Saturday 26 November 2011

To Tree or not to Tree.....

Living here on my own I always get to this time of year and wonder if it's worth putting the Christmas Tree up for me to sit and stare at for the next month or so.....the reason being....My little one bedroom apartment has become a wool storage facility first and home second, I now don't have room to house the rather large tree and it's 100's of decorations so they have been moved down to my parents place for storage in their super dooper storage facility, otherwise known as their 4 car garage that stores junk not cars!

When I purchased said Christmas Tree I really didn't think of the size of it, I was just thinking of the price....a $400 Christmas Tree purchased mid January from Kmart on sale for $ amazing bargain for the most beautiful life like Pine Tree, with just a hint of snow on its pine needles......The tree is about 7ft high and incredibly wide and very very big, for my teeny tiny living room.  The huge tree with its mass of decorations and lights takes ages to put up and ages to take down as each decoration gets lovingly put back in its packet or  box, or re-wrapped in tissue paper and stored in large plastic tubs....One year it stayed up till April because the job just seemed to be so massive.....I know, I know it's sort of lazy as well, but the tree was so beautiful that year it was a shame just to have it up for 30 days or so.

Anyway I figure I've got till next week to decide what to do, and it's a possible excuse to go down to my parents and test out my new camera on the beautiful Victorian coastline whilst trying to find the tree in the junk room...whoops garage!!....In the mean time a few pics of my Christmas Tree a few years back....this being my sisters, tall and skinny tree in all it's red and gold glory.....this particular year we swapped trees to see if each of our trees suited our different living spaces better.....but we both agreed in the end we preferred our own trees, so we swapped back!

So there you go.... To Tree or not to Tree? That is the question.

Sunday 20 November 2011

And the Winner is........

And the winner of our little hat competition is Malisa....Malisa you will need to email me at and we'll organise your little hat.  Congratulations and thanks to everyone that entered.  We do this a couple of times a early March 2012 we are due to go again.

thanks again Vicki x

Friday 18 November 2011

Double Take

Just a reminder for dover & madden's little hat giveaway.....this giveaway is open to everyone around the World....and I know there are a lot of lurkers who are not participating....jump in pick yourself a doesn't have to be a colour pictured you can pick the colour yourself....We're at 57 comments, if we get to 100 comments before 8pm EST this Sunday....I'll give away 2 hats to 2 lucky participants.....Here's the post where you enter....Best of Luck, Vicki

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Well Hatted

Ok here it is the competition you all wanted and I offered!.....A chance to win a Dover & Madden hat.  Simple really.  All you have to do is leave a comment down the bottom of the page in the comments section.....Just leave your name (first name is fine) and the type of hat (the name and sizes  are under the picture of the hat) you want and where you come from, I'm interested as to how far and wide we all gather....all the names will go into a draw and I'll pull out the winner this coming Sunday 20th at 8pm EST.  The winner will be announced here. Also if you aren't already a Facebook fan, I'd like you to be, so stop on by and say hello.

I have put pictures of all the types of hats that are available to you and the sizes they come in....I'll knit the hat in the colour of your choice unless it's a picture where the colours are already stated.  One other stipulation. if you choose the Cashmerino Striped Earflap Hat, this will not be knitted in any colour with white stripes, such as blue and white, pink and white...I don't and won't use white in these hats. Sorry. The winner will be emailed a colour chart and I'll offer you some guidance with your selection if you need it.

I think that's it....this competition is open to all....Local, Interstate and International.

Best of Luck, Vicki

Cashmerino Striped Earflap Hat, NB to 4M, 4M to 10M, 10M to 18M  or 18M to 36M

 Emmett Hat, NB to 3M, 3M to  6M, or 6M to 12M

Dottie Hat, 3M to 6M, 6M to 12M and 12M to 24M

Dimple Hat, NB to 4M, 4M to 8M, 8M to 12M and 12M to 18M

Ribbed Pixie Hat, 3M to 12M and 12M to 24M

Vintage Inspired Pom Pom Hat...only available, cream, grey, red and teal blue.  6M to 12M & 12M to 24M

Organic Merino Baby Bear Bonnet in Cream, Choc Brown or Dark Brown, 3M to 6M, 6M to 9M and 9M to 12M with or without flower.

Organic Merino Baby Beanie, 12M to 24M

Organic Merino Baby Hoodie, 3M to 6M, 6M to 9M and 9M to 12M with or without flower.

Textured Baby Bonnet.  NB to 3M, 3M to 6M and 6M to 12M

NEW Hilary Hat. 3M to 6M, 6M to 12M, 12M to 18M and 18M to 30M

NEW Houndstooth Hat, 3 to 6M, 6M to 12M and 12M to 24M

Newborn Organic Cotton Beanie & Mitt Set.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Gift Giving.....

I gave myself a gift....a belated birthday present.....I turned 44 late last month....or I can take it as an early Christmas present!

I purchased my first grown up camera....a digital SLR, a Nikon D3100.  Having to photograph my work to display I realised I needed to step it up a grade.  My photos were never bad, but they were never great.  It's going to take me quite a while to master this beast but what fun I'm going to have doing it.

I now know why photographers are so passionate about what they do....anyway here is my first 24 hours worth of happy there really is no excuse for not getting out and about and snapping my city.

Enjoy Vicki x

Thursday 10 November 2011

A Dover & Madden Hat for the Holidays.

Are you interested in receiving a Dover & Madden hat just in time for the Holiday Season.  I'm thinking of doing a giveaway....One of my beautiful little hats in the colour and style of your choice, just in time to keep those little heads in the Northern Hemisphere warm for Winter.....and for those down here in the Southern'll just have to stash it away till next Winter.  If you're interested pop by my Facebook page and become a fan or leave a comment here expressing your interest and we'll possibly kick if all off over the weekend.

Thanks Vicki x


Photos courtesy of Joy Wright Photography and Peta Mazey Photography Both amazing based in the US and one based in New Zealand....and yes I'm in Australia.  I've never met either of these two ladies but their photography work is outstanding.

Saturday 5 November 2011

This Is How We Do It......

Coming up with new hats for my little business causes me no end of's a process I hate to be quite honest.....I get excited about finding new patterns, but the work that goes into re-sizing, re-knitting, amending and a great amount of mathematics which I'm useless at drives me to despair at times.

Apart from a couple of hats that I designed myself, all of Dover & Maddens hats are derived from knitting patterns from the 1930's through to the 1970's.....I take vintage knits and adapt them for the modern bub....and I think I do it reasonably well.

For every 10 patterns I come across and re-knit I'm maybe lucky to find one that works and will make it to a usable style.

Whilst finishing off Etsy orders I'm also trying to sneak in some pattern re-designing at the moment....I'm revisiting a bonnet that I originally made a couple of years ago and then decided it wasn't for Dover & Madden.  I've decided to revisit it and just do a bit more work on it.....the back of the bonnet is what I don't like so I'm going to play around with it so it's not so puffy and full as the picture shows....I want it to sit a bit flatter.....Here's the original one I made, and the re-knit on it's way to being complete.

I've named this the "Houndstooth Hat"....just because of the pattern, and as you can see I'm doing it with two shades of the one colour....I originally knitted this hat in pink and green, and I was asked if I had been smoking "crack"....It did look awful....I re-knitted it in the same tones....and it was sometimes bright contrast is not always the best option for a hat....and it can be something as simple as colour that will make or break a hat for me.

I have another two hats on the go as well....both of these I have my fingers crossed that they work because I'm in love with both of them.  They may not be both released as Dover & Madden hats at the same time....but I like to have the patterns altered and ready to go for a new knit when I feel like it.  This little one is quite stay tuned....but I do love the coloured stripes that will run from the top of the forehead down to the base of the neck....and yes it is looking an odd shape but that's what will give it, it's final shape so  hopefully it will look good enough once it's completed.

And finally this one....excuse the colour....funnily enough most of my prototypes I somehow always knit in blue tones....I don't know why but I'm drawn to blue, but this one I did think needed contrast, and I hate this contrast....again pink and green that in my book is two colours that are both too strong and end up fighting against each other....I should have gone with a leaf green and a hot pink rather than jade and watermelon pink.  Anyway this one is the third prototype I'm working on and I really have my fingers crossed for this one.

I also find that knitting stitch books are a great source of knowledge for me....a simple hat can be transported from something quite plain to something quite fantastic, with a simple pattern....such as my Dottie Hat below.

Once the hat is knitted I send them to a wonderful photographer in the US who found me on Etsy (another blog post I think) Joy Wright Photography shes finds the necessary bubs in the size of the hat and sends me the most fab photos and then the hat goes up for sale.

So that's how things come about.....a slow process but a necessary process.....I like to keep evolving and changing, I too get bored knitting the same things all of the also means that possibly a couple of hats will disappear for a time....maybe just a rest and a revamp.

Until next time

Vicki x

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Thank You

Just a quick thank you for all the lovely comments and links to other blogs....especially Little Poppa and Knitty Button....with reference to my blog post....Fair Pay for a Fair Day's Work....I've been overwhelmed with the hits and the comments and the messages I've received.....For those who have been told to check out my Etsy store from Knitty Button....I'd like to apologise for the lack of stock....I'm winding up orders and then looking to do a bit of a re-vamp with some new stock starting to roll off the knitting needles around mid November.....If you want to keep up with the comings and goings of Dover & Madden....feel free to stop by my Facebook page and I'll do my best to keep you entertained!!  Kindest, Vicki x

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Cup Day

It's Melbourne Cup Day today in Melbourne....The day the whole nations stops for a horse race.....I'm working today so it's not a public holiday for me but I thought I'd share a cup with you.....well a creamer and sugar bowl really......Vintage Noritake in Canary Yellow.  Enjoy your Cup Day everyone or Tuesday the 1st November for the rest of us!!