amanda j

Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

If you are interested, here is the ABC coverage of the Dawn Service (scroll down to video). There is a close up of Purl – she is the dark haired gorgeous girl in the Akubra hat. I could barely cope with the whole thing! I was so proud I thought I might actually explode! She is enjoying herself immensely and has fallen in love with Turkey and the Turkish people.

Our staycation is going well. Tiny Madam has slept in a room by herself two nights in a row – for the first time ever! She is growing up! Yesterday we went to Kids Paradise and let them run loose. The Spunk and I had a very civilised coffee and next time might go a bit earlier for breakfast in the cafe there. Not too many people and the kids had a ball. Today we have a cooking class – ANZAC biscuits of course!

I am making a blanket with the brown yarn, and I think it will be quite good. Just a simple ripple stitch, but it looks effective and is a good colour for my lounge room:


I haven’t been doing much work on the black jumper, except that I picked up around the neckline to make it into a cowl. I think I am not going to have enough yarn to make long sleeves, but that’s fine. The jumper will end up looking like a cross between Ingenue and something else entirely! It should be done soon I think. Perhaps I will work on it today. It is knitting weather, that’s for sure.


See my slanty stitches? It must be something to do with the yarn – I don’t usually have this issue!

Student free day tomorrow. I had the kids convinced on Friday that we turn the music up loud and play football in the corridors. Sometimes this is not far from the truth. School is great without kids!


Purl left on her epic journey last night and was upset to leave – she was very teary at the airport. However, I have since heard that she made it to Dubai without too much drama and will head out in about half an hour for Istanbul and then on to Canakkale on a bus. Then Friday a tour of the Gallipoli Peninsula, and of course Saturday is ANZAC Day. I had quite the minor breakdown last night! I am okay now – she is in good hands and will have the time of her life!

I am trying to keep very busy. At work this is not a problem – there is never a dull moment! I teach Historical Inquiry and met a new class today. I started the day with 18 students and had 27 by the end. I am sure they have all heard what a fantastic class it is (cough choke) and it’s not that they couldn’t be bothered going to football (choke splutter!). Anyway, we had a good start and they have some fantastic ideas about what they are going to Inquire about.

This weekend, we are having a STAYCATION inspired by this blog. We have showers and rain forecast, so it seems like a good idea to batten down the hatches somewhat and have fun at home. We may, or may not, go out. I am cutting out door signs and itineraries. Tiny Madam is going to sleep in Purl’s room for the weekend (shh don’t tell! While the cat’s on the other side of the world . . .) and they can have room service and some pampering. I might even go as far as getting them a little chocolate for their pillows! Sounds like fun, don’t you think?

This evening whilst watching the brilliant Wednesday night television line up I am going to unknit the Nut Brown Seamless Sweater I made the Spunk. I can’t stand to look at it a minute longer.  He has ordered a round neck jumper in Graphite Bendigo 8 ply as a substitution, rather than having the same yarn knitted into a different jumper. Now I need to find a pattern for myself with the nut brown yarn. I think there needs to be some texture, as the yarn is not terribly inspiring really. Any suggestions? I could make another Central Park Hoodie, but leave off the hoodie bit. Rogue has been in my queue for just about forever. I even bought the pattern. Should I try that?

Sans pictures today. Sorry!

Two sleeps . . .

Here is the prize that Purl won last year – how amazing!

We had a meeting yesterday and talked through her itinerary. She leaves on Tuesday and won’t be back until 8 May. It’s the longest she has been away from home, and obviously the furthest. She is going to the dawn service at Gallipoli, through Belgium and France, following the trail of Frank MacDonald, one of the last surviving ANZACs. Today just about everyone we know flowed through the house starting at 9am to say Bon Voyage. I am fluctuating between panic, pride and have a constant lump in my throat. She is packed and ready. WHAT AN ADVENTURE.

I, of course, knitted through the meeting and barely elicited a glance from the others. They must be very well adjusted people. I am making another placket jumper for my friend’s son. It is coming along very nicely.

Number One Son turned 9 last week. Another milestone! He is growing to be such a lovely boy. We took him and his friends to see Monsters VS Aliens and it was great!

Here is Tiny Madam in her Oriental. I modified the pattern as it is intended for little teeny girls. I think she looks very cute. She is a teapot, not so short and not so stout.

Tipe me over . . .

Tip me over . . .

I am knitting furiously, because I have to finish all of everything I have before I can order more yarn. This, in my mind, includes re-knitting a Spunk sized jumper because I can’t live with the ugly neckline of the Seamless that I knitted recently.

However, if Mr Rudd manages to stimulate me in the next week all bets are off! Like many people, I am very excited that Bendigo has released Luxury yarn and it comes in 10 ply! Woo hooo! I have so much stuff in my Ravelry queue I barely know what to do first!

We have just had a lovely week off school, with a kind of do-nothing philosophy. It has been great. However, I probably should get going and organise myself for tomorrow. I will be on deck in twelve hours and have barely given school a thought! Time to start counting down to our next holiday! Six weeks . . .

I mentioned our trip away for the decade of wedded bliss. Here I am at Pyengana where we had lunch. Look at the green paddock! Imagine the smell of cow poo! It was lovely!

I love the smell of cow poo in the morning!

I love the smell of cow poo in the morning!

Happy Autumn!

We have been back from our holidayette for a week now – we had a great time although the house we rented was rather grotty and the Spunk flipped out and went and bought a bucket and mop! We had some lovely weather. Here I am at the blowhole:

All the time we were there, the Spunk was doing the strangest thing. He and Tiny Madam have this thing going on with ‘The Wicked Fairy’ (TWF from now on!). I don’t know how it started or why she was deemed wicked, but she really is. Tiny Madam won’t have anything to do with her. She is about 2 inches tall (TWF not the Madam). Anyway, she appears all over the house at random moments and Madam loves to hide her from the Spunk so he can’t set up an ambush. Unbeknownst to us all TWF made the trip to Bicheno and made a grand entrance when we arrived! Then, she travelled far and wide around the town and had her photo taken in all sorts of locations. I had no idea it was happening for a while, and Tiny Madam still doesn’t know. I think the Spunk is planning on making a slide show for her! She will be furious!! Here is The Wicked Fairy at the beach:

And in the car:

He is seriously a fantastic Dad!

I did some knitting at the beach. I bought some Soft Haze on the morning we left and began a top down raglan cardigan on my Harmony Options needs that I still love very much.

When we got back, I had two parcels to pick up. Some Cascade 220 in grey for a Seamless Hybrid Sweater for the Spunk, and some Bendigo 12 ply in Agate for me. So, the Orange Fluffy has been sidelined whilst I knit for the Spunk. I was knitting too big and had to start again, but all seems good in the world of husband knitting at the moment. I am intrigued by the pattern and look forward to finding out if I can work the maths out since I had to cast on fewer stitches and so forth. Rest assured I will fill you in on my progress.

Cascade 220

Cascade 220

Bendigo Rustic 12 ply

Bendigo Rustic 12 ply

The last few days have been spent caught up in some kind of surreal bureaucratic nightmare. Let me tell you, it is not easy to get a kid out of this country. Passport nightmares no more however, Purl is cleared for travel. Not long now until she jets off for ANZAC Day. We are getting excited. Whilst waiting yet another hour for yet another piece of paper on Monday, we went shopping for jeans. I am still debating whether my sales assistant was a complete horror or a godsend. I tried on a pair of jeans that I had been eyeing off for a while and she informed me they were completely wrong on my body shape and thrust another style and size to try. I put them on and VOILA they looked great! And fit me! And I liked them. So much she convinced me to buy two pairs in different shades of denim!! The magic ingredient?

Great work if you can get it!

Great work if you can get it ;P

You might notice a couple of changes around here. I was beginning to feel my blog was looking a little dark, so I have changed themes. And, the name of my blog too – I still heart knitting a heck of a lot, but seem to have broadened my horizons lately. I think it looks good – I hope you agree.

There are some photos to show you today! I have been enjoying some quiet time at home and have been fairly productive over the past couple of days. I also bought myself a camera (finally!) and have taken some happy snaps of my work.

Sewing – a wrap skirt and an apron. The skirt is for me and the apron is part of a gift that Purl is putting together for her friend’s 16th – how cute! A baking kit!

mind the early onset bunions

mind the early onset bunions

There has been knitting, as usual. Socks in progress:
Zigzag Lace

Zigzag Lace

Spunk Socks

Spunk Socks

Embossed Leaves

Embossed Leaves

I also found myself in Spotlight today (surprised? Perhaps not!) and bought more fabric. Some to make curtains for the bathroom, some to add to fat quarters to make aprons for birthday presents and my absolute favourite is this:
Too cool for school!

Too cool for school!

I am going to make a skirt out of this fabric, and wear it on Fridays so that when I have to talk in assembly the Grade 9s will have something to do! Not that they don’t love to listen to me going on about this and that, but seriously! I absolutely love love this fabric!
And to add some cute, check out these bugs. Our good friends gave Tiny Madam a Chicken Socks pack for Christmas, and we got to make bugs out of pipe cleaners and beads. It was very much fun! Then, you fold the book around on itself and it becomes a house!! If you have kids, or know kids, I would recommend these packs as gifts. They are terrific!
Time for tea!

Time for tea!

Despite all the exclamation marks I have put in today’s post, I am feeling quite sad because Auntie died this morning. It was expected, but part of me feels like it is a chapter closing on my childhood – all the important elders are gone now.

I think tomorrow we will go the beach and have a picnic and blow some sadness away in the sea breeze. Sounds lovely don’t you think?

to the family.

First of all . . .

and then there are these guys.

This is such a good little pattern and I have been recycling some fabrics around the house. The guy in the front is meant to be Kurt Cobain. He is awaiting a face. He was a request from Purl. The two redheads were made on Friday and the others last night and today

And, I made a sock tote! And a monster but I am not going to share that because I completely ripped it off and I don’t want to upset anyone. Darn copyright.

Next in the sewing stakes is a robot that I designed myself, with some help from Tiny Madam and Number One Son! What a hoot! As soon as he is done I will show you. He is going to be a Christmas gift for my friend’s little boy.

Tiny Madam turns six in 10 days and the kitten is hers. At the moment we are aclimatising our other cat. Things are a bit shaky between the two of them right now, but getting better. Our old cat was a hissing furball mess yesterday. Now she’s just hissing. The kitten on the other hand is as happy as Larry.

Thank you for your kind thoughts regarding Auntie. She is still hanging in there! I haven’t been able to see here this week because I managed to pick up some kind of lurgy and have been coughing and spluttering left, right and centre.

I had better go and do some knitting. The Spunk has been instructed to ping something at my forehead if I go near any fabric this evening. I have deadline knitting to finish! Oh yeah, and a week at school to plan for!

I finished the Spunk’s cardigan and dropped it off at Knits Needles and Wool to have a zip inserted. My first anxious thought was about the colour of the zip. I bought a black one, and now I think it should be grey. The second anxious thought was about leaving something that took me so long to make with someone I don’t know and trusting them not to bugger it up! My third anxious thought was about it being away for so long (up to two weeks!) and then the Spunk having no opportunity to wear it!

However, it fits. I don’t have a photo because the camera is still in Queensland. But it really does fit very well and he is thrilled.

I made the back and one front of Hey Teach! and then ripped it out because it just wasn’t doing it for me. Then I cast on for a cotton Wicked cardigan and that wasn’t cutting it either, so now I am making a baby blanket with Cotton-Ease. I love the colour and the yarn is very soft, but I think I need to learn I don’t like knitting cotton into garments! There are a couple of babies in the making around me at the moment, so I am sure one of them will appreciate a machine wash/dry blanket. Pattern is my own – I will share as soon as I can.

Next on the needles – Button Me Up! Pullover by Laura Chau. The numbers are fairly close to Wicked, so it should work out well. In fact, the pullover itself is quite similar to Wicked, but it is knit from the bottom up. I should be able to finish this before going back to school.

I am awaiting delivery of a couple of books – Knitting Without Tears and The Knitter’s Almanac from The Book Depository. I have fallen in love with Elizabeth Zimmermann like thousands of knitters before me. I can’t wait to get them. The Spunk has ordered another jumper – I am going to make him a Seamless Hybrid (Rav link) – we just have to agree on a yarn choice.

We have been spring cleaning with a vengeance this week and finally tackled the kids’ room. Tiny Madam and Number One Son share a room at the moment – our family outgrew our house with the suprise arrival of TM! Oh boy, it was a disgrace. Now, a place for everything and everything in its place. One tub of toys each in the open, everything else is shelved or tubbed and hidden away. It feels very good! However, I wish I could buy them a space saving bed each – we saw a fabulous example at Harvey Norman yesterday. We went to buy a printer and ended up bouncing on beds, fondling carpet and rocking in chairs. What good clean fun!

I have been bitten by the muffin bug. I have never before this week cooked muffins, but have made up for that since Thursday! Yum!

Now to brighten what is a very grey day here – a very bizarre pairing – REM and some Muppets.

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
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