December 30, 2010
2010 - A retrospective
Knitwise, 2010 was a pretty productive year.
1. Cochmumblemumble, 2. Cancan scarf, 3. Bellevue in Blue 11/12/10, 4. Ruffled Bolero, 5. Em Petal, 6. Oblique, 7. Clapotis, 8. Sophie, 9. Opal socks!, 10. Offset Wraplan, 11. Shimmer close, 12. Blue Blouse, 13. Ruched Baby Cardi, 14. Em's Birthday socks, 15. Veyla in black, 16. Eve gloves done!, 17. Ishbel, 18. Tempest done, 19. Veyla, 20. Ishbel, 21. Purple Veyla, 22. Diamond lace Cardi, 23. Rogue Hood down, 24. Chunky Scarf, 25. Rickenbacker adapted - and done!, 26. Featherweight at camp, 27. Baby Cardi, 28. Emily's Bonnie Hat, 29. Otto 2, 30. Lacy Kerchief scarf, 31. Rosa, 32. Waterfall Scarf, 33. Doily, 34. Apple Pie Socks, 35. Hungry Caterpillar
So, 35 projects in total. But lots of them are small projects - scarves, gloves, a doily and toys. And not very many socks. The socks bug and the lace bug left me this year, and there were more garments than usual. Looking back, I don't think I spent as much time knitting this year, but it obviously hasn't shown int he finished project count!
In other aspects, for us, 2010 was a year of suck. Emily did her HSC, and that caused stress beyond anything I could have imagined. She didn't put her heart into it, and there was a lot of stress over it all. Thankfully she pulled victory from the jaws of defeat, as David put it, and got the mark she needed in the end, but it was a pretty close call.
I finished my TAFE course, with great results, but found that for many libraries, the qualification I earned wasn't enough. David had huge amounts of stress at work. There was the yard work that went on and on. I had surgery in the middle of the year, and at around the same time there was car trouble that took forever to be diagnosed and rectified. Money was tight and caused a sleepless night or two.
There was a few upsetting personal issues. I really, really value my friendships. I tend to be slack about keeping in touch with people and answering emails and making phone calls and the like, but my friends are really important to me. I learned this year that not everybody feels the same way about my friendship and I took it to heart for a little while. Then I slowly realised that it really says a whole lot more about them than me, and that they are probably not worth the time I wasted worrying about it. And you can't make someone see something they don't want to!
Of course, we all had our health, a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, a car to worry about and plenty of nice yarn, and all the other things are minor in comparison, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time!
Now, however, the yard is finished, the car is fixed, Em has her result, passed her requisite audition and will hopefully get into the Uni course she wants, I have not one, but two dream jobs, and David has almost completed the project he was working on and will move on to something more fulfilling and less stressful.
Bring on 2011!
December 24, 2010
'Twas the day before Christmas...
So it's Christmas Eve. Not feeling a lot of Christmas spirit this year, but to be honest, 2010 was a pretty draining year. 2011 is looking to be way better already, but more on that at the end of the post. (I'm having fun with that! You have to stay until the end ;)
And once again, I handed Em a finished project and the camera. The colchmumblemumble scarf is done!
I"m really happy with this one, although I can't count apparently, and that gave me a few headaches!
Pattern: Colchicacae by Angelika Luidl (free pattern downloaded from Ravelry)
Yarn: MadelineTosh Pashmina in Tart, purchased from The Loopy Ewe
Mods: Where do I start? I only had 360 yards, and the pattern calls for 500 yards. I went ahead and cast on, figuring that I could do less short rows in the garter section or something if it looked like I was going to run short.
Halfway through the short rows, I thought I'd have plenty of yarn, and was a bit surprised. It took until nearly the end of the short rows for me to realise that my short rows were *very* unbalanced.
When I went back and counted my stitches, I realised I'd made a major stuff up way back when I'd cast on. (Which had taken about 3 attempts, I might add!) Instead of casting on 345 stitches, I'd only cast on 325. The pattern repeat is 20 stitches, so I had no idea until I was near the end and my short rows were way off centre.
So I ripped out all the short row shaping, recalculated and just redid the short rows. It all worked out quite well in the end, because if I'd cast on the 345 stitches, I would definitely have run out of yarn.
But I'm very happy with it! And the Pashmina is just gorgeous! 75% Merino, 15% Silk and 10% Cashmere. 100% divine! It will be awesome in Winter!
And my other good news? A few days after my interview with Calico & Ivy, I got a call from one of the local council libraries. I had applied for a job as a casual library assistant way back in July. Because I hadn't heard back in 5 months, I'd more or less forgotten about it.
They called me in for an interview! And on Tuesday morning, they called me to tell me that I'd won the job. So after 9 1/2 years of being a stay at home mum, I suddenly have two jobs. Hooray! I figure the library job will help subsidise the spending I'll do at Calico & Ivy!
Happy holiday season to you all! We're trying for kind of lowkey here this year. Just us for lunch, with a family visit after lunch, then a trip to Manly on Boxing Day to sit ion the sun and relax while we watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. With a spot of knitting!
December 21, 2010
So I finally pulled my finger out and finished the Can Can scarf. It didn't take long, but I lost interest in it pretty quickly after I'd started it.
This doesn't bode well for when various family members see it and want one, does it?
And now you get to see what happens when you leave a 17 year old alone with a tacky scarf and a camera with a self timer. If you make it to the end, I've got some exciting news! (How's that for bait?)
Yarn: Rico Design Can Can in "Fuchsia", purchased from Crafty Yarn in the UK
Pattern: Off the ballband, although you don't need one. Cast on 7 or 8 sts. Knit. Cast off.
Mods: I don't know how many mods you make to "cast on 7, knit, cast off"!!
I've been pretty busy, and Em was bored so I told her to "go take a few pictures".
I really must teach her the meaning of "a few". What you're seeing here is what's left after I culled a bunch. I think there were about 90 pictures to choose from.
Do you think she likes taking pictures of herself? This is what we find every time we check out the contents of the various memory cards laying about the house.
By the way, she got her HSC results last week, and she did much better than we expected. (If Facebook had been a subject, she would've done even better!!) She also learned that she passed her audition for the course she wants to do. No official notifications until next month, but it's looking pretty good right now, which is a great relief to everyone.
I think that one is my favourite!
The most exciting part? I'll be working there, Mondays and Tuesdays! (Must remember that I can't bring everything home!)
December 11, 2010
It's most definitely the silly season. I'm pretty sure that if there was 40 hours in a day and 10 days in a week, it still wouldn't be enough!
But not blogging led to something else surging ahead.
The Bellevue in Blue is all done, bar the blocking. (Aside: I nearly wrote all done bar the blogging. Yes, I'm feeling somewhat scrambled lately)
What an awesome knit! Two and a half balls of MadTosh MCN worsted, and *quick*! But more on that in another post, when she's blocked and modelled. Today I wanted to show you all that I have not been idle, and to show you something particularly awesome about this knit.
Notice anything about that nearly-finished pic? Look at those awesome bottom up all-in-one set in sleeves. I love them. Love.Them!
A most wonderful technique!
And I started my next knit.
But I'll tell you all more about that next time. Big annual dance concert is on tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have a little more time after that!
December 05, 2010
Bellevue in Blue
So the ruffly scarf continues. To be honest, I got sick of it pretty quickly and it's been ignored for most of the week.
About half way done. And Emily hasn't picked it up, either. It'll get done - especially seeing as a ball of the same yarn in black arrived this week.
There's a reason for my distraction, though. I finished the colchmumblecumble scarf. It's not been blocked or anything yet though, because I was pretty mad at it by the time I finished it. More on that in another post., though.
Having finished the knitting on the colchmumblemumble scarf though, and needing something other than the novelty scarf to work on, I cast on the Bellevue cardi with my scrumptious new Madtosh club yarn.
And as you can see, that's where a healthy chunk of my knitting time went this week! I'm doing the worsted weight version, and it's coming along very nicely! I'm thinking I'm going to make the fingering weight version for Emily in Natural coloured Wollmeise.
Last night however, I didn't knit. I sewed up a couple of Christmas gifts instead! The recipients aren't readers of the blog, so I feel quite safe posting them here.
Cute, huh? I'm quite pleased with them! Here's a better picture of them. I took the picture above because I wanted to get in our only Christmas decoration so far!
I hope they'll be well received. I don't often bother with handmade gifts for non-crafters as they're often not appreciated!
December 01, 2010
Yes, it's novelty yarn
So I blame Knitabulous again. I've been doing that a lot, haven't I? But while she was in London, she went to the Stitches and craft type show and then she emailed me. In that email, she told me she'd bought novelty yarn. She also told me I'd understand when I saw it.
I sniggered. She knew I would. Then The Wool Inn tweeted a You Tube link. Turns out it's the same novelty yarn. Emily was in ecstasies when she saw it. And Ailsa was right. I couldn't resist. So I ordered some from Crafty Yarn in the UK.
And cast on (so to speak) on Sunday.
It's weird stuff, sort of like a strip of fishnet. And to cast on, you just jab your needle into the holes at 4cm intervals. And there's no wrapping yarn around needles, just jab some onto your needle and knit with that.
Yes, it's 100% Acrylic and yes, it's tacky, but it makes gorgeous ruffles! I can't imagine using it for anything else, but I know plenty of people who would want one of these scarves.
And it's not all evil - it even got Em knitting!
(Because I keep putting it down to work on something else, and she wants it done!)