Hi! I'm Still Here...

6:52 PM 0 Comments

In case you haven't noticed, it's that festive time of year again.

Which means that the girls are on holiday and I have a-million-and-one things to do and organise before J's three week holiday period off work.

During any school holidays, most of my time is spent juggling between entertaining the girls and finding babysitters for them so I can still work and internet time is always the first to suffer as it's really not that important (then the housework - it's about as unimportant isn't it?)

So please forgive me if I seem a bit absent from this space for the next month or so.  Though I do have several things I've made lately that I plan on posting about when I can, as well as a new design I released earlier this month.

I hope you all have a great family time this Christmas and, if you don't hear from me sooner, I'll see you all again in the new year!


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Tickled Pink

2:30 PM , 0 Comments

In need of a new summer top, I let MiddleMiss choose a skein of yarn from my Vintage Purls stash.  She chose a variegated pink called Tickle Me and I decided to design a t-shirt for her.

By the time I could try it on her and decide I didn't really like the look, I'd got all the way past the sleeves and several rows into the body.
It got put in the I don't like you pile until I felt like spending more time working on the design some more.

MiddleMiss noticed I hadn't been working on it and asked me when I was going to finish her top.  She was a little shocked when I showed her a re-wound ball of yarn and empty needles the next morning!

I'd changed my mind that night and decided to use a ready-to-go pattern instead.
(I cast it on that next night.)

This is Hine (another Kelly Brooker design).
But, in my usual fashion, I had to re-work the numbers as it's not written for 4ply.

I started on Thursday and have got this far already.  I've done the ribbing on the sleeves, sewn in all the ends and sewn on the buttons which are all the jobs I hate doing when I've finished.
Only the stocking stitch body to go to keep MiddleMiss happy.
(Need some movies to watch - always makes it go fast!)


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March of the Elephants

6:30 PM , 0 Comments

My big brother had a little boy just before MiddleMiss' birthday last month.  And a new family member means an excuse for teeny tiny knitting.

And not wanting it to take me forever to design a special, for-the-new-baby knit that would only just be gifted before it was too small like I usually do, I decided to just knit someone else's pattern.

This is the Puerperium Cardigan pattern by a fellow Kiwi designer, Kelly Brooker.

The free, NB size pattern is written for 8ply/DK yarn but I wanted to use up some of my Vintage Purls sock yarn stash so re-calculated the numbers to suit.  Though, if I wasn't such a cheap-skate, I could've just bought the full Beyond Puerperium pattern which is multi-sized and written for three different yarn weights (including 4ply).
In my defense, I didn't even think to check if the full version included 4ply until after I'd knit it anyway!

Yarn - Vintage Purls sock in 'Chaff' and Patons (I think? very old, missing ball bands) crepe wool
Pattern - Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker (free NB size pattern)
Elephants - stranded knitting (my first attempt!) using this pattern
Buttons - umm, still to come?


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Rose Red

3:03 AM 0 Comments

Look what J gave me this weekend.

I won't say where he stole got it from.

The wine bottle makes a good vase.  It's all I had besides a drinking glass.


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More Clothes

3:06 PM , , 1 Comments

I seem to be on a roll with the sewing lately.

I made this for the BigMiss over the weekend:

Well, actually just the skirt and leggings as I'd made the tee a week or so ago.  (I think the tee makes the outfit look a bit busy - I didn't intend for it to be an 'oufit', she just put it on anyway.)

Pattern details:
Tee - Ottobre 3/2010 'Funky Sisters' design 31
Skirt - Ottobre 1/2011 'Indigo' design 18
Leggings - Ottobre 1/2011 'Cinnamon' design 17


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Unisex? Yeah Right!

2:56 PM , 7 Comments

Take one "unisex" (meaning: boy style) t-shirt:

Attack with an un-picker:

Add one "Funky Sisters" Ottobre* t-shirt pattern:

Mix it all together with a sewing machine:
I had to put the tag back in!

And you now have one very happy little girl!

The tee was a birthday present from J for BigMiss (from way back in June!) and it really was unflattering and big.  She liked the idea of it, but didn't really like it so it got put in the drawer and forgotten about.

With the rearrangement of the bedrooms (when the carpet was finally in) there was also a rearrangement of the drawers and I found this tee back.  J had originally said that I could 'just take it in at the sides', but this tee pattern was a better idea as I'd made it before and knew it looked good on BigMiss.

I'm very happy with the result and BigMiss has worn it every day after school, claiming it's her favourite t-shirt now!

Joining in with other creative types.

*This is from issue 3/2010, pattern #31


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Naked No More

In the build-up to the birthday I was busy crafting away in the night hours on two little items for MiddleMiss' doll.

A cute little skirt to match the one I made her (she still wears it!)

 Pattern: Mini Coconut Ice by Deanne Ramsay
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8ply in Teal & White

And a cardigan to go with it

Pattern: Poppy Cardigan by Georgie Hallam (aka Tikki)
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8ply in White & Teal

I only just got them finished in time too - the last sleeve was knitted and finished the night before!


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The Birthday

So, MiddleMiss turned 7 on Sunday.

J told her that I hadn't really had time to make a fancy cake so hopefully she wouldn't be disappointed as she was just going to have a plain round cake.

She was impressed with the pink glittery sprinkles and fancy squiggly candles and said she liked it anyway.

Then J cut her a piece and she was even more impressed that it was a Rainbow cake!

 It was loads of fun to make and even tasted good too!

Idea from here.  Recipe and instructions from here.  Other creative types over here.


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Blogtober Fail

7:44 PM , 0 Comments

You might have noticed I missed posting the last 10 or so days in Blogtober.

I really did mean to and even had posts planned in my head, but computer time didn't happen as there were more important things going on.


A long weekend where J got an extra day off work so we painted doors.

Then the 'real' day off work where we spent a family afternoon at the beach (after putting another coat of paint on the doors).

Even the dog came - she's part of the family too!

It was too cold to swim so we didn't take togs, but they still got very wet anyway (went home in the car in their knickers!)

And don't forget the sand castle building!

And then school holidays were over and it was back to work during the day and homework every afternoon and tidying the house in the evening and planning the MiddleMiss' birthday and a new nephew to knit for and, and...you know how it goes.

So I didn't complete Blogtober, but it's not the end of the world!

Though I did get up to lots of stuff over the last week which I fully intend to catch up on in the next few days.


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BigMiss' Baking

3:11 AM , 0 Comments

BigMiss was invited to a surprise birthday party and was asked to make the birthday cake as her present.

After looking through the birthday cake books and not really choosing anything, I suggested making a number cake (the birthday girl was turning 10, which I figured was an easy number-shape to work with).

We made a chocolate cake, which she mixed up by herself - the recipe I always use is a 'put it all in the bowl and turn the mixer on' type which is really easy for kids!

The '1' got lollies put on randomly, but I suggested more of a pattern for the '0'

I let her choose a bag full of lollies from the 'pick-n-mix' at the supermarket to decorate it with and she wanted five different icing colours.  She mixed the food colouring into the icing while I iced the cakes (she found it a little tricky to not mix the colours when putting it on).

She had great fun, and the birthday girl was impressed she had made it herself!


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5:30 PM 0 Comments

If you look close enough at the photos of LittleMiss' jersey, you might be able to see the picture stitched on the pocket.

It's a unicorn done in duplicate and chain stitch.

The talented Tanja from Watermellish designed this chart specially for the Red Riding Hood Yarn's Winter Yarn Club that I took part in.  It was the first time I'd done a duplicate design like this and I'm really pleased with it (so was LittleMiss).

Make sure you check out her website for more designs (including free ones!) and lots of tutorials to help you out.  If you're a knitter and never tried duplicate stitch before - it's a lot easier than you think!


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Ain't He Cute?

5:00 PM , 0 Comments

I noticed that I hadn't posted any photos on here of my nephew wearing the vest I mentioned yesterday.

And he's too cute not to.

More cute pictures on my Ravelry project page.


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One for LittleMiss

You might have noticed in my photoshoot post that there wasn't just the new Sweet As Cardi and Amphitrite vest being worn.

I've been working on a very cool simple jersey/sweater design.  This one is along the same construction idea of the Elisaac, in that you start with the collar and then work down from there.  But it's a proper fold-over, ribbed collar (like a polo shirt).

You might also remember the vest I made for my newest little nephew.  It's basically the same base pattern but done with full-length sleeves (and not button-through).

I've included a kangaroo pocket too, which LittleMiss was excited about.  I'm expecting the pocket to get very stretched out of shape over time!


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Kiwi Crisps

10:11 PM , 0 Comments

Saturdays I usually do baking.  Today it was biscuits (cookies).

This is one of my favourite recipes.

Kiwi Crisps

1/2 of a 400g tin sweetened condensed milk
225g butter (softened)
1/2c sugar
2c flour
2tsp baking powder
200g chocolate

Preheat oven to 180deg C.
Cream condensed milk, butter and sugar together.
Mix in sifted flour and baking powder and then mix in chocolate.
Shape spoonfuls, place onto baking tray and cook until lightly browned (about 10-15mins).
Cool on a rack and enjoy!

If you're like me and prefer soft biscuits, take them out just as they start colouring.  When cooked to golden brown they're crisp and crunchy when cooled.

You can use any form of chocolate in these biscuits - chocolate chips, buttons, a chocolate block broken in chunks, mixed white and dark, mini M&M's (as pictured above), and you can even add 1/2c of nuts to the mix also (roasted cashews are yum!)

And because it uses half a tin of condensed milk, I usually make a double batch so I don't have the other half a tin sitting in the fridge waiting to be used!  (They freeze well.)


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Curls and Plaits

8:22 PM 1 Comments

 I still have to work even in the school holidays, but that means the girls get to go to Nana's!

Yesterday I picked them up looking like this:

Their fantastic Aunty T had done their hair in fancy curls and butterfly clips.

And even Nana had a turn with LittleMiss getting a head full of little plaits!

I'm very lucky that my MIL can look after the girls for me when I still have to work in the holidays.


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More Sweetness

If you're a regular reader, you might have noticed that I've been working on a cardigan version of the Sweet As... t-shirt.  MiddleMiss was wearing it for our photoshoot in the park.

It has the same heart motif down the side and puff sleeves, but also features a shaped body, pockets and sleeves done to full length.

The pattern's in the testing* phase at the moment so should be ready for release mid-November.  Just in time to whip one up for those heading into Winter in the Northern Hemisphere!

For more craftiness look over here.

*I'm still in need of testers for sizes 9yrs and 10yrs.  Let me know if you're interested through the thread on Ravelry.


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