Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A finished jumper for my mother

I finished my mother’s cardigan earlier in the week. I had a bit of trouble with the button band – it seems a very long time since I did a button band – but other than that it was smooth sailing the whole way. I loved the Wollmeise DK, the pattern (in typical Hannah Fettig style) was clear and easy to follow.
When it was blocking on the study floor I walked in and it looked exactly  like a jumper my mother would wear.
I gifted it to her and took some happy snaps. The colour in the shots is terrible, but my mother is lovely, and I am really happy with the way this jumper fits and suits her.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rip and repeat

I was knitting away on my Cat Bordhi socks, and I got to the heel. I was very excited and a little bit puzzled because it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but I knit on, thrilled to be having an exploration in heels, rather than following my usual tried and trusted heel flap and gusset route.  Unfortunately, I missed the "set up" rows for the heel, so on first try it didn't work. I ripped it on Thursday evening, and put it right on Friday at lunch time. And then I knit on, finishing the heel, the bit after the heel, the gusset decreases. All the time I was looking at it, thinking that it was a little longer than my usual socks. I tried it on and thought that it was a little loose, but it's a 64 stitch sock, so I figured  everything would sort itself out after the gusset decreases. After all, this is a brand new way of knitting socks, how do I know what it is meant to look like at the mid way point? Then I finished the gusset decreases, tried it on and found this:

FAIL. It's half way to being a knee sock, there is some weird bagging going on at the back of the foot, the heel bears no relationship to my heel and it was all quite wrong. So I ripped it and cast on a 64 stitch, top down heel flap and gusset sock. It's going quite well, thank you for asking.

Friday, July 26, 2013


is a word Cat Bordhi made up. I bought her book "New pathways for sock knitters" when I went to Sock Summit in 2009. I've never knitted from it, because at the time it freaked me out. I didn't fully understand a traditional sock, and her alternatives, which rely on the knitter understanding their gauge and inserting their own numbers, freaked me right out.

I recently obtained some Rainy Days and Woolly Dogs through a destash (to be accurate Bee brought it to Richmond Knitters and asked if anyone wanted it. I grabbed it, hugged it and yelled "It's mine, it's mine. Can I have it?) 

Now, these beautiful self striping yarns demand a plainish sock. I didn't want to just knit a normal sock though, because the heel flap would interrupt the pattern. Also I might die of boredom. So I pulled out the book and decided to start knitting some different types of socks. it's time to expand. To revisit toe up socks and different types of heels. Time to play with different "socketures". The first one I've chosen the relatively straightforward Cedar. Top down, with a very different heel. Hopefully that will show this yarn to its best advantage.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Things that are not yarn

At Bendigo I bought a surprising number of things that are not yarn.

The one that was on the list was a Yarnie: a spike on a lazy sussan that holds a cake of yarn and dispenses it in a smooth orderly manner. I first saw these when Louisa brought hers to Richmond Knitters on Monday, and thought it was nice, but not necissary. A couple of weeks later she had a spare with her, I borrow it to knit on and was hooked. So when I heard that Spinning Woody would have them at Bendigo, buying one was my first priority. I bought the smallest prettiest one I could find, out of Sassafrass, and I'm really enjoying knitting from it. 

I also bought a pair of Ugg boots. They weren't on the list, but they are great and keeping my feet very warm.

And some locking stitch markers, because they were in all different colours and I thought that was special.

So that's another year gone. I hope the next one is as full of knitting joy and the last one was. Also, that by this time next year I have less stash than I do right now.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sheep show report 2013

Bendigo was, as always a good time. The weather was a bit crap, but it is the middle of winter, so that's to be expected. I guess because this is my fourth or fifth year I got through the shopping part of my day pretty quickly and spent a bit more time at the business end of the show, looking at sheep. I saw a judging of sheep - which were owned or had been bred by school. There were no sheep at my school when I was a kid!

I also watched quite a bit of shearing, and generally wandered around the sheep sheds, oohing at lambs

Laughing at this very relaxed sheep,  and  just hanging out, absorbing the atmosphere.

As for the shopping, all the yarn I bought was on my list, which is a good start. I bought six skeins of sock yarn, three for me:

And three for Leon, it was great to see these masculine but slightly interesting yarns:

What I thought was a jumpers worth of alpaca, but I miss read the label, so it's only a vest's worth - which is fine, because I had a vest on my list that I hadn't managed to buy for.

I bought a kilogram of Bennett and Gregor for a jumper for Leon in the most luscious, delicious dark brown

And 200 grams of spinning fibre. So it was quite controlled, but that should keep my busy for a little while.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Planning for Bendigo

Tomorrow I’m going to Bendigo for the  The Australian Sheep and Wool Show, otherwise known as the highlight of my knitterly year.  Last year I used the Ravelry “to print” feature, to make a list of what I wanted to buy, but actually getting it printed ended up being quite challenging. I really wish work hadn’t blocked Ravelry.
So this year I decided to write an old fashioned paper list. Here it is:
(The aqua part I wrote at work. I just realised that colour matches the big blue bag. It's a colour that makes me happy). I might not find everything that’s on the list, I might buy some things that are not there. The anticipation is part of the fun. I’ll let you know how I go when I get back.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Progress (with headings)


I've been steadily working away on my mother's Wollmeise cardigan. I'm still thoroughly in love with the yarn. A couple of my (non knitting) friends have randomly complimented me on the colour. 
Even though I think I usually knit with pretty yarn, it's only the Wollmeise that elicits random comments from non knitters. I have managed to stay off the Wollmeise website, Bendigo is this weekend (yay!!!) and then I'm going to New Zealand in two weeks, and then I will probably be able to go for good long stretch before I need to start thinking about yarn purchases.


Has been going surprising well. For the first time in a year I am enjoying sitting down at the wheel. I've spun up nearly five bobbins, I think I'll stop at six. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it looks when it's plied. It's going to be crazy barber pole stripy, with three different shades of green, a couple of purples, some truly random red and an inexplicable khaki bit.
So that's what I've been doing. I hope you have been having as much fun with your crafting as I'm having with mine.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


My mother asked me to knit her a cardigan. The last cardi I knit for her was the Adult Surprise Jacket, which Ravelry tells me I made in September 2009. She wears it all the time, and being garter stitch it’s a bit stretched out and made of largely orange Noro. Basically I think it makes her look a bit like an Ompa Loompa, but she loves it, which is the point, I guess.
Anyway, I wanted a really beautiful, glowing colour for her next cardigan, and the other week I saw Wollmeise had DK in the update. I’ve been wanting to try the DK for ages, so I ordered three skeins in Stella Polaris.
Well. The colour is a breathtakingly beautiful shade of blue. When I cast on the feel of it made me want to never put it down. This yarn is smooth and glowing and due its construction super round. I may well be haunting the Friday night updates to buy some for myself – if I have enough leftovers to do the stripes Ysolda’s Keyhole  jumper is calling my name.
I’m knitting Calligraphy by Hannah Fettig,   which looks like a straightforward top down raglan. The only thing is, the first instructions where to cast on 106 stitches and knit in 2 by 2 rib for 7 inches. And after the travelling Sweater I swore be a long time until I knit 2 x2 rib again!  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Turtle Tracks,

I knitted the second pattern from the Galapagos Travelling with Miss Babs packet exactly as written. (Well I may have added one row in at the beginning of the pattern section I think this entire shawl was knit while drinking)
 It’s a clever little shawl, with the little turtle footprints, the pretty turtle shaped cable and the lovely yarn.

The yarn is Miss Babs Cosmic and I love it. It’s one of the nicest sock yarns I have used and I want to order some more to make socks out of.

It was a simple  knit and it looks pretty enough, before I blocked it I thought it was all right, but I wasn't in love with it.. After I picked it up from blocking it I fell in love. I wrapped it around my neck and haven't wanted to take it off since. it's warm enough to wear as an outside scarf, but small enough to wear around the office as a little scarf / shawl. Clever and pretty, what more could I want?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

More like Port Phillip Bay...

The sock pattern that came with the trip to the Galapagos was slightly lacy. Designed to be knit in the club yarn, in which they look like a peaceful, warm blue sea.

I knit them in stash yarn (dyed by the inimitable Ursula, and given to me for my birthday), and I turned to yarn overs into make ones, because Leon isn't the biggest fan of lacy socks. Looking at them now, they still reflect the sea, but it's more like the cold grey of a winter ocean, with choppy waves, than the soothing sunshine kissed equatorial seas these would have reflected, had they been knit in the club yarn.

They were a pleasure to knit - I love the cleverness of a  design where the ribbing flows naturally into the pattern, and a designer who thinks to mirror the socks.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Because my grandmother did

I threw out an old old shirt the other day. It was ripped, not fit to give to the op shop. I saw it, sitting in the bin, and I realised that the buttons were still attached. So I cut off all the buttons, and put it them away, in my grandmothers sewing box.

It's not that I don't love buying buttons, or that I currently have any need for five pale blue shirt buttons. But it is a timely reminder of a woman who never wasted anything, be it buttons or silver foil or string. A reminder that everything can be used, and reused, and nothing should be wasted. A reminder that despite my current desire to buy everything there is, I have so much already, and am so fortunate.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Travelling sweater – done

I finished the Travelling Sweater. The actual finishing took a remarkably long time. There was blocking and sewing and panicking and more blocking. After I sewed it together the back stuck out along the seam, like a ducks tail. It was a bit frightening. It got sorted out with the second blocking, but for a bit I was convinced that I had spent the better part of a month making a cardigan that was going to look awful.

But now it’s blocked and finished I love it. I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it; I wore it yesterday with jeans, and today I wore it to work and its so comfortable and snugly and deliciously warm and woolly.

I only made two minor changes to the pattern. I’ve put a press stud on it, because I like being able to wear this jumper done up, I think it looks a bit smarter, like a blazer. I also like the way it drapes when open, although I have found that that can leave with a cold tummy.

I also made longer sleeves with thumbholes. Some of my sports jumpers have these and I love, love, love it. I’m going to be putting these on all my jumpers, from now on.

While I debated changing the back to give an invisible seam, in the end I followed the pattern and love the way the iCorded seam looks. All in all, while not a quick knit, a very satisfying one.