April 30, 2009
I succeeded in getting my April socks done in April.
Hang on, let me try that again.
Forget it, I'll use the table.
Marilinda! Unblocked, and I'll imagine they'll look even better once they're blocked, but otherwise complete!
Pattern: Marilinda by Cookie A
Yarn: Mama Blue Sea Merino in "Mermaid" (Much stalking took place to obtain the yarn!)
Needles: Knitpicks Harmony DPNS, 2.25mm
Mods: The only mod I made was the toe. Cookie has you do the shaping every second row until the end, I like my toe rounder than that, so about halfway through I changed the shaping to every row.
So, moving right along, Em picked out my next Personal Sock Club Package for me.
Nice choice, Em! Sundara sock yarn in "Pink Dreams". This is going to become Rivendell socks.
But first I'm picking up Aeolian again!
April 28, 2009
Before I left for camp, I was a little worried about my Personal Sock Club. For April, I was working on the Marilinda socks. On Friday, April 24, all I'd managed for the month was half of one sock. I was halfway through the gusset, and thought that there was no way I was going to make it.
However, I underestimated how much you get done when you go to camp and have no demands on your time, and no distractions. (Limited internet access helps, too!)
I finished the first sock on Saturday afternoon at camp. I would have hit a snag then, because I didn't have my Kitchener Stitch video to help me do the toe. Fortunately, Bells is one of the chosen few who can do Kitchener without assistance, and she saved me by grafting my toe!
This morning, I'd got the second sock up to where the first sock was only 4 days ago. I'm now going to work exclusively on this sock, and I should have it done before Friday. Then I'll get a new sock package!
While I was downloading the pictures of the sock tonight, I discovered pictures of what my family ate in my absence. I knew Emily had asked David if they could have his infamous greaseball burgers, but apparently he outdid himself this time.
I think I'd better get their cholesterol tested.
April 27, 2009
Another Camp done, dusted and totally enjoyed!
There was knitting, of course. I cast on Em's Baroness Beret just before I left on Friday, and finished it late on Friday night.
Ailsa finished her Autumn Rose, and we both wore them on Saturday. I failed to get a photo, but Bells has one, and Mary-Helen has pics of us both in them. Apart from the Baroness Beret, a lot of work got done on the Marilinda socks.
There was knitting in the gorgeous sun.
There was much hilarity and many cocktails at the Hawaiian themed dinner.
Where missfee won the costume competition.
Many hangovers on Sunday, but all round a most awesome weekend. Twinkie apparently missed me muchly, David sent me a message saying so on Saturday, but it was proven by the way she raced out to meet me when I returned on Sunday (awww!)
Can't wait until next year!
April 23, 2009
Time for camp!
I got yummy mail this morning!
It's my consolation sock kit from The Loopy Ewe. I missed out on the sock club again this year, so I got to order the consolation prize, which you see above - a skein of Handmaiden Casbah, a pattern by Wendy, a cute project bag, and a pen. Very nice!
I drooled over it all for a little while, before I turned my attention to more pressing matters. Knit Camp starts tomorrow, and I need to decide what knitting to take with me. I got more mail yesterday, a gorgeous shade of red Cascade 220, from Yarns Online.
Other options are Aeolian.
I'm up to the start of the edging now, which means that for the next 25 rows or so there are very few beads and no nupps. However, I do think this might be a bit too intensive for camp. Especially as there will be alcohol involved.
I don't think I'm going to finish my Marilinda socks in April, seeing as I'm only halfway through the first sock.
The pattern is pretty complex, but I should be able to manage it, I think. Maybe in the mornings.
For the more demanding evenings, I'm going to take my Pink Hoodie.
It's pretty basic, apart from the cable down the side, which in itself is pretty easy.
If I get desperate, Daisy Designs will have yarn on hand so I can start something else!
Twinkie had an adventure today. We keep her hay in a plastic tub outside, which has become a little the worse for wear, and now has a gaping hole in the side.
She found the hole!
April 15, 2009
So this year we threw Easter tradition to the wind and spent Easter Sunday at Taronga Zoo.
We saw the Elephants.
And the giraffes, who have some of the best real estate in Sydney.
And the aussie natives, who all know how to spend a Sunday.
But I particularly wanted to see the new baby Pygmy Hippo, and she didn't disappoint.
Her name is Monifa, (which means "I am lucky" in Nigerian, apparently) and she was super cute.
And thank you all for the get well messages. I got my voice back and all was well. And I discovered that I have low iron, and really low iron stores, so at least I now know there's a reason why I feel so tired and cruddy all the time, and it can be remedied.
In knitting news, Aeolian is driving me bonkers.
I'm up to the "Agave" chart. And the nupps. I detest nupps. More specifically, I hate 9 stitch nupps, when I have to purl them together on the next row. I thought that row was never going to end. So I have a catch-22 going on. I love working on Aeolian, I can't wait to work on Aeolian, I hate the nupp rows, and I don't want to do the nupp rows.
To help me with this dilemma, I started something new.
I'm using a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern to make a basic hooded tunic, in some Cleckheaton Merino Supreme I picked up at the ACS mill shop last year. The pattern is a little too plain for me, so I'm adding a cable down the sleeves and sides.
The perfect antidote to nupp frustration!
And to finish off today, we got some of Em's new dance pictures recently, and I thought I'd share.
Yes, she makes my back ache, too!
April 10, 2009
Am I ever glad for a long weekend! Today is Good Friday, and here in Australia, it's the first day of a four day weekend. Hallelujah!
Monday night I started to lose my voice. Tuesday night at the Easter Show Arts Preview, I could barely talk, and I've been feeling cruddy ever since.
Unfortunately, my winning streak ground to a halt. I did get a Second place in the Fair Isle for Autumn Rose, but no other places. Ailsa however, got four places on her four entries, and Sheridan got two Highly Commendeds for her two entries. Lots of places for lots of Ravellers, the displays are much better this year than last.
So amongst feeling like crap, and boundless other things sucking up my time, there has been knitting. Nearly all of my knitting time has gone into the Aeolian shawl.
I'm really enjoying it, although it's pretty slow going, mainly because I'm stopping every 10 stitches or so to place a bead, which really slows the whole thing down.
The yarn I'm using is Mama Blue Silk Lace in "Urchin", and the beads are just 8/0 glass seed beads that I picked up on eBay.
Today, something very, very rare happened. I baked. Trust me, this is much more momentous than it sounds.
Banana bread. And it's good.
Twinkie would like you all to know she's being treated in the manner to which she has become accustomed.
And if she feels she isn't being treated appropriately, she just forces us to do her bidding.
April 06, 2009
It's my blogiversary! Today the blog is five years old. Who would've thunk it?
I got a pretty good present, too.
At Campbelltown Show this weekend, the Kitri socks won Champion Hand Knitted Item, as well as Grand Champion overall in Knitting, Crochet, Lace and Spinning.
April 04, 2009
Bling-y Shoulder Warmer
So finally, I made myself get to work on the Bling-y Shoulder Warmer, and somewhat unsurprisingly, it's done!
Doesn't look much like she's happy with it, does it? Let's try another picture.
She assures me that she is very happy with it, and that she intends to wear it. She'd better! She specifically asked for the yarn, itchy or not. Actually, I tried it on myself and the sequins aren't really itchy, just sort of aggravating.
Pattern: Top-Down Shoulder Warmer by Laura Chau (Cosmic Pluto)
Yarn: Moda Vera Ballroom from Spotlight (3 skeins)
Needles: 4mm, Knitpicks Options
Mods: A couple. I found the sleeves were coming out too wide, so for the last few shaping rows, I only increased in the back of the shrug, and left the sleeves as is. Despite that, I still had to decrease a bunch of stitches across the sleeves. I only did short sleeves, as requested by the EmPress.
For the ribbing, I undertook the painful task of removing the sequin thread from the plain thread. It took hours. Hours. I'm happy with the result though. I think Em was worried it wouldn't be sparkly enough, but it's still plenty sparkly! And without added itch factor in the neck.
For what it's worth, I hate the yarn. Hate It. And it's not even the acrylic component, it's those bloody sequins. They kept getting stuck in the stitches. And the pointy needle kept getting caught in the hole at the top. And even though it's pretty sparkly, there are more sequins on the inside than the outside, but I don't care enough to pull them through. Never again, no matter how much she pleads or gives me puppy eyes.
And I finished something else, too! (Actually I finished this a week ago, I just needed to weave in the ends. What, you didn't know I was lazy?!?
My Flit n Float scarf is done! Nice, easy, quick pattern.
Pattern: Flit n Float by Birdy Evans from Knitty Spring 2009
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Velvet Grapes from Yarn and Kisses
Needles: KnitPicks Harmony 3.25mm
Mods: I got halfway through, and had tons of yarn left, so I did a bunch of extra rows in the middle. Despite that, I still had 11g leftover at the end.
Not real sure how I feel about the Malabrigo laceweight. It's nice and soft for against the skin wear, but I don't really it. Being a single yarn, it biased a bit. It also felt a little heavier than a standard laceweight. I gave it a very gentle full wet block, and the ends have already felted a little, so it very much needs to be treated with care.
But I like the finished scarf a whole lot!
And seeing as I finished all my projects, I started something new.
MMmmm, silk, Mama Blue, laceweight, beads. What's not to like?
April 01, 2009
Whisper Lace Socks
Back in the real world, there has been knitting going on. And some of it I can even talk about! (The secret project is nearly done. All will be revealed in September. Yes, really)
On the weekend, I did finish the sock project for March.I'm still on the pair-of-socks-a-month kick. According to my Ravelry stash page, I'm down to less than five years worth of socks! Maybe I should do something about that. What if all the sheep run out?
Anyway, this month's sock project was the Whisper Lace Socks.
It's a great pattern! Looks complicated, but it actually goes pretty quickly.
Pattern: Whisper Lace Socks by Rachel Hawksley
Yarn: Lang JaWoll Superwash Solid. Evelyn from the comments sent this to me ages ago, and it's been aging gracefully in the stash ever since. Now I'm sorry I didn't try it earlier! It's a lovely yarn to work with, and I love the reinforcing thread that comes with it. This would be very handy for David's socks, I think!
Needles: 2.25mm Crystal Palace DPNS
Mods:None! I even stuck with the round toe! Actually now, that I think about it, I did reduce the toe by a few rows, because it seemed to be really long. But that's the only change.
So now that I'm done with the March socks, it's time to reach into the Personal Sock Club for my next package. For the past week, Emily has been nagging me to finish the socks so that she could pick my next parcel. (BTW, she turned sixteen last week. AM I the only one getting used to that idea?!?)
Finally, the day came.
This is obviously a big event.
So what did I get, What did I get??
And I did break my 3 project rule and start something new. I don't think it counts though, because it's going to be a very long-term side project.
It will, maybe, one day, be a sock yarn blankie. I thought it would be a good way to use up my sock yarn leftovers. I'm having some second thoughts though. Those little squares don't use up very much yarn. I'm thinking that it's probably going to need something like 200 squares. Like I said, long term project. Especially if I only manage to add new yarn to the pool once a month!
Although, after five years, when I've used up the sock stash, it'll be pretty impressive, won't it? I'm trying to stick to semi solids and solids, with only occasional variegated yarns, and no self striping. So far there's Smooshy, Fleece Artist, Lang JaWoll and Cascade Heritage in there, and the variegateds are all Koigu. (Seriously, I can't resist the Koigu!) And it's reasonably obvious to me now that I have an obsession with shades of pink.
Don't expect updates on this one very often!