January 29, 2009
I love my daughter to pieces, I really, really do.
But today she went back to school after nearly 10 weeks of holiday, and I am so glad. There's been no Disney channel, no MTV, no buzz of the mobile phone.
Mind you, I'm sure she's just as sick of the sight of me, but it's so nice to have my house back. She was a bit of a wreck this morning, she's going to a new school for the last 2 years of High School - (All girls!!), and she's never been the new girl before, so there was a little stress, but as soon as we arrived she saw someone she knew, so it was all good.
So I'm about to sit, on my sofa, fan pointed at only me, and knit. With some crappy daytime TV that isn't teen-oriented.
I think I'll work on Autumn Rose. I've started the sleeves.
I'm still doing two at once. I am definitely not ready for Fair Isle, two at once on two circs, so I'm just using two sets of DPNS, and doing a few rows on one, then catching up on the other. So far, so good.
The tutu is finished. Due to the sunburn, there are no pictures of her wearing it, though. It's basically the same as the last tutu I made for her, just bigger.
And the sunburn? Better. There's a picture, but I hid it behind a link - it's not the worst sunburn I've ever seen, but it ain't pretty. (This was Wednesday afternoon, after the burn on Saturday)
It's not bright red any more, but it's a little bit blistery and gross. She won't skimp on the sunscreen again.
And despite the heat, we had the appearance of snow yesterday afternoon.
There's almost a whole other bunny in there!
January 25, 2009
The weather, again.
So I'm harping on about the weather again, because it's the only excuse I have for not having much knitting. But it's been hot. All week. It all came to a head yesterday, when the temperature topped 42C in Sydney. That'd be 107.6f for you US readers.
We escaped and ran away to the beach where Emily proceeded to fib about the correct application of sunscreen, and came home looking like an overcooked lobster. With sunstroke. Because I'm just her mother, and what would I know? Today she's paying the price.
I've begun a sleeve for Autumn Rose, and that's about the sum total of the knitting that's occurred. In other knitting news, I put my name into The Loopy Ewe sock club lottery again this year. And yet again, I missed out. I was pretty bummed about it again. I mean, who doesn't like the idea of a surprise package arriving in the mailbox, complete with sock yarn, a pattern and some fun extras too? But it seems to be a club I'm not meant to be a member of. I felt a bit dejected and unwanted at first, but then I decided to copy a couple of my favourite bloggers. I'm going to have my own Personal Sock Club this year. It'll be so exclusive that I'll be the only one in it! And there's going to be some yummy, yummy yarns and some pretty nice patterns, too. (No fun surprises though, it's a bit hard to surprise yourself, I've found!) I noticed that this concept is going around - I saw it on another blog I read this morning, too.
So, I've taken 11 sock yarns at random from the stash, spent a few hours matching them up with sock patterns from my queue, and made my sock club kits.
I've already finished one pair of socks this year, and I started another this week, so I'm hoping I'll get to all of these this year. I'm not telling what's inside, so all of you can be surprised when I open a package. Hopefully I'll forget what I've packaged up too.
The packages have been put up out of Twinkie's reach, because she seems to have a thing for paper bags containing yarn.
The curiosity may have been aroused, though.
January 22, 2009
It's very exciting. Part of me wants to cut it now, just to see what happens. Of course, the other part never, ever, ever wants to cut it at all.
I only have about 5 more rows to do on the body before it gets put aside and I start the sleeves.
I've read ahead through the pattern, and when it comes to cutting the steek, it doesn't say anything about sewing it first. But I am supposed to do that, aren't I?
I think I better start thinking about what alcoholic beverage I'll need on Steek Day!
January 18, 2009
So the year is off to a flying start if I plan to finish a pair of socks a month again.
Super easy, super plain, super quick!
Yarn: Opal Rainforest 6ply in Chameleon
Pattern: Wendy's Sport Weight toe-Up socks with Gusset Heel
Needles: Knitpicks Harmony DPNS in 2.75mm
I really shouldn't leave posting for a week, because then I have too much to post. It's been hot again, and we've avoided the heat by going to the movies and to the beach, but it hasn't been all laziness.
It's that time of the year, where I realise that Em has grown (again!), and some of her dance costumes just aren't going to make it through the year. This time I had to face the truth and admit that there was no way I could squeeze her into her tutu for another year. It actually should have been replaced a year ago, but it's a job I detest. Hate, hate, hate. But I sucked it up and I've been working on it.
It will look better by the time it's finished. I hope. There's 7 metres of bloody tulle in that thing. I'm hoping that this is the last time I ever have to make a tutu. And I've told Emily that if she has a daughter who dances, she'd better start saving now so that she can pay someone else to make the stupid tutus.
I haven't been able to totally abandon Autumn Rose, it demands my attention. I can hear it whispering to me from the knitting bag.
And it's coming along very nicely! I'm actually really enjoying it, although I still think that Fair Isle will never be my first love. I have some MadelineTosh Silk Lace weight here that's also whispering to me. I've ignored it successfully so far, but I'm not sure how long that can last.
In non knitting news, my in-laws just had a trip to Oman over Christmas and New Year, and look at what my mother in law picked up for me.
It's the cutest little hand painted thimble. For herself, she picked up food poisoning that landed her in hospital. I think I got the better deal!
And Twinkie has been sadly under publicised lately. The main reason is because she spends the hot days curled around the pedestal in the toilet, and that doesn't provide the best photo opportunities. However, she did come out to supervise the house for a little while.
And Squeak has taught himself something clever. Emily's bedroom door handle needs oiling, and it has a very annoying squeak when it's turned. Squeak has learned to copy that noise. I'm sure he thought it was most amusing the other night when I kept coming out to see why Emily was coming in and out of her door. Which she wasn't. But every time I turned my back again, I heard the noise.
It's not quite so amusing at 6am.
January 11, 2009
So last night I got busy. I wove in all the ends on Autumn Rose, and I finally pulled my finger out and sewed the buttons onto Tangled Yoke.
Yes, Tangled Yoke is finished! And the final verdict? I love it!
Pattern: Tangled Yoke by Eunny Jang from Interweave Knits, Fall 2007
Yarn: Grignasco Tango, Colour 322, 6 balls. I got lucky, and scored the yarn in a Ravelry destash, but I picked up two more balls from The Wool Inn to be on the safe side. I didn't need them, though.
Needles: 3.5mm (US4)
A nice knit! The cable requires some attention, but it's fun. I love watching patterns emerge in my knitting, so I quite enjoyed the cable.
It appears that the Grignasco Tango is not an easy yarn to find. It appears to be exactly the same yarn as the recommended yarn, Rowan Felted Tweed. Both are 50% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 25% Viscose, both have 175m, (191yds) per ball. The Wool Inn at Penrith have a whole lot in stock, in some gorgeous colours, at around $AU8 a ball. Apart from that, a quick google search doesn't show up much. (Except that the yarn may actually be discontinued)
It's a little warm to wear it at this time of the year, but it'll be great when it gets cooler. The yarn is a little scratchy for against the skin wear, but not horrendously so.
Now it's back to work on another Eunny masterpiece, Autumn Rose.
Psst, did I mention that I love the cable?!?
January 09, 2009
Finished, but late
So I've mentioned a few times that in 2008 I intended to knit a pair of socks a month. I succeeded! In fact, I kind of overachieved. Kind of. I also kind of cheated.
I managed 13 pairs of socks, in a year and a week. On Wednesday I finally polished off my Esther socks, and they're so pretty!
Pattern: Esther Socks by Stephanie van der Linden (Rav link) This pattern was originally released for a German sock knitalong group, but is now available through Ravelry.
Yarn: Cascade Heritage, purchased at Yarns Online
Needles: 2.25mm Knitpicks Harmony DPNS
The pattern was fun! It's a 24 row repeat, so it wasn't easy, but I didn't find it too difficult. It does require you to pay attention, but the end result is well worth it.
I'm now a huge fan of the Cascade Heritage! Yarns Online currently only has the pink in stock, but she usually has other colours, and a 100g hank is only $12.50. It feels nice to knit with, blocks well and frogs nicely. I'll be using more of this - it's nice to find a solid colour sock yarn at a very reasonable price! I have a decent amount of leftovers too.
So I finished these on January 7, so I went over by a week, but that was actually the 13th pair of socks for the year. I mentioned that I cheated a little, and I did. Out of those 13 pairs, 4 pairs were straight stockinette toe up socks. And those are quick.
It takes us about two and a half hours to drive down to Canberra. So after I finished the Esther socks on Wednesday, I cast on a new pair of socks so I'd have something to knit in the car. I wanted something really easy and straight forward, the Fair Isle needs too much attention. So I got out a ball of Opal 6ply and cast on a pair of Wendy's Sportweight Toe Up socks for David. All I did on Wednesday was the toe.
By the time we got home last night, this is how much sock I'd managed.
Like I said, quick.
I knit in the car on the way down and on the way home, and I knit a little bit while having lunch with some lovely Canberra knitters, but that was it. And for that amount of effort, I have a nearly completed sock. That helped keep my sock count up last year!
There hasn't been a lot of Twinkie photos lately, because it's been so hot, she's taken up permanent residence in her summer house. And I'm not sure people want pictures of the toilet! Seriously, she spends most of summer curled around the pedestal.
However, we have a surprise guest rabbit.
Meet Houdini. Well, I actually don't know his name. Or if he is a he. Houdini lives across the road and has developed a habit of digging holes under the fence and escaping. This morning, Em captured him and we put him into Twinkie's hutch for safekeeping.
Twinkie wasn't fazed at all, in fact she totally ignored his existence. He went home this afternoon, much to Emily's dismay!
January 06, 2009
Despite the ridiculous heat wave we're currently suffering through in Sydney, there has been progress on Autumn Rose. I must have rocks in my head starting this garment at this time of year! (Or wool in my head, as one friend so well put it)
But I can't help myself, I have to work on it. Perhaps not as much as I might if the weather were cooler, though.
I'm pretty happy with the way it's coming along. Even the inside looks pretty tidy!
I do have a question to ask of the Fair Isle experts though. Is there a "correct" way to finish the ends? If it all goes well, I was thinking I might enter it into the Easter SHow, but I have no idea if there is a right or wrong way to finish the ends off!
January 03, 2009
My First Time
I have to admit it, it's my first time. Well, sort of.
To bring in the New year, I'm doing something new. New for me, anyway.
Fair Isle. Now, I have sort of done some Fair Isle in the past, but not especially well. As with the vast majority of my knitting, it was self taught, so not necessarily correct. The first project I tried was the Fair Isle Sampler Hat, from an old Interweave Knits issue. That was back in July 2005. I don't have a picture of the hat blocked and finished, perhaps because it wasn't really very good. It was puckered and uneven all over. I also knit some Fair Isle gloves from the leftovers. They turned out a little better. Both the hat and the gloves were given to my sister-in-law who has been living in the UK for just over two years, and would actually get some use out of them.
But now I'm going to knit a garment, and it has steeking (shudder) and everything. So far, so good. I've done my swatch.
I love the way it's knit up! Looking at the yarn in a pile, it all looked a little too gray to me, but I love the colours in the swatch! I'm using Knitpicks Palette, and I'm very impressed with the way the swatch softened up after a bath in some Soak.
The recommended needle was a 3mm, and I usually need to go down a size. I went down to a 2.5mm, but my tension was a little too tight, so I've cast on with a 2.75mm.
Without reswatching. I may live to regret that.
And here's the progress.
Actually, that picture is a couple of days old, I'm a little further along now. I've finished the corrugated ribbing and begun the first fair isle motifs. It's been a little slower than normal, because I've had a headache on and off since New Years Eve, but it's also slow because Fair Isle is not yet my forte.
I'm super slow at Fair Isle. Super slow. I once tried to teach myself to knit continental, but I just can't manage it. And I most definitely cannot carry two yarns in two hands. So right now, I'm dropping each yarn and picking it up again as I need to change colours. And I'm not getting the chart rhythm yet. In a lace chart, even thought there are more symbols, I can zip along, no problem. I can see the pattern forming, but not so much with the Fair Isle. I have to keep checking what I'm up to, and rechecking what's next. I'm thinking I may have to enlarge the pattern and colour in the squares if I don't get the hang of it soon!