Thursday, January 30, 2014

...and up and up

On Wednesday I added clue A only my one coloured Follow Your Arrow shawl, and took a typically crappy photo of it to share. Again, I feel like adding the next clue has helped it come together,

And then yesterday I took a knitting rest day. I've been knitting like a crazy lady, and typing a lot for work and going hard at CrossFit and my arms are starting to twinge. Yesterday I put in a ten hour day at work and by the time I was done by hands were sort of numb and curling into little fists.Luckily after I got on my bike and got the blood flowing they relaxed. So a rest day yesterday, today I shall knit moderately (and maybe do a tiny, tiny bit of spinning) and generally rest up, because, as a few people have mentioned, over the first three weeks of this knit-a-long we have not used half our yarn, so it's possible the next two weeks will be quite full on.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cheering up

Yesterday I was not in the best of moods. I had been informed by Twitter, from those who had looked at the spoiler threads, that we were definitely making Frankenshawls. I hadn't eaten enough during the day, and then I rode home at 5pm, which happened to be the hottest part of the day and it was 41 degrees. Centigrade. So, I made dinner and rather grumpily knit the twelve row Clue B on my Sparkly Arrow. I actually really like it, I think it pulls the previous "lace" pattern out of the banal and into something a bit prettier.

And now there are actual arrows:
Then, when I was wasting time on the internet before bed, I found the Follow Your Arrow Song! It is hilarious and the clip is hilarious, but I warn you, it gets in your head and doesn't leave.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The time is now

I've been waiting to open my package of yarn from New Zealand. I thought I would have space when I had knit 2 jumpers, a vest and two pairs of socks. Well, I've knit a vest, two jumpers, a hat and taken a rather astonishing eleven skeins of sock wool for jumpers, shawls and, of course, socks. I've also just destashed 500 grams of yarn I didn't know what to do with. So now it's time, and the package has been opened.

Here's what was in it:

 Enough Alpaca/Merino for a jumper for Leon. In black. I think my logic was that he doesn't have any black jumpers, although I may regret choosing to knit in black, we shall see.

 Alpaca to make Cria for me
 A merino / possum blend to make a vest for Leon
 And four skeins of Knitsch sock yarn, one pair of socks for Leon and one for me
It was truly delightful to have access to so much kiwi yarn, and Cruella's in Nelson, was a wonderful shop in a fabulous town.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Follow your Arrow week two

I decided to match clue 2A with my 1B, and 2B with my 1A, which would keep all the lace on one shawl and all the asymmetry on the other. Yesterday I took the train to Warrnambool and back, which gave me ample time to knit these clues. And also to take photos on the classy red train seats.
I found the lace for 2A really really boring - which didn't stop me stuffing it up the first time, and needing to rip, rip rip.
I like the idea of the garter wedges for 2B, but I'm not sure about how they actually look. I keep on telling myself to trust the process, that Ysolda knows what she's doing, that she wouldn't make us all knit Frankenstein's monster shawls, that she's not sitting there, in a castle in Scotland, rubbing her hands together and laughing evilly. Although perhaps she is... 
Deep breaths. The only way to find out whether these will look goods in the end is too keep knitting. And if they don't I can always gift them to someone I don't like very much, right?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A sneaky sock or two

With all the excitement about Follow Your Arrow, I failed to mention that I was also knitting Leon his first pair of socks for the year. The pattern is the less than charmingly names diagonal cross rib socks from Interweave's Favorite (sic)  Socks, which seems to be my current go to sock book.

I started these with some trepidation, when I realised that it was the same one by one cable that I complained so endlessly about when knitting Leon's most recent jumper.  Oddly, on the jumper I really struggled to memorise the (fairly simple) pattern, but on these socks I did one repeat and didn't have to look at the pattern again. Which was ideal, because I had some big nights out while knitting these, and they came to the Ballarat Beer Festival with me. Despite all that, they've came out well, and Leon can add another pair of socks to his sock drawer

Can you believe that these two photos are of the same sock, taken in the excact same conditions? Weird. The actual colour is patonyle's navy.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Following all the arrows

When I was a kid and used to read "choose your own adventure" books, I'd follow them through, logically, once, and then I'd got back and read all the possible endings, and work out all the ways to get there. While I don't plan to knit Ysolda's Follow your Arrow in all its permutations, I realised I do want to knit every clue. So I pulled out the only 200 gram lot of single coloured sock yarn I have, some lovely 50 / 50 silk wool blend and cast on for clue 1, option A.
This might be the worst photo ever, the cable kept curling up...
 I'm really excited to use this yarn, it is some One Fat Slug that I bought in 2011. I was going to make long socks out of it, but then I realised that they couldn't wear well. I also didn't think it would knit up so much prettier than it was in the skein, but am very relieved it did.

Like many people doing this KAL I'm intrigued to see how all the clues will fit together. I'm also wondering how Ysolda worked out the yardage, since I'm pretty since Clue A used quite a bit more yarn than Clue B. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Following my Arrow

The first clue for Follow Your Arrow arrived at 9.30 on Monday night, so basically I went to knit night and got home to find it there! Very exciting. Although I was tempted to cast on immediately, we are getting up an hour earlier to go to CrossFit before work this week - with weather hitting forty degrees here every day this week, I didn't want to melt, so I've switched to morning workouts. So I had a day to consider whether to do Clue A or Clue B.
The good thing is that I got home an hour earlier, so I cast on before dinner. The first clue knit up very quickly, and I love the interaction between the dark blue garter stitch and the pretty green stocking stitch.
It's not really clear from this photo , but BOTH the yarns have sparkle in them, which is making this even more fun.
I decided on Clue B because I couldn't really understand the construction of Clue A - it looked like a triangle shawl, but not quite. Now I've peeked at the spoilers, and, while I'm glad I chose Clue B for my stripy version, the construction of Clue A is really quite interesting.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Waiting to Follow My Arrow

While I'm waiting for the first Follow Your Arrow clue I've balled my yarn, selected my project bag, taken out my needles. And now I'm waiting, waiting waiting. I think the pattern should get here sometime tomorrow (Tuesday). Hopefully. I'm itching to see what the beginning of this shawl looks like.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Chapter 72, including more terrible photos

My darling husband is neither a stylist nor a photographer, nor has he any aspiration to be either. When I finished my latest cardigan he reluctantly took the photos. We took the outside ones in Elise's front garden, and the indoor shots in the living room. We're not very creative about our locations, really.

The cardigan itself was quite a joy to knit, although the front does hang quite open. the pattern has an optional button, and I haven't added that. I might, but I'm going to wear it a bit first and see how it settles in.

I love the yarn. It's hard to tell in many of the photos, but the light grey yarn has sparkle in it. I'm currently quite obsessed with sparkle yarns.

And in case you think I was being mean abut Leon earlier, or being mean making him take photos of me and my knitting, let me assure you that he loves it really. You can see it in his eyes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Doing the yarn dance

I have been steadily knitting through the stash, heading for the day that there is room in my box, which is going to be very, very soon. I had a small, joyous setback on Monday. Ursula gave me a skein of her hand dyed sock yarn, as a birthday present.  And what could be better than a skein of yarn by one of the most talented dyers I've come across, who is not (yet) selling her yarn widely?

Not only is she a talented dyer, but the base is BFL/nylon. It feels like a sock yarn should, like it will wear well, and just get stronger with time. And then she passed around some yarn she was destashing. I though I would be fine, after all, what do I need? Then this amazing, hyperactive mix of pinks and reds found its way into my bag.

Still, by the end of the week I will have taken 6 skeins of sock yarn out of the box, in the last month, so it's six steps forward, two steps back. And what an unmissible two steps they are!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Yarn along

On Monday I finished the sleeves of the cardigan I started at the Ashes. The instructions say to block it before picking up the stitches for the collar and, on this project at least, I've pretty much managed to follow directions. So, it's had it's bath and is now dry and waiting for me to pick up the stitches for the front band and collar.
Listening: I've almost finished Terry Pratchett's The Light Fantastic, the second book in his Discworld Series.  Loving Nigel Planter's narration. There are 37 books in this series, and I don't intend to listen to them all in a row though, I think that would get to be a bit much. I've just this week switched from listening on an iPod, to using the Audible app on my phone and I'm loving it. It means I only need one device, and is especially convenient when I'm using an electronic row counter. I also usually listen to audiobooks when I stretch, and I use the phone's timer as well, so it's all very convenient.

Reading: Canal Dreams by Ian Banks I loved his early books, but this book is just hard going. The plot is thin and slow and kind of boring. I'm a quarter way through and am seriously considering abandoning it. I'm not sure I care enough about the characters to bother finishing. I might struggle through, some of the online reviews - which I didn't check before I started reading it - suggest the second half is stronger than the first. 

As usual, I'm playing along with Ginny over at Small Things. Pop over to her blog to see what she, and the other yarn-alongers are up to.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

That was a good two weeks.

Tomorrow, like many Melbournians, I go back to work after two weeks off. I usually take a holiday over Christmas, and this year's has seemed particularly fun. It started with watching Australia win the cricket, continued with (hopefully, I don't want to write about it until I'm sure it has worked)  resolving Tarragon's emotional issues. I actually partied on New Years Eve, joined my first mystery knit-a-long and then the two weeks have ended with a few days at home, just to relax and unwind. I got some decent knitting done - I've only got one sleeve and the collar of Celestine to go. I made some more  progress on the spinning for Leon's winter set. Excitingly, despite almost constant knitting and spinning, and doing some pretty tough CrossFit workouts, my hands, arms and shoulders are in decent shape, due, in no small measure that I maintained my fairly rigorous stretching regime over the break. Today I even made it to yoga. All in all a very satisfying holiday, and I feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to tackle 2014 head on.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Everyone's doing it

Ysolda Teague is doing a mystery shawl knit-a-long, and I'm joining in! So, it seems are a large number of Richmond Knitters, and people from all over Ravelry. I love knitting along with other people, and a mystery pattern just doubles the excitment.This is already so much fun!
 It's a bit hard choosing yarn when I don't know what the pattern is, exactly.I have to stripe mine, because I don't have enough of any one colour in stash, and, as you know, it's all stash, all the time, for me at the moment. After going through my sock yarn, and pairing every colour with every other colour, I've decided on these, at least for the moment:

Both yarns have some sparkle to them, and I'm really loving that extra bit of bling. Still, once the first clue comes out, oin 10 days, I might reassess.

So much fun!