Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stitch marker update

Remember when I got all obsessed and then bought all those adorable coloured stitch markers?

Well look what else they are good for:


Yep, they can happily hold at least five stitches, which is good, because I'm knitting the Hat Heel sock, and there is a remarkable amount of putting stitches on waste yarn involved.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Well, that's my 15 minutes done

My Blank Canvas was featured on Ysolda's blog! I'm so thrilled and flattered. I'm particularly excited because the photo was taken by the wonderful Skip, who I like to call my official photographer. I love that jumper, and I love the photos he took and I am so excited that Ysolda (or her assistant Sarah) thought it stood out from all the other beautiful projects.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Yarnalong - The one with the lake

As I wrote about yesterday, we spent the long weekend in the most beautiful spot:

I'm almost finished knitting Tir Chonaill. In fact, I've just got the border left to sew down. Not a huge job, but it will take a little while.

I'm reading Gold by Chris Cleave and I'm loving it. His books are so touching and so real. This one has actually made me cry, twice. It's so beautiful and sad and happy. I'm close to the end and I really want to know what happens, but I don't really want to finish it., it's that good. If you like contemporary fiction, I really recommend Chris Cleave.

Not much happened in the audiobook front this week, as I was on holidays with other people most of the time.

Pop along to Ginny's blog to see what she and the rest of the yarnalong are knitting and reading this week.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Long Weekend Wrapup

We're back from our awesome weekend away, and it was all kind of wonderful.
On Friday night we drove up to Wodonga and stayed with Anna, one of the people who was coming camping with us. On Saturday we did Park Run, which I've never understood, but it was really fun. Also, I ran 5 kms in 26:49, so I was pretty pleased about that. 

After that we drove up to Kancoban and it was stunning. We camped, we ran, we hiked - including Mount Kosciuszko, the tallest mountain in Australia, and generally enjoyed the outdoor life.

Unlike last time I went camping with this group of people I didn't get all that much knitting done.  This time I got a lot done, maybe because there was more driving involved.

This is where I steeked my blanket:

After the drive home, I've nearly finished the border. A great weekend, and a great deal of knitting done.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ready!

We're going camping this weekend, and so I've packed. Well my knitting anyway, and that's the important stuff, right?

I doubt I'll get that much knitting done while camping; at night it tends to be too dark, and during the day we will be running and hiking. We're going with the same people as last time, and, just like last time I expect to get quite a lot of knitting done in the car. In fact, since we're going to the Snowies, it's a five hour drive there,. i was worried that i would finish the last two repeats of the blanket, steek it and finish the edging before we get back, so I threw in a pair of socks, just in case. It might happen, right?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with the new kindle case again

After deciding I hate the feel of the case I bought a mere six weeks ago, I bought a Pad & Quill one. it just came today, and it feels really nice and solid. It looks like a Moleskine notebook. It even smells nice!

As to what I'm reading in my lovely new case, I don't like to switch cases half way through a book, so I just read an essay that Rachael Herron  sent out to her Patreons. I love Rachael Herron. She's so inspiring and real.

I'm still knitting Tir Chonaill and still enjoying it. I'm six repeats through and have just two more to go.

And I'm listening to Alan Cumming's Not My Father's Son. We saw him perform last week and he was so funny and brilliant live. This book is a bit darker, but once again, a memoir read by the author! Love that.

So, that;s what I'm knitting, reading and listening to this week. Pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and everyone else is up to this week.




Sunday, January 17, 2016

Beer festival knitting

On Saturday Leon and I went to the Ballarat Beer Festival.  The weather was stunning, and this year we hung out with a group of Leon's friends. Eight lads, who were liberated from their partners and children for the day. It was all very 1950s but that's a whole other story. We had a table under some shade, and thoroughly enjoyed the day, which for me including doing some knitting. There were a couple of "oh, are you knitting"?, comments. To which I replied 'probably not, you might have had too much to drink".

Later, one of Leon's friends Conway came and sat down next to me and looked at my chart. I explained how charts work, and that, it this case the dark squares represent a light stitch. (I've reversed it for this pattern).  I was quite surprised when he said "I would get confused by the light squares being dark stitches".  I realised how aware of the knitting he was when I packed it away and he said "you stopped in the middle of a row. how will you know where to start again?".
Near the end of the afternoon I went for a walk around the event. I felt like the table of lads might be dispersing, so I took my handbag with me. I left my knitting bag under the table, figuring that, even if it was unattended it would be fine. I love this bag, but it looks a bit like a nappy bag. About half an hour later, Leon got a phone call, and then took off, saying he had to go rescue my knitting. When the lads dispersed, Rogers had picked up my knitting bag. He then somehow became involved in a conversation with some girls about whether the pattern on the bag was alpacas or giraffes. When Leon took the bag off him he was offering to show the girls how to knit. I was quite touched that he had looked after my knitting at all. And Leon took if from him before any damage could be done!
So a good day with sunshine, beer, knitting and considerate, if blokey, friends. 

 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tir Chinonail - some musings from the halfway point

Firstly, how am I half way through this blanket already? I'm doing eight repeats, which is one more than the pattern calls for, and I thought it would take a lot longer. 

The pattern is lovely, and easy enough once I got it started.

Kate Davies describes it as "not having long floats". Really? One row has elven stitch floats, and another has nine. I've learnt to catch my floats, turns out it's pretty easy, and worth it for the really long ones.

I'm not sure about doing a colourwork blanket in aran weight yarn. It is very, very thick. Maybe that's why Kate Davies knit hers on 5mm needles, but I was concerned that the colours would show through, so I'm knitting on 4.5mm needles.

I'm also a little bit worried about the yarn - Wendy Traditional Aran. I wanted something that would wear better than the Cascade 220 I made Elise's last blanket from, and this certainly ticks that box. It feels like it will never pill or wear. The downside of that is that the yarn is a bit rough. hopefully a good blocking will assist.

And also, on the yarn, I feel like I've got A LOT of yarn left, for being at the half way point. I see a matching pillow in Elise's future.

I expect the second half of this blanket will go slower than the first, because I've had a fair bit of time off work since I cast on. This is the kind of project that I'm happy if it takes a little while, it is the perfect mix of interesting enough, but not at all stressful.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Heelix heel - the assesment

I have just finished knitting the Heelix socks from Knitty as a sneaker liner. This is a heel out sock. that's right - starts at the heel. In this case, with a spiral heel:

was it worth the effort to get that effect? In my opinion, no. What was worth the effort though was learning that it is possible to start a sock at the heel, and the use of gussets in these.This could help solve the three three problems with my "perfect' sneaker liner pattern -there are no gussets, the stitches take forever to pick up for the afterthought heel, and the weakest points are in the most stressed part of the sock.

I also learnt about the sewn cast off, which gives a much nicer finish than either JSSO or cast off I usually use on toe up socks, and always complain about.
 
Knitting this sock has made me excited about different types of sock construction. There is the hat heel sock, and then all of Cat Bordhi's wonderful constructions. The sneaker liner project is about to get interesting!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Yarnalong- the one where everything is new and going well so far

I finished The Signature of all things last night. It was not what I was expecting at all, but an excellent read. I've just started The Royal We, which is delicious trash, and basically Kate Middleton fan fiction. It's the literary equivalent of a slurpee, and sometimes that's just perfect.

In knitting, I'm running true to form and knitting a Kate Davies colourwork blanket. This time it's the Tir Chonail pattern, and it's for Elise. So far so good:



I'm listening to Felicia Day's memoir You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost). A memoir read by it's author? Sign me up. Pretty much my favourite audio genre.

And that's me done for another week, enjoying what I'm knitting, reading and listening to. pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the Yarnalong, are up to this week.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Things I don't normally do

I'm working on two things at once, and it's doing my head in. Because I had this week off, and I knew I was going to have some time at home by myself I started Elise's blanket. Here' it is, all ready to go:


I had to wind off the yarn, it wasn't going to be knitable from those big balls.

I decided to keep the socks for knitting when I'm out. Much more portable and practical. But it's driving me crazy. The socks don't seem to make any progress, I'm obsessed with how the blanket is growing, and I feel generally unsatisfied with this arrangement. I'm going to take the socks to knit night on Monday, finish them and then focus on the blanket. I'd like to say lesson learned, but this blanket is going to get so big, so heavy, so fast, that I might end up knitting another pair of socks alongside it, and I'll be making the exact same complaint then too, I'm sure. Practicality versus emotion, and maybe I should let emotion win next time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Yarnalong -the one with more holidays

I decided to take an extra week off after New Years, although then i panicked about something and went to work on Tuesday anyway. But I'm off today, and for the next four days. Leon is back at work, so I'm going to spend the days knitting and reading and watching trashy television.

I'm reading Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of all Things. It's been in my queue for ages and I was undecided about whether to read it, but then Racheal Herron raved about it, so I decided to read it. (Stalker much?) I'm enjoying it, although it is written in an odd manner, more like someone telling a story than an actual novel. I've got a long time to decide if i like it, it's a chunky book.

I'm knitting  Double Heelix sock from Knitty, as a sports sock. I'll do a full post about how I feel about these next - so many feels about one sock! But it's coming along nicely and will certainly make a usable pair of sneaker liners.

And that's me for another week. Pop over to Ginny's blog, to see what she, and the rest of the Yarnalong, are up to with their knitting and reading this week. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Worth the wait

I finished my not-so-deep V Argle vest, and I am very pleased with it. I used Kate Davies' yarn, Buchaille, and I can't rave about it enough. It has a beautiful hand, and a beautiful sheepy smell, and is really sticky, perfect for steeking.

The knitting proceeded with very little drama, it was an easy to knit, easy to follow pattern. Once I'd finished the knitting and the steeking I tried it on and discovered a very strange thing: the straps were too long, but only at the front. Which makes no sense, since the whole thing is knit in the round.

Anyway, I cut the straps shorter, and did the finishing, which, like on all steeked projects, seemed to take a really long time.

I am so, so happy with how this came out. I'm really glad I raised the neckline:

I'm REALLY glad I went up half a needle size, since it's pretty fitted, bordering on tight:

And I'm really glad I finally knit this beautiful vest. I'm pleased until I waited until I knew enough to be able to make the changes I wanted to make, and also I got to make it in a yarn that hadn't even been thought of when i first bought the pattern.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Things I bought on the internet - the post that should have been the first post

I wrote the first 'Things I bought on the Internet" post when I had just bought four things, starting with some multicoloured metal stitch markers on eBay. I figured I would blog all four packages over the next couple of weeks and be done with that theme. Well, the initial purchase of the stitch markers never arrived. After six weeks, I gave up and bought the only other metal stitch markers I could find. These were gold, and while they  are fine, they weren't perfect for what I felt like. For reasons I cannot explain I then looked on Etsy, where I found these:


Coloured powder coated metal stitch markers. Exactly what I wanted. And, while they cost more than $2.60, these ones actually arrived, and quickly. So that's the wrap up to the intended "things I bought on the internet" posts, although I am expecting a couple more packages in the next week or so, and I'm sure I will tell you about them as they arrive.