A turtle each for J and T3's first Christmas.
A simple little pattern from Amy Karol's "Bend-the-rules Sewing".
After a mild and pretty wet start to December, today I'm feeling quite summery. The washing dried quickly on the line in the sun, neighbours are out mowing the lawn and there's test cricket on the telly. All is calm in this little corner of the world.
The powers that be in Melbourne are obsessed with combatting fare evasion on our public transport and have tried all sorts of ad campaigns to encourage the buying of tickets. BATBYGOBSTOPL* anyone?
The latest campaign is a series of "fare evasion karma" scenarios. These really annoy me because the whole attitude towards providing any sort of customer service on our public transport system is so negative, adversarial and "anti-karmic".
However, I spotted this one on the side of a tram in Flinders Street. It gave me a giggle and made me wonder. Was the copywriter a knitter?
* "Buying A Ticket Before You Get On Board Saves Time Or Problems Later" ie: buy a ticket - and validate it - or our thuggish ticket inspectors will rough you up a bit and whack you with a $100 fine - no discussions will be entered into.
South African Fine Top in colourway Party Hat 1. Purchased from Ewe give me the knits. (Sticking with local sellers for the moment - the Australian dollar being so cactus at the moment means that I really need to give a lot more thought to buying stuff from overseas). I forgot to take a picture of the roving pre-spinning.
It took a while to get the hang of this. Spinning prepared top, rather than greasy wool straight off the sheep's back, requires much slower treadling and extra care to stop it getting away from you.
Having said that, there's no wastage at my end. The plait of roving was 110 g and every last bit of that has gone into the skein. I've got no idea of the yardage or the wpi. As you can see from the photo, it's not perfectly even, but I'd hazard a guess from eyeballing it, that it would average out at about an 8 ply (DK).
I decided that I had let this one drag on for far too long, so last night and this morning I got my fingers into gear and finished the quilting. Now there is just some hand-sewing to fix the binding on the back.
I love this part of the process. Once the little bit of texture that quilting adds to a piece is completed and then the whole thing is bound, the promise of the initial idea is revealed.
Some quilts work better than others, but I always find myself pleasantly surprised at the lift that things get when they're finished off properly. I think one of the reasons that I sometimes take so long is that I get disillusioned with the project in progress. Getting to the finish line almost becomes an intellectual exercise in reminding myself that this has always been the rhythm of things.
Darning these socks has been in my "gunna do" pile for quite some time. This afternoon I finally just sucked it up and did them - and it really doesn't take that long. If you look closely, I obviously have a classic spot where the sock (just one out of each pair, despite my attempts to alternate wearing them between left and right foot) wears out.
Today is Cup Day here in Melbourne and we have the day off. I have had a lovely day remaining completely oblivious of which horse has won "the race that stops a nation". I've been catching up on the backlog of podcasts that has been building up in my iTunes, baking a Christmas cake ( a Nigella recipe - tried it last year for the first time and loved it) and sewing myself a Heath Robinson-ish spinning apron.
...I am able to present the Noro Kureyon Sock socks-of-doom. I'm wearing them now and they're pretty comfy on, so I guess it was worth it, but knitting these socks took a loooooong time. Nothing wrong with the pattern - Slipped Stitch's "Boyfriend Socks" is a nice simple toe-up pattern, short-row-heeled, with some attractive cables adding interest. The pattern was really easy to memorize - everything the perfect train-knitting project should offer. The trouble was the gauge. Knitting this Noro at a really tight gauge (which I was - on 2mm needles) was a slow and sometimes uncomfortable process. I usually choose my sock needle size using the rather unscientific method of eyeballing the sock yarn and making a judgement about whether it's a slightly thinner, slightly thicker or middle-ish sock weight - which then points me to either 2mm, 2.5mm or 2.25mm. Generally I find that I don't go far wrong with this rule of thumb.
I guess next time I will just have to try going up a size or two with the Noro. I also have a sneaky suspicion that my general tension has increased in the past year as my knitting style has developed into a speedier technique ( I finally worked out how to wrap the yarn round the right-hand needle without letting go of it - it only took me twenty years.....)
...that is a great blobby bit of lace. The pile of knitting that really doesn't look like anything. I haven't knit much lace in the past, but it's been something that I've kept meaning to try. It looks like now is the time. Light 2 ply lace-weight wool makes for a nice summer weight of knitting.
Trying out the timer function on my camera - not sure how to get it to focus properly. Still, I think the jacket is pretty fabulous. The buttons are pretty lurid, but I figure I've got plenty of other plain black stuff, so why not have a bit of fun with this?
The wool is Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12 ply in Graphite.
Buttons are from Buttonmania.
Finished just in time for summer. Oh happy happy joy joy.
Now that I've returned the on-loan spinning wheel to the guild, the mad spinning frenzy is on hold until I get my own wheel and the knitting, which was feeling a tad neglected, is getting some more attention.
My lounge room also looks a bit more organised now that it doesn't have a raw fleece rolled up in a sheet resembling a dead body on the floor in front of the telly.
The February Lady Jacket is progressing smoothly. I love how easy it is to try on a top-down as you go to check the fit. This is going to be just right. I've only got two balls of the 12ply (200g each) left now so I've started on the arms which I'm sure will take less than a ball each (I've done a very rough calculation in my head based on the yardage consumption in the body). Then I can use whatever is left over to finish off the main body. Just in time for summer.
A quick little knit from the top down. See the pattern called Helena at Knitty.com. The only quibble I have about knitting top-down raglan is the really long rows that you get just before you divide off the sleeve stitches. But once that's done, you can watch it turn into a try-on-able-as-you-go cardigan. I love that.
This cardigan pattern has a handy trick for the extra cast on stitches at the underarm which eliminates the need for any seaming - something to remember for the next February Baby Jacket, which will probably actually be a February Lady Sweater. I've been itching to cast one on all winter, but I keep on finding myself making other things that have a deadline. Now as winter edges towards a close, I find myself with a little gap in the knitting schedule. I guess I'll get to wear it next year.
Dear Aunty Paisley,
Thankyou for my lovely green and gold cardigan and hat. It’s just perfect to wear while I’m cheering on the Aussies at the Olympics.
I was toasty and warm in it when I went to visit the Maternal Health centre nurse today. I just need to grow a bit more, as the hat keeps falling down over my eyes. Thankfully mummy rolled it up, so that I could see and be seen!!
Lots of love
Lest it appear that I'm spending all my energy on sprint finishes like Mark Cavendish (4 sprinting stage wins so far), here is a progress shot of my "real" TdFKAL project - the Clapotis. As you can see, it's a scarf version. The goal is to keep knitting through this one skein until it looks like I've got just enough to do the decrease section at the end.
I'm really happy knitting this. The pattern and the sea silk work really well together. I made a clapotis a few years ago when the craze first hit, but I made a bad yarn choice then and the wrap has sat in a drawer since then. I can see this version getting plenty of use though.
To be honest though, we're now about 2/3 through le tour and I think I might be pushing it to finish this project, especially given my aborted attempt at the lace ribbon scarf. But I try not to focus on the "if onlys" of life. In this instance, I will still end up with a beautiful scarf. Happy Days.
May I present the Jacques Cousteau Chapeau. The pattern, like everything else these days, is on Ravelry. (ie: I can't be bothered finding the link). It uses a decrease that I haven't come across before - KKS. Super easy and pretty quick.
The wool is Patons (Australia) Merino Deluxe DK. This appears to be ACS's attempt to produce a competitor to the Italian style basic yarns like Filatura di Crosa Zara. It's pretty good and a leap forward from the basic 8 plys that they've stuck with for so long. If I were going to be critical, I would say that Zara is a smidge softer than this. But that would be being a little bit picky.
Most of this beret is made from a delicious merino-seacell handspun that I got from Pigeonroof Studios. There wasn't quite enough so I used up the rest of the plum coloured merino-cashmere from the "Anne of Cleves" hat. That still wasn't quite enough, so then I broke out a cake of Marta's Yarns 8 ply merino blue multi to finish off the brim.
Photo is blurry. Hands are not really steady when taking photos in the morning before the first cup of coffee.
Pictures making me happy right now...
1. IMG_7460, 2. IMG_7698.JPG, 3. IMG_7750.JPG, 4. IMG_7728.JPG, 5. summery rail fence., 6. 1000., 7. Red Spring Forward Socks, 8. Colinette Jitterbug Toscana, 9. All Laid Out, 10. Great Aunt Irma mini quilt 2, 11. IMG_7431, 12. wee lamb, 13. february lady sweater, 14. IMG_7221, 15. IMG_7387, 16. Cleopatra's Stockings, 17. Monkeys for mommy, 18. no. 1 : framed, 19. freshly laundered, 20. Mulino dei ceci set, 21. Post, 22. windy laundry, 23. Canal, 24. February Lady Sweater in progress, 25. Celebration Keens, 26. img_4519.jpg, 27. Durham, 28. vintage blueberry cotton, 29. Double Gradient Noro Scarf, 30. Kyoto_40, 31. Mingus, 32. Loopy Central Sock Wall, 33. Pillow and top, 34. brown blue quilt detail, 35. brown blue quilt, 36. making