Tuesday, January 17, 2017

stash diving.

one of my 2017 goals, is to knit through my stash of sock yarn.
over the weekend just gone, i thought i'd better dig it all out of my stash, currently housed in the bottom layer of my fancy secondhand ikea trolley, to get a handle on just what i'd set myself up for for the year...

a collection of yarns to be knit into socks, in assorted colours and fibre compositions

um, well that'd be seven pairs of socks just there! i most certainly have my work cut out for me!
particularly when this isn't taking into account...

leftover bits and pieces from previous projects, not quite enough to make pairs... or is there?

all of the leftover bits and bobs from other projects! not quite enough to make a pair of socks by themselves... but together, they're sure to make some splendid scrappy, stripy socks. and no doubt more than just one pair!

i think this lot will have me well and truly set up for knitting for the ENTIRE year! a strange feeling, knowing i really don't need to buy any yarn... though truth be told, it would seem that i haven't NEEDED to buy any for a while. this is only the fingering-weight sock yarns, you'd better believe there's quite a few other areas to my stash. oh my!

a pair a month, not too much to ask right?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

around here.

cushion made from a freefoem patchwork panel featuring snippets of hand printed fabrics cushion made with ink and spindle fabric panel featuring navy blue kangaroo paws screen printed onto an oatmeal coloured linen a pair of buttons holding the above patchwork cushion closed. the right one featuring an imprint of a feather matching a feather motif in the patchwork small bowl of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries book stack of 'simplicious' by sarah wilson, lunchlady magazine issue 5, 'grown and gathered' by matt and lentil, 'down to earth' and 'the simple home' by rhonda hetzel a pair of vanilla socks, knitted for my husband using the two-at-a-time method using circus tonic handmade yarn in colourway 'magpie lark'

current happenings...

i hit up one of the many vintage bazaars in town yesterday with my mother in law and picked up some much needed summer-y and breastfeeding friendly pre-loved clothes. including this beautiful french chiffon number. i'm in love!

the reading pile beside the bed doesn't seem to be getting any smaller, but certainly has a theme... simple living and food abounds!

a wee bit of sewing has been happening... some cushion covers that i had been meaning to make, for oh, close to an eternity have FINALLY come to fruition! the patchwork one was put together at the craft sessions circa 2013, and the ink and spindle piece was from then too i think. both were backed with some calico i had in my stash (some perhaps bought for this purpose, or maybe leftover from the wedding bags? and one piece was actually used as wrapping for a christmas gift i received the year before last) and finished with buttons from my button box. the button on the right worked perfectly with my patchwork cover, with an imprinted leaf, very similar to the one i block-printed and used as my starting piece.
the perfect stash busting project!

there's also been a little bit of picking for breakfasts from the garden... i got fed up with sharing the blueberries with the birds (and by sharing i mean, never getting any) and netted the living daylights out of the bush. while i was at it, the strawberry plants next door got a covering too and i've been enjoying the spoils for breakfast every few days for the last week or so. and the raspberries, well *touches all the wooden surfaces* the birds haven't cottoned onto their location yet... so nice to know EXACTLY where my berries are coming from!

and a fair bit of progress has been made on these socks for bb. the heels are both turned and i feel like i'm on the homestretch! i'm getting a wee bit weary with them, but i'm also grateful for the slow and simple nature of them. i always know what i'm doing when i pick them up!

and that about sums it up... well there's the normal life stuff too, catching up with friends, eating, sleeping, keeping the house looking nice and ALL of the baby goings on, snuggles and crying and giggles and dirty nappies.
it's a happy, messy and tiring time he he.

ps. i'm hoping to make tuesday my blogging day every week. check back next tuesday and every following tuesday for different bits and pieces; greenery updates, crafting, probably baby toes every now and again, and maybe, when i'm feeling brave enough, a birth story...

Sunday, January 1, 2017


last night, the sun set on 2016 and this morning rose on 2017. it wasn't a great nights sleep for me and i woke up feeling tetchy and annoyed... the last time the baby woke, i wasn't able to lull myself back into sleep. rather than getting more annoyed, that i was missing out on precious sleep time, i took the opportunity to catch up on the backlog of blog posts that are sitting in my reader.
oh, and now, i'm using the time to tap out this wee post! with a cup of tea beside me of course.

deluxe dinner of slow roasted pork belly and fennel, mashed potato and homegrown rainbow chard cane basket full of freshly picked home grown garlic knitting at our beautiful local pub while one of my talented brothers-in-law strummed some tunes chubby baby legs of ag on my lap

what a big and crazy year 2016 was for bb and i! we brought in the new year knowing that there was a (very) little life growing inside of me and that knowledge and the reality of it shaped and changed our year in ways we never would have imagined even just a few weeks before.

we made a tree change before little ag came along, moving back in with my folks on their acreage to help us keep our living costs down when bb decided to take the year off from work. having that time off has done wonders for his mental health, and the health of our relationship too. living in such close proximity to one another, we've gotten to know one another even better, something i thought we were pretty much on top of after 11 years together!
and then there was ag's arrival! what a big, huge, crazy and awesome change that has been. i feel like a whole new person almost... something i'm definitely still coming to terms with.
bb has been so excellent with ag, such a fantastic dad, with a level of patience that i surely don't have. i've enthused to him over and over again, just how grateful i am that we are doing this together, that he's not had to head back to work and we get to do all of this baby stuff together. it's truly amazing.

now if you know me, you'll know that my brain is absolutely whirring with the possibility of the new year, all the plans that i could make and being that i love a list... well, i can't resist!

so without further ado, a few plans for 2017

* knit through my stash of sock wool - i'd reckon there's enough for half a dozen pairs and thankfully socks are the ultimate portable project. very easy to stash a project bag with a pair in the nappy bag! need to finish these ones up first though!

* enjoy the flux that comes with an odd living space and a baby - i'm a bit of a control freak, and like things to be how they SHOULD be so no doubt this will continue to challenge me... but i'm enjoying the freedom to move things around and make this space our own, and will continue to declutter and reorganise as we go.

* strive for simplicity - my favourite reads for last year were rhonda hetzel's books on simple living. and i thoroughly enjoyed listening to the slow home podcast too. very much hoping to make little small, slow changes to get us on the path to simpler living with a focus on family time and doing what will be best for us.

*make time for myself - i'm already realising this mum caper can be a little all encompassing, even with both of us home, and grandparents within shouting distance. i need to constantly remind myself that they're all capable, and i can take some time out for myself to knit, or drink tea, visit and catch up with friends, go to yoga or whatever i damn well please really!

*get productive in the garden - it's been a long time in between green love posts and a lot has changed, but not much new has gone into the garden. i've cleared space as each crop finished up, but getting things into those spaces and growing hasn't happened too much... i'm trying not to feel guilty as it should be the most productive time of the year in the garden, but i had other, more pressing priorities in spring!
now that ag is getting a wee bit bigger, i'm finding myself with snippets of time to get out there and get things happening, sometimes even with him! it's nice to set him up next to me and have him chat away while i pull weeds or plant out seeds.
some solid seasonal plans will help with knowing what needs to be done when i get those little opportunities i think.

*get back on the meal planning bandwagon - purse strings need to be tightened this year, plus it'll help keen us healthier and use up what we've got growing in our patch! win/win/win!

*volunteer - maybe at an op-shop? or something in this new community we're a part of. definitely feeling the need to put down some roots here!

*blog weekly - this one is definitely inspired by kate, i'm loving reading her little snippets ever friday and really once a week is enough to tell the stories i want to tell, share the things i want to share, as well as being a reasonable amount of time to commit to blogging each week. we'll see how we go!

what are your plans for this brand new year?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

12 weeks.

view at kilcunda beach while breastfeeding the little man putting up some decorations with my little helper fresh baby calf, with it's mumma

i'm kind of at a loss how it's only been 6 weeks since my last post. and again, completely surprised. so much has changed, but 6 weeks seems like a lifetime!

little ag is coming along in leaps and bounds, growing and changing before our very eyes and gaining a little more personality every day. his smiles never fail to absolutely warm my heart with joy!

in saying that, it's been a tough ol' 6 weeks for me personally. i feel like the first 6 weeks, i got through on adrenalin alone... there wasn't too much sleeping on my part, and i somehow managed to feel like i could still get all of the things done. in hindsight, this was a wee bit silly... i needed to be resting my poor weary body, it had been through the wars and needed a whole lot of go-slow time!

naturally, when the 6 week mark came and went and i hadn't bounced back to my usual pre-baby self, physically or mentally, i was a little bit crushed.
i just wanted to feel back to normal, well as normal as i was going to get, the new normal, like me before, but with a baby in tow now.
i somehow thought i would be done all of the physical healing by then, but my body had other plans. now at 12 weeks, i'm finally feeling a bit better physically, small amounts of slow exercise, walking, yoga and those all important pelvic floor exercises.

the mental stuff is an ongoing process though, that's for sure. feeling physically broken, and being completely unsure of my physical capabilities was weighing on me heavily for a while. not getting enough rest and feeling completely and utterly exhausted was too. and both plagued me with indecision, my brain too fried to make particularly rational decisions about a single thing.
the baby is sleeping, what would you like to do? blank. the baby is crying, how are you going to soothe him? blank.

being a person who was used to running at peak efficiency, i was completely lost! which in turn had me questioning who even am i anymore? who was i before? what is important to me? what makes me happy?
yep, completely lost.

i had a few really terrible days, keeping all these things in, letting worry run my days, before i fell apart and lost my shit. since then, i've realised there's no point keeping stuff in, so i talk about it... with bb, with my mum, with bb's mum, with the maternal child health nurse and with a counsellor too.

this time (and life in general) goes way too fast, with way too many precious moments you don't want to miss, to be feeling the way i was.

it's going to continue to be an ongoing balancing act, striking the compromise between soaking up all of the time with ag i possibly can, spending time doing the things that are important to me, that make me feel like myself, and getting the things done that i know should be done...

oh and let's not start on the minefield that is advice... so many conflicting opinions about every possible aspect of raising a baby, and living life in general! for now, we'll keep muddling through, picking and choosing what will work for us, and letting the rest flow off our backs. phew!

hopefully i'll be back with a few more posts in the coming weeks... i've got things i want to share, and tapping out stories and posting them here is something that is important to me so if i've got the time, i'll be back!

Monday, October 31, 2016

6 weeks.

wee little fingers, in his stripy wondersuit

over the years, i've understood the concept of the days are long but the weeks are short... but not to quite the extent i do now.

the past 6 weeks have absolutely flown. my babe is no longer considered a newborn and that thought brings tears to my eyes.

but holy moly have there been some tough moments.
i've come to the realization though, that the tough moments haven't been caused by the little guy, but us grown-ups questioning everything we do! why is he crying? why isn't he sleeping? why isn't he feeding?
he's a baby! he doesn't care what time he last fed, or when he last slept. if he's hungry, he wants to eat, if he's tired, he'll sleep.
and sometimes, he'll just want a hug. and no matter what needs doing, what outstanding jobs are on the to-do list, i'll oblige. because he'll never be this little again.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

slow fashion october - long-worn maintenance.

as i mentioned tuesday, i had a bit more to write on the subject of "long-worn" the second prompt for slow fashion october... so without further ado, here it is!

a big part of what keeps my wardrobe going is looking after, and giving love to the garments i own, whether they be beautiful handmade garments, or fast fashion ones i've foolishly indulged in over the years. either way, they're both incredibly important as keeping garments out of landfill is a high priority of mine.

the first step in looking after them, is obviously washing them appropriately.
since seriously getting back into knitting, i’ve been a big advocate for hand washing handknits, and i’ve always separated my light coloured clothes, from my darker coloured ones when putting them through the machine… though since reading this post by elle, i'll be taking a little more care with how and how often i wash things in the machine.

fabric shaving has become quite a fun pastime of mine...

using the fabric shaver on bb's blue jumperone purple sock after fabric shaving, and one before. the difference is very visible!

there's no quicker and better way to bring a hand knitted garment back to it's former glory than with a quick fabric shave!
come to think of it, it's a pretty great way to freshen up some of those nylon-filled, fast fashion pieces too. there are more than a few cheap and cheerful cardigans and dresses that i've breathed a bit more life into with a quick fabric shave!

my third solution for keeping everything functional is mending.

grey cardigan with several skeins of embroidery floss and an embroidery hoop

i've posted here before about mending, with this post being a particularly successful to-do list for me, and this one, being not quite as successful... i never quite managed to get everything fixed 100%. those jean pockets of bb's, they have all new holes despite my repair attempts, and the cardigan i talked about? well it's one of my slow fashion october goals and is pictured above.
i never actually stated any goals in my first post, but they've been percolating in my head a little he he. a dottieangel inspired, woolly tattoo bit of visible mending is what awaits this.
it will definitely be a slow old fix, but hopefully i can pull it off and it will breathe a whole new bit of life into this sad looking cardigan!

wish me luck!

what are your thoughts on maintaining your wardrobe? are you a mender?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

slow fashion october - long-worn wardrobe.

once again, i'm joining in with slow fashion october, expanding on my instagram post on this week's prompt 'long-worn'.
in truth, it was last week's prompt, i'm running a wee bit behind with them... i think i lost my ability to manage time effectively when little ag came along. i'm getting there slowly though he he.

three long-worn dresses from my wardrobe, a white wedding dress, a blue and black floral button up dress and a purple, orange and white cotton shift dress

thinking of the articles of clothing in my wardrobe that are long-worn... dresses were the things that came to mind as the longest wearing. the three dresses pictured above are just a selection of the dozen or so that i own, few of which were bought new.
some are homemade (owning it!) and some are second hand, and what is bought new, is fairly carefully selected to be able to be worn time and time again. not only in summer, but across the seasons with the addition of tights and long sleeved woollens underneath.
the three dresses above, encompass the whole breadth of the cycle; new, second-hand and homemade.

white, a-line, 50's style wedding dress

the new, my wedding dress, is, truthfully, the least worn thing in my wardrobe.
it was worn for the two events that made up our wedding celebrations in december and hasn't been worn since... not because it's a wedding dress and won't see the light of day again until my kids pull it out for fancy dress... but because, kids! well kid specifically.
it's one of few dresses that i own that is highly fitted through the waist, and even at 2-3 weeks pregnant (which was only 3-4 weeks out from our wedding, #honeymoonbaby) it was too uncomfortable!
it fits me again now though, and i'm already scheming plans for its first outing.
when i chose it, i specifically picked a style that i could wear time and time again, as i didn't want it to be a once in a lifetime wear. i'm really looking forward to dressing it up, for special occasions, and keeping it a bit more casual too for more everyday wear too.

long-ish 50's style button up dress made from black based material with a blue floral print

the second-hand, is a dress I inherited when my nanna passed away, six years ago now...
it doesn't get a huge amount of wear either, it's not one i reach for daily or weekly (unlike the final one i'll talk about), however, whenever i'm feeling fancy, it comes out!
it's been worn to weddings, funerals, nice dinners, interviews, and even to work a few times.
it's exceptionally comfortable, surprising when my nanna was quite a bit smaller than i was... thankfully she liked a relaxed fit!
it got a few wears during my pregnancy, and come to think of it, with it's buttoned front, will probably get a few wears in the next year or so as it's the dress i own that's most suitable for breastfeeding in!

simple drop-waisted cotton shift dress in tribal like patterned fabric in purple, orange and white colours.

the final dress is a homemade one, as well as being second-hand. it was made by a very talented and prolific dress making friend, who passed it on when it no longer fit her and it's not the first time you've seen it on this here blog!
i've altered it to fit me a little better by raising the waistline and eliminating a little of the length of the skirt but i love the relaxed fit of it!
i wore this at least once a week my entire pregnancy, and a lot before that too as i love the colour palate and design of the fabric, which i'm pretty sure is a pretty high cotton content. very nice to wear when it's warm out!
i love this dress so much, i'm truly contemplating altering it a little more, to make it breastfeeding friendly. a few buttons on each side of the sleeve and voila! now can I find the time to make it happen?

i've got plans for another little 'long-worn' post too, detailing what i do and use, to get and keep my clothing items looking ship shape. we'll see if i can find the time for that too i guess he he!

what are the longest worn items in your wardrobe? are you a dress fiend too?