Knitting, My Week in Pictures

Week 13.40 – Pete and Dave visit Edinburgh

Week 40 (30 Sep to 6 Oct) saw lots of excitement, good and bad.

Firstly, MissKatja started Nursery proper this week. Her first full 5 hour days. She’s not sure yet, and tends to swing between the excitement of all those toys and other kids to play with and the terror at being left behind.

A traumatic morning = a cuddly afternoon #silverlining
2031001 – A traumatic morning = a cuddly afternoon #silverlining

Tuesday was particularly hard on her, she thought it was the end of the world when Papa left for work in the morning and then I took her to her last “settling” session, a three hour one at the nursery. I felt so guilty leaving her there with her little heart breaking. The upshot was an afternoon filled with cuddles which was nice.

Red door #polwarth
2031003 – Red door #polwarth

Two balls down and more than half way #carnaby
20131003 – Two balls down and more than half way #carnaby

With the girl in nursery I’ve more time, which is great for the web project I’m working on, and also great for the knitting projects. I’m now over half-way through my Carnaby, which I’m hoping to wear soon. Still hating the yarn and still not a fan of knitting box stitch, no matter how much I love the effect. I’ve also figured out that the skirt is going to be much longer than expected – really should have done a swatch!

No way poorly MissKatja is letting go of the necessities - dummy, blankie and dolly!
20131005 – No way poorly MissKatja is letting go of the necessities – dummy, blankie and dolly!

Unfortunately the excitement of nursery got too much for the girl and she succumbed to a nasty cold. Cue fevers and sleepless nights and so I kept her home on Friday. She spent most of the day just lying on my chest. Such a change – you really can tell when she’s sick the poor love. On Friday night she decided she wanted the doll that Jenny had given her for her birthday. She cuddled it for a while and then sat it in front of her, put it’s hand to it’s mouth and made the doll blow kisses. The cutest thing ever! Blowing kisses is the latest big thing here!

Pete and Dave at the Caley last night
20131006 – Pete and Dave at the Caley Sample Room

We met up with Pete and Dave who are on holiday from Melbourne. Was great to see the guys and we popped down to our local for a thoroughly pleasant dinner. It’s so lovely to get out, you don’t really realise how seldom you do so until you get a chance!

MissKatja at the Caley is more interested in Mum's phone than the selection of beers
20131006 – MissKatja at the Caley is more interested in Pete’s phone than the selection of beers

And MissKatja was feeling a lot more herself which is lovely to see. After such a rough time for her it’s so nice to finish the week with the sound of her giggles.

Craft, Crochet, Knitting, sewing, Tatting

WIPS Whipped

I’ve had a particularly productive few of weeks here. I’ve managed to finished 4 projects!

There’s not one but two hats for my brand new niece. A Yoda hat and a viking hat.

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As well as a cowl, which is yet to be photographed and my first ever pair of socks.


So what do you do when you’ve finished a project? Cast on another of course! I’ve cast on another cowl – both cowls will get sent to their intended victims recipients at the same time. I’ve also wound the yarn for a carnaby skirt but so far have resisted casting it on. And I’ve decided on a pattern for my next pair of socks, again resisting the urge to cast on just yet (have to choose the yarn anyway).

This leaves me with 4 and a half current fibre WIPs (the half has been on hold for over 2 years and I’m debating whether or not to frog or to try to salvage by combining what I’ve done so far with another pattern…) I mentioned this fact on twitter today and was promptly labelled a lightweight. I didn’t mention the two sewing WIPs, I don’t think that would have improved my standing! Apparently the grown up knitters have oodles of WIPs, which I find stressful just thinking about although it must be said that one of the grown up knitters I know is craft-monogamous.

I started out being craft-monogamous myself, only allowing one WIP per craft. I found that it helped me to get things finished as I was hitting the boredom slump and the other patterns started to call my name. Eventually I relented, I think it was when I realised that the can’t start until I’ve finished was sapping some of the fun as I doggedly avoided the project-from hell yet couldn’t start the next one. Boy was that a slippery slope! Still I try to stem the tide by searching for the next pattern, that tends to kill an hour or so of cast-on itch.

So how about you? Are you craft-monogamous or WIP happy? How many WIPs do you have on the go? Any chance you’ll ever finish them?

Finished Projects, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

Week 13.31 – Fair Isle Finished

Week 31 already! And a quick checks shows that I’m currently 19 weeks behind in my weekly posts. Hmm, not so good – lots of work to do to catch that lot up! I maintain that the reason for this is the gorgeous summer weather we’ve been having, it’s been so long that the novelty is yet to wear off.

So week 31 saw me finally finish knitting up the super secret fair isle project. Great news, except for all the horrid ends that I’ve to sew in. My swatch made me think that carrying them up the side wouldn’t work – I think if I were to do another I’d try to twist them up the side rather than break them.

Knitting finished. Time to sew in all the ends #fairisle
20130729 – Knitting finished. Time to sew in all the ends #fairisle

It took me 3 days to get the ends sewn in. If there hadn’t been a deadline I reckon they’d still be attached! The end result, BTW is absolutely gorgeous and I’ll show you as soon as I’m allowed to.

The ends! #knitting #fairisle
20130731 – The ends! #knitting #fairisle

I also cut into some very happy fabric with the intention of making a new cot bumper for Katja’s playpen. It’s currently sitting on my sewing machine waiting for me to fgure out just how I’m going to sew it all together and maintain perfectly straight lines.

Happy fabric #sewing
20130729 – Happy fabric #sewing

Katja is walking like a champ now. She seemed to give up for a week or so when her grandparents were visiting, but now she’s walking about 75% of the time. Such a cute walk, kind of like taking steps to not fall over.

Self portrait #misskatja
20130803 – Self portrait #misskatja

Craft, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

Week 13.27 – Lemoncello and German

Week 27 from July 1st to July 7th was one of glorious weather in Edinburgh. The city is truly magnificent when the sun shines, it’s just a pity that it shines so rarely! Mum retired this week, a major milestone in her life and kind of a watershed in mine. I’ve also had some distressing news from home which makes me feel every centimetre of the distance between Edinburgh and Melbourne, but I shan’t dwell on that now as I’m hoping for better news later in the week.

I’ve started playing with Duolingo to learn German. It’s kind of language learning by game play and so far I’m really enjoying it – I wonder if we’ll ever get to the point where more and more is taught in such a manner, imagine being able to earn history or physics by playing games. I’m up to level 6 so far and have 196 words apparently. The important thing is that I’m doing a little bit each day, currently I’m on an 8 day streak.

I’m still working on the cardigan for Katja, not much to go now – I could really get it finished in a few short hours, but I’ve been waylaid by a super secret fair isle project. I’ve never worked fair isle before so naturally I’ve opted to do a project that will test me – fair isle in the round and a small diameter. I’ve worked a practice swatch in the round. Can’t wait to show you but it will need to wait until I get the OK to do so.

Last night I did the final step to get my lemoncello ready. I started this process backin March and I have to say the results are rather awesome. I’ll do a post with a recipe at some point cos I’m definitely going to be doing this again!

And last night poor Katja wasn’t well, she’s had a bit of a fever and cold the last couple of days. Still she seems to have pretty much worked out how to stand on her own. I think the combination of being ill (teething again?) and this exciting new skill were too much, we didn’t get to seep until 3am. I reckon she’ll be walking by the end of the month. It remains to be seen which country she takes her first steps in and whether she does so before or after her Oma and Opa arrive.

Big girl can feed herself :)
130701 – Big girl can feed herself 🙂

130702 – Yellow – saw these in a second hand shop and they looked so bright and happy that I would have bought them if they’d been in my size.

Love my amethyst stitch markers from SpinPretty
130703 – Love my amethyst stitch markers from SpinPretty

Don't trust the cardboard wine carriers from @marksandspencer like this poor guy did #waste
130704 – Don’t trust the cardboard wine carriers from @marksandspencer like this poor guy did #waste. He lost two bottles of wine and made the bus smell like an old man at a bar. I would have been livid!

Home made lemoncello - nom!
130707 – Home made lemoncello – nom!

Craft, Crochet, Knitting, sewing

WIP Wednesday #11

In my last post I talked about the fact that I’ve got 5 projects on the go at the moment. Today I’m going to give a little round-up of where I’m at with the 3 that are actively being worked on.

The cardigan has progressed rather nicely. I’m deep into the lace section, however it’s not been without its frustrations. This is largely due to not paying attention. I’ve found myself having to rip back a number of rows of lace and pick up to correct a rather hideous miscount. Was quite chuffed that not only did I pick up the right number of stitches but I’d also managed to pick up the last row of a repeat. Neat! One and a bit repeats later and I discovered a missed psso from three rows down – this time I’ve managed to drop back down and shimmy the yarn back into place. Was hoping to get this one finished for Saturday, will most likely be a few days late. The pick above was taken when the lace section was half the length it is now. Another 3 inches of lace and we’ll be ready to move onto the arms.



Pond Stacker
The pond stacker is a base that looks like a pond, with a stem that looks like a frog and then three rings to fit over the stem. I’ve finished the bee and ladybird, am almost done with the stem and base which I’ve put on hold until I can make sure they’ll be te right size for all three rings. Next up is the dragonfly. These have turned out rather larger than I expected, but Katja is showing interest in them. I’ve also put bells and rattles into the rings. These must be finished by Friday night!


First socks
My socks have slowed right down. Somehow the prospect of knitting until the end is not as enticing as the challenge of getting the heel done. They’re currently my bus knitting.


260756_900_1So that’s what’s on the needles and hook at the moment.


But there’s another project that needs doing and for that I’d love some ideas from you. I picked up a lovely new lightweight/spring jacket the last time I was in Germany and, well, it’s a tad boring for me! I’d love any ideas you have for how to brighten it up a bit. It’s made of microfibre so has a matt finish. There’s some stitching on it on the back that is the bright red Maier logo and the buttons are a gunmetal grey. There’s no hood and the zipper releases at both ends.

Ideas in the comments please!


Craft, Knitting

Knitting Voodoo

elizabeth3_small2So last Sunday I decided to cast on another project. Yes, I know I have 3 others on the go (and we won’t talk about the fifth that I started on Monday, OK so maybe we will but not just at this second)

The pattern I decided on, after much much searching, was Elizabeth by Georgie Hallam. I’ve done one of Georgie’s patterns before, a gorgeous cross over dress so I know that the patterns are well written. I’m using a cotton from Morris and Sons in Melbourne which is a variegated dusky rose and deep pink and is sooo soft it reminds me of bamboo.

Anyway there I was happily knitting away and getting annoyed at the purl rows as I generally do so I decided to finally teach myself backwards knitting and you know what, it’s not hard! I’m currently reasonably slow with it but I know I’ll speed up with practice.

So feeling rather proud of myself I continue knitting. I’m nearly at the end of this section and decide to count my stitches to double check how many rows I’ve got left. There’s 39 in this part – there’s supposed to be 40.

What the??? Some searching and I found the culprit. A missing kfb (knit front and back) three rows down. If you look at this picture you’ll notice the horizontal bars on the left side and you can see that there’s a bar missing on the right just under the dark pink row.


Feck! A missing yarn over is easy enough to fix, but a missing kfb??? I searched around on the oracle known as YouTube and didn’t find much other than one 8 minute video entitled how to fix a kfb and showing an image of a raglan (exactly what I’m doing but 8 minutes…) so I headed over to the even better oracle that is Twitter and cried there.

I was soon met with numerous suggestions including tink back or unknit – not going to happen, a lot of rows there and I hate ripping back and picking up if I can avoid it. Slot in an unobtrusive m1 – a good suggestion but I reckon it *should* be properly fixable. Drop down and pick up the stitches – easy enough with straight stockinette or garter, but to pick up and redo the kfb?

So with my heart in my throat I did this:


I dropped those stitches right off. I then started playing the YouTube video that promised to fix things. Mistake! The video which seemed to have the answer ended up giving me the option of tinking back or adding in m1s. Gahhh! There I was with dropped stitches, missing kfbs (2 of them now) and a baby due to wake up in the next 15mins.

I pulled out the Google and did an image search and finally found what I was looking for over at TECHknitting – a diagram of what is going on with a kfb. As you can see this diagram shows exactly what each part of each strand is doing. Click on it to see the full page on TECHknitting, complete with descriptions and other useful stuff.

I assumed the concentration position of tongue sticking out and held firmly by teeth, grabbed a crochet hook and started prodding. After only 10 minutes this is what I had:


Success! A smidge tight but that should relax out as I go and will disappear with blocking. I’m sooo proud of myself 🙂 True and proper knitting voodoo there!

My Week in Pictures

Week 13.12 – Brrr!

Week 12 from March 18th to 24th sees some ghastly weather and some new shiny teeth.

Even in this horrid weather this is a pretty awesome view #edinburgh
130318 – Even in this horrid weather this is a pretty awesome view #edinburgh

Glad I'm inside!
130318 – Glad I’m inside!

Been raining/snowing like that for 6 hours now #cold
130318 – It’s been raining/snowing like that for 6 hours now #cold

Morning cuddles
130319 – Morning cuddles

As the Big Yin says - get yerself a sexy raincoat!
130319 – As the Big Yin says – get yerself a sexy raincoat!

In progress
130321 – In progress. Colour Affection

Cup of tea
130321 – Cup of tea

Tatted necklace #tatting
130321 – Tatted necklace #tatting

130323 – Teeth!