Saturday, October 14, 2017

A great weekend

This weekend we celebrated the Richmond Knitters' 10th birthday with a high tea, because the Richmond Knitters like to do things in style.


There was an amazing cake, organised by Sonia, and a trivia completion - where I came equal second and got lovely goodies for it. I also discovered that I have knit 115 pairs of socks - which is quite a lot.

Most of all I reflected on how much I love this group of women (and Brent). These people who understand my going on and on about sock gauge, who have introduced me to so many wonderful things and who know how to have such a good time.


(The photos all belong to Sonia, because I failed to take any)

I also finished my Rose City Rollers this weekend. With the beautiful weather, on Sunday we went and watched other people run the Melbourne Marathon, and then sat on our balcony, just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine: and taking pictures of finished socks with cats. 
I am very happy with them, they are at a proper tight gauge, and very comfortable. Now to knit some socks on 2.25 mm needles, rather than the 2mm needles I knit these on, and see how that goes.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Some discussion about gauge for socks

I knit some plain socks for my mother. Well, unpatterned might be a better word for them:
I figured, since I pinched this yarn from her stash I would make her a pair of socks from it: 
After knitting the first one, I had two thoughts: these socks are really ugly but she’ll like them, and my gauge is too loose. I’m knitting at 28 stitches x  39 rows / 10 cm
This is not the first time I have thought this. I tried knitting on 2.25 mm Karbonz, a while ago which didn’t help 

At knit night on Monday I compared the texture of my socks to those of Brent and Ursula’s, and decided something has to be done. Brent thought that wood might be better, so I decided to do the foot of the second sock on 2.5mm wooden needles - because I didn't to want to mess with the gauge too much, I just wanted to see what difference it would make. I’m not sure it made any. Post blocking I can’t tell which sock was knit on which needles.

I decided to knit myself a pair of Rose City Rollers in the same yarn, as a comparison. My plan was to knit the first on 2.25mm needles, and the second on 2mm – I’ve got an old set KnitPro sock DPNS. When I pulled out the set there were only 4 of the 2.25. I’m knitting the first on 2mm, and I bought a set of Karbonz 2mm for the second. Certainly my gauge is much tighter 32 stitches 48 rows for 10 cm. I also note that my hands are tireder than they have been for a while.

I have realised that there are three things I really like in a sock needle: metal, sharp tips and 5 inches long. And it has to be DPNs. I’ll use 2 circulars if the pattern requires it or if I’m traveling, but I really do like DPNs best.


I’ll be running – and telling you about – some experiments I’m doing with needles over the next couple of weeks. I’m hoping the outcome of them will be that I get a good gauge with metal 2.25mm needles – because then I can buy a set of Signature DPNs in 2.25mm. Otherwise I’m not quite sure what the answer is – although I did find instructions for do-it-yourself carbon fiber needles!




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesdays are for books - Friends Without Benefits / Depends What you Mean by Extremist

After finishing The Messenger (good book, weak ending, review here) I, somewhat unexpectedly decided I had to read the next in Penny Reids' Knitting in the City Series – Friends Without Benefits

I’m really enjoying this one – the main character Elizabeth is not an annoying kook, unlike Janie of the previous two books in the series. Also, there isn’t a weird crime theme, and a main character with a business that makes no sense (I’m looking at you Quinn).  This book runs parallel to Human Marries Neanderthal so some of the scenes have already been read, but from a different perspective. It’s all round a more confident book than the previous in the series, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s not like me to read a series all at once, but this is heading that way. I'm just devouring them.
 

I’m listening to John Safran’s It Depends What you Mean by Extremist which is his exploration of extremism in Australia. It’s read by John, and is an exciting romp through white nationalism, anti-islam and anti-sematism. It’s got that Ron Johnson “isn’t this interesting, isn’t this odd” vibe to it.

The two books balance very well.
Are you reading something good? Book recommendations welcome in the comments.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Poppy drama

A little while ago one of my work colleagues pointed out a Facebook group that collects knitted and crotchet poppy's for a display that happening at the Australian War Memorial next year. I followed the group, and thought it sounded like fun. Also a nice way to use up a little of my LOSY. It took me a while, but on the weekend I finally made my first poppy:

It only has four petals. I'm not sure why.

Also on the weekend, one of the organisers posted, asking that  we don't include animal fur with the poppies. Maybe wash them. The responses to this post were "interesting", my favourite was the person who only crafts in the spare bedroom, with the door shut. Meanwhile I'm making my second poppy. I have a cat sitting in my lap, there are chunks of cat fur on the floor (I'm not sure why, I think Tarragon sometimes pulls out Princess Daisy's fur). One of my yarns is handspun, made in the same conditions. There is no way a wash is going to remove the cat fur.

I made a second poppy. There is room for improvement, but at least it (sort of) has five petals.

On Sunday morning the original post had been deleted from Facebook, replaced by one that said similar things, and asking people not to comment, as the previous comments had become quite "heated". There were 230 comments under the post. 
I unfollowed the group. I guess I won't be making any more poppies.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

sOctober - FO 1

I finished the first of my sOctober socks, a pair of Slow Fade from Knitty. 

They knit up very quickly - a week from start to finish. Once I got the hang of the pattern, I didn't need the charts at all, which is always fun. 

Some bits of the pattern didn't make a whole lot of sense, but, as an experienced sock knitter, it was easy to work out what was meant to be going on.

I had a bit of trouble getting photos - I know conventional wisdom is to take them in daylight, but I finished these on Sunday night, and Leon and I won't be together in daylight until Thursday at the earliest. We have down lights, a they make taking photos difficult. And Princess Daisy, she of the beautiful whiskers, wanted them in every photo:


I enjoyed knitting with the yarn I dyed, and using something that was most definitly "from the bottom of the pile". 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Look what I bought back when I was bored



In my last role I had very little to do for the last two weeks.  I had wrapped everything up, and there was no point starting any new work. I’m a chronic internet shopper at the best of times, and I was so bored. The other day I got a package notification. I thought I knew what it was (some CND nail oil, if you must know). When I went to pick it up it wasn’t. It was these adorable rubber ducky stitch markers.






Also these coffee and cake ones:



At least in my current role I am busy and challenged. That way I only buy things I need on the internet. they are very cute, but I tend to use very light rubber or metal stitch markers, so I really don't know what I was thinking.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesdays are for books (The Messenger)

I feel like I should be reading books about socks, to really theme with sOctober. Since I don’t know of any good fiction books about socks,  I’m reading Marcus Zusak's The Messenger. He is the author of The Book Thief, and I knew this one was going to be nothing likeThe Book Thief. I went into it with fairly low expectations. My heart sank in the first chapter – it seemed very, very ocker. As I’ve read on though, I’ve found it has a very strong Australian voice, without being grating or false. The book is set in  the early 90s, and it’s quite funny as the main character looks things up in the street directory, and telephone books, and goes to the library to find stuff out. I don’t know how authors can write anything with a sense of mystery in today’s connected world.  The book is kind of young adult, but I’m enjoying the story and really want to know what happens next.
I abandoned A room of Her Own. I’ve never been successful at reading Virginia Wolfe,  and I just found this rambling and unengaging. Maybe I should try it on audio, that often helps me read things that I struggle with in print.