Sunday, December 13, 2009

Long time, no post

Things have been crazy for the last couple of months. The dramas I have had with my family exceed any soap opera. Seriously. But some good has happened too, wedding date has been postponed so it falls on our 10 year anniversary. I have finished my course for this year and am learning to drive. So it's all good.

I finished my dad's jumper and have made no progress on my black ribbed cardigan. I have lost complete interest in the dishcloth blanket too.

But I did make a pathways blanket which took a couple of months but was fun because the colors were always changing so it was hard to get bored. It used up a lot of my scrap yarn. Only problem is it is more of a display blanket, not too comfy being it had so many weaved in ends. Not very drapy, but I love it.
Now I am working on a cabled cardigan for my daughter, the pattern i found on ravelry. It's called "Mi escuelita" by Rosi GArmendia. It's absolutely gorgeous and i am delighted with my progress so far. Cables are certainly easier than I expected and lots of fun. I can't wait to get to the next cable turn and watch it grow. I'm making the cardigan in purple and might even make another one for my little sister. In a different color of course :)
I also have a country style stitchionary blanket on the go, when I get bored. It's fantastic learning new stitches on a small scale. Plus it helps to use up all the single skeins i have floating around. I need the space!
Til next time, Danii xoxox

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bored and Excited!

I have gotten bored with my current projects, dad's sweater because it is sooooo simple and sooooo brown, my ribbed cardigan because it is sooooo black and soooo ribbed, my niece's blanket because it is soooo pink and sooooo awkward the longer it gets.

So I have had a few ideas, which should keep me busy for many many months (and more!) and keep me interested with the different colors and techniques. I am going on a quilt/afghan/blanket binge. they are:

1. Pathways blanket, using all the varigated, self-striping and patterned yarns with a base cream color, knit on a diagonal. Quick and easy little squares, lots of color and as I'm sewing them together as I make them......quite addictive.

2. Blue Blanket, Green Blanket, Purple Blanket, Yellow Blanket, Pink Blanket, Natural Blanket, Red Blanket etc. These blankets with all be made from individual colors, but with as many variations that I can find. I intend to go through a stitch dictionary, The Harmony Guide, and create squares using techniques from the book, beginning to end. Covering basic stitches, cabling, lace, colorwork and fairisle, I hope to have very colorful, interesting and individual blankets.

3. Classic Country Quilt, using the above technique of squares using various techniques but using a variety of colors that to me represent a classic country look. Cream, muted and musty pinks, greens, blues and reds, This quilt is destined to be the centrepiece of whichever room it ends up in.

In case you are concerned about the destiny of all these quilts, they will eventually make it to their owners, the family members or friends who fall in love with them. I have no fears that they will end up homeless or banished to a cupboard, even in this house there can never be too many blankets/quilts/afghans/throws etc.

I also have plans to make baby clothes for my niece who will be delivered on 9 November. But no hurry there, I'll be making size 1 & 2's, plenty of time. I will not forget my current projects, they still hold their places, the sweater whle reading, the cardigan outside and the blanket for watching movies.

Til next time............happy knitting!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another week gone

This last week Chloe returned to school for term 4, can't believe it's almost the end of the year already! Before I know it she'll be in Grade 3! Nathan is learning new words at a lightening pace now, and very confident in getting his message across. He is almost 3 and that's just as mind-boggling a concept as Chloe being almost 8 :) Nathan is definately developing into a monster, I can barely leave the room or he'll destroy something, but at least Spring is here and the weather is lovely and i've managed to keep the kids outside. Can't destroy as much out there.

My knitting is plodding along, almost halfway through the heart dishcloth blanket for my niece. I'm knitting it in 4 long panels of 5 blocks, hoping to finish the second panel today. Dad's sweater is coming along nicely too, the body is completed and the first arm has begun. Just one arm and the neck to go. I measured the sweater against dad's back and it looks like it'll fit perfectly. It's been fantastic reading knitting! My black ribbed cardigan is making excellent progress too, especially as it is my outdoor knitting. Being ribbed and black, it is certainly easier to knit in the sun. Also being on circulars, it is easy to start up and put down no matter where i am.

My sisters have been having man troubles which keep flying my way, getting teary, hysterical calls at all times seems to be my calling. I don't understand their behaviour, but at least i get to test out and practice the skills i'm learning in my course. As I plan to help people for a living, counselling, i guess it is a positive that they want to talk to me. And I think i'm helping them. I hope.

I've finished reading Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs, and I must admit i did not like it as much as Friday Night Knitting Club. Bit boring for me. But i've started Silent Scream by Lynda LaPlante and am really enjoying it so far. I'm also listening to The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown on my iPod. Definately follows the distinctive style and concepts that are unique to Dan Brown, and i have really enjoyed it. I like stories that have some interesting concepts and ideas in them, makes for more entertaining reading than some other novels out there.

Til next time..........Danielle

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Outdoor Knitting

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, Spring is definately in the air! I had the kids outside for a few hours, playing on the swings, slide, trampoline, balls and with Angel, our dog. When they got bored with that, out came some books and the matchbox cars. While my DD read about Wooly Mammoths (and insisted on sharing every word :P) my DS set up his car ramp to race his matchbox cars through the umbrella hole in our Jarrah table. A couple of sandwiches and some fruit and they were content away from the tv which was a miracle in itself.

I, on the other hand, got to enjoy a few hours of "Day Knitting" in one chunk. While outside they let me knit on my black ribbed cardigan which was fantastic. It was so much easier to see in daylight. A lot trickier to see inside unfortunately. But I managed to add a few inches which I'm really pleased with. Just hope it fits at the end! I've never made a cardigan for myself before.

I'm hoping to go outside again today, it's supposed to be another nice spring day, but knowing Melbourne, maybe not! I need to work on my dishcloth blanket and dad's sweater today too, even a couple of rows feels very productive.

Oh and yesterday was a cleaning day too, which followed a baking day! I tidied up a lot of the house, which isn't easy with 2 kids and 2 grown men who quite frankly, can't seem to put anything away. They all have a habit of turning any surface into storage, which gets very cluttered very quickly. A bit of vaccuuming today, some more tidying and hopefully a lot of knitting!

Til next time......Danielle

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Knitting in Black

I bought some yarn ages ago, in black without thinking through how it would be to knit. It's not too hard, but not too easy either. I'm knitting a ribbed cardigan in one piece, and although i'm good at ribbing, because i can't see exactly where i am at a glance, i need to look closely. I always check once in a while to make sure i haven't accidently knit instead of purled, or vice versa.

The pattern is from the book "One Thousand Sweaters" and i love the fact that the book teaches you how to mix and match bodies, sleeves, pockets and necklines. It is also fantastic for giving a lot of basic patterns for loose or fitted garments. I believe this will help me to understand future patterns that i read. I chose just a basic 2x2 rib, because of the black. I want the cardigan to be fitted and have made it with negative ease. Only just. But i also amended the pattern to knit the two fronts and the back in one piece, so i figure it'll be a little bit bigger because of no seaming.

I have been working on my dad's sweater while reading "Comfort Food'. It's not really my kind of thing, but it's ok. While knitting my ribbed cardi I have been alternating between podcasts and listening to audio-books. I'm currently listening to "Deja Dead" by Kathy Reichs. I've read it before, but i love her books. The dishcloth blanket I'm making for my niece is plodding along, I do a couple of rows here and there when i get a chance. Usually when the kids are quiet and eating!

Definately feeling kinda lonely for knitting company, but it's so hard without a car. Unfortunately no one lives close enough that i feel comfortable inviting them over, it's a long trek for them. And I don't know any knitters that live closer. Hopefully I'll find some soon, taking little one to playgoup this week, might meet some then!

Til next time . . . . . Danielle

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sick, but still knitting!

I have laryngitis, lucky me! And a sinus infection, so i feel like crap. No exercise but no rest either. A flaw to having children, especially in the school holidays, but we'll get there. At least I've had plenty of time to knit and listen to podcasts. I'm getting the new iPod which will be great, my current one is only 8GB, but my lovely man has ordered me the 160GB model, so i won't have to pick and choose my audiobooks, music, podcasts and photos. I'll just put it all on there!

I have made more progress on my niece's blanket, nearly finished the first panel. 1 of 4 i think. I'm already kinda over it, but i think that's because i'm sick of knitting with hot pink. I've started a second pair of socks, these ones are a pink, purple and white colorway. Very pretty. This time i'm making them a bit shorter. Although i followed the pattern last time and started the toe decreases at the right place, the socks are a bit long. By about an inch. So this time I'm beginning the toe decreases sooner.

The sweater for my dad has reached that stage where it's hard to see progress. I knit this when I'm reading, I finished Compulsion by Jonathan Kellerman last night while knitting. Now i'm starting Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs. But i love knitting in the round. It's perfect knitting for reading!

I'm going to try and get better now,

Til next time..........Danielle

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sock Mastery!

Well, I had a very unfortunate experience with my first sock, it came out huge! but at least I know more about sock construction and sizing. The second sock I made came out perfect for me, so I am thrilled. By the time I started the third sock, but second of th pair, I knew exactly where i was going, what was up next and felt confident. Although I still had to check back on the pattern occasionally, I was impressed that I had already mastered the necessary skills and manouvering of the DPN's. I know many people use circulars, but I wanted to start out on DPN's, so that I can develop as many skills as possible. And to tell you the truth, I really enjoy them!

My next set of socks will be for my daughter, she picked out some very pretty pink colorways of striping and fair isle yarns. I'm pretty sure I will be able to make her 2 pairs from each 100g ball. I have many more balls of yarn in various colorways, self-striping and fair isle designs that are ideal for myself as well. I just need to master the toe seam and they will become very easy knitting options.

I woke up sick today, sore throat and stuffy nose which was pretty disappointing. DH and DD woke up the same too. Today was a beautiful day though, sunny and warmish. Although the wind made it a bit chilly. So I spent most of the day outside with my son as he played on the swingset and with his matchbox cars. The dog was happy, she played by herself chasing balls and anything else that moved. Silly thing won't go outside unless people are out there with her. Diva dog. So because I was outside for most of the day I knitted on my dad's sweater as it is knitted in te round and just knit stitch. I carry the ball in a bag on my shoulder and i can walk around my yard easily while knitting. I find i can spend hours outside with my kids this way, otherwise i get so bored i can barely last 5 minutes.

I also listened to the Knitmore Girls podcast today. I only discovered podcasts recently and I start at he beginning.......up to the most recent. I started with the Knit Picks podcast, now on to Knitmore Girls. I have KIPing it Real, CogKNITive, Manic Purl and a few more waiting in line. I'm loving it, I had no idea so many others knit, let alone that there was so much to say! I'm currently downloading the Harry Potter series of audiobooks and many more waiting in line. When I'm not listening to my iPod, I'm knitting and reading. I'm currently reading "Compulsion" by Jonathan Kellerman. Not my favourite so far, but still enjoyable. Tomorrow I have to start reading my workbook for my hird module, "Conflict Resolution". I just hope it's as interesting as my first two subjects. I'm studying a Bachelor of Applied Social Science majoring in Counselling. But with 2 kids at home, and my other commitments, it's going to be quite a few years before I finish, but I figure that's ok. It keeps my ind active and it's a great feeling to get a Distinction!

Til next time.......Danielle

Monday, September 21, 2009

No Followers :(

Had a sad realisation today, no followers :( Poor me. Oh well, just like a diary I will babble to myself. It's been a while since my last post. The cardigan is finished and dearly loved. Worn multiple times. Fits well, but in my opinion it's a bit short and the arms look a bit too baggy. But gotta love those kids, 7 year olds don't spot the flaws, just the love.
I would post a pic, but haven't figured that out yet.

I started knitting socks for myself, but the bad luck was the first one was huge! Although I followed the pattern and checked the gauge, it just wasn't right. I made another which I finished tonight and it fits perfect. I just need to knit the second sock now, and i'm so excited to wear them! They will be my first knitted socks.....ever!

I haven't made much progress on my dad's sweater, been too busy with my socks. I did start my niece's blanket/afghan. It's made out of double sport ply, on 6mm needles. Each square is a dishcloth pattern, of a heart. It actually looks really good. Very very pink!

My third term of my studies begins today, and I just want to knit! But oh well, i'll pick it up tomorrow. Still addicted to Knitmore Girls Podcast at the moment, and I have a few more waiting in line. I have also downloaded a heap of audiobooks, including Harry Potter and Twilight, as well as Jonathan Kellerman, David Baldacci, Anne Rice and more. I'm kinda bored with tv at the moment.

Til next time...........Danielle

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's next?

I have almost finished the cardigan, sewing it up and then knitting the neck, then i'm done. Which is great because I'm sick of hot pink for the moment. I'm excited about making more progress on my dad's sweater, getting through the ribbing so it can be a reading project. I also plan to start my first pair of socks, for when I'm watching tv with my man in bed. Something that requires some focus, but allows me to still watch the movie. Over the years I have bought dozens of multi-colored acrylic yarns, every time I saw a color combination I liked, I bought it. I had no idea what I would use it for though.

But my interest in socks has been peaked with all the sock crazy knitters out there. I have finally found a pattern for anklet socks, as I don't wear long socks, never have. So although the pattern requires circular needles, I think I'm going to use DPN's. I actually like using them for small circumference items.

I am reading "The Friday Night Knitting Club" by Kate Jacobs and absolutely loving it. I really enjoy the way knitting has been intwined with a fascinating story about a group of women and the difficulties and challenges they all have in their very different, yet the same lives. I love the idea of a knitting club and being a part of a group that is so welcoming of everyone regardless of their skill, background or age. It's very refreshing. Although there are similar SnB groups around me, As I have 2 kids and no car, it's very difficult to attend a meeting. Which I find so sad. I really want to go! It gets lonely knitting alone, although with my iPod, movies and books, I get by!

Til next time..........Danielle

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wedding Knits

Last night i didn't get as much knitting done as i'd hoped, we were too distracted discussing the wedding plans. We spent yesterdaylooking around at potential venues and found one that offers the chapel and reception with beautiful gardens all at the one place. So we are booking in for 3 July. This has provided me with new knitting project ideas. As it will be a winter wedding, and i will be wearing a sleeveless or strapless dress, I have already looked for patterns for a shrug and a lace shawl. I figure I would make both and see which one i want for the day. Definately the shrug, because it will make moving around easier, especially as a big dress might make things difficult enough already. But because I have wanted to try out lace, I figure this is a perfect opportunity to knit one that I love. I have found a few designs I like, but i will keep looking for the moment.

I think the shrug would be ideal for the reception and the shawl for outdoor photos. I'm really torn between what shape to choose. I love the triangular shape, the way it sits and the way that the pattern is displayed so clearly. Some of the rectangular shawls have the intricate designs slighly hidden, because they are scrunched up. But some of them are gorgeous so it's hard to decide. The round shawls are impressive, but i'm concerned they may be too big, and the square shape looks adaptable, but i worry that it will be too bulky. After all, for a bridal outfit you want it to be delicate, glamorous and beautiful.

So plenty more researching I think!The cardigan is getting there, slowly. I will definately finish the first sleeve today and start the second sleeve, but depending on nap times, and bedtimes will depend on how much time i get to knit. I also need to fit in reading some of my textbook and i have to finish the book "Hide". I read it til my eyes were blurring last night.

Til next time.......Danielle

No Knitting, Just headaches

Last night and today i have had some of the worst headaches ever.....all stress related. My partner of almost 9 years and I have finally decided to get married, but there is so much involved! Not to mention the finances of the whole affair. At least we have managed to find somewhere that we both like, that contains the chapel, beautiful gardens and a reception room with full catering and a bar. But my head already hurts!

I haven't had much time to knit or read or both because of the running around and research. I also have the kids to look after, chores to do and catch up on some studying :( but I'm determind to get sleeve number 1 finished today, even if I have to drink a gallon of coffee.I'm absolutely loving the book "Hide" by Lisa Gardner. Definately recommend it to anyone who loves psychological thriller/ mysteries. But then I've loved all her books that i've read. I just got my hands on the new Kathy Reichs novel "206 Bones" and "the Scarecrow" by Michael Connelly. At the library I also found "Bones" and "Compulsion" by Jonathan Kellerman and Kate Jacobs' "The Friday Night Knitting Club,". I haven't read much in ages with all the studying i've been doing, so i'm really enjoying myself. When I get the time!

My son hasn't napped for the last 2 days, which has meant very long and loud days. Hopefully tomorrow, with his dad back to work, he can give me a break and nap away the afternoon, at least til we pick his sister up from school. In one more week we have the term 3 holidays, two weeks off school. Luckily Brian, my partner (soon to be hubby) is taking most of the holidays off, so we can go do some things with the kids, and even give each other a break, hopefully. I just want to get a few hours of knitting and reading in a day and i'll be happy. I'm really very simple, not high-maintenance at all!

Til next time.......Danielle

All About Yesterday

I realised this morning that each blog is all about yesterday. I never have time on the day to write, I knit til i'm to tired to do another row.....then I go to sleep. So it's always the next morning that I blog about the day before. Oh well, it's all good I suppose.Yesterday was productive again once my son had his nap.

I knit and read Hide by Lisa Gardner and had a lovely break. Managed to completely finish the body of the cardigan and I measured it against my daughter because it looked like it might be too small. But thank goodness it looks like a perfect fit. I wasn't sure if i've got enough contrast yarn, so this morning i went and bought another ball and the buttons for the cardigan. So Cute! I found purple heart shaped buttons with little polka dots on them, ideal for a 7 year old I think.Haven't had a chance to work on dad's sweater yet, but I will get there. So close to finishing the cardigan that i can't stop! I guess that where I am a project knitter, I can't just put one project aside to start another. i'm too excited to see what the one i'm working on will look like when completed, if it fits and then I can take a photo! It definately becomes an obsession. Especially with projects I designed or amended myself, I get really anxious to see the end.

My two afghans for my kids were pattern free, just spontaneous and random yarn combinations. And this cardigan design was originally a varigated yarn. I didn't like it, too busy, so I chose a hot pink and a pale purple and did set stripes......and it's gorgeous!Hoping to knit today, if i ever finish up with housework and cooking. Stupid chores.....they just interfere with knitting time!Til next time, Danielle

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Multiple Projects

I have made excellent progress on my daughter's cardigan, but now it is getting a little fiddly. With the stitch holders, extra balls of yarn, decreases and color changes, it really isn't suitable for me to carry around. I don't KIP yet, but i like to knit while watching kids tv shows and movies, or while I am outside with them. So I started my dad's sweater. For now the sweater is simple and can be carried around easily. Although the pattern is to be knit in pieces, I decided to knit the body in the round which certainly makes it easier to carry around.

The sweater needs 18 rows of k2p2 ribbing, which I found is actually a bit tricky on dark yarn, but now that I'm 5 rows in, it's easy. This sweater is ideal for reading and walking around my backyard, as after the ribbing there is a ridiculous amount of stocking stitch, and as it's knit in te round, it's only garter stitch. Simple, and mindless.

I still have a pile of projects to begin, but for the moment i think i will leave it at these two. I worked on the cardigan alot once the kids were asleep in bed. Set up in the lounge, a cup of tea and a book for the repetitive rounds. Once it got fiddly again i switched to my iPod. Listened to the Knit Picks podcast. I have other podcasts in line, including Knitmore Girls, CogKNITive, and a few more. Hopefully they are good.

I finished my book, Star Struck by Val McDermid, it was not the best bok, but certainly easy to read and follow. Now I am going to read Hide by Lisa Gardner. I love her novels.

Til next time......Danielle

Monday, September 7, 2009

Finally, A Productive Day

Well, yesterday was a very productive day, to balance out the minimal progress made the day before. Although we had a few late nights, Friday was 'UP' at the drive-in, Saturday night doing Father's Day at the in-laws, and my son's reluctance to nap when his sister is home meant very long, exhausting and unproductive days.

But yesterday it all caught up with them. The kiddies were exhausted. DD Chloe spent the day in bed watching movies, with the occasional venture out for food and company. DS Nathan did the same thing, but curled ont the couch watching 'Cars' over and over and over again. Thankfully I have my iPod and am able to tune out the tv with podcasts. But with both the kiddies so tired, i was able to spend hours on the couch myself, just knitting. Even though Nathan is 2, he knows not to touch mummy's knitting and has even figured out how to get a cuddle while mummy is knitting.

Nathan bombed out for a nap too, which was great. He so needed it. I was able to not only knit but get a huge chunk of textbook reading done which I had been putting off. Still got a bit more to catch up on, but with Chloe at school today, I hope that Nathan will nap and I can get my studying done.

Have made some excellent progress on Chloe's cardigan. It's a gorgeous hot pink with a few pale purple stripes, placed in to coincide with the button placements. So far I love it. Had to take a few notes so that I can remember when to do color changes now that the top of the cardigan is in three pieces, not to forget the sleeves. Hope to finish soon, I am anxious to start some socks and my dad's sweater. It's just a basic design, but I'm going to add in a simple fair isle design across the chest and around the arms. I got the idea from a Gap sweater I saw on the internet. Finished the planning for that project last night, and can't wait to begin!

Til next time . . . . Danielle

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My First Entry

Here it is, I am beginning my blog!

I am 26 and a mum of 2, DD is 7 and DS is 2. I live with my fiance of almost 9 years and my dad. (well technically he lives with us!) I am a stay at home mum, but i study a Bachelor of Applied Social Science. I expect it will take me 5-6 years to complete because it is not easy studying and writing essays with 2 kids running around driving you crazy, but you gotta love em!

I have been knitting since I was a kid, I honestly don't remember learning, but i assume it was my mum. I knew the basics of cast-on, knit, purl, cast-off and that was it. I consider myself a confident but still beginning knitter, I'm eager to try new things, but each project is teaching me something. I suppose I'm self taught, because all aspects beyond the basics I have had to learn through trial and error.

I have many ambitions with my knitting and it certainly has become an obsession this year. I began the year making afghan/throw rugs/blankets for my kids, using up alot of the yarn I had collected over the years for scarves (but they were too boring!) My kids love their blankets and use them every day. Since then I have made a hat for myself, a hoodie for my son and daughter, and a tunic dress for my niece. I have learned increasing, decreasing, raglan, picking up stitches, making stitches, knit front and back, double decrease and button holes. I have learnt how to use DPN's and knit in the round. I am now working on a cardigan for my daughter, pink and purple and I'm loving it so far. Hoping to have a productive knit day today as yesterday was taken up with cleaning!

I have many plans, a long cabled cardigan with collar for my mum, a classic rib and cable pullover for me, a simple sweater for my son that will match his "CARS" beanie, a simple fair isle sweater for my dad, a heart motif baby blanket for my niece due in November, my first exploration into socks-I want to do cuff down, toe up and magic loop.

That will probably keep me busy for a very long time.

Til next time........Danielle