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

Winter set business

Hi there, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve touched base, so I thought I had better get a post in before it became too long again.

Stash Dash is going on and I’ve now almost completed this year’s ‘Winter set’ for my husband. Knitting Damian’s Winter set, is an annual tradition (I copied Sharon, because her husband gets a winter set each year, and my husband found out). Knitting for Damian is enjoyable, but it’s not always the easiest, particularly when one is ‘competing’ in Stash Dash and all you want to do is knit, knit, knit!! You see, Damian is a fuss-pot… so there’s lots of trial and error, and ripping out of knitting if the fit isn’t quite right; but I want him to be happy so that he’ll wear the Winter set for years to come, so I just take a breath and start again. I’ve only got 28 inches left on the scarf (beanie and mitts are completed), and then I’m off the hook for another year!

Here are some beanies I’ve knit for Damian in years past.

R0011257

They are very plain, that is always the brief.

Recently, Damian wore one of these beanies to work (whilst waiting for his 2016 beanie to be knitted) and a colleague of his made a very disparaging comment about his hat. She was told, in fact, the beanie was made by me, and knit from wool that was my hand spun, and when he wears it, he is reminded by how much his wife loves him. Boy was she sorry…

So I decided to change it up a little this year. Rather than the usual plain hobo winter set, I decided I was going to knit Damian a ‘Country Road’ type Winter set with macho cables.

DSC01437

DSC01435

DSC01434

The scarf was also planned to be very cabled. But there was a change of direction, I’d like to say it was because I listened to Damian who said he didn’t want a thick heavy scarf. There is now a simple 2 x 2 rib scarf in the works, and it’s nearly done! The fibre is Kathy’s fibres: Fine Merino. She does lovely dyeing and her fibres are lovely to work with. It was 3-plied to make about an 8 -10 ply wool. It was purchased at last years Bendigo Show, which is coming up very soon this year again. I CANNOT WAIT! More on that soon.

I hope Damian loves this year’s Winter set, even if it wasn’t his usual plain set of winter accessories. The proof will be in the wearing.

Rainbow love

There’s something about a rainbow or a gradient that is pretty irresistible to knit. Rainbows in particular are probably the funnest thing you could knit for kids or adult socks.

I finally got around to knitting a rainbow ‘something’ for niece M.

DSC_8714

She’s getting older and bigger you know, so knitting for her now takes about a third to half the time it would take to knit for myself! I used a tried and tested pattern, the Tulips cardigan. I’ve made another one of these, when she was littler.

DSC_4708

Which is now currently being worn by her little sister.

I needed to make some slight adjustments to the pattern as it’s written for 10 ply, and I was using Bendigo Luxury 8ply. I kind of winged it… it’s really hard when the recipient of your hand knits are not at easy access for measuring and checking.

DSC_8722

I was really worried I had stuffed the sizing. But then I was relieved to see that I hadn’t, niece M really is that big, and I could have made everything longer.

R0011241

(Looking at this photo, now makes me feel guilty that niece C, didn’t get something made for her at the same time, look at that face! My knitting queue really doesn’t like me.)

Niece M loved the buttons by the way! The buttons are from my Tokyo visit. They’re only decorative in this project. I’m thrilled to have finally put to use a few of the very many gulp! novelty buttons that I purchased. I might have lost my head over the cuteness, with unconfirmed reports of spending $100 on plastic animal buttons in just one store.

I realise I haven’t shared any of these treasures with you yet. As I had to unwrap them from their custom made envelopes when deciding which ones to use for this project. There are many more animals in my button tin now, and I’ll try to remember to share them with you in the future.

460 metres completed for Stash Dash!

 

 

 

 

Me Made May Envy

I’m here to tell you, I once again have not participated in MMM. Every year since it’s inception I’ve been envious and this year is no different. But next year, definitely next year, I’m in. Can someone please remind me in April?

IMG_2368

At the end of April I went away with some crafty girls for a weekend in Hepburn Springs. I took several projects (as I always do) and I worked on all of them except 1 (the rooster tapestry pictured above).

IMG_2387

The weather was terribly gloomy that weekend, and we had one very large thunderstorm during Saturday night. It was ace! Rubbish weather makes for a great craft weekend, because no one feels guilty about staying inside.

I was multi-craftual (it is so a word), finally! I made a button from a kit I bought in Tokyo. The instructions were in Japanese, but mostly I could tell what to do by the charts and illustrations, the rest I used Google Translate for (which is amazing if you’ve never tried it).

I was inspired by everyone else’s projects. I should have brought my hexagon patchwork too, this one is Bek’s.

I finished my ‘Christmas Socks’ and began crocheting some coasters from another Tokyo souvenir from Avril yarn, this is a photo of the coasters since the weekend.

I feel like I’ve been a little multi-craftual now, and I enjoyed it. I still have much to do. I have many projects from my days as a stitcher to complete and some to start. I kept all the good stuff and I still love my choices, so it just goes to show stashing can work sometimes.

IMG_2476This little cherub was presented with her ‘Sweet Bunting’ cardigan yesterday. She is a very excitable bub, so it was hard to get a shot of her not moving and clapping! I’ll have to get some better photos when my photographer sees her next time.

Lastly my birthday present has (finally) arrived, stay tuned for the unboxing!

Birthday Month

April is always my favourite month of the year! Unfortunately this year for at least 2 weeks of it, I’ve had a terrible cold. I don’t do sick very well. I didn’t take any sick days, because I wasn’t sick enough, but I also didn’t get any better either.

Things are looking up today though, less snot, less coughing. Tomorrow could be a mucus free day!

Now whilst my birthday has come and gone, one very special birthday present is still on it’s way to me (my fault, I put my order in with DH late). I can’t wait to show you when it turns up!

I got many lovely gifts from family and friends (lucky me!), but I was particularly touched by this one:

IMG_2329

It’s a miniature ornamental spinning wheel that’s been in my family for as long as I can remember, before I even knew what a spinning wheel was. Perhaps one day I’ll have a full sized version of it in my stable of Spinning Wheels (there are 3 now!)

Other fun things this month: I won a yarn prize from The Knitgirllls podcast! It was quite surreal hearing my name being called out on the show. It was a lovely surprise, and the irony of winning yarn when I’m on a yarn diet is just hilarious, universe.

I’m afraid the fibre is beginning to become an issue too…

IMG_2343

Nuff said!

I’ve been niece knitting, I don’t have a proper FO photo yet. This is Sweet Bunting by Laura Chau:

IMG_2345

It’s a sweet little yoked cardigan, knit bottom-up (not my favourite). It has a string of bunting right around the yoke area. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

And I’m planning another Tulips cardigan for Niece M:

IMG_2350

But everything has my attention.

  • I need to spin Damian’s winter set yarn, then knit actual winter set
  • Finish some languishing socks
  • Make some progress on a cardigan for me
  • Knit and finish the ‘Waiting for Winter’ Shawl… a Mother’s Day gift perhaps?

Send help!

March Madness

Once you fall out of the habit of blogging, it’s really hard to come back!

I didn’t finish my Stitch Block Cowl (Stitches West Anniversary Cowl) in March as planned. A couple of silly (but very easy to make) errors meant that progress was not made for days. It was cast off on April 3rd instead. I do love it, but this is what 6 weeks of knitting looks like…

DSC_8198

I’m going to make sure I wear it a lot this winter, for all the time it took I could have possibly knit a cardigan!

DSC_8202

It didn’t take a thousand metres either, in fact nearly half the yarn is still left. It is delicious yarn though so I won’t be de-stashing it anytime soon, I’m only sad I didn’t use more of it because of my Stash Reduction goals.

Whilst I love knitting for myself; I actually love knitting for my nephew and nieces even more. I hope to knit up a few things in the coming weeks, for these cuties in my life.

Here’s the Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits with Nephew W modelling it. My fear was confirmed when he tried it on. It was a little firm on the head, so I’ve knit him another in a larger size and this one will be for his sister.

IMG_2303

IMG_2304

Upon knitting the second hat, I realised I decreased the top of the first hat too slowly, so it’s a bit of a pixie hat. The yarn I used (is Stash Yarn of course) Little Dipper Yarns in DK. I love this yarn and it’s superwash, perfect for kids knits and their parents.

 

 

 

February FO

IMG_2053

After a flurry of many finished objects in January, I fear February is going to be a much quieter affair. At the beginning of the month I cast on and finished knitting my second Kate Davies Kokkeluri mitten. It flew off the needles within a couple of days.

And then I cast on many other things…

IMG_2065

I have been dreaming about this project ever since Nicole from Stash & Burn made her Aislinn cardigan a number of years ago in the colour yellow. She no longer wears hers, but I still desperately want one. The yarn was a Christmas purchase from 14 months ago, so relatively ‘fresh’ stash. It is Cleckheaton Superfine Merino in the mustard colour way.

And then I joined a couple of Knit-alongs…

IMG_2057

The ‘it’ pattern of the moment is a shawl called Waiting for Rain by Sylvia Bo Bilvia (yes that’s really her name). It caught the imagination of a few of the Richmond Knitters, so some of us cast-on! I was really enjoying knitting this shawl, it’s clever and fun and heck it’s going to be a great shawl to wear. But then… the yarn failed me. This beautiful yarn did not have it’s dye fixed properly and was coming off on my hands REALLY, REALLY, BADLY. Both skeins have been caked up prior to starting, so there’s no turning back, just sulking and knitting and purple hands, which gives the appearance of burnt hands, boy have they been burned.

IMG_2018

The second knit-along I began, involves Deb and just myself; last weekend was our one year anniversary of attending Stitches West in California together. To celebrate, reminisce, feel sad about not being there this year… we decided to cast-on the same project in the same yarn together (we did shop together you know, and there were several double-ups).

IMG_2060

We’re both knitting the Stitch Block Cowl by Purl Soho. These are my colours inspired by being in the same state as Stephen West!

IMG_0329

Gosh we had fun!

My cold sheep February update:
• No yarn purchased (woo hoo)
• My Kokkeluri mitts used 175 metres (baby steps), so I’m 175 metres down!

March is looking more promising for stashing down with so many WIPs on the needles, it does sound great in theory.

 

 

 

2015 Knitting review

Happy New Year all!

Each year I like to do a wrap-up of all the things I’ve knit to see how I’ve fared over the year.

I’ve knit 22 things in 2015! That’s 3 projects up from last year!

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.17.20 am

I didn’t knit as much for little ones this year, niece M is now 3 and takes a lot longer to knit for!

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.16.42 am

22 projects, that’s almost like finishing something every other week, but not.

There were:

  • 7 pairs of socks (including the Baffies)
  • 1 Chook Vest
  • A group blanket project
  • A huge crochet blanket
  • A baby blanket
  • only 3 Kids/baby sweaters
  • 3 scarves/cowls
  • 3 tops for me (2 of which were use it or lose it)
  • Christmas ornaments
  • 1 Winter set for Damian

Of these 22 things, 8 projects were for other people.

I’ve carried over 6 WIPs into the new year, but there was no way the Noro blanket was coming for the ride. I finished sewing in the ends on the last day of the year.

DSC_7929

DSC_7936

2016 is going to be a ‘Cold Sheep’ year. There will be no yarn purchasing except maybe for the Sheep and Wool Show in July. And … only if I travel overseas to a yarn haven. But there might be some de-stashing to accommodate that…

In 2015 I was lucky enough to visit Stitches West in California in February and then Tokyo in November. It’s been a fun year! There was ‘a bit’ of yarn tourism involved in visiting those places, and I hope to relive those fun memories as I knit with my souvenir yarn.

My stash count as of today is:

277,180 metres

It is a little less than the last count, but I suspect the last count was inaccurate (the wrong column was added together).

Here’s to 2016 the year of knitting more and stashing down!

Sparkle, sparkle

Remember my Use It Or Lose It, Shingle project?

I finally have had the chance to get a couple of photos taken. I am very happy with how it’s turned out.
DSC_7703

The fit and shaping of this little cardigan,  Safire by Hilary Smith Callis is perfect to wear over dresses. Now I just need to find the perfect dress for this little number (something a lot plainer!)

(Here I am looking super hot on a 40 degree Melbourne day)

DSC_7702

It’s been a sparkly kind of month.

I wore a wrap my mum made for me eons ago, to the Richmond Knitters Christmas Dinner… wait for it…

DSC_7668

And I sparkled all night, becoming my own personal mirror ball. I enjoyed wearing it very much on the night.

Here are the Christmas decorations I’ve knit so far for our tree, (in addition to the ones I received for my birthday from a wonderful friend).

IMG_1599

The Swirl bauble ^

and I also knit this mini sweater!

IMG_1607

The gifts are wrapped, now all there is to do, is knit and wait to see the happy little faces of my nieces and nephews on Christmas Day.

Take care everyone x