Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Milos

Another one finished.
Because a kid can never have too many warm vests in winter.

I used an incredibly cheap yarn from Big W that had a very pretty colourway.
All up this was about $5 to make.
A craft the husband can be happy about.
And sometimes you just have to knit through the stash and make something practical.

My knitting journey began two years ago when I first discovered a crafty forum called Ravelry.
I had been reading craft blogs after the birth of my first daughter wishing I could create something as beautiful as what I was seeing.
Something for my daughter and future children to cherish.
With a lot of help from my mother in law and my friend the youtube, I got click clacking on those needles and here I am only two years later pumping these little vests out in just under a week.
I'm in love with knitting. And crochet a close second.
It is relaxing and exciting and I just feel so proud to see my little babies rugged up in their winter woolies.

So next year..
I will knit for myself.

(Photo courtesy of Sadie Dayton on Ravelry)

I will tackle those cables and I might even learn to knit a tension gauge while Im at it.
It will be challenging but so rewarding and I will kick the frump out of my wardrobe.
This is the sylvi pattern that I found on pinterest and immediately lusted after.
Isnt it gorgeous?
No longer is knitting about neon, acryclic, puffy sleeved somethings from the 80s.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Miss Jane.

Nothing beats that finished project high.
The showing off, the pride.
And Ive been feeling it a lot lately so hooray!
Im getting stuff done.

Introducing the 'Jane' cardigan.
Pattern by none other than tikki.
Who else of course?
Knit with the gorgeous Woolganics Organic Merino.
Modelled by my sleepy child.

The yarn is so soft and fluffy.
And I think this will be perfect for Spring when I just feel compelled to throw an extra layer over my kiddo when the sun dips behind a cloud.

Not much sewing going on at my house lately, can't seem to find my mojo for it in winter.
I like to sit in my recliner under a blanket when the kids are asleep
and knit, tweet and watch various ghastly tv programs.
Sewing requires getting cold at my desk next to the fridge.
I like my crafts cosy. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Unfinished Business.

Sometimes we all just need a shove along to finish our projects.
I certainly do.
My knitting and sewing pile sometimes gets bigger than a basket of washing on Fridays and yet I continue to spy new and exciting patterns that I desperately want to start.
So Im going to share what Im up to in the hope someone will encourage me to finish.

Here is yet another milo.
Knit in extremely cheap and splitty yarn from Big W but thats okay because the colours are cute and rustic and this will be for around the house to keep little chests and tummies warm.

The great thing about these milo vests is that they get worn EVERY DAY.
Im not kidding.
So using a cheap yarn in this instance makes me happy because it will wash and wash and wash without me stressing over every little pilled fibre.
Win, win, win.
Im also pluggin away at the grand blankie of 2012.
And i call it this because its taking me sooo long to get through.

But it is looking gorgeous and I have to wrestle it off miss 3 in order to get some rows done.
It's long enough now to cover my feet but a bit too big to be portable for some travel crochet.
The pattern is from Lucy in the Attic and the yarn was purchased during Spotlight's Christmas Sale at about $2 a pop.
There are 21 colours so roughly a $40 blanket and only about 12 months of my time.
But it will be worth it to see Miss 3's face when it is finished and permanently on her bed.

Would love to know what projects you have on the go?

Linking up to the crafty pursuits of And Sew We Craft.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Not Pink.

Sometimes when I get deep in thought, I think about how I was destined to have two little daughters to call my own. My poor husband is surrounded by a household of pink things and barbie bits and pretty dresses and I know he loves it, but me?
Im in my absolute element.

My favourite colours have always been warm hues and pinks, right from a young age.
Im drawn to it like a bee to honey.
And Im probably one of those mums who dress my girls in a little too much of the colour... but I cant help it.
It's pretty.
Other times when Im deep in thought, I think about what it would be like to have a boy. And I love that thought, knowing that our little family is far from complete.
So I set myself a challenge and knit something non-girly that the girls could wear.
And voila!

Another milo to take joy in.
That tikki is an incredible knitwear designer and Ill say it again.
The milo is my favourite, bestest pattern to love.
So versatile and unisex.
And my biggest girl has worn this
Not kidding.

Until she spilt sauce on it.

Hello hoot, I see you!

And there you have it.

Something not pink.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hello Winter.

Oh gosh my favourite season is here!
Yes, it's winter.
I genuinely don't know anyone else who hearts winter as their fav season quite like me.
But surely I am not the only one.
I love the snow, I love wearing boots, scarves and hoodies, I love uggs, I love climbing into a freshly made bed with flannelette sheets, I love warm and toasty kids in their winter pyjamas, I love knitting in cold weather, I love having dinner at 5pm when it gets very dark, I love that my hair is no longer frizzy, there is no sweat, I love hot chocolates and cups of hot tea, I love babies in fluffy onesies, I love having an excuse to say inside and at home, And therefore developing a relationship with certain tv programmes.
What's not to love?
And to celebrate I stayed up late last night, listening to the rain and crocheting like mad enjoying the peace and quiet from underneath my toasty blanket and my hot cuppa.

I love a project that burns through the stash and is fast and relatively simple.
Something that gives that finished project high quickly is a winner in my books and
already Im planning a few more of these ready to take on our family snow trip in a few weeks.

And speaking of family snow trips, I just might have braved the Aldi snow sale yesterday with all of about 400 other people.
It was madness, but oh so good and cheap.

Happy Winter!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Spring Garden Dress.

This is what happens when indecision creeps its way into my crafty world.

A dress is born that is both knitted and sewn.

Ok it wasnt really indecision, just a big knitting mistake that accidentally turned into something gorgeous. Don't you just love when that happens?
So here is my hot tip for any would-be knitters out there.
CHECK that each ball is of the same dyelot.
That's it.
But I did.not.know.this.
That means those fiddly numbers on the label must all match up.

^^^ See? Matching. ^^^
But of course Im sure you already knew this insider info and Im just showing off my noviceness.
But we all have to learn somehow.
Having taught myself to knit from youtube and books, I somehow managed to miss this step and ended up with an expensive colour line right through the middle of what was supposed to be a Spring Garden Tee.
When balls of yarn have different dyelots, they appear to be the same colour but could very well be slightly different in shade or tone. Which means, like me, you will end up with a notciable line right through your handiwork. D'oh!

So I was on a mission to find the perfect fabric to compliment my expensive cotton yarn and turn my little tee into a dress. And voila!
All I did was measure my little model's waist and times that by one and a half to get my waist measurement and then measured her for length.
No pattern required for the skirt and I love those kind of projects.
The accidentally awesome ones.

Sharing the crafty love by linking up with And Sew We Craft.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Ava Tie Dress.

I love a solid pattern that gets used over and over, time and time again.  
Where the actual pattern becomes so tattered from love and the cost of said pattern compounds per use.
Husband loves that too.
 Let me share with you the Ava Tie Dress by Izzy and Ivy Designs.
First spotted, all lovingly sewn up, over at Narioka many moons ago.

It has a simple construction.
So simple in fact, that when it arrived and I tore open the packaging, I couldnt find the pattern pieces.
Hmmph, ripped off.
Novice Nelly soon realised that to construct this garment, it required the measuring out of a rectangle of fabric which then became the 'tube' of the dress.
Too easy.
It is then shirred at the top end and how good is shirring!
After many attempts I finally got the hang of it and want to shir everything.
Once I wound the elastic thread onto my bobbin for the 10th time, we were good to go.
Tension is everything my friends.
And I do so love a pattern that teaches a new skill and adds to my repertoire as a learning sewist.
Shirring is great because it creates a stretchy, fitted garment without the fuss of carbon paper.
Most excellent.

I prefer the look of this dress with the tie at the back but that's just me.
And here we are in denim this time with little cherries, picked up from Spotlight at 40% off.
Another lovely feature of this pattern is that the designers have included a little sew in label that you can choose to add to your finished garment.

I just love labels on handmade sewing. It takes the finished product to the next level I think and I would really like to get my hands on some personalised ones.
Check out the dodgy lines there on that tie.
I would just like to add that this bottom here dress was one of the first projects I had ever made for my darling little baby daughter back when she was a wee thing.
I didnt know much about sewing. I was borrowing a machine.
And I just wanted to create something with my own hands to express that maternal love.
That was 3 years ago, and I just. cant. stop. crafting. now.
Every day Im creating something, if only for 5 minutes between nappy changes and swimming lessons.
What a journey motherhood has turned out to be.

Im linking up with And Sew We Craft to share the love of all things crafty. Stop by and say hi! It's always good to connect with like minded peeps and enjoy oohing and ahhing over crafty goodness.
My very favourite 'me' thing to do.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The trip that was.

Dear Melbourne,
I adore you.

With all your eclectic and vibrant, people and places.
We walked and walked through laneways and gardens taking it all in. Stopping only to breathe in everything that makes you, unique.

Sitting here pondering, it dawned on me what was different.
It was quiet. As quiet as a city can be.
There were no horns.
No angry pedestrians talking on mobile phones.
Just hushed trendy people moving about the place on trams and by foot.
Oh the trams!
Melbourne, you are peaceful.

Until i found this...

And then I squealed. Really squealed.
Having heard of the guerilla grannies movement that occured earlier in the year, when public spaces suddenly appeared to have been yarn bombed by cheeky crafters, it never occured to me that there might be some left.
Husbands just dont understand but this spot right here, on Lygon St.
This was the moment I fell in love.
With a city.

After devouring the nicest antipasti I have ever had, we moved on to the Museum.
Where matters of the heart will always find me.
A special display on the history of dressmaking in Melbourne.
More squeals.
More embarrassed looks by the hubs.

We caught a tram to St Kilda where the markets had been washed out.
Sad face.
But not to worry, we were both in a market kind of mood and caught the tram back again to the Queen Victoria Markets where a $2.50 Borek gave us both the yummiest lunch and something we will rave about for many years.
Seriously, nothing is $2.50 anymore.

If ever I live in Melbourne. And we will. One day.
Then only the Queen Victoria Markets will do for our food shopping.
The atmosphere was electric and fast paced and Im not even a good cook.
But there I was admiring the frenched lamb racks like I cook them every Thursday night. 
Mmm nom nom.

Along the way we jumped off the tram at Albert Park for a peekaboo at The Block. Becoming parents has turned us into tv tragics of a night time. And excitement levels were huge when we spotted this address. This time it was the man who squealed. Sort of.
Go team Brad and Lara!
I also popped into the Wool Baa and oohed and ahhed over their yarns.
WHY dont we have shops like these where I live?

Onwards and upwards I was ushered.

To the Eureka Skydeck where we pondered life and spotted Tasmania.
Well almost.
And started plotting to return within the year, after just one day.  
Watching the sunset after discovering a new city is a feeling that will stay with me for a long time.
Some times we all just need a little timeout.

To refresh and have a chance to miss all the little things that we love about our daily life, especially the little people in it.
They were missed fierce.
We had excited conversations mapping our future, sharing laughs in only the way two people can who share so much.
Cheers, Melbourne!
Thanks for having us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Make a bag with Cath.

Have you ever heard of Cath Kidston? I hadn't until I started becoming more and more familiar with sewing and textile type blogs and her name kept popping up everywhere.  She designs pretty patterns for the home and has gorgeous, GORGEOUS fabrics with a country, sweet sort of flair to them. Lots of pastels and flowers and all things pretty. She's me.
But more clever. And famous.
I spotted this beauty of a book last year and to my suprise, it came with a free project inside.
My favourite word.
I just had to get my mitts onto that book and over to the checkout immediately.

There is a TV show out there called 'Hoarders'. I don't watch it but have many friends unable to look away. My husband believes me, to be of the craft book hoarding variety. I have several. But they inspire me and they yield totally beautiful results so rather than buying myself copious handbags.
I just make them.  
And that's a good enough reason for me, to hoard my crafty books.
And the project was free.

All finished and ready to look dapper on someone's shoulder.
Not mine unfortunately.
 This was a present.
But I have fond memories of our time together.
My other hobbies include patting and fondling fabric.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A quilt is nice.

Quilting took my heart right at the beginning when I began this sewing, knitting, crazy crochet journey. But it has taken me the longest to conquer in my crafty pursuits. This past Christmas I finally decided to give it a shot and made a sweet little cot quilt for our youngest daughter. It was the perfect present to make for an 8 month old baby who had absolutely no idea what was happening around her.

I love that it's bright and PINK! We do love a bit of pink in this household.

This was made using scraps of fabric from other projects that was sliced and diced into 4 inch squares. There are no rules when it comes to creating a quilt top. I had no pattern to follow and wanted a quick and easy project to wrap under the tree for Christmas. The whole process was hugely satisfying from piecing to basting to quilting to binding. I have a few more quilts already pictured in my mind just waiting for the oppurtunity to come to life.
P.S. Guess who is flying down to Melbourne this weekend for a rare three night child free holiday?? Excitement levels are HUGE!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Milo for May.

My all time favourite pattern for knitting is Tikki's Milo. So versatile and unisex, every child needs one... or four. And in May we are celebrating three years since the pattern was first released on Ravelry. To help celebrate with Tikki, all you need to do is knit up a Milo in the month of May. Simple.
Here is my very first milo knit last May.

My ovaries ache at how sweet our new baby was in all her little, dozey cuteness. She can't possibly be 13 months old now. This feels like it was taken yesterday. Seriously. I will never come to terms with how quick children grow.

I love the cable detail down one side. The pattern offers a huge variety of cables to choose from and I have another Milo in the works for this year. If i didnt have a queue of projects I want to tackle a mile long, then I would knit one of these in every colour. A great project for beginners who want to move past scarves and squares.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An Olearia.

I have long oohed and aahed over the Olearia on Ravelry and finally gots me around to making one last year. Tikki is a brilliant knitwear designer and practically holds your hand right throughout the pattern. Perfect.

If you're a budding knitter or crocheter and haven't yet signed up to Ravelry,
then scoot on over and have a look see through the abundant collection of patterns and yarns listed there. A seriously cool space to hang out and meet some like minded crafters all around the world. Struggling through a project at 2am? The only time I get away from the little people. Then pop a question on the forums and someone, somewhere will answer it. I have been saved many a time this way.


I used Bendigo's Luxury 8 ply for this project in 'Denim'. It is so wonderfully soft and inexpensive and the perfect addition to any little girls wardrobe. Im really loving the fact it is not pink too.  The buttons are from spotlight and feature a little girl blowing bubbles... not a pipe. As dear Crafty Daddy pointed out. Hmmm.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Let there be bibs!

There is a lot to be said about a good bib. Yep, Im going there.
 I've seen some pretty cool ones at those mummy made markets sprouting up all over the place. Like the bandana bib, how cool is that? Suddenly they are a fashion statement, instead of being the place that collects dribbly bits of mushy food missed by the mouth. Being savvy about all things homemade I decided to give the good ol' bib a crack on the sewing machine.
So i bought this book.

I opened it up to the beginning and straight away, began ear marking all the things to make for our girls. There are a lot of rubbish sewing books out there that spruik great things but once you get past the gloss of the fancy photographs that lie inside, all that is left is a pack of poorly written patterns. This book is not one of those and I loved it. Already having made a few nice, pretty things from it, it gets a big fat thumbs up from me.
So here is what I came up with.

A little raw edge applique ready to catch any pesky bits of 'narna' that might come flying its way. Complete with authentic baby smudge of camera lense. Just keeping it real.

We're messy people, and messy people need bibs. A few of these wouldnt go astray on me.

And my favourite.
I didnt know, all those years ago when I was childless and travelling that future me would have a favourite bib. But i do, so there you go. The binding was a little tricky to get around the edges but really, its a bib. It does the job.

And I guess what Im alluding to in my post about bibs, is really just trying to find something to bang on about. Am i writing for a reader? Or am i writing for myself? Why am I writing?
This blogging caper has been on my wishlist for quite awhile. Years even. And even now, as Im about to publish post number three. About bloomin' bibs. I have no idea what I am doing. 
I had been thinking all day to myself about what I could write and all I could come up with was some schmicko crafting I did a few months back. I guess the hard yards are ahead of me and Im ready for that, but I look forward to the day when words come freely and I can relax a little about my content. I just want to be myself, record a little of our family happenings and record this crazy time where I will forever be known as washer woman, kitchen lady and a crafty schmafty minx. But a pretty bib on a sweet baby does make me smile.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Baby Kina.

Inspired to knit by  Retromummy, my first little Baby Kina is complete and isnt she a beauty?

 I love it. Country Road, eat your heart out. This one is for little sister of the house and just in time for the cool air of Autumn.

     Pattern is available here on Ravelry

For this project I used a 3.25mm needle for the yoke and 4.00mm for the body and the great thing is, the whole design is seamless! Yes! No sewing up dodgy seams for me.

             This little Kina was knit with Rowan 'Calmer' which is a gorgeous cotton blend.

Perfect for little girls.
Raveled Here.

Joiing in the linky fun at And Sew We Craft.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The start.

Ah the musings of crafty little mother. Well here we are at the very beginning... a very good place to start.

Having admired blogs from afar for many a year, the time has come for me to record my own little world here in the blogosphere. So here i am. De-lurking.
What shall come of it? Im not too sure. Maybe I have missed the boat in blogging, but maybe not.

This little space will host the thoughts of one stay at home mum, yours truly, who should do way more parenting and much less crafting. What makes me happy each day, other than spending it with my two little girls, is finding things that bring me joy and doing that. Often.
Like clean sheets.
And nap times.

What started as a suprise pregnancy, early twenties and mid travels with then boyfriend, has blossomed into one charmed life with a husband and two delightful girls. A family. That was us, back in October 2008, travelling and living in Banff, Canada with thousands of other Aussie expats all who had one prerogative in mind.
Stay out late to party, Get up early to ski. Sleep optional.

If only I could go back to 2008 self and slap her and say sleep ya bugger, sleep while you can! My name is Angie. Middle name... Tired.

With my mouth hanging open staring at the two pink lines of a pregnancy test, my world as I knew it changed. I would be linked forever to the man I loved and he with me. We came home to Oz, we had a baby, we started again. And in 2012, here we are married, like real grown-ups, joined by baby sister and embarking on a new adventure. The Apprenticeship. And starting again, see a theme? 

Life is sweet. And along the way I have taught myself a few things. Like patience, and perserverance and knitting. Who knew the girl from the Gong, with big hopes and travelling dreams, would be at her happiest amongst nappies and knitting needles.


Im sure my thoughts sound much cooler in my head but Im here to share them anyway.
Welcome Y'all.