Monday, December 29, 2014

Knitting at the MCG - Day 3

I wasn't going to write a knitting at the MCG for day four of the Test: I think you've all got the idea, I go to the cricket and knit on Summer Blooms. But then, something exiting happened. My friend Kerryn came to the cricket, and she brought her knitting!


I was very surprised, because I didn't know that she knits. In fact, she's at that stage where knitting is what she does: she doesn't know how to cast on and she didn't know how to cast off - but I taught her. It was lucky she came, she was working on a blanket and we all snuggled under it when the weather got crappy.


And look how much I got done on Summer Blooms:


Unfortunately we can't go to Day 5, and it's really exciting cricket! The next three days are "knitting at a music festival" and I'll blog all about it when I get back.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Knitting at the MCG - 2

Today we went back to the cricket for day three of the Test. I took Summer Blossoms, and it was the perfect knit for a great day of cricket. The lace rows are taking me nearly an hour each, so it was wonderful to be able to sit, watch cricket and ploy through them. In fact, I now have only for lace rows left and then its on the the back and forth short rows.

One of the things I noticed was how the grass is different shades of green, based on the mowin lines, but how it looks different at different ends of the oval - and how that changes over the day - the top picture was taken in the morning, and the one below just before the end of play. It made me consider the idea of knitting my landscape, and Felicity Ford  wrote about in the Colourwork Sourcebook, a little more seriously. Something I may try in the future.

And I leave you with a picture of the lace as its shaping up nicely:


Friday, December 26, 2014

Knitting at the MCG - 1

Yesterday, as we do on boxing day, Leon and I and a bunch of his friends went to the opening day of the Boxing Day Test match. It was a beautiful day, good cricket, nice sunny weather and, for me, and me only in the crown of seventy thousand people - a chance to do some serious knitting.
I had decided to keep it simple for day one - it's very crowded and people want to get in and out of their seats, which means standing up on occasion, so I thought beading was a bad idea. So, I pulled out the baby jumper I was knitting. I was on the sleeves and could only find four of my five double pointed needles. I figured I had somehow left one at Elise's place the day before - until we stood up for the national anthem, when I realised it had rolled under the seat of the women in front of me. I asked her to pick it up for me, which she did, looking quite puzzled at what it could be!


I finished the first baby jumper, and started the second one, which I'm making the same but in reverse colours - did I mention my friend is having twin boys?
So that was day one at the MCG. Today we didn't go to the cricket, we're very tired and have a wedding on tonight, but I will be back, knitting at the MCG tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Yarnalong - the Christmas Eve Edition

I'm not quite sure what Ginny is doing for this weeks Yarnalong, I think she might be having a "show your Christmas Gift Knits" instead, but pop over to her blog to see what she and the other Yarnalong peeps are up to this week.

As Christmas is not a thing for me, I don't have any Christmas knitting to show, but here's what I have been knitting, reading and listening to this week:


There are not one but two projects on the needles. The green froth is Summer Blooms, which I wrote about yesterday. The blue stripes is a Little Coffee Bean baby jumper in cotton. One of my friends is having twins, so I'm busy knit, knit, knitting for them.

I'm reading To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Jonathan Ferris. I'm on a mini-mission to read all the Man Booker Shortlisted novels for 2014. I'm not loving it, the protagonist is a tedious fool, but I'm not hating it either. The comments here  agree with me. I will persevere, because I'm no quitter, even if sometimes it might be better to walk away.

And finally I'm listening to Perfect on Paper. It's a light chick lit listen and I'm enjoying it for what it is. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Lies knitters tell

Now, we all know that knitters lie to themselves. My lie for the week was two posts back "My plan is to cast this on at the second day of the Boxing Day test Match" I wrote, with confidence.

 Or I could cast it on at work, and get the lace established before I go on leave, which is exactly what I did!

20 days and not one end to sew in‏

On Saturday I finished the knitting on Hazlehurst. I ended up making it the full 88 inches - otherwise known as 2 and a quarter meters.
And I'll say it now it's finished: I'm glad I did.
 
I'm really happy with the way it came out. I gave it a steam blocking, as directed, but I think it will get even smoother with a proper bath.
 
The funniest thing about this project was that there were no ends to sew in. I used two balls of yarn, and at the end kitchenered it up and that was it.
 
I really enjoyed knitting this. In the interest of total disclosure, by the second last day I was getting antsy and over it, but the end was so close at that point that it wasn't too bad, and I enjoyed all the previous knitting. I'm still loving the colourwork, and now I'm off the look and yarns in the Jamieson and Smith website for the Ursula Cardigan that's in my future.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

A boring day at the office

The thing about my job is that no new work comes in between two weeks ago and the week after New Years. Lots of people take leave, and I will be off work from Christmas. But right now, I've pretty much finished all I need to do. So, this afternoon I'm preparing the beads for Summer Blooms, I'm using the dental floss method,as I will be knitting this shawl in public. My plan is to cast this on at the second day of the Boxing Day test match - perfect conditions for knitting lace.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Yarnalong, the one with my birthday in it

Yup, today is my birthday, so I took the day off work, basically so I could knit read and listen to audiobooks!

I'm reading Shadowboxer by Tricia Sullivan. I'm nearly finished it and it is quite a good read. It's urban fantasy, which is not my favourite genre, but I do like to read widely.

I'm listening to Vampire Academy , the first book in the Vampire Academy Series. I'm not hating it or loving it. It's not a bad listen, the narrator is a little bit annoying, although I noticed that the next books in the series have a different narrator. An Audible review says this is the weakest book of the series, so I'll probably give the next book a listen, in due course.


And I'm still knitting the wonderful Hazelhurst. I decided to take it to the full length, and I've got 22 inches to go, or exactly a quarter of length to go. By my calculations it should take me another four or five days. I am still enjoying it, but it's just starting to drag a little. 

So that's me for another week. Make sure you pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she and everyone else is knitting and reading this week. I'm off the enjoy this beautiful sunny day!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Not to Club

I've been knitting away on Hazelhurst, and enjoying it. In fact, I'm enjoying it so much that I kind of want to make a more contrasty version, and when I saw Brooklyn Tweed's Maurits cowl I decided that, at some point I want to knit that. Then, when I was thinking about my Christmas knitting (which is what I'll knit during Christmas holidays) I decided to knit Summer Blooms a laceweight crescent shawl that has been on and off my queue over the last few years. Then I remembered that Romi Hill should be sending me some more Small Shawl patterns, and then I remembered all the past Romi shawls I would love to knit. Also, Elise will want a new winter shawl, and Leon has his winter set and the club is unlikely to provide for either of these. So, to sum up, I decided I would rather choose what I knit this year.


Then I went to the bead shop, and bought the beads for Summer Blooms. Pretty, right?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

To club or not to club

I had pretty much decided I  wasn't going to do a yarn and  pattern club next year. I've loved the ones I've done in the past, but didn't really want to do any of them again. I didn't want to do a sock club, because I'm very happy with my own solo sock mission. This past year I decided not to club, and that was fine. And then I saw this post by  Ysolda : THE YSOLDA 2015 SHAWL CLUB and got a rather excited about the prospect.
Then I thought, "let's check and see the state of the stash. If I've got less yarn than at the start of the year, I'm in. Otherwise I'm not."

So I went to Ravelry and found my current number, which is: 24796 meters. Which is less than last time I checked, but still not compellingly low. It's not a number that  helps me decide one way or another. I'm going to sleep on it and if I still want to in the morning, I'm in!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Yarnalong - the one where everything is the same as last week but nearly finished

I think the title of the post sums it up! Through a weird quirk of timing,I've done plenty of reading, knitting and listening this week and I'm nearly at the end at the end of all the things I was at the beginning of last week. With the exception of Hazelhurst. I'm nowhere near the end, but I have knit 28 inches / 71 centimetres of it and am still enjoying it.


I've nearly finished  We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and have enjoyed it, although so close to end I am worried that the ending might prove unsatisfying. I'm pretty sure the end of The Art of Asking will be fine. The rest of the book has been wonderful, it's felt like Amanda Palmer was talking to me, telling me stories and I have adored it. 

And that's me for another week. I hope you are also enjoying what you are knitting, reading and listening to. pop over to Ginny's blog to check out what everyone else in the Yarnalong is up to as well.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hazelhurst Revisisted

A couple of years ago ago I started, and abandoned, Kate Davies Hazelhurst cowl. in my memory I stopped because my hands hurt, and I didn't know whether that was because of the colourwork or because of the short needles I was using. With the benefit of having done a huge colourwork cardigan recently, I was sure it wasn't colourwork that was the problem, so when it came into my head to try it again, I did.

I chose two yarns that I thought were pretty, although I was worried they wouldn't have enough contrast, and cast on.

When I put the new project up on Ravelry I also had a look at the blog post I wrote about the original one and realised I'd abandoned it not just because of the reasons above but because I thought it was a boring project with no rhythm or flow. Well, this time I'm not finding that, although I am worried about the quality of the stitches in my colourwork. I did steam block the first half, and it looks a lot better after blocking. In that original post I moan that at the rate of three inches a day, this will take me a month to finish, and that's true. Now, two years down the track, that doesn't worry me at all. It will take as long as it takes. That said, I think I will shorten it, I really don'y see the need for this to reach down to my knees.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Yarnalong - the one where everything might be perfect

Or it might not, it might just be too early to tell.

This week I am reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Fowler. I'm reading it because Rachael Herron tweeted that she was enjoying it, and I'll take a book recommendation anywhere. So far I'm loving it, although I'm not very far into it. Life has been busy.

I'm listening to Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking, and lovelloveloving that too. Which is not surprising since I'm a fan of Amanda Palmer and the Dresden Dolls and having her read her own story is just absolute magic. She's such a beautiful person and this is such a perfect audio book.

I'm knitting Hazelhurst by Kate Davies. As you can see from the picture I have only just started it, and I'm sure I will have more to say later in the week.

And that's my Yarnalong for this week. Don't forget to pop over to Ginny's blog and see what she, and the other yarnalong peeps are up to this week.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Silvermist Bath Set

You may remember the Great Oddments Knitdown by Romi Hill.  Over the last 12 months she has, as promised, delivered 16 lovely patterns, of which I have, so far knit six of them, so it's been a successful project. One of the fun things about this project is that some of the patterns are not things I would necessarily have thought of to knit - there are beaded pulse warmers, a pincushion and a bath set. This last one caught my interest. I've never knitted washcloths for myself, but I thought it might be fun, more from a process point of view than because I needed a hand knitted lace washcloth.

I cast on the washcloth on Sunday, and after a couple of hours in the sun on Elise's balcony with a glass of wine, I had this lovely scrap of lace. It was so satisfying to knit lace that I started queuing some serious lace shawls. I also knit the matching soap sack, just because I could. I've filled it with those itty bitty ends of soap that I did't know what to do with, and now they are usable! This project was more about process than product,a and I am a bit reluctant to get these wet and scrub with them, although I'm sure I'll get over that soon I'll let you know how I got!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Teppic completed

Yesterday I finished the Teppic socks. These socks were the perfect combination of an easy to memorise pattern, but enough interest to stop them being boring. Last week was one of those weeks were I went everywhere, and these socks came with me. I cast on the first sock on a train to Ballarat, and finished it on a plane to Mildura. The second sock was a bit more mundane, but did come to Packenham and Northcote with me.


One of the things I've noticed about these Discworld socks is that the pictures in the patterns do not do them justice, and, in my opinion, the original yarn they were knit in is almost all far to busy for the patterns. This one has delightful detailing with a honeycomb pattern down the sides and a sort of broken rib down the front.

The Stranded in Oz yarn that I used for these did pool a little more than I expected, but I think the pattern stands out anyway. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

It fits, it suits

My mother had her birthday and I finally got to give her the warmest, brightest cardigan ever. Of course, November in Melbourne really isn't the time to wear incredibly warm knitwear, but winter will return eventually, and then my mother will be very warm and very bright! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Yarnalong - the one where everything is half done

Welcome to this weeks Yanalong, hosting  by Ginny. Pop over to her blog to see what she, and the other yarnalong peeps are knitting and reading this week.

When I left the house this morning I was half way through my book, which is The Great Christmas Knit Off. It's chick lit, which is fine, but Christmas is not a thing for me. In fact, if I consider anything about Christmas, it's to say "bah humbug" and have another bottle of wine. But Rachel tweeted about it when it was on pre-release and started reading it this week, and you know how I love a read/knit/do-the-same-thing-as-other-people along. I'm quite enjoying it. It's light and pleasant and you just know everything is going to be okay in the end.

When I left the house I had knit the first of the next pair of Discworld socks, Tepic. And then today I went to Mildura for work, so I did get a start on the second sock. Like the rest of the Discworld Sock Club  it's a good, sold interesting knit. This one I'm knitting in  Stranded in Oz sock yarn, and I'm loving it.

And to go with the Discworld sock, I'm listening to the next in the Discworld audio book series, Small Gods.

And that's me for  another week. I hope you are loving what you are listening to, reading and knitting this week.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Summer Solstice, finished

I finished Summer Soltice, and I really, really like it! I followed the pattern almost exactly - I just lengthened a little, because I had more of a vision of a kind of jacket than a shortish cardigan. Although parts of how the instructions were written seemed unnecessarily complicated, all is forgiven.

I think it fits me very well right now, after blocking. I know this yarn, which is 50/50 bamboo/cotton is likely to stretch out over time, so it will be interesting to see if and how it holds it's shape.
You will have to forgive the wrinkles in the back, it was only 90 percent dry when I stuffed it in my bag to take out for photos, and my stylist was having an off day.

 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Soctober finished and I finished some socks

I've discovered that one of the reasons I blog and Ravelry my finished objects as soon as they are done is that it is really hard to remember what I did two weeks ago!
So, I wrote about the dramas in starting The Colour of Magic Socks. Well, if finished them. I didn't run out of yarn, although I only had five grammes left, so it was closer that usual. I had to make the toes left and right footed, I've got small feet and I couldn't get the pattern done before the toe decreases started:


I'm happy whit how these turned out, they are comfortable and pretty and I just love the wyay the pattern and the yarn plays together.

I also knit the second Cadeautje slipper. I'm very happy with these and kind of want to knit a pair for myself, even though I love wearing my ugg boots when it's cold, but these seem to warm and wooly...




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yarnalong - the one where things are back to normal

As usual on a Wednesday I'm playing along with Ginny and the yarnalong. Pop over to her blog to see what she, and the other yarnalong peeps are reading and knitting this week.

This week I'm finishing  knitting Summer Solstice. If tonight is as quiet as I hope it will be, and I can make a decision about the neck edging I might finish it tonight.

I'm reading Ancillary Sword, the sequel to Ancillary Justice, which I read  just last month. Like it's predecessor it is well written and interesting, although I really want to know more of the history of the imagined universe.

And I'm listening to the first Royal Spyness books, or rather an introductory novella. I'm thinking this might be a good series to listen to, although I'm concerned it might be a little similar to the Phryne Fisher books, which I am currently reading.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Resuming normal service

Right, we've got the new computer up and running and I can get back to blogging, although if I'm going to be honest we got the computer going last week but I have been so busy with fun runs and going away for weekend and life that I haven't had a moment to get organised. As well as updating the blog, I need to update my Ravelry projects and stash and it all seems a little overwhelming. So, today I am going to catch you up on what I'm knitting now, and then over then next couple of days I'll tell you about what I finished while I was away and then we will be all caught up.
 


I'm knitting Summer Solstice by Heidi Kirrmaier, out of bamboo/cotton  yarn left over from Leon's jumper The actual knitting has been fine, but it is one of the strangest written patterns I have used. At one point there were four different increases and decreases going on on different rows. Anyway I like how it's turning out BUT she said if you don't want the edges to roll, do three rows of reverse stocking stitch and I think it looks a bit stupid on mine, although having just spent half an hour looking at other peoples, maybe it will look good, post blocking.

 I should have done a folded hem on the bottom and if I still don't like how this sits at the bottom after blocking I'll work out how to remove the bottom rows, despite have picked up colour stitches from the edges, and do it again. Putting that aside I'm quite excited about this cardigan, it should be a very wearable, practical garment

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Where am I?

I'm not going to be blogging for the next little bit (maybe a week or so) because our home computer stopped working yesterday. Now, I know people blog from their tablets or phones, but I absolutly hate typing on touch screens. I'm positing this from work but, becuase we use Internet Explorer 8, nothing is supported properly and I can't change the font or anything. So, I'll not be posting here, or updating my projects of Ravelry for the newxt little bit, but I'll still be reading your blogs and keeping up to date. See you when the new computer arrives!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yarnalong - the one for the end of sOctober

As sOctober draws to a close I find myself knitting two socks (or sock like things). The well documented Colour of Magic socks and I'm finishing up the Gift-along thrummed slippers for my mother.

To go with the Discworld socks I'm listening to Witches Abroad and it's a particularly enjoyable listen. The witches are some of my favourite Terry Pratchett characters and they are in good form here.

I'm still reading Ancillary Justice. You know the sort of book that you don't want to get to the end of, because it's so good? It's that sort of book. I'm so glad there is a sequel.

And that's me done for another week. Make sure you pop over to Ginny's Yarnalong to see what everyone else is knitting and reading this week.
  

Monday, October 27, 2014

More sock drama

I decided to knit on, in the hopes that I actually had enough yarn. I knit through the foot - where I found a know in the skein of Jitterbug, unknotted it and knit on. I knit to the end of the sock, weighed it and found that I had used half the yarn. Problem solved. I can relax now, right?



I knit the leg of the second sock and held it up next to the first to see if they were the same length. The same length they were, BUT NOT THE SAME COLOUR. It's pretty subtle,but the finished sock is a slightly less vibrant colour. The socks are different dye lots, even though they are made form the same skein. Yes, the ball of Jitterbug didn't just have a knot in it, they had joined a different dye lot to it.  I don;t really have word to express how I feel about this, except I'm glad I don't have any more Jitterbug in my stash.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sock Stress

I'm knitting the Colour of Magic socks out of Jitterbug, and, as everyone knows, these skeins are short. I've used them before and never had a problem, probably because my feet are also short. But these socks are 68 stitches and quite long. ow I could have (should have?) done one less repeat on the leg. But I didn't and it looks like I'm going to run out of yarn. I have a few choices - I could rip it back to where I was on Friday afternoon and then knit on. I can keep knitting and hope it works out. I do have some similar colour yarn I could use for the toes. Someone on Ravelry has a ball of this yarn For Sale Or Trade - I could knit on and if I run out buy it from her. I could put out a call on Ravelry and see if anyone has any left overs of this colour. I feel paralysed by indecision and it all seems overly difficult right now. I mean it's just knitting, right?

Friday, October 24, 2014

The colour of magic (Discworld socks II)‏

It still being sOctober, I decided to cast on my next pair of Discworld socks,The Colour of Magic. Now, the colour of magic is Octarine, described as the eighth colour on the Discworld, only visible to wizards and cats. For some reason I've always imagined it as the colour after orange. For this pair of socks I decided to knit it with some Jitterbug that I bought in Bendigo 2012. I can't believe I left this yarn in a box for so long. It's incredibly pretty, and a lot softer than I remember Jitterbug being. It has all my favourite pastel colours and is so pretty. So is the sock, although it's not a great knit it drinking / in public (am I giving too much away if I say that the majority of my knitting seems to be done in the pub, and I knit a lot? ;) I think the pattern stands up to the variegated yarn, and I just can't stop looking at the prettiness of it. Magic indeed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yarnalong - the one where something is missing

Here's my yarnalong photo for the week - can you spot what's not in the photo?
 
That's right, there's no knitting pictured! That's because I'm taking a break from my mother's slippers until I can knit at home. I'll be casting on a new pair of socks at the pub tonight, but they haven't been started yet. So, no knitting in the picture, although actually a normal amount of knitting is going on.
 
I'm listening to Redshirts   by John Scalzi, read by Wil Weaton. I love it when Will Weaton reads to me. That aside, it's not a bad novel, but it's a bit odd. If I wasn't a Star Trek fan I don't think I'd get it at all.
 
And I've just started reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie . Last week Ursula tweeted that she was reading the second book in the series, and I generally find her recommendations very good. I've just started it, and I'm still in that bit where I'm trying to understand the parameters of the world, but it's looking good. In a coincidence, John Scalzi provided the cover quote for this book.
 
And that's me for another week. Click through to Ginny's blog to see what she and the other yarnalongers are up to this week

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thrums!

As you know, I subscribed to Ysolda's Knitworthy pattern collection. While I like many of the pattern that arrived, none of them made it to the top of the queue. Until Cadeuutje. This project has something I've wanted to try since the Yarn Harlot talked about it: THRUMS.
The sole, on the inside
The sole, on the outside
 The thing about thrums though is that they are designed to make something really, really warm, often mittens. I live in Melbourne and this winter I didn't even bother wearing my fingerless mitts. But thrumbed slippers? Yes please. 

The finished first slipper. I don't know why the picture is upside down
I'm making them for my mother and have just finished the first one. It might be a little while before I get to the second one, because the pattern takes a wee bit of concentration and thruming in public is not the best plan. I'm out for the next four nights, but come the weekend I'm looking forward making the second one. It's such a fluffy fun thing to do.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

First Disworld Socks, Finished

Today I finished my first pair of socks from my Discworld Sock Project and I am very satisfied with them. They are toe up, which is not my preferred method of knittng socks, but Rachel Coopey designs a heel flap and gusset that is very easy and sensible. That said, I found it a tad tricky to work out where to start the increases, and I think they just are a smidge too big in the heel.


The pattern is great, though fairly tricky to photograph. I didn't realise, until I was actually knitting these, that the pattern on the foot repeats on the back leg. It's challenging enough to be interesting, without being mindblowingly hard. All in all, a sock that bodes well for the remaining twelve pairs i'm going to knit for the Discworld Sock Project. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Yarnalong

It's Wednesday, which means that it's time for Yarnalong with Ginny. Pop over to her blog to see what everyone else is reading and knitting this week.

This week I'm still knitting away on socks for Leon. They are going a little slower than normal - it's a 70 stitch sock with twiseted stitches and cable crossings every row, so I guess that's why. I'm up to the second sock and I did really enjoy the first one, toe up and all!

I'm reading Dead Man's Deal, the second book in Joceynne Drake's Asylum Tales. I've only just started it, but it's paranormal urban fiction. Not a genre in which I spend a great deal of time, but I'm enjoying it. When I went to buy the e-version, I was reminded how glad I am I read on a Kindle. The other day I bought a new cover for it - I really wanted something that looks like a good old fashioned book:

When reading out and about as I often do I'd much prefer people saw that than the classy cover of the book I'm actually reading:




I'm listening to Big Sur by Jack Kerouac. It has a rather frantic pace to it and I think I would have trouble reading it, but I'm finding it an interesting listen.

And that's me for another week. I hope you are enjoying your knitting and reading as much as I am.