January 30, 2006
I'm still here!
The knitting is going slowly - I'm up to the sleeves of the Cotton Ease Jacket, and they are boring. Boring, endless expanses of stockinette, boring to knit, boring to blog about.
And I've been sidetracked by the tutu. It is flattened, and now I am up to the decorating bit. See this?
I am cutting out individual flowers, then embroidering them a little with gold thread, gluing on rhinestones, and sewing on beads, to glitz up each one.
The colour is more accurate in the top picture.
Then, I have to sew each flower onto the top plate of the tutu.
It is seriously eating up my knitting time.
Went to Stitch n Bitch on Saturday, and as usual, had a great time. Did a lot more talking than knitting, as per usual.
Today, I was in the Penrith area, and I popped into The Wool Inn.
Despite promising myself that I was only going to look, more yarn jumped off the shelf and just begged to be taken home. I got a couple of balls of something to make something for the baby of someone who reads this blog, so I'm not telling what yet. Hi Sharon!
I also bought this.
I need more laceweight like I need a hole in the head, but it's so pretty. It's Kaalund Yarns Classic Two in Magnolia. It's a pure wool laceweight, 356m. I'm thinking a Feather and Fan shawl with some beads.
The house inspection went very well. Twinkie behaved as if she lives in her hutch in the yard, and all rabbit hair evidence was vaccuumed up. The girlie from the Real estate even mentioned that we are long overdue new paint and carpets!
January 24, 2006
The shawl is blocked, and I can finally say it is finished.
The finished measurements are 115cm (45") square. It's in fingering weight yarn on 3.5mm needles, and used 1400 metres (1530 yards) of yarn.
I do intend to eventually make the pattern available, just as soon as I work out how to write an understandable pattern and how to use the knitting font to make charts.
A few days ago, Ailsa made a post about why she blogs, and today the Yarn Harlot made her blogiversary post, and she also mentioned the virtues of blogging (and knitting) friends. Isn't it funny how one thing will get you thinking, then all of a sudden, whatever you were thinking about is everywhere?
Anyway, today I received a belated Christmas gift from Jill, who was my first real online knitting friend, and this really topped off my thinking.
Glass knitting needles. (Sorry for the crappy pictures) Aren't they gorgeous? I will probably not use them, I'd be terrified of breaking them (and also of cutting my knitting if I did break them!) They will be displayed somewhere prominently, but I love them.
I don't have a great many "real" friends. Emily started a new school last year, and as it's High school, all I do is pick her up, I don't have much to do with the other parents. As for dancing, the bitchiness and competiton and bad mouthing doesn't interest me. I used to listen to it, and believe it and let it get me down, now I just avoid them.
None of my friends are knitters. The only people I know in so-called real life who knit make novelty scarves and not much else. To each his own, but for a long time I wondered where the other people who like to knit garments and use wool and alpaca and order copious amounts of yarn from the internet were. For a long time I didn't knit, I have no local yarn store, and the crap that was available didn't interest me.
Three years or so ago, I started knitting again and looked for knitting on the internet. Yarn! Tools! Patterns! Accessories!
No-one I know in real life would ever think to give me glass knitting needles. (No offence, DH!) DH is happy to buy me knitting related gifts, but I have to point out what I would like bought for me. Mind you, I would be exactly the same if I wanted to buy him a computer game.
It is such a pleasure to know people now with whom I can discuss yarn and patterns and gorgeous knitting accessories. People who understand my obsession with yarn, and don't ask "Why?" when I'm knitting a sock. People who don't look at me like I'm insane when I buy another knitting book or order yet more yarn from the internet. It's truly a pleasure to go to Stitch and Bitch and spend an afternoon with knitters.
On the whole, the vast majority of people I have met (both online and in the flesh) through this blog have been wonderful people, who I'm glad to call friends.
And who can admire glass knitting needles without asking why.
Okay, I'm over the sappy shit now :)
January 23, 2006
We had a busy weekend. DH's family live in Queensland, about 1300km (800 miles) away from us, but his mum had a flying visit to Sydney on the weekend, so we took her to Bondi Beach.
Don't we have beautiful beaches? It was hot, and the beach was pretty busy. These pictures were taken not long after we arrived, and more people came as the day went on. DH's Mum was amazed at how many people were there, but I've seen it busier.
I spent most of the day telling Em to put on her sunscreen, and of course, I'm the one who came home with a sunburn. Em likes the beach, and we really should go more often.
After the beach, we went for an Italian dinner. I took my sock knitting with me, but I didn't do any at the beach because the wind kept blowing sand at us, and I didn't want a sock full of sand.
I got some knitting done over the weekend, though.
I finished the bag.
It's smaller than I expected, but it's cute. Even on the 8mm needles, I used less than one ball of Lambs Pride Bulky. Now I need to get some handles and lining to finish it off.
And the final tally on the hat was 85% in favour of knitting it, 15% said not to.
The colours I have are stash yarns, but the blue is brighter than the picture on the pattern. I started it last night, after I finished the bag.
The baby shawl is finally blocking as we speak, pics tomorrow.
And finally, for Sandy, a picture of a speeding cloud!
Nice way to end the weekend :)
January 20, 2006
So, I have a bit of a thing for old fashioned baby patterns. I pick them up on eBay from time to time, and recently I picked up this one.
So I thought I'd knit this little hat to send off with the shawl. It's in a 3 month size, which is about right, considering when winter and everything will hit, and the age of the baby.
I have the yarn here, and I'm ready to cast on. But now I'm a little worried that it's too old fashioned. Seeing as I knit a shawl, should I knit something a bit more modern to send off with it? I like old fashioned baby things, but I know that some people like more modern things. And I don't think this is too old fashioned. But as usual, I'm stuck in a welter of indecision.
So we're going to have our first ever Random Knts poll. You don't even have to comment, just click and vote.
Should I knit this baby hat, or go for something a little more modern? Vote now!
January 19, 2006
Thank you all for saying such nice things about the baby shawl. Still no sign of the sun in Sydney, so it hasn't been blocked yet. I was hoping to give it to DH's mum (who is having a flying visit this weekend) to take back, but I don't think it's going to happen.
I started my bag. Chunky cables after fingering weight lace feels funny :)
However, I didn't do a swatch. It calls for an 8mm needle. Somehow, I don't have an 8mm circ, but I figure that I always knit loose and have to go down a needle size anyway, so I just cast on with a 7mm.
Guess what? My gauge is off, I need an 8mm needle.
I don't knit with a lot of chunky yarns, so I don't often use larger needles. But I went ahead and ordered an 8mm Addi from STYK. As it's a bag, the gauge isn't important really, however, I'm nearly half way through and I hadn't even used half a ball of the Lambs Pride Bulky, and the bag is on the very small side. So I figured I'd prefer it a little larger anyway, so I'll wait until the new needle comes.
So what do I start now?
I'm sure I'll think of something!
January 18, 2006
It's done, it's done!
The baby shawl is all finished, bar the blocking. I'm pretty pleased with it, and I'm sure I'll like it even more when it's blocked! It has just now occured to me that this may not be the most appropriate gift for this baby. The mother is not a knitter, and she has a toddler in addition to the new baby. A shawl that needs to be blocked may not be appropriate. And the family lives in Brisbane, with the baby due next month. Brisbane's temperature in February averages 25C.
Hmm. They're getting it anyway!
The shawl will not be blocked today, because it looks like this again.
However, that means it's a lovely day for knitting. And just in the nick of time, my haul from Yarns Online arrived.
Yum! The colours didn't show up very accurately though, here's a better pic.
The purple is Lambs Pride Bulky in Supreme Purple. The pink is Cascade 220 in Raspberry. Scarf Style has some nice patterns in it. I have some Green Cascade 220 that my friend Jill gave me ages ago, and I think I might make "Backyard Leaves" with that.
However right now, I'm going to use this grey, dull, rainy afternoon to start my bag!
January 16, 2006
Sandy made this button for all of us who show our skies. So, with no further ado, here is Sydney's sky this afternoon.
And as a result, Sydney ground.
We like rain, we want lots of rain to break the drought. And it sure beats 48C!
Edging update, just over halfway around. Nearly there!
January 14, 2006
Look! Do you see what I see?
Edging! I'm finally up to the edging. Mind you, it took me two days to come up with an edging. Here's a closeup.
I made it up myself, which isn't what I had originally intended to do. I was going to use one from "Traditional Lace Shawls". But then I wasn't sure how copyright worked. If I do decide to offer up the pattern, am I allowed to use patterns from books? Even if I use it directly from the book, with no changes? What if the book is a stitch dictionary? As I don't know the answers to these questions, I thought I'd better strike out and do my own. It's not exactly what I wanted, but it's good enough that a newborn baby won't care!
I'm around half way down the first side of the shawl. And that means that I can start thinking seriously about what to knit next!
Just in the nick of time, a new Australian online store has opened! And Meaghan, the owner, stocks Cascade 220! And Lambs Pride! Which we haven't been able to get in Australia before. And some nice books and accessories, with lots more to come in the next few weeks. Go have a look! It's called Yarns Online.
So I placed an order this morning. I can't wait for it to arrive, so I need to get moving on this edging. I've ordered some Lambs Pride Bulky for this bag from Knit Picks.
You can find the pattern here.
I haven't knit a bag in ages, and I like this one, and I think I need to do something fun and quick to finish next. I also ordered some Cascade 220 for a hat and scarf set I've been designing in my head for Em.
So much for not buying yarn. I'm glad I didn't sign up with Stashalong ;)
I also ordered Scarf Style and some Clover bits and pieces. Aah, retail therapy!
I'll show you all when it arrives. And I plan to have a finished shawl by then, so I can immediately cast on.
Twinkie has a problem. Because she is rather voluptuous, she has been having difficulty reaching the food in the bottom of her bowl.
I'm serious, I'm afraid. Her big fat dewlap gets in the way, and she can't reach. So this is her answer.
You just tip the food on the floor.
I think we need to get her a new, lower bowl!
January 10, 2006
So it's back to the knitting!
Still working on the shawl. I have (I think) 15 rounds of the main part to do, then I have to come up with an edging.
Here's a close up of where I'm up to.
The diamonds need to be finished, and I'm done on the body. If I counted correctly, I'm going to have 740ish stitches on the needle when I'm done with the body of the shawl. That's a lot of edging! I'm looking at narrow ones ;)
Yet, I'm already considering my next project. Shawls make such boring blogging. Even if I manage an hour of knitting at night, there's no real progress to blog about. And it's a bit boring to constantly show the shawl with maybe 4 more rows done!
My cottonease jacket has been long neglected. I think I'll finish that when I'm done with this shawl. I also have a hat and scarf set in my head that I'd like to make for Em.
It's boredom. As soon as I'm bored with a project, I start imagining what I'm going to knit next.By the time I'm actually finished with the project, I've changed my mind 34 times.
Here's Twinkie's latest trick.
She knows where the food is! As soon as the fridge is opened, she's there in front of it, begging for something to eat.
Those are Em's legs, btw. Skinny little chicken legs!
January 07, 2006
Well, I have spent the best part of the past two days in tutu hell. At midnight last night I sat down to knit 2 rows of the shawl, simply because I hadn't knit a stitch all day. This is what it is like trying to get the damn thing under the sewing machine.
On Thursday night I made a bodice from scrap fabric. Yesterday morning, I tried it on Em, and made all the necessary adjustments, then for the best part of yesteray and last night, I made the real bodice and basque, then pinned the basque to the skirt.
This morning I sat down and tried to sew the basque to the skirt by machine.
I swore, I threw a tantrum, I kicked the tutu across the room. The piece of shit would not go under the machine foot. There was simply too much fabric. The feed dog was jamming, and the fabric wouldn't feed properly. Then the machine wouldn't run. I found out that was because Twinkie has chewed her way through this stinking cord as well. This is the second sewing machine cord she has massacred. However, I just taped it up and went on. But I had to give it up. It simply would not go under the machine.
So I hand sewed it.
Yes, I hand sewed the entire basque to the skirt. It took three hours. But it's done.
(pic is clickable)
Well, the worst parts are done. It still needs to be flattened (also by hand) and decorated. (Yep, by hand).
But no more wrestling fabric under the machine. My arms are aching from holding it all out of the way and constantly reaching over it.
In not-so-breaking news, Twinkie has a fat face.
And just to show you all how pretty Fuzzy is when he isn't dripping wet,
He also has a fat face :)
Marti sent me a lovely gift, which arrived yesterday, pics tomorrow.
I'm not finishing the tutu tonight. In fact I don't think I want to look at it again for at least a week!
January 05, 2006
I got mail! Christmas parcels. This is great fun, it's making Christmas last forever :)
My friend Jill, who is now blogless, sent me this lovely package.
Pink Opal Magic, Purple Opal Mosaic, my beloved magazines, two gauge-o-knits, one in imperial and one in metric, a little bead container and tape measures! Here's a close up of the tape measures.
And they have cute little tabs.
I love funky tape measures!
Cathy sent me a gift, too. Yummy chocolates!
Both DH and Emily are home on holiday, so in no time at all, the chocolates looked like this.
Second day in a row that I've blown my New Years' Diet. But I enjoyed it!
And there was more sock yarn.
Isn't it pretty? It's Knitpicks Sock Memories in "Easter". Em went in raptures as soon as I opened it, and wants socks for herself from it. We'll see!
A little knitting last night, but for the most part I finished off a little bag for myself. This is going to hold my sock knitting.
This pic doesn't do the beading justice, so here's some close ups of the details.
I'm getting a bit tired of sewing now, so it's back to the shawl again. Which I'm also getting a bit tired of!
January 04, 2006
Well, I've been upgraded to Moveable Type 3.2 in an effort to defeat the spammers. This particular war may never be won.
However, so far I quite like it. I've had a bit of a peek around, and the control menu looks pretty spiffy. I use Firefox for my browser, and some of the buttons from Moveable Type 2.661 didn't work, forcing me to learn some basic HTML, but in 3.2, I can see them all in Firefox. Hoo-freakin-ray!
Now, seeing as this is purported to be a knitting blog, I guess we're overdue for some knitting updates, huh?
The shawl, she is growing. Albeit, slowly.
There's around 560 stitches now, so the rows are taking far too long for the shawl to grow to my satisfaction. I've said it before, shawls make boring blogging. Here's what the pattern bit looks like now, close up.
I have also been working on DH's Trekking XXL socks.
They're not going very quickly either, are they?
I'm sure that it really is quicker to knit two socks at once on two circs, but it doesn't much feel like it. I'm using Inox US0's (2mm), and they feel smaller than my DPNS. Which they're not. However, at the end, I'm sure I will be glad to have both socks done, and that it is quicker than doing them one at a time on DPNS.
But at this stage, I think I prefer my DPNS. Old habits die hard.
DH is apparently on holidays from work, but yesterday he had to go in and take care of something that the office monkeys can't be trusted with, so Em and I tagged along, and window shopped in the city ehilst he took care of business. I knit on the socks most of the way there and back on the train, but still didn't seem to get much done.
When DH was done, we went to The Crepe Cafe for lunch.
Em had a Carnivale crepe. (Strawberries, Bananas, icing sugar, chocolate, icecream and cream)
DH and I had Original Crepes. (Strawberries, liquer, icing sugar, cream and icecream).
Yum. January 3, and I had already blown my New Year's Diet. It was fun, though ;)
And today, Em and I baked a banana cake.
See, I can cook when I want to! And it was from scratch, not a packet mix. Although DH did the frosting, I was bored with cooking by then.
Twinkie thought it would be a good idea to hide if I were cooking.
And who could blame her? ;)
That, by the way is the Gum tree that was cut down a year ago. The real estate has done nothing about getting rid of the stump, and the tree is doing it's best to come back. It's becoming Twinkie's favourite hiding spot.
I got mail today, check back tomorrow to see what!
Hmm, I'm liking Moveable Type 3.2.
January 02, 2006
It was 24C here today! Can I get a hallelujah??
According to the news, yesterday was the hottest day in Sydney in 67 years. If we don't have those temperatures for another 67 years, I'll be more than happy.
So did I knit?
No. I tutu-ed.
I uploaded both pics, because neither one is right. It's closer to the dark pic than the light one, but it isn't quite that dark. However, the important bit is that all the tulle is now attached. I wish that were it, but I still have to make the bodice and basque, get it all together, sew in some kind of fastener, and flatten and decorate the damn thing.
But I'm glad all that tulle is done!
As I mentioned yesterday, it was hot. The person who seemed to suffer the most was our budgie, Fuzzy. At about 5pm, he was really distressed. He was on the bottom of his cage, panting with his wings spread out. I was really worried about him. So we got out a water spray bottle, filled it with cool water, then sprayed him down with it all afternoon. He spread his wings out and just sat there, letting us wet him until he was waterlogged.
I don't think he could have been wetter if we'd dumped a bucket of water over him. I'm pleased to say that he is doing much better today.
Now I'm going to go knit.
January 01, 2006
It's kinda hot today,so we went to see Narnia, so we could sit in the air conditioning.
We have to drive past a local club to get to the cinema.
This is what their time/temperature board said at 11.01am, on our way there.
This is what it said an hour or so ago, on our way home.
(42C = 107F, 48C = 118F)