Thursday, 28 July 2005

Stitch markers

I made stitch markers last night. (Very easy - took about an hour to make about 10 - hmmm, that's 6 minutes per marker... sounds about right... wasn't rushing). I tried a couple of different techniques. I made a couple of sets with jump rings (? I think that's the technical term) and a couple of one-offs with-out the extra ring, just looping the end of the wire to make the loop which goes on the needle. (pics are a bit blurry - camera wouldn't focus properly)

Then of course I had to take them for a spin on the needles so I knit a few more rounds on the Sophie bag. The jump ring markers seem to perform better on the needles as they have a greater range of movement (ie: less rigid). I was a little worried as the rings were not joined up (I'm not equipped for or able to solder them) and so I was jamming the ends together and hoping that they wouldn't snag on the yarn. No problems so far, but next time I might try some different rings that I saw in the shop. I think they're similar to the rings that Lisa G uses for her stitch markers.

I also went to the gym last night for the first time in over a fortnight. Did a cycle class (they call it "Pursuit Cycling" at my gym since they're not licensed to call it Spinning or RPM. I suppose "Pursuit" sounds great - in hot pursuit, but it seems somewhat ironic since in actuality you're pedalling furiously and getting nowhere) and my lungs survived without too much coughing. I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning before I know how the muscles will pull up.

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Warning: felting is contagious

I think I've caught the felting bug. I popped into Lincraft yesterday at lunchtime and picked some fuschia coloured Cosy wool to make the Sophie bag. My excuse? I need a little handbag to co-ordinate nicely with my outfit to be worn to my cousin's wedding in a couple of weeks time. Plus the Cosy was on special for $1.99 a ball so even over-catering for the project (I've been caught out before so I bought 4 balls - 95m/50g), it still comes in at under $8 for a handbag which is not to be sneezed at.

Other temptations...

So far I have resisted the stitch marker temptation that something from nothing has paraded on her blog. But I do love the idea of admiring little bits of jewellery whilst knitting. A darn sight more attractive than the scraps of different yarn slip-knotted on the needles that I currently use to mark my spots.

I can resist no longer. A second trip to Lincraft in as many days has netted me the makings of some beaded stitch markers. I even found some timely posted instructions on adventures in geeky knitting. Looks like I've just missed out on Stitch Marker Swap 1 so perhaps I should keep an eye out for the next one. Hmmm...

The question now is, what will Paisley be working on this evening? Sophie Bag? Stitch Markers? Another block for the S&T Wedding Quilt (only 2 left to piece!)? More quilting on the C&D Wedding Quilt?

Friday, 22 July 2005

Photo posting

I had a little photo-taking session last night and remembered to bring the camera in so we have some photo updates.

Completed Corkscrew Scarf (from Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop book) in coaster-impersonation mode...

And in it's more natural state...

Inspired by pincushion that Clementine received in her BackTack stash from Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting, I have made my own needle felted pin-cushion from some of the left over fleece I had accumulated from a couple of dry-felting workshops I had attended. It has ended up being somewhat reminiscent of a Christmas pudding, but I like it like that. Mali, from Mali Design, who ran the workshops waxes quite lyrical about each project taking on a life of its own so I just let the colour additions happen without really thinking about them. I'm happy with it (the photo is a little bit dark - I had trouble getting the exposure right - maybe the white background was a hindrance).

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about too many ideas/temptation. This next pic is the results of that little shopping expedition. I've started knitting this one up - it seems to be working! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Cough, cough, splutter, bark, ruff...

My cold has reached the stage where I cough - quite a lot. My boss tells me that my bark currently outdoes her dog's which got me singing the following while I was doing the washing up last night:

"...And no one at all was about on the street, When a Peke and a Pollicle happened to meet. They did not advance or exactly retreat, But they glared at each other and scraped their hind feet. And they started to Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark. Until you could hear them all over the park..." (it's from Cats of course - Jellicle cats pretending to be Pollicle dogs, what could be more logical than that?)

I finished the Teva Durham corkscrew scarf last night. When you coil it all up it looks like a stack of knitted coasters. The short-row technique was fun and easy - the instructions for "wrap and turn" seem a bit complex when reading, but when you actually do it once, it makes perfect sense and flows quite easily. I also did the whole knitting backwards thing so I didn't have to keep turning the work every 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, etc. stitches and that was pretty easy too.

Sorry no photos at the moment. I need to get iPhoto on my mac so that I can do it all from home. At the moment I have to remember to take my camera into work and load the photos there so that I can crop/edit/resize etc and then email them back to home where I can then ftp them to the hosting site. P erhaps I should re-think where all the photos go - Flickr seems to be a popular option on other blogs. Then I wouldn't have to do the whole ftp thingy. Decisions, Decisions!

I also (finally) did another block of S&T's quilt last night - only 13 to go now! Quilting and patching went on the back-burner while I've been sick - even knitting was very on/off. I'm on anti-biotics now and I seem to be coming good. Hopefully I'll be well enough to go back to the gym next week - it's been driving me mad not going - I can feel all my fitness and strength draining away and I'd been doing some pretty good weights in Body Pump (8.5kg on each end of the bar for squats and 7.5kg each end for chest).

My brain has been exercising though - I've been doing quite well on the Age's cryptic crossword in the past week. I even came close to completing (I had to ring Mum for 3 clues) DA on Friday which is almost unheard of for Paisley cruciverbalising solo.

Monday, 18 July 2005

Hard rubbish collection

Suffering from cabin fever after a weekend of snuffly nose and reading Half-Blood Prince from cover to cover, I went for a walk round the block late on Sunday afternoon and realised that hard rubbish collection day was fast approaching. I spotted one hard-rubbish-cruiser and was tempted myself by a rather nice earthenware coffee pot, but I was restrained and left it there.

So I got back to my place at about 5.30 and managed to heave the old TV, which has been on its side acting as a bed-side table in my spare room for the last 12 months, out to the nature strip and for good measure I added the old CD/Tape-Deck/Radio which I never use anymore ["Don't cling so hard to your possessions for you have nothing if you have no rights" - sorry, thoughts frequently get punctuated with song lyrics].

Bearing in mind that it's the middle of winter here, alright there's no snow but it is pretty cold by our standards (overnight minimum was about 4 degress celsius), and it was pretty much already dark when I laid it out on the nature strip, I was a bit surprised that cruisers had already picked both items up by the time I left for work this morning at 9. I suppose the fact that I'm on a major road so there's plenty of passing traffic that could spot it is a contributing factor, but I can think of better ways of spending a Sunday evening than out and about hard-rubbish-cruising in the cold night air. Good luck to them.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

3 sleeps till HP6!

Busy day planned for this Saturday. Hopefully this cold will have cleared up and I can go the gym. A trip to Mitre 10 to pick up stuff for my mum (her local doesn't get all the catalogue specials).
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is also on the shopping list and of course, once I've got that, all I'll want to be doing is reading it.
If I'm really organised then I'll have a look at a couple of units for sale (theoretically I'm house-hunting at the moment).
Then I'm off to see a production of Pirates of Penzance in the evening... "with constabulary duties to be done, to be done, a policeman's lot is not a happy one - happy one".
How am I ever going to get these quilts made by the end of the year? I must have been insane to even contemplate hand-quilting three queen-size quilts in a year, even if the piecing is all by machine. I'm probably about half-way through the quilting for C&D's quilt. I've pieced 35 of 49 blocks for S&T's quilt. I think the quilting will be quicker on their quilt (she says hopefully). M&A's quilt is a slightly different proposition - I bought the hand-pieced top (double wedding ring design) on e-bay about 4 years ago and have never done anything with it. I think it will suit them, so that just needs to be quilted - their wedding isn't till February so that's kind of on the back burner until the December and January wedding quilts are done.

Monday, 11 July 2005

too many ideas...

I've really gotta stop this knit-blog-surfing thing. I keep on getting ideas. Ideas require yarn. I don't have a big yarn stash (fabric stash is another matter). Therefore I must buy more yarn. Nearest LYS for work is Clegs and the new Marta's city branch. Perfect yarn for this idea is Marta's handpainted Slubby. Handpainted slubby costs $26/100g ball. Ouch.

So I bought 1 ball and will pad it out with cheaper, but beautifully co-ordinating yarn from Clegs. Luckily project is not very big.


Monday, 4 July 2005

Kyoto temptation

So, I haven't knitted a Paisley-sized garment (apart from scarves & wraps which don't really count) for years and years - mostly because I'd spend heaps of money on the yarn, knit it up and then not wear it that much because I didn't like the way it sat, or my fashion sense started to kick in. BUT.... I'm am seriously tempted to get back on the garment-train... lured into the world of knitting jumpers by this pattern and the following justifications:
  1. the possibility of joining the Kyoto KnitAlong 2005
  2. the realisation that the Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton would be the ideal yarn selection
  3. the calculation that at about AUD$90 for the 14 balls required, it would not such an horrifically expensive exercise when you compare it to buying a nice jumper/sweater at Sussan or Witchery and definitely cheaper than Country Road
  4. the intent that the jumper would, knitted in suitable colours, go very nicely with quite a few of my 3/4 length sleeve tops for which I don't really have any suitable cover-ups at present
  5. why the hell not?
I should finish Misty Garden and Corkscrew first though since they're for birthday treats. But there's no harm in getting the yarn now in preparation... is there?
Corkscrew Scarf in progress

Sunday, 3 July 2005

A beautiful day

So S, T, C and I had a great day out on Sunday. We drove down to Point Nepean where they've created a state park at the very end tip of the Mornington Peninsula. It was a gun battery point from the mid 1800s through to the end of WWII and a fair amount of the peninsula is still fenced off as Commonwealth land with warning signs about unexploded ordinances.
Unexploded Bombs

But there are a series of paths you can follow to the tip of the point with great views of Port Phillip Bay, Bass Strait and Queenscliff. We climbed up Cheviot Hill (the highest point on the point) and looked out over Cheviot Beach where Harold Holt disappeared in 1967 (kidnapped by Russians in submarines so the conspiracy theorists declare!).
Cheviot Beach

If I was the Yarn Harlot, I would have had the corkscrew scarf I've just started (Teva Durham design from Loop-d-Loop) with me to star in the photos, but I didn't think about blogging this day until I got home to watch the (delayed) telecast of Live8 (I put my name to the list) and there was Bono singing Beautiful Day, which today was.