Friday, July 31, 2015

Preparing to blanket

I've almost finished my Colour Affection (where almost means I have 10 more rows, but the rows are over 400 stitches each), so I've started to get ready for my next project.
As mentioned, I bought a Rams and Yowes kit from Kate Davies. I finally put al the yarn on my stash page on Ravelry ( adding 2300 meters for those of you playing along at home). 
I found a knitting bag big enough to take all this yarn, photocopied and read the pattern, familiarised myself with the yarn colours, and now I'm ready to go!

Well, as soon as I finish 10 rows of over 400 stitches each, that is.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yarnalong - the one where I'm relaxed

In fact today, everything seems relaxing. I have today off work, the sun in shining and I'm just having a nice quiet day.

I'm reading Fiona's Flame which which is the last of the Cypress Hollow novels, by Rachael Herron. After finishing All the Light we Cannot See I really wanted to read something light and a little bit predictable. 

I'm still knitting Colour Affection. I've now done the number of repeats called for in the pattern, but I'm just going to keep knitting.I've got plenty of yarn left and it's very relaxing, back and forth in every increasing garter stitch rows.

And I'm listening to Scott Adams' How to Fail at Nearly Everything and Still Win Big, The Story of My Life. I'm neither loving it nor hating it. It's kind of a motivational book, and I do actually need some career motivation, so maybe I'll take something positive away from it. Or maybe not. 

And that's what I've been up to this week. Pop over to Ginny's blog and see what she, and the other yarn-along peeps have been doing.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Finished socks - Mort

Last week I finished Mort socks, the sixth pair I have knit from Rachel Coopey's Discworld Sock Club. They were very pleasing socks, with a mirrored cabled pattern down the outside of each leg.


The other this that made these socks pleasing was the yarn / pattern combination. I dyed the yarn myself, and it came out the perfect colour for this project, a dark black with purple undertones which rather matches the description in the Discworld books of the colours of Death's garden. (If you haven't read the books, this won't make any sense to you. Go read them. Start at the beginning with The Colour of Magic). 
So now I'm halfway trhough knitting the socks from the Discworld sock club, six down, six more to go.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yarnalong - the one with no obvious theme

It's Wednesday, and that means I'm participating in Yarnalong, hosted by Ginny. Pop over to her blog and see what she, and all the other yarnalongers are up to this week.

As promised I cast on for another Colo(u)r Affection.   I'm hoping to make this one just a smidge bigger than the original pattern. I'm at that point where the rows are not that long yet, and you look at it and think "I'll have this finished by the end of the week". But that's a rookie error, and I'm an experienced knitter and I'll be lucky if I have the third colour joined by the end of the week. 

I'm listening to H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. A memoir, read by the author, my favourite type of book. I am glad I read (listened to) T.H. White's The Goshawk  first, because she is rather obsessed with White and his story, and I wanted an unfiltered take on that book.

I'm still reading All the Light we Cannot See and still enjoying it. It's slowly mounting towards an exciting ending, but I'm having trouble prioritising reading it when I'm listening to, and knitting such addictive things.

So, all in all a pretty satisfactory week in knitting, reading and listening. I hope yours brings you much joy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mail call!

This winter is cold. Very cold. Actually colder than last year. In fact this has been the coldest July in ten years. I'm cold, and being cold makes me grumpy.
So, given my love affair with Kate Davies, and Jamieson and Smith yarn, and how much I am really not enjoying this winter, I ordered a Rams and Yowes blanket kit!

I'm really excited about it, although a bit scared because there is a LOT of colourwork knitting in this blanket. Still, it's all in stunning, natural sheep coloured Shetland yarns, so I imagine I will enjoy it thoroughly. 




Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stalker, with photos

Remember the jumper I was knitting based on one I surreptitiously took photos of on the street one day? Well, we went back today and took the same photos, but with Leon's finished jumper. Here they are:


I blanked out the strangers face, it seemed like the polite thing to do.
Taking these photos was hilarious, while I stood on one side of the road and Leon stood on the other, a stranger came up behind me and looked at my phone, just to check out what I was taking photos of. Ah, St Kilda, never change.

I'm so happy with how the photos above turned out.
The jumper itself is ok. The neckline turned out a little lower than I was planning, and the reverse stocking stitch does not look as smooth as I would have hoped. Maybe a couple more washing will sort that out?

 Certainly I think it was a worthwhile experiment. And every time I design something for myself, I am reminded of the challenges of designing. Will I do it again? Probably, I have a whole folder of photos I've taken both sneakily and with permission, that are just waiting for their moment.



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yarnalong - The one where things are both slow and satisfactory

It's Wednesday, and that means I'm participating in Yarnalong, hosted by Ginny. Pop over to her blog and see what she, and all the other yarnalongers are up to this week.

This week I'm still reading All the Light we Cannot See and still enjoying it. It's slow going, but enjoyable. I just haven't had a lot of time to read this week.


I'm still knitting the Discworld sock club, Mort. I'm almost up to the toe. Of the first sock. And I cast on over a week ago. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long, it's a great pattern, but not overly complicated.

I'm listening to Soul Music  the next Discworld book, which ties in well with the sock, because it;s one of the books that features Death. It's a really good one, and I'm loving it.

I hope you are enjoying your reading, crafting and audio this week. Do share! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Colour affection craving

At work today, I was warm, so I took off my Ursula cardigan, but not that warm, so I put on my Colour Affection, which happened to be hanging on the back of my chair. "I love this shawl" I thought. "But it's a bit pastel, and I think it's faded. What I need is one that is darker. And bigger".

And when I got home I found these yarns: 


Which are slightly different colours from that picture, but that's not really the point.

Knitalong anyone?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Vegan Balls

My friend Bee hosted a birthday party today, with the theme "balls". Why? I don't know. But there was ball music, and ball food and ball decorations.

To go with the theme I decided to make pompoms. Since Bee's a vegan I used cotton. I also discovered there are lots of easier ways to make them than the traditional "yarn through the centre of a piece of doughnut shaped card board" method. There is a method that involves wrapping the yarn around the fingers. It takes about five minutes to make a pom pom.

Leon made one:


I made one:




Then I made another one:

Then I made some more:

I couldn't stop:



I spent the last three days obsessively making pom poms.:

It was worth it to see the look on Bee's face when I gave them to her. One at a time, of course!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Complete HAPpiness



I mentioned the other day that I finished my hap, but I was worried that it was too small. WELL, I blocked it and it's just fine. I was also worried that the top edge would be tight, but that resolved itself too. Ahh, the magic of blocking. When worn tied at the back, which is how I want to wear it, it comes down to just above my elbows. 


Any lower than that and it would be a straight jacket!
It covers my whole back, too. 

It's so warm for something so light. I love Kate Davies, and I love Jamieson and Smith. Put the two together, and I have complete HAPpiness.


That's the last HAP pun for now, I promise. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Yarnalong - the one with the curious cats

It's Wednesday, and that means I'm participating in Yarnalong, hosted by Ginny. Pop over to her blog and see what she, and all the other yarnalongers are up to this week.

This week I'm listening to The Goshawk  by T.H White. This is because Catherine said she was reading and enjoying Helen MacDonald's memoir H is for Hawk. While I was looking for that book, I found it is influenced by this 1951 story, so I thought I would listen to this one first. it's an interesting, if odd listen.

I'm reading  All the Light we Cannot See because everyone else seems to be, and sometimes that's reason enough for me. I've only just started it and am enjoying it so far, although the chapters are really short, which means I'm more likely to put the book down and do something else.

And I'm knitting the next socks in the Discworld sock club, Mort.  I've only just started these, It's been nearly three months since my last pair, and it's good to have the sock needles back in hand.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Then this HAPpened

I ran out of one colour of yarn, half a repeat - or six rows - before I was meant to finish the hap. I'm a bit sad, the only reason I was weighing it was because I was hoping to have enough yarn for an extra half repeat.


Anyway, even unblocked its big enough to wrap around me and tie at the back, which was what I wanted to do with it. Hopefully it will grow on blocking - I can't block it until Leon's jumper is dry and everything is taking forever to dry in the cold damp weather we are having right now. I'm looking forward to the finished item photo shoot I'll be making Leon participate in this weekend.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

That went surprisingly well

On Saturday morning I decided it was time to fix or rip Leon's jumper. I was rather terrified, which was why I had put it off for so long. First I removed the neck ribbing:
Then,  I cut a stitch in the neck line, and dropped back the stitches, to do an extra cable crossing.

That was when I realised that, when I deliberately left off the final crossing I had actually moved the whole cable outward. At this point, I thought I was going to have to rip the sleeves and front. But instead I somehow recrossed it and picked up the rows I had dropped down.

At this point I started to thinkit might work:

I then knit the neckband on smaller needles, so it wouldn't look sloppy, and with fewer rows, because Leon thought that looked better. And then it was done!  I'm really happy with it, and Leon likes it too.

Once it's dry from blocking, I'll get some modelled photos. For now though, I'm going to admire it while it dries, and just be happy that it all worked out in the end.
  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Duck! Yarn.

The other day I was travelling around on Ravelry, when I came across a thread talking about knitting little yellow ducks and leaving them about the place. It's being used as a tool to raise awareness for organ donation . I thought it would be a fun thing to do, especially as in the next month I am going to all the fun places - and by that I mean Shepparton, Pakenham, Dandenong and Mildura - possibly twice. But I didn't have any yellow yarn. I happened to wander in to the ever classy Arthur Daley's Clearing House, where I found the perfect yellow yarn - for $2 a ball. And it's actual wool. Now I'm really looking forward to knitting up some little yellow ducks and leaving them about the place.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Yanalong - the one with the HAPpiness

I am going to be punning on the word hap until I finish the hap I am knitting. So far it's going very well, and growing quickly. I'm loving it. The pattern was very easy to memorise, I'm loving the colours, and it combines my two current things: Kate Davies and Jameson and Smith yarn. 

I've almost finished The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and it's a winner of a book. I'm unclear whether this is the beginning of a series, but I really hope it is, because I could spend some serious reading time in the universe created here by Becky Chambers.

And finally I'm listening to The Tastemakers, which is non-fiction about food trends. It's quite interesting, although bugs me a tiny bit because the author identifies everything as a trend, from drinking coffee to eating chia seeds, but can't define the difference between a trend and a fad. Despite this, it's an interesting listen, particularly the chapter about superfoods and gluten.  

As usual, I'm playing along with Ginny. Pop over to Small Things, to see what she and everyone else is up to this week.