The Clara Collection

7:43 PM 0 Comments

During testing of the first Clara, I was asked quite a bit for an 8ply/DK version as it seems that some people are a little scared of 4ply/fingering - or at least the time it takes to knit compared to using 8ply/DK.  I had planned on doing this, but wasn't too sure how it would look in thicker yarn.

I was quite pleased with how the prototype knit up.

As it was for a birthday present, I had a great idea to knit up a doll version of the pattern also in the left over yarn so the recipent and her dolly could have matching tops.

I decided to write up the pattern for the doll version also and released it at the same time.  This is available in both 4ply/fingering and 8ply/DK so you can make one to match either Clara version!

The DK version of Clara has all the same features as the original except without the beads and fitted body options.  (Beads can be added if you can find suitable ones to fit over 8ply/DK, though they really do look best in the finer 4ply/fingering yarn.)

All three Clara patterns - Clara, Clara DK and Clara Doll - are also available together as the e-book Clara Collection.

Clara DK 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: approx 200-600yds/183-549m

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 is emailed immediately.

Clara Doll Pattern Details:

To suit approx 23cm/9" chest doll

Yarn Requirements:
8ply/DK or 4ply/fingering yarn: approx 65yds/60m

22sts x 30rows on size 6/4.00mm needles in 8ply/DK

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

Purchasing Details:
Price: USD$1
Purchases are made via PayPal and a downloadable pdf link is emailed immediately.

Clara Collection:
All three patterns - Clara, Clara DK and Clara Doll for one special price.

Purchasing Details:
Price: USD$10
Purchases are made via PayPal and a downloadable pdf link is emailed immediately.


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A Top With Five Sleeves

What do you think I do lots of when camping?  (Besides getting sunburnt because I forgot to put sunscreen on.)
Knitting of course!
My latest - 'Sweet As...' ready for testing soon!

Though I think the sisters-in-law think I'm a bit crazy.  I knit and frogged (un-did), knit and frogged, knit and frogged, then knit and frogged once more the same sleeve.  I basically did one each day - each time I finished one the girls were in bed so I couldn't try it on to see how it looked.

But I had to get it perfect!  (At least it was a short sleeve so it didn't take too long to do each time.)
It had to have just the right amount of 'puff'.  Not too little (like the first one), or too much (like the second one), or started and ended wrong (like the third one) but just right!

Do you think I got it right?


In case you're wondering, the 5th sleeve was the one on the other side once I'd got the first one right!


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Camping Kiwi Style!

11:00 PM 2 Comments

So what does camping look like for our family?

We had directions from J's sister (she knew the farmer and organised the campsite/paddock use) and ended up about 10 minutes drive along an almost dry riverbed into the hills off the road between Cape Palliser and Ngawi.  All of J's family were there - a total of 14 adults and 11 kids, plus some dutch tourists and their 6mth daughter that were staying for the week with J's parents!

Here's our tent with the smaller tent the big girls used just in front to the left.

There were nine tents arranged around the edge of the paddock and J's two brothers (being more adventurous, or maybe they just wanted to be further away from the night-waking babies) were over the fence in the bush.

We took the girls' bikes with them which got a LOT of use being shared amongst the cousins also.

We ate in style, even though most things were cooked on the BBQ!  Here's MiddleMiss 'whipping' the cream for our pancakes.

There was an array of quad bikes and the 4WD landcruiser to provide transport around the farm tracks and along the riverbed.
 The landcruiser all loaded up to go to the beach!

 Swimming at the beach.

Thursday afternoon was very windy.  A good test of who has the best quality tent!  The girls got a little scared at night worrying about their tent blowing down, but the next day (the wind had died down some) was great for kite flying.
No kites with us, but a plastic bag and fishing line works just as good!

Friday (our last day to do stuff) we went to the Crystal Pools, a secluded, natural swimming hole further round the coast past Ngawi towards Ngapotiki.

 You can climb up (with the help of a rope) above the waterfall where there is a great swimming hole, about 7m deep.

 The more adventurous climbed even further up above the next waterfall.

 The view out towards the ocean.

On the last night we raced out to try and watch the sunset, but were a little bit late.
That's the top of the South Island you can see through the haze.


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Goals for 2011

4:04 AM 1 Comments

I've never been one for the 'New Year's Resolutions'.  All that 'starting this' and 'stopping that'.  If you really want to improve your life with new habits or losing old ones, then you don't need a new year to motivate you.  I prefer to set goals or have plans for a new year.  It gives you a sense of direction and achievement rather than failure like 'resolutions' tend to do.

This year is going to be a year of change for me.  The cause of this being that my LittleMiss will be starting school in 4 weeks time!  I keep getting asked what I'll be doing (with all that spare time) but I can only see me being busier, mostly due to increased work hours.

I have plenty of personal goals and plans for the coming year, but so I don't bore you all with that I'll focus on my crafty goals for the year.

I've been doing some alterations to a wedding dress for a workmate of J's brother.  It's reminded me of a couple of things.  Firstly, how much I really enjoyed making wedding dresses.  Even though there was a lot of work in drawing up patterns and making 'practice' dresses until finally getting the pattern perfect and making that first nervous cut into the expensive satin or silk, I still loved the whole process and the final product was always so gorgeous!  J has started saying I should just start advertising, but all my other commitments would make it too demanding if I did it regularly.  (Though if you're local and want a dress made, let me know - ball gowns, bridesmaids, flowergirls, wedding dress - I could definitly fit in one customer this year!) And secondly, how much I enjoy sewing in general.  Which is a good thing for one of my goals for this year:

Goal 1 - I plan to not buy any clothes for the girls this year (except school uniforms as I don't have a choice there) but to make everything instead.  (I'm undecided yet if it will extend as far as underwear and socks.)
This is not driven by any eco-conscience (I do have one) but mainly due to financial reasons (I have a lot of materials in stash already) and the simple fact that I cannot buy clothes that fit my girls.

Goal 2 - I plan to not buy any more yarn this year unless I have the funds in PayPal to pay for it (from my pattern sales.)
This is another financial-driven reason, though I might be able to justify buying yarn if I need it for a specific design...(maybe not as I just purchased that huge lot from Bendigo Woollen Mills, all of it earmarked for planned designs - enough to keep me going all year probably!)  This leads onto my next goal:

Goal 3 - I plan to knit from stash as much as possible.

Goal 4 - I plan to always have a design-in-progress on the needles.
This won't be too hard as I have at least six design sketches in my notebook just waiting to be calculated and knit up!  Not to mention all the suggestions and ideas floating around my head...

Goal 5 - I plan to only have one project at a time on the needles (of a certain type - i.e. small knit, design knit, large knit.)
I've already been trying to do this as much as possible lately.

Goal 6 - I plan to make myself a bag/pouch to keep my interchangeable needle tips and notions organised.
This might be a long way off as I don't have fabric I want to make it in yet.

I think that will do for now...


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Happy New Year!

3:51 AM 0 Comments

Yeah, so I know I'm a little bit late, but better late than never, right?

We had a great time seeing the new year in with family.  It was the first year the girls have stayed up for it too and they had a great time with all their little cousins.

I intended on doing a '2011 goals' post on Monday but our plans for this week changed and I never got the chance.  All of J's family were going camping/tenting, leaving on Monday, for the week and we were going to join them on Wednesday.  Our builder was planning to put up the gib ('dry wall' to those in the USA/Canada I've been told) in the old part/new bedrooms area on Monday/Tuesday with J helping, but he couldn't make it those days anymore.  So the decision was made on New Year's Eve that we would be leaving on Monday for camping too.

This was a problem for me as I had planned on having Monday and Tuesday to get ready.  I had no food in the house (end of the grocery week anyway).  My washing needed to be done.  And we hadn't looked at any of our camping gear since the last time we'd used it (four years ago!)

So Monday was spent washing clothes (at least it was a hot sunny day and I got three loads washed and dried in time to take what we needed with us), planning meals, shopping for food, getting gear together and packing it all into the ute.  Needless to say I forgot things, but nothing that important we couldn't go without!

I'm still hoping to get in a '2011 goals' post (maybe this Monday), and I have over 300 photos from the last week to go through so there should be some in there worth sharing so you can see what we get up when camping in a farmer's paddock in the middle of steep hill country near the Cape Palliser/Ngawi coast with 16 adults and 12 kids (all under the age of 7).


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