WIP Wednesday – Hannah’s 1st Birthday Monster

The daughter of one of my girlfriends, who is also kind of my step-cousin (my great-aunt married her grandfather), turned 1 yesterday. Happy birthday Hannah!

I’m way behind in my present making, usually the monster is finished well before the actual date.  But I’ve been behind the past week or so for various reasons. We’re not catching up until next weekend though so she’ll never know it wasn’t ready in time!

I’ve finished the eyes.

IMG-20130619-00256

And the legs.

IMG-20130626-00001It’s going to be almost identical to Madison’s Monster with the exception that the yarn is a lighter pink.  I probably could have come up with a variation but to be honest I wasn’t feeling the monster-design-mojo this month.

With any luck it’ll be done by Friday. Although I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a truck so I don’t like my chances.

Have to say I’m over this winter already! How long until the sun starts shining again?!

Finished Objects Friday – Mittens and British Shorthair

IMG-20130611-00249

OK this isn’t mittens nor a British Shorthair cat.  I didn’t even knit it, although I wish I had! As I mentioned before I visited my parents over the long weekend and as usual I came home bearing gifts.  My mother knitted this about 20 years ago but moved to the sub-tropics just after finishing it.  It’s only been worn very rarely in that time; Brisbane is way too warm to wear wool.  And this visit mum decided she couldn’t bear to have it stored away anymore. I’m looking forward to wearing it on some cold winter nights! Although I suspect it may be too warm even for Sydney, it is one of my most prized possessions.

Now onto something I did make myself! At work last week one of my staff noticed my Vancouver Fog mittens and asked for a pair for him and his son.  I love it when people ask me to knit things, it’s great because you don’t have to worry about whether they’ll like the result. So naturally I agreed and got very excited. It was only later that I wondered whether it would be weird that I knit him a gift? Would that be seen as favouritism? Now I wonder if I should offer to knit something for my other team members too? What’s the etiquette there?

To make myself feel better I made him donate to my Dry July fund.  It’s a great cause, you can click on the link to find out more or donate.

He didn’t want the cabling so I made it straight stockinette stitch and reduced the number of stitches a bit for his son’s version.  Still felt mildly uncomfortable about the whole thing so finished it as quickly as possible.  Started on the flight to Brisbane Saturday morning; finished on the train to work Tuesday morning.

IMG-20130611-00250The rest of the week (apart from Tuesday night) I concentrated on finishing the British Shorthair.  Last night I did my first ever french knot! Love love love learning new techniques!  I’m very pleased with how he’s turned out.  I miss my fur babies terribly and so he sat on my lap for the rest of the night.

IMG-20130613-00254  IMG-20130613-00253I have enough yarn left over to make another but it was a very fiddly project so I’ll probably wait a while before attempting.

Now… what to start next?!  So many possibilities!!

Check out other Finished Objects on Tami’s Blog.

WIP Wednesday – Progress on British Shorthair and Renovations

It has been a very eventful week; lots going on at the moment and not all of it good.  We had a long weekend here in Aus and I spent it flying my two fur babies up to my parent’s house so they could be looked after while we undertake renovations.  My husband spent the weekend ripping up the floor so this is what I came back to.

IMG-20130610-00247

Our house is very old by Australian standards, being built in 1880.  Before we can renovate we need to stabilise the footings hence ripping up the floors so we can underpin.  Yesterday was the first day of digging and already the builder has concerns about whether the job can be done! So it’s now on hold until a structural engineer can come out to re-assess.  We knew there’d be issues, but I didn’t think we’d hit something this significant on the first day!

I was so depressed about the whole thing that I did no knitting last night.  Couldn’t even bring myself to pull this little baby out of the knitting bag.  Our house is so dusty and smelly it feels wrong to expose the beautiful yarn to the elements.

Luckily I had already progressed somewhat since the last WIP Wednesday; there’s now a tail and have also sewn up one of the legs. If I’m to have it done by Friday I’d better get cracking tonight!

IMG-20130612-00251I’m thinking I’ll lock myself in the bedroom away from the construction zone and pretend it’s not happening 🙂

Finished Objects Friday – Aylah’s Crab and Vancouver Fog

Hurray it’s Friday! I have a lot of mixed feelings today.  One one hand I’m excited because it’s Friday and we have a long weekend here in Aus.  I’m also heading up to visit my parents in Queensland where it will no doubt be warmer and I’ll have lots of relaxing times.

On the other hand the reason I’m going up there is to take my cats up so that my parents can look after them while we undertake some pretty significant renovations in our heritage house.  I’m concerned about how stressed the cats will be on the flight and then getting used to a new house with new people.  And selfishly I’m going to miss them terribly for the next few months.

The great thing is that my parents are both huge cat lovers and they’re very excited to be looking after my furry babies.  They won’t have to worry about their legs getting cold during the cooler months.

IMG-20130603-00233Meanwhile on to some Finished Objects.  First off is the Vancouver Fog Mittens.  They’re lovely and warm and I’ve been wearing them every day on the cold walk to the train station.  The one on the left looks bigger because I used a different cast on and cast off method for each.  I thought the first one was a little loose so I tightened it up for the second. Probably should go back and fix the first one up but you know, I’ve moved on to other things 🙂

IMG-20130531-00231Second Finished Object is Aylah’s crab, from Fresh Stitches Tip the Crab pattern.  This one got put on hold for a while because I lost my 3.75 mm hook on the train.  I needed to purchase another one so that it matched the set I had which took a bit of research and then wait for it to be delivered.  No, I don’t have OCD, OCD is a very serious condition. I just hate having a set of something with one piece missing. Don’t you?

IMG-20130603-00232I ran out of craft eyes so ended up sewing on the pupils instead.  At first I didn’t like it, but now I just think he looks a bit tired.  Or wasted.  Or both.

Hope you all have fabulous weekends!

WIP Wednesday – British Shorthair

A while back, maybe a year or over, one of our great couple friends gave me this book.  It’s full of beautiful patterns for cats. Given we’re both great cat lovers this was very a appropriate gift.

IMG-20130604-00238

Since I received the book I have only knit one cat.  It didn’t go that well, the body was too long and it looked very strange so I never ended up finishing the ears, tails, eyes etc. You know, all the things that would make it look like a proper cat!

The first one ended up as a toy for my actual cats.  It’s their favourite.  Started out by them carrying it around by the scruff of it’s neck just like they would real prey.  Then they would drop it in our laps and play fetch with it for as long as they could before we would get bored.  Now it is missing a head and paws and most of it’s stuffing.

It’s coming up to the birthday of the friend who gave it to me and I thought it’d be nice to make her something from it.  I’ve decided on the british shorthair.

The patterns in here use techniques that I’d never seen before like wrapping and turning.  They’re also quite small and on tiny needles. But they’re all explained well in the appendix so no trouble there.

For the first time ever I purchased the actual yarn that the pattern suggested, that is a combination of Rowan Classic Yarn Cashsoft 4ply and Rowan Kidsilk Haze.  You knit with one strand of the cashsoft and two strands of the Kidsilk Haze.

I thought it would be difficult to manage at first but with the Kidsilk I grabbed both ends of the yarn and it’s pulling out of the ball quite nicely without having to re-wind it.  The result is this amazingly soft and furry fabric. Just like a cat!

IMG-20130604-00242

It doesn’t look like much now, but hopefully I’ll have it done for a Finished Object Friday next week.  We’re just about to embark on some significant house renovations so it all depends on how that goes.

Wish me luck!