Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like....summer!

I love this time of the year :-) The Christmas deccies come down, the weather heats up ready for New Years Eve and the summer hols unofficially start!
I made this quilt a few years ago from a pattern in Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine, called 'Between the Flags'...I can't remember the name of the person who designed it, but when I find the mag, I'll edit this post to add her name. I think that the pattern version was made by machine sewing/rotary cutting , but as ever(!), I made it different. I hand-pieced it using the English paper piecing method, and hand-quilted it.

.....From a summer quilt to winter sleeves...this sweater is knitting up really fast, and already I've cast on for the body. The decreases on the sleeves are looking a bit 'obvious' at the moment, but I'm hoping that with some washing and blocking, this won't bother me so much...I think it should be ok, coz I've made a top down raglan sweater in this yarn before (with lots of increases and decreases) and that one looks's hoping :-D
** 'Between the Flags' was designed by Gita Barlow and published in AP & Q in 3 parts .... Volume 10 #2,3 and 4**

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Another EZ sweater

Since knitting my last EZ sweater, I've been itching to make more :-)
The design for this one is based on a few different sweaters that I good is
it that you can take the best features of several patterns, and knit them into one!?! A big inspiration was Knitty's Tubey (which I did start to knit a few weeks back, but abandoned because the wool was too scratchy for such a close fitting top). This time I'm using Lang Filo on size 7mm needles and I'm making it less fitted. So far (this could change!!), it has bell sleeves, a semi fitted body, raglan shaping, and a scoop neck, possibly in randomish stripes.
The 'modelled' photo shows the shaping good, but the 'carpet shot' shows the colours better.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Millie's 2 in 1 quilt

It's finally finished and ready to post off to Millie :-)
I ended up using a straight stitch applique for the letters, and quilted it in a 'wobbly' grid on the machine - both really quick and easy!
Now for some wrapping and I'm off to Auspost :-)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

As promised....

....the other side of Millie's quilt :-)
Now for some speedy machine applique and quilting, and it'll be done!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Some quilt progress

I've been trying out a few different ideas for Millie's quilt, and so far, I think that this is more than likely going to be the one that I go for. I also decided to make the quilt double sided to make it more practical for baby use. The back is planned for later today...I really like the fabric used in the corner blocks, so to keep both sides of the quilt 'in theme', I thought I would use that fabric as the background with 'hugs and kisses' appliqued on top...again, the fabric is really busy, so I like the idea of the applique being basic.
I'm gonna try hard this weekend (really, I am!) to get this quilt finished and sent off....
...hopefully, I'll be back with 'side two' very soon :-D

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hearts, hearts...hearts

Baby Millie's new blanket :-)
Yay, finished at last!
I'm really happy with the way it turned out...I really wasn't sure about it until I added the polar fleece backing...but it gave it heaps more 'body', and helped it to stay in shape...(it also makes it more 'baby friendly' because it's so soft).
Hopefully now, I can quickly finish her quilt, and get it sent off, with the blanket and jacket, to the UK for her to use before she gets too big :-D

Monday, December 11, 2006

Not nice knitting weather!

With the temperature being 41'C (106'F) here in Adelaide over the weekend, not much knitting got done!..(actually, in that heat, not much of anything got done!!). I did manage to finish a few more hearts, ready to applique onto Millie's blanket...just one purple one left now to finish. I decided against using the blue ones..they were going to go onto the border, but I thought it might look too much...., what to do with surplus Elizabeth Zimmermann hearts?...they are just so cool that my brain has been in overdrive....I thought that these 4 spares would make
great mug coasters

....but really, the list of possibilities is endless
....the pattern (found on page 155 of EZ's Knitting Workshop) is for a heart hat or elbow patch. The pattern is written for whatever size you choose, so here are just some of the knitting ideas that will probably go on to my 'to do' list...
dishcloths, washcloths, coasters, place mats, pot holders, cushions, baby blankets, bath mats, pockets, pin cushions...
...ok so I like hearts :-) a rag rug style bath mat is sounding really good!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh my distorted heart!

It's sometimes a good idea NOT to mix knitting with watching between hearing about the coup crisis in Fiji, and the re-shuffling of the Labor leadership, I swear I was told to s1, k2tog, the WRONG place!...Really, Tony Jones may know how to head a news team, but his knitting is WAY off!!!!! ;-D (sorry Tony, I guess maybe the knitting mistake might have been down to me!)...maybe I'll watch SBS news tonight, and hope that Anton Enus is a better knitter!?!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I started Millie's quilt...

...but really, by 'started', I actually mean that I've been thinking about it more than doing it!
I'm reluctant to cut up the blue/ flowery/ butterfly (!) fabric, so instead, I thought I would use it as a background base and do some cut'n'paste applique on the top.
Sooo.... starting with the date, this is my progress so far. I figured that with such a busy background, I should keep the applique pretty basic.
...ok , I'm off to write 'Millie' :-)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's that time of the year again...

...time for the Christmas advents to come out :-) I made these quilted advent calendars about 10 years ago, one each for my girls, and another 'aussie themed' gum leaf one for my mum and dad. The squares with the numbers on are actually pockets which usually contain choccy and lollies...I've been a bit slow to fill them this year, but it will be done (and backdated!)...mmmmmm, maybe fun size mars and snickers :-D ....ok. so they usually melt as our aussie summer officially starts on december 1st, but I haven't heard too many complaints yet! I didn't think that I'd still be filling these now that my kids are not kids anymore...but hey, I guess when it comes to choccy, age just don't count!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Millie's blanket

Well, as you can see, there hasn't been much progress on my baby blanket (I finished the third heart, sewed some blocks together, and knitted three quarters of a square!..slack, slack!!)...there has however, been progress on the baby front :-) My niece had a baby girl called Millie, on monday (or maybe sunday...not sure with the ten and a half hour time difference between here and the UK..?), on with my knitting and no more slacking off :-D

Friday, November 24, 2006

Some more baby stuff...

...this time, a blanket :-)
My neice's baby is due this week, so I thought I'd better get moving on some more knitting for her. I'm using some Bernat Soda Pop 'leftovers' that I have, and at the moment I'm just making some diagonal garter stitch squares. I found a great pattern for garter stitch hearts, in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. A few weeks ago, I was searching everywhere for a garter stitch heart to applique onto this red blanket, but after no success in finding one, I had to improvise by knitting to a heart shaped template...wouldn't you know it! soon as I stopped looking for a heart pattern, my EZ books arrived from Ebay, with THE most perfect (adjustable sized) garter stitch heart!!! of course, I had to use it here :-D
I'm also planning to sew a quilt as soon as the baby is born, so I guess I'm gonna be busy with a fair bit of baby stuff for now :-)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Curtain wire and sticky tape

'Tinkerbell' was finally finished and ready to be worn on saturday, with only a few hours to spare :-)
The outfit was needed to be worn for work, on saturday morning, starting at 6am.......friday 11pm, and I'm just starting the wings! The problem with it being worn to work, was that it needed to comply with workplace health and safety backless or strapless or sticking out in any way...that was a bit hard for Tink!!
We got around the backless/strapless issue by cutting the neck and sleeves off an old skin coloured t-shirt, and stitching the bodice directly onto it at the front. The back was then tied, and the knot tucked away. Our original idea was to hide this with the wings, but we had to scale them down heaps to make them safer. After a LOT of false starts, they were finally made by sewing together some acetate sheets and green organza. They had curtain wire inserted in the top part to stop them from flopping, and in desperation of needed sleep, the bottom shaping was achieved with sticky tape!!
Finally, they were machine sewed onto the back of the 'skin' t-shirt. The skirt was made like an old fashioned apron (pinny), with a body width's worth of 'leaves' sewn onto a long waistband, which was wrapped around, and tied at the back.
The end result was really good, and she was impressed with how many people recognised her as Tinkerbell :-)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Just a quick post today, as the electrical storms we had here in Adelaide at the weekend, have made my pc throw a wobbly :-(
Hopefully, it'll be back to normal soon, and not keep dying on me .. (can you see my fingers crossed?!!)
This is the start of a Tinkerbell costume, for my daughter, for her to wear on saturday... it's made out of some sheeting offcuts strips..the width being the same as the 'leaves' in the skirt section.
The wings, wand and shoes are still to come, but so far, so good :-)
I'll post finished pictures, and more about how we made it later...(hopefully on a fully recovered pc!!)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thrifted yarn

Look at what I bought from the Op Shop!! This half knitted cardi was bundled in with the knitting was all scrunched into, and sealed, in a plastic bag. I didn't really know what I'd bought till I got it home..ok,I knew that it was an unfinished knitting project, but I had no idea of the size and the amount of extra balls! The cardi is huge and is missing a sleeve. The yarn is 100% cotton, and really, really soft. The stamp on the pattern (yep, the pattern was included!), was from Hitchin in the UK, so it's a well travelled project (oh to be able to knit on planes again *sigh*...Aus still hasn't lifted its ban!). after getting it home, I decided that it will be frogged and given a 'new life'. I apologise (sorry! sorry! sorry!) to the person who spent so much time and effort knitting this cardi...I feel wrong undoing it, but the yarn WILL be put to good use. Ooooow, I forgot to tell you how much it cost....drumroll...$! :-)

Now for the knitting that I'VE been doing :-) I started making Knitty's Tubey

I've loved this pattern for ages...It's got everything I like...shrug-like shoulders, bell sleeves, ribbed and fitted body, it's mainly knitted in tubes (!!), and it should look great in the Sean Sheep Classic Wool that I bought a few weeks back. My striping sequence will be different from the pattern (dependant on how much I've got of each colour), and the gauge was changed using the instructions here. The piece knitted so far, is the across the shoulders bit, which is the only part that isn't a tube....I'm looking forward to doing the tubey bit :-)

*Thanks heaps to everyone for all the cool comments left on this blog, and on other forums and blogs, about my red sweater and baby hoody...Ungraspable asked a question here about new knitters using EZ books: Personally, I think that it would probably be better for a new knitter to follow a couple of written patterns first, before using EZ's general instructions, just to get a feel for design options...books such as The Yarn Girls would be a great place to start. If you did wanna 'jump in' with EZ, I think that I would buy some very cheap yarn, and maybe start with a small (maybe kids size) sweater...? That's what I'll be doing to test out some of EZ's techniques..namely steeking (cutting your knitting with scissors...aaagggh!!!)

hope this helps :-)*

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another FO

...I told you I was on a roll this week, with getting stuff finished :-)
This jacket is for my neice Leigh's, soon to be, baby.
I knitted it on 4mm needles using Fiesta Velluto, which is an 8 ply with a slight 'tufty''s really soft, and very (baby friendly) stretchy. It's a top-down pattern, with the only seam being the centre of the hood (love that!) and the front closure is just 2, knitted on i-cords. I used the free pattern found here .The only change that I made from the pattern was the width of the sleeves...I just knitted the amount of stitches that were already on the stitch holders, instead of adding more for the underarms.
It was really fast and easy to make, and the extra stretchy-ness of the yarn makes it perfect for wearing over the top of other clothes...which is really good coz it's being sent overseas, to be worn during a cold UK winter :-)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

EZ percentages

After putting my red sweater photo on the Crafster forum, a few guys over there asked what I meant by Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentages. This is a new technique to me, and I've gotta say that I was completely blown away by it's simplicity. I bought the books purely on the strength of seeing all of the EZ projects on other people's blogs.....the books are not very 'pretty', and I never would have bought them's only when you see how much valuable knitting info is in them, that you forget about the pretty. If you have seen the hand drawn pictures in these books and want to see them knitted up in 'real life' (2006 style!), take a look at the Zimmermania blog (awesome!)
...ok, basically, these instructions allow you to knit a sweater (plus heaps of other stuff), using the yarn and gauge of your choice, knitted up in the style of your choice, using just one body measurement! The rest of the measurements are taken as a percentage of that one...right, don't panic here!...the maths is EASY!
My red sweater was the basic raglan (it was made in the thickest yarn and the simplest pattern, so that I could 'test' the technique without putting too much time and effort into it). The sleeves and body were knit in tubes, which were then joined at the underarms onto one circular needle, and decreased at the 4 raglan points...kinda like a backwards top-down raglan. These garments are designed for minimal finishing, and as a real bonus for people like me, who prefer knitting to purling, they are knit in the round, so that not one purl stitch is needed :-D
I did a google search on Elizabeth's name to put some links here, but really, there were so many, I didn't know where to start!
After making this first sweater, I am a real fan, and plan to make heaps more :-)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Red Sweater :-) easy was this jumper using Elizabeth Zimmermann's sweater percentage system?! feels really cool to knit something without a pattern :-)
It's basically three tubes, knit up to the underarms, which are then joined, and finished in one of about seven different shoulder/necklines (this of course, being the basic raglan). I added waist shaping and a crocheted edging, but other than that, it was pretty much to EZ's 'recipe' in her book, Knitting Workshop.

The true colour is the red in the full photo.

.... reckon I'm doing good with FO's this week :-D

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A finished bag!

...I HAD ran out of yarn kit yarn, BUT....I managed to match some brown stash yarn pretty well :-)

I love the way that it turned out (especially the clever shaping)...I still think that it's a tad floppy, but I guess it's not really intended to hold too much....I'm thinking about adding a lining, but that wont happen just yet (too much other stuff I wanna do first!).

It's hard to see the size on the photo, but it measures 33cm (13in) across the widest part, and it's just big enough to put my hand through the handle.

A bigger, shoulder bag version, has now been added to my (rapidly growing) to-do list ;-D

Friday, October 27, 2006

My knitting kit ran out of yarn !!!!!?!!!!! wrong is that? The ball of brown wool supplied in the kit, only lasted for one and a half handles :-( I did everything the pattern said AND made sure to leave shortish tails (just in case! haa, must of jinxed myself ;-D), but still there wasn't enough.
I do have some similar wool in my stash, so I guess I'll knit both handles again...oh well!! at least they're only 4 rows of garter stitch each!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A body to go with my sleeves!

The one thing I love about knitting with bulky weight yarn, is just how QUICKLY it knits up :-) ...even when half of it gets sent to the frog pond because you decided to add waist shaping as an afterthought!!

I have now started the raglan shaping, and will just stop when it looks right. I played with the idea of adding a deepish crocheted trim to the neckline, but after doing some experimenting last night, I'm thinking that the yarn is too thick for the crochet detail to be effective... I may just add a row or two to give it a more finished look......hmmmm, we'll see?!

....anyways, I'm off to knit :-D

Monday, October 23, 2006

My bag has a front..

..or maybe a back! Either way, it's finished, but in desperate need of blocking.

I'm about halfway up the body of my red sweater..I would have been further, but after trying it on, I decided that it needed some body shaping...... sooooo of course, I had to undo a fair bit and start again....same old same old!!

I joined 3 new knitalongs....Check them out in my nice, newly neatened sidebar ... I am truly trying to get more 'net savvy' here ;-D

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Two sleeves and a bag

After finishing the two sleeves of my EZ jumper, I needed a break from looking at red, so started this little handbag. I bought it in kit form, which is something I've not done before, but I couldn't resist the bag or the knock-down price! The kit is from Sean Sheep, and it contains the 3 balls of yarn and the pattern. I'm guessing that it won't be the most practical bag in the world, as it's knitting up quite flimsy, but it's the actual rounded construction that I really love. If I make another, I think I will choose a sturdier yarn, and maybe even extend the handles...but hey, I'm running ahead of myself again....I really must try harder to 'stay on task'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Same yarn - different jumper

After spending the weekend trying to convince myself to finish my minisweater, I finally conceded defeat, and undid it :-( I still LOVE the pattern, and all of the different versions of it that others have made, but for some reason, I didn't like mine. I'm thinking that it may have been my yarn choice, so I'm going for a change of yarn next time (which will be sometime soon...really!). But in the meantime, here is the same Katya Himalaya being knit into a different jumper (hope its a case of second time lucky!). I am knitting the basic raglan from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop...progress so far, one third of a sleeve...! I'm using my new Denise needles for the first time, and they feel GREAT!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

To frog, or not to frog...?

....I really can't decide whether I'm going to like this or not :-(
It fits real nice, and the Katia yarn has a feel that I like, and I love the curvy shaping at the front(minus the hair clip holding it together!)...but still I'm not sure?!
Maybe I'll do a sleeve, and then decide. At least it knits up really fast on size 7mm needles, so even if I do frog it, it wont be SO bad...(oh please...who am I guys all know that frogging aint good!), on to a more positive note(!)...look what I got from Ebay this week...yay!! I have been thinking about getting a set of Denise Interchangeable Needles for a while, but being in Aus, our options are limited to about 2 online shops or US Ebay...needless to say, I was VERY happy to find this set on Aus Ebay :-)
...just gotta get my head around US sizes now ;-D

**just a quick edit - Big W are selling off their entire range of Sean Sheep yarn for 50c a ball, but be quick coz its going fast...(how brilliant is the name Sean Sheep? it!!)**

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ebay goodies

It's official!..I have Zimmermania! I've been reading about Elizabeth Zimmermann for a while, but have never seen any of her books. After seeing all of the photos on other people's blogs, I couldn't hold off any longer!..The first decision was which book to buy?...agggh- decisions, decisions?...I wanted bits out of all of the 4 books I'd read in the end there was only one thing for all four :-) These three came yesterday from Ebay, and Knitting Without Tears is on it's way from Amazon...ok, next decision is what to make first!...aggggh again!

I think that in future, I will probably try to reply to comments in my post, instead of replying with a comment (does that make sense?)....anyways: Fiona was asking about the freezer paper in my recent post: I've only found one brand of copy paper that isn't wrapped in freezer paper...and wouldn't you know it!...I can't remember it's name!..I do know that it was a browny stripey sort of paper, that definately felt different to the other stuff. EXP is the one that I usually get (as you can see in the photo), and it works brilliantly!! Joan, you're right about the lack of yarn shops here in Adelaide..I shop south of the city, so my usual haunts are Spotlight, Lincraft, Kmart and Big W...not very impressive is it!? .... and finally 2paw, I like to think that there is a little anorak in us all (ok, more in some than others!), but we should all 'wear it' with pride !!! ;-D

Monday, October 09, 2006

Some weekend knitting

A weekend of knitting and watching TV!..How good!?
OK...this is the start of a Minisweater by Glampyre using Katya Himalaya. The yarn is thicker than the pattern asked for, so a change of gauge was needed. There is going to be a few modifications, so maybe I will re-name it to the 'long (non-puffy) sleeved, wrap around , without the crocheted edging minisweater'...hmmm, very catchy!
I knitted this whilst watching Dr. Who, The Bill and Dangerous Davies...ABC all night!
...and as for Dr. Who ... flying Darleks...'exterminated' Cybermen...and did I see right?..Catherine Tate as the Doctors next sidekick?... ***you'll have to insert your own Dr Who cliffhanger music here coz I haven't gotten around to audio blogging yet*** get the picture :-)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Spread the word - freezer paper for free!

I was really surprised to read, over on the Crafster board, that word hasn't gotton around yet about our free source of feezer paper, here in Aus. Hey, spread the word that our copy paper comes wrapped in freezer paper :-)
It irons on, and peels off (repeatedly!), just like the real stuff. Plus, the big bonus (other than it being free!), is that you are doing your bit for the stuff that would usually be, win :-)
Check out your office bins, or speak nicely to the person in your local copy supply was even carefully opened (not ripped off in a hurry), folded, and bundled together ready for my cool is that!?
I hate to think of anybody paying extortionate quilt shop prices for something you can get for free!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Shortest post ever!

...hey, who needs words when you can have a quilt progress piccy instead!? ;-D
...see ya later!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How cool is this?

Wow...I posted my pattern for the ipod/mobile phone hoodies I made, over on the crafster forum, and people have made them!! :-) How impressed am I! Check out the's by far the best online crafty hang-out. Shirley at warmfuzzies posted her hoody on her website... it looks awesome :-D

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'll wear my heart on my bed...

...actually, I wont now until next winter...summer is just on its way, and already I've gone from 2 dooners to 1...definately not the weather for this blanket!!
It measures about 110cm (45in) square, and weighs absolutely heaps. It was all knitted in garter stitch, other than the orange edging, which was crocheted.
I love the feel of it...I bought some more of the Lincraft chenille in maroon and beige, so I'm thinking that there are more blankets on the way :-) ... later

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Block # 2

...another bag to add to my quilt :-)
This one was machine pieced and hand appliqued. I figure this bag can be a 'secret pocket' for the quilt, as it is made to actually open, as in this quilt by Jan Mullen. I may put some sort of closure on it after the quilt is made, to keep stuff safe.
I've shown it here with a dvd in it to show that it does open ... but hey?..I was thinking that it would make a good choccy stashing bag!?! ;-) ... it would work for me...!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Free design software that works !!

'Two thumbs up' for this free demo knitting software, Knitware Sweaters. Because it's a demo, there are some features that are disabled, but there is still more than enough to make it a REALLY good program :-)
I frogged the crocheted cardi I was making with it, because it was just turning out too stiff ... the design was fine, so I'll just try it with some softer yarn. The knitted version turned out great, and I loved having the option to knit it from the top down.
This cardi is being sent to Raia (my very new..1 day old.. great niece), along with the quilts that I have made for her ... I wish I could hand deliver them, but 17,000kms (11,000 miles) is maybe a bit far for today !! ;-)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

'a girl can never have too many...' quilt block #1

The idea for this quilt has been in my head for ages, so I finally decided to start it :-)
It's basically going to have a heap of handbags and maybe shoes, with the words 'a girl can never have too many', written on it. (I'm pretty sketchy on any other details, coz I don't usually decide too much before I start). There is some great inspiration out there...I love the look of Stargazey quilts, and for quilt lettering, Tonya's quilts are the coolest.'s quilt block #1.
I am using a "cut'n'paste" kind of technique.
Cut it out, stick it on, embellish it! (and of course, the most important detail - no rules!... you've just gotta love having no rules, right? !)

So, that's one block down, and a whole lot more to go :-)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

cool stitch markers

..ok, now I know that these are probably not the most flash stitch markers you've ever seen, but to me, they are as cool as! I've been knitting for so long, that I can't actually remember learning, and in all of that time, my stitch markers have consisted of a length of yarn formed into a slipknot (...I can see how impressed you are!...).

Well after reading so many other blogs, I realised that maybe..just stitch marking technique could be updated. So after little success finding custom made ones .. we're not really big on yarn shops here in Adelaide :-( , I thought I should make my own. I bought some scrapbooking embellishments from Cheap as Chips at Marion, came home and found 4 old keyrings that we didn't use anymore, took off the ring, and attached it to the 'flower' ... SUCCESS!... 4 new stitch markers!

... and YES!, they work brilliantly. I used them on my baby cardi, and I swear I will not be using slipknotted waste yarn any more !! :-D