Aussie Cardi KAL

So I finished my Soay. I have, of course, been very slack in blogging about it. Here’s two in progress pictures I took.

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Here it is, just past the lace patterning.

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And the sleeve cap. How perfect is that short row sleeve cap? Seriously, I LOVE it.

But now Soay is blocking, then just buttons and she’s done. So, what next?

Two years ago. Hang on, maybe three. Holy crap, I just checked Ravelry, and it was four years ago. Four years, jeebus. Anyway, four years ago we went to Bendigo Wool Show and I picked up a kilo of Pear Tree Yarns Shades of Alpaca 8 ply.  Divine, natural shade with a hint of pink. Scrummy.

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It’s been sitting patiently in the stash, waiting for it’s moment. And I got thinking about Bendigo this year and decided I needed a new cardi to wear. At approximately the same time, I saw Schnee pop up on Ravelry. Then, earlier this week, Alegrya retweeted something which popped up in my timeline. MissRedPen is hosting an Aussie Cardi KAL!

More details here at MissRedPen’s blog. How perfect is that? If I start on Friday, and can finish it by the end of June, it’ll be ready just in time for the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show in July. I may have cheated just a little, and swatched already.

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Mmmm! Squishy, squishy alpaca blend in squishy, squishy garter. The cardi is mostly moss stitch. This may kill me 😉

 

 

All baby knitting, all the time

It seems to be baby season around here right now! One of the girls at work is having twin girls. I started the hoodie for her, but abandoned it. Instead, I made her a pair of Gidday Baby cardis.

Gidday Baby pink

Gidday baby white

 

Specs:

Pattern: Gidday Baby by Georgie Hallam
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8 Ply in Frost and Baby Blossom
Needles: 3.25mm Dyakcraft Heavy Metal and 3.5mm Dyakcraft Darn Pretty
Mods: None

A great pattern, Free (!) in the smaller baby sizes, but you can get it right up to childs Size 12 here for $US6.

She also specially requested a pair of baby bonnets, which I happily made for her, with beautiful big bows – and forgot to take a picture of!

Another girl at work is pregnant with a little boy, so I knit a cute little cabled cardi for her

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This one is from an old Patons book that I’m pretty sure is discontinued.

Specs:

Pattern: Cardi Set from Patons #1078 Tiny Sizes for Early Arrivals
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8 ply (again!) in Baby Blue
Needles: 3.25mm Dyakcraft Heavy Metal and 3.5mm Dyakcraft Darn Pretty
Mods: The only mod I made was the pattern has the body knit in one piece to the underarms, then split for the fronts and back. Then you seam the underarms, and pick up around the armhole and knit down for the sleeve. But they have you pick up the stitches around the (closed) armhole, then knit flat and seam the underarm! I closed the top of the shoulders with a three needle bindoff, then I picked up around the armhole and knit the sleeve in the round, no seaming. Patons really seam to like to do things the long way around.

Finally, the young couple across the street had a baby a few weeks back who was very premature. She’s still in hospital and will be there for another month or so yet. I made her an easter bonnet!

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Specs:

Pattern: The hat is the Teeny, tiny, Preemie hats pattern by Cheryl Andrews (Rav freebie!) with the ears from Cottontail bunny cocoon and hat set
Yarn: Bendigo Luxury 4ply (seeing a trend?) in frost, with a little Bendigo Athena in Petal for the inside ears
Needles: 2.5mm Dyakcraft Darn Pretty DPNS
Mods: The ears is all.

Cute! I hope it fit, I haven’t heard from them, but they’re spending a lot of time at the hospital (understandably!)

So I’ve been baby knitting, a *lot*. My nephew and his girlfriend are also expecting, so I’m guessing I’m not done yet, but it feels nice to be working on full size items again!

We also have a new family member I’ve neglected to introduce.

Meet Harley.

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She moved in about a month ago, and took over shortly thereafter. It’s her house now, we just get to stay because we have opposable thumbs and can open the tiny tyrant’s food.

Life is too short

Life is too short and my knitting time too precious.

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The back, fronts and sleeves are done. And so am I. I’ve worked on it all week, and resented every minute. So with the hood (and it’s stupid construction) and the front bands, and the hood band to go, I’m throwing in the towel.

Life is way too short for bad patterns and average yarn.

Baby knitting

So, a lovely, lovely lady at work is pregnant. With twins! And due in winter! What’s not to love? So I’ve been mulling over what to knit. Two babies, minimal time. No blankets, nothing too complex, but I wanted to knit something more substantial than a hat. I’d been looking around for a while, when I spotted this pattern in a Patons book at Spotlight.

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It’s cute, and I liked it, but the book was $21. $21!! I have no idea what Australian Country Spinners are thinking. Their pattern books are ridiculously priced. They’re also the Australian distributors for Rowan, but don’t get me started on that. Suffice to say that they inflate the prices ridiculously, make it hard for the retailers to get and it’s no wonder that most people are buying Rowan online overseas, because last I heard, ACS were trying to charge $50-$60 for the Rowan magazines, which cost $25 overseas. I still don’t know why Australian retailers aren’t in revolt.

I stopped buying Patons, Cleckheaton etc a few years ago. The yarn isn’t that great, they don’t make anything I generally use, and their customer service attitude kind of sucks. They’re still marketing to old fashioned knitters, and that’s fine, they have a market there for now and there’s plenty of other yarn and patterns out there.

At any rate, the hoodie is cute, but $21 for a pattern is ridiculous. So I left it there, and tried to find something else to knit instead.

But the hoodie was stuck in my mind. It is really cute. And it’s in 8ply, so it should be fairly quick. I was in Spotlight again for something else a few days later, so I bought the book.

The recommended yarn is acrylic, at a total cost of $12, or Patons Dreamtime, (which is 100% Merino and nice, but not awesome), at $30-35. I haven’t knit in acrylic in about a million years, and I turned my nose up. I picked up a ball in Spotlight and immediately decided that I was going to use Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK or Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK instead. Nicer yarn, and not very much more expensive than the Dreamtime. So I came home and started online shopping. Now I don’t know what sex the babies are, so I decided I’ll knit one in white now, and one in pink or blue after they’re born. It was then that I realised that with postage, these hoodies would cost around $40 each. Just for the yarn. I went back and forth for a while. A few days later I caved and bought the acrylic. For only $12 total.

So I cast on. Patons patterns are still old fashioned. Knit the back, knit both fronts, knit both sleeves. Sew it up, knit the hoodie. “Pfft!” I thought, “I’m cleverer than that!” and I cast on enough stitches for the back and both fronts, intending to knit it in one piece. I knit quite a bit, then read ahead. At which point, I realised that there is no armhole shaping. None. The back is just a square. The fronts are rectangles with neck shaping. So I had no idea where to start the armholes.

So lets catch up. The pattern is overpriced. Nice yarn will cost a bomb. And the pattern isn’t really very good.

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I refuse to waste money on an overpriced pattern. I’m going to knit it in the stupid acrylic, piece by stupid piece and seam the stupid thing together. And I will never pick up a Patons pattern book ever again. Ever. (Maybe. I’m still thinking about picking up a nice Sublime pattern and some nice Sublime yarn)

Patons? We are never, ever, ever getting back together. (That earworm is kind of like a rickroll, isn’t it? :)

‘Straya Day

It’s Australia Day. Otherwise known in our house as Lamington Day!

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Lamington! For those of you not local, it’s a sponge cake, rolled in chocolate sauce then smothered in coconut. What’s not to love?

And I sewed a bunch today. I’ve been easing up on the knitting. The other big impact on my knitting last year was an extreme knitting injury. Well, I don’t know that for sure, but no one has really been able to tell me what caused it. I kept having pain in my right shoulder, but it was intermittent at first, and I thought I was sleeping on it weirdly or some such. Then bursitis was tossed around for awhile, until an ultrasound and MRI found a torn tendon. Ouch! I’ve been having cortisone and physiotherapy, and things were doing better, but it’s been a bit sore again lately. I’m wondering if it’s my knitting, particularly as I’m working with All Seasons Cotton. It’s a blend, but I’ve never been a huge fan of cotton and I think it could be the yarn.

Or maybe not.

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Here it is so far, though!

Another Kim Hargreaves, I’m such a Kim tragic. It’s Raquel, from Honey. Worked in one piece, as you can see. And I think it’d be a pretty quick knit if I wans’t knitting do pathetically slowly!