Category Archives: knit

Quick kids scarf

With my wedding in a week’s time, what better time to start a new project. Two projects, actually. Crocheting yet another dog rattle, only this time reincarnated as an elephant, and knitting an unfancy scarf for a 1 yr old.

The elephant is only up to the third round, so barely covering its head, but it does remind me of another half finished dog rattle I have floating around somewhere. I think I have another month before that one’s due.

it’s been so long since I’ve actually knitted anything – I’m looking forward to hunting out my needles tomorrow morning.

toddler scarf

So this is the pattern for the toddler scarf:

Using 4mm needles and 8ply yarn, CO┬á 14 stitches – or more if neck is longer – it will look too narrow when you’ve cast on, but will widen as you knit more rows

Knit until it meets up with the start when wrapped around child’s head.

Knit 2 more rows, then split stitches for either side of the buttonhole

Knit until just shy of the diameter of your button, then join sides again for another 4 rows. There’s no fancy buttonhole, folks!

Bind off and attempt to get the toddler to hold still long enough to put it on him!


Nana tea towels

My brother is turning 30. He’s a normal bloke – has a job in finance, rides his bike into town each day, a house in the ‘burbs, a kid, a dog, and yet, what did he ask for for his birthday?

A crocheted tea towel that attaches to the oven handle.

I shook my head and laughed.

But, I am a good sister and have made him one. I resisted the urge to go crazy colours and horrible tea towel, and instead have opted for something that looks a bit more modern and fashionable. Well, as fashionable as a tea towel can be without getting all Cath Kidston about it.

Turns out they’re exceptionally easy to make. The longest, and most boring part of this little project is sewing the embroidery stitch along the top so you have something to start crocheting into – otherwise it’s quite snappy.

Don’t you just love my tapestry needle? It’s so old and rusty that I had to get the steel wool out and give it a bit of a clean before using it!

So there you have it! I have a feeling that button is from one of my wool coats, so come winter time I may need to do a sneaky button exchange.

Hook: 4mm
Yarn: Cotton

My attempt at a succulent terrarium

Another thing I have been inspired to create – a terrarium full of succulent plants. Unfortunately I live in the subtropics, and don’t have access to beautiful Californian lava rocks, or equally beautiful outback Australian red desert dirt. I suppose I could have used the beautiful white sand from the Gold Coast, but that’s about an hour’s drive away and seems a bit excessive for a few cups of sand.

So the Californian reference. There’s a blog I follow called The Brick House. Some years ago Morgan and her partner bought a shambles of a house and set themselves the goal to furnish it with stuff bought for less than $100, plus doing a complete renovation. They now have a house full of awesome mid century furniture, and many lovely white walls. I identify with Morgan’s pain for many reasons – we both bought houses with garish, clashing paint colours throughout (though she often had them all in the one room – at least I just have a purple room, a forest green room, an orange room, a hot pink room…), we both live in suburbs surrounded by old people, and we’re both tight with cash ­čÖé

Anyway, after all that, at one stage she made a few succulent terrariums (below):

And I thought to myself, what a great way to use all those succulents you’ve been accumulating over the years. So, I finally tried it.

As I was using white pebbles, I decided to place my dirt inside a takeaway container inside the bowl. I’ve found that they grow so well in Brisbane that restricting their root space will probably keep them small and therefore they won’t outgrown the bowl.

This only ended in tears once, when the container slipped sideways spilling all the dirt on the white pebbles. A sawn off coke bottle (which had already been reincarnated into a glasshouse over winter) made cleaning the pebbles really simple.

After that it was a simple matter of arranging the succulents and covering over the whole lot with pebbles.

A side note on how my succulents travelled from Melbourne to Brisbane

About a year ago we moved interstate, to a city that is 18hrs away by car (2 by plane). We drove up, mainly because I was 7 months pregnant and refused to get on another plane, and also because we had to get the car up, and it was cheaper to drive and stay at hotels than to put it on a train and fly up. We did it over a four day drive (though if you’re really crazy and have a car full of drivers you can do it in a day). As most of our stuff would sit in storage for at least a month, I had to take all my plants with me. In the car.

I saw this as a challenge; Jules saw this as the world’s biggest pain in the bum, and thought it impossible. For my succulents I took lots of little cuttings and packed them into rectangular takeaway containers, then hid them under my seat. I bought 2 storage boxes, crammed them full of plants, and hid them in the boot under everything else. I did away with suitcases – instead everything got packed into those “green” freezer carry bags (the ones with zips) you get from the supermarket to cart all your stuff home. Some plants, such as the lemon tree, just stood in the back footwells. It was quite nice having a tree sitting up behind me in the car.

Also, we couldn’t put open bottles into the storage containers, so there were vodka and whiskey bottles crammed into every available space.

But we could still see out the rear window, so it wasn’t completely crammed full, in my view.

New vegie garden

On the weekend we built a vegie garden. I say “we” but really, I was only involved in the talking part, not the physical labour part.

We stood around, discussing the finer points of placement, and width, sun movements, and what we might grow there, and what we might have to plan around things maybe being there in the future (such as a cubby house for kids).

We also thought long and hard about this: we’ve put the vegie garden in the front yard. We’ve got probably a smidge more room in the front yard than the backyard, and it’s pretty much a given that we’ll spend most of our time out back. So we didn’t want to take up precious real estate with enormous garden beds of vegies while the front yard just sat there, being grassy and boring. We do have a fence around the outside, and the beds are placed off to the side, but it still feels a little bit odd…

Currently have a tiny tomato plant (thankyou Garden City school holiday activities), 3 very tiny flat leaf parsley seedlings (growing from seed), some potential pumpkin seedlings (also seeds), and chives, coriander, mint, and vietnamese mint. I feel I should mention the 2 ginormous bushes of rosemary by the front door, but we just inherited those.

Thinking also cucumbers, zucchinis, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, lettuces, capsicums. Got to do a bit of research I think!

I know my parsley will do well, if only it can moved on from its seed state. This is the parsley that I let go to seed (hence my moccona jar full of seeds) and then took over the entire courtyard. When I needed parsley for cooking I didn’t pick leaves – I pulled plants up by the roots!

Knitting on Urban Nanna

Today sees my┬ávery first guest post on Urban Nanna – a blog┬áthat is about taking time to┬ácreate homemade things and seeing the beauty in making something┬áunique.

In this post I talk about how much I love little scarves, and offer a number of options that work well as either first projects or something that doesn’t take too long to create.

Infinity scarf in progress

It occurs to me that, as I now live in Brisbane, that I might not have any use for a lovely warm cowl scarf when winter rocks around.

However, I am counting on a few trips to Tasmania this year, so will just have to get maximum wear out of it then.

I have had my eye on the 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf for quite some time now, and it occurred to me the other day that it had been pretty much an entire year since I’d knitted anything! IT seems I’ve been quite exclusive to crochet of late.

I had the perfect wool for this cowl, but it was 8ply instead of the 10ply in the pattern. This was going to mean some adjustments, so I spent an AGE reading all the comments in ravelry and on tentenknit’s blog, and figured I could cast on 221 stitches with a crochet provisional cast on technique, so that I could come back later and bind off in a way that should reduce the rolling.

Row 4 seems to confuse everyone in the comments on tentenknits blog and on the projects page. I used this vid slip 1, K1,PSSO and it went well for me. Some advice I say in the comments on Ravelry said that you slip the stitch that was previously the YO in row 2, and knit the previous knit stitch in row 2.

In this photo above I am on the 3rd row of the second lot of the pattern. I’m not sure if the holes are supposed to line up better than they have – I have a sneaky suspision that I’ve dropped a stitch or two.

I have also found that it’s difficult to work out where you are when you return to this after having a bit of a break. I have taken to adding a little card that goes between the first and last stitch, where I keep a tally of which row I’m on. I’ve also written the pattern on it, as I am forever forgetting if I start with the K1, or if I’m finishing with it.

Pattern: 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf by Margaux Hufnagel
Needles: 4.00mm circular
Yarn: 8 ply Moda Vera Merino blend
Amendments: CO 221, 8 ply yarn, 4mm needles

More crochet balls

I have discovered another use for the crochet covered balls – dangle toys for the bouncinette!

Just add a round of double chains using the second last round and then make a chain about 10cm long and rejoin to the base.

If you’re still making the ball, instead of the final row of decreases, just dc each stitch, then start the chain.