Finally Trying out the 9″Circular

Having a child has certainly taken a toll on my crafting and blogging! Two years on now and we’re still not getting adequate sleep.  I’m sure there is time there but when I get it the thought of picking up needles or a hook is furthest from my mind.  Staring at the wall or trying to catch a nap is about the only thing I can manage!

In February of this year though I found myself with the crafting itch and some available head space.  I also had some 9″ circular needles that had yet to be opened and decided it was high time tried them out.

So this happened during nap time.


It was fiddly to cast on and not as easy as with double-pointed needles; but perhaps that was me being rusty and also first time using these needles.  I tried to knit the English way I was taught; logic being that I was new to Continental knitting and didn’t want to overload myself with using too many new skills at once.  But in the end I switched to Continental.  With needles this small, holding the yarn in my left-hand worked was so much easier.

Not wanting to make things too difficult for myself I decided on a basic sock with nothing fancy. Just a bit of ribbing at the top and then plain knitting the whole way through.  That way I knew I could just pick it up at any time and knit without having to think or concentrate too hard.

As it was February, I really thought I’d have it done for winter.  However life seems to get in the way of my best laid plans more now that I have a little one running around the house.  And that’s how I found myself in November before they were finally completed.

I’ve made a few socks before and have a pretty good idea of how their constructed.  Luckily I was foresighted enough to keep track of my stitch counts. I’ve made the mistake of assuming I would “remember”in the past. So even though months passed between finishing the first sock and starting on the other, I knew exactly what to do rather than trying to reconstruct.


Better late than never right? Not in time for winter, but they’ll be ready for when it gets cold again next year.

Verdict on the 9″circulars? For plain patterns I’ll definitely use them again.  Not sure whether I’d use them for anything lacy or with a complex design; but I’m willing to give it a go.

Few general notes:

  • I needed to use stitch markers; I don’t use them when knitting in DPN as I usually arrange my stitches so that the end of a needle is the marker.
  • Still needed to switch to DPN to finish off the toes.



Audrey’s Little Man

This little guy started out his life while I was pregnant. It was early in the pregnancy too as I recall needing something dumb and basic to work on whilst feeling nauseous. 

During my first trimester I was so sick and tired I wondered why anyone would want to go through that more than once. I also remember not being able to wait until it was all over. Little did I know! 

I love my son and I wouldn’t give him up for the world. But at least when I was pregnant I could lie about feeling sorry for myself without having another human being needing me to keep them alive! I’m certainly not getting all the knitting done that I thought I would. 

Anyway back to the knitting.  A very good friend had a baby girl about six weeks ago. Yes, another friend had a baby!! 

This friend is a fellow knitter and she gave my son a beautiful hand-knit blanket which she somehow managed to finish while she was pregnant herself.  As you can see it was essential I have something handmade for her bubba too. 

There was no way I could start and complete a project in our current sleep deprived state.  My son regressed with his sleep again and lately it’s been as bad if not worse than when he was born (I thought things were supposed to get better with sleep by nine months?). 

Thankfully I remembered this UFO! It was fully knitted, all it needed was sewing up and a bit of stuffing in the head. 

Well last week bubs decided to be kind and we had a few nights were we managed 5 or 6 hours sleep. I felt like a new woman and finishing off this little man for Audrey helped me to feel a bit like my old self again. 


I love making toys. No need to worry about sizing or whether someone will grow out of it. And hopefully it’ll get loved and sucked on and carried around for many years to come!

You Can Have Your Baby Girl Now

When I was about seven months pregnant one of my besties fell pregnant too.  When she told me, I cried.  See I fell pregnant well after all of my sisters and in-laws; and none of my friends had children.  I have two step-kids who are amazing but are ten and thirteen.  So bubs would be many years younger than his siblings and all his cousins.  I was a sad that there would be such a big age gap there as I have such great memories growing up with all the kids in my family.

It’s hard to describe how happy I was that there was going to be another baby in my close circle who would grow up close in age to bubs.  And then after he was born two more very close friends fell pregnant.  How did I get to be so lucky that three of my besties would have babies within a year of mine?  It’s something I’m incredibly grateful for each day.

Well of course I needed to make something for my future daughter-in-law (yes we arranged our babies marriage as soon as we found out her gender).  And as these things happen sometimes, this pattern appeared in my newsfeed at just the right time.  

I completed the first one a few weeks ago but lost motivation for the second (who’d have thought there’d be a “second booty syndrome”?).  But when mum went into hospital I picked up the second and somehow got it into my head that baby couldn’t be born until they were complete.  Each time I put them down I felt like I was prolonging the agony.  When I went to bed at night with them incomplete it felt like my fault that another day had passed without baby girl making an entrance into this world. 

After day two the booty was complete and I sighed with relief.  It was like a huge weight had been lifted! Unfortunately there really was no link between my unfinished project and this baby’s entrance to the world.  It was another whole day before she arrived and thank goodness mum and daughter are both safe and sound.  


Apologies for the photo. Bubs and I were both sick with a nasty cold for a week and it left me with a “that’s good enough” attitude toward documenting the finished product. I’m definitely not complaining though. I’ll take that cold over three days of labour any day!

It’s Good for What Ails Ya

Let’s start this post with the fact that I never get sick.  Well maybe not never, but very rarely.  I can count on my hand the number of times in my life that I have ever had a major illness.  And in the winter time I’m one of those annoying people that never picks up no other people’s colds.  I’ve never had the flu shot because, well, I’ve never had the flu. 

It actually gets to the point where I want to get sick so that I could take time off work! The idea of having a day or two where I could lie on the couch and watch TV and not feel guilty about it is very appealing.  Of course I have the kind of job where even if I was sick I would still need to go in so it’s probably a good thing.  

This worked out very well for me when I was pregnant as I got to finally use my sick leave for something, i.e. my obstetrician and other various health appointments.  Other than these appointments I managed to get through the whole pregnancy without taking any time off.  And worked right up to week 38.  (A the time I was very proud but looking back it was a bad idea.  For anyone reading this, you need more than two weeks to prepare for a baby! Take at  least four.  More if you’re struggling in the pregnancy!)

Back to the point.  One thing that does tend to happen is that when I do get sick (usually nothing more serious than a sniffly nose and sore throat) it just happens to fall when I’m on holiday.  That’s why I remember the last time; it was February 2013 when I was on my honeymoon in Vietnam. Bloody typical!

The wonderful locals who looked after us at breakfast, after a morning or two, noticed how horrid I was feeling and volunteered a wonderful drink to help me through.  A very simple, four ingredient wonder that soothed my throat, cleared my nose and also provided that special touch that you need most when you’re sick – the feeling of comfort and being looked after.  

For the remainder of our stay I had one each morning and it helped to set me up to enjoy the day and remember that I was on my honeymoon rather than moping about feeling sick and tired. 

I’m sure many of you have tried this before and I’m not breaking any new ground here.  But I’m writing about it because for the first time in two years I have a cold again.  This drink has been my staple for the past few days because I’m still breastfeeding and want to avoid cold and flu tablets.  


– Ginger

– Honey

– Lemon

– Boiling water

Mix up in the amounts you like.  I have about a thumb size of chopped ginger, generous tablespoon of honey and a quarter of a lemon.  

Who knows whether this actually reduces the length of the cold or its severity.  But it makes me feel better regardless! 


Tart Remains

One of the things I was really looking forward to about being on maternity leave was having dinner on the table every night. I felt it was my responsbility to make sure we had nutritious, wholesome meals. 

(I didn’t, however, feel it was my responsibility to clean the house; but that is another story and has nothing to do with the fact that I like to cook and hate to clean.)

It took a few months after we got home from hospital before I really started to get into the nightly dinner plan and cook; but now it’s become part of my weekly routine.  A few nights a week I’ll find some new recipe, another few I’ll prepare an old favourite, another might be left overs and hell, once a week we’ll splurge on some take away.

Usually I quite like browsing recipes in the morning and part of my daily “get out and about with bubs” involves picking up whatever supplies I need.  I never plan more than a day in advance because that forces me to leave the house.  Something I know is very important for my mental health and great stimulation for bubs too.

One day a few weeks ago, however, I just couldn’t motivate myself to leave.  It’d been a particularly rough night and dragging my sorry ass off the floor (yes I was lying down with bubs) seemed an impossibility.  We’d already had take away that week and I didn’t feel like something boring like eggs on toast.  I needed to figure out something with what was left in the fridge.  

I knew I had some asapragus that was about to go bad so I looked up a few asparagus recipes online.  One that popped up was an asparagus and goats cheese tart.  Now I am not the sort of person who has goats cheese in their fridge without a plan for it, but I did have fetta.  And I also had some puff pastry that had been in the freezer since goodness knows how long!

After a quick survey I also found the following: packet of bacon, sweet potato, pine nuts.  And thus my first “Tart Remains” came to be!

It was super easy to prepare and fit in well with bubs night time routine  This is how it went:

1. Give bubs his night time solids

2. Husband bathes bubs

3. While husband is bathing bubs:

 – Grease a baking tray and line with puff pastry

 – Preheat oven to 180 degrees

 – Fry up bacon

 – Cook sweet potato in microwave, piercing skin first

 – Blanch asparagus and trim ends

 – Arrange bacon, sweet potato, asparagus, fetta and pine nuts over puff pastry

 – Brush sides of puff pastry with egg

 – Put into oven

4.  Husband has now finished bathing bubs. 

5. Instruct husband to watch oven and take out tart after 15 minutes or when puff pastry is golden and yummy.

6. Take bubs and put to sleep.

It very rarely takes me longer than 15 minutes to put bubs down because I always put him to sleep on the boob at night.  If you think I’m doing the wrong thing then read this. If you still think I’m doing the wrong thing then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.  It’s quick and easy and it gives husband and I time to eat dinner in peace each night.  

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the first one I made.  But last night I did it again only with a few different ingredients.  This time it was:

– Sliced turkey

– Asparagus

– Pitted Kalamata Olives

– Pine Nuts

– Rocket

– Fetta Cheese

I think I liked this one even better!


Adventures with Beer Bread

Since being on materinty leave I’ve had the increasing urge to bake bread.  Not sure where it’s come from or why.  I quite like to cook, and make cakes reasonably often.  But I’e never had the desire to do anything too complicated that might require kneading or “leaving to rise”.  My one attempt at making scones was a bit of a disaster as I couldn’t get right the amount of stirring time.  Too little stirring and you have lumps of flour.  Too much stirring and your scones are hard rather than light and fluffy.  Mine were hard as rock!

So it was quite a surprise when I started clicking on links involving bread related cooking recipes in my news feed rather than just scrolling past. Then I even started bookmarking a few.  Noting down some of the basic recipe ingredients, I thought I’d better buy some yeast to keep in the cupboard just in case the urge got stronger at a time when I couldn’t make it to the shops; I’d better make sure I had the tools in hand! I even bought a bread tin for the oven.

Then one day the following link caught my eye: How to make Beer Bread

There was no way I wouldn’t click on that! And to my surprise the recipe involved no yeast, no kneading, no leaving to rise.  In fact it was easier than most cakes I’ve made! (And in case you’re wondering, no I don’t work for Craftsy, no I don’t receive any money from Craftsy.)  I really did have all the ingredients in the fridge. Albeit the most important ingredient, beer, was in the outdoor fridge!

What appealed to me most (well probably a close second behind how easy it looked) was that it was a great base recipe to which you could add whatever you wanted for endless variety.  I decided to do it by the book for the first time to see how it would turn out.  For those in Australia, to save you doing the conversions, I used the following measurements (only some are different from Craftsy page):

– 3 cups plain flour

– 2 teaspoons of baking powder

– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

– 2 tablespoons of caster sugar

– 55 grams of butter

– 1 bottle of Crown Lager (375 mls)

It worked a treat! Was a lovely flavour and perfect to eat warm with dollups of butter (and maybe jam if you’re feeling indulgent) and a cup of tea.  For a week it was my afternoon treat while bubs was napping.

Then last week I tried again only this time I used the following:

– All ingredients above except 1 bottle of Peroni (330mls)

– Generous handful of bottled sliced kalamata olives (and a bit of the juice too seeing as how there was less beer)

– Generous handful or two of grated parmesan cheese

Here is the result.


Next time I’m going to try to make it sweeter, with some sultanas and perhaps some spices too.  And I’m even thinking of adding some vegemite and cheese at some point.  So many possibilities!

Finished Objects Friday – Owlie Socks for Ang

Well its been over a year since my last post. 2014 was a big year for me; I found out I was pregnant in February and at almost exactly the same time I completely lost my crafting and blogging motivation.  I was so tired and sick in the first trimester that all my energy was put into my full time work and all hobbies took a backseat.

Things got better after the first trimester but I had lost momentum I guess.  Not to say I didn’t finish anything last year.  There were a few objects that I managed to complete through sheer stubbornness and necessity.  I’ll post a few images at the bottom of this post just to prove it!  But they were few and far between.

My son is now five months old and I think the crafting spark is starting to return.  Being at home on maternity leave doesn’t quite give me the time I’d hoped it would (usually when I get a spare moment I’m trying to catch up on sleep myself!), but I’m finding that taking a bit of time each day to spend knitting or crocheting is helping me to reconnect with the person I was before I became a mother.

Anyway on to the Finished Object! I started these Owlie Socks in January 2014 for a girlfriend who’s birthday is at the end of February.  There should have been no problem getting them done in time!  I completed the first sock by July 2014 and was quite proud of myself despite missing the original birthday.  I didn’t even start on the second sock until January 2015 where once again, I convinced myself that having them done by the next birthday shouldn’t be a problem!

Here we are in March and they’re finally done.  They’re probably the most intricate project I’ve done to date, but so long as you’re OK with double pointed needles, have knitted a sock before, and are familiar with cabling, you shouldn’t have any trouble.  I had never used beads in my knitting before but the pattern gives a link showing how to add them with a crochet hook.  It’s super easy and not something to be daunted by.

It does require concentration so it’s not the sort of thing you want to attempt when you’re tired or distracted or have to put it down constantly (i.e. if you are pregnant or have a newborn!) but the techniques themselves are not difficult.

The result, however, is pretty fabulous and garners lots of very satisfying “Oooo”s when you show people.


The owls close up.



There are plenty of mistakes of course; don’t think I’ve managed a project yet without errors! But that’s the charm of something handmade right? If we wanted perfect then it would be much easier, quicker and cheaper to buy these things from a shop.

Now I need to decide whether it’s time to start something new or go back and finish one of my other works in progress.  Perhaps Lempster seeing as how I will now fit into it for this winter?  Or perhaps my Boat Socks?  Or maybe I’ll spend a bit of time reacquainting myself with Ravelry.  Endless possibilities!

Check out other Finished Objects on Tami’s Blog.

And check out a few of the things I did manage to finish last year.

A lovely Beanis, which was a gift for one of my besties for her Hens party.


And a couple of Halloween Dishclothes, which were a gift for another bestie who moved to Thailand last year.  Actually I made another of these for myself as my first project after my baby was born.  I needed something simple, but also used it to practice some continental knitting.  That might be the subject of another post!

Halloween Dishclothes