Sunday, December 7, 2008

More knitting...

Look! Jasper's jumper is all done! I finally sewed up the last underarm hole this afternoon, while having a cuppa with my Mum. He's actually already worn it, despite the holey pits - but it felt good to finish it off totally, even though I wasn't super happy with how I did so. Those final seams don't look as good as they could, but hey, who's going to see?! Better just to be done, cos my attention and motivation had already moved on to other things...

I think he looks pretty good - I'm still loving the colours...

Last week, seeing as Jasper's jumper was almost (but not quite!) finished, I had the urge to start something bigger, with plenty of mindless knitting. What I really want to make is this Jo Sharp cardigan from her Knit 6 book (see the third piece along, with the two buttons?), but instead I'm knitting the one in the photo (above), from her Knit 1 book, cos I bought the yarn for it years ago and have never gotten around to knitting it up. Feels good to use what I have, but I still want to knit the other one, so I think I will, once I finish this one, and then I'll have two handknit cardigans, right when I'll need all the cardigans I can get, breastfeeding through autumn and winter!

Incidentally, Jo Sharp just put out another book, Knit 7, but I really can't see myself making anything from it! Bit too frou frou for my current stage of life - what would a posset look like on one of those pieces, I wonder? Or bits of dinner from when one of my kids has grabbed me?? =)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent x 3

I thought I had a day up my sleeve, when it came to Advent, so I was caught by surprise, this morning, when I realised that today was actually the 1st of December. Only last night I'd been online looking for ideas of things to put in our Advent calendar. Kids Craft Weekly always has cool stuff, so after paying a bit more attention (as opposed to ignoring the fortnightly emails - life's too busy to deal with all the stuff in my inbox!), I decided to buy the Christmas Craft pdf. Lots of fun ideas in there - you could get it too!

Now, what I'm wondering is whether three Advent calendars is too many?! The kids have one from my parents last year, where each day you get to velcro on one more character in the nativity. And I really liked this idea...

...sticking a star onto the night sky each day until Christmas Day. So in a bit of unexpected free space today, I cleaned up the loungeroom and created a space for our Peruvian candle-lit nativity scene.

Piper can stick a star on tonight.

I found the idea in this book, Crafts Through the Year by Thomas and Petra Berger, which I found at Brunswick Bound. (Man, that is a fantastic bookshop, if you get a chance to wander round in there! Be warned, you will probably leave with less cash, but some beautiful books and ideas!). Lovely book, but suited more to the Northern Hemisphere. Still, I didn't want to pass it up.
Anyway, that's only two advent calendars! The third is one I sewed from a panel years ago, but it has pockets, and I like the idea of putting little things in there, like occasional chocolate but also fun things to do together as a family. Lots of idea out there, once you look a little - I might post the list I threw together here once I format it a little. So I think it would be fun, but still, three calendars - is that overkill??

Monday, December 1, 2008

Creative weekend

I've been working away on bits and pieces for Christmas. Skirts for presents and tree ornaments for some friends and family. I brought this green fabric and white buttons back from Canada (good old Tanells and the MCC thrift store!) and had the idea of making little trees for ages. Then I rediscovered this tutorial, which simplified things a lot - always helpful when one is making more than a few. I do have a tendency to complicate things!

So this mess...

...becomes this...

...becomes this! I was eyeing up the bottlebrush when I took this - it's such a christmassy flower, but I don't think it will last til the 25th. I'll have to wait and see.

So, little trees, still under production, but I've got enough to send to Canada now (shhh, don't tell those people). I'll hang them in a window in the front of our family newsletter, which I have also managed to pull together this weekend. Bummer the printer has run out of ink!

Managed to make some girly skirts for a few of Piper's friends. Squeezed the sewing in amidst breakfasts and dinner prep and colouring in. Little bits of time are more on offer round here than large chunks. I really really love the simplicity of this pattern - it really facilitates giving a handmade gift which hasn't taken too much out of you! Thankyou, Liesl.

Last but not least, we were creative in the kitchen, with Piper making her first ever batch of pikelets and cooking them too, until the idea of a wrestle with Dad became more interesting. She did really well - good to be reminded that her capacity to do stuff increases without me realising, and new possibilities emerge...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two parcels in one day!

Coming home from swimming in Pakenham with Jane and the kids, swung past the post office to get the mail, and blow me down if there's not TWO schmancy parcels all for me!

I knew what this one was - fun Little Red Rding Hood Rosapomar ribbon for more skirts...

But the second one was my package for the Christmas swap! I saved it up til after the kids were in bed! This...

...became this! Wow! I was so excited! I felt like Christmas had come early, which it had!!!

A handmade card, chocolate candy, hot chocolate, fabric, a ceramic heart made by women in Sth Africa, quilting pins, sock yarn, bamboo dpns, a sock pattern, a bag pattern, a story, AND.... very first ever pair of hand-knit socks! I feel bowled over by Kristina's generosity! I love them! They fit me perfectly, so much so that I feel like Cinderella wearing the glass slippers!

I haven't taken them off yet! Thank you soooo much, Kristina, my Norwegian friend - you're ace!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Some completion

One finished quilt. Now I'll wait and see if it's adopted - no guarantees!

Piper took this one of Jas...

I made two Oliver and S Lazy Days skirts, a mermaid one for Piper, and a pink/green apples one for a friend turning five - forgot to get a photo of it before we'd wrapped it up! It was VERY satisfying to wake up in the morning and come out to two finished skirts, completed the night before. This pattern comes highly recommended for its ease, and I love that it's free - love the generosity of the craft community... Note to self: buy more fun ribbon!

Drawing today, loving watching Piper's creativity in action. She doesn't say she can't draw anymore, which is ace. I always love what she comes up with - today, dressing up a rubbing of a queen, above, and drawing lions in cages and a witch in a cave, with lights and darkness!

I attempted some too, but added too much, in the end. Still, the simple process of drawing is good in itself, hey...

Our art line in the loungeroom, to respect the creative output of my children and be inspired!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Swap package ready!

As I mentioned a while ago, I signed up for this Christmas swap, and seeing as the deadline for posting is today, I have finally pulled together my package! In doing so, it did strike me as odd that I was doing this for someone I don't know at all, and not for my friends, but there you go. Perhaps I can pull together something as bitsy and fun for said friends for Christmas...

For my unknown Norwegian friend, I brought together:
> Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre in Verona and Ripe
> DPNs
> Kiwi rock candy from the Gembrook Lolly Shop
> Lipton Chai Latte packets
> Toast/toasty fingerless mitts pattern from A Friend to Knit With
> A description of an Aussie Christmas
> And a handcut snowflake tree ornament from a bloke who works at the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada.

Pretty global gift, in the end, with stuff from Australia, Japan, the US and Canada! Maybe that makes for too many airmiles!

Ready to be posted to Linda... Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Handmade love for Jasper Sage

I've been working on a jumper/sweater for Jasper lately, with yarn I brought back from Canada. I couldn't start it over there cos I needed to finish all those hats! I love the colours, browns and rust red, and how it's knit in the round - less finishing to do! I bought the yarn and pattern as a kit from KPixie, but you could also get the pattern off Ravelry. I bought enough yarn for one for Piper too, but the colours were terribly garish - not how they looked on my computer, so I sent that yarn back. This sweater is going in spurts, but I think I'll get to finishing it soon - I seem to be in a completion stage of life, the last few days. Although I couldn't bear knit any of it today, given it was 35 degrees!

And here's what I did two Sundays ago - laid out my whole fabric stash into vague colour collections, mainly just to reaquaint myself with what I have, but out of this mess came the idea for a quilt for Jasper. Well, not the idea, cos I've been thinking of that for a while, but at least a pragmatic direction!

I had thought at first to focus on a chocolate/emerald/turquoise kind of colour scheme, and bought a few bits, such as the elephants, with this in mind. But when I'd laid out all my fabric, this is what materialised for Jasper.

A neat stack of squares, ready to go.

The elephants, and some of the other fabric, came from A Little Goodness, but some of the other stuff has been with me for years, some of it ten years!!! I think that's why this project feels so satisfying, to FINALLY turn these odd bits of material into something of value. I have lots of ideas for using up more of my stash - I don't want to keep it for another ten years...

Strips ready to sew together - which I managed to do yesterday, and I managed to layer it all together today, so soon I'll post a completed project, right when Jasper has no use for a blanket whatsoever! Until it cools down a bit, anyway!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Knitted gifts

I finally get to blogging this! I had the idea, for ages, in Canada, that I wanted to knit a hat for each of my nieces and nephews. I didn't get going with it for a while, and then became pregnant, and didn't feel like doing anything crafty after that. However, then September rolled around, the fog lifted and suddenly I was back in a crafting space, so you could say I entered into a flurry of activity to get these hats done before our early Thanksgiving gathering on the 3rd of October! I was really happy with how they turned out, and how unique they all are. I think the kids appreciated that they each had their own hat in a different style. They're not perfect, but I hope they communicated in a small way that I'll miss seeing my nieces and nephews...

Here's Piper modelling them all (left to right, in rows): Mason's hat, Zach's hat, Ty's hat, Rae's hat, Ty's hat again, Makenna's hat, Makenna's hat again, Cassie's hat, and Taelyn's hat.

The recipients.

A shot of all these beautiful kids together...





Sharon's 1st quilt!

Wanted to document my sister-in-law's first ever quilt, for her daughter Taelyn! I went with her to Marv and Tanell's fabric shop, and loved watching the process of choosing fabric. I love how eclectic her choices were, and how they work together. Most of all, I love that she's into making stuff, and how that means we have even more in common. You're ace, mate!

Here's the fabric...

Wielding the rotary cutter.

Getting the sewing machine going!

All while Gord entertained the kids!

And here's the quilt top, completed in a day or two, I think. The whole quilt was done in less than a week! She is a Funk, after all! Wow, top job. Makenna's is next!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lovely snail mail

Look at this gorgeous mail my mate Anna sent me (and Piper). Bit of Frankie, bit of Mixtape, a homemade colouring sheet for Piper, a handwritten letter, stamps on the parcel. A taste of home doesn't get much better than this, especially coming at the end of our time here in Canada! Thanks mate!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Christmas Swap

I signed up for this Christmas Swap recently. It involves sending your swap partner:
> Yarn, needles and a pattern
> Something warm to drink
> A Christmas story from your country
> Christmas candy
> And a personal gift.

Around $20 to spend. Should be doable, and, of course, fun to get a package in the mail...