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Showing posts from February, 2019

And we're back

This is where I try to sum up 12 days of very disparate holiday in a couple of paragraphs, before the holiday feeling wears off, and the washing finishes. It was, generally speaking a wonderful trip. The weather was beautiful throughout. We started with 4 days at the Grampians Music Festival. We were camping in a mate's back paddock, and it was glorious. They had lots of animals, including a couple of pigs who came to visit. 
The festival was very chilled, and there was lots of knitting time, as well as drinking and some dancing - more of some more than the others, depending who you are.

Then we walked 30 kms, from Halls Gap to Stawell. 
Skip and Bee offered to drop us off, but we thought it would be fun to hike. Most of it was on roads that seemed more like hiking tracks, and it was a glorious day. My feet were pretty sore by the end - I opted for Cons because my pack was light, but maybe should have gone the hiking boots.

We took the Overland (train) to Adelaide, which is something …

Holiday plans

We're going on holiday! It's a bit of an impromptu and strange mash up of things. We were already going to Hall's Gap for the Grampians Music festival, and were trying to work out where we wanted to go with Josh (my American friend who works in Antarctica). He suggested Adelaide, and then we realised we can take the train from the Grampians to Adelaide. I love train journeys. I love the Adelaide Fringe.  So, that's what we'll be doing the next 10 days. I'm taking Leon's scarf, which is knitting up quite quickly, and also sock wool for the matching socks, which will more than see me through ten days. 

Just in case it doesn't we are planning a visit to Stranded in Oz. There may be more yarny adventures, but I don't have any planned out. We'll see. I always say I'll blog while I'm away, but rarely do because I find blogging on my phone annoying, so see you it ten days, if not before.

Kanga / Kiwi KAL - also known as Leon's winter set 2019

I finished the Alight mitts last week, and then knit the Alight hat. These are unblocked photos, because I haven't have time to block them, and I'm going on holiday on Friday and if I don't tell you about them now it's all going to get lost in the maelstrom of fun that is my life.

Because I do so much of my knitting in public, it just keeps on getting done even (especially) when I'm really busy and social. 

I didn't manage to follow the instructions for either of these exactly. For the mitts I took off 8 stitches on each - I originally cast on the required number of stitches and they were a bit big. These fit perfectly. I also shortened the wrist by half a repeat because Leon doesn't like his mitts too long.

The hat was written for 2.75mm needles and in Melbourne, as opposed to Wellington, you don't need such intense windproofing. I knit it on 3.25mm needles, removed 60 stitches and did the brim to 7 cms not ten because Leon does not like a folded brim.


Knitting season hat

After finishing the Baby Surprise Jacket, I had a week before the KangaKiwi KAL started. Initially I was going to spend the whole week working on my blanket, but, instead I decided to knit the hat Kate Davies released in Week Two of the Knitting Season Club. Nothing like casting on for a hat on a 40 degree day, but it's better than working on a blanket! It's always knitting season in my world.

Looking and the pictures of other people's completed hats, I liked the ones in solid colours, and with white snowflakes best and, since I have some sparkle yarn in my stash, I went for it.

It probably wasn't the best idea to mix sock yarn with proper grippy woolly wool, but I like the result I got. It fits firmly at the brim, and is quite droopy at the back - in a good way, I think. It reminds me a bit of the shape of my Sockhead, a hat I eventually had to get rid of because it didn't fit at the brim and kept falling off.

As for how I'm feeling about the club in general - th…

Once upon a sock - the one with the sneaker liner musings

Last month I wrote about my sock draw, and Kate asked me "Could you please write a post about knitting socks specially for exercising? Recommendations for patterns, construction and yarn types?"

And I would be happy to, because I have thought about this a lot.

In fact I've tried a number of heels and, when I started knitting sneaker liners in a serious way, even published a rough pattern for my favourite pattern at the time. I later decided I hate afterthought heels, although I do like the way they look in stripes they are fiddly to work and I always get holes on the edges. I have done fish-lips-kiss heels, sweet tomato heels, hat heels, all the heels. After a great deal of thought and wear I've realised that the challenge of sports socks is that, over time, they shrink through the heel. A heel flap and gusset seems to fit and wears the best. To accommodate this phenomena, I do 16 rounds of ribbing, rather than the 12 I used to do.

It doesn't seem to matter what I …

Yarnalong - the one with the knitalong

Welcome to Yarnalong for February.

 I'm taking part in a six week knitalong in the Woolgathering group, where we knit patterns and yarn from Australian and Kiwi designers and yarn producers. it's called the KangaKiwi Kal, which I find absolutely charming. I'm knitting with White Gum Wool, organically grown in Tasmania, and processed in New Zealand. This is the beginning of Leon's Winter Set 2019, from Kate Jordan's pattern Alight mitts. It's a charming pattern, and I'm really enjoying it. I've just started the second mitt. Here's a slightly overexposed pic of the first, thumb still pending:
I'm reading another Netgalley book California Girls a light domestic "chick lit" book that is quite pleasant. It's a relaxing, interesting engaging read and I recommend it. It's a good week when both the knitting and reading feel enjoyable and relaxing!
If you want to find all my book reviews, I'm SharonDblk on Goodreads. On Ravelry I'…

Snuck that one in

I didn't mention it at the time, but on the train back from Ballarat I cast on a Baby Surprise Jacket. My colleague who sits next to me at work is having a baby (I've already made his present) and he showed me a picture of the Baby Surprise his step mother knitted and I realised I had to knit another of these darling jumpers.

 I used LOSY, and went into it without a clear plan, just knitted away in complementary colours. And I love it. It's so simple to knit, and so pretty and such a fun way of using up left over sock yarn. This time it was quite small amounts, and I think it look nicer than if I'd just used a premade colourway. It really is a perfect little jumper, which might be why this is my seventh one! For someone who rarely repeats patterns, that's kind of epic. This one is going to my neice on Leon's side, who is having her second baby, but I really knit it because it is so fun, easy and cute.

Leon's winter set 2019 - the yarn and the KAL

Every year since the year we met (2008) I've made Leon a new winter set. Traditionally consisting of a hat, scarf and fingerless mitts. I've been doing this since the first year we met. His first set was made from cashmere! I must have really like him from the very beginning. This year I knew I wanted to use Australian yarn. I have become more conscious of where my yarn comes from and supporting MY local producers (I seem to be quite good at supporting Scottish local producers!) 

So, when Kate released the Alight Hat and Mitts I knew this could be a winner. They are written for a 3 ply, and I already had some White Gum Wool sock yarn in stash, in the very Leon colour 'ironstone". I bought it on special when I was getting needles from Skein Sisters. I might have enough for the hat and mitts in that ball, but I might not, and I really don't enjoy playing yarn chicken. Recently I started looking around for another ball,and everyone was out of stock. I panicked, but wh…