Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Not Happenings

For some reason I thought I could teach myself crochet, in one weekend!
But I've become stuck. Hindered by impatience, bad wobbly web crochet instructional videos, being half-focused, chores and children. You know. You are nodding right now.

So I've figured out how to chain, slip stitch and double treble. What I lack is how to count, good tutorials and time. I know I made a few mistakes above and then Baby J decided to yank on the yarn and I gave up. I did find this nice tutorial on the flower I want to make. It's called the Tawashi flower. I didn't know if Round 1 means you start with this or you do the magic ring and then start it. Hmmmmm. I'm dying to know. I might have to ask the Ravelry gods tonight.

On the other hand I have this little gem to deal with. Along with my other two, yes I know I still have other two toddlers but the cute factor on this one is too good not to share.

Oh and it's tax season down here too. That means lots of June sales and bargains.
I, um I mean, we decided to get us a new printer. Our last one still works but the cartridge is so expensive and it's about 5years old. Hubster went to the store and brought home the Canon MP560. It's really great. It's a 5-in-1 inkjet so it's still affordable. It even has auto-duplex, cos we need to sav paper right. It looks really snazzy and it works wirelessly! So I can print out my tutorials and recipes from the loungeroom where my laptop is to the hobby room. Yippeee. I love technology.

If you're looking for a cheaper option the MP530 works just as well. I got that one for mums house. Anyway, back to the daily grind. If you have any great crochet flower tutorials I'd love to know.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More on Knits

I finished the beanie! Woo hoo what an adventure that was.
I tried circulars and double-pointed needles for the first time.
I wish I'd watched the knittingtipsbyjudy video's on youtube.
She had some great tips and showed you what to do with those loose ends.
Anyway, the beanie came out a little bit 'pointy' so maybe it requires some blocking?
It fits her 3.5yr old head quite well but I wish it would stretch slightly bigger so it's a teeny bit looser. We like it very much though.

I went to my local library which is conveniently located just in the opposite room to our playgroup. I grabbed all the kids and with a baby in the sling and one arm grabbing hold of my run-a-way 2yr old boy I snatched up the only knitting book I could find.
It seemed to be quite a good investment when I perused through it at home.

Even though it looks very daggy and outdated it was printed in the early 80's, I found really great information on shaping, colourwork and even this pattern which I've been long admiring on the net lately.

See those baby jackets? The first one is a Baby Coat and the blue one is the Lacy Baby Jacket.

Doesn't it resemble the Elizabeth Zimmermann February Baby Sweater?
I was so happy when I found out. What luck! I scanned it and printed the instructions out.
The only thing is it's not seamless and is knit in pieces. Unlike the baby sweater which is practically seamless and knit from the top down.

Decisions, decisions... I guess I am really just looking for measurements so I might just go ahead with the top down version and cross my fingers.

There seems to be a theme among some other blog members who are finding it hard to find a balance in life with children, blogging and sanity. I must say parenting is the toughest job around.
I do find myself failing to compose myself in stressful situations. I mean, when your 3y.o tells you the hundredth time she doesn't want to go to school what can you do? I've resorted to sleeping in my sons bed once I hear him calling out to me. It's just not worth bed hopping anymore. Baby J co-sleeps with her dad now so we'll jsut have to see how it goes once Winter is over and my room is no longer an ice box. I just love my sleep and it's hard to compromise on something that's just going to do me in.

A happy parent is a better parent, don't you think?

Oh and do you like the new template? I saw it and just applied the changes. Instant satisfaction.

What's on your plate these days?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gettin' Knitty Wit' it

I finally made a start with the Little Girl's Prism Beanie.
I was having a bit of trouble with the pattern from Lincraft and now I know why.
I'm not a beginner knitter nor an experienced knitter but I know my knits from purls and have even done cables before. So I was stumped when my single knit ridges were all over the place.
After some help from Ravelry members it was deemed that the pattern needed to be corrected.

In order to achieve this type of ribbing it is simply a K1, P1 (knit one, purl one) pattern repeat.
Simple as that. The instructions say to do that for the first row and the second row is K2, P1. Whaaat? Go figure. Don't they have pattern testers at Lincraft?
Anyway, the Prism yarn is luscious and soft. I adore it.

Needless to say I am so in love with my new Addi Turbo's I bought from The Thread Room that I cast on another set to knit up the February Girl Sweater (rav link) for my almost 4yr old.
Let's just say I have great expectations of myself with the cardigan as I've never knit a cardigan or any article of clothing for that matter. We'll just see how this one pans out.

We don't celebrate Father's Day here until September. By that time we will be celebrating Little Miss' 4th birthday. Wow. Time flies. I did find this good Red Velvet Cupcake recipe that seems to be all the rave but I've lost it now.

Ahhh well. I shall be back to show you the finished beanie.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blissful Blessings

Over the weekend we celebrated a great blessing.
Baby J had her christening and in her true style she was fussing most of the way through it.
She did manage to stay quiet while the priest walked her around the altar.
My kids don't do well during their christenings. There's just too much fuss going on for their own liking. We don't get many good photo's either. However, I managed to snatch some really lovely ones during quiet time.

The gorgeous headband is a creation of Grace Designs. Rosalind worked with me to design the prettiest headband which made her look all too beautiful.
My sister in law found her a christening dress so I didn't need to make her one.
Which was rather fortunate as I was sick before and left a lot of things to the last minute.

We had a cheeky priest who was quite funny and good with Baby J.
She cried when the water was poured on her head. I took this snap with the camera held high as I could not get close enough. There were many other cameras there too.

I just love girls in dresses and hers was adorable.
The cake man made blocks to spell out her name in an arch along the front and I was really pleased. It had a yummy white forest filling. We sang Happy Christening to You!
No, that's not me holding her. It's her Godmother.

All in all it was a fun night with family. One that we will cherish for many years to come.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pattern Space

My kitchen table.
The only space which is sort of clear and wide enough to place fabric.

I picked up some lovely charcoal linen today and set to work on arranging the pattern pieces for a shirt for the boy. It was hard to find the right fabric but luckily Baby J had fallen asleep.
Probably bored from waiting for me to pick up a bolt which was taking far too long.
When she woke though she was too cute, smiling at the lovely ladies in the store.

Thoughts: Linen. Shirting. Linen. Crinkly. Shirty.. Ugly... White... Messy.. Hmmmm.
Charcoal it is.

As with all Japanese patterns you must not forget to include your seam allowances.

The standard is 1cm but there are places where they will trick you and add a little more if you're not paying attention. So I chalked in my lines, making a few mistakes here and there but it's chalk so it's all good. You know.

Some really cute curtain fabric for the kids room. It was a bargain at $6 a metre.
Could not pass it up but it came in wonderful colourway range: green, pink, blue, red?
Can't wait to get this one going!

Hoppity hop to more spaces!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rolled Hem Riot

A hat trick: three littlies asleep at the same time.
I armed myself with some tools of the trade and snuck into the sewing room.
I did some rolled hems for the first time. Excuse the cloudy day, late afternoon pictures.

I just bought this sewing and knitting gauge. Oh my, what a great little tool and it was so cheap.
At $1.60 it was well worth the tiny investment. It even allows you to do scallops! (perhaps more on that later). Hemming and buttonholing will never be the same again.

I went to work on the lining of my silk dress. I know it's winter here and all but I am going to wear it this weekend for Baby J's christening. I had my sister pin up the hem for me the other day. Tips: When someone is taking up hems for you look straight ahead and keep your posture upright. You should also wear the shoes you intend to wear with the outfit.
So I ended up cutting about 5 inches off, as that is where I wanted the hem to finish and chalked the points along the hem so I knew where to cut off the fabric. There is no seam allowance included but you need to have the cutter in use in order for the fabric to roll under. Hence, rolled hemming? See, it pays to read your manual. *wink*
I also made the necessary adjustments on the overlocker for rolled hemming. This includes removing the chaining finger and setting the stitch length and differential feed to 1.0.
I did a test run on the scrap I cut off to adjust the tensions.
They ended up being 3 : 3 : 5 = needle, upper looper, lower looper.
The cutter was adjusted so there was just enough fabric to roll into the underside and be hidden in the stitches. You can't see it on the underside. If there was too much fabric it would look bulky and if there wasn't enough you can see the cut edge of the fabric in the underside of your stitches.

Once I got going it went pretty smoothly and I was in sewing heaven.
I really enjoyed doing this and can see lots of ruffles this winter and spring.
Now, for the actual silk dress. Ummm, I think I shall take a deep breath and use my straight stitch instead on the hem.
Have you done much rolled hemming? I'd love to see your projects.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Creative Space

The kids went to daycare.
I went shopping. I bought goodies. I rejoiced in kid-free time but of course, it all went by too quickly.

At Lincraft I found some chambray to make a shirt for my Little Man. There wasn't anything else that looked even remotely available for shirt making. I was much disappointed.

However, their lace range is quite extensive. I found this beautiful guipure lace.
If you can't pronounce it, then certainly it is special!

I also found a free beanie pattern for my 3yr old. I bought the yarn in the world's greatest colour. Isn't there a pink gene in most little girls???

They had a shocking non-existant amount of circular needles in stock so I will have to make this one up with two needles. Unless I make it to Spotlight in a few weeks. By then the cold of Winter would have set in really good and I will be too cold to venture out.

Anyway, more creative spaces at Kootooyoo!