Friday, July 29, 2016

Holidays again!

This time we're going to New Zealand. it's not a specifically yarn based trip, although I am looking forward to going back to Holland Road Yarn Company and of course knitting with Kate.  And hopefully combining the two activities! That's all happening in Wellington, but before that we have running, and hiking and possibly llamas.



One of the big questions for me is always, what should I bring to knit? I decided on the Redford jumper, a four ply jumper for Leon. Knit flat. So I think it should take the full three weeks. Anyway, I'm not taking emergency yarn, the towns between Christchurch and Wellington seem to have yarn sections in their nicknack shops. 

I will have internet access, but i probably won't blog much while I'm away. Expect a full report of our adventures on my return.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with the new camera

We have a new camera and it actually focuses on things, which I am very excited about. it also means you can see in the photo above that my K2togs are much neater than my SSK. I'm knitting Milly, by Trude Hertaas, another pair of sneaker liners, this time in yarn I dyed myself.

I'm reading The Wildwater Walking Club by Clare Cook. It's pleasant, but not a very good book, with little character development and not a lot to recommend it. Earlier in the week I read Dietland by Sarai Walker, which raised some big questions about feminism and body image, so this is a complete change of pace. I would recommend Dietland- its a far from perfect book, but I'm still thinking about it days later. I've practically forgotten Wildwater already, and I haven't even finished it!

I'm still listening to the Hitchhikers series. I'm up to book three and can't stop listening. Whenever they talk about how 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything i am reminded that I am training for a marathon. I don't imagine I'll find the answer to anything much across that finish line though.

And that's another week of knitting and reading in my word. 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, July 25, 2016

Spinning surprise II

10 months ago I wrote about randomly returning to my spinning wheel, and I haven't mentioned it since. I have actually been spinning, just a few minutes here and a few minutes there. After buying more fibre in Bendigo this year I wanted to clear my wheel. It took about 5 minutes to finish spinning the yellow polwarth, and then I plied it:


I'm quite happy with how it came out, and quite happy to be starting fresh with rainbow yarn! I imagine it will take me another ten months to show you a finished skein of yarn, but I'm in no rush.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A better finished project

After the disappointment that was Montebretia I cast on for a pair of Pawkies. I rarely wear handwarmers, but I wanted some to match the hat and cowl I'm taking on holidays. 



I had loads of yarn left over, and I really enjoyed knitting with my handspun (The green yarn, the pink is Cascade) So I knit these. 


They were quick, and fun and oh so very pink. I just love the photos Leon took, which is why I've included so many of them here.
  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Montebretia, the unHAPpy conclusion

I finished the first shawl from Kate Davies' The Book of Haps. It's the cover pattern, Montebretia, the pretty star of a book of great haps. Right? You'd think so.

As I was knitting it I knew it was pretty:

The colours, the welts, the bobbles. I figured construction was somewhat similar to  Colour Affection, and other medium sized shawls featuring short rows. Well, it's not. The final shape is odd, and basically unwearable for me.

it's too deep to wrap around my neck like a scarf:


It's too small to go all the way around my shoulders like a crescent shawl. 































If I wear it like it's pictured on the front cover I can't move my arms at all. To be fair, it doesn't look like the model can either. 

It might look all right held together with a shawl pin, but that's not really how I want to wear it, and it's still really messy. There is excess fabric everywhere, and the colourwork in the border means there is no stretch there.

The only way it actually looks good is if I pull the excess fabric over my head, like a hijab.

I don't have a lot of use for a hijab in my life.

So basically I made a pretty, and pretty useless rag. i have no idea what I am going to do with it. I'm certainly not going to put it on the shawl shelf with all the shawls I wear daily. I can't give it to any of my friends, because I consider it unwearable. I guess I'll give it to the opp shop and hope someone wants it for a dress up party?
  





Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with Sunshine

The title of this post is a pun, because I took this photo in the sun, but I was also at Sunshine Station. 

I'm knitting a pair of green and pink mitts to match the rest of the crazy set. I'm using Kate Davies Pawkies pattern. They might be coming out a little bit large, but they will definitly be warm and comfy and matchy matchy with the rest of the crazy set.

I'm reading Rachael Herron's On the Market,  a charming, light romance. It's obvious from the first page what is going to happen and it's still adorable.

And I just started listening to Stephen Fry reading Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I've been meaning to revisit this for a while, having read the book countless times, listening to the radio series, seen the movie and tv mini series. What surprised me is that I started listening to this and could not stop. Very addictive, even though I know practically every word.

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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Do you brioche?

Late last year all the Richmond Knitters, or so it seemed, were knitting brioche. When I needed something else to knit in Queensland, I chose another pattern from Ysolda's knitworthy collection, a brioche hat. I was worried it would be tricky to learn this new stitch on an aeroplane, but it turns out brioche is not very difficult. That said, I'm not sure I like working it, or love the finished object. There is a lot of slipping stitches, and I didn't find it a soothing knit, despite being simple. I like the way the finished hat matches the cowl, but I guess knitting this was more about learning something new, rather than the actual finished object.

Speaking of learning something new, three hats ago I took the time to learn the German twisted cast on,which I have used on all three hats I have knit recently. It gives a neat, stretchy edge and I quite like it. So yay for learning new things, and don't be surprised when you don't see much brioche in my future projects.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bendigo wrap up 2016

The Women of Wool lunch was such a highlight of this years show for me. It was so lovely to get together with friends, old and new, eat good food and listen to inspiring women talk about their experiences.


I did buy some yarn, but not a whole lot. A jumpers worth of Nundle Yarn for Leon. I love this colour and they are one of the very few small mills operating in Australia, so something I really want to support.

I bought the yarn for Theme and Variation from Dyed by Hand Yarns, one of my favourite dyers. I'm really happy with these colours:

Unexpectedly I bought three braids of Kathy's Fibres merino in the colourway "Stained Glass". I'm going to spin them up for the contrast colour to Tracey, a pattern I've been thinking about for a long time.

I also bought some hand cream and Soak.

I kept looking at all the stunning sock yarn and thinking that if I bought them they would still be sitting in my stash next Bendigo and that would make me sad. So I was quite conservative with my yarn purchases. I had a lovely day. Each year I have more knitting friends and it was so lovely to see them and their excitement about Bendigo.


Right, I'm off to update my Ravelry stash page and queue so that everything will be up to date and squared away.







Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bendigo eve

I traditionally do a pre Bendigo sheep show post, where I think about what I want to buy and what -and how much - yarn I currently have in stash. This year I know I will buy "some" sock yarn, for shawls and socks, but not too much, and no green, or red or blue. I appear to like to buy pretty skeins in these colours and then not knit with them:

Here's my list:







I'm aware that I'll be buying wool next month in New Zealand. The latest purchases from Blue Moon Fiber Arts took me back up to  16,488, which isn't too bad since when I started counting my stash in 2014 I had 26352. I'm not aiming for zero, I love having some yarn to reach for, but I think maybe 10 to 15 kms is the ideal amount.

Anyway, this year we (the Richmond Knitters ) are also attending the Women of Wool lunch, which given me a compelling reason to go to the show, beyond the acquisition of more yarn. I'll let you know how it all goes.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Yarnalong -the one where haps are happening

Usually, if I haven't been reading and knitting anywhere more interesting I snap a picture on my coffee table. This week I decided to take the picture of what I see from my couch. I quite like my view -some trees, the sky, the house across the road. It's all good.


This week I've been knitting my first shawl from The Book of Haps, Montbretia. It's been going very well, although I'm a bit worried because I only have 30 grams of the green left, but no one else has run out of yarn. Maybe I actually am two thirds of the way through? I'm at the end of the large amount of green. Although I only cast on on Friday, so it seems unlikely that I would be that close to finishing.

 I'm reading Lines of Departure by Marco Kloos. It's the second in a science fiction / space opera / military series. I'm listening to Officers and Gentlemen by Evelyn Waugh, military ficution (satire?) set in the Second World War. I mention them in the same paragraph because both booth are the second in a series. Actually, the main thing they have in common is pointing out that war is ridiculous, frustrating and futile, while still spending large swathes of the book describing battles.

As usual on a Wednesday I'm joining Ginny for Yarnalong. Pop over to her blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong are up to this week. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Yarn delivery

Yesterday, when I talked about casting on for Montbreta I showed a picture of the yarn I'm using. I may have implied that I just happened to have the perfect three colours. hanging around, waiting for this project. Well, I had two of them, but three weeks ago I put in an order with Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I bought the white yarn, which has speckles of other colours and sparkles. I love sparkle yarn.

I also bought a jumpers worth of Woobu for a jumper for Leon,


and, while I was shopping a skein of sock yarn in the matching colour. 


It seems a bit silly to be shopping so close to Bendigo, but I love BMFA and haven't bought anything from them for ages. Prior to these purchases my stash was at 15 133 metres, the lowest it's been since I started counting. 


Saturday, July 9, 2016

#hapsarehappening

I just knit two shawls, and they are large ones. This winter I have found myself most often wearing shawls with two and a half skeins of yarn in them, like my Colour Affection 1 and 2, and Dreambird. I've found myself wearing them all the time, instead of cardigans, and I just want more large shawls. Luckily Kate Davies just released a book of shawls, designed by her and others. Most of the designers are people I have knit from before. While I wouldn't say I love every single shawl, there are at least four I consider must knits ( Montebreta. Theme and Variation, Shore Hap and Unicia in case you were wondering.) The best part is, each of these shawls are large. No more one skein necklaces, but giant wraps to keep me warm. I picked up the book from the post office earlier this week, and I have the perfect colours for Montbreata, which I cast on immediately. Haps are happening and its already so much fun.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hatty birthday Elise

So that might be the worst pun in a title ever! I made Elise a hat for her birthday. She requested something that went over her ears, I found the lovely Plaits and Pines hat by Amy Miller, and I knit it using leftovers from my green jumper


We were both really pleased with how it fit and looked. I've not knit cables for a while and this hat reminded me of how much I love the textured sculptured look of large cables.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Yarnalong -the one with the memory of sunshine

This photo is from the weekend. I took it in my favourite spot in my sister and brother in laws holiday house: on the back deck, with a view of the canal and the sky. This spot seems to get sunshine all day long. Now I'm back in Melbourne and it's raining again, but I feel recharged from knitting and reading in the sunshine.

The knitting was Ysolda's Pyukkleen cowl, in pink Cascade and green handspun and the book is Dare Me by Megan Abbot. It's not a bad read, I think it might be YA, but I am enjoying it.

And that's what I did in the sunshine. Pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she and the rest of the yarnalong have been doing this week.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Back from the Gold Coast

I can't believe how many weekends away we've had this year! Our Gold Coast trip was great. It was so amazing to actually get some sunshine and a little bit of warmth.

On Saturday we hung out with family, voted, picked up our race packs and generally relaxed.

On Sunday we ran the half marathon. It was actually a boring course, down a road and back up again, but it had a great atmosphere, the weather was perfect and I was really happy with my time, so no complaints there. 

That's actually our "after" selfie
Then we went out on a boat and cruised around The Broadwater. I sat in the sun quite a lot. I love the sun.
Cowl in the foregound, the boat in the background

I'm not sure quite how, but I also finished the Pyukleen cowl. Was this a good project to take away with me? Well, there were some times when I would normally knit that I didn't, because it was chart that needed looking at, and I made myself a little bit car sick, or on the boat because I was admiring the view, but it still somehow got finished. I immediately cast on a hat, also by Ysolda, using the same yarns, since there was loads of left overs.

As a footnote, these are unblocked photos, which I don't normally post, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take photos in sunlight.