amanda j

Archive for the ‘exchanges’ Category

Where do weeks go? It has been three weeks or so since I blogged! I just checked my google reader list and there are 165 unread posts! Eeek!

Of course there has been knitting. I have finished one sock, and have two more socks on the go. I would like to finish the stripy pair before Monday because I am going on camp and need warm socks.

I also finished Button Me Up and found it slightly too small – wearable definitely, but I would have felt uncomfortable. And so, Purl scored a jumper. She has worn it twice and has actually ordered another one exactly the same but the smaller size. I ordered some more Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Ranch Red to make her another. It is really nice to see her in one of my knits! Fifteen year olds can be difficult to please! We are planning on some interesting buttons for the red one. This was a fantastic pattern that went very quickly. I will make myself one too I think. One day.

Speaking of camp, I decided I needed a hat and made one. I like it, but I think the Spunk and Purl think I look a bit odd. What do you think? Excuse the photo, I took it myself!

This week I also ordered some Cascade Heritage sock yarn from Yarns Online. $12.50 per 100g skein, and the colours are really lovely. Now I am wondering which socks to knit. I also bought some KnitPicks Harmony needles – 2.25mm. They are very pretty and feel quite nice. I am a bit worried that I will break them so I am knitting slightly slower than usual.

I am also making a shawl that will probably never be worn . . . hey, it keeps me off the streets!

We have been busily buying books here and there from the Book Depository. I have bought Knitting Without Tears and The Knitter’s Almanac, as well as some books for the kids and some surprises for the Spunk who is having a birthday next week. I might have just scraped through – the gap between the AUD and the GBP seems to be widening. Sigh.  

As I mentioned, I am camping next week for two nights, and then again the week after. School camp is a funny thing. I quite enjoy seeing the kids outside of school and usually find it really rewarding. However, it is so darn tiring and I am dreading being chief decision maker 24 hours a day. I can usually manage a work day where I am expected to make decisions time and time again, but it’s nice to come home and let someone else decide what to eat or watch on television! Not only that, but I don’t think I will get much knitting done! I will take it just in case it rains (God forbid!).

We are still waiting for the Spunk’s cardigan to be zipped. Hopefully he will have it before his birthday! Next time I think I will try it myself WITH MY NEW SEWING MACHINE. Mum and her husband have given me my birthday present two months early! I haven’t sewed a stitch with it yet – I am certainly not the world’s greatest seamstress, but I am looking forward to making something. Perhaps some simple skirts for the Tiny Madam for summer?

The Spunk has been a teacher for nearly three weeks and is travelling well. The kids have responded well to him and he is enjoying himself!

Us Launcestonian Ravelers met up last weekend and sorted our Secret Santa knitting out. I have lots of ideas for my recipient! I want to talk about it but I can’t!!


Well, we survived! Christmas has been and gone, and I reached most of my knitting goals. In the end I gave out eight pairs of socks. All were greatfully received. Well, to be honest I gave out seven pairs and one single sock. I knitted my butt off but could not quite finish the final sock for my friend who gave me my spinning wheel. Thankfully she found it very amusing to recieve one sock and watch me knit madly to finish the other. The yarn is Donni’s that she sent in my tea cosy parcel. Here is a picture of the second sock, which was finished Boxing Day night. I will post it to her Monday.


The final count was:

  • Embossed Leaves
  • Waving Lace
  • Back to Basics x2
  • Swirly Girl
  • Stocking Stitch x3

Speaking of Christmas, we had a lovely time. I was awake at 5:10 and waited patiently for the kids to wake up so we could have presents. They were very happy with their haul. We headed off for breakfast at 9:00 with MIL1, then off to lunch with Mother and then dinner with Father. On Boxing Day we went to the FIL and MIL2’s house. I got an extra surprise when I found a pubic hair in one of my meals. The Spunk and I almost wet our pants! It was hilarious. I went to remove it and then thought “Well, I am not about to eat that anyway!” so left it where it was. I shudder to think how it got there! The lesser of the possible evils is that it at least belonged to someone I know! Oh, it’s the little things that get us through!  

Phew. I have joined a very sensible KAL – The Year Long Gift-A-Long where the idea is to set goals and spread your gift knitting throughout the year. Considering I would like to knit socks for some people for their birthday as well this year, I thought this would be useful to keep me on track!

I am participating in Pay it Forward. The idea is that I will knit for the first three people who comment and commit to knitting for the first three people on their blog and so on. Those people will receive a gift within a year! What a great idea. Thanks to Nat who is going to pay it forward to me! Comment – go on, join up! I will make you something nice, I promise!

I have not sent my tea cosy for the Ravelry exchange yet. I am losing a bit of sleep about it. I will have to go to the yarn shop tomorrow and find something suitable for my recipient. Thankfully tea cosies do not take too much knitting time and I will be able to finish this weekend. Why, oh why do I procrastinate so? Speaking of tea cosies, I promised Donyale that I would post pics of the cosies (and pots!) that she sent me. They are perfect for my brown on brown with brown and green highlights house:

I am now happily a week into my holiday. It is such a luxury to get up lateish, and to spend time with my kids and family. We are planning to go to the beach a couple of times, which should be much easier and more pleasant now that our smallest Tiny Madam is 5. Life is becoming much more manageable. She even made her own lunch today! A peanut butter sandwich! How very clever.

I had been quite concerned about my knitting mojo. I think about four weeks went by where I did not knit a single stitch. I must have overdone it. However, in the past two weeks or so I have knitted six socks! Admittedly one is quite small for Master Seven. This photo was taken at lunch time today. It has since been finished and I have done the cuff for sock number two!

The yarn in this sock came with lots of other yarn that this gorgeous blogger sent me from her ‘scraps’. There is enough in there to make many little socks! Thanks Carol! Here is a pic of her generosity!

The Spunk and I are in the process of working out what we are going to get tattooed onto ourselves. Did you just fall over in shock Mother? We are both going to get each other’s name somewhere – mine has to be a bit discrete due to me having to pretend to be an upstanding citizen and all. I am also getting something small where it can be seen – I have decided to get a broad arrow on my heel to symbolise a very large part of my ancestry. It is now a thing of pride to be descended from convicts, and I am directly descended from at least seven transported convicts! It would be difficult to be more Tasmanian than me!

Finally, some of you noticed on Ravelry that it was my birthday recently. My Dad’s wife asked me if I would like a Pandora bracelet – I had never heard of them! When we had finished Googling Pandora bracelets, I decided I would like one very much. So, I got one! Dad and his wife gave me the bracelet and a little silver gift charm. I have since been given eight more! My lovely work friends gave me a gift voucher for two, Mother and her husband have given me two, and the Spunk gave me two (including a ram because i heart knitting!). Dad and his wife gave me two more for Christmas. I also bought some beads off Etsy! I don’t do anything by halves. Here is a blurry picture of my bracelet!


. . . can’t  be undone.

The Spunk said this the other day, and we all cracked up. I don’t remember ever hearing anyone say that before. Do you ever hear yourself sounding like your parents, or your grandparents? I find that I have a few favourites to express certain emotions in a classroom appropriate manner! Most of them sound ridiculous but the kids are never in doubt about what I mean. They are very astute – I said something was interesting the other day and they asked me if I meant interesting or “interesting” with the air quotes! Ha!

Anyhow, here is the bun, done.

I have started another one for the middle child. Tiny Madam cracks the whip over me (well, she pretends to) so that I finish things quickly. This was most useful when finishing my reports Sunday, as I told her we could not put up the Christmas tree until I had finished my work. She quite literally stood next to me and told the Spunk when I accidentally opened other windows! It worked. The reports were done and the tree was up by lunch time. My son, on the other hand, is a gentler and more understanding creature and told his sister he would not be cracking any whips over his Mummy. I need to work to reward his patience!

OMG. My tea cosy swap arrived yesterday.


I was lucky enough to be allocated to Donyale who spoiled me freakin’ rotten! As I did not have a tea pot or a plunger, she sent me one of each, with a cosy on both. I also got some Kingston biscuits (my absolute all time favourites!), some Dutch spiced cookies and some Milk Arrowroot (I don’t believe you can go past them for a good dipping bickie!), some coffee for the plunger, some tea for the pot AND some yarn that she dyed herself that’s called Peacock Tail. It’s gorgeous. Visit Yarn Cakes, Donyale’s Etsy store. Thank you so much for your generosity Donyale!

 Um, I still haven’t knitted.

As I was getting ready for work this morning (praying the rain wouldn’t fall – carnival day!) the Spunk raced up our external stairs (from the laundry – oh for an internal laundry!) and said “I think you better come and have a look at this”. To cut a long, expensive story short, the hot water cylinder had leaked all over the freakin floor, into the ‘little room’ under the house where the previous owners may have kept their teenager and created quite a mess. About $1000 later, we are the proud owners of a new hot water cylinder and a very wet floor. I have to see the glass as half full – there were some boxes of books that are quite important but too voluminous to have in the house that we could have lost and didn’t, so it’s not all bad. That would have upset me. As for the money, well, they’re still printing it. Tighten the belt. Cancel Christmas. Sigh.

I didn’t quite make the deadline of posting before the end of the weekend. There were storms here on Sunday night and I am a bit scared of weather, especially of it jumping through my laptop and killing me, so I put the post off. Then last night I fell asleep again. But, here I am. I finished a sock, and am on the home stretch of the other one. I have done a bit of my handspun scarf and also started a Granny Square afghan with left over sock yarn.

Left overs

Granny Square

Buggy Basics

Handspun Scarf

I got an early birthday present today! I am not a ‘high maintenance’ kind of girl and much prefer comfort over speed. I have been coveting some crocs Mary Janes for some time, and when I was talking to Mother about them the other day, she offered to get me some for my birthday (which is in December!). We have never been particularly good at waiting for birthdays! Here they are! Yay!

Nice moon tan!

We also came by some books today. Little Purl has a job on the side reviewing books for the local rag. In the post she got Do Not Open and Ripley’s Search for the Shrunken Heads and Other Curiosities. Both of these books are fantastic and I would highly recommend them for kids and adults. The first would be an excellent gift for book lovers or seekers of knowledge. It’s amazingly filled with facts about everything from the contents of your hamburger to the Mary Celeste. The second is in the style of Egyptology and has pop-ups and little letters and all sorts of things. Both are presented beautifully, the first in a box with a magnetic closure and the second with a kind of squishy cover and embossing. A sneak preview: 

The cool book box. Shiny and new. *sigh*

A typical double page. Believe it . . . or not!

Finally, imagine how difficult life can be without a v key. Mine is sticky. It is annoying! Looks like keyboard number three could be coming up!

Oh my goodness, I have been spoilt rotten by my Sockapalooza pal! Here is a picture of my socks:

Here is a picture of all the other things she sent me:

I received:

Socks – gorgeous, squishy and warm on a cold Saturday. Knitted in Mountain Colours Weaver’s Wool – Lupine colourway, using ‘Diana’s Trail Socks’ pattern. They are absolutely gorgeous with blue and purple and green and even black.

A SIGNED COPY OF STEPHANIE PEARL-McPHEE CASTS OFF! Addressed to me! Eeeee! I can’t wait to read all of this book. I have started and Stephanie said something that rang so true with me – the appeal of knitting is that IT IS A MAGIC TRICK! The Spunk is forever saying it is amazing how I can turn nothing into something (even if that something is not always what I expected!). I predict this book will only make me love knitting even more, which is a real worry.

Trekking Pro Natura sock yarn in a gorgeous shiny green that the Spunk seems to think will be a pair of socks for him!

Some fibre to spin in the most glorious shades! A huge honking soft and fluffy bag full!

A needle sleeve from Lantern Moon!

Some pretty pretty stationery!

A postcard from Memphis (I’m with you this week Cindy!)!

A lovely card!

A million thank yous Lynn, I am so happy with my parcel, you have spoiled me rotten, and I was rotten enough to begin with!

Quite frankly, I seriously needed a treat at the end of this week. It has been a weekus horribulus like never before. I thought I had bad weeks in the past. This one $h!tS all over the rest of them (pardon my language). No need for details! It’s over now and I am hibernating this weekend and I don’t want to talk to anyone mean, nasty, crazy, stubborn, unreasonable or delusional or think about work because I might just never go back at this point! And I am determinedly sitting here in my pyjamas even though it is midday.

Hm. Anyway, I have been doing some knitting, making this cardigan for Tiny Madam. I am loving the all-in-one of this cardigan. It is so easy and I can’t believe it has taken me so long to try it. I won’t show you yet because it looks like a big ole mess, but it should be finished by tomorrow night if I get my knit together. I just love that I can try it on her as I go and make adjustments. I realise most of you knew about the benefits of top down raglan construction, but I am converted! 

I finished the Montego Bay scarf, which I really like very much. The Naturally Bamboo yarn is very soft and I have a whole ball left. I didn’t fringe it like in the magazine, because I am not necessarily a fringe kind of girl. I have attempted to photograph myself in a mirror.

Other knitting has stalled. I have not done any shawl knitting at all this week; Cindy’s first sock is almost done (although according to her blog she is doing fine making socks for herself!).

I have also been spending an inordinate amount of time on Ravelry, mostly finding more things I want to knit and more yarn I want to buy. Don’t forget if you are on Ravelry to add me to your friends! I am on there as amandaj (of course!).

Catch you on the flip flop.

Oh dear. I was supposed to wait for the end of July to buy yarn, but I cracked today. I went on an excursion into the city (anyone see lots of kids in uniform in Launceston today? That was me!) and the kids were off on their own and I had to buy some yarn to send to Julie (Hi Julie!! Welcome home! Posting your pressie tomorrow!) and then there was some gorgeous bamboo that I bought to make a scarf for a friend and then there was some Merino Bambino that I had to buy to make something for my newest tiny friend and suddenly I had dropped $60! Woops. However, this doesn’t count does it, because it is all for other people! Don’t worry Nat, I won’t eat for the next 11 days. That should leave plenty of money for yarn.

Here are some pictures:

I have been knitting of course. I have done the back and one front of a cardigan for my newest tiny friend, the heel of the second Opal sock for the spunk and am thinking seriously about the fact that I said I would have a shawl to wear to end of year celebrations and it’s nearly August. Can anyone recommend a nice easy free laceweight shawl pattern that someone with concentration problems and too many children and no time to think could knit?

Cindy‘s Mon vert ami et professeur socquette is coming along slowly but surely. Perhaps I should list WIPs to keep me honest like Katt does. No pics of knitting because there is nothing much interesting to look at.

Finally, here is the present my friend at work gave me (minus a couple of bits and pieces and quite a lot of the chocolate), just for being me! She is going to be the recipient of the bamboo when it becomes a scarf! Shh, don’t tell, it’s a secret.

Here are my Sockapalooza socks!

They are working! And they are so lovely! This is Embossed Leaves from Favourite Socks in merino cashmere ‘Strawberry’ from The Knittery. I have to say it is one of the most intuitive patterns I have ever knit – I am having no trouble with it whatsoever and the leaves just appear! I am fairly sure it will be the first pattern apart from my vanilla pattern from Patons that I will knit again. In fact, I think I will make them for my MIL1 for her birthday. Shh – don’t tell! Now my only anxiety about Sockapalooza is that my swap pal had asked for something ‘different’. I guess they are different for me because I haven’t made them before!

Being the ADKD (Attention Deficit Knitting Disorder) sufferer that I am, I could not resist casting on another sock:

This is Waving Lace, also from Favourite Socks, using Patter from Katt. This too is an intuitive pattern and makes perfect sense as I am knitting it. My yarn overs are bigger in one half of the pattern than the other, but I am liking them very much. They are for me!

I should finish these tonight:

Purl is away for the night so I would like to have these done for her when she returns. You might be able to see the pale yarn that is the waste where I will put the afterthought heel. I sent her off today with MY MONKEY SOCKS ON with threats of death if they either a) get hurt or b) get left behind. Then she was so paranoid she showed me a hole she thought she had made – lucky for her it was a yarn over hole. Maybe I should make her a pair. Hm.

I tidied up my sock yarn the other day:

There is enough yarn there for 8 pairs – quite a paltry stash compared to some! It really could do with some enhancing. However, I am going to knit as much of this as I can before December and then reward myself with yarn bought with other people’s money, as I am planning on asking for money for my birthday this year! Hahaha! I can never think of anything I want so this is the perfect plan as far as I can gather.

While I am really enjoying my socks, my ADKD has me thinking about knitting trousers/pants for babies. My friend is due to have a baby in four weeks and I tested the water yesterday by showing her and looking at some of the baby patterns. She does not know whether she is having a boy or girl, which is most inconvenient! I will wait until the baby is born to make the pants, because I would like them to be gender specific. She is a fantastic friend who loves hand made items. In fact, the two of us were discussing Etsy . . . perhaps I am getting closer to knitting for food?

Flickr Photos

i am knitting

  • Pinwheel Blanket
  • Sassymetrical
  • Socks x 3
  • Button Me Up V2.0
  • i will knit

  • Flower Basket Shawl
  • Seamless Hybrid Sweater
  • Rogue
  • i knitted 08

  • Central Park Hoodie
  • Back to Basics III
  • Smooth Monkeys
  • Retro Rib Socks
  • Fetching I
  • Fetching II
  • Fetching III
  • Shalom
  • Wicked
  • Wickeder
  • Woodland Shawlette
  • Jumper for ILC
  • Socks for ILC
  • Hat for ILC
  • Booga Bag I
  • Booga Bag II
  • Washcloths for Mother
  • Mini Socks
  • Spunk Socks again
  • Cuzmo
  • Cozmo
  • Rose
  • Olivia
  • Shalom
  • Asymmetrical Cabled Cardi
  • Juliet
  • Liesl
  • Arch Socks
  • Button Me Up V1.0
  • Boy Teacher Cardigan
  • Camp Cowl
  • Felicity Hat
  • Zippity Blanket
  • Grandmother's Favourite Washcloth x 5
  • Apple Dishcloth x 2
  • Patonyle Socks
  • i knitted 07

  • Mother In Law Socks 2
  • Fon Sox
  • Elspiral Socks
  • I Can't Say No socks
  • Pomatomus
  • MIL1 Tea Cosy
  • MIL2 Tea Cosy
  • Green and Purple! socks
  • RPM socks
  • SIL socks
  • Tiny Madam Cardigan
  • Country Silk Cardigan
  • Monkey
  • Silver Scarf/Belt
  • Skinny Inca Scarf
  • Pink Fizzy Scarf
  • Super Spunk Socks
  • Diagonal Cross Rib Socks
  • Baudelaires
  • Mexicana Socks for Spunk
  • Opal Socks for Spunk
  • Jumper and Hat for Teeny Guy
  • Embossed Leaves Sockapaloozas
  • Socks for Robyn
  • Montego Bay Scarf
  • Sparkly Hat
  • Tiny Madam Cardigan 2
  • Waving Lace Socks
  • Swirly Girl Socks
  • Tiny Kevat Shawl
  • Baby Beanie
  • Embossed Leaves for Xmas
  • Mother's Back to Basics
  • Friend Back to Basics
  • Socks for Barb
  • Socks for MIL2
  • Socks for No1Son
  • Tea Cosy Swap Cosy
  • Visitors

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