October 30, 2006
What a weekend! We had one of those weekends where you're still running around madly for half of Monday. Saturday we headed down to Wollongong for Stitch n Bitch.
Here is a Saturday Sky, taken on the road to Wollongong.
It's a pretty drive down there! Here's a bonus sky shot from yesterday evening.
There were bushfires about, which made a pretty sunset.
I have a finished object! Well, half a finished object, anyway.
Number one sock is done. I'm happy with it overall, except for the beads, which you can hardly see. I've blown it up here and circled the beads.
I've strung the beads and started the ribbing for the second one.
I'm going to knit this one blindly from the pattern, and if all is well, I'll post the pattern when I'm done.
Here is the Twinkie video I promised. I swear that she enjoys this, no matter how it looks. She will lay there and let you do this for hours.
Icarus pics next time, all the ones I took came out blurry!
October 27, 2006
Icarus is off the needles!
I was pretty excited yesterday morning. I had only 6 rows of chart 4 left. I planted my butt on the couch, and prepared to knit those last six rows. I knit, and I knit, and I knit. And I was done. I heaved a huge sigh of relief, and prepared to cast off.
Then I decided to check the pattern to make sure there wasn't a special cast off I was supposed to use.
What did I see?
Four more freakin' rows! Four edging rows that weren't charted. So I had a little dummy spit, then I sat down again and knit those four rows and I finally got to cast it off.
It's blocking right now.
I had a video of Twinkie to upload, but i can't find it. So here's some pictures of Em fishing for a bunny with a sprig of hay.
I love that last picture. To me it looks like she's thinking "Must you always point that thing at me?"
And David would like it publicly known that he is overdue for new socks.
Yes, he has one on inside out.
He may be right.
October 25, 2006
The knitting is still making boring blogging, I'm afraid.
Icarus has only 12 rows to go, and I'm hoping I'll get it done by the weekend. Spring Blossoms is nearing the end of the sixth repeat, but has been largely abandoned in favour of finishing Icarus.
The sock is halfway down the foot, and progressing nicely.
Having all this boring blogging material is dangerous.
It makes me want to start things.
The new Jo Sharp book, Knit 2 is out, and I purchased it last week. I think this is probably the best book she's done yet.
I instantly fell in love with this.
Mind you, if I have one major complaint about the Jo Sharp pattern books, it's that some of the pictures are too artfully posed to see the garment well. Here's a better picture of the pattern.
Love it, love it, love it.
It calls for Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton which is 65% cotton and 35% microfibre, and has a gauge of 18sts and 24 rows on 5mm (US 8) needles.
So I hopped onto eBay and had a look around.
This magically appeared in my mailbox today. (I wonder why my stash isn't shrinking?)
Rowan All Seasons Cotton in "Purr". I got this fantastic bargan from Jannette's Rare Yarns on eBay. How fantastic a bargain? $US22.50 a bag.
To compare this to Jo Sharps Desert Garden Aran Cotton, the Rowan is 60% cotton, 40% microbfibre (close enough for me) and has a recommended gauge of 16-18 stitches over 23-25 rows on US 7-9 needles.
Surely I can make that work.
Or maybe the gauge Gods are laughing at me right this minute.
One glaring difference that is a little disconcerting is that the Desert Garden has only 55m (60yds) per 50g ball, and the Rowan has 90m (98yds) per 50g ball.
Is it just me, or does that seem like a gigantic difference for an apparently similar yarn?
Can 5% microfibre mean that much difference?
Anyway, there are many other things I like from this book.
There's more, but they're my favourites.
I haven't swatched yet, in fact, I haven't even opened the bag of yarn, but how long do you think I can last?
I will finish Icarus first, I will. I will.
October 21, 2006
Hey guess what? It's not a random blue square!
Saturday sky! It's grey and it's cold. Finally, something different. And look what happened yesterday.
Water fell from the sky. Trust me, it's almost that much of an event in Sydney these days. As soon as it starts, front doors open everywhere, and all through the neighbourhood, people stand on their front porches, just looking out at this stuff called rain.
It made for a pretty sunset.
No reall knitting updates, each row on Spring Blossoms is taking around half an hour now, and each Icarus row takes around 20 minutes. Makes for little progress.
I've dabbled in many crafts, one of them being porcelain doll making. I was looking at my dolls the other day, and this little one that I'd forgotten about caught my eye.
Row counter included for scale. She's around 6 and a half inches (16cm) tall. Her little dress is knit from Size 12 DMC Perle cotton on 1.25mm knitting needles.
To be honest, I don't even really remember the details of knitting the dress, although it would have been around 10 years ago. I had to go look for the pattern today to find the details.
I made the same doll for my mum, too, in the same dress, although hers has knickers, and I got lazy, and my dolly remains naked under her dress (!).
Here's some close up detail, my finger included for scale.
The pins mark an inch.
The gauge is 15sts per inch. And I knit it twice. And look, crochet edges! I do vaguely remember one of the ladies in my doll class helping me with the crochet.
The dress is badly in need of blocking, but I'm rather proud of it. I'm determined to knit the knickers now, although I can't remember where I got the thread or the needles, so they probably won't be a perfect match, but I think the poor little dear deserves some panties!
October 19, 2006
Okay, we're overdue for some knitting updates, aren't we?
The sock, now on Bamboo needles.
Coming along nicely. Yes, I do intend to share this pattern. Although, I have this slight concern that my pattern writing skills are less than desirable. And I do wish I'd picked beads with some contrast.
The black blob.
Otherwise known as Icarus.
I'm so glad to be done with Chart 1. I've eben finished Chart 2, and am 2 rows into chart 3. Only 28 rows to go.
The purple blob.
Otherwise known as Spring Blossoms. Also progressing nicely. I've done 5 repeats of the pattern. In Zephyr, on 3.5mm needles, the pattern called for 7 repeats. I'm using thinner yarn and smaller needles, so I'll need to do a few more. I've only used 33g of yarn, from the 100g, so I think I can probably manage 9 repeats. We'll see.
However, now I need to cast on something new. Usually I'm pretty good about not having too many WIP's, but this is too hard to resist.
Catherine and I had a little mini swap. I sent her some nice Australian lace weight from Kaalund yarns, and some chocolate, and she sent me this 3.5mm knitpicks options needle and some cables. And some gorgeous Alpaca laceweight. Damn KnitPicks not sending internationally! But I don't have anything going that needs a 3.5mm needle.
So I think I'd better start something new!
October 16, 2006
What cheeses me off.
Breaking one of my very expensive Rosewood DPNS.
October 15, 2006
A day late for Saturday sky again.
It was hot. 36C (96F) in October. So we finally caved and bought a portable airconditioner. But it had to settle for 24 hours after we bought it, and we didn't get to use it anyway. It's cooler today, of course. But if it's 36C in October, I'm thinking I'll need an airconditioner so that I can knit in December and January!
Look what has come back out to play again.
I made it to 4 and a half repeats of chart one, and made an executive decision to skip the last repeat. Partly becasue I'm fairly certain I would have run out of yarn, and mostly because I'd had enough of chart one.
So I've started chart two, but you can't see much difference yet. I tried to get a close up of the new part, but black lace doesn't photograph very well, especially with my crappy photographic skills.
Spring Blossoms has had a little bit of attention, but it's back to school tomorrow, (can I get a Halleluljah?!?) and I'm sure I'll get more done on that now.
As soon as I do something about the endless sewing of course. But lets not dwell on that.
Avoidance is a way of life for some of us.
Rub my nose, you paltry human!
October 12, 2006
Here's the finished Grape Hyacinth Scarf, finished.
I think this is a great pattern to use up a single ball of Silk Garden or Kureyon!
The finished measurements are 10cm x 99cm, or 4" x 39.5" if you prefer. It's a tad short, but you don't always need a super long scarf, do you?
Here's how it looks on Em.
Of course, the colours I liked the best (the purples) ended up smack in the middle of the scarf, where it hides at the back of your neck. But it's a scarf I'd definitely make again, probably in Silk Garden or Kureyon next time.
My Socktoberfest socks are coming along nicely. I'm pretty happy with the way it's looking so far, although I should have picked beads with a little more contrast.
Lacy and beads too! If it comes out looking the way it does in my head, I'll be a very happy knitter.
Rose Red posted a picture of her knitting books this morning, and it has inspired me to post pictures of my little knitting library.
I have a few knitting books, and I love every single one of them.
I'm reasonably certain that's all of them, although there may be one or two that have been loaned out, and one or two more floating about the house. (Which still isn't anywhere near as clean as it needs to be before Saturday)
It may be obvious, but I love my knitting books. The newest one is the first Barbara Walker treasury, which also happens to be my current favourite. It arrived on Monday, and I was so impressed I immediately ordered the second from Amazon. I hope it gets here soon, because as you can see, I can't cope without it! ;)
October 10, 2006
I finished my Fleece Artist socks!
Why do I not knit socks in winter? It's too warm now for hand knit socks!
Twinkie gave them the rub test.
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino Sock, I have no idea what colour. (The label just has a handwritten "736" on it.)
Pattern: Standard Stockinette Sock, with "Little Shell Insertion" panel from "365 Knitting Stitches a Year"
This was the first time I've used Fleece Artist sock yarn, and I love it. It's a little thicker than a standard sock yarn, but it's deliciously soft and squishy.
I also finished the Grape Hyacinth scarf. I soaked it to block it, and this is what happened.
That's from one lonely ball of SWTC Karaoke. And it was variegated yellow, green, pink and purple. The water was dark, dark purple. I'd hate to see what would happen if you made an entire garment out of it!
Pics of the finished scarf next time.
It's school holidays here. Does that seem to come around far too often, or is it just me? Due to that, and the sewing, and the fact that the Real Estate have sprung a surprise inspection for this weekend, I haven't had any time or concentration for Spring Blossoms. I will get back to it soon, I hope.
October 07, 2006
Well, don't you all know how to make a girl feel good?
Thank you everyone for such a wonderful bunch of comments!
CeCe really is a great knit, and I thoroughly recommend that you all run out and make one. Off you go. Well, you can wait until the end of the post.
Look! It's not a random blue square, there is cloud!
I even asked David last night if he would hire a skywriter for me so that I'd have an interesting Saturday Sky pic, but he wouldn't do it.
So knitting wise, now what?
Spring Blossoms is still on the go, but I haven't had much time to work on her this week. It's school holidays, so I never seem to get a quiet minute. I've even picked up Icarus once or twice this week. At this rate, it'll be done in 2010.
I've fallen off the sock bandwagon of late, haven't I?
Let's go with the socktoberfest questions.
* When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I taught myself, and my first pair were knit in January 2004. We went to Canberra for a few days in late December 2003, and I spotted a ball of Opal that had glittery stuff in it. I'd always sworn I'd never knit socks, but that yarn sucked me in. Now I'm enjoying an ongoing love affair with collecting sock yarn. Sometime I even knit it!
* What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
Here they are!
Considering that I've never taken particular care with them, they've been worn a lot, and they get tossed into the washing machine, the dryer, walked around in without shoes, they're doing pretty well! Looking a little the worse for wear, but they're two and a half years old, and have not a single hole.
* What would you have done differently?
* What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Lorna's Laces, Mountain Colors and Fleece Artist are the current favourites, but that is subject to change at any moment.
* Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
Crochet? Me? I can barely manage a single crochet edging! DPNS all the way, baby! I did try the 2 socks on 2 circs method, but i just couldn't get my head around it. I kept using the wrong needle, and had to keep ripping them out, so I put the socks in progress back onto DPNS.
* Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Flap heel, Sl1, K1 style.
* How many pairs have you made?
About 25, I think.
At first I only knit toe up socks, with short row heels. Now I seem to prefer cuff down with a flap heel, but either way is fine with me.
I've knit plain stockinette socks, rib socks, lace socks, toe up, cuff down, beaded socks and cabled socks.
However, yesterday I bought the Sole Solution software, so for Socktoberfest, maybe I'll try to design my own.
The second Fleece Artist sock is nearly done, only the toe to go. So the next pair of socks will be knit with this gorgeous yarn.
It's Lorna's Laces in Somerset, sent to me by the lovely Lindy. She actually sent it to me a few weeks back, and it's been sitting close by me where I can admire it. I got another wonderful gift this week from the delightful Donni.
It's a KnitPicks chart keeper! This is a nifty little invention, I love it. It's such a simple little thing, but it makes life so much easier. I have one tiny complaint, I wish it were a little bigger, but that's because I enlarge my charts so i can see them. It still does a wonderful job.
Now I'm off to knit my socks.
Enjoy your weekend.
Now go knit CeCe.
October 04, 2006
Cece is done!
There's a reason why I'm laughing in that last pic. Our camera puts a little square on whatever it's focusing on when you're taking the picture. David was taking the pictures, and in the second last one (the close up) for some reason, the camera had two little squares focusing. One little square perfectly focused on each boob. Of course, that set him off, I demanded to know what he was laughing at, and that's the story of the laughing pic.
See the button bling?
Oddly enough, when I soaked the cardi to block her, the water came out bright orange. It took quite a few rinses for the water to come off clear.
Overall, I'm very happy with the finished item, ripping it out and starting over was definitely worth it. Now I'm thinking I'd like one in pink, although I'm not quite ready to knit it a third time!
October 01, 2006
It's a day late, but another random blue square.
Or a Saturday Sky. I try to include some treeline to break up the blue!
Spring blossoms to go along with the beautiful weather, anyone?
She's growing nicely, thankyouverymuch. I've finished two repeats, and she's behaving beautifully! I wish I could knit her all day every day. Here she is stretched out a little to show the lace a bit better.
Unfortunately, I can't knit her all day every day. Family, housework, rabbit, sleeping, eating, all kinds of unreasonable demands on my time prevent me from doing so.
So occasionallyI do a row or two on something a little less time consuming.
I finished a Fleece Artist sock
I love this sock yarn. Absolutely love it. It's a bit thicker than most sock yarns, and it's springy, soft and warm, and cushy. Sock heaven.
But instead of working on sock number two, my fickle heart strayed.
And I cast on a scarf.
It's in SWTC's Karaoke in "Dipity". The yarn is nice and soft to touch, but I'm not sure about the single ply yet. It's thick and thin, which really seems to be achieved by overspinning the yarn in some places, and underspinning it in others.
But I love the way the colour repeats are knitting up in this pattern so far.
The pattern is the Grape Hyacinth Lace Scarf from pieknits.
I first saw it over on Gill's blog, and fell in love with it instantly. Gill knit it up in Silk Garden, and it looks gorgeous.
The smallest scarf in the pattern can be made with just one ball of Silk Garden. (Or Karaoke).
We'll see how big it finishes up.
Twinkie is not impressed.