Friday, June 28, 2013

A terrible terrible cat leads to spinning plans

 I’m not sure how much I’ve written about this on the blog, but Tarragon is a Bengal, and Bengals can be quite "special". He has terrible separation anxiety, and cats do not have a great many options for expressing how they are feeling. Tarragon expresses his feelings by what vets call “inappropriate urination” and what I call ‘why does Tarragon keep peeing on the bathmat”?




We’ve done everything we can think of. We have multiple litter boxes, we got him a friend (yep, that’s why we got Juniper) and we are giving him prozac. A while a go he peed on my handspun bath mat, and I put it in a hot wash. I knew it would felt, but some things just have to washed hot. It did felt. It came out a little smaller, but wonderfully  thick and ruglike.



I was looking at all the unspun wool I have, and got inspired. I’m going to spin this up thick and self stripping and knit it into a bathmat: probably a 10 stitch blanket for the bathroom and another half mitred square for the toilet. And then I am going to felt the living daylights out of it, so that I can hot wash it with impunity

Monday, June 24, 2013

A blocking journey

I finished the knitting on the Travelling Jumper. It doesn't look it in the photo below, but it's HUGE.
 As in the circumference of the body piece is 2.8 metres around. There is quite a bit of finishing on this, after blocking all that ribbing to size, it ahs to be seamed and then iCord applied. I can’t wait until it’s dry so I can start finishing it off. This is going to be one cosy, cosy cardigan, perfect for the bitter middle of winter, which we have just hit now. I’m hopping to have the whole thing finished, and reblocked if necessary, so I can wear it on the weekend. A new snugly jumper makes me hate winter just that little bit less.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Leon

Leon had a birthday today, so I made him a hedgehog.

I also bought him some home brewing equipment, although that doesn't feel so much like a gift as an investment, sort of like him giving me the yarn to make him a jumper.

I provided beer cake and  made beer ice cream and a good time was had by all. Especially the hedgehog.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Travelling with Miss Babs - Galapagos

The latest Miss Babs package came yesterday and it was a wonderful as the first one.

Beautifully presented, our destination this time is the Galapagos Islands, which is good really because I can do with a nice holiday in the warm, sunny,summer.

The yarn is a stunning blue, inspired by the blue of the sea around the Islands.

And as usual there were some really cute extras.
As a bonus this time there were two patterns, a shawl with a turtle shaped cable (!)



that I am going to make out of the club yarn for myself, and one for  some really nice socks, which I will make for Leon. But all the time I am knitting either of these, I am going to pretend to be on the deck of a catamaran, floating around in beautiful warm sunshine.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's only sort of travelling knitting

I finished the body / collar part of the Travelling Sweater on the weekend. For the majority of the knitting it was perfect travelling knitting, rythmic interesting but not requiring much concentration or looking at the pattern. I really feel like I've nailed the short row technique too. There are 36 rows that each require the picking up of wraps from 9 stitches, so I had a lot of practice. Still, because the big piece was broken into 8 parts, and each of those was divided into 4 smaller parts that took just over an hour each, it always felt like I was making progress.

Near the end though, it just got BIG. Big so it covered Tarragon while I was knitting, big so it struggled to fit in the big blue bag. Here's a picture of the finished piece:

I'm going to pretend that Fern is included for scale.

Now I'm knitting away on the back / sleeves. I'm enjoying the yarn and the fabric I'm making, but it might be a while before I do another project done entirely in 2 x 2 rib!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

This is why I learnt to Kitchener

I went to Big W the other day, looking for some winter tights. I like the cotton ones like I wore to school. The ones with a gusset and a heel. Still, while I was there I spotted Razza matazz fleece tights. Lets leave aside the sad fact that this fleece bears no relation to sheep, the tights were 55 percent cotton and lined with warmth. I bought the appropriate size being  oddly enough called "average/tall" . I am neither average nor tall, but that's the smallest size. I wore them to work on Friday and they were amazing. It was like wearing trackies, so comfortable and incredibly warm. I got changed out of them to ride home, and when i got home decided to put the tights back on, because I love being snuggly and warm and comfortable.

And that's where the trouble started. When I put them on again they felt very odd at my toes, like they were rubbing the ends of my toes even when I was just sitting there. Eventually I had a look and found this:



A great big ugly seam right on the ends of my toes, rubbing in the most uncomfortable way. They haven't even bothered to sew the ends in, or whatever you do in commercial tights. It's just bad design, and I've gone from wanting 100 pairs of these, to not even wanting to wear this pair! I know I could start knitting my own tights, but that might be a step too far, even for me.So it's back to the drawing board to find the perfect pair of winter tights.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stripe study, gifted


I gave Elise her Stripe Study the other day. I was really happy with it.

She was really happy with it too.

 I'm even happy with the photos we took.  

 An all round happy making project!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Shoes for socks

I've gone a bit nuts with the shopping recently. I'm not sure why, but I want to buy all the things. I haven't bought any yarn, but I've bought some things that are distantly related to my knitting.

I bought these Camper shoes:
 I've loved Camper's since before I started wearing hand knit socks, but when I saw these I had to have them. How cute are the cut outs, and how they show off all the colours of the yarn. I like to wear something hand knit everyday and when I'm in a suit it's often only my socks. this way, I can really look down and smile.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bag for yarn

I think I've mentioned that I do a bit of travel for work and that I always catch the train so I have more knitting time. Recently I've been struggling with handbags. I have one or two that are big enough, but only if I'm knitting a pair of socks. The other day I cast on the Travelling Sweater,  and I knew I needed a handbag that would take that and all the other things I feel are necessary to carry around with me - like lunch, three muesli bars, a pear, my Kindle, a rubber ball for rubbing out the sore spots in my shoulders, water bottle, a phone, wallet, keys, a foldable shopping bag in case i buy something big. I like to cover all bases.

I also really wanted a light blue bag. Everything has to be light blue for me right now. I was pretty excited when I found this in Mimco:

Everything about it is perfect. It really is the perfect size and the perfect colour, and its cheeriness makes me smile, especially at the beginning of winter. And it's big enough to take all the things I feel the need to carry around with me.  Perfect.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Selfies

 
I finished my Hawthorne shawl nearly a month ago. It took me a couple of weeks to block it, and then I had a plan. I was going to do the Craftsy on-line photo course, and with what I learnt, take brilliant photos, all with my existing point and click digital camera, of course.


 I bought the course and have watched the first two segments. It seems quite good, but I need to make time to watch the rest of it. I also can't find my actual camera. And the finished but unphotographed projects are starting to build up. 

So, I gave up and this morning, at Caulfield Station, I snapped some photos of myself and my shawl. Because what better way to take photos is there, than on a trial platform with a camera phone?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A long road


On the weekend I finished Elise’s Stripe Study shawl. It’s currently blocking and I’ll get some photos when I gift it, presuming I can find my camera.

Now I’m knitting the Travelling Sweater, from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. For me it travels in many sense of the word: I bought the yarn in Portugal, when I was travelling last year. I kind of thought it was an 8 ply, and was planning a jumper for Leon, but it knits up at sport weight and Leon just got a jumper, so I’m using it for me. After I bought it, I took it to England and then decided to mail it home, so the yarn has already been on a journey of its own.

The knitting of this might, in itself, be a bit of a journey, since it has short rows that require picking up the wraps. For all the recent short rows I’ve been doing, I haven’t had to pick up a wrap. I’ve finished the first lot of short rows and I’m not entirely pleased with how they look, so it’s off to the internet to find out how to make them more invisible.