Saturday, November 27, 2010

Three quarters of the way there

I've been fortunate to have a three day weekend for the first time in two months. I've really been feeling the lack of time. I've spend quite a lot of the weekend crafting. I've finished spinning the singles for my Owls jumper:

500 grams of them. Unfortunately I've used up all my bobbins, so I'm going to have to make them all into balls before plying. Knitty told me I could, so hopefully it will work.

I've finished the intarsia on my fathers vest.. I was worried the Pear Tree yarn would grow in the wash, but it seems to have actually firmed up a little. As always with intarsia it looks much better after a bath.

I've finished the first of the Sunshine socks, and have started the second. Like all Cookie A patterns I've knit this is logical,easy to memorise and charming. I'm loving knitting with my handspun, for me it takes the process of making it myself to a whole new level.

Also, although I haven't actually been at work, I'm told my blocking wires arrived! It takes the edge of Monday morning, knowing I've got fibre related goodies waiting for me.

And now I'm going to go put on a frock. It's Leon and my one year anniversary and we are going to dinner at the restaurant where he proposed to me. When we got married we didn't have a cake, because it wouldn't have worked with the way we did our event. I've spent the whole year saying that I want a wedding cake. Today Leon went out and came back with this:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Green

On Friday I bought some green shoes.
I decided I needed some new green socks, so I dyed up some sock wool, using food dye and my trusty Le Cruset.
It definitely turned out green.
I'm going to make Embossed Leaves, from Interweave Favorite Socks, as soon as the book arrives in the mail.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sheep, sheep and bicycles.



Last weekend Leon and I went rode from Ballarat to Skipton on the rail trail,spent the night in Skipton and rode back. It was a lovely ride, about 150kms door to door. I was glad I cast on the sock, which was perfect train and pub knitting. the riding itself was fun, the weather was great and the views were stunning for a fibre fanatic.

It was so nice to be touring again. I think my bike was plased to be out of the city, too. My bike and I did thousands and thousands of touring kilometres, and then life sort of got in the way, and I haven't toured since before I started dating Leon (when I first met him I was on a bike tour, but that's a whole other story). It was such a pleasure to be sharing something I love with someone I love.




Thursday, November 18, 2010

I did something fairly out of character yesterday: I started a new project while I still had my fathers vest on the needles. The reason was that I've finished the back, and the front is really not a portable project. I cast on for Cookie A's Sunshine socks, out of handspun sock wool. Leon and I are going bike touring this weekend, and i thought socks would be a more suitable accompaniment. I love Cookie A - of 11 pairs of socks knit this year, 5 have been Cookie A patterns.
The vest is progressing well - as I said, the back is finished and the front is half done. Now I'm off to get the house in order before we leave for our trip.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Centenial

I moved my fathers argyle vest to started on Ravelry and noticed it was my hundredth project. I don't know why we get so excited about "100's". One day when I was out riding with my father and the odometers on our bikes ticked over the 100 mark I asked him why that is so exciting. He answered that 'Its a decimal number ending in two zeros". True but not helpful.
Anyway, of 100 projects, this is only my second intarsia one. Not because intarsia is hard, but because its annoying:


On a happier note, I found out what happened with my blocking wires - apparently the courier company left a note in my letter box. Really? Because I stalk that letterbox pretty hard. Anyway, they are now going to be delivedy to work. I'll definitely have them before the next shawl, scheduled for January.
I'm off to wind some handspun for socks, because I need something to knit in class tomorrow, and I don't think those 9 balls of tangled wool are the best plan for public knitting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A finished item photo essay



Knit:Soak:
Block with pins:

Finished:


And wear:


Happy.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Drama, Dram Drama

Drama 1: On Sunday I cast on for an argyle vest for my Father. I’m using pear Tree wool, and for the accents colours some leftover Jo-Sharp and am slightly concerned about that it might be slightly too big. At knit night, when I mentioned I was using this wool a few people piped up with “Pear Tree is lovely, but it grows”.
I bought the yarn at the Caulfield craft show earlier this year, I sort of wanted to make a cardigan for me out of it, but when I decided to knit a vest for my Dad’s birthday I realised I could use this, and reduce the stash. I had 510 grams in 5 hanks. I needed four hundred grams, so I skeined it up, cast on for the back and the front, and off I went.
Yesterday, after the pub I compared the back, which is half done, to the front and realised that one skein of the wool was slightly darker than the rest. Not enough that I noticed when casting on, but, when laid on top of each other it’s obvious.
When I get home from work today I’m going to rip the front back and start again with the spare skein. This will also give me a chance to sort out the intarsia balls of wool in a way that doesn’t leave them as hopelessly tangled as my first attempt.

Drama 2: I have not yet blocked my shawl. The blocking wires still haven’t shown up. I’ve never had a package lost in the post before, and I’m still hoping it will show up. I’m going to buy some rust proof pins over the weekend and pin block it, because the weather is getting nicer and I want to wear it.

Drama 3: There are no photos today because I am, naughtily, posting this at work. The issue is that my life is getting in the way of my crafting and blogging. Yesterday when I got home from work I had the choice between sitting on the balcony and spinning in the sunshine for an hour or going for a run: and I went for a run. And tonight after work I have pilates and then I have to cook dinner and then prepare my “learn to knit in 20 minutes” presentation. Last weekend I had quite a lot of time for spinning, and spun up a whole bobbin for Owls, this weekend there are other things, including a three year olds birthday party.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Finishing things, starting things

I finished the shawl, which makes me happy.

I love the way it looks like watermelon. I love the fact that I calculated correctly and used up nearly all my wool. It's still unblocked because I ordered some blocking wires two weeks ago from Brisbane and they haven't arrived yet. i know I need to follow that up, but I keep presuming they will arrive soon. On Friday I got home, and discovered one of those exciting blue notices from the post office. I hopped back on my bike, got to the post office and, when the lovely post office lady gave me my package, was actually disappointed that it was from Interweave! The contents did not disappoint though, Abby Frankenmont's drafting video. Abby taught me to spin on a spindle and I liked the video, it reinforced that what I am doing on the wheel is alright. And that's what I have been doing today, spinning for my Owls jumper. I had to stop for a break though. It turns out that spinning on the wheel and running use the same muscles on the backs of the legs, and mine are rather tired from a sprint session in the park yesterday. I'm also meant to be preparing a presentation - I have to teach a class for half an hour on any topic, so on Thursday I am going to attempt to teach 18 police to knit. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The four day weekend lived up to its promise. I knitted on the Sunrise shawl both inside the house and in various public locations. It's going well, and I'm around 14 rows from finishing. I'm shortening the pattern slightly, partly because I don't want a big shawl, mainly because I fear I am going to run out of wool. I have been doing desperate calculations, based on the idea that seven rows take ten grams. If I'm lucky I will make it to the end, otherwise I have some nearly white sock yarn that matches, I can cast off in that.

I spun and Navaho plied 105 meters of alpaca for Leon's scrunchable hat . I learnt that fibre preparation really impacts on the finished product and that my ability to card dirty alpaca is not very high. Also that spinning 50 / 50 silk alpaca mix is fun, fun, fun and I want more of it.

I plied together some natural brown wool, that I am going to use for my owls jumper. I was not too enthusiastic about my attempt at long draw until I plied it, but now its soft and strong and bouncy and I love it. I've been wanting to knit this jumper since I first saw it, and I think knitting it out of handspun will be amazing.

I also took advantage of Webs free postage offer. I bought 3 lots of sock wool - Malabrigo, Dream in Colour and Aranchino, and 150 grams of laceweight Malabrigo for a Lettuce jumper I have been obsessing about. I'm a little bit in love with Hannah Fettig, and with knitting jumpers out of laceweight. Oh and some spinning fibre...

I don't feel too bad about adding to the stash, since its 450 grams of wool, and I am taking 500 grams out on the first of next month, and the handspun I will be knitting for rest of November will create some real room in the stash box. Hopefully.

My parents are away and we've had their half Bengal, Fern, staying with us. wherever you look in our plce there is a spotted cat. Here's the beautiful tarragon, helping me knit my shawl.

Other than the fantastic weekend I am sulking a bit, because I have to work for a living and it's really cutting in to my crafting time. Still it's only two days until the weekend. Here's hoping my blocking wires arrive before then, so I can get the shawl off the needles, blocked and ready to wear for Monday morning. If this shawl won't cheer me up, nothing will!