Off the Sheep

As many of you know, I’ve been ‘Cold-sheeping’ since November after my trip to Tokyo. The plan was to not buy any yarn until the Bendigo Show which is less than 2 weeks away, weeeeeeee!

But then, a few weeks ago, with Bendigo being so close, and after having a rather rough time/day/morning… I decided the only thing that could possibly make me feel better was to buy yarn.

It was cathartic!

I bought this:

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and this:

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and then Dairing was having a sale, and I bought this and this:

Once the seal was broken, I could only ask myself, why not?

Look out Bendigo…

There has been a tidy-eo of the stash in preparation, and There. Ain’t. Much. Room. For. New Stash. I’ve managed to clear one basket for ‘special’ yarn/fibre. All storage areas are now bursting at the seams, and don’t ask me where anything is. But there’s an empty basket for loot from Bendigo!

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What’s on your Bendigo Sheep Show shopping list?

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.

 

 

 

Taking Stock – Stash Count

It’s only been 7 months since the last stash count, but a lot has happened since then and one major thing, Stitches WEST! Normally I like to do a stash count approximately once a year, kind of like a Spring Clean, but I know a couple of you are eager for an update; and I was kind of interested too.

In order for me to get my stash total, I downloaded my Stash Excel spreadsheet from Ravelry (such an awesome function for those who like to get down to nuts and bolts). But in order to get my total meterage I needed to pass the spreadsheet to my husband (who has excel) to add it up for me. His response, ‘you have a lot of yarn Sonia’. For those playing along at home, I recommend you don’t pass your spreadsheet to your significant other to do the math. Next time I’ll just email it to myself at work…

Just a reminder of all the glorious editions to my stash this year…

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DSC_6377That should soften the blow, taking my stash from the New Year total of

248,623 metres

to

drum

roll

296,937 metres

Not really a surprise to me…

AS I’M RUNNING OUT OF ROOM…

to put it all.

But I’m still happy, and I don’t feel overwhelmed. Happy deliciousness.

 

 

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.

 

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.

Wednesday WIPs – Planning

This week I’ve begun thinking about the next baby blanket I need/want to knit. Planning is my favourite part of a project!

The blanket is for my new niece/nephew due to arrive in September. Can you guess the gender of this baby?

A couple of months back I found this ‘Honeycomb’ stroller blanket pattern on the internet. I just love hexagons. What’s more, is that this blanket is an all-in-one deal. There’s no sewing patches together. I’m really tired of sewing patches together.

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I also thought it would be good to use my stash yarn (hahahahaha). Turns out I didn’t have as many options as one might have thought shopping from my stash of yarn. I love the combination above though. The majority of it is vintage Jo Sharp wool DK. I’m going to use the ecru/white as the main colour, with the ‘colours’ as the hexagons themselves. It’s going to be a pretty rainbow.

I’ve begun listening to Haruki Murakami’s Colourless. And it’s interesting, his stories always are. Hopefully I can give you more of a summary next week.

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I have cast on April’s shipment of the Cookie A sock club… only 2 weeks to go before the next one arrives ::gulp::

And I’ve been knitting on my Grace cardigan by Jane Richmond. The yarn is Lisa Souza’s organic merino, and I’m so in love with it. It is yarn that I bought at Stitches West and I’m so excited to have a lasting souvenir of the event.

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A very good mail week

One way of making your birthday go on and on… is ordering gifts online that don’t show up in time for your birthday… or a 12 month yarn club subscription, but I digress…

So my yarn gifts didn’t arrive on my birthday… so this happened…

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Which was super fun…

And I got the yarn for my Ursula Cardigan a dream cardigan (by Kate Davies)! Poor Ursula (my human friend) there’s an unofficial knit-along happening in my knitting group right now, which makes for confusing conversation.

IMG_0468These are the colours I chose, with the light grey being the main colour of the cardigan. My cast-on will probably happen long after the knit-along ends, but it’s been on my wish list ever since the pattern was published. Dreaming about projects and finished objects all plays a part in my life as a knitter and yarn hoarder.

And then my 2 yarn parcels showed up a few days later. The first was the result of being enabled by Susan B. Anderson’s Instagram feed. She’s dangerous, and awesome and I can’t bring myself to unfollow her, because I.DONT.NEED.ANYMORE.YARN. But my birthday month was coming up, and you know you’re allowed to buy yarn for your birthday even when you really don’t need any.

IMG_0485These are Gales Art sock blanks, and I’m so in love with these.

IMG_0487And then, I let my fingers do the walking and bought some of ‘Clara’s Yarn’. It’s birthday month remember…

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I just can’t stop smelling this yarn, it’s so sheepy and gorgeous. And if you were here in Melbourne Melanie, I know you would love it too. I bought enough for a tunic dress, just in case I wanted to make this.

Anyone want lessons on how to make your birthday great? Just talk to me. As one friend said, I do birthdays right. Now I need to knit myself out of this avalanche of yarn, send tea and time… time would be good.

 

 

Cast on E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G

Recently I discovered the saddest way to lose your knitting mojo (for me anyway) is to have nothing on the needles.

The opposite to that is a ‘cast-on-aploza’.

And that’s exactly what I did this fine long weekend.

I cast on for my nephew’s winter top…

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And got going on my Grace Cardigan by Jane Richmond…

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I cast on my ‘Use it or Lose it’ Shingle project, a sweet little cardigan called Safire by Hilary Smith Callis.

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And swatched another ‘UIOLI’ project. I think this is going to be a Dragonflies Jumper.

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I also cast-on and completed the first clue in Romi’s Mystery Shawl Knit Along.

Then (not pictured here), I cast on ‘our’ Wedding Blanket! Yes, finally. I’m going to be knitting ‘Warmth’ by Jo Sharp, a long-term wish for some deep stash yarn that was bought for the purpose of our wedding blanket. In the meantime since the yarn purchase many years ago, all of my friends have knit this blanket, it is epic! I marvelled at this fact when I checked the projects on Ravelry this weekend.

I’m still waiting to cast on a beanie for Damian (but he hasn’t chosen a pattern) and who knows what else I’ll cast on before then.

I’m so happy.

 

My visit to San Francisco

After eight years of being away,  I returned to visit San Francisco on Valentine’s Day. I can see the irony.

The first thing I did after getting off the plane (and after checking in at my hotel and taking a shower), was to visit my old neighbourhood in the Marina district.

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Much to my surprise and pleasure; nothing had changed, aesthetically speaking.

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Not a damn thing. That was my greatest fear, and probably what kept me away for so long; that going back would somehow diminish my memory of one of my most inspiring times. The memory that I walk through like it’s a dream.

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My personal landmarks, our apartment, my dry-cleaner, my local yarn store, heck even the muni bus tickets… were all the same as they were. Nothing has changed in eight years. It’s like I left the city as a time capsule.

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Intellectually I know it has changed. My local friends told me it was busier and much more expensive than it was when I was living there.

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The cable car rides are as fabulous as they were and the cable car drivers just as hilarious.

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A pre-stitches visit to Imagiknit was in order. I hate to say it, but now with a few fabulous Melbourne yarn stores, Imagiknit had lost a bit of it’s shine for me. That’s not a bad thing.

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I still managed to buy a project and a tiny wee sheep for my desk at work.

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A bridge visit was mandatory.

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As was a visit to the Palace of Fine Arts, my number one favourite place in San Francisco. I couldn’t really get across to Debs (my travelling partner), why it was so amazing, she thought I was just taking her to some park. Until we got there, then I think she got it.

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Debs wanted to see the Painted Ladies, I was happy to oblige.

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We caught up with a few of my SF Knitting buddies and there were many laughs to be had and suddenly the eight year gap had closed.

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There was a visit to Coit Tower (because I had never been, and this was a regret) Did I tell you Debs has a wicked sense of humour?

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A walk down the crooked street was also in order.

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And. We went shopping!

That was my visit to San Francisco after all this time and as I said to Deb, I’m no longer living in the past. That makes me happy. I’ve created some new memories of the city and Debs created a lot of laughs. I don’t think I could have had a better time in SF* and I have Deb to thank for that.

 

*ok maybe with my husband because I have to say that