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).

DSC08709

She’s lucky the colour is not really me…

DSC08715

Not that I would dare keep it, my mum deserves nice things.

DSC08719

Needless to say, she loves it. Perhaps I’ll surprise her with another jumper’s worth of yarn next Christmas?

DSC08722

 

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.

img_8860

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?

img_8859.jpg

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.

img_8856You 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.

 

Happy Birthday Dad

My dad celebrated his 82nd birthday last week!

img_8883

It was a particularly happy occasion.

img_8910

It’s the best I’ve seen my dad in ages, coupled by the fact that he smiled and he seemed pretty happy. He doesn’t say a lot these days, but I could tell he was happy to be the centre of attention.

img_8873

I decided to knit him a hat for his birthday. After knitting a million hats last year for family and friends, I realised I hadn’t knit one for my dad. The pattern I used is by Woolly Wormhead and is called Dylan’s Hat. It’s a great pattern! I used a super wash yarn so there’s less chance of the hat being ruined accidentally in the Nursing Home wash.

img_8878

He was thrilled! He willingly modelled the hat, despite the 40 plus degree temperature outside. It fit him really well too. The only modification I made was to increase the crown stitches to make a bigger hat.

Now back to my mum’s cardigan…

My Fluorite socks

My Fluorite socks have been finished for a couple of weeks, but it’s been challenging to take some FO photo’s in the heat of Melbourne.  dsc08694

And here’s my sister’s pair (as modelled by her), she lives in Perth, so I can hardly complain about the Melbourne heat.

img_8863

There are some variations to how we each ‘faded’ our colours, but ultimately they look like sisters, like us (!).

I think Andrea Mowry has written a really great pattern. I knit the 60 stitch size and my socks fit like a pair of gloves. The increases for the leg fit perfectly. The Fleegle heel she uses also fits fabulously, I’ve never experienced this in a toe-up sock. I’ve never liked knitting toe-up socks until now.

I would like to make these again, but next time I think I’ll go with the boot length pattern, that’s the length I generally wear all year round.

It’s fair to say I’m a bit of a Andrea Mowry fan-girl now. I’ve got several of her patterns on my wish list to knit. My only regret is that I wasn’t wearing one of her designs when I met her at Soul Craft last year. It can be a bit of an ice-breaker when meeting a knitting celebrity, instead I stood there like a gushing idiot! She probably gets that a lot…

 

 

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!

IMG_7252

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?

My Sophie Cardigan

I have a sister named Sophie, unfortunately for her this cardigan is all mine! It’s the Sophie Cardigan by Jennifer Wood. It was finished last year, but it’s only just got it’s photoshoot now.DSC_9034 (1)The yarn was a Stitches West purchase from a couple of years ago. It’s Miss Babs Kaweah. I love the colour. DSC_9037A couple of my SF friends did a knit-along with me. Monica finished first, she’s so speedy. I finished about a month or two later… and last I heard it was sitting in the naughty corner for Sarah. The pattern whilst it is ingenious, it’s not without it’s clarity problems.DSC_9060DSC_9061And after being published for 4 or more years, I got an errata notification for it this week! It’s still a great pattern, and I say go for it if you’re thinking about it.ORG_DSC07953One of the reasons it hadn’t been photographed up to this point, is the cropped nature of it… I wish I had of lengthened it, as it would fit into the wardrobe I have now a lot better. ORG_DSC07960ORG_DSC07966ORG_DSC07973But I still love it.

My Ursula cardigan is progressing really well. I wonder what ‘girl’ named sweater I’ll knit next?

The gift box conundrum and why I feel like a terrible person

I’ve heard of knitters who gift knit all year round, not for anyone in particular, but for ‘the gift box’. The handy box which can be turned to in time of an emergency for a last-minute-gift.

I wrote about knitting a sweet little baby cardigan for ‘friends’ of ours. But sometime between casting-on the project and missing my deadline, did I realise that our friendship well, wasn’t. exactly. what. I. thought. It’s a bit embarrassing really, but it’s no big deal.

Since then I’ve debated with myself ‘to just send them the cardigan, you made it for them after all’. But then the practical side of me says, ‘hey, don’t be daft and give a special gift to people who are just going to feel awkward about receiving it’. And hey ‘what a great little gift for the gift box, keep it for a rainy day’. Be practical!

Clearly, I’ve been overthinking it.

So here’s one for the gift box, it also joins a couple of hats that I knit last year.

IMG_7220IMG_7223IMG_7222

Sweet Bunting by Laura Chau

Delayed gratification

Last year I participated in Yarngasm’s Box o’ Sox KAL. Which means, I set myself the task to knit 12 pairs of socks within the 12 months. Whilst I didn’t make it, I did complete five pairs of socks.

IMG_6899

One of the provisos of the KAL is that the socks are unworn for the duration of the KAL. So whilst I felt a little defeated about falling short of my goal… pulling out a pristine pair of socks every few days in January has been pretty awesome. Before you ask, yes I wear hand-knit socks all year round, I have cold feet most of the time!

I have enjoyed this experience so much, that I’m considering continuing the tradition of knitting a stash of socks (it may not be 12 pairs), and holding back their release into my sock drawer until January next year.

IMG_6898

I still have the unknit skeins of yarn in my wooden box, and rather than returning them to the stash or rehashing a whole new set of 12 skeins to knit this year. I’m going to continue on with these beauties, because my feelings towards them have not changed. I’ve added just one new skein, it’s HalfBaked Handdyed’s yarn in the Richmond Knitter’s exclusive colour way called ‘Audrey’. It was dyed especially for us last year and I want to get it on the needles this year.

IMG_7082

There’s eight skeins of yarn in my box. I get the feeling a couple more will be added soon, more on that in another post.

On Monday night at knit night, we were discussing sock drawers and how to let go of socks that have had their day. I do struggle with this concept, especially as I’ve repaired so many of my socks. I think of the hours spent knitting them and the memories of the time they were made or the province of the yarn itself. I guess I was just being silly.

So I pulled out the socks that had been in the ‘to-be-repaired’ pile, and did a stocktake of my sock drawer. I decided I can do without these socks. Some of the pairs that needed to be repaired were on their 2nd repair, I’m seriously never making socks again without any nylon. The two pairs I pulled out of my sock drawer, one was the ill-fitting ‘Skew’ socks that I never wear. The other is a pair that sadly felted from the very beginning and should never have been made into socks. I know better now.

IMG_7081

So if you’re keeping score, that’s 5 pairs in and 6 pairs out. I’m hoping not to lose so many next year in the sock stocktake, but I feel better for the ones that have gone, They were holding back my sock drawer!

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