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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.

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Suppliers I Love

I don’t feel like I am a particularly rigid person, but I have noticed since moving to Australia that I have still ‘stuck’ with my favourite suppliers for yarn and for buttons from England.

And that’s not to say that there are not amazing yarn companies and shops as well as button suppliers, including this wonderful gem: All Buttons Great and Small in Newtown, here in Australia.

Nonetheless, I love my yarn from DROPS and I love that I am still able to buy my yarn at Woolwarehouse and they ship it to me in Australia for a very reasonable £9.98. Equally, I will always love the buttons from TextileGarden.

The buttons from TextileGarden are simply divine. First of all they are not plastic, but shell, coconut shell, horn, ceramic, wood, metal, etc. I am always able to find the right button for the pieces I am knitting. I believe that if I am spending the time knitting something it needs to have the right button to match it!

Here’s just a tiny selection of the buttons that I’ve been able to use from TextileGarden.

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Finished Knit: Olavas Summer Suit

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen my youngest in this adorable Summer romper.

When I asked him this week if he wanted to wear a little cotton romper I knitted for him (in size 3 years) and he excitedly said yes, I was very pleased. Then I realised that I hadn’t even blogged about it here. It was one of the last pieces I knitted in England, before we made our big move to Australia last August.

I used cotton yarn, specifically DROPS Muskat, which is a lovely mercerised cotton. It has a wonderful sheen on it, and this ‘apple green’ is such a wonderfully bright colour.

The suit itself is a Tiddelibom pattern, originally written in Norwegian, some of their patterns are translated into English, including this one. It’s a very well presented and written pattern, with a lot of detail and I was able to knit this romper in a couple of days (even in between packing up).

The beautiful leaf pattern in the middle runs the entire front and back of the romper and is just such a joy to knit and absolutely beautiful to look at. I was fortunate to have some leaf buttons in my stash, which I was able to add on the front (even though they are only for decoration) and four extra ones to close the romper, even allowing for growth.

But my youngest is such a big boy, he will be three in March, but has already been wearing clothes for a four year old for about six months. So I knew that we needed to make the most of wearing it. So without further ado, here’s Max wearing it.

STATS
Pattern: Olavas Summer Suit by Tiddelibom.
Yarn: DROPS Muskat in apple green.
Needle size: 3.5mm
Knitting time: 25th-28th July 2016.

 

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FO: Girl Cowl and Hat

It’s amazing what a reminder from a friend can do to you. I knitted this little set, a hat and cowl for my beautiful friend’s daughter back in 2015. And I still haven’t posted about it. So when my friend posted a picture of her daughter wearing it and the fact that it still fits I knew I needed to get onto it.

So, I made a neck warmer and beanie/hat combo from my favourite design team at Garnstudio. My friend also decided to pick the exact colours that the pattern calls for.

Both pieces were wonderfully quick knits as the pattern recommends size 5mm needles, using two yarns at the same time: DROPS Alpaca and DROPS Kid-Silk. As you can imagine the alpaca and silk combination make it a wonderfully soft and fluffy finished piece, and there is something to be said about knitting with luxurious fibres. It makes my knitting just fly off the needles. Both neckwarmer and hat were wonderfully easy knits that ended up beautifully soft and very sweet and girly.

And isn’t this the sweetest picture of my friend’s daughter wearing it when she first received it?

It’s amazing how happy these pictures make me, seeing someone wearing my makes, my heart jumps for joy!

I particularly love that she puts her shoes on the wrong feet (my boy used to do this too).

STATS
Pattern: Mini Me from DROPS Design.
Yarn: DROPS Alpaca in dusty pink and DROPS Kid-Silk in light pink.
Needle size: 5mm
Knitting time: Neckwarmer: 31st October 2015
Beanie 11th-12th November 2015.

 

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FO: Baby Dress

An old friend who I went to school with in England had a baby girl earlier this year. And of course, I knew exactly what I wanted to knit for her.

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This is the Lizzy dress pattern by Taiga Hilliard, available on Ravelry. It is one of many dress patterns by this designer, all of which are absolutely stunning, and some of which I have already knitted.

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What I love about this pattern and all the others from Taiga is that they are all knitted top down, with minimal seaming. An absolute dream!

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The details like the lace pattern on the yoke, which is repeated at the hem make this a sweet little dress. Additionally, even when this doesn’t fit as a dress anymore it can still be used as a tunic or a top.

arp-13I used some DROPS BabyAlpaca Silk that I had left in my stash, which is a combination of baby alpaca and mulberry silk, making it incredibly soft and also luxurious.

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It’s not a superfast knit as it calls for 3.5mm needles, but I found that just as I was starting to get a bit bored with the stockinette stitch I had to start on the lace section for the hem. Thus making it quite interesting.

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I was trying to get a bit artistic with my photos, and since I had some roses that were coming to the end of their life, I thought why not add them in the picture. Too much, what do you think?

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Fortuitously I had some sweet mother-of-pearl buttons in my stash that I was able to use.

My friend was a very happy recipient and this week she shared some adorable pictures of her sweet girl wearing it…this here is why I love knitting baby clothes, such a sweet sight.

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And I just love that little tongue!

STATS
Pattern:
 Lizzy Dress by Taiga Hilliard.
Yarn: DROPS BabyAlpaca Silk in heather.
Needle size: 3.5mm
Knitting time: 29th June-4th July 2016.

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FO: Tutu Top

Back in June I made my good friend Ali this gorgeous little tutu top for her long-awaited second child, a darling girl.

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It’s a pattern I first came across on Pinterest, where my friend sawed it when I pinned it. She loved the pattern so much, and in fact wanted the exact same colours for her darling girl. The pattern itself can be bought on Ravelry.

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It is a fantastically easy pattern, with some great little details added like the i-cord bind off for the neckline and the tutu skirt, which is all knit in one.

I love that little skirt and the way it really does seem like a little tutu. I guess if it needs to be a bit longer to make it more into a dress that’s also a possibility. But my friend wanted to use it as a top with leggings for her daughter.

I had a sweet mother-of-pearl button with a heart edged onto it in my button box which finished off the little top perfectly. I love that it actually looks very clean and simple, but has these sweet little extras. And my friend’s daughter looks just adorable in it. Apparently she wanted to dance away in it.

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STATS
Pattern:
 Tutu Top by Lisa Chemery.
Yarn: DROPS Big Merino in grey and plum.
Needle size: 5mm
Knitting time: 13th-15th June 2016.

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FO: Fancy Little Waistcoat

In November 2015 I friend who I had previously made a booties and beanie combo for (for her first son) had another son. So I decided to use up some of my leftover yarn and made her a little waistcoat for her second little man.
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Regular readers of the blog will know that I’ve made this waistcoat a few times before. Predictably it’s a DROPS pattern.

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As I had a lot of DROPS Baby Merino left in these colours and shades I decided to try using them and made up the combinations as I went along.

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I think a plain white one would have been very boring, but I like the little accents the grey and black bring to the waistcoat.

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I used some buttons from my stash, which work very well with this combination.

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I love this little waistcoat, I am able to knit this in a couple of days, which makes it another perfect little gift to knit for someone expecting a boy. And it’s great for using up leftover yarn!

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STATS
Pattern:
 Junior by DROPS Design.
Yarn: DROPS Baby Merino in white, off white, black and grey.
Needle size: 3mm
Knitting time: 27-29th November 2015.

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FO: A Dress for a Doll

Earlier this year, in January, I wanted to make a couple of dolls clothes for my good friends daughter’s birthday. She had received an American Girl Doll for her birthday and Luke wanted to give her some clothes for this doll. I remember making dolls clothes for my dolls when I as little, but never anything as elaborate as this:

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This an incredibly adorable free doll dress pattern that is fit for a princess. It was a real joy to knit, but for being only a dress for a doll it did take me longer than I anticipated.

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This is probably due to the fact that it’s knitted with 2.5mm needles and even though I used the gorgeous DROPS BabyAlpacaSilk the skirt started to get a bit tedious, with what seemed a never-ending amount of stitches on the needles.

But the detail on the skirt with that thin yarn actually looks fantastic. I did decide to make life even more difficult for myself and completed the project with a picot bind-off, like this one, but on every stitch.

And I added 7 very small buttons with corresponding crochet buttonholes, which add another lovely detail!

I also used the picot bind-off for the sleeves, and I love the little lace details down the front and back of the bodice, where I increased for the sleeves.

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A great project, which looks very sweet on my friend’s daughter’s doll, wouldn’t you say?

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STATS
Pattern:
 American Girl Doll Snow Princess dress by Elaine Phillips.
Yarn: DROPS BabyAlpacaSilk in heather.
Needle size: 2.5mm
Knitting time: 12th-17th January 2016.

 

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FO: Booties

So, this is me trying to get back to posting again regularly about my finished knitting (FOs). Even though I have been quiet on that front on here doesn’t mean that I haven’t been knitting like a maniac. I have so many amazing things to show you! But for today, since it is after my bedtime (which is 10pm by the way), here are some booties that I knit for an ex-colleague back in May 2015.

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Regular readers of this blog will know that this is my version of Saartjes Bootees that I have knit up several hundred times now.

cc-1They are still my favourite gift to knit up for someone that is expecting. I love them especially because they also enable me to knit up some leftover yarn from other projects. This particular pair was knit up in DROPS Muskat.

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The other thing I love about these booties is that I can knit them in 2 hours flat. The sewing up takes a little longer, but I can basically whip up 5 pairs of these in a weekend.

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And of course they fit perfectly into the little cardboard boxes I make to present them in. The perfect gift!

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STATS
Pattern:
 My own.
Yarn: DROPS Muskat in petrol and blue.
Needle size: 3.5mm
Knitting time: 16th May 2015.