Current definition of old dog…

… new tricks!

I did my first ever crochet chain on the weekend – high fives, champagne, streamers! I have wanted to learn for years, and for some reason on the weekend I had the gumption to give it a go. I think this was fuelled by the fact that what I was making simply required a single chain. Not a perfect chain, but I think pretty good for a beginner. Yay me!

crochet north melbourne

Made in North Melbourne, still going strong

It has been a long time, perhaps two years, since I have made mention of my Etsy shop. To be fair there has been a lot happening, and the blog and the Etsy store are kind of separate identities, albeit with a passing reference to each other.

However there has been a flurry of activity this year. My sales are at an all time high – there has been three this year! A scarf and two recycled bracelets have sold. Of course insufficient to generate a living income but the excitement of someone buying something you have made is unbelievably rewarding. My new sock fetish has now made its way into my shop and I am in the process of knitting baby and toddler socks for my Made in North Melbourne brand.

Speaking of socks I have this week made the most fabulous purchase, the Sock Ruler®, the invention of one Denise in California. I am only a beginner sock knitter and so all you guns out there may laugh, but I find it a tad awkward when trying to accurately measure the length of my work in progress socks. No longer. My Sock Rulers arrived in the mail on Friday and were used today – utterly brilliant. If you live in Australia the place to get them is Kathys Fibres in Adelaide – she is very friendly by email; if you are in another part of the world the stockists can be found here. That gorgeous blue sock yarn below I purchased in April 2015 with the intent of making my first pair of socks. After two and a half years I am least pleased to say that I am knitting the very first pair of socks for me! And the afore mentioned first use of the Sock Ruler® was on the cuff of the first sock. I look forward to showing you the finished product.

 

 

 

In the words of another…

…as to why I have not written a blog post recently, and a much needed re-prompt to myself. I have mentioned in the past that I am a bit of a fan of Annabel Langbein, and earlier this year there was an article about her in the NZ Women’s Weekly. It resonated strongly, and I wanted to share some of that with you, it has only taken me five months – says it all really!

There were so many points she made, that made me go, yes, yes exactly, it is not just me. Of course I cannot copy them all here. The four highlights from the article for me, and words we can all heed are:

  • There have been many nights where she found herself still working at 3 am and thought, “What on earth am I doing?
  • “I am lucky that I am blessed with a lot of energy, but doesn’t mean I should work 16 hours a day.” 
  • “When I first had children I thought I had to be superwoman and keep going – I thought if I got off the bus for even a short time, my life would be over”
  • “Now I know that being flat-out busy shouldn’t be the rhythm of your life. I like to take analogies from nature… plants don’t flower all year round. You don’t have to be on G for Go all the time”

It has been a little crazy busy on the work front for me of late, part time work with more life balance.. humph! I have lots of energy and have worked to the silly time in the morning mentioned above more than once recently. Anyway this is my reminder to get back in balance. If you needed one, hope this helps you.

slow down north melbourne

 

Modern art or…

…did you know that cupcake/muffin trays are essential when baking?!

My daughter and I decided to have a go at baking and decorating some fancy cupcakes. There was a lot of mixture so I put a set of cupcake cases on a baking tray to bake along with those in the cupcake/muffin tray. Let us just say the outcome was not what I was expecting. Who knew I had a talent for cupcake art! As you can see those that were cooked in the cupcake/muffin tray came out as expected. The sprawling mess was demolished while still warm I might add. You cannot believe how utterly delighted I was with the finished product. How often do you make something that looks like the photo in the cook book and they were delicious. These will not be a one time bake methinks. Especially seeing that my daughter does not like marshmallows, so Mum & Dad get to eat the flower ones, not just the bases where my darling girl has only eaten the icing!

Of course without downplaying my incredible culinary skills (tee hee!) these are much easier to make than the final product looks. If you want to given them a go, they are courtesy of the Australian Women’s Weekly Fresh Food for Babies & Toddlers cookbook. I highly recommend this cookbook for new parents by the way. We still make meals from this that the whole family really enjoys.

‘Tis a modern world

On the walk to or from daycare my daughter and I often have conversations. I really had to laugh the other day. We have taught our daughter our first names in the case of an emergency, and she knows her surname. For some reason we were talking about her surname, and then she asked what mine was. Her father and I have been un-married for 12 years, so my surname is of course different. Then she asked what her Dad’s surname was. When I said it was the same as hers she was most offended. Her swift reply was, “he can get his own“. I laughed so hard on the inside and had to tell her Dad. There is an absolute logic to her thinking. Though I suspect it is primarily being five and wanting everything to be hers!

surnames north melbourne

Image courtesy of http://www.kickassfacts.com/are-there-fewer-surnames-now-than-in-the-past/

Current definition of wisdom…

…from my recently turned five year old daughter this morning. There is only one Santa, one Easter Bunny, and one Tooth Fairy but there are lots of Disneyland’s!

easter bunny tooth fairy santa

Image courtesy of www multiplemayhemmamma.com

 

Garter drop stitch scarf

I am hooked, and not in the crochet sense of the word (a skill I have yet to try, let alone acquire). I am hooked on a knitting stitch, the garter drop stitch, which I starting knitting with to make myself a scarf with part of my Christmas purchase. I took this in-progress scarf with me when I visited my sister (because who does not take knitting with them when they fly internationally?!). Last year I took the baby blanket I was knitting with me to Fiji – it never left the suitcase! Anyway, in a moment of sisterly love I asked my sister if she would like a scarf. Initially she was not keen, but because I was so taken with what I was making for myself I showed her, and it was easy to convince her to say yes. She ended up picking a lovely peacock green for hers. Now I am not the world’s fastest knitter, but sit down before I tell you this, I have already finished the scarf and my sister actually has it for this winter. I know – I have fallen off my own chair! The photos do not entirely do my sister’s scarf justice. There is a strong possibility that I may even finish my own before the end of winter. And do not tell anyone but I may have started another scarf with this stitch already – in a bold move I am varying the yarn wraps to vary the length of the drop stitch. It is this version that will have me blocking for the very first time in my life – a new knitting adventure that awaits!