Friday, December 30, 2011

Penultimate Day

So it's the second last (penultimate) day of 2011.  Seems like there's still a fair whack of clearing the decks to go LOL!

I've copied the list to here and have made notes to inspire me to get myself moving today and tomorrow!

So this year's House Clear the Decks is as follows:
Kitchen windowsill   Still dusty/leafy.
Kitchen bench (where all the papers from kinder/school land) Still a pile a foot deep.
Hand washing (mostly hand knits) Round one done, up to round two.
Under the bed (mine-where the yarn hides out) Had the yarn out, does that count?
Clothes washing away every day (slim chance but hey lets add it anyway!) There's only yesterday's load out at the moment, lets not talk about last week, slips syly away.
File the filing (currently in a box or two or three in the corner of my bedroom) Still there
Bed side table (including: read the books and return them to their owners) Still there

The Crafting Clear the Decks list is:
Scarf for Teacher #1  Done and delivered
Scarf for Teacher #2 Done and delivered
Cowl In Progress - was at 5 repeats on 8/12 is now at 11 repeats complete out of 18, nice progress there.
Shawl for me Done - just needs blocking - a job for today
Binding onto quilt for Libby's baby Done and delivered

The Crafting list got a lot of attention this month, perhaps that's why the House list suffered :-)
Looks like the kitchen is getting a once over, my shawl is getting blocked and the hand washing is getting done, perhaps I might make it back to under the bed and give it a vacuum or a sweep as well (or maybe the child who loves using the vacuum can have a go!).  Will also work some more on the cowl while supervising/watching the boys play.  
The filing and bedside table look like they make the long term list!  

A pretty successful Clearing the Decks, especially if I manage the kitchen, blocking and washing today.  I'll pop back in later for an update.

So how did your Clearing the Decks go this December?

We've had a wonderful Christmas, very low key, no events at our house, we've seen both sides of the family and even extended cousins but no major stresses and the usual Christmas baggage just didn't appear so it's been a nice change.  The kids received a few well chosen gifts and have spent the last few days working out how games are played (lots of board/people based games), where to put the pieces in the 200 piece puzzle of Where's Wally?, how the popcorn maker works and today will be how the Animal Kingdom Mini Cake maker works.

Best Wishes to you all for a Happy and Healthy 2012.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Slowing down

It seems funny to be two days before Christmas and writing about slowing down but, yes, we are, and I am, slowing down.  Yesterday the two big boys finished at school and on Tuesda the littlest one finished up.  So as of this morning, we are slowing down.  All of the child related Christmas events have ended: Kinder break up for the child's group and for the whole Kinder, Childcare break up, Class Christmas parties, School Carols and Sports night, Orientations for next year, tennis and swimming lessons are done for the year as well.  My Committee related events have finished up: AGM, Handover, End of Year Christmas Party, tieing (why is that not a real word? To tie doesn't have a "y" why would tieing be spelt tying?)  up loose ends on the positions I've held this year.  Now I just have to put things into the right piles and pass them onto the next people holding the positions. Everything is starting to slow down.  We've had Christmas with my family earlier in the month and we are doing Christmas lunch with Jules' family and then lunch with his cousins on Boxing Day and that's it.  Nothing here, just us and possibly my sister and BIL and niece at some point, all nice and easy.  Ahhhhhhhh.  Nice!

The clearing the decks has been happening in fits and starts, it's amazing how much less time I've had this month compared to last month.  Here I was thinking I'd have time to clean and in the end everything is in pretty much the same state as at the beginning of the month.  Oh except we've been out to various functions and knitting has been happening for gifts so other stuff has been happening, just not clearing!  But between Christmas and New Years we have no plans so that's when it will be happening, I hope!

Onto the knitting.

I'm working on a cowl in Black Wollmeise for a friend.  It's coming along nicely, almost halfway there.  I was knitting on it yesterday at a friend's house while watching the boys play in the pool and it's such a simple pattern it just keeps going around and around, relaxing really.

I've made two scarves for the Teachers of the big boys.  I dove into the stash and came up with two skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure silk, one in a beautiful off white and the other a pink I'm having trouble describing, so you'll just have to look at the pictures.  I think it has been described as Strawberry, but there's less red than I'd expect for Strawberry.  I winged the pattern, wanted something patterny on the ends and plain through the middle, so played until something looked good :-)

Have cast on for a pair of socks, the yarn was at the ready, the pattern is Cookie A's Sake which is very pretty, have worked out whether I need to make adjustments because the pattern is only for one size.  Once I've done that I'll be casting on :-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Clear the Decks

Must be December, oh yes, we're on to day 2 already!  Definitely time for another round of Clearing the Decks in December.  I like the feel of facing a new year with a clean house.  It makes a big difference to my attitude to the year.  I certainly wasn't in the mood to do it last year, the end of which was completely stressful.  But this year I'm all good for Christmas (haven't bought the pressies yet, but I'm ok with that), and I'm looking forward to the festive celebrations followed by our annual trek to the beach in January for a round of camping with the kids.

So this year's House Clear the Decks is as follows:
Kitchen windowsill
Kitchen bench (where all the papers from kinder/school land)
Hand washing (mostly hand knits)
Under the bed (mine-where the yarn hides out)
Clothes washing away every day (slim chance but hey lets add it anyway!)
File the filing (currently in a box or two or three in the corner of my bedroom)
Bed side table (including: read the books and return them to their owners)

The Crafting Clear the Decks list is:
Scarf for Teacher #1
Scarf for Teacher #2
Shawl for me
Binding onto quilt for Libby's baby

I think that's enough for now.

So what will you be clearing up this December???

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To market, to market

I'm off to the Ivanhoe Maker's Market this weekend.  Saturday that is.  The market recently relocated to the Livingstone Community Centre in Ivanhoe and it's a wonderful new location. There are lots of lovely stall holders with food, flowers, jewellery, bags, knitted goods, paper products and more.  Come for a visit, have a mosey around and remember Christmas is just around the corner and you may just find that unique gift you need to make it extra special this year!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

On a finishing run

It's been a busy weekend over here.
Two knitted projects got all finished up - one a long term, large project which I will be sending off to it's new home on Monday.

And the other a short term small project, a pair of socks for my Father-in-Law.

One quilt was sewn together apart from the binding. A trip to Sp*tlight or my favourite, GJ's, is required to find something appropriate, probably a navy or a forest green.  That is a job for Monday as well.

And four Quilt-as-you-go blocks were made and all packaged up to be sent out tomorrow to Jan Mac who makes them into quilts and donates them to various charities.  This has been on my list of things to do since January so it's nice to cross that one off.

Now it's time to pack up all the boxes and crates and hide away all my fabric again.

All in all a great weekend!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's his Birthday

So he got to sleep in.  Got juice and toast in bed after opening his presents.  Got to have a mostly lazy day including arvo tea at his Mum and Dads.  It's not everyday your hubby turns 40!  Happy Birthday Babe.  His party is next weekend and he's really looking forward to it which is great.  I got him a voucher from Red Balloon to go for a drive in a Lamborghini, many thanks to D who helped keep that one hush hush by doing the purchasing for me.

I have been knitting stuff for me, having a stall at a local market, doing work for Kinder including interviewing prospective teachers for next year, knitting a commission which should be finished in the next 24-48 hours, cleaning odd bits of the house, starting eleventy billion knitting projects, recovering from 4 Boot Camp classes :-)

So, Boot Camp.  It's great, it works you hard, I've been feeling it as a general used all over tiredness and stiffness for the day of and 2 days after.  Nothing odd, just what I'd expect.  The less floppy flab is definitely a bonus 2 weeks in.  I do have to admit to internally groaning on Wednesday morning at the thought of Boot Camp on Thursday but I've paid for the term so I'm not wasting money by not going.  Tomorrow will be class #5.  So far none of the classes have been similar let alone the same so there is no boredom.  The fact that the instructor can't count and says we'll just do this 2-3 times if we have time and then we work hard and then she sneaks a 4th round in just means she's doing her job and we are suckers for believing her in the face of multiple events of  miscounting :-)

So the knitting is continuing, the Kinder year is coming to an end as will my term as Treasurer (trying not to do this again next year), Jules has turned 40 and tomorrow I submit myself to the self imposed torture that is boot Camp yet again.  All is good!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today I...

Well this morning I caved and got into my "exercise gear" and headed off to school.   That might sound a bit odd but for the last two terms on Monday and Thursday mornings a personal trainer has been hosting Boot Camp classes in the covered space where Assembly is held at school.  A couple of my friends have been doing it and it has made a big difference for them.  You are already at school for drop off, the Playgroup gear is there ready for use if needed and the little kids are familiar with the space and generally keep themselves well occupied while the Mums exercise.  The instructor is also a Mum from outside school and has no issues with you taking a break to sort out kids as well, so very Mum friendly.  I have been hesitating because those are the two days I swim and I wasn't sure how I'd go with Boot Camp and swimming in one day.  At the same time I have felt the need to add something to my regular routine that worked different parts of my body.  I'm not a runner and cycling has been a challenge to fit in with a 4 year old in the house (that and a complete lack of motivation) and both of these seem too similar to the workout I get from swimming anyway.  So this morning I joined the other Mums and we did a Fitness test.  The usual stuff, how many squats/sit ups/push ups/tricep dips can you do in one minute and then the Beep test as well.  I managed better than I thought I would, obviously the swimming has helped with some of it!  As the day gets longer and my muscles slowly seize up I wonder how I'm going to swim tonight: Probably slowly.  But also how I might be with walking tomorrow...

Friday, September 30, 2011


Today is my baby's Birthday. He turns 4 and I'm having a bit of a spin out over here. He spent the day at the Royal Melbourne Show having a ball with his brothers and Dad.

I spent the day cleaning out the study, it needed it desperately and I have the added motivation of my sister coming to stay with her crew on Sunday night so I needed to find the bed so she'd have a place to sleep! Half a large recycling bin full, a garbage bin full and a much neater room is the result :-)

His request for Birthday cake was a Star, so while they were out I baked.

On Sunday we are having his party and he has told me firmly he wants a BIG star not a little one. Your wish is my command baby, stay tuned for his Party cake.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's been a while

I had realised earlier in the year that I was blogging less frequently.  I was still reading other people's blogs on a daily basis, but finding the time and brain space to compose a post here was a struggle.  Rather than push myself I decided to just go with it.   It will probably continue in the same fashion for the next few months, mainly because the commitments I took on at the beginning of the year will continue on until at least November. I do have stages of feeling bad about not posting but trying to make myself stick to a schedule sounds a bit too much like pushing too hard at the moment.  So I will not be participating in Blogtoberfest this year as a blogger but I will probably zoom around and read posts from other participants and see if anything catches my eye.  I am still around and will continue to drop in with the odd Finished Object post and then nothing for a while just like the past couple of months :-)

In the meantime how about an update?

In Life
Zac turned 6,

Hunter turned 8

and Tyler is due to turn 4 at the end of this month.  We've had parties with cake twice and I'm starting to plan the next one. After that Jules turns the big 4-0 and we are sorting out what he wants to do to celebrate.  I've worked out the main part of what I'm giving him and have enlisted help to ensure it happens without the secret being given away.  The big boys have been part of their school's first whole school production with the performances being this past Wednesday and Thursday.  All of the teachers and kids did an awesome job and it was a great performance with an important message about being environmentally conscious in all aspects of our lives.  Tyler has had a cough for the past week that has progressed to borderline ear infection this weekend which we are monitoring and since he kindly shared his cold with me I'm sitting in my room all toasty warm writing this while Jules amuses him and his brothers.

In knitting
I have been working on a jacket for a friend and it is nearing completion, it has half a sleeve and half of a knitted on i-cord edging left to go and I am champing at the bit to get it done but am being held up by running out of yarn and waiting for another skein to turn up.

In the meantime I have finished up a pair of socks for Jules

 knitted most of a blanket for my brother's impending arrival (due November)

knitted a square for the Knitted Periodic Table (Iron-Fe)

and knitted the top section of a top down cardigan in 8ply bamboo for an 18mth size child.

Now that I'm at the plain body section of the little cardigan I'm tempted to put it aside and cast on a new scarf or shawl for me, except I'm not sure which one.  I have a couple of batches of gorgeous black alpaca laceweight and some silvery grey wool/silk blend to play with.  So if you've got ideas for me they'd be most welcome.  I'm also planning on doing some dyeing to get a blue based red and a dark grey for a cardy for me but haven't worked out how to do it yet.  Oh and I've started a gauge swatch for the Leaving cardigan, except that was about a month ago and I may have forgotten the needle sizes I've used so far (No laughing Jen). I know I'm up to trying my 4mm needles, but will have to have a look at the needles I've left with the project to work out the ones used thus far.  So it appears I'm in a bit of a cast on mode at the moment with two big projects almost off the needles I'm looking for three projects: something simple and portable (bamboo cardigan) something intermediate (Leaving cardigan) and something complicated (shawl).  Of course I'll probably also cast on a pair of socks and maybe something else as well :-)

Update complete!  Hope all is well with you and yours. Catch you next time!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

In case you haven't seen it...

There isn't much time left to reach the goal of $33,000, support our local yarn/fibre culture if you can :-)

Saturday, August 6, 2011


The new Twist Collective is out and as is now usual there are a number of items which inspire me.  Some of them I *want* to make, others just appeal for some reason even though there is no chance I will knit them :-)

Here we go.....

I find Charnwood by Fiona Ellis interesting but am unlikely to knit it.

Eadon by Susanna IC is gorgeous and simple and so appealing it's in my queue.

Nymphaeum by Kerry Milani is stunning, so light and delicate.  I love the colour and I might almost have something that will work in the stash already :-)

Twinings by Amy Herzog is such a simple jumper with that little tweak of interest to catch the eye.  Another added to the queue.

There were lots of other nice things in there and the articles are always interesting as well even if they are aimed at an American audience.  With a queue like mine it will be a while before I get to these but hey that's not a problem :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A good day

Jules has taken the boys out for a few hours for lunch and playing at his Mum's.

I've got the sewing machine out and have put together the top of the quilt I'm making (bottom right on couch). The ironing board is out and handy and I have just finished ironing the strips I have sewn together for the back.  The kettle is boiling, the chocolate is to hand and the CD's are playing at my preferred volume in the stereo. Perfect for instant gratification sewing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ups and Downs

The last couple of weeks have been hard in a lot of ways and fabulous in others.

School holidays were hard.

Bendigo was fabulous.

Coming home from Bendigo was hard, I think mostly due to dodgy hormones.

Celebrating Zac's 6th Birthday was fabulous.

Finding out the Kinder assistant who was amazing for both Hunter and Zac and who left our kinder at the end of last year had died suddenly of an aneurysm was hard.

Putting together Zac's cake (he chose the easiest one so far) and having people over for Zac's Party was fabulous.

Going to the funeral of a wonderful lady gone too soon was hard.

Waking up to beautiful sun shiny skies and light winds this morning was fabulous.

Time for this roller coaster to end.  I'd like a bit of the middle road now, just saying.

So I've been cutting up some fabric this morning to make a simple quilt for a brand new baby sister of one of Tyler's little friends (left of picture is cotton for front, right side of picture is flannel for back).

I bought the fabric a week ago after being tipped off by Lynne, I'm keeping it simple, simple is good right now.

I've almost finished my current pair of socks, I'm playing around with the yarn so it isn't quite brainless knitting which is a shame but the other project I'm working on is a mohair bouclĂ© which requires visual concentration due to the loops but no mental hard work as it is garter stitch, so I'm getting in some relaxing knitting time there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Broke the kitchen scales

Now I'm going to have to use the yarn scales for the cooking!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

And back again

3 days in Bendigo. 

A lovely time.  Lots of chatting, lots of laughs, lots of rainbows.

Drinking tea in the afternoon sun whilst eating warmed brownies laced with Cointreau and knitting on a nice easy project.  Perfect.

New yarn in need of instant use.  The  two Kate's couldn't wait!

Rediscovering my kryptonite...alpaca :-)

Anticipating dyeing this up for a project for me in one of these: Carmine, Sangria or Maroon with a darker shade of one of these: Charcoal, Slate grey.
Temptation to start this instantly.

A touch of luxury from SeeAPenny (rav link)


Finishing up with a lovely breakfast 

With an interestingly located caravan at T'Hooft inside which the coffee and other beverages are brewed.

Excellent weekend.  Tired.  But definitely happy :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm off!

I have successfully completed the majority of items on my list from earlier in the week and it is now time to pack :-)

Have a great weekend, I definitely am!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This week

*I will be washing many loads of washing in an effort to catch up from being away with the kids for 4 days
*I will be Folding and Putting away the same number of loads of washing
*I will be finishing up my Lorelei, all that remains is two buttonbands and the buttons.  I've already sewn in all the ends
*I will be working out which knitting project/s to take with me for my weekend away.
*I will be packing for my weekend away and making difficult decisions like which nice warm handknit to take with me
*I will be doing all sorts of paperwork for Kinder so I can forget about it while away for the weekend
*I will be finding out what's up with the Power bill,  a charge for "Change of  Occupant" what the?  We've been here for 8 years now people...
*I will be filling out loan paperwork and getting it to the mortgage advisor asap
*I will be hoping no one comes down with any illnesses because I am going away for the weekend....alone!
*I will be getting the radio in the car fixed so that I can play CD's and know what time it is while driving myself and my friend Kate to Bendigo
*I will be attending the Australian Sheep and Wool show, affectionately known as "Bendigo" for the third year in a row and will be sharing accommodation with a group of seriously fun knitters for three days and two nights as we knit, inhale yarn fumes, buy yarn, knitting tools and accessories and pretend none of us have kids or husbands at home wondering just how much of a dent the credit card will have in it at the end.

Have a great week, I know I'm going to!

Friday, July 1, 2011

New Socks


I'm working on a new pair of socks for me.  I'm using yarn that Jules bought me for Christmas: Noro Solk Garden Sock.  Nice yarn.  Had to restart because I had cast on my usual 64 sts on 2.25mm needles, I had to go down to 56 sts.  The Noro is thicker than the usual fingering weight.  I'm hoping that because there are less stitches, the yarn will go further!
Can't get a decent photo of the colours tonight though, will have to try again tomorrow.

School Holidays

The boys finished up at school yesterday and they don't go back for two weeks.

I am looking forward to:
Not having to get up and get three children moving in the morning to a deadline.
Getting the odd sleep in, this morning the request for breakfast came at 8:30am, they'd been up for a while and playing happily.
Getting knitting time in.
Maybe getting some sewing time in as well.
Seeing my Sister, her husband and her 4 kids for a few days as we have a 3 day sleepover planned.
Seeing my Brother in law, his wife and 2 kids tomorrow down at the beach.
Having the children play happily with each other with a minimum of arguments.
Just not having to be anywhere particular by a certain time....bliss!

So if you have the school holidays right now, Good Luck!  Have a great time.  In my case the School holidays ends with The Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo.  That will be my beacon and guiding light if it gets troubling, 3 days of knitting, yarn, good friends and 2 nights sleeping away from home with no invading children during the night!

As an aside:  Weirdly, a sure fire way of having the children play nicely together is to have a period of "No Screen Time".  Today is the last day of a week of No Screen Time that came about because the boys could not do what they were asked last Friday, it was a simple clean up request but they ignored me and the request flat out 3 times and then with the added incentive of "You are going to have a week of No Screen Time if it's not done in 4 minutes",  they proceeded to argue over how to clean up rather than actually clean up.  I figure if they can't "listen and do" they need a break from the brainless mode that is Screen Time.  Suffice to say we have had a much more relaxing week.  We've even managed to get to school in the mornings with minimal yelling, which has been lovely.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sock Surgery Complete!

I was knitting a pair of socks for my Sister for her Birthday.  I finished the first one and for some reason I decided to weigh the finished sock and the remainder of the ball: 56g, 52g.  

Crap!  So I worked out approximately how many rows were in the sock and then how many rows shorter I needed to make the second sock.  For safety's sake I added a couple more rows and decided to make the second sock 12 rows shorter.  So I completed the second sock and if it were anyone but me, the one sock being about 2 cm longer than the other in the leg probably wouldn't have been a problem.  But it is me and the socks were for a present, so something had to be done.  There were two options at this stage: Frog the first sock back to the leg and remove 12 rows and reknit the heel/gusset/foot/toe, definitely a day or so's work and her Birthday was still 3 days away so definitely possible OR commit sock surgery, remove the offending rows and fix it all back together.  Fast forward a couple of hours and my sister calls and asks if we can come to dinner that night.  It was 2pm, dinner was set for 6.30pm.  Not enough time for a frog and reknit.  So sock surgery was required.

Take a deep breath, here we go!

I threaded my knitting needle through on the row I wanted to save and made sure I knew which way the yarn was running and CAREFULLY cut through a single strand half a round before the stitches I wanted to knit on from because I wanted enough yarn to be able to sew ends in, etc.

I carefully unthreaded the line of stitches.

Until the two pieces were separate.  Big sigh of relief at this stage: no disasters, yet.

I unravelled the extra piece of sock back to the cuff and then had to make a decision.  Do I reknit the cuff, it's 20 rows of 1x1 rib or do I graft the two pieces together.  In the end I decided to graft, figuring that if it failed I could always yank out the graft and knit the cuff if I have to.

I placed the cuff inside the leg of the sock, holding the two sets of stitches parallel.  I used the knitted Kitchener method to graft the two pieces together. I was lucky to have the 1x1 rib as the cuff, it didn't matter which way out to have the cuff.  If the cuff was different on the inside and the outside, care would need to be taken to ensure it ended facing out the right way when the two pieces were joined.  The round I joined was a knitting only row, so no tricky bits to get around.

Ta Da!  Sock Surgery complete!  I gave it to Jules to see if he could see where I had done it and he couldn't tell.  I could, but I know what I'm looking for.

Here they are ready to go with a few little magnets I picked up at the Ivanhoe Makers Market last weekend.

They were gifted and tried on and fit in the foot nicely.  They were a little loose around the ankle which was a surprise and if it becomes a problem I will endeavour to improve matters in that regard, somehow!

So successful sock surgery can now be added to the knitting bag of tricks :-)

Of course I am hoping I never have to do it again though!

Oh and just in case you wondering:  the one on the top left is the leftovers from knitting the second sock.  The one on the bottom right is the yarn removed from the longer sock.  I am very carefully NOT going to measure them against each other :-)

Edited to fix the bad maths at the beginning: 32+36= 68g.  It was a "100g" ball, so it had to have been 52 and 56g.  Sorry cutting my knitting must have messed with my head!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm about to commit sock surgery....

I will take pictures, I'm hoping it will work or I'm going to have a big disaster on my hands!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm not that bad......yet!

So, I just heard this

via the Knit Wits Podcast (hilarious and silly podcast by the way).  It's the theme song from another Podcast called Never Not Knitting (haven't listened to this one yet).  I found the Knit Wits via the Knitmore Girls Podcast which is also wonderful but I'm up to date with them so now I'm expanding to other podcasts :-)

I'd just like to say, despite being a knitter, as much as I can, as often as I can, I am definitely not as bad as in this song :-)


Monday, June 20, 2011

A quick update

Just to let you know, Jo's baby arrived safely on Friday at 35.5 weeks cooked and both Mum and Bub are doing well.  Mum will be out of hospital in a few days and bub will follow hopefully less than a week later.

With the weather we've been having, those hats are going to get a work out!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 FO #17 - Jo's baby hat #3

This is the third of the three hats for Jo's impending arrival.  This is the one we want the baby to fit.  It's a nice stretchy newborn size.  This time Patonyle which is lovely and soft knit up on 4 mm needles.

And the trio just prior to being delivered to the expectant Mama.

We don't know the sex of the impending arrival so I think these colours are neutral enough to cover either option.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  My Basic top-down hat: 56 sts.
Yarn:  Patons Patonyle 4 ply in dark red.
Needles:  4 mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started:  June 5, 2011
Finished:  June 5, 2011
Mods:  Used the lifted leg increase described in the Brainless sock pattern to do the increases, really like this increase as it leaves no gap.
Comments:  This has ended up being a gorgeous little hat, modelled again on a small orange.
Ravelled here.

2011 FO #16 - Kerry's Fa Fa Fa socks

Another swap, knitting and payment yarn was Wollmeise again...can we see a pattern here?
These socks were knit for an elderly friend of Kerry who has been feeling the Canberra cold.  While the pattern was written top down, the job request asked to use up as much of the yarn as possible so I changed the pattern to toe-up and split the skein by winding it into a ball and then winding it again with the outside and inside ends held together so a double strand was wound.  This double stranded ball was then wound into two separate balls.  I know of someone who knits two at a time this way, but I'm not a two at a time kind of girl so I split it into two balls and cut the yarn.  In the end there was about 8 metres difference between the two balls, so not bad really.

The socks have a lovely easy cable pattern and ended up being close to knee high when they were done, the cable giving some negative ease so hopefully they will stay up nicely and keep cold footsies warm.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  Fa Fa Fa Socks by Lois Leong and Wendy D. Johnson's Fingering Weight Toe-Up Socks with Gusset and Slip-Stitch Heel
Yarn:  Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in the Pesto colourway.
Needles:  2.5  mm Knit Pro circulars with Nickel tips, Aero 2.75 and 3.0 mm circular needles.
Started:  May 12, 2011
Finished:  June 5, 2011
Mods:  Instead of top down, I knit these toe-up with Judy's  Magic cast on, and the instructions from Wendy D. Johnson's Fingering Weight Toe-Up Socks were used as a guideline for when and where to shape. Did all of the foot then 5 repeats of the pattern on 2.5 mm needles on 64 sts , then did 2 repeats on 2.75mm and then 4 repeats on 3.0mm then 10 rows of cuff.
Comments:  Really pleased with how these turned out :-)
Ravelled here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 FO #15 - Jo's baby hat #2

The second of three hats knit for an almost here baby, this one used the leftovers from my Travelling Woman shawl.  It's a beautifully soft baby alpaca, perfect for a newborn.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  My basic top down hat: 48 sts in total.
Yarn:  Moggy and Me Baby Alpaca 4 ply in the Sir Walter colour way.
Needles:  4 mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started:  May 31, 2011
Finished:  May 31, 2011
Mods:  None.
Comments:  This is so soft it feels like a cloud.  I'm hoping it is too small for the baby, there's a very small orange under that hat in the photo.
Ravelled here.

2011 FO #14 - Jenny's smoking hot cowl

Having only made one cowl before, I was very tempted by this offer in the Australia Will Work for Yarn Swap group on Ravelry.  It was a chance to work in gorgeous yarn: Wollmeise.  To make a pretty cowl: Silk Smoke ring.  And to get paid in pretty yarn: more Wollmeise.  The pattern is deceptively simple, just don't drop a k2togtbl, they unravel like nobody's business in this very smooth yarn.  A life line* on the 12th row: a simple k1tbl, p1 row, is essential for sleep deprived Mum's.   I only dropped a stitch once, but 7 rows of 180 stitches tinked (undone 1 stitch at a time) was enough to convince me life lines are a must.  And how do you block a cowl you might ask?  Well I got out one of the rolled up foam camping/yoga mats, tied it up at the right circumference and put the cowl over it then lay it down braced on my bed on one side and the window sill on the other 2 feet above a heating vent.  Perfect.  Jenny was very pleased with the results and her daughter may have placed an order for one for herself!

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  Silk Smoke Ring by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer.
Yarn:  Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash in the colour way Rittersporn (a beautiful blue/purple/black tonal mix, the name translates to Delphinium)
Needles:  3.5 mm, 80 cm Bamboo tipped circular.  ( I have lost the packet, can't remember the brand)
Started:  April 19, 2011
Finished:  May 26, 2011
Mods:  Worked until cowl reached 25 inches, longer than the original pattern, definitely works.  Changed the cast off as the one suggested felt too tight on the edge.  Used Jeni's surprisingly stretchy bind off instead.
Comments: This knit up so beautifully and the pattern instructions were put down after 1.5 repeats, and only referred to again at the cast off stage.
Ravelled here.

* A life line is a piece of thread or smooth yarn or in my case dental floss, which is threaded using a needle through the stitches of your row.  The idea being that if you manage to drop a stitch and can't recover it, it can't go past this point and there is a complete row/round you can go back to and pick up all of your stitches without having to worry about lost ones.  It does help if the life line goes through stitches which are all "normal" ie no yarn overs.  In the pattern described above there is one such row every twelve rows.  In "lace knitting" the return row is plain and can be "saved".  In true "knitted lace" there is no plain row and putting in a life line can be more challenging but often more necessary!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 FO #13 - Jo's baby hat #1

A friend at school has a medical issue which means that her babies all arrive early, so far she has delivered three healthy kids between 29 and 35 weeks of gestation.  She is currently pregnant with her 4th and after a two week stay in hospital between 31 and 33 weeks has reached 34.5 weeks and we are all crossing our fingers she can make it even further. The organisation involved in keeping track of 2 school age kids, one 2 year old and a prem baby is better put off for as long as possible!  So, knowing that the baby, when it arrives, is likely to be on the small side I decided to knit it some hats.  This is the first of 3 hats, knit with yarn  leftover after making a pair of socks.  This hat is what I'd call 3 month old size.  It will take a while, but baby is sure to grow into it!

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  My basic top down hat: 64 sts in total.
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fibre Arts Sock That Rock Mediumweight in the colour way Pride.
Needles:  4 mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started:  May 21, 2011
Finished:  May 21, 2011
Mods:  None.
Comments:  Starting at the top and working my way down means I can keep knitting until I run out of yarn, perfect for using up all those sock scraps!
Ravelled here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 FO #12 - Olivia's Hip in Hempathy

A beautiful skirt for a little girl.  Made from Hemp yarn, it should be a nice skirt to wear through Spring and Summer.  This one took a while to knit but turned out very nicely.  The yarn was quite firm, both as yarn and as fabric, but it softened nicely once washed.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  Hip in Hemp by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn:  Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy
Needles:  3.0 mm and 3.25 mm Knit Pro 
Started:  March 22, 2011
Finished:  April 18, 2011
Mods:  Worked this skirt with 8 rows of the brown yarn and 4 rows of purple and 4 rows of yellow-green.  Made it so that the waist band joined together at the front leaving a gap on the outside for a tie be put through.
Comments:  This was a real change of pace, 4 ply on 3.25 mm needles is pretty usual here, but not for the amount of yarn in this project!  Don't think I'll be making another skirt in such a small ply yarn again.  Nothing wrong with knitted skirts, just will use fatter yarn next time!
Ravelled here.