Monday, 13 April 2009

A Winter Hat

I have been knitting a lot more since the weather turned cooler, and I found a beautiful hat pattern, for the Selbu Modern hat. It was my first hat, and my first attempt at colourwork, but it was a lovely easy knit and I didn't have any problems at all with it. The yarn was just some merino wool from Spotlight, in a bright red and a charcoal grey (the photos make it look much lighter than it really is). Sadly though on me it looks like a baker's hat - it needs long hair to carry it off well, so I've given it to my youngest sister as a birthday present :) I did find a long haired model for the photos though!

As she started to get the hang of modelling, she began to set up some shots for me.

At first they were more simple poses:

Then they began to be more ambitious - perhaps a couple of shots of her blowing some grass seed out of her fingers?

Or maybe a shot of her eating a leaf?

After that it got silly very quickly so I haven't included any of those ones ;)

Friday, 10 April 2009

Hand quilting

I love the process of hand quilting, it is such a lovely personal and intimate way to finish a quilt, that in this case was so fast to piece together. It makes me slow down and familiarise myself with each of the fabrics in the quilt, and the way the pattern fits together. It is another project that I enjoy doing in Autumn - having my lap covered in a quilt in summer is not my idea of a relaxing craft! I'm using a perle cotton this time, and it took a bit of trial and error to figure out which needle was best to use with it - too small a needle was almost impossible to thread, and then even more impossible to pull through the fabric with the thick cotton behind, and then it snapped!

The colour of the thread stands out beautifully against the colours of the fabric - red and blue together are one of my favourite colour combinations.

Because the thread is thicker, it means that the stitches are larger, and hopefully it will be all finished in time for Winter.

Thursday, 9 April 2009


April is becoming lovely and crisp and cold - I really do welcome the cool of autumn after the dreadfully hot summer we have had.

Autumn is a time for long walks, visiting the zoo, tidying up the garden, knitting and quilting - all those things that I find unpleasant to do in the summer.

This April I am taking Miss Mia to the Royal Easter Show for the first time. I haven't been since before she was born. When I was little, I would stay at my best friend's house for the Easter long weekend, and her parents would take us to the Show. We absolutely loved it all - the rides, the animals, the showbags, the 3-day sleepover with all the showbag lollies to eat :) As a parent myself now I'm sure it must have been exhausting for the adults who had to drag us around for that very long day, but they are some of my favourite childhood memories so I'm very grateful to them :)

My garden is a bit of a mess at the moment, we had a lot of rain a couple of weeks ago, and all the weeds have sprung up everywhere. I try to grow lots of herbs and easy fruits such as these alpine strawberries, as the children love to be able to pick their own snacks in the garden. In this picture you can also see some Greek basil, it's doing well after all the rain. The alpine strawbs are fabulous plants, they don't take over like regular strawbs do, and they continuously fruit the whole year round (in Sydney at least). The fruit is small and very sweet.

That little blue tongue is still hanging around, and we do have an awful lot of spiders. I don't mind any of them except for the redbacks, which we have in abundance unfortunately - they love to hide in the childrens' sandpit toys and under the rims of potplants right where I like to stick my fingers.

My Wollemi pine is preparing for an ice age - apparently this cap of waxy gum that develops on the new buds is one way that they survived the ice ages. My little fellow has had a struggle with caterpillars this summer - a far cry from stegosaurs :) I just love dinosaurs so to have a tree that the dinosaurs would have eaten is fascinating for me! My dad and stepmum gave it to me for my birthday last year, what a wonderful and imaginative present!

I bought some Midyim plants last year, they are an Australian native berry that are apparently delicious. I've been watching the ripening berries for months - not an exaggeration! And suddenly today I noticed that some of them have ripened - not at all what I was expecting them to look like, they are grey and speckled like tiny birds eggs. I haven't tasted one yet, I'm waiting for Miss Mia to get home from preschool to try them with me :)

Speaking of birthdays, my birthday month is April! I've put away quite a few goodies for myself, what excuse will I use for the rest of the year when I want to buy fabric etc? I guess Mother's day and Christmas come in handy for that too ;)