Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas in our house...

It is mid summer here in Sydney and bright and sunny, so Christmas Day will probably be about 30 degrees. The family are arriving in the next few days with a late arrival flying in on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning we will wait for the other two who live nearby to arrive and will then open all our presents together and probably sing some carols at the piano. Then it's lunch outside and Christmas cheer followed by a swim in the pool for some or a siesta for others. There will be catch up calls on Skype too with several in-laws in Europe now that we are an International family. As well, of course, there will be fun and games with two small children, and lots of laughter. This Christmas may you and your family too enjoy health and happiness, and a bright and prosperous New Year.   

This lovely Christmas wreath is made from the NSW Christmas Bush that is a large spreading shrub that develops small, delicate red sepals around the seed capsules in December. Thought you might enjoy this unique Australian Christmas plant.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Leaving home...

This little group of friends are setting off from home in Sydney and travelling across the country to new homes in South Australia. The teddies have been waiting patiently for some time but now they are the ready teddies and this week were joined by three little dolls who will be making the trip with them. It is such an adventure but they are all looking forward to meeting the children and making them smile.
( K4C challenge for supporting rural families in need)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

slouchy hats

Testing some knitting patterns that might be suitable for chemo hats. The obvious requirements are that the hats must be seamless, a solid style and very soft. These hats are a change from the usual beanie type cap that is not always very flattering for the wearer and may be a better choice for some people, as they offer a fuller shape. They also provide a longer cap that gives the wearer the option of some protection for the back of the neck and the ears. Important to keep the rib band firm and not too large so it will be a good fit and not allow the hat to slip off.

Modifications: 8ply/DK wool x 100 gms
Band: 1x1 ribbing using 4mm circular needles; 96 stitches increased to 120 sts for body of hat
Body: stocking stitch using 6mm circular needles for soft drape
*Note: Use smaller needles for rib for a firmer band

The burgundy slouchy can be found here

Modifications: 8ply/DK wool x 100 gms
Band: 1x1 ribbing using 3.5mm circular needles; 96 stitches increased to 120 sts for body of hat
Body: pattern (Knit  & Purl combination) using 4.5mm circular needles

*Note: To prevent holes in the hat, increase by picking up stitch from knitted bar between stiches, not by knitting into stitch twice.

UPDATE: Have knitted a second version of this hat with a smaller band of 92 stiches on 3.5mm needles and then increased to 120 sts (K3, inc.1stitch). Think this would be more suitable for a chemo cap because of the firmer band. Other yarns may require different modifications.

Friday, September 28, 2012


This lace top from a previous era was recently found in a cupboard. Did I really wear this? How did it ever fit me? Lace crochet was certainly the look when I made this.

The recycled rug has had a makeover...

 and now looks like this although the colour is richer in reality. The width was increased by adding a section at right angles to the centre piece and has been finished with a crocheted edge. Pleased with the end result.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

on the shelf - scavenger hunt photos

toy shelf
jump off shelf
history shelf

ice shelf
rock shelf
Joining Deb's scavenger hunt photos 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

6pm Sunday in my garden - scavenger hunt photos

The wisteria was showing off its fabulous mauvey blues and on the table was a box of petunias all ready for the garden tomorrow. Two kookaburras came and sat on the end of the clothes line watching me and waiting for some scraps...

Joining in with Debs photo scavenger hunt.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cakes and colonials

Spent a lovely spring afternoon with family here in Sydney, visiting Vaucluse House, an elegant colonial house that was home to William Wentworth and his family. The wisteria was in full bloom on the front verandah filling the air with a heady fragrance. Have visited the house many times but it is always a delight to return. 

Yesterday was a baking day and these two cakes are the result. The lemon cake was to take as a gift for lunch today (and it was delicious) and the fruit cake is for us. Recipes on the pages on the right. Thanks to all those who commented on my recycled rug project. Hope to finish it soon...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Recycling the recycled

 Thanks to Lynne, Melissa and Pat for their advice but the squares didn't make it through the week before they were pulled down. I don't think knitted squares are for me... So recycled again using a simple one piece pattern of purl and knit on wrong side and knit on right side. Decided to make this into a rectangle (about 36'' x 48'') and then add borders using some or all of these richer colours. Don't like the colours of the recycled wool. I bought it direct from an alpaca farm but I think they made the amateur's mistake of using too many colours, so might give it a burgundy makeover when finished. Like the back of the rug (in the second image) more than the front.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


This doll was a special request and he's not happy because he is a convict in 1820 in Sydney. He's wearing the black and yellow standard issue clothing and grey cap and they are all marked with the broad arrow symbol that designated the items as the property of the Crown. He's sitting on Sydney sandstone that would have been a familiar material to him as a government servant when working on local buildings. (Scraggs just grew from an idea and this is where my knitting meets my family history research...)

Friday, August 31, 2012


As some of my favourite UK detective shows (Morse, Lewis, Poirot to name a few) are currently being recycled in Australia, I needed a simple knit project while watching them, as it is impossible for me to sit and not make something. This knee rug/throw was made some years ago in one piece but was always very heavy as I used three strands of yarn. So decided to recycle as it is a hand dyed alpaca/wool yarn but it needed to be all pulled apart first. This is the progress so far... Not sure I really like it much...The squares are very boring.  Any helpful suggestions? Maybe add some squares in solid colours?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Now we are two...

A little bag for the birthday girl

and a hooded jacket for her big brother  

a vintage red
the denim look
The last two months have been difficult with the loss of our dearest family member but life goes on and time now to finish all those projects on the list. The red vintage jumper was very successful and looks great. Of course I had to make a jumper for my son in law as well and it fits him perfectly.

Friday, June 15, 2012


 First attempt using a vintage pattern (1940s) for my daughter, that she collected. The pattern suggests a 2 or 3 ply wool but found a helpful suggestion here that wool was rated slightly thicker in the 1940s than today, so the modern equivalent of vintage 3ply is 4ply. So I am using Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4ply in Brick, which is a lovely rich red. Have made the jumper a little longer as it was very short-waisted and had to go down a size in needles to 3mm for correct tension. The back is finished and the front is progressing, and will be making long sleeves.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Came across this imaginative installation in a laneway in the city. They are wire birdcages that are suspended across the space at various heights and some have recordings of birds singing. Brings a smile to your face...

For the Sydneysiders: Angel Place; between George Street & Pitt Street

Installation is called Forgotten Songs

Sunday, May 13, 2012

charity knitting


Have just completed collecting for the NSW Women's Refuge Centres again from all the wonderful women from my charity knitting group, Knit4Charities and here are some of the items.There were 58 women this year who made and donated 523 items which was a wonderful result. There are 53 refuge centres in NSW who look after the women and their children who are the victims of domestic violence or are homeless. This year we made rugs, hats, scarves, jumpers, children's clothing and toys.