Thursday, 28 February 2013

Suri Alpaca Wrap: The Beginnings

I'm back from Adelaide, which was a really great experience. I really enjoyed the city and got to do a lot of things I don't normally have time for like going to the Art Gallery, seeing a show and shopping! No yarn shopping this time as I was only in the city centre and I didn't fancy going to Lincraft or Spotlight.

I was really proud also to have been able to continue all of the good exercise and amazed myself by being at the gym just after 6am on two consecutive days...miraculous! With all this great fun and being utterly exhausted every night, that left not as much time to knit as anticipated but managed to sneak in a "me" knit. This is made from beautiful Suri Alpaca from Lawithick Farm in 3ply. It is a bit like knitting with dental floss so I've kept the pattern very simple. It is a feather and fan detail at both ends and just stocking stitch in the middle. I hope I have enough yarn, if not it might turn out to be a lap warmer! It's beautiful and frothy and while the colour is not true in this picture, it is a gorgeous silvery violet.

I also 'finished' Ben's Lorix by inadvertently modifying the collar - i.e. misreading the instructions and being too tired to rip it out, decided to plough on and turn it into a shawl collar. Needless to say that I will be ripping the collar out and redoing it. While I love the Lorix pattern and wouldn't hesitate to do it again...this project is now feeling very much like hard work. The sooner finished, the better!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Ben's Lorix in Wool 2

It has been a bit of an erratic blog in these last couple of weeks due to starting the new healthy living program, illness (ah yes, couldn't quite shake that one but all ok now) and a hectic period of work. My knitting has suffered greatly apart from the day I was home sick and couldn't do much more that knit. This has had real advantages as I've almost finished the Lorix for Ben - just need to do the collar section. I've even already sewn in the ends!

In a perfect world I would finish this tonight, ready to give to Ben tomorrow. However, as we were all awake at about 5am this morning, I have my doubts whether even toothpicks propping up my eyelids would work! I have to finish it though in time for the end of the month!

On a real high today, I attended half a day at Little B's kindy and it was fantastic to be able to see him in his element in all the activities and enjoying himself!

I'll be away in Adelaide for a few days so no blog until Thursday but hopefully I'll have plenty to show you!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Lorix Revisted - Cotton Trumped by Wool

My apologies for being a bit distracted this week....we're having a couple of changes happening in our family which we're in the middle of processing (all good!) and the time for knitting and other generally being online has dramatically decreased.

The first big change of course is Little B going to Kindy for half days - this week he's going for two full days. The second is of course a shift to exercising and healthy eating. I'm sure as we all get into our strides...I'll find a bit more time for my favourite activity! The great news is that I can report that Little B loves school and that I've lost a kilo in a week and have managed to add a bit of running to my walking, which I have not done since before Big B was born.

In the meantime on the knitting front, I've blocked and weaved in the ends for the Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket. It looks gorgeous! It is now all ready to be packed off to Singapore when the time comes.
I also had a real struggle with my Cotton Lorix. I continued it until I had done all of the body and joined the shoulders. As I was doing the first armband, I realised that it would never look as it should and I wouldn't be happy gifting it. Not the fault of the pattern at all but rather my interpretation in cotton. So, heartbreakingly, I have started again with Bendigo Woolen Mills Luxury in Acorn. It was the best decision as it is just easy knitting now and in about a day (most of it not spent knitting) I've done what is shown below and really enjoyed it. I'm also using the beautiful stitch markers gifted to me by Jen from Candy Apple Lane and it is making the whole experience even better. I can't wait to see how this knit turns out!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Rainbow Ripple Blanket 2

I love when a piece of knitting finally comes together and you see before you exactly what was in your mind's eye. For quite a while now I wanted to attempt a rainbow ripple baby blanket as all examples I have seen always look so spectacular and full of joy that you just know as the baby grows up, this blanket will continue to be with them. I really enjoyed knitting this piece and will be knitting another again sometime soon.
This is a picture taken from the boy's tree house very early in the morning (6.30am) and I'm sure my neighbours must have thought me pretty dotty to be out there photographing knitting. However, I think this will be the perfect gift for a little baby girl that is due to be born next month in Singapore. When it no longer fits her, hopefully she'll be able to turn it into a doll blanket or a snuggly.

Also, now that I have this beautiful blanket mostly out of the way, I am getting traction on the Cotton Lorix. I've got the back done so now I've just got to do the front and sleeves. By the way, it was also transported to the tree house for its morning photo! There is still time to join Allison Britt's KAL on Budding Designers Downunder Forum on Ravelry. There are some really amazing prizes to be won.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Healthy Living Phase 1

This is the end of my first week of a healthy lifestyle change and I'm really chuffed that I'm actually doing it. Why am I doing it? Well, last week I was given the results of my annual full check up with my GP and well, the short of it is while I'm not yet 40, my body is pretty much over that mark and showing signs of not being as healthy as it should be. So this week, the focus has not been on knitting (although this is always an important part) but on changing from this....

A person who is pressed for time, not fully relaxing and not taking enough care of herself to......

A fit and relaxed woman capable of taking on anything! First phase of actually moving and eating right has gone well, now to embark on week 2!

On the knitting front, I've finished the Rainbow Ripple Blanket so I'll be able to show you pictures early next week and I'm well underway with the Cotton Lorix. It has been a bit unloved these last few days. I think this is because the beige colour is just difficult to get motivated about - however, onwards and upwards and this too should be finished this week.

Hope you have a great start to the week!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Cotton Lorix 2: Not Going to Make It In Time

Okay, it was overly ambitious to think I could possibly finish this vest even without the front pocket for Baby Ben's birthday...I forgot I would have one less night to knit and didn't anticipate having generally less knitting time (having two boys start school with one for the first time does put a dent on your time!) plus some difficulties with my choice of yarn.

It is a beautiful pattern that normally I would thoroughly enjoy knitting. However my choice of cotton is making it a less than  congenial experience. As cotton has no stretch, you having to be absolutely perfect in your magic loop and normally I have no issues but on this knit, every slightly imperfect stitch shows up as a glaring error. I seem to be losing my knitting mojo as stitch after stitch is looking less even.

As I won't be finishing it tomorrow, I am going to set it aside a night and pick it up again when I'm seeing the glass half-full again and can see its potential again.

Tonight, I'll work on my rainbow ripple's orange and pink tonight on the menu. That is sure to perk any girl up and is the perfect way to celebrate Little B's first day at Kindy. He had a good time and was thoroughly exhausted by his first day....his mama is as well. It may be a very early night in this household!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Lorix the Cotton Version 1

We are now well into the first week of the Sparrow Play KAL on Ravelry and I am only just making headway on my chosen project. Allison has some really great patterns to choose from and I was about to make the Sideways Dude pattern. However, on the weekend, I thought I'd double check with gorgeous Ben's mummy and a vest would suit his needs better, preferably cotton.

So back to the drawing board for me and I decided to make a Lorix vest. I consulted with Allison about its suitability for cotton and with a few modifications, I'm giving it a go. I'm using Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8ply French Navy for the trim and the same cotton in Latte using two balls of 4ply. Not sure it is going to give me the right result but fingers crossed!

I've battled a bit with this knit - through no fault of the pattern but rather due to the needle I was using so I'm feeling a little cross-patchy about this knit (It probably doesn't help that this is my first week of healthier eating). There is a bit of a laddering gap at each end (irritating since I was paying attention to it) and I'm hoping I can even this out as I don't really feel like going through all of that again. However, I"m now on to the very easy going body with one of my favourite circulars so I should be cruising shortly. I will have to make a decision soon as to whether I redo but at the moment I'm going to live with it.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Rainbow Ripple Blanket 1

As this weekend edges to a close, a little bit of quiet returns to the house and I get to spend a few minutes sharing a couple of pictures of my latest work in progress. My lovely husband has just come home from a "blokes' weekend" with his best mates and therefore I am anticipating that my knitting time will shortly return to its previous levels! Having said that, the boys and I have had great fun - cooking, going to friends and going out to dinner. They tried deep-fried ice cream and thought it the most wonderful food they had ever tasted!

With not so much energy left in the evenings, I've really enjoyed having a simple satisfying knit. This is a slightly modified version of the previous ripple blanket I did to accommodate a rainbow theme.

I'm using up some of my Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton and have also added a bit of Rowan Linbel for the orange touch. Just pink and red to go now! I'm not quite sure yet who this is destined for. I'm quite enjoying the thought of a few baby blankets piling up.

I've also finished the first ripple baby blanket in boy colours and just need to finish weaving in all of the ends. The colour is a little subdued in this picture - see my second last post before this one for a more accurate view.
In case you're wondering, my cotton cardigan didn't get a look in at all this week....don't think I have any chance of meeting my self-imposed deadline, especially now that I'd also like to gift Ben a Lorix vest for his birthday as part of the February Sparrow Play KAL. Oh well, just more wonderful knitting to do!