Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Yarnalong - the one where I'm knitting with cats

This week I'm reading City of Stairs, which Ursula mentioned in the yarnalong a couple of months ago. I'm still listening to Chris Hadfield's memoir An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth also a recommendation from Ursula. And as I explained yesterday, I'm knitting the  Goats mitts. They are actually a bit more of a struggle than they should be. I knit a row of goats facing the wrong way yesterday and had to rip. There really does seem to have been a lot of ripping for a relatively simple project.

And that's me for another week. Make sure you pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong are up to this week.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Now what?

After I realised I might have to put my Dreambird shawl on hold, my mind went to another WIP that has been waiting for my attention. I decided to finally restart The Goats of Inversaid mitts - if you recall, I got half way through the first one and then it was too big. I finished the hat ages ago and didn't write about it because I was going to do a big post with the hat and the mitts, and then the mitts turned out to be one of those projects:  I've cast on 4 times - first the cast on I used wasn't right, then it came out to big, then because I was using a tubular cast on and I did it wrong I got twice as many stitches as I needed. .

But we're going camping in two weeks, and it's going to be cold. I want warm mitts  to match the  awesome hat, so I've cast on again. This time it seems to be working and my goats are looking quite goat like.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A flaw at the planning stage

I've been happily knitting away on my Dreambird shawl for the last few weeks. 32 people on Ravelry have used the same foreground yarn as I have and it makes a good sized shawl - about 20 "feathers". I was knitting away last week when I realised that I had presumed that less background yarn would be necessary than the feather yarn. I have no idea why I would think that. After thirteen feathers I have very little of the background yarn left, and 40 grams of the coloured yarn:

For my background yarn I'm using Little Dipper Yarns, and I am lucky enough to be friends with the dyer Ursula. I asked if she can dye me some more and she has done so. She was vending at a yarn show this weekend, which I didn't go to, because I was too lazy to go to Coburg, and also I didn't need the temptation. So, I'm putting this on hold until I see Ursula and get the yarn off her.  I'm pretty excited about how large this shawl is going to be, with 250 grams of 4 ply yarn. It's actually not tiny now, but I'm definitly taking a bigger is better approach to shawls this winter.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Boneyard, finished with photos and explanations

I'm obsessed with Lululemon. I wear their workout clothes to ride, run, Crossfit and yoga. They also occasionally release other clothes, I've got dresses I wear to work and casual shorts. So, when I saw they had released a bamboo/cashmere onsie just in time for winter, I knew I had to buy it.

And I love it, but, coming on to winter, I knew it wasn't going to be quite warm enough. What to do?

Knit a shawl. So I knit a GIANT shawl in alpaca. Mainly the Adiago Yarns I kickstarted last year.

I knit until I ran out of yarn, and I'm so happy with it. It's huge, and wraps around and is so warm. it's basically a giant wearing blanket.

So come at me winter, bring your worst, I've got it covered.




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Yarnalong - The one where I am inspired by other people

We all bullied Ursula into doing yarnalong, because she has such good taste in books. Some of my favourite fantasy and sci-fi recommendations come from her. Last week she said she was reading Chris Hadfield's memoir An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth. I found it on Audible, read by the author. Yes please!


I'm reading Skinny by Diana Spechler. It's one of a number of books Roxanne Gaye talks about, and if the rest of them are as good as this one, I'll keep on reading down her list. This book is just very readable, while still exploring emotions and issues.

After I finished my Boneyard wrap, I picked Dreambird back up, and I'm certainly inspired by all the beautiful examples on ravelry.

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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Good beer week - that's a wrap

 Yesterday was the last day of Good Beer Week 2016, and we took it very easy, after a big week, starting with a half marathon and ending with GABS - the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular on Saturday. 

Throughout the week I  couldn't believe how fast my Boneyard Shawl grew, and by Sunday I was finished, not mainly because the rows were out of control long, but because I had used all the yarn. I was planning a large garter stitch boarder in the black, but the 19 grams of yarn I had left over got me two rows and the cast off.

Just like Good Beer Week, this shawl is huge. Here it is, unblocked, on the back of my rocking chair. I'll block it and get pictures of it on, to show you how big it really is. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Yarnalong -the one with Good Beer Week 2016

As you can see from the photo there is much beer, much knitting and not that much reading going on. 



Boneyard shawl was a good call for good beer week.. I'm motoring through it in all conditions, including some quite beery ones. The rows are getting quite long now, but it's just knitting and purling, knitting and purling.

When I've had time I'm reading  Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate. It's such a good book, although they seem to accept what we would call at the very least inappropriate sexual contact with  children as funny.

After finishing Nick Earls' novella Wisdom Tree last week, I decided to listen to another Nick Earls book, read by the same narrator. At this point the book is a little bit sad - about a middle aged man with kids who are ignoring him and his wife is a bit mean to him. I'm not very far into it yet, and I expect the tone will change.

And that's me for 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 16, 2016

Too tired to knit

I had a great weekend away. Apollo Bay is such a lovely place and it has all the things I want out of a sea-side resort, specifically amazing beaches and ice cream shops.

We drove up (more accurately were driven up) on Friday night. I was very glad I chose a simple project, so I could knit in the car, even as it got dark.

On the Saturday we hung around, ate ice-cream, watched one of my friends finish the six kilometer run and I knit, knit knitted away.

This is Leon, after he finished the 23km really, fast.
On Sunday Leon and I had to get up at 5.30 to get to the start of the run. It was worth it though, running on the Great Ocean Road is so beautiful, and such a privilege. It was sunny and still when the race started. About half way through a rainbow started, and by the 18 kilometre mark I was running into the arch of a full rainbow. Stunning. Then it rained on me a bit, but it was worth it for the rainbow.

After finishing 23kms - the furthest I have ever run, we celebrated the traditional way -with Bloody Marys. I managed to knit a bit in the car on the way home, but by the time we got in I was so tired that I just sat on the couch. Too tired to knit. Today I feel a bit more lively, and am looking forward to picking my needles back up.

Photo credits go, as they so often do, to my personal photographer, Chris Scott.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Good beer week

Today is the first day of Good Beer Week 2016. I like a simple project to knit during this week. In the past I've knit socks,  a Steven West shawl, and a vest. This year I'm knitting Steven West's Boneyard shawl out of alpaca, and I'm planning on making it huge!

But before our Beer Week madness kicks of, we're going away to the Great Ocean Road for the weekend. Leon and I are running the half in the marathon festival down there - although whoever decided that a half marathon is actually 23 kilometers was just plain wrong. I'm a little nervous about the distance, but I know I can do it, and before and afterwards I'll have this simple, snuggly shawl to give me calmness and comfort.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Yarnalong - the one where unease has turned to happiness

Wow, I'm really reaching to find a theme! The title references what I am knitting and what I've been reading. For my Dreambird Shawl, last week I was confused about the pattern, but now I have the hang of it, it's quite simple and quite fun. It's addictive knitting, watching the stripes develop and each feather form.


I've just finished Incendiary by Chris Cleave. It's a fairly disturbing book, set after a massive suicide bombing on London. I would go so far as to call it dystopian, and disturbing, and not what I was expecting at all. It is quite oddly written, but I couldn't put it down. I'm now reading a palette cleaner - Blaze, the third in Rachael Herron's Firefighters of Darling Bay series. Lovely books, and I know it's going to have a happy ending from the very first page, something I rather need after Incendiary.

In listening I have also moved from a challenging space - Roxane Gaye musing on gender, race and sexual violence, to Wisdom Tree, by Nick Earls. Audible.com.au is giving away this novella, and I enjoyed a bunch of Nick Earls novels when I was at uni, so it should be good. I've only listened to enough of it to know I love the narrator, Australian actor Ryys Mulddon. 

And that's another week in reading, listening and knittng. Pop over to Ginny's blog, to see what she and the rest of the yarnalong are up to this week.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Dreambird shawl and the wonder that is GERMAN SHORTROWS

The Dreambird pattern is very oddly written, more like how you might describe knitting it to a friend than an actual pattern. I did the first repeat exactly as written, including using fifteen stitch markers, then I realised I would only ever have to count to five and knit the second and subsequent repeats using two stitch markers. Much easier.

But the real revelation here has been German short rows. They are easy to work, invisible and not at all fiddly. I don't know why I've been messing around with wrap and turn, when this simple, neat technique has been there all along. I highly recommend checking them out, such a simple, brilliant change to the way I knit.

This picture above has dozens of short rows. It has short rows within short rows. Basically there are six rows in this picture that aren't short rows. And the turn are invisible. No holes, no wraps to worry about, nothing tricky at all. Here's a closer view:


I know I'n raving about this technique. That's because it is so very, very good. 


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Changable

On Wednesday I was running early for my massage, so I popped into the Salvos. I always check to see if they have any decent yarn, and there is always a couple of sad balls from Spotlight. But I keep looking, because you never know. On Wednesday I found a cone of one hundred percent wool laceweight, from Wangarrata woollen mills. It was my favourite colour, a very light mint green. I did not buy it. Partly because I have three jumpers worth of yarn in the stash, but mainly because it was one dollar, and I only had a fifty dollar note.


I didn't buy it, but then I was sad about it, so when Leon was going down there on Thursday I asked him to pick it up for me. It turns out I was wrong about the price, it was $1.99.

As far as I can tell it's this wool , but, being on a cone I'm not even sure how much it weights. If it's heavy enough I'm going to make a long cardigan by Jojo Locatelli. If not, maybe a wedding ring shawl. I guess swatching will give me the answers I need. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Yarnalong- the one where I'm using my brain

I have just cast on for the Dreambird shawl. I've only just started, and, at this point, I'm following the pattern blindly, going "huh?' and "what?" a lot. Apparently it makes more sense once you are a bit through it. Right now I'm just knitting and hoping.



After giving up on All the Single Ladies I'm listening to more feminist literature, specifically Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. It's thought provoking and interesting, although it's also a bit scattershot. She's given me lots of good ideas about what to read next. 

Right now though, I'm finishing Joe Abercrombe's Half a War. It's good, maybe not quite an strong as the other books in the trilogy, but it does seem to wrapping things up into a nice neat ending.

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

Matchy matchy matchy happyness

After my last post, which I think rather made me sound like I might be about to quit knitting I made a pair of sneaker liners,which made me so happy to be a knitter. I like to wear matchy-matchy clothes when I am working out. I recently wore out my favourite camo Converse. I'm still sad about that. Here's a pair of pictures to remember them by:

I replaced them with a pair of dark purple cons. Then I made a pair of socks to match, out of the yarn I dyed  in February.

The pattern is by a new to me designer Trude Hertaas  who has loads of patterns specifically for short socks, and they all have this sort of perfect pattern - easy to remember, but still interesting to knit. So, a perfect yarn, pattern, shoe match.  Winner.