All knitting, all spinning, all the time

All knitting, all spinning, all the time

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The magic of blocking

It never fails to amaze me the difference that blocking makes.
Here is Icarus before:

Here's some detail of the point of the triangle. You can't quite make anything out (& it's all lumpy, bumpy & 2-minute-noodle-like).

And after a nice warm bath with some wool mix:

And here's the point of the triangle again. This time you can see the "feathers" in all their glory.

Amazingly, this only weighs 55 grams & measures a whopping 72" across the wingspan, & 36" deep.
I love it! (I wonder what I can do with the leftovers?)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Some more FO's & a touch of insanity

As promised, here are some more piccies of FO's.

First up, these are my first ever commissioned socks!

Next we have a pair of Pyroclastic socks in Evoke's Cash 4ply (10% cashmere - very lush).

They have a really groovy shaped arch that hugs your foot beautifully (even if they are a wee bit on the snug side). Love 'em!

And lastly is a little touch of insanity (what was I thinking?!). This is going to be an Icarus shawl in Evoke's Caress Cobweb. The meterage on this one is a staggering 1200 meters to 100 grams!! Very yummy though, & squishably soft - 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, & 10% cashmere.

The colour is "merlot", & it's actually a second - there are a few spots of a brighter red here & there that aren't meant to be there, but you have to look really close, & it's not obvious. 3.25mm needles if you're curious about that sort of thing. There's a 5 cent coin to give you some sort of an idea how fine this yarn is. I've never knitted with anything this fine before - I must be mad. (I have visions of this becoming an eternal shawl 2.0)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

4 FO's.

I may have been absent from the blog for a while, but I definately haven't been absent from my knitting!
I'm still struggling to find inspiration though ...

I asked my beautiful daughter what I should knit (not socks, which is her usual response). "How about a facewasher?"
Half a day later, & I have this cutie kitty facewasher finished. It's in her favorite colour when she was just a littlie - "lellow!" It has sparkles too. (I can now post the photo, as she has it in her hot little hands.)

Hmmm, what next? I need something else to break the monotony of socks. Stash-diving produced a few balls of 8ply acrylic in that self-patterning design I find so irresistable.

Meet a little size 2 jumper destined for the market bag.
Now what? Socks!

Swirly girl pattern, in a poorly chosen yarn -it fights the pattern a bit too much.
More socks!
Birch leaf socks knitted in Evoke's scrummy Drift 4ply in colour Apple. My photo sucks, so have a look at Elissa's much better ones. I gave these socks to her. I love this yarn - it's so squooshy & soft.
That's it for finished projects for now, but I do have two(!) more pairs of socks on the go. One pair of Pyroclstics in Evoke's Cash 4ply Sock yarn (yes, it has cashmere in it!), & I've just been commissioned for another pair of plain(ish) socks for Christmas. My first paid pair! Pics will be posted when they're finished.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Still looking for something to knit

I still haven't found a project that inspires me.
I delved part-way into the stash & came up with some Cleckheaton Vintage Hues yarn. The ball bands have long since disappeared, so I can't tell you what colourway this is, but it told me it would like to be a scarf.

I chose the same pattern I used for my "ugly" scarf. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, but now I'm right back at square one again.

I have nothing to knit.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


I was scrounging in the bottom of my knitting bag for something or other & found a long forgotton challenge. Earlier this year (much earlier) my lovely friend D challenged me to a duel. A dodecohedron-off. We had come across a pattern for a twelve-sided star - a crocheted one & a knitted one. D prefers crochet to knitting, & I prefer knitting to crochet - perfect. Before long, D had finished hers:
She bemoaned the fact that her points weren't very pointy, but rather rounded & boob-like. We giggled that it looked a bit like Madonna on steroids, or maybe some sort of fertility object.
I started my knitted one, but only got two points in before running out of steam, & the sorry little Barbie-bra-like object (you join the points together as you go) was shoved into the depths of my knitting bag. Yesterday, looking for something (anything) to knit, it surfaced. The challenge remembered, I resumed knitting. As the star grew, I was feeling quite pleased with it. I was using some left-over self-patterning sock yarn, & as I'm a simple soul who is endlessly amused by these sorts of yarns. It was fun wondering what colours the next point would be.
Eleven points in & I was now really pleased with it. Nice pointy points, not at all boob-like. I began stuffing it, before picking up the stitches for the last point. No matter how much I stuffed the stuffing, I couldn't get it to stay in the tips of those points.

Meet my knitted dodecohedron star. A little ball of boobs ... with nipples!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

I have nothing to knit

I've just finished yet another pair of socks (my standard plain 72st sock). I completed these whilst I waited for inspiration to strike. It hasn't. I have nothing to knit.

You would think from looking at the photo below that the considerable size of the stash (this is not quite all of it, but it is the largest part) would suggest otherwise. You'd be wrong.

This is one huge pile consisting of approximately 2 dozen boxes - some of which are positively overflowing with yarn. Two of these plastic boxes contain nothing but sock yarn. There are gorgeous silk blends, kilos of handspun, and the box of embarrassment (muppet road-kill yarns - don't ask).

There is not a single project calling out to me. I could go stash diving (send a search party if I don't surface) & see if anything sings out, but to be honest, I'm kind of paralysed by the sheer volume of stuff & the teeny tiny room it inhabits.

I have nothing to knit.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


Thanks Textile Tragic for awarding me this - you made my day!

Now then, let's see ...

Award rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to bloggers who you think are fantastic for whatever reason (in no particular order).

4. Contact the bloggers you picked & let them know about the award.

Hmmm ...

1. This one's easy - thanks Textile Tragic! I'm glad my sock-knitting inspires you, as you inspire me with your creativity.

2. Share 7 things about yourself - this one's not so easy ...

1. I love the colours blue & purple & everything inbetween.

2. I am anti-housework & would love to set up a foundation for the preservation of wayward dust-bunnies.

3. I am addicted to knitting socks. Cuff-down, toe-up, it doesn't matter. And I don't let the fact that the climate I live in isn't exactly condusive to sock-wearing stop me!

4. I have enough hand-knitted socks to wear a different pair every day for approximately 3 weeks. (At least)

5. I love chocolate, but not chocolate cake.

6. I collect sheep.

7. (Struggling now!) If all else fails, I drink tea!

3. I would like to pass this award on to:

Daylesnail - for being a wonderfully creative creatrix & a wonderful friend.

Spinayarn99 - for incouraging me to try new things with my spinning (like fibre-sandwiches!).

Yarnivorous - for showing me how to use the magic loop to knit socks, thus helping me rid myself of dreaded ladders forming where dpns meet.

Textile Teresa - for helping me to step outside my comfort zone & try new things (like yarn-bombing the Harrietville bridge!). I know you've just received this award from Textile Tragic, but there's nothing like multiple awards!

4. Now to contact the lucky winners!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Another whoops

A while ago I mentioned that I'd placed an order for a Namaste knitting bag. This is not that bag. When I first walked into Evoke & spyed those wonderful bags, the purple one caught my eye but I thought I should be sensible & get a black one (there wasn't one in the store, hence my order). Every visit since, that self-same purple bag has been calling my name ("buy me, buy me!"). Finally, I could resist no longer.

I am now the very proud owner of a very lovely, very purple, Namaste Zuma bag. I love it to bits. It opens up amazingly wide, has loads of pockets & closes using magnets not zips so your yarn doesn't get caught. I also invested in some handy mesh bag doo-dahs which close with press studs - these can hold a small project (read: travelling sock) & contains my hairbrush rather nicely so I don't get hair (& bits of random handbag fluff) on said small project.

I am usually rather restrained when it comes to colours (especially handbags - I usually go for either black or brown) but I love purple & tend to wear it a fair bit. Slightly outside my comfort zone, but I'm loving it!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Another pair of Jaywalkers

I think I've fallen in love with this pattern - Grumperina's "Jaywalkers". I love the way it works with self-striping yarns - breaking the pattern up a bit without competing with it.

The yarn is a beauty too - 80% bamboo with a little nylon for wear. It feels so soft & luscious, even if it is a little splitty to knit with. Wendy's "Happy" in colourway Aquarius for those of you playing at home. Blues, purples, aquary-greens with a little pink for zing - yum!

Although I love these ones, I feel they are destined for feet other than mine. I get the distinct feeling that as soon as my dear daughter sees/feels them, they will miraculously disappear into her suitcase when she comes to visit after xmas (can't wait to see you honey!).

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A FO!!!

Mum's cardigan is finally finished! Yay!! The pattern is "Refined Aran" from Interweave Knits Winter 2007.
Yes, that black blob is a completed cardigan (sans buttons - mum wants to choose those herself). I think I need some camera lessons so I can convey what it actually looks like, rather than just a cardigan shaped "thing" on my kitchen floor. It has cute little 3 stitch cables running down each front, mirrored on the back, & also running up each sleeve all the way up to the saddle shoulders.

The flash has washed this one out a bit, but this is the left shoulder. I just love the way those little cables meet & greet each other here.

This is about the fifth re-incarnation of this yarn as I wanted a "perfect" cardigan for mum. Overall, I'm quite pleased with it, but I think the sleeves are a little too long even though I did shorten them considerably. The bottom edges also want to curl, so I may try puffing at them with my iron ...

Anyway - Mum, I hope you like it!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


I was in town today having coffee with a friend (ok, so I did deliberately choose the cafe next door to the new yarn store) when I was overcome by Evoke's gravitational pull.
Some more scrummy sock yarn - this one's a little greener than the photo would suggest & is called "Neptune".

Some more page inserts for my KnitPicks set - I haven't been able to find these anywhere.
And lastly another Addi circular needle for use with sock-knitting.
This new store is going to be very difficult to resist. Oh, & I placed an order for a Namaste knitting bag ...

Sunday, 19 September 2010

A completed sandwich

The Harrietville fibre sandwich is finished! From worrying about not having enough purple to ply my sandwich with, I now have 3/4 of a bobbin of purple left, & exactly 200 grams of spun sandwich. (My scales measure to the gram) I love the finished result & am very pleased with how soft it is. I was originally thinking cushion cover, but that may be a waste of delicious yarn whose colours positively zing against the purple (so glad I decided to go with purple). This photo doesn't quite do it justice - I'll have to try for a close up.

In other news, we had a new yarn & fabric store open up here in Lismore yesterday! It's name is Evoke & it contains all that I've been lusting after but haven't been able to get my sticky little fingers on. They carry Noro yarns, oodles of hand-dyed skeins of 8 & 4ply (hand-dyed sock yarns!!!!), Namaste knitting bags, & Addi & Knit Pro needles. I could have spent hundreds in there yesterday, but managed to restrict myself to one skein of sock yarn & a cute little wrap skirt pattern (sewing).

I've been going through some pretty severe yarn withdrawals since moving away from Melbourne, so I'm really excited by this new store. I will definately be going back for more!!!

Friday, 17 September 2010

The trouble with sampling ...

... is that you use up some of which you had planned to use for the real thing.

100 grams of spun purple (all I had) minus one sample skein equals nowhere near enough for this much sandwich.

I didn't weigh my portion before I spun it, but I'm estimating from such a full bobbin that it's more than 100 grams - closer to 150 I think.

Problem. That purple was a one off, individually dyed hank. What to do ... what to do ...

I'm rather fond of all things purple and blue & tend to collect them. I know - I'll go stash diving!

One trashed stash room & an hour or so later I emerged with another purple 100 gram roving. Score! It's not exactly the same (this one has a blob of blue near one end), but combined with the sandwich it should be close enough to fudge it. Now all I have to do is spin it up & hope for the best.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

The magic pudding of sandwiches

What began with a simple little pile of fibre sandwich & a "good idea" turned into 3 days of handcarding a never diminishing, neverending pile of really interesting bits. (Oooo look - sparkles, oooo look - is that flax?) From being able to fit into the palms of both hands, it now fills a green shopping bag.

Finally, it's now all carded & ready to go.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Warm up

Isn't it funny the way ones perfectionism tendandcies come out? I don't normally do samples - I usually leap right in & hope for the best. (Whoever heard of sampling for a fibre sandwich?!)

I've been having a fun break from spinning the unending white by spinning some fibre sandwich from a while ago. I wanted to experiment a little with preparing it a little first before embarking on the "good" fibre sandwich all the way from Harrietville. First I ran the sandwich through my handcarders to slightly homogonize it & make it easier to spin (got to break up those cotton balls a bit otherwise they seem to fly all over the room instead of go where they should!). Then I spun up some purple fibre from the Blue Knob Gallery (I've been told that purple is the best colour to ply sandwiches with) & plied the two together.

I'm quite pleased with the result - a nicely balanced, not too bobbly yarn. Don't know what I'm going to do with it yet - it's only 84 grams. But as a test skein, I'm pleased.

Now for the real thing!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Long distance spin-in

For the last 5 months (I just counted that out in my head & I'm horrified!) I've been slowly (you're not kidding!) working my way through a kilo of white roving. It does have the odd fleck of colour through it, but it's soooo boring ...

On Wednesday, I received a lovely email from my lovely friend Textile Teresa. She said she had a portion of a fibre sandwich from Harrietville for me! When I arrived home from spinning group today, guess what was waiting for me?

It usually takes Australia Post a good 4 working days to get anything from Melbourne (Vic) to Lismore (NSW) so imagine my surprise & joy to get this so quickly!
Mmmm ... colours ... Mmmm ... different fibres ...
Mmmm ... it's not white!

I think I can feel my spinning mojo returning - I just have to spin this!

Now that we each have a portion, the idea is that we each spin our bit up, & pop it onto our blogs. Thanks Teresa!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Once bitten, twice shy

After talking to my beautiful daughter, I decided to weigh the other ball my old employer gave me (they only gave me 2 samples).

98 grams.

Grrrr ...

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Don't assume anything

Surprise surprise it's another pair of socks!

This time with a non-labelled, sample ball of yarn given to me by my old employer. You can see what's going to happen here, can't you ...

I started knitting these ones the same length of leg I normally do (approx 60 rounds), but when I hit the toe shaping ... the remaining ball of yarn looked suspiciously small. Too small for my liking. I weighed the offending ball on my dyeing scales & was horrified by what I saw. A measley 30 grams. I weighed the sock (allowing extra for my needles). 45 grams. Clearly, this was not going to work.

I gritted my teeth, frogged the entire sock (after using a few choice swear words) & began again with fewer stitches and a much shorter leg.

The finished socks come in at 70 grams with a tiny amount over. So much for "assuming" this unlabelled ball was the full 100 grams I expected!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Slow & steady ...

My knitting has slowed right down of late, but I keep plodding along (even when the pattern tries to throw me). This lovely pair is called "Twisted" from Knitty (hope that link works), and the yarn is Opal, but not your usual self-patterning one.
I needed to start decreasing for the toe before I'd finished shaping the instep. Otherwise they'd be long enough for clown shoes! I don't think you can tell though.

Now onto the next "travelling socks". I'm thinking another pair of Jaywalkers in a yummy Noro sock yarn that's in the stash ...

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Finished gift

I've finally finished the little gift nurse doll I've been working on for the past little while. It's a pressie for the lovely nurses who looked after me in hospital a month or so ago.
I've also been working on a pair of socks (always have a "travelling sock" on the go), a cardi for mum & a little acrylic jumper for my market bag.
My spinning wheel has been looking at me from the middle of the lounge room where it's been collecting dust. I've been neglecting it a bit, but I think it's just that I'm not enjoying what I'm currently spinning at the moment - it's a rather nice white merino top with coloured neps, but it does tend to coat whatever I'm wearing. It's spinning up beatifully but it's rather obviously not going to spin itself (no matter how much I want the spinning fairies to do it for me). I think I need to dedicate some time to it, so I can actually finish it & move on to something less flyaway.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The case of the missing colour strikes again!

It's happened again! Another missing colour in a Spotlight sock yarn - this time it was the brown stripe you can see in the sock on the left (thanks to friend D for taking this picture for me). I started with the left sock, and was feeling quite pleased with it's Jaywalkering-ness,when I turned the heel and was marching happily down the foot when a brown stripe in the pattern repeat revealed itself.
This pair is a birthday pressie for my lovely friend D, who says she doesn't care about the missing brown (isn't she sweet?), but I'm a bit miffed about the fact that I've had another colour go missing on me. (Hmmm ... yellow, then brown ... is there a hawthorn sock yarn being created somewhere?)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

More FOs

Another pair of socks - this one's an Opal yarn which is designed to represent a painting that's printed on the ball band. Unfortunately I don't read (or speak) german so I can't tell you the artist's name. Very long pattern repeats which makes for two destinctly different socks.

Then I got the urge to knit up some fingerless gloves - don't know why, but why not?! These ones worked up so quickly, even if they are in 4ply. (I'm wearing them now whilst I type - comfy & warm.) Made from some leftover Spotlight sock yarn.

The knitting mojo is definatley back - thank goodness. I don't know what I'd do without it! Now all I have to do is figure out what I want to make next. I may even be feeling in the mood for some spinning, although I need to sort out the next travelling sock project ...

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The return of the knitting mojo

I was a bit worried there for a bit - I thought that I'd lost my knitting mojo, but I'm happy to say that it's back!

Over the last day or so I've not only finished an entire pair of socks (okay, they're in 8ply so it's probably not that impressive) but also a hat to match.

Nice and cosy & bright, but currently ownerless. I'm thinking of putting them in my "market bag". Not that I do markets very often (I haven't done one for at least 2 years), but I'm just pleased to have made something.

Monday, 21 June 2010


I seem to be suffering from a bout of startitis. I want to start new things instead of finishing the ones I already have on the go (coughMumscardigancough). I currently have on the go: a pair of socks, a cardigan, a bag in (horrors!) fun fur, a doll, a blanket ...

I want to start something new, something that will grab me with enthusiasm to actually finish it so I have something to show you rather than just a bunch of UFOs. Something small. Ideas escape me - maybe a hat?

Sunday, 6 June 2010

I'm still here!

Just a quick little post today - I'm still here, but I haven't been well.

I've still been knitting though, and I've decided that 3 beautiful friends who visited me in hospital, and have been generally loving and supportive shall receive the 3 pairs of socks I knitted whilst in hospital. I haven't decided yet which friend will recieve which socks yet, I may just leave it up to them (friend D, friend M & friend L please make your choices). I lay before you:

A pair of coriolus socks knitted with a Spotlight yarn:

A pair of Jaywalker socks also knitted with a Spotlight yarn:

And a plain vanilla pair knitted with Opal yarn:

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Lovely goodies

Last weekend was the Warwick spinners weekend, & what fun!

I didn't think I would have the same opportunities to buy things as you get on the journey to Harrietville, but once my friend D & I got there ...

Oooo ... pretty ...

Little baggies of mohair, silk hankies & silk caps with co-ordinating merino slivers (purples & blues - my favorite).

Next came the Ashford with merino/silk & bags of bamboo. I also found a pot of red dye to add to my collection.

And then ... whoops!

The picture looks like it's sideways, but it isn't. This little beauty is an umbrella swift. It hangs sideways off your bench so your skeins don't fall off whilst you wind them into balls. I'd been after one for a while, & this one was too pretty (I love wood), too practical, & too reasonably priced to leave it behind.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The good, the bad & the ugly

The good:

A one-row scarf in some handspun merino using the fractal stripe technique. (Not George)

In reality it's much more purple than red. I love this spinning technique. It's such a great way of using a painted roving without it either turning to mud, or trying (& failing) to match the colours perfectly. Basically, you split the roving down the middle lengthwise & spin one half just how it comes onto one bobbin. You then split the other half into thin strips & spin them onto another bobbin. When you ply them together you get the long colour repeats of the first bobbin & the shorter colour repeats of the second coming together in a very pleasing manner. (George was my first fractal stripe & I was so pleased with the result - to quote an old Bugs Bunny cartoon - I hugged it & patted it & called it "George")

The bad:

I had a go a painting a roving, but got rather carried away & it felted a bit. This is the spun result.

It didn't want to draft, & as a result it's 100 grams of slubby, thick & thin that I don't know what to do with.

The ugly:

A multi-directional garter stitch scarf made from a skein of fibre sandwich. This isn't the fibre sandwich we made last week, but a "and here's one I prepared earlier" skein from a Harrietville workshop. This scarf is so ugly it's almost (almost) good.