Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Latest in My Knitting

Since I finished the "dead mole" Tomten, I have sewn on its buttons, done some crochet round the edge of its hood, made two more Tomtens and a Soft and Seamless Baby Sweater. I finished them all on Friday 28th Dec.

I decided to stay with the Teddy Bear buttons after all!

Buttons from daverun on

This one I made with Angoretta in a deep Apricot with the left over mystery yarn from the "dead mole", for the hood, cuffs and bands.

I was given some deep forest green velveteen type yarn - very soft and thick, and some chenille type yarn in a multi pale blue and green. I thought immediately"Tomten", since, like the brown furry one, the yarn was screaming at me to be made into one of these charming and very addictive little jackets!

Here is how it ended up:

I used the chenille to accentuate the lovely line of the deep armhole shaping, and extended the sleeve with it too - I ran out of the deep green!!

I am very pleased with it.

Now, because I have some of the chenille left over, I am making another one - a real baby size, using pale blue Angoretta for the body and hood, and the blue green chenille for trim.

I haven't made a Soft and Seamless Baby Sweater for some time - so as I had a bit of left over white, and a mystery half skein of white with multi primary colours dotted through it - I thought I would quickly whip up this little sweetie. The pattern is free on the net - I haven't worked out yet how to add a link to a post - so just Google "Soft and Seamless Baby Sweater" and that should do the trick! Stop Press: here is the link

I used stocking stitch for the yoke in plain white, and Wager Stitch for the body in the multi.

The buttons are from daverun on

Little popsicles; aren't they adorable?

I made this a short sleeved sweater - and it is knit from the top down - and the sleeves I did on two circulars - so no sewing up - only the buttons!! Whoo hoo!!

Christmas with Grandpa

Little boys and their Grandpas - a special relationship! Especially when you have made a tree house and need some help to get it fixed in the tree branches!

Little Caleb (the one who "hasn't got a grandpa") gave Eric the benefit of his advice and a helping hand with the cutting of the planks.

Finally a rough and ready little platform of sorts was finished, a few branches of the big old pine tree cut back to make steps, and then it was up in the tree for three excited little boys!

With a couple of old blankets and a cushion or two they were as happy as could be!!

And of course, it is a great place to compare biceps!

Or play at being a ferocious monster!

What better way to spend the morning of Christmas Eve!!
Then Grandpa found - this!!!! WOW!!!!

A gigantic stick insect!!! That purpley-green part is her WINGS!! And on her back is her husband!!!! The boys thought because he was small it must be her baby - squeals when told no, it was her mate!!

See the curve of her wing?

I never knew they had such beautiful wings before.

She is certainly big - here you see here with her back facing to the right of the picture - that is her mate on her back. He is less than half her size!

Look at the span of her legs!

Totally awesome ! Look at that camouflage - she was lying lengthwise along a pine branch - if I hadn't been an inch or so away from her, we would never have seen her!

Tom and Jake kept a respectable distance away - they weren't coming out of that tree house for any old stick insect!

Look at those happy little faces!!

And little Caleb, who is three years younger than the other two, managed to climb up and down with only a little bit of trepidation!!

The smile tells all!!!!

Christmas in Toowoomba

Hope everyone had a Merry and Happy Christmas!!

We went to my daughter Simone's house on Sunday 23rd. As grandson Tom was going to his Dad's on Christmas Eve this year (he has Christmas turn and turn about with each parent) we had our Christmas with him on the Sunday. We arrived in the early afternoon - and had gift giving and lovely dinner with Tom's paternal Grandma Del, his Aunt Rana and her husband Tim, Simone, her partner Rick, and of course Eric and me!

Tom had a wonderful time opening all his many presents - the hit of the moment is Lego - he had a few of those kits - a motor bike, etc. And a wonderful space ship that is remote controlled and flew straight up to the ceiling - WOW!

Then he and Rick had slight difference of opinion about it being time for dinner - but Rick solved that in his own inimitable style and Tom quickly changed his mind!

Rick is a lovely big bear of a man - Simone is a very lucky lady - he absolutely adores her!

But Grandma's baked ham, Mummy's roast lamb, lots of baked veggies, a pavlova and ice cream and a homemade apple and rhubarb pie, plus all the trimmings soon put a sparkle in a little boyo's eyes!
Such a little angel - NOT!!!

Tom is a total ratbag but we love him to bits anyway.

Simone's one and only child - and he is very precious to us all!

He is the image of my son James, mixed up with the looks of his Daddy and my father and brother - sometimes his resemblance to my son is uncanny though!!

Here's Grandma Del ( Tom's Daddy's biological mother) trying to read the motto out of her Christmas cracker without her glasses on! She is a sweetie - and I like her very much ! She has had a sad life. I am so proud of my daughter, who has made Del a happier woman, now that she has contact with the son she was forced to give up for adoption, and of course little Tom, her grandson, the love of her life, as he is mine !

Tom also has a step grandma, my ex husband's wife Molly, and his Daddy's adoptive mother Arlene as well. No wonder he is ruined!!

This little charmer is Caleb, one of Tom's little playmates. He is a sweet little boy aged 5 - his Mum is American and his Dad is an Aussie. They are doing it very tough at the moment. Mum is working while Dad is recovering from an illness. Caleb solemnly informed me that he "doesn't have a grandma and grandpa" so Eric and I were duly recruited for those duties!!

Caleb was taking some Christmas Crackers (bon-bons) home for Mummy, Daddy, and his older brother Jake who has Asperger's - trouble is it was a bit difficult to see his way with the two party hats he was already wearing, and the little toys out of the crackers on a string round his neck!!! I love this little chap - he always gives me a big bear hug when we go to visit Simone!!

Christmas Eve was quiet and uneventful - we had a barbecue early in the evening and all went to bed early to be rested for Christmas Day at Rick's sister, Colleen's place. Rick has a big family, three sisters, and two brothers. His mother Veronica is an artist, still painting beautiful pictures at 81 - and selling them too - and all the family are very musical. Rick plays a mean guitar, and he and his two sisters, Colleen and Cheryl sang for us after dinner that night. We all took food to contribute to the feast and as Colleen only lives in the next street from Simone, we just strolled around there in the afternoon.

But SHOCK!!! we were all sitting outside in Colleens beautiful garden, when the clouds rolled over, and a stiff breeze got up - and it was COLD!! Normally, Christmas Day is sweltering and we all sit around dying of heat, drinking gallons of iced water and not feeling like eating or doing anythig at all! I tell you, I was freezing and had to borrow a poncho from Colleen to keep from shivering!

It was a relief to go inside in the warm to eat hot plum pudding and home made cheesecake with raspberries and blackberries and listen to the Gay family singing - lovely people!! Rick is a gorgeous man - definitely a keeper!!

The next day was cold and drizzly - so unlike our usual Aussie Christmases - so we returned to Brisbane where surprise, surprise, the sun was shining !

The forecast is for a cyclone soon however - haven't had one of those for a few years.

Friday, December 21, 2007

There's a Dragon at the Bottom of my Garden.......

Eric (DH) got some fantastic shots of our bearded dragon - he stirred him up a bit, so that he puffed himself up and opened his mouth and did his threatening bit!! Isn't he a beauty???

Normally very unassuming and peaceful - this is how he looked at first - trying to pretend he was part of the scenery.

then he started feeling just a tad uneasy.........

See how he looks when he is fully aroused to a feeling of danger??

He puffs his body up to three times normal size, and his beard comes out to a magnificent frill and he shows the yellow colour inside his mouth!

What a lovely boy!

Just like a miniature dinosaur!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another one for the babies....

This is so pretty! I just used up some odd bits of blue - pale blue is Panda Angoretta, navy is Panda Disco, and the deep sky blue is Patons Totem ( I think)

I haven't made one of these for weeks - only started it to keep a lady company at the Caboolture Library Knit and Natter - she was making her first BSJ, so we did it as a knit along!

I love the cheeky little buttons with smiley faces - they are from daverun on

Fastest little sweater I ever made!

I was given some yarn on Friday morning about 10 am. It was three skeins of Eden; the label says, in German, "Jakob AG - Bernetta Wolle - Col - 1933 " It is 28% Wool, 71% Polyacryl, 1% Viscose And three skeins of Moda Vera Jazz furry yarn - in a milk chocolate brown. So yummy!!

I knew right away it wanted to be made into a Tomten Modular Jacket.

The Eden is a lovely tweedy looking yarn - sort of a grey/green/brown with a tiny fleck of apricot, which you can only see when you look closely. I wasn't sure it would be enough - but as I thought I only had two skeins of the Jazz - I could have done the whole thing in alternating stripes including the sleeves - I found the third skein lurking in my tote bag after I had finished it!! Never mind - I have enough to make something else now!!
Because I wasn't sure if I had enough - I made the body up to the armholes fairly short - only about twenty ridges, starting with 6 ridges of garter stitch in the Eden at the bottom.

After I had done the sleeves, I came back and picked up front bands, starting at the right front, and then continued all the way around the bottom, picking up from the cast on edge, and up the left front. Then I knitted garter stitch front bands and bottom, mitreing at the bottom corners of the front bands. This gave it a really tailored look I feel. I am so in LERV with this little jacket. I just knew the two yarns would combine well.

See what I mean about the wide garter bands??

Now here's the thing - as I said, I was given this yarn on Friday a.m - I started knitting it on Saturday evening - then continued on Sunday evening, then picked it up again Monday afternoon and finished it Monday evening about 10.30 p.m!! This was a classic case of the yarn talking to me!!It literally yelled at me to be made into a Tomten!!

I think I shall go with the Teddy Bear buttons - I have a gazillion buttons and would you believe I couldn't find any to go with it - they are just sitting on the bands - not sewn on yet - I do have some wooden ones like flowers but I may have to dye them - they are a bit pine coloured - sort of yellowy wood - I want them a bit browner.

Must tell you what my husband said though - he said he thought I was knitting a dead mole!!!!

Now isn't that a charming thing to say???? LOL!!

Ok for those who would like to know - the pattern is by Elizabeth Zimmermann - you can find it in her book "Knitting Without Tears" (Page 87) and in "Knitting Workshop" (Page 102)

Both these books are available online from

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My front garden

Are you sick of my tree pictures yet? I had to show you this gorgeous close up of the blossom on our poinciana tree - that wonderful single petal that is pale pink striped with red amazes me! And the colour is absolutely true to life - what a gorgeous tree!

We get a lot of interstate and overseas tourists taking pictures of this tree - and I don't blame them either! Look at the glorious carpet of fallen petals on the grass!

Another lovely flowering shrub is our bougainvillea - it is a cultivar, with variegated leaves, and bright pink bracts, appropriately called "Raspberry Ice"

The little green tree to the left is a Schotia - which has bright red blossoms that the parrots love - they actually get intoxicated on it!! It is too small to flower yet - but just wait ! To the right is a branch of the Poinciana showing its red blossoms - see how its feathery leaves close up when sunset is near?

And this little fellow likes our front garden too - he is a lovely little bearded dragon - he is as big as a small cat - perfectly harmless but keeps the flies and insects away.

Finally!! I finished it!

I finally finished this blanket - the edging just seemed to take forever on this one!!

I made a lot of other baby things - but I just had to finish this because it was for someone who specially requested it - and is paying me to make it!!

The edging is in a very deep purple - Sandra's favourite colour.

I am so pleased to have it finished at last though. This is one of my faults - I do tend to procrastinate when I get tired of something!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Knitted Projects Finished!

Been trying to get some more items finished - no matter how I try I always seem to have more UFOs around my house!!!! So have been trying very hard to get a lot of them finished. Here's a few, now with buttons on; three hug me tights, or shrugs, adapted from a pattern given to me by my friend Bunty.

Another couple of little sets just finished,
a helmet, socks and diagonal baby blanket in apple green acrylic yarn;

a sleeveless cotton set in yellow and white.

Another little Ruffled Baby Set, and a little pink Ruffled Jacket. Both of these in cotton for summer babies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our Poinciana (or Flamboyant Tree)

Three views of the Poinciana tree in full bloom in front of our house! As you can see it casts the most magnificent shade as well as looking spectacular!
Posted by Picasa