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Taking Stock – March

I love the idea of taking a minute at the end of a month…to breathe…and to take stock…so I am using The Little Room of Rachell as an inspiration.

Making: my youngest a rainbow pillow mattress for his 4th birthday.

Cooking: pancakes…almost every day!
Drinking: Schoefferhofer Weizen on a recent trip to Melbourne. Wheat beer is my absolutely favourite.

Reading: the latest issue of PomPom Quarterly.
Wanting: more time to knit.
Playing: with my kids.
Liking: my eldest little felt heart that he made all on his own for his first crush.

Deciding: on outdoor furniture for ….see below under ‘buying’.
Wishing: for the ability to teleport to be able to see friends and family in Europe in the blink of an eye.
Enjoying: cooler nights as we head into Autum and Winter here in the Southern Hemisphere.
Wondering: whether I really should be buying more yarn from the gorgeous Imogen at 24 Mile Hollow Yarn Co.

Loving: changes.
Pondering: what is happening in the world.
Considering: going out to get more wheat beer (I said it was a problem, didn’t I?)
Buying: a house!!!! So excited….move in date is end of May!
Watching: Killing Eve with Sandra Oh….
Hoping: for sun tomorrow for my eldest first officaly outing as a Cub with the Scouts!
Marvelling: at the view from Taronga Zoo, where we spent last Sunday.

Cringing: at everything that is happening with Brexit…I just cannot…!
Needing: more time…
Questioning: certain decisions.
Smelling: the bathwater with bubbles my boys are sitting in.
Wearing: these pants (sorry…trousers) from Uniqlo.
Following: gorgeous friends like european_ali_with_a_twist, naroth13 and visualstories.photographer on Instagram.
Knowing: that I want more knitting and more importantly more yarn in my life next month!

Thinking: about what to make for my mum and my niece for their birthdays, coming up in April.
Admiring: socks, jumpers and shawls…on Instagram…and on Ravelry.
Sorting: clothes….
Bookmarking: my eldest son’s new programmes: reading, maths and spelling…I never had any of these and still managed…it’s baffling.
Coveting: outdoor garden sets…for the above purchase.
Disliking: being far from friends and family.
Opening: up to new experiences (being photographed in a 3D exhibion while out with the au pairs I look after)…working.

Feeling: happy and excited.
Snacking: on nothing at all!
Helping: others by getting rid of toys and games this month.
Hearing: my kids in the bath, listening to their Toniebox.
Mixing: ….
Slicing: through cake earlier in the month for my youngest birthday… my good friend made the most amazing cake for a joint party.

Celebrating: birthdays!
Forgetting: that life can actually be absolutely amazing!
Winning: at yarn chicken….bought two skeins of this Brooklyn Tweed Peerie yarn and only needed one for socks for my eldest.

Pretending: to be an expert at WordPress…I really have a lot to learn!
Sneaking: an episode of ‘Killing Eve’ in during the week…when I was meant to be working.
Embracing: my gorgeous son on the way to the zoo…I love him to the moon and back (both of them).

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Designer Spotlight: Melody Hoffmann

I love discovering new designers, especially when their patterns are as well designed and beautiful as those of Melody Hoffmann. In Melody’s words, she is inspired by nature, minimalism, folklore, wabi-sabi and shibuj. She designs garments and accessories that are full of texture, modern and simple.

Copyright @ Melody Hoffmann (taken from Ravelry)

A friend of mine asked me to make her a very specific top, with a deep back neckline and a ribbon. When I came across Melody’s Ginkgo top it was love at first sight. The simplicity of the construction is brilliant.

My friend and I picked the DROPS Belle yarn due to its cotton, viscose, linen content. It’s perfect for this top as the resulting fabric has wonderful drape. It’s a wonderful yarn that feels great when being knitted and even better when it’s worn. I wanted my friend to get as much wear out of her top as possible, so this was the perfect choice of yarn.

There were a few moments where the endless stockinette stitch was starting to get a bit tedious, but just when it did the neckline for the front and the back came into play. And knitting became interesting again. I could have added i-cord ties to it, but my friend was keen on satin ribbon, and I think it makes the top, it’s such a luxurious addition. And doesn’t my friend look wonderful wearing it?

STATS
Pattern:
 Ginkgo top by Melody Hoffmann.
Yarn: DROPS Belle in navy.
Needle size: 3.5mm
Knitting time: 6th-15th September 2018.

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TBT: Gramps Cardigan

I know, it’s been a while… Life and knitting took over.

Some of you may remember I made my eldest a gorgeous little cotton cardigan, blogged here.

 

He wore it a lot and it’s a favourite of mine. How lucky was I to dress his little brother in it a few years later. Isn’t he just the cutest? Makes me all broody just looking at these these two boys of mine.

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Homage to a Pixie Hat

There is something so charming and magical about pixie hats on babies and children. They are whimsical and sweet and most importantly keep little heads warm and cosy.

I love the Finley pattern by Dover & Madden. It’s a quick to knit and very easy to follow pattern with a wonderful finished result. Over the years I have made a few in various sizes. I also like the fact that I can use various yarns to create different sizes.

Here’s one in green, using DROPS Baby Merino.

Another one using DROPS Nepal, which is wonderfully soft against the skin. Such a gorgeous colour too.

Another DROPS Baby Merino for a friend who has a son almost exactly the same age as my Max.

The following made using DROPS Nepal too.

Would you look at this sweet boy wearing his pixie hat? Isn’t he just the sweetest thing? His big smile. It warms my heart.

This final hat was also made using DROPS Nepal.

Just look at this wee man wearing his pixie bonnet. Just adorable.

STATS
Pattern:
 Finley Pixie Hat by dover & madden.
Yarn: Various yarns, including DROPS Nepal and DROPS Baby Merino.
Needle size: 3.5mm
Knitting time: 2015 and 2016.

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Focus of the week: Hats

It’s getting cooler here in Australia, but should I really be saying that when most of the rest of the world is suffering through an endless Winter? Sorry folks, I wish I could send you some of our sunshine. But since I can’t how about seeing a collection of hats for the next few days?

First off….Simple, but effective beanies.

These beanies were a wholesale order for Greenwich Baby in Greenwich, using leftovers of DROPS Merino Extra Fine. I love this pattern, it’s my go to for a quick baby hat. Most of the sizes I can whip up in a couple of hours. And even though it’s a simple pattern I feel that a lot can be done to it with yarn and colour choices.

Same hat, different yarn. The incredibly soft DROPS Nepal.

And yet again, same hat, different yarn. This time some DROPS Muskat.

This sweet hat is another one using DROPS Nepal and I saved this to last because look at the handsome little dude wearing it.

STATS
Pattern:
 Cream Dream Hat by DROPS Design.
Yarn: Various yarns, including DROPS Merino Extra Fine, DROPS Nepal and DROPS Muskat.
Needle size: 4mm
Knitting time: 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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Random Monday: Crochet Letters

Isn’t it funny how it takes the suggestion of someone else for a light bulb moment? I guess that’s why teams of designers and makers often come up with the quirkiest ideas. Here was my light bulb moment for something quirky, a good friend asked me to make some letters for her kids camping blankets.

While I would have liked to knit them, because I am all about the knitting, they just were never going to be stable enough for their purpose. So instead I got my hook out and crocheted some letters for her.

I used the Moogly Crochet Alphabet available on Ravelry, but I only loosely followed the instructions. Once I started I actually just kept going with what felt right. I think it worked and they look great.

I loved the two finished names and my friend showed me the finished blankets (although she did lose the N of Finn’s name, so I will be making that again for her). Nonetheless, I now want to make some letters for my son’s Scout Camping Blanket…

STATS
Pattern:
 The Moogly Crochet Alphabet by Tamara Kelly.
Crochet time: 10th April 2018.

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Black and White Wedding Flowers

Our cousin (my husband’s cousin) got married back in December to the beautiful mother of his gorgeous daughter…they kept the wedding pretty low key, but I knew I wanted to make something for the bride and after getting a brief from her: ‘black and white’ I went ahead and knitted up something for her, for the groom and for their gorgeous girl.

So I got my DROPS Muscat out in black and white and knit up two white hollyhooks, one white rose and five small daisy like flowers in black and white.

Out of one I fashioned a bracelet for the bride.

I love the end result, and I think it worked out really well, it was quite compact and not the lightest bracelet, but it looks wonderful on my gorgeous friend. She asked me to put it on her as she was walking down the aisle…so I was part of the ceremony.

I made up two little hairclips for their daughter, matching one of the small flowers in the bracelet.

And doesn’t she look just gorgeous in it?

Finally, I made our cousin a boutonnière (I have to Google that word every time I need to write it out). Again, the flowers are matching the bracelet.

I was also asked to put this on for our cousin…as he danced his way to his bride.

I am really pleased to have been included in their celebrations to have been able to make something unique for them. Something they can treasure forever, since knitted flowers last forever.

And look at this beautiful family…don’t they look ecstatically happy?

STATS
Pattern:
 Bracelet, boutonnière and hairclips, my own design.
Yarn: DROPS Muskat in black and white
Needle size: 3mm
Knitting time: 30th November 2017.

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Sweet Rosebud Hairclips

As I am working behind the scenes on my #knittedbotanicals handmade business a few things pop up that I want to share straight away. And that is the case with these sweet rosebud hairclips that I made for a friend’s daughter. She was going to her aunts wedding and needed something to go with her sweet green and pink dress.

And it’s such a quick little project, I knit up the rosebuds and then attached them to hairclip. I think the entire thing didn’t take longer than 1 hour. But I think the result is wonderful. And my friends little girl looks absolutely adorable wearing them.

STATS
Pattern:
 Rosebud from 100 flowers to knit and crochet by Lesley Stanfield.
Yarn: DROPS Muskat in powder pink and light mint.
Needle size: 3mm
Knitting time: 2nd October 2017.

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Planning and plotting

I recently went to a ‘yarn tasting’ organised by the Knitter’s Guild NSW and showcasing three wonderful indie dyers: Imogen at 24 Mile Hollow Yarn Co., Rhiannon at Reaction Dyeworks and Kathryn at The Australian Wool Store. They each told us about about their yarn and how they started dyeing and then we received a little ‘taster’.

And look at the mountains of yarn I was able to pick what I wanted from.

I just couldn’t go past the ‘I carried a watermelon’ and ‘Bay Tree’ from Imogen and the gorgeous dark blue and dark red from Rhiannon.

I am in love with the yarn I have bought and am busy deliberating what I can make with it.

For the ‘watermelon’ and the green I was thinking about Andromeda by Pam Allen.

And for the blue and red I am considering socks, I think either colour would be wonderful for Waltana by Darlene Hayes.

What do you think?

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Yarn Along: March

I have been reading Ginny’s blog Small Things for a while, but I have never joined into her wonderful monthly ‘yarn along‘ round up. But today I am finally changing that.

I am on the homestretch of the test knit I am doing for the wonderful Yvonne from Aida Sofie Knitting Design. This is the third time I am test knitting for Yvonne and I love taking part. Her designs involve a fair amount of colour work, which I really enjoy. Those that follow me on Instagram will know of my dilemma with this. I was actually almost finished with this knit last week, but I was very unhappy with my colour choice and I felt that my colour work was too tight and no amount of blocking would have been enough to stretch it out. So, I unravelled…and this was at the point where I only had the second sleeve to finish.

I am really excited about the colours and the eagle-eyed among you will see that I was able to include some glittery yarn within the unicorn pattern.

I am not doing a lot of reading, but when I do get a chance I am trying to finish ‘Dragonfly in Amber’ by Diana Gabaldon the second book in the Outlander series. I have watched all three series currently available and absolutely love the books and the show, but clearly not enough to finish reading the book…or it might be a lack of time!

I am also trying to decide on buttons for this cardigan I made for my youngest, because I am really not happy with the ones that I sewed on the other week, they just don’t fit right.

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along.