Tuesday, 25 April 2006

No prizes for guessing...

paint tins
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
...what I'll be doing for the next couple of weeks. The aim is to get my bedroom done by my birthday (12 May - same as Princess Genevieve), although I think the deadline is actually before then, because my parents are coming to stay in the week beforehand (not sure when) and I'm currently sleeping in my spare room.
Today is a public holiday in Australia - Anzac Day - so this morning I sealed/primed/undercoated the bare plaster wall in my room today. That needs 2 days at least to dry and cure before I can paint over it. This afternoon, once the shops opened, I went to Spotlight to get some fabrics for the Plain Spoken quilt and also to check out curtain options for my bedroom. I found some good fabric choices and I think I've made a decision on the pole/track dilemma. Then I headed for Bunnings to buy this paint. (Antique White USA and Garden Pond in case you're wondering).

Sunday, 23 April 2006

New quilt commenced

Mossy Variation 02
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
So this one is planned to be Aunty M's birthday quilt (birthday in Feb 2007). The pattern is a slightly scaled down version of the Mossy Variation Quilt in Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Road. I'm making good use of all the various green toned fabrics in my stash. The next round will have a pinky/purpley theme.

Pointy Kitty disconnected

Pointy Kitty in progress
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I was inspired by the latest Backtack to try out the Wee Wonderfuls "Point Kitty" pattern. I've got as far as this. But I'm not feeling very inspired to actually get around to attaching the head to the body. The pattern is cute, yes, but fiddly, and not relaxing to make. I think I'll stick with quilts and knitting in the future.

More sock knitting

Jaywalker in progress 02
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
The heel has turned (just like the worm). Progress has been made on the first Jaywalker sock. Knitting with five needles means that the sock is much easier to try on to check for sizing.

Monday, 17 April 2006

Easter in pictures

I joined in the great Australian tradition of driving long distances to take maximum advantage of the 4 day weekend over Easter and went to see my parents (4 hours drive - relatively short by some Easter travellers' standards). Our activities over the weekend can be pretty much summed up as follows:

A couple of cryptic crosswords:
Easter 2006 cryptic crosswording

A couple of Sudokus (and coffee):
Easter 2006 Sudoku and coffee

Lots of work on the Sunrise Circle Jacket:
Easter 2006 sunrise circle knitting

Starting work on a pair of Jaywalker Socks:
Easter 2006 sock knitting

Measuring up R's foot for a pair of socks (after convincing him that a pair of hand-knitted socks would actually be a good thing):
Easter 2006 measuring of the foot

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Moebius 01 complete

Moebius 01 complete
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
This was a quick fun knit. The start is a bit fiddly, but not really difficult. I'm not sure about the size of this one. It's a bit too big to keep my neck warm (not quite snug enough), but not big enough to wear as a shrug (assuming of course that I could keep a shrug on my slopey shoulders).
Still, it's a bit of fun to wear and I'll definitely make a couple more of these.

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Taking orders

Plain Spoken inspiration
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
My mum and my aunt will celebrate landmark birthdays next February (10 years and 5 days difference) and I have been planning to make a quilt for each of them. I'd made a start on one for Mum although I wasn't terribly enthused about how it was turning out (the strippy quilt referred to in the Quilt WIPs list). So when Mum started making noises that she'd found this quilt design that she really liked (nudge, nudge, hint, hint) I 'fessed up and asked her to send the picture. As soon as I saw it I thought of "Plain Spoken" - a design from The Modern Quilt Workshop (by Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr). Click here to see a wee wonderful version of this spectacular quilt. My intention is to make a matching European pillowcase first which will allow me to experiment with quilting designs and then to make the quilt itself with the blocks doubled in size. I think that on a large quilt (Mum & R have a new queen-sized bed), the sheer volume of smaller blocks would be a bit too busy.
Aunty M's quilt is still in the planning stage - it's a Kaffe Fassett design from Quilt Road - and I've just started picking out fabrics from my stash.

Saturday, 8 April 2006

Frogging and stash enhancement

stash enhancement
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I frogged the Sunrise Circle Jacket. But all is not lost. I went shopping today and got more yarn. This hobby is starting to get expensive. When I bought the Patons Jet I justified it with the thought that making lots of little things is a false economy, because you spend more often. But now I've gone and bought two cardigans worth of yarn (plus "incidentals" - see the piccie) in the space of 8 days. Mind you, this lot should keep me going for quite some time.
The recommended gauge on the Country Silk (85% wool, 15% silk) is pretty damn close to the Sunrise Circle pattern so I'm feeling a lot more confident about this project now. Especially since I've learnt quite a bit about the pattern, where it's flexible, where it isn't fudgeable. Let's just call the Jet experiment a very large swatch!

In other knitting news, I've finished my first pair of socks...
blue socks complete

and experimented with knitting a Moebius Strip. The Moebius strip has been fun. As the instructions said, the first couple of rounds were a real pain, but they get easier as the piece gets longer. Next time I'll do 2 rounds each way rather than bog standard garter stitch. I think that will give a nicer finish.
Moebius muddle

The Jet is still destined to become a jacket. The pattern book that accompanies the yarn actually has some really funky and stylish designs. Hmmm.... I was planning on painting the house this year...

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Sunrise Circle Jacket progress

This is such a cleverly written pattern. The technique is deceptively simple, although the actual drafting of the pattern would have been a nightmare. I'm a bit anxious about my yarn selection as it's a fair bit heavier than the pattern calls for. I made some changes to the rate of increases in the sleeve so that I'd still end up with the right number of stitches and a sleeve that wasn't too long.

I have a back-up plan if this yarn doesn't work with the pattern. The Patons book that has patterns made for this yarn has a couple of nice cardigans so I can always frog it and knit one of them up. Then I could start over with a yarn that better matches this pattern.

Other idle knitting inspirations: the Moebius Scarf
Surfing around on knitblogs I came across references to Moebius knitting. Some googling found me some instructions here. I'm hoping that this one will make sense when I actually do it because the concept is really cool.


A girl from work traveled in on my train this morning and we discussed my latest knitting project which is Kate Gilbert's Sunrise Circle Jacket. (I'm knitting it up in Patons Jet - a wool/alpaca blend which is a bit too thick so I'm playing around with the pattern and the gauge a little bit). She was very taken with the pattern so at lunchtime today we made a little sortie to Clegs to buy yarn. Her yarn choice is very different to mine so we won't match!

I was holding a copy of the pattern whilst in the shop and a woman with an American accent recognised the pattern and asked me if I was knitting it - she'd only seen people knitting it in the States. Then she asked "have you done her Clap as well?" And of course I knew what she was talking about (!) (click here if you don't) and was able to answer in the affirmative.

Y is also really taken with the Sunrise pattern (I ventured out into the country to visit her on Sunday) so I've given her the link as well and her yarn choice will be different again. I'm starting to feel like a trendsetter which is a new sensation.
Mental Note: must post progress photo of Sunrise jacket.