Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

For New Year's eve Leon and I, along with our wonderful friends Skip and B went to New Years Eve on the Hill, a music festival outside Loch, in Gippsland. It was in an amazing spot, with breathtaking views.

The farm that hosted the event is a working cattle farm - we could see the cows on the next hill over. While there were no sheep on the farm itself, there was a petting zoo, and I had an awesome time visiting with the lambs and goats.











The evenings were chilly, and I finally had an opportunity to take some pictures of Leon wearing Knockamore.

I really like the way it looks on him, and the stunning way the Bennet and Gregor yarn knit up. It's even and dense, but not rigid. 

This picture is of the side detailing, which, prior to knitting it, I had not realised was part of the pattern. For those of you who recall how heavily I hated on this jumper while knitting it, these panels are why. Twisted stitches on every second row, in a pattern that should be inituative, but I really struggled to memorise.

Anyway, all's well that ends well, and I really love the look and fit of the finished jumper.


















It was basically a perfect couple of days out of the city. Great people, good music and surprisingly, loads of time for knitting on my Ashes cardigan., which is coming along nicely.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Finished

The Ashes finished today, after only three and a half days. And Australia won, which was gratifying. What was also gratifying was how great the atmosphere was and how much knitting I got done. After finishing the Elm sock for Leon during day two I cast on Celestine, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. Just like the Aussie Cricket Team, I made surprisingly good progress, and before stumps today I had divided for the sleeves. 


I had to make it stripy as I'm determined to use up some of my stash, and I didn't have enough of any one colour. I'm happy with the way it is looking, just a touch nautical.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Elm and Ashes

As we have both last year and the year before, Leon and I are attending the Boxing day test. I, of course, take my knitting. This year its the Ashes, which is doubly exciting.  During day one and day two I worked on, and finished, the Elm socks I mentioned last week.  I took photos at the match, in the beautiful sunshine today. I think this captures the fun of knitting and the cricket:



But these probably illustrate the  actual socks better:
 




I still need to get pictures of Knockamore, which I finished and blocked last week. I want to take them at the MCG as well because, well, it's the G but tomorrow is meant to be 38 degrees, so Leon cannot be convinced to bring his brand new, super warm jumper.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Timely

Merry Christmas

I knit these at Elise's on Christmas day. Not sure she wanted knitted decorations, but then another friend of ours used the leftovers to fingerknit garlands for the tree. Excellent.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Instructions?

So, when did I stop knowing how to read a basic instruction? I'm knitting Elm, a Cookie A sock, and it's got a 12 stitch repeat. I happily knit the leg, which came out a good width. I couldn't work out why so many people on Ravelry say its a very skinny sock. ... Until I got to the heel and realised I was knitting over 72 stitches, rather than the 60 called for in the pattern. It's fine, and will still fit Leon perfectly, but that's the third project in a very short length of time where I've managed to not follow the pattern, completely accidentally.
 
At least the yarn is perfect, a Blue Faced Leicester / Nylon sock blend, dyed by the talented Ursula.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Four of six and a little Romi Hill

I've been spinning away on bobbin four for Leon's winter set, and I finished it today. This is no great achievement, since as you can see, this bobbin is less than half full. Also, I'm on leave for two weeks, and my intention is to spin every day, even if it's only for a few minutes.
 

Yesterday Romi Hill released her latest Oddments patterns, which are a headband/earwarmer and some mitts. I think they will work very well with this handspun for Leon's winter set. my intention is to add a top to the earwarmer, to make it into a beanie, use the stitch pattern to make a scarf and knit the mitts, at least, as written.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Travelling with Miss Babs, we're going...


To Paris.
It was my birthday on Tuesday, and I picked up the final Miss Babs package from the post office. As always, it was exquisitely presented, and a whole lot of fun. This instalment contained two matching sets of yarn, one set for a colourwork cowl, and one for the matching mittens. The yarn is stunning ,and the pattern is great, but I'm maybe a little less excited than I otherwise would be, because mittens aren't really a big thing around here! The package also contained an Eiffel tower shaped biscuit cutter and some lavender. And some chocolate, of course. This club really has been extremely fun, although I can't guarantee I'm every going to actually knit this shipment. Summer is finally here in Melbourne, and winter is never that dramatic.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Clubbing

As you know, this year I did the Armchair Travelling Club with Miss Babs, which I loved. Last year I did the Cookie A Sock Club, which was also a wonderful,  fun experience. Now we are coming up to the time of year when club memberships open, for both these and a host of other clubs. I've decided not to join any yarn clubs for 2013. I'm intent on knitting the stash down, on ending 2014 with a half empty box. I was a little bit sad about not being part of the fun that is yarn clubs, knitting along with others, but then I realised I have joined not one, but two Romi Hill pattern subscriptions, so I'll still get that fun, particularly because Romi Hill's Ravelry group is incredibly active and enthusiastic.

Today



 
Today it was forty degrees. Today I finished Leon's knitted-all-in-one-piece jumper. Today Leon decided it was too hot to try it on, so I can only hope it fits. Obviously, I still have to sew in the ends, and kitchener the underarms. As a bonus, here's a photo of Tarragon having a snooze with a ball of yarn I dropped.





Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Three of six

I've been putting a bit of time into spinning over the last couple of weeks, because the more I spin, the more I want to spin. And getting readdicted to audiobooks makes me really value the sitting and spinning time. 

The next two bobbins for Leon's winter set are Tandwarncoort Polwarth Wool and Mulberry Silk. It's beautiful, but very slick. Initially I was trying to use the same long draw technique as I used for the Merino Possum of the previous bobbins, but the singles was too soft and kept breaking. I've switched to taking bits off the top and folding it over my thumb to spin it, which is working out much better. I'm starting to really look forward to seeing how all these are going to ply up, once I get all six bobbins spun.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas

Last night Elise invited us over to her place to "help" her put up her Christmas tree. A slightly odd occasion, since Elise and I became friends 30 years ago by meeting at a Jewish school. Anyway, she put up the tree, and I "helped" by knitting a decoration for it. 


The main thing I learnt was green is not the best colour for ornaments that are going to sit it a green tree. The bell was so easy to make that I might do some more on Christmas day - which we  generally pass very pleasantly at Elise's, eating lots of food and drinking wine.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yarn graphitti

Just down the road from where I do CrossFit I came across this:


It's in a random area to find yarn bombing, outside a bike shop and a Telstra exchange. I looks pretty and leafy in that photo, but actually that's the only green aroung.

When I see random yarn bombing I wonder what motivated the person to do it, and how people not involved in the knitting community interpret trees sprouting knitting or crotchet.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yarn along

I've been following Ginny's blog, over at Small Things  for… well, a long time. Long enough for her to have had two more babies!  I'm a bit obsessed with her- her life is the opposite of mine. She's a rural dwelling, American, homeschooling Catholic who takes wonderful photos. Every Wednesday, she does a yarn-a-long post. This is how she describes it:
~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~
Since I've been stalking Ginny's and her readers' blogs for ideas about what to read, I thought it was time I joined in.
My photos will probably all look something like this:
As I do all my reading on my trusty Kindle, and all my listening to audiobooks on my "iPork".
This week I am still knitting away on the body of Leon's jumper. It's going quite well, around and around and around right now.
I'm reading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins. It's enjoyable, but kind of hard work. Still, worth persevering with,as he has quite a wonderful way with words, and I'm hoping the second half flows better than the first half, which felt like it was going around and around in circles.
Listening to: I rejoined Audible last week, because I've noticed I'm listening to lots of books, particularly while I spin. I've decided to listen to the Discworld series  I've read many of the older ones in dead tree version, but I thought I would enjoy having them read to me. I started, as one does, with the first book of the series, the Colour of Magic, and I'm enjoying the story a lot. The narrator reads quite fast, and has a wonderful voice, so it's an enjoyable listen.
Pop along to Ginny's blog to see what everyone else is up to!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Knitting in the dark

On Saturday night I went to the Richmond knitters Christmas dinner, where a good time was had by all. For me, the only issue was that I was rather struggling with the patterned part of the body of Knockamore, which I had cast on Saturday morning.

It should be simple, but it just wasn't going into my head. Tonight, Leon and I went to the Local to watch Tropfest, and they had the lights out during the actual showing of the short films. I did get more knitting done than I expected, even in the dark.Taking away the ability to see every stitch and stare and the pattern charts seems to have embedded the pattern into my head, so now I can see the logic of what I'm doing, which is rather a relief.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Oops I did it again



I cast on a jumper for Leon. Shouldn't be weather appropriate, since we are going into summer, but I felt like knitting something both big and simple and Knockamore, by Carol Feller, seemed fit the bill. And the weather is really cold and rainy and horrible. I'm using some beautiful natural wool coloured Bennet and Gregor yarn, which I bought at this year's Bendigo, and which comes in huge single skeins, weighing 500grams each.


 I cast on the first sleeve (at the pub, but with my first drink, so that wasn't the problem ) I really struggled to get the pattern established, but eventually, after a lot of counting, I got it established.
 
Then I knit the first sleeve, without any major drama, until I cast on the second sleeve and realised I had, once again, misread the instructions. Basically there is meant to be a lattice pattern at the cuff, for which I have accidentally substituted the slant pattern. All of which is fine, I'll just have to replicate it on the left sleeve. I also have to decide whether I want to substitute the lattice on the bottom of the body for plain ribbing or include it as the pattern is written. While the error was clearly in my reading of the pattern, it would have been helpful if the pattern book had included some photos of the bottom of the sleeves and the jumper. Anyway, onwards with the second sleeve.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

two of six

I finished the second bobbin of merino / possum for Leon's winter set.


Right, now  off to spin the third bobbin, which is polworth and mulberry silk.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"Favorite" socks


After finishing Spice Road I couldn't quite work out what I wanted to knit next. It might have been my mood in general, because I had a really hard time choosing a novel to read. Anyway, I decided to knit something small and delightful, which for me usually means a pair of footlets, for the slowly progressing sneaker liner project. I chose a pair I've had my eye on for ages, padded footlets, from Interweave's Favorite Socks. I've only changed two things, I've made them one colour and I haven't included the padding, I like my sports socks as thin as possible. I'm using the leftovers from the Miss Babs October shipment, and I love how they have come out. They are the best fitting footlets I've made yet, partly because lace and ribbing is wonderful and pulling a sock close to the foot, but also because this pattern uses short rows to make the back of the heel slightly higher than the front, so it won't disappear into shoes. It also has a patterned heel flap and wonderful, wonderful detailing. Pretty and practical. Such a joy.


 And for those of you following on at home I decided to read A Queer and Pleasant Danger, by Kate Bornstein and I am enjoying that too. It's the memoir of a Jewish, ex Scientologist lesbian transsexual. It's an interesting, satisfying and sometimes deeply funny, sometimes heartbreakingly sad read.