Sunday, 10 June 2007

Heads down, needles up!

Well that's what I wish I could say has been happening around here for the last week or so, but unfortunately that is not the case. Poor Austy. Lately, just as he gets over one illness, he comes down with the next. So instead of knitting, I have been sitting with a sad little toddler curled up on my lap, or tending to him hourly through the night. Finally the antibiotics got rid of his chest infection, and whilst his nose is still a bit runny, he's much, much happier! He also cut his two bottom 2y old molars yesterday and today which could have been part of the problem. So hopefully the knitting needles can come out and get to full utilisation soon! But hey, that's what I'm here for, right? To cuddle him when he's sick and play with him when he's not? He's just too cute, so resistance is useless anyway!

Talking about cute, the other day I was trying to cheer him up, so put his "Tigger Ick" on (that's Austy language for his Tigger movie soundtrack - Ick = music). He promptly reached out to me saying "Hand! Hand!", and took my hand and started dancing (imagine a toddler running as fast as he can on the spot and that's Austy dancing). He twirled and whirled and we danced in circles around the toys on the floor, then when the song finished he pulled my hand to his lips and gave it a sweet litttle kiss. Hows that for charming?! I can tell already, he will be a real ladies' man when he grows up.

Now back onto the knitting.. Austy's Zoe Mellor star jumper is FINISHED! Well the knitting part is anyway - I stil have to stitch up the side seams. I know it took me ages, but just as I'd finished a piece of it I'd start something new so it sat idle in the bottom of my knitting bag for quite a bit of the time it was on my side bar as "on the needles". I love it, even though the neck had to be done three times over (thanks to silly me attempting to do it when tired and snotty - thanks for the cold Austy) as I stitched up both shoulders first by accident, then tried to knit it in the round before realising that didn't work and had to pull it all undone, along with the shoulder join and start afresh! Pic to come when it's all stitched up and on my little model.

I'm glad the star jumper is off the needles now, as it means I can get stuck into more woolly knits - in particular my lamb's pride meets Jo Sharp raglan jumper. Now that's what I want running through my fingers on these cold nights! I was a bit over working with cotton, and the Lamb's Pride is just perfect for this weather. I am 3/4 the way through the front but only knitting a few rows here and there. I tend to do 1 full pattern repeat then put it down, using it to keep me occupied when I know I won't have time to fully get stuck into something. The repeats make for great start and finish points so I can't just get carried away and forget the housework. I tell myself one repeat, then do the washing, one repeat then clean up the kitchen etc. It's making it a slow knit, but at least the house is staying somewhat organised.

I also just finished this pair of longies for a newborn, about to be born in a few weeks. I think these should keep his legs nice and warm in the cold winter air. Made with my hand dyed organic merino that I showed you a few posts ago. They are so tiny and made me seriously clucky knitting them!

And last but not least, my first shot at felting. I am making Austy a pair of felted uggies, after running around the shops looking for a pair in size 6 to no avail. They only have baby ones (not real wool anyway) up to size 4 or 5 and then they have kids boots (to fit a 4yr old +). Austy is in between. So instead he gets blue ugg boots made with love by Mum.
They WERE going to be brown (roasted coffee lambs pride as shown). I even knitted the sole (twice... I read the pattern wrong the first time!) before realising that I only had half the wool I needed. I madly searched the internet for retailers in Australia, finding only the one I bought it from and they had all sold out, bar a ball or two in vanilla, no longer stocking the stuff! So the brown will be put aside for a teddy bear or something... Luckily my Bendigo Woollen Mills order arrived the day I started the boots and in it was a couple of balls I'd picked out for ITE4 and a third ball of dusty blue I chose to make more longies for Austy, that also suited the ugg boot pattern perfectly.
Now I KNOW I should have knitted a swatch and felted it first but I am impatient remember, and wanted to knit the boots straight away. So I am crossing my fingers that the big bold "HANDWASH only" written on the label means it felts up nicely. It will be a test run before I make the tote bag for the exchange (with the same wool but different colours). It is a BIG needle knit (I took half the night getting my head around the concept of using DPN's as big as my thumb) so they take about 1 night each. So I figure if it doesn't work, all I lose is the bargain ball cost and two nights of knitting, plus I learn a bit on the way. I love the way they are shaping up though and adore the colours so HOPE they work. I will not be leaving the machine alone while they felt, and luckily our machine will still work with the lid open (it's an industrial model) so I can keep a close eye on them! I ran out of wool last night on the second boot (mucked up my yards to metres calculation!) so have to wait on the next Bendigo order top finish them. Luckily it's just the second sole (they have a thick double sole) of the second boot that needs doing and a bit of the cuff that will be hidden by the novelty yarn so it won't matter if the colour is slightly different. Here they are unfelted (and one still on the needles). Big enough to fit ME!!!!

After ignoring my Nanna's ravings about Bendigo wool for years now, I kind of wish I'd listened to her earlier. Nowhere else can you get huge 200g balls of good quality wool so cheaply. I did have them send out a colour card once before, but since I didn't order anything straight away they cut me from their mailing list, so subsequently I couldn't be bothered with them. Thank goodness they finally got up with the times and opened a webstore. They will be making LOADS of sales now. I already have my next order planned out ready to place when my pay comes in. One hat, mittens and scarf set for the boy, coming up!
And for the sewers? I got busy on Friday night scrap or sew night and started on an outfit for Austy's little cousin Zachary who, amazingly is 1 yr old next weekend! Man, did that fly!!!! And I thought Austy's first year zoomed by at warp speed. Now I won't add the pic straight up, but instead here's a link, just in case my little sister is looking on (Katy - stay AWAY from the link... you know you can do it - it looks way better in real life than the picture shows anyway, so just WAIT!) I made the top from the Ottobre 01/2007 issue (I was very lucky to get a subscription for Mothers Day!) and the pants are a very simple Simplicity pattern, I have made about 5 times before (for 6 different toddlers). The print comes from Austy's quilt fabric stash - my favourite of all of them, that I ordered online from equilter. And that quilt? It's coming along block by block.

Man, that was a mammoth post. Note to self: post more OFTEN! Time to get some knitting or sewing done! More on my ITE4 design next week.


Heki said...

Wow that was a long one! Quick note on Bendigo and felting, it DOES felt but can take a little longer than some other yarns. Good Luck! Can't wait to see them all felted/made up.
BTW there will be a little something arriving in the post for you sometime this week ;).

tigerfilly said...

Now they are seriously gorgeous longies. want to dye some wool for me too LOL

Mama Llama said...

If you change your mind, and you want some more Lambs Pride in roasted coffee, just LMK. I'm pretty sure that 2 of my LYS's carry it and I'd send it along to you.

Corrie said...

oh love the longies and yes I agree bendigo is good!

Corrie said...

oh love the longies and yes I agree bendigo is good!

Cass said...

Those longies are CUTE!!! Lucky newborn!!!