WiP update

I’m over 1/3 through my ginormasquish blanket and still in love with the project.  I’m making steady progress and I can’t wait to be able to snuggle underneath it. However, the thing with big projects like this, is that you really do have to be completely monogamous and diligently knit away at it otherwise it will loiter on the needles FOREVER!

Monogamous that is, with the exception of a portable project because let’s face it, this blanket is sooo not portable and PT without knitting just doesn’t bear thinking about.  So, in time honoured tradition I cast on a sock.

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How pretty is that yarn? The deep, deep, deep blue with it’s subtle variation of tone. It was dyed by my amazingly talented friend Ursula. If you recall, it was Ursula who helped me turn the ancient bra handspun yarn into the beautiful ocean blue yarn. She has been dyeing for a while now and selling her wares to the Richmond knitter’s who greedily buy it all up. We know beautifully dyed yarn when we see it!

Here’s a picture of my most recent episode of yarn gluttony.

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My photographic skills do not do them justice at all! They are all semi-solid BFL skeins but the red one is a BFL/nylon blend. As you know, I love knitting socks out of BFL, once washed they are every bit as soft as Merino but because BFL is a longwool it’s so much more durable and with a much better stitch definition than Merino.

Anyhoo, I need to return to blanket knitting.

ttfn x

Still here

So it’s been a while…

I’ve been kind of busy with stuff which is why I haven’t blogged for a while.

Anyhoo, some crafting has been happening but not much, I finished a pair of ankle socks yesterday. They were my usual toe-up in a really beautiful Skein colour way “Industrial Age” I just cast off as soon as the heel was completed to give them a cute curled edge look. Here is the obligatory FO pic.

IMG_1527The cast off was the purl 2 together pass stitch back onto the left needle cast off, I don’t know if it has a proper name or anything. Sonia helped me pick the yarn out of my stash for them and she has excellent taste as you can tell.

I’ve also been working on a squishy blanket that’s going to take FOREVER! Actually I hope it doesn’t take forever because I might need it at some point this year if it ever gets cold. I am sooo very over this hot summer we’ve been having.

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The pattern is Stephen West’s Garter Squish Blanket and I’m knitting it in Cascade Ecological and Eco+. I seriously can’t wait for some cold weather to snuggle under it.

 

 

 

FO Friday

Yay! I have a FO to flaunt this Friday.

My Tartan socks are finally off the needles, they only took three months to complete, though I have completed a couple of other projects in between times. I’m very happy with them, they’re so snug and they are the kind of socks I imagine would be perfect for long walks in the Scottish countryside. Here they are…

They are my usual David’s toe up sock cookbook and all the details are on my Rav page. I chose to make 2 sets of increases, six increase stitches evenly around at 6 1/2 inches above the heel flap (where my calf becomes wider) and another six at even intervals at 10 inches to allow for my shapely calves. I thought it would be interesting to experiment a bit with calf increases and where to place them. Not sure how I feel yet, I kind of like it but then…

I’m hoping to spend this weekend knitting on the Noro scarf and a bit of crafty shopping, no yarn or fibre though. Maybe start some fibre prep and spinning my Corriedale ready for Owls.

But first, I shall put my feet up with a well earned Hendrick’s gin & tonic with a slice of cucumber.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Cheers

Mx

Rare Beauty

My favourite online spinning store Spun Out has reopened, since the owner moved from Perth to Melbourne.  So to celebrate I felt I aught to make a purchase or two. This was purely a selfless show of support of course, not at all because I am a greedy addict when it comes to beautiful fibre.

Amongst my purchases were three Skein merino/silk tops in the Wasabi colour-way. I love these colours so much.

I am a huge fan of Skein yarns as you know but sadly Kristen has stopped dyeing fibre so these tops are indeed a rare thing. They are 50% merino and 50% silk and so fine and slippery that I struggled to spin it on a wheel. This is probably my fault as I am a fast treadler, I am therefore spindling and enjoying every moment. I haven’t decided whether to 2ply or 3 ply yet but I definitely know I want to make a shawl with the yarn when it’s done.

Knitting is also very enjoyable at the moment, I’m up to mid-calf on the first sock.

ttfn x

Restorative

My knitting joy is all restored, thanks to my favourite toe up vanilla sock pattern and beautiful yarn.

I know a lot of knitters would be bored knitting vanilla socks over and over but not me.  These socks are like toasted sourdough and freshly churned cold butter, truly magical and at the same time, utterly simple.  The pattern is intuitive and familiar, the colours remind me of Tartan and Harris Tweed and the slightly rustic, woolly feel of the yarn and the fabric they are creating is heaven to me.

Their job is to restore my faith in my ability to complete a project. I am absolutely certain that there will be no frogging of these socks. They are going to be knee high and both balls start at the same colour, though 100% matchy-matchiness is not a necessity.  I am completely in love with them, so much that I spend every free moment knitting and admiring them.

Happy knitting x

to the frog pond contiguous jumper!

The contiguous jumper landed firmly in the frog pond last night, even though I had made promises to Katie that there would be no frogging in 2012.  It just had to be done on the grounds of insufficient yardage. I knit on it for most of yesterday after lunch and evening past this point…

…to the point where the sleeve was nearly done bar the ribbing and then the denial I had been comforting myself with vanished and the horrible truth hit me with all of it’s clout.

In desperation I did suggest to Ian that perhaps I could finish it for him but he had to choose between possibly a cropped jumper or 3/4 length sleeves, but more than likely both. Of course he declined this offer despite being more than a little bit tipsy after a day at the cricket. So much for alcohol affecting your reasoning and judgement!

So, to thwart any possible frog induced melancholy, I got the needles out straight away and cast on for a comforting pair of colourful toe up vanilla socks in one of the Zauberball colour ways (Herbstwind, the red and teal one). As for the Zarina, it will probably become a Folded for me, at some stage in the future when the pain has eased.

Because I’m not completely mean I have promised to knit a scarf for Ian and a pair of fingerless mitts for Sam. In the meantime I will continue to search for 10ply yarn for Brooklyn Tweed’s Brownstone for Sam and Cobblestone for Ian.

Things that I have learned from this episode are that

1) I am no pattern designer!

2) If you’re going to knit a jumper without a pattern make sure that you have way more yarn than you think you might need or easy access to more of the same dye lot.

3) Knitting a man sized jumper in 5ply is just plain silly!

ttfn x

Happy Knitting

Yay the knitting love has returned!

My Idlewood has been making me very happy.  I’ve separated the sleeves and I’m about to start the waist shaping.  Despite this being a re-do I am still in love with this project, love the yarn, love the pattern and this time round it’s looking like it will fit as I intended it to.  Part of the love is that I’ve done the raglan increases as per pattern instructions which I didn’t do first time(sometimes I can be really stupid).  I love the results and learnt a new increase method, which I am thinking would be excellent for Sam’s contiguous jumper when I get round to knitting it.  Anyway here’s what I’m talking about…

Neat!

The socks have had less time lavished upon them but only because I have to do the work thingy which I’m supposed to be getting ready for now. Anyway still love them they’ve pooled a bit but I’ve done a pair of increases which will maybe help.

Spinning has stalled but I have Wednesday, Sunday,Monday and Tuesday off due to a public holiday so I’m planning to make an effort to finish the blue Finn.

Anyhoo, off to work, taking the socks as I’m on public transport.

ttfn x

Plodding along

I thought it was about time I gave an update of current WIP’s.  It seems I have become un-monogamous lately without ever planning to.  The trouble with knitting several projects is that I never feel like I’m making any progress.

However,  I keep reminding myself that the hexi-puff blanket was meant to be a long term project, but now there are two hexipuff blankets.  One, the original sock blanket which admittedly is only three puffs big.  Not so much progress on that work in progress then, despite having swapped sock yarn with other hexipuffers.

The other hexipuff blanket I’m making from hand-spun scraps, I decided it needed to be a different blanket because these puffs are bigger than the sock yarn ones.  This blanket is one whole puff bigger though! Whoop whoop!  I know it’s pitiful progress but it will get there eventually.

Next up is Idlewood again, this time I’m knitting it a size smaller with pockets and making the sleeves elbow length.  It WILL fit!

Finally the above the knee socks. I’m about to start the gusset on the first sock and I’m looking forward to wearing them with the new skirts I have sewn.  I realize this may be a couple of months down the track but I’m not in any hurry since the dreaded summer is on it’s way.

There has been spinning too, I decided that the Finn/Romney/Corridale that I dyed would make lovely thick boot socks so I’m attempting to spin a 3ply aran weight sock-yarn.

On top of all this I have finished 4 out of 5 skirts that I have been sewing though, I don’t have finished photo’s of them.  I suppose, all in all, there has been some kind of progress then.

Happy knitting

Yay my mojo returned this week!  For various reasons, one simple reason is that the extremely hot day was just one day.  Though Spring does herald the inevitability of a hot Australian summer, bleurgh!  I wish my hubby would agree to me working for 6 months in the UK so I could have 2 winters.

Last Monday I started my Socktober project early but don’t tell the knitting police will you. They are the Delicious Knee high socks by Laura Chau and I’m knitting them with Noro Kureyon sock yarn.  The trouble was the heat made it really hard to work the tiny 2mm needles, I’ve since upped to 2.25mm to get gauge which is a huge relief I can tell you.  I’ve only got as far as the first stripe but already they are making me HAPPY Woohoo!

Stripy deliciousness, what’s not to love really?  (so long as you have air con)

Another thing that made me happy is the realisation that my stash that I’m no longer in love with needn’t weigh me down.  All I have to do is have a little destash, (thanks Katie and Jen) why did this not occur to me before?  I think I was holding on because I do love the colours and it’s not as if my stash is of considerable proportions, it’s quite modest really.  So if you are interested here is the page.

Here is the stash cupboard sans destash yarn, it looks so much better I think.  There is more room for more Skein sock yarn and the Shelter I need (only 3 colours) and more handspun.  Plus Sam’s jumper will start as soon as my Norovember project is off the needles.

The destash yarn now sit’s patiently in a space bag waiting for someone to love it and welcome it into their stash.

My other happy happenings this weekend were that I almost have 2 finished skirts, just some hand sewing to do and I had some friends round for a spinning afternoon.  Spinning with friends is so much fun, better that knitting in some ways because no one has to count stitches, rows or remember patterns so the conversation and beer can flow as we spin merrily on.  I finished plying the Gotland/Polwarth this morning.  My long draw technique is improving but I need to pedal slower as I’m creating too much twist for woollen spun yarn.  Pedalling slower is not easy for me, any tips?

Last week I also  Navajo plied some singles to make hexipuffs with, fun fun fun.

There’s a lot to be said for knitting and spinning what you love.  I know I’m a slow learner but I was brought up with a deep sense of duty, obligation and stoicism which I’m learning is not always a good thing.

ttfn x

Spot the difference

Hmmm, same colour, same dye lot…

Really!?!?

Apparently Noro silk garden whilst it comes in 100 metre balls is dyed with 150 metre colour repeats. *big sigh* well, you live and learn!

So today I went back to the wool baa and the assistant got every ball of this colour way/dye lot out and I went through them to find one that started with black and grey and contained the rust and blue colours so it doesn’t look like a blind person chose the yarn for the socks.  These socks are extra big socks for my poor Dad whose feet and ankles have swollen badly due to his poor health.

Much better!

On a more positive note, remember this batt that I made at Bendigo on the Ashford drum carder?

Well last night I got my favourite Ken Ledbetter spindle out and spun it up, then Navajo plied it.  It looked very pretty.

Today I knit it up into a swatch.

Mmmm, yummy tweedy goodness.  A drum carder is definitely on my wish list so I can make tweedy yarn for tweedy jumpers (life’s too short to hand card for a jumper).