Sunday, 28 March 2010

Conquering curves

So here's my first curvy block, a circle piece for a baby quilt I am working on. As you can see it's rather unisex as we don't know the sex of the baby on the way.

However I think I will have something girly in the works again soon as my sister (who is celebrating her 30th birthday today - Happy birthday sis!), is very excited to be expecting her second daughter and sixth baby in July/August this year. That's right, I have a lot of nephews! My oldest niece (my sister's first child) spent the weekend with me last weekend and I used Aunty privaledges, keeping her up late to teach her how to sew (she is 8yrs old). I showed her how to use the embroidery machine and how to change colours etc. so under my guidance, she was able to do most of the design herself. We embroidered an owl onto some brown canvas, which we then turned into a little book bag with some owly lining from Spotlight. I didn't have time for a photo before she took it home but she was mighty proud of it. I am guilty of using the quality time with her to test out a design for a ravelry swap item though, so a similar bag will be churned out again shortly and I'll post pics this time!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Warning: Kitten photo!

Milo 5 months, originally uploaded by austysmum.

Okay, so it's not at all sewing, quilting or knitting related but I couldn't help but add another photo of my littlest baby to the blog. He is starting to look more like the Cornish Rex he is, now that his fur is finally growing. For a while there he looked half Sphynx, but now his fur is getting longer, thicker and starting to curl up like those adorable frizzy whiskers!

I never liked that strange stripe down his nose, I'd prefer it if it weren't there at all, or if it were more solid, like it was actually meant to be there. However now that I know his personality, it really does suit him - he's all perfectly sweet and cuddly, but has a mischievious streak, just like that messy little white streak down his nose! My hand has several holes to prove it but for some reason he only gets really rough with me, despite the fact I.m the one who saves him from Austy and that I'm the one he likes to snuggle up with. Hmmm go figure!

We had a rough few wekks with him last month with him vomiting all the time and then I thought that perhaps it was due to me switching dry foods from his usual Hills Science Diet to a supermarket variety when I couldn't get to the vets or pet shop to buy more of the Hills stuff. I switched back to Hills, and our carpets have been safe since, so now I know we won't be making that mistake again. He is fed mainly a raw meat diet but has the biscuits to nibble on the rest of the time as we clear away the meat after meal times so it doesn't get too germy (or smelly). I am suspecting some kind of grain/cereal allergy as those supermarket foods tend to be much higher in grains and cereals and many actually have them listed as their top ingredient even though cats are primarily carnivores, unlike dogs who will do well with some vegetable matter in their diet.

Milo is fitting in perfectly with our little family, he and Madelyn are a delight to watch as they have formed such a strong bond and play together so beautifully. Somehow Milo knows she is a baby and is ever so gentle with her. The funniest moments are when he waits in ambush mode and pounces on her as soon as she toddles past, and she squeals with delight. Austin still smothers him a bit but Milo has now become a part of his bedtime routine. We hop up onto his bed (Austin, Madelyn and I) to read a bedtime story and Milo will jump up and snuggle on the quilt while we read. When I take Madelyn out, Milo stays and when I come back to check on Austy after putting Maddy to bed, there is Milo snuggled under Austy's tight little grip - he has his stuffed monkey Montgomery in one arm, Milo in the other. Milo takes my precense as his cue that it's safe to climb out of bed without being pinned down again.

And onto crafty stuff, I have a couple of knitting swaps on the go still, almost near completion, and lots of babies on the way in our little circle of friends. Tonight I am tackling curved piecing for a baby quilt, so I promise to have some quilty stuff to show off soon, along with twin newborn knits.... aaaawww.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

On the go

That could be said about many things in my life at the moment - my daughter (she never sits still for asecond these days!), me (all that running around chasing her and her big brother) or all the projects I am working on. I think I have a problem - I can't stick to just one thing! Of course, this means I haven't had anything finished to show here for quite a while, as nothing IS finished!
So to avoid dissapearing off the face of blogland, I give you some WIPs. First a little ruffled bolero for Maddy. This just needs some more seaming and the ruffled band all around. It is made from the super soft and sheeny Sirdar baby bamboo which is a wool/bamboo blend and I love it! It will give a little warmth without making her sweat when we have those strange Autumn days which aren't really warm, but not cool either.
Next up I have a secrect swap project. This little bit of lace knitting is for the Ravelry MCN Mummies 100g challenge swap, finally knitting up that knittery 4ply merino that has been sitting in my stash for a few years waiting to be turned into something special.

Next we have some longies for Maddy, now named the "Odd Leg Longies". I was planning to make shorties but got carried away as I liked how it was knitting up, then of course I ran out of wool. I did the green band thinking I could work an embellishment all the way around and make them look like they were supposed to be done that way, but now I am considering ripping them back and turning them into shorties after all. The thing is, she doesn't have any longies for the coming winter and these have a bit of extra length in them, so I kind of like them as longies, I just need to learn to live with that strange look... This one has been relegated to the "don't know what to do with" pile.

Here's the wool as I reskiened it after dyeing - I think it's one of my favourite dye jobs yet.

And I am still plugging away at this little top, hopefully she will get some wear out of it before the weather crisps up. It's so pretty, and when I have finished my 100g swap I am sure this will seam easy in comparison. The problem isn't so much the lace pattern but that the knitting pattern just says to "keep working in pattern" while decreasing for the armholes which is really hard to do when you can't work out whether to start with a k2tog, or a Sl1 or a K or a whatever! I am up to the armhole shaping on the front and have one more sleeve to go. I am not sure what to do with the neck shaping just yet as I am trying to modernise it and make it look "normal" as the pattern is from my antique patons collection with a button either side of the neck... just weird.

And some prettiness that arrived in my mailbox today. I bought the stitch markers thinking I might pop them in with my 100g swap parcel, but now they are in my hands I think I like them too much! I do have something else planned for my swap partner though. The bracelet looking things are actually row counters. The purple one is for me (I love amethysts) and the pink one for my Ravelry Pink Swap partner. The fancy bead on the pink one is divine! Madelyn helped me try it on before her nap - I wish I got a photo of that, I had the purple one on and she had the pink one and thought it was wonderful. Gosh I love having a little girl to appreciate the pretty things.

And onto some sewing - Madelyn has become quite a houdini at getting out of her nappies. I think she will be easy to toilet train as she already points to her nappy and says "wees" or "pohs" or "tinky napay" (stinky nappy) as soon as it's soiled. I decided to do her some more AIO's for naps with snaps instead of velcro to keep the cot clean, but the other day I found she had taken THIS one off and left it all pooey and yucko on the family room rug and went and sat down with a book - eeeeeEEEEEEEEEEWWWWW!!! Luckily she didn't get too far before I noticed and cleaned everything up but my gosh! Now what am I supposed to do? Austy could never get out of snap nappies!

And finally a little top for Madelyn from Ottobre again. It is part of a set I am making - the ruffled jeans to match are still on the ironing board awaiting a wasit band though. Excuse the discusting backyard - it will all be lawn after Easter (I have been promised) but for now it is a dust bowl with retaining bricks lying about the place. Not that it worries Madelyn who seems to be attracted to dirt.

Woops, the colour of this little top (and the white pants!) is not really condusive to mud pie baking!