Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stop the purl

After I moved to the sleeves of Cria the knitting went back in the round and I loved it. No more long purl rows immediately sorted out the pain I've been having in my right thumb. For me knit is quicker and smoother and more enjoyable. It's not that I'm against purling per se, but whole rows of it, no thanks. So I'm planning my next projects and they are all going to be knitted in the round. I'm knitting socks, and a hat and then a steeked vest and then a steeked cardigan, and then maybe a steeked jumper for me. I might follow all that up with a garter stitch cowl.  After that I think I'll make knee high socks. By then it will be November and I might be ready to face some rows of purling. Until then it's all knit, all the time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yarnalong - the one with the embarassing book

Welcome to Wednesday, where I play along with Ginny from Small Things blog. Pop over to her blog to see what she and everyone else is knitting and reading this week.

This week I've been knitting steadily away on Cria. It's ticking away nicely, I've got one cuff and a sleeve to go. I think I'm really going to like wearing it, but having been looking at this pinkish colour for over two weeks I might need a break before I put it into heavy wardrobe rotation. I'm listening to God Bless You Mr Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut. Its a satire, which is not usually a genre I enjoy, but I thought it would be good to expand my reading horizons and literary education, particually in light of the book I am currently reading. Which is Lick by Kylie Scott. Here's a screenshot of the cover:


I think that rather says it all. After finishing All That I Am, which ends up being incredibly sad and heavy, I just needed something light - a palette cleanser, and this book is definitely that. It's silly disposable, harmless trash and I'm loving it. Best of all, it's the first in a series!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dying for it

I emailed Shoni and asked him for his head size, and I decided the hat I made for Shoni was too big, and that I am going to make him one to fit. The problem is that he wanted "nonscratchy" wool, so that rules out some of my favourites from the stash, and I've been knitting Romi's oddments and basically I have no yarn in a suitable colour. Now, I know I could have gone past Morris and Son's  and picked up some yarn, but I am still trying to knit from stash. I I did have 90 grammes of the Pear Tree supersoft merino from two Bendigos ago. Actually, now I think about it, that's the same yarn I made his sister Elise mitts out of recently.


 So, I skeined up all the little balls I had, spit splicing them into one skein of yarn and put it in the dye pot, aiming to make it a nice dark green. I threw in some green, and a little bit of black, and some navy for good measure. I am many things when I dye, but scientific is not one of them!




I was rather surprised and happy with the colour I got, although I will admit the the water was not running entirely clear, so i guess I will have to rinse, rinse, rinse the hat when it's knit up. Still, it's a good biy colour, its soft and its from stash. Triple win!

Friday, July 25, 2014

For science

I've been knitting away on the body of Cria, knit up the row, purl back. Enjoying the yarn, enjoying the needles. Everytime I get to a knit row I think "this will whip by". Every time I get to a purl row I think "ugg, these take forever". So I though I would conduct an experiement. I sat down, in my rocking chair with my knitting and knit four rows. I started with a purl row, so the odd numbers are purl and the evens are knit: 


What this tells me is that the purl rows are actually slower, I'm not just imagining it. Also, I know that I have 35 more stocking stitch rows, followed by 14 rows garter stitch, so the body of this cardigan should take me under three and a half hours, which is really just one good evening in front of the tour de france. It probably would have been better if I hadn't worked that out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yarn-along: the one where everything is half finished

Welcome to Wednesday, and on Wednesday's I do Yarnalong with Ginny. Pop over to her blog to check out what everyone else is knitting and reading today.

This week I'm about half way through knitting my Cria. Well, I hope I'm half way, because I've used up half the yarn! I'm very much enjoying this knit, I just hope it fits when it's done. I'm reading All that I Am by Anna Funder - I'm about half way through. I'm enjoying it but not as much as I expected to, based on her other book Stasiland, which I couldn't put down. All that I am is written from three different points of view and is in three different time periods - between the world wards, during WWII and in modern day Sydney. It jumps around a little too much for my liking. Because I'm now reading a World War II novel I've taken a break from listening to War and Remembrance, just as I got half way through. I needed something lighter, so I'm listening to the eigth Discworld novel, Guards Guards, which I am precisely half way through. So there we are, halfway through the week and halfway through all the things!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mileage update

I wonder why we always talk about yardage, rather than meterage? And as a runner mileage, rather than the stupid sounding kilometerage. Actually, to be honest, as a knitter I can talk about millage as well, since I have miles and miles and kilometers and kilometers of yarn. Today I added my small Bendigo haul to my stash page


and calculated how many meters  I bought: 2569. Or two and a half kilometers. This brings my current total up to 26089, which is actually 263 meters less than after  after the Handknitters Fair two months ago, but is five kilometers further than I have ever run. In any even it all fits in the stash box, and even with a couple of purchases planed I think i can get it down below 20 kilometers by Christmas.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bendigo Wrap up, 2014

Staying in Bendigo this year was so much fun. It meant that, as well as all the usual Bendigo sheep activities I got to hang out with knitting friends, and run on the Bendigo Creek path (so pretty, I really should have thought to take photos. It also meant I spent the Friday doing some shopping , and the Saturday I was free to look and, and play with, all the sheep:






and Angora goats, using their horns to scratch each others heads!
















I was (I think), very restrained in my yarn buying. I bought 500 grams of Bennett and Gregor, which I am going to make a vest for Leon and a jumper for me, by striping it and pairing it with some leftovers from last years show

I bought 300 grams of Dyed by Hand sock yarn. In sOctober I'm going to knit Cookie A's epic knee high Rhiannon socks

And I also bought one skein of Stranded in Oz sock yarn, because:


SPARKLES!  

But my favourite thing that I bought might be these knee high ugg boots. So warm. So wonderfully sheepy.


All in all a very satisfying Bendigo show.I will work out how much this ads to my stash, but right now I'm feeling lazy and am going to go curl up on the couch instead. But I'll leave you with some bonus pictures of SHEEP:


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pre Bendigo 2014

The Australian Sheep and Wool show, or Bendigo, as we call it is nearly upon us! This year, for the first time, I am staying up there. I'm excited about the weekend, although buying yarn is the least of it.  There are also candles and ugg boots and fudge and buttons and  who know what else. I am, or course planning to buy some yarn, especially as there is now significant room in the stash box. And the most important thing I can do before I go is check my stash mileage: 23065 which I must say i am quite happy with, since it's a reduction of over 3000 meters since I last checked, 2 months ago. Still I expect the reduction will be more than made up for over this weekend: I've ordered 300 grammes of sock weight for a jumper for me, and I'm hoping to buy another 300 for a pair of fancy cabled knee high socks. I also want some Bennett and Gregor to make a vest for Leon and a jumper for me. Other than that, everything is possible and nothing is certain. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Yarn-along

It's Wednesday and, as usual on Wednesday I'm joining Ginny and the other yarn-along peeps. Pop over to Ginny's blog to see what they are reading and knitting this week.

This week I cast on for Ysolda's Cria. I've been wanting to knit this jumper for ages - last Bendigo I accidentally bought half the amount of yarn I needed (which I eventually made Parcel from, so all's well that ends well). I bought the Alpaca yarn in New Zealand, and am, so far, really enjoying knitting this, one my new Addi lace Clicks, although, since I only cast on yesterday,  let me get a bit further into it before I form opinions.

I'm reading  Deadlocked by Charlene Harris, the second last book in the Southern Vampire mysteries. I'm enjoying it, they are formulaic but still surprising.

No surprises what I'm listening to:   War and Remembrance, the sequel to the Winds of War. I'm alternating between loving it and being impatient with the slow movement of the plot.

I've actually taken a little break to listen to Beat the Devil by Mishka Shubaly. He's an recovering alcoholic ultra runner who writes novellas about his experiences that tend to be funny and sad in equal amounts. So that's a complete change in pace for me.

And finally, welcome to Sonia, who has just joined the Yarnalong for t he first time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Socks for me!

I hadn't made myself a pair of proper socks since October last year, so I was quite excited to make some for myself.. As you know, I started with a bit of a fail sock, so I'm pleased to report that Brenda Dayne's Tintern Abbey are officially a success, although the wisdom of knitting lace in a camouflage pattern is questionable :




I substituted the Fish Lips Kiss heel for the one in the pattern. I really love this heel and will probably use it again. I still hate knitting toe up though. When I was finished and cast off the top edge had a sort of ruffle to it, which you don't get when knitting top down - and I hadn't used JSSBO, which I know can cause that.

Anyway, an enjoyable knit, the yarn pooled exactly as I hoped it would and I have my new socks on my feet right now, keeping my toes warm on this cold, rainy day.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dilemma

A couple of weeks ago Shoni asked me to knit him a hat. From most people I would ignore such a request, but Shoni is great, and he's the only person who came on our Israel trip that  haven't knit for. Also, it's a hat, which is a quick knit. So, I did. I choose A Hat Fit For A Boyfriend, since Nicola has knit it, and it's a simple, honest hat. 



I followed the pattern, using some old stash yarn, which is Pear Tree fingering yarn that I three plied together. The issue is that it has come out quite large on me and on Leon,  but I think that Shoni has a largeish head. I was planning on just dropping it in his letter box on Monday, since he lives around the corner from the Richmond Knitters.  I can't decide if I should do that, but pop a note in suggesting it might be large, or email him and ask him to send me his head measurements. But I guess, since it's already knit I may as well just give it to him and see. I hate giving knitted things if they are not quite right though.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New needles!

To my excitement my new Addi Lace Clicks were delivered on Friday. I unwrapped the package and the needle case is wonderful - and practical. As well as being terribly pink it holds everything in place, so I could throw the whole thing into a bag and go.

 The needles are pointy and the red cords are just like the ones on the Addi Lace fixed needles that I love. I had a moment of panic when i touched the needles, they seemed kind of tacky / sticky. Then I washed them, and whatever caused that came right off. Which is good, because the whole point of buying this was to get a a slick, sharp needle. I used them to swatch for Cria, and enjoyed knitting with them. Now the swatch is hung to dry and I'm going to work on finishing my socks so I can cast Cria on. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Choosing simple

On Monday I cast on for Cookie A's Rhombus socks. Its a stunning design, where every stitch is charted and there are make one purl left and make one purl right and all sorts of fancy things going on. The yarn is from a glitter sock yarn from Stranded in Oz, and I thought I would wear them to Bendigo this year. My first mistake was casting on at Springvale Railway station while waiting for the train. I misread "cast on 60 stitches, put multiples of twelve onto each needle" as "cast on 12 stitches on each needle". I did that, merrily knitting along, although until I got home and looked at the book I was really struggling with the increases, and in two places there are holes. I thought about ripping, but decided it would be fine. I knew something wasn't right, since the pattern diagram says that there are five pattern repeats, and I only had four. Somehow, in my head, 12 x 4 made 60. At the end of the night I looked at it and it was tiny. Really, really small. The embarrassing thing is how long it took me to work out what I had done wrong! So, I've ripped it, but rather than starting it again I've opted for a much simpler sock. I guess that's where my head is at right now.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yarn-along; another one with socks!

So, its Wednesday again, already. And on Wednesday's I do Yarnalong with Ginny and Co. Pop over to her blog to find out what she and all the other yarnalong peeps are up to this week.

This week I am knitting Brenda Dayne's Tintern Abbey socks, out of Dyed for yarn sock wool that I got at the Brunswick wool show. I only started this sock yesterday, but I think I'm going to love knitting these.

I've nearly finished Looking for Alaska by John Greene. Another good YA read. The whole time I've been reading it I've had the song "Looking for Alaska" in my head.

I'm still listening to War and Remembrance. I'm still enjoying the story, but I could do without the long history lessons, particularly when they describe World War Two battles, which are then described from a character's point of view. The history book stuff is just distracting and annoying, especially when he has left his characters in concentration camps and fleeing across Europe and I want to know what happens to them. Basically I think this book could have done with a good editing. Perhaps I need to take a little break and listen to something else.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Birthday

So, Elise had a birthday. By coincidence, she  asked me a couple of weeks ago to make her some mitts, so I made Romi Hill's Gingerbread mitts.Like the rest of the Great Oddments patterns these were quick, easy, look amazing and were fun to knit. And Elise loves them, so its a win all round.




Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bathmatt VIII - complete!

I finished the bathmat and it's warm and squishy and rather huge! In the end it weights 640 grammes, made up of three types of handspun held with various other leftovers, including sock yarn. At one point I had ten balls of wool attached to this project!

I love the way it looks and its really thick and squishy. It is just a touch large, but my experience is that they tend to felt down and shrink a little from wear, even if I don't throw it in a hot wash, witch I will do unhesitatingly if / when Tarragon pees on it. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

More? More.

A couple of weeks ago Elise asked me for a pair of mitts. Yesterday, shortly after I bought online a new set of circular interchangables, I prepared to cast on Romi Hill's Gingerbread mitts. Now I know I could have magic looped them - but my hands don't love magic looping. I can knit on two circulars, but Princess Daisy hates that (they dangle down and tickle her back and she complains). Also, as I've said before, I find knitting on double pointed needles the most satisfying way to knit small circumference in the round. So I dug up my old bamboo DPNs, which I bought thousands of in a set when I was a new knitter. Unfortunately, in the 3.5mm size I could only find these:

 3 really long ones and four short ones, one of which was missing an end and two of which appear to have been gnawed by a cat. So, on the way home I stopped by Morris and Sons, and bought myself a set of Knitters Pride Carbonz needles, because I thought it would be super fun to try them out.


 I quite like them. The tips are pointed, but not super sharp, like the Stiletto point on   my beloved Signature needles. The bit you hold is carbon fibre and doesn't have that chill feeling that metal has. I quite like that feeling, the carbon fibre feels kind of warm - like wood, Generally I'm enjoying these needles, and will certainly think about buying some in 4mm since I don't have any DPNs in that size. 


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Is shopping the cure or the disease?

I used my Addi Clicks to knit Bathmat VII . There are really easy to put together, but the bluntness of them irritates me. I've been buying individual Addi lace needles, trying to convince myself that I don't need the Lace Clicks. The ones in the pretty case. The super pointy ones with the red cord, just like my favourite needles. Anyway, today I woke up with a really sore right wrist, which I attribute to too much knitting, and knitting with blunt needles. In a moment of weakness I slipped and bought the Addi Long Lace Clicks. I hope they get here soon, I already know what I want to knit on them first (Cria, by Ysola for those of you following along at home. Still I'm knitting a pair of mitts and hat hat and a pair of socks before I really, really want them, and usually packages get here in about ten days, so the timing should work out. No pictures of the finished bathmat yet, it's drying after being blocked

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Yarn-along; the one where most things are finished

Its Wednesday again, and as usual I'm doing Yarnalong with Ginny. Pop over to her blog to see what she, and the other Yarnalongers are knitting and reading this week.



This week I WAS reading Twice Apon a Time, by Kate Forster. It's not Great Literature oranything, but it was a really fun, silly, easy to read romance, and sometimes a happy ending is the best thing ever. And that's not a spoiler, it's the kind of book that the happy ending is never in question, it's just how you are going to get there there that's the voyage. Anyway, I finished it tonight. and am again not quite sure what I am going to read next.

Tonight I also finished knitting my latest bathmat. Once I've sewn in the ends and given it a bath I'll blog about it properly, but I think I'm really happy with it. The colours are prettier than in the picture above.

Not surprisingly, I'm still listening to War and Remembrance, the sequel to the Winds of War. I' still enjoying it, and expect to continue to do so for another 6 weeks or so. 

And that's me for another week of knitting, reading and listening. I hope you are enjoying your books and crafting as much as I am mine. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bathmat VII

So, I'm making another bathmat. My seventh, and they've all been for us! I'm using left over handspun and the same design as I used for our current toilet mat, made four years ago. That one is a touch too small, partly because I may have felted it when washing cat pee out of it. So this time I cast on 141 stitches, rather than the 121 stitches I used last time. I'm a bit paranoid that it will be too big for the space I'm making it for, but if it is I can always felt it down a little. I'm sure, sooner or later, Tarragon will cause it to need a hot wash anyway. Also, and randomly, when I was checking out the space I realised our toilet is not centrally located in the space. I wonder if this is normal? If I was designing a bathroom, I'd put the toilet centrally in the room. But then I like things to be symmetrical. And maybe I've been spending too much time thinking about the smallest room in the house...