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




BWM Colonial 5ply [sport ]

5.5mm KP needles

and if I ever again mention any intention of doing a picot cast-off on something this size, will someone please shoot me ?


I had this half memory of Holly Hunter, in The Piano, being pensive-and-shawl-wrapped on that wet New Zealand coast [ which couldn’t be much more different that the wilds of rural Victoria in the height of Summer ] but when I did an image search on the Almighty Google, I discovered that she wasn’t wearing a knitted shawl at all

but she should have





my own design, improvised in the spirit of the classic Faroese shawls but from the top down*. I could ramble on about what went into designing something like this, but truthfully the recipe is pretty much Vogue Lace Stitch Dictionary + maths = shawl

Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply in Purple Storm

5.5mm KP needles



* apparently Faroese shawls are knitted from the bottom up


a] I didn’t know that


b] I like top down construction, so it wouldn’t have made any difference if I had known.


You may remember a few posts ago when I alerted you to the  seductive nature of testknits.

Well  evil temptress enabler friend Toni did it again by pointing me in the direction of a new design by Canadian designer Natalie Servant.

Like I needed another shawl!

The original is a clever v-shaped shawl, but Natalie was interested in having it done as a rectangular stole as well.

Turns out long skinny knitted thingies may not be the easiest things to photograph

His Royal Beariness thought that this first pic

would be enhanced by the addition of his chewtoy. Purely for purposes of scale you understand.

The one thing to be said in it’s favour is that the deep cherry colour is reasonably true, and it does show off the pattern nicely I guess. Ms Natalie calls this one Clover [ presumably 4 leafed?] but I see hearts.

I tried laying it on the floor … various tables … nothing remotely successful

So next, being the kind, considerate, loving mother that I am, I hauled Nadie and an assortment of woollies outside for an extended photo shoot.

In case you didn’t know, it’s Summer here.

Today got to 38 degreesC [ 100F ]

Once again, greater love hath no daughter …

and for those who care about such things

Pattern: Clover by Natalie Servant

– I mainly used the written with the chart as backup.

yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply in Ruby [ 100% machine washable wool ]

needles: 4.5mm KP

So maybe I have a problem

Knitting and crochet seem like such innocent pursuits, don’t they ?

but nobody tells you about the dark, hidden underworld

where yarn purveyors tempt you with luscious colours and textures

and diabolical designers break your resolve with their tempting designs

the stash grows

the magazines

and books

and computer printouts

and PDFs on your eReader

and then when you think you can sink no lower, an evil temptress a friend introduces you to the even murkier sub-culture of the testknitter.

It seems innocent enough at first

“Who would like to knit up this pattern for me and let me know if there are any changes that need to be made ?”

“You get the pattern ahead of almost everyone else, and free … all you need to do is knit it up by such and such a date, post a picture and give me feedback”

What nobody tells you is how damn addictive those test patterns are.

Perhaps I should’ve realised with that first test for YarnMadness’ Baby Bolero when I made three of them before I could stop myself

or maybe when I jumped straight into her Baby Bubble vest.

or how much I agonised over not being able to fit in her current temptation

but this week I really discovered the depths to which I had sunk


It’s just one little lace shawl. Where’s the harm in a little bit of wool? and silk? and cashmere ?

Well, I have to tell you that this seemingly harmless pattern [ which is totally logical and well written I hasten to add ] has nearly driven me to the brink.

January 17 – I cast on and power through the first repetition of the lace, only to have one of the flowers mysteriously fall apart in my hands

NOTE TO SELF: when executing multiple increases into the same stitch [ make 4s and 7s ] it’s not enough to pack those 7 stitches on there. You need to make sure that you catch each and every one of them on the next row. Miss just one and kablooey!

January 19 [ I think ] start over again after pulling out about 3000 stitches.

I resist the temptation to hit the Bailey’s bottle … or the Valium [ score one point for me ]

Knit obsessively until lace is finished, retire to my virtuous bed and arise on the morning of

January 20 to discover that one of the resident felines has managed to drag it off the needles and has redecorated the livingroom.

Attempt to calm jangled nerves with another quick hit – these adorable knitted and felted slippers by Anne-Lise [ravlink to pattern]

January 21 –  cravings temporarily assuaged so it’s back into the shawl


no pile of wool,silk and casmere is going to whup my … ahem … rear.

I am aware that shawl knitting during a week long heatwave is probably not the sanest of pursuits [ see notes above re the addictive nature of testknitting ]


SO worth it

and greater love hath no DD than that she model woolly things in the middle of a searing hot day.