Friday, March 31, 2017

Yarn in, yarn out

My Buachaille order arrived, for Leon’s winter set and the Carraig Fhada vest for me. Look how pretty it is:
 
Now, what I like to do when getting large packets of yarn is to do a stash count update, just to check I’m heading in the right direction (which is less yarn, by the way)
 
Prior to the addition of the Buchaille, I have 14322 meters of yarn. At the end of last year I had 15807 metres, so its holding pretty steady. 
 
The main gains - or rather losses -  I have made so far this year are actually in yarn that wasn’t counted in the stash. The left over sock yarn which, in December 2016 weigh  one and a half kilograms, has been reduced to a much more reasonable 870   grams – yes, it’s now measurable in grams!
 

After adding this latest purchase my current number is 16412. Now I’m off to cast some of this lovely Buchaille on for Leon’s Winter Set. The beginning of April is quite late to be starting this. Luckily, summer was quite late this year, and the weather is only just starting to cool down. Still, I’d better get knitting, and fast.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Yarnalong - the one with the end of a chapter

Last week Ginny announced that, after 6 years, she was finishing the yarnalong. . I’ve been participating since  December 2013 ; over three years. It’s bittersweet – doing the Yarnalong has given me a good structure to my blogging and I’ve loved reading about what Ginny, and all the other members of the yarnalong get up to every week. But this is a time of change for me – some very exciting things have happened, which I can’t share here quite yet. It’s a time for letting go, and for new beginnings. So I leave you with one last photo of my kindle and my knitting, and I say “thank you” to Ginny, and everyone else who have brightened my Wednesdays for the last 6 years.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sneaker liners for me

unusually enough, its been three pairs of socks in a row! I found Rachel Coopey's Mixalot socks, and thought they would make perfect sneaker liners. They are basically designed for left over sock yarn, and we all know I'm trying to use that up!


I'm waiting for a delivery of Buchaille for Leon's winter set. Since it is rather late in the season to start knitting that, I want to be able to get it on my needles as soon as the yarn arrives, so I wanted to knit something quick. Because last week was busy, and some other reasons, it took me a week to knit these little beauties. Now I'm just finishing things off, and hoping that package comes in the post tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Yarnalong - the one where my yarn came back to me

Those  of you who have been following along for a while know that I left some yarn at a friends place in January, and hadn't managed to get it back from her. We only live 4 kilometers apart. Yesterday I emailed her and suggested she leave it in her letterbox, and today I have it! I am very, very excited about it.

I haven't started knitting it with it yet. I'm half way through a pair of sneaker liners. I bought Rachael Coopey's Mixalot sock pattern, and I intend to knit it in variations, endlessly for the next year, using up those sock yarn leftovers.


I'm reading Gail Jones' Sixty Lights. It's quite good, but not compelling. It's got short chapters, which is useful during this busy time in my life.

And that's what I've been knitting and reading this week. What have you been doing? Pop of to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong were up to this week.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Look what I nicked from my mother

So the other day, I was at my parents place, going through her stash box. I know she has a lot of eight ply scraps and were hoping for some pink ones to use in Rachey’s socks  . It turned out she didn’t, but she had this magnificent ball of pink Opal sock wool.

I asked why she had it, since she doesn’t knit socks, or really knit much at all right now. She  said that I had probably given it to her – she has a theory that I dumped a whole lot of wool on her that I didn’t want. My memory of the situation is that when I was destashing I asked her if she wanted some of the yarn and she said yes. So I took it. It’s so pretty, and I’ll probably make a pair of socks for her out of it anyway.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Socks for friends

I was hanging out with Rachey the other night (Rachey is Elise's sister in law, and one of our favourite people). She has been poorly for a while and asked for some house socks. Sure, 8 ply socks, quick and easy. She want them longish, but because she's not eating enough, I don't need to do any calf shaping.

I pulled out my 8 ply scraps, and off I went. Because I couldn't be bothered weighing the yarn, I knit these socks two at a time on two sets of circulars. It worked quite well as a process, and I'd consider doing it like that again.

This are my shapely legs, not Rachey's
The socks themselves weigh 93 grams, and are just a simple 2x2 rib with a fish lips kiss heel.  Very quick, very fun, although there were rather a lot of ends to weave in!


I hope these socks give Rachey as much joy the wear as they did me to knit. 



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Socks for shoes - finished

I finished the Lady Tryamour socks, and they are perfect for what I wanted them for:

They fit neatly and pretty close to invisibly inside my latest boots, they are comfortable and I used up some of my oldest stash.

I made the medium and, with the benefit of hindsight, could have made the small. But this give my feet plenty of room to move, which is the principle behind "barefoot" shoes.

I'll leave you with a bonus, which reminds me of my school days and gets stuck in my head all the time:



The Black Sock song:



Black socks, they never get dirty,
The longer you wear them the blacker they get!
Sometimes, I think about laundry



But something inside me says don't do it yet!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Yarnalong -the one that's early in the morning



The colours on that picture are all wrong, probably because it's six in the morning, and it's hard to get a good photo in the dark, but needs must. Tarragon just woke me up by peeing on the bedroom floor, I've got a house guest arriving this evening, and this is my best chance to get this weeks yarnalong up.

I'm reading Rachel Herron's latest Darling Songbird book. It's an advance reader copy, so you can't have it yet, but I highly recommend the rest of the series.

I'm listening to Blitzed, a book about drugs in Nazi Germany. It surprisingly entertaining, and read by the perfect narrator.

I'm knitting house socks for a friend, in tandem. The colours are much prettier than that. 

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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Socks for Shoes

As I may (or may not) have mentioned, I’ve recently transitioned to minimalist running shoes. I ran a marathon in Converse last year, and then decided it was time to change my running style. I started out in Vibram Five Fingers. Then Leon mentioned to me that Vivobarefoot makes every day shoes. The kind you can wear to work. I’ve bought… let’s say a couple of pairs over the last few weeks. My favourite are these little boots:
 

They are super flat, and have really flexible soles, but the tops are still made of proper leather. In winter I’ll wear them with tights, or under trousers with normal handknit socks. Since the weather is still warm, I’ve been wearing them with skirts and bare legs. I’ve tried wearing them with sneaker liners, but those are too short. Normal socks are too long. I have been wearing them with commercial sports socks, but I’m not a big fan of commercial socks anymore, and all my commercial sports socks are white, and even if other people can’t see them, looking down I can:
And then I remembered this ball of black Tofutsies  that’s been sitting in my stash since March 2013, because black socks are not really  that pretty. I matched them with Lady Tryamour Socks, from The Knitters Book of Socks,  and I think they will do the job nicely.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Crochet magic

I crocheted a garment! A baby jumper, and I really enjoyed making it:


I thought crochet takes more yarn than knitting, but, I guess because it's more open, this little cardigan only took 66 grams of sock yarn. And it only took six days, and I'm not spending hours and hours crafting every day at the moment. And on day two I ripped and repeated the same few rows what felt like a dozen times: Tip for beginners - crochet  all the way to the end of the row before you turn around.


I love it, and it was so much fun to make. I've queued another couple of crochet baby cardigans, because I'm so excited about how much fun they are to work.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Yarnalong - the one with the beach

I had some time to spend between finishing work and meeting friends tonight, so I had the opportunity to sit by the beach, knit and listen to an audio book. St Kilda beach might not be the prettiest beach in the world, but it’s my home beach, and it’s always a pleasure to spend some time here, especially since we are having such a stunning autumn.
 
I’m listening to the last story of Stephen King’s four novella series Different Seasons. I have enjoyed these so much more than I expected. The narrator is great, and the stories are interesting and different from each other.
 
I’m knitting Lady Tryamour Socks, from The Knitters Book of Socks. They are really pretty. It’s hard to photograph black project, particularly in bright sunlight. And the sunlight was bright and lovely.
 
I’m reading Behind the Throne  by  K. B. Wagers. Ursula mentioned it – she didn’t say it’s a good book, but it’s quite a lot of fun.
 
And that’s another week of knitting, reading and listening to books. Pop over to Ginny's Blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong are doing this week.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Inspired by Islay - indeed

This Friday marked the last email from Kate Davies Inspired by Islay club and I'm struggling to find the words to say how much I have enjoyed it. The patterns were lovely, and of the 12 (or 13 if you count the bonus Hat 101) I have queued five things - a pair of kilt hose, a cardigan for me, a jumper for Leon, a colourwork vest for me and best of all a scarf for Leon's winter set.

Three of them I'm knitting from stash, and I have just ordered some Buchaille for the vest and Leon's winter set.

It wasn't just the beautifully written patterns, sent out every Wednesday,  that made this club so wonderful. Kate Davies'  emails on Fridays were interesting, illuminating and accompanied by wonderful photos. 

We rather enjoyed the whisky aspect of the club, and have "enhanced" our collection somewhat. (Click here for the "before" picture)

We discovered that Uncle Dan's has a fancy whisky shop, just a short walk from our house, so we've visited there a time or two. So I received an education about whisky, Islay and a bunch of great patterns. This club was such an unmitigated pleasure, and the patterns and yarn are going to inform my winter knitting this year.


Friday, March 3, 2017

LOSY ASJ finished

I gave my mother her new ASJ yesterday. It might be a little longer than I had hoped, but I was so scared of making it too short. It's kind of like a coat on her.

I love the way the colours came out. I thought they would be more blended and less stripy, but I think it looks really interesting.

Last ASJ I made my mother I didn't do a good job on the buttons, and she took them off and resewed them. This time I did it properly, buttons on the back and all. I sewed each one on with a different coloured sock yarn, and I think it's really cute.

I did tight cuffs, mainly because I had already reduced for the cast off when she tried it on, and they needed a couple more inches, so I just knit on, with half the stitches. This turned out to be a happy accident, because they fit well, and look good.

As well as making a wonderful coat for my mother, I used up about 800 grams of Left Over Sock Yarn. reducing the pile to a bit less scary. All in all a very satisfying  project.




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Yarnalong - the one with the hook

Yes, I actually started crocheting a baby jumper. I like the way it is looking, although my stitch counts seem wildly out. We’ll see how it goes.

I found a sunken garden called The Pioneers Women's Garden, and it's incredibly pretty and no one goes there!
I’m reading The Ox-Bow Incident. It was published in 1940 and is a Western that my father mentioned the other week. I’m a third of the way through and nothing has happened. People got drunk and now they are sitting around on horses, waiting to decide what to do. I guess it's a lot more philosophical than I was expecting, discussing law and mob rule and the basis of society. Given my father mentioned it, that shouldn't have surprised me.

I’m listening to the third novella in Stephen King’s Different Seasons. The second story was so amazingly good that I’m struggling to get involved with this one –the Body, which was made into the movie Stand By Me, which I really like.
 
And that’s another week of knitting, reading and listening to audiobooks. Click over to Ginny’s blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong, are up to this week.