Friday, July 31, 2009

A mountain view

G'day all!

Lynne's a bit busy today and can't come to the blog. Instead for your viewing pleasure, a pic she took from a friend's property just outside Bozeman, Montana.


Back later with Stuff. Possibly Lots of Stuff.


Thursday, July 30, 2009


G'day again all!

I was a naughty bad girl today. At the shop I found a discounted bonus pack of omnigrid rulers (useful for quilting and anything where you need a straight edge) for the same price as the one I was going to buy (except the one I was going to buy was also discounted, so I spent more than I needed to). So I bought the set. I brought them home and just thought I'll open up the pack and pull out the one for I need for marking my current quilt project.

The beast BIT me! (not for the truly squeamish) It cut my thumb tip open! My main knitting thumb! Gosh now I am cranky with it. I didn't realise the edges of those things were sharp! But they are really quite sharp and the corners? Yikes, you could have an eye out with those things. Maybe the bonus packs are made cheaper than the single rulers - my green one has sharp corners but you'd have to do more than run your finger along the edge to cut yourself on it.

I'll show it! I'll USE it with eXtreme prejudice!

Another thing I thought is fascinating is the wash out markers for marking lines on embroidery or quilting come in blue or purple/mauve. So very handy given that the material I am using is blue or purple/mauve.... You can't buy red or green or other coloured ones. OK, when I move on to the rasta quilt it will be fine but at the moment, argh!


Love hate relationship

G'day all!

Yesterday I finished my July PSC socks. Yay! Cleopatra's Stockings by Yarnissima in STR lightweight Shrinking Violet, part of last years Rockin Sock Club.

This is a very nice pattern and makes one think about as one's knitting but I really didn't enjoy it.


Why not?


All those knit through the back loops!


Why do I hate ktbl?


Cos I knit using the "lever" method (English style, yarn in right hand, right index finger flicks the yarn around the needle which moves from 10am to 12:30ish as I flick the yarn, stitches move from left to right needles). I only take my hand off the right needle at the end of a row or to retension the yarn. You might ask why this makes ktbl annoying - after all the needle feeding stitches is on the left side. My left index finger helps both feed the stitches and also controls the tip of the right needle. With my normal knit into the front of the stitch, the tip of the needle slides sideways along my finger tip. With ktbl, I stab my left index finger. After a while it starts getting a bit aggrieved. I've tried all sorts of adjustments to stop this happening and not one has worked! Knitting is not meant to be painful!

(I admit to liking the k2togtbl though - much easier than slip one, knit one, psso or variants thereof.)

But the socks are pretty. More details on Rav. And the pattern is a possibility for the wotisit draw next Monday. You just have to send an email to me at natielthreeoneone at gmaildotcom with a guess for the most recent wotisit (I would say previous wotisits but I've revealed what they are! Makes the guessing reallllly easy!). I'll be drawing one lucky winner of either a set of stitchmarkers or the Cleopatra's Stocking pattern, and the more entries you've made along the way, the more chances you get of winning!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tour de Fleece, last one

G'day all!

I hope this is the last time I rave about the Tour de Fleece. I just had to take these pics of my bike, with all the handspun (from the three weeks I was part of the tour) and fleece that is begging to be spun up.


Bike or yak?



Back another time with this month's PSC socks. Plus I've added a pattern to the prize pool for the wotisit draw - Cleopatra's Stockings. I am pretty sure I will not make these again (nothing at all wrong with the pattern, just me!) and someone else can share the love!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Onwards ever onwards

G'day all!

Today I am showing you something a little different to the things I've been showing you recently. And I am not showing you all the interesting links that I had lined up cos my browser crashed and I started over - had waayyy too many tabs open anyway.

So, I've been busy cutting up material for the second in the quiltalong series. I am making two smallish quilts - two because I can't choose between the materials. I thought I would use up stash, except I had to go get more of the material that forms part of the quilt and the backing. Ah well. Them's the breaks.

You wanna see the colours I am using?

Hot hot hot! Rasta stuff. Brown contrast fabric.

Cool! Eggplant/aubergine contrast with pinks, purples, blues - even though there are two pics, they will be one quilt. I just couldn't fit them all into the space available.



Believe it or not, there's only one colour in the eggplant - it is the changing colours that it is sitting on that makes it look different colours. Our eyes are amazing things.

We are still working out our travel stuff for the upcoming holiday. DH will be cranky with me now cos he is asking ME how much time off he should take. Why is he asking me? He hasn't told me what he wants to see and do and he knows how much leave he has. Why is it up to me to organise his holiday times? He hates organising trips to the nth degree, as this one will have to be, and so do I. He likes to leave everything open and easy to the point of not having a booking for the train or a hotel during the busy season. I'm a bit more of a control freak than that. He delegates all bureaucracy to me "because I am good at it." I'm not good at it but if I don't do it, it won't get done! (Speaking of which I need to fill in a couple of forms for other stuff and send them off.)

Has anyone else used the Eurail website? It is a cross between a hoot and a piece of craptastic you-know-what. The English is umm quaint and occasionally I have to translate it to work out what they mean. I am still not exactly sure what they mean about having to "wait on line at the station" (but I think they mean book your seat ahead of time to make sure you do not have to wait at the station until they can get you on a train). I occasionally wonder if they have used the same translation engine/person as the ones that produce those fantastic chingrish instruction sheets you find in various items. It is taking me some time to work out our travel timetable simply because I have to find out what on earth they mean!

Oh, still haven't taken pics of the socks. Not much point at this stage - another couple of hours of knitting and they will be fini! hooray!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Wotisit Monday returns!

G'day all!

After a bit of a break (ie I forgot to post anything and also I was away and frantically treadling for the Tour de Fleece*), Wotisit Monday returns!

Last time I showed a picture of some fleece all taped up inside its plastic cocoon. A few people guessed correctly but I didn't email anyone, cos it all happened when we were away. Anyways, it is good to have a few people with points on the board!

This week's wotisit was spotted at Crater Lake in Oregon. You don't have to go to Crater Lake to see things like it - they are quite common. Honest.


Next week I think I should have another little prize draw. Remember to send your guesses to me via email to natielthreeoneone at gmaildotcom. You must email me the guess to get into the draw and surely you want to win something, even only a little thing like some stitchmarkers?

*In the 21 days I knew about the Tour de Fleece, I spun nearly 3km of yarn, or well over 7km if you include the original singles. I am going to get a nice pic of the yarns decorating my bike, it being the Tour de Fleece and all on bicycles of course, but for the nonce you'll have to cope with the pic on the clothes rack.

Or the pic on my quilt only I'm missing one cos it was not yet spun.
(There were twelve on the bed and the little one said, "Roll over, roll over!" So they all rolled over and one fell out, roll over, roll over. Etc.)

Tomorrow I shall show you pics of my new challenge (though some of you cheeky blighters will have already checked them out on Flickr) and also try to remember to get pics of the Cleopatra's Stockings that are nearly finished, HOO-blasted-RAY! I like the k2tog tbl but I dislike k tbl. Blah. Not sure why - it should be easier but it isn't with my technique.


Friday, July 24, 2009

The Blog spoke

I just cancelled the accommodation and travel to Sock Summit.

I now have a bad case of leaky eyes. Sniffle!

Here's the results of today's spinning:

Joseph's Coat BFL


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Challenge

G'day all!

Today was the Challenge Day in the Tour de Fleece.

Just after 9am, I grabbed my trusty wheel and some pre-drafted Miss Babs merino/bamboo in Watermelon. I thought it was 6 oz but it was only 4. Ah well, not quite as challenging then but still more than I've spun in a day for aaaaaaages.

By midday we were going pretty well (after some happy distraction looking up facial wounds in WWI - it was my Pop's deathiversary today and he had had a facial wound). We were outside and spinning like a demon in the dappled sun under the birch trees. It was only about 22C/low 70s. Very pleasant.


At 2pm I started on the second bobbin.



It was all spun up a little after 6pm and ready to ply.

I had to unply the first 50m of two ply yarn - it was horrid! This yarn wanted to be navajo or chain plied. So I complied with its plying decision!

I ended up with 240m of DK/8ply or so weight yarn

and a little 36m skein of coiled cuteness. I was all done by 9:15pm. It took me roughly 8 hours to spin and ply up just over one kilometre of singles.

See the difference between the yarn colours? The little skein is muddier in colour cos pink and green are almost compliments of each other - mix them and they go muddy. It is why I had to navajo ply the big skein. But I wanted a little coily goodness as well and it worked quite quite well.

I am pretty pleased with the overall result.

I had big plans to talk to this temping agency yesterday. But I couldn't find the phone. Today I looked for it a bit harder. I used the base station's locator to find it. I'm hovering around DH's armchair looking for the handset. I can hear it ringing, it is definitely somewhere around the chair, but I can't see it. Nope, not there, not there, not hiding under that book, nope still can't find it, dangit it's stopped ringing! So I make the locator call it again.

When I looked under DH's chair I could see a roughly rectangular shape in the underlining. The phone. It had slipped down the side of the chair, through a hole in the upper upholstery, through the stuffing and into the bottom of the seat. I busted a fingernail getting it out! Life is sooo tough.

BTW, The Blog has spoken. Looks like I'm cancelling my Sock Summit classes, accommodation and travel. Sniffle. Still wanna go but really I guess Europe is a bigger more fun trip.

BTW BTW, the Dr has spoken too. Nothing wrong with me though I want to keep an eye on my triglycerides. More exercise and watch the diet. Crikey, I thought I did a fair whack of walking and riding but I guess I have to do more! And I'll knock off the chippies and not-icecream a bit more.

Back to having my butt kicked by this remaining bit of BFL top - it took all day yesterday to spin up about 80g of it. Getting a little over this one!


Monday, July 20, 2009

A dilemma

G'day all!

I have run up against a dilemma. A dilemma of Rather Large Proportions.

Over the next two months, we want to go to Sock Summit, Europe and Australia. Australia is non-negotiable. Europe is non-negotiable for DH.

We have a certain amount of income. That income, generated by my DH's work, can either take us up to Portland to Sock Summit for a rather long weekend of SS and sight-seeing (the SS and SS Portland trip) or I can go to Europe with DH.

This is my dilemma:
I either give up on going to the Sock Summit
I don't go to Europe with DH.

This might be my one and only, last chance to go to the Sock Summit. If I lived overseas, I would not fly all the way to the US to go to the Sock Summit. I've never been to Europe and DH has long promised to take me.

An alternative would be if some magic fairy waved her/his/its magic wand and conjured me up a job for a few weeks (minus the sock summit long weekend of course!). Or if I wrote up the patterns and hundreds magically flew out the door at a cost of say $5 a pop. Or if I put everything I have up on etsy and it all sold. Or I set up little baggie patterns and material for you to make your own project bags and those all flew out on etsy. But I don't see any of those things happening. So I am stuck with either going to Europe or going to Sock Summit.

What on earth should I do? I want to do both. I've never been to Europe (Toulouse, France; Lucerne, Switzerland; Munich, Germany) and I've never been to a Sock Summit either. But I can't afford to do both. Not without plundering the mortgage.

Sigh. Any ideas? I'm going to talk to a temping agency tomorrow - there is one literally just around the corner from here. I'll try to get some more etsy stuff up too. I'll even write up the pattern for the mini mochi socks but I'll have to ask for money for that. I've spent months trying to refine it for different size stitch counts (54, 64 and 76). But none of that is likely to come up with the goodies, well more $$$, for me.

I've been knitting away on Cleopatra's Stockings. There's lots of knit through the back loop, which I am not a great fan of, though I much prefer knit through the back loop than purl through the back loop!


Note that I am doing them two at a time! This is the result of not taking the instructions with me so I started the toe of the second sock. Then I ripped the first sock back half a repeat cos I'd stuffed it up. Then they were both the same length so I figured I may as well do them two at a time. I get a little confused now and then cos I have to repeat the row I just did - I'm not used to that! I am now on the gussets and my rather short needle is starting to feel the strain.


But it is pretty cool, though I am not really feeling the love for the way the yarn is striping. Not keen on the mauve and purple self striping thing, though the blue purples are nice. The close up pic is pretty accurate in colour - a miracle! I persuaded the camera to cooperate! Except for the focus thing. Doh! And I hope I am doing the pattern right too. LOL

No Tour de Fleece today - it was a rest day. And does my heel need it - it is still not right after the sprain. Did you know that when you sprain your ankle, you'll often sublux your heel/calcaneus? I didn't but after the chiro has twisted and wrenched it the right way, suddenly my foot works again!

Still haven't edited all the pics from the last trip. For someone who is unemployed, I am surprisingly busy. I started making a tunic/dress for me for the bike last week, almost ran out of cotton for it and had to go buy more then lost the love. I only have to set in one sleeve and hem it and it is done! Maybe tomorrow, when I either have to walk, drive, tram or bus to anywhere - remind me when I freak out about my bike being missing that it is not missing, it is getting a service. And a new saddle (a girly saddle with extra comfort for squishy bits!).

OK, must pull my finger out and start writing up the pattern. I have to check my charts and also create more than one size for the gusset shaping. Oh and it is toe up, like most of my socks.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Still spinning

G'day all!

Just a quick one. I can't type (I kid you not, every second letter I have to go back and correct). I'm still spinning madly, knitting a bit but doing LOTS of spinning.

Spinning is good when it is hot. Others would disagree but it is cooler than having a lump of knitting sitting on your lap. My current socks are trying to kick my butt but I am exerting my will upon them. I am even knitting them two at a time! No pics - they are too hard to get a shot of at night.

But no such missing out for the spinning! I have the camera sorted for some colours and shots under CFLs, and this is the result:

CMF spun

420m of a nice fingering weight 3 ply merino superwash yarn for socks. Crown Mountain Farm roving in Peggy Sue. It used to look like that.

Okey dokey. It's been a loooong weekend, even though it was only two days. Summer has hit with a vengeance and we've even been using the air con! I even drove the car yesterday rather than take the bus (last bus I was on had dead air con = VERY hot bus! And I was unlucky enough to get it there and back again - usually I get a different bus home.) Have a good week, I might have some knitting to show off sooner or later - you'd better remind me :-)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Spin me right round

G'day all!

My back 'ome friends are having an interesting discussion on shyness. Turns out a number of us are shy. I'm shy sometimes. I get even shyer when I get a case of the guilts for not replying to your lovely comments! Then I get stressed cos I am guilty cos I have not pulled my finger out of my butt and so it goes around.*

Speaking of going around, I've been spinning madly for the Tour de Fleece.

So far we have:
sport weight superwash BFL with sparkly nylon from Spunky Eclectic, enough to make a pair of socks.

A hank of fingering weight superwash merino in Peggy Sue from Crown Mountain Farms, enough to make a very long sock or two very short ones (for me) with plenty more spinning to do from the pencil roving.

A hank of Dragon Breath from the Lavender Sheep. I had two plies of this but when I plied them against each other, they were yucky. Awful. Worsted yarn barf. So I unplied the WHOLE LOT and navajo/chain plied them. Much better! Oh and the odd thing? As I wound each ply onto separate bobbins, at the end I could not find the join between them! It had totally disappeared!

A hank of soft spun singles from Crosspatch Creations and Three Bags Full. The TBF batts were particularly easy to spin as singles.

A fun little hank of Merino Tencel in Sunrise from the Sheep Shed at Mountain View Farm (not the Sheep Shed Studio). I am spinning up more of this - I tried to make it laceweight but it didn't want to be laceweight, it wanted to be floofy yarn so now it is!

Hmm, you know that is not a whole lotta yarn from 10 days of spinning, less a day's rest. Ah well. Can't spin any more tonight - it is late and my ankle is starting to hurt! It's been on the bike (without the brace) and spun a LOT of yarn today so I can't complain! I just need to look after it.

DH was very excited when he got home tonight. He had a Special Delivery from Mouser Electronics. He showed me his new wall-worts - they are as big as a fingernail and need to be all wired up of course but will be much smaller than the usual power transformer you stick in the wall. But he was even more excited about his Lifetime Supply of Resistors. Yep, he has a whole box full of every resistor known to mankind. It is pretty impressive!

(*which is to say sorry, I've been distracted and stressed and have been hiding in my hidey hole but will come out soon and email those whom I should email!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hooray, another FO

G'day all!

Today I finished the blocking, tidied the ends and handed over the Faroese Shawl (rav link) for my LYS. I am so glad to see it gone. Not that it was hard to knit or anything or any sort of a problem - come on I was knitting with cashmere! Reclaimed, less guilt making cashmere. No it was just it had been about for Long Enough and I needed to move on and start something else. Or just spin madly for the Tour de Fleece.

I guess you'd like some pics, eh?

Before blocking

(can't believe that I took a pic almost a month ago that basically shows the very same image only half as long!)

During blocking - blasted hard to block cos of the shoulder shaping, so only the back is being blocked here

(and now a front)

the shoulder shaping that lets it do this

and this
(Stunning self portraits, eh? That grin is one of relief, a) because it is finished and b) because I didn't have to drink another litre of water and hang on until I was busting. TMI? Want more? Did you know they put condoms on the ahem internal probe heads? I didn't. It was an amazing learning experience.)


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some FOs

G'day all!

What a fun week so far! In more than the usual sense of the word.

I've finished a couple of things, I've had a pap smear (and now have to have a pelvic ultrasound, a mammogram and blood tests - have to check up on previously diagnosed fibroids, mammogram screening starts at age 40 here and I haven't had bloods done since umm years ago when I had no exercise tolerance and then found out that I had been accidentally eating stuff with milk powder in it), I've got more things to make, DH woke up today all dizzy and I had to make him breakfast and look after him (you might think breakfast would be a no go but he was hungry), it is STINKING HOT today - it has cracked the old ton in Campbell and I was out on the bike doing the shopping.... Anyway the new doctor is a heap better than the other one and didn't do the revolving door trick with me. I cracked funnies all the way through cos the alternative was to clock him and run out the door in a backless gown... with a speculum stuck in my privates. (I admit to being particularly proud of the slurping noise I made when the speculum was pulled out, and it cracked him and the female nurse who is in attendance up.)

Oh. That shawl that I had to refinish? I just discovered as I started blocking it that in the second last row of lace, I made a mistake. In one spot only. At the end of a lace zigzag. It is sorta obvious. I am not ripping out all the edging (hours of edging, hours and hours and interminable HOURS of edging). I am thinking a little bit of thread will close up the yarn over hole and noone will ever know. Except of course you guys, my nearest and dearest buddies on the whole world wide web (except for those who don't comment cos really I am not psychic!).

Now to stop prattling (I'm a bit put off by the ultrasound tomorrow cos what if it isn't ok? Lots of things could be wrong!) and get on with the point of this blog. Finished objects are what you want to see, right?

Bamboo nylon socks, fibre-reactive dyeing by me (aka white ball of yarn thrown into the bag that had Too Much Dye in it - hence the purple at the top of one sock and the blue at the toe of the other. Chromatography is a wonderful thing).

Same pattern as I've been testing for ages. Must write the flaming thing up now it seems to work and get it published.

Very over these socks. Especially since I made one just a little short and the other a little long.

Dunno if they will be wearable in summer or winter but they survived their first machine wash (and I forgot to put them in a lingerie bag so they got the full effect of the wash.

I finished the little quilt. It is a lap quilt I reckon. It is about 40" long and 30" wide. (oh my, how much is that in cm? I am losing touch with the True Path of Measurement!) 100cm and umm 75cm?


Sewing the binding on took a while and took a toll on my poor left index finger. At least it isn't my main knitting finger - that is the right index finger!

I even put the binding strips together in such a way as to line up the stripes. This one was about the least successful. (V.proud of myself :-)

(Whoops, just got sucked into the quiltalong discussion on Flickr.)

Tomorrow I should have the results of the shop shawl, the cashmere one with the stuffed lace bit that I now have to fix. Dangnabbit. I should have it all blocked by then. It is a pita to block cos the lace needs to be pulled out, I have a very small area to block it in and it has the shoulder shaping. I'm blocking it a third at a time - each of the front thirds in front of the shoulder shaping then the back third.


Monday, July 13, 2009


G'day all!

I just finished the shop shawl!


Then I looked at it and realised that for some UNKNOWN reason I had not actually done the pattern right on the last edging repeat. Thank god it was on the last one and not the first! Alas I also cut the thread and have to splice more yarn in.


Kill me now.



Friday, July 10, 2009

A multiplicity of projects

G'day all!

I am running a little behind on the PSC for this month. I didn't do one last month - I had plenty to finish off! ANd I am still tweaking this pattern. I should just get over myself and publish it! Ahem!

So, without further ado, I give you

The loaded jeep:

And the lucky winner!

Yep, one of last year's Blue Moon Fiberarts sock club offerings. Excuse the whacky colour - my camera (and every camera I've had) hates these lovely purple colours.

All wound up and ready to go! I just have to find some spare sock needles. I think I've only got one sock on the needles so where did the rest of them run off to? I'd be very happy if they were breeding instead of fleeing but umm well....

In four day old Tour de Fleece news, I spun up and plied with silk and beads the remaining April offering from Tactile's fiber club.

It can now join the pure weld dyed yarn and the single of weld plied with the single of weld/indigo and umm starts with q.

The practice quilt is stippled (that is to say I've machine quilted it with the lines of stitches technically less than 1/2" or 1.2cm apart), eventually, after little issues like this:

Umm, a little tension problem there. But no matter, the machine has a "hand quilting" stitch on it and it worked a helluva lot better.


(That material was going to be a summer top for me but it was large enough and not objectionable in colour matching etc so I used it on the practice quilt. You can see the variegated thread on the back much more easily.)

Except where the quilt found some scrap material from someplace and the machine carefully stippled it on the back...

All it needs now is the edging and I bought that yesterday, washed it and ironed it today. Ready and raring to go!

Oh, for anyone trying to call us on our cell/mobile phone? It is out of juice and it has been put some place and we don't know where it are (to quote something quite different). We can't ring it cos it goes straight to voicemail. If you are trying to ring us, try our landline (if you need that number, email me!). (Note I didn't have it last...) If I am not returning your calls, you now know why. If we can't find it, it might mean we can get a decent phone cos really the old one is/was poxy.