Saturday, 17 November 2007

instant karma

Just add yarn and needles. The cap karma pattern, by Smariek, is easy and a nice variation on standard cable hats. The original is much improved by the alternate decrease pattern devised by the ever creative Jared, who I don't know and have never laid eyes on, but who is my current fantasy man nonetheless. Is it possible to lust after a man's knitting?

I was a little concerned about sizing, since the pattern doesn't give gauge and I was knitting with an 8 ply tweed (Meskills grey) combined with a very uneven handspun alpaca on 5mm needles. It worked out just fine in the width but is a little bit long. Which is surprising given I made a mistake and started on the 4th round of the cable pattern (note to self: do read the pattern). How do you get the right width but too much length when you knit the right number of stitches, but less rows? Anyway, it looks fine with the brim folded so no harm done.

And a little video snippet of Wil at 9 months.

This so captures how he is at the moment - exploring, pushing, pulling, babbling, screeching, wanting to get out there and crawl but really more comfortable in his own territory. And smiling, always smiling. Sweet sweet boy.

And I am kicking myself that I forgot to get out the camera, but I took Amy proper clothes shopping for the first time on Thursday. You know multiple outfits and change rooms and twirling in front of the full length mirror and a shop full of adoring on lookers.

She was a bit shocked that you didn't get to keep every thing you tried on (she'd already decided which one she'd be wearing home and which one she'd be wearing to kinder), but she recovered well.

And all these people have been saying to me how was I going to handle Amy starting school next year, it being such a big thing and all, and as I was standing there in that super groovy shop it felt like a much bigger milestone to me. I see school as just the next thing (she's already done childcare, kinder in Thailand, kinder here), but seeing her in that shop...she seems so self possessed at times, so busting to get out there and be who she wants to be.

Well, it was a moment anyway.

And on the way home she turned to me and said,

You know mummy, I'm going to be a good teenager. I'm not even going to hate you or dad.

Yeah, right.

I forgot to tell you earlier (fascinating stuff you learn here) that she got another haircut, this time with a fringe (I believe that's bangs to the Americans in the audience - and where the heck did that term come from?). She announced she'd like a fringe and then I noticed she had a clump of hair in front that was a lot shorter than the rest. I asked her what had happened and she said,

I don't know.

I can't remember.

Maybe one of my friends, or maybe me, cut it accidentally.

Yeah, right.

But I can't criticise. At the age of four I did the exact same thing, only I didn't stop with the single snip, I took the whole lot off at the roots. I looked like the ultimate 70s bogan child. There are photos to prove it.

And no, you can't see them.

Oh and I have been meaning to ask for your advice. I am teaching a workshop on soft toy making and I need to select projects, at least some of which need to be suitable for beginners. I'd love to hear from people who have sewn toys about what their first experiences were like - what things they enjoyed, what was difficult or discouraging, any particular patterns they liked or otherwise, any particular skills or tips they found useful, or anything else that might help me make the experience as enjoyable as possible for those starting down this joyous road.

And now I am off to feed my addiction. Ravelry, my love for you grows every day. Sigh.


Amanda said...

Hi! What a cute conversation with your daughter.

Soft toys - as someone who has been sewing for around 5 weeks and who has sewn around 4 soft toys in that time I would suggest using patterns that have just one peice, what I mean is no moving bits and not too many curly curves to sew around. Hope that helps!

Lesley said...

Lovely post Sooz! Your Amy is a hoot - just hope you remind her of what she said when she is a horrible teenager!
I agree with Amanda on the soft toy front - simple as possible without thin spindly limbs to turn through.

meg said...

Sock monkeys are pretty amazing to make if you've never made a toy before--start with some socks, end up with a monkey! And everyone's always turns out completely different. I would say, pick something they can embellish and something that is more than just two pieces sewn together--something that will come to life. That's what I find most satisfying about making silly, little stuffed toys.

kt said...

Wonderful kidlet stories you're telling--My Marion promises the same thing about teenager-hood, and she's 10, so I'm hoping (with fingers crossed, etc.).

I've made only a few softies, but I'm hooked. It's all been seat of the pants with me--no patterns, so I'd have to totally agree with the ladies who've commented before me. I'd also say that it's been really rewarding to follow my instincts and push on through perceived problems to wind up with things that I'm happy with.

(My little collection is all in my Flicker "general crafty-ness" set)

Most of all, Have Fun!

lill said...

Hi, congrats on the teaching gig, hope you enjoy it. I don't imagine for a minute that you would do this but wanted to relate a funny/yucky experience that I had in a soft dolly class once. I was up to drawing the face on and the teacher came over and before I had a chance to say 'I'd rather have a go at the face myself' she grabbed the dolly off me and drew the face on. Now I don't doubt that she had way more artistic talent than me, but I was looking forward to creating something all my own.

*chucks tanty*

Good luck with it! I'm sure you'll be brilliant, your instructions here are always great.

Di said...

Ahhh, Amy is so funny, and obviously is thinking and learning so fast. Amazing.
And I Love the cap (yes I don't know how I didn't find him earlier too...)

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