Achievements, celebrations & the mundane

What a week it has been! We’ve done more home improvement in the last month than we have done in the last year! That’s Parkinson’s Law for you.

The biggest achievement (and a huge weight of my shoulders) is the completion of Richard’s office. It’s a small room attached to our garage and basically had bare brick walls, a concrete slab floor and a dodgy light. Richard installed down lights and put new power, telephone and TV points. Then we spent the entire last weekend painting the brick walls and ceiling, which by the way is very hard work! And on Friday I laid down the new vinyl flooring all by myself. Yes, me! I rock!

Richard's newly renovated office

Richard has set up his office now and he is a very happy hubby. Only 2 more weeks before my new house mate moves in and I’m starting to feel nervous and excited at the same time.

On Saturday, we celebrated our nephew’s 9th birthday and there was a bit of fooling around when the sparkles got lit on the cake! That’s the uncle (Richard’s brother) grabbing his nephew’s face. Haha… no harm done I promise!

Jackson's 9th B'day

Now for the mundane part of life. Charlie had one of his showers this week and was happy to show off for the video camera. He LOVES it and gets all excited when he sees the spray bottle.


[Video link]

I’ve also bought yarn to start knitting a charity Christmas project. I won’t say what it is just yet.

Red & White Homemaker Acrylic 8ply

Has anyone started their Christmas knitting? I can’t believe we’re only 4 months away from 2011!

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Self-striping sock yarn – Love it or Hate it?

Hello! How have you been? It’s been a few weeks since I shot out a post. Both my mum and mother-in-law thought I was sick! But I’m fine. I’ve been happily busy and occupied. So what’s new with me? Well, I’ve picked up more freelance work and we’re going to have a new housemate in a few weeks! We’re renting our spare bedroom to a Japanese student, so we’re in a mad rush to get some renovations done. Very exciting!

But I have managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting as always and the last few projects involve self-striping sock yarn. I’m loving it but there are down sides to this type of yarn.

Love: Socks really come to life with self-striping yarn!
Hate: The pattern gets lost among the stripes. Can you see the spirals?

Spirally striped socks from the top 2
Project details here

Love: Leftover self-striping sock yarns make a great scrappy blanket! The blanket looks more complicated to knit than it actually is. I love that I’m not in control of the colours too. A nice change to my usual uptight self. :P I’m changing yarn in the order I knitted the socks and knitting it until I run out.
Hate: Sock yarn is normally thin so this project progresses slowwwly.

10-stitch Scrappy Sock Blanket
Project details here

Love: Self-striping yarn are not always crazy and wild. The analogous colours in this pinky yarn are pleasing to the eye.
Hate: I can just see the lace! Grrr…

Candy Lace Socks WIP
Project details here

So what about you? Do you love or hate self-striping yarn?

I also want to share with you my new toy. I finally bought a set of Nancy Knit Knacks’ DP WIP tubes. They safely store my double pointed needles and current project together. So handy, especially since I’m officially addicted to knitting socks!

Handy DPNs WIP Tube
Available here

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“Help” sewing buttons on

I had a bit of help sewing buttons onto my knitted rib jacket…

Charlie has craft tendencies

Charlie was very helpful in handing stitch markers to me… and taking them away!

Charlie playing with stitch markers

Hmmm… More disruptive than helpful to be honest. Cute nonetheless. ;)

I did get real help somewhere else though. I found this great tutorial on Craftstylish – Sew Buttons Securely on Hand Knits – and it was extremely useful. All the buttons are now sewn on.

So what’s left to do?

Nothing! I’ve finished my jacket! Yayyy!

Photos coming soon… ish. Haha… Hope you’re having a good week!

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Oops! Made a knitting mistake…

I was halfway through knitting the collar of my ribbed jacket when I tried it on. I turned to the left and right, adjusting and scrutinizing the collar. The garter stitch edges bugged me. It didn’t look right.

Ribbed jacket collar no 1

I re-read the pattern and there was an “Oh-oh…” moment. I had knitted twice as many stitches in garter stitch than what the pattern had asked for! Doh!

So I took a deep breath and dropped the stitches back one at a time, re-knitting them in the rib pattern using a crochet hook. I decided to omit the garter stitches altogether, except for the ones right on the edge.

Fixing collar

If you have not done this before, it can be quite intimidating and downright scary. So here are some time-saving tutorials that might help you fix common mistakes without having to rip back your knitting:

Video tutorials to fix common knitting mistakes:
http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips

Illustrated tutorial to pick up dropped stitch from several rows below:
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/pick-up-a-dropped-stitch-from-several-rows-below.html

Illustrated tutorial to fix errors at the side edges of your knitting:
http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/10/fixing-errors-at-sides-edges-of-your.html

Ribbed jacket collar no 2

I much prefer this version of the collar, even though the edges curl slightly. I’m close to finishing now. I bought buttons today and hope to sew them on soon. Maybe next week I can show you a finished jacket. :)

What’s on your crafting to-do list this week?

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Picking, knitting & watching

I’ve picked up the stitches along the neckline of my ribbed jacket to knit the collar. I worked out a simple way to make sure I have the stitches evenly spaced out around the neck and managed to get it right the first go too! Yay!

This how I did it. I divided the neckline into sections using stitch markers. Firstly, I folded the neckline in half to work out the mid point. So now I have 2 sections. I folded again to work out the mid point of these sections. Marked them with stitch markers. Now I have 4 sections. I repeated this step again until I get 8 sections.

Sectioning neckline

A little bit of maths helped me work out how many stitches I needed to pick up for each section. I tried to divide the total number of stitches as evenly as possible between all the sections. Some sections had one more stitch than others. Generally, it’s much easier than trying to eyeball 116 stitches around the entire neckline!

A little knitting maths

Then I picked up right number of stitches for each section. That’s it! So much easier dealing with a small section at a time. Phew! Glad that’s over though. I’m happily knitting my collar now and it’s going quick. :)

Picked up stitches along neckline

Oh and while I was picking and knitting away, I had one eye on this…

Olly dreaming of Charlie

It’s a little hard to concentrate and count when at any moment, Olly might wake up from his feathery dream and make Charlie his midnight snack!

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