Thursday, August 18, 2016

on the needles.

a few slow burn projects happening in these here parts, hence why the projects aren't flying off my needles to be blogged about...
let me share some stories though...

this first project has been on my needles for quite a while. since april according to my ravelry page and this post.
however, i did a silly thing... in my haste to gleefully cast on a beautiful new project, i neglected the one thing i constantly talk about, SWATCH!
what a fool!



while the texture is absolutely gorgeous, my row gauge is CRAZY different to the patterns... this means that my jumper won't cover nearly what i would want it to in the belly area, even once it's current tenant has left!

i've been thinking that i would just rip it back to the pocket, and fix it from there, but i think it will be much better served if i rip the entire project out and start anew. eventually.
i need to find a particularly motivated day to do all that ripping and re-balling as i have moved onto bigger and better things...

this jumper was one i promised my brother for his birthday. his birthday was in january folks!



it is obviously plenty overdue, and i'd love to get it to him sooner rather than later. especially as this whole winter thing seems to be wrapping itself up!
the body is done, and i'm just working on the sleeves... though i'm not unconvinced i won't run out of wool! thankfully i know exactly where to get more he he!

i've banned myself from starting this project until i get my brother's jumper finished, but...



this yarn, and this swatch are going to become a little crocheted baby blanket.
i couldn't help but swatch for it over the weekend just gone, which i spent away with an absolutely gorgeous group of crafty ladies in an equally gorgeous old country homestead. i'd write a post about it, but i took ZERO photos and just spent the entire weekend eating, crafting, chatting and relaxing in equal measure. i'm sure i'll mention it a bit though as it was truly invigorating and just what i needed!

anywho, back to the crocheted blanket... this yarn has been in my stash for a while, and i have a decent amount of it too. pretty sure it was inherited from my grandmothers stash when she passed away, or potentially her sister's... either way, a nice, light, vintage yarn, in a gorgeous navy that should make the perfect lacy baby blanket!
when i allow myself to get started...

this project is still not even beyond dream stage... i took it away on the weekend, thinking maybe i could get a swatch done for it, but it just didn't happen!



the yarn was purchased at last year's sheep and wool show, and there are plans bubbling away in my brain to turn it into a milo vest.
but nicole, i might hear you say, you've knit 1283702 milo vests. but i've never knit one for myself dear readers!
the milo vest pattern goes up to a 6 year old size, but i'd really love one for myself!
hence why this project is in the 'dream' stage, it's going to take a bit of work!
grown up adult ladies have quite the different body structure to 6 year old folks so it'll take a bit of manipulation to account for the extra lumps and bumps.
i'm confident i can get there though, though maybe not for a while...

and finally, the last thing on my imminent knitting agenda...



i've been on a bit of a mission the last month or so of work, to get all of the single ball samples (a single ball, knitted in stockinette stitch to show off the texture of the knitted yarn) that were missing in the shop, completed! these are the four that are left.
they don't take too long (a couple of nights of knitting at most) and are super mindless! i think i'll aim to get these done in between running out of wool for my brother's jumper sleeves (which will happen after a few rows this morning) and being able to get to melbourne town to pick up some more (most likely next week!).
hopefully while i'm in the shop, picking up the extra ball i'll need, i'll be able to resist the siren call of new yarn! although i've brought the stash down a wee bit with lots of baby knits, it's still a sizeable beast! would love to bring it down a little more before starting any other big projects!

what have you been working on lately? what stories are your needles telling?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

green love.

thought it might be high time for a bit of a garden update, seeing as it's almost been two months since my last...

the rocket is doing all sorts of good things.
i'm having more than a little trouble keeping up with it's output actually! there's been quite a few rockety salads with meals, but i'm also thinking of some rocket and feta mini quiches for the freezer are on the cards too!

established rocket plants in a wooden planter box

it's somewhat overtaken the bed, though there has been one or two other things popping up too...

brassica of some description, popping up in a corner of the rocket planter box

this to me looks a bit like a cauliflower... but it could also be a cabbage i guess... definitely some kind of brassica in any case. and i'm more than happy to have it there!

speaking of brassicas...

semi-established broccoli seedling

this little broccoli seedling sure has grown since i popped it in the ground.
i made an attempt to grow my own seedlings, and by attempt i mean i threw some (quite old) broccoli seeds at the soil. not surprisingly, nothing came up!
thankfully i found some seedlings at my favourite little produce place and for only 50 cents a piece to boot!

i planted four, and so far they're all looking pretty happy!

this collection of leafy greens are slowly SLOWLY making their mark...

semi-established spinach plants, interspersed with little raspberry shoots almost fully established rainbow chard plants, some with yellow stalks

the poor spinach is constantly battling against raspberry shoots that are popping up from the neighbouring bed, though it's certainly coming into it's own.
and the rainbow chard is looking like it's just about ready for a few small harvests!

i'm so excited to see so much growth in this little patch in the chook yard though...

very tall broad beans surrounded by a wire fence to keep the chickens out. they're now as tall as the fence!

check out how big the broadies are getting!!! and how splendid they look in the late afternoon sun!

while i was taking these photos, i started to get a little worried for the carrots i'd planted in between the broad beans...

a thicket of carrots growing between the broad bean plants

but they're looking pretty happy too!
they could probably do with a little thinning... i may even get out and get that done tomorrow morning if the beautiful weather we've been having keeps up!
the days have been gorgeously sunny, the wind at a minimum and it has been inspiring me to get done all sorts of spring cleaning type activities! might be that ol' nesting instinct kicking in too i guess!

what's been growing in your patch recently? are you feeling any spring vibes yet?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

fourteenth to twentieth.

and an alternative title for this little collection could be ALL of the baby knits...

after putting off starting baby knits, as i had my big five unfinished projects to finish for the year, i'm now well and truly hooked!
they're so teeny and quick to knit, oh and they are ridiculously cute!

the first off the needles was a milo vest for milo may.

milo in purple scraps from stash

i knit it up in some bits and pieces i had in my stash, hence the two different colours, and much shorter body than i'd prefer...
the lighter purple knit up as more of an aran weight, than a dk, so it's going to be super toasty warm as it's super dense!

next up is the hundreds cardigan.

hundreds cardigan knit in miss click clack 'patience young grasshopper'

this one is knit up in a skein of miss click clack dk i picked up at the hand-knitter's guild market.
i love LOVE this colourway, it's called 'patience young grasshopper' of which i had none. this skein was knitted up within a month of purchase he he!

then there was another tikkiknits pattern, what big eyes you have.

tikkiknits 'what big eyes you have' vest knitted in scout in 'winter's day'

i found this pattern a little more of a thinker than georgie's other patterns, with a few tricksy bits of picking up stitches and such to keep everything seamless. but as always with georgie's patterns, the finishes are superb! well worth any fiddliness.
super glad i tried something new as look how gosh-darn cute this looks!
i knit it up in wooldays scout and my-oh-my do i love this yarn. if it came in a bigger range of colours, it would be my desert-island yarn choice for sure!
and if you have no idea what i'm talking about with a desert-island yarn choice, do yourself a favour and check out the pomcast, lydia and sophie are the coolest and cutest folks podcasting around! they never fail to make me giggle!

these little baby hats FLY off the needles! each one was completed in an afternoon of knitting, and both were made without a pattern, just using my off the cuff, that looks right, time to start decreasing method.
maybe i should do some proper maths and actually make these things into proper patterns... one day!

a sweet pair of baby hats, knitted up with no pattern, from scraps from stash

anywho, back to these hats...
both were knitted up from wee balls in my stash. another great thing about baby hat knitting, they don't use much yarn!
the colourful one was colinette jitterbug leftover from these socks, and the yellow was bendigo luxury 8ply leftover from a scarf that my mum knit a few years ago.

and lastly, there are this pair of twin milos, for the cutest little twin boys.

twin milos for twin boys, one knit in merino magic in a teal colour, one in bendigo woollen mills luxury in 'stone'

while i was knitting up the wee purple milo above, i couldn't help but think of how ace it would be to knit up the boys a pair of matching, but not really, milos...
both of these beauties were knit out of yarn i already had in my stash, the teal, merino magic, and the neutral, bendigo woollen mills and i knit them both in the 18month size, with a little bit of extra length... hopefully that will mean they might get a couple of winters out of them! fingers crossed!

if you have a little peruse of my ravelry projects, you might notice that a lot of these projects have been done for a wee little while... i procrastinated making button choices for the cardigan and grey vest, and then took my sweet time to write this post!
the combination of commuting to melbourne for work, and being quite heavily pregnant have definitely sapped a lot of motivation for writing posts, hence it being almost a month and a half since my last post! hoping that now i'm on maternity leave, i'll find the mental space to get back here and writing... before i no doubt drop off the radar again when our little one comes along he he.
we will see what the future holds!

what are you favourite baby knits?

Friday, July 1, 2016

1000.

whoa! this is post number 1000 for me in this wee space!

a beautiful pink rose snapped on a walk in the last days of june

thanks to everyone who has ever read a post, or more than one... for leaving comments and being the ace people that you all are.
phew, 1000! here's to 1000 more rambly, photo heavy posts i guess, ha ha!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

green love.

oooh boy is it getting chilly! with all this cool weather, the progress in the garden has been slow... but there's definitely been a bit of growth in our ever expanding patch since last time i shared (which i've just realised was over a month ago, where exactly is this time going??)

this lettuce variety (whatever it may be... it came from a mixed packet of seeds i bought in tasmania, last time i was there in 2010, strong little things!) is growing from strength to strength.

this unknown lettuce is growing like crazy, it is super green and has rocket-y type leaves

nothing else seems to have taken hold, so i hope this stuff is delicious and nutritious ha ha!

these little onion seedlings have finally popped their head ups. i'd started to get worried the seeds had been eaten by the birds.

shown with garlic sprouts in the background

they're looking a little dwarfed in comparison to the garlic growing right next door...

getting much bigger

after mulching them in, these garlic sprouts have become very happy little fellows. going from strength to strength!

despite the cold and frosty weather, there are MORE new leaves on my grape vine.

new growth on the grape vine, ready to unfurl new leaves

it is obviously super happy in it's new home!

the broadies are doing their slow but steady climb towards the sky.

slow growing broad beans at this time of the year

i'm trying to decide whether or not to stake them... there's some wicked wind that rips through this little patch on occasions, but having stakes in the ground might just give the wind something else to blow over... more thinking required!

and finally, these wee rainbow chard sprouts are slowly growing up.

yellow-stalked chard, slowly growing up

i can't wait to get some of this green goodness into our meals!

what's growing at your place at the moment?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

accidental vegan ice cream.

after dreaming of having one for years and years, there's a brand new kitchenaid sitting on my kitchen bench. and in my mind, one of the must-have attachments was the ice cream bowl...
both were put to good use the other night, when i made accidental vegan ice cream...
accidental vegan ice cream happens when you're home from work, and realise there are no milk or eggs in the house, but ice cream must happen! a quick rummage through the pantry, and voila, ice cream happened!

close up of shaved coconut

you'll need:
2 tablespoons Foster Clarke's custard powder (it's vegan, if that's not so important, any custard powder will do the trick)
1 tablespoon sugar (i used raw caster sugar, it's what's in the pantry)
1 cup almond milk
400ml coconut milk
3 tablespoons shaved coconut

to make:
blend the sugar and custard powder in a microwave safe bowl with a little of the almond milk to make a paste.
slowly add in the rest of the almond milk, and ONE cup of the coconut milk while continuing to stir.
cook in the microwave on high for 4 minutes (if you don't have a microwave you could do this on the stove, not sure for how long though)
give the custard a good stir (mine was quite thick by this stage) and pop it into the fridge to cool.
after about 30 minutes, whisk in the remaining coconut milk and pop back in the fridge to cool further (the timing on this probably isn't too important).
when the custard is nice and cold, grab out the ice cream bucket from your freezer and set it up with the kitchen aid.
stir through the shaved coconut.
with the mixer on low speed, pour the custard mix into the freezer bowl. allow to churn for 20-30 minutes before transferring ice cream into a container and popping it into the freezer to set further. or you could just eat it straight away. up to you ha ha!


don't have an ice cream maker? i was reading last night that you can make ice cream by using two ziplock bags, a bigger one full of ice, and a small one with your mix inside. by popping the smaller inside the bigger, icy one, and smooshing it around a bit, you can make ice cream too!

have you made ice cream before? what's your favourite flavour?

Monday, June 13, 2016

eighth to thirteenth.

or an alternate title could be, a series of knitted headwear...

in between the big finishes that i've been blogging about this year (titled first through to seventh), there have been plenty of little knits. instant gratification projects, a few of which have already showed up in my #memademay posts...

i thought i'd spend a wee bit more time today, and flesh out some of their details a little more.

the eighth, ninth and tenth projects were all knit from the same yarn.

green big wool beaniegreen ribbed big wool beaniegreen chevron big wool beanie

i had originally bought the yarn to knit my pouffe, but as it was a MASSIVE fail, i pulled it all out and made an arm knitted blanket, but still had a big ball leftover!
these three big beanies definitely burned through a bit of that big ball, and i was hoping to send them and maybe one or two more, to the alice springs beanie festival, but i completely missed the deadline!
too much going on in my brain!!

i think instead, i'll send them off to syrian refugees. a wee bit of handknitted love to keep a head and heart warm.

these next two finishes have also already been featured in #memademay and have barely been off my head since they left the needles.

blue queensland beach headband knit in cascade 220orange queensland beach headband knit in cascade 220

they're the perfect pieces for keeping my ears toasty in this freezing cold winter's wind. funny as the pattern is titled 'queensland beach' ha ha!

i knitted both of these at the same time, and ran out of yarn for both of them! i made up for it by knitting some plain ribbing for the underside in black, and it blends in quite nicely with my hair and kinda looks like it's meant to be that way!
'design feature' for the win ha ha!

and this final hat?

freestyle navy and silver beanie knit in wool days scout yarn. skinny fair isle heart band on crown

it's a classic nicole beanie, completely free-styled... but it's knit up in the new wool days yarn which is absolutely LUSH! it's basically ruined me for all other yarns as it's so buttery soft and gorgeous to knit with.

hopefully the recipient likes it, as it's a belated birthday present! fingers are crossed!