Not really about knitting, which is odd for me.

There is knitting happening, don’t you worry your pretty little face about that. However, I’m not going to post about it today (PLOT TWIST!!). I’m not entirely sure why, but since I’m not inclined to introspection at the moment let’s just move on to some content:

Yesterday I went a little Suzy Homemaker nuts. I spent about five or six hours in the kitchen.

wpid-storagesdcard0PicturesPicCollageCollage-2014-03-04-20_20_25.jpg.jpgThere’s some cheese straws, cake-mix cookies, mini-quiches and tortellini (from scratch, no less!) that I served with alfredo sauce (also from scratch!). The man was impressed, as he generally is when I get domestic.

I’ve been reading Sunshine by Robin McKinley. If you are a fan of urban supernatural I can heartily recommend this one. Also, I appreciate that it is not entirely centered around the horizontal sweaty monkey dance like so many stories in that genre. Not that I don’t enjoy a good horizontal sweaty monkey dance, but I do get tired of reading about it just when the story is getting interesting.

Since, I’ve managed to stray so far from my blog’s mandate today I think I’ll just follow that downhill slide with a picture of my dog.


Now, come one, you have to admit that is pretty freakin’ adorable.


No, I don’t know either.

My Ravelry project page and queue in no way reflect what is actually happening. Just putting it out there. I’m honestly not sure how much I care.

I mean, I *know* that adding projects and making notes is infinitely useful to other people who are thinking of making that pattern – because I certainly appreciate a quick review of what everyone else has done to modify it. Not to mention it also helps to see the finished object on a variety of body-types rather than just those with (today’s cultural perception of) the ideal figure. Does that make me more likely to keep up-to-date on my own project pages? Nope, it just gives me a niggling feeling of guilt that I don’t. Given my propensity towards feeling guilty about things I *should* be doing, I can easily ignore this one.

As for my queue… well, it’s all good intentions really, isn’t it? I’ll let you in on a secret when I start a new project, I never look at my queue. No, I don’t understand why either. The workings of my mind are a mystery even unto me, dear hearts.

Ok, now this is stuck in my brain. Oy.

Finished Object Friday #1

I’ve done a few WIPWs but today is first FOF, believe it or not! Of course, whenever I use that acronym, I always say it as “foff” in my head which reminds me of my daughter. She was an excellent hostess at the age of two. Whenever my friends would visit she would immediately hug their legs, look intensely into their eyes and ask, “Wanna foffee?”

I finished the Sera top from last weeks W.I.P.W. and I over-dyed it. I neglected to take photos before and during, but here is a refresher of what it looked like in progress:



Pretty, but not a great colour for me. So I used some of this good stuff:

wpid-wp-1393400832359.jpgI knew that the acrylic would not take the dye, but the cotton would. I used hot water, half a bottle of the dye and a cup of salt. I did not pay any attention at all to the instructions for diluting and just used enough hot water to cover the garment.


wpid-20140224_102006.jpgThe colour is almost a grey/maroon/purplish. It’s very nice. Not black, but very nice indeed and definitely way more wearable than the yellow.

This post has been a part of Tami’s Amis F.O. Fridays 😀




I’ll just include this picture of what my studio looked when I came home from holidays and “unpacked”:



Disturbing, right? So I decided that I needed to do something about this dreadful state of affairs. Not to mention, I really, really wanted to get my stash sorted and recorded so that I know what I have and where to find it.

Logically when one needs to clean, one first makes a lightbox. Obvious first step.


Once that was done, I created a yarn processing station.


My old baby laptop is rarely used anymore because it’s freaking slow, so I figure it will make an excellent quick reference center to find patterns and yarns on Ravelry and look stuff up.

I decided that I would organise my yarn by texture. So, I started with woolly – getting progressively fuzzier, then went into cottons, bamboos and linens, then onto novelty yarns and finally acrylic because most of my acrylic lives in a big 90ltr tub. So four “batches” that needed to be catalogued and recorded.

I processed each batch separately, beginning with photographing each different type of yarn in the batch and uploading to Flickr. Once that was done, I packaged the yarn in ziploc bags, updated my Rav stash page with the photograph and the storage location, then updated my yarn book. However, by the time I got halfway through the cottons and linens, I gave up on the book. I can always update the book later whilst sitting on my butt in the living room. And I’m also starting to feel like the book needs an overhaul. It’s such a mess!

So *please* go have a look at my stash on Ravelry, I worked really hard on it, and BEHOLD!! My newly reorganised studio!wpid-20140226_130604.jpg

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Dead Fish Hat

I had been thinking about making the Fish Hat [Dead or Alive] for so long – in fact, ever since it was first published.  I was pretty excited when I decided that I was actually going to make it and I showed it to a bunch of people, most of whom gave me a look that indicated a complete lack of understanding as to why that would be a desirable thing to have (some of my friends are entirely the wrong sort of people).

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It is really difficult to take pictures of yourself wearing a hat. I know this hat is a winner because the child immediately claimed it. She did not take it off for nearly a month. Boo-yah!


I decided to cut the yarn after each stripe because I was using so many colours that carrying them up the side would get very unwieldy and thick. I ended up with a metric butt-load of ends to weave (that being the technical term, of course), which I did in one marathon session involving the latest season of Downton Abbey. Nothing made me cry this year, but I am very concerned about Edith and I’m sure that something is going to happen in the Christmas special. Don’t tell me!!

If I made this pattern again I would do a few things differently. I’d use at least one size smaller needle (yeah, I didn’t swatch. I’m such a rebel). I’d also either use fewer colours and carry them up or make larger stripes so I wouldn’t have to do so much finishing. I’m not a h8r about working in ends – it usually doesn’t bother me much. However, in this case I made the mistake of leaving the ends loose so the stitches at the beginning and end of each colour change got really stretched out and made it so much more painful when I was finishing and whilst I was knitting, so I’ve learnt a lesson about tying the ends together to make the fabric firmer as I go, though I’d untie them before weaving the ends in.

I am very happy with how it turned out. I’m wondering if I’ll ever get to wear it myself though since it has disappeared into the black hole of my daughter’s room.

My mother the enabler

I love my mum for so many reasons, but a big one is her generosity of spirit.

She is a bargain hunter, she loves the thrill of the chase, the getting of a deal. She trawls the car boot sales, charity shops and sales bins to find that special something at a price that is less than it’s worth.

Recently, she has turned her attention to my yarn needs and has scored me some awesome stuff (and I rarely have to pay her back). Here is but a selection of her purchases, I didn’t want to go overboard and get too picture heavy.wpid-20140205_180556_zpszzm3yvq_edit_1392548181269.jpgwpid-12373800413_423b3ec1a3_o.jpg

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I have a plan for this mesh yarn, an interesting little plan that may turn out to be something… (ooooh, I’m so mysterious!).


Point being, my mother is the best mother ever and you should be totes jelly.

W.I.P. Wednesday Three

I’ve got a few things on the boil, but the project that has been getting the majority of my attention at the moment is the Sera Lace Top by Doris Chan. And I do love me some Doris.

wpid-20140217_132042.jpgI’m using Moda Vera Diva, which I bought years and years ago marked down to $10 for a package of 10. Yes, the price got me – especially considering my feelings on yellow (largely negative).

I’m loving the pattern, it works up fairly quickly and painlessly. The construction is so SENSIBLE! I love that in a pattern! It’s very similar to the free Bronze Beauty pattern, which I made for my MIL last year.

Usually I would add a few rows to the bottom to make it longer, but I’m pretty sure that it will stretch given the open weave of the pattern and the nature of the yarn.

I’ve got some black dye left over from an experiment over-dying some of the daughterbeasts dresses (note: it didn’t work in a very disappointing fashion) which I am considering using to overdye the top once it’s done. I just don’t like yellow.

This post has been part of Tami Ami’s WIP Wednesdays!


Belated New Year’s Resolutions.

Well, this year’s resolution was the same as last… Not let my blog languish in despair, design and write up some patterns, etc etc. I’m also *incredibly* slack about my Ravelry project notes and photos. I guess another resolution would be to try and keep that more up to date but I feel like I have enough resolved. My stash is pretty close to accurate, even though I’ve not bothered too much with photos.

I think the key here is not to beat myself up that I failed last year or be upset with myself that it’s taking me so long to get my act together. Pick up, brush off and go on!

I’ve got a few things in the works at the moment which are really exciting!

  • I’m still working on a project to upcycle t-shirts by adding crochet, and I’ve mentioned the possibility of a tutorial. I’ll have to see a). how it turns out and b). whether I can write it up in a way that will make sense.
  • I’m also working on a pattern to go with the Rainbow Dash cutie mark chart that is going to be awesome!!
  • I made a very, very, very long stocking cap that I want to write up as a pattern as well.
  • I’m also stocking up on some little thingies for a super secret project that I want to launch. There are not words for the fantabulousness of this thing I wanna do.

Wish me luck in keeping myself on track!

The Case of the Vanishing Mojo

Since I am currently in the throes of indecision, I thought that I could perhaps analyse and elaborate upon my process of choosing what to make in the hopes it may kickstart my creativity.

  • Approach the First: Browse Ravelry for a pattern, attempt to find correct yarn in stash, and if all goes well, cast-on.
  • Approach the Second: Browse yarn stash, search Ravelry for pattern and then cast-on.
  • Approach the Third: Cool pattern comes to attention, search stash for appropriate yarn, cast-on, discover it just won’t work, frog, order yarn, forget about project in meantime, start something entirely different.
  • Approach the Fourth: Pull out the N.E.D.G. and work on it until I absolutely can’t stand it any more and cast on something else out of sheer desperation,

Sometimes nothing works, sometimes your knitting mojo just deserts you. It rides off into the sunset without looking back to the strains of bluegrass guitar. Four days! FOUR WHOLE DAYS of mojo-less searching. It was devastating.

So instead I played the new TombRaider game and some Bioshock Infinite, both of which are fantstically awesome games of fun and joy and gore. Totally worthwhile.