Thursday, December 30, 2010
Once a week I do Pilates. I really enjoy the effects of it: my body is more balanced, I get a lot less aching in my shoulders, I run faster with less training. What I don't enjoy so much is the actual act of doing it. It's very finicky, and concentrated. But the rewards for effort are enormous, so I will certainly continue doing it. In order to amuse myself, and possibly by instructor, I made a pair of Tulip socks to wear to Pilates.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I also finished the yarn for the Bitteroot shawl. It's from a stunning EGMTKs braid.
Here is is in all its stages:
Although I think the final yarn is prettier than this, photographing yarn is HARD.
As for the starting things, I cast on for Stephanie Purl McPhee's tulip socks. I have been preparing wool from my corriedale fleece to spin and this afternoon I am going to start that. i am very excited because it is beautiful, and Leon is pretty excited about me handspinning a jumper for him. At least I think he is. Or at least he should be.
And today the weather was beautiful and sunny and we went and played frisbee in the park, and then sat under a tree while I worked the intarsia heel of the second sock. if there is one thing I've learnt it's that intarsia should be done with your eyes on the work. Although I did promise my Uncle a Kafe Fassett jumper, and if I do follow through with that I'll have to learn to intarsia under all circumstances.
Monday, December 27, 2010
The Decimal cardigan is complete. Finished, blocked and worn. Despite my couple of freakouts while knitting it, I'm so happy with the results. As usual, none of the things I worried about were an issue. I thought I might be short on yarn, since the pattern called for exactly the ten balls of Rowan cotton glace that I had. No problem, I ended up only using seven and a half. I thought my hands might get sore from knitting with cotton. Again, no problem there. The Rowan Cotton Glace is beautiful. I want to knit with nothing but Rowan from now on. Maybe if I finish my stash completely in 2011, that can be my 2012 thing!
I was worried about the way my shoulders and body stitches would meet up:
That worked too.
We were meant to go to the botanical gardens for a picnic yesterday with my brother and the neiphlins, and windy. Which was fine, but it means these photos were taken at Elsternwick Station, not as scenic a spot as the Botanical Gardens. Today it is looking nicer and I may well take my husband and my knitting to the park for some quality sitting time.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
1) Finish Decimal
2) Knit an Elizabeth Zimmerman February baby sweater in the pink wool I dyed recently
3) Finish spinning the EGMTKs for Bitteroot
4) Start spinning the washed fleece for Leon's jumper
5) Wash more fleece
In non crafty activities I will be seeing family and friends, completely going through my clothes cupboard and folding things up, and spending lots of time on the couch with Leon. Unless the weather gets nice, in which case I will be spending lots of time in the park with Leon.
Have a merry whatever and a happy everything.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
If my job was more interesting, would I spend less time worrying about my knitting at work?
Saturday, December 18, 2010
So I thought about it, I worried about it, I didn't do any work because my job is really boring and my energy was elsewhere. Ravellry is blocked at work, so I couldn't look it up on there. I sent emergency emails and got comfort but no concrete advice. Basically I had to move the entire pattern 5 stitches across. I really didn't want to rip, I was already half way through the sleeves. Eventually I took a leaf out of the great Cat Bordhi's book: she says in a tube you can put the increases anywhere and it will still be a tube. I did twice as many increases on one side as the other. That this can work did my head in, but it has worked.
I've also finished spinning the first half of the singles for the Bitteroot shawl. I love the way this is looking and it is an absolute delight to spin.
And now I'm off to Christmas at Leon's family, hopefully I'll be able to make more progress on the Decimal while I'm there this afternoon.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Actually it was a long weekend, because I was sick on Friday. I was absolutely exhausted and couldn't get on my bike to get to work. It just all seemed far too difficult. I spent the day resting around the house. I plied the wool I have been spinning for Owls. I am extremely happy with how the yarn came out- its soft and fluffy and squishy and balanced. I probably won't knit it until autumn, because a jumper knit in one piece is a bad plan for a Melbourne summer, but I am very much looking forward to it.I also dyed some Bennet and Gregor wool pink. It's for a February baby sweater for my niece.
I navaho plied the last of the stripped wool for Leon's mitts, and then I started spinning a pretty EGMTKs polworth/alpaca/tussah silk blend in a laceweight, intended for the bitterroot shawl.
I crocheted some pretty cat toys out of Mini-mochi, since all handknits Tarragon has damaged have been made out of this slightly furry sock wool. The cats are playing with them a little, and we found one floating in the water bowl, something he does like to do with his toys. It made me wonder if i should have used polyfill to stuff them, rather than ugly, scratchy wool.
I've done a little bit on my Decimal cardigan. The Richmond knitters are doing a knit -a-long and I am really enjoying knitting it. The pattern is extremely well written and I think it's coming out well. Although my photography skills leave something to be desired, since it really is a pretty colour blue colour, not an odd grey.
I'm a bit tired today and its raining and I think I'm going to spend the rest of the weekend spinning and knitting and sitting on the couch. And that's it really, my weekend in craft, by Sharon.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Hand dyed cotton fibre from Stranded in Oz. I joined Mel's spindle club at the beginning of the year and every two months she has sent me something delicious to spin, as well as various pretties, including a stitches per inch wrap, a spindle and stitch markers. I wasn't sure how I would go about receiving fibre that I hadn't specifically chosen, but I've loved it. Maybe because everything that has come has been so pretty, or maybe because its all been so different: Alpaca and Cotton and Merino and a tencel blend. And the colours, blue and brown and rainbow and just wonderful.
As well as this I got a package from Miss Babs. I bought the lace weight for the Knitty lace shawl pattern Annis. It’s the yarn featured in the pattern and it looks and feels amazing. Clearly I have gone shawl mad, perhaps because they are not as hard as I thought they would be, or perhaps because I really do have enough socks.
As well as the yarn I bought 200g of fibre. Miss Babs had marked it at $8 instead of $18 dollars - she honoured the price, and managed to get the package delivered to me within a week, both of which are really impressive. I have no idea what I am going to spin with this, but I am sure something will come to me.
I think now the only thing I am waiting on is Interweave Favorite socks and a Neale Stephenson novel. And a Webs order that they are holding because the Malabrigo is out of stock. And my December Fibre Club order should be here next week. I wonder if there will be any other surprises in my letterbox?
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I think it looks good. This afternoon I am not wildly enthusiastic about it, probably because I have so much else going on, like my family being here, and work being weird. Additionally today I ran the 10km "fun" run I have been training (not as hard as I should have been) for over the last 8 weeks. I surprised myself by a) having fun and b) finishing in under 57 minutes. I've cast on my next project, which I AM wildly enthusiastic about, but I'll talk about that when there is more of it discuss.
Vest modelled here by Leon, who is pretty much the exact same size as my father.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
500 grams of them. Unfortunately I've used up all my bobbins, so I'm going to have to make them all into balls before plying. Knitty told me I could, so hopefully it will work.
I've finished the intarsia on my fathers vest.. I was worried the Pear Tree yarn would grow in the wash, but it seems to have actually firmed up a little. As always with intarsia it looks much better after a bath.
I've finished the first of the Sunshine socks, and have started the second. Like all Cookie A patterns I've knit this is logical,easy to memorise and charming. I'm loving knitting with my handspun, for me it takes the process of making it myself to a whole new level.
Also, although I haven't actually been at work, I'm told my blocking wires arrived! It takes the edge of Monday morning, knowing I've got fibre related goodies waiting for me.
And now I'm going to go put on a frock. It's Leon and my one year anniversary and we are going to dinner at the restaurant where he proposed to me. When we got married we didn't have a cake, because it wouldn't have worked with the way we did our event. I've spent the whole year saying that I want a wedding cake. Today Leon went out and came back with this:
Friday, November 26, 2010
I decided I needed some new green socks, so I dyed up some sock wool, using food dye and my trusty Le Cruset.
It definitely turned out green.
I'm going to make Embossed Leaves, from Interweave Favorite Socks, as soon as the book arrives in the mail.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Last weekend Leon and I went rode from Ballarat to Skipton on the rail trail,spent the night in Skipton and rode back. It was a lovely ride, about 150kms door to door. I was glad I cast on the sock, which was perfect train and pub knitting. the riding itself was fun, the weather was great and the views were stunning for a fibre fanatic.
It was so nice to be touring again. I think my bike was plased to be out of the city, too. My bike and I did thousands and thousands of touring kilometres, and then life sort of got in the way, and I haven't toured since before I started dating Leon (when I first met him I was on a bike tour, but that's a whole other story). It was such a pleasure to be sharing something I love with someone I love.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The vest is progressing well - as I said, the back is finished and the front is half done. Now I'm off to get the house in order before we leave for our trip.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Anyway, of 100 projects, this is only my second intarsia one. Not because intarsia is hard, but because its annoying:
On a happier note, I found out what happened with my blocking wires - apparently the courier company left a note in my letter box. Really? Because I stalk that letterbox pretty hard. Anyway, they are now going to be delivedy to work. I'll definitely have them before the next shawl, scheduled for January.
I'm off to wind some handspun for socks, because I need something to knit in class tomorrow, and I don't think those 9 balls of tangled wool are the best plan for public knitting.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I bought the yarn at the Caulfield craft show earlier this year, I sort of wanted to make a cardigan for me out of it, but when I decided to knit a vest for my Dad’s birthday I realised I could use this, and reduce the stash. I had 510 grams in 5 hanks. I needed four hundred grams, so I skeined it up, cast on for the back and the front, and off I went.
Yesterday, after the pub I compared the back, which is half done, to the front and realised that one skein of the wool was slightly darker than the rest. Not enough that I noticed when casting on, but, when laid on top of each other it’s obvious.
When I get home from work today I’m going to rip the front back and start again with the spare skein. This will also give me a chance to sort out the intarsia balls of wool in a way that doesn’t leave them as hopelessly tangled as my first attempt.
Drama 2: I have not yet blocked my shawl. The blocking wires still haven’t shown up. I’ve never had a package lost in the post before, and I’m still hoping it will show up. I’m going to buy some rust proof pins over the weekend and pin block it, because the weather is getting nicer and I want to wear it.
Drama 3: There are no photos today because I am, naughtily, posting this at work. The issue is that my life is getting in the way of my crafting and blogging. Yesterday when I got home from work I had the choice between sitting on the balcony and spinning in the sunshine for an hour or going for a run: and I went for a run. And tonight after work I have pilates and then I have to cook dinner and then prepare my “learn to knit in 20 minutes” presentation. Last weekend I had quite a lot of time for spinning, and spun up a whole bobbin for Owls, this weekend there are other things, including a three year olds birthday party.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I love the way it looks like watermelon. I love the fact that I calculated correctly and used up nearly all my wool. It's still unblocked because I ordered some blocking wires two weeks ago from Brisbane and they haven't arrived yet. i know I need to follow that up, but I keep presuming they will arrive soon. On Friday I got home, and discovered one of those exciting blue notices from the post office. I hopped back on my bike, got to the post office and, when the lovely post office lady gave me my package, was actually disappointed that it was from Interweave! The contents did not disappoint though, Abby Frankenmont's drafting video. Abby taught me to spin on a spindle and I liked the video, it reinforced that what I am doing on the wheel is alright. And that's what I have been doing today, spinning for my Owls jumper. I had to stop for a break though. It turns out that spinning on the wheel and running use the same muscles on the backs of the legs, and mine are rather tired from a sprint session in the park yesterday. I'm also meant to be preparing a presentation - I have to teach a class for half an hour on any topic, so on Thursday I am going to attempt to teach 18 police to knit. I'll let you know how it goes.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I spun and Navaho plied 105 meters of alpaca for Leon's scrunchable hat . I learnt that fibre preparation really impacts on the finished product and that my ability to card dirty alpaca is not very high. Also that spinning 50 / 50 silk alpaca mix is fun, fun, fun and I want more of it.
I plied together some natural brown wool, that I am going to use for my owls jumper. I was not too enthusiastic about my attempt at long draw until I plied it, but now its soft and strong and bouncy and I love it. I've been wanting to knit this jumper since I first saw it, and I think knitting it out of handspun will be amazing.
I also took advantage of Webs free postage offer. I bought 3 lots of sock wool - Malabrigo, Dream in Colour and Aranchino, and 150 grams of laceweight Malabrigo for a Lettuce jumper I have been obsessing about. I'm a little bit in love with Hannah Fettig, and with knitting jumpers out of laceweight. Oh and some spinning fibre...
I don't feel too bad about adding to the stash, since its 450 grams of wool, and I am taking 500 grams out on the first of next month, and the handspun I will be knitting for rest of November will create some real room in the stash box. Hopefully.
My parents are away and we've had their half Bengal, Fern, staying with us. wherever you look in our plce there is a spotted cat. Here's the beautiful tarragon, helping me knit my shawl.
Other than the fantastic weekend I am sulking a bit, because I have to work for a living and it's really cutting in to my crafting time. Still it's only two days until the weekend. Here's hoping my blocking wires arrive before then, so I can get the shawl off the needles, blocked and ready to wear for Monday morning. If this shawl won't cheer me up, nothing will!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Then I cast on the Revontuli - Northern Lights Shawl, in Zauberball I bought at the Caulfield craft show earlier this year. I love the colours, but couldn't see it working well as socks. I'm enjoying knitting this, it's simple enough that I have the pattern memorised, but very effective. I think it will be the first of a number of small shawls over the next few months, although probably the only one that looks like a watermelon.
This morning I have carded some alpaca, changes the bobbin on my wheel and am ready to spin. I have a four day weekend and plan to finish about 60 grams of stripy 8ply alpaca, to make a hat for Leon. I think its going to be a fantastic weekend. It's raining and I'm wearing polar bear pyjamas and waiting for Leon to get up, so I can fry up the pancakes from the mixture I made earlier. Then I have the whole next four days for knitting and spinning, interrupted only by dates to see friends, which I will, no doubt knit right through. I'm reading a good book, I went for a run yesterday when the weather was still nice, so I won't feel obligated to do so in the rain and I have a good supply of tea in the house. It should be a lovely time.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Anyway, I've just turned the heel on the second one, so it won't be long now. I want to be with her when she gets them though, as they are a bit tight over the heel, but great once they are on, kind of like Jaywalkers. As she has quite ... generous ankles, maybe I should have chosen a different pattern, but these are so pretty. They are going on holidays on the 28 of this month, so I have to decide whether to send the socks with them, or wait. Ahh, decisions.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I love them, although if I were to knit them again I would do my normal wedge toe, rather than this one, which looks great with the stripes, but is not quite as comfortable.
My intention after this was to knit something other than socks, but it turns out it's my mothers birthday in two weeks. Now I know the date of my mothers birthday, but I had not put it together in my head that the 5th of November is two weeks away. My mother asked me to knit her another pair of socks, as she has worn completely through he soles of the William Street socks I knit her last winter. Clearly she appreciated the knit, obviously she loved them to death, so I judge her as deserving the knit. I had planned to make her Leyburn's for her next gift, I just hadn't worked out that her birthday was coming up before next winter.
To compound the panic, my parents are going on holidays on the 28th of October, so if these socks are to be gifted on her birthday they have to be finished by Wednesday week. I decided to knit a cuff down version of Leyburn, in this pretty wool by Stranded in OZ, that has been in my stash since Bendigo two years ago. It makes the prettiest little flower pattern. I wouldn't be worried about the timing but, despite what the Yarn Harlot said about them I'm not finding these a particularly quick knit. A very pretty one, yes, but not fast. And my hands are getting rather achy as well. If I don't get the pair finished by the time the Parents leave I'll send one to be given on her birthday, and give her the other one on their return.
I'm almost socked out. I'm going to finish this pair and then knit something else, on 5.5 mm needles. Although I will be using sock wool again. I feel like I am burning through the sock stash, I'm going to have used 5 balls of sock wool in a little over a month. I am resisting putting in an order with Blue Moon Fiber arts, but I'm not sure how long that will last. All those pretties.