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Unravelling week 13 - and Yarn Along too

The balcony is finished! The scaffolding is almost down, and it looks really nice. They are putting scaffolding up on the bedroom side of the flat, but I won't be looking at it all day. Hearing the work, maybe, but I won't be doing a blow by blow account of that part of the renovations here. I never actually meant to do weekly updates of it, but nothing else was happening in my life for the last 13 weeks!

Not a lot continues to happen. Leon and I have sore throats, running noses and a cough, so we go tested yesterday. It's very unlikely to be COVID, since the outbreaks here are happening on the other side of town, but we do have to self isolate until the test results come back.

I'm reading Modern Loversby Emma Straub. It was literally the oldest book in my Goodreads "To Be Read" list. It's a multi-generational family and friends drama. The fun part is that the drama is all actually quite low key. The characters are relatable and the New York setting is a ni…

Weekending - Yarn delivery, yarn dying and some planning

Should I be thinking up catchier titles for my posts? Nah, at least they are descriptive, right?
On Friday I got my Purl Box delivery - some Fluff, for a Diaphanous Raglan, some more Fluff, probably for a v-neck cardigan and a random skein of sock yarn in the colourway Catharsis, because it's pretty. I've apparently made a sudden about turn. Before everything had to be teal. Now all must be pink.

I'm going to hold the Fluff on the left with a very light grey / pink 4 ply, which I think I will dye myself, so i did some experimenting with dying some minis on the weekend. What I learnt is that, up to a point I can just make my dye stock lighter, but I really do need to buy some gentler pinks.


I also discovered that Wangaratta Woolen Mills now sells undyed yarn, including a heavy 4 ply on the cone. I see one of those wending it's way to me quite soon. I figure a cardigan for me, a jumper for Leon, a couple of pairs of socks, some minis for my sock blanket... it will be used u…

FO Friday - a hat and a stash update

I like to keep a tidy stash. All the yarn I have is on my Ravelry stash page. I carefully (obsessively?) track my yardage. This started when I first counted in 2013. Generally it's easy - I buy yarn, put it on Raveley, sooner or later knit it, put the project on Ravelry. Done. But what happens when there is a small amount of yarn left? Too much to say the ball is finished? Say, 20 grams from a 50 gram ball? I had a few small balls hanging about. there was some knit Picks Pallete that I dyed for Sleeve Island and didn't need, a half ball of Holst Garn Super-Soft left over from Still Light and I just knew that the leftovers from Noah's baby jumper would end up sitting around forever.

A couple of months ago I found this hat pattern -Fits The Whole Fam. Hold 3 strands of fingering yarn together, knit on 5mm needles and off you go:

I used my favourite cast on for 1 x 1 rib (Alternating Cable,  ) and really enjoyed knitting this. I'm going to donate it to KOGO, my knitting cha…

Unravelling Wednesday - ups and downs

The ups - the balcony is nearly finished, our heater got put back in on Thursday and we hear the scaffolding is coming down next week!

The gym reopened this week, and we are going out to dinner to celebrate Leon's 40th tonight.

Australia has COVID under control.

The downs - Melbourne is doing poorly and there is a fair chance we will be locking down again soon.

And through it all there is:

Knitting - I started Sorrel last week, and should get the yoke done by tomorrow. It's knit with mohair held together with a BFL, silk and cashmere sock yarn. It feels amazing. i just want to hold it on my lap and stroke it.

Reading - I'm reading The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone, by Charity Norman. It's a novel about a trans-woman who comes out in her 50s, but it's also a very well written family drama. It's an easy but heartfelt read.

Leon and I are listening to Neil Gaiman's Ocean at the End Of the Lane.

 It's a re-listen for me, but I don't remember anything about it…

Weekending - one finish, two starts!

And what a weekend it was! On Friday I cast on not one, but two projects. I cast on for the Sorrel jumper and  I started the Yarn Harlot's socks from her Patreon. I also went to a bar on Friday night, when I hung my Joji box bag from a hook, and knit straight out of it. It was fabulous - the bag and seeing Elise. Being in a bar was weird and uncomfortable, since we are escalating in the Covid situation. Boo.


I didn't take a picture when we were out, but it also works hanging from my desk. Love it!

On Saturday I bought some yarn from the Purl Box update. More on that when it arrives, but be assured it was mainly mohair!

On Saturday night Elise brought her tea-pot, so I finally finished the spout! Yay for finishing!
Then on Sunday we borrowed my parents car and drove to Ballarat to see Leon's parents. I knit on the socks - the Yarn Harlot's class takes us down to the heel, so I've got a little way to go, but I'm quite happy with my progress. 

Now onwards into the week…

FO Friday - the tiny baby set

You may remember what feels like months ago I dyed some lilac yarn, because I was worried that the mother of the baby I was knitting for might be weird about gendered colours? Well, she posted a picture of Noah in a lilac lace hat, so I guess it would have been fine! And, now that I'm writing this, I realise I should have knit something in black and white. "Dear old Collingwood forever". Maybe I'll do that for when he gets out of hospital in September. 

I had trouble with wee Envelope again. This time I could not pick up the stitches for the body nicely, and ended up doing them on the inside, which is fine, but not nearly as cute as doing them on the outside. 
The hat is just a simple 80 stitch hat, starting with some garter to match the jumper, and ending with i-Cord, because I think that's cute.
It's modelled here by my smaller bear model, and it's quite tight, which is good, since Noah is tiny - he was born at 6 months and 1 day. If I was the praying type…

Unravelling - Week 11

My balcony is currently being rendered and painted, which means that they have wrapped the windows in plastic, and we can only open the bedroom windows, not the living room or study windows. It will be done in a couple of weeks, and meanwhile I'm practicing gratitude. I am grateful to have a safe, comfortable house, and the resources to do these necessary building repairs and still be able to afford boutique chocolates and yarn. Also, I'll be very grateful when they reinstall the heater and let me on my balcony!

At least I have the dual comforts of knitting and reading:

In reading this week, I'm reading the last of my NetGalley requests, (Im)perfectly Happyby Sharina Harris. It's a book about four black women, who are friends from college. Now in their early 30s, they have made compromises, and are seeking to follow their dreams. It's a great concept, but there are some weaknesses. 

It's told in alternating first person chapters. With four main characters it might…

Weekending with the Yarn Harlot

Stephanie Purl-McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot) set up a Patreon a month or so ago. I signed up, since I have been reading her blof (for free) for over a decade, I wasn't too worries about the actual content she is going to be providing. She decided to do a sock knitting masterclass, starting with an hour lesson about gauge, sock yarn and what makes a long lasting sock. She is charming, and I was happy to watch it while I knit, but I figured I wouldn't play along. After all, I know how to knit socks. After all I've made 161 pairs of socks.

Later in the week I got out my darning, and darned some socks of Leon's that I made close to ten years ago. Then I got out these horrors from my Father:

The socks I make him do not last. I can get away with making socks out of almost anything for me and for Leon, and then going hiking in them, but not for my father. So, I am using the 75% wool, 25% nylon sock yarn I bought the other day. I even knit a teeny tiny swatch, as suggested:

8 stit…

FO Friday - Sleeve Island

I finished Sleeve Island! There were some things I really liked about this jumper, some I was really unimpressed with and some I'm withholding judgement about.

Lets start with the positive:
1) This was a really fun knit. The colourwork was easy and the instructions were clear.
2) I dyed the yarn myself. I love the colours and it is warm and furry and lovely to work with.

3) I like the length. I thought it might end up super cropped, and while it is short, its not too short. 
4) Even though it took 3 weeks, it felt like a quick knit, because it was so much fun.


I've been doing Curly Girl, and how good is my hair! The not-so-good:
I shortened each arm by 10 centimetres and still nearly ran out of yarn, even though I started with the exact yardage the pattern called for and was knitting precisely to gauge. I don't know why.I would have run out of yarn if I hadn't shortened the arms, I chose 10 centimetres shorter based on my measurements, and it was just a smidge too short. I had…

Unravelling - week 10

I really thought this was going to more than week ten!
We have tiles and balcony glass, and the building waterproofing that necessitated this whole renovation has been done. Looks like a couple more weeks before the scaffolding comes down, but progress has been made.

Progress has been made in many areas this week,

In reading: On the weekend I started Peter F. Hamilton's Salvation Lost. It's post apocalyptic science fiction, with two timelines, one a near-future one and one a further future one. It's a big book, and the second in a trilogy and it took me ages to remember who, of the many characters were who. I did lots of reading over the weekend and really got into it .And look at that  cover:


In audio books: Leon and I followed up Neil Gaiman's American Gods with Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. Fantastic narrator, great plot and a really good listen. And another great cover:


I've nearly finished The Rules of Backyard Cricket,and it's been a great listen. It was the …

Weekending - in Peterborough

The Victorian government is beginning to lift restrictions, we we went to Peterborough for the weekend. Peterborough is a tiny, sleepy town near the end of the Great Ocean Road, and it was so nice to get away from my building site of a flat.
The weekend started well, when we stopped in Colac for lunch and discovered a lovely little yarn shop. I think this will probably turn into a baby surprise jacket.
We stayed in a beach shack, that had a view straight out onto Curdies River: It was so quiet, and lovely. The place had comfy couches and a good strong heater, and a whole lot of sky. Bliss. On the Saturday we went to a chocolate maker, and a cheese maker and a yarn maker! Great Ocean Road Woollen Mill are currently officially closed for visitors, , but when I emailed them they said we could come by. They even showed us where the yarn gets made! I bought a jumpers worth of Purl Code for Leon. So luscious.  There were photographic alpacas, and shy sheep. The Great Ocean Road is called that for a…

Gendered colours and a tiny baby

Laura, an ex-colleague of mine had a baby. I first met her while I was waiting to interview for the organisation I currently work for. When we both got jobs she walked me down to get my fingerprints done and pass issues. Eventually we drifted off - she joined the OH&S team and I went to a different site. Last time I saw her was in December, at a lunch for another colleague we had worked with for almost as long, who was off to have a baby. At that time Laura told me she was trying to have a solo IVF baby. She must have been actually pregnant, because last week her baby came - after 6 months and a day gestation. So, a little underbaked. 
Little Noah is doing ok I think, and I decided to knit her a bit of a baby set. The obvious yarn I had was this:
It's a bit lavender, and I would put a boy in it, but I'm not sure she would. I ran it through the dye-pot and now it's a much more manly purple!
I'm going to knit a baby Envelope and a hat - partly to keep the baby warm, but…

Unravelling - week 10 and Yarnalong too

I was planning to show you a picture of the new balcony tiles, but they have covered them with coverings. We have poles though and I guess that's something.
The kitchen is done and now we have nice bright shiny cupboards, so that's exciting. I've been wanting to do this for a couple of years, and it's pretty exciting that I have a nice looking kitchen and soon we'll have a nice balcony and a building that isn't taking on water, even if it does feel like it's taking forever to fix.
What is not taking forever is Sleeve Island! In fact, I've only got 3 ever smallening repeats and the knitting will be done! Then it's just steeking, and deciding what to do for the edges / trim.
I abandoned Glennon Doyle's Untamed. It was smug, sanctimonious and poorly structured. She had some good thoughts in there, but I couldn't be bothered wading through that amount of dross to find them. It should have been a TED talk instead.Instead I am listening to The Rules …