Monday, May 22, 2017

Good beer week wrap up

This years Good Beer Week was a bit hectic for me, coming back almost half way through it. We always like to do at least one beer / food matched dinner, this year we drank beer from Oregon, matched with yummy American food on Monday, and then various pubs and various beers for the rest of the week. 


Leon, Bee, Cazza and Amy
On Saturday afternoon we went to GABS, which is always a good time, but this year was even more fun than usual. 


Sheep logo!
As I finished by Baffies on Friday, I cast on for a pair of sneaker liners. I'm not really sure how they went, and I'm a little afraid to look now!

Yep, those are knitted sausages
I was going to go to the Annual Handknitters Guild market in Coburg on Sunday, but after the busy, busy week, and the beery, beery Saturday I didn't have it in me to trek across town. It would have been about two hours round trip, and then only thing I want to buy is some yarn for a cowl for Elise. Instead I sat on my couch and finally had some much needed home time, which of course, included knitting on the border of my Village Sweater wrap.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Good beer week baffies

While we were away Anna mentioned she would like some house socks. I made her some twinkletoes years ago, and she is definitely knitworthy.
I came back on the Monday of Good Beer Week. I decided that the lace edging of my Village Sweater Wrap  really would not be suitable for a week of drinking, beer and dubious lighting, so this was the perfect time to knit something simple:
 
I made Anna a pair of Kate Davies’ Baffies, from last year’s Seven Skeins Club. That club really is the gift that keeps on giving.
 
These were quick and simple, but not without drama. The first problem is they were coming out too large. A normal knitter would have gone down a needle size, but I’m drinking knitter, and I only had 3.5mm needles with me, so I ripped the foot and increased by 4 less stitches. Then, after I finished the first one, the iCord was way too tight. I couldn’t get it over my heel at all. So I ripped it, and re-iCorded, picking up more stitches.
And here they are:
 
Took a day longer than I expected, due to the drama, but still a quick, effective and easy gift. And such a dream to knit in all circumstances.
  You'll have to excuse the photos, we took them at the pub after I finished these, as the end of the night, if you you what I mean.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Thailand wrap up post

So our trip to Thailand was fun. I've never had a resort holiday before, but we left the resort every day to do something. We did the normal kind of touristy things one does on Phuket. A boat trip to the islands;

sitting by the pool;

hanging out on the beach;

Babysitting my friend's 4 month old while she did a cooking class;

And all the while knitting, knitting, knitting.

The Village Sweater wrap was perfect knitting - light enough to work on even in the beautiful humid heat, and I got the entire garter stitch section finished, which was good, because that could have become boring in other circumstances.

Thailand doesn't have a knitting tradition, and, although I did see some crocheted toys at the market, there was no yarn shops, so I managed not to increase the stash on this holiday There was a sheep themed hotel, but it was called "Sleep with me" so who knows what's going on there.









My other main observation is that most of the cats had weird stumpy tails:

Basically I had fun, and it was great to hang out with my girlfriends, get warm and relax before I become a home-owner next week. 






Sunday, May 14, 2017

Finished while in Thailand

(I wrote this post while I was in Thailand, but I couldn't get the photos to upload. I'm back home now, I'll post a full wrap up of my holiday in the next day or so)

I brought the socks I was knitting for Elise with me to Thailand. Cookie A's Vilai socks are by far the most complex socks I've knit for a while, and I didn't want to loose momentum on them. Despite how much I bitched and moaned while knitting them, in the end they are worth it:

Jayne who is on holidays with me has the same shoe size as Elise. She was kind enough to model these for me. Then she asked me for a pair of her own,and how could I say no, really. 


Monday, May 8, 2017

Thailand holiday post 1

I'm not sure that i am actually going to blog much, i forgot how much i hate typing on a tablet, but i am sitting on my balcony, knitting on Elise's sock, and soaking in the sun and this view
And appreaciating the good things in life.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

All my bags are packed, my knitting's cast on

And now I'm in that bit where I hang about, waiting to leave and worrying. In this case about packing. I piled up everything I wanted to take with me, and discovered that it all fit in my old Country Road kit bag. Which is funny, because I didn't pack light. As well as enough clothes for nine days, and two pairs of bathers, I have a set of power rings, a skipping rope, 200 grams of laceweight yarn and the three quarter finished socks for Elise.

I've had this bag since I was 19, and it's been on countless road trips with the girls (women now, I guess) that I am going to Thailand with.

The Village Sweater wrap starts with a 299 stitch provisional cast on, so I've done that, and I'll start the actual knitting in the taxi to the airport. For my friends, carrying suitcases is t heir sign they are grown ups. For me, it's saying "stuff this bus timetable, I'm catching a cab"!

I'll try to do some blogging while I'm away, even if it's mainly photos of swimming pools and cocktails. Or an update on what I could have packed, but didn't. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Preparing to holiday

I’m going to Thailand on Friday with my old school friends. A couple of years ago we started talking about what we were going to do for our 40ths, and decided that, instead of a bunch of parties and presents and all that, we’d go on holidays together. I didn’t think it would actually happen, but happening it is. Five of us are going to stay in a resort in Phuket, leaving this Friday.
 
Now, one of the most important questions I have to ask before any holiday is: what should I knit? I’ve decided on Romi Hill’s Village Sweater Wrap. It’s an odd garment – part giant shawl, part cardigan, but I’ve noticed that my taste is moving towards longer, looser, less structured garments. This should be great holiday knitting – the middle is just endless garter stitch, and there is no possibility that over ten days I will finish it. This also has the bonus that I have somewhat suitable yarn in stash:
 
I swatched this weekend. Sometimes I can be cavalier about swatching, casting on a sleeve or just making an educated guess, but I want to make sure this fabric is nice, and with over 300 stitches, this was not a good time to just cast on and hope it looks good:
 
The main drama with the swatching was my stitch gauge was too big, so I went down a needle size. Then I counted my row gauge, and it was really, really too big. So I went down another needle size. My stitch gauge was close, but even with blocking it small, instead of stretched, my row gauge was coming in at 24 rows for 10 cm, not the 40 called for. Then I went to bed, stressing about what I was going to knit on this trip. When I got up this morning, I went to see if the row gauge had magically changed overnight. And I looked at it and realised I wasn’t counting rows, I was counting ridges. Now I’m going to reblock it for length, and it should be good to go!