All knitting, all spinning, all the time

All knitting, all spinning, all the time

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Back to socks

Just lately, everything I try to knit turns to crap. Dumb mistakes, poor yarn/pattern choices, and sheer bloody-mindedness have all taken their toll on my knitting confidence.

For example, I've dropped stitches in a plain shawl and have been completely unable to pick them up. In fact, trying to fix it made it sooooo much worse. That shawl then came out much, much smaller than I'd have liked. And the final straw (this is where the bloody-mindedness comes in) is a pale blue cardigan which is too rough (it's baby yarn! ), at some point in the yarns life the outside of the balls have been bleached by the sun which is only obvious when you're not looking at it in my lounge rooms craptastic lighting (I do 99% of my knitting there), my tension is all over the place, I've just found a boo-boo that means I'll have to frog back most of the second front, but I'm NOT GOING TO LET IT BEAT ME!!! I will win. I'm about 80% done! However it does need to sit in the naughty basket until my urge to cut it up into itty bitty bits subsides.

In the meantime, there are socks. I haven't knitted socks for almost six months, but it feels like time. Short socks (therefore quick), easy socks (familiar & comfortable), and yarn that's pretty, but not precious. Just socks.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Handspun squishy goodness

I decided to take a break from knitting my current cardigan project (4 ply, scratchy, bleach spots on the yarn from the sun - grrr). Don't feel like knitting socks (gasp!), can't find a shawl pattern that grabs me.

Time to go stash-diving.

I came up with a handspun 100g 5 ply-ish skein in a pretty red/green colourway. I'll admit, I didn't really think about how it was dyed before I spun it. It was basically large splodges of green and red with a smidge of yellow on a white roving. I just spun it how it came and plyed it with itself. It turned out as a really pretty skein and is soft, soft, soft.

Some searching on Ravelry's pattern database yielded a suitable pattern for a slouchy hat with matching fingerless mitts, and I cast on!

I'm now halfway through the second mitt, with the hat all finished. There's a problem though. The way I spun the yarn means it's not consistently coloured all the way through. The second mitt is quite a different colour from everything else. It's really too late to do anything about it now. (sigh) So here's hoping it won't sit in my market bag forever.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

It ain't just a river in Egypt

I've been rather addicted to a little shawlette/scarf pattern called Hitchhiker. I must be - I've knitted three of the things! It's a lovely pattern - all in garter stitch, with 42 "teeth" down one side as a nod to Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" where the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is (you guessed it) 42.

I needed a change, so I hopped onto Ravelry to search out new patterns to try. Did you know there are variations on the Hitchhiker scarf out there?! There are Hitchhands (mittens), Hitchhat (speaks for itself), and a very cleverly named Mostly Warmness (cowl & fingerless mitts set). They all have the trademark Hitchhiker teeth. I decided to try a Hitchhat.

Four ply yarn, 3mm needles, knitted on the bias with beginning & end grafted together seamlessly. Pretty!

The more I knit this, the more I like it. BUT. The more I knit, the more I suspect my gauge is off. The more I knit, the smaller I think this hat is going to be. No, no (la la la la la!) it'll be fine ... knit knit knit. Gee it really is looking small ... knit knit knit. Maybe I should frog it & start again ... knit knit knit. I'm definitely going to frog it & start again ... knit knit knit.

Now I only have two "teeth" left until I'm up to grafting it together ... knit knit knit!

Maybe I can block it bigger. Blocking fixes everything. Right?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

"Squishy" - My First Beret

A few weeks ago, I had a lovely visit from my beautiful daughter. (Always love it when she visits!) During one of our many visits to the shops, she tried on a knitted beret. After reminding her of what I did (I'm a KNITTER!!), I plunked her down in front of the computer on Ravelry & told her to choose something she liked. She chose this:

Etoile hat

Delighted that she had actually asked me to make her something, I dove into the stash & came out with a really yummy merino/silk blend in cream. This yarn is sooooo soft. (I will call him Squishy, and he will be my Squishy.) I was a little worried that it was knitting up too small, but when I gave it a little bath before blocking, it grew! It went from being bread & butter plate size, to draping over a dinner plate. I think it's gorgeous, and after a quick trip in the post, I hope my darling daughter does too.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

I'm a danger to wildlife

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit some rellies in Gin Gin.  I had a tv which needed a new home, so with the help of my Dad I packed the car & off I set!

I was assisted in not getting lost by a borrowed GPS doohickey.  I called him "Tom."  I swore at him sometimes when he tried to take me dumb "scenic" routes, but we got there in the end.

Just south of Childers, puttering away at 110 kpm (the speed limit), I spotted a tip-turkey on the side of the road.  It was spooked by an oncoming car & being fairly dim-witted, flapped towards my car.  Oh no.  Flap tip-turkey, FLAP!  Unfortunately it didn't achieve the necessary thrust or lift and:

I swear that's just what it looked like.  I couldn't stop to see if it was ok, but in my rear-view mirror I was very glad to see it flap drunkenly into the bushes.  (In my special little world, that means it's ok.)

I spent a lovely few days with family & thankfully had a reasonably uneventful trip home.  (Where are you taking me, Tom?)  Although I do have a rather nice scratch on my windscreen where the tip-turkey did it's "beak-plant."

What's a tip-turkey?  One of these:

Australian White Ibis

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A couple of secret knit reveals

I gifted two of my secret knits this afternoon, so I can show you photos!!  Yay!!

A gorgeous friend of mine D, and her hubby S are attending the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Brisbane in a month or so.  They have been told that whilst loading and unloading at the beginning and end of the festival, they must wear safety gear.  Fluro vests and the like.  Well, I was in my local Spotty store and came across some nuclear, radioactive yellow acrylic yarn.  So bright it looks like it glows in the dark.  (It doesn't, but I think it'd be kinda cool if it did!)  I thought a couple of gag gifts were in order.

Snowflakes on Mulberries.  Pretty pattern, love how the decreases at the top form a snowflake, just not in this yarn.  This one's for S.

Hmmm ... Blogger put it sideways ...
Escargot.  This one's for D.  Again a really pretty pattern, just not in this yarn.  I think I'll have to make this one again. In nice yarn.

I've been teasing my long suffering friends with hints of gag gifts, and photos of eye-searingly yellow knitting for weeks.  I'm pleased to say they went down a treat with D.  I sent her home with both hats, but haven't heard anything yet about what S thinks of his.  I hope he laughs.  That was the whole point of the excersise for me - making lovely people laugh.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Secret Knitting ...

Lots of secret knitting has been happening here, so I don't have much to show you in case the intended recipients drop in and spoil the surprise.  Here's a teaser:

Squishy garter goodness.
I loved making that one so much I immeadiately made another one!  So much fun - and quite fast, too.

I've also nearly finished a 5ply cardi for me.  Just half a sleeve and the pocket linings to go!  I'm a little nervous the sleeves are going to be a little on the snug side.  I can fix that when I block it, right?  Right???

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Teapot needs a jumper.

I decided to do a little something nice the other day and have a pot of tea with real leaf tea. Just for a change, you know?  It was really lovely, and seemed to taste so much nicer than my usual teabag.  There was only one little problem as far as I could see ...

My 2 cup / 1 mug teapot
It looks cold.

So a hunt through the stash and Ravelry later, I came up with this:

Ahhh ... much better.

Yarn - handspun fibresandwich kindly sent to me by Miss T from Harrietville
Pattern - Mistake Rib Teacosy

Monday, 1 April 2013

Still knitting blankets

I've been struggling to come up with an interesting project. Everything I seem to come up with starts in a frenzy of enthusiasm, and then ... I'm not happy with how it's turning out, so froggedy frog, we're back to the start.

In the meantime I'm steadily plugging away at a 2nd mitred crosses blanket. This time for my beautiful daughter. *waves* Hi sweetie! Hope you like it!!

(Hmmm ... I'm playing with the Blogger app on my phone & I can't figure out how to add a piccie.)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Some piccies!

Blogger finally wants to play nice again & let me upload piccies.  Yay!!  So here's my finished blanket.  It comfortably fits on a single bed (maybe a tad short) & as you can see, is the perfect summer knitting project.  Lol!!  Well, it worked fine until it came time to join them (knitted 3-needle bind-off join) and do the I-cord border  All.  The way.  Around.

That's a lot of garter stitch!  And I was bitten by the mitred crosses blanket bug so bad, I've started another one.  This time in pink/blue/green/brown bordered in grey.  Not loving it quite so much the second time around, which doesn't bode so well for the yarn I bought in a fit of MUST MAKE BLANKETS for a third one.  Well, there was a sale, and there was this lonely looking yummy yarn, and my credit card kinda leapt into my hand, and ... I'm hopeless.

Oh! and for Christmas, my lovely friend D gave me a sheep doorstop (works - and looks - soooo much better than the pair of shoes I'd been using!!), and THIS:

Love it!  She knows me so well.  (Mwah! for you D!!)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Where did my mojo go?

Hmmm ...

New year, big plans, my mojo flies out the window. (If you spot it, could you send it back?) Mind you, this horrible humid heat we've been having hasn't helped. I think my mum had the right idea - she wanted to be like a reverse bear & hibernate all summer. I much prefer snuggling up with my nice warm woolies to contemplating how to install myself permantly with a deck chair & my knitting in the dairy aisle in Woolies.

Blogger still doesn't want to play nice & let me upload piccies yet either. :'(

At least I've tried to keep up with "Fridays are for Spinning." I've spun up some lovely pale blue/grey merino with white silk slubs. I plyed it with some cornflower blue merino I had leftover from something else on one of my bobbins. (I need to spin some more 'cause I didn't have quite enough on the bobbin - lucky I had more roving.) Not sure if I really like it, but there you go. When I've finished that one then I can reward myself with something from the "yummy" pile!

As far as the knitting goes, it's all a big blah. After finishing the blankie (which I was obsessed with) I just can't seem to find anything that grabs me. Believe it or not, not even socks!

Friday, 4 January 2013

New year, new me

A new year has arrived and I would dearly love to courageously tackle new challenges instead of doing my usual curl up on the couch with a yummy skein of yarn, a cup of tea, fingers in ears ... LALALALALA!!!

To that end, I hope to find a little bit of work. Just a day or two a week, nothing too stressful. If I can earn a bit of money whilst being useful somewhere, I think that'll help me feel a bit better about myself & less of a burden on society. I know, I'm on a disability pension for a reason, but still. I completed a business admin course part-time last year (yay!) so I'd like to put that new found knowledge to use.

I've also let some of my craft work slide, so I hereby reinstate "Fridays are for Spinning"!

And I'd like to learn a new skill with a little rigid heddle loom that came into my possession last year. I've acquired most of the missing pieces, so no more excuses!

I'd also like to finish off some of my long standing UFOs. I have at least one in the basket that I started two years ago. I don't have a PHD in knitting for nothing!! (Projects Half Done) Lol!!

Hmmm ... it seems Blogger isn't in the mood to let me upload photos at the moment. (Naughty Blogger!) I'll have to try again later. I've finished a blanket! (Yeah, yeah, I know. Perfect summer project. Rofl!!)