Marlowe Monkey pattern by Amanda Keeys

I’m so excited to introduce Marlowe Monkey! Marlowe  is the newest cheeky little cutie in my collection of toy knitting patterns and he is available right now at Ravelry. I just love this little guy! I love his floppy arms, his chubby legs, and his adorable wee little ears.

Zoe and monkey

marlowe monkey knitting pattern

marlowe monkey knitting pattern

Knit your monkey up in gorgeous natural shades, or go crazy with a rainbow of colour combinations. He looks completely adorable either way.

marlowe monkey knitting pattern

marlowe monkey knitting pattern

He’s the perfect little buddy to monkey around with.

marlowe monkey cute knitting pattern

Get your copy of the Marlowe Monkey knitting pattern via Ravelry.

xox Amanda

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Pipers first haircut

Today I took Piper to get her very first haircut. Which I guess is slightly weird, since for the older girls I waited until they were nearly five and eight, and Piper is only two. But I decided on the spur of the moment that she needed an adorable little pixie cut, so off we went. She was soooo good for the hairdresser. Sat there perfectly still and quiet until she was done and then smiled at herself in the mirror.

Pipers pixie haircut

Piper's first haircut pixie cut

It’s super short on the back (ok, so yes, it’s a lot shorter at the back than I asked for…) and then tapers longer in the front. I think with maybe a couple more weeks worth of growth it will be perfect, but even so I think she looks super adorable. Bonus, now I won’t have to brush out a tangled birds nest of hair each morning.

Piper's haircut two years

pixie haircut two year old

Amazing how a haircut instantly makes toddlers look so much more grown up. I still think of her as a little baby sometimes and it’s a shock to realise she’s not anywhere near being a baby anymore. At her age, most of our big kids were already “big” brothers or sisters, or on their way to becoming one. Maybe Piper will be my little baby forever? Some days I wish she’d stop growing so darn fast. Too fast.

Piper's first haircut

Piper's hair cut

She is such a little monkey when I try to take photographs of her now. I posted a short little clip to instagram of her antics.

Piper and Bec

Snuggles with Bec after the photos. My family has been incredibly sick for pretty much the entire past month (and also the reason why my blogging has dropped so drastically) and Bec rushed up here to help me out for a few days. Piper thinks Bec is pretty much the best person in the entire world and won’t leave her alone for a moment.

cutie pie in the window

xox Amanda

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Piper's headband

What else to do on a rainy, sad afternoon than spend a little time sewing up something cute for Piper? Everyone else in the family is sick, so things around here have been pretty miserable lately and today’s dull and dreary weather just added to the blah moods. Since I still had my sewing machine out and ready for when inspiration struck, I decided to have a go at making a couple of these headbands following a Create Kids Couture tutorial.

retro sewn headband detail

classic black and white

The first one I made ended up being too small, but the second one turned out perfectly. I just fiddled with the sizing on the tutorial template a bit until it worked. I had planned on making a bunch but in the end I ran out of thread! And of course living in this small town all of the stores shut early on the weekend so I couldn’t duck out to grab some more. Maybe tomorrow, since I’m definitely feeling the sewing bug right now.

Piper facetiming Bec

My little model was extremely reluctant this afternoon, so we ended up facetiming Best Bec Ever and suddenly her whole mood changed. I love it. She went from wanting nothing to do with my camera to giggling her head off while talking to her Bec (and none too subtly asking her to come and visit again).

Piper headband

I used scrap fabric to match one of the little dresses I made for Piper last year. This year the dress is the perfect length for a top.

Watching the rain

licking the window

Cheeky monkey in the window.

rainy window Piper

smooshing her face onto the window

I am totally in the mood to sew ALL THE THINGS right now. I hope this doesn’t mean I lose my knitting mojo though…

xox Amanda

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Piper wearing top sewn from Indelible fabrics

Recently I was super excited to be invited to join the blog hop for my friend Katarina’s beautiful new fabric line “Indelible” by Art Gallery Fabrics.  With Spring just around the corner, I felt like today was the perfect day to dust off my sewing machine and get started on some cute outfits for the girls.

back of Piper's dress

indelible blog hop little labyrinth

I am in love with these fabric designs by Kat. The patterns all go together so beautifully! My favourite print is the Doiland Gloss Silver, which I used for the upper portion of Piper’s top. Katarina has been one of my sewing inspirations for the longest time and you have no idea how exciting it is to be using her fabrics to sew with. We first “met” when Madison was only three or four, and Katarina was designing boutique outfits for little girls. We collaborated a few times – Katarina would create an outfit, and I would photograph it – so it’s really fun for me to be able to collaborate with her in this way too.

indelible fabrics top

katie top little labyrinth


I used the Katie top pattern by Brownie Goose. Such a great little design. It makes for the perfect top for hot summer days and I’ll be popping her in a long sleeved shirt underneath until the weather warms up some more. It has juuuust enough twirl factor too for my super girly girl Piper to be happy.

apron detail

Seriously loving the colours in this collection!

Piper blowing dandelions

Piper blowing dandelions

Dreaming of warmer days… just around the corner… I’m sure I can feel Spring in the air.

Piper pretending to be cranky

indelible blog hop

I can’t wait to get started on some more sewing projects. I go through stages where I am super inspired to sew, and then I completely lose the mojo for months, and then all I want to do is sew again!

Check out more of the inspiring projects from the Indelible Blog Hop over at Katarina’s blog.

xox Amanda

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Dollface retro handknit headband

I’m excited to share my latest knitting pattern release with you all. Dollface is an adorable wrap-around and tie-up retro inspired bow headband. This is a great pattern for beginners as it only requires increases and decreases for it’s shape, and the worsted weight yarn makes it a quick and satisfying knit. You could make a whole bunch in different colours in no time, one to go with every outfit.

Dollface handknit headband

adorable handknit headband pattern

The cream version is knit with Kidsilk Aura and gives you a fuzzy-soft and floppy headband, while the bright pink version is knit with malabrigo, making for a warmer and squishier headband.

Zoe wearing Dollface handknit headband

I might be biased of course, but I think these headbands are a seriously cute way to warm up little heads this winter. The bands are wide and can cover the ears for extra warmth on those chilly days. Zoe hasn’t wanted to take hers off and my girls get compliments on them every time we go out.

Zoe in tie up retro dollface headband

dollface handknit knitting pattern headband

Piper handknit headband

The Dollface headband pattern includes sizes from newborn right up through to average adult.

dollface handknit headband pattern

handknitted headband pattern bow

handknitted headband pattern for babies

You can purchase your copy of the Dollface headband knitting pattern via Ravelry or Etsy.

xox Amanda

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Lilly as Hermione Granger

Today was Book Day at school, a day to celebrate and encourage the love of reading, and all of the younger primary grades get to dress up in costume as their favourite book character. Our whole family are a bunch of HP geeks and I was not-so-secretly thrilled when after much deliberation of which character she wanted to be (“all of my friends are going to be Elsa!”), Lilly decided upon Hermione.

lumos! Lilly as Hermione Granger

My little Hermione stood out beautifully in a sea of princess dresses and superheros. I was more than a little proud to overhear her explaining to her friends exactly who Hermione was. I was super happy to see a few little Harry’s running around school too! There is hope yet.

I love that Lilly chose Hermione because I think that Hermione is a great role-model for young girls to have. I love that she is always trying to gain more knowledge and doesn’t believe that to be successful that you have to be the prettiest one, but that it’s what’s inside that matters the most. She is brave and clever and doesn’t apologise for being herself. Those are just a very few of the many things that I hope all of my girls take from her character; that the most important thing is to be you, and everything else will work out.

lilly hermione granger book day

lilly as hermione from harry potter

Lilly has only recently begun reading the series, but she already knows allll about them thanks to the older kids (and we’ve allowed the younger kids to watch the first movie, too – our rule is before you watch the movie, you must read the book, which is great motivation when you don’t want to miss out). Isaiah spent ages teaching Lilly the correct pronunciation of various “spells” (so. cute.) and telling her other bits and pieces of Very Important Harry Potter details in preparation for Book day. Isaiah has nearly finished reading The Half Blood Prince (that kid reads at an insane pace, he’s chewed through books 2 – 6 in the last three weeks) so he knows All The Things about the Wizarding World.

lilly hermione harry potter

I absolutely love, love reading, and to have children who also love to read is one of my favourite things. It is wonderful to be able to watch them read books and see them filled with awe and wonder, as they come to me and tell me of all the amazing things they have just experienced in the book they were reading. There is nothing sweeter than the excitement of reading an amazing book, and I hope they always enjoy reading as much as they do now.

xox Amanda

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lilly rookwood

I have no words lately. Nothing is right.

overgrown graves at rookwood cemetery

tumbled down headstone rookwood cemetery

headstone rookwood

angel face on a headstone

headstone details

lilly at rookwood cemetery

Like always I try to juxtapose the dark and the light. Happy, sad. Beautiful, ugly.

gravestones at rookwood necropolis

rookwood necropolis

This place has fascinated me for so many years. I see the beauty in the overgrown, the tumbled down, the broken and crumbled and lost and forgotten.

Piper rookwood

headstones at rookwood cemetery



hidden parts of rookwood necropolis

piper rookwood

xox Amanda


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a handknit hat

Oh my gosh, I’ve been ridiculously slack keeping up with taking photos and documenting everything that I have been knitting lately. Really, there has been a tonnnn of knitting going on, but not much photo-taking (I’ve been a little burnt out, uninspired, etc, whatever..) so a whole bunch of stuff I don’t even have anymore to show you. I’ve made fingerless mitts for a friend, bunnies and bears, gifts for family, and yet.. I only have a few things to show off. Ah well.

First up is this gorgeous hat for my Papa. He asked me to knit him a hat to wear on his chilly morning walks, and I was so excited and honoured to be asked to do so. My Papa is a fantastic knitter himself, and I have many many fond memories of he and my Nan sitting side by side, working on their knitting. I have a photograph of them together, sitting just like that, and it’s one of my favourites even to this day.

handknit cabled hat honegart

I settled on the Honegart pattern by Stephen West (and may have sparked a slight obsession, shall we say, with all things westknits) with it’s snuggly earflaps and lovely squishy allover cables. Papa wanted it to be blue, and after deliberating over yarn choices for a long long time, I decided on cascade 220 heathers in “Summer Night”. I’m super happy with the yarn and the colour. It worked perfectly for this pattern. The cables show up beautifully and the heathered flecks throughout give it extra depth and interest. The pattern itself was a dream to knit. Really easy and reasonably quick to knit  too. It’s big and loose on me, so hopefully it should fit my Papa perfectly.

earflaps detail with crochet edge

This is also the first time I’ve ever put a crochet edge on a knitted piece. I cannot crochet at all, no matter how many times I’ve tried to teach myself, so I was a bit nervous about attempting the crochet edging. However to my surprise it was ridiculously easy and now I want to add crochet to everything.

cable detail honegart hat

honegart hat handknit

(I may also ever so slightly want to make another one in my size…)

sock knitting bag

And what’s this? A new sock knitting bag! I got the bug the other night to get out my sewing machine again finally and whipped this up quickly.

sock knitting bag with yarn and needles

best friend socks

best friend socks

And socks. Cause, well, do I even need a reason? Always socks. These are for my lovely Bec, and I am knitting myself a matching pair too. Pretty much a basic vanilla sock with stripes just to break up the monotony. I’m using absolutely stunning (and sparkly!!) Countess Ablaze  yarn in the Fake Your Death colourway (love! we both looove MCR so this is the perfect sock yarn for our bff socks), and the creamy-white cuffs, heel and stripes are schoppel wolle admiral sock. These are knitting up sloooowly, and I think it’s partly because Bec has feet two sizes bigger than mine, and because they’re plain. My brain gets bored. But at the same time, my brain enjoys switching off too.

light and up shawl

And last but not least, something for me. This is the Light and Up shawl knit with zauberball sock. I absolutely love the way it came out. The yarn, I think, I love  a little bit more than the pattern. The long colour repeats in zauberball definitely give the shawl it’s “pop” but I also love the way the shawl wraps around with the long dangling points. It’s perfect for throwing on as I rush out the door (I’m always in a rush it seems) and it squishes down super tiny to fit into a bag too. The Light and Up pattern was kind of meditative to knit actually. I started knitting it when I was feeling extremely stressed and upset, and it really helped my mind relax and unwind.

light and up shawl

handknit shawl light and up

handknit shawl scarf

And that sadly is all I have to share for now! What about you? What have you been knitting lately?

xox Amanda

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birthday girl waldorf crown

Five years old today! Oh man. It honestly feels like it was such a short time ago that this little sweetie came into our lives. Hard to believe that at the start of next year she’ll be starting kindy! I asked Zoe some questions about her favourite things today…

Favourite colour: Pink!

Favourite food: Vegemite. Just vegemite. Maybe on sandwiches.

Favourite animal: Polar bears and fish.

Favourite things to do: Playing with horses and dolls and drawing with Lilly.

Favourite drink: Orange juice or water.

When grown-up she wants to: I want to wear jammies that have hello kitty on them and make movies.

What’s your full name?: Zoe… ummm…. it starts with a Zed-zed-zed. I don’t even know the rest!

Favourite place to go?: To the coffee shop with that rabbit on the sign or Craaaaave that is near Nanna’s house.

Zoe on her 5th birthday

in the garden

playing with lalaloopsy horses

Her favourite presents. “These are my babies did you know Mum?”

zoe on her birthday

five years old

handful of glitter

blowing birthday wishes

Make a birthday wish :)

sparkly glitter sprinkles

birthday girl zoe

xox Amanda

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world wide knit in public day 2014

Happy World Wide Knit in Public Day! Well, technically speaking, it’s really world wide knit in public week, since this is now a week-long event. Haven’t heard of WWKIPday before? Check out the official WWKIPday facebook page for more info. You can even find whole group events local to you if you’re lucky and enjoy the company of others knitters (or crocheters, spinners, weavers, or maybe people who just like to buy yarn… you know who you are!)  while bringing attention to our lovely fibrecrafts.

knitting with Piper

knitting at the look out

I knit in the misting rain at the look out for a little while. The view was stunning with low clouds drifting over the mountains behind us. I was knitting on the light and up shawl. This pattern goes so quickly and is so simple to knit. Very calming for my mind. I’m nearly finished it now.

Piper trying to knit

Piper wanted to have a go too. “Me doing my knitting Mama!”. Cuteness. I may just have to get her some of her own chunky needles and yarn to play with. Not that I expect her to knit, but just the experience of holding the yarn and needles, pretending, is joyful.

with bunny amongst the flowers

Couldn’t resist taking a photograph of her perched up there in that lovely spot, hidden out of the rain. So beautiful. And of course, her bunny came with us.

Piper and bunny running

knitting on a picnic table amongst the trees

My little helper. She was holding my yarn for me so it didn’t get wet. Such a lovely yarn too. Zauberball sock. I am in love with the long colour repeats.

Knitting in cafes

Then we moved on a much warmer and cozier spot, my favourite local coffee shop, for a little more knitting and latte drinking.

Daddy and Piper

Did you knit in public today? Will you knit in public this week?

xox Amanda

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