Showing posts from March, 2009


G'day all!

Today was such a nice day until I tried to book us some tickets to the other side of the US. Nathan has a week off at Easter and we hatched a hairbrained scheme to visit half a dozen friends over there.

"Tickets - $218 return!" trumpet the websites.


They say tickets are available but by the time you manage to get all your details in, gosh darnit, no more fares at that price! Nope, how about these more expensive fares?

Where I come from, that is called bait and switch. And it's illegal. Suck them in with cheap prices then make the item unavailable and offer one that is more expensive.

I have spent four hours trying to find cheap tickets. I've used three different "cheap tix" websites, two of which said here are some cheap tickets, oops, they're all sold out! (I'm talking to you, Expedia and Priceline). I've looked at three different airlines.

So I am peeved. I wanted to get a hat done so that I would've made lots of s…

Tactile Trellis Shawl

G'day all!

I think this will be my last hurrah for March.

I bought some merino:bamboo blend from Tactile Fiber Arts at Stitches West. Only two ounces of it. In a spinning frenzy, I spun it up - half on 28th I think and the rest on the 1st of March. Then I worked out a pattern I wanted to knit. A shawlette. I only had roughly 400m of yarn. I used the Rose Trellis pattern from Barbara Walker's first Treasury of Knitting Patterns along with a ladder/faggoting stitch. I even made a chart up! (But I have to finish editing the chart and show what I did with the last few rows). Even more amazement - I crocheted the edge to make something like the side edges and it sorta even worked! (That was the nine hours of edging for 200-something stitches - glad my handspun was up for the workout!.)

The final result?

I am quite pleased with it :-) It could be bigger - it only measures roughly 70cm (28") long by 1.2m (say 48") across. But it was fun to knit with the colour chang…

9 hours

G'day all!

Today I decided that since I was nearly out of yarn, I should set up the Tactile shawl for its bindoff. I decided that I wanted some sort of crocheted cast off cos I wanted to have little gaps between the stitches like the sides have for the YO increases.

OMG. I thought it might be done by lunchtime at the rate I was going. I was using a 3.25mm hook and doing a single crochet on each stitch with three chains between the stitches. Then I realised I needed another 5m of yarn. Umm, this is handspun and I have no more top to spin.

So I ripped it out and started over, a bit tighter this time.

Then I ripped it out and started the cast off again. This time with two chains only.

Then I ripped again. With one chain.

And again.

Finally I grabbed the 1.5mm hook (!!!!) and tried SC and two chains.

OH GODS! I only had about 40 stitches to cast off but I only had 40cm of yarn. Not enough for the job.

So I put all the stitches back on the needles for the UMPTEENTH time, single crochet …

I wish...

G'day all!

Oh how I wish I was the truly creative sort. I've been crawling the web and the amazing things some ladies are doing.... And yes, each and every one of the crafty type blogs I read is written by a woman. The men write different sorts of blogs. I would link them all but there are sooooo many!

Instead, anonymous ladies of the crafty blogs, take a bow!* You are amazing. Inspiring. Even jealousy inducing. Amazing stuff. I am incoherent with delight and jealousy!

Oh how I wish I could draw *and* paint. I can copy quite well - give me a photo and a pencil/paper and I can make a reasonable, not great, facsimile of the pic but creating something new? DH says I just need to practise but what I need is the eye with which to separate dross from good. And practising would help. I'm just happily buried in knitting and spinning. (And a little bit of sewing.)

I have a rather springy/eastery sock on the needles with another pattern of my design on it. Dunno if it is…

Heidi oh!

G'day all!

I was going to call the post something else but alas ho means something different these days...

(Yarn is almost accurate colour)

Anyway, I think I should share with you my recently completed shop sample,

Heidi by Diane Zangl for SWTC in Terra.

The yarn is a really good yarn. Fairly easy to knit, given its bamboo cotton composition. It is not at all splitty - you have to work really hard to get it to split despite its many small plies. It gets a big thumbs up from me - I'll happily knit with it again.

I don't think I'll knit another one of these though. Not very keen on the design, though it will be great for some people.

Here's an oddity. That's half of the sleeve (the other half is already set in).

And there is many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip. I managed to knit two right shoulders. LOL. Easily fixed but very amusing to see the odd shaping.

It is now two years since we first visited Fort Collins in Colorado for Nathan's interview with HP.…

Trellis teaser

G'day all!

Whilst knitting the shop sample and the eyesores, I've been beavering away, in the nicest possible sense!, at the shawl that nearly got eaten by a Canada goose.

Purdy eh? I quickly pinned it out to see how it is going. It is wider than a sweater rack now. I have added another two or three rows to it this evening. I realised that maybe it was time to stop when I yawned massively twice in about 15 seconds and I kept forgetting what row I was on.

But I have to sit up because Nathan is working on thesis corrections! YAY! It passed but he has roughly 8 problem things to fix and some typo stuff or incorrect use of grammar - one of the examiners turned out to be a grammar and spelling pedant (or pedanticist as we like to tell our pedant friends, the ones who are even more pedantic than we are, or should that be pedanticistic?).

I think I should pull out the sock I am working on. No counting on it! Knit, purl or *k2tog, yo* for whole rows. I hope I don't stuff that…

FO - eyesores

G'day all!

I have an FO! And I finished another item today. I am calling this the month of knitting - so far a Hey Mooch, now these

Next the shop sample and hopefully a shawl of my own design by the end of the month (plus maybe a chemo cap for a friend, don't hold your breath though!).

So the Eyesores are an adaptation of Shimmer Socks by Meg Croft. I did mine toe up and also adapted the pattern so the yarn loop thingie goes in the other direction.

If you look closely at the right sock, you will see that the loop yarn varies from background colour to background colour - the loop is pink on the blue yarn and vice versa. You can see the changeover point. But only on the right sock. I started the left sock in a different spot on the yarn and also the pattern is different and it seems to have affected that bloopy (lucky) weirdness.

Details on my Rav page. Since it is waaaay late and I have to go to bed, I shall leave you with pics of my Eyesores.


Bunny fluff

G'day all!

So a while ago, during the bushfire crisis back 'ome (six weeks ago now!) I discovered that one of my favourite fibre producers was still in business, though fighting off embers! Anyway, I had to buy some of Charly's stuff. (Go and have a look at what she has at present - she tends to update on Fridays in Oz. This blog should still be here when you get back :-)

I had to buy a couple of braids of merino/angora. Not just because Charly is a great person, not just because it was a little bit extra for the bushfire cause, no, mainly cos I thought it would be lovely stuff to spin up and it would be from Home. LOL

Man, I was frantic back then. I had the worst case of homesickness I've had in ages. I was so far away and there was nothing I could do bar send a donation and buy a little stuff from a friend. Places that I knew had been destroyed (I still sniffle at the picture of the fence and gate of the lolly shop at Marysville - they remain, along with the sig…

The Birds, revisited

G'day all!

Thanks to all those who commented on my Hey Mooch! :-)

Last week, as I've mentioned before, I went for a ride up the Los Gatos Creek trail (I've blogged a whole heap of pics at my other blog). I thought it would be very pleasant to do a little knitting whilst sitting by the lakeside.

Little did I know of the horror approaching me!

It seemed friendly enough:

Pretty curious even.

It brought a friend. The friend was pretty bored - it seemed to be saying "Let's go, love, this is dull! You brought along a snack but I didn't!"

Then another friend showed up

And some more

(Don't you love the feet on these coots? Blue and black stripes)

and another

and a few more came to join the party.*

Let me tell you that I was really glad that not all of these ones saw me sitting on that park bench, swinging my legs (bit of an erosion problem on their part, not mine!). There is nothing quite like having several hundred hungry birds all running at you at the one time.…

FO - Hey mooch

G'day all!

As you might remember, I bought a bit of yarn at Stitches West. *blush*

Well I've already completed one item from that yarn, yay me! I give you

Hey, mooch! (usually known as Hey Teach)(actually I am keeping the top for myself and not giving it to anyone at all.)(excuse the tshirt, I was too lazy to change)

The buttons have holographic glitter in their centres, not that you can tell in this pic. It turns out that I am not the only person to think that holographic sparkle glitter is the bees knees and very worthy of being in a button. (I got them from Jo-ann's and they didn't cost very much.)

And here is a close up shot of the lace pattern, nicely modelled on one of my more shapely parts but looking oddly flat.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Stella, silk blend, 7.5 balls or so
Needle: 5mm (US 8)
Details on Ravelry.

This was a pretty quick knit and easy, given that I am working actively on three other projects. Just as well I am a, umm, what is the polite phrase for stay at …

Up the creek

G'day all!

The other day, after I got bike's first ever flat tyre fixed*, we went for a ride up the Los Gatos Creek. We've done that before. But this was an adventure!

You'll just have to wait for more pictures....

And I have a new FO! But I only just finished it and the sun's almost set so pics will have to wait. And I am half an hour behind on getting tea cooked so I am going to be late for the knitting guild meeting

*what, fix it myself when with a bit of a pump up I can ride to the bike shop where they will fix it for less than $20 in 20 minutes and I can go do a little shopping with no cussing or grimy hands or unladylike behaviour, apart from mounting the bike of course....

Captn she cannae tae nae more!

G'day all!

So here's me with my new handspun shawl on the needles (likely a shawlette cos I only have 400m)

Isn't it purdy? It's Tactile's Dogwood in merino/bamboo. (PS remind me that I don't enjoy spinning stuff with tencel but with bamboo - lovely!)

And the Eyesore sock progresseth - I only have another 2cm of pattern and then some ribbing before I can cast it off and start the next one. You can see the yellow flash that occurred with the gusset shaping.

Look at the way the lifted increase created a pink bar on a lot of the gusset (am I the only person who types guesset a lot?) stitches on the riverbed architecture. Nifty eh? And there is much more nifty than that but I am going to see if I can video it just to show I am not playing tricks.

And then there is the shop sample. It is in SWTC Terra, which I am rather enjoying knitting though it seems to be drying my fingies out. More than half of the 13" of stocking stitch is now conquered! Why? Cos I spe…

My needles are on fire!

G'day all!

Help! My needles are on fire! I am not going to show you all the things I am working on at the moment - some are so embryonic that there is no point (eg how exciting is stocking stitch?). You'll have to trust me that I am enamoured particularly of one but the others are pretty darned fantastic too :-)

I've finished most of the knitting for the Mystery Item in purple/blue. I now have to find suitable buttons for it - I think I need ones that match it precisely or are clear. I don't want buttons that stand out on it cos I think the item should be the star of the show not the buttons.

Doesn't the (back of the) blocked lace look pretty held up against the light?

So after I get buttons and seam the shoulders, I can knit the button bands, put the arms on and voila! A new spring cardi! (Does that tell anyone what it is yet?)

This scrumptious little ball of handspun merino bamboo yarn is on its way to becoming something absolutely fantastic. Or at least I ho…