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. 4278B34E-C109-4E60-8BFC-34767D88ADDE

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!

2F01F5C8-34C0-463D-A276-56B492BC0B9ALet’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.886EBA17-EED2-4F1E-BBCC-DF8837953935

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.

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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.img_0563

Oh look, cute little Sonia. img_0630

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.60923756210__a739b532-def7-4f87-adb7-541250713d5c

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 🙂

Aldous Sweater

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 DSC_9481crop

And on February 9, I cast off!

I even surprised myself. Look at that smugness.

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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.

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I opted for the split hem version, and to also wear the sweater with the stockinette as the right side.

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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.

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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!)

 

 

January Socks

It’s about that time of year, when I start blogging for a few months and I wonder why I ever stopped.

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This is fair warning dear reader. I’m not consistent, but I have good intentions.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Damn it, I just went to hyperlink Danni above and saw this in her store:

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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).

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She’s lucky the colour is not really me…

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

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

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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.

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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?

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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!

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It was a particularly happy occasion.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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?