Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Finally "Mrs McHugh's Blanket" is finished!

So pleased... and relieved!
I really enjoyed knitting it. But I really stressed about sewing it up. Hand sewing is not my strength, but I am working on it.

I suffer the opposite malady to my friend Lisette over at Textile Seahorse, who confessed recently that she actively resists finishing. I fret about not finishing.

Of course I have UFOs in my past - many still in the cupboard. Things that I fell out of love with, things that I stuffed up and things that I would rather forget. But that's the point, I cannot forget them, they haunt me, I feel terrible guilt about them. The waste.

I recently found a jumper I had finished knitting when I was at uni (some time ago!). I just hadn't sewn it up. I have no idea why I stopped, but over the years I had remembered it with self recrimination. So I got it out of the bag with good intentions, even if it was out of date I could finish it off, but the moths had got there first. It was finished. :(

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I splurged!

Yes I splurged!

But purely for safety reasons you understand.

I have been cooking for years with some Sambonet stainless steel saucepans given to me by my Mother. They are teriffic. She bought a huge set in the early 1970 s. Unfortunately the detachable handles have not past the test of time, unlike the saucepans themselves, which are in excellent condition.

I was cooking pasta in one the other day, which has a particularly dodgy handle, and as it wobbled its way full of hot water to the colander, I realised that I just couldn't use them around Mr S. Far too dangerous.

So, off to the DJ's sale (sorry "Half Yearly Clearance") to see what I could see. And behold I found something - at an extremely good price of course, with a 25 year guarantee and dishwasher safe!

I'm quite excited really. I love cooking and have never had my own pans - and never quite so many either!

I would still like to use the Sambonet pans and have emailed the company to see whether replacement handles can be obtained. I hope so, because besides being good pans, they have sentimental value.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Are we there yet?

Nearly finished. Sewed the last bit of edging onto the baby shawl while Mr S played on the floor this morning doing tummy time, but I'm still one or two pattern repeats short to turn the corner and join the edges. Frustrating. Just want to finish something!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Other finished pieces!

While looking in my knitting box I have found a couple of other pieces that I finished during last year and had forgotton about - all for Mr S of course!

This jumper is a very simple Debbie Bliss pattern and is knitted using Marta's Yarn merino wool - 4 strands of 2ply. Marta has many different hand dyed 2plys in the store that can be blended to create unique yarns. It's fun, but also a bit stressful to make the colour decisions.

The jumper is too big for him yet, but will be good for winter.
As will these hats...

This uses Debbie Bliss' Cashmerino DK. I would love to knit a jumper to match.
This is a Debbie Bliss pattern that I have adjusted. It's knitted with Heritage's 4ply Baby Wool.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Recording Mr S' first year

I debated for sometime whether I would keep a diary of Mr S' first year. I didn't want to start and then not finish... so was I prepared to make such a big commitment? I have never been able to keep a diary for any period before... so did I have the ability to stick at the task? Would it be a burden???

In the end I decided 'Yes' I would. My mother kept one for me and I can remember the fascination I had looking at it as a child.

So, what form should it take? I knew that if I made it too difficult I wouldn't follow through. So while making my own handmade book appealed to my aesthetic, time wise I knew it would never happen.

In the end I compromised and bought a pre-made one that has lots of space for free text, photos etc...

And I bought a box to put other bits and pieces in - like both our hospital tags, cards, clothes...

Monday, January 22, 2007

So, what am I knitting (Part 2)

Ok, first off, here is the finished jumper

Its a Debbie Bliss pattern, knitted with Rowan Cotton Glaze.

This was my first cotton knitting experience. Because it doesn't have the elasity of wool it is not quite as forgiving about tention and therefore it's more difficult to get an even surface. I haven't washed this yet (one of the rules for Show entries is no washed garments - not sure why? - assume it's because tension mistakes can be fixed by washing and the judges are trying to assess skill???)

The buttons come from The Button Shop in Melbourne's CBD. It's located on the second floor of a fabulous old building - old fashion lifts with doors that you have to close by hand and a wire enclosed lift shaft - one of the lifts even has an operator. The shop itself is a treasure trove of beautiful things.

They also have twice yearly sales where you buy buttons by weight. I bought a bag of these buttons some time ago - if one gets lost I have several hundred replacements!

And now to the other 3 unfinished items...

This is the Jaeger jumper. I have to sew it up, knit the neck band in a contrasting colour and do the front embroidery. It also has a couple of buttons on the back... maybe an excuse for a trip to the city to visit The Button Shop?

From the pattern book, this is how it's supposed to look when it's finished... cute hey? Of course Mr S is much more cute (OMG - I'm turning into 'one of THOSE mothers' already!!!!!).

This is a little blanket / shawl from a pattern on Knitty. I made it using Marta's Yarns 8 ply and Jo Sharp DK.

Here is the backing fabric, which I bought at Patchwork House's closing down sale (the store has recently reopened with new owners). I was going to make red piping, but I bought some pre-done piping at The Sewing Box in Rosebud today. It was on an ancient looking card retrieved from the backroom by the owner and cost 40 cents a metre. For that price I splurged and bought the lot - all 7m! Of course I don't even need half that... but it will come in handy some day...

And here is the sheep.
Knitted with Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed and Classic DK. Next step is to stuff it, sew on the head, then attach the ears and horns! ... and then hey presto, one sheep!

So, what am I knitting (Part 1)

Given Mr S' demands on me at present (everyone tells me it gets better) I can only do things in short bursts...

I have 5 unfinished items that I am hoping to put into the Red Hill Show this year... and this is where I am up to with two of them (will post on the other 3 later)

The closest item to finishing is this baby shawl, it's a Rowan pattern knitted with Heritage's 4 ply Baby Wool. I have used this yarn quite a bit, including the two cardigans mentioned in my last post. It's soft, the colours are basic but fine, and it washes well.

To finish, all I have to do is sew on the remaining 10% of edging and maybe knit one more pattern repeat of edging (will have to sew more on to see whether I have enough length yet or not!).

I had intended to have it ready to carry Mr S home from hospital wrapped up in it, but that clearly didn't work out, so it will become his christening shawl.

The next piece is the same as the custard yellow wrap around cardigan shown in the last post (just a bigger size). It's a Jaeger pattern and this one is knitted using Jaeger's 4 ply Baby Wool. Beautiful colours and lovely to knit with too.

All I have to do is finish sewing up one side, sew on the front and neck edging and knit and attach the front ties! Easy... right?

This is the edging that goes around the wrists, neck and front. I found the instructions in the pattern impossible to follow (stuffed it up several times), but I found the same edging in Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge, and her instructions were great.

Despite that, the pattern is fine and great to wear. The pattern book has lots of other fab things including a jumper that I will show in (Part 2). My 'rule' to justify the purchase of expensive pattern books is that I must be willing to make at least two items from it. This Jaegar book, Babies Collection, has past the test!

Friday, January 19, 2007

She returns with a surprise

Last year I was sick for most of the year... but I'm restored.

What was wrong?

Well, I was pregnant and I have never been so ill in my life. Some people breeze through pregnancy, but not me. The whole experience gave me an appreciation of the emotional toll chronic illness can take - it really wears you down.

But while I did very little last year except drag myself to work and lie in bed feeling dreadful, this is a new year... with a new person in my life.

I did manage to knit a few pieces - this is a Rowan pattern,

... and this is a Jaeger pattern.

Still not doing much knitting yet. The last few months have just been too busy (in fact I'm typing this one handed with a little bundle in the other arm), but I have plans...

The Red Hill Show looms again. I received the program and entry forms today in the mail.

I hope to enter 6 pieces. I have finished one little jumper using Rowan Cotton Glaze (pictures with the next post). The other unfinished items are:
  • Debbie Bliss toy sheep knitted using Jo Sharp DK
  • Jaeger wrap around cardigan
  • Jaeger embroidered jumper
  • Rowan baby blanket / shawl
  • Knitty baby blanket / shawl

I will photograph them and give some more details in my next post...

The big question is how many can I finish by 21 March when entries are due for submission?