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!

 

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!

Seven Skeins Club Week 1: Baffies

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The first pattern of Kate Davies Seven Skeins Club was released on Friday evening here in Melbourne. They are called Baffies and they are the loveliest slippers. Sadly, I was unable to start until Saturday and only after I cleaned the house (I bargained with myself).

First thing was first, we were instructed by Kate to weigh our skeins before we began. She’s quite bossy about it, but it’s probably for our own good.

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I decided I didn’t want to do the prescribed colours, I wanted to choose my own. Kate has given us a nifty little yarn calculator, in order to give us the autonomy to do that.

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A lot of people in the ravelry group were getting cold feet (pardon the pun) about starting until seeing all the patterns. I think it’s quite sad that people can get paralysed by colour and choices. If anything I’m quite prepared to mix up my colour choices from week to week (even though I think I’ve mapped out the first 4 weeks on the aforementioned yarn calculator). If I get it wrong and I run out of colour, so what? I’ll just add in another colour.

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Kate has done an amazing job of nutting out all of the details to the club. It’s the best organised club I’ve ever been apart of. Not since ‘Owls’ have I knitted a Kate Davies pattern, but I have a couple of her designs ready to cast-on… they just got bumped up the queue. I’m amazed at how easy she made the Turkish cast-on seem. I’m sure I’ve followed other peoples directions to this technique and it’s not worked out half as well.

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As I write, I don’t know where Sharon is up to knitting her Baffies. She’s been absent from social media, or at least ‘not letting on’ where she’s up to. I suspect she’s knitting at her usual speed and posting a FO photo or a blog post any minute now. Or maybe she’s giving me a head-start, a handicap. This is a race, didn’t you know?! I expect I’ll have finished my Baffies by Tuesday or Wednesday… at the latest. I’m half-expecting Sharon to show up to knitting tomorrow night with her completed pair and a second pair in stash yarn cast-on, because how great is this project?

So comfy to wear, I’m even tempted to knit the alternative pattern (without the stranding) this week, a pair for Damian… yeah.

I’m looking forward to seeing week 2’s pattern, I have a strong suspicion it’s going to be a hat. It’s been hailed as a ‘signature’ Kate pattern. Thoughts?

Wednesday WIPs – Stuff and stuff

I took my knitting on a mini break over the weekend.IMG_1234

It wasn’t far, but the change of scenery and no house chores, made it an excellent escape.

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I took three WIPs but as per usual, I only worked on one.

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As well as that, it’s been a pretty amazing mail week for me.

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I got a skein of Fab Funky Fibres, and a couple of mini skeins. (My excuse for buying yarn this time around, was that it was a tiny bonus from work, so it was FREE money).

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I also received my second last Cookie A sock club, someone at knit night described it as Latté. I’m not sure I love the colour, but the skein itself feels amazing.

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And Kate Davies Seven Skeins club arrived! It is tremendously exciting, I’m not sure whether to cake up my yarn yet, or wait for the release of the first pattern on Friday. I think I’ll just look at it for now. The race is definitely on to keep up with Sharon.

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My UIOLI Shingle project is finished! It needs a good bath before wearing it. I’m pretty contented with it. The only downside is that about half the yarn still remains…

My bingo game is a lot harder than it first seemed. For instance, I’ve totally screwed up with the square that say’s ‘NO NEW YARN’. I might need to revise my Bingo card next month…