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I spoke too soon and now I have two hats

Remember when I said that my planned pooling on the Sockhead hat was going really well? I spoke too soon, and instead of striping nicely, like it had been, it pooled horribly for about four rows, which basically ruined it for me.

 I think the pooling happened when I was knitting at lunchtime at work, while reading. This meant that A. I didn't notice and B. it looks like my gauge was looser, which meant that the colours stacked instead of spiralling. Once I realised what had happened I kept knitting anyway, because I was out and didn't really want to deal with it, but I got less and less happy with it. 
I finished it anyway, because that's the sort of thing I do. The first hat used 48 grams, so I had enough yarn for a second hat. As soon as I finished I cast on a second hat, exactly the same, 112 stitches on 3mm needles. 

This one worked perfectly the whole way. Stripes, no pooling and look at that beautiful crown. I'll give the first one to KOGO and hopefully someone…
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Unravelled Wednesday - preparing to holiday

On Saturday we are flying to Brisbane, Queensland for some much needed warmth and sunshine. Of course, when planning a holiday, my thoughts turn to what I want to knit and read. In preparation I have been "swatching" for Leon's next jumper.

 I'm doing an Elizabeth Zimmerman saddle shoulder sweater, because, usually for Leon I have to either design my own or heavily modify a commercial pattern, and I resent paying ten bucks for a pattern that I have to resize. So I started a sleeve as a swatch, finished it, blocked it and started the second one.

The yarn, the stunning new colab between Purl Box and Great Ocean Road Woollen Mill is called Field of Dreams, and it is dreamy - polworth ,linen and silk. It knits up very fast, hence my 3 hour sleeve. We are only going for a week, but I'm bringing a second project, just in case. 

I abandoned the review book I was reading (full review of Trapeze by Leigh Ansell can be found here). It feels like an awful thing, not even being…

Things that are more important

I had a plan for the weekend. I was going to to the Melbourne Yarn Festival and buy some yarn, and then I organised lunch nearby for a bunch of the Richmond Knitters. Fun, right?
Instead, this happened -  on Friday night I went with Elise to see her mother who was in hospital. They had just decided she was in the "make her comfortable" stage. On Saturday morning she died. Today we buried her. And it's sad, and Elise is so, so, sad. Obviously, no yarn festival for me. But I was reminded, looking around at the funeral, how important our friends are. Elise's friends showed up in droves. She has friends from school, and university and a lot of friends from choir, which is to Elise what the Richmond Knitters are to me. There is no moral to this story, except pat your yarn and tell your friends you love them.

Once Upon a Sock - August 2019

My August just flew by, with a ridiculous number of small projects - a baby jumper, three hats, a cropped jumper for me and and a colourwork cowl. But you are not here to here about all of that, you are here for the socks. There were two pairs this month, a pair of sneaker liners for me, and a pair of full sized socks, also for me.

The full socks were a Rachael Coopey pattern from the book "Harry Potter Knits" or 'Wizarding Knits, as it was called in countries were copy-write is a thing. I bought the book years and years ago, and this is the first thing I knit from it.  They were really fun socks, mirroring each other, and quite fancy, without being difficult.

I knit them from Socks that Rock that I redyed myself. I was very happy with the colours, but I was also aware going in to it that the yarn got brighter as it went along. Not surprising, as they were dyed on different base colours. It made me remember how much I love a really tight twist sock yarn. Most of the yarns …

Unravelled and Yarnalong - The one where it is spring

Spring! I'm so excited. It's (almost) light when I get up at 6am, and it doesn't get dark until 6pm, and there was a hint of warmth in the air this morning. I know that we will likely have another cold patch before it really warms up, but I'm celebrating every bit of warmth I can. This week I'm reading the next (and final?) Jackson Brodie novel, Big Sky partly because Kat finished it last week, and partly because I wanted to read a substantive but not heavy book.

 I knew that I will soon be listening to the sequel to The Dry, so it was partly just a decision as to which detective novel I wanted to read first. I am enjoying visiting with Jackson and Julia and other old friends. I love the way Kate Atkinson has characters that populate many of the books of this series - and not just main characters, but bit players too.

In audiobooks, I wanted a contrast to detective fiction, so I started Daisy Jones and the Sixby Taylor Jenkins Reid. I am loving it - it's written…

I can dye a rainbow

I had a few small balls of left over sock yarn of 20 to 60 grams that I thought would be perfect to dye up as minis for my blanket. I wanted some solid or semi solid colours, and I wanted to practice dying in more subtle way - traditionally I have just chucked heaps of dye on, and it's come out fine, but after knitting with some Unicorn Tails, I wanted to try for a subtler semi solid.

I decided to just use the primary colours and dye a rainbow, mixing as I went. The red I used was a little pinker than I would like, but I decided to use what I had, rather than  buying more.

I'm very pleased with the results. I learnt a lot about colour mixing, particularly in relation to my less successful attempts (orange and browns) and I have 17 new colours to add to the blanket. I'd better get knitting!

Modern Sourdough - A beautiful book about bread

I bake all my own bread, and have done for the last decade or so. The photos in this post are of my bread, made with commercial yeast.

Originally I made bread in a bread machine, and then I “graduated” to oven baking – I must admit I don’t knead the bread by hand, I used my beloved Thermomix. I have dabbled in sourdough in the past when I saw Modern Sourdough by Michelle Eshkeri on Netgalley I said "yes please" very quickly. Michelle is a Jewish, London based bakery owner who has a similar cultural background to me, and a lot of the breads are familiar to me from my everyday life - I bake challah whenever I host Friday night dinner and I'm obsessed with bubka. 

Even on my tablet this book is exquisite. Very clear recipes, accompanied by stunning photos. The text is interesting, informative and clear. So, will I be getting my starter started and my dough soured? Probably not. We only bake once a week, and this book is quite clear about the extra preparation and planning…