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Showing posts from September, 2017

Shawl finished, hat started

I finished the Millers Daughter shawl, blocked it and got it around my shoulders as soon as possible.  I love it! It’s everything I hoped: richly coloured, interestingly textured, big, and soft. The Wollmeise Blend is utterly lovely – the colour is great, there is enough stitch definition for the lace, the garter sproingly, and it’s soft without being limp. Also, it still has that amazing Wollmeise smell. As predicted I really, really wanted to make a Bousta Beanie out of the left overs. I  had 16 grams of the dark green, and 25 grams of the light green  and heaps of the teal, obviously. Now, that should be enough, since last time I used 10 grams of the equivalent of the dark colour, and 17 grams of the equivalent of the light. Working against me is that last time I was using Jameison and Smiths, a very light 4ply, and this time I’m using Wollmeise Blend, which is really a sport weight. Working for me is  that last time I made the body of the hat on 3.75mm n

Wednesdays are for books (Strings and METApolis)

I called this regular feature Wednesdays are for books (although I rather wish I’d stolen Running off the Reese’ s title “Words for Nerds”). As well as reading books, I listen to a fair number of books. Although significantly slower, now that I am finally, if temporarily, in a job where I have to actually pay attention to what I am doing at work. No mindless data entry breaks, not work travel,  no audio books.   Anyway, I don’t always talk about the audiobooks I am listening too here, but I thought my current one is compelling enough to rate a mention. It’s called METAtropolis , and I got it free nearly a year ago. I didn't know John Scaliz was involved with the project, and  I was surprised when he mentioned on his blog that he had edited this collection, so I dug it out of the digital archives. The description didn't really grab me: Welcome to a world where big cities are dying, dead - or transformed into technological megastructures. Where once-thriving subur

Dyed and redyed

  I had two skeins of sock yarn in my stash that I can't see getting used. One is this lightish green that I dyed with food 2010. Apparently I was going to make a pair of socks to match a pair of shoes that are now long gone. The other one I dyed with Ursula in 2011.  I actually quite like this, but it knits up too variegated for most of what I want to knit. So, when I realised that I only have three skeins of sock yarn left in Leon friendly colours, there was only one thing I could do: I got out the trusty dye pot, and coloured these like Leon likes. Dark, semi solids: I'm really happy with how they came out, and I'm excited that these have moved from the bottom of the pile to the next yarns to be used.

More musings on stash

I have been tracking my stash on R avelry and this blog since 2013 , and musing and muttering about the yarn stash since long before then. I have recently become very focused on knitting down my stash, and this has led me to one point of drama that I can't resolve, which is  -when is a skein of yarn finished? The obvious answer is - when there is no more yarn left. But what about when I've finished a pair of socks and there  is just a small handful of yarn left:   I used all three colours for blanket squ ares, and the remains are useless for anything except darning later on. So, can I mark it as done?But it's not done, because there is still yarn there. If it's useless, should I throw it out? But I don't thro w out yarn, that feels very wrong. This is all very w eird, arbitrary and obsessy. Nothing new to see here, move right along.

Wednesdays are for books (Neanderthal Marries Human)

I'm reading the next in Penny Reid's Knitting in the City series. I'm quite conflicted about it, because it's got some major flaws, but I'm really enjoying it. The main character Janie is just plain annoying. She is currently deliberately manufacturing stress, by planning a big wedding, because things have been too easy between her and Quinn, who she marrying. the thing is that with loads of money, and not actually caring about the wedding, where is the actual stress? Also, it's called Knitting in the City but Janie can't actually knit, and isn't trying to learn, which is very confusing for me. But it is really nice to have a romance book that goes beyond the characters meeting and deciding they are going to be together. To explore what happens after a couple is together is a lot of fun. While Janie annoys me, I will certainly  keep reading this series, because I really like the ensemble, and am looking forward to reading the stories of the othe

A rocky start

I was so excited about starting the Miller's Daughte r shawl, having been planning for it for about 3 months. Winding the beautiful Wollmeise, finishing all my other projects, and then casting on - four times . The first time was basically a gauge swatch, and I decided to go down a needle size. The second time I was doing double increases instead of triple, so the nine stitches I started with remained nine stitches. The third time I did the decrease every row, missing the instructions that some rows don't have decreases. Then I finally got through the first garter section. I guess reading the instructions properly might have helped. I knit the first lace repeat with no major drama. Then I started the second repeat and I could not get the first row right. that took me four attempts too. So frustrating. But then I got into the rhythm of the shawl. It really is as beautiful as I'd hoped, and, now I've got the hang of it, it's not a hard knit at all. Now all I nee

The cardigan on the back of my chair (Wellworn)

In 2015 I knit an Epistrophy Cardigan .  I had a lot of trouble with  the collar, and in the end this particular yoke did not suit my shoulders very well. I also sewed the buttons on badly, and did not bother to fix them. For some reason the yarn looks old and worn and pilled, even though I barely wore it. Sometime in the last couple of years I took this cardigan to work and I wear it as an emergency layer. I don't want to take this ratty old cardigan to my new job, with people who don't know me. I think I'll take it home, and replace another worn green cardigan with buttons that don't stay done up properly.  The deep V of that cardigan has been leaving my chest cold this winter, and it's looking quite ratty. I think I'll take my work ratty cardigan home and fix the buttons and promote it to my home ratty cardigan, and say goodbye to my home ratty cardigan. I may have to consider knitting a new cardigan for the back of my work chair, because I don'

Wednesdays are for books (A Room Of One's Own)

A Stash of One's Own was released today, and it inspired me to read Virginia Woolf's essay A Room of One's Own , since the former references the latter. I've really only just started it, but I'm looking forward to it. I love visiting things that I've heard referenced, but never actually experienced. And this seems an appropriate time to be visiting feminist literature.

Weird socks and winning at shawls

After I finished my Bousta Beanie , I  decided to make Sunberry Socklettes , out of Jameison and Smith left over from the beanie.I knew it wouldn't be too ma tchy, b ecause I finished the light grey from the hat, but I have been wondering for a while how Jameison would wear for socks. Unfortunately this pattern was weird. This the toe as written: POINTY. NIPPLY. WIERD. I ripped it back 8 rows, and kitchenered it. When it came time to finish the second sock, I gathered the stitches, and got a better result, but I had sewn in the end of the first one and, despite looking really hard for it I couldn't find an end to unpick it.   I reversed the direction of the stripes on the ankle, and the colours on the second heel. I wasn't very happy with these wile was working om them, but they fit snugly, unlike many of the sneaker liners I have made recently. The Jamieson and Smith yarn feels good on the feet, and hopefully the colourwork on the heels will help t

Bousta Beanie - Done

Two years ago I knit a beanie to wear when I'm riding and working out in winter. I loved it and I think it fit me perfectly at the time. But two winters of wearing it under a bike helmet and getting rained on has made this beanie just a smidge two small. When I saw the Bousta Beanie , this year's Shetland Wool week pattern, I knew I had to make it.   I used stash Jamieson and Smith. One thing I love about  this hat is that is seems to look amazing in pretty much every colour combination .  I shortened it by one repeat - partly because i can't have it too long under a helmet, mainly because I almost ran out of the light grey background yarn - only 5 grams left. This may be partly attributed to my discovery, when i went to change to DPNs to knit the last of the crown decreases, that I'd knit the body of the hat on 3.75mm needles, not the 3.5mm needles specified in the pattern. And many people actually go down a needle size to knit this hat. Still it fits

Wednesdays are for books (Fieldwork)

I finished A Stash of One's Own this week. The review is here , if you would like to read it - and friend me on Goodreads, while you are there. I'm currently reading Fieldwork by Mischa Berli nski . I bought it before I went to Thailand, as part of my "read books set where you are" program and did not get around to reading it while I was there. I'm about half way through and I'm really glad I picked it up from the bottom the the e-pile. It's a s tory wi thin a st ory - the main character , weirdly also called Mischa Berlinksi, moves to Thailand and he ars the story of a murder. On one leve l this is his story, as he investigates that story, on another i t is the  tale of the Walkers, a missionary family. I'm enjoying i t, but I'm glad enough i didn't read it as part of my Thai reading program, since a quick Google showed me that this is a mi x of fact and fiction - for example the main tribe the Dyalo, is fictional. Thailand is not

Planning and preparing

I got a new job, again. In a little under two weeks I am moving to a different Department for three months. This is a big change - upgrading, a different Department and working from a different building. Hopefully this time I really won't have time to write blog posts at work. I'm going to be in a very small office, with one printer / photocopier on the floor. My reaction to this has been to panic, and print out all the patterns I might need for the next three (or probably six months).That pile there is the top nine things in my queue : I've also laminated the important things, like the charts to the next shawl I'm knitting. And, because work is slowing down for me before I go, I've rewritten the instructions for the Mixalot socks to include the Fish Lips Kiss Heel . And then laminated them. What if my new workplace doesn't have a laminator? what if they don't have showers?  What if there is no where to leave my bike? One of these things I can control,

A beginning, middle and end

On Saturday afternoon I finished the Endless Rainbow for Rachey - it was far from endless, and took me two not very intense knitting weeks: I then prepared my next knitting project, a Bousta Beanie from left over Jameison and Smith. The only problem was, because of some work excitement on Friday, I completely failed to print out the pattern. Knowing I was going to a bar on Saturday night, and not knowing the lighting situation, I wanted to knit from a paper pattern:  While considering the problem I skeined up the yarn for the Millers Daughter, which i imagine I will start some time next week: This all lead me to a problem: What can I knit that will work no matter the lighting, won't impact on my ability to chat and won't stop me casting on a hat tomorrow? So I pulled out my only ongoing wip - my good old sock yarn blanket, and got to it.   I did four squares, which is probably more that I have done this year!

Get Well Soon Shawl

It's funny, I've been knitting Endless Rainbow for nearly two weeks, and I haven't really talked about it very much. It might be because this is a project with all the feels. Here's the story: You may remember my friend Rachey from such adventures as going to Israel.   She is not very well. She is suffering from heart failure. She's actually doing quite well - driving and seeing friends and living her best life, in the situation. She said the other day that she wants to scream when people say "get well soon" to her, because, well, that's not how heart failure works, I guess. I think people say that to her because they want her to get well soon , they wish she would get well soon. I know I can't make her better. I can only be here, and be her friend, but I can't do much else. Except knit. And, while the power of wool and silk might not make her heart better, maybe it will make her heart feel better, if just for a moment. And I've kn