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Showing posts from June, 2019

A weekend by the ocean

Just like this time last year, we went down to the Great Ocean Road for the Surf Coast Trail marathon. This year I wasn't running, I'm a little bit injured and haven't been running at all. I volunteered. Leon, on the other hand did the full marathon. He's been very consistent in his training, and did very well.

Skip and Bee drove is, both down there and around during the race, which was very companionable. We rented a house for the weekend, and got to bring their dog, Digby.

I can never predict whether a weekend like that will be fantastic for knitting, or if too many other things will happen. This time, I got quite a bit done:

It's the Gidday Baby cardigan by Georgie Nicholson. Very quick little knit, started it Thursday and finished on Saturday. Obviously I need to block it and get buttons on. I wanted to blog it now, because things are getting a bit crazy around here - I'm out every night next week except Thursday, and away next weekend as well. It probably won…

This is what a kilogram of ginger looks like

Recently Katie put a question on Instagram about growing her own ginger, because she was spending a house deposit on fresh ginger, for fresh ginger tea. I got inspired, and used some of the ginger I had received in my weekly grocery box for ginger tea. Delicious.
So I ordered a kilo of fresh ginger. I gave half of the kilogram to Katie, and put a third of the remaining lot in whisky, to preserve it - also so at the end I'll have ginger that tastes like whisky, and whisky that tastes like ginger.



The ginger was making our tea pot taste like ginger, and it was almost impossible to clean out between uses. I love ginger, but probably don't need everything to taste of it all the time.. I also realised that our cafietiere would be better, because it has a filter, and our tea pot doesn't. BUT the cafetiere didn't have a cosy, and this tea needs to steep. So I crocheted one! I haven't picked up the hook since July last year, and it's always fun to get back to it.
It …

Unravelled Wednesday - 26 June 2019

It been really strange, since I finished The Dress two weeks ago I've knit (and crocheted) bits and pieces, but nothing that has taken more than a couple of days. Also, somewhat to my surprise, I have been picking up The Blanket between each project and have made some serious progress. tonight I am finishing off a pair of Tough and Toasty mitts for my brother-In-Law. full disclosure I finished them on Monday at knit night, but when I looked at them properly I realised I'd put the thumb on the wrong side on the second one. I love knit night, but it's not the most productive for getting actual knitting done. Since I had to rip the second one back, I'm also making them a bit bigger. Fixed mitt on the left, smaller mitt on the right:

I'm reading A Prince on Paper which is the third in the "Reluctant Royals" romance series. It's typical romance, so I know what's going to happen, but I'm enjoying it. It's well written and the characters from the…

Happy birthday Leon

Leon had a birthday on Sunday. I bought him some stuff but decided to make him a dragon as well. I decided this months ago, and really struggled to work on him. It's a well written pattern, but there are a lot of bit and pieces, and I'd knit a part - like a leg and then wander off. When time was short, I took him to Monday night knitting and when the other knitters saw him, they were all "awww" and "he's so cute" and I started to feel the love. I finished him up last week, sewing his spines on at the waiting room of my myotherapist, and gave it to Leon on Sunday.

I think Leon was quite taken with him - one of the first things he said was "he looks thirsty" so here's the dragon with some ginger tea. The photos Leon put on Instagram starred a stronger drink, since I also gave him a bottle of Octomore whisky.   We don't know his name yet - as everyone knows, dragons often withhold their true names, but I'm super happy to have him arou…

The dress!

I finished the Still Light dress in exactly three weeks, which I thought was bizarrely quick, even for me. Then I had my customary stress attack about whether it would fit, blocked it and wore it to Leon's mother's 80th birthday celebration in Ballarat on Saturday.

For those of you not from around here, Ballarat is significantly colder than Melbourne, which is why I'm wearing all of the woolens in some of these photos. 

I knit the pattern pretty much as written, the mods were:

I did a tubular cast on and cast on 8 stitches less than the pattern specified, and then added and extra increase in the raglan section. I like the slightly higher neckline.

The pattern has pockets, which thrills me, and I decided to knit them in a contrasting colour, just for fun. I love the pockets, they are at exactly the right height to slide my hands in.

This dress is so comfortable and easy to wear, I jut love it. I'm tempted to knit four more, in different colours, and then wear nothing but thi…

Blanket supplies and miniskein madness

I imagine you are wondering "but where is all the yarn for this sock yarn blanket coming from". Let me take you on a trip down blanket memory lane. When I started knitting this someone on Ravelry organised a thing where they bought every colour of Bendigo Luxury and then sent each of us a sample of each colour. It was when Luxury was new - I've been working on it for that long! Early on I dyed some mini-skeins. And then I knit with a lot of four ply. I recently did a sock yarn swap on Ravelry - really fun, but the postage was ridiculous. Last week Jane from Richmond knitters organised a Regia swap and I got mine just the other night - look how pretty:

Then I was looking at the new part of the blanket, and I panicked because it looks a lot darker than the original, so I asked Kris and Katie if maybe they have some light coloured left overs. Now, I know my friends always come through for me, but Kris took it to the next level: She gave me a ziplock of left over small ba…

Unravelled Wednesday - more NetGalley!

It's Wednesday, and that means I'm talking books and knitting with Kat and the rest over at As Kat Knits. This week I'm knitting NOTHING. OK, that's not quite true. I finished the Still Light dress yesterday, and it's having it's bath. Once I pull it out and it dries, I'll be able to see if I need to reknit the hem. Tonight I'm going to knit on my extended sock yarn blanket. I have it in my head that if I knit on it for one day between every finished project, I could get the second half caught up to the first half in a year. I don't want to commit to that though, since I'm not in a hurry on this project. Tonight I'm also going to skein up some yarn for my next project - which is going to be crotchet. Always exciting to pick up the hook.


 I'm reading When Will There Be good News by Kate Atkinson. This is the third in the jackson Brodie series. For reasonan's I cannot explain NetGalley gave me books 1, 3 and 4. But not 2 and I had to &…

Knitting, it's so relaxing

There is a moment, in almost every large project I do, where I am convinced that everything has gone terribly wrong and that it is unfixable and terrible, This is the point that Leon rolls his eyes and says ‘knitting, it’s so relaxing” like all the strangers do who see me knitting in public. IT'S NOT RELAXING. ITS VERY STRESSFUL. I finished the sleeves of Still Light. 

I’m stressed about the sleeve length – I’ve tried it on three times, and one time it was too short, the second too long and the third right, so it’s anyone’s guess what length they really are. 
The hem flips up – this is because I didn’t go down a needle size when knitting the ribbing. To be fair to me, the instructions didn’t tell me to, but I do know better. Hopefully blocking will fix it. I feel like it’s kind of bunchy in the underarms, but maybe it’s not. I certainly didn’t want it to look like a sack. And blocking: I know that the fabric changes significantly on blocking, so how it fits now isn’t really indic…

Colour (re)affection

My Colo(u)r affection was one of my favourite shawls. In 2012 It was the first big shawl I made: a glorious three coloured garter blanket of a shawl. I loved it, and wore it, and knit more glorious two and three colour shawls. I'm wearing it less and less. It's tired. It's got snags. The yarn itself had faded. So I decided to rip it out, skein it up in ten gram mini skeins, dye them and use them in my (now expanded) sock yarn blanket.

While I was making that plan, I was also looking at sock pattern, with the left overs from my tiffany blue sparkle cardigan in mind. I came across Rachel Coopey's Narcissa socks, which are in a pattern book I bought years ago and I haven't knit a single on of them. The pattern is knit in Sock that Rock Raven Clan, so I decided to try to dye the yarn (which is, by coincidence, Socks that Rock) in a similar colourway.


I'm quite happy with how that came out, and really looking forward to knitting them.
And the other mini skeins came…

Unravelled Wednesday - gods with a little g

This week I'm linking up for the first time with Kat and Unravelled Wednesday, where people talk about what they are reading and knitting. Although mainly I'm going to talk about what I've been reading - the knitting is taken care of by the dress, which is progressing well, I'll probably get the body finished by the weekend.

I finished a NetGalley review book gods with a little g, by Tupelo Hassman. Sometimes it's hard to categorise a book, which makes it hard to review it, and much harder to give it a score out of five. Sometimes I find the whole Netgalley / Goodreads scoring thing frustrating. Some books don't need a score, they are what they are. This book is sweet and sad and hopeful, and self contained and sure of itself. I initially found the short chapters offputting, but it works very well with the tone of the book. The ending was maybe a bit too sweet, but that could just be my cynical old heart talking, and the journey to get there was a lovely, happy …

Blanket growth

Famously, I have been working on my sock blanket since June 2009 -very close to it's ten year anniversary. I thought that it was nearly finished, but it's way too narrow. I cast it on when I was single, and it's not wide enough for a couple. I've been saying for a while that I thought it was finished, and Leon has been telling me it's not big enough. When I asked when it would be big enough he cheerily announced "never". So I decided to make it twice as wide. Sure, that means that the very edge squares have to be sewn in:
 I'm going to widen it by ten squares, so it will be trice as wide as it is now. I know it took me ten years to get this far, but I also know that if I worked on it for just one day between every project, I would have the right side caught up in a year. I'm not going to commit to a goal like that - I know that, for this project, anyway, I'm not focused on finishing.


Although it would be nice to get that new bottom row establis…

Finally - the dress

I spent an awful lot of time thinking about the neckline of Still Light, before I picked up the needles. As written it's quite a wide neckline, and I wanted it a tad higher. I was also worried about the ribbing flaring. There are various solutions to this, but the most obvious seemed to be a tubular cast on. There are different types of tubular cast on, and I chose a very simple one that makes a firm edge. I also choose to start with 8 stitches less. I increased up to the correct size before joining in the round. Hopefully this will narrow the neckline. I'm quite worried about the sizing, I've got an 86 cm bust, so I'm knitting the 90cm. I tried to try it on when I got to the 80cm size, but I don't think learnt anything. My gauge is perfect AFTER blocking, and slightly larger before blocking, so who really knows how it is going to come out.



There is a weird thing about how this pattern is written, which is that after the side markers are established the stitch co…

Once Upon A Sock - June

It was a good month for sock knitting - and a bad month for staying below my target of 12 pairs of socks in 2019. I started the month finishing Leon's Game of Thrones House Martell socks. They were there sort of pattern that is fun, but a bit annoying. I figured I wouldn't be knitting any more socks in May, and cast on a test knit jumper...which didn't take me as long as I expected, and I needed a good quick project to finish up Good Beer Week, so I cast on the Fork In the Road socks. How I love helical stripes. (I thought they were called helictical, and had to google for the right name. I like my version better.) 

 And finally I did a quick test knit of some 8ply house socks. So my sock count for the year is at 7, but I have no regrets, because it got very cold here, and I've barely taken these socks off. when I'm home, I'm wearing my red flannel pyjamas, my carbeth and these socks. Heaven for winter. I'm currently knitting a dress, so new socks should b…

Yarnalong - the one where I get around to things previously delayed

Welcome to Yarnalong for June. This month I am knitting and reading things that I've been meaning to get around to for ages. The best thing is both of them were worth the wait! 

I'm knitting the Still Light Tunic. I've been wanting to knit a dress since early this year. I bought the yarn in April, swatched and then just didn't cast on. I finally started it last week, and it's growing nicely. I'm enjoying it, and if it works out like I hope it wil;l be a useful addition to my wardrobe. I'm reading Station 11. Everyone was reading this is 2016, and I had it in my "to be read" list, but I was a bit burnt out on post-apocalyptic fiction. The only reason I actually started it was because it had been on my Kindle for ever, and I thought I should read or delete it. Despite my initial lack of enthusiasm this book had me by the second page. It's engaging, and interesting and character driven and I can't believe I have to go to work, when I could …

Channelling my grandmother

I had two grandmothers, one who knit (Granny-in-England) and one who sewed (Omama). When Omama went into a home I inherited her sewing box,

 which was custom made for her, and with it her button collection, which I have pillaged for years. 

What I realised when sorting out her buttons was that most of them came from and had been cut off worn out pieces of clothing. I imagine she then used the clothes as rags. This week I had to say goodbye to a favourite pair of pyjamas. They are probably 20 years old, and just dead: It turns out that, over 20 years, flannel gets washed from fluffy to hard, elastic goes to the elastic heaven and in the early noughties the rise was really short. I still love them though, having a great fondness for rubber ducks. As I was getting ready to throw them out, I stripped the buttons and added them to the collection.

Then I ripped the fabric for cleaning rags. I think they'll do as good as the microfibre cloths I usually use, and I feel very virtuous, thrif…