Posts Tagged ‘owls’

Day tripping

April 1, 2011

A few weekends ago we were feeling in need of a change, and decided to take a day trip up to Mittagong in the southern highlands. Once outside Canberra’s chilly grasp the weather grew warmer, sunnier, and there was the slightest suggestion of holiday in the air.

On the way we stopped at Fitzroy Falls, just outside Moss Vale.

Phil enjoyed being out of Canberra easily as much as I did.

In Mittagong we had lunch at a little cafe and spent several hours wandering around the big antique centre. I came home with a small owl, beautifully made in frosted glass. I find the cantankerous owls appeal to me so much more than the happy ones. Thoughts?

All in all, a grand day out.


Owl clock

March 25, 2010

My new owl clock arrived today!

Well I say new—it’s a vintage piece I bought on Etsy. The wait was (subjectively) interminable, but in reality probably reasonable. Hurrah for feeding my owl addiction!


October 29, 2009

How cool are these carved jack-o’-lanterns? I don’t celebrate Halloween, but I’d love to try my hand at pumpkin carving sometime.

pumpkin owls

filigree pumpkin

Head over to to see more.


October 27, 2009

And now, at long last, for your entertainment, with an all-singing, all-dancing cast, we present…the owls jumper.

tu-whit tu-whoo

Finished. At long last. Technically it was wearable (knitted and blocked) a few weeks ago, and it did have a couple of outings (impatient? me?) but it wasn’t finished, not really, until the buttons were sewn on. Forty-two damn buttons, the last one attached just in time for me to wear the jumper in the Spinning Camp fashion parade. But now the owls have eyes. They can see, they are proper owls, and it is finished.

dealing midnight death on silent wings

And I am so happy. This jumper is everything I imagined and hoped it would be, and more. It fits like a dream, and for my second sweater ever that’s a dream come true. The yarn, Cascade Eco, is a little itchy but starting to soften. The colour is natural and perfect—the first time I’ve found undyed wool that suits my fair skin. You should knit this pattern. You really should, it’s easy and ingenius and flattering. And it’s free (on Ravelry). Kate Davies, you are amazing.

parliament is sitting

Ravelers can see my project deets here. This could probably be knit in a quarter of the time it took me, but I had other knitting commitments. I’m not usually one to rejoice in the cold of winter encroaching upon spring, but today’s dreary weather meant my finished owls had at least one proper outing. At one point I was worried their wings would stay folded until next year.


Until recently I wouldn’t have said that I have a particular thing for owls. But the owls jumper has been preceded by Oscar the Owl bag, and the vintage Owl jug and tumbler set. And I think I have some owl pyjamas somewhere too. Is it possible to have a favourite motif without realising it?

I’m a knitting demon

October 20, 2009

Those purple socks really seem to have gotten me into the habit of doing a lot of knitting. I think I’m enjoying the process a little more these days, instead of thinking only of the day when I’ll be able to wear/use/give away the finished project. Or maybe it’s just that everything I’ve been knitting lately is either small-sized or large-gauge (or both), which means things are finished quickly and I get a lot of healthy variety in my knitting diet. Who cares? Maybe I should buy a bumper sticker that says ‘I’d rather be knitting’ and stop analysing.

Anyway, there are a couple of new things to show you. I made another cute baby hat for Liz, in a style that I like to think of as ‘Wee Willy Winky’.

wee willy winky hat

Isn’t it ADORABLE? I think she really liked it, and the pumpkin hat too. It’s the Candy Cane pattern from ‘Itty Bitty Hats’ by Susan B Anderson, made in Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton, which is nice and thick and definitely the softest cotton yarn I’ve ever found. I modified the pattern very slightly by attaching a large bell to the point of the hat instead of a pom pom—I thought a bell would be a bit safer for a baby, and it was much cuter in the end anyway. ‘There’s something about a man who tinkles gently when he moves’ — Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies.

The project is Raveled here. There are two important lessons I’ve learnt from making this hat that I’d like to share with you:

1. Cotton dries much slower than wool. Block knitted cotton gifts with plenty of time, and

2. Balls of yarn make great baby-hat-models.

In any case I think this hat definitely gets the tick of approval—almost everyone I showed it to (including me) now wants an adult-sized one.

On Saturday night I finally started my Liesl cardigan! I’m using that gorgeous squishy bulky purple wool I bought with Amanda. It’s so soft and snuggly and beautiful that although I suspect it will probably develop a halo and pill pretty quickly, I don’t care very much. I’m getting a larger gauge than I should but hopefully knitting a size down means the cardigarn will fit me in the end. From the initial try-ons (I love knitting top-down!) it looks like once blocked, all should be good.

Apart from being a dream to knit with, the bulky yarn means Liesl is growing very quickly. Here she is on Saturday, after I’d downed tools for the night:


and on Sunday at the same time:


so much bigger! Although apparently I’d knitted too much to be able to take non-blurry photos. I’m making the sleeved version, so those cap sleeves are on spare circulars waiting their turn at the moment. I’m going through the wool quicker than I thought, but hopefully there will be enough for decent sleeves.

My owls jumper is just about done too—it’s still missing buttons, but that hasn’t stopped me from giving it two outings already. There will be proud pics as soon as all the owls have their eyes!

My favourite bag

September 18, 2009

I’d like to introduce you to Oscar the Owl. He is absolutely the coolest handbag I have ever seen in my life. And he’s mine!


Oscar is named partly for a game I had as a child, involving different coloured owls, but also partly for his uncanny resemblance to Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. I bought him from the Southbank markets in Brisbane a few years ago, from a stall filled with coloured leather bags and purses in the shapes of different animals. It was all so cute and so clever (purple hippopotamus coin purse, anyone?) but Oscar stood out from the crowd. And it wasn’t very long before he decided to come home with me.


He’s made completely from leather, and each of his little feathers is a separate piece, dyed, embossed and riveted onto the main body. His beak has been cut around on two sides so that it stands proud of the rest of his face, poised to nip any presumptuous fingers. His frowny face lifts up to reveal the main pocket of the bag, and his two wings are extra pockets with zippers of their own. My phone lives in one of them.

wing pocket

I am totally in love with Oscar, and it’s pretty clear he’s popular with everyone else too. Whenever I take him out into public, it’s pretty much guaranteed I will get stopped by several people who exclaim in delight and surprise over his thunderous brow, his cleverly made feathers, and his general grumpy but useful nature. Oscar takes this attention pretty well, and although he frowns throughout I think he rather likes it.

angry but cute

I love owning something that’s almost unique, and can bring a smile to the faces of so many more people than just me. How strange that a frown, and not a smile, can spread more smiles.

Owls progress

September 16, 2009

I accidently left my secret knitting at work last weekend, which allowed me the guilty pleasure of working on my owls jumper for two blissful, deadline-free days. I got as far as joining the sleeves to the body!


And now it’s looking much more like a real jumper, and less like a random collection of tubes. I’m about to finally start the owls themselves, so this is definitely the home stretch.

It wasn’t until I started the chart that I realised I haven’t twisted a cable in ages…hardly ever in fact. The few times I did it, I can’t remember it being such a hassle—but still, maybe I should make a few practise owls first.

Of course, now that it looks like I might actually be able to wear this in the foreseeable future, the weather has become warm and delightfully springy. And completely unsuitable for the wearing of jumpers one has spent ages knitting. However this is Canberra, city of unpredictable weather. This time last year someone scoffed at me knitting a scarf, but two weeks later I was wearing it. We’ll see.

A sleeve knitted is a sleeve gained

August 31, 2009

In which our heroine attempts to justify her selfish nature as it pertains to knitting.

I’ve had a rather busy weekend, which made me feel the need for some simple knitting. This meant I finished one of the sleeves of my owls jumper at long last.

sleevey good!

I think I’ve said before that this has so far been a really pleasurable knit. I’m really looking forward to being able to wear this jumper too—at least two mornings a week I curse my wardrobe for its lack of owls jumpers, which would be so handy and yet so stylish in this continuing terrible weather. Given these two facts I feel like I could have knit this jumper in record time—perhaps as little as two weeks—but alas, there have been more important knitting deadlines to attend to. Still, when you’re as selfish as me, it does you good to knit on projects for yourself every few days. It keeps the impetus up for everything else.

sleek sleeve

I should say that my secret knitting is rather pattern-heavy, that it’s not just the fact that it’s for someone else that makes me want a break from it now and then. Just so I don’t sound like a completely self-centered whinger. But I am quite proud of it, and I’m looking forward to being able to show it to you. It’s on its way, but it’s comforting to know that so is my owls jumper.

I like seamless knitting

August 20, 2009

I’m almost halfway through my owls jumper and loving it to bits. I’ve wanted to knit this for ages, and now it’s proving a very enjoyable project as well as a means to an end.


I’m particularly fond of in-the-round, seamless construction, as like most knitters there’s nothing I hate more than seaming. And being able to try garments on while they’re still on the needles is pretty damn sweet.

The seamless sleeves are at the impressive stage of looking more like oversize wristbands than sleeves as such. I think the 5.5mm dpns give them a rather hardcore look, don’t you?


Unfortunately I’ve had to put the owls jumper aside to work on my more pressing time-sensitive knitting, but I’m determined to finish it before it’s too warm to wear it.

(Excuse the rubbish photos by the way, but there’s only so much I can do with dark brown yarn at this time of night!)