Thursday, February 28, 2008

My da's birthday

The Drunken Argyle is too big and requires a lot of scaling down.

On the depressing side (as if the jumper wasn't enough) I found out today that my da is about 7 kgs lighter than me. And the exact same height.

Quickly Robin! To the booze!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Finished Objects 2008 - #5

Behold! The B.S.Johnson!

As you can see, there's two inches of rib instead of one, so I compensated for my stupidity by shortening the crown. Felix thinks it's über-comfy, and I made it for him, so all's well that ends well.

Anyway, it is a Johnson, so there's no real mistakes, after all is there?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Finished Objects 2008 - #4

Yes, I'm avoiding the Drunken Argyle. But if you know how to pick up stitches on black knitting with black wool at night without eye strain, tell me. Tell me now.

So, here's Felix's beanie. With Felix in it.

I used Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in "Quartz" (doubled) and "Opal" (singled. Basic beanie pattern - knit rib for a while , knit plain til you need to make it smaller. And wait til you're three rows from finishing and then run out of "Opal".

Give up and use "Empire". Still works.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Finished Objects 2008 - #3

In the midst of my yarn tidying, I found an unfinished headband knitted in natural chocolate alpaca 8ply. Now, I started this headband in January 2007 because summer almost always means I'll be trying to pull my hair very far back from my forehead, and preferably completely out of the way. I have a fringe now, so I'm not really doing that anymore.

As we're heading of to far cooler climes soon, I've been eying off a few beanie patterns on Ravelry, and one of the most popular has been Coronet. There are 641 versions on Ravelry, which makes it a pretty popular pattern. Now we can add my version: "Diadem".

I used Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in "Meadow" for the top, and just made up the beanie pattern as I went. The length is perfect for me, and the chocolate brown edging matches my eyes (although Felix says the green makes my eyes look greener. Odd.) and most of my wardrobe.

It's a really easy knit, once you get over how long the cabling takes, and yes, mine was a much more complicated cable that I just made up (two 3x3 cables divided and ended by a 3-stitch moss stitch) and ran with. The band was on 4.5mm and the crown on 5mm circulars.

I'd recommend giving this a try because it was quite simple, and you can make up your own cables. Oh, and it's very comfortable!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Got it!

No time to ask questions, Robin - to the overlocker!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The praising is very much over

As you can read in the last post, I was full of joy and happiness and love for the world for I had finished the Drunken Argyle! So I spent 1.5 hours sewing in all the ends, then I blocked the back and front and settled down to watch "Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason" on tv with Felix.

Sitting back, occasionally glancing down with pride at my months of hard work (and large periods of inactivity, true) I felt a niggling little worry in the back of my mind. it? Is the back of this thing just really big, or am I mad? I decided to lay the front over the back to check.

Nope. Not mad. My next words: "I'm just going off to the kitchen to kill myself..."

This is a disaster. I know that's a big call, what with numerous civil wars, famines, pestilences and plagues upon so many houses, but you know what? In my tiny little world, this is a disaster. I worked so hard on this, and to get to the point where it should be finished only to see something this awful happen is actually heartbreaking. Really, truly heartbreaking. I'm still so stunned I can't even cry yet.

Sorry Da. I'll try and fix it before Thursday. It's only a two inch gap, after all.

(See? Even in the midst of a disaster, I still have my insanity.)

Hello, saints? I be praising here!

I have finished the intarsia front of the Drunken Argyle.

If anyone needs me in the next 12 hours I shall be getting tipsy to celebrate and then sewing in about 50 ends.

...actually, I might sew the ends in first.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Finished Objects 2008 - #2

I'll be slowly adding in my finished objects as I go this year, so here's another addition: Quantified.

The pattern is "Quant", and it's my first piece on entrelac. I've been wanting to try it for years, and after Lettisia said how easy it was I thought "What the heck!" and cast on. The instructions are so easy to understand, so if you're thinking about it go right on ahead. I loved it.

I used a ball of Patons Merino Deluxe DK in cream that I threw into a pot of very strong tea with a few drops of blue food colouring for good measure. It knits up beautifully, except for a propensity to twist like a tropical cyclone.

All in all, I just love it!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Let me explain...

Last night I adjusted my "Works in Progress" bars (there! On the left! Look over there! LEFT!) and discovered, to my shame, that I seem to have lost control of my projects again. So let's just look at them all calmly, with very little yelling, okay?

1. Kitri Socks

Easy enough to explain. I have one finished and all I need to do is the lace top on the other. Which means I need to find my 2.75mm double points. Or at least a second 2.75mm double points. No, I'm not going to buy another pair - yet.

2. Nana's Birthday Socks

...these are the personification of guilt. I frogged the Zig Zag socks because they took too long, and now I need to buy two balls of Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette to make the Rainy Day socks again. I'll start these in the next week, honest.

3. Slacker Cardi

This was the original car knitting. Once I clean my car enough to see the back seat, it will probably become my car knitting again.

4. Drunken Dad

I'm still working on it, okay? I've got 10 bloody days so get off my back, right?!

5. Prairie Boots

I've put these in a bag behind the door until I finish some of the other projects ie Nana's socks and the vest that shall not be named.

6. B.S. Johnson

Because everyone else in the Ravelry Pratchett group is making them, and yes I would jump off the Westgate Bridge if they did.

7. Felix's Birthday Present

I'm pretty sure I can get this done in time. I'm pretty sure. I'll start panicking around the 10th, I guess.

8. Felix's Socks

I love him, but Nana's are coming first.

9. A Scarf (maybe)

It started off as a scarf, but I dislike how long scarves take, so this might be a neck-warmer style of scarf instead.

10. A Beanie for Felix

I deliberately went out and bought another ball of purple for this and what happens? The blue runs out. It can wait - we're not leaving for a while yet.

- - - - -

I told you I could explain it all. Now to work out how to excuse it all...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

100 posts...

w00t! I've stuck to something this long - miracles do happen, eh?

As promised, I did a yarn clean out. Bet you weren't expecting this much:

All of this has been bagged up as an extra birthday present for Lettisia. She squealed so high, dogs heard her. Really.

Here's the aerial shot:

It really is a large amount of yarn. But now I have more room for these:

Sock yarn for my mum's birthday socks. The shot makes it look murky when it isn't. It's rich and divine and I wish I could keep it for myself.

Silk/wool to make my own Juno Regina. This was a birthday present from my sisters, although I did the ordering from Dyelicious. It feels as good as it looks.

But, back to the Drunken Argyle...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Some thoughts

I am a pack rat of sorts. I hoard yarn, occasionally turning it over and over in my hands sobbing as I whisper to "My Precious". I keep scraps that would make an obsessive compulsive worry. But no more.

I've been trying to sort out my stash as part of the Organized Knitting Group Challenge. I've been pulling out bags and throwing things in bins and generally worrying I own too much yarn. In some ways, I do: I have leftovers from a lot of projects that I have no intention of making anything with. I did try to find things to knit with it. I trawled all over Ravelry with my brain working working overtime with "So if I replace the Cascade with the Jo Sharp and knit it striped I might have enough yarn but only if I cast on with the mohair scraps..."

No more. It's all being packed up and given away this weekend. Even the full unused balls of Jo Sharp Aran. I just can't be bothered thinking this hard anymore.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

R.I.P. Mystery Stole 3

This morning I was very calmly and logically thinking through all of my knitting projects (panic!!!!!) when I came to a decision: I don't like stoles. I joined the Mystery Stole 3 knitalong, but I don't like stoles.

I joined up to knit lace, because I hadn't really tried. I tried, I can, it's pretty simple once you work it out. However...

I don't think the pattern is very me - I'm as un-frilly, -girly and -feminine as the next tomboy, so I'm thinking a plainer shawl might be a bit more my style. Still lace, as the never-ending dream of turning into Jane Eyre might come true, but bigger, more triangular, more shawl.

The Mystery Stole has been frogged.

I think Jane would approve.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wonders shall never cease

I cast on for a new project, knitted 1.5 rows and stopped.

Not only did I stop, but I pulled the needles out, put them aside and frogged the yarn back.

Then I picked up the Drunken Argyle.

I fear I may be maturing as a knitter.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Finished Objects 2008 - #1

The pedicure socks were started last October 18th as a driving project to Port Macquarie, despite me being the main driver (2800km, of which I anchored 2400. I rock a bit sometimes). They've been sitting in a bag waiting to be finished and I finally knocked them off the other week. And then promptly misplaced them so that I couldn't give myself a nice pedicure after all, nor take any pictures.

Eventually they were re-found, and a copious amount spent at The Body Shop on lemongrass foot goodies. I spent far too long admiring my feet, so the next time I painted my toenails (today) I decided to take some pictures.

Voilá. Be-a-yoo-ti-ful socks. I love them.

(For anyone interested - the background tv show is "Hex", series 1, and I am happily addicted to it. One of the things that Felix and I found out we had in common was our love of this show - mainly due to me writing quotes from it all over my desk wall at work.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A challenging day

First things first - Happy Ash Wednesday, especially if your name is Ash (well, Ashlee) and you're turning 12. That pretty much narrows it down to my niece, so Happy Birthday Ashlee!!!

My brother in law Mike arrives today for the Iron Maiden concert here in Melbourne, a truly family event with Felix and Mike attending with their older brother Jason and his daughter, Ashleigh (yes, I have two nieces named Ashlee/Ashleigh. Ashleigh has two aunts named Andrea, though, so it evens out).

Now, if you know me, you know my lack of organisational skills, or at least, my lack of housework. In other words, you just know everything will be thrown in one of my gazillion cupboards until Mike leaves (tomorrow). However, I've now signed on to the Organized Knitting Club 30-Day Challenge, which means you get to see just how bad my lack of housework is...

This is my lounge room knitting corner. I bought the lovely basket so I could stash my projects as I worked on them, but it's sort of a "hibernating" projects home now. The felt basket holds a myriad of knitting dilemmas (SSS, my MS3 - hibernating also, and un-frogged jumper that needs short row bust shaping) and all of my double points that fell out of their holder. Don't ask how - it's embarrassing.

This is my stash cupboard. Please note the bulging at the seams effect it gives. The canvas bags you can just see on the right are stash/UFO bags hanging on the back of the workroom door. That's right - I have a whole room that can be used, and it looks this bad. Please feel free to admire the creative stacking on the top also.

This is the inside - semi-organised, but not enough. It was beautiful once, but time will take it's toll, as will stash additions and the need to find "that ball, you know the one, I need it to make that thing for that person in the next 24 hours"...

I refuse, however, to take the blame for this part. Those are Felix's books that have been in that box since October last year when we brought them here from Port Macquarie. The box on top is also his, as are the two guitars. I subscribe to the "mess attracting mess" practice mentioned by Karen Kingston in "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" (read from "Clutter is Stuck Energy"), so I'm holding Felix a teensy bit responsible.

Next the craft bookshelf - not too bad, but could be a tad tidier, especially the circular needle holder and the masses of Patons Caressa on the left there...

As you can see my magazines are pretty okay. I printed up some labels for some Ikea magazine holders, and they're all pretty organised. Still, I find myself rummaging to find certain patterns in the magazines when the mood strikes. The shelf below holds all of my sewing patterns - neatly separated into styles. I never have a problem finding one of my patterns!

The sewing area is too depressing to even discuss.

Felix and I have set a date for leaving this accursed place (well, semi-accursed), so I really need to tidy up everything so we can either ditch it or sell it before we leave (July 16th, for anyone interested). SO, here goes...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Drunken Argyle Crisis - Day 73

Just a brief post to celebrate: I've just finished the second set of charts for the front of the Drunken Argyle I'm knitting for my da's combined Christmas/Birthday present.

It seems as if I have a long way to go, but there's only another 32 rows before I separate for the v-neck. However... I now wonder if I shouldn't start the v-neck earlier as it's cut up pretty high, and I was planning to stop an inch short to match the back (my da is a petite man) that I deliberately made shorter.

I think a Judith Q&A session will be forthcoming this week.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Bear with me as I play around with my blog. Hopefully, it'll be worth it...

*crosses fingers*