19 November 2010

Positive Chi

My friend Millard has designed a gorgeous kid's jumper, called Positive Chi (chi being short for chihuahua). I decided to knit it for my nephew Tom's first birthday. Here's how it turned out!

Here's Tom trying it on when it was about 3/4 done ... I made the Medium size, which should fit him well when we get to cooler weather next year. I haven't managed to get a pic of him wearing the finished jumper yet.

The pattern has a lot of attention to detail, and some nice design features, starting with a tubular cast on, and finishing off with these duplicate stitched paw prints ...

... and a chihuahua on the front. This was my first time doing duplicate stitch, and I must say I love it!
The sleeves have a nice neat line of decreases ... (slip 2 sts tog knitwise, knit 1, pass the 2 slipped stitches over).

The collar and placket are in seed stitch.

It has inset 'undershirt' sleeves, knit in 8 ply and sewn in. The main jumper is knit in 12 ply. I used Bendigo Classic (machine washable) 12 ply, in Guava, Java, and Magnolia.

As a finishing touch there's this neck facing sewn in at the end - not essential, but a nice design feature.

For those of you interested in the fine details, you can access my Ravelry project page here. And yes, I know I made a mistake in the stripe pattern. I meant that. Honest.

08 November 2010

The Garage From Hell

We've never done well with garages ... boxes and stuff tend to be shoved and piled in every which way, and the 3 other members of the family (all with ADHD / Aspergers) just don't do organised, sorted, or tidy. So it's down to me ... "Dealing with the garage" was my main goal for 2010!

This was how our double garage looked 2 years ago, and it's only got worse since then ...

And yesterday ... this is after I've spent about 15 hours in the past few months sorting through every box, repacking, decluttering, finding new homes for furniture through Freecycle, taking a whole load of rubbish to the tip, several loads of stuff to the recycling centre, and a car full of donations for St Vinnies.

And after 8 hours of work yesterday. I've set up the sofa and table near Son's workbench, so he's got a nice place to sit and think. The pigeon holes on the back wall used to be the mail boxes for the staff at Mt Stromlo Observatory, decades ago.

Before :

After! The ratty cage has a hammock in it (not a bat hanging upside down).

And Son's glass workbench, complete with expensive computer-controlled kiln and all the best gear, torches, glass rods, books and so on ...

My cleaning up manic obsessiveness is fading as my prednisolone dose drops (I'm on 40 mg instead of 60 now). I still want things to be tidy, but don't have the increased energy levels, so this was pretty hard and exhausting work. Back to my normal fatigue levels, unfortunately.

So it's not entirely done, but it's damn close, and quite bearable now. Not so excruciatingly embarrassing to take people in there. There are even metres of swept clean floor to walk on! Hubby really needs to sort through the masses of tools and nails mixed with screws and wood offcuts and other mess, and boxes of his wires and electronic detritus. One day ... maybe. Don't hold your breath.