Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with the low after the high

The problem with reading (or in this case listening to) a book that has a large emotional impact is that the next book is always going to be a bit flat. So, after finishing A Little Life on Monday - and I cried for the entire last 15 minutes of the book - I was at a bit of a loss. I has also finished The Color of Water, although that made no impact at all. Now I'm reading Dancing with Demons, The authorised biography of Dusty Springfield. We saw the musical Dusty last week, which was inspired by the book. It's ok, but it feels more like a long magazine article than an actual book.

I'm still knitting Breathing Space. I love knitting stocking stitch in the round and the stripes make this so much fun. It's growing nicely, I've nearly finished the stripes on the body.

As always on a Wednesday, I'm joining the yarnalong. Click over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the yest of the yarnalong, are up to this week. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Rip, rip, recycle

Since I knit my new Warriston to replace my old tired, worn out Warriston I decided to rip the old one, figuring the yarn will be good for a bathmat some time in the future (Long time followers of this blog will know that bathmats happen on a regular basis!) I was surprised when ripping it how broken up the yarn was. Despite throwing out a lot of smaller bits, I have ended up with 509 grams, over an alarming number of skeins.

While I was ripping things, I decided to rip out my montebretia shawl. it was unwearable and ungiftable, and there was sparkle yarn trapped in there. I love sparkle yarn.

I feel better having finalised that shawl, rather than having it kicking around the house, reminding me of a failed project.

The yarn all came out very kinked and sproingy, but, after a wash, it was as good as new and returned to the stashbox.

After which I indulged in counting my stash, which is currently steady at 18026 meters. It's not surprising it hasn't budged, since I've recycled all this yarn, and got an accurate count on the opshop laceweight.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Yarnalong -the last one with the work travel (for the moment)

I've been to Wangaratta twice in the last week and didn't make it to the mill once! This is the last work travel I'm going to be doing until the end of January, and I'll miss my train knitting time.

This is how it looked at the start of the day
I cast on Breathing Space by Veera Valimaki at the beginning of my day yesterday. I  spent most of the day listening to  A Little Life. Remember last week when I chose a long audio book because of the amount of travel I had this week? Well, this book is exceptional. I just want to sit around and listen to it. Its sad and happy and upsetting and gripping

This is how it looked by the end of the day - top down yoke complete
Because of how in love with this audio book I am, I've barely done any reading this week and am only halfway through The Color of Water, which is actually quite a short book. I'm enjoying it I guess, although I don't feel very connected with it, perhaps because I'd rather find out what happens next in A Little Life.

And that's another week in my life flown by. Pop over to Ginny's blog Small Things to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong, are up to this week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Finally, Blender

I've had the Blender socks in my queue for a while now, but I kept putting them off. Something about the technique made me nervous. I decided to gather together all my left over sparkle yarns and see how it went.

I'm not unhappy with them. Because I knit top down the heel came when I was twelve

rounds in, and I couldn't wrap my mind around blending the colours there. I'm still not sure how that would work, since there are single rows of colour, but if I do this again I will make the effort to work it out. I would also reverse where the start of round is on the second sock, so that the jogs and ends are more hidden on the inside of the foot on both socks.

I love the way the blended colours look and the beginning and the end, although I'm not as fond of how the pink and white in the middle look. All in all another function pair of sneaker liners completed,and knitting with sparkle yarn is always one of my favourite things. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Warriston the second

I finished Warriston on Friday, blocked it and here she is. I'm so happy with this. The yarn knitted up so softly, and light but still dense and so warm.
I only made three mods - I added an extra pattern repeat to the cowl, I put two stitches between the raglan decreases to reduce gappiness and I made the body loner. In fact, I made the body the exact same length as the Warriston this one is replacing.

Here's a comparison of their sizes:

The same length (win!) shorter sleeves (as planned) and about two a centimetre narrower one each side. And its funny, but that four centimeters around takes this from a sack, to a well fitting jumper, with positive ease. Or as Leon put it "this one you could even wear out of the house". 

Friday, November 18, 2016

No longer cobweb

Previously on 'What I made by Sharon"

I bought an unknown amount of laceweight yarn on a cone from an op-shop.

I plied it up on a weekend away.

Now to continue the story:
When we got back I finished plying it, counted it and washed it. It comes to 2118 meters of heavy laceweight. more than enough to make a long version of the cardigan I want to make from it. 

This picture does not truly capture the beautiful colour this yarn is, a delicate sea green. All in all this was a very satisfying experience, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it knits up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

yarnalong - the one with sunshine!

I'm sitting outside on my balcony in the dappled sunshine between getting home from work and starting dinner. It's such a luxury and one of my favourite parts of the day.

I'm knitting Kate Davies' Warriston jumper. I explained here why I'm knitting it again. I'm up to the raglan decreases, and it's all going to plan so far.

I've just started reading the Color of water by James McBride. It's the story of his mother - a jewish woman who marries a black man. I've only just started, but it seems like an interesting read.

I had to choose a new audio book yesterday, and as I've got a couple of work trip on the next week, so I wanted something long. I popped in to the Ravely audiobook forum, where a couple of people recommended A little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I'm about an hour into this 32 hour book, and so far I'm loving it. hopefully it will stay as compelling, because I've got at least 14 hours on trains and trams next week.

And that's another week, flown by. I highly recommend popping over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong, have been up to this week.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A well worn smock

In 2012 I knit the Kate Davies pattern Warriston. She describes it as an outdoors smock. I don't remember how I thought I was going to wear it, but when I finished it it was larger, looser and well smockier than I expected. This is the picture from when i finished it:

I didn't think I'd get a lot of wear out of it, but it turned into my everyday evening winter house jumper. Leon and I heat the house less and less, and this warm, cosy comfortable sack  smock, has done a brilliant job of keeping me cosy.

But now it's pretty dead. The yarn was never very soft, but it has pilled like crazy:

The sleeve decreases were done without leaving stitches in between, so they are gappy, and there are holes under the arms.
And in the back, as well. It's like I cut the ends too short when I sewed them in or something. Which may well be what I did.
The collar doesn't sit right anymore, partly because the I-cord cast off is a bit tight, partly because the shoulders have sagged over four winters of constant wear. Also, I want a softer collar, because it's right in my face.
So that's why I've cast on another one of these, in a rather more luxurious yarn. I'm hoping to make a smock almost identical to this one, because I love it so, so much.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Trudy Hertaas obsession continues

I finished my next pair of sneaker liners, again by Trudy Hertaas. I'm a bit obsessed with her patterns, she has about 20 perfect, effective, pretty short socks. These were the third I've knit from her.
I used most of the rest of the yarn I made my Vitamin D cardigan and the last pair of socks.  It felt really good to just keep knitting this yarn until it was (almost) all used up. I've got a mere 14 grams left. I'm also stoked to finally have a pair of yellow sports socks, since I have quite a few yellow t-shirts that i work out in and I have never had a pair of socks to match. And you know how I like everything to be all matchy matchy. Very satisfying. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Yarnalong - the one with the train seat cover

I snapped this weeks yarnalong picture on a suburban train, and some of our trains have seats with random stations printed on them. I love it. they match the ties the station staff have to wear, and I'm always hoping to find one for Bad Tie Monday.

I'm reading Angles of Attack by Marko Kloss.It's good - military sci-fi. It's the third in the series, so no surprises, just a reliable, fun read.

And I'm knitting something on 5mm needles! After knitting 4 ply (fingering) yarn since the beginning of September, I'm knitting Kate Davies Warriston. I'm using Zealana Artisan Heron. It's a merino / possum blend and I love, love, love it. The warmth, the feel, the colour. All so happy making. Also, being on 5mm needles, I cast on on Sunday and have finished both sleeves already!

And that's another week in my life. Do pop over the Ginny's blog Small Things, to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong, are up to this week. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Running and treadling

Leon and my parents and I went to Marysville this past weekend, partly to celebrate my mother's birthday and partly so Leon and i could run the half marathon in the always wonderful Marysville Marathon festival. We've run the 10km there a few times, but this was further - obviously. it's super hilly, but the weather was perfect and we had a great run.

I knew that I would have lots of lovely time over the long weekend to sit and knit and read and relax. Just before we left I had an inspiration. Remember the op-shop lace weight yarn I bought? well, I looked into it a bit further and it was cobweb weight. 

The long cardigan I want to make  (Thoughts by Jojo Locatelli) calls for a heavy laceweight. So I decided to ply it together, and now it's a much more suitable weight. I took my Little Gem, which I haven't touched for a couple of years, and was very happy to have a folding wheel that could handle this project. I managed to almost finish the entire project in the weekend, I just have the last bobbin full to wind off, and wet finishing it. Sitting on the deck, spinning and looking at the birds was a highlight of the weekend, and the stunning result of the project was pretty satisfying too. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What would Granny Weatherwax knit?

In October 2014  I hatched a plan to knit every pattern from Rachael Coopey's completed "What would Granny Weatherwax Knit" club, while listening to Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, on which the club was based. In October 2016 I finished the last sock from the club. This is what all 12 pairs look like together:

It worked out really well. I knitted 6 pairs for Leon

and 6 pairs for me, all from stash yarn.  

Some of them are not as fresh as others, having been worn hard for 2 years, while others are pretty new. It was such a fun project and I love each and every sock.

So, what now? I'm still going to listen to Discworld when I knit socks, a novel every couple of months paired so well with socks every couple of months. I'm undecided whether I am going to go on another sock mission, or be more free and unstructured. I am eyeing Cookie A's Sock Innovation. It's one of the first sock books I ever bought, I Iove every sock in it and I've only knitted half of them. or I could join a sock club for next year (recommendations welcome). But for now I'm going to just bask in the glory of this finished project. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Yarnalong - the one that looks like last week (again)

And once again, is completely different from last week. Although I am still knitting with the same bright yellow yarn, as I seem obsessed with finishing all eight balls. So, now I'm kitting a pair of sneaker liners: Akla by Trudy Hertas. She's my new favourite designer for short socks, and these are fabulous.

I'm reading The Sound Of Butterflies by Rachel King. This was her debut novel. i read her second book Magpie Hall earlier this year and loved it, so I have high hopes for this novel. I've only just started it, so I don't actually have an opinion yet.

And that's another week, flown by. Make sure you pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong, are knitting and reading this week.