Wednesday, 23 December 2015

dish cloths & holidays

knit, knit, knit & more knitting.  
making lots of dish cloths, they are so easy & quick to make, though i am starting to lean toward a thicker style, have had many say to me that mine aren't big enough which is true! i measured them they are almost less than half the size than the pattern says. i don't mind so much but that doesn't sell them. so i've been experimenting with needle sizes & different patterns, bought one ball of 10ply & the rest are double 8ply. am also realizing that a larger border keeps them more square too. a lot of mine tended to go lopsided. 
very much liking the 10ply rather than the doubled 8ply, will keep tweaking it with the needle sizes til i get them right. 

getting the thickness right with the Raindrops pattern

my all time favourite the Pebble dish cloth
had some fun with pictures

Halloween Cat was a quick knit too!

Coffee's hand towel also a quick knit
there were a lot more pebble dish cloths made I didn't put them all in here, also i grabbed the dish cloths i had at our market stall, will replace those with much bigger ones. 
for the double yarn i used 5.5mm knitting needles & got a nice soft thick cloth, some patterns were variations on the needle size, depending how it looked.

well that's all from me this side of xmas, am heading out to spend some time with my kids this year, will let you know all about it on the other side. (come home sunday)

wishing all my readers a very merry christmas & a happy new year, all stay safe over the silly season.

thanx for visiting

Monday, 30 November 2015

Storms, mowing & productivity

well we had quite a week here with storms on Tuesday & the weekend before that we had some rain but weather was mild compared to the last week. 
Thursday a friend came over with his ride-on & mowed my place as i was getting a little flustered with the weather being against me trying to mow it with a push mower. i would get a good portion of it mowed, like all the front, around the house & down to the chook shed when the rains would come & then it would be on & off & before i knew it i was re-mowing the same areas again, so the back part of my blocks was getting neglected & it was getting long!
then Friday came & it hit us here with almost 45`c! the storms that came here that afternoon were savage! hail, lightning we had the works, power outages, it was scary, most of the weekend was like that, though saturday was a cool 36`c but still had high humidity & storms & sunday was a tad milder with storms.
so, i have had the computer off for a good 3 days, wow, i got quite a bit done too, well, more than i usually do in a day, there was raking to do, (was out on Friday trying to beat the storm) got a fair bit of the mowed grass put around the trees, plants potted up, got quite a few done there, grass chipped out around the fig tree, knitted some dish cloths, finished the tea pot cozies & started re-making some old bath mats.   

up-cycling some old bathmats
finished tea cozies

today the computer went on early & i got almost absolutely nothing done ...

boy, does it make you feel lethargic! 
i did manage to drag myself away late this arvo to let the chooks out for a green pick & i got some lemongrass potted up, not a total wasted day at least. 
computers do have their good points, research is easier, ordering online, reading wonderful blogs, etc. i just need to use my time on it more wisely. 
i think i will keep up some days where the computer doesn't come on & sit & do knitting or my bath mats, am folding them in half & putting a blanket stitch around as well. they were once one towel re-purposed, they didn't sell at our markets so i grabbed them to make myself a bath mat, as i only have one, i was going to just sew them together to make one but it seemed too big. am totally enjoying making them too. 
plus there's also plenty of weeding to do & more raking...

sounds like another storm coming in, got to love living in Queensland.

hope everyone is keeping cool or warm in your part of the world

thanx for visiting

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

a few things in progress & made

it's been awhile since i posted anything, sorry but i prefer to post when i have something to show you which unfortunately isn't very often of late

i finished some flip flop topped mittens for London Girls beau & some legwarmers for her but in my rush to get them done & posted i forgot to take pictures! don't worry, will get her to send me some to post when she gets them.
this is the pattern i used for the mittens: flip-flop-top mittens 
& this is the legwarmers: Barbarellies

i've also finished two knitted coat hanger covers, made with lace as these are my favourite to make, they are now at our market stall for sale.

last Friday i finally got round to making some soap, had a bit of a panic with it as i didn't have enough lye to make the recipe from Rhonda but found another recipe that only needed 90gr of lye, whew! still used olive oil & copha, which my olive oil has had calendula soaking in it for several months. i was very pleased with how it turned out this time, looks like i'll be able to gift this lot, hopefully, will know more in a month when it's cured. 
might've added a little too much Calendula

i still haven't tried any recipes from my olive oil book, am a stickler for sticking to what i have already made & am a bit scared of trying new things with something i'm not very familiar with but hope to make a batch next time from it. 

undid my cotton top several times then decided to go up a size in needles, instead of 4mm for the body it's now 4.5mm & i must say it does bring out the pattern better, what do you think?

broken rib, this is commonly called 'rice' stitch
i still have the tea pot cozies to finish, just need to sew them up, also have not done much more on my fisherman's rib jumper. the hot weather we're having is causing me to sweat badly so knitting is in spurts

will post cozies when i finish them soon

hope everyone is keeping cool or warm in your part of the world

thanx for visiting

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

apron is finished!

S  for 'Shop' & P for 'Plants'

two Sundays ago (same day as the bees) i took this apron with me to the markets, to finish sewing the final bit of waist band & then it was finished! as you can see, being worn by our lovely member & shop assistant Dallas.  

that will be my little bit of sewing for this year. 

i think summer has definitely started here with the temperatures soaring & high humidity, lots of smoke around here too.

hope you all are keeping cool or warm in your part of the world

thanx for visiting

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Update on the bees

sad news, that lovely swarm Nev scored has all gone, he checked the box tuesday as he noticed there was no activity at the box, when he opened it up they we all gone. 
he also discovered they were a much darker colour, said they were probably from a feral hive which could be a little harder to contain, he's not totally sure, it was only he's second or third swarm he has retrieved & has only had one success but he reckons you learn more each time you do it, he thinks he may have had better chance if he left them to settle over night then moved them to his place. live & learn, it was still a good education for the rest of us.

thanx for visiting

Monday, 26 October 2015

Buzz ... Buzz ... Buzzing!

getting in position under the swarm

positioning under swarm, ladder unsteady
shaking bees into box

picking up a few that missed the box

adding a little smoke to get them settled

think it's a winner (Queen is in)

we had some excitement at our markets yesterday, when a swarm of bees was discovered by our fruiterer. gave him quite the fright too. 
our resident Bee Keeper Nev was at the ready, brought back a hive & partial suit & got to work. it was quite the education too, did you know that bees don't sting when they swarm? they are so full of honey that they can't, plus they are more concerned about the queen, you can see the swarm in the tree above Nev, just before he shakes them into the box. lots of people were watching him work. the bees gorge themselves on honey before splitting off from the hive, so they have plenty of food to make new 'cells' for the queen to lay eggs.
i dropped around to see Nev today & so far the hive is still hard at work building cells, he says he'll have a peek about Thursday to see how they are going.

hope you all had a safe & happy weekend

thanx for visiting 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

to tension or not ... ?

tension squares is something i haven't done since i first started knitting large garments, think i did about 5 & stopped, they were all perfect, i'm a very average knitter. 
the pink (purple actually) is jumper sample, front is for teapot cozies 

i was reading through one of my knit books & came across 'sample' squares, or if you like 'tension' squares but instead of undoing them you keep collecting them & then when you have enough sew them altogether & make a throw or a blanket. well, darn it all, why didn't i think of doing that all those years ago? i would have a wonderful collection of patchwork blankets by now if i had... bugga. the thing is i never thought of using 'throws' as they are called now, think we used to call them 'rugs' as had plenty of doonas. well guess what? i've started up a new/old habit, i want a patchwork blanket so i've started doing tension squares again, just did one for my new jumper & my tension was almost perfect, was a needlepoint out in the rows. i also did a teapot cosy square & i'm way out but am using BWMs wool which is different to the yarn specified, ended up with 9 extra rows but the counted stitches was exact, no matter for a cosy, will measure it as i go. i'm going to do textured stitch samples for my first blanket, as i've been collecting Deramores Stitch of the Week, which has many unusual textures to try out, should be fun. plus i have a few stitch library books i will search through too. the squares are only 40/41 stitches & 20cm long i think that should be plenty big enough to start. 
a lot of the blogs i read all have gorgeous crochet or knitted blankets thrown over their lounges or they're working on one. even my daughter has a crocheted throw she made for hubby which sits on her lounge, she is also making another one with the larks-foot stitch, which i can't wait to see when it's finished. i've also been making granny squares out of the left over wool, get about 6 rows on them, they will also make a good blanket.
been madly knitting my beanie as i want to get it finished but ended up with a seized wrist, ignored it for a good while before i stopped, well i'm at the crown decreasing, just didn't want to stop, so close!  
so, today i sat & did a little sewing instead. remember the market apron i started back at beginning of the year? well have been niggling at it on & off, am up to the waist band now. 

tiny little stitches, hope it all stays together 
almost got halfway across when my eyes declared they couldn't see it anymore lol. 

storm season has started, had a thunderstorm on Tuesday & thought there would be one yesterday but it was just all show 
it looked a lot more menacing than the photo is showing
been trying to rain since mid morning today, it's nice, not too hot, seems to be just right.
tomorrow might do a spot of mowing, weather permitting of cause.

well that will do for today, hope everyone is staying warm or cool in your part of the world

thanx for visiting

Thursday, 1 October 2015

it's on it's way to England ... finally

well, i finally got my London girls cardigan done, finished putting the collar on today, took a rushed picture of it as i really wanted/needed to get it in the post before 3:30pm TODAY! her birthday is the 17th & would love for it to get there before then.

the buttons are actually more red, not orange

the collar gave me so much grief, several times i undid it to try yet another 'invisible' seam but non of them were, in the end i just did a slip stitch & though not perfect, did the job better than the others. i just hope she likes it & it fits!

now i can start my jumper! have a pattern already picked out too. am doing in an old wool of Bendigo colonial, a nice light purple, which i had to wind some up as it's in 'hanks' ...  i used a chair turned upside down. 


wooden chairs work best for this, now Bendigo make their wool into balls so there's no need to wind anymore up.

also have another cap/beanie on the DPNs Snowtracks Cap, you can get the pattern from  HERE

i am so loving this pattern, after this one i might make a few more for gifts.
am loving using the DPNs & am so glad i practiced with all the headbands, mittens & other plain beanies, though using a full length circular needle for all the cable would probably make it a lot easier. on this one i am doing the brim longer, instead of 3 & 1/2 inches it's 5 & 1/2 inches, i wanted a decent brim to fold up over my ears which kept getting cold, should be perfect for Tasmanian weather! 
it's well worth learning to use them, sure very awkward when you first learn but so is straight knitting when you first start too. 

we've had some good rain the last couple of days, or should i say storms, they were good ones, plenty of deluge so the grass will start growing now, it's back to mowing season but at least i don't have to water for a few days. thought we were going to get another this arvo but it blew over, thundering as it went too! perhaps it will swing back later...

well hope everyone has had a pleasant week

thanx for visiting

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

my day... yesterday

the first day of spring rolled in quite cool, that was yesterday, even put a skivvy on, not so today, it's very warm here today.
yesterday i potted around, took a heap of lavender heads off the bush, excused myself to the bees, they didn't mind so much & went on their merry way over to the calendulas. i missed taking the lavender off last year this year i'm right on top of it & already have a few dried, might put it in soap later or make sweet scented pillows. 

lavender drying
also got in some more knitting on YDs collar, which i've since finished this morning as only had 20 rows of straight knitting to do, fingers all swelled up yesterday which made handling the needles awkward, glad it doesn't happen often.     
20 rows to go here, which is since been finished
there was a lovely sunset to finish the 1st day of spring off, though my phone camera didn't do it justice, the colours were spectacular.

1st day of spring sunset, my phone didn't capture it very well

today is sprinkler day for the front garden, i did a bit of grass chipping around the fig tree, discovered i have sprung a leak in a water pipe & texted the plumber. 

on the weekend my beautiful children came up to see me for my birthday & what a surprise my eldest had for me, along with my sister they had planned a holiday for me between them since May to go down to see my sister in Tasmania! what a treat! i was a total stunned mullet & it still hasn't fully sunk in, now i know why my sisters texts were a bit funny, or she would throw in a random text with nothing to do with what we were saying, she was biting her tongue! my eldest is coming too & she wants to explore quite a few places, that will all be happening in February. can't wait.

hope everyone has been enjoying their days

thanx for visiting 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

knitting neat edges

g'day again

thought i'd write about knitting a nice neat edge on an item, this is new to me & only read of it since finding Rhondas' blog & forum. there are a few who do this & i'm a new convert, it takes a conscious effort i must admit as i've knitted without for 30 odd years & breaking this habit is taking a bit of doing, even getting the odd headache but the result is well worth it! 
been practicing on the mittens i do on the straights, certainly makes sewing the seams up less painful lol.

see the nice smooth edge?
this edge is done by slipping the first stitch, using whichever stitch is there, if knit, slip knit wise, if purl, slip purl wise & i must say it looks very professional. though as i mentioned before i have to make a conscious effort to do it, so if you're a new knitter, it's probably a good idea to get into the habit now, then it will become 2nd nature to you.

am quite pleased with the smoothness of the edge, i know it doesn't look like much in the photos but it does make a big difference or am hoping it will to the look of the finished garment, which i hope to show you soon.

been warm here & really looks like spring has sprung early, hope everyone is having a good week, keeping cool or warm in your part of the world

thanx for visiting

Thursday, 13 August 2015

comfort knitting

well, i've done nothing but knit since the passing of cuddles, it was too hard to garden without him, pushing me from one end to the other. 
i've thoroughly enjoyed it, i mostly made fingerless mittens to sell at our markets shop with a few headband/ear-warmers thrown in.

large brown mitts
2 headbands & cowl
finished mitts & headband

4x4 rib done on DPNs
beanie for a friend
made myself a beanie

made myself a cosy
medium size cosy (3-4 cup pot)

a cowl for another friend who gave me the wool

forgot to take a photo of finished mohair beanie
many items i forgot to take photos of the finished product, sorry! i made many mittens & thoroughly enjoy using the DPNs, getting in lots of practice for when i tackle the sock knitting. was also doing the mittens on straight needles too, as i had trouble keeping up with our stall, so could do 2 at a time on the straights.
i got fed up with my tea going cold & so quickly made a cosy, also made another one for our shop/stall, 3 beanies, one for me too & a lovely cowl for a lady who gave me the wool, i couldn't take it without at least making her something from it. i also helped out a friend by finishing her jumper for her which was for her partner.
finished , made from a denim cotton

B.J. stayed close the whole time i knitted this one


i'm still knitting, just picked up my daughter's cardigan again & redid the front bands & have pinned in the 2nd sleeve & started the collar again. as i had done some booboos there, will post photos of it a bit later.

what have you all got on your needles or hooks?

hope everyone is having a good week & keeping warm or cool

thanx for visiting

Friday, 24 July 2015

the last little one left ...

i have one remaining cat here from my mama cat Minka, well she is a descendant of Minka, about 3rd generation? i think, great granddaughter? if there is such a thing with cats?
B.J. is her name, has soft fur like Minka but only a spot of Minkas' colour on her, blended in all her gray.

i was crying too much to continue with my post, it is now a month or more since writing that little bit, here's some pictures of B.J. 

on her own pillow by the window

enjoying the sun
she is a funny thing now that she has me to herself, demands attention when i'm at the p.c. by standing up tall & leaning on my shoulder! for such a little cat she can stretch far! she sleeps on her pillow while i knit & sometimes she will come & want a bit of a cuddle on the chair next to me when i'm knitting, especially on cold days.
it will be sometime before i venture out & get myself anymore pets, even though i miss having many around me, it will have to wait til i can get a fence up.

hope everyone has a great weekend

thanx for visiting