More cute kids in hats

I’m just back from Melbourne again, and so so so much to blog about … but not right now. If I try, my brain may well explode and that’s never going to be good.

So for now I’ll show you Master Noah [ last week’s birthday boy ] in his TMNT hat which did not come off his head the entire time that he was at his Auntie Nadie’s place yesterday. Please excuse Nannie’s dishevelled ‘do’ – I forgot to pack a brush or comb. This is me more or less au naturelle, or would be if blue hair could be considered natural.


and just so that no one can accuse me of being unfair, or biased in any way:

here’s my little Abby monkey


[photo:Judie Gade]





Turtle Power!

Remember these guys?turtles

Back in 1987, my eldest had me videotaping a new cartoon series that had just hit our screens, and which, unfortunately, aired just before he made it home from High School. Ergo the daily videotaping.

At least for a while.

I can’t remember whether he got over the TMNTs or whether the airing time changed and he was able to see them as they aired.

Probably a bit of both.

Anyway there have been many incarnations since. The cartoons aimed at kids were of necessity a bit lighter in tone than the comic book versions aimed at a slightly older audience, and the look of the turtles changed a bit when CGI came in.

I thought they’d faded into the mists of forgotten merchandising fads

Apparently not so.

My #2 grandson is currently enamoured with said Chelonians, so – at his daddy’s suggestion – I decided to make him a Raphael hat as part of his birthday present. This is Raphael:turtle3

I couldn’t find a pattern that I liked, and murky-turtle green was in astonishingly short supply in my stash. However, a quick hit on the Bendigo Woollen Mills website provided the appropriate colour [ although – surprisingly – they call it ‘Bracken’ rather than murky-turtle ] in the weight of yarn I preferred, and then my improvisational crochet skills were called into use.

First version using a conventional earflap … passable but not quite what I had in mind.


Version 2 with a more helmet type shape and with shaping into the back of the neck for maximum warmth:

Then I had to decide on how to do the eyes. Roundish and googly like the original turtles or more teardrop-shaped [ and slightly sinister ] like the later iterations?  I really preferred the look of the teardrop shaped ones, and after a little experimentation came up with these:011

But then it was gently suggested that similar hats for his siblings for be happily received , so a blue [Leonardo ] one for Riley, and a pink one for Asher even though there are no girl turtles as far as I know.


Finished this morning, for delivery tomorrow, and now all I have to do is keep my fingers crossed that I managed to get the sizes right.

… and that they like them


ETA: the pink turtle now has eyelashes

Last project for 2012 ?

After falling way off the radar in the middle of the year post-surgery and in the throes of the Golden Staph that hitched a ride home with me, there were a couple three lost months where nothing was read, knitted, gardened or written about. That was followed by an extended period in wrist splints so again, not a lot of note.

All things considered, given the paucity of posts, I’m thankful that so many of you stuck around.

Then Silly Season Christmas hove onto the horizon and suddenly I was back.

The last couple of weeks have been a blur of visits to Melbourne [ new grandbaby ] more visits to Melbourne [ Nadie needing emergency surgery and transfusions as a result of post-partum complications ] More more visits to Melbourne [ Opera Gala Concert  and more baby snuggling ] and finally more, more, more visiting Melbourne [ Christmas ]

Somewhere in the midst of all of this, there was time for a bit of gardening [ gentle – may I refer you to the bit above about wrist splints? ] and even some post-Christmas knitting: another cotton dress for Abby [ ravlink ]


and some crochet time. I have made a start on next Christmas’s snowflakes. About a dozen I think.

and just yesterday morning, I decided that I should make a small lightweight wrap for Nadie to use while feeding in public


… or possibly it’s for Abby’s bassinet  for days when it’s a wee bit too warm for this wool one.


The yarn is a lovely silky soft drapey bamboo and was originally ivory. I used it to knit a sort of cami thing a few years ago. Then dyed the finished garment purple. Then decided I wasn’t going to wear it and frogged it [ rippit ] Which made for an interesting mottled, obviously hand-dyed yarn where the dye had permeated some sections of the knitted yarn more fully than others.


I’ve used this stitch a lot in the past but it’s particularly suited to baby blankets.


Not too lacy for small fingers to get tangled in, looks good and works up at a reasonable speed … AND it only has one pattern row that you repeat and repeat  until you’ve made a piece the size you want … or run out of yarn … or gotten tired of doing it. … or all of the above.

So that’s my official last creation for 2012.

and here’s the link to most of the rest of it [ except the ones that I didn’t photograph and the crochet snowflakes that got given away so fast I lost my count ]

So … last one unless I get my skates on cos it’ll be the New Year in a little over ten hours.

The good news is ..

that the intense, constricting chest pain [ which most of you didn’t know about, apart from a deliberately vague comment a few months back about health issues ] that the medico thought was acute coronary troubles, isn’t.

In fact, after three heart ultrasounds and the dreaded treadmill test, I can confidently say that my heart is as strong as … well … the proverbial large emasculated bovine.

The gallbladder ultrasound that was supposedly for purposes of elimination, didn’t … eliminate that is.

So as of Friday week, the 17th of August, my gallbladder and I will be parting company. Permanently.

and with little attempt at a segue:

Thanks to my somewhat patchy blogging of late [ see above for one of the reasons ] it transpires that there are quite a few things finished this year that I have totally failed to document blogwise.

The current count for projects finished since January 1st is 51.

Granted a lot of that is new baby sized, but it does also include 9 shawls, four baby blankets and two adult cardigans,

and as I am never likely to catch up the backlog of reportage, you can find them all here [ except for Chris’ neckwarmer which I forgot to photograph. It’s a big knitted tube. It’s navy 3 x 3 rib. You can use your imagination ]

The cat hair is just added insulation

If you were being particularly vigilant last week you would have noticed the little mauve baby blanket that I made for new granddaughter. A simple crochet rectangle in vintage Patons Bluebell 5 ply/sport that has been in my stash since my mum passed away in 1994.

As it happens, I have already made a couple of blankets for Nadie & Chris’ little one-to-be, but she rather liked the one I’d made for Asher. Never let it be said that I had overlooked an opportunity to make something small, cute and snuggly. Especially as I needed something to work on at last Friday’s Ravelry Baa Dinner at the Shamrock Hotel in Bendi.

So, armed with a slightly deeper lilac BWM 4ply [ fingering ] and an F/3.75mm hook, I settled in at the table surrounded by lovely tiara-wearing fiberistas [ but that’s probably a story for another day ] and started chaining.

I quickly discovered that lilac yarn on a pale blue metallic hook and lowish light levels was not exactly a marriage made in heaven, and, although I persevered through the dinner, I pulled the whole lot out and started again once we got home. [ Fabulous dinner though ]

A 2 hour train ride to Melbourne and back on Sunday, and an hour to kill before ‘Marriage Of Figaro’ made up for the lack of forward momentum on Friday night, so it was just a matter of working away at it over the last couple of days when not otherwise occupied with goats, bonfires, and choir [ and a modicum of housework when it couldn’t be ignored any longer ]

Finished it and sewed in all the ends today, so now all I need to do is figure out what the heck I’m going to cast-on during the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics.

the best laid plans

… and I was being soooo organised.

Having seen the dreaded lurgy of last week out the door, I was all prepared to meet my newest grandchild tomorrow

The lovingly knitted annd crocheted bits and pieces were all boxed up this morning,

little pressies for my grandsons bought and wrapped this afternoon.

Oh, I tell you, I was positively glowing with  virtuous, organised grandmotherliness …

and then I remembered that one particular, very special little cardigan lacked a certain something … like being blocked … or having buttons … or even, come to think of it, actually being sewn together.

and you can’t rush the sewing up [ well, I can’t ] because as sure as I try to do a rush job, I botch it up.

So, after several deep cleansing breaths, I put the current knitting/spinning aside, settled in, and sewed it up. Followed by the fastest wet blocking in the history of the world.

Now you have to bear in mind that a central Victorian Winter’s late afternoon/evening is not generally conducive to a natural drying session outside, so cut to some careful force-drying on top of the wood heater [ much to MissC’s disgruntlement as that’s her favourite winter warm spot ]

and here it is:

The pattern is Presto Chango by Valerie Wallis, and is available free at Jimmy Beans Wool.

The really clever thing about this wee cardi is that the whole front panel unbuttons, making it easy to make extras [ which I haven’t yet ] for quick changes, and potentially cutting down on the number of times the whole garment needs laundering. Miss Asher may have her own ideas on that score.

The yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills new machine washable 8ply/DK wool/bamboo in Merlot [ much deeper wine colour than my evening flash photography shows ] on 4.5mm KP needles. and, as the pattern is written for a heavier yarn, I used the stitch count for the middle size, while following the measurements for the smallest.

Here’s the rest of the package:

hats, mittens, a cotton ‘salsa’ dress/top for next summer, with sewn pull-on pants for underneath,  and, as specifically requested by DDIL who knows she’ll be inundated by a sea of pink, a mauve crochet blankie and everything else in red.

Okay, I’m going back to my TDF knitting now