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Why Kate Davies, why? (a rant)

Kate Davies is one of my very favourite designers. I have knit about 40 of her pattern over the years, and I generally like the way she writes her patterns. But sometimes she annoys the crap out of me. 

I'm putting the button band of Kildalton and once again, I have to work out the ratios for myself because the pattern just gives a number, and I cropped it. As I ranted last time, just giving a number makes everything more difficult than giving a ratio. Also, there is no selve-edge stitch, and the cable goes right up to the edge, which means that the stitches are picked up from a wavy edge. I thought that was odd while I was doing the knitting, but made the mistake of trusting the pattern.

All of that said, look how pretty those cables are. It's going to be a fabulous addition to my wardrobe - once I finish the button band and sleeves, so a little while to go yet, but putting aside my rant, it is a very enjoyable knit, and a well written pattern.

Crotchet and a (bit of a) bag review

My Kildalton cardigan is coming along, nicely but it is big, and lives in a big bag, and has three charts.I can cram it into my bicycle pannier, but it's only worth doing it I have significant knitting time.


I wanted a small project that I could throw in a small bag just in case. In case of what, you may ask? In case I get stuck in a lift, and get unexpected knitting time. Or for when I'm going out for coffee with my boss, or I'm in the waiting room at the physio. Enough time to get a bit done, but not worth carrying around a huge cardigan, opening a chart, starting a long row. So I cast on for a kippah. I'm planning on making three of these as channukah gifts - two in black and red for my brother and nephew (it's Essendon football team colours) and one in multi coloured self striping for my father. I finished the first one during the week. Here it is, in need of a good blocking! I've ordered a polystyrene head because I think that's going to be the best way…

Unravelled Wednesday - the one where everything is B+

I dislike the way everything (on the internet at least) has to be either 5 stars - GREAT FANTASTIC BEST EVER or 1 star TERRIBLE THE WORST. I think it's okay that sometimes things are just solid. And that's how my week has been.

In knitting I'm working away on Kildalton. It has lots of cables, but once they are set up they are fairly intuitive. I've divided for the backs and fronts, and finished the right front, so it's not a slow knit. Of course, making cropped garments is always a recipe for fast. In reading I'm reading a Netgalley book again - The Misfortunes of Family by Meg Little Reilly.

It a really solid read. A well written, interesting novel about family, what it means to belong and the trappings of privilege. I won't be raving to my friends that they HAVE to read this, but I'm certainly enjoying it, and looking forward to seeing where it is going. 

And that's my week. Solid, enjoyable, full of cables and novels. I'm linking up with Kat fr…

The Richmond Knitters Post sOctober celebration

This year Sonia (the founder of the Richmond Knitters) organised a content for sOctober - or Socktober, as everyone except me likes to call it. The categories were:


I was fortunate enough to win in two categories, one for most creative Ava patterned socks, and one for any socks made with HalfDyed handbaked yarn. The prizes were all ridiculously lovely sock yarn, donated by Sonia. I feel particularity lucky, because the first yarn I got was this:


It's Skein yarn "Bendigo or Bust" which they dyed for Bendigo this year, and by the time I wandered over to their stall at 2pm on the Saturday, it was all gone.

I also got this skein of Half-Baked Handdyed yarn, which seems fitting and it stunning.


It was a very fun month. Now, lets see if I can resist knitting any socks at all for the next month or two.

Thanks to Sonia for organising, donating and all she does for the Richmond Knitters.

Snug as a bug in a (big) rug

Last Friday I was getting my next project ready to start. I got out the yarn, which I had ordered 6 weeks before, and was joking with Leon about how weird it would be to knit on six millimetre needles, after a full month knitting socks on 2mm needles. "Hold up" says Leon, do you have 6mm needles". "Sure I replied, I bought the Chiaogoo set that goes up to 6mm". And then I got a bad feeling, and checked, and found out I have the Chiaogoo set that goes up to 5mm". Luckily we were meeting Kris that night, and she brought me, and lent me the 6mm needles. What a lifesaver.


After that dramatic pre-start, the knitting was pretty straightforward and fun, and only took three days, although it was a glorious three days, including a trip to our local, a very rainy homebound Saturday and visit to a brewery on Sunday. 
The jumper is quite large, but the baby this is for is going to be born in late November, so I figure it's for next winter. 

Wondering what the tag at…

Once upon a sock - sOctober edition

I didn't think of taking a photo of all my sOctober socks together until I was pulling them out of the wash last night, so here is a picture of 5 pairs of wet socks:

;

I guess my plan to half-arse sOctober, and not be all socks all the time did not succeed! I reused the same yarns for some of the socks, so there are two pairs with Half-Baked Handdyed self stripping, two with glitter yarn and two with the grey Socks Yeah. This does take my total for 2019 to 15 pairs of socks, but I think there won't be any more this year, so that's not too much of an overshoot. And here's another photo of the month's efforts drying o the line:
As usual on the first Thursday of the month I'm linking up with Once Upon a Sock. Click on through to see what the rest of the crew did with their sOcotober.

Unravelled Wednesday and Yarnalong Too - The one where it is November already

What a week it's been! Last Wednesday off work for Harry Porter and the Cursed Child, (which was amazing) this Tuesday a public holiday for a stupid horse race (but I'll take the public holiday)  and lots of knitting in between.




With sOctober finished,  I've actually knit something that isn't socks - a baby jumper on 6mm needles. It's blocking right now, so I'll be back with a full report and pictures later in the week.

Then I cast on Kate Davies Kildalton cardigan - just yesterday, so here's a picture of the bottom ribbing ans the start of the first repeat. It's not going to be  a quick knit, but I think it will be a valuable addition to my wardrobe. And I just love that colour.

After abandoning The Secret Messenger  and feeling very strange about Muriel Spark's The Girls of Slender MeansI started to worry that I was in a reading slump. I don't usually have reading slumps, so this was a bit shocking. I decided to read An Everyday Hero, by Lauran T…

That's what I call a swatch!

Near the end of sOctober madness (between pair four and pair five)I decided to swatch for Kate Davies' Kildalton Cardigan. It's two projects down the road, but I was considering buying a cable needle from Signature Needle Arts, so I wanted to see what needle size I needed for the project. Also, the sizes of the cardigan are just a tiny bit off for me. I want to knit it with almost no ease: size two is three centimetres smaller than I need, and size 4 is way bigger. So I knit a swatch, as declared by Kate Davies. 
Now we all know she can be quite prescriptive in her directions. This time I decided to follow them: A 64 stitch, 40 row swatch. I do now keep all my swatches (which I rather wish I had done form the start), one day I will do something with them, like sew them together into a blanket and this will be a great addition. 

I knit the first repeat on 3.75mm needles and my second on 4mm. I did learn a lot, especially about my row gauge, and how much I love this Millpost mer…

And that's a wrap (or rather a finished pair of socks)

Today being the last day of soctober, I finished my last pair of socks for the month. I made a variation of Purl Soho's Sporty Striped Socklets which is basically a top down, heel flap and gusett simple shortie sock.
I striped it more than the pattern said, which turned out to be a good move, since since I ended up with less than a gram of the main colour left over. I do have enough of the pink for a blanket square.I have sadly fallen behind on the sock blanket square knitting (only doing two this month so far) so I will get caught up tonight and then move on to non-sock projects. In fact, my next project is on 6mm needles! But more about that next week.

Unravelled Wednesday - the one before Harry Potter

I'm writing this on Tuesday, because tomorrow we have tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I can't imagine that after 5 hours of theatre I'll have the time or energy to post. I am so excited to see this. we'd been umming and ahing, because it's very spendy. last week Elise won tickets in the Friday forty lottery, and saw it on Wednesday, and this week Leon won! So that's what we are doing tomorrow. 


In knitting, it's still sOcktober, so I'm still knitting socks. I decided to end the month with a pair of shorties from left over Socks Yeah! I love that yarn, and I'm pretty happy with the first sock. So traditional - top down, heel flap and gusset, double point needles.

The reading isn't going as well. As promised I started The Messenger which is a NetGalley review book. I hated it from the second page. There is a lot of exposition, the main characters thoughts are very repetitive, it's written in a dual timeline, but we've on…

Pair 4 done

I made a pair of spiral rib socks, with leftovers from my first and third pair of socks for sOctober:

I'm quiet pleased with how they came out, although there are some weirdnessess:

I did the first sock with the rib spiralling to the right, by using a K2tog ,(pictured on the right) and the second one I used a SSK, so that the rib would spiral in the opposite direction. The first sock came out smaller and tighter and the ribs are puffier:

So that's a bit weird. But they fit, they are comfortable and fun and feel like they are the same size when on. Also they used up all but 5 grams of the self stripping and 13 grams of the sparkle yarn, so I'm calling that a win.

Unravelled Wednesday - on a Thursday

This week has rather flown by, and my blogging schedule got thrown out, and not it's Thursday. But I love my unravelled rambles, so here goes: 

In reading: Barracuda by Christopher Tsiolkas. I have not read him before - The Slap sounded horrendous. This one came up one day on the Kindle Daily Deal (which I'm check every single day) and I decided to take a punt on it. I'm glad I did. It's marvellously, if heartbreakingly, written. I complained that my previous read, A Million Dreams didn't have a strong sense of place.This book does - and it's set in Melbourne. I actually went to one of the sister schools of the boy's school that the protagonist attended, and the story - about class, and place and people, rings very true to me. All that said, it is a teeny bit affected, flopping around through time, with a main character who doesn't talk much, but thinks a lot. 
After I finish this (in the next day or two) I'm going to try to catch up a bit on my grow…

Cusp socks

What to say about this pair of Cusp socks, pair three of sOctober 2019? The sock design looks quite intimidating in the book (Cookie A's Knit Sock Love) but the knitting of it was fairly straightforward, and I love my yarn / pattern combination - especially when viewed with Regan, the cardigan that this yarn was left over from.

I was suprised that these knit up in a week, I thought the heavily charted pattern and twisted rib would slow me down, but I guess the fun of them kept it all moving well.

 The main weirdness of these socks is that the first one was just a smidge small /tight (although I often find that socks that are quite firm on first wearing are the best in the long run) The second sock is perfect. when i showed them to Leon, he could see which one was tighter, but thought the tighter one looked better. Oh well, they both feel good on, and are so pretty and sparkly. I love using up left overs, which is why my next socks are going to use the rest of this yarn, and the l…

Two at a time (sort of)

I knew that we were going for a day hike with Shoni and Lu on Sunday, and I knew I didn't really want to be knitting a highly patterned charted sock in the car. So I knit the first Cusp sock down to where the patterning ends, and then started the second from the inside of the ball of yarn.

Now, I know there are lots of fancy ways to knit 2AAT socks. My way is old school. I have 9 2mm sock needles (a mixture of HiyaHiya and Chiaogoo) and I use 4 for each sock and the 5th / 9th as a working needle that moves between socks.

It works for me.

The hike was marvelous, straight up a small mountain near Healsville. We saw King Parrots, including one that hung around and let us get very close, wallabies and the cairn on the top of the hill.



I also managed to get the first sock done. Now onward into second sock land.

Unravelled Wednesday - the one with 2 review books

It's been a big week in NetGalley land.

I started reading A Million Dreams By Dani Atkins. It's pretty good, although in order to avoid spoilers, the blurb completely fails to accurately reflect what the book is actually about. It's a good read, accurately compared to Jodi Piccoult with relatable flawed main characters. There are a couple of small things that are bugging me disproportionately,like that it is set in a generic English city. And I get not every book has to have a really strong sense of place, but she describes parks, and suburbs and I keep wondering if it's Manchester or Devon. I don't know why this is irritating, the writing is good and I'm three quarters of the way through after three days. Although I think it might be about to take a turn for the over dramatic. We'll see.


The other review book is knitting book!It's Baby's First Knits by Debbie Bliss (which I would link to, but it's not up on Ravelry yet, even though it is release…

Revising my thoughts and plans

I had a whole post prepared in my head about taking my time, and how I'm trying to enjoy the process and not just rush, rush rush. this was brought on my knitting the enjoyable but (I thought) slow Cassadae socks by Rachel Coopey. But they weren't slow at all, and I finished them in 9 days. Admittedly two of those days I was off work - nothing like a mid-week weekend to up my productivity.



Please excuse the photos - Leon ran the Melbourne marathon yesterday, and I felt a bit bad asking him to stand up to model socks.

Now I've got two choices. I can stick with my original plan, go steadily, knit blanket squares, be sensible. OR given that it's the 14th, which means there are 17 more days left in sOctober, I could get my head down and knit Cusp and then use the leftovers for the heels and toes of a spiral rib sock combined with the rest of the Richmond Knitters yarn. If I do that I should just have time to pop out a pair of sneaker liners with the left overs from the Cass…

More finished spinning.

Yes, more finished spinning! I bought three braids of this fibre from Kathy's Fibre at Bendigo in 2016, and started spinning it soon after. I've only spun one of them, which is all I need for my current plant.  It's a rainbow self stripping and I spun thin and tight, and then chain plied to keep the colour runs intact. 

I'm going to spin up 200 grams of the Bendigo fibre I just bought and ply it with some grey mohair which I haven't bought yet, but I am currently obsessed with mohair, and make a Waiting for Rain Shawl in dark grey, with rainbow tears, kind of like this one: 
I think it will be really fun. Also, at the rate that I spin, I'll be able to knit the other two shawls in my queue, and the other 16 things in my queue before I need this. Still, I never know how my productivity is going to go, and I am pretty keen to get this stunning yarn on my needles.