Thursday, June 25, 2015

the ribbed beanie..a pattern

After so many lovely compliments on the ribbed slouchy and lots of requests for a pattern, I've managed to pull one together!  Well, a pattern of sorts, more of a 'how to' I'd say.

As most of you would know, I'm not so great with the pattern following and like to make things up as I go.  For this one, with whoever I happened to be making for, I'd chain roughly how long I thought it should be to make a good slouch (using different family members head sizes to guide)  and then repeat row after row until it looked about the right size.

For this exercise, I am basing my pattern on the adult one pictured above in olive green.  It's a little more slouchy on my middle guy because it was made for my husband, but I actually like it like this on him! 

The cream one with the pompom was made for a ten year old, which fits more snug but still has slouch when its not turned up.

You'll need a 4.5mm hook and approx. 100 - 150gm of 8ply yarn.

To begin, I have chained 50 plus 1 (this is my turning stitch)

First Row..
1 treble into the back loop of each chain all the way to the end, chain 1 and turn your work

Second Row..
just like your first row, 1 treble into the back stitch of each treble in the previous row, do this all the way to the end, chain 1 and turn your work

Subsequent Rows..
Repeat as per row 2 until your work is the desired width to wrap around the head.

After about the fourth row, you'll be able to see the rib effect taking shape..

To finish..
Tie off your yarn, leaving a long tail.  Make sure it's long enough to gather your top and to stitch the beanie's sides together.

To gather your top, we simply weave the yarn tail through the top stitches using a tapestry needle, and pull tight so that it forms a round.

Fasten this off and neatly stitch up your gap at the very top.  You could use a pompom to disguise your stitching if its a bit rough.

All that needs to be done now is to join your sides, once again using a tapestry needle.  Be careful to keep your stitches neat and you'll find they will be almost invisible when you hold/wear your beanie.
Weave in your ends.

I hope this has been helpful to those who asked.

Enjoy, and keep warm!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

another portrait catch up..

olive: leven, twel, oneteen, firteen, fitteen..hide and seek, always a favourite

olive: watching her watch the wiggles in the early morning light, joy!

olive and eddie: noses, sibling love
she grabs our heads and wiggles her nose onto ours..

olive: the way too big tap shoes have been re-discovered..

olive: her moods are erratic, she'll scream wildly and suddenly, she'll drop her lip over the smallest of things, and then wipe away her tears joyful and excited saying "I happy now, I happy now!"

I'm posting weekly over on Instagram, but playing a bit of a monthly catch up in this little space.

joining in with jodi here...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

on getting sleep..our co-sleeping revelation!

After four children we've finally figured it out!  The whole sleep thing.  Well, we've figured it out for now.

Admittedly, all four of our kids have been very different to manage when it came to sleep time. We've never really had a consistent routine that has worked on going.  We would do whatever it took to get sleep, and then we'd change it up pretty much however was dictated by each child.

Apart from when they were newborn, the boys never really wanted to be in our bed.  They'd wriggle and squirm and really just wanted their own space..but with us in it, a bit of a dilemma which ultimately left us all very much sleep deprived for a very long time.

We did control crying with the first two.  It was very challenging with number one.  Long, long nights, but we felt it worked for us at the time.  It gave us a sense of control and some structure. With number two it worked a treat, and only took us a week to have him happily settling in his own bed and for the most part, sleeping through.  Number three was different altogether.  Nothing ever, EVER worked with him.  He was years of night terrors, and middle of the night tantrums.  Nothing would work twice.  When something went well one night, it wouldn't the next. With this one, it was just a matter of waiting it out and managing it one night at a time..for 6 years.

For some reason, control crying was never an option for Olive.  I just couldn't bare to hear her cry when all she wanted was me.  To nuzzle into my nook and be close as can be.  I look back and I don't know how I did it with the first two.  

She started off the best sleeper of all, a dream newborn giving me 5 hours sleep and sometimes sleeping through the night.  Which at the time was a godsend and just what we needed having just started our business.  Of course all good things come to an end and by 7 months she was unsettled and just had to be on me.  I didn't care.  I loved having her there and so did Nick, feeling her close and hearing her soft breath beside us.  If this meant we could catch snippets of sleep here and there, then that's what we did.

And then we didn't.

Gradually, over the next 18months, there was very little sleep being had by Nick and I.  The only one thriving from this co-sleeping situation was the baby, and something had to give.

I wanted her here with me if here is where she needs to be, but in reality it just wasn't working.  We could not go on like this.   I kept thinking, if only I could rig up a bed beside us somehow? I considered moving her cot into our room, but the thing was, she'd happily go down at bedtime in her own room, so I didn't want to change that.  Inevitably she always ended up in our bed with all the pinching and the squirming and the sudden kicking of Nick in unfortunate places..

Then one day I saw a cot for free on our local 'Buy, Sell, Swap' page.  All the lights and bells went off in my mind.  I'd found the answer!

We were lucky, the cot was in perfect condition, but with a thorough clean to satisfy any germ-o-phobia it was ready to set up.  Right. Next. To. Our. Bed.

I left a side off so that I have the cot pushed up next to the mattress.  I can easily reach across and give her a re-assuring pat, and she can see me right there beside her.

The first night wasn't easy.  She was there beside me, in the cot, begging to be kissed and hugged and held.  Although it was hard, I kept lying her back down, reassuring her it was ok.  Eventually, she grabbed hold of my arm and held it sooo tight.  Then she slept.  

The next night she slept through in her own room!  All night.

The third night she woke and came into our room, lying there in the cot, peaking up every now and then to check we were there and sometimes to hold my hand.

Since then, I've lost count on how many nights she has slept in her own room all night.  She still wakes and calls out to me but often just self settles and goes back to sleep.  On the nights she does come in, she is happy to just be there, near us.

Who knew!?  (Well, apparently the Europeans knew, clever things)

After all these years, this was all we needed to do.  Well, maybe.  Who's to say it would have worked with the others? But it's working (for) now and that is all I need to know.

Monday, May 4, 2015

a portrait catch up..

olive: wooly legs, layered smocks and filthy head to toe! outside is her favourite..

olive: squishy feet, ready to play on the beach this blustery cold autumn day..

olive: first pigtails, messy and uneven..I'll take that!

olive: a pocket full of autumn, collecting crunchy leaves..

olive: eating hot cross buns, one piece of fruit at a time..

mostly black and white this year, I can't help myself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


beanies, bonnets, scarves, neckwarmers..from the teeny tiny to the super dooper! 

I'm finding that the more demanding my work and family life, the more I crave time to make.

Even if it's just a few rows in stolen moments.

Tuning out and busy hands.  They're my breathing space.

Monday, March 30, 2015

crochet class..sharing the love

I'll be teaching another beginner crochet class these school holidays as part of the 'Art for Contentment' program run by my lovely friend Heather Gallagher and the Uniting Church Queenscliff.  

This time though, I'm going to allow myself some shopping time! Our class is set up in a corner of the op-shop at 'Kirk's Place' amongst some beautiful oldwares and very lovely linens that I didn't have a chance to look at closely last time.

We start from the absolute beginning of crochet 'how to', so if you've never picked up a hook before, this class will be perfect for you.

I'll be showing you the basic crochet stitches which we'll have plenty of time to repeat, repeat, repeat. This way, you'll be able to find your rhythm, build some momentum and develop a basic understanding of tension and how to use it.

I love that everyone has their own style of crochet, its a beautiful craft.   I love its forgiving nature, especially when we're learning, and I love that with the most basic of stitches, you can create incredibly intricate works of art or just a simple snuggly favourite something for everyday.

On a side note..aahh school holidays, I am going to breathe you in and soak up your calmness, and with any luck (toddler depending) sleep in!  

Sunday, March 29, 2015


a portrait of my daughter once a week, every week in 2015..

olive: stuck to me like glue, clinging on and burying in..

This week she has been up and down with a temperature, laughing one minute and miserable the next.  She's been in our bed every single night, buried in to my neck as close as she can possible get. While all day every day, she is in my arms or clinging to my legs fiercely, and this product shoot was going to be no exception.

Chaos surrounds, with jobs waiting to be processed, deadlines to meet, meals to prepare, laundry to fold, children to pick up and drop off.

But sometimes its all you can do, and the best medicine you can give, to hold your babies and be there for them, still and safe.  Everything else takes second place, and you just have to give in and surrender.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


a portrait of my daughter once a week, every week in 2015..

olive: forever climbing, nothing is out of your reach!

I have removed stools, chairs, toys!  There is no end to what she will use to reach into places she is not supposed to go. We eliminate, we try to educate, we persevere, we are exhausted.  Those sweet, sweet toddler days, hey..