Yellow Mellow

This week I’ve been working on my Aislinn cardigan by Amy Herzog. I’ve wanted this cardigan forever, and then I got cold feet after I cast it on. You see, the pattern doesn’t have a button band. I’ve made enough cardigans now to know I need a button band. So I’ve incorporated one into my knitting.

The pattern is also knit in pieces. I know (!) I could have put it together to make it seamless, but I was afraid I would need to think a little too much. And it’s not going to kill me to knit it in pieces. So I’ve persevered.

My interest in it has renewed and I’m confident it’s going to work out, hopeful even, that this cardigan will be one I reach for frequently. I’m up to the second front and then I’ve just got 2 x 3/4 sleeves to go.

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I’m looking forward to getting this off my needles so I can cast on another sweater for myself. There’s not been enough of that.

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This week I found out that I was unsuccessful in the Knit Girls lottery for a place in their Portland retreat in March 2017. Whilst I was disappointed to miss out, I’m relieved to finally put those plans behind me and to think of new ones for next year. Who knows?!

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I’m progressing on my Smooth Operator socks by Susan B Anderson. I’m knitting this in some Fab Funky Fibres yarn. It’s my ‘knit night’ project because it doesn’t need a lot of concentration. I’m remaining fairly monogamous with my projects at the moment, to finish them is an incentive to not feel guilty about starting new ones. And I really want to start something new!

What projects are you dreaming about starting?

It’s been a while…

… sorry about that! The longer it’s been, the longer it’s taken to come back.

Here’s a bit of a photo documentary of my last month:

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Craft Sessions happened and it was ace! The whole weekend was so beautifully organised by Felicia.

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I left more inspired than I have been in, in such a long time. It took a few days for it to get to a manageable level! I think it was largely due to the class I took with Anna Maltz (a.k.a. Sweaterspotter). It was a Top-Down Improvised Colourwork sweater class.

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She loves colour, like I love colour.

But generally speaking it was just crazy exciting to be there.

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I fan-girled a-lot!

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So excited, so much so, it was hard to calm down enough to get some sleep on my arrival home… luckily I had Monday off too. I spent the evening planning the rest of my yoked sweater… until the wee hours of the morning Zzzzzz…

The weekend after Craft Sessions, I took Anna Maltz’s ‘Marisle’ class in Melbourne. I love this technique. It’s a combination of Intarsia and Fairisle, and it’s super clever.

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I had spent the week feverishly knitting on my yoked sweater from The Craft Sessions, so I took it along to show Anna my progress that day.

Then this happened…

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Anna popped a photo of me with my yoke progress on her Instagram feed, and I became Instafamous! At last sight there were over 1,000 likes to this photo! Richmond knitters also got a bunch of new followers, which is wonderful!

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I continued my yoke at home… but I’m sad to say I’m taking a break for the moment. I feel like I may have increased my stitch count too far. I’m just taking a breather to gather up the courage to do what needs to be done, we all know what that is.

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Last month, I also went to see the ‘Yarn’ documentary organised by ‘What Jane Knits’, along with a few friends and a whole cinema of yarn-aholics.

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We celebrated my mum’s 70th birthday.

img_6740We celebrated a 1st birthday and a Christening.

And I’m back to knitting my Aislinn cardigan. Sweet, predictable, pattern cardigan, what can go wrong?

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Stash Dash Update

I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of watching knitting podcasts on YouTube. That’s partially why you haven’t heard from me in a while. The other reason is… Stash Dash…

Stash Dash, the knitting marathon hosted each year by my favourite podcasters The KnitGirllls, is drawing to a close and I’m nowhere near my goal of knitting/spinning 10k of yarn. But that was to be expected!

I am currently at 2,679 metres or 2.7km, a far cry from the 10k I had dreamed of. Surprisingly, Laura from the Knitgirllls admitted in the most recent podcast, it was the first time she was not going to meet her goal (of 15k), and I won’t lie, that made me feel just that little bit better about myself. I’m not competitive, no!

The final project I have on the needles for Stash Dash is my Rockhopper Shawl by Anna Maltz. I hoping to knit like the wind to have it finished by the close of Stash Dash which is about 3pm Melbourne time on Monday. It should deliver about 1k to my total!

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Here’s a snapshot of the other projects I completed during Stash Dash, (not including the small amount of spinning I also counted).

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Oh well, there’s always next year.

February FO

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

 

 

 

Dragonflies

I’m chilling out (read:recovering) this Boxing Day after a full-on but lovely day with our 2 families yesterday. I’m knitting Dragonflies, a jumper by Joji Locateli. I cast on a little while ago, but I’ve finally gotten ‘into it’ and I’m enjoying knitting it so very much. The yarn/project is my last ‘Use It Or Lose It’ project on my Ravelry projects page.

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It’s been interesting, the UIOLI project. At this stage I don’t have any desire to classify any more yarn as ‘UIOLI’, because the project has shown to me that every yarn can find a purpose, even less loved yarn (mostly, there were a couple of casualties). For now, I want to knit with what I love at the top of my pile. I might revisit this idea again some time.

The yarn is Shiloh Wool with Silk, hand-dyed by me a long time ago. It took a while to find the perfect pattern for this yarn, I’m glad I persevered because I have to say I’m loving knitting Joji’s Dragonflies pattern. The lace is fun and easy.

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Coincidently, I’m listening to Outlander book 2 Dragonflies in Amber. That was not intentional!

Leslie, from the Knitgirllls my favourite video cast show is also listening to it right now, but she is ahead of me. So whilst Leslie does her book review once a week, I have to mute the sound whilst she is talking about it! Her arms wave around, and I can kind of understand why, after about 10 minutes the hand actions settle down and I can begin listening to the video cast again. I hope to go back to these tid-bits  later on after I’ve completed my 38 hours of listening…

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Around and Around

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Around and around I go, is the theme for today’s blog post! Here I am spinning around in Alice’s Teacups ride at Disneyland Tokyo.

And here I am in the first few border rows of the crochet blanket.IMG_1892

I’ve filled in all the gaps, thanks to some great directions I found on Dover & Madden’s blog. She’s a Melbournite as well, and I love checking out her blog, everything is beautiful.

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I have 3 balls remaining of the Noro and at this stage I think I’m going to keep going until I run out. It might be 4 treble rows or so.

I’ve also picked up my Use it or Lose it project this week, it is the Dragonflies jumper by Joji Locatelli. I’ve really gotten into the swing of this. I’m certain this is not going to be a ‘lose it’ project.

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I’m so close to the end of listening to ‘The Girl on the Train’, I have really enjoyed the voice actors and the story, but I hope it doesn’t go on for to much longer, I need to know the ending!

 

Sunshine and stash less

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Yellow is a ‘new to me’ colour in knitting. I’ve gradually been building up to knitting with yellow and casting on some on Cookie sock club socks was just the introduction I needed. Looking at them makes me feel happy.

I wanted to talk to you about something else today, something else that has recently plagued me. It kind of snowballed after I got home from Tokyo and I needed to pack away my new stash… literally a snowball that has just gotten bigger and bigger…

Felicia Semple of the Craft Sessions has explored this recently. The theory of ‘Stash less’. Not to be ‘stash less’ (like who would want that?!), but ‘to stash less’. That’s how I’m reading it anyway. She is quite an inspiration in what she has done in a short amount of time. Anyway, you should go read her blog.

I started thinking about this more recently after arriving home from Tokyo, and knowing I hadn’t gone overboard on the purchasing… and yet I was still struggling to squeeze my new yarn in to my yarn case.

Stash less; I couldn’t Stash more if I tried!!!

It’s beginning to feel a bit burdensome to be utterly honest. Don’t worry, in a couple of jumpers and socks time I’ll feel much better…

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So there you have it, I really mean it this time. No more yarn purchasing until the Bendigo (Sheep and Wool show)… then I’ll take stock. I say until Bendigo, because a. I’m going! and b. it’s just cruel to suggest I go to a fibre event and do not allow myself to buy anything, it doesn’t mean I have to, but I can.

The six month challenge is on.

p.s. can you all please continue to buy yarn and add an extra skein in there for me with your next yarn purchase, someone has to keep our LYS’ going.

Wednesday WIPs – A race to the finish

The tree is up!

Full disclosure, it is a small tree, requiring only a few decorations. I was hoping for a larger tree this year, but then I remembered all the presents I still need to buy…

A small tree has enabled the sock decorations knitted for me by a friend, to absolutely sing. I love it.

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I’ve been slogging away on my crochet blanket this week, with just a few seams left to sew. Then the border; and then no more blankets for a while…

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I’ve been listening to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and loving it.

It’s going to be a race to the end of the year to see how many projects I can finish, but I also want to start new things. Oh the dilemmas of a crafter.

Wednesday WIPs – with added projects

It’s been an interesting week, I’ve been casting on EVEN more things, so my ‘works in progress’ total is back to seven projects…

My first mitten is complete! I have the second one to go, but I’m getting distracted…

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I did enjoy making this, and I learnt how to catch floats! I feel much more confident about doing fair-isle knitting now.

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The next Seven Skeins club projects/s is/are a pair of fingerless mitts… which have not been cast-on despite my fearlessness last week. When it came to the crunch, I thought I might wait and see what the next project is and go from there.

This week I cast-on a much loved and anticipated project, my Watermelon socks. This yarn is hand-dyed by Abi Grosso and it’s just plain beautiful. It makes me so happy to knit with this yarn. This is also my only mindless project on the needles at the moment, so I’m savouring it a little. At the Richmond Knitters knit night this week, I got rather excited when I got around to my second repeat of ‘pips’ and the second round matched up with a couple of pips, oh the excitement! Abi is a genius!

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And because there is so much love for this yarn, there is two photos of virtually the same thing.

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I’ve decided to do the cuff, heel and toes in some left-over Wollmeise. Checking out the Rav projects with this yarn, I preferred the heel in particular being a solid colour rather than the pattern continuing through. By using an alternative yarn for the cuff, heel and toes this also means I could just about get 2 pairs out of this yummy yarn.

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And then, because it’s just ticked over to November, I’ve joined the Brioche-along with Louisa from the Richmond Knitters. I’d decided to knit the Askews Me Hat by Stephen West, in my handspun yarn. Which sounded great in theory…IMG_1850

But then after I got something that looked like a cowl instead of a hat, I chose a more lighter weight yarn and went down a needle size.

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As I was knitting it the second time, I was still getting odd stitches at the start and end of rows and around the decrease and increase sections. I couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong, and the pattern was not giving me any clues, it just recommends taking a Craftsy class with Nancy Marchant. When I’ve paid A$8.57 I kind of expect more from a stand alone hat pattern. I am a little disappointed and my project is now in the naughty corner. I don’t think I’ve ever had a project confined to this place before. Learning new things can be trying… I already have the Craftsy class mentioned, but I think it’s a little unfair to not provide clear instruction in the first place  or to provide a pattern that is free from errors (I’m not sure which it is yet), or to expect people to purchase further resources to understand your instructions after they’ve purchased your pattern. There I said it.

Maybe it will make sense tomorrow.

Just a little housekeeping:

Thanks for all the comments lately, it’s nice to be reminded someone is out there reading my blog.

Also the Louisa Harding Shingle is on it’s way to Noemie who was the first commenter on the blog about the Shingle going to a good home. I can’t wait to see what it becomes!