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Showing posts from May, 2021

Sparkle yarn for my friends

Rachey recently requested I knit her a cardigan. She can't buy what she wants , and she would like a Sharon special. How can I refuse a request like that? I was wearing my Sparkle Reagan, and she said she wanted a cardigan like that. Easy, particularly since the only measurement I really need to get right is the  arm length. I ordered sparkle yarn to dye from etsy (and it took forever to come, since it was arriving from the US) and dyed it pink. Very pink. So that's in the queue, waiting to be knit. Meanwhile we've been planning a road trip to Adelaide with Skip and Bee.Years ago I started planning a cardigan for Bee, but it didn't happen. So I thought this was a good opportunity to actually do it. I needed vegan yarn, and I wanted sparkle yarn - what can I say, my friends like things pink and glittery! I was looking around the internet, hunting in the UK and the US, when I found Spotlight has an acrylic sparkle yarn. Although I am a bit scared, because I've never

FO Friday - Socks and mitts

On Monday I finished my Good Beer Week knee-highs .  I'm very happy with them. The pattern , by Winwick Mum was a great recipe. I also knit a pair of socks as a gauge swatch in January, and discovered that on 2.25 needles, with this kind of sock yarn I should be looking at a 60 stitch sock. I made long foldover cuffs, and they are warm, and sparkly and stay up well. Winner of a project. I also have enough yarn (50 grams of the plain blue, 20 of the sparkle stripes) to make either another pair of socks, although I think I'll make sneaker liners. After finishing the socks I cast on a pair of convertible mitts for my mother. It seems like a really practical idea for my public transport taking mother, and also a good use for this lovely handspun that I wasn't sure what to make. I had a plan when I spun it, but then decided against my original plan. This works though, and works well. I was going to give them to her at dinner tonight, but we've got a 7 day lockdown happen

Unravelled Wednesday and What Are You Reading Monday - the one with the queue

I woke up coughing this morning, and we all know what that means! Unfortunately Melbourne is currently having a little outbreak (11 people so far), so I ended up queuing, on the street, for over three hours. Luckily we made friends in the line, so I did get breaks, and coffee and lunch and entertaining conversation. I hadn't expected such a long wait, but I came prepared, and finished the first of a pair of mitts for my mother. I'll tell you,  Joji's Box Bag is made for standing and knitting, and it did its job very well.  The reading feels a bit all over the place. I finished R.H. Herron's Hush Little Baby on Monday . It's a fantastic action / psychological thriller and I loved it. My full review is here . Now I'm reading a NetGalley review copy of Rememberings by Sinead O'Conner. That cover: The book itself is interesting. It's written in present tense, and while it starts at the beginning , it's not quite chronological . I'm only 20 percen

Good Beer Week 2121

  And what a week it was! After everything got cancelled last year, it was an extra special pleasure to get amongst it. On Sunday we went on a Pint of Origin Beer crawl, and went to 5 pubs, each serving beer from a different state or country. We went to South Australia, Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Queensland. A bit of virtual travel via beer. Then on Tuesday we went to a tea brewed beer and dumplings dinner, with Kris and Mal which was delicious. Wednesday was our traditional dinner with Skip at the Palace hotel, which is a nice tradition, a restful yet beery dinner in the middle of a big week. Thursday we went to a Danish dinner at Denmark house. Once again, eating and talking with strangers felt like such a sweet novelty. Saturday was GABS. Usually this is at the Royal Exhibition Centre, which is a beautiful building. This year it was at the convention center (for reasons, They are using the Exhibition centre as a vaccination hub, but also the Convention Centre.) They had lanterns,

FO Friday - Book reviews

Today I'm reviewing three books kindly given to me by NetGalley. I don't always publish my finished reviews on the blog, I normally just chat about them on Wednesdays, but I've finished these three very different books, so here we are. If you want to see all my reviews, follow me on Goodreads, where I am Sharondblk . The Menopause Manifesto  by Dr Jen Gunter is an interesting read. I didn't really know much about the subject before I read this book, and, since I'm 44 I thought it would be good to educate myself a bit more. This book is deeply and fiercely feminist, which is a good place to start. it is science based, and discusses the benefits and risks of various approaches. The main thing I took away from it is that the best things I can do is exercise and eat a balanced high fibre diet,. I'm pretty sure that if you read this book, you'd take away something different, but also helpful and supportive. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more

Unravelled and what I'm Reading Monday - Good beer week edition

Good  Beer Week is going well, although yesterday's dinner was so much multi-course fun that I didn't even get the heel flap of my sock done! The sock is going well, now I'm past the heel flap of the first sock. I actually did both the enormous cuffs on the weekend, so it looks like these socks will see me through, and slightly past, the end of the week (which is Sunday). I'm loving the way they look, and it's perfect knitting for taking to the pub - and I've been to six pubs and a beer themed dinner so far this week, so it's important to have the perfect knitting along for the ride.  Yesterday I finished Screams from the Void by Anne Tibbets. It was a really strong book, although I failed to realise I was about to read a horror. i mean, it said it right there on Goodreads, that's on me. Come back on Friday to read my full review. Now I'm about to start Olive, strongly recommended to me Rachey. It looks a bit more relaxing, although the topic - a

FO - A winter set for Kieran

  Kieran  (or Kizza as he is usually referred to), is my favourite Brother-in-Law. I have four brother-in-laws, but he's the one I like best, and not just because every time we go away, whether it is for a night or a month, he comes and looks after our cats. He mentioned to Leon that he couldn't find the hat I made for him in 2016, so I decided it was time for a new one anyway. I dyed the yarn I recycled from my Carbeth  a light brown, and made him a Tiilda hat Since I know he wears the mitts I make him all the time, I also made him some matching mitts.  The knitting of these took 5 days total. It would have been four, but i decided to do the alternating cable cast on on the bottom of the mitts. Then I matched it with the tubular cast off. When will I learn that the tubular cast off is not stretchy? So I had to pull that out and replace it with a stretchier cast off. Other than that, it was a very smooth knit and I really like the results.

FO Friday - Charity goal achieved

 In February I decided I was going to knit 10 charity hats, or baby cardigans, or mitts or whatever this year. for the next few months I knit a charity item or two each month. At the beginning of May I was halfway to the goal. And then, because I had a bit of a gap before I wanted to start my next project, I dedicated a week to charity knitting. Turns out I can get a lot done, including 2 hats and 3 pairs of mitts. So I have, obviously, reset my goal. I was trying to knit a kilogram of LOSY (left over sock wool) for charity this year.  This lot weighs nearly 300 grams, but that's not all LOSY. Some of it was still stash, some is mohair. Anyway, I keep on acquiring more. I'm not complaining, just resetting my goal. Should it me a kilogram of donated items? A specific number (maybe ten more.Or 14 more to make it an average of two a month?) Or knit all the LOSY? Anyway, after all these very quick hats and mitts, I'm off to knit myself a pair of knee high socks. that should s

Unravelled Wednesday and What Are You Reading - the one where I am preparing for Good Beer Week

Every year I choose a reasonably simple, portable project for Good Beer Week. This year I have decided on knee high socks. But I didn't want to start them much before the week (which is actually 10 days, and starts on Friday. Presumably. Melbourne had our first COVID case in something like 70 days, so hopefully we can have Beer Festivals, rather than a lockdown. Oh, the suspense).  I've been churning out charity knits from LOSY and other left overs. Since last Friday I've made 2 hats and 3 pairs of mitts. I've just got this pair to finish off, and then I'll wind the sock yarn and get ready to go! I'm reading Ann  Patchett's State of Wonder . It got on my TBR when Elizabeth Gilbert talked about it in   Big Magic  and I picked it up now because the last couple of books I have read have had repeated graphic sex scenes, and I'm really sick of reading books that describe how people's genitals fit together. So I guess it's literature for me for a whi

Weekending - running and knitting

We had a reasonably quiet weekend - the last quiet one for a little while, and made the most of it. I  mentioned the other day that KOGO had asked for knits in the colours of the Indigenous flag, which is red, yellow and black. Since I had received 160 grams of these colours from Suzanne just the other day I got busy. I finished a hat on Friday a nd on Saturday  I finished a pair of Martina Behm's Tough and Toasty mitts.  I love these knits, they are my favourite to make and are surprisingly  warm.  On Sunday we went for a run  - an hour and a half down the main Yarra Trail , ending up at Dights Falls.  There were many highlights, including lots of lovely dogs and feeling really good on the run, but the main highlight was this fellow: I'm not sure what kind of lizard s/he is - maybe a blue tongue, but what a treat  to see one so close to the city. And then I got to run through Collingwood Children's Farm, where some very pampered sheep live.  Leon ran back to me (he runs fa

Baby Surplice Jumper

I recently stumbled across Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surplice Jumper, and look how cute it is: Unfortunately, Schoolhouse Press doesn't actually sell the pattern - not even in an e-book with other patterns. So, I had to pretend it was 1990 (or 1970) and borrow it! Luckily Sonia had a copy of the very charming Knit One Knit All she could lend me. It's been a long time since I knit a pattern that is only available in a paper book! The cardigan is fairly simple. It would have only taken me three days, but I didn't read the instructions properly - for the Baby Surprise Jacket, Elizabeth has you put in two markers and increase on either side of them. for this you put in two markers and increase one each side of each marker. The pattern is clear, I just misread it. If (when) I make it again I'll make the sleeve extensions in ribbing, or on a smaller needle because they do flare a little. I'll also probably use I-Cord through the bottom eyelets, I wasn't sure whe

Unravelled Wednesday and What are you Reading? The one with books and knitting

  Haha, they are all about books and knitting! EVERYTHING is about books and knitting in my world.  This week I'm knitting mitts for my brother-in-law, to match a hat I made him earlier this week. More cables, because apparently I can't get enough of cables, and repurposed yarn that i dyed myself make this an extra fun project.  I'm reading a book called Tricks for a Trade by Lloyd Johnson. It's a NetGalley review book, but I'm not sure why, since it was published in 2014. It's about three main characters, all African American - Cabrian, who is gay and a bit in love with Drake, Drake who is gay (and out) and who works for a Black Republican organisation and Armando, who is straight but has lost his job and needs money. There are complex relationships between all of them, and other characters, and it's quite the tangle.  Also, look at that cover: And the cover on the edition I have is even more so: It's not a great book, some of the dialogue is a bit

More LOSY, more blanket

The other day Suzanne texted me and asked if I wanted some LOSY (left over sock yarn) for my blanket. "Sure" I replied, even though, I have quite a lot already. I did not expect quite this much: an additional 500 grams. Some of it is 10 grams balls, perfect for blanket squares. Some of it is in little 25 gram hanks, which will be great for charity baby jumpers, 180 grams of it is in red, yellow and black, the colours of the Aboriginal flag and ready to be knit up for NAIDOC week.  And the other blanket news is that a little while ago I got the two sides even: It looks like I'm about halfway through, and I'm just going to keep knitting. I'm certainly not going to run out of yarn in a hurry!