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Gauge matters

I was knitting away on my replacement hot water bottle cover, and it looked a little bit too big. I had gone down a needle size from the pattern, so I figured it would magically sort itself out. When I finished, it was still too big. Probably because my gauge - counted at the end of the project, rather than the beginning - was 22 stitches/10cm. The pattern gauge was 25 stitches.

It would do the job, but I thought it would be nicer if it fit. I tried had felting it, which didn't work, so I bunged the cover, with the bottle inside, into the washing machine for a 60 degree wash. It worked.

It is perfectly felted on to the bottle. I can't get it off, but why would I want to? If it needs washing, I'll just wash the whole lot together. So, while it was a basically successful project, its a good reminder that gauge matters, and if you think something is off, don't wait until the END of the project to work it out.

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Carraig Fhada - finished

I finished the vest on Tuesday, blocked it and wore it on Thursday. We saw Puffs (a Harry Potter play, with the premise of  what were the Hufflepuffs up to while all the stuff that went on in the books was happening. Brilliant) and took the opportunity to get some photos.

I really like how this came out. It's deliberately a little bit looser than my other vests, I'm currently going through a positive ease stage in my life. 

The Kate Davies pattern was typically brilliant, easy to knit but still interesting. The only mod I did was to lower the neckline by starting it when I started the underarms. All in all a very happy making project.

Things I've lost (part 1)

Winter has arrived in Melbourne. I'm having the strangest time, because normally I'm quite sensitive to the cold. this year, everyone around me is saying "it's so cold' I'm I'm saying, "it's fine, why am I wearing so many layers?". 
Despite this, I went looking for my hot water bottle the other night, because sometimes when i get into bed my feet just won't get warm. And it's gone. Hot water bottle, handspun, handknit cover the lot. I know where it should be, and it's just not there. I've got a fairly pared back house, so it's all a bit of a mystery.

Anyway, there is only one thing to be done:

Meet my new hot water bottle. I'm going to make a cover from Buchaille, left over from the vest I've almost finished, and everything will be fine. I'm still really curious as to what could have happened to the old hot water bottle.

I'm also really curious about this:

Maximum temperature 42 degrees! I know it's importan…

Technique Tuesday - FAIL

When I started knitting Carraig Fhada I bragged about how beautiful my tubular cast on was. When I got to the neck, I used the matching tubular cast off. After all, I keep reading about how stretchy it is, and I love the look of it.

It's a bit of a pain to work, 4 rows of slipping stitches, then dividing the stitches onto two needles and kitchenering them, but I kept telling myself that the extra hour or so it took me now would be more than made up for by the joy it would give me.

Once I'd cast it off I tried it on: and the collar cast of was tight and binding. It made the whole vest sit wrongly. Pulling it out was nearly impossible, in the end I had to cut out the cast off. So frustrating when I thought I was being so clever!

And that's another way

I have some lovely sock yarn in my stash that I don't really know what to do with, so when The Monster Socks Group on Ravelry announced they were doing a mini skein swap, I jumped in. I'm doing a double batch, so 18 mini skeins, because it works out the same for postage.
I'm very exited - the idea of sending out yarn and getting lots of other skeins back just seems like magic.

And look how cute the mini skeins are:

Well, that's one way to deal with it

I'm strangely concerned with not having anything in my life that I don't use, or am not going to use. Basically I somehow contracted minimilism, and now I just want to get rid of all the things. One of the things that has been bothering me for a while is the laceweight at the bottom of my stash. On Ravelry it looks like this:

But I've used half of each of those skeins, and I have other left-over lace-weight and in real life it looks like this:

So I'm giving the lot to the Op Shop. My local Salvos sells a lot of random yarn, so hopefully someone will enjoy this. I will certainly enjoy having less things in my life.

(And while I'm here, my current stash-count is 15555 metres.)

Yarnlaong - the one where it is June

Funnily enough, this month I'm reading Golden Fool the second book in the Tawny Man trilogy. Last month I was reading the first. I have actually read some other books in between! If youw ant to follow my reading, you can find me on Goodreads as Sharondblk.
I am knitting the Kate Davies vest Carraig Fhada. I've had the yarn for it since the beginning of 2017, and i can't believe it's taken me this long to start it. I'm knitting it in the specified yarn, Kate Davies' Buchaille, and loving it.  It's such a fun knit: beautiful yarn, intuitive pattern with a great rhythm to it.
This weekend is a long weekend here (Queen's Birthday, even though it isn't, biologically speaking, the Queen's birthday)
I am looking forward to going in to the three day weekend with such a compelling book and fun knitting project on the go. There will, of course, also be some running, some socialising and a lot of sleeping, but it's the reading and knitting that I'm lo…