Sunday, April 20, 2014

When you ail, knit.

Last weekend I came down with a yucky cold. I haven't felt that awful for a long time.
I figured some quiet knitting time would heal me.
Turns out it was a good decision as I got worse and spent two days in bed.
Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Luxury' in Ruby
Look! I've made a very cropped sleeveless cardy which will eventually (hopefully not too far away) become a long, long-sleeved cardy.
I'm making Harvest by Tin Can Knits and I'm loving it.
There was a fair bit of frustration until I got the hang on the raglan increases but considering a week and a half ago I didn't really know what a raglan increase was....I'm stoked.

My arms were getting a little tired as the Harvest cardy is getting a little heavy so I decided to give up on my 'one project at a time' (foolish) dream.
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Stellar' Wool/Bamboo
This is a non mystery knit along (KAL), designed by Georgie Hallam of tikki knits.
I awaiting the next 'clue' so I thought I'd cast on another in the meantime. There's a few babies to be born at the end of winter and I feel like small knits allow me to get a feel of what I like to do/knit while getting a handmade gift at the same time. 
Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Cameo' - Discontinued Wool/Angora
BWM - Luxury...seeing a theme here?
I haven't done too much more crochet, I guess my hands have been busy.
I think he likes his blanket already.
BWM 100% Cotton
Harvey's hasn't got much bigger yet either. Definitely a slow burn project.

One should always have a helper when you are trying to take blog pics.
Foxy Baby Mills - in Lachy
Because it's so helpful when they pull the computer cord out, tug the crochet off the table, try and unzip the craft bag....Lucky he's cute!

Wishing you all a Happy Easter and that no matter what you celebrate, you have some chocolate!!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Knit wit

With some help from Narioka's lovely mum Helen, and some advice along the way from my Aunty Pam, I managed to knit my first jumper.
It's Bendigo Woollen Mills 4Ply 100% cotton. I only did the striped on the front as I didn't want the stress of trying to match up stripes. It seemed to get the tick of approval.

I'm trying (really trying) not to start too many knitty or crochet things. It appears that such Startitis is as common for knitters and crocheters as it is patchworkers but I thought I could aim to be better behaved in one area of my crafting.
Since I finished my first crochet blanket and Lachy's jumper, I figured I could start a new one.  
Since I'm making Harvey a Granny Stripe blanket, I thought I would make Lachy a Giant Granny Square. This is made from Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Luxury' 100% Wool.

Can you see that I'm a fan of Bendigo Woollen Mills?
I sometimes have to go to Bendigo and since the knitting passion has flared, it's a necessary stop.

Time to do a few more rows....


Monday, April 7, 2014

All the birthdays

One is definitely not a lonely number around here - 
As a surprise for the little boys and their Poppi who also had a birthday, we visited the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.

Can you tell we had fun? 
Big 1 year olds aren't scared of heights.

Lachy's 1st birthday
Harvey's 1st birthday

 Cake, cake, cake
Mr CP did it again.
Another cake filled masterpiece.
He swears he is now retired from cake baking.

We had great fun at their joint pirate party.

My super smart big three year old chose pancakes for his birthday dinner - excellent choice!!
A brilliant excuse for me to eat pancakes :o)

It was an exhausting few weeks - in the midst of all the birthday craziness I went back to work and we had an offer accepted on a house. We find out this week if the clan is on the move.

I'm looking forward to a day in the sewing room tomorrow. It's much more appealing now that it is tidy.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

I want to blog but....

It's a bugger to blog on the IPad and it seems such a pain to get the laptop out. Maybe I just need to shut up and do it.

Anyway, since my last post, I had a weekend at The Retreat (perks of being an owner). As usual I didn't get anywhere near as much done as I had planned but I still managed some finishes. Since then, home has been madness and I only just got a chance to unpack and tidy the sewing cave - it was looking like there been some sort of fabricy yarn explosion.

I did manage to make the PJ pants I'd planned for birthday gifts for Harvey's friends.
I got two robot quilts cut out for the boys.
They are eventually going to have a very roboty bedroom! 
And one little helper had his first play with an IPad care of 'Aunty Bron'. He was loving it. 

After the big tidy up yesterday, I got to working on this very well marinated WIP.
I had stalled due to the blanket stitching that needed to be done on the wheels. I finally did them at sewing last week.
Unfortunately I've now decided it's too small for the intended recipient so I'll set it aside and ponder what to make instead....lucky I've got lots of other fabric to choose from!!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

And so it grows

My stash that is.
I couldn't resist this 'Wee Wander' fabric by Sarah Jane Studios.
I bought it online from Fabricworm.
It's so pretty but I've no idea what I'm going to do with it.

Over the last weekend I loaded the boys into the car and ventured north'ish to see my buddy.
She lives in a one horse town. I saw the horse, her name is Barbie. She isn't pink.
Among corralling the children, discussing and fixing the wrongs of the world and eating chocolate, we went on an adventure to Boort.
Where I bought some fabric in Boort.
The shop is called Brojayla Patches. They are only open Tues and Wed or by appointment. Fortunately we were able to get an appointment and Michelle kindly opened the store so she could help us spend our pocket money. 
The plan is to save my pocket money from now on.
I stopped at Bendigo Woollen Mills on my way to visit Jules and spent some more pocket money.
I have lots of quilty and now knitty projects planned with my haul so I can't really justify many more buys.
I wonder if I can stick to a stash diet....?

And those boys?
Cheeky as ever!! 
Abbe x

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You think you can trust somebody

I took my iPad when I visited Jules

Apparently I had left my ravelry account open.

Now where are my knitting needles.....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I have become learned

I've completed the four week crochet class.
I'm loving my new skills.

I've started a granny stripe blanket for Harvey. 
This is Bendigo Woollen Mills 8Ply Cotton.
He keeps asking if I've finished yet...not quite.
This one is a little something that began in error but has turned into a very pretty design.
I'll show you when it's been gifted later in the year as it's for a baby-to-be. 
Of course Harvey had to have a turn.
Can't fault his enthusiasm.... 


Friday, February 14, 2014


I'm having a bit of trouble deciding on my Internet presence and in particular, the Internet presence of my kids. I've introduced them through the blog, I've used their names, and of course their pictures. I feel like they have some lovely cyber aunts, who go out of their way to ask how they are. It's wonderful, it's kind and I really appreciate it but....

Is it okay for me to put pictures of them out there when they aren't old enough to consent?

Is it a bit rich that in a few (well, quite a few, I hope) years to ask them to consider their Internet presence when I have actually made one for them already?

I absolutely adore my boys. I, of course think they are the cutest, funniest, most fabulous children that have ever been born - I'm their mum, how could they not be top notch? But, do I need to brag online in order to appreciate them in all their glory?

What do you think?


Wednesday, February 12, 2014


As I've said before, I have a hankering to learn to sew clothes, to knit and crochet.
It's so exciting to dive into something new. I'm reading a lot more sewing and knitting blogs in conjunction with the quilty blogs and I'm INSPIRED.

I decided that I need some practical, formal instruction so I recently signed up to do a short course for knitting and crochet. It's so exciting to do a little something for me before I go back to work after my maternity leave. I've been to one class and is what I've 'mastered' so far.

Terrible pic - I'm having camera issues :(

I must have enjoyed myself because I kept practicing as soon as I came home.
I definitely prefer the hands on, practical style of learning. We were also given a page of diagrams and written instructions to help jog our memories. I have some homework to do, mostly memorise the crochet terminology and be able to do some of the basics. Very fortunately there are several newbies and everyone seemed quite happy to laugh at themselves and each other as we fumbled along. I think it's going to be a good class.

I also saved my pocket money and bought these beauties. I've been hanging to use circular needles but every time I found a pattern I liked, I never had the correct needle size or cable length. Hopefully that won't be a problem. I've already cast on a little jumper for H....even though I haven't finished sewing up L's. Fortunately after reading several knitting blogs, I have established that UFO's apply to ALL crafts. No wonder I feel so at home.

On the sewing side of things, I have just joined a local quilting group. They are a group of lovely ladies who have stayed at The Retreat several times. They always request that I come and visit (and bring babies for cuddling) when they stay. I feel like I've magically inherited a group of aunts.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Retreat Woodend - Want a discount?

Remember this little place?

I realised that I haven't really spoken about The Retreat for ages and I'm happy to say it's because it is soooo busy! I've just had a nice break, as December/January is our quieter time. I am refreshed and ready for the influx of guests between now and next December.

We did have a few groups over New Years and January, mostly families, utilising the five bedrooms to bring the generations together and celebrate. Keep The Retreat in mind for a family jaunt.

What's news at The Retreat in 2014?
We are constantly making improvements to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Recently, we had a big split system installed in the studio so now there is THREE kinds of heating - you're never going to get cold in there, and of course cooling for the hotter times.
I have two new full length mirrors which will come in handy for the seamstresses at the house.
There are new fly screens and a screen door on the studio to help with airflow.
We also have had our fences repaired and looking great.

There are still several weekends and lots of mid-week dates available. Check out the calendar and see if you can find something to suit.

Abbe :-)

Mention this blog post to get a 10% discount on any booking made before 28th February, 2014.

Monday, February 3, 2014

She said it all

I just read Jules' blog post and it really did say it all. Lots of things get in the way of my blogging but I like it so I'm going to do it when I can and I'm going to do it my way.

Does anyone know a good app to blog in? I'm just using the blogger one and its not much chop. I know I'll blog more if I can use the iPad so I need to find something simple but effective to use.

Things I need to show you - 

The red dres: McCall's 3856, tweaked and improved upon the sack.

It's a dress and it's red and I like it. I lined it with a voile, spray basting the two fabrics together so it was like one fabric. It's not quite as floaty as I'd like it but as both layers are voile, it will soften more with time. 

I've been playing with the layout of this. The original pattern I was inspired by isn't going to work for what I need so block shuffling is happening. The fabric is 'Posy' by Aneela Hoey and kona cotton solids. It's going to be very, very pretty.
It's is what I've decided on with the green border.

And there's been some more of this knitting lark. I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. There's been quite a few silly mistakes, particularly when I get distracted. I'm heavily reliant on a counter but I think that is a good thing at this stage. Oh and that hole you can see, it's not a dropped stitch, it's a very intentions button hole!! 

Back to sleeve two. I've got to get everything ready for Friday when I catch up with Aunty Pam who can help me with the sewing together lark which is rather daunting. 
I'm copperpatch at if you want to be my friend.

Good to be back, lets hope I hang around as much as I intend to.


Monday, January 13, 2014

How much can a koala bear?

We just had a long weekend visiting my dad. The boys love visiting Poppie, there's always lots of fun and the kind of spoiling that one expects from a grandparent to his grandchildren. 
There are also lots of discussions and important questions, such as why? And sometimes why? And often why?
Can you tell we're at the why stage?
On Saturday we went on an adventure to Raymond Island - a quick ferry ride over and then we started on the koala walk. Both Dad and I were a bit skeptical about how many koalas we would see. It turned out our skepticism was being watched by not one, but two koalas. Not that they were paying that much attention, drunken sloths!
Another 25 metres of walking and we saw this little chap scrounging around for ants. 
Harvey was very impressed. Can you imagine how many times he asked 'why' as I explained what we were looking at?
The walk is about 1.2kms and we saw over 15 koalas.
Make that 16 :-)
After the days adventures I tucked the boys into bed (after resettling Lachy several times, he isn't such a fan of that whole sleeping thing), and started on a little knitting project.
I watched 'Land Girls' on Iview, messed up the rib band twice but made some progress. Eventually it should be a jumper for Lachy. I'm using Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton in this lovely blue with a couple of pale blue stripes. Better get back to it or it'll never get finished.
Abbe x