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Showing posts from May, 2019

Impulse testing

A couple of months ago Sally put out a call for test knitters for the Treetops jumper and a pair of 8 ply socks. I decided against the socks, because I would only wear them around the house, I didn't have the yarn, I'm trying to limit my sock knitting, and they are toe up and I didn't have the needle size in DPNs and I keep saying I'm going to knit a dress. But on sick day number two I "accidentally" responded to a message asking if anyone else wanted to join the test knit. I decided to use the few grams of HalfBaked HandDyed yarn left over from Treetops and the hat I made afterwards, and some matching really pretty Spotlight "cashmere" that Kris destashed last year. And then I knit the socks. I reversed the detailing on the toe of the second sock, because apparently I'm unwilling to follow directions, even for a test knit. I think it looks very pretty.  It's very well written pattern, and, even though it's toe up, they h

A shortage of perfect hat

I consider myself a moderate minimalist, which means I don't want to have 21 hats for 21 outfits, but one perfect hat. Although as a moderate minimalist, two or three perfect hats would be fine. But going into this winter, I found I lacked that "perfect" hat. I love my  Bracken Beanie , both for the hat and for the memories, but it's unwieldy to shove into a bag. I like my Kate Davies Knitting Season hat, but, when worn with something complicated, it's a lot. I wear Bousta Beanie on my bike, and so it's been relegated to that use only . So with the leftovers from Treetops , I decided to make a Latu , a relatively plain, slouchy beanie, with just the perfect amount of cable detailing. I was sick Tuesday and Wednesday this week - I felt like crap and I couldn't talk so I was home from work and feeling some self pity. Knitting this hat was a bright spot. So simple, so perfect. I like the way it looks with the brim folded I like how it looks when

Good Beer Week Sneaker Liners (again)

I finished the Treetops jumper on Wednesday, so I did what I always do when I need something to knit and have no time to plan: I cast on a pair of sneaker liners. I wanted to do helictical single row stripes, and was trying to work out a way to do an afterthought heel, but by casting on the heel provisionally and then knitting in, when I found the Fork in the Road sock pattern. It does exactly that, although it uses a hat heel. Since a normal afterthought heel doesn't suit me that well anyway, I decided to go for it. I cast on in the first pub of the evening, and knit the ribbing. We left the first pub, partly because we were always going to, but also because they turned the lights down and it was kind of dark. We got to the second pub, and I tried to cast on the heel stitches using Judy's provisional cast on in two colours. I still think it's possible, but I was 4 beers down and struggling. The bar tender turned the lights down (why do they do that?) He saw me looki

Wednesdays are for (review) books

I'm not sure why Kate Atkinson's  Case Histories  was on NetGalley, since this was first published in 2005, but I wasn't going to argue when it popped up. And I'm very glad it did, because I really enjoyed it. it is apparently  "literary detective fiction" whatever that means. It reminded me of Cormorant Strike and John Rebus, so our detective - who is ex-army, ex-police (sound familiar?) is in good company. There is strong characterisation and some truly funny moments i this book - although some of the "mystery" is not played out in the plot at all, and just explained outright in the last 20 pages. I guess I read the occasional mystery more for the people than the plot. I've already bought the second one in the series - weirdly, NetGalley also game the the third one, so I've got that to look forward to as well. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the e-Arc, and putting me on to this great series.

Treetops jumper

I mentioned I was excited to knit Treetops jumper, and that excitement never wore thin.Usually there is one place in a project where I am sure it is not going to fit, or I realise I should have striped the yarn, or used different yarn, or the instruction become opaque. Not with this jumper.   It was just a pleasure to knit from start to finish. The HalfBaked Handyed yarn is such a lovely wearable colour. After blocking, I would think that there was silk in it - it has a lovely sheen and drape. I pretty much followed the pattern - although I did the lace on the front and the back.  The pattern calls for just the front, since this was a test knit I asked if I could do it on both and Sally Oakley, the very talented designer, said that would be fine.  She is from Tasmania and when I mentioned it was Good Beer Week here, she told me to look out for her brother's beer - Ocho . I did, and had a great red ale and, at GABS where these photos were taken, a beer that tasted li

Good Beer Week 2019 - wrap up

It's been a fabulous week with good beer, good food and good friends. In fact, it's been one of my favourite Good Beer Weeks yet. I finished the jumper on Wednesday, so it was blocked and worn to GABS, and we even managed to take a photo reminiscent of my favourite photo from last year. I am rather exhausted, both because I've been out every night drinking, and because I've caught the bug that's going around, so here is a collage of my good beer week. I'll be back next week with a full post of about the beautiful Treetops jumper, and what I knit after I finished Treetops.

House Martell Socks

While I was waiting to cast on my Good Beer Week project I started a pair of socks for Leon - the House Martell socks, the second last in the Game of Thrones sock series I'm knitting my way through. I really like the way they came out, but the knitting of them was actually quite annoying! The pattern was simple enough, but for some reason I could only do some of the cabling without a cable needle, and it was just fiddly. The yarn is Shibui , so a nice yarn, which I got when Suzanne was doing a big destash , but it bled all over my hands.   Ans weirdly made my pink shellac nails go purple. As an aside, those nails also lifted really quickly. This week I've switched to SNS and I'm really liking it.   The finished pattern looks quite nice, but if I had known it was going to stripe I might have overdyed it.  When it was time to do the toe of the first sock I asked Leon to try it on and he could barely get it over his heel. He took it off and put it back on again

Welcome to good beer week

Good Beer Week is an annual even that happens in Melbourne in mid-May, and it starts tonight! Of course, it is not just a week - it includes the weekends either side, so it's more like "Good Beer ten days". And it's not just about beer - it's about beer and food and friends. This year we are booked to go to a beer and cheese tasting, and a vegan beer and food thing, and I think we'll be meeting friends on four days to explore "Pint of Origin" pubs. So, lots of lovely food, delicious beer and knitting time. In previous years I have knit garter shawls, socks, Boxy. This year I planned my GBW knitting months ago - I was going to make Quicksilver. For reasons that escape me now, maybe over enthusiasm? I knit that shawl a couple of months ago. Then I was going to knit the Still Light Tunic - I bought the yarn, swatched and everything.  But then the opportunity to test knit the Treetops came up, and it's perfect. I've done the "complic

Wednesdays are for (review) books - Crashing the A-List

I was intending to do these Netgalley review posts monthly, but at the moment they are almost every week - I've been reading a lot of review books, all of a sudden. Of course, I don't only read from Netgalley, and if you want to see all my reviews, follow me on Goodreads, where I am SharonDblk .  During The Longest Weekend in History  I wanted to read something breezy and light, so romance it was. I'm very picky about romance books, and this one ticked the boxes. The reasons for the main characters being kept apart did not feel  forced or fake. All the characters were flawed and likeable in equal measure. The plot moved at a decent pace. A very smooth, well written read.  Another plus (for me) was that it was not porny. Contemporary romance should come with a porn rating, so readers can decide how gynaecological they want to get.  It did contain one romance trope that annoys me - the main character has one best friend - who she speaks to multiple times a day - and no


I don't know what it is about test knitting and reading review books that makes me so happy. Yes, free stuff is good, but I'm in the fortunate position where I can buy books, and support designers by purchasing patterns. Still, I love test knitting. It makes me feel special. When Sallyravels put out a call for test knitters, I sprained by shoulder I put my hand up so fast.  The jumper I'm going to be knitting is "treetops" which is a big, square, boxy jumper. I'm excited, because two of my favourite recent knits are Strathendrick and Boxy . I wanted to stick with my goal of knitting more Australian, so I asked Dani of Halfbaked Hand Dyed to dye me up a jumpers worth of her 8ply, in this sage colour:  My favourite colour at the moment. I'm lucky enough that Danni is a member of the Richmond Knitters, and she dyed it up for me, we did a handover at a pub between her house and mine. Love at first sight. I dashed home, wound the yarn and swatched: 

The sock report - April 2019

Edited - I thought Once Upon a Sock was finished, hence the name of my post being different, but I like it, so I'm keeping it. This month I knit one and a half pairs of socks. While we were away in Marysville knit another pair of sneaker liners, this time the Diamond Lace Sockets . Toes up with a short row heel - and a "mini gusset". I've never used a gusset on a short row heel, and I like it. I changed a bit of the pattern - I started the lace earlier and I made each diamond bigger. I also started it on fewer stitches. I think it's pretty, and they fit very well. I also started some socks for Leon , but I'm only up to the heel (of the second sock), so I'm calling them my May socks. Now all I need to do is not cast on any new socks this month, and I'm on track to not go over my 12 pair maximum. We'll see how that goes. As always, on the first Thursday of the month (even though it's Friday, like I said on Wednesday everything

Yarnalong - the one where I knit socks yet again

It suddenly got very busy in my life - I'm not sure with what. Maybe just going back to work, which is why this photo was taken on the street, when I had 5 minutes in between work and an appointment. I did also manage to sneak in a round or two of knitting, so there is that. I am currently knitting a pair of House Martel socks for Leon. Named after one of the now extinct great houses of Westeros, it feels very fitting, since Game of Thrones is back and bigger than ever. I started the second sock on Tuesday while watching the third episode, so it might come out tighter than the first sock - it was a pretty tense episode. I've just started reading Kings of the Wyld which seems like a good read so far - it's a fantasy novel about a band of mercenaries who split up and got old, and now for reasons, they are putting the band back together. Seems like good fun with a bit of heart, but I've only just started it, so stay tuned for a full opinion later. If you want to k