Sunday, March 30, 2014

'Tis a lucky gal, that I am

Yes indeedy, one very lucky gal indeed!! Have a lookity look at what appeared in my letter box this week. The lovely Monique from Monique's Mess gifted me with these gorgeous fabric panels that she designed and hand printed.

Aren't they lovely!! Love, love, love the hue blue!! 'Tis my favourite colour.

When one visits Monique's lovely blog, one realises from her banner with snapshots of her gorgeous innovative prints and the creative projects that she fashions from them, that here is a unique and clever designer!!

Mere mortals such as I, when embarking on a stitching project, either visit a shop to purchase fabrics needed, or in my case, more often than not, upcycle some gorgeous vintage textile unearthed in an op shop or at a market; but, Monique seems to 'simply' capture photos of nature and transposes them from her creative mind into a design, manufactures a stamp and begins to play with the stamp which seems to magically end up as a gorgeous length of fabric filled with colour, design and pattern. Just have a bo-peep at the cute-as-cute frilly, baby rompers that Monique stitched from her original geranium leaf fabric. So, so visionary!!

My eyes can't seem to stop gazing at these lovely prints. I will have to clear out the labrynth of cobwebs from my brain pan and dream up some lovely creation/s worthy of these "one-of-a-kind" fabrics. These original fabrics demand nothing less.
 So...thank you Monique for gifting me these lovely fabrics; 'happy mail' to some, but to me, something much more. Walking on air kinda mail, or perhaps, feeling on cloud nine kinda mail. However one might classify this mail, all I know is that, this particular delivery from Her Royal Majesty's postal delivery representative, has left me feeling kinda chirpy and gratified!!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Knitting up a storm

Yes indeedy, I have been knitting up a storm the last two weeks, but I am afraid that my patterned jumper didn't grow as much as I would have liked. No,'s not that my needles have been sitting idly in my knitting basket. Quite the contrary, the constant clickety clack tune of my needles as my fingers and hands knitted in a frenzied state, and at the risk of carpel tunnel syndrome, have knitted row upon row of lovely patterns. Indeed my little fingers have knitted themselves in such a crazed, repetitious fashion that I was quite sure they would combust into a pool of melted corpuscles!!

But, and this is a very big BUT; I continually made little boo boos, which though tiny, had to be unravelled. It's amazing how one little stitch in the wrong place can upset the pattern and look positively ghastly. I do apologise for being melodramatic.......but 'tis the truth!! One's eye doesn't see the lovely rows of  different just sees the glitch...and I might add that the glitch seems to be magnified....aggravatingly so!! The problem with one, finding one's little boo boos, is that one doesn't seem to notice them until one has knitted countless rows!! To put it politely, 'tis a pain in the royal derriere!!

But...hallelujah I have finished the back of my jumper!! I know, I know....I took my own sweet time, but here 'tis.

The two patterns that I added are another cable (I just lurve cables) and a bicolour tweed stitch.

I have decided that I will knit one of the sleeves next, as there are less stitches and they are quicker and more fun to knit. I will knit the front after the sleeves are knitted.

I did intend to start knitting the sleeve today but some friends and I found ourselves at a little cafe at a little seaside town. Our husbands went for a little bike ride of about 25kms and we followed in the support car. Oh I was such a support, waving my husband to the finish line in the comfort of a rather cushy automobile. You really didn't expect me to feverishly propel one of those velocipedes did you?? Firstly I don't do lycra!!!!! AND, secondly there is no way on God's sweet earth that I would sit on one of those mighty uncomfortable, itty bitty saddles seats pedalling for dear life, up and down hill and dale for one kilometre, let alone 25 kilometres!!

Then, glory be.....the making of my day. Have a lookity look at what awaited me standing tall and proud on the deck of the cafe. A gorgeous tree arrayed in a bevy of colourful knits and crochet lovelies!! Don't you just love it. I must admit that I slipped into a state of apoplexy. It's just as well that a few capuccinos were on hand to revive me. Me thinks that one or two of our trees in our li'l garden need a winter woolly or two, to keep them warm and snug this winter, protecting them from that pesky wintry varmint, Jack Frost!!

Very avant garde, don't you think. Perhaps I should revisit the cafe, attired in my 'jumper of many colours' when it is finished. Me thinks me and my jumper would look perfectly at home in these gleeful surroundings.

And now for the piece de resistance.......a bicycle complete with basket, wrapped in a smothering of colourful knits!! Now don't that beat all'!! I really, really NEED one!! I really, really do!!

So there you have it, a perfect day, sitting and chatting with friends over a capuccino or two, enjoying colourfully knitted surroundings......aaah such bliss!!

Linking up to Janine's lovely blog Rainbow Hare "Wool on Sundays"

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's been a while.....

.....since I last chatted about the cathedral quilt that I have been stitching. Alas, there is no finished quilt, enriched with lovely patterned and coloured window panes resting on our guest bed....BUT.....there has been some progress, albeit only a little.

Another panel of  windows folded and stitched...........

......then pinned and stitched to the completed panel; seen in all it's glory, in my previous post.

Scraps of fabric squares added to the windows of the joined folded squares and pinned in readiness for stitching by machine.

I am finding the machine stitching of this cathedral beauty to be a tad laborious as it grows, window by window. It is a tad problematic wrestling with the bulkiness of the quilt, whilst carefully stitching the curve of each window and getting those darn corners to look perfect heavenly!!
There we go......two panels finished. Only four or five.....or perhaps six to go!! I am still having issues regarding the uniformed look of the corners, but I must admit that I am loving the overall look of this quilt. I love all the colourful, gazillion of patterns  which give a wonderful scrappy look, culminating in a very pretty and adventitious kinda quilt. I love, love, lurve pretty!!
A scrappy quilt with not too much thought and worriment of the exact placement of every fabric which can result in a constant furrowed brow; is my very favourite type of I am a 'go with the flow' kinda gal.

I hope you have a lovely week filled with sunshine and stitching. I am off to stitch some more wonderful, heavenly cathedral windows......onward and upward !!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

knit one, purl one.......

...or was it knit one, slip one purl ways, knit one, pass slip stitch over?? Oh I don't head is in a bit of a muddle. You see I have decided to knit a jumper, using random balls of 8ply pure wool that I found tucked away in a cupboard; in readiness for Winter. I know, I realise the rest of Australia seems to still be in the throes of hot weather, but for us down  here at the bottom of the world (Tassie) it is getting a little cool and besides, by the time I have finished my jumper, Winter will have us in it's icy stranglehold!

Why am I in a muddle, you ask? Well.......... I'm not really following a pattern....I am just going to make it up as I go along, knit by the 'seat of my pants' so to speak. I am going to refer to these oft-used knitting books that are filled from front cover to back cover with glorious stitch patterns, to mix my jumper up a bit, both in pattern and colour. These books are my knitting bible to which I have referred time and time again. Mmm......not quite sure how this will turn out. It's just as well I will only bum around this li'l ole abode, clad in this experiment  original design!! I don't suppose I should be seen in public wearing this 'coat of many colours'....the locals will really wonder about the quirky lady who lives in the house on the hill (not that they don't already).
You didn't know that I love to knit, did you?? I have been knitting for what seems forever! As a little girl, I adored going with my mum to the haberdashery, where each week she would buy a few balls of wool that she had put away, for whatever garment she was knitting. My mum was the most beautiful knitter. I remember the soothing clickety clack sound of her knitting needles. It seemed to me, that my mum whipped up cardies and jumpers in an amazingly short amount of time. Fair isle, aran, intarsia, lacey patterns, motif knitting; you name it, she knitted it. She was always knitting; wherever we went, she would whip out her needles and knit and chat. I remember that my brother and I were always garbed in beautiful hand knits. Indeed many a comment would pass between passersby and my mum about the gorgeous hand knits that we were wearing.
This cute as cute cardie is one that my mum knitted my Pip when she was a wee li'l girl!! Mother duck being followed by her wee baby ducklings, waddling across the front and back of the cardie!! This cardie was knitted 25 years ago, in Patons Bluebell, a favourite wool of my mums and was worn to death. It still looks as if it was knitted yesterday. Remember when picture knitting was the rage?? Some of you won't, but those of you who, like me, tip-toed on the earth with the woolly mammoths.....will vaguely remember!!
 A baby layette that my mum knitted for my Pip's christening. Isn't it beautiful?
I learnt to knit at my mother's knee. I actually remember knitting my first jumper when I was only 10 years old. I still remember the wool. It was a beautiful blue, black and white boucle wool. I felt very grown up when I would go with my mum and ask for two or three balls that were on lay by at the haberdashery and the lady behind the counter would hand me my very own balls of wool, for my very own jumper that I was knitting. Alas, I seem to remember my jumper had a few too many holes, but I didn't care, in my childlike way I was very proud of my holey jumper. I thought it the most beautiful jumper in the whole wide world. Why, my holey jumper would have been the height of fashion these days, where dropped stitches are the next big thing.
My mum taught me so many important tension is, the different ply of wool, increasing, decreasing, knitting in the round, knitting with four needles, how to read a pattern......that she preferred to always knit with 100% pure wool, something that I have always remembered. Indeed there are pure wool garments that I  knitted 25 years ago and they are as beautiful today as they were way back then. Indeed, my daughter has commandeered some of them and wears them now. It seems thick cabled aran knits never go out of vogue. My mum told me to never hang hand knits on the line but to lay them flat on a towel to dry, another 'rule' that I strictly adhere to. So, so many little gems of my mum's knitting knowledge has been absorbed through my being. It's funny, isn't it, the things that we remember our mums telling us.
My mum always said that knitting is easy; that it is really just two stitches....knit and purl. Everything is a combination of these two stitches; a combination of knit and purl and the thousand ways that these two stitches can be interpreted and played with. And do you know what, knitting is easy. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want.

Now back to this woolly garment that I am going to knit. I knitted my husband this jumper a couple of seasons ago; again with no pattern; again making it up as I go.
The Front 

The Back 

And I must admit, that it didn't turn out half bad. Pattern after glorious pattern all combined in what adds up to be a very original jumper. Anyway my husband seems to live in it, so I am guessing that he considers it okay as well. It is made from 8ply pure wool and is wonderfully soft and warm.

So, first things first. I have knitted a lovely cable bask; much spiffier than a boring knit one, purl one rib; don't you think.

Then the fun begins. The fun of mixing different colours and patterns.
This pattern is called 'crossed bi colour stitch' knitted in two colours; incorporating knit and purl stitches  and slipping stitches purl wise. is.....really and truly!! I tell no lie!!
This pattern is a 'garter slip stitch' pattern, also using two colours.
This pattern is called Knot Ridges using many colours and slipping stitches to make little knots.

 BUT......the problem with 'making it up as you go' is that one makes little and BIG boo boos and one has to unravel some rows (sometimes many, many rows) and start again! It's just as well I am a patient gal!!

Deary, deary me!! Me thinks, this jumper is not going to be finished yesterday!! Indeed, it looks as if this original design is going to take quite a long, long time!!

So....all is well with my knitting world again; well at least for the time being. The stitches are back on the needles, the slight hiccup remedied and I can incorporate the next pattern. Mmm...I wonder what pattern I'll choose. Will it be a two colour brick pattern....or perhaps a two colour star stitch pattern.....or better still a lattice stitch pattern....oh I don't know....there are just too, too many glorious patterns from which to choose!! 
So toodlepips....I'll report back with a 'blow by blow' communique, when my jumper has grown some!!

Happy Knitting !!
Linking up to  Rainbow Hare Wool on Sundays