Wednesday WIPs – Two more sleeps!

My Grace cardigan is finished, hurrah!DSC_6597

The design is by Jane Richmond and the yarn is Lisa Souza’s Organic Merino. It was a real pleasure to knit to the pattern and the wool, oh my, the wool was so nice to work with.

DSC_6608I have the perfect souvenir from Stitches West, my new favourite cardigan.

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Gosh my hair looks short!

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This by default, is now my ‘Bendigo’ cardigan… squee, just 2 more sleeps!

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As a late addition, I thought I might also need a new cowl to go with my new cardigan.

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It’s a(nother) Honey Cowl, in my hand spun. Coincidently it is also organic merino, but the fibre is from Southern Cross Fibre. There were 5 different colours and I tried to blend them through, somewhat. Here’s hoping it’s finished in time for Friday.

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Meanwhile I’ve also begun ‘the’ baby blanket. I’m so excited by how this is turning out already, have I finally found the perfect baby blanket pattern?

Wednesday WIPs – Pre-Sheep Show, Bendigo

With a title like that, I guess you’re assuming I’m ‘stashing-down’ and bracing myself for the biggest show of the year. Well, you’d be half wrong.

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The Australian Sheep and Wool Show, held in Bendigo each year is just two weeks away. And yet on Friday night I found myself on a train to Bendigo to rendezvous with my lovely husband for a weekend away. The concept of going to Bendigo without a Sheep Show was a little foreign to me, but I went with it.
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This helped sweeten the deal…
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Then finding a breakfast place that had granny square blankets for the diners outside, totally charmed me. Needless to say it was too cold for any diners to take up this offer, granny square or not.IMG_0729 But I still thought it was great.IMG_0730

And I figured a trip to this place, two weeks before all the ‘crazy’ knitters descended, could work in my favour.IMG_0733

And it did. My rainbow projects can now come to fruition. I can ‘shop the stash’ whenever the mood takes me to knit a rainbow dress or cardigan for niece M … plus another half dozen baby blankets, some mitts for a colleague, stuff for me, but I digress.

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Don’t these balls look small?! Until you put them into a bag… then some crazy optical illusion thing happens…IMG_0741Whilst spending a few quality hours with Damian in a wine bar and knitting by the fire, I returned from the bathroom only to find a knitter chatting to my husband. What a lovely occurrence! She pulled out her latest knitting project and we both sang the praises of self-patterning knitting yarn. She may have also left with the name of my yarn supplier to get some for herself…

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And did I mention it was freezing in Bendigo?
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Now  that I’ve done some scouting of Bendigo, I feel super prepared for anything! Pack ALL the woollens.

Happy New Year – Yarn count

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Happy New Year!

Today, I thought that in lieu of making any New Years resolutions, I would reveal my Ravelry yarn stash total in metres.

Many of you may recall I did this back in August of 2013. So I bet you’re all interested in what’s happened since then? I know I was mildly interested! I’ve done a little bit of de-stashing since then, plus some knitting and crocheting of course. But… I have continued to make thoughtful and considered yarn purchases, there is no denying it.

…Well of course I’ve gained milage! At first look I thought I hadn’t done too badly, an extra 1,100 metres…

…but no, I’ve gained about 11 sweaters of yarn: 11,000 metres to bring my old total from 237,565 metres

to my new total of

248,623 metres

an increase of 4.7% for those so inclined.

How do I feel about this? Absolutely fine! I love my stash. I could make some ridiculous goal of decreasing my stash by next New Year, but as far as I’m concerned, if I love everything in my stash and it’s protected from baddies and I have the room to put it; what is there to be unhappy about?

In preparation for Stitches West which is about 7 weeks away (eep!) I’ve downloaded Hannah Fettig’s app called ‘StashBot‘. I’m so excited by this. I know that I’ll be overcome by stash fumes in the market hall at Stitches West and this app is really going to help me buy more yarn!

Now all I need is somewhere to put all the new yarn…

Christmas 2014

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas day, I had an enjoyable day spending it with both our families.

Christmas day highlights:

Sienna opening up her Christmas present.

DSC_5662There was a squeal. At that moment I knew I did good as an Aunty, that was the best gift.

Spending time with nephews and nieces:

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And of course the usual indulgence in woolly things…

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It’s not Christmas without Wollmeise…

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I’d better get knitting.

Yarn Along – the one where I cast-on Wee Cria

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So I’ve held out for as long as I possibly could. I’ve cast-on for Wee Cria in the 3-6 month size for niece C. I can’t help it. I’ve also received chest measurements for niece M to begin hers as well.

I’m making the baby size one out of Ursula’s pretty pink BFL. The larger size will be out of some Claudia’s hand painted yarn that I bought from Sf’s Urban Knitting Studio… oh about 8 years ago. Stash yarn yeah!

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Now if I can whip these out in 2 weeks (hahahahaha) I can have a bout of personal knitting over the Christmas break. Here’s hoping 🙂

I’m still listening and reading the same books. You can see what everyone else is doing this week for Yarn along at Ginny’s blog.

Peek-a-boo: It’s a Chickadee!

If you recall a few weeks ago, I gave you a snippet of a photo which showed some secret knitting?

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Well I’ve presented Louisa with my surprise knitting gift so now I can do the big reveal, I’ve made her a Chickadee!

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DSC_5350It was pretty fun to make. The pattern comes from Ysolda’s Wee ones collection. It has so many cute patterns in it, they are miniature versions of some of her adult garments.

Louisa was surprised! and I was thrilled, aren’t knitters the best people to make for?

 

 

Istanbul socks

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I’m ashamed to admit to how long these took to knit according to my Ravelry page. They were a very enjoyable knit once I got down to it. They began well, then somehow I was side-tracked.

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I now have just 2 lots of yarn left from my year of knitting along with the Cookie A sock club in 2013. I think I would like to cast on for Arrow next and then Vamp. And then maybe (if I’m lucky enough to get a spot), I’ll be ready to start knitting along in next year’s club.

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Thanks to my dear husband for taking these great photos for me. There are no filters on these photos, they were shot on film. I’m a very lucky knitter and wife.

Yarn Along – Breaking the rut

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I would hate to think that I was in a rut. After all, ‘Rut’ is such a strong word. But last Tuesday evening when I was casually looking at Instagram, I saw that Jules from Wollenflower had posted about her upcoming Natural Dyeing class at the hand makers factory on Saturday, and naturally I jumped for it! It felt great to have ‘plan’-ned to do something different and spontaneous (it was short notice).

I love taking classes. I can’t remember the last ‘live’ class I took, Craftsy doesn’t count (even though they are awesome, but they’re classes that don’t involve leaving the house). Well I thoroughly enjoyed the class and would recommend it to anyone who has a passing interest in Natural Dyeing. Gosh there’s so much to it! In a way the whole science behind it makes it incredibly interesting and magical, and how much more satisfying is it extracting colour from nature? As expected Jules is a brilliant teacher and very generous with her knowledge. I would love to have a crack at doing some natural dyeing at home, perhaps the Christmas break will allow time for that?

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I’ve been working on my sister’s baby blanket with quiet abandon, all the squares are sewn together and all the ends have been sewn in. Only the 5 or 6 row treble stitch border remains. It’s amazing to see the transformation of the curled patches to squares, once the sides had been sewn together.

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I did end up going for the mixed up layout of patches, rather than the rainbow variation I had them laid out as last week. It wasn’t a true rainbow, so I think that’s why it wasn’t working visually?

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DSC_5304Last week I also plied up the singles that had been sitting on the bobbins for a couple of weeks. I’m pretty happy with the result despite beginning to really dislike the process of plying, I see an e-spinner in my future.

I’ve been listening to Outlander and getting into my ‘other’ book on my Kindle. I’m a little too embarrassed to admit what I’m reading now (read: it’s saucy and possibly the raunchiest novel I’ve ever read) so there you have it.

Go see what everyone else is knitting and reading this week as a part of Yarn Along on Ginny’s blog (bet it’s not as juicy as my novel: hint see last week’s entry).

Yarn Along – Not one but two FOs!

So last week I promised to present some Finished Objects this week, easier said than done when you have a mountain of newly casted-on projects.

But being a Knitter, is about being a planner, an organiser and a strategiser! Taking a look at my Ravelry projects page (oh what joy it gives me to look at my WIPs all day long and I’m not joking), I took stock of all my projects and what stage everything was at.

Due to my Use It or Lose It strategy I have a number of WIPs on my page that are in actual fact not started, they’re there to remind me of my obligations to my ‘deep’ stash. I removed a UILI single skein project, because what harm would ‘returning’ a single skein of hand painted yarn to stash theoretically do?  Not exactly an FO, but it was one less UFO.

Then, I cast-off my Honey Cowl and wore it for exactly one day before it got hot last week, and now I’m dreaming of a time when I can wear this for reals, please note I’m wearing a t-shirt in this picture. As expected my patience gave up before I ran out of yarn for this project, it was the never-ending cowl with a never-ending ball of alpaca yarn. I have exactly 50 grams left, I think it would be enough for mitts if I could be bothered.

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Then, I turned my attentions to Ysolda’s Bronntanas Hat, the first ‘Knitworthy’ project i cast on a couple of weeks ago. It’s another small project, and I wasn’t going to let some twisted stitches get in my way of delivering on my promise. After beginning with a cable needle to cross the stitches, I switched to twisting the stitches and turning them over on the needles as I went. Success! This hat flew off my needles. Except, rightly or wrongly, I went from knitting the largest sized hat to the smallest, so my once slouchy hat is now snug… I still think the hat is adorable, and I’m contemplating whether this Knitworthy project will indeed reside in my gift box for the appropriate recipient (someone with a smaller head than mine). If I made it again for myself, I think I’d knit the medium size and hope for the best.

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There it is, 2 FOs for you. All the while I’ve been working on my sisters crochet blanket, I think I’ve really outdone myself this time, it’s going to be hard to top with the next baby in the family. Oh the expectation, this is turning out just like Easters at home where my siblings and I decorated eggs, with improvements each year to design and techniques, who knows where this will end up? For the record I never got into egg craft/sculpting, that’s just crazy.

I’m still listening to Outlander (it’s the best) and reading ‘My Life in Stitches’ during some lunchtimes. I’m still to pick out my next serious kindle book to read, at this stage I’m considering Haruki Murakami’s new book. I think I’m ready.

You should go check out what everyone else is reading and crafting at Ginny’s blog this week.