Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Holiday

Leon and I are flying to Russia today. We're doing the Transiberia Express and ending up in Mongolia. I've spent a little while planning what knitting I'm taking. I'm knitting Angee from Sock Innovation using Collinette Jitterbug that I bought in Bendigo last year. I love this book. It's my third pair from it and I'm inending to knit my way through the entire book.
I actually cast on on Monday, and turned the heel of the first sock yesterday, so I will have most of a pair of socks by the time I get there. Unless they take my needles at airport security. We are taking three flights to get there, so that's a lot of security.
Next up a stippy scarf inspired by Jen's. I bought this Mimi Mochi sock wool at the Sock Summit last year. I'm a bit obsessed with self striping wool, but its a singles yarn, and too fuzzy to make the type of socks I like. Should make a lovely scarf.
And then, if there is time, I'm casting on for Featherweight Cardigan. I bought some Blue Moon Fiber arts laceweight silk while under the influence of yarn fumes at the Sock Summit. It's the only thing in my stach I didn't have a specificnuse for, and then I found this pattern. Did you know that you can knit cardigans in laceweight? This was a revelation to me. When I get back I'm going to spin some lace weight and knit a jumper.
I just realised that most of my knitting this hiloday is going to be using yarn I bought last holiday.
I'm also taking my little spindle of course, althought not on the plane. The fibre I have just started spinning is beautiful, Half silk and half wool and so pretty.
Sorry about the lack of photos, Leon has packed the camera.
So, I'm off to finish up around the house before we leave. I doubt I will have any internet access while I'm away, I'll be back in blogland in excactly a month. Hopefully I'll have fibry travel tales to share. And maybe photos of yaks.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Handspun, handknitted bathmatt

Last Tuesday I was at the pub with some wool I had spun. I originally intended it to be a jumper for Leon, but it turned out far too thick. In fact perfect bathmatt wool. I had a pattern with me, but when I cast it on it looked aweful, and was not fun to knit. So I made a mitred square, but cast off with about 40 stitches left, so it sits against the toilet:

I never imagined I would put a picture of my toilet on my blog.

It was very simple: cast on 121 stitches, mark middle stitch. Knit in garter stitch, purling middle stitch on the wrong side, doing a double decrease on the right side. Cast off when it fits nicely around the base of the toilet.

It's so springy and squooshy and warm on the feet..



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bendigo!


On Friday I caught the train to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show, the country's largest celebration and exhibition of all things sheepy and woolly.


I had fun from the moment I got the Southern Cross Station. Joining me on the hideously early 7.10am train were Sonia, Susan, Debs, Patricia and Sophie - who we hadn't met before, but she lives just around the corner.

The first thing I saw when I got there (after the coloured sheep!) was the people who make Majacraft wheels - not the people who sell them, the people who actually make them. I had a chance to spin on the Little Gem, and fell in love. I nearly spent the rest of the day sitting there spinning... But I'm glad I didn't. I bought fibre, and yarn and only three balls of sock wool. Everything I bought was on my list of things to buy, and I bought everything on the list, except a Turkish spindle, and that was option.

Sonia, Deb and Patricia bought spindles, so I may have companions in the spinning obsessions soon.


We had lamb burgers for lunch and looked at sheep, goats and alpacas.

Fibre on the hoof! Sheep don't like being stroked, but alpacas like it when you rub them under the chin.



At the end of the day, I picked up my wheel, my overlarge, over full hand bag, and my three bags of purchases and with the generous assistance of my knitting friends made my way back to the train, and so to Melbourne.

Now I am off to see my new niece. I knit a wee jumper and hat in Ixchel Angora/Merino in purple. Super pretty.

Monday, July 12, 2010

That F**king lace ribbon scarf

Over two years ago I started a Lace Ribbon Scarf. This was when I had just joined Ravelery and just before I started knitting with the Richmond knitters. And I struggled with it. I thought it was because I had not read charts before, and never done a yarn over, let alone a double yarn over.
So I put it aside. I thougt I would come back to it when I was more experienced. Yesterday I picked it up again. Now I can read charts, and have done some simple lace knitting. And I found the pattern completely unintuitive and unenjoyable. A combination of these factors and the bamboo wool have left my hands very sore. So, I apologise for my language at knit night yesterday, and say goodbye to the scarf. It's getting frogged and I'm going to knit a bathmatt out of chunky handspun wool.
This is the second clapotis I’ve made:

It’s one of only three patterns I have made more than once – the other two being the baby surprise jacket and a tea cosy. This one is for Carrie, my sister-in-law’s birthday. When she saw me making mine, she asked if I would make her one. There are some substantial differences: mine is made of sock wool that I dyed myself, and I did many more repeats than the pattern called for, so it is about 2 metres long. Carrie’s was made exactly as the pattern called for, except on 5.5mm needles, rather than 5. Also, checking Ravelry my last one took me a month to finish, while this one was done and dusted in 9 days. I have been knitting quite a lot, perhaps to take my mind off all the other things that are going on. Nothing bad is happening, but there is a bit of disruption, including getting my WorkCover claim finalised finally, and interviewing for the job I have been acting in for the last 7 months. On the plus side there is Bendigo in Friday and I start a month’s leave next Thursday, to do the Trans Siberian railway.


I made it in Cleckheaton Kaleidoscope, because I love self striping yarn. The wool is pretty, but annoyed me. It was a singles yarn and I think I prefer to work with plied yarn. Also, it only had 65 meters a ball and it took nearly 11 balls to finish. This would have been fine, but I originally read it as 95 meters and had to desperately locate another ball, which is a different dye lot and the colours are slightly brighter. Luckily it doesn’t really matter in a design like this. Overall I’m happy with it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Leo(n)



Technical: The pattern is Leo, from knitty. I made some modifications to the pattern. I knit the body and sleeves in the round, because I prefer knitting in the round and don’t like seaming. I left off the roll on the neckline, because Leon said he would prefer it that way.

I took ten centimetres off the diameter, so that it would fit. When I did this, I failed to realise that I should use a number that divided evenly by two. I have 29 repeats, which meant that, when I went to divide I had an uneven number of repeats, and ended up with 14 on the back and 15 on the front. In order to get that wonderful effect of a centred line down the front and back a number of repeats that divide evenly by two, but is an odd number would have been more appropriate (so 30 pattern repeats would have been ideal). That said, I don’t think the unevenness shows, and, because there is an odd number of repeats on the front, I still got that flowy effect that makes the original pattern so special.

I used just under ten balls of wool (of the 15 I bought). Since I bought them unlabeled from the ACS mill in Wangaratta don’t know what length they are. I am tempted to skein up a ball on my niddy noddy to measure, but would rather allocate my time doing actual crafting activities.

Other: I love this jumper. It’s the third jumper that I have made for Leon and the first that I have cast off and said straight away “this is great”. The fabric feels great, soft and stretchy and drapey. I enjoyed knitting it, and it always felt like it was growing swiftly. I knit one sleeve first to check my tension, which meant that after finishing the body I only had one sleeve to go. That is definitely a technique I will use again. I love the colour, I love the fit, I love the pattern. And, as much to the point, so does Leon.



Sunday, July 4, 2010


Helen asked me to knit her an iPhone cover.







Here's hoping she can't tell the difference between knitting and crotchet.