Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday #57 - Shawls and Sock by Sunset

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Today I bring you the second (and likely final, for at least a long while) edition of WIP Wednesday in Paradise. (I apologize in advance to the picture heaviness of this post)

It's been a great week.
We have been for long walks on the beach

I changed my toenails from pink to orange ; )

We've seen beauty all around us

Had some amazing creatures cross our path

Sea turtles feeding
Lizard of unknown origin

These last two creatures I might just take home with me

Enjoyed incredible sunsets

And there has even been some knitting!
I've got 5 rows left on the body of my Can-Oz Shawl

I'm about to pick up stitches for the gusset of my first Socks by the Pool (Take II)
About 1/3 of my Longing for Heat ponchette

 The best part is... that we have another week to go!

Hope you're having a great week and that checking out some fabulous WIP through Tami's blog just serves to improve it!

Cheers, Nikki

PS: I think there are several people in our building who now think I am totally looney after watching me take pictures of my knitting. Note to self: next time take a walk ; )

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIP Wednesday #56 - Knits in Paradise

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I am having a very happy Wednesday as yesterday we left winter behind (albeit a pretty wimpy mild one) for the sunshine and warmth of Maui. I even endured 7 1/2 hours of flying with two children, a dvd player with a spent battery and a flight with no TV's to get here... and it was worth every moment. We've rented a car, been to Costco and the grocery store and we are ready to do absolutely nothing for at least the next week (after which my father-in-law joins us and we might muster up the energy for some sightseeing).

I think the knitting is enjoying the scenery as much as I am.

Sock has been hanging out on the patio.

The Can-Oz Shawl has been lounging on a deck chair....

But, then came inside where it could be a bit more photogenic.

There are some other yarn along on the trip too. Hopefully, if this next week of leisure amounts to more than beer drinking and sunbathing, there will be something to show you of them next week.

For now, it's back to sandcastles and swimming.

Talk soon!

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, March 16, 2012

Can-Oz KAL cast on


Happy Friday everyone!

I don't have a finished project this week but I thought I would link in with the Fiber Art Friday gang to show you my latest endeavour.

I belong to a "Craft Night" group that was was originally born in Melbourne, Australia. Over the last few years we have passed a few members back and forth and most of us know each other.

Last November, my group went on a yarn crawl. That day we each bought a different skein of Madelinetosh Sock and thought we would do a Knit-Along. The aussie girls caught wind about it and thought they would join in too.

Thus the Can-Oz KAL was born.

Our launch night was Wednesday. Both our groups meet on Wednesdays. We all brought our yarn and wound it at craft night and got ready to start. Of course, we all have lots of other projects on the go as well. It's not really a race. Although, the aussies did get a about a 15 hour head start. Darn time change.

My colourway is Earl Grey
We have gone all out. We are all using the same yarn but in all different colours. We are all knitting the same pattern. We have made a group on Ravelry so we can chat (and likely lament our poor chart reading skills... or maybe that's just me).

here are 3 of the 8 yarns being used

It's already a lot of fun.

Let the race friendly knit-along begin!

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday # 55 - So much to do...

Happy Wednesday everyone!

So much to do, so little time. That definitely captures the way this past week has felt. My Monkey had a wonderful 4th birthday, complete with a birthday party on his actual birthday. He is currently obsessed with Disney's Cars and the party and gifts kept with the theme.

He originally wanted a race car cake but I was able to convince him
 that a race track with toys he could keep was wayyy cooler ; )

He's so proud of all his little car replicas.
He even has a little bag he uses to bring them everywhere.
Planning for a Fabulous Fourth birthday Fete took up a lot of my free time (and energy!) last week but I did manage to get back to work on my poncho.

I wasn't really enjoying knitting the cotton at first but it isn't really bothering me any more. I had hoped to have it finished for our upcoming trip to Hawaii but it got bumped for my grandmother's shawl (she's doing great by the way : ) Since we leave in seven days, that is definitely not going to happen. Oh well, it will still be nice for the summer.

I also restarted a sock. I tried to make my first sock when we went to Hawaii last year but it was too tight to get on.  I've dug out the same yarn and am trying again. I still think a nice simple sock will be the perfect project poolside.

I hope to bring you next week's WIPW update complete with pictures of sand and surf. It will definitely beat being here (yesterday it was sunny and 12 degrees and in less than five minutes it dropped to 1 degree and was snowing - sadly, I'm not kidding).

I hope you have time to check in with some more WIP's through Tami's blog. I also hope to have one more post for you before I go!

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, March 9, 2012

FO Friday #42 - Substitute Hug

Happy Friday everyone!

It's is a big weekend around here as my Monkey turns 4 tomorrow! Wow, that feels crazy even to type.

I'm so glad I got this shawl knit for my Nan. It is her birthday at the end of the month and this should easily make it to her in time. This was my first truly therapeutic knit. I was so worried about her during her surgery and it felt so good to channel that energy into something, rather than just spending hours nervously playing Bejeweled Blitz.. ok, maybe I did that too. In the end, I feel like I turned that time and my love for her into something beautiful. I hope Nan feels me close every time she touches it.

Substitute Hug

Pattern: Milk Run Shawl by Cat Wong
A great free pattern, loosely based on the shawl the Duchess wore shopping a few months ago. The pattern has several options for variations. It was quick, easy (once you finally learn how to count) and I love the result.

Yarn: Cameo by Bendigo Woolen Mills (discontinued)
85% Wool 15% Angora
390g used

I got this yarn on whim from the amazing back room at Bendigo Woollen Mills during my trip to Australia last year. I touched a swatch by the bin of yarn and all resistance was futile. It is warm, so very soft and wonderfully squishy. For the life of me, I have no idea why it is discontinued.

Needles: 5.0mm KnitPicks nickel circular

I shortened the body by two rows for fear of running short of yarn. Even still, I had to end the ruffle two rows early. It blocked out to 70" across the top and 28" down the middle. I didn't block it too hard as I didn't wanted lose the yarn's gorgeous squishiness.

I hope you have a weekend full of your own soft a squishy yarn. Mine will be spent will this guy and a lot of cake.

Making the most of the snow yesterday morning.
By the afternoon, it was melted. Such a bizarre time of year.

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday #54 - In which I learn how to count...

Happy Wednesday everyone.

I have spent the entire last week working on the shawl for my Nan. If you recall, last Wednesday, I was a bit concerned because my gauge was tight and I was only halfway through my yarn but almost entirely done the body of the pattern.

Yeah. Not so much.

The shawl has just about the simplest pattern possible of plain garter stitch in which you increase 4 stitches every right side row (starting with 9 and finishing with 303!), Because there are so many stitches and the centre point in marked, I was only counting half the stitches and then working out how many rows I had left if I increased 4 stitches every other row. The problem is, if you only count half the stitches then you should also count half in the increases. Duh!

This meant that I had twice as many rows to go than I thought. And man, those last rows chew up the yarn!

Anyhoo... now it is all going swimmingly and the end is firmly in sight.

Hopefully, I will have a finished project to show you on Friday!

Cheers, Nikki

 PS: Special thanks to everyone who commented last week with their words of wisdom. Next time, if someone feels the urge to say "Hey dummy, are you sure you've counted that right and aren't wasting our time here?" I will totally understand.

See more WIP's!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Best Kind of Yarn

I know, I know, it's a bold statement. The BEST kind of yarn? Really?

Yes really!

This yarn had three things going for it.

1. It's gorgeous (and it's mine, all mine!)

Spud and Chloe Sweater in Chipmunk

2. It was a gift (which means someone picked it out just for me - and I didn't pay for it ; )

Lorna's Laces Fisherman in Motherlode

3. I didn't buy it which means it didn't break the yarn diet - yippeeeee!

Dream in Color Classy in November Muse and Strange Harvest

Gift (also know in our house as 'guilt') yarn is the ONLY good part about my husband's business trips.

It really is the best kind of yarn : )

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, March 2, 2012

FO Friday #41 - Dapper Doodles

Happy Friday everyone!

Today brings the last instalment of quick knits for Doodlebug's wardrobe that I have made over the last little while. This one was probably there most fun - what can I say, I'm easily amused by pretty changing colours : )

Dapper Doodles

Pattern: A Very Harlot Poncho (heavily modified)
A very simple but effective pattern. 
Obviously, I made some significant changes to create a pint sized version.

Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Rollerskate
I have quite a lot of this yarn in my stash, but this is the first time I have used it. It is lovely and soft. It has a much more even thickness than Noro. It was a delight to knit with. I am seriously eyeing my other balls and plotting to use them soon.
I used exactly one 100g ball for this project.

Needles: 5.5mm

To get a size suitable for an 18 month old, I still cast on the suggested 64 stitches but used much smaller needles than indicated in the pattern. I added 6 rounds of 2x2 ribbing at the neck. At the end of the first ball, it seemed like a pretty good length so I ended it there.

This was a very fun and simple project. I thought my Doodlebug might feel like her arms are confined but she loves it (maybe she's amused by the pretty colours too?) I think her favourite part is that she can take it on and off herself.

My only disappointment is that the bottom edge tends to roll despite blocking. I knit the last round on a bigger needle and used the recommended crochet cast off. It's created quite a firm edge and maybe I should have gone with something more stretchy. I've considered putting on inside out as then it doesn't roll. It actually still looks quite cute that way too.

Now, of course, for the cute-as-button knit-in-action shots : ) 

I've got to do something with her hair, but I have no idea what!

I hope you have a chance to go look at some of the other posts for FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday. There is some serious awe-inspiring projects out there!

I'll leave you with a pic of a lovely present that my friend in Australia sent me this week. I just love it and somehow it makes me feel secretly powerful. 

All the best for a wonderful weekend.

Cheers, Nikki

Artwork by Irena Sophia