Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ravellenic Games: Day 3 and 4

After a happy start yesterday, blocking my new beret, I sat down to knit up one ball of yarn for the jumper. It took all day. ALL day. It reached the point where I was up late trying to finish off the ball of yarn. I was almost there when Marcus woke up and I gave up.

Today I was going to sit down, finish yesterday's ball and start a new one. I had a delivery and a pick-up for the business, so that cut into my knitting time. Then the kidlets and I went for a walk. Can't knit while you push a pram, so that cut into my knitting time. Felix reminded me that I had a rug to crochet up for a customer, so that cut into my knitting time.

I was rather dispirited this evening, so I did the only thing anyone could do.

I cast on a hat.

As requested by a friend, here follows more photos of my lovely new beret.

A close up of the lace section.

A close up of the knitter, to give you all an idea of the size.

It's really huge, even for my huge head. Which is great, considering how often I wear my hair up.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ravellenic Games: Day 2

I took the train in to work, furiously working on a beret for myself. I entered the Hat dash competition, because I thought it would be fast and easy.

I really have to stop picking hats that are complicated.

Portia by Louisa Harding is a lovely lacey beret, and I only had to tink back on the lace once, which might be a record. I did misread during the decreasing which meant I added two rows I shouldn't have, but I pulled them back and kept going.

While it's blocking I only have a shot of the top, but that's enough to make me happy. You know why? I actually finished a Ravellenic Games project. In a day.

I'm surprised there aren't a choir of angels following me all day, singing the Hallelujah chorus. Perhaps they'll sing after I knit up another ball on my jumper today.

So, what else has been going on? Well, I had Dot cut some more teeth (I think I'm raising a baby shark), Marcus got a hair cut and the entire family went to the Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show.

Felix drove us up while I sat and knitted in the front seat, a cotton (bleurgh!) project sample for a customer. We got there at the same time as Dorothy's lovely godmother Joex who was on her first Wool Show trip. She even had a budget of $100.

Isn't that adorable?

I specifically took Felix with me to control the monies, and I was very VERY restrained. I made it out of the Show with only three purchases, for a total of 300g. VERY restrained.

I bought a skein of Road to China Silken Jewels worseted weight  in Blue Tourmaline.  The composition is 65% baby alpaca, 10% cashmere, 10% camel, 15% silk and 100% heavenly. The halo around the blue is a beautiful purple, so slight you have to squint to see it. Chantal tried to steal it, but now she's decided to get some into stock at Stitch Culture instead.

Stranded in Oz was at the Show, and I can't resist yarn with glitter in it. Oooo, shiny! I had to pick between the purple and the red, but the purple won out (big shock, I know). The yarn is called "Glinda the Good Wool" and it will become some bedsocks for me. Now that is a shock.

Lastly I hit the Shiloh stand and bought three balls of Silky Dream, which is the amazing Silky Wool (stretched merino) with Thai Silk added in. It's just gorgeous to touch and I'm planning a small cardigan for Dot with it.

Did I mention "restrained"?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ravellenic Games: Day 1

As I may have mentioned before, I have an addictive personality. When I like something, I really like something.* Sherlock Holmes, Anne of Green Gables, anything by Jane Austen, Jack the Ripper, alcohol and - of course - knitting. I've been addicted to all of these at one point or another, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. Unless you also have an overly competitive nature.

*waves* Helloooooo!

So when I saw the games previously known as the Ravelympics were on again, I thought "Oooo, no, bad idea. I've got two jumpers to knit for Andy, so no time left... Unless I enter them in the Sweater Triathlon..."

Good thing only one qualified. Yesterday morning I got up at 5:30 to watch the ceremony (Kenneth Branagh! Drool bucket please!) and cast on my new jumper when the flame was lit. Well, half an hour later, actually, but who's counting?

I managed to knit up a whole ball of yarn yesterday, 12cm of the jumper back done. Now, as the jumper only needs 14 balls I'll be finished before the end of the games, easy!

Well, I would be if only I hadn't joined the Hat Dash as well... Oops.

*Btw, to any guy I dated, I'm really really sorry. Except that one guy, you totally deserved the crazy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Seriously? Now?

I spent quite a chunk of today listening to Anne of Green Gables on my phone and knitting on my Lover's Lane beret. It was just perfect (if you ignore the children, obviously).

I'm up to row 22 and look! There's an obvious leaf! I'm pretty excited about how this knit is going, except for one thing.

Look at what my knitting is hanging on. That's our lounge room heater. It's not turned on.

It's broken.

It's winter, we're in a house with louver windows and the room we spend most of our day in has no heater.

Good thing we have lots of knitwear.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A walk down Lover's Lane

My Lover's Lane beret knitalong (KAL) began today. To describe me as excited doesn't quite cover it. I downloaded the Librivox version of Anne to listen to as I knit, I picked out two fabulous eggplant-y coloured yarns - a 4ply and a 6ply to make it up to worsted weight - and I cast on.

I went out to Chadstone to catch up with Chantal and drink hot chocolate at the Lindt cafe, so I took my new knitting with me. Finished off the ribbing and was pretty much stuck, but luckily we both had to leave anyway.

I was stuck because I'd left my mobile at home. So no Anne to listen to on the way there or back, no idea what the next row after the ribbing was, nothing. I drove home with plans to sit down and knit and knit and knit...

Marcus is awake. Marcus is not tired. Marcus won't let me knit. Marcus wants Wiggles. Oh, and my mobile.

I've finished the ribbing, and I think that's as far as I'll get tonight. Sick kids are the pits.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy baking!

Pinterest lied to me! I saw the hint that if you put a marshmallow on top of your cupcakes five minutes before they finish the marshmallow will melt, giving the cupcake a nice even gooey topping.

Do these look even to you? Me neither. Good thing they still taste okay!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back from the couch

Whew! What a weekend! I forced Felix to drive me to drop-offs and pick-ups just so I could go straight back to bed on Saturday, and I was so sick I couldn't even go to Morris & Sons on Sunday, so you can guess just how miserable I've been.

I did get a lot of knitting done on the couch, though. Since Thursday I've sewn up a cabled saddle shoulder ladies jumper (handed over Saturday), knitted the collar and sewn up a ladies cardigan (handed over Saturday)...

...added a neck placket and re-knit a collar for a kid's jumper...

...finished sewing up a Noro tunic for a Morris & Sons customer (after re-knitting from the basketweave down, plus the sleeves)...

...and cast on for The Boyfriend jumper. Not for myself, but for a customer. Thank goodness it's on 8mm needles and using two strands of 8ply, otherwise I'd run screaming.

Soon I'll be able to breathe through my nose again and all will be well!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The view from the couch

Another day in the House of the Undying saw Marcus get sicker, Dot become less snotty and Mummy and Daddy collapsing with alarming regularity. Every so often we'd have a burst of energy, rush and do something (housework, cup of tea, ice-cream run) and then we'd remember we were sick and have to sit down. Loads of fun.

Luckily for me the kidlets went off to bed early-ish so I've had a nice evening on the couch. Mostly I've been slaving away at a customer's cardigan (birthday gift for her daughter, due Saturday) but every four rows I put it down and pick up my Granny Poncho and hook up a quarter. Turns out chocolate isn't my reward system, crochet is.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy baking!

Due to Dot being renamed "The Snot Monster", Marcus never changing out of his pj's and Felix staying home inhaling tea all day baking has been cancelled for the day.

Instead I'm off to find some Demezin and a squishy pillow.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

My first big crush

It was July, 1987, twenty-five years ago. Can it really be so long? My whole family sat down to watch. The opening scene, then my sisters started quoted along with the show. "Willows whiten, aspens quiver..." I had no idea what they reciting, but I wanted in. Two days later my da bought me Tennyson's collected works and I caught up.

Welcome to my "Anne of Green Gables" addiction.

I own six copies of Anne, an Anne pop-up book, paper doll set, the dvds, the audio books, dolls, yarn and more. I loved the books so much for a while there I never read anything else. The television series was watched constantly, especially when I was unwell. I was sixteen and on the couch and I could watch the full 3.5 hours twice a day. With a large teapot beside me I was in heaven. I suspect my mother may have hated the mini-series after a while (except for the line "Mrs Hammond told me God made my hair red on purpose and I've never cared for Him since").

There's a few knits out there dedicated to Anne. "Green Gable" is incredibly popular, as is the "Anne Shirley" scarf. Nearly every knitter who's read the books has wondered how to make an apple-leaf cotton warp quilt, just like Mrs Lynde, and Franklin Habit made a Star Counterpane Block based on it at Knitty.com.The most desired is the blue cardigan from the mini-series.The number of whimpers when it appears on screen is ridiculous.

Last night while browsing Ravelry, a new shawl pattern was listed in the top 20 and it's name caught my eye straight away. "Call Me Cordelia" is an amazing shawl, and I might have to add it to my future knits list (plus, it's in purple!). The magic words "The second of my LM Montgomery inspired patterns." caught my eye and sent me off to look.

Anyone else want to join in a knit along for the "Lover's Lane" beret?

(First big crush? Jonathan Crombie, just like every other girl who watched the series. His successor was a cute guy on the cover of a knitting pattern book.)

Sunday, July 01, 2012

A lazy Sunday

Sunday is usually hectic for me. Get up, get dressed, take care of kids, grab Dot and head for 8:00am service, come home, late breakfast, get ready, head off to Morris & Sons.

Today, wake up at 7:00am, realise the headache is going to kill me, go back to sleep. Felix wakes me at 8:00, feeds me Panadol and a cup of tea and leaves me asleep until 9:00am, while feeding and dressing two kids. Beyond the call of duty? Absolutely.

I did make it in to M&S, full of tea and happiness. 12 degrees is brisk for me, and I had another great day at work. Best moment was when a customer asked me if I recognised a pattern and I could say "Oh, that's Bubbles! I love that!" Pulled the pattern up on Ravelry and she liked the third picture on display. Yep, the one by Andrea. My ego got a teensy bit bigger after that (it's almost grape size now).

Lest you fear I shall become big-headed with my new found awesomeness, I gift you a photo of how I repaired the hole in Felix's sock.

I tied a knot in it.