April 28, 2006
And one other random thought that just occured to me.
Being school holidays and all, Disney Channel has been on high rotation on the idiot box.
The first movie I ever remember seeing at the cinema was Bambi. I cried when Bambi's mother was killed by the hunters.
It's been on the Disney channel this month, and I came in the other day right at the scene when Bambi and his mother were being chased by the hunters.
30 years later, and I cried all over again.
Maybe there are some things you just never get over, huh? ;)
My knitting mojo is still MIA. I hope it's somewhere nice. Hawaii or maybe Tahiti. I also have run out of reading material, so I'm in double trouble. If you're looking for knitting, you'd probably be better off elsewhere!
So, in light of the fact that there is no knitting to blog about on this knitting blog, lets go all random, which is where my head space is right now.
Who am I kidding? That's where my headspace always is. I have no idea how I manage to knit anything, seeing as I'm usually doing two things at once, and thinking about at least three things at a time. And talking at ridiculous speeds.
My first father-in-law used to remind me to breathe at regular intervals when I was talking. Anyway, the randomness.
Today is the last day of the school holidays. That's good news and bad. I'm way behind on anything resembling housework, and today I am supposed to be doing that and sewing instead of wasting time on the 'net. I have already done 4 loads of laundry. May I remind you all that there is only three of us. Well, four, but the rabbit doesn't require much in the way of laundry. Sweeping and vacuuming, on the other hand...
Then again, I've never been in the running for best housewife!
Of course, back to school means getting up at ridiculous hours of the morning, and it's getting colder now. It also means back to dancing after school, back to canteen duty, and back to homework.
The more I think about it, I think I'd rather have the holidays!
Maybe I'll start homeschooling.
Lots of sad news in Australia this week.
We lost our first soldier in Iraq. Not in actual fighting, but due to an accident with a gun.
Sad news. What's worse is there has been some kind of ridiculous stuff up in transporting his body home, and the wrong body arrived yesterday.
How traumatic for his poor family. I cannot imagine the pain and devastation they must be feeling.
There's been a mining accident in Tasmania. Three miners were trapped after a rock fall three days ago. They've been trying to find them, and have located and retrieved one man's body, but still don't know if the other two are alive or not, and now they're saying that it could take up to three days to dig another tunnel down to where they think the miners are.
More pain and devastation. How horrible to be waiting, to not know if your loved one is alive or dead, and you can't do anything but wait.
My prayers are with them all.
It's been getting colder over the last week or two, but today is quite nice. Twinkie is outside enjoying the last of the warm days.
I tried to get a picture, but this is the only view she would give me.
Then I told her she had an audience, and she played pretty.
And if I owe anyone emails, I'm sorry, I'm behind on that, too!
Don't get me wrong, I didn't intend to be ranty today, just some random observations that have occured to me.
Okay, maybe I'm ranty about the poor miners and the family of the soldier.
April 26, 2006
My Socks Do Not Rock.
I finally decided on a "Lace rib" pattern from "Sensational Knitted Socks" I cast it on yesterday, and knit for a bit before I admitted to myself that the striping/pooling is going to drive me batty. And the colours are obscuring the pattern.
Frog it, frog it good.
Yesterday, in an effort to kick my mojo, I got busy in the kitchen. Yes, you can all pick your chins up off the floor. I baked. My family can tell you what a rare, rare occurence this is.
In honour of ANZAC Day, I baked Anzac biscuits.
One legend has it that the ANZAC's created these from their rations, another says that their wives baked them and sent them to the ANZAC's. In any case, they are yum.
And they're all gone already.
There's a recipe here.
Go to Donni's blog and donate to a good cause. She's going to shave her head for "Shave for a Cure Day" if she can raise enough money - donate, donate, donate!
Now I'm going looking for another sock pattern.
April 24, 2006
I've lost my knitting mojo!
And I don't know where to find it.
On Friday night I finished the second sock. I don't have a pic yet, because I wore them immediately, and now they're in the wash basket.
Emily had a dance event all weekend, so I needed something portable, and something that didn't require a great deal of thought.
Socks are perfect. Small, relatively easy. And I've been on a sock roll of late.
I have too much sock yarn.
I'm spoiled for choice. I'm like a kid in a candy store. My eyes go wide and I can't make a decision. However, I finally decided that I wanted to make the Sixth Sense Socks, which is the latest sock from the Six Sox Knitalong. Then I picked out some Twinkletoes sock yarn, from this store on eBay. I got the sock started, and ignored the fact that I wasn't enjoying the yarn. After an inch or so, I couldn't ignore it anymore. I didn't like the yarn.
The sock yarn I dyed up was nice and soft, and this yarn isn't.
I just knew that if I kept on knitting blindly, I would end up not wearing the socks, or not knitting a second sock. So I ripped it out.
Then I went back to contemplating the sock stash.
I didn't want to knit plain stocking stitch socks, so that kinda ruled out the Fair Isle patterning yarns, with which I only really have had success with plain socks.
I got out my lucious Socks That Rock.
And couldn't find a pattern I liked for it. Nothing worked out. It feels thicker than normal sock yarn to me. (Well, at least the ones i've been using) even though the label recommends the same needles and gauge.
I don't want to knit Jaywalkers. Even though I like them, I have no ankles, and I've heard there can be difficulties in fit.
Seriously, my legs join straight on to my feet, with no shaping whatsoever.
So I dumped the Socks That Rock, mostly because I was running out of time.
In the end, I took no knitting with me on Saturday.
Saturday night I tried again.
Still no luck.
On Sunday, I ended up taking a glove pattern and yarn with me, out of sheer desperation, but didn't end up knitting anyway.
Last night I tried something different. I had got some Cascade 220 from Yarns Online with the intention of knitting a hat and scarf for Emily. So I sat down last night and tried to get what was in my head into a workable pattern.
I have lost my knitting mojo.
I have nothing on the needles.
I am almost in panic mode.
Mind you, the pink cardi is still unseamed.
I picked up my shawl and ribbon from the Easter Show today.
Oh, and I guess you could say Em did pretty well at the dance comp.
8 trophies, 3 medals which intepreted mans that she placed every single dance she competed. 1 fifth, 1 third, 7 seconds and 3 firsts.
April 21, 2006
Socks. Nearly done, stripes lining up nicely.
Dance costume. Not nearly done.
More dance sewing. Kinda nearly done.
Dance costume. Sewing complete, decorating and rhinestoning to be done. But there is a problem. The lycra fabric stinks to high heaven. I've soaked it to no avail. Any tips?
Portrait of a slumbering bunny.
April 19, 2006
One sock down!
Woohoo! I've been wearing just one sock.
The second one is started, and I am just past the ribbing. I should be further along, but life keeps getting in the way.
First, just for something different, I cast on for a cabled headband from the latest issue of Creative Knitting. I probably will never wear it, but Em's dance teacher currently has a thing for headbands. I haven't done cables in a while, and it makes good TV knitting.
I've also been doing some sewing - 3 costumes down, 72ish to go.
And I've blocked the pink lacey cardi.
Now I just need to seam it, and face the dreaded edging.
I've had a screaming headache all day, but it's right on the top of my head, not in my forehead like usual. I laid down for a bit this afternoon, and it felt better, then I went to put away the laundry, and a big spider (thing of my nightmares!) ran across the bedroom floor, and under my bed.
My headache is back.
DH didn't find the spider.
It's still there somewhere.
Under my bed.
There is enough insect spray in the bedroom to kill off 50 of the horrible little terrors.
I still don't think I'll sleep tonight.
April 17, 2006
DH has new socks.
He is appreciative. Mind you, I started these socks in December, so he got a bit whiny before they were done.
Dunno what he was whining about, it's not even winter yet ;)
These socks are knit in Trekking XXL 110. This is the first time I've used Trekking, but I must say that I liked it. The reason they took so long had nothing to do with the yarn, I just didn't enjoy knitting them on 2 circs! I do have another ball of Trekking XXL put away for me.
Of course, finishing his socks meant I could start my pink stripey socks.
Was the dye job a success?
Decide for yourself.
I'm certainly happy with it! Every few rows I poke whichever family member is close by and make them admire it, too.
I may be doing some more dyeing, I think!
Twinkie didn't want a cuddle today.
April 16, 2006
April 14, 2006
Every now and then I get an idea in my head, and it possesses me until I do something about it. These ideas can be about anything. Cleaning out the wardrobe, rearranging the CD collection, obtaining a particular item from eBay, or a whole set of books by a particular author, anything is possible.
Last week I got an idea in my head about dyeing. It had been in my head for a few days, but was brought to the forefront by the gift of Knit Picks dyeable yarn I received from Tammy.
Being the sock yarn whore that I am, I've been reading posts on various blogs about dyeing self striping yarn. Then I started dreaming about it. That's when I decided that it was time to actually dye some striping sock yarn of my own. Because you know, I don't have enough difficulty now deciding which sock yarn to knit up next!
I decided that I wanted to make yarn with graduated stripes, similar to Trekking XXL. I only had dye on hand in pink, blue and purple, and all are vivid colours. I just figured that I could use less dye for paler shades. I wanted to have three shades of one colour, striping first in a pale shade, to a mid shade to a bright shade.
First of all, I worked out roughly how long I wanted each repeat, then tried to work out how big a skein I needed. Then I wound the skein. This was a rather amusing part. Our house is tiny, and to get the length I needed involved various chairs and an obstacle course to wind the skein. I think if I ever do this again, I need to find or make a warping board.
Anyway, the skein was wound (I forgot to take pictures at that stage), and I let it soak overnight.
The dyes I use are Landscapes dyes, and the colour I used is "Galah", a bright pink. First off, I decided the dye the whole skein the palest colour.
Landscapes recommends that for each 100g of yarn, you should use 10g of dye. So, for the whole 100g skein, I used 1g of dye, figuring I'd get a nice light shade of pink.
Maybe not! 1/10th of the recommended amount of dye, and it still came out this colour!
At this stage, I decided that getting three shades of pink would be near on impossiblethis time, and decided just to have two stripes. So I dyed half of the yarn (50g) with 5g of colour, as recommended.
I don't know if I'm totally happy with the result.
I had hoped for a better contrast. No way was I going to get three shades of pink! So next time (if there is a next time), I think I'll have to start with 0.1g of colour.
I had fun with the dyeing, although making huge skeins is a little tedious. For that matter, so is reskeining.
When wet, I wasn't happy with the colours, although now that it's dry and I've turned it into two wound skeins, I think it looks pretty cool.
The contrast seems to look better here, so I'm hoping I'll get some pretty funky stripes happening.
I haven't balled it up or started to knit with it yet, becuase I'm quite enjoying just looking at the skeins. And if I start to knit these socks, DH may get a bit stroppy, seeing as the socks i started for him back in December are still only half done.
And, speaking of DH's socks, progress has been made.
I've given up on the 2 circs method, and they're back on the trusty old DPNS!
April 12, 2006
There is light at the end of the sleeve!
The sleeves are done. One pinned, one rolling. You know what this means?
The knitting on the lacy cardi is complete. Now I just have to block the pieces, seam it up, and then learn to crochet.
Considering how much I detest crochet, this may be a drama waiting to happen. Every edge has a crochet trim.
I also now have to consider what's next. All I have on the needles is DH's Trekking socks. I guess I have no reason to avoid them any longer.
I've been thinking about next year's Easter Show, and I think I'm going to try the Shetland Shawl from A Gathering of Lace. But I'm not in the mood for cobweb lace right now.
Some of my indecision is possibly being influenced by the fact that school is out for Easter holidays this afternoon. I have just 2 hours of peace and quiet left until May 1. Definitely not the time to start complicated lace.
Twinkie decided she needed some colour.
So she rolled in the dirt.
I have been busy playing with sock yarn and dye - pictures next time. Right now, I'm off to watch some TV while I still can!
April 09, 2006
So we went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show yesterday. Be warned, it's a big, picture heavy post ahead, without much knitting involved.
First things first.
A Highly Commended! I'm pretty happy with that - the shawl that won was gorgeous. It's the creamy coloured one you can see a bit of. I forgot all about taking pictures of the winning shawls and the other knitting entries.As usual, some were gorgeous, some not gorgeous, but a lot of work put into them all.
Although some one had knitted an entire baked dinner, which was on display!
That ends the knitting content, unless you want to look at alpacas and sheep!
The Easter Show has been running for around 75 years (I think), and is a pretty big deal in Sydney. It runs for two weeks, and for the next two weeks, if anyone says "I went to the show", everyone knows exactly what they are talking about. The whole thing is supposed to be about bringing the country to the city, and there are all sorts of competitions from art and craft, food, baking, produce and animals. It's become a lot more commercialised over the years, and there is a lot of junk type stalls, and food stalls, and the prices are exorbitant.
It's now held in Olympic Park, where some of the events from the 2000 Olympics were held. When you get off the train, one of the first things you see as you enter the park is the Olympic Cauldron, which is now a water fountain.
Animals are a huge part of the show, and you can walk through all the pavilions where the animals are kept. There are horses, cows, pigs, sheep and goats. Most of the animals on display are farm animals, apart from each day there are different breeds of dogs, cats, bunnies and caged birds for competition.
We got a bit carried away with the alpacas. They are so cute, and they make the funniest noises - entertainment plus.
These two were cute, they were having a little kiss.
There's a farmyard nursery, where they have all the baby animals. You can see chickend hatching, and all sorts of baby animals. For many of the kids in Sydney, this is the only chance they get to get up close to pigs, ducks, goats and the like.
We saw some sheep.
Sheep. Sorry, I love wool, but the alpacas were cuter and more entertaining. ;)
For Jessie, chickens.
I love the fluffy one!
Not a farm animal, but there was a koala on display from a wildlife group.
It's a hard life!
In the food pavilion, every year there are displays, made by different areas. Each of these displays is made of food, grains and other agricultural products.
Here's a hint of what the crowds are like.
Traditionally, the first weekend is the quiet one. Next weekend (Easter weekend) is the busy one. Yeah, it gets busier!
There are carnival rides.
We didn't go on any this year. Prohibitively expensive, and I'm not sure that I'm up to it anymore. Although both DH and I had a hankering for a ride on this.
The Slingshot. It's a steel cage on a bungee cord. Two people at a time, locked into the cage and flung hundreds of feet into the air. However, it's $30 each to go on it, so we decided not to this year. Mind you, there was a long line of people waiting for a turn.
Finally, the showbag pavilion. Years ago, the showbags were called sample bags, and were bags of samples put together by companies and given away for free. Not any more.
There are hundreds of them, and 99% of them are a ripoff. There are chocolate bags, and toy bags, and its all nothing more than rampant consumerism. And the kids go mad for them. Em got a few cheap ones, I got a Darrell Lea one. (Aussies know exactly what that is, for the international crowd, it's chocolate. Yummy chocolate.
At the end of the day, there is some great entertainment in the main arena. Last night there was a rodeo (Australia v USA, Australia won), precision cars - I love the precision cars!, Lady Cannonball, and fireworks.
Then it's time to go home, with aching feet and empty wallets.
And assorted junk, like lei's, cowboy hats and cupie dolls.
April 06, 2006
Premiering the Trellis Lace Scarf!
(All pics are clickable for bigger)
I totally enjoyed knitting this scarf, and I'm really happy with the finished item.
I think it's a great way to use a single skein of Knit Picks lace weight, or in my case, Cherry Tree Hill Possum Lace.
The pattern calls for Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, which comes in a 440yd, 50g skein. The Possum Lace is 480yds per 50g skein, so I managed to get in 25 pattern repeats, instead of 23.
The finished scarf measures 24cm x 160cm (9.5" x 62").
The colour of the Possum Lace is "Moody Blues", and was given to me by the lovely Danielle.
Here's a close up of the stitch pattern.
I wouldn't say the pattern is the easist lace pattern I've done, but it's not really overly difficult, either. One thing that might bother some people is that the beginning and the end don't match exactly.
In the beginning, there are decreases in the triangle, in the end, the decrease are in the lace pattern. It doesn't bother me, I think you'd have to be looking pretty closely to notice.
Pattern: Trellis Lace Scarf by Evelyn Clark, from Interweave Knits Spring 2006.
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Possum Lace (40% Merino/40% Possum/20% Silk), 1 x 50g skein.
It's a pattern I'd definitely do again, and I think it'd make a lovely gift, too.
April 05, 2006
So yesterday I mentioned that I got good mail. Have I mentioned how much I love to get mail?
Around two weeks ago by pure coincidence, two separate ladies from the US each contacted me asking if I could assist them in obtaining the pattern book that the lacy cardi is from. (This one)
So, swaps were organised, and again by coincidence, both of my parcels arrived yesterday.
First, from Tammy I received this lovely parcel.
Knit Picks Wool of The Andes, ready to jump into my dyepot, some lovely stitch markers, girl scout cookies (yum!) and a lovely little scarf in gorgeous blue and black. Em hasn't seen this yet, becuase I'm sure it will magically vanish if she does. Much the same way the girl scout cookies vanished.
And Traci sent this.
Koigu! Yummy koigu in shades of pink and brown.
What a droolworthy day! I'm sure you can see why I was happy with the mail yesterday.
The Trellis Lace Scarf is blocked. Stay tuned.
April 04, 2006
Lets start with a Twinkie pic today, just for something different.
She's mowing, I think.
The sleeves on the pink cardi are actually going pretty well, but I'm at that stage of this project where I start thinking "Will this never end?"
I am knitting both sleeves at once, as is my preferred method. If I knit them one at a time, I get too bored with them, and they get tossed aside. On the other hand, doing it this way doesn't really feel any quicker!
But I have a finished project.
That pile of Cherry Tree Hill Possum Lace is really a finished Trellis Lace Scarf. Ah, the wonders of knitted lace. Stay tuned for blocked pictures, and for mail.
I got some very nice mail today!
April 02, 2006
I haven't mentioned the Trellis Lace Scarf in a while, but I have been working on it. Most of my knitting time is being spent on the cardi, but I pull out the scarf for a few rows each night.
I've now done 20 repeats, out of a total of 23, but last night, disaster.
Sorry for the crappy picture, I've still not got the hang of the night setting on my camera. But I'm sure you can see those dropped stitches.
Part of the pattern calls for a 7-into-5 cluster. Basicaly, you're knitting into seven stitches at once. And I missed two of them. At least this was the only time I did! I tinked back 4 rows and recovered all the lost stitches, and now it's as good as new.
Twinkie resents being blamed for the hole inthe wire door. Although she's being naughty this week, everytime she's caught she gives me the "Not me, Mum!" look.
Would this face lie?