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Preview: Mayhem, Chaos, Anarchy.. and craft?

Mayhem, Chaos, and Anarchy..



One stitch, one treadle, one splash of colour and one day at a time.



Updated: 2014-10-02T23:22:39.796-07:00

 



Swankymink a shawl of risks!

2011-08-07T01:00:34.814-07:00

So the wedding of my sister is done and dusted. There was good food, and good dancing and some not so good dancing, and much fun was had. 
Also done and dusted is Cladonia (rav link) the shawl I was knitting to wear to the wedding to keep me warm. It's knit from SilkyMink yarn from Ixchel Yarns and Fibres, (one ball of black, one of burgundy) a 4ply/fingering weight yarn which is 70% mink, 10% angora bunny, 10% silk and 10% lambswool. I didn't think I would finish it in time. And i didn't think I had enough yarn, because according to ball bands and pattern requirements I would of been about 150 metres short. 
Finish it I did - I knit furiously the night before, and in the car on the way down to the wedding, and in the hotel room before the wedding too. It was finished one hour before the wedding and hastily blocked while I fed the baby, and in the end when I threw it on it was still ever so slightly damp. Risky, but it worked out!
Run out of yarn I did not. I still have about 20 metres of the red yarn left, and about 70 metres of the black left. More risky knitting behaviour (ok not that risky, I used lifelines just in case) that paid off. 
Did you know that mink is super warm? It is! At no point last night did I feel the need to put my big winter coat on as well as this shawl, and last night was your traditional cold n stormy evening. 
All in all, big win! I love it. 
~~~~~~~~~~




More finished objects, party frock edition!

2011-08-04T00:52:56.275-07:00

I'll start this off with a warning: this post is PIC HEAVY. Some might say laden with pics. I am still playing catch up on showing off the finished objects, so I've decided to just throw em all in one post and be done with it. So, on with the show, starting with the least recent through to most recent. This little set was made for a gift, which is why I have been a bit lazy with putting pics up. They were waiting for me to get off my butt and send them to the recipient, but now I have, I can flash. (heheh)The yarn is a 100% cashmere sportweight, which I was gifted by another lovely raveler who was not in love with the colour. The scarf is a skinnier, longer version of the Saroyan Pattern (ravelry link) and the mitts are 'Veyla' (ravelry link) by the lovely Ysolda Teague. The recipient appreciated them very much and they worked out so lovely, and buttery soft. -----Next up another knitted item! We have a wedding to attend this weekend, my sisters wedding, and I thought that given it would still be fairly cool I should probably knit our new wee mister Bram a vest. A cabled one. which, to me, means a nice natural coloured wool. On a trip up to visit Ms Mandie at her shop Ewe Give Me The Knits I discovered some really nice nut brown natural coloured balls of 8 ply, so I bought one and made him a nice cabled vest to go with a nice shirt and pants. It's a nice pattern, and a free one too. The pattern is the Pembroke Pattern by Kirsten Kapur. I've been worried for a while that I made it too big and it would not fit him (even though he has grown quite a bit!) but I tried it on him today for an 'action shot' and it's perfect. As an added bonus, he even gave me a grin :)-----Moar knitting! Yes? More? Ok. Last year at Bendigo sheep and wool show, I made a really nice cowl which was for sale there. I got the husbeast to model it for me for a finished object shot, and he mentioned at the time that he would quite like a cowl for himself. That year he picked out some fibre at the IxchelBunny stand for me to spin and knit into a cowl for him. Which while I had the best of intentions, kind of.. didn't happen. THIS year however, back at the Ixchel stand he picked out some beautiful Bison/Bamboo yarn, which I DID knit into a cowl for him, and very quickly too may I add!Look at that smug bastard. Look how warm he is, and how cozy! The hat was knit for him last year from some handspun Southern Cross Fibre, and the cowl as mentioned was knitted out of yarn from Ixchel Yarns and Fibres, and it is AMAZING stuff. -----That's it then? That's all I did? Lazy sod, i thought this was a literal PILE of finished objects? Yeah it is. and so endeth the knitting portion of the finished objects. Now we can understand why I literally haven't had a spare moment in weeks!I love weddings. I do. and I also love sewing. But, as it turns out, to my surprise, the thing I love to sew the most, is a good party frock. And for me, with my penchant for 50's sort of stle, red and black, and polkadots, this is the party frock to end ALL party frocks. I may even find other excuses to wear it. Anywhere and everywhere, i say! (and look, my head is IN these shots!). The pattern is Butterick fast and easy pattern B5317, and it was indeed, surprisingly fast and easy. The fabric is two different types of taffeta I found in one of my (man. many!) trips to spotlight and I love love love it. -----Problem is, around here, if I make something for myself, I then MUST make something for the kids too. Which is fair enough because their wardrobe IS kind of lacking at the moment. (growth spurts tend to cause that). So, back to the patterns and the sewing machine (and err.. spotlight) we go. Master Mayhem needs himself something a little bit funky and a little bit classy. So he has new pants, and a new vest, both of which are patterns from Ottobre magazines. The vest has been cut down from one of Macs old vests and re-worked because the vest no longer fit him, but the fabric a[...]



Pumpkin. Pie. Doughnuts.

2011-07-28T03:36:30.499-07:00

I know - second post in a day? Since when, say what now? I agree, but bear with me for a minute. My first love was not, in fact, knitting. Or spinning. It was food. I used to work in commercial kitchens and I love love love food. A few weeks ago, I bought my husbeast (who also love love loves food) a new toy for the kitchen. A deep fryer. Since then he seems set on frying ALL THE THINGS and I have not been able to get near it. 'Til tonight. I steamed up some pumpkin to make pumpkin and cheese scones (because I am a lover of all things pumpkin and also all things cheese) but there was way too much there, so I got to thinking ebout what else I was going to use it for. And the idea for these babies was born. I have to put a warning here that they are concentrated evil and if you make them (and I suggest you do) please be aware - they are most definitely found in the category of 'sometimes food'. PUMPKIN PIE DOUGHNUTSIngredients: 1 cup plain flour1 cup self raising flour14g dried yeast1/4 cup of brown sugar1 teaspoon of all spice1/2 cup pureed pumpkin1/2 cup ricotta cheeseFirst in one bowl combine your flours, yeast and allspice. In a second separate bowl place your pureed pumpkin, brown sugar and ricotta. Hit this with a stickmixer or pop it in a food processor until it is smooth and creamy and well blended. Make a well in the centre of the flours, and pour your puree mix in there, then work it through until it is well mixed. You should have a ball of slightly sticky dough at this point, so knead this until it is smooth and elastic. Place your dough in a clean slightly oiled bowl and set it in a warm place for an hour, or until it is doubled in size. Pop your dough onto the bench top and separate it, with a knife into manageable sized chunks. Now you need to make your wee donuts. I made mine bite sized. To do this I separated the dough into quarters then rolled each quarter out into a sausage shape. Then I cut slices off, and poked a hole in each one with my little finger, stretching out a touch. But you could make them any size you want. Next you want to fry them! If you don;t have a deep fryer, you could obviously just use some oil in saucepan on the stove. Fry them at a low temperature for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flipping them over midway through so that both sides are even. Drain them for a minute or so, then toss them through a mix of cinnamon sugar with the ratio weighted towards sugar. DON'T yank them straight out of the sugar and into your mouth as I did because you WILL wind up with third degree burns of the tongue and you will sound like someone cut out your tongue for at least ten minutes afterwards.Once they are cool enough to eat - do it! Delicious bite sized chunks of slightly chewy pumpkin pie doughnut. YUM!~~~~~~~~~[...]



Spinning around.. and around.. and around..

2011-07-27T18:04:21.619-07:00

The only problem with not blogging for a while because you are busy is that when you get back to things, there's a backlog of pics of finished things to get through. This is ecspecially true in times of high activity like I have had, mostly due to the Tour De Fleece. The Tour De Fleece is a spin-a-long run on Ravelry and the aim of it is simple - to spin every day that the Tour De France rides. Some might say I am a bit of a dill for choosing to do it when the Ravelry events occur smack bang in the middle of it every year, but I enjoy it too much not to, really. This year was extra special because of the awesome Cadel Evans winning the Tour De France after many years trying! There were many very VERY late nights, but now I am all caught up on sleep I can share. First off I was consumed with the need to finish the mammoth spin I had been working on for some time, before I could get to anything else. Finish it I did!There's 500 grams of yarn there. I am proud of a number of things with this spin - to start with, I finished it, and proved to myself I could. Generally speaking I start to get bored with any particular fibre right around the end of a 100g lot. It's like I have some form of colour related attention defecit. But I have proved to myself now that it can be done. I'm also proud of it's consistency - each of the five 100g skeins comes in at 12 wraps per inch, and each of the skeins has between 200 and 217 metres in it. Once that was done, there was this optim/soy/bamboo blend which I bought at Ewe Give Me The Knits at Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show nearly 5 years ago now. Two house moves ago, I had spun two thirds of it into singles, aiming for a three ply. I wound the first two lots into balls, stuffed them in a bag with the final third of fibre, then promptly forgot about them. So I dug them out, spun up the final third of the fibre, then plied them together. And again, despite there being a 4-5 year break in between spinning the first two lots of singles and spinning the last lot, when it came time to ply there was less than two metres difference in the length of the three spun lots. Huzzah for consistency!While I was on a roll of finishing things up I pulled out some Southern Cross Fibre that had been half finished for a few months. One of the Southern Cross Fibre clubs contained two 2oz braids of polwarth/tencel blend in contrasting colours which were just delicious. I spun up the chocolate brown braid pretty much straight away and while I had intended to do the same with it's cherry coloured friend, I had not gotten to it. So I sat down and spun it up, too. So I now have two contrasting skeins of luscious shiny goodness and can now dream and imagine about what it wants to become. Now that all of the unfinished wheelspins were complete, it was time to focus on something 'new'. So I pulled out two magic balls in 'Lorikeet' that I bought from Ewe Give Me The Knits last year. I split the colours into the braid and arranged them in the proper order of the spectrum, overlapping them slightly. Then I spun them in order, and navajo plied them to retain the colour progression. The resulting yarn is roughly an 8 ply, or a dk weight yarn, and when knit up will knit up in a colour progression through the rainbow. The second magic ball I had of this has been spun exactly the same way and is just waiting to be plied. I mentioned earlier that the Ravelry event I organise and the Sheep and Wool Show occurred in the midst of all this furious spinning. It did occur, and my event went well, and many thing were bought at the sheep and wool show, and loads of people were met and re met and fun was had. However, because I am full of fail, I did not take a single photo, so you will have to take my word for it. However I did come home from the wool show with three new spindles! One of which I have not yet figured out how to use, two of which currently have spins in progress on them, and a third I already had has a sp[...]



Creative spaces and not so big places.

2011-07-05T05:00:55.813-07:00

There is just so much going on here at the moment. I've said it before but every day seems a struggle to get through the ever growing to-do list. I have finally finished the mammoth spin however, and completed another spin which has been waiting to be finished for TWO YEARS now. I've cut out pattern and fabric for a new dress, over the weekend we rearranged the lounge room. I finished the vest for the babe, and the mitts and scarf set, both of which are now blocking. So I don't actually have very much to show for all of this time and effort outlay. However I do have one thing. Way back in December, when we had just found out the babe was going to be a boy, we headed down to spend christmas at my mum and dads. To celebrate a trouble free scan I found a lovely pale blue coral fleece blanket in the pharmacy down there and bought it. I'm not the hugest fan of pastels, but coral fleece is just so soft. The babe loves it! he snuggles into it when he is in the pram or capsule and rubs his wee cheek against it. It's small though - strictly a pram or capsule size, definitely not cot size. Enter - one metre of coral fleece and one metre of cotton jersey from spotlight. Fold jersey over edges of coral fleece, sew. Result! Cot sized coral fleece blanket backed with jersey, for when he grows into a cot. Cute! Took all of half an hour, and cost less than the original pram sized one. -----While we wait for vests and mitts and scarves and handspun yarn to dry though - and while we wait for me to get off my butt and sew my new dress (as well as some stuff for Master Mayhem and Miss Chaos that is in the works too) I thought I would borrow someone elses idea and show off my creative space. I may have mentioned it before, but the house we live in is small. And old. It's charming, but space around here needs to be used creatively. My studio exists as one half of a closed in back verandah. The verandah was also split in two by a partial wall and a door when it was closed in, and my main studio exists at one end. This photo is taken to the doorway looking in. Just to the left of this shot is the fabric cupboard, the alpaca vortex corner and the fibre unit. The big black section you can see is my design wall, and at the end there is my work table on which resides my small stero and clock, sewing machine, overlocker, laptop and patterns (behind the laptop)this is a better shot of the design wall which is a fairly new addition to the room. About a year ago when the winter clearance sales were on, I bought a metric buttload (that IS a real unit of measurement, shutup!) of this black 100% wool fabric. It's been sitting in the fabric stash since then, till last week. BigMac has helped me fix it to the wall using some dowel and I now have a big space that I can stand back from and really see whats going on with something. See how colours work together. The added bonus is that fibre, yarn and fabric alike, all stick to it with static. Slap it on there, and it stays. Awesome!This is the Fat Quarter basket that sits on top of the fabric cupboard. In this resides my collection of fat quarters, my buttons, and the cardboard containers in front hold scraps that could be useful. I love this thing. It's really inspiring. The fibre unit. In this unit, within boxes and tubs, is all of my fibre for spinning, all my handspun, and all my yarn. In the basket and up top are knitting patterns, spindles and spins in progress. The space just to the right of this is a corner, created by sandwiching the cupboard and unti together. This is the alpaca vortex. Their fleeces just keep showing up? There's 6 alpaca fleeces, one sheep fleece and a massive amount of hobbyfill, all in separate bags, smooghed into this corner. To the left of the unit is the doorway through which you can see the other studio. Currently it has a table in it for pattern cutting, but the rest of it is used for storage until we can find a better way to u[...]



What's your style? Dress Me Up!

2011-06-30T08:14:32.304-07:00

It's been a long couple of weeks, and will continue to be a long a couple of weeks in the lead up to the events I organise every July. There's not enough hours in every day for all the things I need to do, and all the things I want to do. Each and every day has become a blur of knitting, changing nappies, feeds, spinning, emails, photographs, making lunch, taking kids where they need to go, sewing, phonecalls, THINK OF SOMETHING FOR DINNER!, quotes, forms, and list making. Always with the list making. In amongst all this has been a fair bit of design, some dreaming, motivating and motivation. Ideas growing, being bounced around and built upon. There's been some hard things to face, some interesting points come to, and many things still marinating in my head, as they tend to do. For a start - on the lighter end of the spectrum - I'm coming to terms with a 'new normal' post pregnancy. Not only did I lose ten kilos while pregnant (I know, I know - I'm not bitching about it) - but my entire body shape has also changed as well. This means that 90% of my wardrobe no longer fits. Either things look like a sack, or they cling to all the bits I don't want them to cling to. Throw into this mix the fact that we have a wedding to go to in early August as well as two parties between here and then and you have a recipe for panic. Enter the fabric stash. The stash I periodically add to by buying decent metreage of interesting things I find on sale. Butterick have re released a range of their vintage patterns and I like many of the 1950's styles, so I bought a couple of patterns. One I am still waiting on to arrive on backorder, but the other one came home with me, pattern B5032.After a dive in the fabric stash I came up with some nice cotton sateen I bought on clearance for about $5 a metre about a year ago. There was not enough for the full skirted version (which I would have liked) but there was definitely enough for the straight version. This is how it turned out:I quite like it. I added a sash out of red dupion silk, because I felt it needed it, and because I am a sucker for silk. Red silk, to be specific. If I make the same pattern again (and I probably will) I will probably go down a few bust sizes on the top, as I found it to be very loose and I had to do a few tricks to get it to tighten up some. Perhaps I've lost more in the bust than I measured?This is the pattern I am waiting on the arrival of though:and I have another dress pattern and the fabric for it sitting down in the studio, just waiting to be cut and sewn. In between, you know, everything else. There is progress at least - the mammoth spin is less than 100g of spinning away from being DONE. Which will be nice because I am 100% DONE WITH IT. There's a reason I don't spin more than about 200g of the same colours very often. It's called the sort of boredom that makes me want gouge my own eyes out for fun. I also have a matching set of mitts and a scarf soaking in a bucket waiting to be blocked and photographed before they get popped in a parcel pack to be sent off as a gift. In the same bucket there's also a wee cabled vest for Master BJ to wear to the wedding - he at least already has a button up shirt and nice pants to wear under it (conveniently given as a gift by the same person who's wedding we are attending! - thanks Coll!). A new dress pattern for Miss Chaos arrived today, from which I will make her a new dress to wear to it too.. and that of course means more fabric shopping. All together now.. aww.. yes yes I know, smallest violin in the world playing just for me. Master Mayhem and all of his too - short - in - the - leg - socks - showing - like - michael - jackson pants has not been forgotten either. There's an Ottobre Design mag on the way with a nice vest pattern in it, and I bought a metre and a half of a fabulous tartan fabric the other day to make him some seriously groovy wide legged punky pants[...]



The List and The Toadstools (Giraffe Cameo!)

2011-06-15T23:08:11.199-07:00

I used to be well known for having an excellent memory. For the most part, I still do, but the reason for my good memory is because of The List. Yep. All capitals. The List is something I think many people have but in me it seems to reach ridiculous proportions. The List is a real thing you see, something in my head that hums along constantly, much like the fridge in the kitchen. Most of the time it hums along quietly in the background, flicking through it's main folder of 'this year' and then the subfolders of 'this month', 'this week', 'today' and now with the addition of a baby to to the household 'THIS FREAKING MINUTE!' (because a hungry baby waits for no bastard).The List frequently keeps me awake at night with it's cacophony of things that need to be done, places that need to be visited, things that need to be purchased - even tiny events like getting dressed and dressing the kids. From huge events to the most mundane it's a never ending ticking cycle. Once my mind gets to the end of The List it starts at the start again, immediately. I'm frequently heard to say 'I'll add it to The List' and as such it has become a tangible thing, something that features in the day to day running of the house and lives. Even the kids know about it. (Miss Chaos said to me just this morning 'where is fixing my cardigan on The List?)Where was I? Oh yeah. Most of the time The List is manageable and quite a handy thing. But sometimes, at certain times of the year (generally preceeding large events) it becomes.. well, a beast quite frankly. The more things that are added to The List, the more unmanageable it becomes, like juggling, until I start dropping balls. It's always the little things I drop. In my haste to clear things off The List to make it easier to handle, I forget small things along the way. Like.. eating. Drinking. Going to the toilet before kidney explosion becomes imminent. Currently the list is becoming unwieldy. One month from now is the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show, and at the same time the Ravelry Event(s) I organise annually. This year I was kind to myself. Knowing I would have a wee baby at the time, I limited myself to one event - a Friday night Dinner. I dropped the traditional Saturday morning breakfast. It's still a lot of organising though, so there are balls being dropped left right and centre here at the moment. I nearly reached critical kidneys this afternoon and couldn't work out why I felt so uncomfortable. The cat meowed at me incessantly for an hour this morning before I realised his water bowl needed filling. The front porch - something I normally keep very well maintained for some reason - has tumbleweeds inhabiting it. So if you are a Ravelry member and you don't know what the hell I am on about, do a search for 'Bendi Baa' among the groups, and you should find all the info you need. Meanwhile in between all this organising there has been stuff created. Every body gotta have some down time. I have a scarf and mitts set for a gift which is not quite ready to be photographed, I'm back at the spinning wheel making headway on finishing up a custom spin. But there's been sewing, too. A pair of new pyjama pants for both Master Mayhem and Miss Chaos have been produced, and tested by them. They passed if you are interested, Master Mayhem proclaiming them 'warm and comfy WITH TRAINS ON!'. Priorities. He has them. A couple of months ago though while browsing through a local opshop I uncovered some vintage / retro kids sheets. And they were AWESOME. High quality cotton, already washed and worn in though not TOO worn in. There was quite a bit there, a matching bunk bed set of two pillowcases, two flat sheets and two fitted sheets. I bought everything they had, and will be sending half of the haul to a friend. My half has been sitting, languishing in the fabric cupboard for a while. Miss Chaos' wardrobe is somewhat lacking though, give[...]



Return of the Crazy.

2011-05-22T04:30:25.603-07:00

So, I am back. For those playing at home this means I am now either no longer pregnant, or made up the whole thing to take an extended break from the business and the blog. Given I've not had issue with taking a blog break before for no reason other than not feeling particularly chatty (also known as Can't Be Fu.. uhh.. Motivated), and also given I actually love doing what I do, I guess it has to be the case that I now have a really good Finished Object to show off? And indeed I do. I won't say he's the BEST finished object ever, because to do so would be kinda rude to Mr Mayhem and Miss Chaos, but he's definitely in the top 3 :pFresh from a bath at one day old.BJ wound up being born on the 29th of April at 5.18am via emergency ceasar after a failed induction. Little bugger snoozed through labour, and refused to descend any further. Thankfully, this ceasar went far FAR better than the last one, and was not so much of a rushed emergency as a 'well, ok we are doing this now' type of emergency. He weighed 6lb 10 oz at birth and now at 3 weeks and 3 days old has gained half a kilo on his birthweight already. He is a cruisy baby, never terribly stressed UNLESS that horrible thing happens. That horrible thing? Getting cold. Lucky his mam's a knitter then, eh?Two weeks 6 days oldThere has been a fair bit of knitting going on. At this stage, I can't spin due to the ceasar making me ache a bit if I try but I should be back at the wheel soon. I've not been sewing either, because the sewing studio is BLOODY FREEZING - a situation which will hopefully be rectified this week when I buy a small fan heater for it. So in the end, the only crafty pursuit left to me at the moment is knitting. I'm glad to have something to just pick up in between feeds and bum changes, book reading, sandwich making, picture drawing, drink getting and laundry washing. The 'Oceans and Islands' socks were finished a bit over a week ago now. The first sock heel was turned while I was in labour with BJ, and they came along fairly quick from that point really. Hospital provides good knitting opportunity. The pattern is Traffic Island Socks by Redscot (Ravelry link) and the yarn is Malabrigo Sock Yarn I got in a swapsie with the lovely SunriseSister. Great pattern which is very easy to memorise and gives a nice chevron look that I love. This is my second pair of these, the first went to my mother in law as a christmas gift. It's rare for me to like a pattern enough to do it twice!Since finishing these I have also busted out a much petted skein of 5ply/sport weight 100% cashmere in a lovely spring green and knit a scarf. It is finished but photos will have to wait until after it is blocked, as it is currently soaking in a bucket. Mentally I am feeling far more back on board than I have in a while (surprise surprise) and I have been plotting and planning - Ravelry events, new stuff for the store, new projects, new colour combinations, new things to see, do and share. It's all happening folks! Somehow the whirlwind in the brain that I never thought I would miss is back, and its return is welcome. Full steam ahead! (well. as much the body will allow)~~~~~~~~~~[...]



Idle hands? Hells no.

2011-04-26T01:01:03.650-07:00

So, I am still here, and still currently intact at 37 weeks and 5 days. It's been a slow couple of weeks - I'm rather round now, and while I have been rather quiet, I've still managed to be quite productive. Craft - wise, at any rate! Sitting around twiddling my thumbs would drive me insane so I've continued to create. Time management (or an attempt at it) is a friend of mine at the moment - with so many other babies due in my circle of friends I need to get the jump on things now! Given I liked the set I did for my own new baby so much, I decided to make a second set as part of a gift for a friends bub, due a few months after me. The yarn is Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn, some left overs I had from a pair of knee high socks I made for Miss Mayhem a few months ago. So bright and funky!---I also pulled out some Bendigo Woolen Mills Luxury 10 ply I had floating around whipped up this cute little Owlie Snuggle Sack for the new one. It was a relatively quick and satisfying knit, ecspecially being in 10 ply. It's like a wee woolen sleeping bag! But with cute little owlish cables :p---In the interests of practicality and remaining busy and multicraftual, I've also been back at the sewing machine, not quilting this time but something a little more.. well.. mundane. 1.5 metres of froggy print flanelette, and 1.5 metres of jungle print flanelette combined together gave me 4 nappy squares (to be used as nappies or random cleaner-uppers, whichever seems more urgent at the time!) and also 18 double sided cloth wipes from the offcuts of making the nappies. I bought the fabric at spotlight a couple of weeks ago when it was on sale for $4.50 per metre (got to love a good special!)---And lastly but certainly not leastly, there's been spinning too - I'm steadily treadling away at a mammoth spin as part of a swap. The going is slow, as the baby is generally pretty damn unimpressed with the way I sit when I spin (or when I sit AT ALL for that matter) so I can only do short bursts at a time. But I am getting there! This pic shows progression from fibre, to spun singles, to finished and plied skein. ---So that's how I keep busy while waiting for things to happen. I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter Festivities, took advantage of a super long easter break, and commemorated Anzac Day in the way in which they saw fit. I sure did! Productivity for the win!I get the feeling it might be a little while before I blog again, so I will just say at this point.. BRB ;)~~~~~~~~~~[...]



They call me mellow yellow..

2011-04-11T03:43:39.872-07:00

We all have our favourite colours don't we? Anyone who knows me knows red is my favourite. When I was a teenager I loved purple - but I think most teenage girls go through a fairly big purple phase. I also have very specific favourite colour tones across the spectrum though - my favourite red is Candyapple Red, but I have faves in all the other colours too. Duck Egg Blue. Eggplant Purple. Acid Green (which I sometimes call Soylent Green just for kicks - it's people! Soylent Green is people!!! the perfect green of a good Midori Illusion. There's a food theme here, have you noticed?) and Egg Yolk Yellow. There's been a fair bit of yellow around here recently. My favourite necklace is yellow. I bought Miss Mayhem a new yellow shirt the other day. BigMac surprised me the other week with a bunch of my favourite yellow roses (and I didn't even give birth in order to get them! Shock!). My current spin in process features a deep golden colour, almost a mustard.  Yellow is one of those colours that people either love or hate I think. I love it. Most colour shades of it too, through from a deep yolky yellow to a light delicate lemon. I think yellow is a warm colour - it's comforting and gives the illusion of cozy-ness. This week I finished up a playrug sized quilt for the new baby which I have been working hard on (more on that later) and I needed a gift for a friends new baby, too. I decided on a pram sized quilt which was MADNESS given I decided this on the Thursday, and the baby shower where I would be gifting it was on the Sunday. In my usual style however, I decided to bite off more than I could chew, and chew like mad. First up, while catching up on regular blog reading, and links around I discovered this tutorial over at 'a cuppa and a catch up' for a quilt as you go strip quilt. Made in less than a day, I figured it was just the ticket, and off to spotlight I headed where I was drawn to the yellows... I paired them with a couple different types of grey, and a black, found some glorious variegated thread and headed home to begin. It WOULD have gone according to plan and been finished in less than 24 hours, had my brain not started throwing out what I call 'unauthorised ideas'. You know the ones. The additions that make a 'nice' piece into something 'special', but which take more time and more effort. In other areas they would be known as budget blowout, but when your time is your budget, they are one and the same really. Problem is, once you have seen them in your head? You know you aren't really 'finished' until they have been included. So in the end, it was more like 36 hours, with a very late night in there, and some frantic panicking when the colours ran in the wash (dylon colour run remover, I love you so!) BUT - it was complete, washed, dried and ready in time to be gifted. (just.)Don't tell anyone but I cheated and did the binding with the machine on this one. Two reasons - 1 - there was just not enough time for me to do it by hand, as I am seriously S.L.O.W. at binding by hand and 2- I wanted to continue to show off that variegated thread of glorious yellowyness. 'Bird On A Wire' Quilt-----Earlier in the week I finished another quilt - this one a bit larger - as a playrug for the new baby. As one might be able to tell I'm not really the worlds biggest fan of pastels - I prefer bright, bold funky colours, yes, even for tiny babies. There's SO MUCH powder blue and baby pink around that at times, it can kinda feel like there's not much other option - I remember being so frustrated when I was having Miss Chaos that every single thing seemed to soft baby pink. I'm not a huge fan of pink, it's the only colour I DON'T have a favourite shade of, and when it's all the exact same pink? Ugh. When you are choosing fabric yourself th[...]



Of pixies and autumn...

2011-04-03T01:51:26.183-07:00

So, now sitting at 34 (and a bit) weeks pregnant, the finished objects are picking up the pace in my own desperate attempts to clear the decks, and keep everyone who needs to be warm, toasty. We're definitely into my favourite season now, I love the smells and colours of Autumn. The leaves on the trees change to glorious oranges, browns and reds, the days are mild and just perfect for throwing on a light cardigan or shawl for a bit of extra warmth. Of an evening, when the chill comes down people all over town start turning on heaters and lighting woodfires, and the sweet smelling smoke fills the air and hangs low to the ground. I love it all, it's a sensory overload!The other thing I love about autumn is the food that is in season. You can get away with (and crave) more substantial meals and the fact that pumpkin is in season and cheap helps with that! In the last week I have made pumpkin scones, and pumpkin soup. We had toasted pumpkin bread with marinated goats cheese for breakfast today, and tonights dinner is a hearty chicken and mushroom casserole with rice which we cooked all day in the slow cooker. to the end of preparation for the arrival of the babe, I am taking advantage of the ability to cook without sweltering, and trying to stock the freezer with quick, easy, and healthy meals that we can just reheat on those blurry first couple of weeks with a newborn. So far there's a few litres of pumpkin soup in there, the remainders of tonights chicken and mushroom casserole will go in there too. There's an entire lasagne in the oven, cooling down and getting ready to be sliced before freezing, and garlic bread to go with it. Still to come is mexican chicken meatballs, and a steak and onion pie. The house is a frenzy of activity, different people preparing for different things. Both kids are about to have their last week at kinder before going on school holidays, and I am being yammerred at endlessly every day about how the Easter Bunny cometh soon! Big Mac has a new job, so every evening is spent preparing for the next day ahead, mapping his route out (the work involves travel) and making lunches for the kids and himself. And I am spending my days trying to keep up with the kids, while buying what needs to be bought, and making what needs to be made. This week I have a couple of hats which have been finished off. The first is made from leftover Dream In Colour Smooshy sock yarn. I made my dad a pair of socks from it for christmas, and had a fair bit leftover. The hat is newborn sized and deliciously soft too. Not to mention cute!The second hat is a case of wingin' it in every aspect. I had some Ewe Give Me the Knits merino / carbonized bamboo in a pastel kind of rainbow. It reminded me a lot of fruit tingles, and was nice, but  was not a colourway I would of worn myself. I started spinning it and deicded that for a change, I just wanted to throw the fibre at the wheel instead of spinning it ultra fine. So I did. The end result was a super soft bulky weighted two ply yarn that was VERY squishy! Because Miss Chaos for some reason looks like a hobo in every beanie I put her in, I wanted to make her a bit of a different hat to keep her warm. So I improvised and the result is what I am calling the 'Pixi Hoodlum'. Soft, warm and snuggly, it suits her down to the ground and she loves it. I also think I might need to be making something similar for myself before winter hits properly!There's plenty more to come though. At the moment i have a mammoth spin in progress, on the needles I have a cute and funky pair of booties for a wee baby girl who is due after my babe, and the brightly coloured baby quilt I am making has had it's top finished and now needs to be 'sandwiched' (quilted) and bound. The hours are ticking by at an alarmi[...]



Finally a new shawl for me.

2011-03-05T00:44:06.373-08:00

Despite the number of shawls I knit in an almost habitual manner, the last shawl I actually knit FOR MYSELF was the huge Stormy Wings Alpaca Shawl. Which was almost two years ago now. When I knit that one, I had some lovely silver grey Moggy and Me yarn, and I decided I was going to knit that baby till the yarn ran out. So I did. And then I blocked it, and as alpaca tends to do - it grew. A lot. The final result was that that particular shawl is over 7 foot wide - which makes it (on my 5 foot 4 frame) less of a shawl, and more of a blanket. Which is fine, if it's freezing cold, but when it's just a bit chilly and I just want something pretty to throw around my neck for a little extra warmth (as opposed to my own personal alpaca furnace) it kind of leaves me shit out of luck. This week, I knit myself a shawlette - the perfect size for a little something extra when the wind picks up some. And it's in just my colours too. The pattern is the 'Holden Shawlette' (Rav link) by Mindy Wilkes. The yarn is Wollmeise 100% in 'Spice Market WD'. (Wollmeise is a highly sought after yarn from Germany. It is high sought after mostly because of it's colours, which are super rich. Spice Market is my favourite colourway of theirs, and the WD stands for 'We're Different'. Which means it's a mis-dye - this particular batch has none of the pistachio green this colourway normally has, which doesn't bother me in the slightest. I love it's rustiness anyways.) The knitting of the shawl took me a little under two weeks. I have had the yarn sitting there for well over six months, and I was just waiting till it told me what it wanted to be. And then I received a parcel in the mail from Mum and Dad for my birthday, and I am not ashamed to say, the shawl virtually knit itself, to match the contents of the parcel. They go together so nicely! That's a carved piece of Amber in the end there. I love it, and I love the shawl with it, too. Perfect match and all in the lovely autumny colours I adore. ~~~~~~~~~~[...]



Single-Minded Insanity.

2011-02-25T22:02:05.100-08:00

I've been a busy chick. It's funny though. I may have mentioned it before, but I am what the knit-freaks among us would call a monogamous knitter. This means I rarely if ever have more than one project on the needles at a time. This is because once I have more than one project going, I start to feel stressed and overwhelmed with my own inability to complete things in what I would like to think is a timely manner. Of course, my version of a 'timely manner' is different to everyone elses. However I am also multi-craftual, and as such the same rules don't apply to other crafts. While I will never have more than one sewing project, knitting project or spinning project on the go at the once, it's a-ok to have all of them. At the moment I have on the knitting needles, a Holden Shawlette (rav link). I also have some merino barberpole 2ply on the spinning wheel. I have a quilt / playmat about 3/4 of the way through construction of its top down in the sewing studio. I also have a series of books I am part way through reading on the kindle (a gift for my birthday from the husbeast - as a side note, I recently finished 'Good Omens' by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and it was awesome. Read it!). And I don't feel in the least bit stressed with all these different things on the go, it's when i am forced to divide knitting OR spinning OR sewing time between two projects of the same variety that I get tetchy. I'm weird, I know. Oddly however, I seem to do this thing - not so much with knitting or spinning, but certainly with sewing, and with reading books, and about a zillion other things - whereby the world ceases to exist for me until I am finished. I will start something, and until I finish the whole thing, or at least a huge chunk of it, I stop doing other life necessary things - like eating. Drinking. Sleeping. Taking a toilet break. I've always realised that this is bloody stupid behaviour, however it is only recently that I cam to the realisation that it's also hereditary. My dad does it too. On the rare occasion I have worked with him (or travelled with him) this tendancy to not stop for love nor money has driven me BATSHIT crazy. I caught myself doing it again the other day while working on a quilt, and realised I was doing the SAME thing he always does which I found incredibly frustrating. I got up and got a drink and took a break, but I am not silly enough to think that this realisation means I won't do it again. Just means I have someone to blame :p Ha!At any rate I do not have a finished quilt to show, nor do I have a finished shawl, or spin to show. I'm consciously splitting my time between all three, but in the past two weeks I have finished up with a pair of socks for myself, and a baby hat and cardi set for the wee one out of handspun, so on with the show. Firstly the socks are the Kalajoki Socks (rav link) which I am calling 'Wiggle socks' because they have a wiggle, and because I keep forgetting how to spell their real name. I knit them out of Shibui sock yarn which I was gifted by Knitabulous at least years Ravelry Baa events. The yarn is fabulous to work with, a nice tight ply, no splittiness and amazing stitch definition. I'm really quite pleased with how they turned out. They are soft, comfy and warm, and just the thing to continue to batt out a winter wardobe of toasty warm socks. B y the time winter comes however, we will have a new addition to the family to keep toasty warm, so in my ongoing effort to to turn a newborn into what looks like a small fuzzy colourful sheep, I give you what I did with the Southern Cross Fibre Handspun that I posted in the previous blog entry. I made a wee little set out of the handspun and some Bendi[...]



Small things and small roadblocks.

2011-01-19T23:57:04.629-08:00

So ah.. that photo a day thing.. that lasted a long while eh? I got blind sided by a recurring abcess under one of my teeth, so there's been too much pain to even consider photo taking. I figured I'd get back into it and make up for lost time, but.. meh. I figure I am more of the random photo type of person anyways!In the meantime though, there's been a bit of knitting going on, and some spinning too, so I do at least have some photos to show! First out we have a cute wee baby set, the first thing I have made for the new babe coming along. The 'Green Goblin Baby Set' consists of the Offset Wraplan Cardigan, and a pair of Stay On Baby Boots. The yarn is hand dyed sock yarn from Ewe Give Me The Knits, which I purchased at the 2010 Sheep and Wool Show. The buttons I found at spotlight. I made the smallest size, but the pattern calls for it to be knit on 3.5mm needles. I went up to a 3.75 mm, mostly because it made a nicer fabric, and used 3.5mm's for the garter bands and button band. The boots are amazingly cute. I did the soles in stockinette instead of the garter the pattern called for, and I did them in some left over Dream In Colour Smooshy I had laying around from when I knit my dad some socks for christmas. I like the way they turned out too. Aside from knitting there has also been spinning. The fibre in one of my last posts, a Corriedale from Southern Cross Fibre kind of fell out of love with me a little ways into spinning it. I'm not the worlds biggest fan of Corriedale fibre to begin with, and the colours weren't totally grabbing me. I Navajo plied what I had already spun, and wound up with a nice little mini skein of 95 metres of Fingering or 4 ply weight yarn. I have not the foggiest idea of what I am going to do with it. Maybe a wee dress for one of Miss Mayhem's dollies if I get really bored or something?At any rate the remaining fibre has found itself a new home where it will be properly adored. And I pulled out some more Southern Cross Fibre that I absolutely adored, and spun it. I was on a roll with the Navajo ply so I continued it here. This one is Organic Merino, in a colourway called 'Natural Beauty' and it was the fibre club delivery that I received for November in 2010. Soft and smooshy and very yummy! It spun up to about an 8ply or Dk weight yarn, and there is 201 metres in this skein. This one is destined to be something for the new babe too - it's so lovely and soft, I think it will be super warm for maybe a jumper or cardi of some sort, and certainly something nice and soft for a wee little head :)So, done! Till next time!~~~~~~~~~~[...]



Photo A Day 6/1/11 & 7/1/11

2011-01-07T04:35:32.865-08:00

So in the absence of me actually posting the photo yesterday, you get two together today, which is better really because they go together. 

Bit O'Fluff
This is some Southern Cross Fibre Corriedale in the 'Geothermal' colourway, fluffed up and ready to hit the wheel 

As The Wheel Turns...
and this is the same fibre, starting to take steps into becoming grown up yarn. 

~~~~~~~~~~




Photo A Day 5/01/11 - snapshot of gestational diabetes.

2011-01-05T05:35:11.824-08:00


A small portion of my average day the moment, given that I am 22 weeks pregnant, and a gestational diabetic.
Every day I have
4 finger prick blood sugar level tests (one fasting in the morning, one 2 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner)
3 metformin pills (one in the morning with breakfast, two in the evening with dinner)
2 multivitamins (with breakfast)
1 vitamin D tablet
1 Iron with vitamin C tablet 
(both at lunch)
And 22 units of insulin every evening before bed. 
~~~~~~~~~~ 



Photo A Day 4 - Where do you wear your heart?

2011-01-04T03:24:33.916-08:00


Where do you wear your heart?
I wear mine on the ass end of my car, apparently ;)
~~~~~~~~~~



Photo A Day 3 - Wait, what?

2011-01-03T05:08:39.925-08:00


January 3rd, 2011. Snapped in our local Safeway as I stood there in disbelief. 
I like hot cross buns, particularly of the chocolate variety, just as much (if not more) than anyone else but COME ON. 
JANUARY THIRD?!?!?
~~~~~~~~~~



Photo A Day 2 - From Dusk (till Dawn)

2011-01-02T02:38:59.174-08:00


One of my favourite candles from Dusk. Mmmmm smells good. 
~~~~~~~~~~



Photo A Day January 1st, 2011

2010-12-31T22:33:53.860-08:00


So, around here, one thing we are happy to promote in the kids, is a love of reading. Both myself and the MacBeast love to read, and what this picture represents is the haul of books from this christmas alone, for all four members of our family. It also represents what all four of us have spent a lot of time doing over the last week, and will most likely spend a lot of time doing throughout the year, too. It seemed fitting to have this as the first picture of the year. 
When it gets to the first day of 2012 and I go 'where did the year go, and why didn't I get as much done as I thought I would?' someone direct me to this picture. 
~~~~~~~~~



Unwrapped, to wrap it up.

2010-12-31T21:15:30.672-08:00

Well another Christmas, and another year, is now over. It's been, to put it mildly, a bastard of a year. Quite a few good and amazing things happenned. And quite a few shocking and downright nasty things happenned, and much of it took a toll on us. BUT - we are still here, we are still going strong, and we've just come through a decent christmas and fantastic New Years Eve. While many people do a photo collage of all the things they knit for the year, that is a bit much for me at the moment given I embark on the new year clean out, clean up today. Instead I will re-cap Christmas and show the few latest things. Every christmas Big Mac and I attempt to make hampers of home made goodies for our parents, siblings and as many of our friends as we can manage. This year was no exception. Included was Christmas tree Bark (thanks to Jade for the recipe), Crostoli, Lemon Cinnamon Shortbreads, Maple - chilli roasted nuts, Peanut butter balls, but my favourite inclusion was the Cherry and Apple Jam we made. It was made from organic split cherries which we bought from a local orchard - they were the tastiest cherries I have ever eaten, and true to form, made the tastiest jam, too. I'm really rather glad we have another two big jars of it sitting in the cupboard for ourselves. Also this christmas, I knit some things. (I know - surprise! right?) In fact, in the month and a half leading up to christmas, I managed to knock over two shawls and a pair of socks. Granted, the socks were finished in the car on the way down to my parents, and I don't have photo's of them because of that, but trust me. They got done. The first Shawl finished and off the needles was for my MIL (mother in law). It is knit from Zauberball yarn which is soft and single spun, with a slow colour change. The shawl pattern is called 'Shaelyn'. and just for a better idea of the coloursThe second shawl, completed and blocked JUST in the nick of time, was for my mum. It's knit from Mayhem and Chaos Silk Lace, in the colourway 'Tusk'. The pattern is the Shetland Lace Triangle, which I have been meaning to do for a while, but have only just got around to. It's beautiful and silky and drapey and she just loved it. So strangle to hold something in your hands that encompasses your shoulders, but is so light, it is barely there. All up, a big christmas was had, with us crossing from one side of the state to the other over the course of week. We ere home in time to ring in the new year with friends, which was a blast for all of us. We look into the rest of this year interested to see what it brings!And later, I will be back with the first photo-a-day for the month of January, to ring in the New Year. I'd like to say I will do a photo a day for a whole year, but I think I will just content myself with January as a goal. To start with at least. ~~~~~~~~~~[...]



Beginnings and endings.

2010-11-14T23:02:17.511-08:00

So... to re-cap. I've been quiet a while. There have been reasons. Plenty of them. But, right now, here is where we are at: Master Mayhem has now turned FIVE. Unbelievable. Tomorrow, Miss Chaos turns FOUR. To me, this is even more unbelievable. We around here will be heading into summer at the end of this month. To feel the weather around, you wouldn't know it. It has been the mildest, coolest Spring season I remember. Also the wettest. I am hoping this translates to a mild summer also, as me and baking heat don't go so well. I'd be happy for the spring season to hang around a lot longer, with it's yummy smells, pretty flowers and all creatures.. well. Doing what they do this time of year.Including me. Which brings me to the real reason there has been so little knitting or blog updating, or spinning, and the real reason why the thought of a searing hot summer fills me with dread. The wee Mayhem and Chaos family is growing it seems, and we are due to have a new addition joining the household in mid-May of 2011. For my own part I've spent the last 3-4 months mostly feeling insanely ill, and all knit and spin mojo exited the building. A few weeks ago I started feeling better, and began knitting again only to come down with a headcold. Which then turned into strep throat. And then morphed into headcold with strep throat and an upper respitory tract infection. Yay me. I was at my lowest point on Thursday when my diet for the day consisted entirely of iced water, and salty tears of self pity. By Friday I had begun to progress through the liquids - Iced Water - warm tea - soft drink - hot tea - soup. Saturday I progressed to those food forms which can be reasonably classified as 'goo'. Custard, jelly, yogo and ice cream. By last night I was proud of my progress to the level of 'mush' which is where I remain today. Pasta and mashed potato are my friends right now. This illness is a doozy and i think it will be at least another week before I am feeling right again, but I am taking it easy and resting up, per doctors orders. This is evidenced by the fact I am in bed, with my laptop, and don't particularly feel like leaving.  I do have a finished object to show though, one measly one throughout all this. This is a 'Peasant Shawl' knit from Ixchel fibres BFL/Bunny sock yarn. It turned out to be an enjoyable, relatively quick little knit in the end, and is the start of the silly season knitting.  This little shawlette is destined to go as a gift for the kindergarten teacher who has taught Miss Chaos 3 year old kinder this year, and Master Mayhem 3 year old kinder last year. Her assistance has been invaluable throughout everything, and given that next year Miss Chaos leaves her care to step up to four year old kinder, I wanted to do something special to show our appreciation. I hope she likes it as i felt the colours were entirely up her alley. And so it begins. From here on out until the 25th of December there will be knitting, there will be baking, there will be hamper making and shopping. After christmas will see the shop ramp up again in a big way, with loads more updates, base yarns, fun times. I've loads of ideas! I actually really put my all into enjoying christmas and making it enjoyable for the kids too. Many more pictures of pretties and tasties and quirky links to follow for your madness and pleasure. I'll also post the recipe for my super awesome nuts :pIn the meantime though, I'd like to know - do you have a recipe whic[...]



Old, new and so much more than blue..

2010-09-07T00:23:12.539-07:00

So, we have finally finished moving, and cleaning up after ourselves. We are 95% unpacked and organised, and it is a relief to have a place that feels like home again. Of course over this weekend just gone, most of the state of Victoria has seen a LOT of rainfall. There's been flooding in and around Bendigo, and parts of Shepparton and Wangaratta are on evacuation watch due to rivers having burst their banks. The rain, when it came was relentless, ferocious, and dare I say it, impressive! We have a lovely balcony at our new house which gives me a sheltered view night and day of a fair bit of Bendigo. It's a really nice place to sit and watch the goings on of the street, and also a nice place to sit and watch the rain - if a little deafening given the tin roof, common of houses this age. The old house is not entirely filled with new things though. I may have mentioned it before but I LOVE alot of things that are old or quirky. I love to take old things and make them new again through re purposing of giving them some love! Or just finding some things that are just in need of someone to appreciate them. This is my little teacup collection, and some old glass jars (with proper cork toppers!) that are brightening up the mantelpiece in the lounge with a splash of colour. Yellow, red and orange were all gotten from the local opshop (or thrift store / charity shop for overseas readers :p  Hi Sarah! ~waves~) as a set for 7 dollars. The green one is not old at all, but is part of the Turkish Delight collection from T2, that BigMac bought me for christmas last year. The three small jars though, are rather special. All three of them I found while cleaning out mum and dad's pantry, and I am told they belonged to my great grandmother. I've been carting them about from house to house since I got them, though normally I put them on a windowsill to catch the light. Clearly after setting that up I was in need of some more colour. I had been working on some new pants for Miss Chaos that were destined to be the subject of this particular blog. However the pattern and I disagreed and in an uncharecteristic show of obedience, i did what the pattern said. FAIL. Stupid pattern. Result, unwearable pants. To make myself feel a bit better I pulled out a different pattern, the Bettsy Kingston Market Skirt (link to where I bought it, too!). I yanked out some fabric I bought from a season clearance at Spotlight a while back, and got funky with some bright colour. The result is a bright, funky skirt that should fit Miss Chaos through this Spring, Summer and well into next Winter too. In under an hour, no less. As an added bonus, I made it so that it is completely reversible (bonus as she can be a little bit messy). I reccomend the pattern! A line skirts are not exactly rocket science, but for the cost of this pattern, it has a size range from a baby girls size 1, right up to a ladies size 18. Yay for versatility! One for me, next. She likes it anyways! I think it looks super cute. ~~~~~~~~~~[...]



A Moo of Cow(L)s

2010-09-01T04:26:17.305-07:00

So - the move is done. Mostly. There's still cleaning to be done, unpacking to be done, the usual detritus. But everything that must be moved across, has been. Funny thing about moving though. It always costs a lot more than you think it will. It always takes more time than you think it will. And there is always a lot more effort involved than you think there will be. Also, there's always hiccups along the way. Like Telstra. Oh yes. Let's not even go there, shall we?So I can now share a couple of finished items, one of which was a gift I couldn't share earlier. A friend of mine proposed a 'sad mothers swap'. No deadlines, no massive budget, just a nice simple knitted item swap for those of us who have difficulty being involved in more traditional swaps because of strict deadlines that are often interfered with by the uh.. little people in life. I had some handspun singles of some Merino/Rose fibre, dyed by Mandie at Ewe Give Me The Knits. Heavenly soft, this stuff is just gorgeous, and being single spun it spun up into lovely, definitive stripes. Also being single spun means much more yardage out of one braid. I knit it up into a feather and fan cowl, and some Veyla inspired mitts. Cowls are one of my favourite things to knit. They are quick, can be textured, plain, lacey - you name it. With buttons, or without. Unlike a scarf, you can fold 'em up and stuff em in your back pocket. They are easy on and off for the constant shifts in temperature we enjoy around here. and you can make them snug, or loose, and if they are loose you can fold them over and secure with a shawl pin or a brooch or even a badge if you feel the need for a bit of extra warmth that day.So I made another one. For me. It rarely happens that I see fibre and know exactly what it wants to be. But this one did. Purchased from Charly of Ixchel yarns and fibres at Bendigo sheep and wool was this wee 50g braid of Merino/Cashmere/Angora.Which got spun up into 150 metres of 3 ply / Fingering weight yarn a couple of updates back. And has since become another feather and fan cowl, for me. Both cowls used pretty much the same pattern, but the first I knit on smaller needles, and threw a garter stitch round in there to take advantage of the stripey goodness. I love this shawl pin. You might have to tilt your head but it's a treble clef. Both cowls made with handspun, slight variant on the same pattern, both super warm and very soft. I like living in my tactile world, wherever it may be based. ~~~~~~~~~~[...]



Of Shawls and Spring and OpShopping

2010-08-25T03:55:41.232-07:00

Everywhere around the place, bulbs are pushing their heads out of the ground, wattle trees are a riot of golden colour and cherry blossoms look like small pink and white firecrackers, going off with a fizz and a bang on the side of the road. Nature would have us believe it is spring, and in a week, the calendar would have us believing it too. I call bullshit. If you were in or around where I live today, that would seem pretty hard to swallow! I doubt it reached double digits in the temps all day long, it poured with rain and even after being in front of the heater for hours now - I still feel like I've barely begun to defrost. Today was spent starting to take the first (second, third and fourth) of many small loads of stuff over to the new house. So this may explain the frozen feelings. There was a nice interlude though, where I got to give a friend of mine a gift, someone who has been so amazing and supportive over the last 9 weeks or so of hell. For Lisa, in a riot of bright colour is this Multnomah shawlette. It is knit from Zauberball 'crazy' yarn, that I managed to score when I went down to the craft show at Jeff's Shed. It hasn't taken long to knit, is nice and warm, and the striping of the long colour repeats is so effective!The main thing is that she seemed to like it though, and thats what it's all about :)I also managed a score of my own the other day on a visit to the opshop. I was trying to find bench stools, and while I didn't find any, what I did find was a few metres of a really nice charcoal jersey fabric, and a pattern I quite like which the jersey will be perfect for. All for the princely sum of 4 bucks. Bargain!I love me some opshopping and re purposing. ~~~~~~~~~~[...]