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Back from Bendigo 2018

I was spoilt this year and got a lift to Bendigo with Nat. I quickly did my shopping before the Women of Wool lunch:

I'm really pleased with this wool I bought for Leon's jumper:

It's from North East Yarn a fibre collective from the North East of Victoria. I said I wanted to buy more local yarn! Because they well by weight in 500g hanks, and don't know the yardage, I didn't want to risk running out, so I bough a kilogram. If there is enoug left-overs for a jumper for me as well I won't complain!

I bought some Oyster yarns in merino silk and yak, which is just stunning,

and this jumped into my bag:

A jumpers worth of sparkle yarn from My Creative Garage. I hadn't heard of her before, but her colour pallete was amazing. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to make with it - make 



Lunch with Women of Wool and the Richmond Knitters was a good time, as usual. As well as the women I knew, there were two sheep farmers at our table. The people who produce the wool…

Bendigo 2018

I'm a bit excited, because I'm actually going to the Australian Sheep and Wool show this year. I've even got a lift up, in a car! Last year I missed out, because I spent the weekend in Tasmania. Can't complain.



Just like in 2016 I'm going to the Women in Wool lunch, and I have to be back for dinner, so I'll have to be efficient with  my shopping time. There are a few projects I definitely want to buy yarn for -  Joji's Cathedral wrap, Leon's winter set and a new jumper for Leon. I have a feeling some other things might creep in there. I do like to shop in a focused way, but I also really want to support Australian growers and dyers, after giving significant support to UK wool and dyers just four months ago! Surprisingly to me, given I bought 5 kilometers of yarn then, and I have bought yarn for two other projects since I got back, stashcount is currently at 13,000. Not too bad at all, although I may "fix" that tomorrow!

Baby cuteness, with minor drama

Two Fridays ago I went back to my old workplace for the retirement of one of the big bosses, and I bumped into Katrina,  my last manager there - who had a bump of her own. She said she was off on parental leave next Friday. I didn't give it much thought, but then i bumped into my boss from one of my previous roles, and  he's had another baby. I actually new that, and wasn't surprised when he pulled out his phone to show me a photo. I was quite pleased when the new baby was wearing the Snug that I made for the first baby, in 2013. That got me thinking, and I decided to knit a baby jumper for Katrina. I had two weeks, which should have been plenty, but In also wanted to get the Gloamin-tide clue finished first.

Anyway, I knit a Drops pattern, which came out very cute. It did have about a thousand ends, but I think it's worth it. 

I had the perfect buttons, but after I started sewing them on I realised I had six buttons, and seven button holes. After deciding that I really …

SWAP!

My sock yarn swap yarn came today! It's so fun, 18 tiny little skeins of yarn from around the world. This has been a really fun experience, and I've fallen in love with mini-skeins, although I won't be buying them because I still have loads of left over sock yarn. (In fact, tune in later this week for some shocking news about left over sock yarn.)

I'm going to try to convince Leon to ball them up while we watch a movie this afternoon, and then I'll add them to my sock yarn blanket - maybe then the blanket will be finished. I don't know how to tell.

Gloamin tide clue three - half way there and feeling fine

At the end of clue two, we added a weird tail and set aside the knitting.
Clue three happened on a different needle, and made this interesting arrow shaped piece. I guess how they are going to come together is the mystery here! 

We are half way through, and I have used significantly less than half the yarn. Maybe I
ll have enough left over for a pair of socks, or a hat. This was a bigger week,a and it has taken me four days to knit the clue - the previous clues took me two days each. 
This one ended up looking like this: a rather interesting rams head shape!

The main thing thought is that I am having fun. The knitting is interesting, I'm already looking forward to getting my clue next Monday night, I'm chattier on Ravelry than I've been in a long time. How these are going to add up into a shawl is quite the mystery!
I am, of course, hoping for a shawl I'll wear all the time, but even if I don't love the shape of the finished item - which is still a complete mystery to me…

Wanida

Wanida by Cookie A was such a dream to knit for me. Cookie A was clearly designing on DPNs, which is how I knit my socks. Each pattern repeat is sixteen stitches. Very simple, very fun.

I knit these on the 2mm HiyaHiya's I picked up in Scotland, and I have to say these pointy, pointy tiny needles are working well for me. They seem to be bending just a tiny bit, but I have knit 5 pairs of socks on them (since April. That actually surprised me quite a lot when I looked it up. I'd better slow down on the socks).

I also enjoyed knitting these while wearing Boxy (I made these from from leftovers of that wonderful jumper) and tomorrow I am going to wear them together, and it will satisfy something deep in my soul to be so very matchy matchy.

Toys and gifts and fun

As a joke, Raph asked if I would make him this medusa hat. Looking at it, I fell down a bit of a rabbit-hole, and found a pattern for snakes. I decided it was too fun not to knit a couple, and knit 3 of them - I  actually knit them during workplace harm training, so at least something productive came of that day.


I think they liked them!


All of that gave me an idea - it was Elise's birthday on Saturday, so I crotchetted her an ice-cream. She looked a bit blank, but I explained it was also a cat toy, so that made sense to her.


It was fun making whimsical toys and fripperies for a change, rather than huge jumpers and complex socks.






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Gloaming tide - clue two

I was happily knitting away on Gloaming-tide clue two, which is quite consistent with clue one. Increases at the start of every right side row, some eyelets and slipped stitches thrown in, some colour changes. all very nice, all very normal.

And then I did the last bit of clue two, and this happened:

I finished it, and scurried over the the spoiler thread, to check I hadn't misread the instructions. Nope, everyone's looks like this. Ysolda said there would be no short rows, so this mystery shawl is currently very mysterious. I'm looking forward to getting the next clue on Monday night to see what this could possible turn into.

Once apon a sock - my first time!

I've known about Once Apon A Sock for a while - it's a link up for people to talk about sock knitting, hosted here. Originally you had to email to have your links added, and I was too shy. Since they changed to a linky model, I haven't been knitting socks on the first Thursday of the month. This July I am!




If you've been here before, you'll know how much I love things to match, so, I was thrilled when I had 80 grams of The Wool Kitchen yarn left over from my Boxy. Enough for a pair of socks, a blanket square and more. I hunted through the various sock patterns I have, and revived a long held desire to knit every sock from Cookie A's Sock Innovation. I'm knitting Wanida and it will be my 9th of the 15 patterns. I bought this book when I was in Portland Oregon for the  Sock Summit in 2009. I wasn't a very experienced sock knitter, so I knit the simplest socks first. Cookie A makes even more complicated looking socks simple. I am loving this knit - interest…

Yarnalong - the (first) one with the MKAL

You know how I love a link up, a KAL or a chance to knit what everyone else is knitting? Well, I'm doing Ysolda's Gloamin-tide mystery knit along. The clues are coming out on Monday late evening my time, so I knit the first one on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I'll try to take photos of the next clue on a different coloured background!
I'm reading Chaim Potok's Davita's Harp.I was at my parents a few months ago and my husband was talking about money to his brother at the back of the house. Because the conversation was none-of-my-business I went and browsed their book cases. I picked up this book - they have an old copy, which i imagine I read as a child, but i can't remember it at all. I'm wading my way through it - it is not a fast read, and the protagonist seems precocious, but I'm interested enough that I am hanging in there.

The first clue only took me two knitting nights, so I am also knitting a pair of socks. Check back here on Thursday, when I w…

The best time to take finished Carbeth photos

We went away for the weekend, to run the Surf Coast Marathon Half. First trail half in a while (since 2016, remember 2017's broken foot?) and it was good to be back.

Here's the after photo, I don't have any action photos yet.  

While we were there I got Skip to take photos of my finished Carbeth:

I'm reasonably happy with it, although I think I would wear it over a dress or a high wasted skirt, rather than these jeans. The only thing is, I had a plan. I cast on the sleeves provisionally, and was planning to knit the sleeves down, and put a whole in the ribbing, so I could pull the cuffs over my hands. 

I was also planning to knit the collar longer than the pattern, because I like a big collar, only I basically ran out of yarn. I played yarn chicken, and had enough to cast off, but that was it. The pattern calls for 525 meters of yarn, and I had 525 meters of yarn, but normally there is a bit extra in there for swatching and stuff. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I atta…

In and out, round and round

The other day at Richmond Knitters, Katie pulled this stunning skein of Little Dipper Yarn out of her bag and gave it to me - it's prettier in real life, this isn't a great photo - winter and the lack of sunlight one this round. The yarn is alpaca and silk and cashmere and so soft. Katie is allergic to alpaca, so thought I should have it. Sweet!

 It matches this Socks That Rock - which officially has the title of The Oldest Yarn in My Stash. I think it will make a great Swoop shawl - a Romi Hill shawl that i already have the pattern for.

Meanwhile, I've been collecting left over sock yarn. Everything in this bag has already had a blanket square made form it. Catherine is also knitting a sock yarn blanket. She's a bit more focused than me, and knits a square every single day. So I gave this bag (250 grams of it) to her. Funnily enough, some of it was leftover that Sonia gave to me. 
And so it goes, around and around, using yarn, and sharing yarn and loving it.

WTF - monster socks

As soon as I finished my  What The Fade shawl, I knew I wanted to use the leftovers to make faded monstersocks. I had already used some to make sneaker liners, but I wanted a fade. I bought the How I Roll pattern,  pattern, which is basically Rose City Rollers with a fade. Her technique is a little different from the blenders I have used before.

I quite like them - if I had done more maths I could have made them more matchy, but the first one I got through the fade too quickly. I really should try to take a break from making sneaker liners, I have a draw full, but I find them such fun to knit. I wear a pair every single day, and often at the gym I run around in nothing but my socks, so they do get worn, seen and appreciated.  


Things I've lost (part two)

Three years ago, as part of Kate Davies' Inspired by Islay, I made a pair of house socks called Baffies. These were orange and white, and I found I wore them all the time in the house. So comfortable. After we moved, I could only find one of them and eventually I threw that out, because I try to only keep things I love, need or use around. And then, as part of the great clear out of 2018, while going through one of my clothes drawers, I FOUND THE OTHER ONE. Still, I only had one, since I threw out the first one.


 It's the middle of winter now, and cold and I really missed those little slippers. After I finished the hot water bottle cover I moved straight on to a replacement pair. They took me a weekend of knitting, and have barely come off my feet since. And I match my homewares, which is an important factor in making colour choices, right? 




Gloamin-Tide - the swatching post

I wound the yarn and swatched as per instructions for the Gloamin-Tide mkal.
I quite like the way it came out, although the top two colours look really close. Also, this photo makes them look kind of green, and in other lights they look more yellow. 
I was lazy and used the easiest cast off, which was way too tight. I swatched on 3.25mm metal needles and am getting slightly too large a gauge. i love the fabric, so I think I'll switch to wooden needles for the actual knitting and call it good.
=The first clue comes out on Monday (actually Tuesday 2am in Melbourne), and I can hardly wait. in the meantime though, I'm planning to KNIT ALL THE (other) THINGS. I think this mkal will take about 4 knitting days each week, which leaves me a little time to work on other things. I swatched  for Carbeth as well - and when I say swatched I mean cast on a sleeve, magic looped 5 rows, decided it was enough for me to know what needle size I need and went and bought DPNs in 5.5 and 6mm. I really …

Carbeth - I finally gave in to it

Back in February, Mason Dixon Knitting did the "Bang Out A Carbeth" knitalong. I nearly knit one in the few days between when Ifinished my set for Scotland and when we flew out, after I realised I wouldn't have time to do the Cairraig Fhadah then. But I decided not to put myself under that sort of pressure.  I also wondered how useful sure a warm thick jumper would be in Melbourne.

Then I saw Kat's, in our cosy Edinburgh Air B'NB. She was curled up in a chair, wearing tartan PJ bottoms, Carbeth, sipping a hot drink and knitting. I've never seen an image that is so snug and lovely. 

The idea of knitting one simmered away, and then I found the perfect yarn on the KnitPicks site. Not only was it exactly what I wanted, it was also pretty cheap. So I bought it.

It arrived today. I won't be casting on immediately, but it is pretty near the top of my queue. Winter has arrived here, and i want to be the one curled up in a chair, wearing my cosy Carbeth and drinking …

Gauge matters

I was knitting away on my replacement hot water bottle cover, and it looked a little bit too big. I had gone down a needle size from the pattern, so I figured it would magically sort itself out. When I finished, it was still too big. Probably because my gauge - counted at the end of the project, rather than the beginning - was 22 stitches/10cm. The pattern gauge was 25 stitches.

It would do the job, but I thought it would be nicer if it fit. I tried had felting it, which didn't work, so I bunged the cover, with the bottle inside, into the washing machine for a 60 degree wash. It worked.


It is perfectly felted on to the bottle. I can't get it off, but why would I want to? If it needs washing, I'll just wash the whole lot together. So, while it was a basically successful project, its a good reminder that gauge matters, and if you think something is off, don't wait until the END of the project to work it out.

Carraig Fhada - finished

I finished the vest on Tuesday, blocked it and wore it on Thursday. We saw Puffs (a Harry Potter play, with the premise of  what were the Hufflepuffs up to while all the stuff that went on in the books was happening. Brilliant) and took the opportunity to get some photos.


I really like how this came out. It's deliberately a little bit looser than my other vests, I'm currently going through a positive ease stage in my life. 

The Kate Davies pattern was typically brilliant, easy to knit but still interesting. The only mod I did was to lower the neckline by starting it when I started the underarms. All in all a very happy making project.



Things I've lost (part 1)

Winter has arrived in Melbourne. I'm having the strangest time, because normally I'm quite sensitive to the cold. this year, everyone around me is saying "it's so cold' I'm I'm saying, "it's fine, why am I wearing so many layers?". 
Despite this, I went looking for my hot water bottle the other night, because sometimes when i get into bed my feet just won't get warm. And it's gone. Hot water bottle, handspun, handknit cover the lot. I know where it should be, and it's just not there. I've got a fairly pared back house, so it's all a bit of a mystery.

Anyway, there is only one thing to be done:

Meet my new hot water bottle. I'm going to make a cover from Buchaille, left over from the vest I've almost finished, and everything will be fine. I'm still really curious as to what could have happened to the old hot water bottle.

I'm also really curious about this:

Maximum temperature 42 degrees! I know it's importan…