Monday, July 24, 2006

Here and There Cabled Scarf

The "Here and There Cables" pattern is from Scarf Style by Interweave Press.

It's very simple but looks quite complicated. The trick with it is to trust the pattern. It's a seven row pattern, six rows of which are 3x3 rib. the cable row is weird and I did it several times before I learned to trust the designer. It just didn't do to over think it. Because the pattern is over an odd number of rows, it's completely reversible. I'm loving it. I can't really post the pattern - that would infringe the intellectual property rights of the designer, Norah Gaughan.

It's not just the pattern I'm enjoying, though. The wool is wonderful. As a knitter raised on Totem and Bluebell, a smooth crepe yarn feels "proper".

The pattern calls for a bog standard 8ply and 4.5mm needles. You need the slightly larger than normal needle to keep the fabric from stiffening up under the cables.

I was going to post pics of my weekend's bargains, but the camera has dead batteries. Let's just say that I committed knitterly sacrilege by buying two products made by this company. Look, they were $8 each and the FIT ME!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The viking slayed St George

Dad and I spent the afternoon at the footy. This week it was Rugby League. The Raiders beat St George 31-12. It was a well played match and we had good seats. They were pretty much on the half way line and close enough to be able to actually see the players.

I knitted Mum's plush scarf.

It would have been finished by now but last night she decided it was too wide. It was pretty wide, but it was also nearly 5 feet long. *sigh* So I unravelled few rows, then started knitting a new scarf straight from the old one. Still, she likes the colour and the texture, so at least it will be worn and appreciated.

I couldn't resist casting on the "Here and There Cables" scarf for her though. All that novelty yarn had my fingers yearning for wool. I picked up 9 balls of this Sirdar DK crepe for $7 in an op-shop a while ago and mum loved the colour. It's a great yarn to knit with - smooth and springy. The pattern is interesting enough at the moment and grows reasonably quickly. It actually looks much better in 3 dimensions than in a photograph.

Nothing finished, this week, darn it and lots of things started. Oh dear startitis has struck. :)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The week in review

Wow, it's been over a week since the last post. It really doesn't seem that long at all. Possibly because I spend time ready all your blogs and feel my work is done.

The week started out just fine. The eBay auctions have been going really well. Most things are selling and some things are selling very well indeed. It's hard work being an eBay mogul, but that's ok, because no-one pays me to sit and knit or read blogs. The aim is to pay off the car debt as quickly as possible. That's a lot of sewing patterns and old needlework kits.

Op-shopping was great last weekend and included a visit with the Happy Spider at her work. She introduced me to her boss as a woman she knits with. He smiled, nodded and asked if I was knitting anything at the moment. The silence that followed was stunned and broken only by the grinding of Spidey's teeth. I managed a strangled "Why yes, I do have a project or seven on the needles" and Spidy and I repaired to the cafe to roll our eyes and imbibe caffeine.

I may have missed the ball-winder, table loom and knitting machine that The Shopping Sherpa found, but a quick trip to the shop on Monday netted about 400g of divine mauve lace-weight, 180 g of apple green lace-weight and 350g cream 8ply.

Sunday was the first day of spinning classes at Canberra Spinner's and Weavers. I suck at spinning and after two hours of doing nothing but treadling, I still can't get an even rhythm. I am practicing. In an "only in Canberra" moment, where there's no such thing as 6 degrees of separation and 3 degrees is only for very recent arrivals, the only other student in the class is the daughter of a West Highland Terrier breeder who has worked very closely with my breeder. In dog and Canberra terms, that makes us related.

Gratuitous Westi pic: Here's Rosie who was very happy to be allowed on a couch at last.

Sunday arvo and Tuesday night SnB's were great as usual. Lovely to be with my knit sisters, even if I got exactly no knitting done at either event. Sometimes it's all about the bitch.

It was at this point that the week started heading for the toilet.

Mum and Dad, who should be on their annual northerly migration for the winter, are back 6 weeks early. Dad discovered what has turned out to be an agressive malignant melanoma. It's pretty bad but it is small and age is on his side. Apparently it's better to be older in this situation. They drove home Wednesday and he has an appointment for more tests next Friday.

Not to be outdone, Mum developed one of her killer nosebleeds Thursday evening and spent the night in Emergency. It's really scary when you can't stop a gusher like that. She's home now and we're hoping for a uneventful weekend.

The dogs are pleased to see the parents back, but Peggy misses having Rosie here all the time. Of course she resented having to share me when Rosie came. Bloody dogs.

Good things happened in the midst of all this. Thanks to Gillian who sent me a fantastic scarf pattern inside a Horacek card!. The day it arrived, my mother asked me to knit her a scarf and I have excatly the right wool in stash to do it. Of course, she needs a scarf sooner than I can knit 6 feet of cable in 8ply so my current project is a scarf for Mum. I'm moss stitching Patons Velveteen doubled up for a soft, warm and quick scarf. Thank heavens for Sue who donated a large bag of this stuff. Can't photograph it now, but will do so before I give it to Mum.

Jejune's back safe from holidays and that makes me really happy, too. :)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Can't stop progress

Look what I finally got done! It's the back of the cabled tunic for JEC. Yeah, it was due last October, but I've done the back, the sleeves and 1/3 of the front. It's so nearly there. Um, yeah, there is a tide mark where I left the knitting for several months but I reckon it'll block out - right?

And this, Baby Blues Hat.

Recognise the yarn? You might if you read this post.

Ms Spider gave me the scraps of the Socksual Healing yarn. It's divine.

I used some more of it in the yoke of a baby jacket last night, but found the colour I was teaming it with didn't work. More unravelling this morning *sigh*. Into the yarn compost for the time being, I think, to be used to enrich another project at a later date.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


See this beautiful colourway? It's "Kelp Forest" by the happiest spider of them all, Happy Spider.

It's handpainted 4ply and I thought it would make a lovely baby jacket. It does, it looks great, I just underestimated the amount I would need by about 30 rows. Drat. It's soooo lovely.

Here it is just before I unravelled it this morning. I think it might end up as hats and socks for little people, rather than a jacket.

Spidey and I spun on Sunday. I suck at spinning, but I enjoyed it none the less. If you've read her post you will know we went to the fibre fest at the Old Bus Depot Markets before repairing to Othlon's birthday tea where we enjoyed the company of fibre friends, took much refreshment and knitted.

I was reasonably restrained as far as fibre, and my constitution, allowed but I did buy a few tools to add to the kit.

I got a couple of merino and silk blended tops for spinning,

two sizes of niddy noddy and a nostepinne for myself and some lace bobbins for Carl. I'm going to attempt to replicate the niddy noddies and the nostepinne in woodworking class, and my fellow woodworker, Carl, wanted to play with making lace bobbins.

Tuesday SnB tonight - yay. :)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Othlon!

Join me in wishing Othlon a very happy birthday.

Hope you had a fantastic day, Othlon and that it was full of food, family and fibre.

See you tomorrow for the "Festival of Othlon's Birth", Part II. :)

I found you a Goth Knit Ring - how cool is that?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

FO: Yarn swifts

Finished these nearly a fortnight ago but have been unable to photograph them until now.

These are the yarn swifts made of my own two hands. They took a very long time (6 weeks of woodworking classes) to make and when they were done, I cried because I am a sook and because I've never made anything from wood before. I call them "Adam".

These are made of jarrah, with a pine dowel as the spindle and I am very proud of them. I was going to sell one but find I am unable to part with either of them just yet.

To my great relief, they work. They will go at high speed with a ball winder and not topple over or try to take flight.

Yarn swifts look simple to make. They are not. It's not just me who says this, my very experienced woodwork teacher thinks so, too. I didn't have a pattern. I copied the dimensions from a really horrible old swift I bought of eBay at an inflated price, made some alterations to the design (natch) and made everything from scratch. Next term I'm making more swifts, but in a simpler design. To do them I'll need to shape wood, so I had a practice with the lathe on Monday night and made these.

Idiosyncratic 12mm dpns made from pine dowel. They aren't quite done yet. I have to steam the timber to get the marks out made by the clamp on the lathe, lightly sand and then estapol them. They will either be great dpns for all that floofy wool I bought not so long ago, or I'll be able to trade Buffy something for them.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Be alert, not alarmed and the bliss of emergency knitting

We were evacuated from work today for just on two hours. It was a bomb hoax.

While all around me were losing theirs, I knitted. I stood in a walkway near the library stopping idiots from trying to cross the "do not cross" tape at the library door, took stuff for returns from people, had a quick cup of coffee and helped with a cryptic crossword, and I knitted.

My colleagues were looking at the knitting with some longing and more than one suggested I pass it around for everyone to have a go. My response was that it was knitting, not a joint. Smug is so becoming!

Nearly done with a red matinee jacket. Would finish it tonight but I have to clean and tidy this tip of a house before I am smothered in clutter or contract a really bad disease associated with dust accumulation.