Sunday, 18 August 2013

Blossom Cardigan and Booties 1

My world is now back to normal again with the usual amount of racing around, social activity and family time. It has been bliss to do all of this once more - even the stressful parts! As I sit here on Sunday night, eating yet another of the Oatmeal and Coconut Cookies Big B and I baked this afternoon, I thought I'd share both the recipe for this surprisingly tasty biscuit and the photos of a set of newborn woollies I am putting together for a dear friend's soon-to-be-born baby girl.

I am quietly excited about knitting for this baby girl. As you know, I do not get to do this very often and there are just so many things I could make! I am trying to restrain myself and being quite modest in what I am making. The pair of booties is one from the Cleckheaton Little Babies Designs Book 2 and these where really straightforward to knit (photos are unblocked). The cardigan is by Sirdar Snuggly 4 ply, which I have modified so that the lace matches that of the booties. This cardigan will also be short sleeve, appropriate for Perth in late spring. The yarn is Patons Dreamtime in 4 ply.

I have not been able to progress these for a while as I did not want to handle baby clothes while I had the boys' virus. I should get back into it early this week. In the meantime, I am making surprising headway in my Ruched Wrap, which I am hoping to show you later next week.

Oatmeal Cookies (inspired by Betty Crocker's Old Fashioned Cookbook - tweaked by me)

1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup coffee crystal sugar (I ran out of white sugar and found this a surprisingly delicious, crunchy substitute)
1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 eggs
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
A little milk if mixture is too hard to stir

Heat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Mix sugar, butter, golden syrup and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 5 cm apart on to baking paper. Bake 9-10 minutes or until just set. Cool slightly. Remove from baking paper.

(Makes about 40-50)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Knit Me A Rainbow - Ruched Wrap

This has been a very unusual week for me so far, spending as it were the majority of my days in my bedroom, communicating with work colleagues solely through email and phone calls, recovering from this beastly virus. However, tomorrow I venture forth into the world again and not a moment too soon in my books!

To divert myself from the claustrophobia and the sameness of spending five days inside the house, I started a  new project for myself using the gorgeous gradient of colours in Schoppel Wolle Lace 2ply, which I bought while in Melbourne last year. Deciding that I did not want to add lace to the rainbow of colours already present, I settled on a Ruched Wrap by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas (wonderful name for a yarn store!). It is knit lengthways so every row is very, very long (566 stitches!) but on the plus side, it is going remarkably quickly for a wrap of this delicate nature. For those that have not knit with 2 ply before, it is like knitting with dental floss, only softer and more attractive of course.

I am not yet entirely certain that I have made the right choice of pattern for the yarn but I am willing to continue on this journey and see how it turns out. At the moment I keep thinking of it as having a Rastafarian look but when all the blue gradient comes through then this impression will hopefully disappear. I am hoping it will grown into a bright, multi-coloured wrap that will add a touch of something to a black dress.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Elephant Walk Blues

As I sit at this computer to write my weekly entry, I am in the depth of the self-miseries....a condition brought on by the adult version of hand, foot and mouth caught off my gorgeous sons. It reminds me very much of having chicken pox as a kid with the added bonus of pins and needles in the hands and feet. Therefore it is home in quarantine for me until I'm no longer contagious which I am hoping is very soon.

In the meantime, I have been amusing myself with knitting of course. It has the great advantage of keeping my hands busy (distraction from the itchiness) and can be done in one spot (avoiding the need to walk around on sore feet). An additional bonus is the cheery note provided by the colour I have chosen, "Elephant Walk" on BWM Luxury 10ply by Candy Apple Lane. I am finally getting to the Milo vest for Little B, who has been patiently asking me every day when his would be ready. 

 Yesterday morning Little B was asking me if there were any birds that had that combination of colours on them. I hazarded a guess at a Rosella, to which he looked at me in disbelief, pointing out that they also have yellow and therefore are nothing like that at all. To distract him, I mentioned to him this yarn was called "Elephant Walk"  and when asked why, made up a story about a gray elephant walking through fields and water. "What about the red?", asked my bright little one, willing to entertain the idea. "Mushed strawberry fields" was my answer, to which he gave me a curious look and burst out laughing. Crisis averted - the colour choice seems to have now got his approval. Phew, that was close!

As I am not very good at knitting monogamy and I cannot continue knitting baby clothes until I am over my contagious period, I am starting a little something for myself with this gorgeous wool below. It is Schoppel Wolle Lace 2ply bought while in Melbourne last year. I have decided to make a Ruched Wrap (by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas). It is simple but should make this beautiful variegation sing. This may take a long time so perhaps it is a December finish for this one. The aim is to wear this with my little black dress.

Hope to catch you all soon in a less spotty, more human format. Until then, happy knitting!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Chicky Yellow Beanie, Booties and Vest

There is something infinitely heart-warming and comforting in knitting a welcome present for an imminent baby arrival. This little baby is a colleague's first baby in Australia and she has had to start afresh with all of her baby items. What better reason to knit something especially for this little one. No idea yet if it will be a girl or boy so yellow seemed to be a reasonable colour to pick.

With such an incentive to knit, I went a little overboard - a hat and booties in moss stitch using the leftover Nasturtium 4 ply yarn (from Jodulbug Creations) from my Scrambled Egg Socks and a newborn size Milo Vest (design by Georgie Hallam) out of Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply in Sunflower.

You will have to excuse the multiple pictures of booties. I have finally conquered my fear of these little things and managed to make some that are likely to be of use! Having said that, the first bootie languished in my knitting basket for a bit as I ran in to problems deciphering the instructions. Two weeks later and the instructions make perfect sense....seems it just need to percolate through my brain.

The little vest is not yet washed and blocked but I'm pretty happy with the effort. Quick and painless! 

This weekend has been very productive with nothing left on my needles but the Alpaca Lap Blanket. Many items were washed and blocked (a great thing to do with a sick boy home from school) and a few dried in the warm breeze. Big B posed graciously to model his new vest on the proviso he could show off a few ninja moves ("Forest in Spring" yarn by Candy Apple Lane).
This means of course there is ample opportunity for more on the needles...and I have already picked some baby girl booties and clothes as well as a vest for little B. Is it wrong to be considering casting on three projects this evening?