Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Too many socks?

too many socks?
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
With lots of socks in the planning stage, I emptied my sock drawer into the clothes basket last night, to get a better idea of the sheer volume of socks in my possession. Is this too many do you think? Perhaps not. If they were overflowing out of the basket, then it might be a different matter.
And while I'm on the topic of socks, why is it that my favourite patterned socks get holes in them really quickly, whilst the boring old plain ones (that I'm secretly dying to throw out but can't because I can't bear to throw out perfectly good and serviceable socks) seem to last forever?

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Pomatomus begins... again

Pomatomus begins
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I think I've worked out what I did wrong the first time around. On row 12 of chart A I did the yarn over at the start of the next needle instead of at the end of the needle it was supposed to go on. This put everything out of whack. I'm optimistic that I might just get a bit further this time although I'm yet to get to the end of Chart A for the first repeat.

The yarn is lovely. I'm using 2 strands of Marta's Yarns 2 ply wool. One is a pale greyish green, the other is a multi in sort of camouflage colours. I'm enjoying the yarn so much that on the weekend I went to Marta's and lashed out on some more 2 ply in other colours to make myself (gasp!) some more socks. I'm starting to understand the stash problems of other knit-bloggers.

Monday, 26 June 2006

Pomatomus interuptus

I started knitting the infamous Pomatomus on the weekend. All was going swimmingly well until I got to the end of Chart A for the first time, and had to do those moving 1 stitch from each needle.
I think I ran into a couple of issues.

Issue 1. As I worked my way up the chart, each pattern repeat moved to the left, so that gradually, pattern repeats would finish a few stitches onto the next needle. Was it meant to do this?

Issue 2. If issue 1 is meant to happen, then how do you decide where to declare the end of chart row 22? Do you knit to the end of 6 pattern repeats (ie: the 12 stitch repeat over 72 stitches) which will finish you up in the middle of a needle, or do you knit to the end of the needle 3, regardless of where in the pattern repeat this leaves you?

I made a guess, moved my stitches as instructed, but then ended up moving them back to where they'd been when I came to knit them as I was trying to k2tog tbl which is tricky when the 2 sts are on different needles. I knitted on for a couple of rows and it sort-of looked right, but not right enough, I was starting to do too much fudging. So I frogged it. I'm going to have another go though - it was looking good so the effort will be worth it. I just wish I understood how the pattern worked. Blind faith only gets you to the end of the chart once. Then you really need to understand the pattern structure.

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Can't talk... too busy listening...

There was great excitement today when 2 of my recent Amazon purchases, which have been on back order for the last month, finally arrived. Now I get to go home and listen to this:

Hopefully Chamber of Secrets won't be too far away - it's still on back order. Otherwise I'll have to move straight on to this:


Friday, 16 June 2006

One year on...

Today is my "blogiversary".

In the past year I have written a total of 96 posts which averages out at 1 post every 3.8 days. Considering that I've never kept a regular diary for this long before, that's quite an achievement.

I've discovered an amazing pool of talented and creative people out there in the blogosphere who provide me with so much more inspiration than I'm ever going to be able to actualise (is that a word?). I will never be stuck for ideas.

I met (in a virtual sense) my almost twin (11 hours and ocean apart) in Princess Genevieve. My real-life friend C reads Genevieve's blog occasionally and tells me "Oh God, you're so alike!"

I've been able to share my creations with a much larger potential audience of like-minded people, who don't just tell me that something is good because they love me and don't know any better.

I think I've probably become more productive in my crafting (certainly the knitting output has increased dramatically) as I have the incentive of being able to show off more stuff (who would have thought I could be such an exhibitionist?).

In conclusion, I've found blogging to be a most enjoyable and enriching experience. So let's give it a go for another year.

Thursday, 15 June 2006

New Zealand v Australia

Alternatively titled: Fur Seals v Sea Lions
At the south-west tip of Kangaroo Island, a hole can be found at the bottom of a cliff. That hole is known as Admiralty Arch.
Admiralty Arch

If you stand on the boardwalk that leads down the side of the cliff towards Admiralty Arch, you will see this.
Above Admiralty Arch

Apart from the small islands which you can see in this photo, there is nothing until you hit Antarctica.
Admiralty Arch is the winter home to a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals. Here are two seals deeply engaged in conversation.
NZ Fur Seal conversation

Further east along the south coast lives a colony of Australian Sea Lions.
Aust Sea Lions colony

Read about Australian Sea Lions here:
Aust Sea Lions info

This guy was having a wonderful snooze.
Aust Sea Lion at rest

As an added bonus, driving home after viewing the sea lions, we spotted this fellow's furry white bum as he was crossing the road. Koalas can be a bit tricky to spot in the wild, so this was a great treat. We eye-balled each other as I took his photo.
Koala at Seal Bay

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Projects pootling along

Once I determined that I would cast on 60 stitches for this sock, I determined that I wouldn't look at a pattern or instructions to test my understanding of back sock construction techniques and ratios. So far, so good. The only thing I still haven't mastered is Kitchener stitch. I finish off toes by turning the sock inside out and doing a three needle bind off. My rationalisation is that the toe needs extra reinforcement which the thicker bind-off technique provides.
However I'm reading all these other blogs which talk about toe-up socks and magic loop technique and I get very confused. Four or five dpn sets knitting cuff down seem to work pretty well for me but perhaps I should try these other techniques at some stage to judge them for myself.
I'm currently working on a Moebius Strip scarf using the Addi Turbos that I bought a few weeks ago. They knit pretty nicely and are quite light although they are a little cold. They're definitely nicer than ordinary metal needles, but I'm not sure whether I prefer them to bamboo. I probably need to do some more precision knitting before I make that call. The Moebius Strip (once you've got it started correctly) is not a challenging knit.
On the patchwork front, I'm working my way through piecing the Plain Spoken quilt.
Plain Spoken piecing 01

I'm a bit under half-way and I've set myself a deadline of the end of the week as the spare bed has to be clear for guests next Monday. In effect, this means finishing the piecing on Sunday at the latest. This isn't a particularly challenging deadline. As long as I exercise a little self-discipline.
It's late. My feet are cold. I'm off to bed with a hot water bottle.

Sunday, 11 June 2006


Pelican at American River, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

A remarkable bird is the pelican
Its beak can hold more than its belly-can
It can hold in its beak, enough food for a week
I wonder how the hell-'e-can?

There is masses of birdlife on Kangaroo Island. I love the pelicans (despite being bitten by one at the age of four). These photos were taken at American River (which isn't really a river - it's more a swampy almost-closed-in bay) on the east of the island.

Pelicans at American River, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Pelicans at American River, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Friday, 2 June 2006

Grandma Crusoe ready in time...

Grandma Crusoe 01
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
...for a holiday. I'm taking a week's annual leave and going to Kangaroo Island. My parents are making an epic(ish) road trip of it and catching the ferry across. As for me, I think a two hour flight from Melbourne is preferable so they'll pick me up at the airport on the island.
About the socks:
Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Memories in "Grandma" colourway (a birthday gift from Genevieve).
Needles: set of 5 bamboo 2.5mm dpns
Pattern: Resized version of Crusoe since my gauge was nothing like the pattern specs.
Other remarks: I've yet to wash these so I don't know what they'll be like after washing, but right now they are really comfy. Because the stranded stitch has a bit more body, it stays up better than plain old stocking stitch. It's also given me some ideas for a pair of men's socks which are in the planning stage.