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