Saturday, October 20, 2012

Watch out for the knitting machine!

After posting about baby knits I just could not help myself and picked up the needles made a pair of bunny booties for the baby and realised I really have to get moving on finishing my cardigan. Firstly I have to say how much I love Julie Crawford's designs, they are just so elegant and simple - there is nothing granny about knitting when you take a look through her creations. I previously made her Make Up Your Mind Tank top which was so quick and looked amazing after you got past the pain of the Hindu Pillar stitch (it's worth the pain!) it's the perfect beach cover top or layered over a long tank with jeans. So when I first got pregnant I just couldn't resist knitting myself another winter woolie (I knitted my first sweater in Feb this year Corona by Teresa Gregorio in Cascade Venezia  Worsted in a delectable rich purple), maybe it was my over confidence on how well that sweater turned out or the realisation that I have no sweater capable of containing my swelling belly but I searched Ravelry like a hound dog out for blood and....I found Velvet Morning, Julie Crawford had once again astounded me with yet another perfect knit. A slouchy, drapey  and colourfully comfortable cardigan. And that is not the best part I commented on her design on ravelry and prompt as always Julie replied with this;

"Awesome! You’ll love it, I wore it all winter while I was pregnant, it was great to through over long-sleeved maternity tees. And it’s so nice to have a knit that you can wear both pregnant and not! I’m still looking forward to wearing it this winter."

That was all the motivation I need and I mowed through it tirelessly till I hit a knitters wall...I was all knitted out and with another request to make a scarf from our buddy Tim, my sweater sat in my craft box for well over a month. Till yesterday when I picked it back up - so where am I now? I finished the one sleeve I had been working on and I am proud to say I am on the last part my second sleeve! I can tell you right now I have no immediate plans for another fair isle project any time soon. But projects are starting to queue, mostly baby stuff like an adorable cabled bunting for Genevieve and request for another beanie from hubby, I might have to browse my favourite online yarn haunts soon. ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Baby Knits (Part 2)

Part 2 of more cute baby knits! :)

Patterns : Hats (both) - Top Down Bonnet with Anime Character by Adrian Bizillia
(Premier Yarns Serenity Garden in Sea & Bella baby 4ply in cream),  Oh! Baby Baby Booties
by Double Diamond Knits (Premier Yarns Serenity Garden in Sea), Knitted Bunny Booties
by Cleckheaton (Bella Baby 4ply in cream & blossom).
* Important note about the Bunny Booties : The original pattern is very confusing so I revised it and published a tutorial here on my blog.

Last and not least we have another variation of Ann Budd's Better-than-booties Baby Socks, this one is the mock cable cuff version (also knit with Bella Baby 4ply in Cream).

All these patterns and more can be found on-line at Ravelry, they have a ton of free baby patterns on there and lots of help if you ever need it on a pattern. Feel free to add me on there, my username is NessaJ.

Happy Knitting!

Baby knits

One of the good things about having a winter baby is all the cute cuddly woolly knits I get to make for the baby. So far I have made a blanket, hoodie with matching booties, owl booties and mittens, slipper style booties, a beret and socks. Yes I have been busy ever since we first found out we were expecting.
Patterns and yarns from left to right: Snug by Hinke (Malabrigo Worsted in Azul Profundo),
Rolled cuff booties by Nickie Alexander (Malabrigo Worsted Azul Profundo),
 Owl booties by Nellas April (Patons Dreamtime 4ply in baby blue), Mini motif baby mittens by
Nett Hulse (Patons Dreamtime 4ply in baby blue, Patons Dreamtime 3ply in white),
Babystovler by Vintage (Premier Yarns Serenity Garden in jewel), Baby Rollin' beret by Woolly Wormhead
(Cascade Yarns Venezia Worsted in Purple),  Better-than-booties Baby socks by Ann Budd (Patons
Dreamtime 3ply in white), Baby Chalice Blanket by Karen S. Lauger ( Cascade 220 Superwash in Jade).
There is one Baby Jacket that is particularly special to me, it is the first baby jacket I ever made with the intention of a friend's baby shower in mind - I designed a very cute newborn jacket. However I ended keeping it and making a Celtic Raglan for her instead. I can't believe after almost 3 years, I'll finally get to use it. I titled my project Field of Dreams, after the whimsical daisy stitch in baby toned variegated yarn and bordered by a white linen stitch edging.

Close up of Daisy stitch.
Whilst I can't share my jacket pattern (I have none), I have made quite a few baby knits for other people that I just have to share. These patterns are so simple and quick there is no reason a beginner should not attempt them.
Patterns from top to bottom: Baby Seed Stitch Jacket by Elinor Brown (Bernats Softee Baby solids in green)
Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater by Rebecca L. Daniels (Bella Baby 4ply in cream)
Seems like blogger doesn't approve of my long post and I'll have to make a part 2 to finish sharing more cute baby knits! Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

So...where are we at?

I would love to say that life has been just an easy ride since I last posted but it hasn't been, not that it's a bad thing but definitely the right word to use would be EVENTFUL. So we finally got my visa stuff sorted out and I am proud to say that I am now a conditional permanent resident of the United States.
With that out of the way my parents, sister and nephew came down (or should I say up) to visit us from Australia and we road tripped from LA to Las Vegas for 2 nights which was just a load of fun (we saw cirque du soliel and it was not on Tv for once!), from there we drove up to Weiser ID where my parents finally met Ant's side of the family. We finally got to have a "wedding" with family and friends (well Ant's side anyway) and my dad got to walk me down the isle in a pretty white dress - the whole shebang - it was awesome (not quite my dream wedding but nice).
That's not the biggest news of 2012 yet though, it was just before my parents came down but this happened:
+ve Test #2 6th June 2012
Of cos it didn't feel "real" then and we needed more convincing in the form of a proper pee test at the ob/gyn clinic, confirmation came 1 week after the test and we were excited and nervous as any first time parent would be.
We first saw our baby for the first time on the 23rd of July, it was the most emotional and awe inspiring moment you will ever feel. Ant and I were in love at first sight.
week 10 day 6

So is baby Funk a girl or boy? In all honesty I partially favoured a girl because we were having the hardest time agreeing on a boy's name, while we hit middle ground on a girl's name so quickly. Ant however has always wanted a little girl. 
What did everyone else in the family think? Boy they mostly said boy.
Or at least they hoped - not hard enough I think! 
Baby GIRL Funk
She is perfect to me already, it's hard to think they start of so small and grow so quickly.
hi mum & dad! week 19
We are estimated to be due Feb 12th and boy have we come a long way


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Soft Pretzel Heaven!

Right now I feel like I'm in soft pretzel heaven! I love their delectable chewy nature, combined with their many different toppings! But I do hate having to dish out top dollar for something so easily made a home. Google it on-line and you're find dozens of recipes claiming to be "almost world famous" and "the best ever" - but how many really live up to the hype with their varying ratios of yeast, flour and water, the only thing they all agree on is blanching the pretzels in a mixture of hot water and baking soda. This gives the pretzel that gorgeously brown and crunchy exterior. For me, I chose hungry nation's youtube tutorial by Working Class Foodies.

The recipe given is super easy! The only thing I changed was to substitute 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour into the mix - rather than using only regular all purpose flour. It still rose beautifully but I let it proof an extra 30mins just to be sure. In hindsight I would probably add the little bit more water and maybe not cook it as long but they are still really soft and yummy. :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I feel like I should say something...!

My poor bloggie has been so neglected, it's already the middle of the year and life is still hectic with a lot of ups and downs. Ant and I finally moved closer to base but why is it that moving out of a rental has to be sooo much hassle?? Finding a house so isolated and inconvenient was probably our first mistake, second was going to AAA property management (yucca valley) to rent a house...firstly our agent was super lazy and rude! They never seem to pick up their phone any hour of the working day or return your call EVER!! Even made us pay a app fee even though it is meant to be waived for military, what else...hmm made us pay for bs like getting an old and dirty (when we moved in carpet), which we did by TED's carpet cleaning which are amazing and removed all the stains. Then replacing the whole carpet for one tiny corner which had a bleach stain, they charge us 75% for the replacement of the whole god damn carpet! amongst other things. The bottom line is we owe them another 600+ on top of our 700 deposit. plus all the money we put in to cleaning and fixing the house...AND they still didn't call us about when they were doing the inspection or after to tell us they did that. NO all this comp cares about is getting money for sitting on their fat asses!  I'm just glad that were not the only military family to have problems with this company.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Water + nail polish = awesomeness!

I don't care what people are saying about water marbling but it's fun! You don't need fancy polish or special water, I've been using my stash of L.A Color polishes from the dollar tree and they work amazingly in my ordinary tap water. What I like about this is that the possibilities are endless...and you don't need to struggle with doing your other hand.

What you will need, plus scissors and tweezers.
Start with one coat of base
 and a coat of white.

tape your nail.
Make your bullseye, let each drop spread before adding more
don't just pour it in!
draw your design. then pick your best spot to dip.
dip try to keep your nail flat into the water,
keep your nail submerged, blow and clean the excess on the water
with a q-tip. slowly remove your finger.
remove tape and clean any polish on the skin.
then repeat LOL! 
be careful cleaning around the cuticle - not like me :(
I boo booed! apply 2 coats of top coat when done!