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Showing posts from October, 2017

Good Bye sOctober. What Now?

I’ve really enjoyed sOctober this year. I’ve knit (nearly) six pairs of socks, I’ve explored gauge and needle sizes, I’ve knit three different kinds of toes and three different types of heels. I’ve knit with yarn dyed by me, and yarn dyed by a range of master dyers. It’s been very satisfying.  But now, on the last day of this wonderful month I have to ask myself, after I finish my current sock - What happens now?
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned here that I am going to Edinburgh Yarn Fest next year. And in case that isn’t fun enough, Kate and Kat and someone called Gracie are coming too! Kate and Kat were having a knit-a-long for Stasis, and I really like the jumper, and you know how I love a knitalong. Knitpicks is having a 15% off sale, so I bought the yarn for that. Also at EYF I’m doing a class withWoolly Wormhead. I’ve seen her patterns around for ages, but never knit one. Now the class I’m doing isn’t on hats, it’s on advanced grafting (geekout time) but I happened to see she’s doing a…

Princess Daisy and the overactive thyroid

I've been sitting here trying to write a post about the socks I'm knitting, but I don't have anything to much to say about socks right now. This morning I dropped Princess Daisy at the vet hospital in Werribee - we recently discovered she has an overactive thyroid, and the simplest treatment is to irradiate it. It's medically not a big deal, and we caught it really early.

They are going to feed my cat radiation tomorrow and then keep her for a week, because she will be radioactive. When she comes home she's not meant to sleep next to me or sit on my lap for long for the first two weeks. I can't really see that happening, we'll work something out, probably we'll all end up a little irradiated.

And now, I'm sitting on the couch, knitting the above mentioned sock, but without Princess Daisy on my lap, or snuggled next to me on the couch, it just isn't the same.
Here's a picture of the sock - Gladys, by General Hogbuffer, to go with all the picture…

Random spinning

I put on a pair of socks this afternoon, an old pair of handspun  merino - spindle spun  at that.. Sooo soft and inappropriate for socks. 

Also, they need darning. But, while wearing them around the house I had an irresistible desire to spin for socks. I've got some stripping yarn on the bobbin that I really haven't been working on - I was going to Navajo ply it for colour work, but now I think I'll Navaho ply it - tightly - for a marvelous pair of house socks. if I ever finish it. At this point, I'm aiming for next sOctober!

Right, off to sit on my lovely balcony and spin.

Wednesdays are for books (Another Woman's Husband AGAIN)

Well, I finished it. I stayed up late last night, because it was either power through to the finish or just give up. There was not a lot I liked about this book – it had two time lines, one which moved through 30 years, and one which covered three months, which gave the book an odd rhythm.

 The author made up things and overlaid them over history, which is a technique that had been used by many authors, but in this case it just felt false. Mainly thought, I started noticing odd things the author wrote, and then I couldn’t stop. Things like: 
Wallis was wearing a blue wool suit with chalk stripes and a matching trilby. It could have been a man's office wear but for the tiny waist, the padded shoulders, the long slim skirt and the jaunty angle of the hat.So, it was not at all like a man's suit at all really. 

 And when Rachel is cooking a stew it lists all the ingredients, and states that she will put the beans in later. Why? What does this bizarre detail add to the book? At one po…

More sOctober socks

These little sneaker liners are by Trude Heretaas, they are called Mellom and there is not much to say about them. Like all of Trudy’s other patterns, they are simple, effective and free. I did reverse the pattern on the second sock, because that’s the way I roll. The yarn – Wollmeise Blend is so, so lovely. It’s soft and the colour is amazing. We’ll see how it wears for socks, because I’m not always a fan of cashmere in socks, but this has nylon as well. I loved the Blend soooo much that I have used up all of the three skeins I bought, all but the tiniest leftovers. This project was a delightful way to spend four knitting days – also, I recently bought a teal Lululemon outfit (seriously,dark teal tights and bright teal t-shirt) and now I have matchy matchy socks. That’s what I call happiness.

More ramblings about gauge

As I mentioned on Monday, I’m knitting the Squircle socks. These are a marvellous creation, and a great way to use up left over sock yarn. I knit them on 2.25mm needles, partly to see if I can get away with these, or if I should be using 2mm needles for all my socks. I selected a range of colours, based on what I had lying around. They are all “sock weight” or four ply, but there is actually quite a range of thicknesses. The dark blue is what I knit Leon's lastest pair of socks on, the one that made me realise 2.5mm isn't going to work anymore.
Looking at it in the sock, if I was going to choose a needle size to knit this yarn on it would definitely be 2mm. I have another skein of this yarn (dyed green by me) and I’m itching to get it on some 2mm needles to see how that goes. Before that though, I'm knitting myself a pair of sneaker liners, to use up that stunning teal Wollmeise.

More sOctober fun

After my success the other week with redyeing yarn to make it Leon coloured, I HAD to do the same to this red:
It is, I think, Regia, bought at Wangaratta in 2012. I like it well enough, but I can’t ever see me knitting it. It’s too one coloured for my dad, too red for Leon and I have a sock moratorium for myself. So, I did my research (i.e. asked the Richmond Knitters) and discovered that brown is made by mixing blue and yellow and red. I don’t have any yellow dye, but someone pointed out that yellow and blue= green, and I have plenty of green dye:
I applied it, and an hour later, I have some very usable brown yarn. Its a bit more variagated than I expected, but i think it's really pretty. now, what else can i dye?

Wednesdays are for books - Another woman's Husband

This week I’m reading Another Woman's Husband by Gil Paul. It’s the last of the NetGalley books that I requested in the final days of my boring job, and I probably should have been more careful with what I request. Once they give me a book, I do feel obliged to read it and review it – after all, that’s the transaction. This book is told in two voices – Mary a friend of Wallace Simpson, starting in 1911 and Rachel in 1997, who was present for the crash of Princess Diana’s car in Paris. I don’t generally love books that have two storylines in different times. Jennifer, one of the protagonists annoys me, and there is one glaring incident I’m having trouble getting past – a vintage shop is robbed – they get in through the bathroom window, and when they leave, they leave the chain on the door. That makes no sense. But I haven’t read very far into it, so maybe that will be explained later. I don’t love the writing style, the sentence lengths seems odd to me, lots of short choppy sentence…

Just in time

After I finished the Rose City Rollers, I cast on Squircle for my father. I don't know when I'm going to give these to him, but he likes crazy socks, and I thought this pattern looks fascinating.
You kind of need 2 x circulars for these, the heel is a very strange construction where, and well as the 64 stitches for the sock another 66 stitches get picked up. I ordered a pair of Chiagoo circs on Thursday. I chose Chiagoo since, even though I love Knitpro Karbonz they keep on falling apart on me. I like reliable tools.

Ebay said they would be delivered on Tuesday - I figured it wasn't important, since I wasn't going to get these started until Sunday.

On Sunday I started the first socks, and knit the entire leg. On Monday I did the same with the second. This is insanely quick, and I don't quite understand what happened. 

Luckily the needles arrived today. They seem really good. Sharp tips, nice cords. I picked up the stitches, and knit on down this strange sock.

A great weekend

This weekend we celebrated the Richmond Knitters' 10th birthday with a high tea, because the Richmond Knitters like to do things in style.

There was an amazing cake, organised by Sonia, and a trivia completion - where I came equal second and got lovely goodies for it. I also discovered that I have knit 115 pairs of socks - which is quite a lot.

Most of all I reflected on how much I love this group of women (and Brent). These people who understand my going on and on about sock gauge, who have introduced me to so many wonderful things and who know how to have such a good time.

(The photos all belong to Sonia, because I failed to take any)

I also finished my Rose City Rollers this weekend. With the beautiful weather, on Sunday we went and watched other people run the Melbourne Marathon, and then sat on our balcony, just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine: and taking pictures of finished socks with cats. 
I am very happy with them, they are at a proper tight gauge, and very comfortable. No…

Some discussion about gauge for socks

I knit some plain socks for my mother. Well, unpatterned might be a better word for them:
I figured, since I pinched this yarn from her stash I would make her a pair of socks from it: 
After knitting the first one, I had two thoughts: these socks are really ugly but she’ll like them, and my gauge is too loose. I’m knitting at 28 stitches x  39 rows / 10 cm
This is not the first time I have thought this. I triedknitting on 2.25 mm Karbonz, a while ago which didn’t help 

At knit night on Monday I compared the texture of my socks to those of Brent and Ursula’s, and decided something has to be done. Brent thought that wood might be better, so I decided to do the foot of the second sock on 2.5mm wooden needles - because I didn't to want to mess with the gauge too much, I just wanted to see what difference it would make. I’m not sure it made any. Post blocking I can’t tell which sock was knit on which needles.

I decided to knit myself a pair of Rose City Rollers in the same yarn, as a compar…

Wednesdays are for books - Friends Without Benefits / Depends What you Mean by Extremist

After finishing The Messenger (good book, weak ending, review here) I, somewhat unexpectedly decided I had to read the next in Penny Reids' Knitting in the City Series – Friends Without Benefits
I’m really enjoying this one – the main character Elizabeth is not an annoying kook, unlike Janie of the previous two books in the series. Also, there isn’t a weird crime theme, and a main character with a business that makes no sense (I’m looking at you Quinn).  This book runs parallel to Human Marries Neanderthal so some of the scenes have already been read, but from a different perspective. It’s all round a more confident book than the previous in the series, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s not like me to read a series all at once, but this is heading that way. I'm just devouring them.
I’m listening to John Safran’s It Depends What you Mean by Extremist which is his exploration of extremism in Australia. It’s read by John, and is an exciting romp through white nationalism, anti-isl…

Poppy drama

A little while ago one of my work colleagues pointed out a Facebook group that collects knitted and crotchet poppy's for a display that happening at the Australian War Memorial next year. I followed the group, and thought it sounded like fun. Also a nice way to use up a little of my LOSY. It took me a while, but on the weekend I finally made my first poppy:

It only has four petals. I'm not sure why.

Also on the weekend, one of the organisers posted, asking that  we don't include animal fur with the poppies. Maybe wash them. The responses to this post were "interesting", my favourite was the person who only crafts in the spare bedroom, with the door shut. Meanwhile I'm making my second poppy. I have a cat sitting in my lap, there are chunks of cat fur on the floor (I'm not sure why, I think Tarragon sometimes pulls out Princess Daisy's fur). One of my yarns is handspun, made in the same conditions. There is no way a wash is going to remove the cat fur.

I …

sOctober - FO 1

I finished the first of my sOctober socks, a pair of Slow Fade from Knitty. 

They knit up very quickly - a week from start to finish. Once I got the hang of the pattern, I didn't need the charts at all, which is always fun. 

Some bits of the pattern didn't make a whole lot of sense, but, as an experienced sock knitter, it was easy to work out what was meant to be going on.

I had a bit of trouble getting photos - I know conventional wisdom is to take them in daylight, but I finished these on Sunday night, and Leon and I won't be together in daylight until Thursday at the earliest. We have down lights, a they make taking photos difficult. And Princess Daisy, she of the beautiful whiskers, wanted them in every photo:

I enjoyed knitting with the yarn I dyed, and using something that was most definitly "from the bottom of the pile".

Look what I bought back when I was bored