Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Monster grows...

Just fresh back from a short trip up north and boy did I get some knitting done. We went to visit the inlaws and so I had other people around to chase after DS which freed me up to knit myself silly.

Got HEAPS done on the MJ (Monster Jumper for those not in the know) so much that I am up to the neck shaping, although the shaping seems to be a sharper increase than the decrease so a frog-a-thon may be in order. Damn it.
The painful thing was that I didn't take enough yarn (went through 4 balls by the second day) so I continued on the socks, finished off that ball the next day, which left 2 days left with lots of knitting time and no knitting to do. Which just wouldn't do.

So I scoured the place for LYS's (hot climate = MASSIVE shortage of LYS's). Praise to the knitting gods for Spotlight.
I picked up some cheapy stuff so I could practice continental - I have been fascinated by it since I spotted it on knitting help and armed with my copy of stitch 'n' Bitch of had a go.

Tension is a bitch in continental.

But I soldiered on, made a beanie for little man. It's ok, I must confess by the time I got to the shaping I was OVER IT and so I went back to ol' faithful English.

So now I'm reunited with many many many balls for the MJ there is no excuse, I will get this monkey off my back.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Yay for Borders!

FINALLY Borders has gotten in the Autumn issue of Interweave Knits. *drool* *drool* there is some YUMMY stuff in there. I love the jumper on the front, and the cable jumper, and the bag, and the greek pullover, and the weekender bag, and... well lets just say I love it all!!
Also while in Borders yesterday I decided that I deserved a treat for all the hard work I have been doing so I picked up stitch N Bitch so I have been reading that too. Lots of yummy stuff to make in there too - too many things I want to make, I need an extra pair of hands.
We're off on a holiday tomorrow so I'll be packing these so I can read while away, can't wait!

The Monster Jumper is coming along quite fast now. I guess because I am dedicating myself to it more than before when I would knit it every now and then. It's still a Monster though and I don't know how I'm gonna make it smaller. Hopefully when it's all BLOCKED (blurgh) and FINISHED (even more blurgh) it will be ok. Lets just hope that 25 balls of yarn will be enough.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Here's one I made earlier

Here's a blanket I made for the Little Man before/after he was born (well having a new baby takes up ALOT of time and knitting tends to go on the backburner for a while there). It came from one of the Rowan magazines but I didn't use Rowan yarn, Freedom I think the cotton I used was called. Nice stuff and not as $$$ as Rowan. It was my first foray into intarsia and it came up not too shabby. I really should have blocked it though, I'm such a shocker for blocking, I really should do it more often. In fact that will be my new mission, to block everything I make from now on. You can all hold me to it now.
When my mum saw me doing it she thought I had taken leave of my senses, clearly my enjoyment of a knitting challenge did not come from her. Alas, her lack of blocking was a trait I did inherit.

Winter in Summer

Well I got some fantastic news today - it seems I'll be working on the winter Olympics in Turin!! So not only do I get to hang out in Italy for a few weeks (well, not hang out exactly, more like work bloody hard but it sounds better if I say 'hang out') but I also have an extra winter to wear knitted garments!! woohoo!! Better get out the rowan kid silk haze (drool) and make something gorgeous with it (I think anything made with that would come out gorgeous). Better also get DH's jumper finished...

ahhh... DH's jumper... Now to be renamed as Monster Jumper.

well I have progressed a bit from last time I spoke of it, I have completed the back - it's massive. So massive in fact that a dress may be a better term for it. hmm, man wearing dress/jumper would not be a good fashion statement. Is there such a thing as reverse blocking??!! I might do a swatch and send it thru a warm wash and see how much shrinkage happens, that might be the only way to save it, frogging is NOT a path I want to go down since it would mean starting again as this pattern is knitted from side to side and the amount of stitches cast on determines the length. hmmm...

I'm still contemplating (procrastinating) starting the french market bag, for those who asked it is the 100% wool version of holiday yarn from good old kmart. Big w have it too but only the acrylic version. I will have to get more of the Monster Jumper done before starting this one. And then there is the socks. Too many things to knit too little time.

I think an evening with star trek and knitting is in order (there I said it yes I am a trekkie) (stop snickering you know you like it too).

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Paranoid? Moi?

I miss my old LYS...

I recently moved house, away from a gorgeous LYS to a smaller one I hadn't been to much. This one stocks a fairly bog standard lot of stuff - your patons and heirloom and what have you, the fanciest they stock is Jo Sharp certainly no Rowan's or Noro's (oh so sad).

So yesterday I needed to get some dpns to do the heel part of my sock (I'm sure it can be done in magic loop but being my first pair I thought I should do it normally to see how it's done). I walk into the store, straight over to thee needles and spy the ones I need, the assistant in the store hovers nearby asking if I need help, no thanks found what I need. I hear the two ladies sitting on the couch knitting talking about young people and how they wear not much in this cold weather and don't seem to feel the cold and deducted that they probably got onto that subject by the fact that I walked in with wet hair (hello? curly hair + hairdryer = fuzz ball!) (and maybe I was a teeny bit paranoid). Then I heard them go onto talking about a 'knit 'n bitch' that goes on in Canberra 'oh not too fond of THAT name, I mean honestly' I smile knowingly and move over to check out the yarn.

I spy some yarn with a pattern book next to it that might do some nice patterns for my rowan kid silk haze (that I have been hoarding FOREVER it's so yummy) so I pick up the yarn to check out the gauge, meterage and all that. So I whip out my phone and start writing the info into it (yes I am a techo nerd and have a pocket pc as a phone, comes in handy for writing this type of info down). Well this was obviously suss to the store assistant who then hovered closer (she had been keeping an eye on me like I was gonna steal something since I got in the store) and asked again if I need any help. I mean really, if I need help I know where you are! You don't have to keep asking me! I suspect she was just asking to be nosy more than anything. (paranoia settling in for a cuppa now).
My suspicitions of nosey store assistant were confirmed when she got a CLIMBED UP ON A LADDER directly behind me to do some sort of nothing or another (to look over my shoulder if you ask me) (paranoia cracking open the bikkies right about now). So I moved away to the other side of the store, saw nothing I liked and went to the counter.
Well if this woman had looks that would kill I'd be in my grave by now she was just grumpy and mean looking. Maybe that's just her, I thought. But then another 'older' lady came up to the counter to ask for help and she was all nice as pie.

So what was that all about? What is it with ageism in LYS's? If that had been at my old LYS there would be nice helpful ladies doing their best to get me anything I need. And this isn't the first time I had had this sort of treatment for that store, last time I had the same feeling of 'you don't belong in here' *sigh* I think from now on I'll be making the trip back to my old LYS where I don't get spied on.

Onto nicer things, I have been dreaming about the getaway satchel in the fall IK (when will they get that issue here?? Hurry up borders!) but being that it is way beyond my limited intarsia skills and also being that I have never felted before, I thought I would try the french market bag instead. So I went and got some cheapo holiday yarn from k-mart (apparently felts like a dream). My DH spied me buying it and was all 'more yarn? What about my jumper?' yes well I am getting there, it takes FOREVER to knit that jumper.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


That is the sound my nose makes when trying to breathe in.

so I have spent the day rubbing said nose with horrible stiff tissues while trying to work. If fact so much work has been done in the last couple of days that I have not had time for knitting. That is even more blasphemous than the cold. But no more work for me until Sunday now so I can spend time on my jumper and socks. And I read ahead the other night in the pattern about the heel part of the socks.... I'm a bit scared.

must go and wipe nose... AGAIN.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Knitting is a calming pastime; the thru-around-over-thru (or the crazy thing you do with your left hand if you knit continental style - clearly I don't), the click clack, the softness of the yarn.

finding you have a massive lot of piling on a jumper you spent HOURS over after it's first wash and wear? not so calming.

maybe it was the cheap (crappy) yarn?
maybe it was the fact that I made and frogged about 3 jumpers with the same yarn before I made this one?
or maybe this yarn is not meant to be washed, it is meant to be worn stinky style for ever and eternity (so I can wear it in my old age and be the stinky jumper lady)?

whatever the case, here is my lace leaf pullover from the summer IK.

I guess it's a good thing though, it will make me knit another in nice yarn and maybe I'll get the grafting right this time (pppfffttt to grafting in the middle of a jumper)

Saturday, July 09, 2005


At the moment I have only 2 projects on the needles (but if I keep looking at my Patons Zhivago 'all wrapped up' book then I could be in trouble - keep me away from the yarn store ;) ).

They are:
Fishermans Rib jumper from Jo Sharp's Contemporary Knitting for my DH and the 'Go with the Flow' socks in the summer issue of IK. I'm really enjoying the socks, not having done them before (yes I know, a tricky pattern for my first sock project, nothing like jumping in at the deep end I say LOL). I'm just doing a test run on these with some scrap yarn I had lying around, didn't want to ruin some nice yarn on something I've never done before.

The jumper on the other hand... well it is taking a while. A long while. As knits for DH tend to as he is 6'5" and says I never make his jumpers big enough. And it's a fairly repetitive pattern, hence the socks to keep my mind working. But it's coming up lovely, hopefully I'll have it done before the end of winter so he can actually wear it!

Today I finished the bear

Today is a momentous day because the bear, my nemesis, is finally complete.

A little background on the bear...
In 2003 upon the joyous news of my pregnancy, I swung into 'knit for baby' mode. Not wanting to knit things that would be too big for baby at the wrong time (big thick jumpers that fall to his feet in the winter and fit him perfectly in the summer are not very practical...) I decided to embark on making a bear. Now being that I have never knitted toys before it was a fairly ambitious project, but never one to shy away from a challenge I armed myself with Patons Feathers in a browny/orange shade and set to work.
The knitting was not hard, just a simple garter stitch and shaping. It was the finishing that was my undoing.

Ah finishing.

I despise finishing.

With a passion.

My hatred of finishing begun at an early age; I recall being taught to knit by my nana and when I knitted my first jumper (just to clarify here - a jumper in Australia is what Americans call a sweater) I proudly gazed upon my creation... Then smiled sweetly to my nana 'I love you nana!'... These words soon became code for 'nana help! Fix it!' But I digress, back to the saga of the bear.

So it was all knitted, all stuffed and ready to be sewn up. But how does one sew up a bear? I consulted my online knitting group - ah if only I could show you in person they replied, it's so much easier. Hmmm, yes thanks.

So I threaded some elastic thru the body and attached the arms and legs. I sewed on the ears, the eyes, made a nose and a mouth. And I attempted to sew on the arms. About 3 times. How the heck do I do this? And so it went into a bag, sat by the side of the couch, moved house, got put into another bag full of UFO's. Today I decided enough is enough, stop being a big procastinator and sew the damn thing up!
So I did, I didn't think I just did it. And it's not too bad, the left arm is very wrong looking, but my 17 month old won't notice that, he just sees a 'beaaar' and when I gave it to him this afternoon when he had woken from his nap, he gave me a big smile and cuddled bear tightly. And that is reward enough for all the blood, sweat and tears :)