Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Watching the World Go By

Mr A and Miss M were playing outside at the weekend and next thing we know they had set themselves up like this :-)

And what's wrong with spending a sunny afternoon just watching the world go by?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Little Ballet Girl

Earlier in the year when Mum came over she brought with her my very first tutu for Miss M to use as a dress up and play in.  Mum made this for me when I was 4 and I wore it for at least a couple of years.  Miss M hasn't shown much interest in it until the last week or so when she spied it in the bedroom and said "Dancing dress Mummy".  So of course she had to put it on and dance to 'Mia', because every little ballet girl starts off by dancing round the lounge to Mama Mia right?

Pasta Making

For a while now we have been thinking about getting a pasta machine and during the school holidays when Mr A and Daddy were in town they spied one on special and took the plunge.  This lead to a boring grey saturday being turned into a fun day making our first lot of pasta.  Everyone joined in and we had lots of fun playing with our new toy.

Pretty pleased with the results

Miss M's turn with the dough

And then of course the best bit of all, the tasting :-)

Seems to have been a huge success all round really and I can see us getting a lot of use out of our new toy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FO: Kaipara Shawlette

Lately I have been knitting like crazy but not blogging much about it because I have been either making gifts that haven't been gifted yet or doing super secret squirrel test knits.  Now the time has come that I can finally post pics of one of those tests and this time it is actually something for me!
I had spent many hours trawling through patterns on Ravelry looking for another scarfy/shawly thing to knit to keep me warm on the cold walks to school in the mornings.  During the process and after asking for pattern ideas on the ravelry forum I got a message from Gabes of Sweetp Designs to ask if I would be interested in testing her latest shawl pattern.  As soon as I saw this pics I jumped at the opportunity and I love the results. 
The Kaipara Shawlette is a novel construction with raglan shaping across the back and then fast increases along the ends to give a lovely shaped shawlette that sits really nicely around the neck/shoulders.  It is made up of a lovely squishy garter stitch centre and open simple lace edging which can be either ruffled or not. 
The yarn I chose for this test knit is a fabulous subtle variegated colourway from Old Maiden Aunt called Ae Fond Kiss which is very subtle pinks and lilacs.  This was one of the first skeins I ever bought from Old Maiden Aunt and it was part of her "Homecoming collection" some years ago.  
A relatively quick knit this design is simple yet very effective and I love the fact that the pattern is written in such a way that you weigh the yarn at certain points, this means you can use any sized skein of yarn and get the most out of it instead of having to play a guessing game and yardage chicken :-)


Miss M's is very fine and currently at that annoying stage where it is long enough to get in her face but not long enough to do much with.  We have tried clips but she seems to think it's the best game ever to go look in the mirror then pull them out and come rushing over saying "clip in?".  Cute game but it gets old pretty quickly.  So this weekend we decided to attempt pigtails for the very first time.
They are pretty ridiculous and totally adorable all at the same time and amazingly she does seem to leave them in (or only pull one out, not sure what is with that?).  I do love her new hairstyle but at the same time it does make my wee baby look so grown up.

Friday, July 6, 2012


There were some mysterious giggling noises coming from the pantry this morning.

Cheeky wee monkey.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

And This Is Why....

I need a sewing room.  Or at least somewhere to leave my machines set up in a more permenant fashion.

This is my current sewing set-up which is on the dining table.  No wonder I never get any sewing done.  By the time I get the kids to bed and then get this lot set up it's almost bed time.  I did manage to almost finish the sweatshirt for Mr A the other night though so that's something I guess.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Weekend of Education, Inspiration and Yarn

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend two fabulous knitting workshops.  Although I have been knitting for pretty much as long as I can remember I have never actually taken any knitting classes or attended any workshops, so when I found out several weeks ago that Morag of Vintage Purls was coming to my wonderful LYS to teach for a weekend I decided to jump at the chance.  There were two 3-hour workshops on offer.  On the Saturday was "It's a Wrap" a class on designing different styles and shapes of wraps and shawls, and on the Sunday was "Make it Fit" a class on how to actually knit clothing items to fit!  After much indecision I finally booked in for the Saturday workshop, predominantly due to a couple of very special projects I have in the planning.  You will not believe how excited I was when I was offered a paid place at the Sunday workshop as a RAOK.  Wow!  A huge thank you to all those involved in that, it was AWESOME!
The saturday workshop saw us all gathered at HRYC talking about all things shawls and how to make them.  I really enjoyed so many aspects of this workshop and came away with my head swimming with ideas.  I am now going to be trawling second hand shops and trademe for old knitting stitch dictionaries and pulling out the graph paper for some design work in the near future :-)  Stay tuned on that one.
Sunday I went along armed with my tape measure and a couple of patterns that were on my 'to-knit' list for me :-)  I have had a few different patterns in mind for some time and have just been waiting to get a couple of other projects off the needles and done first.  Well I must say that I left this workshop looking at things entirely differently and with all the above patterns pushed a lot further down said list.  After a lot of discussion on fit and taking of measurements it soon became apparent that I am not actually the size I thought I was and had I forged ahead I probably would have ended up disappointed and with several ill-fitting final garments.  Since Sunday I have spent a lot of time trawling through patterns on Ravelry, thinking and dreaming about some of the new patterns I have found (or older ones I have rediscovered) and itching to cast on.  Once I have knitted a couple of the garments I have in mind I think I may even get confident enough to regauge and resize some of my initial favourites to actually fit me :-)
So there we go, a weekend of inspiration and education, both in rather large helpings!  But what about the YARN.  I may or may not have finished the weekend with a couple of lots of yarn to turn into things for me.  Morag brought a fabulous selection of her Vintage Purls yarn with her to tempt us in both Sock (4ply) and Max (8ply) and, well, I didn't take all that much convincing.
Vintage Purls Sock
Vintage Purls Max
At the moment I am thinking the Sock will probably turn into an Elphaba sweater, and the Max into an Avril in April.
Avril in April

So thanks Tash and Morag for a fantastic weekend :-)