A New Design in Process!

9:51 PM , 2 Comments

Are you like everybody else and madly rushing around getting ready for Christmas?

There's plenty of 'mad' and 'rush' going on round here, though mostly because our life is undergoing a few changes (don't worry, it's all good so far!) which means a lot of extra work in the meantime.

But I have still been knitting, and even a bit of crochetting for a change!

Here's my latest FO:


This is a tunic I've designed for my BigMiss.  It hasn't quite worked out as I'd like - I wanted it to be a little longer - so I've ordered some yarn to knit one the right length for my LittleMiss also.  I'll still work on getting modelled photos of this one on my BigMiss soon anyway.

I'm just working on the final modifications to the pattern, then it should be ready to go to testers!


And I'm thinking about starting up a Ravlery group for my designs...
What do you think?
Good idea, bad idea?
Will I run out of things to talk about, or will I bore people with too much talk?
Will I be the only member?


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Oh Dear

12:55 AM , 1 Comments

I had some little people come visit today with their mum.

After they'd gone home I noticed that my balls of yarn had been knocked off the coffee table where I'd left them and one was missing.

I wasn't too worried as I figured it would turn up.

It did.  It was sitting in the ashes of the open fire.

 
This is my second ball of the Mocha for BigMiss' tunic I'm making.  And I was planning on using it tonight.


I think I'll have to toddler-proof my knitting stuff a bit better next time!

Any suggestions for how to clean it??


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WIP's

4:51 AM , , 0 Comments

I thought I should start taking wip (work in progress) photos more often and keep my project notes on Ravelry more up to date.  I find it's actually quite nice to look back and see how long (or short!) it's taken to knit something.  And I have a few things on the go that I've cast on lately that I need to keep a track of too!

So, at the same time I thought it might be nice for you (and keep me accountable to finishing things!) if I updated here also...

 
This is that gorgeous yarn from Olive & Emma I showed in my last post knit up.
I love the colours in it and think it's really going to suit my Little Man.
 
 
This is the Mocha and Peony yarn from Little Plum Yarn knit up.
It's a tunic/dress for the BigMiss.  I'm a little excited about this pattern as I think it's looking really cool and can't wait to show the finished product!
 

This is me being a little crazy.

There's a thing going on via Ravelry where you have to knit a sweater (adult sized, at least 50,000 stitches) in a month.  It's called NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month) which is the knitter's alternative to National Write a Novel Month (write a 50,000+ word novel in November).  The 'National' part relates to USA, but it's open to everyone anyway (in case you haven't heard of either thing - I only found out via Rav last year)

I'm only joining in because I'd ordered this yarn (Brown Sheep Cotton Fine) to knit myself a Apres Surf Hoodie, then stumbled upon the NaKniSweMo Group again and realised I could.  It might actually motivate me to finish it too!

How many wip's do you have?
Do you keep your projects page updated regularly?
Or are you like me and only make the project page once something's finished?


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Freedom Knitting

I feel like I've been in a constant state of limbo most of the year with my knitting and pattern writing. 

Because of a serious lack of communication from a certain yarn company (that I'm not so fond of anymore), I always had to make sure I wasn't committing to or concentrating on much just in case  today I'd get the email to say it's all go and I have 8 weeks to write and knit two complicated patterns (if only they had let me know - way back in March - what yarn to design for!)

Little Plum Yarn Supertwist Sport in Mocha

But the freedom I'm feeling now it's all done and over makes me love knitting again!  (I'd started to loose the love for it, I suppose that's what happens when it's a have to.)

Little Plum Yarn Supertwist Sport in Peony

Even though I've been in Pattern-Writing Limbo, I've still been planning new designs to work on as soon as I could. 

And buying yarn to knit them with!

Olive & Emma 4ply Merino in Cade with Trim

So now I've just cast on to make a variation of this pattern:

That's my Little Man at just 6 days old - he turned 6 weeks old yesterday and not really fitting this cardy anymore!

I'm making a few changes to make it a little more quirky and funky.  I can't wait to show you the finished knit!  (I'm using the grey and brown yarn above which is a made-for-me colourway from Olive & Emma. It's looking gorgeous so far!)


Joining in with the other creative folk at My Creative Space.


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A Quick Knit

11:01 PM , 0 Comments

With my last deadline knit/design on it's way across the world, I needed a quick knit to celebrate the freedom of no pressure.  And as the Little Man is really not fitting any of his hats lately (he's growing so fast!) I thought that was the perfect thing.


He didn't think so.


Not even with cuddles from Mama.


More details to come about the design I sent off - I'm quite excited about this one!

(Though very nervous entrusting my sample knit to the postal system after my previous international post issues - which I since found out was entirely the yarn company's fault as they had my address wrong!)



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Like a Lead Balloon

5:09 AM , 2 Comments

I mentioned in my previous post about being super busy getting some patterns ready in order to meet a deadline.

Well, turns out I could have taken things a little slower as I've just found out that they've dropped me from being included in the collection!


And all because their yarn never arrived for me to knit the sample with.  And it's too late for them to get someone closer to knit it as their photoshoots have started.
(This is the third time their yarn hasn't arrived - I'm still waiting on an order I actually paid a lot of money for.)

I really feel like being annoyed at the yarn company.
(Besides the fact that they hadn't told me what yarn bases I was designing for until confirmation of the final deadline so couldn't even start working on the pattern, I'd had no contact from them since saying they were 'sending the yarn soon' which was only allowing 7 weeks to receive the yarn, knit the two samples and send it back to the US - they never even told me what size models I was knitting for!)

But really, I should just be annoyed with the unreliable postal system.


So I've spent the afternoon feeling pretty stink about the whole deal, especially as one of the patterns was a very tricky design to write up that cost me days of late dinners and grumpy children.  I'm not quite sure how to tell J as he was starting to get annoyed at me for taking it on when having a new baby and now I'm not even getting paid for it!  (The original contract deadline was May, when a new baby wasn't an issue, but was delayed so the closer to my due date I was without hearing final dates, the more nervous I was getting.)

But on the upside, I suppose I now have two patterns in the almost finished stages (they were going to be tech edited then were ready to go) that I can self-publish.


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Finally! (About a Baby and Some Winners)

8:34 PM , , 3 Comments

I'm sure everyone's been wondering what happened to me for the last three weeks, though hopefully you've put it down to having a newborn in the house.

I must confess, though, that my absence is only partly because of a baby and mostly because of a pattern deadline.  And every night I've been going to bed thinking "I have to do that blog post and sort out winners tomorrow."

Finally, the right tomorrow is here and the two patterns I've been spending every spare minute working on have been sent off and I am writing my blog post!

So, it was three weeks ago yesterday, about this time, that I was heading home from hospital with a gorgeous little newborn baby.

Just four hours old

A little boy!  (But not so little, really.)

Born on 5 September 2012 at 6.45am and weighing in at 3960g (about 8lb 11oz) he was a bit of a shock - both that he was a boy and how big he was!

Cuddles with Papa

The baby socks and hat I made didn't fit.  The cardigan I made that I thought wouldn't fit for a bit, was perfect (in the picture above).  And all my worry about not having any baby clothes was made worse by the fact that he was already fitting well the few NB size clothes I'd bought and would outgrow them very quickly!  Fortunately I have generous family with little boys of their own that have lent me clothes for now.

Three weeks later, life has settled into a predictable routine.  The girls love him to bits and are really good about taking turns holding him.  And even though he keeps me rather busy and all the things I used to do take twice as long to get around to now, I'm sure I will be boring you all with lots of baby picutres and new little boy designs to knit soon enough!


And now, for the winners of my guessing competitions!

The closest guess for When is Cas who guessed 6th September.
The closest guess for How Big is Kelly who guessed 8lb 2oz.
And the random winner of those that guessed Boy is KiwiFi.

Congratulations everyone!
(I will contact the winners to arrange prizes later today, though if you don't hear from me, feel free to give me a hurry up!)


Thank you everyone for entering!  I'm pretty sure if I had put in my prediction for this Little Man I would've been so wrong!


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My Needles Seem to Fly...

10:02 PM , 0 Comments

I've been knitting like crazy lately.  Or so it seems with all the stuff I'm getting finished!

I think it helps that lots of it is small, so it's quick to make.

So here's a little run down on some of the stuff you saw blocking in a previous post:


I made this Paprika vest for MiddleMiss.


It was done as part of the Olive & Emma KAL on Ravelry.


The colourway is Baby Blue Eyes and is the perfect colour for MiddleMiss!


Though I was a little disappointed with the fit.  I chose the size according to her chest size (size 5yrs) but knit to her age length (size 7yrs) and pre-blocking it really didn't fit!  I managed to stretch it out a lot when blocking and it's ok now, but won't last long.


I do really like the cabling details on it though.




This is a little NB cardigan I made for a friend's new baby.


I had originally intended on using the apple chart from here, but the apples looked too big for such a little top so I sort of made up my own smaller version.


This was my third attempt at colourwork and I think I'm getting better, though it's still a little tighter than it should be!




This vest is one I've made before for my nephew.  This time, though, I changed the pockets and made the collar longer which I think looks much better.  Right now it's enroute to Canada to some friends who have just had their first baby (a boy) and with no appropriately aged babies around, I don't have any nice modelled photos.

The pattern is in-process - I just need a hurry up to do the little tweaks and send it off to testers!




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Tiny Toes

8:54 PM , 0 Comments

I made a little mention of starting a baby sock last week.

I actually finished the pair!


They're so super cute and tiny.

Just to show how tiny!

These were knit in Knitsch Yarns Sock 'Pencarrow' using the pattern Cosy Little Toes (but without the fold-over top - I wanted them done quick!)

MiddleMiss saw me knitting the second one last night and asked me why I was knitting another sock - "Hopefully the baby has two feet!" I replied.

These actually knit up super quick and weren't that much of a big deal doing a second one (I get bad SSS - Second Sock Syndrome - and don't tend to make an actual pair) so I think I'll be using up all those left over balls of 4ply sock yarn I've got lying around making some more!

Next thing bubs needs (and I started it this morning) - a red hat!
(I'll explain why a red hat when it's done...)


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Just a Reminder...

12:49 AM 0 Comments

...the first of my baby guessing competitions closes for entries tomorrow at midnight (NZ time), so don't forget to enter while you still can!

Scroll down or click here, here and here to enter all three!

(The other two close Monday and Tuesday so you still have a another day or two to enter them.)


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Blocking Party at my House!

10:22 PM , 3 Comments

I've decided that blocking finished knitted items belongs in the same category as sewing seams, weaving in ends and sewing on buttons.

That's the I Don't Like Doing It category in case you're wondering.

I was getting a little pile of FO's (finished objects) that needed all those things done to them so decided to sit down and just do it.

This was the (almost - couple of things still need buttons purchased/sewn on) final result:

Blocking-in-process of a few things to gift, a couple of things to keep some girls happy and a couple things for bubs.

With all this finishing and blocking, I'm feeling very organized with where I'm at with my knitting.  So much so, that I'm sort of at the stage of 'What to Make Next?'

I've got a few new designs in process that I'm just waiting on yarn for and a few submissions that I need to work on (but that's computer work not knitting as such).  There's also all the baby knits that I need to do, but half the work's in deciding what to make (and finding suitable patterns).  I did start on a baby sock last night though...


Do you dis-like the finishing-off of projects also?
Do you have a pile of just needs 'x y z' done then it's finished?
Do you have any suggestions for nice and quick baby knits?


Don't forget to enter my baby guessing competitions over here, here and here if you haven't already!

Joining in with the crafty folk over here again.




P.S.  I'll do posts later on the various knitted things above, once I've got modelled photos etc of them.

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Competition #3 - What?

5:46 PM , 25 Comments

***CLOSED***  Winners will be announced in due time...

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Easy peasy question this time!

Boy or Girl?
So far we have three girls...
(And, no, we don't know ourselves!)

Make your prediction in the comments!
(This time the winner will be chosen by Random.org from those that guess correctly!)
~~~~~~~~~~
And the prize for this competition?
The winner's choice of pattern(s) gifted via Ravelry to the value of $USD20
(More than one pattern can be requested to the total combined value as stated.  If the winner is not a member of Ravelry - you don't know what you're missing out on! - an alternative, similarly valued prize will be arranged.)
~~~~~~~~~~
Just a few rules:
  • This competition closes at midnight (NZ time) 21 August 2012 and any entries made after that time will not be counted.
  • Please include a way to contact you if you are the winner or I will pick someone else.
  • The winner will be determined after the baby is born (obviously!) and the prize sorted out with the winner in due time - please bear in mind the busyness involved with a newborn! 
Scroll down or click here and here for the previous two questions.

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Competition #2 - How Big?

5:31 PM , 22 Comments

***CLOSED***  Winners will be announced in due time...

~~~~~~~~~~

Ready for the next chance to win?
How heavy/big will this baby be?
To give a little background information (to make the guessing a bit easier):
BigMiss - birth weight was 3180g (about 7lbs) and I put on a total of 9kgs during pregnancy (incl baby)
MiddleMiss - birth weight was 3230g (about 7.1lbs) and I put on a total of 8kgs
LittleMiss - birth weight was 3220g (about 7.1lbs) and I put on a total of 5kg
So far I've put on 4kg total, though J insists that my bump is bigger than with the girls (you can see the bump here, taken three weeks ago)...
Make your prediction in the comments!
(In pounds or grams is fine!)
~~~~~~~~~~
And the prize for this competition?
A very funky Yarn Pop wip bag in your colour of choice!
(This will be purchased and sent direct through an online store from the closest stockist to the winner's country of residence and the colour choice will be limited to available stock.  If supply to the winner is not possible, a similarly valued wip bag will be substituted.)
~~~~~~~~~~
Just a few rules:
  • This competition closes at midnight (NZ time) 20 August 2012 and any entries made after that time will not be counted.
  • Please include a way to contact you if you are the winner or I will pick the next closest.
  • The winner will be determined after the baby is born (obviously!) and the prize sorted out with the winner in due time - please bear in mind the busyness involved with a newborn!
  • Any doubling up of winners will be determined by Random.org (i.e. if two people want to guess the same weight).
Scroll down or click here for yesterday's question.

Don't forget to check back again tomorrow for the last chance to win!

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Competition #1 - When?

5:03 AM , 22 Comments

***CLOSED***  Winners will be announced in due time...

~~~~~~~~~~

I'm about three weeks away from my due date for this baby so that means it's competition time!
I love guessing games, especially baby guessing games, so I thought I'd let you guys do the guessing and the best guess gets the prize!
I'll have three different competitions/things you need to guess and the person who guesses the closest will win the prize for that competition.
~~~~~~~~~~
So, first up:
When do you think this baby will arrive?
To give a little background information (to make the guessing a bit easier):
BigMiss - scan date was 16 June, born on 9 June at 1.35pm
MiddleMiss - scan date was 5 November, born on 30 October at 3.00am
LittleMiss - scan date was 8 February, born on 5 February at 11.52pm
Scan date for this baby is 3 September...
Make your prediction in the comments!
(If you want, just say a day, or include am/pm, or even predict a time - it's totally up to you!)
~~~~~~~~~~
And the prize for this competition?
Two skeins of Cascade Heritage Silk in the colour of your choice - enough to knit the largest size of my Wasabi Cardigan.
(This will be purchased and sent direct through an online store from the winner's country of residence (i.e. Tangled Yarns in Australia for an Australian winner, etc) and the colour choice will be limited to available stock.  If no local online shops stock the exact brand, a similar available yarn will be substituted.)
~~~~~~~~~~
Just a few rules:
  • This competition closes at midnight (NZ time) 19 August 2012 and any entries made after that time will not be counted.
  • Please include a way to contact you if you are the winner or I will pick the next closest.
  • The winner will be determined after the baby is born (obviously!) and the prize sorted out with the winner in due time - please bear in mind the busyness involved with a newborn!
Check back tomorrow for the next competition!

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Help Me Out, Please

10:54 PM 3 Comments

I'm planning a little competition (or three...)

But what do I give away as prizes?

The problem is that I don't really know much about you as my readers.  I don't get that many comments to link back to blogs to read about you.  (I know somebody must read my blog as my stats tell me so!)

So I'd love a little help from you, please.

What sort of prizes would interest you?  I'm assuming most of you would be crafty folk (as my blog is mostly about crafty stuff - knitting in particular!) so was thinking craft supplies etc would be a start?  But as I don't have too much of a craft stash I was thinking that maybe online shop vouchers would be the way to go?  But what shops?  Knitting/yarn shops?  Sewing/quilting shops? And what country/ies? (I don't want to limit to only NZ people!)

I do have a small stash of NZ yarn, though mostly 4ply/fingering, that I could look through to give as prizes also?  Maybe with one of my patterns?  Or maybe a knitted-by-me item?

Make your suggestions in the comments!
(Maybe this could be a competition too?  Or an extra entry for the competitions to come?  Or maybe just an extra helpful thing to do?)


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A Catch Up Post

4:21 AM , , 0 Comments

I'm in need of a quick catch-up post on the happenings going on around here...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I took part in another swap on Ravelry just before the school holidays.  It was a 'Small Things Swap' - minimum of 50g yarn, pattern to suit and small gift to go with it.

Here's what I sent off to my swappee, Kathryn:

65g of Spud & Chloe Fine in Anemone; a set of penguin buttons from Buttons by Benji; a bag of Wonka Fruit Tingles; a Knitter's Sticky Notepad from Vintage Purls; a project bag quickly whipped up by me; and I gifted the Kenna Button Top pattern through Ravelry.

And here's what I received from my swapper, Deborah:

50g of Naturally Waikiwi 4ply Prints in Khaki; an 'A' shaped notepad and pen for me; an iron-on applique and matching buttons for each of the girls and also for bubs; and I was gifted the Lacy Leaves Baby Hat & Booties pattern.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we're nearing the middle of the next month, I'm expecting my next yarn club installments in the next week or two, so here's what came in last month's packages:

From Vintage Purls:
Photo borrowed from someone else's stash (as I didn't take one myself before eating the goodies)
100g VP sock yarn in colourway Mariana; Anchor Me sock pattern to suit; box of Pebbles (sort of a Cadbury version of M&Ms); silk zipped purse; little yarn monster (mine is all white with blue - I think - shorts); and the mandatory 'VP Sock Yarn Club Winter 2012' badge.

From Red Riding Hood Yarns (I chose to go with the boy's club this time as I figured that my big girls can wear any colours and I have a lot of girly colours already!):
Photo borrowed from the RRHY FaceBook photo album (yet another lack of photo from me before eating!)
200g (total) RRHY "Belle" 8ply superwash - 100g in Brown, 50g each in light and dark green; Leaf Hat & Mittens pattern by Sheryl Greenfield to suit (I also got the Cupcake Hat & Mittens pattern as you can choose to pay a little extra to receive both the girls' and boys' patterns); set of picinic-themed stitch markers from Angel Inspired; and a yummy chocolate Picinic bar.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There's two KALs happening on Ravelry that I really want to take part in.  One is for Jodulbug yarn and the other is for Olive & Emma yarn (both of which I have yarn and projects ready for). 

But as I committed myself to that scarf, I haven't been able to join in any KALs yet.  Though for the last two weeks (the school holidays, where I've had a bit more home time/knitting time) I have forced a monogamous relationship with it, which has really paid off...

I've gone from this:
Just over 1 1/2 pattern repeats (each repeat being 64 rows of 192 stitches!)

to this:
Just about 7 1/2 pattern repeats (I timed myself and the fastest I could do a row was 5mins - you figure out how many hours I've spent on it so far!)

...in just under two weeks.

The plan is to knit until I run out of yarn. The pattern says to do 9 repeats in total which I might pass by half a repeat.

Fortunately for me, both KALs are running until the end of August so I should still have time to join in once I finish the scarf.  Though, Jo (from Jodulbug Creations) is doing a spot prize draw this week for any project entered in the Jodulbug yarn KAL (whether finished or just started) so I was thinking I might just cast on her yarn tonight being that close to finishing the scarf anyway...
(once I pass the 8th repeat - I was 4 rows away from it this morning!)

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I've had to buy some new clothes in the last two weeks.  I'm at that point where all my tops are just a little too short to cover the 'bump' (I usually wear low-cut jeans/pants so they sit under my tum and saves on buying maternity bottoms), which doesn't matter when you're at home but can be embarrassing when going out!  I'm just glad that modern fashion is all long tops now and stretchy ones too as it's a lot cheaper than buying maternity clothes that will only get worn for another 6-7 weeks.

Baby bump at 33 weeks

We're almost at the count-down now and I still don't have my office/sewing room turned into a baby room.  I've still got basically no clothes for the baby, but I'm counting on some hand-me-downs from my SILs that have been promised (mostly boys stuff, though).  I will be knitting something for bubs out of the Jodulbug yarn as well - the first knitted item for my own baby, how useless am I!?

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So, what stuff have you been up to lately?  Please link me to your blog if you have one as I'm in need of some fresh blog-reading!


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