My 2016 Knitting Review

It’s a whole new year! I do love to start things a fresh, so many possibilities. But before I can do that, as always I like to take stock of the past knitting/crochet year.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the things I made last year. And for once I finished the year with a clean slate!

I completed 25 projects in 2016, 24 if you don’t count the blanket square I made for Kate’s Farewell blanket.

Socks featured heavily last year (but I’m going to have to pull my socks up (!) if I want to participate in Voolenvine’s box’o sox KAL in 2017).

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The projects:
6 pairs of socks
2 adult garments (both for me, me, me)
4 baby things
7 accessories (hats, mitts, scarf)
3 shawls
A set of crochet coasters
1 cowl
1 blanket square

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-8-48-42-amThere are still some proper FO photos to come. Whose idea was it to finish an 8ply cardigan in Summer anyway?screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-8-58-53-pmIt’s been a bit of a multi-craftual year, or at least it’s ended that way, because I’ve started sewing…

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I’m looking forward to getting much better at this new craft. My husband enjoys watching me squirm at learning new things, a little too much.

Oh and I hope for loads more knitting in 2017.

 

 

 

Yellow Mellow

This week I’ve been working on my Aislinn cardigan by Amy Herzog. I’ve wanted this cardigan forever, and then I got cold feet after I cast it on. You see, the pattern doesn’t have a button band. I’ve made enough cardigans now to know I need a button band. So I’ve incorporated one into my knitting.

The pattern is also knit in pieces. I know (!) I could have put it together to make it seamless, but I was afraid I would need to think a little too much. And it’s not going to kill me to knit it in pieces. So I’ve persevered.

My interest in it has renewed and I’m confident it’s going to work out, hopeful even, that this cardigan will be one I reach for frequently. I’m up to the second front and then I’ve just got 2 x 3/4 sleeves to go.

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I’m looking forward to getting this off my needles so I can cast on another sweater for myself. There’s not been enough of that.

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This week I found out that I was unsuccessful in the Knit Girls lottery for a place in their Portland retreat in March 2017. Whilst I was disappointed to miss out, I’m relieved to finally put those plans behind me and to think of new ones for next year. Who knows?!

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I’m progressing on my Smooth Operator socks by Susan B Anderson. I’m knitting this in some Fab Funky Fibres yarn. It’s my ‘knit night’ project because it doesn’t need a lot of concentration. I’m remaining fairly monogamous with my projects at the moment, to finish them is an incentive to not feel guilty about starting new ones. And I really want to start something new!

What projects are you dreaming about starting?

It’s been a while…

… sorry about that! The longer it’s been, the longer it’s taken to come back.

Here’s a bit of a photo documentary of my last month:

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Craft Sessions happened and it was ace! The whole weekend was so beautifully organised by Felicia.

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I left more inspired than I have been in, in such a long time. It took a few days for it to get to a manageable level! I think it was largely due to the class I took with Anna Maltz (a.k.a. Sweaterspotter). It was a Top-Down Improvised Colourwork sweater class.

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She loves colour, like I love colour.

But generally speaking it was just crazy exciting to be there.

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I fan-girled a-lot!

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So excited, so much so, it was hard to calm down enough to get some sleep on my arrival home… luckily I had Monday off too. I spent the evening planning the rest of my yoked sweater… until the wee hours of the morning Zzzzzz…

The weekend after Craft Sessions, I took Anna Maltz’s ‘Marisle’ class in Melbourne. I love this technique. It’s a combination of Intarsia and Fairisle, and it’s super clever.

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I had spent the week feverishly knitting on my yoked sweater from The Craft Sessions, so I took it along to show Anna my progress that day.

Then this happened…

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Anna popped a photo of me with my yoke progress on her Instagram feed, and I became Instafamous! At last sight there were over 1,000 likes to this photo! Richmond knitters also got a bunch of new followers, which is wonderful!

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I continued my yoke at home… but I’m sad to say I’m taking a break for the moment. I feel like I may have increased my stitch count too far. I’m just taking a breather to gather up the courage to do what needs to be done, we all know what that is.

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Last month, I also went to see the ‘Yarn’ documentary organised by ‘What Jane Knits’, along with a few friends and a whole cinema of yarn-aholics.

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We celebrated my mum’s 70th birthday.

img_6740We celebrated a 1st birthday and a Christening.

And I’m back to knitting my Aislinn cardigan. Sweet, predictable, pattern cardigan, what can go wrong?

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The Rockhopper Shawl

Stash Dash is over and I managed to finish knitting the Rockhopper Shawl by Anna Maltz just in time (well I had about 12 hours to spare!). Yesterday, Damian took some FO pics for me.

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I’m very happy with the shawl; I love the look of it and I love the expanse of it, it’s so squishy. But most of all, I really enjoyed knitting it! The neat construction in the end made it a fairly mindless-kind-of-a-knit. But it doesn’t look that way. I feel super smart, so it’s a great pattern.

The yarn I used was from Stash! The yellow is Shilasdair Luxury DK with Camel (from Sunspun), The charcoal yarn is Madelinetosh Merino Light (from my trip to NY!), and the cream yarn is from deep-stash: Pear Tree 4ply Merino Alpaca. Whilst the yarn names would lead you to believe I’ve mixed weights of yarn, side-by-side, the yarn is about 4ply. Stash for the win!

I’m really digging yellow at the moment, stay tuned for more yellow things coming off the needles.

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So I finished it just in time for Stash Dash to count, but more importantly I finished it in time for Craft Sessions which is happening next weekend. Anna Maltz (a Londoner) will be here teaching a couple of classes, and I’m very excited to say I’ll be taking her Top-down Improvised Sweater knitting class. If you’re not going to Craft Sessions but you really want to take a class with Anna, Felicia of the Craft Sessions has organised some satellite workshops with her in the following weekends. I’m going to be taking her Marlisle Class in Brunswick the following weekend…

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Just call me an Anna Maltz junkie. I want to make Pinglewin Penguin next… but first, I have to finish the homework prep work.

If you want to keep up with the happenings of next weekend at Craft Sessions, I’ll be posting photos to the Richmond Knitters Instagram account. Speak soon.

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My favourite Knitting Video Podcasts

I have been threatening to tell you all about my favourite knitting video podcasts for some time now. It’s my favourite thing to watch whilst knitting, particularly when there’s nothing on TV.

BEWARE! It’s addictive.

Once you have a few favourites, you can have many hours of viewing you’ve inadvertently committed yourself to watching each week. If you’re in charge of cooking meals for family members, you’re already in trouble.

In no particular order, here are the ones I’m currently keeping up with… just…

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The KnitGirllls! The first video podcast I began watching religiously. They are two friends living across two US states (but soon to be reunited behind the camera together!). Watching these guys is like catching up with old friends. They are overall hilarious.

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Inside Number 23: Katie is awesome. She sews as well, between her and Kristin from Voolenvine/Yarngasm podcast, they make me want to be a sewer of dresses.

IMG_2997Here’s Kristin from Yarngasm. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and I envy her yarny, crafty life. Damian can we move to NY?!

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This is Amy from the Stranded podcast. She dyes yarn under her label Stranded Dyeworks. She lives in the UK and I love her. She is a lot of fun, I think she makes me laugh the most. She’s a great knitter and I love her taste. I have some of her yarn on it’s way to me…

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These are The Grocery Girls. It took me a while to warm up to them (as Deb will account for), but I’m a big fan now, I even have a project bag made by one of them. My advice to anyone finding a new podcast to listen to; is to listen to the most recent podcast to see if you like them. If they pass, trail back to the original podcasts slowly, you may not like what you see in the originals… or maybe you’ve just gotten used to them over time? hmmm…

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This is Eric from Sticks plus Twine. He’s lovely and has great projects.

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This is my friend Penelope on her new podcast, Stash and Notions. I think she’s a pro and she’s only 2 episodes in. I love seeing my friends on the inter webs.

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This is Mina from the Knitting Expat podcast. She is on my weekly watch list, lots of yarny show and tell and great projects and some funny cats.

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And finally this is Andy from the AndreSue Knits podcast. Love her! She’s super creative and super down-to-earth and lovely to listen to and watch.

So there you go, that’s nearly 10 podcasts for you to check out and subscribe to on YouTube. Let me know if you have any other favourites! I’m only about 6 hours behind on my viewing schedule…

Stash Dash Update

I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of watching knitting podcasts on YouTube. That’s partially why you haven’t heard from me in a while. The other reason is… Stash Dash…

Stash Dash, the knitting marathon hosted each year by my favourite podcasters The KnitGirllls, is drawing to a close and I’m nowhere near my goal of knitting/spinning 10k of yarn. But that was to be expected!

I am currently at 2,679 metres or 2.7km, a far cry from the 10k I had dreamed of. Surprisingly, Laura from the Knitgirllls admitted in the most recent podcast, it was the first time she was not going to meet her goal (of 15k), and I won’t lie, that made me feel just that little bit better about myself. I’m not competitive, no!

The final project I have on the needles for Stash Dash is my Rockhopper Shawl by Anna Maltz. I hoping to knit like the wind to have it finished by the close of Stash Dash which is about 3pm Melbourne time on Monday. It should deliver about 1k to my total!

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Here’s a snapshot of the other projects I completed during Stash Dash, (not including the small amount of spinning I also counted).

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Oh well, there’s always next year.

The Best Bendigo Show Ever!

It has been a whirlwind few days and I’ve had the absolute best-est, fun-est time. I declare this years Bendigo Show the best ever! Of course… the show improves year upon year, but the nicest thing about Bendigo is getting together with friends who are passionate about the same things. And there’s not a lot of judgement… ok, maybe a little.

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The weekend began with a Fashion Show. It was a rather interesting one. This year they were celebrating May Gibbs’ anniversary, some hilarious clothing ensued.

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I attended the Women of Wool luncheon with 6 other Richmond Knitters. The speakers were very inspiring and had great heart-felt stories to tell. In its 7th year and only my second year of attendance, I think it’s an unmissable event of the show.

There was purchasing, the list was almost forgotten on the first day…

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I got back on track by the final day, to cross things off the shopping list (either the real or imagined list).

I bought something I never expected to…

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Beneath the wooden niddy noddy and darning mushroom (replacement because I can’t find my other one in my stash), is 2 metres of wool fabric!

Regular readers to the blog will know, I do not sew, I do not even own a sewing machine. In the yarn fumes of the Wool Craft shed, an spontaneous exchange between friends; may possibly mean that a pinafore dress will be sewn for me, in exchange I’ll be spinning a sweaters worth of yarn in trade. The details have not been ironed out, but certainly the excitement, the possibility and the amount of happiness (read:squealing) in the shed was an absolute highlight of the show. Even if it doesn’t happen (no pressure Chris), it was all worth it!

We sought out baby sheep, and we were not disappointed.

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The final night saw some of us having dinner at a fancy restaurant.

And this was the result of Deb telling a very funny story…

Tears of non-stop laughter, absolutely unforgettable.

Next year has a lot to live up to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my Bendigo shopping list

Nope it’s not a sheep! I wish…

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Now that I’ve made some room for incoming woolly purchases from the Sheep Show, my focus has turned to: What shall I buy?!

Because no one ‘needs’ to buy anymore yarn (especially me), I figure if at least I have some ideas about what I might need, rather than no idea at all, I perhaps will make some discerning choices.

So here’s what I’ll be stalking at the show:

Some glitz! I don’t have any glitz at all and I would like to try blending some into a batt on my new drum carder. Perhaps some other fancy fibres would be fun too.

Some 4 ply wool for Romi Hill’s ‘Happenstance’ Shawl.

A jumper’s worth of semi-solid wool for me. I’m not too fussed about the colour, I’ll know it when I see it. Perhaps I should have a pattern picked out before I go…

I would dearly love some attractive wooden sock blockers, but I don’t recall anyone stocking them from years past.

I don’t really need anything else. So the remainder of my shopping will be made up of things I simply could not leave behind, very dangerous I know. Wish me luck!

This was last years haul:

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Some of these things have been used already! Stop sniggering…

I wonder what I’ll come home with this year?

 

Off the Sheep

As many of you know, I’ve been ‘Cold-sheeping’ since November after my trip to Tokyo. The plan was to not buy any yarn until the Bendigo Show which is less than 2 weeks away, weeeeeeee!

But then, a few weeks ago, with Bendigo being so close, and after having a rather rough time/day/morning… I decided the only thing that could possibly make me feel better was to buy yarn.

It was cathartic!

I bought this:

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and this:

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and then Dairing was having a sale, and I bought this and this:

Once the seal was broken, I could only ask myself, why not?

Look out Bendigo…

There has been a tidy-eo of the stash in preparation, and There. Ain’t. Much. Room. For. New Stash. I’ve managed to clear one basket for ‘special’ yarn/fibre. All storage areas are now bursting at the seams, and don’t ask me where anything is. But there’s an empty basket for loot from Bendigo!

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What’s on your Bendigo Sheep Show shopping list?