A lonely knit-along
I’ve been finishing up some old WIPs from last year, now that all of my Spinning ‘work’ is done. I haven’t cast-on anything new, even though I really want to…
A couple of weeks back I completed the Tulip socks for mum.
I love the yarn (Fibreworks from deep-stash) and the pattern (by Cookie A). I’m looking forward to giving these to my mum for Mother’s Day along with another pair I finished in February; but it’s cold enough now, so perhaps I should just surprise her with an Easter gift?
I’m now focussing on my Stephen West shawl from his MKAL of last year, Twists & Turns. I still want the thing, but it’s kind of sad to feel like I’m knitting on my own without the pressure of a deadline! Having a deadline is so motivating, well it is to me anyway.
I’m still just on Clue 2 (of 4). I abandoned this project at the beginning of Clue 2 whilst the actual knit-along was still going on to concentrate to my spinning work. I really appreciate all the work Stephen puts into the step-by-step videos on his YouTube channel for his mystery knit-alongs; and it kind of makes it feel like I’m still part of the knit-along, if that makes sense.
I think I might cast-on something new once this shawl is finished. I deserve it! I’ve got a couple of other WIPs: a patchwork quilt and a crochet blanket, but as they’re different disciplines I think a new knitting project or 2 are in order.
Yesterday was hand-in-my-folio-day for my Spinning certificate at the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria.
Officially the course began back in November of 2021, by then our start was already delayed by a few months due to Melbourne lock-downs. At the time, the course was a good distraction from what was happening around us; but also, I’d heard about this course for a little while now, and I decided to jump in and commit. Did anyone else get ‘why not?’ vibes from the pandemic.
Here it is in all it’s glory! There’s a few more samples in there since I showed you last. These photos were taken yesterday morning. I officially stopped adding to my folio on Thursday evening. There was a couple of things I still could have spun, but I didn’t want to rush or burn the midnight oil, when I’ve already met the requirements of my folio… and theoretically, I didn’t have time to spin the singles, ply them, wash them, then dry them in time to put them in the folio.
So this weekend, I’m taking it slowly. It’s super nice that it is the long-weekend, giving me time to tidy away the spinning paraphernalia that has taken up my living room space for the past 16 months. I’m doing some knitting, and dreaming of casting on a new project or 2 (even though I have some works in progress). And I’m thinking about what’s next?
I officially completed all of the necessary work for my spinning certificate last weekend. It is truly hard to believe. So instead of celebrating with a new cast-on or just plain old knitting, I’m looking for more things to add to my folio. There’s still 2 weeks before I am able to hand it in, and I’m in that weird space. I can stop right now… or I can spin more samples of fibres that I didn’t need to do as part of my folio requirements.
This week, I’ve spun boucle, a new sample of spiral yarn, I’ve spun Himalayan nettles, ramie, hemp and yak! That’s a lot for a week (for me), but D has been away for work, so there’s been few distractions. And I still have 2 weeks to go… in the spinning stash of fibres acquired during the course, there’s still about 6-8 different samples of fleeces, milk protein fibre, mint fibre, several different kinds of silk, that I can still add… so I think I’m going to keep going, because if I don’t spin it now, when will I?
I really am looking forward to handing it all in, because then it really will be over. I will obviously be sad about it. The course has consumed me, it’s been wonderful and joyous to be doing this fun thing with these great women once a month for the past 16 + months. I’m going to miss it.
In all of this, I’ve been plugging away at my mum’s socks, I need to take something to knit night! Now that this pair is done, I’ve got one more pair on the needles, I’m planning to give her both pairs for Mother’s Day.
See you on the flip side
Japan Sleeves and a birthday in ISO
My long-wanted Japan Sleeves jumper was finished in April, I’d only cast-on in February but it’s been apart of my knitting dreams since Joji Locateli first released the pattern.
I am enjoying the freedom of casting on a new jumper and a pair of socks each and every month.
Because whilst it’s unlikely for me to get these projects done within the month, at least I’m fulfilling part of my ambitious knitting fantasies. Casting on!
Let’s not dwell on the reality that I was meant to be going to Japan once again this year, and making Japan Sleeves was just part of the excitement building for my return trip in September. I am safe, I am well, I am lucky.
I celebrated another birthday. Not the usual way and it wasn’t bad.
I got a kindle and I’m enjoying reading again, I’m making the time to read again.
When I placed my leather cover on my new kindle it reminded me of my Kinder photo book. Whilst the cover of that album is vinyl (not leather!), the kindle is also brown and the same size.
Oh look, cute little Sonia.
I also received a few other lovely gifts from family and friends. But I didn’t feel like I needed any other ‘special’ gifts for myself.
I mean who needs anything, getting cards like these are my favourite thing. Thanks niece M for reminding me how old I am on the front of the card. Very artistic!
I hope to be back soon to catch you up on all of my new projects, of which there are many 🙂
I’m surrounded by sweater knitters in my knitting group, and to be honest I’m getting a little jealous by how quickly they can ‘bang out a sweater’ to term a phrase.
There were not many sweaters to speak of last year so this year I decided to change it up, the goal is to cast-on one new sweater per month for me.
On 1 January, I cast-on for Aldous by Isabell Kraemer
And on February 9, I cast off!
I even surprised myself. Look at that smugness.
I enjoyed the construction of this sweater. The yoke is shaped by using a modified version of the contiguous set-in sleeves method developed by Susie Myers.
I opted for the split hem version, and to also wear the sweater with the stockinette as the right side.
The yarn is ‘Field of Dreams’ a collaboration by The Purl Box and Great Ocean Road Mill. It was a lovely yarn to work with. It’s going to work nicely over a pair of jeans. The blend of polwarth, linen and suri alpaca is deceptively warm. Probably perfect for the Bendigo Sheep Show which is where this yarn was purchased last year.
The only alteration I made to the pattern, was to knit a double collar. This was to correct my own mistake. I originally knit the collar with the same size needles as the body (because I’m lazy). By the time I was halfway through the yoke, I realised the collar was never going to sit right without some intervention. It was folding over to the front. So I picked up the stitches around the base of the collar on the right side using smaller needles. Once I reached the height of the original collar, I knit the cast on edge stitches together with the next row of stitches, then in the following row I cast-off once more. Phew! I’m really happy with the collar now.
I look forward to knitting another Isabell Kraemer sweater later this year (if I stay on track!)
It’s about that time of year, when I start blogging for a few months and I wonder why I ever stopped.
This is fair warning dear reader. I’m not consistent, but I have good intentions.
Like my intention to knit a pair of socks and a sweater for every month in 2020. Stop laughing. I know this is probably (most likely) not going to happen.
Let’s be honest, this is a rough goal. Like these socks before you. They were cast-on in December as my ‘Christmas cast-on’. But I’m calling them my January socks done.
The yarn is by Danni of Half-baked Hand-dyed. It’s a special Christmas colour way that she dyed for our knitting group, The Richmond Knitters. How lucky are we to have a resident hand-dyer of yarns and a lovely person/knitter/spinner all round as part of our group.
So, I know what you’re thinking, we’re already into February, where’s your January Sweater Sonia? It’s only a blog post away!
Damn it, I just went to hyperlink Danni above and saw this in her store:
You should totally go get it, so I don’t…
February socks and sweater have been cast-on. This is the only way I can fool myself I’m totally on top of my goals. More on that soon.
My Mum’s Cardigan
You may recall, I gave my mum yarn for Christmas… so that I could knit her a cardigan.
My mum knits and crochets a lot for the grandkids, but I don’t remember the last time she knit anything for herself.
I had quite a bit of consultation with my mum, about the style and fit she was wanting in the cardigan. I then set about to find the perfect pattern to match her requirements. Georgetown by Hannah Fettig ticked all the boxes. Surprisingly, it took me 6 weeks to knit (I thought I could knock it out in 4).
Once I blocked it, I knew I had nailed it. The ribbed shawl collar needed the wet blocking, as it was riding up at the bottom of the fronts. It’s amazing what a little bit of water can do.
Then after a sneaky little try on myself, I gave it to my mum last weekend. (It fit me very well too).
She’s lucky the colour is not really me…
Not that I would dare keep it, my mum deserves nice things.
Needless to say, she loves it. Perhaps I’ll surprise her with another jumper’s worth of yarn next Christmas?
Box o’ sox 2018
Last year was the second year I participated in the Box o’ Sox KAL which is a yearly Knit along, run by Kristen from the Voolenvine podcast. It’s where you aim to cast on and knit 12 pairs of socks for the duration of the year and then take a photo of them presented in a box of your choice at the end of the year.
In 2017 I knit 5 pairs of socks (out of the possible 12 ha!).
Still… beginning the year with 5 pristine (and unworn) pairs of hand knitted socks is a real luxury for someone who loves to wear socks all the time.
In 2018 I thought I could do better, but I only managed 3 pairs. It wasn’t a big sock knitting year, for a couple of reasons. I abandoned a pair of socks I absolutely hated knitting (and they were turning out rubbish). And then at the end of the year I cast on and didn’t finish the knee-high socks in time to be counted. Did I mention I also knit close to 20 hats in Winter?
2018 Socks From left to right: 1. Yarn is by Half-baked Hand-dyed in the Richmond Knitter’s colour way of 2017 ‘Audrey’. 2. Opal sock mini skeins from an Advent Calendar 3. Also by Danni from Half-baked Hand-dyed!
And yet I’m still left with this beautiful box of inspiration for the 2019 Box o’ Sox. A couple of new skeins found their way into the box during last year admittedly.
You may ask yourself, why do I set myself up for failure?
I may never knit 12 pairs of socks in a single year, but nothing compares to a new set of socks to start the year off right. New socks are like freshly ironed sheets, of which I’m also a massive fan of! So here’s to 2019 of being betterer.