Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dying with Ursula

A little while ago - at the end of October apparently - Ursula and I dyed some yarn. She blogged about it here, quite thoroughly - In her post she wandered what they would like knit up as mitred squares - so here they are - the top four squares being the yarn that we dyed:

I wish I'd thought to knit them up in the same order that Ursula photographed them, but that's a very tiny regret in the scheme of a blankie!

Anyway I'm off to cast on the socks with the Blue BFL that Ursula mentioned, we are doing a Cookie A Thelonius knit-a-long. Yes, the Cookie A obsession continues!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spindle love

I finished the dyed by me merino that I was spinning on my Ist Turkish spindle. I loved spinning of the Turkish. I didn't love the plying. I won't mention the maker of my plying spindle, but it was quite badly designed and the edge was bevelled and thin, and after a couple of falls the edge has started to sort of flake away. I'm not that sad though, because I have a Bosworth Maxi in the mail.
I love the stripes and how they came out. This was originally intended for socks, but came out way to thin. I got 472 meters from 90 grams and am going to make a Romi Hill shawl. I seem to do a lot of spinning for Romi Hill shawls, but I need to actually knit them.

As soon as I finished plying I started spinning on my never been used Bosworth Birdseye Maple mini. I love both the spindle and the fibre, which is a EGMTKs superwash merino / nylon blend, which I dyed myself. Both the spindle and fibre are pure joy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Norovember parcel

Two weeks ago Katie came to Monday night knitting with a Noro two stripe scarf (Rav link) made of Noro Kochoran. I had never heard of Kochoran, but its a bulky yarn, made of 50 % wool, 30 % angora and 20 % silk. Katie's scarf was so lovely and squishy and warm and pastel that I came home and immediately ordered yarn to make my own.
I hadn't thought of doing this scarf in pastel and was a bit concerned about choosing the colours on-line, but I went and picked up my parcel today and it's perfect.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Norovember socks: finished and started


I finished the Kalajoki socks. I'm very happy with them. They are almost matchy, which is not bad considering the second sock was made of scraps of left over balls.

Princess Daisy is clearly very happy with them too and really showed her love during my little photoshoot.

I'm doing another pair of Noro socks, this time out of left overs of actual sock wool for the Sneaker Liner Project.
The challenge here is not the pattern, I've put together a pattern involving 4 row stripes, an after thought heel and a wedge toe, it's that I've decided to write it up and publish it on Ravelry. I thought that would be quite easy, because it's just a series of simple steps, but then I sat down the write it. Communicating the actual steps is considerably harder than just coming up with the idea. Hopefully I'll be back in a couple of days with a pair of anklets and an intelligible pattern.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Coming to the Norovember party

It's been Norovember for 20 days and I am just about to cast on my first Noro project for the month. This is not due to a lack of love for Noro, but because I have very little in my rapidly diminishing stash. I've got 100 grams of left over sock yarn in three different colour ways and this:

Which are the remnants from my mothers Adult Surprise Jacket. I bought the yarn in my first ever Webs purchase and my first ever Noro project, and I used 11 and a half balls for the ASJ. I think I bought 16 balls! I may have been over excited about buying Noro. I have been using the leftovers for various things ever since. Ravelry tells me that this is my sixth project using left overs. I don't love the colours, orange is more my mothers style than mine, but they are quite pretty, in that amazing Noro way.

I'm making the
Kalajoki socks, which is a free pattern I've had my eye on for ages. Also in celebration of Norovember I put in another Noro order at Webs. Hopefully I will receive that package before the end of the month, and I'll show you then, but I can assure you it's not 16 balls of Silk Garden, featuring orange as the dominant colour.

Friday, November 18, 2011

FO: Fair Isle Mitts




For the last week I've been knitting these colour work mitts in Wollmeise. I very much enjoyed the two colour knitting, although because I had to keep an eye on the charts it wasn't the best for TV watching. Which didn't really stop me. I prefer shows with lots of dialogue and very little action.

I really like how they look, and the attention to detail in the pattern. The palm stripes amuse me and the braid and diamond pattern on the wrist is so pretty I am going to reuse it in another project very soon.

There is a slight curl at the ends. Hope fully this will block out, although I'm not really sure what I can block them on. Maybe a can of "V" except I don't drink that stuff, and don't really want to buy it just for blocking. Any ideas?

Monday, November 14, 2011

FO: Last chance cardigan

I named my Rosumund cardigan the Last Chance Cardigan because I felt it was my last chance to knit something in 10 ply before summer arrives. At some points in knitting it felt like my last chance to prove my proficiency as a knitter. Despite a well written, easy to follow pattern I struggled at points. I accidentally made the cable differently from that in the pattern. I was consistent and it looks fine, and once again I am reminded that knitting under the influence can have unexpected consequences. Then I decided to do the cable pattern around the bottom edge. I completed it, cast off and tried it on, at which point I realised that the cables make the bottom pull in very tight. Not flattering. I pulled it out and reknit the bottom.

As a finished product I think I like it, although it has come out more cute and less elegant than I was hoping for. I like the way it really is reversible and there are a number of ways to style it - done up only at the top,


only with the hooks and eyes, stocking stitch side out, reverse side out and of course I like having another green jumper. I also like the fact that today really is my last chance to wear a jumper, even a sleeveless one. Summer is well and truly on its way and for me the endless long hot sunny days more than compensate for not knitting and wearing jumpers for a season.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rosie the Elephant

On Friday a box was delivered, from Majacraft. I was preparing dinner for seven and didn't have time to open it. On Saturday morning I put her together and her she is: Rosie the elephant wheel.She is beautiful and elegant, but hulking compared to Gemima my Little Gem.
Pretty much as soon as I had her set up my brother and his family came around. To entertain Isabella my four year old niece I "taught" her to spin on the Little Gem. Considering how little she is I thought she did a good job of treadling. Carrie, her mother, has concerns about Isabella's physical co-ordination and told me that she would really like Isabella learn to knit and spin. I think Isabella is just a member of this family and being uncoordinated goes with our curly hair and brown eyes. Still I very much look forward to teaching her to knit and spin once she is a little bit older.

As for Rosie, she is a joy to spin on. I'm spinning the second bobbin of lace weight, to ply with the first, which you can just see on Gemima in the photo above, and it's taking a little bit of getting used to because spinning on her feels different. The height of the orifice is a bit higher, which I'm hoping will be better for my posture and I have switched to the e-orifice, which I think I prefer.
And as a piece of furniture she is so beautiful. The wheel that I learnt to spin on had a spoked ships wheel of a similar style and I find it charming. Today is cloudy, Leon has a new computer universe (Skyrim, for those who care) and I have a good audio book and a brand new wheel to spend the day getting to know. Bliss.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A very Von Trap solution

Once a month Leon and I have my parents over for a formalish dinner. By formal I mean three or four courses and I put on a dress and all mobiles are turned off for the duration. We normally have place mats on the table. I know my father thinks that a table cloth is more appropriate, but I'm not a big fan, and besides, we didn't own one.Tonight we are having Leon's parents as well as mine for dinner. We only own 4 matching place mats and Leon said point blank that we have to have something on the table, because he doesn't want it to get scratched. I said point blank that we were not going to use non matching place mats.So, I pulled apart an old doona cover that we don't use anymore - I love it, but Leon does not. After I had finished sewing the table cloth I realised that the off cuts would be just enough for matching serviettes.

I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out and, as Leon said "our grandmothers would be proud of us". Mine certainly would, being both thrifty and a sewer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2012: The year of the Cookie.

Last year Cookie A launched her inaugural sock club. I thought about joining, but I was also thinking about joining the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rocking Sock Club. I couldn’t make up my mind, so I didn’t join either. A few weeks ago I stumbled across some of the Cookie A patterns and yarns that were part of the 2011 club and I had to join for 2012. There was no prevaricating, no big decision. I wanted in.

Sign ups began 9 September, 8 am Pacific Standard Time, which is 3am Melbourne time. I told myself I wasn’t going to wake up at three in the morning to sign up, especially as Cookie A told me (on Ravelry) that she thought that there would still be spots available in the morning. Still, at 5 am I was sitting in the dark squinting at the computer screen, which seemed very, very bright. Despite my inability to see straight at 5am my 5.05 I was signed up and back in bed.And too excited to sleep. So today I am quite tired, but thrilled to be playing along with Cookie A and the other club members for 2012.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last chance cardigan



It's spring in Melbourne. What that means, this year at least, is that we are alternating 2 or three days of winter with two or three days of summer. Nothing in between. I thought that before the consistently warm weather hits I would knit one last heavyweight jumper and I have been obsessed with Rosumund's cardigan since Katie knit it.
So I cast on this simple knit... twice, since the first time I couldn't count. I think I'm doing one of the cables wrong, but since I'm being consistent it's okay, I guess.
I tried to work it out yesterday after a bottle of sparkling shiraz. Lets just say it's hard to judge what's going on with your knitting when you can only see out one eye at time. So, what should be a simple project is making me feel uncomfortable. On the plus side, the Pear Tree yarn is knitting up beautifully and the stitch markers (from See Jane Knit yarns) are just adorable.
I'm going to Lilydale for work tomorrow which should give me a chance to do some serious knitting. Hopefully I'll be dividing for the sleeves tomorrow and then I can try it on. By the weekend I'll have half a jumper on my lap, and the weather forecast is for a blissful thirty degrees.