Thursday, May 30, 2013

A trip down memory lane

or rather, a needle strewn alley full of discards that are no longer useful or loved.

When I started knitting I used straight long bamboo needles. I bought a set from Spotlight, the one with the fake tapestry case. I don’t remember actually knitting with them. In 2006 I heard somewhere about Denise Interchangeable needles.  (This was well before I'd heard of Ravelry) I bought a set, on my 30th birthday, and thought “now I have all the needles I need. I’ll never have to buy a knitting needle again”.


It turns out that those needles are everything I dislike, but, being a new knitter, I had no idea. They are plastic, and blunt and the cables are really, really thick. I eventually gave the set away. I bought some fixed Addi’s, which I really liked, but struggled because I needed a wide range of needles. Some time after that I bought the Addi click set, which I quite like, but I find it comes unattached sometimes. At the time I liked that the needles were not too pointy, now I like my needles sharp. After that I bought the knitpro interchangeables in wood, since I already had a metal interchangeable set. They are pretty good, but I find they sometimes come loose, if you don’t tighten them enough, and the way I pull on them wrecks the cable join – I’ve also destroyed two sets of Signature Circulars. The other day I bought some Addi Turbo Lace. These needles are perfect. They are sharp, the cable is just right, they are affordable. Now I just need to collect the rest of the sizes.

And to think, 7 years ago, I thought I would never have to buy another knitting needle!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Row row row your … shorts?

As previously mentioned during Good Beer Week I took a break from knitting Leon’s Wedge socks. These are constructed using garter stitch short rows, with a short row toe and heel. Prior to starting those I knit Hawthorne, which is largely garter stitch short rows. To continue the theme I am currently knitting Veera’s Stripe Study shawl, which is endless, squishy, joyous garter stitch short rows.


I’m making this for Elise, who keeps on “hinting” that it’s getting cold. She asked me for a scarf / shawl in grey. I wasn’t thrilled about knitting a grey shawl, I thought it would be really dull, but I dove into the stash and pulled out some more of that wonderful endless Pear Tree from Bendigo last year, or maybe the year before (I think this is the last of it) and some alpaca sock yarn I bought at Woolfest. I really love the way the two colours look together, to the point where I am planning a Different Lines in greys for myself. But I won’t be knitting that until some time after my next project, which is the Travelling Sweater, a cardigan made up of – you guessed it – short rows!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Good Beer Week, socks


Good Beer Week was a whole lot of fun and today, Sunday, I finished Leon's Good beer Week Socks. It would be poetic to say that I started them at the beginning of Good Beer Week, and finished them on the last day, but I actually put them down for three days because I only had about an hour and a half's worth of knitting left on them , and on each of those days I went out for beer events that were definitely going to go longer than that. These socks alternated between amusing me by their clever design and annoying me by the splotchyness of the yarn, the apparent oddness of the toe placement and just a slight weariness that leads me to think I need a bit of a break from socks.

Still, they are done, Leon says they are comfortable and they are certainly a viable, wearable pair of socks.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A sock mystery...

 would that be called a sockestry? Anyway. For Good Beer  Week I decided to knit a relatively simple sock: Wedge, by Cookie A. I'm using the yarn that I bought last time I went to Wangaratta and, while I don't hate it, it's certainly not stripping up in the way I expected.

The mysery is this: I'm 90 percent sure I followed the pattern correctly. On  the foot the sock looks and feels fine. But take it off and it looks like the heels and the toe are rotated by 90 degrees. 
 
I looked on Ravelry and others seem to have found a similar thing. I'm going to finish the second sock and see if it looks the same. It's all very strange, but I guess if it's a comfortable, functional sock that what matters. Except it bothers me, because it's weird and odd.   

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wangarrata Weekend

This week weekend marks the beginning of Good Beer Week 2013, and Leon and I put the bikes on the back of my parents car and drove up to Wangaratta. We stopped off at the ACS shop, but there was nothing there I absolutly had to have, which I was not sad about, because I am still tryinhg to knit my stash down.

On Saturday during the day we rode up to Beechworth a visited the Bridge Road Brewery. I wish I had taken photos, because there were sheep everywhere. So many sheep! I finished my Hawthorne shawl on Thursday, and since it was pretty cold I wore it all weekend. No photos though, because I haven't blocked it yet, and I think that will make it look quite different.

On Saturday night we attended an event  called Hop vs Grape. Basically they bussed us out to a winery and fed us 5 courses delicious, each one matched with both a beer and a wine. Needless to say a good time was had by all. I took the opportunity to take some photos of Leon's latest jumper.

So that's the start of  Good Beer Week for me. For the rest of the week I'm going to try to match my knitting to my beer, which is to say, keeping it simple.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I can see you coming, Winter

After I finished Leon’s jumper I decided to finish my winter set. I only had the scarf / shawl left and the unseasonably warm weather were having has ended, and I want to be warm, snug and matchy. As you all know, I love Susssana IC, and these curved style shawls, which start with the long lace edge and work back towards the simple garter short rows are my idea of fun. Hawthorne starts with 34 rows of lace and then its garter all the way. I cast on on Sunday and yesterday work sent me to Geelong, which was wonderful train knitting time, and I finished the lace section.  I wonder if I can get the garter section finished by the weekend? Leon and I are going away and it would be fun to be able to wear the set.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sometimes a gift gives more to the giver

I went over to Anna's place on Sunday to finally give her winter set.  I love wrapping my friends in warmth and love. The weather has been exceptionally mild and we were sitting outside gossiping about nothing much and drinking coffee, as you do with your old friends. I was knitting on my blanket, (I’ve finished Leon’s jumper, photo’s to follow, but bamboo/cotton takes a really long time to dry)


Anna’s five year old Grace came up and said I had to teach her to knit. She is just adorable, blond and pretty and generally well behaved. She climbed up on my lap and I cast on on some spare needles. Together we knit a row. While she’s a little young to actually be able to knit I appreciate her enthusiasm, and look forward to continuing to spread the knitting love, both by keeping my friends warm and by teaching others to knit.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Saving the socks

In the past I’ve worn through some of my socks really quickly.  The socks that I wear with shoes last and last, but the ones I largely wear around the house tend to wear through the ball of the foot much quicker. I largely ascribed this to walking around on the carpet, although it’s also true that to go to our outside rubbish bins, or the garage where I store a horrifying amount of stuff, we actually have to leave our property, walk along and asphalt footpath for the length of the building and then go down a concrete driveway. And it’s not unusual for me to forget to put shoes on. As it’s getting colder I found myself feeling a little bad about wearing my socks in a way that I knew would wear them out quicker, so when I saw my favourite shoe brand sells SLIPPERS I had to have some.


These are lovely and comfortable, and fit perfectly over a pair of hand knit socks. It’s going to be warm feet for me this winter!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Photos, and thoughts on photos

I happy snapped some photos of my finished shawl at the tram stop on the way to meet with Kate, but I know that she has a decent camera and proper photography skills, so I asked if she would take some pictures of it, and she was kind enough to do so.

Other than, hopefully, showing how wonderful this shawl is, it reminded me of how little I know about photography, and how much prettier my photos could be if I a) Had better technical skills and B) Knew more.  I hear myself saying things like "I want to be a knitter, not a photographer", but I also want pretty, pretty photos for this Blog and for Ravelry. I was rather hoping Leon would get interested in photography, but that really, really hasn't happened. So, I'm going to take a Craftsy course to try to improve my skills, and I'm going to ask my friends who enjoy taking photos to help out more often. In the meantime, thanks to Kate for photos that show how lovely this shawl actually is.  




Friday, May 3, 2013

I found a tiny sheep!

 Not a real, live one unfortunately.


 











I was trying to make order on my shelves, and I came across the bag that Jen gave me for my birthday. Inside was this little sheep. I vaguely remember making him at work last year. I didn't blog him, or put him on Ravelry then because he's a little bit "special". I think I was going to make him some friends, who where less challenged, and then work got busy and I got distracted. Now, I can either work on a tiny flock of sheep, or I can tidy up my craft cupboard. Decisions, decisions!
 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Head things

I'm not sure I've ever mentioned it on this blog, but I don't have a car, and ride a bicycle for transport. To keep my ears warm and my helmet clean I wear a head thing - thats the best description I have.


Like a tube of fabric. In summer its thin sort of Lycra stuff, and in winter a polar fleece one that I bought at a ski shop, about 8 years ago. The other day, thought I lost summer head thing, although later I found it in the corner of one of my bike panniers. I went to the Buff website to replace it, and discovered that they also make a merino one, for winters. How could I resist. And look at the packaging:

So this winter, instead of having a weird polar fleece thing on my head, I can have a weird merino thing on my head. How much nicer is that?