Pully Woolly

One thing I am loving about having a little person living under our roof is being able to make him clothes knit, sew, doesn't matter and the best part? He LOVES them!!! I kid you not! He gets super excited when I make him something - shorts, t-shirts, anything. Every time I knit something he asks if it is for him (even if it is the same pair of socks I was knitting yesterday for my lovely lady lol). So you can imagine his joy when I cast off this awesome top, named pully woolly by my partner, which is more a test knit for a future project but turned out pretty spunky anyway!

This kid has spunk that's for sure! I dream of the day I can show you the awesome facial expressions that go with these pics. He smiled away and thought he was the bees knees, in what was the 2nd photoshoot I have done with him!

So the knitting details!
Pattern: ♥ zagal by Rosa Pomar
Yarn: 1 ball of Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply and 1 ball of Moda Vera Noir  (sock wool)
Needles: 6mm and 7mm circular 

Variations: Using the yarn held double I reduced the number of cast on stitches to 84 but kept the neck opening the same leaving 10 stitches for each shoulder. I picked up 36 stitches for each arm hole (including the 1 stitch held).

This was a very quick knit and fits fantastic. The only variation I will make next time is adding 10 stitches to the body purely because I want it to fit longer and hang a bit more.With the variations as is I would say the fit would suit anywhere from 18months to 4 years. The little dude is 3 but on the small size but the top has plenty of stretch.

A 1st birthday

When it comes to kids birthday presents around here my first thought is always what can I make? I will almost always ask the parent if there is anything they need or would like and when the answer is usually "No idea" (I have to admit we are no different with our little man) I start brainstorming what to make. Sometimes I know instantly and other times I will dwell on it (and often too long and it becomes a night before job lol). This time round I decided to go with a full autumn outfit, which all started with wanting to make corduroy shorts for a gorgeous little girl who was turning 1.

Lets start at the top shall we.

Pattern - I heart cables by Justyna Lorkowska.
I cast on the toddler number of stitches but knitted the child size number of rows to give a more slouchy look. It kinda failed a little as the yarn seems to be a bit firm for the idea. It was an easy to follow pattern and though it was originally cast on for my little dude his big head meant it would become the perfect complimentary head topper for this outfit.

Yarn: Tivoli Emerald Aran 100% wool.
This yarn was lovingly purchased as a gift for me in Ireland by the lady's Aunt and Uncle some 3 years ago. I love the natural tweed colour and that they thought of me while travelling around one of my favourite countries in the world but if I was to be honest it was a little course to work with and I wouldn't be keen to purchase more. Oddly though it seems to knit up quite soft which makes it totally wearable.
Pattern: Toddler cowl by Delia Creates
Using the same yarn as the beanie held double and a 10mm hook I whipped this up in the space of about 40mins. I did add an extra 10 chains to the start and only did 5 rounds. It was simple, quick and a satisfying project.

Pattern - self draft based on pattern C in the Japanese pattern book Happy Homemade vol2.
Fabric - upcycled skirt I had made in Vietnam that I had worn maybe twice but couldn't part with as I loved the fabric!
This was the first time I had ever done a planket and I am pretty proud of my efforts! This top turned out better than I thought it would and I loved that had cute buttons to match already on hand.

Pattern - Self draft based on the Kid Shorts pattern by Dana Willard.
Fabric - Corduroy and floral cotton I've had in my stash forever.
For the shorts I added a cuffed bottom and a separate waistband to the top and to get a gathered look added about 4 inches to the front and back pieces. By using the floral cotton fabric on the inside of the waistband and cuffs it took away the irritation of having corduroy straight on the skin, plus it added an awesome pop of colour.

Pattern - Self drafted.
Fabric - Upcycled wool/acrylic cardigan. Soooooo soft.

Last but not least these tights, with just 2 pieces and the rainbow elastic, were an awesome make. Total sewing time about 10mins!

Making a whole outfit is certainly more time consuming than just making a single item (obviously) but the results definitely made it worth it! Cuteness overload that's for sure!

For a wee one

Nothing brings a smile to someones face more than the arrival of a wee little one. We have definitely reached that time in life where the weddings are slowing down and parenthood is taking off. Four weeks ago close friends welcomed their first little one into the world and though I know they have a cupboard exploding with everything baby and beyond, I couldn't help clicking away to make just one more thing for the gorgeous little girl.

It is the peak of summer here so a wintery knit was never going to suffice. I wanted to go with something cool, soft and snuggly that will certainly be able to have an extended autumn life too with a long sleeved top underneath once the weather cooled down. Using the awesome plain vest pattern from Pickles as a base I made this gorgeous (if I do say so myself) round neck vest/singlet, which turned out even better than I envisaged.

So how did I do it?
Using 8ply cotton yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills and 4mm circular needle I cast on 80 stitches (as per pattern) and knitted in the round (see note) till it was the guesstimated right length (yep I just guess these things).

Note: after the garter ridges I TURNED my work as I prefer the cast on edge to roll under and be at the back on the work. This leaves a small hole where I added the side tag.

Ok here is where things changed.
On the next round bind off 3 stitches, knit 34,  bind off 6 stitches, knit 34, bind off 3 stitches.
Turn. Cast on 16 stitches on right needle, knit 34, cast on 16 stitches, knit 34, cast on 4 stitches. Turn.

Now I just knitted back and forth as follows (from memory my maths was slightly out but I will share with you what I wrote down at the time and used as a guide which should get you well on the way to making an awesome top too!)
Row 1 - K2 YO K2tog K to end of row
Row 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 - knit all stitches
Row 3 - K5 K2tog *K4 K2tog* repeat between * 17 times K5
Row 7 - K8 K2tog *K4 K2tog* repeat between * 13 times K8
Row 8 - Knit till last 4 stitches K2tog YO K2
Row 11 - K7 K2tog *K4 K2tog* repeat between * 11 times K7
Row 15 - K2 YO K2tog K2 K2tog *K6 K2tog* repeat between * ending with K6
Row 18 - Bind off very loosely. Sew in ends. Sew on buttons!

This was a really quick knit and definitely one I would knit again (when I do I will fix the maths lol)!


When 2015 rolled in I sat and thought about what my crafty goals were for the year. Now while there was a few, the big one for the year was to knit (or crochet if I get the itch) everyday! Yep, everyday! I don't care if it is only a handful of stitches but I must knit something. My thought process is pretty simple - if I knit everyday not only will my lovely knits get finished but it will also give me something to focus on each day which (I hope) will transfer to getting other plans for the year done!

First up for the year was completing this pair of wool soakers. In toilet training the little man we switched him to cloth nappies for both his day and night sleeps and no cloth nappy is complete with out a wool soaker. Using up my stash yarn and THIS fantastic pattern by Kelly Brooker I finished my first knitting project for the year (even if I did start it way back in November)! The little man LOVES them and asks to wear them all the time and lets face it they looking pretty darn cute on!

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Things have been quiet around this blog lately. When a phone call comes that you never expected so soon the gears shift, the directions change, responsibilities grow and a new journey begins. Every journey they say, starts with a single step. That step has led us on a path we are still pinching ourselves over. 

As 2014 drew to a close we were truly grateful for the year we had - a published book, a book launch, camping trips, moving house, new friends, a ski trip, triathlons, new additions, a wedding and engagements. But the standout was by far not only being approved as permanent foster carers, but welcoming a little man into our lives and all the firsts that came with becoming parents, especially to a gorgeous 2 year old. He truly is a remarkable, funny, affectionate kid with resilience beyond his years. We don't know what 2015 has install for us but we can't wait. And what of the blog? Keep checking in there will be things to come!

Happy New Year from my family to yours and may your 2015 be a prosperous one!

A Sew-A-Long

A few weeks ago I was wandering through Spotlight during there 40% off sale and decided to purchase some brushed cotton. I had no real plans for it but was thinking it would make a pretty funky long sleeve top of some sorts. Once home I spied my pile of Japanese sewing books and thought “I know! It will look awesome as that hoodie pattern.” Low and behold the wonderful Cherie & Meg of You +Mie and Elsie Marley fame had the same idea and they were going to do a sew-a-long! It was meant to be………or not so in the end (more of that to come)!

button  happy homemade sew a long

I started out strong. I traced and resized my pattern pieces to an approximate size 2 making slight modifications as I went:

  • Long sleeved instead of 3/4
  • Adding more room to the hood even then knowing it wouldn’t really be wearable as the recipient’s head is bigger than the percentile charts!
  • Making the front and back piece’s side and hem’s straight as I wasn’t adding the drawstring bottom and didn’t want it to flare out.

Sleeve  Hood  Back  Front 

Next up I cut out all the fabric pieces. I was pretty pleased with myself as I was being patient and doing the sewing-a-long as just that – a sew-a-long. Tracing out the pattern pieces when instructed to do so (technically I started that early but I finished it with everyone else) and cutting the fabric in the same way.

fabric cut out

However that’s when things went awry.

Wednesday was the day to start sewing which when I woke up was my intention. I had to nanny in the morning and then I would have the whole afternoon to sew it together but what was to happen next was totally unexpected (in the most awesome way possible) and though I can’t say why it will one day have it’s own blog post. Needless to say I didn’t even step into my sewing room.

Thursday came and it was a trip to Sydney and dinner with friends. This trip was always on the cards but that was ok because I had factored that in to my sew-a-long week. At this point I was playing it cool, all good I can sew it up tomorrow (Friday) no sweat. Then I got a call from Mum “If Dad and I took the day off and came down to help get your house and yard in order would we be of any use?” ahhhhhhh HELL YEA!!!! Since moving in we have been sooooo lazy with getting stuff done so I was never going to say no! Mum kindly informed me they will be on our door step at 9am. Right. Ok then. Hang on what time are they leaving? 3am. Eeek. Drive safe. They are day tripping it? Crazy. (My parents live 5 hours away FIVE HOURS ONE WAY!)

Friday was upon us and a phone call at 8am from Dad to say they were at the twin servos so get up (about 50mins away)awoke me from slumber. Gee thanks Dad you said 9am the alarm was set for 845am you killed me of 45mins extra sleep! Then we cleaned and tidied all day – actually Mum and Dad did. I kind of stood there trying to justify the amount of stuff we own (A LOT) and the lady stayed away from what was the hurricane of my parents cleaning spree. Master B and his Mum popped in and chatted with the lady lady as she washed the week long pile of dishes she had been avoiding! Then came the dinner at a friends house with Master B in tow for the evening. Needless to say it wasn’t a very late night -we were exhausted!

Saturday rolled in and I was thinking maybe I could still get the sew-a-long done today. Nope Master B wanted to play not sew and by the time his Mum picked him back up I was ready for bed. What time was that 6? 7? 8pm? Ummm no we are talking before 2pm here bahahaha!

Ok time to stop rambling – to some up the next 4 days simply I did not sew. There was stuff, lots of stuff going on but now I’m losing track of it all and the sew-a-long is over and I had nothing to add to the flickr pool or even an instagram pic. FAIL. Total sew-a-long failure! But I did finish it! YAY me. Yesterday I turned the heater on in the sewing room and got busy flicking back through the blog posts Cherie & Meg posted to at least delude myself to think I was still partaking!

I pinned the sleeves in and took a moment to make sure they were all actually on the right way (they weren’t I had to swap them) before sewing it up.

pinned to sew

With one final adjustment and eliminating hemming the sleeves by adding a ribbed cuff it was done. In the future I would simply line the hood it would be so much easier and less hassle than using bias tape to cover the seam. All up I am actually really happy with it and I learnt a lesson too – stick to what I usually do trace pattern, cut fabric and sew all in the day that way if anything comes up it doesn’t drag out for another week!

happy homemade hoodie

Leggings aren’t just for girls

These days this title definitely rings true, especially for toddlers. Little boys everywhere are running around in leggings and why not I say, they are comfy, cosy and warm all at once and fabric choices are only limited by your imagination if you feel the urge to whip a few pairs up – which I think you should! They are dead easy and super quick and really only require basic sewing skills. Like seriously how cute are they?


Leggings blue  Leggings orange

This isn’t a tutorial because why invent the wheel just google “toddler leggings tutorial” and there is an abundance of options for you to choose from. That been said I will give you are couple of pointers about what I did.

  • First up I made my pattern by tracing a pair of leggings I borrowed from Master B’s closet (which most tutorials will show you). I made the front crotch shorter and lower (just like most pants patterns) giving them a distinctive front and back as opposed to making the front and back the same. I tend to find this leads to a better overall fit.
  • I had just one pattern piece eliminating the side seams.
  • I detest hemming knits. I can do it and usually with pretty good results but if I can avoid it I will and so for both pairs I used t-shirts I scored on clearance for like $1 each. By using the existing hem there was only 2 seams to sew and the casing! Wohoooooo!
  • I used 1/2” elastic for the waistband if people were curious.
  • I used a double needle to sew the casing down so it has a bit of give though a small zig zag works just as well (In fact you can’t see it in these pics but the back of the orange pair are sewn exactly like that after I cracked it with the double needle lol shhhhhh no one will notice)

So why make your own when they are pretty darn cheap? For me the reason is 3 fold – 1) I love making stuff, 2) Store bought are so same same, time to live out the individuality dream (or something crazy like that lol) and 3) Custom fit. This last one is the big one for Master B with his teeny 000 waist! By sewing him some up they fit both in the leg and the waist!

I think he looks pretty spunky and definitely cozy though next time I think Aunty Nomi will change his socks and make more of an effort to tuck in his singlet bahahaha!

Legging blue on  Leggings orange on