Friday, September 30, 2005

Enough is enough

So says Donna Summers and so says me on the subject of Pattern Confusion.

Opal socks for me is what is gonna happen. I was going to do some for Little Man but if I do some now his feet might be too big for them by the time he actually gets to wear them next year. Since my size 8 and a halfs aren't growing anywhere it seems a safer bet. That will do me for a couple of days.

I wound up the skein this morning, so we went from this:

To this:

I love it, it reminds me of a jar full of lollies. But what to knit with it, who knows. I don't want to be adding to my Pattern confusion anymore at the moment. But if you have any bright ideas, do pass them on cause I'm all out.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Do people actually drink this stuff?

Wowee, Kool-Aid is LETHAL. I can now see the benefits of wearing a mask while emptying packets of it.

So after FINALLY untangling the mess (I got jack of it when there was only a small amount left as it was so tangled so I *gasp* broke it off) I ended up with this.

Yes, yes, I am watching a winder on ebay as we speak, dealing with skeins does not pass the time in a manner I wish to repeat often.
So I decided to wind it around 2 chairs spaced about 6 feet apart and then divide that into 3 lunch boxes with the different colours in them. After wasting all my blue sachets and half of my red trying to get purple (which looked more like sludge) I decided on green. So this is the end result.

I was worried it might be a bit lairy with all the colour, but it has come out alot more subdued than I thought it might (looking at that red before when you mix it is a bit frightening. I imagine fire engines could use this stuff to paint their trucks with it, sure is toxic enough). I love how the green and red look watermeloney.

And now onto the next task of winding it back up into a ball. C'mon ebay,

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I am still untangeling yarn.

I am still procrastinating/agonising over what to knit next.

I still haven't figured out how to dye it so it self stripes (one big long skein or 3 little ones?)



What is not still is my shiney new iBook and iPod Nano (the nano is actually for DH but I'll say it's mine).

You see, I NEED it, really I do.

When I work away from home, how do I get emails? Accompanied with my iSight I now can see DH and Little Man and they can see mummy while she bawls her eyes out cause she misses them so much (T minus 136 days till I leave for the snowy climes of Northern Italy).

So now I can sit in the lounge room, watch my favourite renovation show Changing Rooms (the English version of course, none of this AWFUL Australian stuff, blurgh) and confuse myself even more by looking at MORE PATTERNS and thinking, hmmm I could knit that, or that, or that....

Monday, September 26, 2005

Don't leave me alone with Hank

This is what happens when you try to turn 880 yards of hank into 3 skeins so you can Kool-Aid dye it.

I've only been untangling now for about 4 FRIGIN' HOURS.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

My Precious

It's funny how much you miss your digital camera when you have a few finished projects to brag about.

First cab off the rank, my needle roll. I overcame my sewing machine demons and churned out this little beauty. I have had that flowery fabric FOREVER, I think it came up a treat.

Second, my, uh, interesting '"skein" of handspun wool. It's my first and full of faults (some bits too loose, others too tight) but you gotta start somewhere.

And last but not least, the Zhivago Shrug. I think I might have to sew it up a bit more as I have a narrow back and it's all a bit gapey, unless I stand like I have serious back problems while wearing it. Excuse the scowly face, DH likes to take photos at random and not tell his subject that he is doing so. Makes for MANY unattractive shots of me.

See that happy face? Cause of the good hair.

So what next? Well I'm still umming and ahhing about which jumper to make Little Man and which strappy top to make me, so while I procrastinate a bit longer I think I might do some socks. Yeah, seems about the right season to be knitting woolen socks... (did I mention it was 26C today?)

Friday, September 23, 2005

A decision or three

Today I am in a state.

A state of indecisiveness.

I am coming to the end of the Zhivago Shrug, and I'm at a loss as to where to go next; End Of Project confusion.
Do I make Orangina? Tubular Camisole? or Pretty in Periwinkle? . And then there's the jumper for little man - Hood Sweatshirt Sweater? How about the Zipped Jacket?
And then there's the other issues; do I sit out in the glorious sunshine and knit, but not hear Little Man when he gets up from his nap, or do I sit inside the stuffy house and knit? And my garden; it will need a water after today, but is it a water restriction day? Do I have to wait patiently till the end of the day to spray my hose around with wild(ish) abandon, or will doing so incur the wrath of my Sydney Water neighbour (even though he is at least 500m away from my house on the other side of dense bush, those Sydney Water people have a nose for illegal water use. I can FEEL his telescopic eyesight boring into my skull from over here...)

Clearly my dog George has no such issues.

I blame all the concerns on the fact that my SAHM days are coming to an end, as I start on 6 weeks of job after job next Tuesday. One of these jobs means a trip to Melbourne (working on the Melbourne Cup, a fact you'd think I'd be excited about. You'd be wrong. My first thought is 'all those Melbourne LYS's!' Horses and pretty hats be damned, I NEED YARN! Melbournites, I need some recommendations). This, of course, means I have less time to knit. Those blissful 2ish hours a day when Little Man is getting his beauty sleep and I get some knitting done will be replaced with dark rooms, monitors and TV.

And no knitting.

Help me dear readers, before I breakdown in a pattern induced stupor.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Two out of two ain't bad

I was going to show you some photos of my spinning creations today (you see, I have moved on from 'cat barf' to 'creations') but my lovely mobile phone camera made it look like a white lot of nothing, so you will just have to visualise (can you visualise something that looks spectacular please? Thanks).

Celia (we will now call her She Who Saved My Cat Barf) gave me some FANTASTIC guidance today, and a few sneaky hints that her spinning teacher would balk at, but we won't tell her about that. I spun up some drafted fiber (woohoo! it looks like yarn!) and some courser rovings (it ALMOST looks like yarn!) and when I got home I couldn't help myself, and spun up some of my own rovings (alot slipperier than what I had been practicing on at Celia's) and it too ALMOST looks like yarn! At least it looks alot better than my first attempt. I think with some more practice, and some lessons (starting in October) that I might actually be able to come up with something I could knit.

Then in the afternoon I had the much anticipated Haircut. You know, I think I found a hairdresser that I actually feel comfortable cutting my hair. He listened, he explained what he was doing, and spent more than 2 nano seconds on cutting my hair (which was about the amount of time that my old hairdresser would spend on my hair, and I had the privilege of paying $60 for it). I discovered the reason why he is so good at cutting curly hair; his wife is a fellow curly head. And the last thing you want to do is get your wife's haircut wrong - imagine the consequences.

And I like the end result! Something a bit different for me, a bit layered which I usually run a mile from (bad layering experiences in the past *shiver*) but he's done a great job.

Not much more happening on the knitting front, the shrug is chugging along, I keep getting to involved in watching the tele (Survivor on Friday nights now - that may have been a culprit) and end up having to frog a couple of rows. But it's getting there. I'm not sure what I want to do next, maybe my Opal socks but it's getting close to summer. Maybe a summer top, just have to decide which one. I always hit a slump with summer knitting, anyone else have the same problem? I could sort out a jumper for Little Man that he can take on our trip to Europe next February, but I seem to have lost my favourite Debbie Bliss book with a gorgeous jumper pattern in it, darn it. Hopefully it will turn up in the next few days, I feel a bit lost with only one thing OTN (and of course the French Market Bag, but that's not a wildly exciting thing to knit).

Monday, September 19, 2005

Running with needles

You'll have to excuse my poor photos today - we left our digi camera in a car that has gone off to be serviced. Clever we are. So I have to make do with the stunning quality of my mobile phone.

I sent the slippers though in the front loader today - front loaders rule.
They fit like a DREAM, I now have them drying stuffed with plastic bags to get a bit of shape into them.

I love em, and hope that I can get some wear out of them before we hit a few more 28C days.

I'm making good progress on the shrug, although it's looking decidedly purple in this shot (thanks mobile camera!). I reckon I'm about halfway across the back. I keep having to frog it though cause my mind starts to wander and then somehow I have 58 sts instead of 59...

Tomorrow I'm off to Celia's for a morning of spinning and, as my husband suspects, gasbagging (to the foreigners reading this, 'gasbagging' is a lovely slang term for chatting. We aussies love our slang). Meeting a fellow knitter is always fun and I don't get to do it very often. I hope I can come home with something less resembling cat barf and closer to resembling something I can actually use.

Then in the afternoon I have an appointment that always fills me with terror.

I am seeing a New Hairdresser.

You see, I have curly hair. When it's in good condition it resembles Nicole Kidman's. Currently it is NOT in good condition and it resembles split ended string. I don't know how it has gotten like this, after my last haircut from another New Hairdresser (we'll call this one The Hairdresser Who Kills Curls) it was in the worst state it's ever been in. I don't know what she did, but it was BAD. So I'm off to a hairdresser that comes highly recommended for curly hair - fingers crossed he does something spectacular with the mess on my head.

And here is something you don't like to see - for the saftey of your child, OR your bamboo straights...

Thankfully there was no running, but alot of bashing said bamboo's against anything hard.

I've been meme'd!

I'm no longer a meme virgin, Rachael has tagged me!

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

My 23rd post was the very momentous occasion when I showed the completed Monster Jumper.

I tell ya I am SO PLEASED it is done and more importantly it FITS!!

This pretty much summed up how I was feeling about this jumper, it was a LONG, LABORIOUS thing to knit and I was just so happy to have gotten if off the UFO list.

I'd like to tag:

another Alison!

Over to you ladies.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Slip sliding away...

The slippers are kinda done. I say kinda because they've had a felting session in the washing machine and the dryer and they are still big enough to fit DH. I'm hoping that another trip thru the front loader will sort them out (I used the top loader last time and I don't think it was hot enough) (yes we have 2 washing machines, don't ask).

I have started in the Zhivago shrug - what I'm gonna do about the gauge I don't know. The sts were the correct gauge but the rows were waaaay off, like about 4cm off. The gauge is knit in the diamond pattern so I doing less rows might not fix it, it might just make an incomplete pattern at the bottom edge. Hmmm, think I might drop it back a needle size and see how we go. I know I'm playing with fire by subbing the needles (can not be any worse than the whole Monster Jumper saga) but at least I have the correct yarn this time (first time for everything!). I am now quite liking the feel of the Zhivago, very soft and slinky. I have a wedding to go to in a couple of weeks so it would be nice to have it done in time, now I just have to find a dress to wear it with.

A question for the aussies, what foreign yarns would you like to be able to buy in Australia that you currently can't? There may be something in the works...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Some cat barf to call my own

Amy was right - spinning is HARD.
Last night I had a 'sort of' lesson from my wheel loaner (I say 'sort of' as she hasn't spun for 25 years and kept telling me that I should get lessons from someone else).
Well, here's the results.

I could just say that's it's arty, you know kinda slubby, kinda thin. Yep those twisty bits all turning in on themselves? TOTALLY intentional. Freeform. Yeah that would be it.


Unfortunately spinning lessons don't start up until October now. So the lovely Celia has offered to help me out with some tips. I'll be setting off to her place sometime next week, bearing yummy treats for being so kind. She also doesn't know about the Super, Fabulous, New (to me) LYS so a shopping trip may be in order; bwahahaha, opps sorry didn't mean to show my dark yarn pusher side... (along with my Kool-Aid pushing that Rachael has suggested I could be onto something...)

So the sewing machine was calling my name today (makes a change from me calling it names) and I whipped up some pants for the Little Man to nap in, you know kinda loose and comfy. So I did these ones (right down the bottom of the page) and they turned out pretty good. But instead of elastic around the waist (getting my teeth pulled out would be preferable to sewing elastic) I put 2 long strips of fabric on the sides so he can tie it around karate pants style. Totally funky. I'll get some photos soon.

Almost done on the second slipper, I reckon I'll get it done tonight. I have swatched the Zhivago shrug; man it is slippery. SO much so I'm rethinking the whole Zhivago thing. Either that or I'll just HAVE to get some more bamboo straights....


p.s happy birthday to my mum! she LOVED Clapotis, woohoo!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I love my SP!!

OMG!! I got my Knitty SP package today!!! It feels like xmas!!!
DH opened it for me while I squealed with delight. Little Man was sitting on my lap giggling at his mama behaving like a kid in a yarn store!!

here's the run down:
2 balls of a beautiful, soft furry dark blue yarn from Lane Della Robbina (feels lovely like a cloud!)
3 balls of Cascade 'Pima Melange' (very perceptive sending cotton for the coming summer months!! Now to find a pattern, yipee!!)
2 balls of Sock it To me in Esprit (more socks!! I'm loving the socks right now)
1 skein of Knit Picks paint your own and 16 sachets of Kool-Aid in pink lemonade, cherry, lemonade and berry blue (I swear there was some scary mind reading going on here as I was only saying to DH the other night how I should get some Kool-Aid to do some dyeing with and complaining how we have to pay $1 a sachet for it from the USA food website over here!!)
And last but not least:

A gorgeous little book for Little Man! As you can see he is already enthralled!! He loves his books right now.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Socks for giants

Otherwise known as unfelted slippers.
Here is the first one, I wasn't sitting near any instructions for kitchener stitch at the time (I was watching star trek - I very well couldn't get up now could I?) so I did it backwards, sliding a purl stitch off the front needle rather than a knit. OPPS! ah well, felting hides a thousand sins. I'm knitting it in the lovely hot pink mohair/wool combo I uncurled a few weeks back. And again, I am making it 10 millions times harder but using a yarn with a different gauge, so every number in the pattern has to be calculated *grumble grumble*. At least it's a short pattern and all the revised numbers are done now so I don't have to do it again. I know how Wendy feels now, although I'm nowhere near talented enough to be making my own patterns like she is (check em out, they're too cute!)

Today my postie brought some joy in the form of rovings. One big bag of em. Very cool. My 'bring-me-some-yarn-postie' death stare didn't get a workout, but I'm sure there will be more opportunity to use it very soon.
Seems a shame to ruin that beautiful, pure white loveliness with my poor attempts at spinning, turning it into cat barf (as Amy aptly puts it). I hopefully will have a lesson tomorrow night, depending on the outcome you may or may not see the results on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

There is crazy...

And then there is CRAZY. And then there is some crazy talented people. Check it out here

I just had to post, I am in awe.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A round of applause please...

for Clapotis!

I finished it this morning, and in under 5 balls! I did one less drop stitch repeat thinking that I wouldn't have enough yarn, but woohoo! I have leftovers! Now what to make with a ball and a half of Noro Silk Garden... suggestions?

Today was a gorgeous summers day - not right for sitting in the sun slaving away on something made of wool (which I stupidly did - I AM ON A DEADLINE PEOPLE!), but perfect for trying out Nipplegate, minus the nipple bit - the solution? Wear it with a bikini top. And I have to redo the straps - the cotton is stretched out so much after one wear it isn't funny. Soon it will work well as a dress at this rate.

And I noticed that my hair is in DIRE need of a cut. Those split ends are EVIL.

So now that frees me up to start on the slippers (yes I too am wondering at the wisdom of starting slippers in 28C heat...) and the Zhivago shrug (well I never said I was good at knitting for the right season...).

But my newest toy is the spinning wheel I have on loan. I bought a maintenance kit and have been playing with it but am at a loss as to how I actually use it. My wool fiber hasn't arrived yet (boo hiss) so I will wait impatiently until Monday to try it out. At least, I hope it arrives Monday, or the postie will be getting some SERIOUS yarn withdrawal stares from behind the screendoor...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


You know how I'm on a bit of a finishing mission at the moment? Well, there could be a slight problem.
That nice top from Rowan I mentioned that I wanted to sew up?

Um.... yeah.

I think if I wear it any time soon I could be arrested for indecent exposure.
We are talking small wardrobe malfunction.

Let's just say a peasized one. Of the flesh coloured kind.

And it has such a beautiful pattern, I don't want to go ruining it with a bra.
Darn it.

Onto the reason that posts have been so thin on the ground lately, Clapotis.
It's coming along a treat, I've been furiously knitting it day and night - DH has been home from work and kept the Little Man busy so I can get it done in time. I LURVE the Noro, such a pretty colourway. This photo was taken yesterday and I was still on the straight section.

Now I'm up to the decreases so I think it will be off the needles in the next day! Yipee!! As much as I enjoy knitting it, I am feeling the (self induced) pressure of getting it done in time for mum's birthday, and I hate to knit under pressure. And I am getting bored, I need something else to entertain my mind with. I think I'll go onto the Zhivago shrug next, hopefully it will be a quick knit and fairly painless.

I got some unspun wool in ebay the other night and it's on it's way - I'm so excited! It's white so I can have fun with dyes - although I guess I should learn how to spin first huh...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen...

I present to you...

The Jo Sharp's Contemporary Knitting Fishermans Rib Jumper aka the Monster Jumper


Just in time for fathers day (actually I finished it this morning before DH got up, so technically speaking finished ON fathers day). I tell ya I am SO PLEASED it is done and more importantly it FITS!! And we had a cold rainy day today, perfect for it's first outing! When I can convince DH to appear in the blog I'll get a picture of it on him.

How nice is it to have a FO! In fact I'm in a bit of a finishing mood, so I might even sew up this (second picture in next to bloke in green jumper) little top I knitted ages ago that's been sitting around in pieces forever.

So now I have more time to work on the Clapotis, which is coming along swimmingly. I've done 4 drop stitches, so 8 to go in the straight section (I'm doing a bit less than the pattern says just in case I don't have enough Noro) (otherwise known as 'gee I hope I have more yarn than is required so I can make something for MYSELF with whats left over...').

(on a totally unrelated note: how bizarre is it that the spell checker on blogger doesn't recognise 'blog' as a word...)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stop that Bandwagon! I wanna get on!

The Clapotis bandwagon that is; I've officially hopped on board.

Yesterday my lurverly Noro Silk Garden arrived from the US - I tell you it must have been sent via space craft as it took a total of 4 DAYS to get here! I was very excited and started straight away onto Clapotis (after checking on knitting help to figure out how to do a pf&b - I could never get my head around a purl version of a front and back). I've been knitting it almost non stop since I got it (got a tight deadline to get it done) and am almost through one ball. In fact if I could figure out how to type and knit at the same time I'd be doing that right now! Somebody stop me! I'm a machine!

Not having knitted with Noro before I am enjoying it immensely - the colours are gorgeous, and it actually feels quite nice, I had previously though it was quite scratchy but it's winning me over. I have discovered that I need some more nice stitch markers though, I used up my good ones very quickly and am now onto nasty plasctic ones. blurgh.

I had forgotten to tell you of my purchase from the Nasty LYS when I visited the other day (visited them the same day as the New, Special and Oh-so-nice LYS). I picked up some needles, and some Patons Zhivago which they had on sale for $2 a ball. I think I might make this, a nice little something for myself as I haven't done anything for me in a while.

On to the usual news of the MJ - finished the collar! Blocking the sleeves and when they are dry (hmm, they might be paying a visit to the dryer too if they don't come into line. We will see) they'll be sewn on and I'm ALMOST DONE! And the French Market Bag has taken a bit of a backseat as it's all about Noro Fever for me at the moment.