Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Bad blogger; bad, bad blogger. No posts in ages. Many of my bloggy mates seem to be similarly affected so perhaps it's viral.

Use What You Have Month

As some have pointed out, I am constitutionally unsuited to restrictive diets of any kind. I managed not to buy any magazines or books but failed at the "no wool" part.

I did what the month called for in name, though, and used stash to create several items (see previous post) and there are still further stash inspired items on the needles. Also, much agonising, gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair thinking was done about acquisition for the sake of it and consumerism in general. I thought carefully about each purchase and did not go mad at the Royal Easter Show, despite many, many temptations. In fact, the homeward journey was weighed down with only two skeins of yarn to make a single garment, a few sets of dpns bought in op-shops and two lengths of fabric for winter clothes, also bought in op-shops.

(crap photo of black and white herringbone wool for skirt and french navy fine wool and lycra for dress)

I also found items in stash I'd forgotten about, which is better than buying stuff because it's like getting new yarn for free and home-delivered!

So, despite corrupting Jejune's resolve (if I was sinking, someone else was going down with me), UWYH Month was a success in the Taphophile household.

Finished Objects

If thoughtful purchasing and justification of expenditure were the upside to UWYH Month, then a mania for small and quick projects, particularly scarves, may be the downside. There is much to recommend the garter stitch scarf, but knitterly challenge it ain't.

This is for one of my work team. Presenting Ann's Peacock Scarf -

I was knitting it at lunchtime Friday and she fell in love with the colours. Can't blame her - it's a fantastic yarn. Purchased earlier this year in a local op-shop, it's 3 balls of Robin Charade colourway named "Panache". The peacock colours against the black are a knock out and I'm giving it to her tomorrow before I change my mind and keep it. Here's a closeup of the colours. Not quite perfect representation, the green has gone yellow, but it's close, very close.

For the record, it's 15 stitches in garter stitch on 12 mm needles. 132cm long and 18cm wide. That's 52" x 7" in the old money.

The TASDA Shawl, aka the Green Menace

The Textile and Surface Design Association (TASDA) has an annual charity raffle. Members donate an item they have created. Items are displayed at various functions throughout the year, such as craft shows and TASDA's annual exhibition. The raffle is drawn at the exhibition. As many people win as there are donated items. Last year the money raised (over $2,000) went to Stasia Dabrowski for her soup kitchen.

This is a pic, stolen from the TASDA website, of a small section of last year's raffle prizes. More than 80 bags were donated last year. This year, the items must be wraps.

Using Sarah Bradberry's pattern and nearly 10 balls of Shepherd Accent mohair (78% mohair, 13% wool, 9% nylon) from stash, the Taphophile donation is a feather and fan comfort shawl in jade green. I calculated that the yarn would have cost me about $50 new, so that amount has been donated to Medicins Sans Frontieres. As promised, a charity double-bunger for UWYH Month. The remaining 5.5 balls of the yarn will go into the Stitch 'n' Bitch swaps basket and I get to be a Tricoteuse Sans Frontieres. Everyone wins.

The shawl isn't blocked yet - happy to receive advice on blocking mohair - but it doesn't have to be submitted until the end of the month, so no pressure.

Knitted on 6mm bamboo circs, dimensions to be determined by blocking. It's a little small for me, but some of the slim young things tried it on the other night, and it was fine on them. I just got so sick of being covered in jade green mohair that I had to cast off.

On the needles

Motherly Mohair

Mum's birthday came and went and her Kiri shawl still looks like this.

She really loved her Tupperware icecube trays, though!

I'm using some stash Cleckheaton Studio Mohair as a test run before breaching the Rowan Kid Silk Haze. The Cleckheaton is a bluey grey colour - more blue than this picture shows, but it's very grey day here. It's lovely yarn, but a real bugger to unravel. This yarn has been knitted then unpicked so many times that it's starting to get bald patches. The shawl will get done eventually, probably when Mum and Dad make their annual migration north (51 days to go and counting) for the winter. I'll have more time then and more head space.

Loofah, aka This is How Much I Really Love My Mother

Apart from the chronic heart-lung thing and the 24 hour oxygen, Mum's main problem is dry skin and an itchy back. For Mother's Day, she's getting a knitted loofah at her own request. Her requirements were minimum length of 70cm, handles and quick drying. Certainly purchase of such an item is possible, but it was April, I was in the grip of UWYH Month and I have a box full of that abomination, Cr****t Nylon, donated by my grandmother (who knew she hated me that much?) .

I'm 2/3 done knitting a tube out of doubled cr****t nylon. Bet you thought you'd never see such an admission on THIS blog! The colours are mauve and white, but knitted together come out a particlarly interesting lolly pink. Mum loves the colour, btw. It has to be finished in a week. So far it has been knitted at the computer while reading email and knitting blogs and at last Thursday's SnB. I can just about manage it if I don't actually look at it while I'm knitting.

The idea is the tube will be turned inside out so that the seamless reverse garter stitch side will be the working surface. I need to attach handles of some description so it can be used in the shower to scrub her back. The virtues of this object are that it is definitely UWYH, it's creating a useful gift to the specifications of the recipient and the recipient has accepted that this is adequate compensation for the black mohair cardigan I made her knit me, at night, 23 years ago. I will also point out that I am still wearing the black mohair cardigan. I expect she will similarly cherish the loofah.

Here it is about 2/3 done and looks rather like a wind sock.

And finally, socks

This week I have failed to successfully complete two different socks 5 separate times. Note to sock pattern designers - please put ALL stitch numbers for ALL needles and ALL needle positions, particularly after gusset pick ups, EVERY time. Not all of us are experience sock knitters and the instruction 'use your favourite heel' is NOT helpful.

Just to show that I am incapable of learning from past mistakes, I am now most of the way down the leg of a new sock. This one's for me in black Clan 4ply (60% wool, 40% nylon) that I picked up off Ebay for $5 for 12 x 25g balls. I work that out to be less than $1.70 a pair of socks, if when I get them finished.

The pattern is a Lizzie's Lacy Ribs by Fluffy Knitter Deb and goes up to an 11" ankle. Forgive the crap photo - it's hard to stop the flash going off, hold the sock and take the shot.

And as a reward for getting all the way to the very end of this dull post, a shot of the Quality Control Supervisor letting me know what she thinks about knitting in general and knit blogging in particular, on cold, wet and windy days when we could be cuddled up on the couch with chocolate and a good book.


ferg said...

Enjoyed the read! And mightiliy impressed by the output of gorgeous knitting.
What shape will your Mum's ice-"cubes" be? I got some oz shaped ones to take to UK and they were a big hit too!
cheers Gillian

Jejune said...

A lovely lot of knitting there Taph - and your fur baby certain does not look best pleased... I hope all has been forgiven by now. As for that baby nylon {gack} - you are braver than me, and I hope your mum is everlastingly grateful!

Now, have you blocked that shawl yet, or is that a dirty question? ;)