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!

A little free time

So it’s amazing what can happen when I have a few public holidays off work! A little bit of dedicated knitting time and voilà!

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An entire pair of socks in around two weeks!
Just plain 64 st socks on 2mm needles. The yarn is fun – it’s Stray Cat Socks self striping in “Hipster”. Quick service, great yarn. I try not to buy too much sock yarn anymore, because I’ll never use as much as I buy, but I’ve always been a sucker for self striping.
And I’ve already started something new.
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It’ll match the skirt I made in my last post!

2014 Knitting wrapup

So I decided to do a mosaic as in past years to show off all the knitting I managed (Cough!) Although to be honest, it was more than I thought.

2014 mosaic

1. Pink texas, 2. Watermelon drift, 3. Manayunk, 4. Jewelled Cowl, 5. Lau, 6. David’s Green Socks, 7. Eve, 8. Pink Pinwheel, 9. Northallerton, 10. Lusekofte-sque, 11. Little Kina, 12. zuzu’s petals, 13. Vivienne, 14. Cheer, 15. Odessa, 16. Shedir, 17. evie, 18. IMG_6539 

I put the house in – it took up a lot of my time and energy in 2014!

So, 17 knitted projects. But lets get honest. Texas was finished on January1, 2014, so it barely counts. The Lau socks and the Eve scarf were projects that had been in hibernation since 2013 and 2012 respectively, so calling them 2014 projects isn’t entirely honest. And of the fourteen remaining, nine are accessories.

I’m trying not to beat myself up about it. It was a big year, and lots of stuff fell by the wayside. This year I’m aiming for balance and trying to ease up on myself a little. More time for relaxing. I hope(!)

I made a new skirt to bring in the New Year.

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It’s the Deer and Doe Chardon skirt. Very happy with this one! Made almost exactly to the pattern, I just omitted the bow at the back, because the last thing I need is anything that draws attention to my butt. I did have to get a little creative with the cutting out, as I purchased the last metre available at Spotlight of the fabric. It was tight, but I managed. If I hadn’t had enough, I was going to make the pockets in the pink.

Yes, pockets. Are you listening, fashion designers, pattern designers and fashion retailers? POCKETS. We need them!

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I also did some knitting. In fact, I cast on on Christmas Eve and finished the first sock on December 29. Amazing what I can manage when I’m not spending time at work or studying!!