A close finish

Last week I wrote how I was on the home stretch to finishing my knee-high Fluorite socks in a KAL with my sister.

On the weekend, I went out for dinner with just a few rows left to go on my socks…  Whilst D was in the restroom I checked my emails on my phone… and saw this message from my sister…

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Can you believe it?! I certainly couldn’t! It serves me right for thinking I could come first in KAL (yes Knit-alongs are a race!)

I’m happy for my sister and I’m happy for me because my socks are now also finished.

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Belated Christmas

The trouble with going away to New York for Christmas, is the catch-up required once back home. I’ve never shopped for Christmas in January, and I can honestly say it’s much harder than shopping pre-Christmas, it is hell! For the most part, the things that are left in stores are the things no one wanted to buy in December. If I ever go away at Christmas time again (never again), I’ll start shopping in May.

So my year hasn’t officially begun yet, because I’m not done with Christmas yet. But I’m getting there…

After shopping for the kids, I was a little stumped for what to get my mum this year (last year). I then remembered some yarn in my stash that would be the perfect colour for her, and maybe not so much for me. And rather than just giving her the yarn, I decided that an IOU sweater was in order.

So I wrapped the yarn as a gift and as I gave it to her, I explained that she wouldn’t be taking her gift home today. My mum looked confused at first, and then really happy when I told her I would make her a cardigan.

Now my mum is not normally gracious about receiving gifts, she would prefer we didn’t spend any money on her. A handmade gift on the other hand, is a completely different story.

I know she really liked the idea of this gift because she reminded me to take her measurements, whilst I was distracted by the festivities that were going on. I also received several text messages from her about it after she got home.

This is what she looked like after receiving a hand-spun, hand-knit shawl made by me several years ago:

I hope the cardigan lives up to her expectations.

 

 

A tale of two sisters

Late last year, when I had no business casting-on for an unplanned project (I was in the middle of knitting accessories for our Christmas visit to New York)… I got an email from my sister who lives in Perth.

A bit of back story first. S and I were avid knitters as teenagers. I didn’t stop knitting since that time. S on the other hand, has returned to knitting in the last year or so with vengeance. Now many things have changed in ‘the knitting world’ since we were young. Well, we now have… Ravelry and there’s ‘Unicorn’ yarn and the crazy updates that go along with purchasing unique hand dyed yarn, indy pattern designers etc.

So back to the email, S was pretty miffed about not being able to purchase La Bien Aimée yarn for the Andrea Mowry Fluorite socks knit-along, because it had sold out when she happened to have looked at their online store. I was not surprised, I don’t even have any La Bien Aimée yarn in my stash!

Being the good sister and enabler that I am. I wanted to help her find an alternative yarn for her project so that she could participate in the knit-along during Thanksgiving. I spent more than half a day ‘researching’ and compiling skeins of yarn that could be purchased within Australia at a fraction of the cost of a La Bien Aimée kit.

And this is where I came unstuck… I decided I needed to join her for this knit along! Such is the way when you’re ‘helping’ a friend purchase yarn.

The yarn I selected is Hedgehog fibres. We only needed 7 colours for the knee high ‘faded’ sock project, but I got 2 extra colours just in case. Did you know it’s really hard buying yarn for fades on a computer screen?!

S made a start on her socks right away whilst I was finishing up a NY hat. It was a lot of fun doing this knit-along with my sister. Neither of us have finished our socks yet… at least I don’t think S has. I kind of want to finish mine before her, so I haven’t asked for an update, so as to tip her off hahaha… (but I think she might read the blog…)

I knit on my socks whilst in New York, it’s the only project I took.

The first sock is now complete and I’m past the heel on my second sock. I’m hoping to finish these up in the next week so I can begin a special new project. More on that later.

…Meanwhile, my sister has been back to the La bien Aimee website and has purchased herself a Fluorite sock kit. The force is strong with this one.

This is for (future) me

So I blogged for a little bit last year, and then I stopped. I really can’t say why. Not because it’s a secret, I just really don’t know why.

I got the notification for my blog renewal, and I wondered whether it was time to give it up, was this the year to let it go?

Then, I went back to my last posts of last year, and it surprised me that I had even stuck it out for 5 months (considering I wrote just one post in 2017). Oh yeah, I wrote about stuff and my makes and I had nice photos of things for 5 months. And then nothing. I didn’t write about the epic hat making of winter 2018 which saw me knit about 20 hats for family and friends, including these little people…

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I didn’t write about anything past May. And I had a good year, with lots of makes and fun things to talk about.

I liked looking back at my posts…

I think I’ve finally found the purpose of my blog. It’s not for the traffic… trust me, it’s not that! I write for me.

So hi there future me, this is 2019. *

*friends and voyeurs of knitting are also very welcome.

 

Don’t look for holidays…

I’ve done something extraordinarily spontaneous this week. I’ve booked to go to Vogue Knitting Live San Francisco!

I only became aware of the event about a week ago. And even then, I hadn’t considered going because I thought it would be held outside of SF, like a long way out as Stitches West is.

Then on Thursday morning, that all changed when I discovered it was being held downtown in SF. By Thursday evening I had booked in. Crazy!

It’s my first time to a Vogue Knitting Live event. I’m thrilled with my itinerary of classes with Isabell Kraemer, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Romi Hill and Nathan Taylor of the Sockmatician podcast. I’ll also be attending lectures by Clara Parkes, Ambah O’Brien and Cecelia Campochiaro. There’s a Gala dinner with Kaffe Fassett on the Saturday evening. So many exciting things to look forward to.

I didn’t think I would be traveling for a knitting event for a little while, but having one in a city that I love, was pretty hard to say no to.

Sleeveland

My uncle passed away last week. It was unexpected despite his health concerns and his age. It’s been a difficult week.

I don’t have a lot of relatives, he was the only uncle I’ve ever met. He was an important figure in my childhood, creating many lasting memories, from pulling out my wonky teeth (with no pain whatsoever) to taking me to the rubbish tip with my dad. Where I got to watch them unloading the trailer from the safety of the back seat of his white ford falcon. I remember being surrounded by a wasteland of rubbish, the seagulls and that smell. Such an adventure.

He was very cool and fun. He was my only relative who danced at our wedding. Our wedding was unlike our usual family weddings, in that we had ‘Australian’ music, not a loud Slovenian band. We chose to do things our own way, turns out that’s how he liked to live too. He had a very happy life and I’ll never forget him.

So I’m going to keep knitting this (second) sleeve and think of him.

Stash appreciation and LYS day

Over Easter I had a stash appreciation day with my ‘living room yarn stash’. Whilst it’s always a good idea to stop and smell the roses, or take stock of how much bloody yarn you have, I’m afraid stash appreciation day was born out of a sore hand. I didn’t want to risk hurting my hand any further, so what is a knitter to do if they can’t knit?!

Playing with yarn, is almost as good as knitting with it. I could give it a try for at least one day anyway. So I pulled out all of my ikea boxes and spread out the stash across the coffee table.IMG_7287IMG_7288My hand-dyed sock yarn takes pride of place in my ‘collection’, I’m powerless against a beautiful skein of delicious yarn.

I quite like pink…IMG_7290… sprinkled with greenIMG_7291IMG_7293… think of the amazing sock yarn blanket I would be able to make with the left-overs of these skeins?  Only if they were left-overs and not complete skeins…

So I reorganised my boxes and tried to place the skeins in more logical places, for the record I remember purchasing each of the yarns I ‘found’. There weren’t any surprises, just lots of love for the yarn I have collected; and ideas, I’m looking forward to starting some new projects once things return to normal.

If you don’t have a LYS (local yarn store) at home (like me!), it’s LYS appreciation day next Saturday. I know that Sunspun in Melbourne is participating and offering a generous discount on that day. You should go, you might see me there!

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So liberating

The knitting of the body of my Ursula cardigan was finally complete last week.IMG_7262IMG_7263It then took days and days of reinforcing the steek stitches in order to prepare for cutting my knitting.IMG_7264Reinforcing the front and the armholes using crochet stitchesIMG_7267Then it was finally time to cut. I was slow and careful, only cutting one or two strands at a time. It was thrilling and satisfying. IMG_7268IMG_7271It was rather fun. So far it seems nothing is falling apart.

I’ll be in sleeve island if anyone is looking for me, I hope it’s a short stay.

The pom-pom dress

IMG_7076I’ve always been fond of a good pom-pom, even more so since Clover came out with the best pom-pom makers ever. So it’s of little surprise to me that I was immediately attracted to this pom-pom fabric when I spotted it in Spotlight a number of months ago.DSC_9111I was in the market for some knit fabric to make another Coco dress by Tilly and the Buttons. So against my better judgment (am I ever going to sew projects that look normal?!) I purchased the fabric like a giddy child.DSC_9107Months went by, I eventually I cut out the fabric… then a few more months passed… and one weekend (day) I sewed all the pieces together. I had to keep cutting away some of the pom-poms that were too close to the seam lines. You try getting your machine over one of those pom-poms, with or without a walking foot!

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DSC_9109And my pom-pom dress is finished. I have to say, I’m pretty delighted with it. I could make another five Coco dresses, it’s a great pattern. Straightforward to make and so comfortable to wear. This is the second one I’ve made, the first was red and white striped.DSC_9112I also somehow managed to have the pom-poms not fall directly on the apex of my breasts!

The jury is still out on whether I can actually wear this to work with some leggings in winter, what do you think?