Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with the (first) ARC

A couple of months ago, Rachael Herron emailed her list to ask if anyone wanted to be on her reading team. Since I buy and read all her books anyway, I did not hesitate to say yes. So I just read my first ARC (advanced reader copy), for the second of the Darling Songbird series: The Songbirds Call. Unsurprisingly, it's charming, lovely, sweet and delightful if a tad predictable, but that's the nature of the romance genre, rather than a criticism. I loved it, and if you like  that kind of thing too I recommend reading the series, starting at the beginning.

I'm still working away on my Turkish Tiles bathmatt.  It is significantly bigger than it was last week, and its already ended up bigger than I was expecting. I've got yarn left for at least two more repeats, maybe more, so it's going to end up a good size.

As usual on a Wednesday I'm playing along with Ginny and the yarnalong. Pop over to her blog to see what she, and everyone else, is up to this week.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A bag for a bathmat

I got a new knitting bag in the mail! I know I just bought one, but that one is the right size for shawls - it takes about 200 grams of socks yarn comfortably. I wanted something that could handle bigger projects. A few weeks ago a couple of ladies came in to the Richmond Knitters from Canberra. One of them had the medium version of this bag, and I had to order one. It's from the Yarn Bar in Canberra.
It's got a clear plastic pocket on the outside for notions or to put your pattern into. By coincident it exactly matches my current project! I really like this bag, it's very well made, and a joy to carry around with me.

Friday, August 26, 2016

On stash and running

Today Leon and I ran 25.4 kilometres, which is the furthest I have ever run. While I was running I remembered some comparison I made between the length of my stash and the longest I had run. Obviously when I got home I reviewed the post, from 2014, and discovered that I had 26 kilometers of yarn and had never run more than 21 kilometers.
This inspired me to find out what my number is now, since i hadn't checked since before Bendigo and the New Zealand holiday.

And my number is: 20 863  which is not too bad at all. I probably shouldn't have correlated stash with running, because I just signed up to do this years Melbourne Marathon and I'm not (really) planning on getting home from that and ordering 22 kilometers of yarn. Probably. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Yarnalong - the one where I'm back to real life

Yep, holidays end but life goes on. And so does knitting and reading and, each Wednesday, the 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.

I've been knitting another bathmatt, this time using the Turkish Tiles dishcloth pattern as a base. It's mosaic knitting, which is a new to me technique, and I'm enjoying it, and loving the way it looks. I'm using the remains of the yarn from Elise's blanket, so I'll keep knitting until I run out of yarn. I've used about a third of the yarn so far, so it should end up quite a good size.

I'm reading Chris Cleave's Everyone Brave is Forgiven. I'm quite near the end and it's a decent read, but disappointing compared to his other books. Like Gold, which I talk about here. Still a decent read.

I'm listening to The Invisible Mile by David Coventry. I started it before we left for New Zealand, as the author, protagonist and narrator are all kiwis. The book is largely set in France and is a rather odd listen, not helped by the fact that I've been listening only intermittently while I was away. Now that I am back to my real life, I have more opportunity to listen to audio.

And speaking of my real life, I had best get back to what I am meant to be doing right now, which is working,rather than writing about my knitting and reading.  

New Zealand Knitting - the final projects

while we are away, my brother in law Keiran looks after our house, and our cats. we have been away at least one weekend a month this year, and he's so good. All three cats love him, and we come home to a house in great condition and happy cats. In 2011 I knit him a pair of handwarmers. I repaired them in 2014. He's still wearing them. so when leon sugegsted i knit him a new pair, i jumped at the chance to use really nice yarn - in this case Zealana Rimu. 40% possum! So soft and lovely. I knit the same "pattern" as last time -simple gusseted mitts that I made up.

I also bought an extra ball and knit the exeter hat. i don't know if he needs a hat, but he feels the cold, and knitting in this yarn was such a treat for me, I hope he gets as much joy - and warmth - from wearing it.

Would you believe they are the exact same colour? The first photo was taken in front of Kapiti Island, and the second taken with flash in our living room.

Anyway, that's everything I knit while I was away. Come back tomorrow for yarnalong, where I will tell you what i am knitting now.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

New Zealand Knitting - the "interesting" project

After the first week in New Zealand I realised I would probably finish Leon's jumper, possibly while we were hiking the Queen Charlotte Track. When we got off the bus in Kaikora I looked across the road and saw this:
 Baskets full of yarn! Unfortunately they didn't have any plain sock yarn, so I picked up a multi-coloured ball of New Zealand made sock yarn to make a pair of sneaker liners. They didn't have any plain colours, so I decided to go as variegated as possible. I chose the Sunday Swing pattern from Knitty, although I reversed the second sock. You can barely tell, because they are so busy. Also, you can see that they pooled differently. That's because, despite being knit on the same needles, with the same number of stitches and straight after each other over a period of four days: the one I knit first is noticeably larger than the second one. Oh well, knitting is a mysterious business, and these are a wearable, and quite special, memento from a wonderful holiday.
 

New Zealand Knitting -the big project

 For our three week trip to New Zealand I took Redford, a four ply jumper for Leon. I figured that it's knitted flat, and on 3 millimetre needles, so it would keep me busy for the trip. Not so much. I ended up blocking it on the floor of an hotel room before sewing it together. 

The jumper has deliberate expressed seams, and a lot of them. I can't remember when I last sewed any seams at all, so that was a bit of a challenge! Still it's nice to see a carefully thought out pattern for men, with interesting but manly details.

I loved the Nundle yarn, both the colour and the texture - smooth and strong and soft but not pilly. I like the fit - I had to fiddle with the number, both because of gauge issues and because the pattern did not go down to the right size, but I'm used to that.

All in all a fun project to take on a fun holiday, and I'm very happy with how it came out.







Friday, August 19, 2016

New Zealand- don't go if you are bird phobic

It's hard for me to know what to write about our trip to New Zealand that won't be just a list of places and the word fabulous. We had a really good time and were lucky with everything, especially the weather. 

If there was one theme to the trip it was birds and animals, from the Little Penguins we visited 5 minutes after arriving in the country, the albatross and other sea birds we saw on a boat tour. (And dolphins! and seals! So amazing to see them in the wild)
to the wekas who hung around hoping for food while we were walking the Queen Charlotte Track.
I got to hand feed some sheep and llamas - llamas a bigger than I am, so that got a bit intense.

On our "rest day" on the Queen Charlotte Track we found some kayaks and there was no other boats, and no other people, just us and some shags.

After spending the first two weeks largely in the countryside we headed for Wellington, where we got to hang out with Kate!

 And we also went to Zealandia and looked at endangered native birds and what they are doing to try to save them.

On our last day, just before we headed for the airport I went to Holland Road Yarn Company

where I found this bag with pictures of  kererÅ«, so I had to buy that. And some other yarn too, including a jumpers worth of Zealana Heron, and some Socks Yeah - Rachel Coopey's sock yarn.

I did of course knit while I was away. In fact, I finished four things, but I'm going to post about them individually, because this has become long and each finished thing has its own special story.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with Queen Charlotte Sound

We are in New Zealand, walking the Queen Charlotte track and its just magnificent. 

I'm reading The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton. It's set in gold rush New Zealand, and I'm struggling a little with it. When I looked at the cover I discovered it won the Mann Booker prize. I have a bad history of not finishing MB prize winning books, and I am definitely considering abandoning this.  

I am enjoying knitting Redford, by Julie Hoover, even though it is knitted flat. In peices. Lots of pieces. I've even enjoyed purling on this project. Just the sleeves to go now.

No links today because I am blogging from my phone, something I struggle a little with. Make sure you pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong are up to this week.