Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Meet the Quality Control Supervisor

This is Peggy. She is the Quality Control Supervisor around here. Originally she wasn't happy about knitting. Knitting needles are sharp and take up hands that could otherwise be occupied patting and hugging. She changed her mind when I knitted her "Triple Choc". She and her sister, Rosie, got not quite matching jumpers this year. They are pure wool 8ply and feel warm and soft.

Rosie, on the right, is wearing "Mocha Dream". Rosie lost "Mocha Dream" one stormy night (it was recovered some months later) and one of my OTN projects is a punishment jumper for Rosie called "Raspberry Ripple". It's made of cream chenile with a raspberry angora and a raspberry novelty yarn. The other dogs are REALLY gonna laugh when they see her in that one. That'll teach her!

The weather has turned so cold here, both girls have begged to go back into their jumpers at night.

I have no will power...

Popped into the newsagency to see if they had the latest Vogue Knitting International (they don't until 23 December - Merry Christmas to me if I can brave the shoppers!) but came out with Simply Knitting (including free Rowan pattern book and some pins) and Knitting (which has a great article on wire knitting). A little treat on a busy day. No more shopping for me, though. Particularly as I have to find the sub for next year's Song Company season. Now THEY are worth it!

On a positive note, I've started a jumper for the London Baby. Yummy emerald green in a size larger than anticipated!

So looking forward to Stitch n Bitch on Thursday night. We're all bringing our favourite thing from during the year. Think I'll take my wire and bead knitted bracelet.

Am also looking forward to my first issue of Yarn magazine which should be here next week.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

FO! Gumnut beanie for London Baby.

A baby beanie in a stunning green. Just what a little gumnut needs in cold old London.

4ply Peter Pan pure wool.

Needles: 3.25mm vintage bakelite. They were orange with green ends and looked fabulous against the green wool!

Pattern: This one is for a newborn.

Adapted from an old pattern I made hundreds of times when the first crop of babies were born 11 years ago and also donated many to fetes and market stalls. Great for stash-busting. I couldn't find my 3.25mm double needles, so had to knit it on straights and sew it up.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Op shops are evil!

A quick visit to a couple of local op shops this morning and my stash has exploded.

750g of a creamy 8ply wool ($12)
250g of bottle green 8ply wool ($2)
400g of not quite new brown tweedy 8ply wool ($5)
3 pairs bakelite needles ($3)
Stitch holder ($0.50)
100g of Cleckheaton varigated pinks baby DK ($2)
bag of assorted crochet cottons ($1)
Katia knitting magazine ($2)
400g Katia apricot ribbon yarn ($8)
450g Katia red and white varigated cotton ($8)

I estimate at least 8 nascent projects in this little lot. I even managed to LEAVE some quite nice yarns behind!

Oh well, off to bag up my haul. As penance I must do the ironing before I pick up my needles tonight.

The bugger is that I forgot to take a pile of books to cross. I had heaps of grocery themed releases all lined up. Still, got all mums grocery shopping done, so I have achieved something today.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Mouse is cactus

Sewed up my no-brain, no-time mouse last night and it looked completely hideous! So much for that as a way to use up the scraps. Threw the lot in the bin.

On a positive note, managed to finish one of the fronts of the jacaranda baby cardie, and am a third of the way up the other front. Have also started the fronts of the pink cardie. So progress on proper projects at least.

Jejune's new niece/nephew is due in about a week and is in need of warm hats, I heard today - so beanies, caps and other headgear will be the order of the day. Might do those first and the planned cardigan a bit later.

I'm desperate to start on my socks but will resist until the baby stuff is done. I will need a portable project soon, though.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

FO! SIL's "Old Shale" Shiraz Scarf

Woo hoo! Finally finished the mohair scarf this morning with about a metre of wool to spare. Now to finish a few other projects!

The intention is to finish a few before I start anything new, but left bereft of a no-brain and portable project, I grabbed some scrap wool and made a mouse from Patons "Big Book of Little Projects". I've knitted one and started another - all in traffic light and other little gifts of time during the day. Mind you, the woman beside me at a pedestrian crossing who asked me what I was knitting, looked daggers when I replied, "A mouse". I'm sure she thought I was taking the piss.

Very excited that my ebay green homespun arrived today. It's a gorgeous colour, but not as soft as I expected. About 1350g - so almost exactly enough to make Folly! I'll knit the sleeves shorter anyway. PLEASE let there be enough. Now I've just got to find some odd balls to knit all those flowers.

I cannot believe that I actually BOUGHT a jumper today. Called in to my local Vinnies between meetings and picked up a few things that fitted (quel suprise!)for me and for my SIL, including a cotton mesh jumper. I think I'll cut it down the middle of the front and bind in some velvet ribbon - it will be more useable as a cardi than a jumper. It's a soft brown colour, so will be perfect for this season's fashions. Damn, in danger of being fashionable as well - what a day!

Also picked up some extra double ended needles for wire knitting - must get back to that soon. There's a sweet bracelet on the Spun site, although I think I prefer the one I made in August, and a fantastic keepsake box on AntiCraft.

AntiCraft is great. Makes my inner goth glad. Lord, was it really 20 years ago I flirted with Gothdom? The approach of my 40th birthday is spinning me out, just a little.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My first ever TASDA meeting

on Monday and I got to meet Lynne Johnson , a knitting hero of mine! I love her Women of Fibre website and have had a basic "once more from the middle" shawl on the needles for ages. She showed us some of her work - I loved the sleeveless, cowly thing and then we did some finger crochet which was a little tedious, but an interesting technique. Oh, and TASDA is Textile Art and Surface Design Association. They SO need a decent website. The only problem is no further meetings until February!

Bought a copy of the Queen Elizabeth II book of knitting patterns and afternoon tea recipes, "Keepsakes from Mother's Table". Lots of patterns and several fantastic recipes. What could be better than knitting and cheesecake? Only $10 and a VERY good cause. Will get a few more for the SnB girls.

Jejune and Othlon came with me. Their creativity and enthusiasm are infectious. We saw some examples of recent workshops. Othlon was very excited by the reconstruction of old garments. There was also a wearable art parade and lots of laughs. I joined and Othlon might, too.

TASDA have some great workshops and next March is having a retreat weekend - a whole weekend to knit! So pleased I went. Also, it's one of the few meetings where sitting and knitting all through it doesn't raise eyebrows or ire.

I won some lovely green merino homespun on ebay - isn't she beautiful? She'll be the basis for Jill Moreno's Folly. Of course there are several other projects to complete first, such as all the Christmas/new baby knitting and that never ending "once more from the middle" shawl.

I'm also bidding on some mohair - I'd love to make Mum a rug for her birthday in April.

What with all that going on, I've also managed to release a lot of books, and even got a few catches.

This one got from a rest stop next to Lake George (about 80 k from Canberra) to Newcastle airport and is now in Murwillumbah, I think, and one I left in Starbucks last week is on its way to Bahrain. It's fantastic that these books travel more than I do! My favourite catch for this week, though, has to be this one. He must have known he wouldn't like it when he picked it up, but he journalled it anyway.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

FO! Sabavana's "Feather & Fan" Jacaranda Scarf

Sabavana's having a special birthday. Being cash poor and yarn rich, I pulled out the needles and created this for her.

It's an original design, but not particularly so - surely lots of people have knitted one just like it. Gauge is unimportant. I just knitted until I'd had enough.

Materials: 3 and a bit 50g balls of Crucci Raw Cotton 8 ply (DK) in a lovely jacaranda blue.

Fantastic texture, although after knitting in wool, it felt quite rough on my hands. Soon got used to it, though. I picked up a bag of this yarn in jacaranda, ecru and mauve at a market stall. Paid $10 for the lot (about 15 balls).

Needles: 4mm bamboo

Cast on 42 stitches

Row 1 Knit (the right side).
Row 2 K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 3 K3, *(k2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times. Repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 4 Knit.

Continue until desired length is reached and cast off in knit on row 1.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

FO! Sidewinder Hat

Beige Sidewinder Hat, designed by Celia Ng.

Materials: 50g ball of Patons Totem (8ply/DK), beige.
It was the only ball of Totem I could find that didn't have a putative project attached to it! Not a particularly inspiring colour, but fine for an experiment.

Needles: 4mm vintage faux tortoiseshell.

Pattern: Sidewinder hat, designed by Celia Ng, on the Southern Cross Knitting site.

Knitted sideways in garter stitch with a simple cabled band. Utilises provisional cast on, short rows and grafted seam, all techniques new to me, as well as cable. A good pattern to for beginners to learn techniques on.

It only took a few hours to complete. I was home sick and couldn't settle to anything. It looks good on Jejune who is petite, but looked hideous on my boof-head. If I were to knit it again, it would need to be longer and bigger and the cable band deeper..

Pics courtesy of Jejune.

OTN - SIL's "Old Shale" Shiraz Scarf

This is a gorgeous Cleckheaton 12 ply mohair. I picked up 2 x 50g balls and a small amount of another ball in a Salvos store some time last year and have been waiting for the right project to present itself.

The photo does not do it justice. The wool is a rich maroon colour and the pattern quite delicate. With the pattern being over 5 stitches, there is no wrong side to the work.

Materials: About 110g of Cleckheaton Mohair, 12 ply (worsted). It's 92% Mohair, 4% Wool and 4% Nylon. 100m to a 50g ball.

Needles: 7.5mm plastic

Pattern: Found just the right pattern at the Mielkes Fibre Art site. Old Shale is fancy looking but easy enough to do, and frankly the gauge doesn't really matter. I'm just knitting until I run out of wool.

Vital Statistics (added 24 November)
18cm (7 inches) wide, 175cm (69 inches) long and fluffy.

This pic from the Mielkes Fibre Art site.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Crikey, I did it.

That was easy.

Having thought about this for weeks, a glass of wine and a need to procrastinate was all it took to make me a blogger.

So what am I procrastinating about? Well the need to clean up the spare room to find my camera cable for a start, reinstalling software on the laptop, hanging out the washing, putting the dishes away and starting any of the books currently needing to be read either for book group or as part of a BookCrossing ring. Manyana....

More importantly, what was I drinking? Just finished a Kruger Wines, Carinya Sauvignon Blanc 2004 from the ACT Wine Industry Network club. Fresh little white - good for quaffing but not for impressing guests.

On the needles at the moment (pics to follow)
*Jacaranda blue cotton cardie for the next baby boy
*Candy pink cotton cardie for the next baby girl
*Shiraz mohair lace scarf for SIL's Christmas present
*Ecru cabled tunic for JEC's birthday (ok, she had her birthday already, but she'll have another one!)
*My neverending winter shawl that's been so close to being finished for 12 months

Next in line
*Wool cardie for JeJune's soon to be born niece or nephew in London
*Socks in that fantastic Opal wool for me