March 31, 2008
Long overdue knitting updates!
The past week or two have been so full on, I just don't feel like I've got much knitting done, but after taking pictures, maybe I'm wrong!
Finished! But not yet blocked. Hopefully tomorrow will be nice and I'll have time to pin her out. It came out smaller than I was expecting, but we'll see what happens after the magical blocking process happens.
Monkey socks. We haven't seen these in a while, have we?
Coming along nicely. Second sock is almost done. I do have some fit concerns, though. It seems too wide to me, but Emily is insisting that they fit just fine.
Personally, I think that they fit me better!
I need to finish these up, because I want to knit some socks for my Mum for Mother's Day. That's what, 5 weeks or so away?
The Wollongong SnB exhibition is happening before then, too, and I haven't done any knitting for that yet!
And finally, the Lace and Cable Sweater.
The interminable sleeves are done! Why are arms so long? For a while it felt like I was knitting sleeves for a long armed monkey.
Now I'm onto the front with that nice deep rib band. Yay, 1x1 rib! 18cm of it!
So tell me, with my distaste for 1x1 rib, why on earth have I earmarked this for my next sweater project?
I'm an idiot, obviously. (It's for Em, and I've already showed her, so I can't back out now)
March 29, 2008
Inspection seemed to go well, we'll get a report in a few days, I guess. The landscaper came and gave the owner another quote on the yard work. If the garden ever comes to fruition, I'll let you all know. It's been about 2 years in the promising!
No knitting today, much more exciting happenings have been going on!
Last night was the Duran Duran concert. Fantastic show, absolutely excellent.
But even more exciting than that? The concert took place at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. The parking station is right at the back of the centre, and where you come out is just on the other side of the fence beside the stage door.
See? That van? That's THE tour van. I had to wait at the parking station for David to walk up to meet me (he was coming straight from work), so I hovered for a while, and discovered that the band would be coming out any minute.
Any Minute. It actually took half an hour, but who could walk away, knowing that it could be Any Minute?
But patience is often rewarded. See the back of Simon Le Bon's head.
See Simon in the car.
Dammit, I wasn't fast enough! And I have no idea where Nick was. No autographs or anything, but Simon did talk to us, he told me that they were going to a TV station to film a segment before the show, and I asked him which station, and he told me it was "The Lair" on MTV.
Pretty exciting, huh? It got better!
We went round to get something to eat, and then came back around the back to kill time until the show started, and I was there when John came back.
See John's autograph?
Picture me beaming?!?
The show was fantastic! They played for over two hours, combining some of the newer stuff with *all* of the old favourites. There were big warning signs outside the centre stating that cameras and recording devices would be confiscated, so I was good and didn't take my camera in, and it was out of batteries anyhow. But nearly everyone else in there had cameras and were taking pictures, so I was kicking myself for not taking the camera and extra batteries! We were dancing about 4 metres in front of John, great spot, and I'm still feeling a little deaf.
And my feet are killing me from dancing all night in high heels. Well, half the night, because I kicked them off halfway through the show.
After the show, we decided to go up to Star City Casino for dinner, but nearly everything was closed, so we ended up with plain old fish and chips, then headed back to the car at the Entertainment Centre parking station about 12.30 or so.
And there were still heaps of people waiting back stage for the band to come out! (Silly them, should have been there before the show!), we headed up to our car on the second level, got in, started it, and straight away everyone started screaming. (All those middle aged women, Em would have died from embarrassment!). Jumped out of the car, and it was Simon, Nick and Roger coming out. By now of course, my camera was completely dead unfortunately. They stayed there for ages, signing autographs and stuff, but we were up on the second floor of the parking garage so I missed out this time.
Didn't take the smile off my face, though! I felt about fourteen again all night long.
Knitting next time, I promise.
March 26, 2008
Please pardon the blog silence.
Easter was great, and hectic. Some knitting was achieved, but most of the weekend was spent out and about, visiting and going to the Easter Show, and drinking far too much wine, so there wasn't as much done as I might have hoped.
And unfortunately, the blog silence will carry on for a few days, because we've just found out yesterday that the real estate we rent from are coming to do an inspection of the premises on Friday.
Friday, the day after tomorrow.
So I have today and tomorrow to make this look like a habitable space.
March 21, 2008
Happy Days are here again!
See, what goes around comes around. In the second most recent post, I was having a serious case of the blahs, but I ended the post with "I think this means the next post should be bursting with lots of wonderful things!"
Then the next post was about the shawl placing at the Easter Show, and even apart from that, I've had a phenomenal week.
By the way, for those who were interested, this is the shawl that won the Shetland section.
It's stunning. Well, from what you can see of it. And in addition to being so fine, and beautifully knit, it's hand spun. I'm happy with second behind that!
Other great things, I got some wonderful mail from lovely people. The streetlight outside my bedroom window that had been flickering for seven nights, making it feel like we were sleeping in a disco has been fixed. (And fixed properly, not by me throwing a brick at it!)
I'm four rows from the end of Hyrna Herborgar
I'm hoping to finish it today, but we're going out in a little while, so maybe tomorrow.
And yesterday, I found out that Duran Duran are touring, playing in Sydney next Friday. I have no idea how I didn't know about this, but I didn't. I checked the ticket site yesterday afternoon, and there were only crappy seats left. I was pretty disappointed, and decided to think about it for a while before buying tickets.
Last night, after talking it over with David, I decided that it was better to go and have crappy seats than not go at all. I went online to get tickets, and they'd obviously released more tickets, because we're sitting in the second row. Second row, for Duran Duran.
I feel like I'm thirteen again! I was bouncing around the house for hours. What will I wear?!?
An awesome week! And finally, yes, Twinkie's still pretty.
March 18, 2008
Ailsa and I went to the Easter Show Arts Preview tonight, and checked it all out. Unfortunately, my Wedding Shawl didn't even get displayed, but the Shetland Shawl?
That's a very pretty red second place ribbon attached to my (badly displayed) shawl. And I'm over the moon with that, the shawl that won was incredible, and actually took out the overall knitting award for the whole show. Hand spun, incredibly fine, it made my cobweb look chunky!
I'm so proud I could burst! Unfoirtunately a great deal of the knitting is very badly displayed, many of the stockinette based shawls have actually been hung wrong side out. I wish I were joking.
March 15, 2008
Out of Sorts
I've been feeling out of sorts the past couple of days, nothing serious, just a case of the blahs. Of course, that means that there's very little worth blogging.
What's contributed to it? Lots of little things, some of it knitting related. Staying up ridiculously late on Thursday night to try to score some Wollmeise from The Loopy Ewe probably didn't help! I loooove The Loopy Ewe. I spend far too much time checking out what's new over there anyway, but I knew that Sheri was listing her latest Wollmeise order at some point this week, and it had been narrowed down to late Thursday night (really early Friday morning) local time, so I sat up, intent on getting my hands on some.
Unfortunately, I blinked at precisely the wrong moment and I missed it. Five minutes, people! The whole lot was gone in five minutes! I'd click on a colour I liked, and it was gone. Click on another colour, gone. Gone, gone, gone.
I'm consoling myself with the fact that the last thing I need is more sock yarn, and at least it wasn't the Wollmeise Lace weight.
The Easter Show results haven't gone up yet. I've stalked the website since Thursday (judging was Tuesday and Wednesday), but Sally found a message on the site tonight that the results won't be posted until Wednesday. Fortunately, Ailsa and I are going to the Preview on Tuesday night, so I'll find out a little earlier, but the anticipation may be the end of me.
And the ennui has extended to my knitting, I'm afraid. I finished a Monkey sock, but I can't be bothered grafting the toe. (Hands up anyone who is actually surprised by that!).
So I sat down tonight to work on Hyrna Herborgar instead, and realised that I'd made a stuff up 4 rows back, and it took the best part of the night to rip back four rows of 300 stitches and re-knit them.
And that's the sum total of anything even vaguely worth reporting, or not.
I think this means the next post should be bursting with lots of wonderful things!
March 12, 2008
Three Cornered and Long Shawls
I finally caved and bought a new camera on Monday, and it's been so nice to take some nice clear pictures.
Pics of Twinkie of course.
And of Emily.
And of course, Hyrna Herborgar.
This section is much easier than the last. There's a nice clear centre stitch, which helps, and it's a very easy 4 row pattern repeat, so it's flowing much better now.
I've had a few questions about this book, Three-Corned and Long Shawls by Sigridur Halldórsdóttir. (ISBN 9979-70-032-7)
I got my copy from Schoolhouse Press, and it came with an English translation by Marilyn Keppel. It isn't cheap, but there are patterns for 27 different Icelandic shawls and scarves inside, and they're all lovely.
Here's a better picture of the back cover, which shows all the shawls.
If you'd like an even better look at the pictures of the shawls, I've uploaded all 27 to Flickr here. When I was trying to decide whether to buy the book, I found it really hard to find pictures of all the shawls included, so I hope this helps some one else to decide.
Personally, I think it's well worth the cost. The English translation is not extensive, but I don't know if it's the translation, or if the book itself didn't have a lot of detail in the patterns. Between the translation and the charts though, it's not too hard to follow.
There's a nice variety of rectangles and triangles, and there are single coloured shawls as well as shawls with some different colours incorporated.
Most of the shawls in the book are knitted in Icelandic lace weight, but I think that as with most patterns, you could substitute another yarn at your discretion. Gauge isn't essential in a shawl or scarf, so it's entirely up to you. The yarn I'm using for Hyna Herborgar is a heavier lace weight, and so far it seems fine. On Ravelry it appears that Hyrna Herborgar has been worked in a variety of yarns, and they're all lovely.
Do I recommend the book? Highly! Although I would recommend that you have some experience in lace and reading charts first.
March 09, 2008
I am so glad that so many of you like my dyeing mishaps! I'm leaving the hats open for a few more hours, and I'll draw some winners tomorrow.
I wore my Buttercup out to lunch today, and I love it. I got a bunch of compliments on it, and it was just lovely to wear, it made me feel all summery and cute.
In other project updates, the Lacy Cable Sweater is moving along nicely, I finished the back yesterday.
It looks a little long and narrow, but I'm hoping it's the ribbing effect doing that. I'm about to start the sleeves, so I can do both at once. And because they have a reasonable amount of ribbing, 5cm instead of 18cm!
And I gave in to the itchy fingers, and started Hyrna Herborgar in the Possum blend.
What a fun knit! The only problem I had was getting used to the fact that there is no clear centre stitch on some of the rows. But I'm at the end of the first section and about to start the second.
I apologise for the crappy pictures of late, but our camera started to die halfway through our trip, and it's getting gradually worse. It's getting really hard to get pictures that are nice and clear.
I delivered my shawls to the Easter Show yesterday, and my there is some stiff competition, particularly in the Shetland Shawl category. There was one particular shawl that was made of handspun in the finest yarn imaginable. I'm not getting my hopes about about that category!
Twinkie is getting the hang of this being picked up malarkey. She's figured out that if she lets us pick her up, there'll be a pellet or two when she's put down again.
That doesn't mean there's any dignity involved though!
March 06, 2008
Itchy fingers, up to no good!
So I mentioned the other day when my new shawl book arrived that it had given me itchy fingers. I resisted for a few days, then I could resist no more.
I went stash diving to see what I could find to knit Hyrna Herborgar. It calls for Icelandic laceweight, which I don't have. I did however, find this anonymous cream single that I got from eBay years ago. No idea what it was, it was just advertised as laceweight wool, but I figured it was close enough to Icelandic Laceweight. I had just over 100g, and that was around 800 metres according to my calculations.
But I didn't want to knit in cream again, so I decided to dye it. Here's where all the dramas started. I decided I'd like to knit in blue for a change, so I pulled out my dyes and decided on Gaywool acid dye in Iceberg. The colour on the label was a nice light blue.
What came out was much closer to grey than I wanted.
So I redyed it with just a tiny bit of Landscapes Opal. This time it was a much prettier blue, but not exactly light blue.
But that's okay, I liked it. So I cast on, and got going.
Problem. I'm not happy with this project in this yarn. Back to the old drawing board.
I thought about it overnight, and decided that I wanted my Hyrna to be red. The only red laceweight I have is earmarked for another project. But that's okay, because I have some Gaywool "Garnet" dye in my dye stash, and garnets are red, aren't they?
So I wound off around 500 metres of Zephyr in Ladyslipper (Pink) and dyed it with the Garnet dye. It turned a kind of rusty colour.
(I should point out right now that there are three colours that I'm really, really not fond of. Orange, Brown and Yellow. This will make sense in a bit)
I did not like the rusty colour, so I decided to throw some hot pink dye at it and see what would happen. What happened? Not much. So in my infinite wisdom, I threw some purple dye in the pot, hoping to brighten it up.
Hmmm. It didn't exactly brighten it up.
It's brown. I have Brown Zephyr. It's a kind of purply brown, but it's still brown. With hotspots of rusty orange and purple, where I had the skein tied too tightly.
Not happy. I figured that the mistake must have been either the silk content of the Zephyr, or maybe starting with pink yarn. So I dug out some KnitPicks bare in laceweight (880 yards), and dyed that with the Garnet dye.
This is not Garnet. Garnets are red! I bought Garnet dye, because I thought it would be RED! I cannot make my yarn red.
And I'm tired of trying, so I pulled something else out of the stash instead, and I'm going to use that for Hyrna, because I'm easily frustrated.
Fibreworks Possum/Merino Laceweight in Pink Correa. If I can't have a red Hyrna, I'll have a pink one.
If you'd like one of my misdyes, let me know, and it's yours. Just tell me which one you're interested in. I'll leave it open until Sunday night. If more than one person is interested in one of the yarns, I'll draw names from a hat.
March 04, 2008
Buttercup is done, and I love it!
I finished her in the middle of last week, but didn't get around to photographing it until Sunday afternoon. It fits prefectly, and I'm over the moon with it.
I made a few changes to the pattern. On the front, I only did half as many picots as called for, as I just wasn't happy with the way they looked. I omitted them entirely on the sleeves and the band, because no matter what I did, I just could not get them to look like they did on the pattern.
And I completely rewrote the sleeves, because that itty bitty sleeve was never going to fit around my arm.
Buttercup by Kim Hargreaves. Only available as a kit, directly from the Kim Hargreaves site.
Yarn: Rowan 4ply Cotton in Bleached. The kit came with 6 balls, I only used 4.
Needles:2.5mm Knitpicks Options.
Time: I started this back in November, but it got put on hold while I was overseas, then again while I finished the Shetland Shawl. If I'd worked on it non stop, it would have been much, much quicker.
The pattern was pretty easy to follow, although the shaping got a bit hairy at times. The stitch counts change on each pattern row, so making sure you were decreasing correctly got a little confusing. Apart from that it was fine, but the band got really boring really quickly!
The yarn was good to work with, although I'm not a huge fan of cotton. This didn't make my hands hurt as much as some cottons do, but even though it's Rowan, I didn't find it any different to other cottons I've used. I'm idly thinking of knitting this again for Emily, but if I do, I'll just use 4ply cotton from Bendigo Wool Mills, where I can get 200g for $AU11.50. The Rowan wasn't bad, I just didn't find it any better than any other cotton I've used.
Overall thoguh, an A+!
An the weekend, Emily managed, somehow, to coerce Twinkie into something she's never done before.
They sat like that for an hour. Too cute!
March 01, 2008
Another new project
Buttercup is done. Finished, finito, over. I think I'm happy with it, but I haven't actually worn it yet. And I don't have modelled pictures either, due to a combination of crap weather and lack of available photographers.
Of course, I could have got a picture today, but I just plain forgot about it.
However, I have moved on to another new project.
It's the Lacy Cable Sweater from Jo Sharp Knit 2.
Here's my progress.
Why, oh, why did I choose a pattern with 18cm of 1x1 ribbing?!? Anyhow that part is over for the front. And before you all start on how quickly I knit, I actually started it back on Tuesday, and I've been working almost exclusively on this one project.
The yarn I'm using is the yarn called for, Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette, in Musk. It's really nice to work with, not at all scratchy, although it does get a little splitty if you're not careful.
However, I do have a sinking feeling that my dedication to this one project is about to be tested. Yesterday this arrived.
And now my fingers are itching to start something new!