August 28, 2008
I've been a little quiet of late, and I do apologise. I owe lots of emails and rav messages too. I've been feeling a little blah. I'm blaming the weather. I'm sick and tired of winter, I wish it were over already. I'm tired of being cold.
Bundaberg was lovely and warm. I did come back, but we all had difficulty giving up the sunshine! (And the shower head which actually had water pressure)
Adding to my general malaise is the annual sewathon that takes place around this time of year. The sewing of costumes for Emily's dance school's annual concert. Somehow I always get myself roped into sewing piles of costumes.
This pile is in the process of becoming princess dresses for a horde of 5 - 7 year olds.
This will turn the same girls into mad professors. Then, they'll be dressed in this fabric.
In 60's style dresses for Hairspray. And some of the bigger girls are chefs.
That's not all of the costumes I'm responsible for this year, just the piles that are around the house right now awaiting my attention.
That's doing some major eating into of my knitting time. Which is probably also contributing to my case of blahs. But despair not, I've managed some!
I took the Firestarter sock to Bundaberg with me, and despite the stupid laws prohibiting knitting on Australian flights, I managed to get some knitting done. If I could've knit in the terminals and on the planes, I probably could have finished the sock!
It is coming along quite nicely though! And in the little bit of spare time I've managed to eke out at home, I've been working on the Shetland Shorty.
Also coming along nicely. If Emily doesn't wear it, I'm going to steal it back and wear it myself!
August 22, 2008
I've been a little quiet of late, haven't I? I think it's the cold. Today we had the coldest day in Sydney in 12 years. While it's not cold by snow standards, for those of us used to a nice warm climate, it's cold.
I've not had the inclination to do much of anything at all apart from hibernate. I've worked on the Shetland Shorty a bit.
The back is almost done now. It's a nice quick knit, but a little bit boring, really. It's just a six stitch, four row repeat, and it gets a little bit too mindless.
Speaking of mindless, I finished the August socks.
Yarn: Opal 6ply self striping
Pattern: Plain 64st stockinette sock, no pattern.
David likes them, I finished them on Tuesday night and he wore them on Wednesday. I like the 6ply Opal for his socks. It's a little thicker, so they're quicker, a bit warmer and they seem to last longer, too.
Seeing as I finished my August socks, I decided to get an early start on September.
Firestarter socks! I started these on Thursday, and they kicked my butt. I changed yarn and needles, and they're moving along nicely now.
I'm using Dream In Color Smooshy sock in "Ruby River". Love, love, love this yarn! And now that it's all working, I'm enjoying the pattern too.
Finally, we're off for a weekend trip. We're travelling 1300km (800 miles) to attend David's dad's birthday party. Flying up tomorrow morning, and back on Monday. Internet access will be sparse at best.
But I'm pleased to say that they're predicting 20C all weekend up there. I may not come home.
August 17, 2008
Thank you for all the lovely comments about Wicked. I've even worn it again this week! That's pretty rare for me, apart from my socks, I don't often wear my handknits.
I've had a bit of a bleh week, and haven't knit an awful lot, really. But it's an exceedingly rare week where no knitting gets done, and I managed some odds and ends.
No one guessed what my new project is!
Here's a close up.
I'st the Shetland Shorty from Knitty! But I'm obviously some sort of an idiot, because I'm not knitting it for myself. I'm knitting it for Emily. No doubt it will join the long list of things I've knit for her that she doesn't wear. However, she did beg me to knit this one, so let's hope that I'm wrong, and it becomes the most worn item in her wardrobe.
I'm using Jaggerspun Zephyr in Plum, doubled, on 3.5mm needles, and I seem to be pretty close to correct gauge. Well, at least it looks okay when wrapped around Em.
I've also been adding seed beads randomly for some sparkle. They're not hugely obvious, but you can see them in the close up picture.
I'm finding that it's actually a relatively easy knit, just a four row pattern repeat, easily memorised. Starting off was a pain though, those long, long rows of garter stitch to create the band and tie nearly put me off before I began.
Apart from that, I've started the second half of the Magic Carpet Ride.
And I've been working on my August socks. Which are a bit of a cheat, because they're plain old stockinette socks in DK weight, so they're pretty quick and easy.
I'm hoping these will be finished nice and early, so I'll have a head start on the next pair. It's not cheating, it's forethought ;)
Twinkie would like me to assure you that yes, she's still cute.
And a little bit shaggy.
August 12, 2008
So I finished and blocked WIcked a month ago.
And by then, I was so sick of the sight of it that I tossed it into the wardrobe and didn't even try it on. It took me until this weekend to actually get it out again.
But I'm glad I did.
I think this one is a winner! Although I seriously doubted it up until now!
There are still some dyelot issues, but they're not nearly as obvious as they were before the re-knit. The most obvious place is in the pocket.
I didn't re-knit the pocket, and it's knit entirely in the darker skein. I can see it, but I guess I'm looking for it. Anyway, here's the specs.
Pattern: Wicked by Zephyr Style.
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Ruby River, purchased at The Loopy Ewe, as part of the Classy Knitalong. But I knit too late for the KAL! I used 3 skeins, with only a tiny bit of the third skein leftover.
Needles: 4.5mm Knitpicks Options
Modifications: The only modifications I made to the pattern were quite small, really. I changed all the ribbing to the twisted cable rib. And I made the body longer. I can't remember exactly how much longer, but I think it was around 7-8cm. (3")
The whole knitting of this so-called "easy" knit was a drama.
I really love this yarn. It's a worsted weight, and at 18sts = 10cm, it knits up into a lovely fabric. However, if you're going to use it, and are using more than one skein, alternate. Just in case you didn't get that, let me say it again. Alternate!
In the skein the colours didn't look very different. Knitted up, there was a very obvious line where I'd changed skeins, which resulted in me frogging the entire sweater and starting over. At that point, I had the whole body and pocket done, and only the sleeves remained.
I knit this stupid sweater twice. No wonder I didn't want to look at it for a month!
The pattern itself is great, though! Knit top down in the round, it's easy to try on as you go, and to make adjustments as you knit. I did the waist shaping, and I'm very pleased with it. Being able to try it on helped with the placement. And with lengthening it.
I think that every single person who has knit this sweater has lengthened the body. I'm not particularly tall, but if I'd knit it to the pattern, my navel would be showing.
And we don't want that.
Overall though, I'm very happy with it!
So happy that I started something new.
And just because we haven't seen her here for a while, here's Twinkie.
It's been pretty cold here the past couple of weeks, so she's been a little quiet, hiding under the furniture and puffing herself up. It took her a while (and a few treats) to forgive us for going on holiday and leaving her, but she's coming around again now.
August 09, 2008
It's been a slow knit week. I place all the blame entirely on The Sims. Having not played it in forever, I rediscovered it this week, and all my time went into that big black hole.
I did manage a little bit of knitting. I finished Elijah, but he didn't make my life easy.
I did those ears over and over. They were at various times too high, too far forward, too small. I'm pretty happy with the final result, but not so happy with the eyes.
Emily assures me that he is adorable, and I'm fairly sure my ambivalence comes from having spent so much time finishing him up.
Here he is, together with Sophie.
Modifications: Only one small one, I did the ears with 3.5mm needles, because I thought they looked too small. Apart from that, he's made to the pattern, I didn't use two full balls of the Sublime, only 62 grams. For Sophie I used about 65 grams.
Apart from that, I've been working on some lace for a while which somehow eluded mention on the blog.
This is definitely a colour that I would not normally choose, but I loved it the minute I saw it. The beads I'm using I got off eBay, and they're an unusual colour, sort of a burnished gold with rainbow highlights.
It's a lovely pattern to knit, but it can get complicated in parts, where you're using a whole bunch of different charts at once!
I started the knitting of this at Knit Camp, about six weeks ago, but it's languished a little since then. I don't mind a long term project, though. I'm up to the centre part now, which is fairly repetitive, and I think that's what's waylaid me - it was much more interesting before! I'm still on the first end, I have about 80 rows to go, then I'll knit the other side and they need to be grafted down the centre.
I'm avoiding thinking about that part! I'm sure you're all aware of exactly how much I detest grafting!
August 04, 2008
Toys, toys, toys.
I got off my lazy butt, and I wrote up the pattern for the "A Pair of Hearts" Socks. You can just click on that link, or you can find the pattern up there in the top right hand corner of your screen.
Warning: I read it over, and it looked alright to me, but it has not yet been test knit, so it may be chock full of errors. I'm hoping not.
The other little picture I showed you a glimpse of in my last post was Elijah's head! This is going to be another gift for a friend, as is Sophie. I will have to pry them away from Emily first, though!
Elijah has grown a little in the past two days.
Ysolda is a genius. The patterns are so well written and have very helpful pictures, I highly recommend them! Picking up stitches on stuffed bodies is a little fiddly, but very worthwhile.
I have also bought the pattern for Otto, but he's a polar bear, and will be mine, all mine! (I guess that means I'd better knit Em a Sophie then, huh?)
Speaking of Sophie, it occurred to me when I was taking a picture of Elijah that I hadn't actually taken a picture of Sophie finished.
So I rectified that little oversight!
August 02, 2008
A Pair of Hearts
Well, it didn't happen in July, but on August 1, I finished the socks I have dubbed "A Pair of Hearts".
And I'm very happy with them!
It is a pattern I came up with myself, and I'll try to get it written up soon. They're being modelled by Emily, because they're a gift for someone, and my feet are too big!
Pattern: My own
Needles: 2mm Crystal Palace DPNS
Yarn: Patons Australia Patonyle sock yarn. The yarn is so new I can't even link to it, it's not on the site yet!
A rep from ACS got in touch with me and asked if I'd like some of the yarn to review, and I jumped at the chance. Patonyle has been around for years, but was discontinued last year, much to the discontent of Aussie sock knitters.
They heard our cries of outrage, and are now rereleasing it, but this time it will be available in 100g balls instead of the old 50g balls.
And the verdict? It's the same old Patonyle! (Is that a hallelujah I hear?) It's an 80/20 wool/nylon blend, and it's a workhorse yarn in my opinion. I have a pair of Patonyle socks that I dyed up in stripes back in April 2006. Those socks have been worn a lot. I even wear my hand knit socks outside, without shoes to take out the garbage and hang the washing. They've been tossed into the washing machine a thousand times, and even into the dryer a time or ten, and they still look great.
It has great stitch definition.
And it stands up to frogging well, too. I started a different design with the yarn, but it wasn't coming out the way I'd hoped, so I frogged them and started over. The yarn behaved beautifully!
I'm told it will be available in Spotlight stores from September (unlikely at my crappy local, though!), and in LYS early next year, with a RRP of $15 a ball.
Unfortunately, the colour range is still the same, too, at least to start with. I'm going to toss these socks into a dye pot and turn them into something pretty, but I have been assured that the colour range is going to be expanded and improved next year.
Hopefully it will take dye just like it used to, which is another point in it's favour! There is also a rumour that it will be released in an undyed version! (Is there any bad news about it?!?)
To celebrate finishing the socks, I cast on for something new.
Not socks, but it's cuuuuute!