Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Crazy, lazy,Lerderderg socks

My trainer asked for "socks like you wear". Well, that's not quite going to happen, since he has size twelve feet! Still, during our recent hiking and camping excursion I cast on and knit him a pair of 72 stitch socks. Short leg, heel flap and gusset. I spent a lot of time thinking about whether having longer feet means having bigger ankles and so on. Who can say?

I am also really quite amused at how much bigger than my socks these are:

I really enjoyed knitting in self striping yarn. it's been a looong time (as in 2011) since I did so, and it was so lazy and fun.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lederderg - the return

We have been talking a bit about things that are well used, and possibly on the other end of their useful life. I bought my camping mug in 2006, when I was travelling in the English / Scottish border area. I somehow lost the camping mug I had been using and had to find a new one in the small town where I was staying. There was a sort of general store, and they had this mug:

I bought it because it was my only choice, but I love it. It's been with me camping in Australia, Canada, Scotland, England and America. We've gone car camping, bike camping, hiking and kayak camping. I've drunk a lot of tea from it (and some other things too). And that's were the problem starts. The enamel had started to crack and where its cracked at the lip it makes drinking from it quite unpleasant. So I decided to buy a new camping mug. I also decided Leon should upgrade his -he was using a functional plastic Katmandu one. We bought titanium mugs and they are lovely!

But I chose the uninsulated ones, because the insulated ones were kind of heavy, really expensive and just didn't appeal. In order to not burn my hands on very hot tea, I decided to make a cosy, out of some Zealana possum yarn. It feels so cosy and nice. Total overkill, I'm sure, because I don't remember ever having a problem with my old tin mug burning my hands, but look: how pretty.
 both the State Park and the mug cover. 
We were there for four days and, while the hiking was great, the camping was the best I've ever done. It was all free camping, and for each of the nights it was just us, no one else around. The last two nights were warm enough and private enough that we slept with the fly off the tent. So beautiful to actually sleep under the stars. There was plenty of time for knitting and reading in the sunshine.

Also, Lederderg  has feral goats, and they are really pretty. If you look carefully in the photo below there are two of them, shaggy with horns. 

I'd better go and put out the washing, I'll be back later in the week to show you what i actually knit on the trip.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Yarnalong -the one with the "artistic" photo

We were out tonight, and I asked Skip - my official photographer to take my yarnalong photo and he did and it's sort of nauseating. 

Anyway, that's my ASJ for my mother blurry in the foreground. It's knitting up fast and fun.

I'm still chugging though Peter F Hamilton’s A Night Without Stars, which is fine. I took some time out to read an essay on creativity by Rachael Herron. I'm one of her Patreons, and  she sends out essays every six weeks or so, and they are always an interesting, thought provoking and quick read.

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


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A little yarn purchase

My trainer Jules asked me to make him a pair of socks. I find this ironic, since one of the reasons I need professional care for my hands, arms and shoulders is the amount of knitting I do! I see Jules once a month, and every time I do he comments on my sneaker liners. It’s nice that someone notices! He often jokes about stealing my socks, but since I’m a women’s six and he’s a men’s twelve, they are not likely to fit. So, last time I saw him he asked me to make him a pair. I asked him what kind of socks, and he said he didn’t care, he just wanted some crazy socks like I wear. It’s all rather flattering really.

I know I could make striped sock from the left over sock yarn collection, but I need to take a break from that. I’m going camping for four days, and I wanted something simple and light to take with me – I’m loving knitting my mother’s ASJ, but it’s already become rather bulky. So I stopped off at Wool Baa on the way home tonight and picked up a couple of  balls of crazy self-stripping yarn. I’m going to knit socks with a not very long leg, maybe four inches, just a plain, vanilla sock in crazy, lazy yarn.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Tomten on hold

I took Tomten to bookclub the other night. I knew I was running low on the light blue, so I divided it up and set to on the sleeves. I got this far on the first sleeve:

And then ran out of the blue yarn. Now, I have enough aside to get that far on the second sleeve, but I wonder if it wouldn't look better with the sleeves all in the dark blue. This morning I went to get it out and could not find the blue yarn anywhere. I texted Tara, who hosts bookclub and she said she'd been meaning to text me to tell me she'd found my yarn. I guess not everyone fully understands the importance of yarn. Anyway, I'll get it back from her next time I see her, but I'm still not sure of the best plan for the arms. Thoughts? 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

LOSY swatch for ASJ

As you know, I found out I’ve got 1.8 kilograms of sock yarn leftovers, a fact that has been freaking me out. Also, I’ve been trying to make a new jumper for my mother, that she might love as much as the Adult Surprise Jacket (ASJ) that I made for her in 2009.
And then I came across this poem:

When storage problems arise 
you might consider it wise 
to knit from your stash, 
Clear space, saving cash, 
so, go for an “Adult Surprise”!


 
So I decided to make my mother an ASJ out of left over sock yarn scraps held double, changing each colour as it runs out.
I cannot describe how excited  about this.  It covers all my needs, should be superfun to knit and my mother should love it. So I sat down to swatch. And found myself asking some big questions:
 
How do you swatch when the yarns are going to change all the time while knitting? Do I go down by 0.25 mm needle size to try to avoid the stretching out issues on my original ASJ? Why on 3.75mm needles is this coming out at 18 stitches/10cm? Is there any chance my mother will love this one like she loved its predecessor? Such big questions, for a small piece of fabric to try to answer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yarnalong - the one with the sequels

I'll tell you, not having time to blog at work is really taking it a step too far! Still, my job is actually interesting, so I guess its a small sacrifice.

This week I'm knitting Elizabeth Zimmerman's Tomten baby jacket.  In my head it's a sequel to the Baby Surprise, even though  they bear no relationship other than both being deisigned by the indomitable Ms Zimmerman. And being garter stitch baby garments.

I'm still reading Peter F Hamilton’s A Night Without Stars, which is aslo a sequel. Much to my surprise I'm loving it. I seem to remember the book before being a bit tedious, but this is full of adventure and excitement. 

And there goes another week, rushing by in a ridiculously quite fashion. If you would like to see what Ginny and the rest of the Yarnalong are up to this week pop over to her blog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I can't stop thinking about it

I visit a lot of op shops - mostly looking for bad ties, but I always have a little peek in the haberdashery section, just in case. I'm waiting for the day that I find someones stash, where whoever cleared out her house had no idea about the difference between cashmere and acrylic. One day i'm going to find four kilograms of Noro, I just know it. Last week I visited a Sacred Heart shop which I pass on the way to work every day - which doesn't help at all, but had to make a very small, special effort effort to go pm the way home, when they were actually open. I got some good / bad ties, but they also had buttons.
Lots and lots of buttons. It looked like they had received the remains from a closed down sewing show.  I limited myself to the four lots you can see here, but I keep thinking maybe I should go back and buy the rest of them. Just in case I need a whole lot of buttons. Because there might be a button shortage, and then I'd regret only having bought these few buttons, right?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Just like last Sunday

Once again, we went to the park on Sunday to photograph a shawl. This time it was A Hap for Harriet, knit in Shetland Lace Organics

I'm quite please with how this came out, it ended up quite long, which I was rather worried about since I only manage 18 points on the increase/ decrease sections, and Kate Davies did 24. Still, it ended up plenty big ough

The pattern gives yarn percentages for the three sections, and I weighed my yarn carefully. I was still left with enough for two more repeats - when i finished it I held it up and noticed that my tension was noticeably tight for the second half! Still, blocking will fix any number of sins.

I have often wondered what is actually meant by yarn "blooming" well on this yarn it obvious. The yarn on the top was a yarn tale that went through blocking, the one on the bottom, that is not all fluffy, did not.

I enjoyed knitting this, and doing a knit-along with Kate. Somehow knitting the same things is even more fun than just knitting wonderful things alone.


 







Thursday, January 12, 2017

The needle obsession


It's not over. I really thought I was done, last time, I really did. But just before I moved jobs, I decided I "needed" Karbonz needles in my most knit sizes, because I love Karbonz needles. Or because I was bored at work, which seems more likely. Knit-Pro makes a "starter set" which has the sizes I actually use: starting at 3mm and going up to to 4mm with 5 needle pairs in total. And it's got coloured cables, rather than the slightly horrible purple ones that come with the normal Knit-Pro needles. So, hopefully that's me done for needles. At least my new job is interesting and busy enough that I have done zero shopping on work time since I swapped roles, which is definitly an improvement. And, as a result of my previous boredom I now have ALL the needles a knitter could want.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Yarnalong -the one with the balcony

I don’t get to do this as much as I used to, but one of my favourite things to do is to sit on my back balcony in the time between getting home from work and making dinner, have a drink and sit in the sun and read or knit. Today I got to do this for the first time in ages, and as a bonus I have slice left over from the weekend.
 


And on my balcony today I’m knitting the Hap for Harriet. I have 10 more repeats to go. It’s been a remarkably quick, simple knit. I’m listening to Nick Earls Wisdom Tree. It’s a series of five novellas, the first of which I listened to when it first came out. I figured since I have less time to listen than I  used to, so I’d listen to some shorter things. I’m really enjoying the second novella, so I guess it was a good decision.
 
I’m reading Peter F Hamilton’s A Night Without Stars . It’s the last of his Commonwealth novels and I’ll be happy to leave that world behind. I cared more about the characters in the earlier books. That said, this is starting to pick up speed and interest. It’s a big book, so I expect you’ll see it here for the rest of the month, if not longer.
 
And that’s another week full of knitting, reading, afternoon tea and fun. Pop over to Ginny’s blog Small Things, to see what she and the rest of the Yarnalong have been doing this week.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Shore Hap - Worst photo shoot ever

I finished Shore Hap a full week ago, but there has been no chance to take photos. We went down to the park this morning to do some shoulder homework and took the photos then. I was wearing workout gear and it was 30 degrees and we did not care quite as much as we could have about the photos. So, these are the best we could do in the cicumstances. 
The shore hap is an interesting shawl.I knit it because I had the yarn and it looked like a fun knit, but I really thought the final shape might be quite difficult to wear:

BUT, it's actually brilliant. Like a giant scarfy shawly awesome thing:

With a point that would keep someone really warm under a coat, if it was worn front or back.

I did change the pattern just a tiny bit - I used 3mm needles, because I don't actually own any 2.75 mm ones, and really didn't feel like buying more needles. Because of this I nearly ran out of the Wollmeise  -the red yarn. I had a feeling, so I added an extra grey stripe on the back triangle. I finished with about 30 cm of yarn. I won at yarn chicken.
 I really love this, and have decided to give it to Elise - they are her colours and she commented on the red a couple of times when I was knitting it. I do want to make one for myself, preferably in Wollmeise, with a dark purple and a light purple. I can't see Elise wearing it wrapped like a cardigan, but it does work this way too. Such a versatile, fun shawl, and really satisfying to knit too.






Thursday, January 5, 2017

Matchy, matchy, matchy matchiness


I make no secret of the fact I love things that match: things like socks and jumpers, for example, so when I finished Breathing Space jumper with 60 grams of yarn left over, I knew I had to make a pair of matchy, matchy socks. So I did. It was a great project to work over my New Year’s music festival trip, very simple and fun.
 
I used the Fish Lips Kiss heel again, which I love because it’s easy to knit and I have it memorised. Also, it suits my feet. I did these toe up because I was concerned I might run out of yarn, which I didn’t. I find fitting toe up socks much harder than top down and even though I tried these on as I went, I probably should have done another set of stripes before starting the heel. Still, they make me so happy, and I I’m looking forward to wearing my matchy, matchy stripy, stripy set.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Yarnalong -the one with three Kates

Kate and I are doing a knit-a-long for Kate Davies' A Hap For Harriet. I'm particularity excited to  be knitting it in  Shetland Organics Lace, a yarn that Kate brought back from Shetland for me. 




I'm reading Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson. It's a cosy detective novel, which my book club is reading this month. It's not very good, but it is a fun read.

And that's what I've been up to this week. Pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong have been doing too.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 - looking backward, looking forwards

Its been an amazing year in non knitting related terms - I ran a marathon, got a new job and learnt to do cartwheels.

In knitting, this year I knit 44 things, using 16 kilometers of yarn in 33 of those projects. The remaining ones were from leftovers and I have no idea how much yarn they used. At the end of the year my stashcount is 15 807, a number that makes me very happy after working out that I knit more than that last year.

Other than that, near the end of the year I sorted, calculated and finally added my sockyarn scraps to my stash box. I've actually become a bit obsessed with them. My goal for 2017 is to drastically reduce these scraps, and for my stash to be below ten kilometers by this time next year. 
The ziplock bags on the right are all left over sock yarn scraps
Other than that, I just want to enjoy my crafting, my friends and whatever challenges come along. Happy new year!



Happy holidays

I love this time of year. 11 days off work for three leave days, cricket, music festival for new years, and SO MUCH knitting.

We went to the first four days of the Boxing day test, although each day the play was interrupted by rain. I got a lot of knitting done on my Shore Hap. It's so funny, the whole time no one mentioned my knitting, which is actually lovely. On day two we were sitting next to a group of 40ish guys - who randomly asked me if I could fix a torn short - with knitting needles?? Weird. It started to rain and one of them told me I should put my knitting away or "it would shrink or something".

We missed day five of the cricket, which is a shame, because it was a brilliant game and Australia surprised everyone by winning, but we had to head off for the Hill. In the car I finished the shawl (photos to follow once blocked) It involved a serious game of yarn chicken, but I won and it's brilliant. 

I gave Bee the crotchetted  bottle cover and I'm pretty sure she liked it:
Then I cast on a pair of stripped socks for me with the leftover yarn from Breathing Space, because I love me some matchy matchy. There is nothing like three days of sitting around, watching bands and knitting. I've just got the rest of the second leg to do, and since I'm rather tired and about to collapse on the couch, I hope to finish those tonight.


So a very satisfying holiday season, with exciting cricket, fabulous music, good friends and of course, lots and lots of knitting. 

The nights had less knitting and more glow sticks. There was also a LOT of glitter.