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!