Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cloud complete


After all the dramas making Cloud yesterday I sewed the pocket on and blocked it. Today I wore it, and I love it. The Bendigo Woollen mills yarn came out very nicely post blocking, the drape is perfect, the hood is appropriately oversized and all of the finishing details were worth every bit of effort.
Leon and I went to visit my brother today, they have a new house just near a cemetery, so we took some photos there. Don't confuse this with the pictures we take in the cemetery across the road from where I live.
Last week my father, when he saw me working on it, asked me what I was making "A short sleeved hoodie" I replied. He countered with "that seems odd to me. If you want a hooded jumper, wouldn't you want sleeves?" Well, today was a perfect autumn day. I appreaciated the warmth of the jumper, but didn't need sleeves.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An unfinished cloud




I cast on for Kate Davies Hazlehurst scarf, using the left over yarn from Kate Davies Cloud. It's a Kate Davies Double!

Notice I didn't say "After I finished Cloud". That's because I haven't finished it… quite. On Sunday I finished the iCord around the edge of the cloud while watching the Melbourne Ironman finish. What could be better than sitting on the beach, knitting, watching other people finish an absolutely exhausting event? So that was the end of the knitting part of the project.

When I got home I pinned the cloud to the front of the jumper, but it didn't look right so I put off sewing it, and blocked the iCorded cloud off the jumper. Once it was dry it looked a lot better. On Tuesday night I was in a rather bad mood, and I decided to sew it, always a risky combination; me sewing and grumpiness. I very carefully pinned on the cloud, checking it was straight and centred. I decided to try it on before I sewed it, and discovered that I had very carefully pinned it to the back. I thought about wearing the whole thing backwards, a la Kriss Kross but decided instead to throw the whole thing in a box until my mood improved.

Last night and tonight we went to comedy shows and has a couple of drinks, and I really don't think sewing this on is something I should undertake unless 100 per cent sober. So it sits, waiting for that perfect storm of me being at home, sober and in the right mood. Hopefully I'll be back with pictures of the (completely) finished Cloud jumper quite soon. Until then, I'll be knitting away on Hazlehurst.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Winter

It's getting to that time of year again; it's dark when I get up in the morning and I'm starting to think about long fingered gloves for my morning commute. Winter is not my favourite time - I think I'm a bit reptilian and I need to bask in the sun to obtain energy, but there are many things I enjoy about this season. One of them is wearing my handknits, and I wore my stripy scarf for the first time on Sunday and it was so snugly and lovely. One is climbing into bed at night with a delicious hot pack to warm my feet. The only problem is that, sometime during the summer Leon and I disposed of the microwave - we thought the bench space could be better used for other things. I really haven't missed it, but, instead of using a microwave heat pack this winter, I bought a hot water bottle.

This thing smells of rubber and feels like rubber.

To make it all better I knit a cover for it. Out of sparkly handspun.

Bring it on Winter, I'm prepared.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Refinishing

A little while ago I finished Leon's winter set. Yesterday was the first day it has been cool enough to justify the wearing of knit wear and so we did. Leon put on the hat, and we noticed it flared out a little. Not terribly, but enough that it rode up a little and was not quite perfect.
It wasn't this flared on, but here's how it looked:

So today I put applied i-Cord all around the bottom, and it's neat and stops it flaring and is all around better.

Knitting Cloud has really sold me on the benefits of i-Cord, which is good, because it order to finish that jumper I have an enormous amount of it to do.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A truer word has never been said

Last Saturday I knit down to the bottom of the Cloud jumper, knit the contrast coloured hem, cast off and sewed down the hem. The I tried it on and thought that the waist increases had created quite a ruffle around the bottom. In fact, the jumper was basically skirted. It was kind of cute, but it was certainly not what I, or Kate Davies the designer, had intended. After I tried it on I rode off to meet some of my knitterly friends. The whole trip there I was pondering whether I could live with it as it was, or if I should rip it. When I got there I tried it on and my friends very nicely told me that I COULD leave it, if I would be happy with it, but… and Melanie said some words that really resonated "What else are you going to be doing?" Knitting. Oh, whether I am knitting on this jumper, or rushing off to some other project, I'm still going to be spending all my spare time knitting. So I ripped it and it only took two days to reknit. And this way I'll have a jumper that is not merely good enough - I'll have the jumper I envisaged, or something close to it.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reasonably happy

I finished spinning the Thylacine February Fibre Club instalment on Friday. I'm quite happy with how it came out - there are some variations in thickness, but it's reasonably even and very squishy. It came to exactly 400 meters, which was the minimum I said I'd be happy with in my last post.
My main dissatisfaction comes because I don't know what I'm going to use it for and I hate putting yarn away in the stash box without a plan for it. The Romi hill shawl I was planning for requires closer to 500 meters. Melanie suggested waiting for the next club instalment and, if the colours are complimentary, doing Veera Välimäki's Stripe Study shawl, although I did notice that she has a three colour shawl called Colour affection, and that there are three instalments of the fibre club...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Resting

Today I finished spinning the singles from the Thylacine. It was an incredibly quick spin, considering that I have been rather pressed for time. The problem is that I usually spin in the time between when I got home and when Leon gets home, but that's also a good time to run. Today I ran at lunchtime, so I could spin when I got home.

I'm hoping that this 150 grams of fibre comes out at a light fingering, which should be about 500 meters. If it's less than four hundred I will be disappointed, not, as you know, for the first time.

I had allocated an hour for spinning, but finishing this didn't take that long, so I continued preparing the alpaca / merino I blended a little while ago. I tore up the batts and predrafted them into little nests. I haven't finished this spin, and I'm already preparing for the next.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Around and around and around

I have mused before about the joy of going from a wonderful but complex pattern to the simplicity of stocking stitch in the round, and generally after I finish a more complex pattern that's exactly what I want to do. This time I've moved from a pattern in which every single stitch was charted individually, to a top down, in the round jumper - Kate Davies (Get off my) cloud, to be exact. To take the simplicity up a notch, while I initially was considering a range of fancy pants 4 ply for this pattern, in the end I decided to go for Bendigo Woollen Mills. The luxury really is a nice soft, strong yarn, and Australian, which unfortunatly is fairly unusual for my yarn these days.
So I spent the weekend knitting away, around and around and around. I've made decent progress on this, considering it's on 3mm needles, but I really am enjoying the soothing simplicity. Also, I'd love to get the body finished before soothing simplicity turns into mind-numbing dullness, as is bound to happen, sooner or later.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cookie A sock club "Wayward" Socks


I made the second socks from the February delivery of Cookie A's sock club for Leon. My aim is to make at least half the sock club socks for other people, because I have enough pairs of handknit socks to wear a pair a day for a month before washing.

I used Socks that Rock, colourway Thraven. I have spoken before about my love for Cookie A patterns, my adoration of Socks That Rock, and my new found fondness for twisted stitches. All three of these were combined in these socks!
The Socks that Rock given great stitch definition, although it did bleed on my hands while knitting.

I love the way the twisted stitches wrap around the leg, and the little cables are absolutely adorable. I think the toes look a little bit odd, especially off the feet. There is another possible problem with the toes, not the pattern's fault:
After I finished knitting the second one he tried them on and said "I think the second one is shorter than the first". We compared the socks and they were exactly the same.
So, we compared his feet and it turns out his left foot is noticeably longer than his right. Also, I think my gauge is tighter on the second sock; maybe because I knit half of it while being driven around the countryside in a marked police car. Wayward socks, indeed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A return to spinning

I know I haven't written about spinning much recently. I have been doing some, but after the drama of the short yardage I lost my wheel mojo a little. I have the fibre prepped to spin for a jumper, and I just couldn't get the enthusiasm together to actually begin. So I didn't.

I did pull out all the beautifully spun, too short yarn and had a think about what I can do with it. These three skeins are going to be a Multnomah shawl for my grandmother, whom I am visiting in Enland in June. I think I'll knit it in block colours, rather than stripes, and enlarge the shawl significantly, so that she can wrap it around herself like an old-fashioned shawl.

Even when I am not in full on spinning mode, I always have something on my spindles. It's great to grab when I'm talking to Leon, or I have a minute around the house. Right now I'm spinning some Targee on my Bosworth spindle. It's lovely fibre, springy and interesting. The colours are a little different than I thought they would be, which is not a bad thing, because I've noticed I spin the same colours over and over again.

And, as I mentioned last week I joined The Thylacines fibre club. While this fibre does not push my comfort envelope in terms of colour, it is a lovely blend, dyed beautifully. The beauty of it, and the joy of spinning along with Melanie, Sonia and The Thylacine herself has drawn me back to my wheel. Sitting and spinning this is pure joy. It's reminded me that there is something about spinning at the wheel, the rhythm and the concentration and feeling of it, that is similar to the feeling I get when I'm running, except running leads to nothing but sweat and spinning leads to beautiful yarn.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Trifecta!

Earlier this week I finished Alcone, another Romi Hill shall.

I apologise about the boring repetitious nature of what I'm about to write:

I love Romi Hill. Her shawls are well designed, the patterns are clearly written and the results are amazing.

I'm particularly pleased with this one, because I dyed it at the guild last year, spun it on my Ist Turkish Spindle, and knit it. So it's a trifecta: dyed, spun and knitted.

My only issue was I had almost half my yarn left over, and it seems like a waste, but this shawl is the perfect size to wrap around my neck like a florescent confection,

to brighten up a black outfit

or to accessorise a summer outfit.

The details are what make this shawl: the patterning, the wonderful shaping that makes it almost a scarf - a sharf? A scawl? Whatever I call it, it's wonderful.