Winter Knitting & The Aquarium

So, I’ve decided to start a new blog. I tried to move my previous posts over from Squarespace but it didn’t work very well, I only got a couple across. I’m not too upset about it, it feels nice to start fresh. I often feel a bit on and off with having a blog because I like to take pictures but I don’t really like writing. I’ve decided to take the pressure off myself though and just do what I feel like on the day I decide to blog.

Knitting: I’ve cast off two knits in August- The little white sweater is the Camillia Babe pattern by Carrie Bositck Hoge and the blue suit one is the Bonsai Suit by Misha & Puff. I used wool from Millpost Merino for the Bonsai Suit and it’s by far the softest wool I’ve ever used.

Sewing: Juniper Kitty by Posie patterns

Stitching: A start quilt for Ed. I’ve finished the main stars on the blocks but need to decided on what boarder to put around them.

Cooking : Roast veggies

Visiting: The aquarium! We caught the train to Melbourne for the night because Wal was working in the city the next day. Ed and I visited the aquarium, went to Luccellos, had lunch in a lane way and brought bath bombs from Lush. Fun.

Drinking : Rooibos tea

Watching: Doc Martin

Buying: The little house brooch is by Nastia Slepstova. I have one on all my favourite knits.

Wearing: My linen Lisa dress with tights and cardigans

I hope you’re keeping well x

 

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A few Days Away

Knitting : I finished off the honey hat for Ed and I’m now trying to work out a pattern for it in different sizes. I used some Quince & Co Osprey I had left over from another project. I finished the Misha & Puff Chickadee cardigan too and put some buttons on it. I used Shiny Happy Cotton from Wool and the Gang and its the softest cotton I’ve ever knit with. I want to knit the Little Lighthouse sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge for Ed for winter but Quince is all out of the grey colour I want so I am hoping it’ll be back in stock soon so I’ll have time to knit it for this winter. I was inspired to knit it after I saw this one in a sweet little shop called Elfie London.

Sewing: Dolls dolls and more dolls. And loving it.

Stitching: Doll hair and little shoes

Cooking : Pesto pasta! I caved recently and purchased a jar of ready made pesto- Ive only ever made my own in the past. It was delicious and the jar didn’t last long at all. I still prefer homemade pesto but the stuff in the jar is good for lazy days.

Drinking : Soda water

Reading: Country Style magazines from the library for me and Peepo for Ed.

Wanting: Better soil in my garden. I think we might have to buy a load to spread out. I really want to fix up our front garden and plant some flowers out the back

Enjoying: LOVELY days away with fellow makers. A dear friend invited me to stay with her at her parents house for a weekend of knitting and quilting. It was bliss. We walked to get coffee and have eggs in the morning then crafted all day and topped the night off with fish & chips on the pier. It got a bit chilly sitting on the pier but it was still lovely. I finished some dolls I had been working on and the other girls made quilts. I am SO incredibly inspired now to give hand quilting a go. I have been dreaming of different fabrics and patterns ever since I got home on sunday night.

Loving: Mornings at the park with my boy.

Listening: The Harry Potter audiobooks again. I find them so familiar and comforting.

Buying: A book to send to a friend. She is sending me a nail polish brand that I can not find in Australia and I am sending her the second book in the Outlander series.

Watching: Jessica Jones.

Smelling: Peppermint in the diffuser

Wearing: Bathers and summer dresses. We have been going to the local pool a lot this summer. It’s 2 days into autumn and its still hot though… not so happy about that. I don’t think its going to cool down until May either.

Admiring: The work of talented friends.

Feeling: Refreshed after my weekend away. Also feeling happy this weekend we have nothing on and we can just hang out together.

Sunflowers

Knitting : Finished off the wrap baby pants I was working on and the Studio Misha & Puff Popcorn vest I started ages ago. Now I’m on to the Filias Fall Suit by Strikdet.

Sewing: A Liberty of London Pillowcase for a friend and skirt for me… just as soon as I get around to cutting them out!

Stitching: Faces on dolls.

Cooking : Shepherd’s Pie.

Drinking : Lipton tea.

Reading: Virgins by Diana Gaboldon. Its a short prequel to the Outlander novels.

Wanting: Yarn that I don’t really need… but I really really want.

Deciding: On which felt to match with which fabric for some dolls I’d like to make.

Enjoying: Not having to go anywhere.

Wondering: If my zucchini plant might pep up a bit. It got pretty much roasted in a really hot day a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t been the same since.

Loving: Making new friends on Instagram. I asked a girl recently where she got a wall hanger I saw on her feed from and she said she could send me one if I liked. In return I have knitted her a hat and Im going to post it off this week.

Listening: To the Trolls soundtrack. Ed loves it.

Considering: Buying a doughnut baking tin.

Buying: A new dinner set. My very first grown up one in fact. I think its called Devon Cottage.

Watching: Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals.

Hoping: Its not really hot on the weekend because we want to take Ed to the zoo for his birthday.

Smelling: My lunch- garlic and butter pasta mmmm.

Wearing: A jumper. Im not sure if it really is cold or if its just not stinking hot and my body is not used to it.

Admiring: My sunflowers!

Feeling: All the feels. Its been a long time since I’ve watched the news properly but lately its been hard to escape.

Celebrating: Gearing up to celebrate the birth of the most fantastic little human who will be 4 on Saturday.

Playing: Duplo. Hoping to upgrade to Lego by the end of the week.

Grateful: For maker friends talk knitting and sewing with.

 

Hope you’re keeping well x

Early Mornings

Knitting : Paelas Wrap-over trousers for my friends baby that is due in winter. Im using Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 10ply in colourway, shadow. So squishy and yummy.

Sewing: I spent the weekend drafting a dress that would fit the A Maker’s Burrow Dolls. I made one, a little yellow one but as soon as I finished it I decided it needed a collar so I made another. So very very fiddly but so very very fun.

Stitching: Some miniature cross-stitch doll handbags. They remind me of the type of carpet bag Molly Weasley would carry.

Cooking :   Jammy thumb print biscuits. So yum!

Drinking : Really cold water. Its so very hot at the moment.

Reading: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. Im not sold on it. I’ll read a few more chapters but Im not hooked yet. What I am hooked on is reading Miffy and Brambly Hedge books to Ed.

Wanting: Ice cream

Deciding: What to cook for tea…. very uninspired today. There’s a really high chance of eggs on toast. Could even just be toast!

Enjoying: The air conditioner. I feel pretty lucky to have one on days like today. Its 40 degrees.

Waiting: For Wal to get home from work. Don’t get me wrong, days at home with Ed are the best but sometimes its hard to pep myself up enough to play Thomas the Tank Engine tracks when I’m not feeling all that imaginative.

Liking: This amazing site, Dharma Trading. They’ve got loads of dyes and things to dye. My friend put me on to it yesterday, I haven’t brought anything from them but she has and said they were good. I wouldn’t mind trying out their muslin to dye and make a quilt from.

Wondering: When the Liberty fabric I ordered last week is going to arrive.

Loving: My clipboard. Yes, I said clipboard. This one here– I got one from Office Works last week to rest my knitting patterns on. I write all over my patterns as I knit, counting rows and stitches . Its been brilliant to have something to lean on that I can carry around with me. I can also rest my cup of tea on it when I’m knitting in bed, very important.

Listening: To London Grammar- Rooting For You

Buying: Other than groceries and the essentials, not much at all this week. Except for coffee, I had a couple of takeaway coffees last week.

Watching: Still watching Arrow. I’ve got 2 seasons to go I think.

Hoping: To learn a bit more about photoshop. I wing it at the moment but I’d like to take an online class or have some time to look up some tutorials.

Smelling: Hot gumleaves. I love the smell of an Australian summer.

Wearing: The Lisa dress I made by Tessuti. Such a fantastic pattern. I made mine out of some rayon I brought a couple of years ago at Spotlight.

Thinking: I need to figure out a better sleep routine for myself. Its all over the place at the moment. I have been up before 4am every day for the last I don’t know how long. Usually I get to bed pretty early at night so its not too bad but lately I’ve been staying up watching Netflix and knitting.

Giggling: Ed: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Me: “Oh, I’m not sure, mate, why did the chicken cross the road?” Ed: “To get over the other side!” then starts laughing hysterically. Ive heard it a million times and more but I tell you what, when my kid tells me, its the best joke I’ve ever heard.

Feeling: Like I need things to slow a bit. Ed is 4 next month and I feel like I’ve missed things. Its gone so fast the last few years and well, I am feeling a little sad about him not being a baby anymore.

Mixing: Hopefully natural dyes soon! I have the stuff I need to do it but have been procrastinating for some silly reason. I have a dye date organised with a girlfriend next week to get the ball rolling and get me started.

Playing: Marbles! I forgot how much I loved marbles. I don’t actually remember playing them when I was a kid but I had a lot of them. I loved the colours. Little round gems.

Admiring: My very VERY first flowers. The first ones I’ve ever grown. Any day now I’m hoping to see some sunflowers and Zinnias open up.

I hope you’re well x

Slow Start

Knitting : Christmas gifts. I knit these mittens for my Mother in law. You can find the pattern and yarn details on my ravelry page.

Sewing: I have an elastic waist skirt on the go that is for a friend but it’s been on hold over Christmas… that and there is so much mess on my sewing table I cant actually get to my sewing machine.

Stitching: The Winterwoods ABCs sampler by Posie.

Cooking : Gnocchi with basil and broccoli pesto.

Drinking : Diet lemonade

Reading: Knitting patterns

Wanting: A double sheepskin for the couch- you know, the ones that are about 2 meters long because 2 have been sewn together? We have a leather couch and its lovely to look it at but its too cold to sit on in winter first thing in the morning and in summer you stick to it.

Deciding: What project to pick up after I’ve written this post; knitting, stitching or the other knitting.

Enjoying: Having Wal home from work for 2 weeks.

Waiting: For the postman. Seriously, I feel like I’m always waiting for the postman. This time its for a new bedspread I brought of ebay.

Liking: Longer days.

Wondering: If I’ll ever get my act together when it comes to a house cleaning routine. Ive been trying for so long to establish something that works but I still seem to hate doing it just as much as I ever did. I thought once I’d finished up work to be at home full time I wouldn’t mind doing it but I can still think of a million things Id rather be doing than putting clothes mountain away. I drove into town the day before Christmas and went to a packed shopping centre because I was procrastinating. I would rather endure that than clean up.

Loving: That the older Ed gets the more he looks like me.

Listening: To cars and crickets.

Considering: Tidying my sewing room.

Buying: Some liberty fabric for my soul niece’s 3rd birthday present. Im going to make her a pillowcase.

Watching: Arrow. Im hooked, I really want to know what happened to him on the island!

Hoping: To write up a pattern for a hat I knitted last winter. Soon.

Needing: To drink more water.

Smelling: Eucalyptus oil in the defuser.

Wearing: Linen dresses.

Thinking: About alll the things I want to do and make! So. Many. Things. To. Make.

Admiring: Vintage quilts and wishing so much that I had a longer attention span so I could try this one.

Giggling: At funny text messages from my soul sistah.

Feeling: Like some good things are coming, they’re right there, on their way, so close!

Mixing: Biscuit dough! Butter biscuit dough to be exact.

Celebrating: Christmas and New Year.

Forgetting: Appointments. I’ve lost track of the days over the last few weeks.

Closing: The back door. Constantly. Between an almost 4 year old and the giant dog the door is always open and the house is full of flies.

Playing: With water bombs or as Ed calls them, water loons.

Learning: I’m reading up on how to use natural dyes to dye wool and Ed is learning how to use the pedals on the bike he got from santa.

I hope you’re keeping well and had a lovely Christmas.

A Knitting Pattern

Oh Hi! been a while, hasn’t it?! Where have I been? Well, I’ve been around, mostly at home or in the reserve or in front of the fire we had installed this year. Ive been making dolls and knitting Gumnut hats, reading stories and collecting eggs- it’s been my most enjoyable winter yet. I’ve popped in today to share with you something I’ve been working on this winter. I’ve been busy writing a knitting pattern for the Gumnut Hat and Im pleased to announce that the pattern is now available for purchase here on Ravelry

The Gumnut Hat is perfect for the growing little ones in your life. Because of the ribbed design the hat grows with the child, enabling a comfortable fit over a few winters. Designed to cover little heads and ears it’s sure to keep them warm and cosy during the cooler months.

A quick and enjoyable knit, the Gumnut Hat is knit flat starting with the front band. The flat knitting is then folded in half and joined together using Kitchener stitch. The neckband is picked up along the bottom edge and knit in rib stitch with an i-cord attached to both corners after the neckband has been bound off. The hat can be knit with either one strand of Aran weight yarn or two strands of worsted weight yarn.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen Ed sporting one in just about every colour! What can I say, I had to do a lot of test knitting for the pattern. Ive used 3 different yarns for the pattern: Quince & Co OspreyCascade Lana d’Oro  and Swans Island worsted. All so squishy and dreamy to work with I couldn’t just pick one. I really love knitting these little hats and I hope you will too.

I’m hoping to return to this space a bit more frequently very soon. Until then, thanks for stopping by and I hope you’re keeping well.

Life Lately

Here’s what we’ve been up to lately:

  • Ive been making Christmas presents for friends and family. I was trying to do a totally handmade Christmas for Ed but failed when I stepped into Toy World and saw a big Woody doll and knew how much he’d love it; and he does.
  • We’ve been balling wool and getting a jump on knitting things for the cooler months. I keep having to remind him to only turn the handle one way when he’s balling though otherwise its a big ‘ol mess. I know I could probably do it when he’s not about and it would be much quicker but he really does love it so I save the balling part for him.
  • A new cafe has opened up just over the reserve so we’ve been taking walks via the playground to get a coffee and some cake.
  • Reading books. LOTS of books.
  • Playing with Christmas presents. Im not sure how enjoys it more, Wal or Ed.
  • Playing in the sprinkler (or sprinkles as Ed calls it) at night time before bed to cool off. Usually I really dislike summer but seeing it through Ed’s eyes is slowly starting to bring me around to it.

 

I hope this finds you well and happy x

 

PS I’m also doing this Natural dying class in February. I. CANT. WAIT. Sooooo many great things to look forward to this year already!

Paris Happened

So, Paris happend…. a couple of months ago! Yes, I am really that far behind on sharing our holiday pictures with you. I have moved my blog over to the Squarespace platform and its taken me a little longer to get things set up than I had hoped; So thats where I have been incase you were wondering.

Above are the only pictures I have of our time in Paris as the rest were stored on my phone, which I managed to leave in a taxi in Rome *slaps forehead. It chucked it down the whole time we were there making it very hard to get out and about with a wee one and no rain cover for the pram. Not that the pram was much good to us in the streets of Paris anyway. We ended up using the Ergo carrier for the length of our stay there. I managed to duck out for a couple of hours to visit some yarn shops and have a bit of a wander sans kiddo and husband. We stayed in a great little Airbnb place, again the photos are on my phone, but if you wanted to take a look here, is the link to our accommodation. Our host was lovely and we were lucky it was such a lovely little apartment  because due to the rain, we did end up spending a bit of time there! Ed’s favourite part of Paris were the pigeons, mine was the pretty yarn shops & buildings and, well, Im not actually sure what Wal’s was but I think it was the cheap beer- It was that last time we went to Paris and he and Paris hasn’t changed much since then so I’ll go with beer again.

I’ll leave you with some yarny goodness from my day out shopping in Paris. I only brought 2 skeins because I out did myself at Loop so I really had to behave in Paris- also, I think if I tried to stuff one more thing into my luggage at this stage the zipper would have burst.

I hope you’re enjoying your start to November.

Caitlan x

Portobello Road & Loop London

We got home last Wednesday. It was a great trip but boy, was I glad to get home by the end of it. Travelling with a toddler is certainly a lot different to travelling as a couple or by yourself- especially a 2 and a half year old who decided it would be a great time to test out his right to have the “terrible twos” tantrums in places like St. Peter’s Basilica. I did get a little taste of alone travel though on the day I left the boys in search of my dream store, Loop. I mapped out my journey the night before as I wanted to head back to Notting Hill that day too. I had been to Portobello Road last time we visited London but I really wanted to go back. I am a sucker for the pretty coloured doors and houses. It wasn’t the first time I’d used the tube but it was the first time I’d used it by myself… I know it’s super easy to use but I was still really proud of myself. It can be pretty daunting when you’re not used to it. I must say it was soooo much easier when you’re not trying to get a pram up the stairs!

I visited Alice’s Antiques along the way. It’s Mr Grubers Antique Shop in my current favourite movie to watch with Ed, Paddington. I also went to The Notting Hill Bookshop, also known as the The Travel Bookshop that Hugh Grant owned in the movie, Notting Hill. I spent ages poking around in there and chatting to the lady that owned it. I ended up selecting a copy of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by Beedle the Bard to read to Ed. It’s another one from the Harry Potter story- a book young witches and wizards are read by their parents.

Afterwards I made my way out to Loop. I got a wee bit lost and stopped at a cozy English pub for a pot of tea *cough vodka, but found my way eventually. Oh man, I didn’t want to leave when I got there. Everything about the store is wonderful; the displays, the walls of wool and the ambiance that makes you want to curl up on the comfy couch by the window with your needles clicking and a cup of tea…. actually, if there were an open fire there I would probably be sitting there right now doing just that. The staff are just as wonderful too and a member of the team spend ages upstairs balling the wool I had purchased so I didn’t have to do it by hand and could start knitting as soon as I got home- very sweet I thought. I have been thinking about how lovely it must be to work there in winter when the snow is falling outside the window. Ok, so I know it’s probably super busy all the time and no one that works there actually gets to sit about gazing at the snow outside while knitting over tea but this is my fantasy, so don’t piss on my chips and tell me any different.

So what did I buy you might ask? well, it’s all balled up and I put the labels somewhere in my suitcase (thats sitting in the middle of our lounge room that I haven’t unpacked yet and am  just getting what I need out as I need it) BUT I did pop a picture of my purchases in for you. I got some cute stitch marked, the Loop 10 year anniversary book and also a really cute book called Granny Chic. Granny Chic has soooo many super cute projects in it. I have been wanting to make a fabric covered chair for ages but have never gotten around to looking up how to do it. I was super excited to find the instructions – or “recipe” as it’s called in the book- on how to do it. For anyone out there who is obsessed with pretty floral fabric, wool and crafty bits this book is a MUST. I pick it up at least 4 or 5 times a day and flick through. Also, the paper smells really good too. On a side note- how pretty is the new to me bed sheet my sweet friend Bea thrifted for me!

On a kiddo note- He LOVED watching the garbage man outside our apartment window in London. He got really upset one morning calling out for “Woody!”. It took me ages to figure out why but then I finally remembered the scene out of Toy Story when Woody is in the garbage truck. So Wal and I hunted high and low for his Woody doll (the one time the bloody thing isn’t sticking in the bottom of our feet because we’ve stepped on it) to show him that Woody wasn’t in the truck. We finally found him and all was right with the world again.

P.S I just came across this book, Snail Mail while looking up the link for Granny Chic to show you. I couldn’t help but buy it so I’ll let you know what I think of it when it arrives. Maybe some snail mail writing might be in my future….