Sunday, August 30, 2015

my week.

only a couple of snaps this week... a monday to friday working week didn't leave a huge amount of time for fun, photo-taking shenanigans ha ha!

i caught the kitty, catching a sunbeam in the afternoon sun today. it looked so lovely, i basically joined him. so luxurious and relaxing.

yesterday revealed that i would be taking an impromptu interstate trip this afternoon, so there was a wee bit of plane knitting, a little beanie for a fabulous friend. as well as LOTS of cloud watching. hooray for window seats!

how has your week been? any little adventures on the horizon?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

show and tell.

this week's show and tell is a pretty recent finish to be honest... i'm almost caught up on the backlog of finished items i had stored up, better get to knitting some more to share ha ha!

now this was a super interesting pattern to knit up!
i first spotted it over on lisa's blog, and it immediately made it's way onto my ravelry queue.

morgan, is another hat that's knit from the top down which is super new for me. every hat i'd knit up until last week's share, has been from the bottom up. it was fun trying something new though!

now obviously, being knit from the top down is about all that this pattern, and last week's have in common. they are completely different beasts!
morgan uses short rows, and strategically placed increases and decreases to change the humble hat, into a super awesome flat cap.
it was kind of magical to knit it, and have it come together before your eyes. and i definitely had to place full faith in the pattern ha ha. there was a wee bit of cursing and a bit of tinking and frogging to get a couple of things right (and to be honest, there's still a few things that are embracing the handmade look...) but it WAS fun and it is 100% made with love.

i knitted this up for a friend, to help her keep her head nice and warm, and as always, my thoughts were with her as i was stitching away.

my original plans for this hat, were to knit it up in rowan felted tweed, as i'm a big fan of the texture and colours available... however, i serendipitously came across a ball of the shilasdair luxury dk through work, that was a little unwanted and unloved.
it turned out to be the perfect colour for this hat, and my friend as it makes her lovely green eyes pop!

i kind of want to knit this up again, sooner rather and later, with a few tweaks...
i think i'd use a provisional cast on for the top so that the finish would be a little neater.
oh, and i'll also know exactly what tension to use in the bind off of the peak (long story short, i ended up kitchener-ing too tight, breaking my wool and had to re-knit the peak 2.5 times before i got it right!).

what have you been making lately? have you knit up a morgan? what's your favourite hat pattern?

Monday, August 24, 2015

meal planning monday.

after a weekend away, the last thing i would like right now is for it to be monday.
alas, here it is anyway. thank goodness for meal plans to make the rest of the week a little more achievable hey?

tonight, i'm declaring date night! and a dumplings we will have! yum!

tomorrow night, i think i'll break out the slow cooker. much to bb's protest, i'm feeling the need to get slow cooking and clear out the freezer AND have easy breezy dinners. so tonight, beer braised ribs.

wednesday night, tex mex beef. i'll grab some tortillas on my way home and some salad-y stuff from the backyard (woo!)

thursday night, i'll be working late, so slow cooker satay chicken should hopefully make bb forget it'll be the third slow cooker meal in a row. it's one of his faves.

friday night, i'm heading out to the movies with some ladies for a charity night. i'm sure i'll find something in town, and bb can fend for himself (slow-cooker leftovers? ha ha!)

saturday should be an excellent at home day, so i think i'll encourage bb to cook up a giant pot of bolognaise. his is always so excellent and there's a distinct lack of it in the freezer at the moment.

sunday, i'll be taking bb back to the airport as he's heading interstate for work again. i might have that carbonara i didn't cook last week as i forgot to buy bacon... if i remember to buy bacon that is!

what are you eating this week? what's your favourite slow cooker meal?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

my week.

oops! this post seems to get written later and later on a sunday, though only because there's always lots of nice stuff happening.

check out the awesome socks that my mum found in downtown warburton yesterday (while i was working *sob*)
apparently, they're made up of recycled cotton, and i love that they kinda match, but kinda don't. so rad!

while bb was away this week, sampson had to stage a knitting intervention. i started on a colourwork beanie and got a wee bit obsessed (just one more row/pattern repeat...)
it wasn't so effective, as i got my patterns all done before i went to sleep. a very late/early night for me!

one of the few pictures i took from the girls weekend, was of my first loaf of bread in ages. resting in front of the just-lit fire.
the short amount of time i spent up there was pretty idyllic. great food, the most excellent company, some sweet and cheerful little ones underfoot and SO much knitting. dreamy really!

last sunday, i got to sneak in a few snuggles with the cutest of bunnies while chatting with a lovely gal pal. i don't know that he enjoyed himself, but i sure did!

ooh, and for those who were wondering, all of my mending jobs from earlier in the week... they're all done! i was a good egg and finished them all up before i pulled out the aforementioned colourwork, lucky too as it was nigh impossible to put down!

what happened in your week? have you ever snuggled with a bunny? are you a colourworker?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

show and tell.

the finished item i'm sharing today is a little different to what i'd normally make. well, actually, it's quite similar as it's a beanie. and i make TONNES of those babies!
but the design and even the construction are quite different to what i'm used to whipping up.

the fairy snow cap is a top down, lace patterned hat which knit up surprisingly quickly considering how much i procrastinated with it...
i think the trick was, that i wanted to knit the sleeves of my cardigan even less ha ha! this entire hat was completed in the time it took me to knit ONE sleeve on my cardigan (ie. this would be the reason that first sleeve took me so long ha ha!)

the colours, and pattern were picked out by my rad cousin, who i was making it for, but the choice of yarn was all mine!
i opted for debbie bliss cashmerino aran for the body of the hat, as i thought it's super smooth and squishy texture would hold that lace pattern nicely.
the (massive!) pompom is made up of almost an entire ball of debbie bliss blue faced leicester, which was the yarn i bought originally to knit before this pattern was decided on. the colour was so awesome though, i had to keep some and incorporate it anyway ha ha!

the thing i couldn't get over with this pattern (aside from the fact i thought it would be a great project to knit on the train while chatting, FOOL!) was that it only used one ball of yarn for the body of the hat. i'd purchased two, not even looking at the yardage requirements, just assuming that i'd need that at a minimum. what a pleasant surprise!
granted, if i'd used the same colour for the pompom, it would be a different story... but it did help to make the hat a super satisfying knit!

as always, all the details are over on my ravelry page.

what have you been making this week?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

meet the garments.

at the beginning of the month, i posted that i had quite a bit of mending i wanted to get working on.
for a bit of motivation, i thought i'd introduce them, which in turn, gets them out of the mending box and lying around the house. the opposite of out of sight, out of mind right??

garment number one.
a dress i picked up at a second hand market. YEARS ago!

after a few wears out on the town, the invisible zip ate itself! maybe a little bit too much 'me' in the dress didn't help.

i've done the unpicking on this one already. so it'll just be a matter of popping in a new zip... which i've already bought.
why haven't i done this already?

garment number two.
a super cute denim-y skirt (it's quite a light fabric).

it has needed mending since i picked it up from a friend's op-shop pile.
i thought to myself, i could fix that, no problem.

YEARS later, i've ripped out the broken zip (another self-eating invisible zip) AND have another ready to go in... sensing a pattern yet?

garment number three.
another hand-me-down garment...

this one is fully functional as it is, but the problem i have with it is more apparent when i'm actually wearing it...

the waist sits REALLY low on me, and the pockets are halfway down my LEGS!
this one needs a little bit more work than the previous two.
i'll need to unpick the zip at the back, unpick the waist and take out some fabric before re-attaching the skirt to the bodice and then reattaching the zip to the skirt. phew!
shouldn't take too long once i get into it though...

garment number four.
this one is a bonus and wasn't actually in my mending box at all. i wore it to work yesterday and remembered why i hadn't worn it in a while...
it's a dress i've had for quite a while and has had quite a bit of wear. for that reason it's starting to fall apart a little.
the ribbon that ran through the channel is LONG gone and always sat a little high on me for what i like.

i've been wearing it with a belt for ages, and it looks a little silly with the sewn channel for the ribbon AND a belt.
an episode of something on netflix and an unpicking session and this should be pretty much ready to go!

knowing me, it'll be the first lot of mending done ha ha!

now, i'd best get to pulling my sewing machine out of the cupboard. i wonder how much of this list i can get done this afternoon?

do you have some items that have been in your mending pile for an age? how do you feel about invisible zips?

Monday, August 17, 2015

meal planning monday.

this week, i'll be on my own a couple of nights, while bb is interstate for work. i'd say i'll be making lots of single serve dinners of things bb doesn't necessarily like to eat ha ha.
let's see shall we?

tonight, i'll whip up a couple of batches of soup. i had the oven on yesterday to make breakfast, and threw some teeny butternut pumpkins, and some leeks in to roast while it was on. potato and leek AND pumpkin soup will be stocking the freezer!

tomorrow night, carbonara! one of bb's least favourite meals. i'll bump up the health factor with a big salad of backyard rocket, and wholegrain pasta. should still be delish!

wednesday night is ncb night. hopefully i'll be meeting up with some lovely crafty folks for some scrummy food and chatter.

thursday night, i'll grab some sausages out of the freezer and whip up some meatballs. simple.

friday, i'm heading off on a country adventure for an annual girls weekend away. i'm sure there'll be a whole lotta delicious food happening, but seeing as how i'm in charge of breakfasts, i have no clue what it'll be. blissful!

on my return on sunday, i think i'll pick up a chicken on my way home. roast chicken will be a perfect sunday dinner!

what are you eating this week? what's your favourite sunday dinner?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

my week.

phew! what a big week it's been!

there have been kitty hugs and brotherly catch-ups, with bb's brother returning to the country after spending MONTHS overseas. it was rad to catch up with all of his brothers, as well as sisters-in-law AND my cheeky, cutesome nephew.

i also managed a quick trip to shortstop for some donuts... it was so hard to make a decision on what to choose, i was tempted to go for one of everything! i made the choice of just two though, mainly because i was headed out for a yummy birthday lunch with bb. i then shared the donuts with the aforementioned family ha ha.

with some sunshine happening over the weekend, there was some outside time had too!
i discovered a wee little strawberry AND realised that what i thought was a giganto milk thistle, is actually a little thicket of rocket.
on closer inspection, several of what i assumed to be weeds in the back yard, were actually self-sown rocket too! i have a feeling there'll be lots of rocket-ty salads in my imminent future!

i was very spoilt on my lucky day on tuesday with lots of new literature. the to-read pile on my bedside table is nicely plumped, but might see me sneaking out of bed for midnight snacks ha ha!

what have you been up to this week? read any good books lately? what's your favourite donut flavour?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

show and tell.

as promised last week, i'm back again today to spill some details about one of my newly(ish) finished projects...
this week, it's my featherweight cardigan.

in complete opposition to last week's cowl, where i fell in love with the pattern (well sample...) first, with this project it was all about the yarn!

ever since i started working in the yarn shop, i'd been drawn to the skein yarns... particularly the silk merino sport. the feel of the yarn in the hank is so silky and beautiful and the COLOURS! the hand dyed colours are just out of this world.

the colourway i used was 'sterling' and to me, it was just begging to be made into a staple cardigan. it would go with everything in my wardrobe and be an absolute dream to wear. but which pattern to use...?

that question was answered after a shipment of the knitbot essentials pattern book arrived into store.
after a bit of a ponder about tension (the knitbot patterns are generally written with quite a loose tension for beautiful drape) i took a skein home to play with and after a couple of swatches nailed the tension and cast on right away!

the entire knit took me a little over 2 months as i flagged substantially when it came to knitting the sleeves. the first one took me a good few weeks! the second one, only 3 days! i will definitely be knitting both sleeves at the same time next time i have to knit them.

after finishing it up, and giving it a good block of course, i've been wearing this cardi pretty much non-stop! i love it so much, even if it's not quite warm enough to be worn on it's own at the moment... melbourne is still in the depths of winter it would seem, so much layering has been happening ha ha!

as a full disclaimer, because this yarn is a 50/50 silk merino blend, there has been a wee bit of pilling happening when i've been wearing it, but i had a fair idea that would happen before i even started swatching.
i decided that i could live with giving it a de-pill after every couple of wears as it would just be such a dream to knit and wear. so far, i'm right!

there are some more technical details over on ravelry.

now to stop dreaming about how many other colourways i could knit up...

what have you finished recently? what's your most favoured finish?

Monday, August 10, 2015

meal planning monday.

monday, monday, wherefore art thou weekend? i feel like we should petition for a 3 day weekend no? anyone? ha ha!
i guess complaining won't make it any less monday, so i'll just jump straight in.

for tonight, i've got some fresh, farmer's market fennel in the fridge, so i'll whip up one of my fave pastas with chorizo. yum!

tomorrow, i'll be heading into the city to have a fancy lunch with bb to celebrate turning 27! getting old ha ha! as i'm sure we'll make an afternoon of it, and probably be quite full, i'll pop some potato and leek soup in the slow cooker before i head in and find some delicious bread on the way home.

wednesday night, i'll grab some chicken out of the freezer and throw together a curry. it never did happen over the weekend as we caught up with friends for dinner instead.

thursday night, mince out of the freezer, and the beautiful cabbage i picked up from the farmer's market should make up a delicious chow mein. perfect.

friday, i'll be working late. osso bucco in the slow cooker, and bowls of pasta and steamed carrot and broccoli in the fridge ready to serve.

saturday, i'll be working during the day, but i think bb's mum will be coming to visit. we might just have to go out for dinner to keep the birthday celebrations rolling...

and sunday, i'm excited to be home all day! thinking i might drag the deep fryer out of storage as bb has been mentioning it more and more frequently and it has been a LONG time. fried chicken anyone?

what are your plans for the week ahead?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

my week.

oh my goodness it's been a busy one! though it's nice to take this little bit of time to review it before i get myself off to work on this chilly sunday morning and start to get organised for the week ahead.

date night on monday night, saw bb and i trekking all over the city and ending the evening with sushi train. definitely one of my favourites, though i'm not sure bb was so keen... being out all day though, meant i missed the arrival of my PASSPORT (tick that off the yearly list, though i do still need to get bb's happening...)

this week has seen lots of sweet eats, a trip to the hopetoun tea rooms in the city yesterday after a super successful wedding shoe expedition (in and out within 10 minutes, who even am i?) meant cake and tea galore. and there was a wee jaunt to the nitro lab on burke st, after some craft group dumplings were had on wednesday night.

thursday night saw me balancing out the sweet with some savoury though. the cheese and charcuterie table at rowan's book launch was to die for! and i got the copy of my book (i received it the night before as a gift) signed to boot. such a great inspirational night out!

in an attempt to make up for all my rich and decadent eating, i popped over to the collingwood children's market yesterday morning to snap up some delicious vegetables for the week ahead. now to get to my meal plan so we can eat them all up!

what has your week looked like this week? get up to anything fun?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

show and tell.

one of the thoughts that had been percolating in my head over my month (and a bit, oops!) away from this space, was what i liked to blog about, what i had to say, and why i started blogging in the first place.
the answer to the latter at least, was to connect with like minded crafty folks (definite tick in that basket) as well as to document what i was making as a bit of a visual journal for myself.

looking back over the last few months (years even...) there's been significantly less of that happening, but that all changes today!
my (rather grand) intention, is for thursday to be a ta-da post of sorts. some pictures and a few words about my most recent project off the needles or hook or sewing machine...
i assure you, i'm not finishing a project a week, but i do have a little backlog happening at the moment.

today's show and tell is my triple stitch cowl.

my love for this cowl started when the clever folks at cleckheaton sent in a sample to the shop where i work, for us to display. handling it, the drape and feel of the fabric was divine, and the moment i looped it around my neck and admired it in the mirror, i knew i'd be making one of my own.
i immediately started thinking about colours... basically everything i own and wear is blue, or cool-toned, so i'd have to go with something that would work with that, but i wanted to avoid knitting something else that was blue ha ha.
'dark grape' caught my eye as being the perfect choice! it goes beautifully with 90% of my wardrobe (a couple of red cardigan/jumpers and an orange dress are really the only problems...)
my only regret is that it was a little hard to knit with at night in dark cafes ha ha. i have a nice overhead lamp set up at home so that was no issue.

the triple stitch cowl, gets it's name as it is made up of panels of three different stitch patterns of varying lengths. a kind of broken rib, a slanty square pattern, and some simple garter lines.
as the pattern was basically always about to change, it kept things fun and interesting to knit, with the exception of the 50cm of the rib section at the start. it was SUPER dense and seemed to take a while, but it was the uphill climb of a steep hill, with a leisurely and quick roll down the other side.

i've worn the cowl out and about a LOT, but it's been particularly great the last couple of days, when i've been in the city and it's been freezing! as it's so long, i can actually wrap it three times around my neck, to keep myself super snug and warm. and because, although i knit 34879234 beanies a year, i don't actually OWN one that i'll wear, it's good to pull up over the back of my head to cover my ears up too.
it does look a little bit 'old-lady' but i can get around that when it's less than ten degrees outside ha ha!

i've got all of the details of this knit up on my ravelry page if you're interested in the technical details.

what have you recently finished up? anything to show and tell?

Monday, August 3, 2015

meal planning monday.

monday's, here again!
this week, i want to try really hard to use up some stuff that's in the freezer... on the nights i'll actually be home that is!

tonight, bb and i are reinstating date night! i'll head into the city after work and meet up with him to find somewhere yummy to eat together.

tomorrow night, i'll heat up some bolognaise sauce from the freezer and pair it with a whole load of steamed veggies, as well as a wee bit of pasta. quick and easy dinner so i'll have more time for knitting!

wednesday night is ncb night! i can't wait as we've skipped the last few due to lack of numbers. i miss my crafty ladies!

thursday night, i'm heading into town again! this time for a book launch for an awesome lad.

friday night, i'll be working late. i think i'll grab some beef ribs out of the freezer and whack them in the slow cooker with some beer to slow braise. perfect to come home to after work.

saturday, i'll be roadtripping out west for a crafty housewarming party. i might grab some chicken out of the freezer and bb can whip up a curry.

and finally sunday, i'll be working! i might grab some mince out of the freezer, and make up some burgers. bb can physically cook them, while i relax after work ha ha.

gosh it's a busy week ahead! fingers crossed i can keep to this plan and clear out some space in the freezer!

what are you eating this week? do you keep much in your freezer?

Saturday, August 1, 2015


why hello there! a little bit of a blogging break was had over the month of july.
i completely and totally felt i needed a little time away from this space, to have a think about how i was feeling and to rest up. a little hibernation if you will...

i'm back this month though, with a few goals for this month and a couple of new ideas for what i would like to do with this wee space.

july was a purposefully pretty slow month for me. well kind of... i wanted to avoid this space to get to doing some of the things that had been building up and building up since the start of the year.
and now, a few long term knitting projects are off the needles, the unread magazine pile beside my bed is whittling down, and the number of unread blog posts in my bloglovin' feed is low and staying low.
i've also been making sure i get some movement in my days, committing to my 10 000 steps a day for the large majority of the month and the last couple of weeks, taking measures to bring my diet back in check.
the whole process is definitely making me feel a little bit better, and yesterday i woke up with more energy than i have in MONTHS! it feels awesome!

my goals for the month ahead include finishing up a hat that i started during the week, finishing up a beanie i'm writing up a pattern for (eep!) and making a start on the re-knit of the jumper i knit for bb (i frogged it a year ago! that time sure went quickly...). i finished the swatch for it last night, so i'm hoping after a wash, my tension will be ok and i can get started on it straight away!
the other big project on my to-do list is my box of mending! i've got two garments (a dress and a skirt) that need re-zippering, and a dress that needs the waist band altered. my sewing machine will be out and proud on my dining room table for a few weeks i think. i'll aim to get one garment fixed a week... we'll see how that goes ha ha.

i also want to get back on the meal planning bandwagon. i'm hoping to save some $$$ this month by not buying food at work for the entire month, and to maybe even keep track of my savings to keep me motivated.
i'm also hoping to keep moving, with at least 10 000 steps a day, and maybe even a take a few runs too. i ran for the first time in ages last weekend and it felt really great! my 5k run took me nearly an hour, but i think i can improve on that time for sure.

what are your plans for the month ahead? feeling motivated?