Thursday, June 30, 2016

Another weekend away

This is just a fly by post because I am flat out. We're  flying to the to the Gold Coast this afternoon, partly to get some sunshine, and partly the run the half marathon. After Run the Rock and the Great Ocean Road Half, I'm pretty excited to be doing a flat half marathon.

As always, I wanted the right project to take with me. I've just finished Elise's hat (not blocked yet though) and I decided  to make a cowl for our up coming trip to New Zealand, where it might be quite cold. I chose Ysolda's Pukkleen cowl, because I haven't done any colourwork for ages. 

Normally I like to be well cast on before going through airport security, but this is as far as I've made it:

Hopefully it won't make any difference. I have packed some back up socks, and some back up needles, just in case. I'm nothing if not over prepared - at least on the knitting front, not so much on the run training. 

I'll catch you on the other side of the run, and we'll review whether a colourwork cowl is a good plan for a weekend away.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Yarnalong -the one with the good, the irritating and Juniper

The good: I'm knitting a hat for Elise, using the Plaits and Pines pattern. I haven't knit cables for ages, and I love them. 

Book, knitting cat. Pretty much sums up my life
The bad: I'm reading The Book of Forbidden Wisdom and it's awful.  The characters are useless, there is a lot of thinking  by the main character, their actions never match thier skills sets and her sister has one word in italics in every sentence she speaks. And it's always the last word. But I'm two thirds of the way through, and maybe at some point they will explain about the book. Although I'm not holding my breath. Still, I'm no quitter.

As usual, I'm joining in with Ginny over at Small Things. Pop over and see what she, and the rest of the yarnalongers are up to this week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Asking in the right way

Remember earlier this week when I said that people who love me know how to motivate me to knit for them? In August 2014 I made Shoni a hat. I know he wears it all the time, and, just like Elise (his sister) always tells me and others how great it is. This arrived in my inbox the other day:



Hi Sharon,

Hope you + Leon doing great and enjoying winter.

I have a sad hat story.

The awesome beanie you crafted for me, which has been keeping my head amazingly warm through a winter were I insist on kayaking even when it’s dark and 2 degrees cold outside has sadly, just been left on a tram (damn I thought I put it in my bag but it must have been on my lap or so…. for the record, I chased the tram a ways).

I am seriously sad! And, feeling sorry for my cold noggin self.

I am wondering if you are planning to make such a thing again, and if so, whether I could get on your wait-list?

Cheers,
S.


Well, since Shoni is eminently knitworthy and I happen to have some leftover White Gum Wool in my stash, which is very soft, I knit a  Windschief by Stephen West .

It's not designed to be worn with a folded brim, but the ever patient Leon was modelling for me, and his head is slightly smaller than Shoni's. I actually quite like how this looked. I also love the swirling decreases, the rib pattern and the yarn - leftover White Gum Wool. It's very soft and has beautiful stitch definition.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Smallest (adult) feet in the world

People who love me know the things to say to get me to knit for them. When I was talking about lairy socks with my father, my mother said "Oh, the socks you made for me died. I only wear them to bed and around the house. I mean, I don't have to wear hand knit socks but they are better." Yes Mother, here are some socks I made for you:

She likes bright colours, and has the smallest feet in the known world, as in size three. These socks took four days to knit, used something from my stash that I liked too much to destash but couldn't work out what I was going to use it for and, most importantly, will make my mother feel happy, and loved and warm.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Best jumper ever?

Last year I kickstarted an ebook of black knitting patterns by Alex Tinsey called Knit it Black. I did it on a whim, she was donating to save black shelter animals, I rad her blog and like her, all the reasons we buy patterns that we may never knit. And then on a whim I knit Char. I actually only have one eight ply jumper that I wear regularly (Blank Canvas, thanks for snaking), because I like things fitted and sleek. But this, this is exquisite.


It fits like a dream. I made the sleeves one size up, so even with my Crossfitters shoulders its not too tight.

It has cute detailing on the back. It has an interesting square neckline. I love the colour, although it is slightly greener than it shows up in any of the photos - not just these, but the WIP photos too.


This was such a pleasure to knit. Maybe that's why it took a week from casting on to having a warm, cute, perfectly fitting jumper. With the weather we are having right now I may well be wearing this every day until the end of winter.



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with the final bit of transport

Remember how I took every form of transport known to man a fortnight ago? Well, I was missing just one thing, suburban trains. But today I got to remedy that, knitting my way to Dandenong for work. Yay?

My Char jumper has been knitting up ridiculously fast. It's easy, pleasant and a well written pattern.

I'm reading Rachael Herron's latest book The Ones Who Matter Most. It's a good read so far, family centered fiction, easy to read but still emotionally challenging.

I'm listening to Evelyn Waugh's Men At Arms. I'm enjoying it, I didn't really know what to expect, but some of it reminds me of Catch 22, in that it catalogues the absurdities of war and bureaucracy. The narrator has the perfect upper crust English accent and I'm very pleased it's the first of a trilogy.  

And that's another week of reading, knitting and catching trains everywhere for me. Do pop along to Ginny's blog to see what she and the rest of the yarnalong are up to this week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

More of what I like

You know what I like. Stocking stitch in the round, german shortrows and good solid wool yarn. And that's what my latest project is all about. I'm knitting Alex Tinely's jumper Char, from her book Knit it Black, which I kickstarted ages ago. I'm using the Cleckheaton Country  that I bought last time I went to Wangarrata . I had intended it for a cardigan, but suddenly decided I wanted a close fitting jumper for this winter.

The jumper has a longer back hem, done with short rows. The pattern specifies wrap and turn, but I'm so in love with German short rows I used them again, And look how well they come out. You can't even see where I've done the short rows ans there are loads of them! That's three projects in a row using German Shortrows, and the love just keeps on growing.




Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hi "liary"ious socks for my father


My father and one of his friends have a thing were they wear the brightest, silliest socks possible when they see each other, which is on Tuesdays. He described his perfect socks as "lairy". I decided to knit him a pair of the loudest, funnest, silliest socks possible.

I knit the one with the wider stripes (on the right in these photos) first, and I found the stripes just too wide. So I knit the second one with the same stripe pattern, but smaller stripes. I was worried I had gone to far, but when I gave them to him he laughed until he cried. the he stopped laughing, looked at them and started again. I'm calling that a win.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Dreambird - finished photos

I finished the Dreambird shawl the day before we left for Wilson's Promontory. I had to block it on the bed, because the study floor where I do most of my blocking was covered in camping gear. Juniper didn't mind.


I took it down to Wilson's, left it in the car and did took photos after four days of bush camping and no showers. 



I'm so happy with this shawl. It's got two and a half balls of sock yarn and the extra size is wonderful. No more small shawls for me.
It's so wearable, sparkly and pretty. I just love everything about it. I can't imaging knitting a one skein shawl again for a very long time. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Yarnalong -the one with Wilson's Promontory

We got back from camping yesterday, and I had a glorious four days knitting and reading - not to mention camping and hiking - in a national park.

I like to theme my life, so I decided to read Into Thin Air, which is about people climbing Mount Everest, and some of them dying. It was a surprisingly compelling read, although I'm not sure the amount of snow, ice and storms made my winter camping feel warmer.

I knit a pair of socks for my father. In the photo you can mainly see that I'm knitting, but not what I was knitting. I made crazy seven coloured striped socks. So much fun!

As usual on a Wednesday I'm joining Ginny and the rest of the crew for yarnalong. Pop over to her blog Small Things, to see what everyone else has been knitting and reading this week. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I'm back and it was great

We just got back from hiking in Wilson's Prom and it was great. When we left on Saturday morning in our hire car it was raining, and the whole way up it bucketed down. Once we started hiking the rain eased off, and the weather was reasonable kind to us, although very cold at night. I was pleased I had packed the sleeping bag I bought when bike touring in Canada ten years ago (!) it's rated to minus 18, and it kept me super warm. I was also pleased I made a really warm hat and mitts. They certainly did the job!

Because of the conditions we normally hike in, all our gear is three seasons, and the missing season is winter. This is the tent we bought earlier this year, and Leon's new pack. Mine is like that, but blue. Because I am super short, I didn't get a choice about the colour, but having a pack with customised straps makes the colour scheme just fine. (It's One Planet, made in Melbourne). I tried on so many packs before I found a comfortable one.

I'll spare you a step by step review of our trip. Suffice it to say we camped in beautiful spots,

hiked to the light house,

I knit some socks for my father in beautiful places - no photos of the actual socks, but some of the knitting:

Leon took some photos of Goats so I could finally close them off on Ravelry, but I realise I;m wearing them in every single photo. did I mention camping in the middle of winter is cold?

And, after four days , it was quite nice to come home and have a shower.







Friday, June 10, 2016

Another weekend away

Since we're now at the middle of winter, Leon and i decided that the best thing we can do with this long weekend is go camping. We're going back to Wilson's Prom to do some hiking. Nothing too strenuous, most days we'll be walking less around 12 kms, I think. Except the last day, when we're doing 20, but we'll have eaten all the food by then, so it'll be fine.

We've got new hiking packs, and new thermals and new hats and I think we'll be warm and dry even if the weather is not the best. Knowing I've got plenty of relaxing time, the most important question was - what should I knit? I need something small, easy to carry with a simple pattern - which seems to have become a bit of a theme recently. My father recently came to me and said that the last socks I made him have holes in them -which they do. Maybe moths? And I've found out he and a friend are getting competitive about wearing crazy socks. So, I'm making him socks with black ribbing heels and toes, and completely random coloured stripes in between. I'm not even going make them match each other.

Now I've got to run to pickup the rental car -literally run. How do people who don't run actually get rental cars? and then its a four day weekend of hiking and camping, drinking tea and knitting. Glorious.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with trains, planes and automobiles



It's been a busy week for me, whipping around the state for work. I've taken trams, trains, buses, taxis and aeroplanes. I've even knit in a police car.

all the  while knitting away on my Dreambird shawl, which is very close to being finished now. It's a good size and I'm looking forward to how it will look post blocking.

As a bonus, here's a picture of me knitting at Mildura airport, after they confiscated the cake fork I had in my bag, but literally didn't look at my Addi Turbos.


This has also given me plenty of time to listen to audio books. I'm very nearly finished The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I've had this book for ages, and I hesitated to listen to it because of mixed reviews, which is exactly what it deserved. Very listenable, with a great narrator, but the book is lacking structure, and the world doesn't seem to have fixed rules. Basically ir feel like they are making it up as they go along. I don't think i will listen to the sequel.

I'm reading the final in Rachel Herron's Firefighters of Darling Bay series, Heat. It's as expected, light fluffy and lovely.

As usual on a Wedensday, I'm participating in Yarnalong, hosted by Ginny of Small Things. Pop over to her blog to see what she and the rest of the yarnalong are up to this week.



Saturday, June 4, 2016

An edge to love and some finished things

When I started the goats hat I decided to use a tubular cast on, both because I think this technique is really clever, and because I really don't like the way hats that start with 2x2 ribbing flare out. Here's my snawhead to demonstrate:
So, I looked up various methods to work this technique  and used Ysolda's, because it's very simple:
I just love the way this edge looks, as if the knitting has started in the middle. It also stops that flare out perfectly. The odd thing is after I finished the hat, I have spotting a number of time, in my knitting, I have used it - recently on this  Buchaille Hat and as far back as Endpaper Mitts, in 2011. It's like I have to keep rediscovering this awesome cast on every year or so.

I also used it on the matching mitts, and used the matching cast off to finish them.
Because yes, I got the mitts finished. It's a great set. I'm about to block it, and will get some photos in the wild when we go camping next weekend.