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Showing posts from March, 2020

Weekending (mainly a Joji bag review)

My "weekending" post would look a lot like an Unravelled Wednesday / Yarnalong post. I read, I knitted, I drank lots of wine. It's the new normal.

I mentioned on Monday that my Joji  Pampa Bucket bag arrived,and it looked quite good. I didn't think it would be that useful in the current situation, since I'm (like everyone else) staying home.

Well, it's been great. I can just throw everything in it and quite straight out of it. No balls rolling anywhere, no wondering where my needle case is.

It turns out I move around out little house a lot - from the couch, to the balcony, to the study, the dining table, the rocking chair. I imagine as this isolation goes on, I'll start knitting in the bedroom, just for a change of scenery.
Mainly the bag is so simple, perfect for purpose, and minimally elegant.  I'm looking forward to Joji's next update (whenever that may be). I'd love one of these sock bags in pink.

The problem with Breathing Space

For some reason I only have one sweatshirt style jumper, Veera Valimaki's Breathing Space. There are a few problems with it: 1) The shape has become kind of baggy
2) The sleeves are a slightly odd length - in the original photos they are proper full length, so they must have shortened
3) The neckline in a bit wide, which makes any shirt I put under it visible
4) At some point I must have worn it with a cross body bag and, despite it being made out of sock yarn, there is a matted patch near the shoulder 
5) I can't find it. Yes, I appear to have lost this jumper, which is quite strange. These pictures were taken last time we went to Marysville.

Because of all these issues, I decided it needed replacing - which is why I am currently knitting Joji Locatelli's Japan Sleeves.

Unravelling on Wednesday

We are going increasingly into lockdown, following the rest of the world in both severity and response. And that was expected. What was not expected in that building renovations which they have been working towards for two years are now scheduled to start tomorrow. Yep, apparently the building is going to be scaffolded, access to balconies removed and basically get turned into a building site while we are all living and working inside, 24/7. I am still desperately hoping that it will get called off last minute. Otherwerwise we will live with it, because we don't have a choice, but loosing all my natural light while being stuck inside all the time is pretty dire. Also, they have to take the heating out, so if it gets cold we'll just have to shiver. I can't even think about it.

The knitting is going well, at least. Joji's Japan Sleeves:

I love the yarn, and the pattern is lovely. A really interesting construction. Some really long rows there, but I have quite a lot of knit…

A good mail day

Yesterday was the last day my office is open, so we were running around, organising things that probably should have been done a few weeks ago. Meanwhile I was keeping an eye on the DHL courier site. Not very long ago I bought a Joji bucket bag. It got stranded in Hong Kong for a couple of days, and was meant to be out for delivery on Monday. Since it was my last day in the office, I really, really wanted it to come.

Meanwhile, at 7.30am I had a notification of a package in my parcel locker. I picked it up on my way home - pro tip, if you cycle, putting a single strap laptop bag on your back like a backpack isn't the best.

The Joji bag is just great. I wanted it for those times when we're just running across the road to the pub, but I want something to put my stuff in. It's a good size - big enough for a proper jumper or dress. That's how it looks like with 7 skeins of yarn:

And the second package had yarn for Birkin. It's Ixchel Bunny's tweed, and is very like Ka…

Wubble test knit

I finished my Wubble socks, sewed in the ends, blocked them and gave them to my father last night.

Then today I had to message him and ask him to weigh them, because I don't know how much yarn they used! It turns out they are made from 83 grams of Left Over Sock Yarn - the background colours are largely from Leon's socks, and the self striping from a yarn swap I did with the Monstersock group last year.

I did the 64 stitch 4 x 4 pattern option. I hope they fit him. Leon was kind enough to model them for me.

I really love how the heels came out, with the colour change in the middle.

I love using LOSY, and this was a bright, happy project to work on, culminating in a truly lovely pair of socks. 

Unravelled - the one in between

What a weird time! Here in Melbourne, we're just ramping up the COVID-19 response, going from gatherings of 500 being banned, down to 100 this morning. I'm not working from home, I'm not set up for it, so if they close my office I'll be on personal leave. But there are only 4 of us in a large office floor, so we shall see.
I've just started Joji Locatelli's Japan Sleeves  - and I mean just started!

The simple lace in bright, bright yellow is very cheering.
I finished Tucker (The McBrides of Texas #2)and haven't started anything else yet. I read a NetGalley review copy - someone emailed me and asked if I wanted it,and I said yes. It's a pretty good read, but I wouldn't normally start a series at book two, and there is a whole other series that loads of the characters come from. So, worth reading the previous books first!
And I finished my last audio book and haven't started a new one. Weird. It's like the world is holding it's breath. Actuall…

Weekending - swatching and preparing

It was a weird weekend for everyone, and even weirder for me! I live in St Kilda, very close to the Grand Prix track. I don't like car racing, but I mainly dislike the Melbourne Grand Prix because it is in a park (which is full of concrete for three months), and because you can hear the cars from my house and there are combat aeroplanes flying around (I don't know why) and loads of helicopters. Leon and I planned to go to Ballarat for the weekend to escape the noise. Then, on Friday they cancelled the race. A couple of hours later I got a call from my mother saying she's off to hospital. She was very vague about what is going on - it's got nothing to do with COVID-19 though.

Needless to say we cancelled our trip. I saw my mother yesterday, and I think she's ok, but they are not quite sure what is wrong with here, which is always a worry.

Everyone is getting ready to settle in with this pandemic outbreak, and I'm no different. Earlier in the week I asked Melbourne…

Perfect timing!

Last month I put my hand up for a test knit from SquareJaneKnits, a designer who hangs out on the Monstersocks group, where we are all obsessed with LOSY (left over sock yarn). I thought I would make them for my father, but put them away until Chanukkah in December. 

Instead, on Friday he presented me with this pair of socks, which he wears indoors in their Marysville holiday house. There is a no-shoe rule in the house. He declared they are not worth darning. There is a lot of hole there. I also noticed that the left heel has already been darned.

He also announced that he like it when he looks down and the toes of his socks are different colours. I can do that.

So, I'm doing this monster sock in a mixture of plain dark greens and contrasting self striping.

I'm pretty happy with how it's coming out, even if the second yarn camouflages a little with our floorboards. . The first sock did take five days, but with everything being cancelled, the second one might come along a bit qu…

Unravelled Wednesday - the one where people give me things to review

This week I am test knitting a monster sock! If you don't know, Monstersocks are made out of Left Over Sock Yarn (LOSY), and I have a lot of it. I hang out on the Monstersocks group on Ravelry and get a lot of inspiration from them, so when SquareJaneKnits asked for test knitters for the Wubble sock, I was right there! It's a really fun knit, and I love using self stripping for things that are not vanilla socks.

So, a win all around. In reading, I'm reading a review copy of Tucker, the McBrides of Texas by Emily March. It's a romance, because I needed something a bit fluffy after the very good, but rather full on  Poppy Wars. So far I'm liking it. The main characters have friends, and cousins, and jobs and it seems quite nuanced and fun. I only started it yesterday, so lets see if I still feel that way when I'm a bit further in. The only issue is it's not the first in the series, and while it is a stand alone, I think the first one could have been a good re…

(long) weekending (and photos of Leon's Winter Set 2020)

It's been quite a weekend. To start with, it was three days long. All weekends should be three days long. On Saturday night we went and saw Come From Away again.  I loved it the first time, and cried the entire time. I thought this time I would cry less, but no, I bawled for the whole show!

The on Sunday night we saw Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, who were doing a bushfire benefit. It was, of course, fantastic. Also, I remember (a month) ago when we were worried about the whole country burning. Now we're worried about everybody getting sick, and also toilet paper hoarding. Things go downhill so fast.

And then today (second Sunday!) we played Disc Golf with Skip and Bee. WE're all a bit obsessed right now. I used the opportunity to take a few shots of Leon in his now completed winter set.

I must say, I'm quite pleased with it. The scarf came out quite long, he has is wrapped around his neck three times in these pictures. 

Now I'm off to finish the final part of the the …

Some (more) thoughts about cast ons

I decided to play around with some different cast ons, inspired by a thread on Ravelry about the best cast on for socks. I normally use the long tail cast on – for me it is quick, easy and effective. Sometimes getting the tail the right length annoys me, but aside from that it works for me. 

I started the experiment by trying the Chinese Waitress cast on, because someone said that they used it for a Baby Surprise Jacket and it worked really well for them. Now, I consider myself an “advanced” knitter, but I could not get the hand of it. So I gave up, and used the long tail. Quitter. 

Then I used Woolly Wormhead’s alternate cable cast on for 2 x2 ribbing for Leon’s hat. It’s a type of knitted on cast on that gives an edge a bit like the tubular cast on. 

I was quite happy with that. Stretchy and classy, looks good on both sides, although I think better on the outside than the inside.

Then I tried the provisional tubular cast on for the start of Leon’s mitts. In this method you provisionally…

Unravelled Wednesday and Yarnalong too - the one with all the books!

This week I am working on one knitting project, the Arrow socks that I based the rest of Leon's winter set on. 

It's kind of fun to do the project that inspired the whole set last! 

I blocked the scarf last night, and will get modelled photos of the whole set over the weekend.

 As for books, I seem to have a few on the go!

I'm reading Spike Gillespie's Sit, Stay Heal about her meditation journey. She also has some tips, which is good, because I am slowly increasing my silent meditation practice. It has great effects, but sometimes it is so hard to discipline myself to sit quietly, when I could be doing something useful like knitting. Spike understands, she's a knitter too.

I am listening to Trans, A Memoir by Juliet Jacques. It's both a personal story and a bit of a potted history of the transgender movement. really great narrator and I'm enjoying it, as well as learning some things. 

 And on my Kindle I'm reading The Poppy War by R.F.Kaung. 

It's the firs…

And we're back from the mountains

We just got back from our holiday, and I wanted to get it all blogged about before I have to go back to normal life tomorrow.

We public transported to Halls Gap, and feel like we may be the only tourists to have every done that. Everyone else seems to hire cars and campervans or come with a tour group.

We started the trip with a three day / two night hike, which is the current 36 kilometre Grampians Peaks Trail.  It's being extended, and will eventually be 13 nights, but what is there now is pretty stunning. I'm looking forward to doing the next sections of the hike as they are released.

Just before we took this picture, at the top of Mount Rosea I was thinking about how all our camping pictures look the same - we wear the exact same clothes, and even though the places we hike are very different, I don't know that the photos look that different. 
Then my hat blew off my head and down the mountain, irretrievable. So next time I will look marginally different. 
The first night of…