Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Secret Santa Project Revealed

Yesterday was our knitting groups Christmas breakup and a great time was had by all. It was also time to give out our Secret Santa presents. So I can now reveal the project that I had to be secretive about, remember the box. Well I can now reveal that this was the project hiding inside.

The Mason Dixon log cabin afghan was what took up a great deal of my time, I enjoyed every minute of this project and I even would like to make another one someday. This one is now residing at Ms Stashs and there will be a certain cat who will love it too I am sure.

So who was spoiling me this year? The lovely and very talented Cathy. She made the most gorgeous scarf, in my favourite colour. It is made with a technique called broomstick crochet, it will get a lot of wear when our cold weather returns next winter. Also she included some yummy coffee from Hudsons and she even thought of Rocky and included a couple of toys for him to play with, thankyou so much Cathy.

I have four squares left to do for the lizard ridge afghan and I am also making a couple of hats for my etsy shop. My children finish school tomorrow so that will mean a lot more noise but at least all the running around involved with school and school activites will finish for a couple of months. So till next time,
happy knitting.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fifteen Down, Nine To Go

Fifteen squares of the Lizard Ridge Afghan completed and nine more to go. I am really going to get stuck into them over the next few days as I would love to have this finished by Christmas!! Nothing like putting a deadline on your knitting is there. I must say that I love knitting these squares even if the thought of sewing them all together is a bit daunting. I am seriously considering making version 2 of this pattern but instead of using Noro I would simply choose two contrasting colours of 12 ply. Noro is a lovely wool but I have been somewhat disappointed with the over use of a certain colour, which I have whinged about several times now so wont go on about it anymore but I think the evidence is clear in the above photo.

Took part in a car boot sale over the weekend, the spot cost me $5 and I sold some stash, just bits and pieces of yarn left over from previous projects. Also some pieces of Tupperware from my days as a demonstrator and would you believe that I came home $206 richer, yippee. Will this be spent on more wool you ask? Normally that would be a yes but no not even something that is knit related, an autoharp is going to be heading my way. I learnt to play one in high school, not very well I must admit, but they are not too difficult to play and it has been on my to do list for quite a few years now. The old saying of never being too old to learn or something like that, so wish me luck and I will keep you posted on my musical frustrations.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Brimmed Cap Pattern

The Brimmed Cap Pattern is now available here. I will try and get the flapper hat pattern written up over the next few days.

Oh and I sold my first item over at my Etsy shop so I am a happy little camper :)

Friday, November 24, 2006

I've Crossed Over To The Dark Side

I've picked up the hook that is, check out the granny squares below:

what do you think? It took a while to get the centre bit working okay and if you look extra closely on some you will see exactly what I mean. I was forgetting to work a chain after each treble, see I even know the lingo ;) But never fear knitting is my one and only love and I will never stray too far from it, I just like to try new things every now and then.

I managed to get another brimmed cap made for my GEMS girls this one is made from Bendigo Rustic in wineberry colour, a beautiful girly colour and I hope to be adding a few of these over at Shazzas Knits Etsy shop in the not too distant future.

I have been asked about the pattern for this and the 1920's flapper hat and if I was going to sell them. Now I have been giving this a lot of thought and asked a few people for advice on this and really when I thought back to when I first started blogging and sharing my patterns, I got such a buzz out of exactly that, sharing my patterns. I think I am more into selling my finished items rather than my patterns, I mean these ones are only hats after all said and done. If I had come up with some fancy nancy jacket or jumper maybe, but a hat? No way, so I hope to get at least one if not both hat patterns written up over the weekend, I will keep you posted.

A friend of mine asked me if I could make her son a couple of hackey sacks and of course I said yes before I thought about all the other knitting I had on the needles already. Well anyway at least they are a quick knit and here they are before they are to spend a life of being kicked around! I made these ones inside out as I liked the way they looked but you can do either way really.

I am currently working on the 12th square of lizard ridge KAL and you know me, can't help myself I needed some mindless tv knitting so started another project! You may remember that my aunt sent me some Patons Inca and I have been wondering what to make with it and as there wasn't enough for a jacket or a jumper I decided on a garter stitch throw. I will post progress pics of both that and lizard ridge next time, until then, happy knitting.

Monday, November 13, 2006

2nd Hat and Mitten Set

I finished the 2nd hat and mitten set for The Soaring Eagles Project over the weekend, this is the same as the first set just slightly larger and a different colourway. I do hope they bring some joy to the little girls who will be receiving them. I will be sending them with a prayer that their Christmas will be a happy and bright one.

Another finished tea cosy, this one will be added to my growing list of items for sale in my etsy shop. This weekend the etsy site is getting a new look site and our shops will all be getting a makeover too so that is pretty exciting.

I am now working on more squares for Lightning Ridge KAL I am still getting slightly annoyed with all the purple that seems to be in just about every colour so far! I beleive there is some worker at Noro who has a fetish for purple and insists that it must be included in each ball, has anyone else found this to be the case? I am going to go and write a post about it over on the KAL website.

Last picture, but definately not least is some yummy hand dyed yarn made by one of my fellow knitting coven members, Katt isn't it just soooo pretty. The one on the left is 8ply self striping and will of course be made into Thuja socks have I ever mentioned how much I love that pattern? The pretty watermelon one is a 4ply sock yarn and will be made into Shazzas Socks eventually. Yes I do have a lot of sock yarn and definately, repeat definately do not need anymore! Oops I just remembered I ordered some Opal off Caroline, another member of the knitting coven who happens to be a supplier of Opal sock yarn, what hope have I got?

Till next time, happy knitting ;)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Went To The Big Smoke

Went to Hobart, Tasmanias capital city, for the weekend with Mr Brickie and the kids and a great time was had by all. Lots of sight seeing, eating and a bit of shopping thrown in as well, one of the best shops I found was Tasmanian Wool Suppliers in Moonah. I walked inside and just went WOW, it was huge, compared to our poky little LYS. I bought a couple of patterns but the biggest find was some chocolate brown aran pure wool at $4 a ball, both 10ply and chocolate brown are extremely hard to find here. Needless to say 12 balls are now residing at Shazzas residence.

I did get time to do some knitting in the car as Hobart is a 2 hour drive from Launceston. This is my latest hat design, just a simple peaked cap which has been in my mind for a while.

It took a bit of tweaking before I got the sizing right but I think it is okay now. This one is a prize for one of the girls in my GEMS group, we have an auction at the end of the year in which they spend points they have earnt over the year and there are heaps of girly things to choose from.

Another Muse Hat this time for one of Janelles friends, the colours are shades of red and orange her favourite colours, I hope she likes it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

First Ever Mittens

The first set completed for The Soaring Eagles Project. In all my knitting years I have never made mittens before, they were quick and easy even if they did prompt my youngest to ask, "Mum, why are you knitting a doodle?" Oh dear, I did quickly explain what they were and showed him a picture of what they were to become!!! As we are using acrylics for these items I had to go and source a soft acrylic and found Patons Feathersoft 8ply 55% nylon and 45% acrylic. Yes I am a bona-fide, dyed in the wool YARN SNOB and so the idea of knitting with man made fibres freaked me a little, I also get achy wrist joints and horrible harsh synthetic fibres aggravates this. But I have to admit that this one was okay, imagine baby yarn but in 8 ply and you have Feathersoft. I have one more set to make and that one will be the same but in a different colourway.

I have tweaked the 1920s Flapper Hats and below are the two sizes and colour versions I have come up with. They are both listed over at my etsy shop.

I was browsing in a local op shop on Thursday and picked the following up for $4, a bargain, especially the pink which is 12ply cotton and rare as hens teeth here in Australia. The other catches fire when lit with a match, luckily I decided to do this over the kitchen sink, so I think that must be acrylic and after my confession above about my dislike of this stuff, this may find its way to someone elses stash. It does have a nice soft feel to it though, so maybe I will knit a tension square and see how I feel after that.

Oh well that is about it for now, till next time happy knitting.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rachel, You're The Best!!

Australia Post deliver parcels to my door almost daily, most of it is for Mr Brickies work and the occasional knit related purchase for me. Today however, this one was for me and as soon as I saw this package I knew exactly what it was and who had sent it.

I wonder what the poor postie thought when I snatched it out of his hands and squealed, excitedly. My dish cloths have arrived and more, much more, Sugar n Cream, yippee! Look postcards from the other side of the world all the way from Oklahoma, oh wow I am one excited little chickadee let me tell you. Rachel you are the best and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your lovely present and also for organising the swap in the first place, all of us have had such a lot of fun participating and now you are busy co-ordinating The Soaring Eagles Project.

So thank you so much Rachel for your lovely dish cloths, which are way too pretty to use, the sugar n cream which here in Australia is unavailable, making it such a luxury and the lovely postcards giving me a bit of insight into your part of the world. Oklahoma always made me think of the musical but now it makes me think of you, my dear friend xx

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Etsy Shop Now Open

Finally got around to listing some items, hope to add some more soon but at the moment I am busy with a few other things, mainly The Soaring Eagles Project which now has some great buttons thanks to the wonderfully talented Lara and Cassa if you have a bit of spare knitting time head on over and check it out.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sneaky Peak

If you have been wondering why Shazza has been a little quiet lately, these hats might explain a bit. All this and the boring chores of keeping house for 5 people plus helping Mr Brickie with the running of our business doesn't leave much time for hours on the computer. I am not complaining, far from it, I just hope you will forgive me if I am behind visiting your blogs or replying to you.

This is my latest hat I have worked on, she is to be known as 1920's Flapper Hat. I love the fashion from that era and wanted to make a hat that represented the style of the time. This is made from some cotton that I had in my stash as she is just a sample for sizing and I have found that she could be a bit smaller so I will make a few adjustments and the 'real ones' will be made of wool as it holds it shape better.

This is Chunky Ski Beanie made with two contrasting 8ply wools knitted together which creates a lovely thick, warm hat.

This of course is one of my favourites the Muse Hat made from Patons Jet which is a lovely soft yarn of 70% wool and 30% alpaca.

Last but definately not least is another version of the Aviator Hat I made a while back. This is made out of 100% machine washable 8ply wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I do wish they would have an online store, um maybe not!!! Some of these will end up in my etsy shop which is empty at the moment and probably will be until next week when I finally get time to work on it. Speaking of etsy shops, one of my favourite bloggers Larj Marj has opened her own etsy shop now I knew she did lovely knitting but I didn't know that she also makes lovely jewelery. I love the cheeky name too ;)

Thanks for your kind, encouraging comments and emails about my neighbours well being. He is as we all knew he would be, his usual positive self and extremely optomistic about his future which is just simply amazing. I wish everybody had this guys positive outlook on life, the world would be a much better place.

I am going away with my GEMS girls group this weekend so that will be full on and not much time for knitting, unfortunately. It will be coming with me as it is a bus trip down and back and I may get to do a little bit at night, I hope.

Another knitting project that some members of my knitting group are getting involved in is the soaring eagles project organised by Rachel head on over and read all about it and see if you too can help make these childrens Christmas a little brighter this year. Rachel is also asking for some clever person to design a button for the blog so if you can help in this let either me or Rachel know, that would be fantastic, thankyou.

Till next time, happy knitting.

Friday, October 13, 2006

P is for Polly and Patience

Now I don't know if it is the same overseas but here in Australia our major pattern producers quite often use a star rating for their patterns, 1 for beginners through to 4 or 5 which means that there will be lace with shaping and or complicated fair isle etc. Some of these even come with a P so while they may be a 2 star rating which means easy if you see a P next to the stars it means that "an additional degree of patience is required for a quality finish" (their words not mine). Well this tea cosy is a 2 star pattern with a P and oh boy did I need patience to finish it. It was a slow tedious knit but well worth it in the end.

It is made of mostly garter stitch fair isle but the difference with this was that the threads at the back had to be pulled tightly as you worked, creating a quilt like fabric that insulates your tea pot keeping your brew nice and hot.

Will I be making more of these? Well that was is the plan because for a while now I have been toying with the idea of having my own Etsy shop to sell my knitting, not that I want to make money out of it but to reimburse my yarn buying habit would be good. My friends are often asking me for socks and hats so I thought that maybe others might like my handknits also. Oh well I can give it a go and see if it works or not, I have set up the shop but as yet there is nothing for sale as I have to get a few pieces together. It will be mainly hats, socks and the Polly tea cosies, I must be a sucker for punishment but I do like the quilting effect of the cosy so I will persevere. I am going to make different coloured ones and will offer to make any colour choice that my potential customers may have, so wish me luck and if I am absent from blogland it is because I am busy knitting.

I have knitted Crafty Bernies square (see previous post) and look how it turned out. There was a lot of red which didn't really show up when looking at the ball of Noro, I have noticed with this yarn what you see is definately not what you get! I mean look there is even purple in this square as well, I am convinced that the people at Noro do not have my taste in colour I mean why else would they keep putting purple in their wool. You would think that a ball of wool that had dark green and deep scarlet red would not have purple in it but it did. Seven squares down and seventeen to go just as well that I enjoy knitting this.

Last but definately not least these dish cloths plus a couple of extra bits and pieces are winging their way to the USA and should be arriving there soon, I hope. I do hope that the person I am sending them too likes them. I chose neutral colours as she didn't have a colour preference and figured these will go with any colour scheme. We have been having great discussions at our knitting group wondering do you guys really use them? Knitted dish cloths are practically unheard of here and we think they are way too pretty to use.

Till next time, happy knitting and have a great weekend.

Friday, October 06, 2006

My Ipod Nano Has A Cover

This is what Mr Brickie and the kids gave me for my birthday and once I finally worked out how to use it, yes I am a tad slow with these things in fact I am as thick as those bricks that Mr Brickie lays. Well anyway, I love my ipod nano and I wanted to make a cover for it as the one that came with it wasn't very practical. I found a great pattern for one at Designedly Kristi's blog and it is a great pattern, made out of leftover 4ply sock yarn. Check out her site it is well worth a visit, she is a very talented young woman.

A while back I won a competiton over at Crafty Bernie's and yesterday my prize arrived in the mail, some Noro Kureyon and a lovely hand crafted card by Bernie herself. The Kureyon is just the thing for someone in the middle of knitting Lizard Ridge. Thank you so much Bernie and this square of the afghan will be known as Bernies square. She did say that I might be tempted to use it for something else but I am loving this pattern so much and the colours in this wool are just beautiful that I wasn't the least bit tempted.

The following photos are of the square on the needles at the moment and the squares that I have made so far. This is an easy knit but be warned, don't make a mistake because if you do and have to unpick the row that follows the wrapped and turned stitches forget it. The only solution is to rip back to the last stocking stitch row worked, I tried to unpick stitch by stitch but was left with gaping holes in my work, at least the rows only have 43 stitches.

My final thoughts today are with our next door neighbour and his family, he was involved in a car accident this week and received terrible injuries. This has really affected me because I have never met anyone like him before in my life, he is a young husband and father who has this amazing zest for life and this personality that puts a smile on your face no matter what mood you happen to be in. It is going to be a long road ahead for him but I know that if anyone can cope with all this it will be my neighbour, our friend xx

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Central Park Hoodie

Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy 40th birthday, I really appreciated your kind words and yes I am still very young. In my mind I am still a very young girl, I just don't linger too long over mirrors these days because they tell me different he he!!

Cental Park Hoodie is finished and I loved every minute of knitting it, a great pattern and yarn. I did have one drama with the finishing which was due to my wanting toggles instead of buttons or as the pattern was left open. I made toggle closures but was not at all happy with the finished result, I still wanted the rustic look of the toggles so opted for them to be decorational only.

When you have a birthday obviously a lot of friends and family don't know what to give as a present so they opt for money, cool I say because as every knitter knows that means money to spend on YARN!! So I bought some Noro Kureyon so that I could start the Lizard Ridge Afghan. and be a part of the Leapin' Lizards KAL

Here are my first two squares for the afghan, I love this pattern even if at first I stuffed up big time and was reading the pattern all wrong and was wondering why I wasn't getting the lovely wavy colour patterns that everybody else was getting. A strong cup of coffee and a trip to the frog pond and I was back on track. I have been knitting what seems like all my life and yet I still can get so enthused about a pattern sometimes that I dive in and cast on without really reading the pattern properly and I cock up big time. When will I ever learn? Probably never but hey I have fun just the same. I chose colours that had the shades of pink, green or green/blue in them which with Kureyon can include many colours in the one ball, even my favourite of all favourites, purple. Oh I do love this colour blah!!

Today was the AFL Grand Final and the West Coast Eagles won a thriller against the Sydney Swans by just one point, boy am I glad that I don't follow these teams or else my nerves would have been a goner. A fun day was had in front of the tv just the same with red wine and cheer a plenty, thankfully this day only happens once a year. Next year I hope my team do a little better than this year.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Life Begins At 40

The knitted pieces for Central Park Hoodie are finished and all that needs to be done now is my favourite chore, the sewing up of the seams. Instead of picking up the stitches seperately for the left and right fronts, I picked them up in one go so that there wouldn't be a join in the ribbing. So all going well it should be finished over the weekend.

Look away now Mrs Doctor Who because I know how much you love knitted dishcloths and I know you will desperately be wanting one. Here is the third and final dishcloth for the Dishcloth Swap. So they will be making their way to their new home on the other side of the world in the next few days.

I have also joined another knitalong, this time the Leapin' Lizards KAL working on the Lizard Ridge Afghan. I have ordered some Noro Kureyon and it should be arriving early next week so I can make a start.

Oh and on Sunday I will no longer be 30 something but I will be turning 40, don't quite know how I feel about it because the scary thing is it only seems like yesterday I was turning 30 and I still only feel as though I am 18, oh well.

Till next time, happy knitting.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What A Great Find

Now many of you know that I collect tortoiseshell knitting needles, but I also collect something else knit related, vintage knitting patterns. I find these wonderful old patterns in op shops and of course buy the occasional one from ebay. The great thing about these lovely old patterns is that you never quite know what gems lie beneath the front cover.

As was the case with this beauty, that I bought off ebay for 99 cents, the postage was more than the book itself. When you buy from op shops you have the advantage of being able to see what the book or leaflet contains but when you purchase from ebay quite often the only clue to the contents is the title and what is pictured on the front cover.

This one, titled Socks and Mittens Fashions in Wool styled by Hilde, promised some socks and mittens and the seller had mentioned that it was published in 1953 in the US.

So imagine my surprise when this 23 page booklet turned up and it contained 24 patterns for some of the most amazing vintage socks, mittens and a couple of other surprises as well.

These lovely old bed socks and knee caps amongst them, these pages contain knitting history from a time when women would not only knit these items out of love for their family but as a necessity in a post war decade.

I have only included a few of the pictures here, to save this entire post being full of photos but it was so difficult to pick just a few as they are all worthy to be displayed. The socks are just magnificent examples of vintage sock knitting and have the same rich textures and great designs that you can find in Nancy Bush's Vintage Sock Knitting book, so yes I was very happy with my $3.00 purchase this week.

I will finish this post off with the sleeves to the Central Park Hoodie, which I am knitting together on a circular needle, as I have this problem of cabled sleeves never quite being exactly the same. I have found however if I knit them at the same time, with the exact same shaping they have to match. Well that is the plan anyway ;)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Central Park Hoodie

Central Park Hoodie now has a back and two fronts and the sleeves are started, I am going to be knitting them both at the same time so that they will be identical.

This pattern is such a great knit and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has so far been put off attempting cables as the pattern is easily remembered and simple to do yet still look so affective.

The knew Knitty is up and I have a huge desire to make Lizard Ridge

I just love the colours which of course is created by using the gorgeous yarn, Noro Kureyon. The unfortunate part is the cost but I think if I spoil myself with a couple of balls at a time it wont seem such an extravagance, right?

I am having trouble with my wrist again, just when we all thought here in Launceston that spring had arrived and winter was behind us, the mornings have been icy cold and frosty again. I have had to bring out the magnetic wrist support again so that I can continue knitting without pain.

It is also school holidays here in Tasmania for the next two weeks which I have to admit means a bit of an easier time for me. Yeah sure the kids are home all day but there are no lunches to be made, parent help and other school activities to go to, or sport that the kids need taking to or picked up from. So all in all I get a lot more knitting done as well and I can stay up a bit later at night knowing that the circus of getting children off to school in the mornings wont be there for a couple of weeks, ahhhh!

Till next time, happy knitting.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Why the good, the bad and the ugly? I have always thought it to be right up there as one of the all time great movie titles and of course it was a pretty good movie in its day but today it refers to my knitting misadventures.

Firstly this is definately in the good category, I love everything about this knit, the pattern, the yarn, everything. It is The Central Park Hoodie which I am knitting in Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran. I love the colour except for the purple fleck, which I don't like at all. You see as a colour, purple would rate as my least favourite, even in miniscule amounts such as in this yarn but everything else more than makes up for it.

The bad part are these dishcloths, not that there is anything wrong with them but look on the cream one, that edging is crochet. Crochet!! Me crochet, I can't crochet but after reading through Debbie Stollers Happy Hooker I managed this trim and next I am going to make a monkey ipod cover, stay tuned. Bad?? well if you are experienced at crochet you might think that it is bad, but as for me I reckon not bad, even if I do say so myself. No honestly I am just stoked to finally be able to produce something that resembles crochet even if it is just an edge.

These dish cloths are two of three I am knitting for a very special woman in the US (that is all I will say for now) as part of the dishcloth exchange I am taking part in. I am still pondering on which pattern to use for #3.

Then there is the ugly, these fingerless gloves have been given this demeaning title not for their looks but that they don't fit!! The reason I am knitting the silly things in the first place is because a friend of mine mentioned that her son wanted a pair of black fingerless gloves. You know how it goes and before I gave any thought to all the knitting and crafting projects on the to do list the following words came gushing out of my mouth "oh I will make him some"!!

Now normally this would not have been a problem as I have made dozens of these things over the years and they are a quick knit but in the past I have always made them out of 8ply on 4mm needles using the same old faithful pattern. But this time I thought that as they were for a 15 year old boy that 5ply on 3.75 would be a bit more masculine, so I found a pattern in the stash and off I went.

After a couple of days the knitting was finished and I sewed one up, thought that I would try it on and see what the finished mitt looked like. *insert scream* it is too small! Now I am not known for having slender, feminine fingers so after hyper ventilating I calmed down and asked Janelle my 14 year old to try them on *insert even louder scream* they were too small even for her. They actually fit my, small for his age, 9 year old perfectly. Oh well go find the good old faithful 8ply pattern and start again and I hope the friends son isn't in too much hurry for them, it is now spring after all.

So there you have it the good, the bad and the ugly. Knitting does not always go according to plan just as our lives don't always go the way we think they will and with that sentiment I will end this post with thoughts of someone who I am sure thought that they had many more crocodiles to wrestle, RIP Steve Irwin.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sugar 'n Cream Is Yummy

I finally managed to track down some Sugar 'n Cream to try as I especially wanted to see what the fuss was all about. After knitting with the cottons in Australia I have to admit that I am impressed, it is thicker than the ones available here and really easy to knit. I am practicing dish cloths as I have never knit dish cloths before and I am trying different patterns to see what I like and what I will eventually send to the person I am swapping with in the dish cloth exchange.

I wont be sending any of these as I figure in the US you can easily get hold of this yummy cotton so I am going to knit the ones I am sending out of this which I will be getting from Cindy tonight when the knitting coven gather together to celebrate the second birthday of our knitting group.

A big thanks to everyone for your kind get well wishes, I have really been knocked for six this past couple of weeks, it was really appreciated. I am starting to feel a lot better now but have been taking things rather easy which of course has meant very little blogging and even reading my favourite blogs has been minimal.

Janelle turned 14 on Saturday so once again a very busy weekend in this household, first of all we watched the boys play their last game of soccer for the year and then it was home for a quick change and headed off to the football to watch North Melbourne play which is the team that Janelle and I follow, and they were actually playing a game in Launceston. I must say though that this year has not been a good year and Saturday turned out to be no different with our team once again losing. Janelle didn't seem to mind that much though as the thrill of seeing her team play live meant much more to her than whether they won or lost.

*edited note*
sorry I forgot to mention the dish cloth patterns especially the middle one which is the garterlac which can be found over at Daves Blog which if you haven't visited is well worth a look.