Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life is better with a big pink ball

Last night Wee Davie had a bright pink ball to play with. This was the best present EVER. I mean, 'in the history of the world' ever. And I thought, as I stood at the door watching him running and jumping and panting and running and jumping all over again with his ball...

Oh, if it only took a big pink ball to make me feel that happy. How good would life be, then?

Mind, it's not exactly bad. I finished 'A Country Walk with Mr Beaumaris' (aka Arabella by Beautia Dew) in Cascade 220 and this is the best fitting sweater EVER. Perhaps not quite 'in the history of the world' ever, but close enough! Apart from the extra inch I should have knitted at the bottom. I already added an extra inch, but as my very clever mother reminded me, I seem to have been blessed with a long torso and she has to add two inches to every dress she makes me, which drives her slightly insane.

I think the colour and the design simply compliment each other. The neckline is perfect too, which is unusual with me. I also have narrow shoulders. Aunts who once made my one and only off the shoulder dress cursed me for weeks.

The success of this sweater made me very conscious of knitting sweaters that fit and flatter. At which point, I pulled on my very favourite knitted cardigan and looked sadly at the matted yarn and general wear on the lace. This is the cardigan that has always fitted well. That feels good. That looks good... or at least did till the yarn gave up the ghost, so to speak. Problem was... I'd lost the pattern and this was before I knew about Ravelry. I thought all I had was this photo to memorialise the best cardigan pattern EVER.

But then, as I was looking through my photos, I unearthed a photo of the cardigan in progress and there, underneath the knitting, was the pattern. I zoomed in excitedly. It was the Charm Wrap by Mary Jane Mucklestone. I Ravelled it. It was indeed a free Knitting Daily pattern once... several years ago. It's no longer available online. Now I just have to figure out how to find a copy. Is it really bad form to ask one of the people who have knitted it if they still have a copy? It is from a magazine, but it was offered free and that's how I found it, until I lost the file during various laptop upgrades. Hmmmm...

In the meantime, the hens have new digs! Mum and I put this up in an afternoon without the aid of the incredibly helpful instructions (I'm being ironic about the helpfulness of the instructions - there was a diagram of what the house should look like with a lot of arrows and letters that were all scrambled up), but with a surfeit of screws, all in the wrong sizes. Nonetheless, and despite a nesting box lid that doesn't quite fit yet, it's up and it looks good. The hens can now watch Wee Davie going rather nutty over his pink ball from the comfort and security of their new coop.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tea and Mice

Want some tea? While I wish I could claim this was one of my own FOs, in fact, it's one of Mum's... but I swear the tea does taste better now the pot is so cosy! It's a fantastic little pattern by Debi Berkin.

Oh, and the little cups come from Mie Kongo Studio.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Where did all the yarn in New Zealand go?


It's not counted as stash, though, if Needle Food is closing, is it? Yes, I know I only recently had a splurge there (evidence here), but, keeping in mind some of it is for my partner in crime and mother... Needle Food's closing. Which is unbelievably sad for us, though we all wish Michelle well on new adventures. And the yarn has a story to tell. It survived the great Christchurch earthquake!

That does sound a little glib, but our concern has been heartfelt for those hurt and rebuilding... and those just getting through the aftershocks and tremors. I experienced my first earthquake in Melbourne. I thought someone was rolling wheelie bins down the drive way. It doesn't quite have the same impact. I'm grateful for that.

Oh, and yes, you might spot a little Vintage Purl there. The dark one was called Clansman and I was just ordering my copy of I Shall Wear Midnight, so it seemed apt. I love Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series. I want my own wee free men! (Although, arguably, I've just taken my own wee free man for a walk and he's now curled up for a pre-dinner nap.)

Incidentally, I couldn't resist this project bag on the same principle.

Now, if I could just get my kitchen sink to look like this and have another article revised and sent off this weekend, I'd be a very happy girl. In the meantime, I'd better go and scare the parrots away from the hens.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Pretty Cunnin' Puppy

We are big enough now to jump up on the sofa. Now, no knitting is safe! So I took a bit of revenge, Firefly style.

I put him in a Jayne hat, whipping up Heather Hill's Sweet Baby Jayne pattern in three shades of Cascade 220. Oddly, there are quite a number of cats sporting such cunnin' hats and some people even put them on babies, but few on dogs. Perhaps the canines all felt a bit like Wee Davie about the whole thing. As you can see... he doesn't really feel the need for a cunnin' hat. And he's more of a Star Wars fan anyway. Seriously. Whenever I play with my lightsaber app, he comes running to sit at my feet. He's fascinated by the swishing noise and the burst of theme music. I've promised him that I'll play him the films. We might make a weekend of it.

Nonetheless, it is a pretty cunnin' hat.

It was a fun diversion while knitting away at sleeves.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Puppies and Knitting

Isn't this little bag of nice smelling 'stuff' for dogs cute? I picked it up from rocstar on Made It. I'm trying to cut down on the chemicals in Wee Davie's system, so we're trying a few of the more natural flea prevention options. He just had a little spritz and seems pretty happy with the result. I'm very happy. He's one great smelling dog now! You can also see in the bottom of the picture a quick preview of the front of my "Country Walk with Mr Beaumaris" sweater. I'm currently strolling through sleeveland, but I love the way the smocking has turned out on the front. The Cascade 220 is really working with the rustic feel of the pattern and the yellow becomes beautifully golden in sunlight.

Speaking of yarn...

Why does Wee Davie look so shame-faced here? Actually, not because of what he did last night, though he ought to have looked embarrassed and guilty. I was knitting a sleeve and spotted from the corner of my eye, Wee Davie reach up to the sofa. I didn't mind him. I'd organised everything so it was all out of reach... I thought.

Except, I hadn't. Because I then spotted a blue thread disappearing through the back door. After being wound several times around the apple tree (Wee Davie's form of a maypole dance, I believe), this is what I 'rescued'. Ah well. At least I'd finished the project I was using the yarn for...

One of the most amazing things about having a dog and trotting through the streets with him is how many people start to talk to you... and stop to introduce their dogs to your dog. I did not realise the extent of the secret community of 'dog people'. They're everywhere! And they smile and coo and it's lovely.

In the meantime, I'm thinking of adding another couple of chickens to my household. I need a good laying pair, but I'd also like some pretty chickens. Any suggestions?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I have so nailed that pronunciation! I gave a paper earlier this week at a certain convention. It was a paper on Doctor Who and Raxacoricofallapatorius fell perfectly from my lips, garnering much applause! I'm shameless.

I may have given the paper as an excuse to wear bright red shoes, but that's another story.

In light of that achievement and in light of the fact that I have spent the past week coughing like a cranky duck, I spent a little time today finishing off a fun project.

It's Penwiper's Exfoliate! Knitted Dalek Wash Cloth in Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton. It's a terrific, quick knit. I think I'll need more little daleks to fight dirt around the house.

Particularly since the arrival of this one:

See that puppy? I have learned something. Having a puppy means never wearing two slippers at the same time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I wondered what all that noise was from the hens this afternoon...

Fifi is back in the egg-production business! You can see the proud, first egg for the year (yes, the year... my hens are against exploitation) resting on my newly knitted dish cloth. I was inspired by 1funkyknitwit, remembering I had some orange Peaches and Cream cotton left.

Wee Davie has just been in the coop. He's starting to get along with the hens. As in, he chases after them and they try to shake him off. So far, though, they're pretty happy together, so this might work.

And I'm off to World Con tomorrow! Tonight, I'm planning to rest a sore throat (nearly lost my voice in class) and watch Eureka while getting up to mischief in respect to another dish cloth...