So this is the finished Great Divide shawl I was knitting for my mother-in-law for her belated mother’s day gift. This really went so fast and I enjoyed every moment knitting it. Of course the Tosh DK yarn is just gorgeous to work with too. I handed it over to my MIL yesterday after hanging on to it all week until I had a moment to grab a quick photo or two, and I’m happy to say she likes it and texted me a photo of her off to church wrapped up in her shawl. I may be slightly jealous that I had to give it away since after blocking it was soooo soft and warm! Maybe I’ll have to knit myself a two colour version sometime down the track.
So then I just had to cast on for another pair of socks. The Willowherb pattern by Coopknits is so beautiful I couldn’t help myself! My love affair with Madeline Tosh yarn continues, and this is tosh sock in Winter Wheat. After how quick and satisfying to knit the shawl was, knitting these socks seems to be going agonizingly slowly. And despite the lace pattern on the socks being an every row kinda thing, my attention is wandering which makes them go even slower. I keep wishing I’d bought some fun bright pink yarn too since I think I may have fallen in love with the gorgeous pink pair that the pattern features, but hey. I’m not exactly a bright pink kinda girl. Although I’m not really a big yellow fan either. Whatever. I think it’s fun to experiment with colour when it’s only on your feet.
So I said my attention was wandering on the socks and so this happened. I made a bag! I spent one night sitting on the lounge with my knitting in my hands, doing absolutely no knitting, and then last night I was sitting there about to do the same when I thought… hey! why not make actually use that fabric you bought today instead of leaving it to languish in the cupboard for months. And so I did. Procrastination on the socks can be good too I guess. I always say that I can’t sew, but it’s really not strictly true. I can sew, I just don’t love it the way I love (obsess over) knitting. This wee bag was my first attempt, and turned out to be just slightly too short. It’s really cute though, and it does still fit an entire sock project, but I felt like I wanted a little more room.
So today I made this one! I’m much happier with this version, although I think I could still tweak it here and there. It had been so long since I’d last used my rotary cutter for much that I kept on forgetting how to use it, and cut my pieces out wrong more than once. So the lining of this one is both cute polka dots and a plain. Still totally cute and the funny vintage circus fabric on the outside makes me happy.
Maybe having a cute bag to store my sock projects in will motivate me to keep going on them.
xox Amanda| 8 CommentsPermalink
Zoe is all about the Princess right now. At any given moment she can be found wriggling out of the outfit she’s been wearing and re-dressing herself into whatever she deems to be suitable for a princess. Some outfits of choice have consisted of big sister’s old ballet tutus, pettiskirts pilfered from my studio, and playsilks and scarves simply tied about herself. Today she became Princess Zoe as soon as she found this dress and cloak hiding amongst the dress-ups (I bought them way back when Maddy was just a baby!). Her first royal duty was to tell princess-Mama (that’s me, and I’m not allowed to answer to anything else) that it was time to play with the chickens. Did you know that princesses love chickens?
The Chicken Princess loves her royal chickens. This one is “princess chicken”. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
And finally, the princess returning the chickens to the castle. Our chicken coop is still very much a work in progress as we find the time and bits and pieces to reuse. Matt (oh sorry, princess King Daddy) is trying to come up with some ideas for how to make really great nesting boxes and a way to make the best use of the “framework” of the bird aviary. The chicken princess doesn’t mind though and enjoys going in and out several times a day.
xox Amanda| 5 CommentsPermalink
A late afternoon oh-my-gosh-these-kids-are-going-crazy-inside drive to the look out, complete with a flask of hot chocolate and some marshmallows, to drink in the pouring rain. Because why not?
xox Amanda| 2 CommentsPermalink
As usual there has been no lack of knitting around here. I knit a whole sock in a day late last week, and then proceeded to take the entire rest of the week to knit it’s match. That first one practically flew off the needles and the other draaaaagged until I was so bored by the pattern I couldn’t wait to be done with it. I think it was more that the week felt really stressful and instead of the knitting being soothing and calming I was on edge and unable to relax into it for whatever reason. Funny how that happens. Just sometimes… it’s almost like the knitting mojo slips away a little bit but not so much that I get knitter’s block.
A little bundle of knitted goodness. This photo makes me smile. Knitting wrapped up sweetly, ready for gifting.. it’s just happy, no? I can’t wait until they reach their recipient.
Can you believe it, more gift knitting! I offered to knit my lovely mother in law a shawl for her (belated now) mother’s day gift this year and I’m so glad she said yes. She wanted something in red, so I chose some delicious Madeline Tosh DK in sequoia to make a single-coloured version of the Great Divide shawl. This is knitting up really fast. I haven’t had much time to work on it since casting on right before I went to bed on Thursday, but I’m already up to the edging. Even in a single colour the stitch pattern is gorgeous. The only thing I’m not enjoying about this knit is… well, it’s hard to describe. Whether it’s the yarn, or the needles – chiagoo interchangeable wooden circs – or the way I’m knitting, I don’t know, but it keeps making it kind of squeaky noises (weird!) and the yarn is rubbing minuscule tears into the skin on my fingertips.
Did you know that today marks the start of World Wide Knit in Public Day? Or well, I guess they should rename is to knit in public Week since it’s now a week long event. I didn’t have any plans to meet up with other knitters and hadn’t heard of anything going on in my area, but I thought I’d get out and do some knitting on our main street and in my favourite coffee shop. I took the Great Divide shawl in my awesome new Sara tote bag, and Maddy took her hat to work on. Bonus, Piper got in a bit of a babywearing wrap-nap while I was knitting away and I think we got more stares for the adorable baby sleeping on my back than we did for the knitting.
And another pair of socks for me. These are My Cup of Tea socks knit in malabrigo sock in the arco iris colourway. I tried something new for me and knit these on two circs instead of my usual method for small in-the-round-stuff of dpns. I wasn’t quite sure what the point was at first, since I actually like using dpns, but after knitting two pairs now with this method I am completely sold on it. I bought two pairs of Hiya Hiya circs and loved working with them. The needles are smooth and the yarn slips nicely over both needles and join, and the tips have the perfect amount of sharpness to their taper. I can’t wait to use them again and I’m already trying to decide on which sock project to knit next.
Will you be knitting in public this week?
xox Amanda| 11 CommentsPermalink
The chickens are getting SO big! No more fuzzy little yellow cheepers, these guys are all awkward and gangly looking “teenagers”, long-necked and long-legged with straggly not-quite-there feathers. Very soon they’ll be ready to move into the coop, so I think this weekend will need to be dedicated to fixing things up and being sure we’re prepared for their move from cozy inside brooder box to the big coop outdoors. I think the chicks will appreciate the extra room too. Our neighbours very kindly gave us their old bird aviary that we will be utilising as the “base” of our coop, and we’ll modify it to suit as we go. I imagine we’ll make additions etc as we figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Curious chickies. They always want to check out my camera, and if one is looking at something, the rest of them soon come running to see what’s what. I love watching them hopping about in the garden, doing those funny little hopping scratches at the ground, or shuffling their bodies around in the dirt. They’ve “played” with a bug, one of them catching it and running off, the others quickly taking chase, but I’ve yet to watch any of them actually eat a bug or find a worm or anything.
They’re all still nameless. Zoe sometimes calls one or more of them “Ellie-please” (which is how she says her middle name, Eloise) but overall we still just call them all “chick chicks” or chookies. I wonder if we’ll ever name them? They’re all so darn similar looking I don’t think I could tell them apart if I tried. Even the kids gave up trying to pick one out each to name.
Hard to believe just a couple of weeks ago the chicks could fit snuggly into her cupped hands. And do you see what I mean about that awkward gangly looking chick-teenager thing? They look so funny to me with the tiny little bits of fluff still clinging to their necks and heads and the half-grown in feathers everywhere else.
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1. Ridiculously adorable shoes and striped tights.
2. Shoes off.
3. Cloth nappies on the line.
4. Kitty loves basking in the sunshine on the windowsill.
5. Waking up.
6. Big girl home sick and knitting in bed.
7. Afternoon refresher.. much needed.
8. Another pair of socks in progress.
9. She’s getting the dreaded toddler mullet.
10. All she has wanted to do for the past couple of days. I think another tooth or two are on their way.
xox Amanda| 7 CommentsPermalink
A little peek into our lives throughout this past May. I guess I took less photos than usual last month because I didn’t have as many as I usually do. Probably because of the weeks where I had hurt my back and couldn’t really move, and the week where every one was sick! These were some of my May favourites. I am obsessed with instagram and love the “community” that I’m part of on there. I am guilty of checking my feed and messages way too often! It’s fun to make friends through photographs. Do you instagram? What’s your username?
So, that was May I guess. We had sicknesses and injuries, my Mum came to visit (and help! love my Mum), we got our chickens, and I loved Autumn to pieces.
You can find me on instagram as “mskeeys”.
xox Amanda| 3 CommentsPermalink
It’s Friday and I have a serious case of the blahs. Maybe it’s because it’s the final day of Autumn, maybe it’s because I still have a lingering (although mild) cold, maybe it’s the endless mess that I am just.so.over cleaning up every.freaking.single.day or maybe it’s because I missed going to the gym again today after only two days back. You ever want to just eye roll at yourself? Yeah. Anyway.
It’s Friday, so here are some friday favourites.
Foxs Lane a really beautiful blog full of beautiful photos and beautiful kids and farmy stuff and! she knits. I am both inspired and intimidated.
Hey PorkChop! another knitter with stunning photos and a really adorable blog. She knits a lot of socks which fits in well with my current sock knitting obsession.
Gigi Blog A fellow photographer and mama-to-”many”. She has five adorable little girls and her blog is full of pink and prettiness and wonderful heartfelt words.
And these things:
This print is darling (and a quote worth remembering),this very useful and adorable yarn bowl, and this sweet little waldorf doll.
What about you? Have any friday favourites to share?
xox Amanda| 6 CommentsPermalink
Ahhh we are in the very final days of Autumn now. Why does it always seem to go by so fast? Autumn is my most favourite season and every year I feel like it slips so quickly away. I took the kids out to the park this afternoon so we could enjoy the last of the season. This afternoon was so mild and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get out of the house where everyone was cranky and frustrated with each other and do something else instead.
The leaves have almost all dropped and gone crunchy brown on the ground, but a few still cling, stubborn, to the branches. Shadows are deepening and the light fades so quickly, chill creeping in as the sky darkens. Makes me want to hibernate (with my knitting of course) and snuggle with my littlies.
Look at those leaves. Sigh. So pretty. These ones are all more or less heart shaped and it makes me smile.
She was determined to get some of those pretty yellow leaves to fill her basket!
I posted a nearly identical photo to the above one on my instagram and discovered my friend Hailey has “her own” hashtag for heart shaped objects in photos. So fun to look through! There are so many pretty ones.
Enjoy the last of the season! I’m sure going to..
xox Amanda| 1 CommentPermalink
So this happened yesterday. Maddy’s new room that is. It was my photography office/yarn room but after many hours of work shifting stuff out and trying (in vain) to find a new place for all of my stuff, I handed it over to one very very excited girl. That sign, in case you can’t read it properly, reads as follows:
Maddy’s New Bedroom
Please do not mess up my new bedroom. I would like it to stay clean. I can read a bedtime story to Isaiah, Lilly, Zoe & Piper before they go to bed! I may do your hair for school and just for fun!
Rules of coming in:
Please knock on my door and wait for me to answer! If I am not there or don’t answer you may peek your head in and check but don’t hang around thank you!
Thank you. Thank you Mum & Dad for doing this just for me! This is very special! Love from Maddy.
So worth it. So worth all the chaos and the stress of giving up my own room so she can have hers.
The cupboard was my prop (ok, and more yarn was in there AND piled up on top) cupboard, and the shelves were previously home to all of my knitting books, baskets of yarn, and camera bits and pieces. Those things are now strewn about the house while I find somewhere else to put them and it’s taking all of my will power not to freak out about the chaos that is everywhere! I had to move pretty much an entire room’s worth of yarn out and now I have baskets around my lounge room, boxes and tubs under my bed and in the middle of the floor and even in tubs in the laundry room. Figuring out a good place to shift it all is high on my priorities list purely for the sake of my own sanity. We still need to figure out a good place to store Maddy’s clothes since the cupboard is quite small and pokey, and her full-size coat hangers don’t quite fit. It will do for now, it has to do for now, but it’s not ideal.
One of the hardest things about having a large family in a small house is the lack of space. Storage space, bedroom space, just space in general. I was planning on holding off on giving her the room for a while longer, but after yet another week of throwing my hands in the air and giving up trying to get three girls to cooperate cleaning up their shared space and just get along, I couldn’t take it any longer. Of course now I have to sort out everything else, which is loads more work, but…. it’s worth it.
Definitely a work in progress but cute enough for now.
Getting so big! Every morning it seems they’ve changed drastically since even the night before.
But still Zoe’s “babies” hehe.
xox Amanda| 2 CommentsPermalink