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The Stasis set is nearly done

This last week I knit a Cochal cowl, in colours and pattern to match my Stasis jumper, socks, and hat (we won't talk about the mittens). It's from Kate Davies' 7 Skeins Club - I have now knit, or attempted to knit - all 11 patterns from that club (there is a fail mitten story there too) It was a really easy, fun knit.
So easy that I finished it at Geelong Beer festival, and made Leon take photos on the train on the way home. After it was blocked the edge curled a bit less, but I'm fond of these photos, so I'm using them.
It isn't the designs fault that the edge curls, I changed it to a i-cord cast on and cast off and then went into a few rows of stocking stitch, rather than the garter called for in the pattern, to help it look more like my Scottish set.
I also left off the last couple of repeats - I think it is plenty long enough, and I was worried that if I knit it any longer it wouldn't sit nicely round my neck


And one final picture, mainly included because …

I think she was trying to be nice

I have been using the same mug at work since I cannot remember when. Possiblly since I got back from traveling in 2004. I'm very attached to my mug - my mother bought it for me when I was 8, and it had my name on it. I drink a lot of tea at work - rosehip, peppermint,  green, chai, black, you name it, and I just rinse it out after every use. In 2012, Cheryl, the department head's PA, started getting distressed at the build up of tannin, and kidnapped my mug and cleaned it. Then, in my last role Brendan who sat next to me was very distressed about the way the inside of my mug looked. I thought it was hilarious. I had last Thursday out of the office and accidentally left my mug in the kitchen, rather than on my desk and I came back to this:

My new colleague had scrubbed it clean! I think she was trying to be nice, but its going to take me another 6 years to rebuild the tannin art that was on the inside of that mug! In the meantime, onwards with tea to get me through my working da…

I wasn't going to show you this...

When blogged about the tension problems, I knew there was another problem, and I thought i would just photograph them so it didn't show. And then I thought, nah, lets be honest here:
I started the first thumb while watching the original Flatliners movie. It is quite suspenseful and tension making. For some reason this mitten had been designed with "lice" on one side of the thumb, but not on the palm of the hand. I decided to follow the pattern, at least I thought I was following the pattern. I wasn't sure which side was circles and which side was lice. I had a look at the pattern picture, which clearly (to my mind) showed the thumb showing circles from the wrong side, so that's how I knit it:
It didn't seem quite right, but I wasn't paying that much attention. Bottle of wine, exciting movie holding my attention, and I try not to look at other screens when I'm watching a movie.
In the morning I found that I had misread the pattern and misunderstood the …

Revisiting colour dominance

I knit the first mitten using the colour dominance thing I usually do, which involves holding the background yarn in my left hand. This is not conventional, but it works for me. there has been some discussion amongst the Richmond Knitters (and Deb specifically) about how to hold yarns when doing colour work. I found the videos under discussion here, but I probably should have watched the before  doing my misguided experiment.

The left mitten was knit first, as described above. For the second mitten I did a bit with the yarn in one hand (as I thought Deb said Arne and Carlos recommended, although now I've watched the videos I don't think that's what they are saying) and then, when I quickly realised that wasn't going to work, I put the main colour in my right hand, contrast colour in my left. And the resulting disaster is not an issue of colour dominance. As Arne and Carlos say - it's about tension, and my tension is terrible. the second mitten is noticeably smaller …

Planning, planning, planning

I'm still knitting away on my mittens for Scotland. I'm still going to make a matching cowl when I'm done. But I'm obsessing over the project after that - Kate Davies  Carraig Fhada  vest from the Inspired by Islay collection. It's the only jumpers worth of yarn I have in stash right now, and knitting a Kate Davies colourwork pattern seems appropriate, given that I am  about to go to Scotland, here her speak, go to Islay and then walk past her back gate.

So this afternoon I balled up the yarn, sort of did a gauge swatch (I measured the gauge on a bunch of things that I've knit out of Buachalle, Leon said "oh great, now you know what your gauge was two years ago. What a smart arse. But also, how much has he learnt about knitting?)

I've got my pattern printed, my needles out, four week and 2 days until I fly out, and two projects to finish first. Lets do this!

Tyrolean Stockings (well worn)

I often wear knee high socks around my house of an evening, they are part of my "loungewear" collection. I've currently got four pairs, but I've been consistently reaching for this mauve pair, mainly because they are warm and comfortable and had been at the top of the pile. The other day when I put them on I found a weird draft on my big toe.

Normally I would darn a hole, but I have already darned both socks at the heels and the balls of the feet, and the yarn around the darns is getting thin too.

  When I looked to see when I made these, I discovered it was 2010. In fact I mention them in passing on my first ever blog post! So I sadly said good by to them, knowing they have done good service and were well worn.



Yarnalong - the one with the matchy matchness

I am still reading Assassin's Quest. I love this book, and am so glad that when I finish this - the last book in the first trilogy, there are still 6 books to go. Robin Hobb's worldbuilding is magnificent, and her writing is close to flawless.




I am knitting Cornwell Spring Mittens.  They are a similarish pattern to my hat, socks and jumper for walking the West Highland Way. You know how I love some matchy matchness. I thought I might be totally sick of the yarn and pattern by now, but the love is still going strong. Which is good, because I still have a matchy matchy cowl to go. 

I am linking up with "It's Monday What are you reading?' hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and the now monthly YarnAlong, hosted by Ginny at Small Things.

What the Fade...

A while back I decided that on my Scottish holiday, I would knit What the Fade. Miles of brioche, followed by kilometres of garter stitch. Perfect. The shawl needs 6 colours of yarn to create the fade. Last week, as I mentioned, Suzanne brought some yarn, and I snagged two skeins of a lively light blue. I thought I could use one of them in this project, but then I decided it was too plain. So I dyed it, using the drip technique I experimented with last week: 
 I'm really happy with it, it's got a bit of craziness to it that I love and I think this shawl needs.

Now I have four of my six colours. The Lang Colori has silver thread through it. I'm going to buy the final two colours at EYF, and look for pinks and yellows to blend with that skein.



One quick and one slow

A couple of weeks ago, to prepare for Ballarat Beer festival, I cast on a baby jumper. My cousin in England is having a baby soon and I'm seeing her parents when we go to Scotland, so I thought a baby jumper would be in order. I cast on Ysolda's wee Envelope, because I've knit it before, it's cute and I figured it would be easy.
It wasn't. I really struggled with the instructions, I had to pull out half the back and it was generally not good knitting mindless knitting. I've also messed up the neckline, it's bigger on one side. Luckily that blocked out.


I am now knitting a heavily cabled dog jumper, which is not mindless at all. Fun, but three different charts. Today I had first aid training. I cast on a baby hat to match wee Envelope on the tram on the way in.  By the end of the day, my first aid knowledge was refreshed, and I had a perfect little baby hat. It was mindless, it was satisfying it was fun, and now it's finished.
I think they make a fine set, …

Happy Birthday Suzanne?

I have a lot of self control when it comes to buying yarn. I don't shop (for yarn) when I am bored, I've been knitting largely from stash, and I try to buy for projects that I'm going to get on the needles immediately. BUT when someone puts a bunch of yarn in front of me and says "take what you want the rest is being given away" I don't say no. Last week it was Kris, this week Suzanne showed up with a couple of bags of awesome.

I snagged two skeins of beautiful sock yarn, one of which I am going to speckle up and dye using the drip technique I worked on last week, for What the Fade. I'm so obsessed with my colours for that shawl.

Since she was giving this yarn away, Suzanne said that if we wanted, a donation to the Epworth hospital wouldn't go astray. They had recently saved her boyfriends life, and Elise's mother is currently there after having a stroke, so that seemed like a great idea. I went to the website, and one of the options is to put someo…

It's Monday - a long weekend and what I'm reading

Having Friday off work made for such a luxurious weekend, time to go out and do stuff, stay in and do stuff, and  then just sit around read. I was reminded of that time in my life when Idecided to work a nine day fortnight. It was glorious. 

On Thursday I finished  A Closed and Common Orbit (loved it, review is here), and knowing I had extra time to read over the extended weekend I started the next Robin Hobb, Assassin's Quest, the third in the Farseer trilogy. It's a big book and I wanted the chance to really get into before getting back to the busyness of my everyday life. It was perfect for this weekend, partly because it never gets that hot in The Six Duchies, and here in Melbourne we were frying! And it's such a good book, engrossing and well written and wonderful worldbuilding.

I'm linking up withIt's Monday, what are you reading?over at the Book Date, and finally getting my book post up on an actual Monday!

Dyeing notes

Remember when I plied up some yarn to dye for What the Fade? It wasn't very soft, but I figured it would be fine. This weekend I decided to do some test dyeing on some spare yarn I had, and while I was about it have some fun making minis for sock yarn squares.
I took the feltable Wangaratta yarn, and some flouro Patonyle  (which I actually bought in Wangaratta

Here's the before shot.

I dyed them using three techniques (from top to bottom)  -  dripping dots of dye on, painting larger stripe and sprinkling dry dye on wet yarn,

I think they look great on the Patonyle:

I think they all look horrible on the Wangaratta yarn. Somehow they turned pastel, and stripped the the existing green from the yarn and spread out a lot and just look horrible.


Would you believe that this is the same coloured dyes? The base colours were different, but I think a major factor is the base yarns - superwash merino / nylon versus 100 percent wool

This does mean I need to reassess my plans for What the Fade, …

The Kindness of Friends, The Kindness of Strangers

It's Tuesday, this is what I'm reading

I think I just have to accept that, while I'm linking up with The Book Date, she posts on Mondays, and I post on pretty much any other day of the week!

This week in books is going much better than last week.While on TuesdayI wasn't mindingJilted. Here's a link to my ranty, ranty review. I hate read the last 20 percent, which was not fun.

Then I started Becky Chamber's  A Closed and Common Orbit. I was somewhat concerned because I loved the first book TheLong Way to A small Angry Planet so much, and I was concerned that this book would not live up to it. well it does. new characters, but the same amazing world building, and basic decency underlying the narrative. It's a lovely read, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next, especially because I left the main character in a dire situation when I put the book down last night.

And a hat to match

I made a hat to match my Stasis jumper and socks. I cast on 114 stitches, with my favourite alternating cable cast on, ribbed a bit, knit 4 rows plain did the yoke colour chart from Stasis and cast off. I particularly like the way the cast off swirls. 

I finished this on the train to Ballarat for Ballarat beer fest and asked Leon to take photos at the festival. Unfortunately we didn't take the actual photos until after some festivaling had been done!

I wanted to knit something simple, so I cast for Ysolda's wee Envelope. I knit the first sleeve, the front and the back: although I attached the back to completely the wrong spot, so I've just ripped that out. Needless to say, Ballarat Beer Festival  was a good time, even if it wasn't so good for the knitting.

So much love

I have been working on my blankie recently, a few squares, here, a few squares there.
My goal is to do that during the year, and then get an advent calendar and knit two squares a day for those 21 days and then I'll be done and I won't know what to do with myself! Look how neatly it fits in my Porter Bin.

I was struggling a bit, because I mainly knit in boring colours, and I gave away and used up most of my pretty leftovers. And then Moorecat brought some leftovers in. Look how pretty they are, and how nice they are going to look in the blanket.

In more news of my lovely, lovely friends, Louisa found 7 grams of red yarn so I wouldn't run our, Sonia found a perfect match for my somewhat secret test knitting. While I'm now thinking i won't need Sonia's, she has lent me the skein so I  don't have to worry about running out. 

Hopefully I will have finished the thing by Monday, and I can return her yarn untouched. I feel so grateful for having friends who understand…

It's ...Tuesday, what are you reading?