Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy day

Is the sun shining for you today?

It is shining here after what has seemed like a very long time, of overcast, drizzly grey and cold days.  The sun has popped out occasionally, only long enough to grow the grass but not dry out the ground beneath, so we are kind of swampy here.  The front half of our house has a musty mould smell which is driving my constitution to almost failure.  But the sun has come out and so have my spirits!

The weekend was spent frolicking with friends and ended with wood fired pizza! Yum.  In between, there was church, outdoor fellowshipping and furniture moving to maximise what little sun we get in this ice cave of a house.

And the sun is shining again today.

After my daily dose of coconut oil, this time atop slabs of fruit loaf from Morpeth Sourdough Bakery with slices of strawberries, the boys and I ventured out.  First to their playgroup then to the park.  We ate a picnic, threw the frisbee, chased the ball (the wind was a wild opponent) and played tip till my teeth ached from panting cold air.  Then some of our friends joined us and extended the fun.

And the sun is shining today.

I gave wee little Tiago his present and his mummy loved it.  She is a good one to give handmade to.  I know it is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is lovely when it is.  Very satisfying.

The pattern and other details for Tiago's wash cloth #2 are raveled here.

 I think that this has been an awesome start to the week.

We have played lego and we saw this view.

And Liam will turn 4 this week.  Crazy!

Have you got happy expectations this week too?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Knitting in Public :: The Perfect Spot!

Remember on Tuesday I said I was off to take the boys to Bunnings?

Well, I took my knitting too!  The very wash cloth I was telling you about.  And let me just say that Bunnings is the perfect place to take kids to get some knitting done.  I put them in the cage playground to play (this photo is staged, they were happily playing not desperate to get out!), sat down in the comfy outdoor seating display and clickety-clicked to my heart's content.

And Voila!  It is finished.

Thanks also for the tips on how to crochet the edge.  Seeing as the young recipient is a boy, I thought simple and un-frilly would be best.  My crocheting definitely leaves much to be desired so I may ask Tiago's mummy to remove her glasses when opening the present to get my best chance at a good first impression!

I think odd-numbered gifts work nicely, so I am knitting up another free-styled cloth and will buy some Gaia baby wash to complete the pressie.

Deets for Tiago's wash cloth #1, including my pattern, is Ravelled here.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tiago's washcloth WIP

Thanks for all your comments on my watermelon dishcloth.  I feel like I have a bit of a knitting groove happening for the simple, functional and fun.  Dishcloths are going to be my new junk knitting- you know, the quickies between the biggies.  I think I might leave my usual junk-knits, the beanies, alone for a while and churn out more dishies.

I asked yesterday if you knew whether Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton is any good as a hardworking dishcloth but alas no one has used it so you advised to just try it out myself.  So I will!  And I will report back here with my conclusion.

Right now though, seeing as the cotton is super soft, I am knitting a couple of wash cloths to give to a brand new human, Tiago.

I'm free-styling with a good old simple stitch combo (K4, P4, repeat) x 4 rows, swap.

Then I thought I would mix it up a little and toss in 4 rows of seed stitch.  Pattern is therefore 12 rows which I think I will repeat a few times but end on row 8 of pattern.

I am using the colour Parchment and I will attempt do a simple crochet boarder in Latte.  Any advice?  How would you do the boarder?

And I will make another in the reverse colour combo or perhaps with green.  But I think the second one will be a different pattern. Either way, I have to have it finished by Friday!

This is a welcome distraction right now as I have started another project for me, well . . . hoping that I get to keep it . . .  not like my Green Tea Leaves which now warms my beautiful Mother in Law's (Mam) shoulders.  I have pulled the first 3 rows back several times as I'm getting in a muddle over M1L and M1R, right side vs wrong side.  My stitch markers never seem to be in the right spot.  It doesn't help that I keep attacking attempting the pattern at night, in front of the telly.  But I am super excited about it and can't wait to show you.

Right-i-o then, I better be off.  It's a drizzly day in these parts and my micro men are restless.  I promised that they could watch Play School and then I will take them to Bunnings!  They love Bunnings hahahaha.

Happy Tuesday Peeps!


Monday, July 23, 2012

You know you love knitting when . . .

 . . . you win Kate's giveaway and feel like you've won lotto!

Yes, the random number generator (believe me it would have to be random to select my comment), selected my entry and now I am like a kid in a lolly shop trying to decide which 5 Tikki patterns to choose.

It would be good if Georgie's designs were few, but there are quite a number AND they are ALL good!

Have you checked out Georgie's Tikki Pattern Store?

Have you knitted one of her clever yet simple patterns?

I have only knitted one of her patterns, Jane (pictured above) which I showed you last week.

But that is all about to change Whoop Whoop!!

Thanks Kate so much for this giveaway, but more than that, for being such a supporter of yarn crafts, for churning out beautiful creations, that you photograph so beautifully on your gorgeous models.  And thanks Georgie for your wonderful  patterns.

Right-o, all I have to do now is buy more yarn!  Coz a girl can't have enough yarn.


Shelley's Watermelon Dishcloth

I'll blame the dodginess of this photo on my iPhone, shall I?
Shelley loves watermelon.  Watermelon anything.  So when I came across this dishcloth pattern I just had to knit it for her!

I am not sure if Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton was the right choice for a dishcloth as it is so soft and slightly fluffy.  Have you had success with this yarn for dishcloths?  Please tell as I don't want to keep going on my dishcloth bender if they will all fall apart or leave a fluff trail.

Perhaps as a washcloth it will be ok.

Ravelled here

Have you knitted/crocheted a watermelon themed item?  I'd love to see it!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Isabella's Cardi

I purchased this pattern a while ago, not knowing who I was going to knit it for.  And then I met Isabella.  She is an adorable 2 year old with equally exquisite parents so I just had to knit her this darling cardi.

I wasn't sure if this colour was appropriate for a toddler but it is good to venture away from true pinks I think.  This is Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8ply in Nectarine.  I couldn't decide if it was pink or orange.  But for a spring cardi, I think it will work.  And team it up with aqua or white or cream or whatever!

And can I just say how much I am impressed with the layout of this pattern.  It is so clearly written and it has no seams! Joy!  The only challenge, and this is a challenge for me only I am sure, is the picking up of stitches.  I always seem to struggle with picking up stitches.  But it turned out fine!

The other slight disappointment in my current knitting skillage is my use of DPNs.  I didn't have the suggested 30cm length circular needle so DPNs it was.  It means that the sleeves look a little gappy here and there, even after pressing (as pictured above - I won't mislead you, I am very much still refining my technique!)

And you know what else?  I didn't realise this pattern was a Tikki Knit by Georgie Hallam.  I only realised this when I was entering Kate's giveaway!**

You can find more patterns by Georgie Hallam here and check her blog out here

For the Ravellers out there, deets are here


 **this week only- the winner will be announced 23 July 12 so click over to Foxslane if you haven't already (I know you, you have already entered, haven't you?!  Good!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Liam's Vest

I wasn't sure whether to show you this or not!  I am not pleased with it.

I started knitting it late April but needed some quick fix beanie and dishcloth knitting in between.  So it sat in the knitting basket.  Then I took it with me to Hervey Bay in June with every intention of finishing it there.  But another beanie jumped onto my needles!

Even though I learnt basic knitting as a child and dabbled in my 20's I really hadn't progressed.  So every garment I have made since (last 2 years) has me learning something new.  In this case I learnt to join the shoulders using mattress stitch.  Actually, I now know how to mattress stitch, but this knowledge came about after I joined the shoulders.  You see, I pulled the stitches too tight so it still appears as a seam instead of flat and invisible.  And, as it often does with knitting, one mistake here can lead to further problems there.

Because I pulled the stitches too tight, it made the armhole slightly smaller and therefore the stipulated number of stitches for the armhole are now too many.  But I didn't realise until the end.  And I am a bit of a lazy knitter at times.  If I go too far past the error, I tend not to unravel.  Pah!  So now Liam has little upturned armholes!  He won't be in it for long as he is getting tubbier by the day.

And as to the stripe, I ended up with my original combo of grey, white and yellow.

You can find my ravelry deets here

What do you think?  Should I unravel and do the armholes again?

I should pull out the neck band too and then redo the shoulder seams but I can't. be. bothered.  Too many other knitting expeditions are awaiting!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Knit in Perspective

KNOCK KNOCK!  The knocks were so loud I jumped as it was more of a knock-down-the-door-knock than a please-answer-the-door-knock.  I think a crack may have formed above my front door!

A burly delivery man was standing at my door, holding a large bag from my favourite yarn store.
"Going to do a bit of knitting then?"
"Yes! . . .  I am a bit of a knitting nerd . . . . expecting an old lady weren't you?" I smiled.
He was halfway down the stairs heading back to his van, when he stopped, looked back laughing "Yes I was actually!"

I'm not ashamed of my knitting nerdiness.  And I can see in this blogosphere that I am no tragic.  There are younger and more addicted (and talented) knitters and crocheters out there.  But I am happy to do my bit to change the perception of yarn crafts being for the over 60's and eighties tragics.  And I am ecstatic that I am actually loving knitting.  That I am yearning to improve my crocheting.  That I trawl yarn suppliers online and snoop around your Ravelry offerings.

I love buying my yarn locally, but I do look forward to trying some imports soon.  Just got to work through this lot first (plus the rest of it!).

So this lot is destined to become:

1. A jumper
2. A cardi
3. 3 pairs of slippers
4. 12 dishcloths
5. 2 beanies
6. And stashed for a scrappy blankie.

I'm giddy with excitement.

What you working on?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eating Coconut Oil

I have been converted to coconut oil.  
I spread it on my bread instead of butter or marg.
I mix it into my boys' porridge.
I can't get enough of it.
Because it is good for you!  Yes it is!  Read here for some awesome information on how it might help you with:
* reversing the effects of Altzheimer's
* diabetes
* metabolism
* weightloss
* Candida
* skin conditions
and so on!

I am giving it to Liam to help his brain function and general well-being
I am eating it to lose weight, control my sugar addiction, increase my energy levels and keep my cholesterol in check.  And to help my memory.

This is how I ate it today!

My favourite bread is Aldi's Pane di Casa.  Does your Aldi have this bread too?  I know it is not everywhere (couldn't get it in Hervey Bay for instance). Try it.  It is so yummy and chewy and when toasted it is crunchy as!  I have even dipped it into melted chocolate for a quick churros alternative.  And Aldi's bread apparently has no preservatives.  Good-o!

Toast it, spread it with extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil, top with sliced banana and lightly sprinkle it with cinnamon.  You will thank me for it hahaha.  The coconut oil offers a slight extra tropical flavour but isn't over powering.

Y U M M O!

Hop over here for some great recipes too!

Do you like to include a particular food into your day for health benefits?  


Monday, July 16, 2012

Thieves Oil


What an oil!

I had a recent sinus problem.  My first ever.  The chiro relieved the pain but the infection was still there.  What to do?  It was flaring up everyday and I was tired of popping pills.

My SIL told me about essential oils and found this info for me.  So one capsule filled with 10 drops of Thieves oil and 3 drops of frankincense, taken before bed one night totally did the job.  The next morning the infection had gone!  No more pressure and the mucous gone!  After two weeks of suffering with no end in sight, my miracle oils killed the infection in one hit!  Whoop whoop! (Can you tell by my overuse of exclamation marks that I am H A P P Y ?!!)

It is called Thieves oil as a similar blend of oils were used by thieves during the bubonic plague in France.  There are a few stories floating around but this one seems to be the general consensus.  So whether they were robbing the dead bodies and exchanged the recipe for leniency or were caught before the plague and were punished by burying the plague victims, these robbers are the inspiration for such an awesome oil blend today.

Have you used essential oils before?  What is your favourite?
Do you have a go-to natural remedy?

What joy to be able to breath through my nose again!  *sigh*


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How my neck gave me carpal tunnel syndrome

Or rather, how I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome, only to find my neck was the culprit.  My neck apparently has an extra vertebrae!

As you know, I recently went to my local chiropractor to fix my dodgy sinuses.  She massaged my face from inside my mouth and adjusted my neck.  The pain relief was instant!

But the real cherry on the cake was the vanquished pain in my arms, wrists and hands.  This is a pain I have lived with for 3 years now, since early in my pregnancy with Dean.  The GP said it was carpal tunnel syndrome and will go after the pregnancy.  But then it didn't.  And I feared that it was there to stay.

Reading Jane's and Posie's battles with carpal tunnel syndrome, I thought I was staring down the same barrel.

What joy I am feeling now.  I can run my fingers through my sons' hair without pain.  I can knit, without pain.  I can rub Rick's shoulders, without pain.  I can type, without pain and I am guessing I will be able to machine quilt without pain when the time comes.  Yippee!

I heart my chiro.  She's the bomb.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My little strawberry man

When Liam was born, he had a small patch of red squiggles on his right cheek.  They looked like faint broken capillaries and were almost invisible on his jaundiced little face.  The only thing we were told at the hospital was "it will get worse before it gets better".  They didn't even tell me what it was!  It took a lovely doctor at my church to tell me it was an haemangioma (blood lump/benign tumor/strawberry mark).  And it did get worse!

I used to never really notice it getting worse, or rather didn't want to as all I wanted to do was to love and nurture him.  But I was always reminded of it in public.  Really stupid people would come up to me and blatantly ask me what was wrong with him! What's that on his face?  Did you burn him?

The crazy thing is, no one wanted to actually listen to my answer.  It's like their eyes and tongues were disconnected from their brains and they just blurted out their shock of his appearance like an uncontrollable verbal fart.  In my head I would scream don't ask if you don't want to know!  I did tell more than one person to mind their own business and what's that on YOUR face?

And then there were the double-takers and the starers.  Some people, I've discovered are extremely underdeveloped socially.  I would come home and have a little cry.  Not out of embarrassment or shame of his face, but from fear that this silly red splotch on his face could one day tell him he was a freak or worthless because that is how some adults were viewing him.  Even at my church a few people recoiled in disgust at him!

Not everyone though.  There are some people in our lives who have always seen his beautiful eyes, smile and funny personality.

I started doing some research on haemangiomas and was overwhelmed.  I went to a plastic surgeon at Sydney's Westmead Hospital who told me that there was nothing you can do and it may go after 20 years!  This is after he stuck his unwashed, tobacco stinking fingers in Liam's mouth!  It took me months before I went to a private surgeon for advice.  Months that were critical and therefore meant I missed the boat with one of the treatments available.

Then I just gave it over to God.  All of it.  And I believe He told me to wait.  Wait and see.  And you know what, it began to involute quite quickly.  The redness and bulkiness have all but gone.  We are still facing the possibility of surgery but I also believe God may have another plan yet.

This is the same little man who suffers random seizures and yesterday I was told he has significant hearing loss in his left ear.  I am praying for God's direction and trust Him to guide me as Liam is not only my son, he is His son too.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Surprise feelings

Some cheerful spring blooms from our garden last year.  My internet connection is having a bad turn so I couldn't use the image I wanted 
I have to laugh at myself.  This morning I managed to sneak a bit of time online before heading out for a busy day.

I jumped on my blogger dashboard to check out the comings and goings of the blogoverse and noticed immediately that I have one less follower.  What a surprise I got from the instant emotion that I felt.  What?  Who doesn't like me?

I laughed because I have been quite happy having a low readership.  There is less pressure and I still feel like I blog for myself and my bloggy friends, not for comments.  And along the way, some of the most delightful sweet souls have encouraged me, instructed me and empathised with me.  There is something amazing in this virtual world.  I do love your comments but I don't worry if some of my posts don't attract even a page view.

But when I saw 35 instead of 36 I felt a pang of sadness.  Like I have let someone down by my erratic posting, or tardy replying or a simple lack of interesting content without any creative photos (I'm an impatient photo taker).  Or perhaps because I wasn't following back?

Do you follow everyone who follows you?

I would like to think of myself as an honest person with interests in many different things.  I follow a stack of beautiful blogs.  But I don't follow blogs that I can't relate to, aspire to or learn from.  For no other reason than I get overwhelmed by so much out there.

But then tonight, as I opened up my dashboard to tell you about Liam's trip to the audiologist, I saw that I had a new follower!  Welcome!  (I'll be over to your blog soon, The Pistachio Tree, once my mobile internet finds a better connection as it currently is crashing on your site**).  And the new total of 36 once again, did make me happy.  But it's not a number thing, it is that someone else finds a chord has been struck here.  That's nice, really nice.  Ta for that.

That's all I can muster tonight. 

Today ::
I laughed at: this post by Maxabella
I ate: extra virgin coconut oil and felt great
I listened to: my little boys sing when they thought I wasn't listening
I felt: the pressure points in my back get massaged by the chiro before she adjusted me and now I feel incredible!
I watched: Liam fail a hearing test.  I will tell you more later as I digest this and figure out what I am going to do next. Don't worry, it wasn't conclusive as he wasn't really co-operating (no surprise there!)

**Apologies to any regulars that I haven't reciprocated a visit, it would have been an oversight not a deliberate act xxx
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