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July 30, 2007

Little Lace!

Little lace, it moves along so quickly!

Scarf with Attention Seeking Rabbit.

It's flying along. I'm a little bit surprised how much of my knitting time was being sucked up by the Shetland Shawl. It's so nice to have a break and work on something different.

As usual, my tension is a little loose. The pattern recommends 4.5mm or 5mm needles. I started with 4.5mm needles, did a whole repeat, and then decided it was a little too loose, so I ripped it out and restarted on 4mm needles.

This is the first time I've used Kidsilk haze, and it's nice, but I'm sure it's exactly the same as Madil Kid Seta. Either way, I love to knit with it. It knits up into such a nice soft, fine fabric.

I've done a little bit of work on the Twisted Flower socks, until today when I came across this.

A knot in the middle of the skein. Yet another of my pet peeves. In fact, this one is right up near the top of the list. I hate knots in my socks. Hate it. Hate weaving in ends in my socks. That's one of the reasons why I haven't done any colourwork in socks, because I hate bumpy bits on my feet.

I'll get over it, but it's put a serious bump into my love affair with Louet Gems Merino. I was totally enamoured until now. Hopefully it's a one-off, and the next skein will be perfect.

Who wants a free t-shirt? I first saw this over at Stitching Mum's blog.
If you follow this link to the Remo General Store, you can get a free t-shirt. The only catch is that you have to pay for the postage. It cost me $AU8.50 for postage, and it's a nice quality t-shirt. It's available to anyone, anywhere in the world. Shipping to the USA looks to be around $US13 for airmail.
There's 160 designs to choose from, and I couldn't make a decision as usual, so I went basic and chose the cupcake.

On the site, the cupcake was white, not fluoro pink, but I can live with that. You can choose fitted or not, long or short sleeves, mens, womens or childs sizes.
You do need to order before August 16 though. There's no catch, apart from paying for the postage, they're giving them away as a form of advertising, trying to drum up business.
I love me a freebie!

Posted by Donna at 04:16 PM | Comments (15)

July 27, 2007

A grafting we will go.....

So what did you do last night?

I got up close and personal with my Shetland Shawl, the TV remote and my "Knitting Answer Book", which had the clearest instructions I could find in my extensive Knitting book library for garter stitch grafting. Actually, this is a pretty nifty little book, with lots of helpful information in it. Some of it is really basic stuff, but I often find answers I'm looking for in there.

Anyway, back to the point. The grafting wasn't as painful as I'd feared, but it came pretty close. I didn't have any major stuff ups, and several hours later, I had this.

It's done! It's grafted!! (you can also see the dye lot difference in that picture. The centre is one dye lot, the borders are another.)
I am ridiculously proud of myself. Here's how it looks in detail.

Sorry it's a bit blurry. Here it is in up close type detail.

Not bad, huh?
Now I just need to knit and graft two more borders. Yay. Or something.

I only ever have one lace piece going at a time, and this has been my lace project since mid-April. Last night, while spending interminable hours grafting, I made an executive decision.
Now that the second border is done, I'm going to take a tiny break from this shawl. Just a little one. I had a dig through the stash and came up with this.

2 balls of Kidsilk Haze in Liquer, and Evelyn Clark's Cocoon Lace scarf.

So a little lace scarf interlude, then back to the Shetland Shawl. For my sanity, you understand.

Posted by Donna at 10:16 PM | Comments (29)

July 25, 2007

Sleeves, part 1 of 2842

Sleeves. I think I'll start knitting vests.

As you can see, I wimped out and went with one sleeve at a time on DPNS. I know some people think that two-on-two-circs is quicker, and maybe for them it is, but the avoidance tactics I employ mean that it would actually take me far, far longer.
And I'm hoping to actually wear this garment at some point!
Boring knitting, though, isn't it?

To brighten my knitting world, I bought yarn. Debbie Bliss Cathay, to be precise.

This is intended for ChicKnits Nicole.


Look at that! It's sleeveless! I think I also chose this in the vain hope that warm weather will, one day, return.

I'm nearing the end of the second Shetland Shawl border, and I've come to what some would consider an unsurprising realisation. I need to graft 183 stitches.
I detest grafting in all shapes and forms.
Worse than that, it's garter stitch grafting.
I've never grafted garter stitch in my life. For that matter, I still need to use a video to Kitchener my toes. Yes, even after a billion socks.
Any volunteers?

And finally, I downloaded the pictures off my mobile phone. What happens when you cross a 14 year old and a mobile phone with a camera?






And that's only a small selection!

Posted by Donna at 05:40 PM | Comments (17)

July 23, 2007


Knitting updates.
The Shetland Shawl is growing. Very slowly, though.

I'm up to row 60 of 92 on this border. Here's how it looks stretched out and pinned.

I would've got more done over the weekend, but whenever I get a cold, reading charts makes me nauseous, similar to motion sickness. Why is that?!?

That also prevented much work getting done on my Twisted flower Socks, but I did finish the first pattern repeat.

I'm liking them, and the pattern is getting much easier, but now I'm a little worried that they're going to be too big. I'm not having much luck in the sock department lately, am I?

Today I decided to act like a "good" housewife and vacuum the lounge area, which desperately needed it. The damn vacuum cleaner bit me and bruised my thumb. Is this an example of my poor housekeeping abilities? Or a good excuse not to use the vacuum any more?

Twinkie wants you all to know that it's been cold here this past couple of weeks.

That's a heated towel. Yeah, she's spoiled, so what?

Posted by Donna at 04:00 PM | Comments (9)

July 21, 2007

Told you!

No 14 year olds were hurt in the process of obtaining this picture. (And just in case you're wondering, it's almost entirely staged and yes, she's got it now!)

Posted by Donna at 11:44 AM | Comments (15)

July 20, 2007


Guess what I got yesterday?


I got my goal keyring at Weight Watchers! That means I've reached my goal weight. I was pretty excited about it yesterday. Today I have a cold, and I'm feeling pretty miserable with it, so not so much.
But hip hooray!!

In knitting news I'm halfway through the second border of the Shetland Shawl. 46 rows down, 44 to go. I figured out yesterday morning that if I did just 5 rows a day, I could have this border done in 9 days.
Then the cold started to seep in, and by last night I just couldn't be bothered and went to bed early, so I'm already behind on that goal.

I have been working on the Angora Supreme Sweater though.

Head removed due to aforementioned cold.
The body is done, and I'm up to the armholes. Now I get to knit the sleeves. Usually I knit both sleeves at the same time, but these are in the round. So I can either knit them one at a time, or bite the bullet and try to relearn two at once on two circs. I'm undecided so far, the one time I tried two at once on two circs, I just didn't like it.

A bland weekend ahead. The weather has been ridiculously cold, and Harry Potter of course comes out tomorrow, so there'll be mock fights over it. David has agreed to let Em read it first, but he won't let her know that, just to antagonise her. Then he'll be nagging her to read it more quickly so that he can read it.
I wish they'd just get two copies!!

Posted by Donna at 01:10 PM | Comments (23)

July 18, 2007

New Socks

I almost always have a sock on the needles at some point.
For me, socks are my basic knitting. They're the "I may have to wait at the doctors", the singing lesson, the car waiting knitting.
Easy, mindless, take along knitting with interrupt-able, relatively short rows.

After tossing aside the Lupine Lace socks due to yarn problems, instead of starting new socks, I started Elbac for Em. I usually have 3 projects on the go at once. Socks, Lace and something else, usually a garment. Until I finished Elbac, it was scarf/shawl/ Angora Supreme Sweater.

But Elbac is finished, so it's time for more socks.

So I cast on my Twisted Flower socks.
The ribbing was fine, the first seventeen rows were good. Then I hit row 18.
Oh my.
This isn't going to be an easy, take-along, mindless knit.
Don't get me wrong, it's not impossible. There are two different kinds of cable stitches, and in my cockiness, away I went.
I used the wrong freakin' cable stitch the first cable row.
They are fun, they are satisfying, but they're most definitely not mindless. And not singing lesson or waiting at the doctors material! I'm sure they'll get easier as I get the hang of the pattern, but maybe I'll cast on another pair for mindless knitting time.

In other news, I got mail! Rose Red had a blog competition a couple of weeks back, and I was one of the very fortunate winners. My lovely parcel arrived today.


She's had trouble with parcels in the past, so to be on the safe side, she also put on address label on the inside, but the main reason I showed this parcel was the ribbon.

How cool is that?!?
And inside the parcel.

(Inside a signature ziplock bag, of course!)

Two hanks of Classic Elite Miracle, a 50/50 alpaca/tencel blend. It's gorgeous. In fact, it's right in front of me, in prime squeezability location.
Thanks Rose Red!

Posted by Donna at 12:22 PM | Comments (9)

July 16, 2007


Finally, Elbac is dry, ends woven in, and modeled.

The scarf.

Pattern: Elbac from Knitty, Winter 2006.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Navy, 3 skeins.
Needles: 5mm

It's a ingenious design, using ribbed cables, so that the scarf is reversible. The pattern itself is pretty easily memorised, although I'm sure that in one or two places I added too many rows between the cable rows.

I love the ends!
Casting off was a little stressful though, as I was pretty sure I was going to run out of yarn. Not being able to calculate easily how much yarn I needed for each row made casting off an experience!

The finished scarf is 150cm (60") long. I would have liked it a little longer, but Em's happy with it. The pattern calls for 64 pattern repeats in the middle, but I only managed 36 repeats.

Modeled on the recipient.

Oops! Wrong pic.

She looks pretty happy with it, doesn't she? School went back today, and I'm informed that all her friends are jealous, and want one just like it.
I hope their mothers can knit!

And guess what? I got my Ravelry!! Hip hooray! Feel free to add me - my username is RandomKnits.

Posted by Donna at 08:40 PM | Comments (19)

July 15, 2007

You can check your position on Ravelry now!


So close!!

Posted by Donna at 02:05 PM | Comments (11)

July 14, 2007


Saturday Twilight sky. It's been a beautiful day, nice and sunny, but just a little bit cold. Perfect knitting weather, but we've been running around too much for knitting.
I have been working away at the Shetland Shawl, but it gets a bit disheartening sometimes, because I knit for hours, and it looks like theres little or no progress happening.
Here's where I'm at.

About 20 rows in on the second border. Each row currently has somewhere in the vicinity of 300 stitches, and each row decreases by 2 stitches. Not fast enough!

I haven't touched the Angora Supreme sweater all week, but I have been just a little unfaithful. More on that next time, when I actually remember to take a picture.

That's about it for the knitting updates.
Many of you asked about Em's dance trophies. So I took some pictures to show you how many she has. For reasons that will become apparent, I didn't bother to count them.

First off, the trophy shelf in our living room.

These are the "Big Deal" competition trophies. There's 30 or so of them.

The wall unit in the dining area.

Exam trophies.

The other shelf in the dining room. (I really need to clean that glass!), more exam trophies, and a few special ones, like "Most Promising Baby" from an eisteddfod when she was only 5 or so, and encouragement awards and the like.

Now we enter her room. All of these are just competition trophies (1st, 2nd 3rd and so on).
Top of the wardrobe.

3 or 4 deep up there.

Narrow bookshelf beside the wardrobe.

Main bookshelf.

The one in the centre of the top shelf is a teddy bear instead of a cup or a dancer. It was the first competition trophy she ever won, and is still her favourite to his day.

The floor in front of the main bookshelf.

The floor in front of the second bookshelf and the bottom shelf.

Second shelf of the second bookshelf, along with her mini Blythes and her candles.

And there's some more boxed up out in the garage.
I have no idea how many there are in total. She used to keep count, but got bored and gave up.
In a way it's a bit sad, because she doesn't get excited about winning them any more. She doesn't really compete to win though, quite often as soon as she's left the comp, she's forgottem what she got for each section!

Posted by Donna at 06:29 PM | Comments (11)

July 11, 2007

I've been a very social blogger over the past few days.
Last Thursday night I spoke to Donni on the phone. On Friday, Em and I had coffee with Lynne.
On Monday, we visited with Ailsa.
And yesterday, we went to visit Rubi & Lana (at long last!) and Lara. We got to meet all of Lara's beautiful bunnies, and Cocky, too.
I had also hoped to go to Canberra this weekend and drop in on Canberra SnB, but alas, it isn't to be this time around.

I had my camera with me at every one of those social visits, and I failed to take it out of my bag even once, sorry.
I did get a great deal of the Angora Supreme sweater done at Ailsa's.

I'm very happy with the way it's working up. I love the way the yarn works up. Here's a close up of the stitch detail.

On my monitor, this colour is pretty accurate. The yarn does have all those little angora fibres that do tend to stick to you, and fly up your nose, but I'm loving the way it feels.

I was pretty restrained at Rubi & Lana yesterday. I picked up a ball of On Line 6 ply sock yarn in some pretty vivid greens, for socks for David.

Yes, he likes it!
And somehow Em conned me into buying her a new knitting bag.

It's pink and has frangipani's. She was in ecstasy.

And somehow, some lace weight followed me home. Are you all surprised? Come on, everyone knows that lace weight is just like sock yarn. It doesn't count as stash.

Red. Rich, rich, ruby red.
This is destined to eventually become the "Heere Be Dragone" shawl. Michelle did hers in red, and it's gorgeous. I had narrowed it down to three colours - a rich teal green, purple or red, and Rubi & Lana helped out by only having red in stock. That decided me!

Twinkie would like to be a ballet bunny. She has a thing for tutu's, and wants to learn to dance.

Either that, or she's trying to trip Em over while she practices her ballet!

Posted by Donna at 07:26 PM | Comments (21)

July 07, 2007


Saturday sky. On a Saturday. Wonders will never cease!
This felt like the first time I'd actually taken the time to look up the sky in days. I'd noticed some really pretty clouds on the way home, but I didn't have the camera. This was all that was left by the time I got home.

Two and a half days spent at a dance comp again. Thankfully, this is the last one until the end of August.
Thursday night at the comp, I finished Elbac. The last few rows were nail biting.


That little bit of yarn? That was all I had left. Ten rows before the end, I was sure I wouldn't make it, but I knit on hopefully, and made it. Barely. Sorry for the mobile phone picture.

I have this wonderful digital camera, and I forget to take it out with me, all the time. At least the mobile phone has a camera I guess, even if it is kinda crappy.


The finished scarf, unblocked. Another crappy picture. Will block it and take a better one.
So I finished the scarf on Thursday night, and that left me with nothing on the needles, except the Shetland Shawl. And I can't take that to a dance event. Seriously, I'd ruin it completely in the first five minutes.
So what should I do?

Start something new!!

And from the stash, no less!
This is going to be a sweater for me. The yarn is the (sadly) discontinued Cleckheaton Angora Supreme in shade 05, an Aqua blue. The colour in the picture is not accurate, it's actually a bit lighter and brighter.
For the pattern, I loaded up the Sweater Wizard and worked this out. I'm aiming for a tunic length deep V neck raglan in stocking stitch. I've used a cable rib for a bit of interest. So far, so good.
We were at the event all day yesterday and most of today, so I got a fair bit done on it.

We did escape for a little bit yesterday morning to meet up with Lynne. We met up at the Wool Inn in Penrith and went for a coffee. I didn't buy any yarn!!
The coffee was great though, and it was fun to meet Lynne. Thanks, Lynne!

And Em had another successful run.
This weeks haul.


She didn't win the big ballet award this week though.

She won the big tap one instead.

Anyone want a trophy?

Posted by Donna at 09:57 PM | Comments (20)

July 04, 2007

I'm a Rockin' Girl Blogger!


I got nominated twice! Once by Sue, and again by Natalie.
I rock!
Someone please tell Em that.

Now I'm supposed to nominate five other Rockin' Girl Bloggers, but I'm finding it difficult. I have 307 feeds in my bloglines. How am I supposed to narrow it down to 5?!? I'm still thinking about it.

But I finished something while I was thinking about it!

The baby cardi is done, and I even whipped up a little hat to match.
I finished the cardi on Monday night, then yesterday Em and I headed to the button factory to begin the button saga. This colour was hard to match. I found some cute little buttons with kitties on them, and cute little flowers, but they were the wrong shade of pink, or too large for the cardi.
So I wimped out and went plain.

The shawl continues. Many times in the past weeks I've sworn I'll never make another Shetland Shawl after this one.
So I'm not quite sure how this got ordered and landed in my mailbox.


The Cameron Shawl from Heirloom Knitting. Here's a better look.

More evidence that I have no willpower.
I like the construction of this one a lot better than I like the one 'm working on now. This one has you work the centre square first, then pick up all the stitches around the square and work outwards. You can work each side separately, then seam them if you like, but I'm not a fan of seaming or grafting.
The pattern was a little pricey, about $AU35 shipped, but it's gorgeous.
And included were some yarn samples, and a postcard.

And on the back of the sample card is a handy chart key, and Sharon herself wrote me a note on the postcard.

Little extras are the key to my heart. And my bank balance. (Or lack thereof ;)

Startitis is biting. I want to start this shawl, and I don't even have the yarn for it. Yet.
I also printed out the first clue for Mystery Stole 3, and I'm itching to start that, too. But if I do, I know the Shetland Shawl won't get done.
Oh the angst!

My art director was on hand for all photo sessions.


She gets paid in craisins. And yoghurt drops. And cuddles.

Posted by Donna at 04:39 PM | Comments (18)

July 02, 2007

What peeves me off part 14,367.

Balls of yarn that collapse.
Another weekend spent in a chilly school hall watching children dance about. I actually don't really mind these weekends, except that it's been the past 4 Sundays, the past 3 Saturdays, and is happening again this Thursday night, and all day Friday and Saturday. By this stage, I'm a little bit over it.
And unlike the rest of Sydney or what seemed like it, I missed out on the craft show.

It does make good knitting time though!
Apart from rewinding collapsed balls and undoing tangles, I managed to do a good bit of the Elbac scarf.

The colour is totally inaccurate, but it makes the pattern show up better! I'm really enjoying this pattern. It's not too difficult, and it's reversible. I'm not overly keen on scarves that have pattern on only one side, so you have to make sure it's laying correctly.
Emily is pleased, because the scarf should be finished by the time school goes back in a fortnight.
Yes, it's school holidays again.
By the way, she won one of the big ballet awards.

The look on her face when she got it makes it all worthwhile.

Posted by Donna at 07:22 PM | Comments (15)