Monday, December 31, 2012

~ Bind off 2012...Cast on 2013 ~

What a knitting year! My crafty hands have been the busiest they've ever been, and even then I feel like I should have knitted more :P  I've completed about 65 projects and have 4 currently sitting as WIPs (work in progress) to be completed in the New Year. 

In total I have managed to knit my way through 12,900 metres (14,701 yards) of yarn this year - my aim was at least 12km (although I was secretly hoping for 13km... but I just really need to sleep tonight, so I don't think I can do the last 100m!), so I'm pretty pleased to have broken through that number!!  I've heard about people running that far all that is a mystery to me... hmmm, maybe that should be something to aim for next year! lol  Hey, I could knit 12km while running 12km!!  Now it's just getting ridiculous. Can you tell I'm tired? ;)

Following on from this year of knitting, I now have custom knitting bookings already keeping me busy up to July!!  However, there is one big difference this year to next year - I have actually made space in my calendar for myself and my own friends and family.  I look forward to sharing my new year of knitting and creating with you - a lot of it will be personal, selfish creating, so I hope you don't mind ;)

Another aim I have for 2013 is to spend more time crafting with my two girls. They both now have a yarn stash and are keen to get knitting - but I just never seem to have any relaxed knitting time to teach them - I'm always rushing off to finish the next order.  I'm very much looking forward to sharing their crafting journeys with you in the coming months.

I'll leave you with a snap-shot of my favourite knitting projects for the year; thank you so much for being a part of it with me.  Happy New Year!!!! ♥

Lori xo

Monday, November 5, 2012

Backyard Detectives!!!

Oooh, I love a bit of detective work, don't you?  Put that together with the fact that my other passion besides knitting is ecology and it doesn't take much to excite me! lol We don't have as wide a variety of wildlife around our property as I'd love (and hope to have as our gardens increase) - mainly due to the cleared nature of the land. It's been used for grazing for so long that the open woodland that was once here is far from the present landscape.  So when a new bird (or any animal, really... plants too...) makes an appearance at our place I tend to get a little excited and determined to find out just which species it is!

We always have Magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen), Little Ravens (Corvus mellori), Willie Wagtails (Rhipidura leucophrys) & Common Blackbirds (Turdus merula) flitting about.  In Autumn & Spring we see Galahs (Cacatua roseicapilla), and Spring always brings a cranky breeding pair of Masked Lapwings (Vanellus miles).  In summer for short periods of time we get Kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae) laughing from the power lines & majestic Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) soaring the skies searching for rabbits and other little beasties to eat down below.  On rare occasions (every couple of years) we might see some Red-tail Black Cockatoos over our way in the warmer weather, and the odd European Godlfinch (Carduelis carduelis) used to be seen, but not so much anymore.  When there is rain coming, we can hear the echoing of the Eastern Banjo-frogs (Lymnodynastes dumerilii, see below) looking for mates down in the nearby creek and just last night the first bats of Summer - tiny microbats called Lesser Long-eared Bats (Nyctophilus geoffroyi) could be heard flitting about the house after dark having their dinner (I love the photo of this bat - it looks like it's laughing, but I won't add it here in case some of you don't like bats! hehe)

Eastern Banjo-frog (Lymnodynastes dumerilii). Photo credit: Peter Robertson.

So the last few days we've been taunted by the sounds of a very loud bird in our yard that we've never heard before!  He's been too-too-tooing here, there and everywhere, but he's also been extremely elusive - perfectly camouflaged, invisible to our ever-searching eyes... until today!!  This morning I followed the sound until I saw it - there in the lower branch of a small Eucalypt tree!!  Quickly I grabbed the binoculars, quietly I crept toward the open window, shushing the children, and simultaneously telling them to get dressed while also getting them excited about our new visitor!
Pallid Cuckoo (Cuculus pallidus). Photo Credit: Pete Morris, Birdquest
A light grey-chested, dark winged, stripey-tailed bird sat calling out - smaller than a Magpie, bigger than a Blackbird... what could it be?? My first thought was to check this awesome little booklet called "Indigenous Wildlife of Southern Ballarat" published by the Leigh Catchment Group - and there it was!  Then onto the internet to confirm the call... yes!  A Pallid Cuckoo (Cuculus pallidus)!   

We've been here for almost 5 years and it's the first time we've had them visit us. I'm not sure whose nest they've decided to lay their egg(s) in - the magpies do nest up in the lone pine tree we have on our property (the only tree we have large enough at this stage for any bird to nest in), so perhaps they'll be the lucky new parents... or perhaps the Cuckoo couple will decide to stay around and raise their youngster themselves... 

So tell me - what animals are lurking and flitting around in your backyard? :D

Lori xo

Saturday, October 27, 2012

School Camp = Cooking time!

My biggest owlet was off to school camp yesterday!!  For an almost 7 year-old that means a sleep-over at school with all her school friends.  Was she excited?  You betcha'!!  Was she going to miss us? Absolutely!  Was I going to miss her?  Well... yeah, actually I thought I probably would :D  This is the second year she's done this - as a lead-up to school camps in older grades where they go outside of the school.  I must admit it was a little unnerving to drop my child at school this morning knowing I wouldn't be picking her up for 24 hours...but when I realised I would probably be getting a full night's sleep that night, I quickly perked up :D  Good thing, too - I ended up getting about 11 hours of uninterrupted snooze time!!!

Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafer from http://glutenfreecooking.about.comSo, what's all this about cooking you ask (pssst, it's in the title ^)?  Well, food intolerance rules in our household, so whenever there's a birthday party or basically if the owlets leave home and will require to be fed while they are out, beforehand I lock myself in the kitchen and go crazy!  

 Let's face it - I could just as easily have popped into my local supermarket (IGA is about my favourite for gluten/dairy free foods & ingredients) and grab some sorbet, bread, marshmallows, biscuits and rice milk, but that would require leaving the house (it was cold and wet and I was really tired after a big night last night - Mumford & Sons concert in Melbourne, if you must know!), and it would also have cost more.  Plus there would be all these added ingredients that I would prefer weren't included.

Chia Seed, Buckwheat & Quinoa Bread from, in my half-awake stupor (I'm so glad I went to bed at 8.30pm that night), here's what was on the menu:
  • Bread (first time using this recipe - it didn't rise enough, but it sufficed);
  • Banana Ice-cream (simply whizzing up frozen banana pieces in the Thermomix);
  • Biscuits & Marshmallows (for S'mores).  Pity the gelatine mix didn't thicken for the marshmallows as I was really looking forward to making those :(   

Oh, and just because I'd opened a 2.something litre can of coconut milk (yeah - it's HUGE!) I also decided I'd make some Coconut Milk Yoghurt as we're just about out of that, too.  What is it with children needing to eat so much!?!

Well, the yoghurt was also a flop (not sure why) - when I opened that today it smelt somewhat like a cross between old socks and cheese :(  Oh yeah, it was bad!  I'm guessing it had something to do with me being so tired while trying to cook - perhaps I should have just made a dash to the supermarket, then had a nap instead of trying to be supermum! lol  Anyway, here's the food stash that made its way to school to keep her alive - pardon the cling wrap on the biscuits, I'd totally run out of small Tupperware by then!

Owlet's lunchbox full of food!

So I had a great night's sleep, the big owlet had a great night with her friends, the small owlet had a great night because it was her bedroom I fell asleep in when I put her to bed, and poor Daddy Owl had the big bed to himself... I bet he stretched out diagonally - who wouldn't? ;)

Lori xo

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spring Picnic ♥

What better excuse do I have to blog about something than a beautiful Spring day and some new furniture out on our back deck so we can actually be out here enjoying it! :D  

We've only lived here for almost 5 years *insert sarcastic eye roll here* rather than just keep talking about it, we thought it was about time to actually get a table & chairs so we can eat, work & craft outside! lol  So this morning, Miss 4 and I christened our new (to us) additions with an alfresco morning tea of fruit, nuts, cheese and crackers, and two hot cups of tea (yes, and some bubble mix!).  Now I'm still sitting out here blogging about it, but domestic duties call... and a whole lot of knitting :D

Have a gorgeous day, wherever you are ♥

Lori xo

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blocking Buninyong

This blog post is written especially for a lovely friend of mine who wanted to know how I blocked out a lace scarf that I recently knitted.  Another friend of mine just turned 40 (and shall remain nameless as apparently a lady never reveals her age - oh, and it wasn't me!) and I decided to finally knit my first ever scarf!  I had figured at the start of my knitting career (3 years ago) that scarves weren't something I could knit... they obviously required huge buckets of patience; something I just didn't believe I had.  It's not so much about the length, but more about the massive amount of repetition involved!  I'm not great with repetition... unless it's on my terms! lol

So I set about finding a scarf pattern that would hold my interest and that I could successfully knit in 3 days!  Oops, left it a little until the last minute, didn't I!!  Well, 3 days turned into 4, but I did get it knit, washed, blocked and dried (I may have employed the help of a hairdryer for that last step) in time for the party! Yay, me!! :P

The pattern I used was Buninyong by Georgie Hallam (tiKKi), and I have to admit that I absolutely loved it!  I will also admit that next time I knit one (yes, there will definitely be a next time) I'm going to do it over a longer period of time than 4 day.  Space all those repeats out a bit. Yes, the repetition was a slight issue for me, but seriously I really did enjoy this project - thanks so much for yet another awesome pattern, Georgie! ♥

Oh, so Tami!!  That's right, you are the reason I write this blog post... I must get back to the subject at hand.  I know you're wanting to block your Buninyong scarf, too.  So give it a warm bath (you used WOOLganic wool, too so be gentle with it), a gentle squeeze (I also roll it in a towel and stand on it to get extra water out) and then pin in out something like this:

I borrowed the Owlets' foam hopscotch mat/floor puzzle thingamy and laid the scarf down and gently pulled it out flat, pinning every couple of inches or so to hold it in place.  I didn't block it hard, I just opened the lacework up and pinned out like that :)   I should have left it to dry in the shade for a day or two, but I was short on time, so I used the hairdryer on a cool/warm setting towards the end (when I just had to get it wrapped and get out the door!! :D

Hope that helps!!  Happy blocking - happy scarf-wearing!

Lori xo

Monday, August 20, 2012

Knit one, purl one, cry bucketloads ♥

I think I can honestly say that never before has knitting made me cry.  Today, though is a different - today is the day a family has to say their final good-byes to their little girl.  Ten long-but-short days ago 16 month old Sage passed away unexpectedly in her sleep.  Today - as I write this - it is her funeral and today I will cast-on in her memory.
When I heard about an auction being run by Taken Too Soon (created to provide financial assistance to families who experience the loss of a child, including Sage's family), I realised I had this gorgeous wool in my stash that I had bought a few months prior from Sage's Mum (a fellow knitter).  She had planned to knit Sage some longies with it, but had then stopped using cloth nappies, so no longer needed to knit them.  The colourway is 'Squishy Face' and Sage's nickname was Squishy - so it just makes it all the more appropriate that I do this.

Family Roots Oragnic Bulky 'Squishy Face'

My eyes well up as I read the pattern, I shed a tear as I choose my knitting needles, and as I knit the stitches and picture her smiling face and imagine the incredible grief in the heart of her family and friends I realise I'm going to need the tissue box right next to me until I finish knitting.   I hope that by the time I finish this project that my heart will be made stronger, and that my small contribution can assist Lee and her family at this most difficult time.

Fly free today, Sage.  So many people are sending you and your family love ♥

Lori xo

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bloggy Break... Oh, hello July!!!

Well, hello there!  :D   I turn my back for a minute and suddenly we're halfway through the year - does this happen to you, too?  I'm not sure if it's just a getting-older thing (well, I'm not OLD, but time does march on, you know) or if having children also make the clock tick faster... I guess I'll never know.

In any case, the last few weeks have been crazy-busy with frantic knitting and all of those little life things that seem to fill up the day so quickly.   Like the fact that those aforementioned children always seem to be finding themselves at another mealtime!  "Didn't I just feed you?" seem to be the words I utter most these days, along with, "Hurry up, we're going to be LATE!". 

Today it was so lovely to turn the calendar page and find a relatively clean, neat and organised page of dates.  I love a clean page, don't you?  That blank space, so conversely full of potential and possibilities; like a new skein of yarn or a new bolt of fabric.  By the end of the month, though so many plans made, re-made and un-made; the scribbles and scrawls of appointments postponed or new ones penned in on strange angles and fast speeds while holding the telephone to your ear with one shoulder!

So, welcome July and your fresh calendar page.  This month looks relaxing and pleasant so far on our wall... now I just sit back and wait for the frenzied creation of activity to hit the page!  Oh, and look - it's just about lunch-time; the hungry children await!  :O

Lori xo

Friday, May 25, 2012

Washing Autumn Away!

Wow!  What a wild, windy and wet day we are having today in Ballarat (and in so many other places around Victoria)!!  It's been such a cold Autumn, and now today the rain had arrived in one big dump.  We've had almost 40mm of rain so far... I think it's finally stopped.  So many puddles laying about and the wind is f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g, but the garden & the oat crop will be loving this rain.  As does my gorgeous little girl (who is just about to turn 4!!! What??!!!):

So while she has fun jumping in puddles (for 5 minutes until I bundle her back inside), I'm quite happy to snuggle on the couch with a blanket, hot cup of tea and my knitting.  Here's something I whipped up today for another little girl, Pepper who's just had her 1st Birthday (I think that deserved a capital 'B').  This earflap hat design is so fantastically unique and simply genius!  It's Reid by Shannon Passmore of Crafty Desires (knit it in DK, worsted or bulky).  I really do love knitting with awesome wool (who doesn't) and this wool really was awesome - Family Roots Willow Merino in 'Grapefruit Love' and trim:

Reid Hat by Shannon Passmore handknit in Family Roots Willow Merino 'Grapefruit Love'

Stay warm (or cool... depending on where you are right now... or what time of the year you read this...)!!

Lori xo

Friday, May 18, 2012

...and the winner is...!!!

Apologies for the delay in posting this!  I had drawn and announced the winner on our Facebook page, however I also meant to update here.... so here it is  :D

On Monday night 14th May, I went to visit the old friend and here's what it told me:

Soooooo, the winner of our 1000 likers + 2 years Giveaway iiiiiis...........

Lori Pavic!!!!!

Here is what she has winging its way across the country to her right now - along with some gorgeous Vanilla Bean scented Sheepish Grins Creamy Lanolin Spray:

Thank you all so much for joining in on our Giveaway - I'm now making a decision about the future of the Kaia Babydoll Dress that was the other prize option in the Giveaway.  I'm thinking of donating it to a charity auction, or even auctioning it on our Facebook page and donating the money to charity.  I'd love to have your thoughts and ideas! :D

Lori xo

Thursday, May 10, 2012

1000 likers + 2 years Giveaway!!!

Wow, we are finally there!!! After much knitting and anticipation (and patience on all your behalves), I have a giveaway on offer to show my appreciation for your support since Little Brown Owl started 2 years ago.  The decision to share my crafting passion has led to me meeting so many lovely, friendly people - other WAHMs as well as those who don't make, but support those who do.  So, to say thank you I have two giveaway options. 

The first one is for the little girl in your life.  A size 2-3 Kaia Babydoll Dress hand-knit in gorgeous Lollytree Yarn Gaia Bulky 100% hand-dyed wool.  

This will fit up to about a 55cm chest, length is 50cm from shoulder to hem, and as you can see it fits my slim almost-4yo perfectly.  

The ribbon can be tied to the side or at the back if those little fingers like to keep untying it, and the beautifully variegated skirt yarn is finished with the trim colourway knit in a girly lace.

A warm, snuggly addition to any little girl's Winter wardrobe layered over a top & tights, or worn by itself on those cooler Autumn and Spring days.

Please note, I'm not giving this girl away!   :D

For those of you with a little boy or tomboy,  you can choose to be in the chance to win these cool Ultimate Shorties!!   Size Large - to fit approximately 10-14kg, waist: 42cm; bum (over nappy): 54cm; rise: 46cm.  Hand-knit in sturdy evoke hand-dyed yarn Australian Polwarth Merino 12ply with a drawstring ribbed waistband, these would be perfect for the active toddler in a warmer climate/season or through Winter layered with legwarmers.   They come pre-lanolised with Sheepish Grins Creamy Lanolin Spray in the scent of your choice (from a list of in-stock scents) PLUS I'll send the chosen lanolin along with the shorties!

So, here are the rules:

  • Like our Facebook page (if you haven't already)
  • Comment below with whether you'd prefer to win the Kaia Babydoll Dress or the Ultimate Shorties & Sheepish Grins Creamy Lanolin Spray
  • Entry to this Giveaway closes at 8.30pm AEST Monday 14th May 2012
  • A winner will be chosen using and announced in a blog post by 9pm AEST Monday 14th May 2012 (barring sick children & other catastrophes of the Mum variety!)

Thanks so much to you all, and good luck!!!  :D

Lori xo

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Sago on this Tuesday!

I find it rather apt that this afternoon, being a Tuesday I paid my good friend Sonya a visit and was privileged enough to not only sit on her new gorgeous leather the-size-of-Argentina sofa (this was no couch - this was something you could calmly recline on whilst floating away from a sinking ship!), but to also grace the old school house which is now the studio for Sago on Tuesdays.  Perhaps I should have requested a bowl of pudding whilst there...hmmm...
Sago on Tuesdays hand bound journal. Photo credit: Sonya Macdonald
Today began my journey to have Sonya make for me two very special journals that are one day destined to be in the hands of my two children - when they are no longer small children, but perhaps have children of their own.  Something that has been in my mind for such a long time, and how serendipitous that life has now led me to an incredibly talented binder and crafter who can create for us so much more than just a mass-produced notebook to write in.   

The contents will be important and special thoughts, quotes, memories, and life lessons for my girls, and when the time is right for them they can read the words and run their hands over the fine pages and know where they came from.

As you can see in these images, her work is exquisite.  Now comes the hard task for me of choosing a style (although I already know I'm rather fond of the soft leather wrap journals such as you see above) and all the design details (you know - the paper choices, whether to add album pages or not, to get a matching keepsake box or not... the choices are endless).

I'll let you know how I go and how the final journals look...and feel and smell...  The story of the journals being made will also form part of the story that is written on the pages, and that makes it all the more special.

Lori xo

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sheepish Grins Creamy Lanolin Spray Video Tutorial!!

So here it is!!  I'm officially on YouTube - or LittleBrownOwlTube as our channel is called ;)  While I know how easy it is to use the Sheepish Grins Creamy Lanolin Spray, I realised that just saying, "Massage it in" might sound really too easy and you might not believe me!   So I braved the camera and I'm here to show you it is that easy.

I used to use solid lanolin (with no yummy scent), but this needs to be melted in hot water and the woollies soaked in it and I often found than I got inconsistent coverage and even sometimes blobby bits of lanolin on the wool!  Once I discovered this spray lanolin way back about 6 years ago (when owlet #1 was still a wee bub) I never went back! 

Enjoy watching, and I hope this shows you just how quick and easy it is to use:

Lori xo

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Little Brown Owl!!

Wow!  My baby is 2 years old today!!  About this time (well, perhaps a little earlier in the evening) back on 26th April 2010 a facebook page was launched for the first time - Little Brown Owl.  We had a different logo back then, but after a couple of months of not being happy with the little owl I had before (I don't think I even dare show its face again!) I was so happy to meet the gorgeous little owlet you see knitting away up there in the branches!  (Thanks again Amanda from Amanda Riley Invitations for bringing to life the idea in my head and creating a character that bizarrely appeared to be an owl-version of my youngest human child!)

My first custom knitting was for some friends ordering knitted washcloths for gifts (thanks Michelle & Kerryn!!).  This continued with two years of frenetic (yet joyful) knitting to create handmade joy in the form of vests, dresses, skirts, cardigans, beanies and cloth nappy woollies, and the frustration of never seeming to have the time to sew - with the irony that sewing is so much less time-consuming so glaringly obvious

It's been a crazy-busy 2 years, and I'd like to thank you all for your support and hope to continue spreading the woolly love for many more years :D

Stay tuned - our facebook page is about to hit 1000 likers (perfect timing!) - and I have an awesome Giveaway currently being planned to thank you!!   The boyish option (yes - there will be two options!) is currently on the needles and a sneak preview will hit your screens tomorrow.  Meanwhile, here's another sneak peek of the girly option.  :P

Lori xo

Friday, April 20, 2012

Yarn Tragics Anonymous

Have you noticed that little widget over there to the right?  That little box that boldly boasts, "I've knit XX meters this year"?  Okay, so for my non-US readers, please just ignore the fact that it spells "metre" in US English (I try to ignore that myself - I can't seem to change it).

My yarn stash - everything sorted nicely!  :)
So, what does this mean?  It means that so far this year I'm averaging about 1km of yarn knitting per month!  This sounds like a lot, right? (Well, I know of others who can knit 1km in 3 days!)  So I'll knit about 12km by the end of the year, right?  So, that means I'll have no yarn left and have to buy more, right?  Um, no.  So, so far from the truth! :P

Ravelry is the most awesome online knitting/crochet website (but it is so much more than just a website - it's like a virtual city built of yarn and needles and crazy people like me who sniff wool!), and it has a scary tool that allows you to see how much yarn you have stashed.  I just used this tool.  Why oh why did I do that?! 

However, it wasn't quite as bad as I expected!  As long as I'm going to be alive and able to knit at this same rate or even faster for another 5 years, I will be able to use up all that yarn!!  Oh, and in that 5 years I have to buy no more yarn...  Anyway, this means my fears can now be allayed that I may have been suffering the terrible syndrome known as SABLE: Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. 

I can hear your brain now ticking over, calculators coming out, etc as you work out how much yarn I actually do have! lol   First one to figure it out and post it in a comment wins a hug!! :D  

Who's brave enough to add their own stash measurement?

Lori xo

Thursday, April 5, 2012

'A' is for....April...and Alphabet!

I know you wouldn't think it from these two photos, but my two girls are so dissimilar!  I know our family is not alone in this respect - pretty much every parent I speak to says the same thing.  So, it should have come as no surprise to me that along with different personalities, interests, sleep habits and medication reactions, we'd also see different learning styles.  

Our firstborn asks a million questions - this started a few days after she turned 1yo with, "What's that?".  Now at 6yo she tells me how she wants to know everything about everything (in recent years I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll never know everything about everything)!!  She asks, practices, gets frustrated, practices some more and then she gets it.  Pretty simple, really - a joy to teach as you know what she knows and what she wants to know; and it's pretty clear she's ready to learn.  She also has a "leader" personality - so she's also constantly "teaching" her little sister how to do things (no, I didn't just call her bossy...).

Teaching her sister how to write
The second owlet in the nest is a surprise package.  She's sneaky.  So very sneaky.  She'll watch, observe (this may be considered stalking...?), assimilating all that she sees, then.....BAM!  Just when you least expect it she'll write some letters, complete a tricky puzzle, unlock the front door, or cut out a picture she's drawn with the precision of a laser cutter.  She's sneaky!  I do think she knows a whole lot more than she's letting on!!  Not that she plays dumb, but I think she's just more relaxed about it all and realises she has a lifetime to learn things and doesn't have to know it all right NOW!

Problem is, that while I'm constantly busy teaching #1 everything about everything because she's asking about everything, #2 doesn't we kind of forget to teach her things!!  Oops!  Good thing she's on the ball!!  It really makes me feel quite remiss as a parent, although I know underneath it all she's doing that sneaky, sneaky thing and she'll just keep surprising us.  However, in an effort to at least feel like I'm doing something useful, my plan is this month to sew an alphabet with her.  I got this great idea from the Chez Beeper Bebe blog and found Holly's tutorial here.  Don't they look like fun!!

Photo credit: Holly Keller.
It's such a multi-faceted project - I teach my children how to sew, I get to use up my fabric scraps (well, some of them), my youngest child gets to learn about letters and I get to feel like a worthy parent again.  I'll show our progress along the way and hopefully get her spelling out something other than 'poo', 'bum' or 'pop' at the end of it all. 

Lori xo

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scarlett's Sunshine & Indianna's Sunrise...

It's such a sunny day today!  Well... perhaps in my knitting basket it is!!  Not so much in the outside world, though.  So in an attempt to wake myself up I'm reaching into that basket and taking out the brightest, loveliest knitting projects I have :D

Something to brighten up the dullest of days - Miss Scarlett's Little Butterflies from one of my favourite designers tiKKi, in gorgeous 'Sunshine' by the ever-talented Tammy of Never Ending Obsessions.  This is one of those knitting patterns that makes you feel so clever as you knit along and little butterflies start appearing and flying about (okay, so maybe the flying part was just a dream....)!  I don't currently have a license to sell this design, this is a gift, but I'm loving it so much I wanted to share it with you.

This is knit top-down, so you can see the neckline and beginning of the round yoke of the cardigan.

Here's a little close of up some of those cute little butterflies... flitter, flutter:

Not to be outdone by the sunshine is a most amazing 'Sunrise' - soft and squishy yarn hand-dyed by Susannah of Parrot Pants Hand Knits being knitted into an IvyAnna for Miss Indianna.  I couldn't quite seem to capture the intensity of the colours on the yarn (that pink should be hot pink!), but this gives you an idea.  I just can't wait to see this one in all its glory once finished :D

This is also knit top-down. Here you see a round yoke, which doubles as shoulder straps, and the start of the back.

I hope you're having a bright and sunny day, wherever you are.

Lori xo

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tonight is Market Night!!

Market Night is finally here!!  Come along tonight to the WAHM Delights Facebook page tonight and get some gorgeous handmade goodies for yourself or your little one. 

We have included two semi-custom sets, each with a hand-knit garment and co-ordinating custom sewn garment - one set for a girl and one that could be boyish, unisex or girly!

See you tonight!  Go to the WAHM Delights Facebook page at the following times and wait for the "Start Shopping" announcement on the main wall.  

State Start Time List:
8.30pm VIC, NSW, TAS
8.00pm SA
7.30pm QLD
7.00 NT
5.30pm WA

If you buy one of our sets, we'll contact you to confirm details of the custom co-ordinating garment and get it on its way to you once that item has been completed.  Thanks for your support!

Lori xo

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Are you a morning person?

So, perhaps the name Little Brown Owl may lead you to believe I'm some kind of nocturnal being.  I'm not.  It really could not be further from the truth!  I've noticed that we're generally categorised as either a night owl or an early bird, and for many years I just wasn't sure where I fitted.  I couldn't (still can't) do late nights; loved (still love) to sleep all night; and didn't care for rising too early (still no).  Mid-morning wasn't too bad, but by early afternoon I truly believed siestas should be the national sport of our country.  As you can well imagine, motherhood had some rude shocks in store for me!!

What's more, I'm a fairly stereotypical Virgo and have a scientific mind, so the desire to fit into a classification, a category, a group when one existed was unrelenting, although never actually necessary.  My recent ...umm, ahem... completely scientific empirical research into all this led to me devising a few personal "rules", including:
  • Do not knit when tired (the results are usually disastrous and always require any work undertaken during such tiredness to be totally ripped back and done over!),  and
  • Go to bed by 10pm. 

I'm not sure if tattooing these rules onto a prominent body part would make me more inclined to follow them, or if I'm merely destined to break them forever and regret it every following day. However, I think I'm content enough to avoid the ink for the time being.

Along the way I have come to the conclusion that I'm just not a night owl, so I am attempting to embrace the idea of being an early bird...although not to the detriment of my precious limited night-time sleep, thank-you very much!  I've always disliked the jolting entrance to wakefulness that comes from using an alarm clock; however, I've decided to suck it up and have mine set for 30 minutes earlier than I naturally rise.  While my owlets still snooze I'll be breathing in the crisp morning air as I walk laps of the driveway and get some outside chores done.  I'll be basking in the serenity (momentarily broken as each truck drives by), watching the sun rise, and re-connecting with my surroundings.  Well, that's the plan, anyway!

You can see above just a glimpse of what I saw this morning, before coming inside and getting bed-warm morning cuddles from my two sleepy-heads.  Now here is a glimpse of what comes next for today - a chocolate cake for other people to eat and a sweet cardigan that needs to have buttons sewn on and be packaged up and posted for someone else to wear.  :D  I'm really looking forward to my morning me-time again tomorrow.

But enough about me and my circadian rhythm quirks, what about you? Are you a morning person?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Starting in the Middle

Welcome on this incredibly windy Autumnal Equinox (at least where this little brown owl resides!) to the start of our blog!  The mid-point of our Australian Autumn, and 2 years since I first lay awake half the night pondering a unique yet appropriate name for my new venture.  

From such pondering and, probably more importantly, two years of constant knitting, Little Brown Owl has grown to what it is now - with so much support from the wonderful people out there in the real world who keep requesting that I knit or sew something for them or the little people in their lives (you know who you are!!)...while my two girls keep asking, "Is that for me, Mum?".

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Lori - SAHM to two amazing little women Miss 6 & Miss 3, wife to a career firefighter (shift work, yay! Hmmm, lol) and joint caretaker to all the crazy animals on our property.  I knit, sew and attempt to resist the call of many other crafts while trying to spend more time creating a somewhat self-sufficient lifestyle in our own backyard.

I really look forward to sharing with you our continuing work, our love of our crafts, some insights into the people creating the stitches, and the forever overwhelming and seemingly endless number of organisations that I know would benefit from our time and craft to help those who need it most.  I have tons of ideas in my head for future blog posts, but if you ever have a special request I might just oblige :D

Until next time, keep crafting!

Lori xo