Yarn Along – Hooray! Week

Cough, splutter, cough… Welcome to another week of Yarn Along with Ginny and Friends. Go and check out the blog here to see what everyone is knitting and reading this week.

If you haven’t picked up on it already, I’ve had a dreadful cold this week. Well it actually began last week and then took a few days to take hold.

When I was well enough, I finally got down to finishing off my sleeves on the Hooray cardigan and now it’s all finished, hooray! I’d like to give special thanks to Louisa from the Richmond Knitters for suggesting that I knit the reverse stocking stitch sleeves, inside-out, so that I could just knit the sleeves rather than purling the whole way. Brilliant! I love my knitting group and the people in it. More often than not, I get excellent tips from these guys that I would not have come up with on my own.


These photos were taken when I was still a tad unwell, so please forgive the non-smiles and non-head shots, I find it hard to smile in photos at the best of times! My kind photographer said it was him, but I know it was me, and I asked ‘Do I really look like this, how can you be married to me?!’



I am very happy with the outcome. I did end up sewing up the last extra buttonhole I added, then to make it a little less obvious, I transferred that button to the other side of the band to cover said hole. I think the deception works.

My only reservation, and there’s always one; is the shaping around the cables at the bottom of the fronts. It doesn’t sit flat, and I wasn’t really sure why. I popped over to Ravelry to see a whole lot of other people encountered the same thing, so it’s not just me. I saw that one knitter dealt with it, by re-knitting and re-shaping somehow. I didn’t recognise or find this fault in other people’s projects, until I saw it in mine, then I could see it everywhere. I’m a touch disappointed, but not devastated. I still think it’s extremely wearable despite an odd lumpy part around the waist, the cables kind of disguise it. I would like to point out the lumpiness wasn’t visible until after the 8cm of knitted on band was complete. There was no way I was pulling out all my knitting for a slight glitch, that I have no hope of actually fixing anyway (let’s be honest). I haven’t blocked this garment yet, and if this, by some miracle fixes the problem, then I take it all back Veera and your record is intact.

My Hooray Cardigan has been my very first successful ‘Use It Or Lose It’ project. Of the 20 balls of Anny Blatt I had, I’ve used 15. I guess I’ll be losing the last 5 balls to a charity knitter, my job is done here.

I did finish reading Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s book, you know the one with the really long title. I didn’t mind it. I felt like I could relate to parts of it (not that you need to relate to a book to enjoy it, but it helps); funnily enough, one of the last chapters was about how she felt she looked in photos, compared to her ‘prettiness’ in real life, oh the irony. The departure from telling knitting tales, led to a number of parenting stories or stories about her family life. I guess most people are parents right?

I started reading a sample on my Kindle for Rachel Herron’s ‘Pack up the Moon’. I was at the second last page of the sample and was just about to dismiss it as my next read, when, all of a sudden, the author made geographical references to San Francisco, so I’m a little torn as to whether or not to give it a try. The author is a knitter after all, perhaps her character and newly re-acquainted given-up-for-adoption-daughter head down to Imaginknit for some bonding over a bit of yarn shopping? You never know right?


Project Planning


There is a new baby on it’s way in my family. Gosh no, not mine. It will be my sister’s second, a brother or sister for Marilyn. As Marilyn arrived 3 weeks early, I figure I’d better get into action in case the second arrives early too.

Originally my sister had said she would find out the sex of the second child, but now she has decided against that, so I can’t make a gender specific blanket. Oh yes of course, I should say we are talking about baby blankets here. Each of my siblings who have children, gets a blanket per baby. It’s a good system.

I happen to think my sister was quite keen on the blanket I made for Baby William, here:


And for all intents and purposes, this would have been a great option to just make another one, maybe switch the frame colour a little, so it was a little different. I have half the yarn left-over from all the contrast colours and I would only need to purchase the border colour. It would also mean that I would be using stash that is waiting for another baby to arrive in the winter months…

But no, this next baby is arriving right before summer really begins. And because I’m a show off and I like seeing my baby blankets put to use, I’m opting for a cotton version, and something a little different.

Patons put out a great book last year(?) called Modern Crochet: Book 1316 and I bought it. I think I’ll make the ‘Polka Dot Rug’ (picture at the top), but modify the amount of squares so that it is pram size. If their cotton wasn’t a cotton ‘blend’, I would have also used their yarn. But alas I think it’s only 50% cotton. So a Bendigo purchase is on the horizon.

What are you planning to make?


Yarn Along: Looks can be deceiving

Hello there and welcome to another week of ‘Yarn Along’ with Ginny and friends.


By looking at this photo you may be led to believe that my Hooray Cardigan is finished… I’m rather sorry to say that I still have the sleeves to go.


As I was nearing the end of the wide band around the body of the cardigan, I thought it would be a good idea to pop in to Buttonmania. Kate did her usual marvellous job of finding the perfect buttons for my project. Do you know how some people are just born to do the job that they do? I was rather charmed by the addition of her business card with this purchase (sorry about the dodgy photo):

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 4.47.47 pm

I’ve added more buttons and buttonholes than what was prescribed in the pattern. I wanted the option to be able to button up the cardigan past my belly, but in all honesty after trying the cardigan on now, it probably wasn’t necessary.

I’m still listening to Game of Thrones and I’m finishing off reading Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee’s latest book (hey, I don’t have a lot of time left to read!). Her chapter titled ‘Dirt and Swiss Cheese’, resonated with me particularly well. I’ve been hearing a lot about Rachel Herron’s novels, so I might give that a try next.

See you all next week after I travel through Sleeve-land.


Exciting new things

The last few weeks I’ve been checking out a few ‘new to me’ knitting video-casts; which are podcasts with pictures!

I can’t emphasise how much I’m enjoying this new development. When I thought listening to podcasts was pretty awesome, having actual footage of the podcaster presenting is even better. The funnest part is the ‘show and tell’. Whether it’s WIP’s of FO’s that are being discussed to ‘in the mail’ segments. Yes, even fabulous hand-dyers and designers get excited about woolly packages, just like me. Best of all, it’s wonderful to see, watch and understand how ‘down-to-earth’, generous, and ‘normal’ these knitting heroes are. I think when you record yourself on video, there is no where to hide!

You should give it a try!

Check out Skein Yarns and the Susan B Anderson video casts on iTunes. There’s a couple of others I’m still to try, if you have any recommendations please let me know.

Warning: Watching knitting video-casts could lead to more project queueing, etsy purchasing, book purchasing and project dreaming, you have been warned.



My Honey Cowl is moving along, it’s my social knitting project so it’s not getting a lot of attention. It’s about halfway through and I’m loving how smooshy it feels. I’m still hoping to have it done for this cold weather.

Yarn Along: The one where nothing much changes


Welcome to another week of Yarn Along with Ginny! Go and take a look at what everyone else is knitting and reading this week over on her blog.

I’m still reading Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee’s latest book: ‘The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I gave Up On’. I’m about half-way through and I’m beginning to think there is no knitting content within these pages! It is a departure from her other books where between the stories of life, there is always knitting. Perhaps all the knitting stories have been told, for now? Nevertheless, I’m still enjoying it and the tales or truths she tells. As she reflects about stories of her own life, it makes me think of mine. I could never jump hurdles myself either.

I am still listening to the first half of the first book of Game of Thrones, it sure as hell beats reading it myself. I am enjoying it, but I somehow want it to move a bit faster, I already know what’s happening and what will be happening for probably the next 100 hours of listening time…

I have been knitting feverishly on my Hooray Cardigan. I’m up to the rather large button bands, and then still have the sleeves to do. The good news is, I can throw the cable needle away because that part of the project is complete.

In other knitting news, my 7 year old niece Mary has taken to knitting with great gusto, and without my involvement! I was so excited to hear about her keenness, that I took over a ‘few’ supplies to nurture her enthusiasm. A friend at work has also taken up knitting recently, and this week I helped her complete her first cowl by stitching it together for her. Hooray for new knitters!

I hope to have a picture heavy post next week, sorry about that.

Yarn Along: And the cables continue


Welcome to another week of Yarn Along with Ginny! Go and take a look at what everyone else is knitting and reading this week over on her blog.

I’m reading Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee’s latest book: ‘The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I gave Up On’. I think that I’ve read all of her other books as well, but it’s been a little while between readings. I have to say I am enjoying it very much so far. Not a lot of knit talk yet, but I’m ok with that. The book feels warm and cozy and there’s that humour that I love about her. I’ve only read the first few chapters but it’s the kind of book you pick up and feel that you are supposed to be reading this book right now, it’s comforting and familiar and it somehow has a message for you.

I’ve progressed with my Hooray Cardigan, and I’m pretty certain now at this stage this ‘Use it or lose it’ project is a keeper. I’ve tried it on and it doesn’t feel as scratchy as it does to knit. I think I would like to make this cardigan again at some stage with a softer yarn as well.

I’ve also been listening to the first Game of Thrones book, which is going wonderfully well.

See you all next week.


Shibui Knits Mix Party


On Tuesday evening I attended a very bespoke party at Woolarium, it was their very first Shibui Mix Party! Let me explain. Shibui make very fine luxurious yarns of all kinds of fibres. Most of the yarns are fine, so putting 2 of them together not only can create a unique luxury fabric, you also get about an 8 ply or greater gauge, it’s WIN/WIN.

The evening had the added bonus of having Kirsten Johnstone attend and take us through the process of swatching (read: playing) with the yarn. I had a total fan girl moment, admitting to her that we were Ravelry friends and that in fact she friended me first, you know, before she was famous! And boy is she famous! I am now kicking myself for not purchasing a pattern leaflet and getting her to autograph it, but you know, I only think of these things whilst I’m in the car travelling AWAY from the store… but I digress.

It was a lot of fun. Sharron the store owner did an amazing job in the organisation of it. Down to coding all of our little samples of yarn to the hand-out with all the formulas for putting the yarns together. Genius! I am in awe of it all. I didn’t make a rash buying decision, although I did come pretty close, hello Aperture. Just now, I’m enjoying doing the swatching of it all and pondering the possibilities. I see a lot of Shibui in my future.

I think this may the first of many events Sharron does at Woolarium, so you should totally get in touch. But if you find out about an event before I do, can you please put my name down too? This one was a sell-out.


How shopping for Wollmeise got me to Stitches


It’s time! It’s time I went back to San Francisco and complete what was not done (properly) the first time. I’m going to Stitches West next year!

It’s funny how my experience in ‘stalking’ Wollmeise (or insert any other online lustful yarn brand here) has been a skill that was transferrable when it came to booking for Stitches.

Firstly I booked my hotel. Rather than wait for the hotel blocks to be booked out and my dreams of visiting SF again flash before my very eyes, I learnt I could book a room a few days before at full rate (which was only slightly higher than the Stitches rate). Done.

To make my time more enjoyable I thought I’d take a class (it also gives me access to the market preview the evening before the market sessions officially opens to the public). I decided on Anna Zilboorg’s ‘Surprisingly special techniques’ as my number one choice. I also understood this might also be the number one choice of most people as she is the keynote speaker for the event itself.

12am on Monday evening, my Wollmeise shopping experience came into play. I was logged in to the XRX (the home of Stitches website). I had the class page up and when the clock ticked over to midnight, I refreshed my page, placed the class in my cart and I checked out. At this point the adrenaline kicked in. I submitted my payment details and then came my confirmation. Wow what a rush!

Speaking of Wollmeise now this is the ironic part, last Friday night after a tip-off on Twitter, thanks Martina Behm! I rushed over to the wm website to see a number of multicoloured skeins of 4 ply available. I have never seen this. Ever. I played, I popped 3 different skeins in my cart just to see what would happen(!). It seems the site now has a new shopping system, I had these skeins for 10 mins until I purchased them or I lost them.

The universe has a sense of humour that is just plain cruel. I removed the items from my cart and closed my window… because I’m going to STITCHES! I’m excited, can’t you tell?