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Showing posts from December, 2017

Planning for Scotland

For our trip to Scotland I was looking for a fairly massive project. Something simple, but not boring. Something that will take me a full month. I stumbled across the What The Fade (WTF!) shawl, which uses 6 colours of 4 ply, and thought that might do the trick. The only problem is I want to knit it from stash, and it's meant to be a fade. So I've picked out some colours, and I'm going to dye some colours, with speckles. I'm also plying up some laceweight into a light fingering.
When I sat down at my wheel, it was awful. I couldn't get into a flow, and I felt like my spinning stool kept sliding backwards on our polished wood floors. Then I gave the bearing on the back a service and it's magic! I no longer feel like I'm fighting the wheel all the time, and I have the first lot all plied up:

I'm going to dye this grey, and this bright green with splotches of light blue, dark blue and pink, to try to get a decent fade from this lot:

If it ends up a bit all ov…

Georgie and the half a sheep

Elise got a dog! A very pretty, Silkie Jack Russel cross. Georgie is a lovely girl. Energetic, well behaved and adorable:

I was over at Elise's place the other day when I saw a toy on her floor, that looked like half a sheep. George is not a violent dog, not the sort to rip up stuffed animals. But that's not at all what happened here. There is a range of pet toys that are just the back half of animals.

Elise bought the sheep, because she thought of me. Umm, thanks?

I am pretty excited about making doggie jumpers, both for George and for Digby. I feel the need to make a cabled one, and maybe a colourwork one. There are so many lovely patterns out there, and they should be as much fun to knit as  baby jumpers, and you know how I love to knit a baby jumper! I've got about 5 months until it will be cool enough for dog coats, but the planning starts now.
Look at that FACE.

Words for nerds - the one with the hardcopy book and the bread

Being Jewish, Christmas is a very low key event. Elise normally hosts a motley collection of Jews and orphans. Last Tuesday she email to confirm I would be bringing bread, as usual. Ooo, I thought, I can make brioche. I've never made brioche. There was a recipe for it in Doris Brett's Australian Bread Book,(I'd link, but there are no sources) which is where I learnt to bake bread, as a 14 year old. My parents still have that copy. I was not allowed to make brioche because it has five eggs, and my mother was horrified at the idea of using 5 eggs. Until I was buying my own groceries I thought eggs must be very expensive. Turns out they are not, but my mother grew up in England with rationing, and still thinks eggs are precious.
So I started Googling brioche recipes, and then, on  a whim, Doris Brett's book. There was a copy on eBay, with an expected delivery date of Friday! I bought it, and it came on time for me to use it for Christmas baking

I made the brioche

which has …

Christmas break planning

The end of year break is always one of my favourite times:for 3 days leave I’m getting ten days off work, and they are going to be such fun, relaxing days. On Sunday we have Leon’s family Christmas. Since Leon is the youngest of 7, no one actually expects us to take any part in planning, so that’s a relaxing day. Then on Christmas day itself Elise is hosting brunch. A chance to hang out, relax, catch up.

Then the day after Christmas it’s five days of cricket. Even though we’ve already won the ashes, the atmosphere is always great when we play the Poms.
After that, a couple of days to relax. The most important question is, of course, what are you knitting?

I’ve swatched for Stasis, and knitted most of the colourwork, so that should  be very smooth sailing, perfect for social and drinking occasions. I also have my secret project to finish. A little more complex, but it will be perfect for the evenings after knitting on the jumper all day.
I’m also doing more of the “plying things up to make…

Somewhat secret test knitting

I'm currently doing some test knitting, and I haven't checked if I'm meant to be sneaky squirrel about it or not, so I won't tell you what I'm knitting, or who designed it or anything much yet. What I will tell you is that the item is colourwork and I'm knitting it for Leon. The pattern is 4 ply, so he had quite a few colour choices. For example, the colours I am using for Stasis are very typical of Leon's colour pallet. Instead he picked the beige and red I won at the Richmond Knitter's birthday bash:

I love these colours, I love them together, and I'm really excited that Leon chose them. I'm also excited to tell you what I'm knitting with them, but that will have to wait until the designer gives me the go ahead to share.

Some thoughts about Thoughts

I finished Thoughts by Joji Locatelli.It doesn't look like crap, so that's a good start.
It was a very satisfying knit, made more so because the yarn cost me $1.99 from the Salvos. Actually it cost Leon $1.99, since I originally did not buy it and sent Leon back for it.

I always planned to make this cardigan out of this yarn, but I had the pleasure of plying it up so the fabric would be thick enough.

For once I basically followed the pattern without any changes. I did use a tubular cast off on the sleeves. Look at that pretty edge:

I did not use a tubular cast off on the bottom edge, I couldn't face it for over 300 stitches, and who sees the bottom of a cardigan like this anyway?

The clasp works really well too. It looks like it is pulling a bit in that photo, but it's actually a perfect fit. I think it will only hang better with wear. it is surprisingly warm for such a light cardigan. I managed to keep it clean through the whole knitting process. Now just have to keep it …


Today is my birthday, and this year I have turned a prime number. I'm in my prime. That won't happen again until the year after next!
I've been very lucky. I have friends and family who love me, I have a delightful husband and people gave me the BEST presents. Jen gave me some stitch markers - she knows I'm obsessed with metal stitch markers, and look how pretty she made them:

Then, on  Friday I got two packages in the mail. Kate Davies West Highland Way club yarn, and This Thing of Paper, by Karie Wesserman. I didn't open them until today. Happy birthday to me, from me.

My parents gave me a Fringe Supply Co Porter Bin  - they asked what I wanted, because I'm very difficult to buy for. I really, really wanted this bag, and also I thought they would enjoy the trip to Sunspun.

As well as a subscription to the Malthouse theatre, Leon gave me a guide to the West Highland Way. This isn't to help me follow along with the yarn club, we're walking it next March.


Words for Nerds - It's that time of year

I've only recently gotten really into the book blogs - before this I was all about the knitting and lifestyle blogs. I have been vaguely aware or reading challenges for a while, but I haven't ever considered doing one. And now they are everywhere, and I was thinking about playing along - I love playing along with anything. And then I decided no - I don't want to be driven or focused in my reading. I certainly don't want to track my volume - unlike many people I have the time and luxury to read a lot. And while challenges like The Book Date's Full House Challenge do sound like a lot of fun, I've decided not to put any structure around my reading. i will continue to read widely, but it's better for me if I take it easy, and try to make reading something that is not goal focused - unlike knitting, which my aching hands attest that I  could consider being less goal focused about too.

So: This week I am continuing my reread of Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy wit…

Every single time

On Sunday I pulled the body of my Thoughts cardigan out of its protective ziplock bag, and tried it on for length. While I had a chance I looked at it and thought "Oh it looks terrible. I've missed a yarnover. All my increases are very obvious. Why are my stitches so uneven? This looks terrible. I'm a terrible knitter. Why do I bother? This is going to be unwearable."
And then I started laughing. At this point in every major project I'm convinced it is going to be a total failure, look like crap and that I'm never going to wear it. I thought the Village Sweater Wrap was the weirdest thing I've every made (it is, but I love it) I thought the collar of my Manzita Tee was unquestionably bad - actually it's really cute. I thought  Twist Pullover was going to be something I wore all the time, but it seemed to get shorter everytime I wore it, and I sent it to the opp shop last week.

So, I can't tell. I've cast off now, and just need to block it and se…

Sunday Rambles

Hello there. This week in endless cardigan news:

I've been working on the body, and now it's nearly 100 rows longer than it was last time I blogged about it. It's all scrunched up in a plastic bag to keep it clean while I work on in, so it doesn't feel like it's growing fast, but it really is.

I have a weird obsession with knitting this body FAST. I don't know why at all, after all, when i finish this I'll just cast on something else, but I absolutely want to get this finished by Wednesday. Why? Nobody knows.

On Saturday I went to the button shop to try to find a closure. I found this

which I am so, so happy with. Look, it's a little horned sheep! Right, I've got to go, I've only got 30 rows (of 300 odd stitches) left to go. If I don't sleep or go to work, I can have it finished by tomorrow.

Words for Nerds (Grace and the Fever)

I don't read a lot of YA, but this was recommended on the Call Your Girlfriend podcast, so I thought I would take a punt on it, and I'm glad I did. It's a book that plays with the question "what if you got to meet your idols?". In this case it's a member of a boy band, but really the activity doesn't matter. It's an exploration of celebrity and fan culture. While the band members could perhaps have been more fleshed out as characters, Grace was believable, likable and real.I couldn't stop reading it, which is my gauge of a good book. It made me think of another YA book I read when I was actually young. Do you remember the Lion's Teen Tracks series? There was a book in that series about a similar topic, but it was much more tortured than this one. I can't remember what it was called, and a google search did me no good at all.

Linking up with It's Monday, What are you reading? over at the Book Date.

What is that smell?

Last Monday I pulled my current project - Thoughts by Joji Locatelli out of my Field Bag (which I am still completely in love with) and sniffed. Now, I have a sensitive nose, but the waft of smell was like those old opp shops. Or like a granny on a hot day. Not dirty, but not quite right either. I was reminded of my Twist Pullover but I thought that was about taking the laceweight jumper I was knitting camping with me. This time I haven’t been anywhere, and I had only been knitting on this for a week. Also, I’ve been pretty careful to ensure my hands are clean, because I really don’t want to finish this and discover that I’ve stained or marked it. So I don't know why it smells weird. That said, I’m really happy with how this is knitting up. I decided to knit the sleeves when I had the body down to the waist – it just seemed that doing the sleeves now would be easier somehow. Sometimes sleeves feel like a drag, but I am loving knitting in the round. I’ve put the body of the cardigan …

Richmond Knitters Christmas party 2017

Last night was the Richmond Knitters Christmas party. As always a good time was had. There were some differences this year - Katherine and Louisa took over the organising from Sonia. As a thank you to Sonia for founding the group and keeping it organised, we all made her a tree ornament. Her face when she was given the box was classic:

I made little socks, one for our ornament exchange, and one fore Sonia. Here they are wrapped:

And here is the only photo I have of them. So blurry:

Dani from HalfBaked Hand Dyed dyed a signature yarn for the group:

It's so perfect. Self stripping in colours that I think really represent us. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I know it's going to be fun. 
I received this lovely ornament in the exchange, knit by the talented Becs, and Susanne gave everyone little baubles and the pattern and yarn to make a cover for them, but I think it looks really lovely just the way it is: