Monday, January 30, 2006

For when too much SnB is never enough

Stitch'n'Chat: Every Tuesday evening at the Crafty Frog, Shop 1/107 Marconi Crescent
KAMBAH ACT 2902, Phone/Fax: 02 6296 6240

Time: 7 – 9pm Cost: $5.00

Cupboards full of UFOs, no motivation to finish them; need friendly help and advice – why not come along each and every Tuesday evening to finish them. Tea/coffee/bickies provided. Bookings are not essential although it is advisable to ring and check beforehand.

I'll give 'em a ring and see if knitters are welcome.

Maybe they have the elusive bamboo dpns, a breed almost unheard of in this town.

NOT ON 31 JAN - MAYBE NEXT WEEK.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

FOs: "Kaleidoscope" Wire Bracelets

At last, something finished rather than being started, waiting in the wings or stalled.

Rather pleased with how the bracelets have turned out and am reasonably confident that the girls will like them. Even Mum was impressed when she saw them.

Also finished is one of the wedding hats, but can't claim an FO until both items in a project are finished. It'd be like claiming an FO without knitting the bands on a jumper.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Update on the Davids

Started using the Davids this lunchtime. Bliss. Jejune had her new Addis as well, waiting on names for hers.

Managed a quick sneaky wrist measurement of Jessica this morning, so should be able to complete the wire bracelets tonight. Must admit to feeling a bit like the witch in Hansel and Gretel when I wrapped my fingers around her wrists to measure! She didn't twig which is good. Ah touching, the trusting innocence of youth. ;)

Re knitting with wire.

Got my first knitting wire as part of a kit at a craft show. Fantastic because it was already threaded with beads. However, you can buy it at bead shops and some craft outlets. Look for 28 gauge wire - it comes in lots of colours. The one I'm doing the girls' bracelets with is a bit thick to knit comfortably, but it's ok. It doesn't have a gauge on it, but bigger than 28.

Use metal double points. Use OLD metal double points. You will never be able to use these needles for wool again, so the older the better.

Don't cut off the wire too soon. You need about 4 times the length of the wire to beads threaded. It's best to leave it on the spool if you can. Always leave long tails at the beginning and the end, you will be "sewing" your fixings with these.

Pull the "fabric" as you go to stretch it. My first bracelet is now a choker because I didn't stretch as I went and continued to stretch on my arm.

There's good basic information here http://www.angelfire.com/home/avital/technical2.html#wire . I have other links somewhere and will hunt them out. Some of the knitting mags have started printing some wire knitting patterns as well. Will also find those over the weekend.

Oh for joy, they are here

1 set of Clover 5 x 4.5mm bamboo dpns to be known as the Davids , as in Bowie and Byrne and 1 set Clover 5 x 4mm bamboo dpns, to be known the Alans, as in Rickman

Roll on 5pm. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

National Day Off

Due to equipment failure (to be here - see previous post), two more projects have been started, instead of two FOs being shown off. The wire bracelets for the twins' birthday are due at the same time as the wedding hats, so thought I should get a wriggle on.

Knitting with wire is great and the results are spectacular. Talk about getting a lot of bling for your buck, but threading all those beads takes FOREVER! All afternoon spent threading thousands of the little buggers onto thin purple wire. Then they had to be rethreaded when I cut the wire too short to actually knit more than two rows.

Anyway, number one is all but complete - just need to check wrist sizes.

And Spidey, thanks for trying with the needles. How dare that shop be closed. Hope you didn't go all the way over there to find it shut.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Will the very young and/or easily offended, please turn away now






PHARQ!!!!!






Thanks, had to get that off my chest.

Who would have thought the words "I deeply resent public holidays" would come tripping off my finger tips?

Got home at 5.10pm to find a card in my letterbox (parcel available after 4.30pm) for my new needles. Tomorrow is a public holiday. I have all day to knit with my brand new bamboo dpns and they are stuck in a bloody post office 2 kms away until Friday morning at 7.30.

I've done the bands on both the Wedding Hats and am up to the change needles bit, which is where that parcel from The Wool Shack, on which I spent extra money to have delivered express, comes in.

You would be advised to to turn away again.






PHARQEN HELL!!!






Sorry, I'm frustrated and tired and I want my new needles!

However, spent a lovely evening with my family, the kids were delightful, Mum in good humour, Dad didn't nag, we had a good bottle of red, a lovely lamb roast, the dogs all behaved and I finished the band on Wedding Hat No. 2.

Hope everyone's national day off is relaxing and knit-filled.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Crap, I've been tagged

Is this the blog equivalent of a chain letter/endless joke emails?

Anyway, as Spidey tagged me I will do it just this once, but as she's tagged most of my readers as well, won't tag anyone else (unless you want to, in which case consider yourself tagged).

***Ground Rules: The first player of this "game" starts with the topic "5 weird habits of yours" and people who get tagged need to write a blog entry about their 5 quirky habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next 5 people to be tagged and list their names.***

1. At home I can only eat icecream with a particular epns parfait spoon.

2. I'm allergic to casein, the milk protein (only when ingested, I can knit with it) so shouldn't be eating icecream anyway.

3. At home I brush my teeth in the shower.

4. I always butter (which I shouldn't have - see 2, above) bread really thinly but right to the edges of the crusts.

5. My coming home ritual is: as soon as I walk in the door I remove my watch and rings, then my shoes and socks or stockings and then my bra.

You know, there really IS such a thing as too much information.

Emergency Knitting

You know how your Mum always said to have clean underwear on in case you had to go to hospital? Well I reckon, always have a portable project with you in case of an unscheduled (and how could it be any other) trip to the Emergency room of your local hospital.

Monday started as Mondays do - racing around getting ready for work, thinking that an extra day in the weekend would be handy and glad I'd packed my bags the night before, stripping the bed for it's weekly wash, handing the dog over to Dad for doggy-daycare etc. - drag into work, with long list of week's to dos and jobs for all staff. Had just poured a coffee and was deleting the weekend's SPAM when my name was urgently called and I raced downstairs to find one of my staff had fallen on her way in and was in a great deal of pain from a foot injury. Couldn't move her big toe and the foot was swelling in an alarming fashion. Off to the hospital we go.

Thank heavens for knitting. In our two hour wait to be seen by the triage nurse I cast on the second wedding hat and knitted most of the band. The fact that I missed a major pattern error and had to unravel it all last night is immaterial - I had something to do!

Oh, and CC has cracked the bone in her big toe and is a fair bit of pain. Nasty for her :( .

REPLIES TO COMMENTS ON WEDDING HAT
Jejune - with yesterday's emergencies, didn't get to tension square the wool, will do it this lunch time.

HappySpider - I'm sure purl girl would work in wedding invitations and extends the plans for long-term committment based on pissing of mother-in-law no end ;)

Kate - Knitting Olympics not for me. Given our country's usual results in the Winter Olympics, unless I can be the knitting equivalent of Stephen Bradbury, can't see it happening. Now if it was the Knitting Commonwealth Games, different story! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

PROJECT - BC Wedding Hats

PROJECT: BC Wedding Hats
RECIPIENT: Woosang and Gunzel412
MATERIALS: 8ply Heirloom, black, small amount yellow
EQUIPMENT: 4.mm bright read plastic dpns (all I had) and 4.5mm dpns (no I don't have them, yes, I'll have to buy them)
PATTERN: This is one to make up as I go along. The Needle-Beetle has two good patterns I'll use for sizing , the Seaman's Cap and the Match My Coat Cap but I'll have to graph the motif myself. Jejune has promised to help with this bit .
DUE DATE: 13 Feb 2006
CAST ON: 22 Jan 2006

My friends Woosang and Gunzel412 are getting married. Woosang in particular is an evangelical BookCrosser. Prompted by Jejune, who is a creative genius and a bad influence, I'm gunna try to make them matching caps with the BC logo knitted in. They'll certainly be unique. And if this sounds like an odd present to you, the you don't know Woosang. She used the BC logo on her wedding invitations!

PROJECT: Baby Stash - Hat

PROJECT: Baby Stash - Hat
RECIPIENT: Whichever incubii is born next
MATERIALS: 4ply baby yarn from stash
EQUIPMENT: 3.25mm metal dpns
PATTERN: Moss Stitch Hat design 14 from Cleckheaton No.424, Bonnets & Bootees.
DUE DATE: Before the baby's

13 Jan '06 - cast on size 6mos in Cleckheaton Cuddly Soft 4ply nylon in mint green.

FO: Butch Cap Mark II


The Byrans *sigh* and I finished another Butch Cap in the wee hours of Saturday morning. We stayed up late and took a walk down memory lane to St Elmo's Fire and got the job done (how fair is it, BTW, that Rob Lowe looks the same in The West Wing at 40 as he did in St Elmo's Fire at 19?).

This time 84 stitches were cast on instead of 80 and 10 extra rounds were knitted to give a deep enough turn up brim (and extra warmth around the ears). I still cannot get over how gorgeous the natural greasy wool is to knit with. I always turned my scarred-by-the-70s, I-am-not-a-hippy-even-though-I-knit nose up at all that natural stuff, but this was great. I will not be so prejudiced in the future.

Speaking of prejudices, though, the one against ack-rylic and fun furs will continue. Spent the afternoon and evening en famile at Jejune's Place (her actual place, can't seem to squeeze into the blog). She rescued some yarn from a local op-shop the other day that actually squeaked as it was knitted! Don't think these 40 balls will be seen in a garment around Canberra ANY time soon.

We had our own private Stich 'n' Bitch, with Jejune knitting a particularly beautiful little clutch bag and her stripey socks, Othlon, that demon knitter, made progress on the Marley's Ghost scarf and cast on the kitten ear hat from the first Stitch 'n' Bitch book and I worked constantly on JEC's cabled tunic. It does seem to be taking forever. Ah well, it doesn't have to be finished until September, but it would be good to get it finished.

It was a busy morning. Mum's grocery shop, quick trip to Weston Salvos (oh dear, how did those two bags of yarn, several circ needles and c*****t hooks and all those beads get into the car?), field call from cousin who is moving from my grandmother's house about provenance and intended custodianship of various items of furniture and could she use my washing machine. Drop Mum's groceries off, find large suitcase and fruit box full of yarn, needles (my original 1970s rocket needles have come home!), fabric (all those off cuts from my scary 80s fashion design projects plus a couple of nice bits of vintage fabric), and about a dozen rolls of knitting nylon (kind of like long strips of terylene curtaining) have taken refuge at her house from Nanna's house. Coffee, pack wool, needles and nice fabric into car, get reminded to call it at Nanna's and make claim to Mum's 1960s Singer sewing machine (on which I learned to sew and which is beautiful). Call in at Nannas, chat to Auntie Marj, collect sewing machine, sewing machine table and cousin's washing, also order for mauve sewing cotton and Nan wants "her" purple blanket (actually my purple blanket, but Mum let her have it when I left home and Nan returned it years ago, but she doesn't remember that). Home, unload everything except sewing machine and table (it's over 30 degrees now and they are too heavy to drag up the stairs), hang out my washing, put cousin's washing on, return to Mum's with cardboard boxes. Coffee. Find purple blanket "and while you're up in that really high cupboard just throw down a few things and that suitcase is full of your towels and stuff so you'd better get it down, too", triage the resulting avalanche of fabric pieces for long-ago planned projects and manchester purchased over 20 years ago. Haul two boxes of fabric and unwanted manchester into car. Find mauve cotton. Return to Nanna's to hand over blanket and cotton and assure cousin that her washing will be dry by late afternoon should she wish to retrieve it. Down to Phillip Salvos with cartons of fabric etc. to find that everyone else has been clearing out too, so feel obliged to buy some yarn (200g very nice Cleckheaton tweedy 8ply - perhaps the Voodo Wristwarmers?), a couple of books and some black elastic sided boots (yay), to help them out. Just so as not to show favourtism, duck into Phillip St V de P and buy a book. Forgot to buy milk earlier so over to the nearest shopping centre, oh dear it is also home to LYS. Buy wool for Woosang's wedding hats and for practice mohair rug, still no bamboo dpns, and blag a few Jo Sharp freebie bookmarks and booklets for the SnBers. Home, hang out cousin's washing, bring my washing in (it's about 36 degrees by now and I get sunburned in the 15 minutes I'm out there), answer several email, pack basket and go to Jejune's. Knit, chat, laugh, eat, lovely.

The upshot is that my dining table looks like a knitting bag-lady has taken residence. There's lots of plakky bags of lots little bits of wool. I bagged the big stuff last night, and now I'm down to the stuff to be unravelled and the ends of balls. Some real gems among the dross, though.

100g of a beautiful think and thin handspun in soft bluey-grey, cream and eau de nil.
100g NZ 4ply crepe (socks!)
several single but complete balls of Patons Totem
odds and ends of vintage Patonyle (good for heels and toes)
odds and ends of vintage Patons Azalea (lovely twisted 3-4ply)
darning wool
fantastic vintage apron pattern
400g grey Patons Bluebell

So apart from running around like a blue-arsed fly, I spent a lovely afternoon and evening with some of the bestest people I know, I got some knitting done, expanded the stash and best of all, my mother asked me to knit a baby jacket for her physiotherapist, whose wife is expecting their first child. Why is this the best thing that happened all day? I have graduated from the knitting apprenticeship and received a commission from my knitting master.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It must be love, love, love...

The second worst thing in the world is getting a parcel card in your letter box and having 14 hours until you can pick up the parcel from The Wool Shack that contains 6 balls of Kid Silk Haze "Grace" and a set of Addi turbo bamboo dpns with lemon gummi bear point protectors.

The worst thing is the world is picking up the parcel from The Wool Shack that contains 6 balls of Kid Silk Haze "Grace" and a set of Addi bamboo dpns with lemon gummi bear point protectors and having to work ALL day, then collect dog, cook dinner for family, tidy up and rescue the handwash from the deluge outside (I don't care if we've been in drought for 7 years, it doesn't have to pour with rain the day I do all my woollen garments handwash to put them away for the summer!) before you can use them.

I've cast on another Butch Cap (adding some extra stitches) and I am in love with my Addi bamboo dpns with lemon gummi bear point protectors. I want to marry them. They are smooth and balanced and soft to the touch while being strong and useful, AND they haven't noticed that the washing is sitting on the couch waiting to be folded and put away, or if they have they are far too polite to say anything. Yep, perfect relationship material!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Canberra's best kept secret

The parents took me out to dinner last night. Despite the tantalising salad (!) in the 'fridge and the rapidly deteriorating bucket of plums on the kitchen floor, I readily agreed to an invitation to dinner at the Yacht Club.

As it turned out, it was fish and chips from the takeaway at the bottom of the Yacht Club, eaten outside, and overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. The food was ordinary - good chips, not good potato cakes, reasonable fish - but the drinks were at club prices, and it was cool and the breeze stiff enough to blow the flies away. We sat and enjoyed the view of the lake to Black Mountain. The last of the sailing boats were heading in after a day's sailing and the swans and ducks were floating in a aquatic ballet that was mesmerising. Not a bad way to end the day.

It was, however, only a brief respite from the tyranny of the plums. 16 kilos down and need to finish this morning, as they won't hold any longer.

Knitting has taken second place to all this culinary drudgery. I'm at the point where the sock needs to turn on its heel and as it's my first ever sock, need to sit with some uninterrupted time to get it right. In fact none of the OTN projects are at the easy, no-brain knitting stage, so at midnight last night, I sat down and started a baby beanie.

The baby stash is completely depleted (unless we have a crop of premmies). The pink and blue baby cardies are about to unravelled because the bands are hideous in cotton and will not hold their shape. The yarn can become booties or some such. There are 3 BC babies due soon, and some non-gender specific yellow and mint green baby yarn surfaced in the post-Christmas stash cleanup. The bri-nylon is not bad to knit with and certainly easier for the new mum's to care for than my preferred wool.

It's our first Sunday arvo Stitch 'n' Bitch this afternoon and I'm looking forward to it no-end. The trading basket is stuffed with yarn and patterns, there are FOs to show and tell, and bags of patterns and needles to lend or return to various of our intrepid knitters.

Monday, January 09, 2006

FO: The Never Bloody Ending Once More From the Middle Shawl

I finally did it - I finished it. This has taken over 12 months to complete, not knitting full time on it, obviously.

I really quite like the Once More From the Middle Shawl. It's snuggly and will be fantastic in the middle of winter in the igloo they call my office. It's perpetually under 20 deg C in there. I still wear a cardie, and it was over 30 outside today.

Also finished another 6 cups of Chilli Plum sauce. I dropped Mum and Dad's share of yesterday's cookup off last evening. I'd told Mum about the low yield earlier in the day. Dad, remembering last year's batch, immediately picked another 20 kilos of fruit (he also used child labour and lied that it was for their plum jam)! Two very large buckets were waiting for me on the porch. He even helped me get it into my car. Very thoughful! It's a different plum than yesterday's - lighter coloured and sharper tasting. The sauce is still rather good. More piquant. :) There will be much sauce making in this house this week.

Dad's birthday tomorrow (65), so dinner with the rels. Niece Jess will be centre stage. Poor little bugger fell down stairs yesterday arvo and broke her arm. Her right arm, too - just before they go down the coast for a fortnight.

BookCrossing meetup tonight is beginning to look like SnB II. Jejune, Othlon and I knitting away, a newbie also interested in SnB and one of our other members, who doesn't knit, would like to come to SnB, too. Othlon's working on kitten ear headbands that are the cutest things (if one may say Goth is cute). She's doing a fabulous job. Hope to see the pics on her blog soon.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

KNITTING, though considered to be an old-fashioned art...

I was admiring again, Mrs Beeton cuffs in the Dec' 05 edition of Knitty and wondering whether Mrs Beeton had been published recently (I've a copy of her Book of Household Management given to me for my 21st birthday by an aunt - must read it one day). All my dogged research librarian skills turned up that Project Gutenberg has made Beeton's Book of Needlework, by Isabella Beeton available online - for free. I LOVE Project Gutenberg. The link is to where the knitting instructions begin. It's just wonderful!

In the spirit of historical patterns, we also find La Couturiere Parisienne, which has costume patterns from the C14th to C20th. I'm still playing but haven't found any knitting. There are c*****t patterns.

I was having so much fun with Mrs Beeton, and fielding visits from my Dad and brother, then from my Dad and his neighbours to sticky-beak at my garden, that I nearly burned the Chilli Plum Sauce. Rescued it just in time. A low yield this year (just 5.25 cups from 4k fruit) and it's a lot of work for 5 cups of sauce, but man-alive it tastes great.

The recipe is from the Australian Women's Weekly Home Library, The Book of Preserves, 1990. If you see this book anywhere and like making your own jams and stuff, buy it. (Jejune, I've found the recipe - it was at Mum's - and have copied it for you).

My cousin rang to say the apricots are ready, but there isn't much fruit. There was such a bumper crop last year, I didn't expect much. Will pop over tonight and pick what there is. As far as jams go, apricot is my favourite. The kids prefer Mum's plum jam, and that's just fine by me. :)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

PROJECT: Sock It To Me...

Given today's little splurge, sock knitting has begun and bugger it, this one's for me.

Using Elizabeth Bennett's Sock Program I am trying a basic pattern in opal. This for the horrible post-broken ankle misshapen lefty.

Materials
Yarn: Opal green/cream/blue
Needles: size 2mm
Gauge: 9 stitches per inch
Ankle circumferance: 11 inches
Cast On
Cast on 100 stitches.
Divide the stitches evenly on 4 needles (excellent, 25 each needle - maths even I can do!).
Join, being careful not to twist stitches.
Place marker at beginning of round, between needles 1 and 4.
Knit K1, P1 ribbing for 1 inch.
Change to stocking st and knit until sock measures 8 inches or desired length.

Heel Flap
Now knit the heel flap:
Divide stitches for heel flap.
Knit 25 stitches (to end of needle 1).
Set 50 stitches aside (on needles 2 and 3) for instep.
Turn work. S1, and purl back 24 stitches (all the stitches on needles 1 and 4).
Knit heel flap in heel stitch:
Row 1: k1, s1 across.
Row 2: s1, p across.
Repeat until heel flap is square (about 2.5 inches).

Turn Heel
This is a round heel:
Slip 1, knit 32 stitches, SKP, k1, turn.
Slip 1, purl 15, p2tog, p1, turn.
Slip 1, knit 15, SKP, k1, turn.
Slip 1, purl to next-to-last stitch before gap, p2tog across gap, p1, turn.
Repeat until all stitches have been worked, ending on a purl row.
Knit across to end of needle.

Gussets
Now pick up for the gussets:
With needle 1, pick up one stitch through each slip stitch loop on edge of heel flap.
M1 raised increase at beginning of instep stitches.
Knit across the instep stitches.
M1 raised increase at end of instep stitches.
With needle 4, pick up one stitch through each slip stitch loop on edge of heel flap.
Still with needle 4, knit to center of heel.
You should now have:
(1) half the heel stitches and the first group of picked-up gusset stitches on needle 1;
(2) half the instep stitches on needle 2;
(3) the second half of the instep stitches on needle 3;
(4) the second group of gusset stitches and the second half of the heel stitches on needle 4.
Now decrease for the gussets:
Next round: knit to 3 sts from end of needle 1, k2tog, k1.
Instep (needles 2 and 3): k2tog, knit to 2 sts from end, k2tog.
K1, SSK, k to end of needle 4 (at center of heel).
Note: You decrease four stitches in this round. The extra decreases at the beginning and end of the instep needle remove the M1 raised increases from the previous round. On future rounds, you will decrease only two stitches per round, not four.
Knit even around.
Decrease one stitch at the end of needle 1 and at the beginning of needle 3, as above, every other round until 100 stitches remain.

Instep
Knit even until sock measures 6 inches from back of heel or desired length.
If the future wearer of the sock is available:
Try on the sock (the ninja sock of death, with all the needles sticking out).
It should reach to about the beginning of the toes.

Toe
This is a standard toe shaping:
Decrease round:
Needle 1: K to 3 sts from end, k2tog, k1.
Needle 2: K1, SKP, knit to end.
Needle 3: K to 3 sts from end, k2tog, k1.
Needle 4: K1, SKP, knit to end.
Knit one round even. Alternate decrease and plain rounds until 25 stitches remain.
Place stitches on 2 needles and graft together.

Weave in any loose ends of yarn.

FOs and potential FOs

Rumour had it around the Canberra knitting scene, that Cassidy's at the Jamison Shopping Centre has a pretty good yarn, pattern and needle selection.

Saturday is the day I take my housebound Mum out. We do a bit of grocery shopping, sometimes take in an op. shop, sometimes we attend a special event. Today she insisted I needed new needles for the forthcoming Sock Hop (I think we've discussed the genetic nature of knitting obsession/stash accumulation before). Normally we would go over to Stitch 'n' Time at Southlands Shopping Centre. It's closer, and despite the yukky atmosphere and usually unwelcoming owner, the basics are available and they do have bamboo dpns which is what I was after today. However, we thought an investigative expedition to Cassidy's was in order.

Cassidy's is an old fashioned small department store. The sort that were in the country towns of my childhood. Some shoes, some clothes, some manchester and instead of drapery, they have YARN. They have LOTS OF YARN. They have LOTS OF YARN AND 5 TABLES OF DRASTICALLY REDUCED YARN. They have LOTS OF YARN AND 5 TABLES OF DRASTICALLY REDUCED YARN AND A 15% OFF SALE TODAY ONLY.

What they don't have are bamboo dpns!

And now they don't have 20 x 25g balls of white and cream Patons "Dream Time"/Cleckheaton "Merino Bambino" 4ply; 2 x 25g balls of Cleckheaton "Merino Bambino" in mauve; 2 x 25g balls of Cleckheaton "Merino Bambino" in pale blue; 1 x 25g ball of Heirloom 4ply in mid blue;2 x 50g balls of Sirdar "Snuggly" 4ply in navy blue and 2 x 50g balls of Sunbeam "St Ives" sock wool in gum leaf green. *sigh* Tell me you wouldn't do the same at $2 ball and all your Christmas gift money in your purse.

Mum put a shopping bag on front of her walker and just kept shovelling 4ply into it. How could I disappoint my mother after she'd worked so hard?

For all you Canberrans. Cassidy's is great. Extremely good yarn selection. More than Stitch 'n' Time. Staff not particularly knowledgable as far as I could tell, but they were cheerful, obliging and welcoming. Many more patterns than Stitch 'n' Time, too. Needles and accessories better than BigW, about as good as Stitch 'n' Time (but no bamboo dpns). Well worth the trip to Jamison - which has to be the MOST depressing of all our regional shopping centres, although the proximity of a Salvos Family Store and the YMCA op. shop is a definite bonus! Plenty of free parking and you sure don't have to fight the crowds.

I've been a very productive girl this afternoon, though. Guess I have to be.

Finished the beanie I intended for David: Mark's Butch Cap. It's too small. I tried it on my boofhead and it only just stretches enough and isn't very long. As it only used about 50g of the 225g ball, I'll make another one or two. Next time I'll add 12 stitches to the width and another 1.5 to 2 inches to the length. Love the yarn though. The greasiness has left my hands very soft. :)

Also finally made two PVC niddy-noddies. They are as ugly as a hatful, so they'd better work! All up they cost $28 for the two. One for me, one for Jejune.

This was not the weekend to leave the camera at work!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mega Bitch

How was tonight's Stitch 'n' Bitch? 9 of us (the biggest turn out in ages) and several interested onlookers. Most of the onlookers were supportive/enthusiastic although the guy who asked me if this is a regular "knitting circle" won't ask that particular question again!

HappySpider and Jejune were making great progress with their orange, red and green patonyle socks, Twisted Gabriel was working on several scarves, Othlon did a lot of untangling but the shrug is nearly finished, Camille's multi stranded knit is looking great, Jordan's dolly clothes are a fantastic colour combination, Vanya's mobile 'phone cosy progressing well, Sharon's teal scarf is nearly there and I'm still going with the **&&^^A##&%*#! Once More From the Middle Shawl.

Lots of enthusiasm for a Sunday meet, so we'll get to meet twice monthly for our knitting in public fix. :)

Jejune is going to do a poster for the various yarn and craft stores around town to publicise us.

The trading basket went well, too. Got shot of all the useless Placed in welcoming homes the yarn I took and there was support to make it a regular feature.

Everyone was sweet about my impromptu media appearances yesterday; thanks for your support ladies. Note to self - NEVER wear white to work again - you know what happened to Moby Dick.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wind me up


I have a wool winder!!!!! It was sitting in my letterbox when I got home this afternoon. Dad must have been under the house.

It's doing a sterling job so far. :)

I managed to down load the Christmas break photos today, so previous posts are about to look a whole lot prettier. Hope Blogger is behaving, because I got some wool to wind, baby.

Monday, January 02, 2006

FO: Kelly the Kelpie's Jumper

It's done, even all the ends are darned in! Looks good, but oh that wool!

The best thing about the Lincraft Cozy Wool is the colour. Apart from that, it's rough, short stapled, full of joins (7 in one 50g ball) and organic matter. Not the worst I've ever knitted with, and I guess it would felt really well, but I wouldn't choose it for a garment.

So how's that - two FOs and only two days into the year! Feeling pretty chuffed.

My unexpected house guests left me a gift of a hack saw, so I am off to make my niddy-noddies.

PROJECT: Mark's Butch Cap

PROJECT: Mark's Butch Cap
RECIPIENT: David
MATERIALS: 1 x 225g ball natural "greasy" wool by Jumbuk of Bairnsdale bought at St VdeP for $2.
EQUIPMENT: 5mm circular needle; 4 x 5mm dpns (of course I don't have 5mm dpns - I'll have to buy some)
PATTERN: Mark's Butch, Macho Roll Brim Seaman's Watch Cap by Mark Thrailkill on the Witty Knitter's blog
CHECK LIST:
  • tension square 2 Jan '06
  • knit7 Jan '06
  • darn in ends7 Jan '06
DUE DATE: This will be a thank you for the Yarn Swift. If I knit it soon, then surely the swift will be ready soon. I also believe in fairies ;). Let's say it's due 30 January 2006.
NOTES:
2 Jan - Well I started with a 5.5mm circ as there are no 5mm circs in the collection, but don't like the result. Wasn't the gauge as much as the circ. Will buy some 5mm dpns and give it a go. Interestingly the greasiness of the wool makes what would be quite a coarse textured fibre really lovely to knit with. I think I'll enjoy this project. And yes, I actually knitted a tension square. I unravelled the tension square because that's what I do and they are a waste of wool, but I knitted one, so there. :p
7 Jan - Finished according to pattern and the result is a too small hat. What, am I the only boofhead knitting for boofheads? As this took about 50g of a 225g ball, I'll cast on another. This time add 12 stitches to the width and 10 round to length.
21 Jan - Finished second cap. Cast on 84 stitches and added 10 rounds to the pattern. The needles used were Addi Bamboo dpns with lemon gummi bear point protectors. These needles are known as Bryan and we will be announcing our engagement soon. If there is any criciticism of Bryan, it's that at 15cm, they are a bit short for the hat. 20cm would have been better.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy Knit Year

Well it's over. The dastardly 2005 with all its Unfortunate Events is gone and it's a brand Knit Year.

Happy Knit Year to you all.

The unexpected arrival of house guests yesterday has put the knitting plans back a little, but as Miss Julie is a knitter, they weren't at all upset that I pulled out Kelly the Kelpie's jumper after dinner last night and finished the leg bands. I put the last stitch in the bands and had enough time to retrieve the champagne from the fridge and pop it as the clock struck 12. So only the body band to go with that sexy little red number.

The general clean up has revealed a hitherto forgotten UFO. In a fit of Christmas exuberance a couple of years ago I knitted a few festivity themed teapot cosies as gifts (and was so embarrassed by them gave none away). One was hiding in the bottom of a bag of ack-rylic I was hoping to turn into Lochie's Jumper. All it needed was to be sewn up. So for the first day of the Knit Year I have one FO. A tea cosy in chocolate brown ack-rylic. I seem to recall it was meant to be a pudding, but I'll be buggered if I'm knitting green leaves and embroidering grub raisins and cherries over this baby! It's done.

PROJECT: Little Brown Tea Cosy
RECIPIENT: I'll take this one to work and reclaim the gorgeous fairisle one
MATERIALS: 8 ply ack-rylic (no band, but I think it was that cheap stuff from BigW)
EQUIPMENT: 4 mm bamboo needles
PATTERN: Can't remember, out of a magazine, I think. Knitted in two pieces from the bottom up and sewn together at the sides leaving gaps for handle and spout. Dead easy and not particularly attractive.

Right, I'm off to celebrate with a cosy pot of tea. Not that we need a cosy in this weather. It was 39.9 degrees C an hour ago, with strong hot westerly winds. Thank goodness for airconditioning (which is struggling a little, but holding it's own).

If I really loved you I'd knit you....some wire stuff

The potential gift post, in which I record patterns I could knit if only I loved you enough.

Something like one of these at Bagatelle

A French Knitting wire chain

A bracelet by Spun

A Heart Shaped trinket box by Zabet Stewart