A Break from the Rain

8:36 PM , 3 Comments

Living in an area of NZ that has a great proportion of dairy farmers makes you more aware of the benefits of rain.  Especially when most of your family and friend-base live rural/are dairy farmers.  We were getting near drought conditions, but I don't think that's much of a concern anymore.  The paddocks are long and lush and the water tanks are filling up.

But in all reality I was a little sick of it.  (Our little 'Piece of Paradise' is in town and doesn't need grass to feed stock or water tanks filled.)

It wasn't just rain, it was hot and humid to go with it.  The sort of rain that makes things grow like the tropics.  I love it for the garden, but not for the lawn.  I had to mow it this morning.  I'm sure it took me almost two hours.  I had to empty the catcher after each down-and-back length (that's about 12 or 13 times)  and the trailer was already full to start with.

Though you should see our strawberry patch!

But today is finally a rain-free day and not the burning hot summery kind.  It's a breezy overcast summer day, perfect for a photo-shoot.
This is LittleMiss in the DK/8ply version of my Clara pattern.

It's not for LittleMiss, it's a (rather belated) birthday present for her cousin who is the same age.

Though she did have fun posing for me.

It's currently with the testers and hopefully will be ready for release mid-January 2011.

This will most likely be my last blog post before Christmas if not for the year.  So I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday period, and I'll see you again in the New Year!


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And the Winner is....

10:49 PM 1 Comments

...Comment 99 - Seaside Siblings who said:
Cool giveaway! Just discovered your blog- fellow kiwi.

I have a bit of a thing for cardigans at the moment, just love them on little girls, oh and dresses, they just look adorable!

Congratulations Lou!
Let me know which yarn you would like and your postal address and I will have your parcel off to you on Monday (hopefully!)

Thank you to everyone else who entered my giveaway.  I loved all your comments and wish I could reply to them all!  It's been great to know what you like to see in kids clothing and given me good ideas of where to go next with my designing.  There were a lot of requests for dresses, socks, mittens/gloves, hats and boy styles.

I've already got a few ideas up my sleeve that will cater for some of those requests so keep reading to hear the latest!

Don't be too disappointed if you didn't win this time, I'm sure to have another giveaway at a later date 'cos I enjoyed it so much!

(P.S. You can always purchase the pattern for yourself either through my blog here, or through Ravelry here.  And watch out for the release of the DK/8ply version sometime in January - I'm planning a little surprise to go with it...)


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New Clothes

Hi to all my new followers!  And thank you to everyone leaving comments for my giveaway - it's really helping with design ideas!
There's still time to enter if you haven't already.  I'll be doing the draw sometime tomorrow afternoon and will blog who the winner is straight away, so you have until I post again to enter!

Last week I did some tracing and cutting which has slowly been sewn together (as spare time appears amongst the mess that is our renovations).  Today I finally finished!

These are the jeans I made for MiddleMiss.  I used the 'Clarabella' pattern from the latest Ottobre magazine.  When I got this issue and read that these pants are specifically designed for slim-hipped girls I knew it would be a well used pattern for me.  MiddleMiss never fits any shop-bought bottoms (pants or skirts) unless they have adjustable waists and then they have to be so bunched up it's uncomfortable.  Whenever I sew her pants/shorts/skirts I have to modify the pattern so much to fit (usually 2-3sizes difference between the waist/hip and length).
And, never one to make a plain pair of pants, I had to dress them up a little.  The back pockets are just cut from some cotton I had in stash (I interfaced them to get more 'wear' out of them) with a strip of pink velvet ribbon across them.  The front hip pockets are lined with the same fabric with the edge showing (kind of a faux-piping look) and the same ribbon to accent.  All topstitching is done in matching pink, too.

They fit her perfectly and she hasn't taken them off all afternoon!

As the jeans only had the hems and belt-loops to sew, then the button to put on, I still had enough time left to finish off the other half done project.
This is using the same pants pattern, but cut down to short length.

Even though I had planned on sewing completely from stash, I ended up having to buy more thread for these shorts for BigMiss.  But that's not too bad anyway is it?

I did the same with these back pockets also.

I could have done a size bigger for BigMiss as they're a little tight round the waist.

I think the problem though, is that the pattern is very high-waisted.  These shorts fit LittleMiss also but the button can't be done up because it goes right across her belly button.

I'm going to change my traced pattern so the waist is 1-2" lower and see how that turns out.  If I can get it right I think this will be a well used pattern for my girls!


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It's Giveaway Day! - CLOSED

8:50 PM 220 Comments

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to all that entered!

It's finally here!  Sew, Mama, Sew!'s Giveaway Day!  I'm so excited as it's my first giveaway too!

So, what have I got to giveaway?

The Prize:
I've  just released my Clara pattern this month on Ravelry (if you're a knitter and not a member, you so should be!)  So I thought I would give away a special, signed copy of the pattern and a skein of Vintage Purls superwash merino sock wool to go with it.  If the winner is on Ravelry, I will also gift a pdf copy for free (if it's already been purchased, I will refund the purchase price).

And because I couldn't choose what colour yarn to give away, I'll let the winner decide from the four pictured below!

(Click on the name to see a better picture of each colour)

Make sure you check out my other designs and keep an eye out for the 8ply/DK version of Clara early in the New Year!  I'm also (mentally) working on several other trans-seasonal designs I plan to release in the coming year too!

How to Enter:

I'm always after ideas for new knitting designs, so leave me a comment on this post telling me what children's clothing you like to knit or if you've seen an interesting item of clothing (sewn or knit) that you'd love to make (pictures - or links to - would be great!) or even just a motif/design feature you like.
Or, if you've just spent hours commenting on 101 other blogs' giveaways, just say 'Hi, me too, please!'
(Only comments on this post will count for the giveaway, though feel free to comment anywhere!)

For an extra entry, become a follower - make sure you are a public follower or I won't know you are and it won't count!  (This also guarantees that you'll be one of the first to hear about any new designs as they progress too!)

Please include an email address or link to a Blogger profile, etc to contact you by, otherwise make sure you're a follower so you can contact me when I announce the winner.

The Details:

I will ship to any address, so international entries are welcome!

The giveaway will be open until Friday 17 December, but I will randomly draw a winner sometime on Saturday afternoon/evening to allow for time differences.

The winner will need to make contact by 20 December or I will re-draw.

I will try my best to ship the prize as soon as I have an address but because of Christmas and school holidays I can't guarantee getting to the post office easily so please be patient with me (I will let the winner know when it has gone.)

The prize is as stated above and there are no exchanges - if you don't want it, don't enter!


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Time for Giveaways!

2:50 AM 1 Comments

I had my last child-free day at home today.  There won't be another one for almost eight weeks as tomorrow is the last day of school for the big girls before the Summer holidays.  So instead of the tidying I should have been doing, I spent it tracing patterns and cutting out material.

(Imagine a picture here of two piles of cut & folded material - the camera is in J's truck and he's at soccer so I couldn't take a photo!)

I'm doing some alterations to a wedding dress so had to put my office/sewing room back in order as the change of sleeping/bedroom furniture arrangements messed it up (renovations are still progressing so we've lost two bedrooms to the extension).  The clear desk and easy access to my machines inspired me to get onto the sewing I've been talking about for ages - making shorts for the girls for summer.  But I'm only making shorts for BigMiss first, as J took LittleMiss shopping on Saturday and bought her some and MiddleMiss has a pair of jeans that are ripped at the knee that I can cut off to shorts (I'm making her jeans instead).  And I'm quite pleased to say that these shorts & jeans will be made completely from stash - I don't even need to buy a zip!

Now onto the subject of giveaways!  I have wanted to do a giveaway ever since I started this blog but haven't yet.  Mainly because I didn't know what to give away or a good way to advertise the fact or a decent enough reason.  Then I heard about the Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway day back in, um, was it May?  I was a bit late finding out about it and didn't really know what to give away, but had fun entering as many giveaways as I could (and found lots of fantastic blogs to follow in the process).
(Click on the image to go to the giveaway info page to find out how it all works)

Now they're doing it again, and this time I intend to be included!  So make sure you check back here on Monday to see what I'm offering and leave several days free (yes, days - it takes that long!) to browse the hundreds of blogs doing giveaways through Sew, Mama, Sew!


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7:34 PM , 0 Comments

As promised, details on my latest design:

Just in time for the Southern Summer and with time to whip one up for Christmas pressies too!

I have a favourite yarn supplier, Vintage Purls, that discovered that a certain batch of superwash sock wool hadn't been properly superwash treated.  This meant that the wool had the possibility of felting with wear/wash/use.  I had 10 skeins of yarn (each a different, limited edition colourway) that were affected and would no longer end up as socks.  But what can you make with 1 skein of fingering yarn?  Something lacy and light, that's what!  And so 'Clara' was made...

The original design was made in the pattern's namesake colourway, Clara - a pretty, girly pink, yellow and peachy-orange yarn.

I wanted to design something with beads in the lacework and settled on a staggered fern lace design for the main body with beads placed at the beginning of each 'fern'.

The pattern is written with lots of options, including a square or shaped neckline, lacy straps, a fitted or full/babydoll body shape and several different hem options.

Here's the Ravelry link.  If you're a knitter and not on Ravlery - you don't know what you're missing out on!
And for those that wish they were knitters, you can always gift a copy of the pattern to your knitter friends for Christmas and hint strongly that you'd like one made!

Pattern Details:

Approx age/chest measurement
3mth 40.5cm/16"
6mth 43cm/17"
9mth 45.5cm/18"
12mth 48cm/19"
18mth 50.5cm/20"
2yrs 53cm/21"
3yrs 56cm/22"
4yrs 58.5cm/23"
5yrs 61cm/24"
6yrs 63.5cm/25"
7yrs 65.5cm/25.75"
8yrs 67cm/26.5"
9yrs 69cm/27.25"
10yrs 71cm/28"

Yarn Requirements:
4ply/fingering yarn:  approx 200-600yds/183-549m
4mm beads (or size to suit):  approx 42-192

28sts x 36rows on size 3/3.25mm needles over 10cm/4" in stocking stitch

Purchasing details:
Price: USD$6
Purchases are made via paypal and a downloadable pdf link will be emailed.


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My Creative Space

It appears that after the marathon effort that was Blogtober my blogging has taken a back-seat again!

But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy...
My Geodesic Cardigan before the sleeves (one down, one to go!)

LittleMiss in her new top - my latest design, Clara, just released yesterday (more on that in a post to come!)

BigMiss in the Clara I made for MiddleMiss (which stretched when blocked and doesn't really look that great on MiddleMiss now)

The original Clara made for BigMiss - it finally has a ribbon!

A series of catch-up posts will be coming in the next little while, but in the meantime check out what the other crafty people are up to over at Kirsty's...


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I Love Post!

4:13 AM , 3 Comments

I've been expecting a nice big box on my doorstep any day and it finally arrived today!
(Well, actually, there was a ticket in my door when I got home from a morning at work telling me I had to go collect the box as I wasn't home when the courier called.)

So, with the help of LittleMiss we emptied the contents, ticking off against my order notes, and then piled it all up for a quick photo.

It would be very nice if it was all mine, but it's not.  There was a sale on at Bendigo Woollen Mills over the ditch in Australia and to save postage two of my SIL's, a friend and I went in together with a very big order.  There were 49 in total 200g balls of wool and cotton in various shades of purples, pinks, blues and greens (and a few neutrals too).

And I now know when you have to pay customs and GST charges for an international parcel and how much that all is... let's just say that our savings on postage was cancelled out by the GST and customs charge.

Every single one of the yarns I ordered is intended to be a prototype for one of the new designs I have floating around in my head or sketched in my notebook.

And in other news, my next design, Clara, is nearing the finishing stages of testing and I'm hoping to have it up by the beginning of December!  So all those Southern Hemisphere knitters will have it available this Summer.


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4:39 AM , 0 Comments

It's taken ages to get here, but here it is!

My first for sale pattern.

Are you one of those people that has almost-finished projects just waiting to have collar stitches picked up and worked then it can be worn? (not to mention the sewing of seams!)  I definitely am.

So when a friend had twin boys and I offered to knit her a pair of winter jerseys for them, I decided that I was not going to have an almost-finished jerseys waiting to be out-grown before being gifted just because I didn't get around to picking up stitches to knit the collar.  So I designed a pattern where you knit the collar first and then work the rest of the jersey from there.

Elisaac is a loose fit, v-neck jersey that is knitted in one piece starting from the collar and worked down.  The thick and thin stripe pattern is written into the instructions or can be ignored for a solid-colour body.

Pattern Details:

Approx age/chest measurement
3mth 40.5cm/16"
6mth 43cm/17"
9mth 45.5cm/18"
12mth 48cm/19"
18mth 50.5cm/20"
2yrs 53cm/21"
3yrs 56cm/22"
4yrs 58.5cm/23"
5yrs 61cm/24"
6yrs 63.5cm/25"
7yrs 65.5cm/25.75"
8yrs 67cm/26.5"
9yrs 69cm/27.25"
10yrs 71cm/28"

Yarn Requirements:
8ply/DK yarn in three colours
Contrast (hems/bands): 45-160m/50-180yds
Main (thick) Stripe: 120-520m/135-580yds
Contrast (thin) Stripe: 45-280m/50-310yds

22sts x 30rows on size 6/4.00mm needles over 10cm/4" in stocking stitch

Purchasing details:
Price:   USD$6
Purchases are made via paypal and a downloadable pdf link will be emailed.


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Blogtober - Day 29 - 'Twas the Night Before...

6:21 AM 0 Comments

No, not Christmas.  But for MiddleMiss it sure feels like it!  The long awaited B-Day is tomorrow.

At least with it being Saturday, we won't all have to get up super extra early to do presents before the morning school routine.  But I doubt we'll be getting much of a sleep-in anyway.

I've also managed a bit of a cop-out with the birthday party affair and we're just having an extended family BBQ tea.  Saves a lot of baking fancy party food and sugar overload!  I've done a cake at least, and prepared for a pass-the-parcel game with the cousins so it will still be a little bit of a party.  And MiddleMiss will still get presents from everyone and feel special which is the main thing.
If I don't get back on tomorrow with an update, then I'll try catch up on Monday to round off my last Blogtober posting.


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Blogtober - Day 28 - Feeling Ancient

4:32 AM 0 Comments

The conversation at the dinner table last night:

BigMiss (examining the fine print on the placemats):  "When did you get these mats?"

Me:  "We've had them since we got married."

BigMiss:  "It says 'Jason Products Ltd, August 2001'."

MiddleMiss:  "Mama, was there ever a two-thousand-and-zero (2000)?"

Me:  "Yes, but you just say it as two thousand."

MiddleMiss:  "Was that in the Bible times?"


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Blogtober - Day 27 - Watch it Grow!

5:19 AM 0 Comments

It's been another busy day where it feels that nothing has been done.  And the next couple of days will feel the same I can tell!

This Saturday is MiddleMiss' birthday, which means baking and decorating and wrapping and preparing.  But all I managed to get done on my list today was washing and groceries, tomorrow I have to work so that only leaves me Friday to do all the birthday stuff!

But, on a more positive note, here's the progress on my Geodesic.
Please excuse the terrible night-time photography

All that travelling got a lot done on the knitting front!  I've done all the waist decreases, halfway through the increases and have done the first 'tuck'.  And according to the pattern I'm only several rows away from the underarm cast off!

I have just over a month to finish this.  Morag from Vintage Purls (the wool supplier that inspired this KAL) has said she will be doing a random prize draw of all those that finish by the end of November.  Not that I ever win things for my knitting, but I don't mind having a deadline to work to (and I'm enjoying this 'selfish knitting' so much I've got the next project all lined up ready to go - wool and all!)


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Blogtober - Day 26 - And life carries on...

6:13 AM 0 Comments

The holiday is over and routine is back - it was school, kindy and work today.

At least the girls didn't mind - BigMiss even said that it was a good thing that we came home on Monday instead of today as she had so much fun at swimming today (and the rest of school).

I've managed to get a lot of knitting done on the weekend and am about half-way through the body of my Geodesic.  Though I wasn't happy with how the first tuck was looking and had to rip it back.  That was just when J decided that it was my turn to drive (only because he was paying for petrol and saw a new DRD magazine that he had to buy to read the rest of the way home - normally he hates being a passenger).  I'll have to take some photos and update here and on Ravelry where I'm up to.  It's rather exciting to think it might be finished in time to be used this Spring/Summer!  The fabric is really nice and light, but still has warmth to it.


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Blogtober - Day 25 - Home again

5:54 AM , 0 Comments

The last catch-up post, promise!

After a bit of playing in the sandpit (just a sand path, but worked just as good!)

And a bit of turn-taking on the tree swing

We got in the car and headed back homewards again.

It was another beautiful day and we stopped again in Taupo

This time for a bit longer.  We had a brief shop, a quick visit to the Taupo Bungy (just for a look to show the girls - not to do it!), went for a swim in the heated outdoor pools and had a nice sit-down McDondald's lunch (instead of the eat-while-driving we did on the way up).

We decided to take the scenic* route home and took the Napier-Taupo road.  It was a nice change from the usual drive, but looking at the map when we got home, it looks like it would have added and extra 1/2 hour travel at least!

It was such a nice family time and are already planning the Summer holiday back up that way again!

*All of NZ is scenic, though sometimes it can get a bit boring seeing the same thing everytime we travel.  Though there really wasn't that much to see all the way to Napier (over an hour travel!) other than a lot of native bush and plenty of holiday traffic.  But the Hawke's Bay is a nice area to drive through - as much as the Central Plateau and Rangitikei are too.


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Blogtober - Day 23 - Party!

5:31 AM , , 0 Comments

This is another catch-up post...

Saturday was Mum's half-way birthday.  At least she's hoping it is!

The girls had spent several days beforehand crafting all sorts of interesting things and then wrapping them up, so present opening had to happen without waiting for the everyone (well, just the one brother and family as it was just a very small party) to arrive.

And here is my present:

This was the secret knitting I was doing.

Then the big brother arrived and the food was put out and the relaxing began.

As it was my SIL's birthday the next day, I had also (finally!) blocked the shawl I'd made for her at the beginning of the year.
I didn't have any photos of it so had to quickly take this after she'd unwrapped it!

And I got lots more knitting done.


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