February 25, 2009
Hello! Long time no blog.
I've been uninterested in much knitting this week. Personally, I think I'm coming down from knitting Autumn Rose. Which remains unfinished. The ends are still unwoven, it has not been blocked. I pick it up, look at the ends, then put it down and find something else to do.
The Ankle Biter socks are approaching the finish line.
And I've been trying to work on the Not Pink Puzzle Wrap.
I'm finding this really, really hard. It's labelled as a "Skilled Knit", but that's not the problem.
It's boring. B-O-R-I-N-G. It is so repetitive that it's boring me to tears. I pick it up, do a row or two, put it down and wander away. But I'm determined to finish it, because if I start something else, I'm never going to finish it. Never.
So my knitting mojo is on holidays, and doesn't want to come back to boring lace and weaving in of ends. Who can blame it?
Twinkie and Squeak have been enjoying the nicer weather.
Who can blame them?
February 18, 2009
No one spotted the special hidden Twinkie in the last post!
Just a little bit of fun - I'd wondered if anyone would notice her!
Even more fun? A finished Autumn Rose. Yes, finished.
Well, the knitting is finished. There's about ten thousand ends to weave in, and it needs blocking, but it's almost finished. I was getting a little worried about one of the yarns towards the end, but I just scraped it in.
I made the smallest size. The Knitpicks kit only supplies one ball of "Iris Heather" for the *two* smallest sizes. If you want to raise the neckline, or make the sleeves longer, I'd recommend that you get an extra ball of Iris Heather. If you're making the second smallest size, even with no modifications, I'd get a second ball of Iris Heather, just to be on the safe side.
Ends and blocking will hopefully be finished by the weekend, but we'll see. It's been grey and gloomy here, if it stays wet, it might take a few days longer.
For anyone who is seeking news of Rachael and her family, I'm afraid that the news isn't good. It was confirmed on the weekend that Rachael's husband is among the 201 confirmed dead as a result of the bush fires. The family dog, Kelli was found with him. Please continue to keep Rachael and her family in your thoughts, I know she appreciates it.
And don't forget about Jacqueline's fund raiser! Every $AU10 gets you an entry to win some fabulous, gorgeous, yarny prizes! And every single cent donated goes straight to the Red Cross, to help the bush fire victims and their families.
February 16, 2009
So yesterday morning, I decided that I was overthinking this whole steek thing, and that millions of people had done it before and it was a proven method. Right?
And all that knitting I'd been doing wasn't going to unravel. I should just stop stuffing about, and just do it. Right?
I almost believed myself. So I decided to just do a little test run on my swatch. What if I did it wrong, and I stuffed up the whole sweater? So out came the trusty Janome, and I did a couple of rows of machine stitching on the pretty little swatch.
I read a few blogs before I decided on my steek. Eunny had some great information about the whole process, but doesn't actually recommend machine stitching. Her recommended methods are handsewing or crocheting the steek. I was too impatient to handsew it, and I can't crochet for crap, so I looked about a bit more, and decided to go ahead with the machine sewing. I chose a narrow zigzag stitch rather than a straight stitch, because of years of sewing knit fabrics has taught me that a zigzag stitch has better "give" than a straight seam.
Then, I cut it. I had to take a few very, very deep breaths, then I started snipping.
I do believe that at that point I may have exclaimed "#%^&!! It worked!" Even the back looked nice.
That made me feel more confident about the whole process, so I took to Autumn Rose with the machine.
As this was a little more important than the little swatch, and would see more wear, I did actually sew each side twice.
I was tempted to do it 10 times or more, but figured that it might be overkill.
To make sure I only cut what I was supposed to, I put a magazine inside the sweater. I didn't want to snip a hole in the back, and watch it slowly unravel. Then, I started to snip. Carefully, tiny little snips with nice sharp, small scissors.
Yes, I was concentrating.
And then it was done. Pulling it apart was a little scary.
All in all, it wasn't so bad. It was over quickly, and I didn't cut any of the wrong threads. (!)
And suddenly, it looked like a neckline!! And I could finally try it on to make sure it fit.
It fits! It didn't fall apart! I'm loving it sick! (TM Rosered)
February 14, 2009
One quick announcement.
Autumn Rose is off the needles. Next step - Cut The Steek.
February 11, 2009
I've been sitting here debating whether to start with knitting or the bushfires. But the bushfires are playing on my mind, so I'll do those first, but there is knitting, I promise.
Rachael, whom I mentioned in my last post, has taken down her blog for personal reasons but she does appreciate your thoughts and prayers. There is not yet any word on her husband Martin, but the family home is confirmed lost, and they found his car in the fire area. I am more than happy to pass on any messages if you so desire.
The current death toll is at 181 and there are 80 people currently missing, just like Martin. 750 homes have been lost, and 5000 people are currently homeless.
Want to help? The lovely, considerate and resourceful Jacqueline has come up with a wonderful way to help, details are here. Basically, for every $AU10 you donate to the Australian Red Cross (that's around $US6.60), you will get an entry into the draw for some wonderful knitting prizes. There's Colourmart Cashmere, Kidsilk Haze, Colinette, some great gift vouchers, and more prizes yet to come.
The pictures coming out are just awful to look at, whole towns are just gone. And the toll isn't only human, of course. David sent me this picture yesterday, which I wanted to share.
Onto the knitting.
It was most definitely way to hot to knit on the weekend. Over 40C both days, on Saturday we went out and bought more fans. Sunday, we gave in and spent the day at the local shopping centre and the movies so we could leech off their air conditioning.
Monday dawned grey and much cooler, and it's stayed that way, so I made up for lost time.
Getting there! I think I only have about forty rounds to go! Then I get to cut the steek. Eeek.
And I finished the first of the Ankle Biter socks.
I'm not looking forward to wearing these until they've been soaked. Maybe several times. My nice bamboo needles are stained blue. Every time I work on them, my fingers turn blue. I'm thinking they will need a vinegar bath before I wear them, or my feet might turn blue!
February 09, 2009
I've had a couple of queries about our safety in regards to the bushfires currently burning in Victoria. Rest assured, I'm miles away. Over 300 miles away, in another State. And while there are a few burning in New South Wales, they're miles away from me, too. We did spend a large amount of the weekend watching the news coverage. There should be a special, torturous punishment for arsonists.
But if you have a hug to spare, please keep fellow Aussie knitter Rachael and her family in your thoughts, her husband is missing, her home is burned. If you're so inclined, a prayer wouldn't hurt, either.
February 06, 2009
Folks, we have joinage.
Late last night I finally finished the sleeves and go the bits joined up. There's somewhere over 300 stitches per round now, so I'm not expecting fast progress.
And it's currently 37C here (99F), and we're expecting temperatures between 40 and 45C (104 and 113F) over the weekend, so I don't expect much progress at all!
February 04, 2009
Easter Show entries
Twice in the past week or so I've been told I need to update more often. And I agree. Now if someone could make the days slow down a little, I may be able to oblige!
The entries for the Royal Easter Show closed this week, and I managed to get my entries in. Now I need to knit them! Autumn Rose is coming along nicely, the sleeves are halfway done or so.
I hoping to have it all joined up by the end of the week. The other thing I've been working on is my "Ankle Biters" socks, which I purchased as a kit from The Loopy Ewe last year. This kit was offered up to those of us who didn't make the sock club last year. When I put my name in for the sock club again this year, I thought I'd better make an effort to work on the kit I got last year.
This sock has given me trouble. It's not a hard pattern, I'm just an idiot. First off, I stuffed the pattern by working too many decreases. So I ripped it back to the toe and started it again.
Then, I followed the pattern to the letter, working the foot length as stated, ignoring the little voice that kept telling me the foot was too long. Then I worked the gusset and started the heel shaping.
Then I tried it on. Yep, too long. Ri-i-i-i-i-ip back to before the gusset shaping and started it over. Now it seems to fit at least!
I like my socks to fit very snugly. If they're a little bit loose they move around too much for my liking!
Not much other news to report, Emily is settling into her new school nicely. Dancing started again this week, so my main occupation once again is taxi driver!