriends with amazing food and French champagne. I think that the lunch smoothed out the few remaining niggles I had about growing older - this is definitely the new 29!

I have just to add another three sets of sky blue. This blanket has felt a bit epic and I am looking forward to doing a slightly smaller knit for my next project. I am thinking perhaps something in bamboo?

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Cotton Waffle Blanket

Second post in a few days - that is very exciting! December is here and now I can no longer be in denial that Christmas is on its way. Since we have been so busy, I have not done my usual preparations and stockpiling of items from various Christmas markets. This means I am coming to terms with the need to do the dreaded "lead up to Christmas" shopping at the mall and the fact that for the first time in three years, I will not be churning out extra handmade gifts. However, the Christmas tree has been decorated by the boys and if we are not looking at the height of designer perfection, well I'm okay with that. They enjoyed themselves thoroughly and took special care in setting up the nativity (including dusting the shelf it was going on). That is saying a lot for 5 and almost 7 year old boys.

I am finally getting around to doing all the washing and blocking of the baby blankets I have made. The latest in Classic Blues is looking lovely. Both are available on the A Passionate Yarn Facebook page.

I am also experimenting with a new type of baby blanket - a waffle cotton blanket, made in a simple basket weave pattern. I think it will actually look quite stunning on some little boy's pram.
This week, the round of Christmas parties will start and so every moment spent knitting will be an oasis of calm, before venturing forth to celebrate in suitable Christmas spirits. Hopefully, I shall be able to show you next week a completed blanket!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Renovation Knitting: Cotton Blankets Galore

It has been an age since I have sat down at my computer to write a post. The house hunting and the commencement of renovations have taken their toll and my brain space is becoming increasingly compromised. I am learning a new vocabulary and a way of counting time, as renovations seem to unfold rather organically no matter how organised you are. Our beautiful new house is now in its most basic form....totally gutted, in her smalls so to speak and not in her best light. In the next month, hopefully she will gain her internal walls back and have the floors redone.
In the meantime, the knitting has continued and has been churned out at a cracking pace. I have been using up my odds and ends of cotton and coming up with some beautiful colour combinations. The baby blankets have kept me very happy when I really did not want to have to think about what I was doing.

I have loved this combination of blue, yellow and orange, which I am calling "Cheeky Monkey". I was not too sure about it until about half way through but I think it works quite well. I am hoping to spend a bit of time on the weekend to put these on the A Passionate Yarn website, which has been sadly neglected with all the work and house priorities.
The "Berry-licious" cotton baby blanket is now drying and I have one more"Classic Blues" blanket lined up for washing and blocking this weekend.
I had set my mind on putting in a big order for cotton in January, however, my knitting has used up more yarn than expected and I've had to order in early from Bendigo Woollen Mills. Quite an impressive pile! However, I am staying true to my intent of finishing up my remaining supplies of cotton and am testing out a new cotton baby blanket - red, navy blue, white in a textured knit. It should look quite smart for a little boy - maybe a marine theme?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Gelato Baby Blanket

The days have been speeding past without much time to take a breath and catch you up on all of the news. With much happening over the last week, the only knitting that has been happening were some bunting (unfortunately I forgot to photograph those) and this cotton baby blanket called Gelato. I am pretty excited because this is the last section and there is a good chance of finishing it tonight. This is the latest project in my quest to finish my cotton collection before moving into my new house. I reckon there are only about two more blankets to go!

There were some wonderful moments though over the last week and a bit, where lovely time was spent with knitters! Last weekend I had the privilege of giving an hours' worth of knitting class as part of Knitting for Mental Health along with a very crafty friend and that was so much fun. It reminded me of the joy in sharing with others things you love and seeing at least some finding a connection with this strange addictive activity that keeps me entertained every evening.
Beautiful rose spotted this morning
On the house front, we may be getting the keys on Monday....very exciting. As so many people have already put it, we are about to start our own version of "Grand Designs" no doubt I will be sharing many a renovation story with you....that is if the renovation has taken over all my knitting time in the mean time.....

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Miss Fisher's Scarf

A very quick post tonight as it is late and my body clock is still on Adelaide time. We had a wonderful time these holidays touring around Adelaide and its surrounding areas. It was wonderful to spend time as a family away from the day-to-day and was good too to be able to share some of it with my mother-in-law as well. We really all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Highlights for me were lunch at Maggie Beer's Farm Shop, a day by the sea at Glenelg, tapas and marvellous wine at The Apothecary 1878, shopping at Hahndorf, Adelaide Zoo and taking in a couple of amazing shows.

I did get to do some knitting too during this time. The inspiration came from the Miss Phryne Fisher book/TV series and her taste for architectural, art deco pieces of clothing. It is a much brighter pink colour than she would have used but I think the fishtail lace would have been right up her alley. It turned out really well, no small thanks to using stitch markers to mark the repeats of the lace pattern. This meant that I was able to very quickly fix any errors before they even became a problem and this got around the "it is too late at night to knit lace" syndrome. It will be joining the gallery of things to buy on the A Passionate Yarn website in due course.
I also finally took photos of the finished "Sea Dragon" Feather and Fan Scarf, I made a while back with some lovely Morris and Sons Quartet (soybean protein silk and wool blend).
I am off to work on some knitted bunting for a very exciting workshop that is happening next weekend. I will tell you a bit more about it later in the week as I get more organised. For now, have a wonderful start to the week and happy knitting!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Tutti Frutti Blanket 2 - The Start of the Holidays

A short post from me today to say that I am nearly finished the Tutti Frutti Blanket. I had made a pact with myself to finish it by the end of today to mark the start of the holidays. As I have only got eight more rows plus cast off, that should be easily achievable this evening with the aid of a glass of red and something fun to watch.

I managed to get a quick snapshot in the garden today, which is in contrast to the rest of the week of howling gales and rain....maybe spring is here somewhere! As I lay this out of the lawn, I could not help thinking how much I enjoy making these baby blankets. It is the same pattern many times over but the combination of different colours and the softness of the cotton always make it such a wonderful experience. I may be doing another one of these soon!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Tutti Frutti Ripple Blanket 1

It is windy and pouring down with rain again, despite being almost at the end of the first month of spring! The advantage of course, is that due to the poor weather, there is no real urgency to get out and about, fix things around the house or garden. As the boys have also been quite sick these last few days, the slower pace has enabled us to think a bit about our new house, what changes we'd like to make and investigate kitchen designs. Having always lived in rented homes, I always lived with what I had and now the notion of designing something that I actually want is both exciting and daunting. I have found that a few lines of knitting at a time helps as you browse kitchen designs or talk ideas through. 

My project of choice to do while I'm thinking of other things is this Tutti Frutti Ripple Blanket, made from Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton and a tiny bit of Panda Cotton Blend (for the orange). I love doing these little pram blankets and they have been much appreciated by family and friends. This one is destined for the A Passionate Yarn online shop.

At the same time, the fact that we are not having to go to any more home opens this weekend has enabled me to get some of the finished projects washed and blocked. The blanket on the last post is now dry and ready for its ends to be weaved in. It is now the turn of the little red cotton Feather and Fan cardigan (size 12-18 months) to take its place on the drying/blocking board. This will also go to stock up the A Passionate Yarn online shop which has been sadly neglected over the last few months. I am not sure exactly when I will be able to post them back up, probably in late October/early November. In the pipeline is also a green cotton cabled sleeveless cardigan (Size 4) which I have started.