Thursday, August 30, 2012

No real knitting content, and a kitten

I don't have a lot to say about knitting in this post. I've been plugging away pleasantly at the body of Straboy. It looks almost exactly like it did last post, except a bit longer.
Aside from that I made the Matcha Biscuits from the August Cookie A shipment. They are subtle and it's hard to see in this photo, but they are green. Which makes sense, since they are green tea biscuits. 10 minutes after I started making them I got a call from my parents saying they were coming around, and they certainly seemed to enjoy them. Even if I haven't got around to knitting with the rather more vivid green yarn, at least I am playing along by baking the biscuits.

Also, and in more exciting news, we got a new kitten. She's a half Bengal, called Miss  Juniper (as an aside, we got her from the  Keysborough Animal Shelter who are wonderful and do a fantastic job of trying to match people with the right animals.)
 She's six months old and pretty well behaved. Still when there is yarn in front of her face, she just can't resist. I And, like the other cats, she takes every available opportunity to photobomb, so I expect we'll be seeing her in the back -and fore- ground of many of my photos.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I've been knitting away at Straboy for Leon and it's such a satisfying knit, which is good because I suspect I'm, going to be knitting away at it for a very long time! It's fairly slow going because there is a lot going on, with the cables and the trinity stitch and so on.
It's so satisfying because all of that action keeps things interesting, but the pattern is easy enough that I only have to glance at it at the start of every second round. The yarn is a joy to work with and, slowly slowly, the body of a wonderful jumper is emerging.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Made with love. Or something.

I finished Raph's socks.

Wrapped the ballband around them, so that he'll know how to look after them

And gift wrapped them.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I try to think of myself as a positive person, although sometimes I just get into a negative state of mind about things. Like my bank, which I need to leave because I hate them. Yes, a minor thing happened and they (eventually) sorted it out, but now I just shudder when I see their logo, and get angry when they send me letters, and that includes my bank statements. When an organisation is making me belligerent, it’s time to go.
Belligerent is a good word for how I feel about Raph’s socks. There is nothing inherently wrong with them. The Old maiden aunt yarn is lovely, I love knitting on my Signature DPNs, David’s toe up sock book is easy enough to follow. And yet this project just feels beset by problems.

Partly it’s because I’m knitting for someone who can’t try it on. What if it doesn’t fit? What if it’s too short? Or too long? Or long enough but too tight? Or, or, or.

Partly it’s toe up socks. I like knitting on DPNs, and toe up socks are best suited to other needles. Also, I got the first sock started with no issues on DPNs. On a train no less. The second one took me five tries. FIVE. It was something about the way I was doing one of the increases. I was so frustrated by the time I got it going that I was thinking of presenting Raph with one sock and teaching him to knit so he could have a pair.

Partly it’s that I decided to knit from the centre of the ball. I haven’t done that for absolutely ages and that’s because it can lead to yarn barf, which I’m suffering from now.

Partly- a big part really – is I hate wrap and turn short rows, and that’s how the heel turn works on these socks. I’ve finished that part now I just need to do the heel flap and then it’s smooth sailing. 2 x 2 rib until it’s done, and being the second sock, it’s done when it’s the same length as the first sock. And then I can take a deep breath, gift wrap them and pretend I knitted them putting love and care into every stitch, as Raph deserves, rather than rage and hate, seething and anger.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A simple solution

I stressed for a bit about what to do about Raph's sock. I couldn't get any more of the yarn, and I really wanted to use up all the yarn that I had. Eventually I decided to go toe up. I spent a little while converting, or rather trying to convert, the Hickory socks into a toe up, 72 stitch version, using David's toe up cookbook as a guide. After struggling for a while I realised that Raph doesn't care if his socks have a plain 2x2 rib or the wandering rib from the Hickory pattern. I cast on for 2x2 rib socks, and it's going well so far.

In other (almost) sock news, I made one of the Cookie A Recipes, a pistachio biscuit. They were delicious, although my tip for the day would be: if a recipe calls for 150 grams of salted pistachios, shelled, buy the shelled ones, because removing that number of shells takes forever.  The recipe said it would make 5 dozen, and I only got one dozen, so maybe my biscuits were huge. Either way, they were very tasty, and are especially good with cream - but then, what isn't?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August Cookie A (spoilers) and a dilema

The Cookie A sock club August instalment in the mail today. Very exciting, the patterns are innovative and interesting and I adore the second one, with the leaves. I'll be knitting that in the club yarn, which is this amazing acid green. The other pattern will, I think look amazing in a multi coloured yarn and we all know I have plenty of that. I don't actually know when I'm going to get to either of these patterns, because I have a whole lot of other things I have to knit RIGHT NOW.
 (These pictures are Cookie A's, taken from the Ravelry page)

Tonight I am casting on a pair of socks for Raph, as mentioned yesterday. This amazingly beautiful Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Bamboo came in the mail yesterday. The colour is perfect for a man who is unadventurous about socks. When I saw him last I asked what colour sock he was wearing and he said immediately, without checking "Black. All my socks are black". My only concern, and one I rarely have is yardage. I'm making a 72 stitch version of Hickory and he has size 11 feet. There are 400 yards in a skein. I think yardage will be tight, and that makes me very nervous. I've been to Old Maiden Aunt's website, but the yarn is out of stock. I did email her to see if maybe she has some not on her website. I could do the heel and toes in different yarn - I have a grey Patonyle that would work and it would also make the heels stronger. 

I could buy two skeins of another bamboo yarn, but I'm can't find any in Melbourne and postage times could be an issue, and I've actually struggled to find dark yarn with bamboo anywhere. If you have any ideas, please pop them in the comments.

ETA: I realise I could do them toe up, which would solve all of this problem, but I don't have enough experience with toe up socks to convert the pattern, and I can't find a toe up pattern I love.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two sleeves and a pause

Right now I'm knitting Leon a cabled jumper, because he hasn't had a new jumper for a while. This one is Straboy from Contemporary Irish Knits. I'm knitting it in British Blue Faced Leicester and the texture of the fabric is amazing, it's really soft, but it's still got great body and stitch definition. I'm glad I started with the sleeves, because there are some, shall we say original interpretation of the cable pattern going on. It took me a while to get the rhythm of the cable crosses, but now I have them in my head, so it's all good.

The other reason I am glad I started with the sleeves is that I have to take a break from this so make a friend a pair of socks. He actually asked me if I would knit him a jumper and I had to say no, even though he is one of the people I love most in the world - when I say he is like family to me, I mean I was seated at the family table at his wedding. I had to say no because he is both very large and currently loosing weight. Imagine knitting a size XXX large jumper, and by the time it's finished the recipient saying , "Oh,  I'm a medium now". So socks it is.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ask and I shall make it for you

On Saturday night my mother in law mentioned that she has cold feet at night and has started sing a hot water bottle. The she casually asked if I have any patterns for hot water bottle covers.
Hint anyone? I offered to make her one, because she is someone I know loves and uses her knitted home goods.

 I dug this Pear Tree ten ply left overs from the stash, and got to work. This really knit up ridiculously fast.This is the same pattern as I used last time, but I popped in a plaited cable instead of the twist one I used last time.
I used the same mods as last time, starting it off with Judy's magic, and just like last time I am really happy with it. Now to put it in the post, so my mother in law can have lovely toasty feet tomorrow night.