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A bad cold….

This week hasn’t been easy, Squeak came down with a cold last Monday after a restless night’s sleep, and woke with a fever. She was still happy, playing with her toys, so I wasn’t too concerned. Tuesday she was worse, more cuddles and less play, with the low-grade fever still there. On Wednesday morning, still a low fever, so off to the doctors we go. We both needed antibiotics for the start of a chest infection, and sinus infection for me.

We spent most of the day on the couch, and lucky we went to the doctors, as Squeak wasn’t comfy before we went, but once she had her first dose of antibiotics she was up and playing for a little while, before a nap on Mummy’s lap. Poor lil poppet.

Thursday showed a remarkable improvement, Squeak was up and playing a lot, and catching up on sleep as well. My Mother-in-law came over and tidied up, as I had fallen behind in clothes washing, and tidying the kitchen. Also, she looked after Squeak. I tried to get a nap but I couldn’t sleep.

On Thursday night my asthma started playing up, and by Friday morning I knew I had to go back to the doctors. Luckily my family GP was in, as he knows my asthma history. My asthma stays controlled, until I have a bad cold or similar, then all of a sudden it is difficult to control. I had a injection of steroids, and now have a tapering course to keep it under control while I recover from my cold.

Luckily Squeak is on the mend, She has a bit of a runny nose, and occasionally a cough. It had been a hard week. My sinuses are taking a lot longer to recover, I have a doctors appointment tomorrow for a follow up. In this last week,  I cooked some very unusual meals, and my pressure cooker saved the day most days. I just threw in some meat and veggies, and most times a delicious meal was the result!

Lots of love,

MummyMopar

 

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It’s a bargain!!

On Saturday I wanted to pop down to the local Lincraft store, which sells fabric, yarn and all other crafty things. It was only a 20 minute drive, and the AFL football grand final was on, so it would be a quieter day. Football is very popular in Victoria, and AFL is very different to most other types of football.

I wanted to buy some flannelette to make Squeak some pyjamas, I already purchased the pattern, a lovely yoked top, with frills at the ends of the sleeves and legs. It looked so pretty, and less buttonholes!! I am very happy with my choice, and my mother-in-law thinks it’s a good pattern. She made clothes for her boys quite often, and is a great help as I haven’t made clothes before, only quilting. So I am going from 2-dimensional sewing to 3-dimensional. It shall be interesting. The pattern info says I can use flannelette, cotton, cotton blends and gingham. I was leaning towards flannelette as I thought it would be snuggly, and cute. It isn’t the season for flannelette though. Lincraft had signs up for 40% dress fabrics, and a sign said $4.50 per metre for flannel. I picked out 3 I liked, and went to the counter. I asked to check the price before they cut my lengths, and they said it was $15 a metre. I was not impressed, and their explanation was that it was craft fabric, and the other rack was the dress flannel, which was on sale. I decided to look elsewhere as each pair of pyjamas would take about 2 metres, and I can’t justify $30 on a pair of pyjamas. When I mentioned this to my Dad, he said it would be cheaper to buy adults pyjamas and cut them down for that price.

There is another fabric store just around the corner, A sweet little shop that has just fabric, and fabric accessories. There was a table at the front, with a sale rack. I chatted to the assistant about pyjamas, and she suggested cotton, as it is coming into warmer weather. There was some beautiful retro-inspired fabric, one in 3 colourways, and a pretty brown fabric with cute animals on it. I bought 2 metres (just over 2 yards) of each. I am tempted to go back tomorrow to get the rest on the rolls, I love it soooo much.The amazing thing is it was $3 per metre!!

fabric

I also bought 17 balls of yarn in the Lincraft end-of-season yarn clearout. It cost $33.33, 13 balls at $1.49, and 4 at 3.49 if I remember correctly. All 8-ply. I am considering going back to see what they have in 4-ply, which I could use in the knitting machine. I could spend a fortume on yarn and fabric at the moment.

yarn

This should keep me amused for a while!

Lots of love,
Mummymopar x x x

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A finished pullover for Squeak!!

I finished the self-stripe pullover! I stayed up late last night sewing it up, and finished it this afternoon. Squeak loves it, but I wish I made it an inch or two longer in the body. It fits her well, So I am very happy. I would of finished it sooner, but as I was sewing up the raglan sleeves, I noticed the back was shorter than the sleeves. I soon realised that I had finished too early, and I still needed to do another 10 rows with decreasing. I also used 4 less stitiches in the neckband, and I think it looks good. I used a stretchy cast off method, which was brilliant for a neckband, I am impressed and will use it a lot. It is a bit bulkier, as each stitch is knitted, then the two just knitted are knitted together, but the elasticity makes it a winner, especially on neckbands. I didn’t have to put buttons in so I am stoked!

Almost finished pic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

self stripe pullover

You may notice a difference with the pic, as the old laptop had picasa to re-size and watermark pics, I spent an hour finding a new program to do it. I heard the pics load better if they’re not a large filesize, and I thought 6mb wouldn’t cut the mustard. I also like the watermark as anyone whe sees it can look at the blog and find the pattern and type of yarn. So my new photo-editing software of choice is Fotor. It was the first I came across that offered both re-sizing and text.

The progress with the knitting machine isn’t great, as it needs to be set up and not interrupted. In our house such a place is difficult, as it is still cold from winter, and my sewing room is quite chilly. Also, keeping an eye on Squeak is important, and her naptime tends to be filled with dinner preparation, and the housework where she tends to be underfoot, like unstacking the dishwasher, or vaccuuming the floor. I am thinking of ways to work around this, but at the moment I’m not coming up with many answers.

As a side-note Squeak is almost walking. She will take off across the room, and will happily take a dozen or so steps by herself. Also, she can walk happily holding onto a hand for a few minutes, and very much enjoys it. My lil girl is growing up.

How was your week?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar x x x

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Catch-up

I now have my Asus T100, with windows 8. A big change from Vista, and it totally bamboozled me for the first 2 days. I bought it on Saturday, and it was only in the evening I got to plug it in and fire it up.

First thing is that it needed to charge for 8 hours, so I couldn’t unplug it, so I was sitting on a step-stool in the corner. I had also purchased an anti-virus so I had to install it. I opened the packet and read the directions. they were to put in the CD, and follow the prompts. The Asus doesn’t have a CD drive, only a USB port. It only took an hour to get around that issue, but finally it was installed.

Vista had the typical start menu, and I could find where things were. With windows 8, It’s like I am fumbling in the dark. I might have to see if there is a short course to get the most out of it. The amusing thing is that I chose the windows based tablet over Apple or Android to avoid apps. There is no avoiding them now.

I also purchased a sewing pattern to make Squeak’s pyjamas, and 4 more pairs of flannel pyjamas, which was quite amusing, but now the pressure is off for now with the pyjamas, but the pattern is good for thinner cotton fabric, so this pattern will male all her pyjama needs for a few years. Instead of the traditional button-up style, the top is more of a peasant style, and there is a cute ruffle at the bottoms of the sleeves and legs. I am planning to buy some cute material to make her Christmas pyjamas, as we tend to have a relaxed Christmas morning, and I want to start a nice tradition.

On Sunday we went to Cranksters Cruise, in Nagambie. A few hundred hot-rods and older cars gather in a park in Nagambie, to look at each others cars and listen to a band. an entry fee and some raffles and auctions raise money for charities. It was a brilliant day out, and Squeak loved all the beautiful cars, she loves cars! She was rapt to take Blum, DaddyMopar’s Valiant out for a cruise for the day. I will hopefully write more about the day later on.

When I bought the pyjamas I also bought a new wool sewing needle. It’s just a cheapy, but when I went to sew up the self-striping pullover, I couldn’t find my beautiful bent-end needles. I loved them. They will be around somewhere, but I have a backlog of projects to sew up, so I must get sewing. I have sewn up 3 out of 4 raglan sleeve seams, then I can knit up the neckband, then finish off with the sleeve and side seams.

I want to finish sewing up the persille jumper, then the feathers blanket, then i will start my next hand knitting project. Even with a knitting machine I want to have a hand-knit on the go, as the knitting machine is a big learning curve, and I still have problems just making plain fabric, let alone any patterned fabric. I enjoy my hand-knitting, especially working with 8-ply (DK) yarn, as it is quick, and produces a nice, warm fabric.

do you have special clothing traditions for christmas and easter?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar

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I Hate Shopping!!

I don’t like shopping. I don’t like crowds, or shop assistants, or finding what shop has the best price.

I am going to have to go shopping. This weekend, maybe even tomorrow. My trusty faithful 5 year-old Asus laptop is beyond the blink. It will only run on the charging cable, and if you unplug it, it switches off. The other problem is that the charging plug is a bit loose where it plugs in the laptop, so any sudden moves and it switches off. Now add in that during startup you have to hold the plug in where it plugs in at a precise angle, or it switches off, and can’t be switched on for about an hour, and it’s very frustrating.

I HAVE to go shopping, for my sanity. I don’t have a desktop pc, only an iphone. So I think I’m getting an Asus T100 transformer. It looks like it will do what I need it to do, and should work well enough if I decide to go back to studying. It runs full windows, and has a detatchable keyboard. A mini laptop that can be a tablet!

I will update soon enough about the knitting machine, how wonderful it is, and how lucky it is that there are youtube tutorials, as I spent 3 days trying to get it to knit, and this was after an hour-long lesson. The E-wrap cast on is very difficult.

I will likely be making flannellette pyjamas for Squeak in the next few days. It is spring in Australia, and Squeak just outgrew her size 1 stretch suits, and she doesnt like wearing them, it’s easier to switch to pyjamas, but I can only find one shop that sells them, and only 3 colours, so I am seriously considering making some. If I buy a pattern then I can make all different sizes as she needs them. I can make them with the fabric I want to use, and avoid overpriced TV tie-in merchandise.

In other news, Squeak has given up bottles, on monday morning I offered her morning bottle, and she refused, I offered the milk in a sippy cup and she accepted. So I am packing up most of the bottles, and now I have to source a few more sippy cups. I have tried the local supermarkets, but they don’t have the sippys she likes. They are cheap ‘take and toss’ and cost only a few dollars for 6 of them. They won’t last forever, but it isn’t a big deal if they go missing, or get left somewhere, as they are so inexpensive to replace.

Squeak is also cutting another tooth, so we have some very odd sleeping patterns lately. We finally felt the tooth this afternoon, and it was a relief to know that it is a tooth, and there is a reason she has been irritable, and she hasnt been sleeping as well as normal, lots of tossing and turning. It is really hard to not be able to fix everything for her, I hate to see her unhappy and in discomfort.

I better get to bed, it is waaay to late.

Lots of love,

MummyMopar x x x

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Let’s add a knitting machine to the collection

Just over a year ago, there was a knitting machine for sale in the local op shop. I considered it, but wanted to do more research. When I went back, it had been sold. Since then I have wanted a knitting machine of my own.

On sunday night, I was on Ebay, just browsing, when I saw a nice machine, only about an hour away. It has the ribber, recently serviced, and a one-hour lesson included. It was buy-it-now. I clicked to buy, I have let too many machines get away from me the past year.

Tomorrow I will pick up my new toy, and maybe I will finally knit something for myself! DaddyMopar thinks maybe I could knit some things to sell. That’s a possibility! I am very excited to pick up my new toy!

It has been a very long week, as DaddyMopar worked late most nights this week. Squeak and I ate dinner without him most nights, luckily he was home for family dinner tonight, Squeak was sooo happy to have him at the dinner table, she was all smiles. She has missed him all week, so we need some family time this weekend. I baked an egg and bacon pie for dinner, their favorite.

Today I went to the local fruit shop, it always has such nice, fresh produce, I can’t help but go a bit overboard. I bought 4 shopping bags worth, but to be fair, there was milk, bread and orange juice in there, so that’s a bag and a half. The orange juice is fresh squeezed, when Squeak was on the way I had to limit how much I drank, it was so tasty and refreshing during summer.

I bought all the ingredients for homemade sausage rolls, my backup lunch for Squeak. I can make the filling easily in the bellini. I normally use store-bought puff pastry, but I am considering making my own, as I dont like how flaky the pastry gets, so maybe I should try a ‘rough puff’ pastry which is less flaky. I will have to do some research.

I am also tempted to do a ‘Miffy’ quilt for Squeak, she loves the bunny. We went to the library today and got 3 ‘Miffy’ books, so I have lots of inspiration. Now all I need is time, and motivation, which will probably be used up by the knitting machine.

Have you used a knitting machine?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar x x x

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Pressure cooker, number two!

I already own a stovetop pressure cooker, but I have been wanting an electric one for quite a while. We bought one for a family member at christmas, and I have wanted one since. It will also slow cook, and cook rice. I love the idea of replacing our 2 slow cookers, and the rice cooker with the one appliance. I can’t part with my pressure cooker. I use it to steam puddings at christmas, among other numerous uses. Now I will be able to steam two puddings at once. Don’t laugh, I usually make three or four. Pudding is better than christmas cake, and I have DaddyMopar’s Nan’s secret recipe, and I made the pudding for the family celebration last year. It’s quicker to steam in the pressure cooker than to steam in a big saucepan. Also, I’m in Australia, so christmas is in summer, steaming a pudding for 1 hour in a pressure cooker makes a lot less mess and heat than a big, steaming saucepan on a hot, hot summer day.

On sunday we had to go to the hardware shop to buy parts to extend a babygate for our hallway, as we forgot to measure the distance, and took a guess. We had to buy extenders to make it wider, so I asked DaddyMopar about an electric multicooker, as they are advertised. At christmas there was 3 or 4 different brands, but when I went into Target, they only had the Ronson.

My Aunt bought a multicooker off an online store, and loves hers. I hear all about desserts, risottos, and other tasty meals she creates. I wanted one!

It will take a bit to get used to, but I love how it doesnt require as much attention as a stovetop model, where you have to make sure the heat isn’t to high, or low, and also setting the oven timer. I have to be prepared to drop what I’m doing if Squeak needs me, and I think appliances that turn themselves off is a good start.

I have cooked a casserole in it, and am very happy. I am considering cooking a potroast in it tomorrow night. I also wonder if I should cook a dessert in it as well?

I wonder if I can give away the rice cooker yet?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar

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Happy Father’s Day DaddyMopar!!

Sunday is DaddyMopar’s second father’s day. Last year was a quiet celebration, as Squeak was 4 months old. Fast forward a year, and Squeak is such a character, and she loves her daddy so much!

We are lucky to have such a wonderful man in our lives. Aren’t dads wonderful? Squeak is cuddled up on DaddyMopar’s lap, watching tv, as Squeak is winding down for the night.

We are lucky, both DaddyMopar and I are close to our dads, and they are wonderful Poppa and Granddad to Squeak. She reaches for them when she sees them and loves hugs. We are a very lucky family.

Last year we used red paint to take Squeak’s footprints, and today we tried, but with Squeak being 16 months old it was not as easy as last year. The good news is that baby wipes will clean red paint off most things, the couch, a smudge on a knitted blanket, but not the ‘disco duck’ that makes music and dances. Luckily the paint came out of Squeak’s hair as well. We did get the beautiful footprints, and some fingerpaintings to frame. Next year the father’s day footprints & fingerpainting will be done outside, where I can clean up easier!!

Squeak loves her Daddy, and her Poppa (DaddyMopar’s Dad, and her Granddad (My Dad). We are lucky to have such wonderful men in our lives, that care about us the way they do!!

Happy Father’s Day DaddyMopar!!

Lots of love, MummyMopar x x x

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Self-stripe Pullover

Earlier this week I started a pullover for Squeak here.

I had just finished the rib at the bottom, knitted in the round. I contemplated knitting the body in the round, but I thought it would lead to a funny effect on the sleeves.

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As you can see the stripe is just less than 2 rows, so if I knitted in the round I would have a new colour every row, which would either change when I divide for armholes, or be wasteful as I would need to cut the thread after every row to keep the self-stripe correct. I like the look of the 2-3 row stripe, and at most it would be 4 rows on the sleeves. I also get a bit bored with knitting in the round for a long time.

You may also notice the pattern is for a purl5,knit1 rib, but the purl looked funny with the different colours. I thought it looked inside out. It will still fit the same, as the rib was just to look nice.

The back is finished, with 23 stitches set aside for the neckband, and only a few rows until I begin the armhole shaping on the front. I am enjoying this knit as it is very simple, but enjoyable as i love watching the yarn and trying to guess when the colour change is!

Do you love the simple knits at times?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar x x x

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Stripey Pullover

Squeak’s persille jumper needs to be blocked, sewn up, and the neckband knitted. I haven’t felt up to doing it, so I have been looking for my next project. I spent a few days at loose end, between projects. That is not a good thing. Finally decided something plain would be nice. I have knitted it before, but I loooovvve the V-neck, and no buttons or zips!!!!

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It looks really good in a nice colour, I don’t think the orange does it justice.

 

I love the teal colour, but I knitted a size 2, and its a bit big. I will knit a size 1. The stripe is a Kmart homebrand yarn, similar to patons big baby, so hopefully it wears well. The teal is a lincraft own brand, and I wish it was wearing a bit better, it is a bit ball-y.

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I found this 8-ply self stripe yarn in my stash, and thought it might be nice. Now that I’ve started I have a few qualms, but it could work out good. I have started to do it in one piece, on a circular needle (my favorite). My piece is 142 stitches. The stripes are almost perfect, with oly about 1-5 stitches overlapping per round. I am not sure if I want to continue this way, as when it’s time for armhole shaping, the stripes will go haywire if I don’t make some modifications. I’m thinking after the rib, I will work the front and back seperately or it will be too messy. I didn’t think of these things before I cast on, but I want it to look good.

You may be asking why I knit a lot of jumpers. I have always wanted Squeak to have pretty clothes, and I love the hand-made look of knitwear. I don’t want her to grow up too fast, and some clothes look too grown up.

I prefer 8-ply as it is quicker to knit, and has more colour options. In Australia, we mainly have 4-ply (fingering), 5-ply (sport) and 8-ply (DK). It is really hard to get 10-ply (worsted or aran). I’m led to believe 10-ply is very popular in the US, as a lot of pattern books from my local library have mainly 10-ply patterns. I tried to find some yarn recently, and in Lincraft (a craft store chain) online had one option in 10-ply. It was rainbow variegated. Bendigo Woolen Mills also had 10-ply, but only in a handful of colours, not the full range that 4 & 8-ply have.

Random Fact: I have never knitted anything that I can wear myself!! I didn’t knit oten before I had Squeak, as I preferred crochet. But a little knitted baby jacket is the cutest thing ever!!

Do you like to knit with self-stripe?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar