Monday, December 30, 2013

See you later 2013!!!

Hi there!

Since the last time I posted there's been a few things -- a lot of working trying to get things finished up before the holidays. We went on a date night to a Tapas place in Darling Harbour...it was fun, but it wasn't enough food for the mister!

We did go to Melbourne at the beginning of December. I was SUPER excited because I got to hang out with my Melbournian friend...and she did not disappoint! We spent the whole day together and I was really wishing one of us had a FitBit because holy moly did we smash out the steps! We had breakfast in one of Melbourne's funky little alley ways, we walked from one end of the city to the other and back again, we walked around the river, we walked through the Botanical park, we did some geocaching, checked out a market, saw some cool shops, and I learned some new and interesting factoids about Melbourne and about many other things! We had plenty of tea, we had chocolate, we did a bit of knitting, I purchased some amazing yarn and fibre and a couple of things from those great shops, AND we both got sunburns!!! It was amazing! There's nothing better than spending a day with a friend, a local in a new area, and in this case one who shares many of my interests and is a part of the same online community as I am. Great hostessing & great conversation, we were already planning our next outing in Sydney!

 
Botanical Gardens - we found a cache here!
A historical bit of Melbourne that I know more about now!


Me, my sunburn, and my goodies!
While in Melbourne I did spend some time with my guy, his brother & friends! We went to the casino (which I didn't love, but the people playing did well), we went to Victoria Markets and I absolutely got some of the pizza I had been looking at the last time. Yummo! We did some shopping at the DFO and ate out a lot, but it was fun - I really love Melbourne!
Waiting for the tram
Beetroot crust!


Pumpkin Crust!

Lupicia Tea!

Flinders St. Station

Wicked cool spot for a geocache!!

When we got home from Melbourne it was more work and then...CHRISTMAS! We had put up the tree before we went to Melbourne, we did some shopping, assembled some gingerbread with the kiddies and then on the day we had a ... wait for it ... BBQ!!!!
Decorating the house, and the cat
Assembling gingerbread houses and trains!
Playing Scrabble with the family
Merry Christmas!
Pressies! Spyros niece got me fibre! LOL

During December I received an adorable ornament as a gift from my friend Stacey, I won some Dancing Dog Dyeworks yarn from the Knitabulls Podcast and I purchased some amazing Tix Trinkets ! Spyros been working on a puzzle, and we got a few things to personalize the house a bit! I put up a couple photos, bought an iron art piece for the outdoor patio space, and our friend Robyn painted some amazing flowers for us!


A great mail day
All done!
Making a house a home!

I did a bit of baking!! I used the mini muffin maker and I made chocolate cupcakes, choc chip banana muffins and a coconut banana loaf! Here are the recipes I based mine on:
Coconut Banana Bread 
Easy Paleo Banana Bread 
Healthier Chocolate Cake 
So moist and yummy!
 
Needles:
I finished up the Sky Blue by Star Athena for my sister! They look SO much better with the reverse stockinette because my linen stitch was just too tight for words...that being said I LOVE the look and will be using it in the future! I finished these up in time for Christmas! I knit them in Gnome Acres House Gnome in the Donatello colourway - on my HiyaHiya Sharp Interchangeables on a size 2.75mm/US 2, my sister hasn't received these yet but they are on route!

Finished Sky Blue

I finally figured out and completed 3 (THREE) of the Black Mamba by Rachel Frank I am happy to have them done, but think they might look a bit more delicate with smaller beads and smaller needles. I ended up using 4.5mm DPNs and the 3 scraps I had purchased beads to match. I kept one and gave the other two as gifts! 

First time knitting with beads!

Last time you saw the Little Pumpkin Socks I was already onto the leg! I finished these before Halloween! I used my 2.5 chiagoos, and did 64sts Magic Loop. On these I tried out the OMG Heel by Megan Williams on these socks and I really like it too!!!
 
Just like a field of pumpkins!


I finished the mini Noodle by Susan Claudino , out of the lovely Fuji's Apples yarn from Knitter's Nightmare on 00 needles! There are some wonky bits - but also I love it!
 
Tea cup Chihuahua

As it was the season, and I wanted to have a little something to put in Christmas cards I knit some ornaments! I knit them all magic loop on my 2.5 chiaogoo needles with fingering scraps - 2 socks, 2 trees, 2 mittens & one sweater! I used these patterns: Christmas Tree by Baiba Dzelme 
Weensy Onament by Kate Vanover  Mitten Ornaments wr2082 by Red Heart 
Mini Sweater Ornament with Cables by Emily5446



Christmas Ornaments


I wanted to make socks for a Christmas gift so I cast on two pairs! I finished one in time for Christmas - the Lotus Flower Socks by Wendy Weber Deeds which I used US 1/2.25mm Knit Picks, two at a time on 2 circs. The yarn is A Stash Addict in the Ooh La La colourway, which I won in an Instagram contest! I really love how the yarn and pattern worked together and how the slipped stitches look!
Ooh La La Lotus Socks


The other pair of socks I am trying desperately to finish for the New Year are the True Love by Chrissy Gardiner I am knitting on my new needles! 2.25mm, Magic Loop on the Chinese needles I bought on eBay and the yarn is Friday Studios from the Jane Austen club I joined. There is A LOT of cabling and they feel like they will never end! It's a 20 row repeat and I can't memorize it entirely, so I have to check the pattern constantly. Slow!! However - they are looking pretty great!
Knitting like the wind on these suckers!
Of course I got out my wheel and I did some spinning!! I pulled out some Friday Studios in the Sunny Beach colourway that I had gotten awhile ago! I always knew I wanted to spin it thin and N-ply it, so I thought I could give it a go at this point! I ended up with about 212 yards of a Sport weight yarn, and I am pretty proud, I think it looks fantastic!
Isn't it pretty!?

I was lucky enough in Melbourne to buy some goodies from Yarn VS Zombies and some of those goodies were PUNIS!!! My first time getting my hands on some, so delicious and squishy and wonderful! I had Autumn Dreaming & Snow and wanted them to be together. I wanted to spin these on a spindle because that's what they are perfect for - I used my Trindle and I love it! I got a 2ply laceweight. It's lovely and I am thrilled, because of the crazy variety of fibres it's a bit itchy around my neck, so I'll just love this for awhile before deciding what it's going to be! 
In the end I spun up 50g of fibre and got approx. 270 yards of a 2ply laceweight.
Autumn Dreaming - Alpaca/Angelina/BFL/Corn/Sari Silk/Rose

Snow - Alpaca/Mulberry Silk

Plied together!

I did a little more progress on my  Sock Yarn Blanket by Shelly Kang. The needles are 2.75mm (2US) and I am doing 44sts. I plan to hit it hard in the New Year once I clear off all the old stuff from this year!
Starting to have it assembled and I did a double size square!
Finally I tried something NEW! I've been wanting to try felting for ages, and when I was in Melbourne my friend took me to a cool $2 store and I got a little needle felting kit to make a frog! I did it yesterday...it was pretty fun! I can defintely see felting eyes or decorations on things in the future!
 
Before I got started!


All done!

Fitness:
Blegh.
I will be better in January.

Travel:
We're still planning New Zealand! We booked our flights, so it's definitely happening! I am very excited. We're still planning out our route - but at this time I think we're planning to do most of the South Island. It's funny how when you're used to taking a couple of months for a holiday 2 weeks just seems like we're missing out on so much! LOL 

More as this takes shape!