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.

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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.

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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.

Majacraft Fusion drum carder Unboxing!

My ‘special’ birthday present has arrived! It is in indeed a Majacraft Fusion Engine drum carder!

Here is the unboxing 🙂

Wow it is impressive! It’s big and it’s beautifully made.

I had a dry run and made a batt right after the unboxing…

Big hugs to my husband for a great birthday gift, I don’t know why I waited so long to get a drum carder. This is going to be fun!

Thanks to Chantelle from Fiberific for her excellent and friendly customer service.

 

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:

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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…

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Nuff said!

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

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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:

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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!

Wednesday WIPS – Cast-on-aplooza

Something strange happened last week, I got down to 3 WIPS on my Ravelry page!

At first I thought that was excellent, it’s been a long time since it’s only been 3. But then, it didn’t take long for an uncomfortableness to creep in. I had no mindless knitting on the needles, let alone any socks! The only way to rectify that was to cast on MANY things.

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I properly cast-on my UIOLI Dragonflies sweater by Joji Locatelli.

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And then I cast on my next pair of Cookie A club socks; using the August yarn on an October pattern. At which point I say BINGO!

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There was some spinning (or plying) to cross another Bingo box off.

And finally I cast on my Kokkeluri mitts by Kate Davies as my week 2 project for the Seven skeins club.

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I am smitten by them. Get it! They are a joy to knit, although I fear I won’t have these done in time for the week 3 pattern release. I have no qualms about casting on another project, the more the merrier.IMG_1827

I hope all your projects are making you happy, if not… you know what the answer is!

The Craft Sessions 2015

I’ve just arrived back from attending The Craft Sessions 2015. This is the third year the weekend has run, but it was my very first time to attend. I felt very lucky to have scored a spot, especially after finding out the event was a sell-out within 2 hours of the registration opening.

Whilst I couldn’t convince any of my friends to join me on the weekend, I need not have worried… everyone was super friendly. I met a whole lot of new crafters, boy did we have a lot to talk about!

I’m so inspired by the entire weekend, I feel like casting on EVERYTHING, and of course finishing everything. I can hardly wait to see what classes will be held next year…

Wednesday WIPs – New beginnings

This week, I taught a friend how to spin!

I was so inspired and excited by how well she took to it, I had to go home and jump on my wheel right after.
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I’m currently spinning up some Thylacine BFL mixed with camel. A couple of weeks ago, I discovered I had 2 similar colour ways of 200 grams each; so I thought perhaps I could ply the 2 colour ways together, in something of a 4 or 5 ply and have enough to knit myself a vest of some description. Stay tuned for that.

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The baby blanket was completed and blocked last week. It is a relief to get it done before the baby arrives. I’m pretty pleased with the result too! The yarn was stash yarn, mainly made up of Jo Sharp classic DK wool, with a bit of this and that thrown in. The pattern: Honeycomb Stroller Blanket is free and is pretty nifty if you ask me. The slip stitch pattern forms the hexagons therefore there are no patches to sew together (just lots of ends). If I were to make it again, (and that’s a possibility if more babies arrive in my family), I would do a provisional cast on at the start, to make the border easier to pick up and knit. The other alt that I made was to make the border a garter stitch one, and rather than picking up all the way around, I did each side individually, increasing at the edges each right side row to make the mitred corners. There will be some better ‘glamour’ photos taken when the cute baby arrives.

IMG_1733I’ve cast on a new project, this is Cookie A’s June sock club. I’m making the Apollonia socks. I’m enjoying knitting from the sock lace chart, and knit a fair bit of the leg in one evening. I find knitting from lace charts so soothing and fun.IMG_1741I’m also itching to begin a garment for me, but I thought I should look at one of my Use It Or Lose It projects first.

I picked up my Safire cardigan, which had only been literally cast on. In theory I’m liking how this is working, but I am wondering whether this yarn is more appropriate for niece M, due to it’s ‘blingy’ nature. Only time will tell.IMG_1743

 

I’m still listening to The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, I can’t recommend it enough. I only have 10 hours left to go!

Wednesday WIPs

Hi there! I was visited by this cheeky monkey on the weekend…IMG_0916

She was wearing the dress I made for her. The pattern warns to make the dress from wool, but I went ahead and made it in cotton anyway, it was the right colour from my stash!IMG_0918So I wasn’t super surprised to see that there were problems with the bodice. But I was surprised by just how much it was stretching, and how easy it was for her to ‘get out of her dress’ from the top down.

Easily fixed I pronounced, if I could just borrow the dress back. Niece M went home in her stockings!

Two goes at the attached i-cord to the neckline (the first attempt made the head hole too small to get over her head). And hopefully this has now solved the issue. Niece M only likes wearing dresses, I know where she’s coming from. I’m thinking maybe a rainbow dress for Christmas perhaps?

IMG_1727I’ve also been working on the next baby blanket…

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There’s still a long way to go.

And I’ve got the wheel out and I’ve been doing some overdue plying of some Southern Cross Fibre club fibre.

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And this little bit are the odds and sods to empty the little bits off my bobbins…

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Because I have so much to get through. How about you?

 

 

Wednesday WIPs – Belated Cowl

For the careful observers, I didn’t get my hand-spun Honey Cowl finished in time or over the Bendigo Show weekend. But it’s finished now!

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Damian’s image of Richmond station in the background was the perfect backdrop for this photo. It’s so cosy.

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IMG_0842I’m really happy with how the gradient stripes have worked, and it’s my handspun!

I’m still listening to the brilliantly narrated ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt, I think I still have hours upon hours to go, but I’m loving it all the same.

See you next week.

 

 

Bendigo 2015

Wow! Just when I thought I had experienced everything that was to be experienced at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show, this year had a different flavour.

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I attended the Women of Wool luncheon with a couple of friends and we had an excellent time. Everything was great about it. The speakers, the food, the company, the other people seated at our table, the competition prize drawings (even though we didn’t win anything), it was a lot of fun.

Then we got down to the serious part of the show. Nicknamed ‘Spendigo’ for good reason… I exceeded my own expectations, surprising only me. If you really want to see it all, check out my recent stash acquisitions (fibre and yarn) on Ravelry.

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White Gum Wool played a large part in my purchasing. Nan Bray the owner of ‘White Gum Wool’ spoke at the luncheon, but I was a fan before that, after seeing this segment on Landline. The pink yarn above is White Gum Wool Boucle, specially hand-dyed by Kathy’s Fibres.

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I was given the task of buying some fibre to spin for my husband. So that I wouldn’t run short on his next ‘winter set’ (this time), I bought 500gms of Kathys Fibres merino dyed in ‘manly’ browns, blue and black.

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We also spent a fair amount of time with the sheep, searching out the babies, because, how cute?

Thank you to my partners in crime for making it such a great weekend. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.