Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A blustery day...

My flat is in a very short building, only three floors, and is surrounded by forty, fifty and sixty floor buildings. My bedroom/lounge room faces the next building and the driveway between can safely be called a wind tunnel. Right now, I'm guessing the wind is hitting about 100km/h. Has been all day. No sign of Pooh.

The knitting week has been both uneventful and tedious. I'm still sick, now with a throat infection that requires antibiotics, and today was spent entirely in bed - I'm typing on the lap top from my bed even now. Illness has not stopped the knitting, even though it has slowed down the output.

My eldest sister is incredibly unwell, and is now subsisting on a diet of rice, milk and bananas due to stomach ulcers caused by a virus. I remember when she used to live off rice, milk and bananas in the early 80's as part of one of those weird diets, so she'll probably be fine. I've made her this bookmark to cheer her up a bit. I used "Dawn" by Naturally yarns, 50% silk and 50% wool. It just glides through your fingers. Glorious. I think I'll use some to make some socks for my mum. Or the Pomatomus socks for me. Hard choice.

I'm past the gusset decreasing on the #2 Monkey sock, and I hope to have it finished by the end of this week. Normally I'd say finished NOW! but I'm really run down, so I don't want to push it. Well, and I have about 8 projects on the needles at the moment, including two other sets of socks for Felix and also...

The massive cabled handbag! Fear not, gentle reader, for I have not forgotten it. I'm now up to row 25 of the second 32 row repeat, and apparently almost done. However... I want it to be bigger. I want something huge to hold all my stuff in, so I'll most likely do another repeat (masochist!) and then finish it up. I plan to line it so it can't bag out, but first I need more of the Batik dyelot yarn. Which is out of production in this. So, I'll just head back to ak traditions tomorrow and see if they have any left.

For anyone wondering why I have a Mystery Stole 3 button, and no signs of the stole in progress it's simply because I hadn't started it. I had the yarn - Bendigo 2ply in black - but no beads and no cash. A brief scrounge came up with some old Maria George stash and off I went. Of the two swatches above I chose the bottom swatch, which was on 3.5mm needles while the top swatch was on 3.75mm. What a huge difference 0.25mm can make! I've completed Clue 1, and managed 4 rows of Clue 2, which only puts me three weeks behind...

This is what will happen when you leave hand knit socks in front of the heater for too long when drying them.

This is what you will find when you start rummaging through your mum's old knitting patterns she's generously donated to you. Don't laugh - one of my older sisters had written a note next to it asking for it (yes, Leah, it was you).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ravelry brilliance

Instead of my daily whine of "Why don't I have an invite yet?" I can just go and check for myself:

Found you!
  • You are #9463 on the list.

  • 3061 people are ahead of you in line.

  • 10041 people are behind you in line.

  • 32% of the list has been invited so far

I can wait, really I can. But if something horrible should happen to those 3061 people, I might be a little more happy...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Various News Items

1. I am a very fast reader. Began Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at 11:30am, finished by 4:00pm. I had to go out for a walk for almost two hours because Felix hasn't finished and I didn't want to mourn too loudly in front of him. The sniffling was annoying him, I suspect.

2. I quit my new job. When I was in tears on Wednesday on the tram heading in I knew it wasn't going to work out. I'm amazed I made it until Friday. The owner wasn't the sanest/nicest person, and it was a case of "been there, done that". I have far too much self-respect to work for a nut case again - two years was long enough thanks.

3. My head cold is nearly over, which means I'll be able to start knitting again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The dilemma

Is it better to be working, and earning money (for yarn, magazines and more needles) or is it better to be at home, sitting on the couch knitting and watching one of my many BBC dvds?

The journey to my new job isn't particularly long, so while I can get some knitting done, it's not a great deal. Luckily, there is a one hour lunch break, and yesterday saw a whole round of Monkey sock repeat finished, which leaves two more before the heel turn (repeat after me: "Slow but steady wears the hand knitted socks").

Today's knitting was the first in a new set of toe-up socks for Felix, because went to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" tonight, and this way I could knit without worrying - and this is how much I managed today. Last film was "Transformers", and I took no knitting, and had no fingernails afterwards as a result.

Last week's cold/infected sinuses resulted in practically no knitting. It was only due to a concerted effort on the weekend that anything actually ended up longer/shaped/finished, and that doesn't include Saturday's "Leave me to die in bed please" request.

My nephew saw this picture of his jumper, and his only comment was that his name starts with a J. I know darling, and this is for your doll, Max. Hence the M. Work with me here - you did get a scarf as well! The finished result was handed off to my parents as they'll be seeing the gorgeous little man before I do.

Behold! A finished item! The "I loathe Centrelink" cabled bag was finally assembled late Saturday evening, after a strong dose of Sudafed, and I am just rapt with it. It's very small and cute and the handles make lots of noise. I love it.

This is all I've managed on my da's Father's Day present this week. I cast on, knitted the bottom shaping and keeled over. I'll be finishing it off this weekend. Well, on Sunday - Saturday is curling up on the couch and reading day...

This is my niece's cushion. The less said the better. Really.

Winter Maths

Walking + knitting = no problems.

Walking + knitting + holding umbrella due to stupid Melbourne weather = new levels of clumsy.

I was chased by a waiter crying "Miss! Miss! You dropped your wool stick!"

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full...

Illness can make you do the wacky. I thought I might get my stash out and decide what I'm going to make out of it all. Here goes:

This is the Patons Caressa I went a bit crazy on. I have 25 balls and I'll be making the slouchy cardigan from "Cafe Knits" out of about 11 balls. That leaves 14 balls and no clues what to do with it. At least it was only $1...

Next up is my rather scrummy Filatro di Crosa slub cotton. It was a huge bargain of "Buy 1 get one free" and at $2.99 a ball, who was I to say no? Especially when the yarn is orange - my very happiest colour? No chance. This does leave me with 22 balls though, but luckily last month's "Yarn" came to my rescue with this amazing cabled coat. The swatch knits up beautifully (when doubled) so that's a load off of my mind.

This is all of the left overs from the massive bag my mum gave me of her stashed yarn. It's Paton's Herdwick from the 70's and she was knitting a very nice (gag!) intarsia cardigan from it. Well, I've used some to make her a tea cosy, some to knit my nephew's doll a jumper and the rest I shall use to knit an outfit for her doll that I bought her from ak traditions. They have some pretty cute knitting patterns for their dolls, so my mum's Judith doll (named after the Divine J herself) will be all girlied up.

This is my mega amounts of Jo Sharp DK. I'll be knitting up cushion fronts for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. If they don't want a funky handknit cushion for their bed, tough.

Ah, the bag of alpaca 8ply. When I worked in a wool store, I stocked up big on this - it's just too soft not to. The black/white/red combination will be used to knit a St Kilda supporter outfit for my da's doll (again from ak) to use up that last of it. The brown/champagne combination will be used to make me some cabled socks. I've made three pairs, and none were for me, dammit! I'll have to stripe it somehow, but no problems really.

Basic wool for socks for Felix. I'm planning some elaborate cabled toe-up's from the dark green, but otherwise, nothing remarkable. I am thinking I might use some of the black for my nephew's Christmas present - what 9 year old wouldn't want a Jolly Roger cushion?

I made the "Elise" cardigan from Rowan's "Vintage Knits" and I wear it almost constantly. I may have to make a second one to save the first from constant use (Felix described it as the one piece of clothing that defines me). With the leftovers I want to make these gorgeous socks from Interweave Knits (Winter 2004). Sharon from the Melbourne S'n'B was making them last time I saw her and that was enough reason to go for it. The reason I've put them off for so long is because I was sure I couldn't actually knit socks. Now I know I can, they're back on my list.

Ahhhh, Patonyle sock yarn. Part of my Clegg's stocktake binge I bought 6 balls of the pink/red/white/vile yellow/orange for myself, and 8 balls of the grey/brown/black/white for Felix. A whole bunch of vanilla socks to happen.

I bought this Rowan Wool Cotton to make the Basalt Tank from Norah Gaughan's "Knitting Nature". Unfortunately, I don't actually own the book as yet. Should any of my sisters be reading this: I want this book for my birthday please! Oh, and two more balls of the yarn wouldn't go astray either...

Three cones of Bendigo 2ply, bought to weave scarves. Now I no longer have a loom, it's knitting yarn. It's also the knitting yarn I thought of at 3am after I'd signed up to Mystery Stole 3, so at least it now has a purpose. I still need to buy the beads before I can start, and luckily the fourth clue is over two weeks to accommodate anyone reading the new Harry Potter book (Felix and I are buying two copies and having a race to finish them) so I can start to catch up then.

This yarn is what good yarn becomes when it dies. This yarn is what you want to use all of the time. This yarn is Wendy Dennis 4ply undyed Polworth. I had white as well, but that got used up by Michelle's baby shawl (and I still need some more!). These perfect balls of joy will become Estonian Hand Puppets from Spin Off magazine (Summer 2006) for me and me alone. Well, maybe my children when I have some. If you don't know about Wendy Dennis, have a look at Tandacoort.

Lastly, we have these. They were meant to make up the Slouch Cardigan from "Cafe Knits" but collecting the colourway became too much effort. What we have is 10/1 single ply silk (170g) from Fibreworks Hand Dyed Yarns, a wool slub yarn (100g) also from Fibreworks and a boucle (100g) from Touch Yarns, the first to be purchased. However, I'm now making the cardigan in the Caressa, so what on earth am I going to do with all of these?

Any ideas? Suggestions? Help!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Just one thing after another

A weekend away where I got to hug the most lovable baby - lots of fun. The two hour delay at Newcastle airport after I'd already checked my knitting in - frustrating. Waking up today and realising I'm sick and my yearly bout of laryngitis is looming - tiring.

Now to try and knit something.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Yarn Harlot? Apt name...

I signed up for the Mystery Stole 3 knitalong, due to the Yarn Harlot's post. I believe I just hit new heights of stupidity - I can't knit lace all that well, I have no beads, I don't understand how to add the beads to the knitting (with a crochet hook?) and I have enough projects in mind to sink a battleship.

On the other hand, I discovered that I do have 2 cones of 2ply Bendigo in black. It was 3am when that epiphany hit.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I need 28 hours in a day

It's perfectly logical. If there were 28 hours in a day, I could easily set aside another four hours for knitting. That way I might one day catch up to everything I want to knit, especially when I finally get some money and my hands on a new magazine. Curse you Yarn magazine! I need some sleep occasionally!

Luckily travelling round Melbourne doing various chores for two days means tram knitting galore, with much whispering and little kids asking "But what's she doing Mum?". As a result, behold - the finished back of my hot water bottle cover! (Try and top this for a Father's Day present, my darling sisters...) I've cast on for the other side, so I should be able to finish it up by mid next week.

To enhance the smugness factor by at least 10, behold - a jumper for my nephew's doll. Apparently Max needs a jumper, so I used up some more of my mum's old stash, and I'm planning to cross-stitch a big 'M' on the front before I sew it up. There's also a scarf in the making to accessorise... I needed something to knit while watching my "Press Gang" dvd's, because I stuffed up the fair isle too much when I tried to do both. I'm now halfway through series 3, and just watched the two seige episodes (by far the best two in the whole series). By the way, does anyone actually know what happened to Lynda?

Anyway, 'tis time for bed, and I need some rest - tomorrow is "Meet your in-laws" day, and to make my life just perfect I just got an email from a mentally demented ex-acquaitance. So now meeting the in-laws is far preferable to staying around here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

You give me fever....

I don't know where it's come from, but I'm sick. I'm hot, itchy and heading for my bed. I'll be taking the knitting with me, so fingers crossed.

I'm meeting my in-laws for the first time in 74 hours. I think this is psychosomatic.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Speed - not just a movie...

I have managed to amaze myself - something I never thought possible. For years I have said that I'm not a fast knitter, merely persistent. Yesterday I cast on a tea cosy. Today at 1:17pm I wrapped a teapot in it.

I joined a blog group called Stashalong, and yesterday I posted my July knitting plans for making a dent into my overwhelming stash. First off was the teacosy from Jo Sharp's "Eclectic" for my mum. It was so fast and so easy, I was amazed. This is definitely the easiest present ever - one day. Done.

Next up on my list is a hot water bottle cover for my Da for Father's Day, and I need to top last year's present - never an easy task. I finished the bottom shaping and now all I need to do is knit that pattern for 25cms. *sigh* That'll be FUN!

Lest you all think I have fallen into my usual trap of neglecting current projects when something new and shiny comes along - behold! Progress on my cabled bag! So I'm not so slack after all, am I?

(My massive overconfidence will end soon. Trust me on this.)