Sunday, December 29, 2013

in between time

days of drifting, children reading and making up songs, playing with Christmas presents, me, dreaming into new knitting books, catching up on stuff around the house, forgetting what day it is...wondering how on earth we will ever eat all the shortbread and chocolates we brought home from Christmas gatherings....doing nothing much...those in between summer days

k n i t t i n g
progress on the Vertebrae; very fond of  the twisted rib edging.

h a n d m a d e  g i f t s :

the night before Christmas Eve, I decided I couldn't let Christmas happen without at least one handmade gift.
These pencil rolls were so quick to whip up, possibly because I was a little slap dash and didn't do any measuring! The girls absolutely love them. I checked out a few tutorials online for ideas by googling "pencil roll tutorials". The pencils are Lyra Giants, our all time favourite pencils for drawing. There's an extra layer of flannelette in the middle to make them padded and the ties are wool "twisties".

o h

and here's the gingerbread shack we made for fun!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

getting into the spirit...

I must admit I  have been lagging behind in the Yule cheer, personally, even though I love Christmas. However, today, even if mostly for the sake of my dear wee excited full-of-wonderment 3 year old, a surge of Christmas enthusiasm swept over me. Or should I say, I dug a little deeper to attempt to invoke enthusiasm by simply partaking in Christmas preparations.
 Star making, the intoxicating smell of a freshly cut Christmas Tree, some bling and lights and a bit of Sufjan Stevens carols and I'm feeling a lot more in the mood for the season! Hooray! Thanks to my three ever willing Christmas elves.

 And on the knitting front: I've started a cardi for moi. It's called Mama Vertebrae, a little frontless number for summer.  I'm using a surprisingly delightful yarn (sadly being discontinued) by Cleckheaton containing angora, silk and merino.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

the rushing, the pausing

Spring hit, the rushing began...the pace has picked up. there are more events, fairs, volunteering,  rehearsals,  less empty pages in the diary, and less knitting!
Life seems to be about a swinging from rushing to pausing (or gasping?).
Something must be done about this periodic quickening... this November malaise...knitting seemed the antidote...but it's being pushed out by the packed agenda of a family of five.
That said: I finally finished my  "hitch"jumper/sweater! hooray for that! (ravelled here)
It feels good to finish something, and it's a stunner in the Rowan Felted Tweed.

and while I dither about between projects, I have some finishing of socks underway...
oh, and on a hot afternoon, I picked up the girls after school and we all five, yes the whole family, drove in peak hour traffic across town to the bay for a first of the season swim and a fish'n'chip dinner on the beach!! worth the fumes, I can tell ya!

and just because, I'm joining the Yarn Along with Ginny, though I haven't read much at all except of course, bedtime stories! The favourite is "Charley's First Night" by Amy Hest and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (I love her work); about a child and a new puppy.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Spring nature fix and a yarn bombing party!

went to family music camp:
the gumboots say it all...ready for wet weather and plenty of  knitting...
my chickens made new friends and jammed in the forest.
 Taught a friend to knit!
 climbed a mountain,
and explored the rocks and caves.
and then back for my 11 year old's birthday bash complete with a lesson in granny squares and bike bombing (just a bit!)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spring, Bikes and, yes, knitting!

It's Spring, and Mr P and I are on our way to becoming serious bike commuters, as the family car is being used for other purposes by the mister.
Here is the new bike, a Dutch cargo bike, called a Yuba Boda Boda, modelled on the African workshorse bikes which are a staple mode of transport for Africans I am told.  Rather an elegant lady bike, don't you think.
We are just getting to know the bike and Mr P is yet to get his cushion, which I will promptly yarn bomb, inspired by this photo here.
I love bikes! I used to ride everyday when I was a kid, and then moved from Sydney to Melbourne (1200kms) by bicycle. I then took my bike to India with the intention of riding around the south tip, only to find it was a very dangerous plan (crazy scary road behaviour and being run into deep ditches because apparently I was invisible).  I abandoned my bike in a sleep village to continue on bus and trains!

I am embarrassed to say I am still knitting my Hitch, though almost there!

Yarning along with Ginny who is knitting with one of my favourite yarns, Osprey by Quince and Co.  I am itching to knit with that yarn again soon! Can't you tell I just want this jumper/sweater off the needles, though it is sure to be gorgeous to wear once done!!

And the book is from the library, a crochet book to help me devise my yarn bomb for the bike!

It occurs to me we need to name the bike! I like "Nelly" but I guess Mr. P will have other suggestions...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

View from a sinus infection

Sitting up in bed, my nose and eyes are feeling very strange. 
So, in between Neti pot nasal cleansing and inhaling eucalyptus, I knit "hitch", a sweater design by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, really impatient to get this on my back! 

I also have my bag of tossed aside knitting works-in-progress here on the bed, which I have looked over, admired, promised each I will one day return to them: the eternal socks, the shawl I meant to knit my oldest daughter as a Menarche present  and the shrug for that wedding 18 months ago....all enticing projects! What happened...

Somewhat feeling like a snake-tongued knitter I then open my bag of recently purchased yarn and paw it, dreaming of the delicious new patterns they will be applied to!
These are the yarniforous ravings of a sinus-challenged bedridden knitter! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

yarning in the wind

It's. Really. Windy. Outside.

Joining in with Ginny for her Yarn Along: reading Bob Graham picture books, they have so, sooo much heart! and great urban characters and dogs! In his bio, Bob says he likes the sound of dog's ears flapping. When I read his stories to my youngins, I always get the feeling I would like to be this author's friend! I also feel the stories are set in my neighbourhood.
On the yarn side of life, plodding away at Hitch!! Still!
And also crocheting some samples for a session with the Class 5 children, who are just learning how to crochet. Big thick 16ply wool with 6mm crochet hooks.
See a Sami face peeking out next to a lovely card from Lori (snail mail! yay!)
 I also had an inspiration to alter a cardigan I never wore simply because it was a bit gapey with the snap closures and also a bit short, and my kidneys just have to be warm! So! I sewed up the front to make it a pullover and picked up stitches along the rib bottom to add a garter stitch bottom! It's a bit of an experiment, and I'm also going to throw in some short rows at the back so as to get it longer at the back. The yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mill Rustic 8ply in charcoal.

And we are madly all listening to The Mae Trio's new CD! Gorgeous young women from Castlemaine. Delicious harmonies, songs so fresh and full of heart and gentle humour.

Monday, July 29, 2013

a little sangin'...

Me and ma ladies, aka "Dear Cedar" at Open Studio last Friday night...
oh the dreadful wind and rain......

Saturday, July 27, 2013

woolly times

Last weekend my dear knitting buddy and i took a trip to the Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show...all up a very absorbing and woolly affair! We raced around, meeting folk who knit, spin, whittle, peddle luxurious yarns, design knitting patterns, enter knitting competitions, dye wool and  breed woolly beasts! Pure indulgence for a wool obsessed gal like moi...
I was quite restrained in the wool procurement department, very largely due to a few boxes of the stuff sitting at home awaiting transformation!
Here's a few pics!
This gentleman was a real charmer, wearing the viking mail and helmet (complete with beard) made from his own spun yarn! Marvellous!

 The beasts!!
 Weaving by Heather Dunn, preparing for her exhibition in Bathurst. Below is her "leaf litter" dyeing.
 This gorgeous dress was showing at Viewpoint Handmade Gallery in Bendigo. I failed to note the maker of this divine felt and leaf dyed garment (if anyone know be sure to enlighten me!)

And the very modest booty, but very exciting!
 The Fibre Company Meadow: a 2-ply lace weight blend of merino, baby llama, silk + linen purchased from the lovely Alex of ZigoZago. It was so great to meet her and rant and rave wool!!
The colour is Pennyroyal, and oh my goodness....
I am toying with the idea of creating a Seashore Cowl  like the lovely Lori made, combining with the Suri Silk/Alpaca (above) purchased by the most amazing salt of the earth woman, Robyn Betts, gets this soft heavenly stuff spun from her own animals!!
Below is a skein of her MeriSuri, where she has teamed with a friend to make a truly incredible merino and suri alpaca mix. The colour is also enchanting!

And something else a'brewin'.
Knittin' and sangin'. Just heaven. We got a name'n'all.
 Dear Cedar.
Joining Ginny and her Yarn Along: still going with Hitch (very slowly!) and reading a wonderful book written by an incredible creative couple, Australian actor William McInnes and his wife, filmmaker and animator Sarah Watts (who since writing the book has passed away), Worse Things Happen at Sea. Amazingly intelligent, inspiring read!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lapland in Felt!!

My 13 year old girl has finished her project!
A miniature felt Lapland, complete with a little Saami family, teepee and reindeer!
Let's say it was a mother/daughter collaboration.
The reindeer was needle felted with antlers fashioned out of Fimo modelling clay and the tee pee is covered in scraps of leather all glued together. It was the first time I used a glue gun, and I've gotta say, what a revolutionary move that was! Instant satisfaction!

joining Nicole of Frontier Dreams' "Keep Calm Craft On"

Saturday, July 13, 2013

the heart of winter

The sun has been shining and we've been having wintry beach adventures on the Bass Strait!

The parade of knitwear...someone's mother is a wee bit obsessed....
yep, that's her...

  and a hearty craft project!

We are making a family of Sami people, nomadic reindeer herders from the Arctic! and Inspired by a most divine book: Children of the Northlights by the incredible artist couple Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire. Such incredibly beautiful illustrations!
It seems very fitting we are making these warmly clad folk in the heart of winter, and having just oh so myuch fun with the details! The hats! The embroidery and little shawls. The shoes with the curled up toes for holding on skis, and darned if I'm not going to whip up some little skis any minute!

not finished yet! The reindeer needs antlers, and where's the teepee!!

And!  What's on the needles??

Here is Hitch, a design by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, and appearing in Brooklyn Tweed's Wool People 5: a jumper (sweater/pullover) for moi! It's a very fun pattern, knit in pieces (my lord, seaming!), and a bit of cable and simple lace pattern at the front.
I'm using Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Clay.
Yarning Along with Ginny!
And reading this magnificent children's book by one of my all time favourite illustrators: Mitsumasa Anno. ANNO'S FLEA MARKET. No text just pages and pages of fascinating market stalls in a medieval town square. Love it!

ravelled here

AND Frontier Dreams'  Keep Calm Craft On (very wise advice!)