Sunday, 28 July 2013

Tropical Bird Milo (And What To Do When Your Son Falls into a Cactus)

The Milo vest for Big B is finished and it a great culmination of what has been a very interesting weekend. It all started with a day off for me...very unusual and very lovely to be able to stay at home snug and warm knitting while the rain and wind tried to beat our poor house into submission (Pictures of the unblocked vest as a result of this extra knitting time. Yarn is "Forest in Spring" by Candy Apple Lane).

It continued with an Alice in Wonderland birthday party where Little B shone in Mad Hatter-inspired dance moves (obviously does not get that from his parents!) and then we got to the cactus incident....

You know how in various cartoons, you always get a character who manages to run into a cactus (e.g. Wily Coyote) and you always think, how implausible is that? Well, we have two tiny cacti that live in a large raised ceramic pot. What are the odds for Little B to fall and put both his hands in the pot on the cacti? He came screaming into the house with his two hands very red and swollen. On came the ice (and painkiller) and then to think the next plan of attack. I couldn't see any thorns but decided to read up about how to proceed. Turns out that a way to go about it is to lather the hands with white craft glue, let it set and then peel the glue and the thorns off. I was not sure if there were any thorns left but it seemed to have helped and was great in taking his mind off the pain. So if you are faced with the same situation, you know what to do!

Also, I found a great new recipe which you may enjoy for both children and adults called "Volcanic Eggs". It is from the "4 Ingredients Kids" cookbook. Very simple and the boys loved it. It is basically eggs on toast with a twist. You separate the eggs, keeping the yolks separate (I kept them in the half egg shells). Beat the egg whites and mound on a piece of toast (one egg per toast) and then make a dent in the mound and put the egg yolk in. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and a bit of pepper (the ash!) and bake for 8-12 minutes in a 180 degree oven. Brilliant!

Anyway, hoping you have a great start to the week and that your loved ones avoid cacti!

P.S. Also working on a new feather and fan scarf for sale - it is the same design and yarn as the previous scarf I showed but is in a gorgeous green (30% soybean silk and 70% wool). I am thinking of calling it "Sea Dragon"!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Tropical Bird Milo 1

The weather has turned very chilly indeed here in Western Australia and that combined with an ever present lack of sleep has seen me reach into my stash for something bright and inspiring. I've decided to attempt a Milo Vest in the gorgeous "Forest in Spring" colour way I got from Candy Apple Lane a while back. It is a 10 ply while the pattern calls for an 8ply but given Big B is a tad bigger than the biggest size of the pattern, I am willing to chance the inevitable distortion that will come from using a larger yarn will work in my favour.

It feels wonderful to finally get started with this yarn that has been staring rather reproachfully at me each time I rummage around in the stash. I was feeling exceedingly guilty about not making vests for the boys this winter. While I almost embarked on one a number of times, I always came up with a legitimate excuse - not having the right 10 ply pattern, not having the right circular needles, etc. However, we are on our way and I think it will look really beautiful - a masculine version of a rainbow interspersed with Big B's favourite colour - orange!

I've also finished the custom Feather and Fan scarf in Morris and Sons Quartet yarn (Driftwood colour way). I love how lace really only comes to life once it has been blocked. In particular, with more subtle variegated yarns, this is the only way to tell what it is going to look like. I love its silky finish - who knew soybean silk could make yarn so luscious! The colour is a little more brown than shown here, being a wonderful mix of silver grey, brown and dark grey.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Chicky Yellow Beanie 1

After a whirlwind couple of days spent in Adelaide and a similarly jam-packed set of days in WA, I'm happy to leave the world of work behind and come down to something much more basic and calming. I may have mentioned before that there is about to be a rash of babies of mums I know due in the next few months and I want to be prepared!

So, this is the start of the presents...a Chicky Yellow Beanie made from the leftover 4ply merino I made my Scrambled Egg Socks with (Nasturtium by Jodulbug Creations). It is a moss stitch beanie to be followed by moss stitch booties from the Cleckheaton Little Babies collection 2. 
I quite like how it is turning out and hopefully should suit any little boy or girl. It is funny how different the variegated effects come through, very different to the Scrambled Egg Socks. I haven't been game to make booties since the disastrous first booties made fore my niece but I think I've grown as a knitter since then so fingers crossed they will turn out better.

Tonight, it will be me, the beanie, a glass of wine and The Other Boleyn Girl. Hopefully, pure and utter bliss!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Quartet Feather and Fan Scarf

As you may already know, I have been a busy bee these last few weeks with custom knits. I am now about three quarters through my last one for July, which is really exciting. I was asked to do a Skinny Feather and Fan Scarf using the really beautiful Morris and Sons Quartet in a very subtle silver grey and brown shades. It is a wonderful yarn to knit, being a very soft yarn with a soy bean mix in it which makes it ultra silky. The scarf almost knits itself....with the added bonus that I'm catching up on Midsomer Murders, Bletchley Circle and Miss Marple as I go!

The colour unfortunately is very hard to capture but I think its sophisticated shades will shine through once I have blocked out the scarf (that is washed and pinned it into place).

I also have not shown you the finished results of the Cleckheaton California Scarf which was also custom-made for the same customer. It is an absolutely intriguing scarf, while being a very easy short row knit. I am quite tempted to make another one in a colour called Storm - purples and greens.

Right now, I am now turning my mind to what knitting to pack for a flight to Adelaide this week. I am thinking possibly a scarf for Big B in a colour way called "Forest in Spring" that I've been dying to use or maybe a little baby hat and booties in the leftover Nasturtium from my Scrambled Egg Socks. Secretly, I'm hoping to add another couple of projects in there (a new pair of socks and also a lace wrap) but I must exercise restraint!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Scrambled Egg Socks Done

It has been a whirlwind of a week and a bit which has taken on a very unreal feeling due to a total and absolute lack of sleep. My poor Big B has had a chest infection which meant that everyone in the house has had interrupted sleep and early wakings for a good seven days. Fortunately he is now much better and even the adults in the house are starting to recover rather than automatically reaching for more coffee.

The boys and I went down to Balingup for the weekend which was beautiful if very cold and therefore, I am only just surfacing in terms of getting the knitting back in order.

One of the very good things in being sleep deprived is that you have to keep things simple and therefore it was a perfect opportunity to finish my Scrambled Egg Socks (design is Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C and yarn is Nasturtium 4ply Merino by Jodulbug Creations).

If I'm absolutely honest, I would say they are not exactly identical twins but since they fit and don't look too different, I would class this a success. Sock challenge definitely completed! I am itching to get another pair of socks on the needles but I need to get a few other items out of the way first.

Talking of adventures, I also went to a Spinning workshop last night at the Perth Artifactory. It was great fun and very unusual. Imagine people spinning their spindles with hanks of yarn in a warehouse surrounded by technical and computer gear...a real clash of cultures. Molly, who taught the class, has a love of yarn that surpasses even mine and she has a whole room and more of yarn and fiber!!! Her partner was also able to reel off all the spinning and weaving terminology and has an understanding of the importance and nuances around stash (i.e. it is not necessarily for knitting). I wonder if I could get my lovely husband interested?? Maybe just turning a blind eye to the ever-increasing size of the stash is enough.
I'm not sure I'm destined to be a spinner but perhaps if I'm faced with a particularly beautiful stock of fiber...who knows?