Saturday, May 30, 2015

A delayed gift giving

I actually finished Elise's winter scarf the better part of a month ago, but it never seemed to be the right time to give it to her. Either I was seeing her when we were out (in which case I was worried she wouldn't be comfortable with me taking photos) or we were hanging out in our trackies and ugg boots at home (in which case she wouldn't want me to take photos). So tonight, the last day of autumn, I decided to just do it. While we were out to dinner with 6 other people.Because that's a way to make someone feel comfortable with photos.

I'm quite happy with how it came out, particularly with the length I added. I knit it to (I'm guessing) two meters and did 15 repeats, rather than the 10 called for in the chart. I think it really benefits from the extra length.


I did actually take a boring, on the floor photo, to show how it looks, before I gifted it, although I think I prefer the paparazzi shots I took! 


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Yarnalong - the one with the vague discontent

Welcome to this weeks yarnalong, where we talk about what we knitting, reading (and in my case audiobook listening to). If you want to see what everyone else, including Ginny, who started these shenanigans, pop over to her blog

I am finishing up the Honeycomb vest. Knitting it was fun, but it feels like the edgings are taking forever. I mean, I started the first shoulder ribbing on Tuesday. And now it's Wednesday. I guess, because Good Beer Week is over I feel like this should be too.

I'm still listening to  Sense and Sensibility  but I'm not really enjoying it, rather to my surprise. The main female characters are all so useless, and all anyone seems to want to do is marry worthless men, and I'm sure it will end happily, but I'm not sure I care. A little bit like a modern rom-com.

I'm reading The Martian . I told Skip he had to, had to, had to read The Passage and he is, so I thought I would read this book which he loved. I'm quite liking it and it's getting better as I go along. (I noticed the copy I linked to did not have a cover with a guy with amazing cheekbones...)

So that's me for this week. I'm vaguely discontented, I'm not quite sure what i am knitting next and my audiobook is annoying me. But I'm basically doing just fine! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Good Beer Week Wrap Up

Ahh, Good Beer Week, what plans I had. I was going to take a photo every night of me, with me wearing last year's Good Beer Week knitting project, and the friends I was out with. That happened once:

I was going to take a photo of my wip outside every pub we drank at. That happened not at all!
What did happen was that we had a great week, and drank an awesome range of beers at venues we don't always go to. Also, I got the body of my vest finished. Now just the edges to go!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Very restrained

I went to the Handknitters fair today and it was lovely. So much lovely yarn and notions and things. I wanted to buy everything. but in the end I bought one skein of lacewight, for the pattern that is second in my queue:

I also bought some buttons:

One lot of these will be for Epistrophy and the rest were just super pretty.

I didn't actually buy the White Gum Wool I am going to use for that knit, but I did finally see it in person and it is utterly lovely. I'll buy it when I finally get there. Lots of other knitting to do first.
So, a very successful albeit restrained day
at the yarn show.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Some quick thoughts and a stash update

So, tomorrow is the Annual Hand Knitters "buy all the wool" event in Coburg. I said I wasn't going this year... but then I changed my mind. Before I go to these sorts of things, I like to remind myself of how much beautiful yarn I already own,and make a specific list of things I "need" .

So the stash update is: I currently have 20,377 meters of yarn. Which isn't too bad, this time last year I had 26,352 metres, so heading in the right direction.

I do have a few specific things I want to buy. I always like documenting these, just to compare with what I actually buy on the day!

Either 200g in white or 400 grams in two heavily contrasting colours for colourwork cowl and hat (4 ply)

150 grams nice neutral for a Thalia scarf (although I have something in stash that might work for this)


 White gum wool for Epistrophe (maybe) maybe just look at it and mail order it when I am ready to knit it?


I'll let you know after the even what actually comes home with me!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yarnalong - the one during Good Beer Week

Welcome to this week's yarnalong, where I tell you what I'm knitting, reading and listening to, and then encourage you to go to Ginny's blog and see what everyone else is up to.

This Good Beer Week I am, as promised, knitting the Honeycomb Vest. As I hoped, the pattern is easy enough to memorise , and knit in all conditions, but still so much fun. It is creating this wonderful fabric, with a nearly quilted feeling. I'm just about up to the underarms, so it should last me to the end of Good Beer Week.

I'm reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North. This was part of my misguided plan to read all the Man-Booker 2014 nominated novels. I have very mixed feelings about this book. It's very well written, but the middle third is continual brutal descriptions of the horrors of building the Burma Railway. And it went on, and on and on. I nearly gave up except I wanted to know what happened. So, if you want a depressing read, I recommend this. 

I'm listening to Sense and Sensibility. I love Jane Austin and hadn't realised that I had neither read nor listened to this until my father started reading and talking about it. It's read by Juliette Stevenson, who is a fantastic narrator for these sorts of books. I'm enjoying it very much, and it is very soothing, which makes it a good balance.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Getting Organised

For a long time, I've been storing my double-point needles and circulars in a red box we brought back from china. It worked quite nicely, but I have a lot of needles, and they not longer fit very well.

Also, despite keeping the needles in the original packets, finding the right ones were a bit of a challenge. Two Mondays ago I showed up at Richmond Knitters and pulled out my DPNs to cast on something new, and discovered that, while I had the packet for my 3mm needles, what was in them was actually 3.5 mm needles. Very frustrating.

While I was there, Sonia mentioned that she had just ordered a circular needle case, and one of the other knitters said that the Namaste needle cases were on special from Knit-Picks. Which now ships to Australia.

I bought the large case. Partly because I have a lot of needles, but mainly because this shade of blue is my current absolute favourite colour for everything. I also took this opportunity to go through my random cube of knitting crap:

Which was mostly taken up by thousands of bamboo double pointed needles that I bought on ebay a very long time ago, and I don't use because I like metal (or carbon fibre) needles. While sorting that out, I found out where all my crotchet hooks have gone and filed them in the needle holder too. So now I feel very clever and super organised.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Happy Good Beer Week

Good Beer Week starts tomorrow, which is super exciting.  As usually happens, I try to pick a project that will withstand 9 days of low lighting, public transport and beer. This year I have decided to knit the Honeycomb Vest, from Knitty.

I've cast on for the second smallest size. I am somewhat concerned that it will be too big, although it should be fine. Did I swatch? No I did not. Why not? Well the swatch size was in pattern, which I consider ridiculous. How do I measure something "after blocking". Pin blocking? Light blocking? And should I do it in the rib or the body pattern? There is a gauge for both. What if I can match one but not the other? Seriously, be specific, pattern.
Anyway, in a day or two I will knit this on to longer needles and see what the fit is like. Although I just realised that last time I made this exact set of decisions, it ended up with an abandoned project. Stay tuned for the thrills and excitement of trying to make a garment that fits.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yarnalong, the one where things are getting finished again

It's Wednesday, which means that I'm going to tell you what I am knitting, reading and listening to, and then suggest you go to Ginny's blog and see what everyone else is up to this week.

So, this week I am knitting Ursula. Not a new one, refinishing the previous version. I finished it a couple of weeks ago. When I finished it I know the sleeves weren't long, but they seem to get shorter every time I put it on. I wasn't enjoying having cold wrists, so I've ripped out the ribbing and extended the sleeves. I'd rather they were slightly too long that slightly too short. I also have to sew three buttons on to Sunny's dog jumper, and that's done too.

I've just started The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which will finish my (attempted) reading of last years Mann-Booker nominated novels. It looks like it will be a mildly challenging read, and a complete change from the book I just finished. (Calmly, Carefully, Completely if you must know.  Super trashy, but I loved it) By next week I'll have a clearer feel for the book.


And I've nearly finished listening to Jon Ronson's So You've been Publicly Shamed. I would say I've enjoyed this one more than most of his books. It doesn't really draw any big conclusions, but it's an interesting ramble.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A musing on hats

I've knitted quite a few hats for myself over the years - nine according to Ravelry.

I've made hats that are too big... remember Jabba the Hat? I've made hats that are too small. I've made hats that fit perfectly and then grew over time. I've made hats that are the right size, but don't keep my ears warm and I've made hats that look great, but don't keep anything warm.

So I've come into this winter without the perfect hat, which seems rather wrong, and the perfect hat is now my mission.

I mention last post I was knitting a Kate Davies hat. Specifically Epistropheid. It was such a fun knit, and it appears to fit me, although I worry that the brim might grow. I pulled it on this morning as soon as it was dry from blocking and it was so comfortable and happy making.

My only concern is that it might be a touch too big at the brim. Hopefully it won't grow. Knitting this was pure joy. I've complained before that Kate Davies writes very bossy patterns, but in this case it works very well. Her attention to detail is amazing. Look at how beautifully the decreases are worked:

I chose to make the large size, because I wanted a bit of slouch, bit now I also want a more fitted hat to wear under a bike helmet and while working out. I see a snowheid in my future, too.











Saturday, May 9, 2015

TWO projects in progress

As many of you know, I usually only knit one thing at a time. Otherwise my head might explode. But I decided to knit a colour work hat, as well as the dog jumper I am knitting for Sunny. Why? Well, I'm doing an OH&S course on Tuesdays, and it's a wee bit boring, but perfect for knitting through. I didn't want to finish the dog jumper before class on Tuesday. So, to make sure I have plenty of knitting left for that I cast on a Kate Davies colourwork hat. Not suitable for knitting in class, but perfect for my living room on this cold, wintry weekend. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May I introduce

Sunny:

Today I went to visit Anna's greyhound and she's a beautiful dog. placid, lovely, interested in everything but so, so gentle. 
While I was there I tried the jumper I am making for her on, and it seems like it is going to fit just fine.

Now I want a greyhound of my very own, even more than I did before meeting Sunny, but perhaps not while living in a first floor flat with three cats. 



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Yarnalong - the one with puppies, hoarders and colonists

This week my friend Anna got a rescue greyhound. I'm so excited for her, and a tiny bit jealous,  because we want one too, but now is not the time for us. As a "welcome home" present, I'm knitting her a jumper. It's a bit fun, and something different, and looks very strange in this photo, but it will all make sense in the end, or so I am told.



I'm listening to Coming Clean, which is a memoir of the author growing up with a father who is a hoarder. I'm not sure it's a very good book, but I'm enjoying it.

And I'm reading John Scazi's The Last Colony.  It's the third book in The Old Man's War series, and I'm enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the previous two, which is to say - quite a lot.

And that's what I'm knitting, reading and listening to this week. Pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the Yarnalong are up to this week.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Next generation knitters

It might be that the entire point of this post is to share this photo:

Meet Alice. Alice is six and her Nonna taught her to knit. Alice's mother Jayne and I have been friends since school, and, since her daughter was learning to knit Jayne thought she should learn too, so she can help. On Sunday we took a trip to Wool Baa, and then sat around in a cafe. I taught Jayne how to knit continental and how to purl. Later that evening she emailed a photo of her progress to me:

I think she's going to be good at this! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

How many repeats?

I mentioned briefly in my last post that I am knitting Elise her annual scarf. I'm making one of the Romi Hill small shawls for the most recent pattern subscription. When I looked at the pattern, I thought it looked a bit short. Still, the pattern said it was easily lengthened, so off I went. I'm knitting it in bottom of the pile Woolmeise, I think I bought it before I started blogging in 2010. Anyway, this means I have 150 grams of yarn to play with, while the pattern was written for a 100gram skein of sock yarn. It calls for ten repeats of the middle part of the pattern. I've done 15, and I'm still not sure it's going to be long enough.



 I've got 50 grams of yarn left, so I can certainly keep knitting the main pattern for a few more repeats, but now I'm worried it will grow on blocking and end up ginormous. Or it won't grow, and end up tiny. And I made the rookie error of not weighing the yarn before starting the first end, so if I keep knitting for too long, I'll run out of yarn. But I think each end only takes about 20 grams. Basically general panic and indecisiveness rules around here right now..