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twins collage

Today my little beauties turn one. 

How better to have spent a year than being totally wrapped up in, in thrall of, two such perfect beings?  It has been all-consuming, often seeming too hard, but just one look at those little faces, one snuggle into one of those soft, creased necks, one of those downy heads against your cheek, and nothing could seem more right. 

Happy Birthday little ones…

twinsbday 073

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wrapping collage

There has been an unprecedented frenzy of crafting of late that I can reveal now that my swapee has received her parcel.  As mentioned before, the theme of this most recent Bendigo Woollen Mills User Group swap was Op Shop Karma, everything in the package was to be sourced from an op shop with the exception of 100g of Bendigo yarn.

stormcloud2 collage

For the Bendigo yarn portion, I made the Stormcloud Shawlette in 5ply Classic in Raspberry.  I followed the directions for the larger version with a frilled edge, cast off with the EZ sewn bind-off, and discovered that the whole thing only took 80g of yarn.  Good in terms of yarn economy, but I couldn’t really send my swapee a scanty 20g yarn to make up the 100g …

knit 107a

… so I also made a Flourish bookmark.  What fun making some fine and fairly complex lace on a small scale!  It turned out a little on the large size, but could still be functional with larger hard cover books.

On the Op Shop front I had so many ideas that I may have gone a little overboard, but restrained myself to the following crafty diversions …

op shop collage

The top item on the left was a strange multi-stranded not-quite-scarf / not-quite-lap rug that I unravelled into a satisfyingly large ball.  As the yarn was a bit irregular and not soft, I figured a bag was the best option.  I improvised a rectangular base in double crochet, then did rows of filet crochet round and round until it was basket-sized.  I’m pretty happy with the size and (unplanned) placement of the colour change.

bag collage

The pile of wool jumpers were gleefully thrown into the washing machine and subjected to heavy duty hot washes, then tossed in the also hot tumble dryer!  (I don’t know why I enjoyed maltreating wool so much – I also loved viciously steam-pressing the bookmark too).  The angora blend jumpers felted a treat, but the pale grey lambswool and ice blue wool and cashmere hardly changed at all despite this treatment!!  They just looked slightly pilled!  (Perhaps this is what the cockroaches will be wearing when every other species on earth dies out.)  Disappointing, as I was rather keen on these colours, but proceeded with what I had to make …

scarf collage

Now this long scarf is not at all original.  I was inspired by one a friend had bought (possibly by this maker) and noted later that Kirsty makes similar (and better-crafted than mine) ones.  I was relieved that this worked out and was quick and easy to make, as I loved the idea if it.

The reluctant sewing machine got more of a workout.  Something I have been wanting to make for ages …

bunting collage

Some remnants, cut-up clothing and a Ken Done doona cover became two sets of cheerful bunting for the room of two little girls.  And there’s enough fabric left over for more for another two little girls!

knit 116a

I loved that this swap gave me the excuse to make some different kinds of things that I’ve been wanting to try out, and probably wouldn’t have made the time for otherwise.  And the fact that the materials were recycled makes it even more satisfying.

garden collagegarden2 collage

This weekend I have been:

  • in the thrall of the shawl … household chores and personal grooming remain unattended as the Shetland Triangle grows.  This is really an easy and addictive knit, just as others have said, even in the dreaded 4 ply.  I’m up to the 8th repeat and don’t even need to consult the chart any more.  I may just get it done in time for my aunt’s 80th birthday.  I just hope it blocks out bigger than it looks now.  I think I’ll aim for 10 or 11 repeats like Bells and Suse.

spring 001a

  • In preparation for the looming return to work, a haircut and colour, and shopping for some basic wardrobe pieces here. (Still in denial about the work thing)
  • Enjoying the garden after lots of rain and sunshine.  (The mystery flowers are starting to bud and indeed look like poppies)
  • Coping with thrills and spills as increasingly active and daring babies attempt new feats.  Cutest one was when both were walking along pushing chairs.
  • Baking Jennifer’s breakfast biscuits.  What a great idea this is for the time poor!  Second time with this recipe, this time substituting mashed banana for peanut butter, almond meal for bran and sultanas for chocolate.  (Strangely I used powdered milk instead of protein powder because I was improvising).  They really are satisfying, yummier with the chocolate of course, but still a good fast breakfast option.
  • Drawing, cutting and pasting with Rex … inspired by Amy’s idea, I just drew these quickly.  It was fun to make the faces and talk about if they were scary or friendly or sad or whatever.  Rex enjoyed cutting, choosing and sticking down the features and kept saying “Let’s make another one!”.  He knows about Halloween from watching Yo Gabba Gabba, but I guess this was more in the spirit of Mr Potato Head for us non-Halloween-celebrating types.

spring 032a

  • Enjoying re-reading after many years my deluxe copy of The Little White Horse.  So charming to revisit a childhood fantasy world.  I’m really enjoying the descriptions of domestic detail and can understand why I loved it as a child.  I’ve always preferred pretty pictures to action and adventure.
  • Thinking about the impending first birthday of my beauties.  I have bought a gorgeous book for each, but would  love to come up with another gift.  If time allowed, I would make dolls based on these characters (such is my obsession).  Any ideas for a nice gift for one year old twin girls?

Hope your weekend was full of delights …

colonnade collage

Like most people (everyone?) I always thought I had a unique vision and sense of style, usually shunning the overly popular and seeking out something a bit different, or even quirky or edgy if you will.  So soon after the most recent Knitty came out, I seized upon a pattern that impressed with its strong lines and multiple ways of wearing.  Something with roots in a traditional shape, but utterly contemporary.  I had to knit it at once! 

Seems like most of the knitting community thought the same way … the Colonnade shawl is currently the most popular recently published pattern on Ravelry, with hundreds of projects completed or in progress.  Seems like I’m a non-conformist, just like everybody else.

colonnade2 collage

I also loved the name, evocative of classical ruins and european cathedrals, shady arcades in Bologna and the cloister of Monreale in Sicily.  (Photo at top left is me at Herculaneum in 2004.)

Back to the knitting… I knit this from two skeins  (with some to spare) of unidentified wool purchased from an Op Shop.  It is a loosely spun thick and thin yarn in dark reds with a kettle-dyed appearance, not terribly soft in the skein, but it knit up into a nice fabric.  I added one extra repeat, as I felt compelled to, and decided a bit of extra length would be good on me.

I am very pleased with the result.  It was a relatively quick knit, and not at all difficult once you get used to dealing with the double yarn-overs.  The shape of the shawl means it wraps around generously and stays on the shoulders.  And I have learnt the basics of shawl construction.  Now for the Shetland Triangle

Joining in with Loobylu, see here for more reliable hot and not lists than the following …

tokyomart collage

 

HOT   NOT
     
Flowers appearing in the garden to be picked by little hands and given proudly to mummy   Babies waking constantly at night
     
Picking a rose bud to put in a vase in the kitchen so I can look at while doing the dishes   Having to do the dishes.  A lot.  (We do have a dishwasher now, but it’s still hard to keep on top of it.  And don’t get me started on the laundry …)
     
Trips to the market for mangoes, strawberries, basil and Mr Pitta pitta bread   Having to go back to work in three weeks!  This means having to get up at 6.30am to have any hope of arriving there on time, made more difficult by the interrupted nights mentioned above.
     
Japanese biscuits and edamame   Almost any other food that four-year-olds liked last week
     
Origami (well, isn’t it?)   A distinct lack of household organisation
     
Rediscovering childhood favourite books … like The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Gouge.  Obscure even when I first borrowed it from the library in the early 1970’s, but now made into a (less subtle) film so back in print   Being sprayed with baby food as babies decide that it’s good to practice blowing raspberries during mealtimes
     
Being set to embark on a new knitting project, maybe this or this   A self-imposed deadline to complete a shawl before my aunt’s 80th birthday
     
Dottie Angel’s challenge   Probably having to spend money on (larger) clothes for afore-mentioned return to the workplace

 

october 004a

 

october 013a

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I haven’t posted any baby photos for a while, and it has been remarked upon.  To remedy the situation, here is an update as of 11 months.  Not much in the way of hair or teeth yet …

tricks collage

… but recent accomplishments include standing up and proficiency in the fibre arts.

Flickr Favorites

Grandma Twinkle Garland

Grandma Bunting

standing ovation



pears green

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