Saturday, August 28, 2010

Completed: 4 countries cardigan

Or maybe it should be more accurately called the 5 countries cardigan. I bought the laceweight silk last year in America. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I go very excited when I discovered you can make jumpers out of laceweight, and as soon as I saw this pattern I knew I wanted to knit it. I'm now pretty much obsessed with Hannah Fettig, and bought the latest Knitscene because she has three patterns in it.
I cast it on on the Transiberian railway in Russia, knitted across Russia, Mongolia and China. I literally knitted across the borders. I knitted it on the plane on the way home and in the passport queue in Australia when we were delayed by an hour due to computer problems. And now its done, and here it is, in the 4th country, on St Kilda beach. Home sweet home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I'm not always the biggest fan of swatching, especially as swatches sometimes lie, but for Leon's steeked aran jumper I decided to do a proper swatch:

I completed a full pattern repeat, steeked it and washed it.
This was probably a good idea as now I am not quite as afraid of steeking. Also, if I had continued with this number of stitches the jumper would have been about 20 centimetres too big for him. Not a good look.

I spent today at work reworking the pattern to get it to the right number of stitches. Since I got back to work on Monday I have been in three different roles. Here is a sample conversation I never want to have again.

Get to work after a month away. Log on to email. Read some. Feel confused. Go to supervisor and say:

Sharon: Do I still work here?
Supervisor: Umm, lets go talk to the Boss.

Oh dear. So then I went back to my old job, but before I could start any work I was told I would be working in team that didn't exist before I left, and I can't work out what I'm meant to be doing. And no one else work for this team and I am very puzzled.
All of which gave me plenty of time to work on the pattern. The best thing about all this is I am completely relaxed. I just don't care. It can't last, but for the moment I actually understand how the laid back people feel.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Well, it's not Noro, but it sure is stripy.

Before I went on holidays I spun 100grams of Bennett and Gregor natural coloured sheeps wool. It came in a three colour braid. When I got back I Navaho plied it.This is what I got:

I love Noro and pretty much any self stripping wool. Leon will tolerate stripes, but only if they are in "his" colours. And Leon's colours are black, dark grey, light grey, brown, taupe and beige. So I thought I would spin up some wool for a scarf for him, and try for a Noro style stipped effect. I am also going to spin up three colours of alpaca, and use the two wools together to makes a stripped scarf.
I'm still getting the hang of the wheel, and the first half of the plying went fine, and then I had a lot of trouble, I have no idea why. I left the wheel alone overnight and then the second half went fine. I rather wish I could work out what was going on. Still I am happy with the final product, so that is the main thing.

On a non knitting related note, we are finally getting proper internet, rather than this wireless broadband 3G rubbish, so hopefully after that goes ahead my whole internet experience will be more fun, and I'll be able to actually use YouTube. Excitment!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm back!

Hello everybody!

Leon and I flew back from China this afternoon, and I want to say "hi'. We didn't just go away for a month. For 28 days we dropped off the digital network. No phones, no internet, no facebook, no Ravelry, no text messages. We could have stayed in contact, but it felt so good to just be in the moment.

The trip was fantastic. We crossed a quarter of the globe by train. We rode horses in Mongolia. We got drunk on Russian vodka. We drank and ate and saw amazing things. And I knit throughout. Also, those top bunks were fabulous to spindle from. And the boys we were travelling with thought the idea of "spindling from the top bunk" was hilarous.

Althought the trip had many highlights, there were surprisingly few fibre highlights. We saw a yarn shop in St Petersburg. The yarn was very ... bright. I thought Mongolia would be fibre central. there was plenty of fibre on the hoof:

And I even saw this sign:

but there was no actual fibre to be had.

In Beijing we stumbled across a yarn shop near the forbidden city, and I bought some lovely wool for a jumper for Leon. The guy in the shop indicated it as sheep by baa-ing at us! Weirdly enough the shop had lots of different yarn, but no needles or accessaries. i was trying to buy a row counter, but how do you say 'knit counter" in Chinese?

The trip afforded plently of opportunities for knitting. I finished the first Angee sock on the plane, and the leg of the second. I finished them on the train. They pooled terribly, but I still like them. They were a fun, relatively simple Cookie A knit.

The train tracks scarf was so simple and fun to knit. I love self stipping yarn and this was a dream to knit. I planned to make it twice as long, but after knittng 100 grams I thought enough was enough.

Then I cast on the featherweight cardigan. I've still got half an arm and the collar to go, but it turns out a lace weight cardigan is perfect holiday knitting. Here it is at the Great Wall in China

And that's it really. I've unpacked, put the stash in the stash box and I am planning my next project. After three weeks of stocking stitch, both straight and in the round, I'm thinking my next project is going to have cables, lots of them, and steeking too.