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There is just something about Knits

I was sure that when I moved to Australia back in 2016 I wouldn’t be able to knit for myself anymore and more importantly I wouldn’t be able to wear any knits anymore. Imagine my happiness at discovering that this was not the case! Oh so happy!

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For the Love of Yarn

The reason I put myself on a self-imposed hiatus of buying yarn is because I have a huge amount of absolutely gorgeous hand-dyed yarn that I need to use first. But before my hiatus started on 1st January, I put a couple of orders in…. Because it’s not just about buying the yarn, it’s also about supporting these small businesses.

The amazing Angela runs Blackwattle Yarn and Fibre from her Alpaca farm in Murrumbateman with her husband Matthew. She’s got such a great eye for stunning colour combinations. I have bought my fair share of skeins from her. This latest lot was in a sale and the colours are not my usual choices, but they really spoke to me… I think they will become a shawl or a couple of shawls.

These skeins are Qing Fibre, which I purchased from Yarn & Co, a store I visited in Melbourne a couple of times. Beautiful mother and daugther had to close their Fitzroy store during 2020 and are online only for now. I have not worked with the yarn before, but those sweet colours made me so happy!

The gorgeous Mia of Wren & Ollie always has enticing yarn colours. I used a kit of her yarn to make my Slipstravaganza Westknits Mystery Knitalong Shawl and the colours are just so wonderfully vibrant. This is a sock kit, which knits up into a stripy set…I can’t wait to make this.

I know it will be incredibly hard not buying yarn… It’s something I like to do whenever I visit a place and a new to me Local Yarn Store. But I also LOVE all the yarn I have purchased in the last few years and I NEED to make it into garments, socks, shawls, hats, etc. So really, I am making space for next year!

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Friday Finds

I love reading what other people find during the week and thought I’d do something similar on here. Because who knows, maybe it will be of use to someone else too!

This list of 100+ Knitting tips from Noble Knits is a wonderful compilation of all the things needed to get you started with knitting!

Kate Davies Design’s new design Orchle is giving me all the feels! I can’t quite justify knitting it here in Australia, but that doesn’t mean I can’t drool over the stunning colourwork. I have knitted some of Kate’s designs and can highly recommend her patterns. They are always very well written and produce beautiful knitwear!

I love crocheting little things for friends and often try to find something along similar lines of this sweet crochet heart. Gathered (the guys behind Mollie Makes) have shared a very straightforward free little pattern. Why not give it a try?

What have you been watching while knitting/crocheting/crafting? I sped through Bridgerton…and loved it. I am considering reading Julia Quinn’s books as part of my plan to read more this year. Has anyone read them? What did you think of them?

Winston by La Maison Rililie is beautiful. I love the colour accents on the shoulders and sleeves. I can see lots of play with colours to make this a very snazzy cardigan. The possibilities are endless!

Have you tried your hand at embroidery? I have a couple of kits flying around, one I have started. Seeing this gorgeous one by Knitting up a Storm makes me want to pick mine up again!

Are you looking for a new crafty podcast? Then look no further than We’ve Made It! The team at Gathered talks about all things crafty ideas, tackling crafty problems and shares expert advice!

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Taking Stock: April

Making: The Arlo by Michelle Wang for Brooklyn Tweed for my eldest’s best friend, at the beach!

Cooking (aka dyeing): Easter eggs in true German tradition. What are your Easter traditions?

Drinking: Rooibos tea again….after a fairly long time…and it’s delicious!
Reading: Making Stories Magazine and I want to knit every single item.

Wanting: to have more time…to do what I love to do!
Playing: silly faces with my youngest in the morning.

Liking: culling things before our move into our own home!
Deciding: and trying to convince my other half what we need to buy after we move…new mattress, new TV, things for the garden…the list goes on.
Wishing: I had more time!
Enjoying: My eldest’s first and last camp as a Joey before he moves up to Cubs in Scouts.

Wondering: what will pop up next at work…it’s been pretty full on!
Loving: the bond these two are developing in the last month!

Pondering: what to knit for myself next!
Considering: whether to have another glass of wine.
Buying: yarn….so much yarn!!!

Watching: all the Marvel movies in the order they were released….it’s fascinating and my husband thinks I should move onto Star Wars next or Harry Potter… I have yet to be convinced!
Hoping: my eldest feels better in the morning!
Marvelling: at everything Tanis Fiber Arts comes out with.
Cringing: at the mess that inevitably goes with packing up a house.
Needing: new trousers…because Winter is coming!
Questioning: nothing!

Smelling: the most amazing flowers I received from my friend.

Wearing: nothing special.
Following: through on things I promised to do.
Knowing: that I will love tomorrow’s bush playgroup with the littlies.
Thinking: about my best friend in Scotland…missing her loads.
Admiring: the ‘shelter’ the kids built during the school holidays at the workshop put on by the Mount Annan Botanical Gardens.

Sorting:…still sorting!
Bookmarking: nothing in particular.
Coveting: yarn…always and forever more yarn!
Disliking: all the things I have to do before we move.
Opening: yarn from Wren & Ollie.

Feeling: tired…and I really should get to bed.
Snacking: earlier in the day on Strawberries.
Helping: others by giving away two guitars I was gifted.
Hearing: the diswasher downstairs.
Mixing: yarns.
Splicing: spit splicing….my new favourite way of joining yarn.
Celebrating: from afar my mum’s 70th birthday!
Forgetting: to bring back books to the library!
Winning: because he finally let the dentist check his teeth!

Pretending: …
Sneaking: away with work to Manly Beach.


Embracing: family time on Easter Sunday at Kiama.

Taking inspiration from The Little Room of Rachell.

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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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WIP Wednesday: Jumper (and some pics of our recent road trip)

I know I disappeared for a minute there. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that my mother-in-law and I took the boys on a road trip from Sydney to South Australia and back, around 3,000km. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I loved driving the endlessly straight roads and seeing nothing but fields and the occasional station, some dead roos and some live Emu’s, it was an education!

Here’s just a glimpse into our wonderful, fun-filled 14 days:

Another reason I popped back on here tonight is to show you a very quick shot of what I am working on at the moment. Another lovely byproduct of the road trip was the fact that we saw my MILs sister and she and I share a love of wool and knitting. She passed on a huge amount of yarn and some amazing old patterns. So with some of the yarn she gave me and one of the patterns I got started right away.

I look forward to showing you the completed project when I am done!

 

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Finished Knit: Lizzy Baby Dress (Knit in June 2016)

I finished this gorgeous little dress back in June 2016 for an ex-colleague of mine who had her second child, a little girl. I had knitted a beanie and some booties for her firstborn, a little boy. As I have two boys I always jump at the chance to knit something girly, especially dresses when I know someone is expecting a girl.

It’s such an absolutely adorable pattern, the Lizzie Dress by Taiga Hilliard Designs. And even once it doesn’t fit as a dress anymore it can be used as a tunic. The dress that keeps on giving.

It has the sweetest details on the yoke and the bottom of the skirt. I did add a picot bind off to the hem as well, just to add another sweet detail to it.

The dress is knitted from the top down, so the length can be adjusted quite easily. And the lace panels from the yoke repeat in the skirt.

I used some DROPS Safran I had left over in my stash, having picked the most perfect shade of pink. It couldn’t get any sweeter or prettier.

And it flew off my needles in three days flat, it’s such a pleasant knit and easy to follow pattern.

My friend loved it and she was kind enough to send me the sweetest picture of her little girl wearing her dress, it makes me beyond happy to see that.

 

STATS
Pattern: Lizzy Dress by Taiga Hilliard Designs.
Yarn: DROPS Safran in medium pink.
Needle size: 3.5mm
Knitting time: 10th-13th June 2016.

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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.