Category Archives: Yarncraft


Rohan has something he would like to tell you:

Yes, that’s right – his cardigan is finished! Hip hip hooray!

Also, he would like to tell you that Melbourne weather today is dark and gloomy, so not the best photo taking weather…

But perfect cardi-wearing weather, so it’s all good 🙂

I would like to tell you that I am inordinately proud of my very first ever non-scarf knitted thingummy. Also, I love it to pieces. It is just my style of baby top – simple but gorgeous. The pattern comes from the Winter 2009 issue of Family Circle magazine (an Australian mag). The wool is Patons Bluebell Merino 5 ply – thicker than the yarn called for, but I am impatient and didn’t want to wait… plus I like the colour. I knitted the 12-month size and used just over 3 balls. Rohan is four months old (today!) and it fits him now… but there is a good amount of growing space, so it may still fit him when he’s one. In fact it will probably fit him best in the height of summer, but never mind. There will eventually be nephews and/or nieces to pass this on to, and in the meanwhile I’m going to have him wear it at every opportunity!

Go me – I’m a knitter! :giggle:

Friday Mornings

Friday mornings are fast becoming one of my favourite times of the week. A mini-break, if you will. I drop Finn off at school, Niamh off at occasional care, then race home and get Rohan down for his morning kip. Then I get a whole 45 minutes in which I can do anything I like without interruption! Ok, so this usually just means shower, have breakfast, and catch up on some blogs/tweets, but still. We take our little slices of me-time where we can get them, hey?

Once Rohan is up and fed, then we sit around making faces at one another, and omnomnomming on those cheeks for a while before we have to pick Niamh up again. (Or you know, doing something more productive. Only can’t remember what. Maybe it is just the omnomnomming!)


Oh yeah. Such a tough guy!

And if you think I’m showing you gratuitous baby shots just to distract you from the lack of a finished knitting project… well, I can neither confirm nor deny 😛

(But it won’t be too long now, promise. I cast off at midnight last night!)

My Creative Space

The knitting. Also Mixtape. Chucked on the passenger seat of the car in the vain hope that kids might all fall asleep, post Museum-visit, and I might sneak in a row or three. Ha!
Creative Space July 9

But look. The knitting… it grows!

I’m enjoying the knitting, actually. I’ve even knitted in public(!) and I don’t think I attracted a single strange look. The friend I was with even assumed I actually knew what I was doing(!) I’m quite pleased, and fairly convinced I’ll see it through to the end. Meanwhile, what unfinished quilt?! La la la, I can’t hear you :giggle:

Museum Kids

We did have a nice morning, despite the very busy-ness of the Museum. We met up with Marita and her gorgeous girls. Finn and Niamh were the best behaved they’ve been all holidays. Keeping them both within my sight while tending to a very wiiiide-awake-but-grumpy-and-will-not-bloody-go-to-sleep baby was a wee bit of a challenge though. I realised it was the first time I’d attempted such an outing with three children. And I’m still intact, hurrah!

Museum Babe

More spaces over at Kirsty’s place.

My Slightly Creative Space

Kirsty is taking a break, but I’ll show a bit of my Thursday creativity anyway… since there is some to show this week 🙂

Could that be? Yes, I am actually knitting something! A non-scarf something 😮 Well, I’m trying, anyway. Knitting has never really been my thing, but I think I can do this. Whether I can finish before Rohan outgrows it is another matter entirely.

By the way, any errors you think you see are definitely intentional. I’m trying to embrace imperfection, otherwise it will never be done!

Finn thought you might like to see a bit of his creative space too:

Foil and toothpicks occupied them for, oh, at least 10 whole minutes. That only left the remaining many, many, many, many hours of today to fill in. Such a looong day. I’m trying to love the school holidays, I am, but it’s hard work when the weather and baby are both miserable 😥

(We did eventually get around to using those M&Ms on top of cookies; which reminds me, has anyone else done this and had the M&Ms crack in the oven? All of ours did. The recipe actually called for Smarties, I wonder if they are more crack-resistant?)

Righto. One more row before bed…

No Creative Space

There was no creative space for me yesterday, and here’s why:

Blah Day

Finn was (and is still) home with an ear infection. It was a doozy – his temp reached 39.6°C in the afternoon before the antibiotics kicked in, he couldn’t hear a thing, and his balance was so off that I had to hold onto him whenever he tried to walk. I’m always thankful for our GP – I have never been unable to get a same-day appointment as long as I ring first thing in the morning. This time we got to be the ones going in the back entrance, masked up (well, Finn was) into temporary ‘quarantine’, since even though I was certain it was an ear infection, Finn matched two of the symptoms for swine flu (fever, sore throat), so our clinic was taking necessary precautions. Fun.

Also, Rohan picked yesterday to sleep nowhere except on my shoulder, and Niamh… well, let’s just say that Niamh is not used to playing third fiddle. And she’s three. So yeah. Fun and games for all. I may have self-medicated with chocolate. A bit.

Finn’s on the improve today (though he’s still hard of hearing, which is proving… frustrating), and should have bounced back enough to make it to the Aquarium on Sunday to meet his feathered namesake!

So in lieu of anything crafty by me (and I’m beginning to think I may never craft again!), here’s a couple of snaps of things made by others, for Rohan:

The knitted blankie seen in the last post (and here) was made by my knitter-extraordinaire mother. As was this Baby Surprise jacket:
Rohan 3 Weeks
(Mum (mostly) doesn’t follow patterns, she just looks at a piece and figures out how it’s done. In her head! Crazy talent!)

Rohan was 3 weeks old in that pic – he’s long outgrown that gorgeous jumper. He has a bunch of other knits from Mum that I should devote an entire post to, really. I love, love, love the blankie, it is getting a lot of use.

Then there’s this very cute appliqued onesie from Claire, which he is about to grow out of any day now (it is killing me how fast this kid is growing!)
Onesie from Claire
It’s so nice to have some things made just for number three 🙂

Markets and Crafty Things


Thanks for allowing me that little sidetrack off the sanity wagon. For your patience, you get to (finally) witness some craftiness around here.

I have a bit of a problem with craft markets – occasionally I walk in and get a bad case of I-can-make-that-itis. Then I get an attack the guilts, because crafters gotta eat, too! It’s a fine line though, between supporting small makers and blowing my budget. So I do my best, but frequently I leave with a head full of ideas, and my money still in my purse.

Mathilda’s market yesterday was bit like that. I went on a whim, since I was heading that way anyway. I spent 40 minutes or so dodging baby-bumps and uber-prams (I took neither, since the kids stayed home with Dermot, and to be honest, my ‘bump’ is still more fat-like than bump-like), but left almost empty handed. I did say a brief hello to the lovely Leslie on my way our, and immediately felt kind of blog-stalkerish and awkward 😳

The afternoon proved much more just-what-I-needed – I picked up a friend, and we made our way to the Shirt & Skirt market at the Abbotsford Convent. Which is sensational! I had a really good time. We grabbed some yummy lunch at Lentil as Anything and had a catch up, then wandered the market (markets, actually – there’s a second ‘Maker’s Market’ inside the refectory) and the convent grounds for much of the afternoon. I still managed to avoid parting with much cash, but there was much less I-can-make-that-itis, and much more How-awesome-is-that-I-wish-it-would-fit-me-itis!

I did buy the nifty stone necklace you see above (hello cleavage!). I’m convinced there’s a name for stacks of rocks like this (are they cairns? or something different?), but for now I’m calling this my Makka Pakka necklace (that’s a parents-of-young-children reference 🙂 ). I like it a lot. The artist is Martina Öhlinger. She doesn’t sell online, but is definitely someone to seek out if you’re at a future S&S market.

The wee chicky and his mum are a gift for someone I quite like, if I can bear to part with them. I didn’t get the details from this stall (inside, in the Makers’ Market), but there were a bunch of other lovely Steiner/Waldorf-y playthings to be found there.

Also seen above are two things made… by me! The amigurumi boy-in-dragon-suit I finished up quite some eons ago. This is the first ami I’ve ever finished. He’s a little bit wonky, and I’m not quite happy with the stuffing showing through the stitches look, but he’s still cute! I bought the pattern from Owlishly (Etsy shop here, Blog here), and it’s very well written and easy to follow. Highly recommended.

Little Ms Red Riding Hood is an entirely-by-me creation. A few weeks back it was badge night at Brown Owls. The badges I made that night are currently all AWOL (blame Niamh, she took a liking to them!) – but I found this ‘in progress’ shot on one of Steph’s many blogs. Aaaanyway (geesh, this is getting rambly and long), we had a bit of a felt-badgy-tutorial from Ms Anna Laura, she of cute lady-badges, and I was inspired a couple of days later to whip up Ms Red here. I won’t point out her flaws, because I’m starting to realise I do that a lot. She’s pretty ace, if I do say so myself!

And now. I’m off to bed to make a start on Twilight. I wasn’t going to, since I’ve already done the whole Anne Rice vampirey thing in my youth and all, but I finally gave in and decided to borrow it from the library. Then I went and bought it instead, because I didn’t feel like waiting until next century (seriously – #64 on the holds list? Stuff that!) So it better be all everyone says it is.

Hearts & Flowers

There’s no escaping it – excluding January, 2-oh-oh-8 has been a pretty lean year for me, crafting- and stitching-wise. I’m a bit bummed about that, but as usual, when I’m feeling a lot of stress about other things, I find the urge to create falls in a heap. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot more reading than usual (the highlight of which has been the very beautiful Girl with a Pearl Earring – how, oh how have I not read this before?) More recently, I’ve developed an unhealthy addiction to Packrat on Facebook (and I’m going to go ahead and blame Annette for that, even though I know she will protest!)

All has not been completely lost though. Way way waaay back in February, I did actually do a wee bit o’ cross-stitchin’ 🙂 Can’t for the life of me remember where this cute heart is from (DMC??), but it was a freebie chart, and I stitched it with a pretty pink hand dyed silk from Jo.


Then, in March, I became a joiner-in-er! I sidled into a Brown Owls meeting one night, had a bit of fun stitching up my name and Tweenie panels, decided that a room full of crafty strangers wasn’t quite as scary as I thought, and became a Seconder that very night. What is Brown Owls? Why it’s ‘Brownies’ for Crafters, of course :giggle: (or ‘my weird cult’, if you believe my sweet husband!) Bunches of crafty chicks sitting around the clubhouse drinking tea, eating bikkies, chatting, and learning and sharing bits of crafty goodness. All thanks to the Good Lady Pip.

I’ve been to another two meetings since – in April we played with hooks and yarn. After the crochet class, inspired by Lara’s collection of flowers, I came home and puzzled my way through a few online tutorials to create this bunch:


At last night’s meet we had a bit of a Mix-up – everyone brought in whatever they liked to work on, plus some Show & Tell. I was so worried I was going to be the daggiest crafter there – because it has always seemed to me that even in this atmosphere of crafty revival, cross-stitch is still stuck firmly in the ‘Nanna crafts’ category. But surprise! and yay! I wasn’t the only one who brought cross-stitch. I know… I worry about the silliest things 😳

Oh yes, and on the weekend, one of my red flowers made its way onto a last-minute handmade gift for my Mum for Mothers’ Day (makes me feel like I’m back in kindergarten… in a good way!)



But the thing that is making me happiest of all today is a small but significant breakthrough in the Finn situation. We’ll get there yet 🙂

The ‘Aha’ Moment

(This is where I prove myself a liar, because I have actually been doing something crafty amidst all the clutter!)

Once upon a while ago (or ‘Back the days a bit’, as Finn likes to say), I taught myself to crochet. I think it was back when there were a lot of people joining in the 63-Square Crochet-along on The Wagon. I figured it couldn’t be as difficult as all that, right? Wrong! I just didn’t get it. I was splitting the yarn with the hook, and losing stitches with every row, and couldn’t figure out where. Being left-handed, it is always that bit more fun trying to interpret diagrams. (I know, I know – mirror-image the diagrams, then print them out – I just seem to like doing things the difficult way!)

Anyway, more recently, I have got my mum hooked (ha!) on amigurumi – crocheted stuffed toys. She gave me a lesson in crochet-ing in the round, and bought me some plastic hooks. And I was pootling along, crocheting in the round, and the plastic hooks made it so much easier to avoid splitting the yarn (though I did break a 4mm one on the way)… and, suddenly, I got it! I figured out where I had been losing stitches in flat crochet, and suddenly it all made sense. In about half an hour, I was happily single, double, half-double, triple, and twisted-double crochet-ing away. Whoo!

So I made Sweeney (Niamh’s Very Special Bear) a scarf (teddies are great for small projects). Not the most amazing ‘crocheted thing’ in the world, but a good start! Maybe now I’ll get back to the amigurumi-ing, and make myself a teddy cupcake, or… um… one of these (what the…?!) :giggle: !