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.

DSC_8810

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.

DSC_8801

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…

DSC_8775

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.

DSC_8771

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…

IMG_2986

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.

IMG_2994

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?!

IMG_2999

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…

IMG_3003

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…

IMG_3014

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

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 11.56.58 pm

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.

IMG_3025

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.

IMG_3029

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!

IMG_2989

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

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 11.27.50 pm

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.

IMG_2688

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.

IMG_2749

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…

IMG_2761

IMG_2894

IMG_2893

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…

IMG_2886

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.

IMG_2858

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…

IMG_0812

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:

IMG_0837

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:

IMG_2623

and this:

IMG_2624

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!

IMG_2633

What’s on your Bendigo Sheep Show shopping list?

Winter set business

Hi there, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve touched base, so I thought I had better get a post in before it became too long again.

Stash Dash is going on and I’ve now almost completed this year’s ‘Winter set’ for my husband. Knitting Damian’s Winter set, is an annual tradition (I copied Sharon, because her husband gets a winter set each year, and my husband found out). Knitting for Damian is enjoyable, but it’s not always the easiest, particularly when one is ‘competing’ in Stash Dash and all you want to do is knit, knit, knit!! You see, Damian is a fuss-pot… so there’s lots of trial and error, and ripping out of knitting if the fit isn’t quite right; but I want him to be happy so that he’ll wear the Winter set for years to come, so I just take a breath and start again. I’ve only got 28 inches left on the scarf (beanie and mitts are completed), and then I’m off the hook for another year!

Here are some beanies I’ve knit for Damian in years past.

R0011257

They are very plain, that is always the brief.

Recently, Damian wore one of these beanies to work (whilst waiting for his 2016 beanie to be knitted) and a colleague of his made a very disparaging comment about his hat. She was told, in fact, the beanie was made by me, and knit from wool that was my hand spun, and when he wears it, he is reminded by how much his wife loves him. Boy was she sorry…

So I decided to change it up a little this year. Rather than the usual plain hobo winter set, I decided I was going to knit Damian a ‘Country Road’ type Winter set with macho cables.

DSC01437

DSC01435

DSC01434

The scarf was also planned to be very cabled. But there was a change of direction, I’d like to say it was because I listened to Damian who said he didn’t want a thick heavy scarf. There is now a simple 2 x 2 rib scarf in the works, and it’s nearly done! The fibre is Kathy’s fibres: Fine Merino. She does lovely dyeing and her fibres are lovely to work with. It was 3-plied to make about an 8 -10 ply wool. It was purchased at last years Bendigo Show, which is coming up very soon this year again. I CANNOT WAIT! More on that soon.

I hope Damian loves this year’s Winter set, even if it wasn’t his usual plain set of winter accessories. The proof will be in the wearing.

Rainbow love

There’s something about a rainbow or a gradient that is pretty irresistible to knit. Rainbows in particular are probably the funnest thing you could knit for kids or adult socks.

I finally got around to knitting a rainbow ‘something’ for niece M.

DSC_8714

She’s getting older and bigger you know, so knitting for her now takes about a third to half the time it would take to knit for myself! I used a tried and tested pattern, the Tulips cardigan. I’ve made another one of these, when she was littler.

DSC_4708

Which is now currently being worn by her little sister.

I needed to make some slight adjustments to the pattern as it’s written for 10 ply, and I was using Bendigo Luxury 8ply. I kind of winged it… it’s really hard when the recipient of your hand knits are not at easy access for measuring and checking.

DSC_8722

I was really worried I had stuffed the sizing. But then I was relieved to see that I hadn’t, niece M really is that big, and I could have made everything longer.

R0011241

(Looking at this photo, now makes me feel guilty that niece C, didn’t get something made for her at the same time, look at that face! My knitting queue really doesn’t like me.)

Niece M loved the buttons by the way! The buttons are from my Tokyo visit. They’re only decorative in this project. I’m thrilled to have finally put to use a few of the very many gulp! novelty buttons that I purchased. I might have lost my head over the cuteness, with unconfirmed reports of spending $100 on plastic animal buttons in just one store.

I realise I haven’t shared any of these treasures with you yet. As I had to unwrap them from their custom made envelopes when deciding which ones to use for this project. There are many more animals in my button tin now, and I’ll try to remember to share them with you in the future.

460 metres completed for Stash Dash!

 

 

 

 

Pipe dream

I’ve just signed up for Stash Dash 2016. For the uninitiated, Stash Dash is hosted by The Knit Girllls podcast. This is it’s 5th year running. It’s a sort of knit-along of crazy pants proportions. As far as I can tell, there are no prizes of the monetary kind. It’s a challenge for yourself, to achieve the impossible.

The gist of it is, you sign yourself up to knitting/spinning/crafting a certain amount of kilometres for approx. 3 months. The goal posts are, you have a choice of: 3k, 5, 7, 10 or 15k.

The rules are pretty flexible in terms of being allowed to have several WIPs near completion before the start date, as many as you like ::cheating::cough::cheating::. So long as you knit a stitch or row, then cast-off after the challenge has begun you get to count all the meterage of that 1k shawl or jumper or what have you. There are many more guidelines that you can read about on the forum.

Experienced players, plan for this all year in order to achieve the highest possible yarn count. Me? I decided to do it last week on a whim after the event began.

So, I did a little bit of planning at that point. How many km/s did I think I could possible knit in 3 months? I only have a handful of WIPs, many only just started. I wrote these down and the estimated meterage of these FO’s. I then went through my well curated queue and I wrote a few of those things down, all the while calculating the completed metres. And then the dreaming began. I kept adding more and more to my list of possible FOs. And then when I got to 10k, I thought I’ll just add a couple of extras incase I overestimate the amount of finished metres to the FO’s.

I must say, I found this planning part super enjoyable. Whilst I’m only going for the 10k, I’m honestly aware I have no chance of meeting that goal… but it’s going to be fun trying! For one thing I have 13 new WIPs to cast on weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

IMG_2587