Last year was the second year I participated in the Box o’ Sox KAL which is a yearly Knit along, run by Kristen from the Voolenvine podcast. It’s where you aim to cast on and knit 12 pairs of socks for the duration of the year and then take a photo of them presented in a box of your choice at the end of the year.
In 2017 I knit 5 pairs of socks (out of the possible 12 ha!).
Still… beginning the year with 5 pristine (and unworn) pairs of hand knitted socks is a real luxury for someone who loves to wear socks all the time.
In 2018 I thought I could do better, but I only managed 3 pairs. It wasn’t a big sock knitting year, for a couple of reasons. I abandoned a pair of socks I absolutely hated knitting (and they were turning out rubbish). And then at the end of the year I cast on and didn’t finish the knee-high socks in time to be counted. Did I mention I also knit close to 20 hats in Winter?
2018 Socks From left to right: 1. Yarn is by Half-baked Hand-dyed in the Richmond Knitter’s colour way of 2017 ‘Audrey’. 2. Opal sock mini skeins from an Advent Calendar 3. Also by Danni from Half-baked Hand-dyed!
And yet I’m still left with this beautiful box of inspiration for the 2019 Box o’ Sox. A couple of new skeins found their way into the box during last year admittedly.
You may ask yourself, why do I set myself up for failure?
I may never knit 12 pairs of socks in a single year, but nothing compares to a new set of socks to start the year off right. New socks are like freshly ironed sheets, of which I’m also a massive fan of! So here’s to 2019 of being betterer.
My dad celebrated his 82nd birthday last week!
It was a particularly happy occasion.
It’s the best I’ve seen my dad in ages, coupled by the fact that he smiled and he seemed pretty happy. He doesn’t say a lot these days, but I could tell he was happy to be the centre of attention.
I decided to knit him a hat for his birthday. After knitting a million hats last year for family and friends, I realised I hadn’t knit one for my dad. The pattern I used is by Woolly Wormhead and is called Dylan’s Hat. It’s a great pattern! I used a super wash yarn so there’s less chance of the hat being ruined accidentally in the Nursing Home wash.
He was thrilled! He willingly modelled the hat, despite the 40 plus degree temperature outside. It fit him really well too. The only modification I made was to increase the crown stitches to make a bigger hat.
Now back to my mum’s cardigan…
My Fluorite socks have been finished for a couple of weeks, but it’s been challenging to take some FO photo’s in the heat of Melbourne.
And here’s my sister’s pair (as modelled by her), she lives in Perth, so I can hardly complain about the Melbourne heat.
There are some variations to how we each ‘faded’ our colours, but ultimately they look like sisters, like us (!).
I think Andrea Mowry has written a really great pattern. I knit the 60 stitch size and my socks fit like a pair of gloves. The increases for the leg fit perfectly. The Fleegle heel she uses also fits fabulously, I’ve never experienced this in a toe-up sock. I’ve never liked knitting toe-up socks until now.
I would like to make these again, but next time I think I’ll go with the boot length pattern, that’s the length I generally wear all year round.
It’s fair to say I’m a bit of a Andrea Mowry fan-girl now. I’ve got several of her patterns on my wish list to knit. My only regret is that I wasn’t wearing one of her designs when I met her at Soul Craft last year. It can be a bit of an ice-breaker when meeting a knitting celebrity, instead I stood there like a gushing idiot! She probably gets that a lot…
Last week I wrote how I was on the home stretch to finishing my knee-high Fluorite socks in a KAL with my sister.
On the weekend, I went out for dinner with just a few rows left to go on my socks… Whilst D was in the restroom I checked my emails on my phone… and saw this message from my sister…
Can you believe it?! I certainly couldn’t! It serves me right for thinking I could come first in KAL (yes Knit-alongs are a race!)
I’m happy for my sister and I’m happy for me because my socks are now also finished.
The trouble with going away to New York for Christmas, is the catch-up required once back home. I’ve never shopped for Christmas in January, and I can honestly say it’s much harder than shopping pre-Christmas, it is hell! For the most part, the things that are left in stores are the things no one wanted to buy in December. If I ever go away at Christmas time again (never again), I’ll start shopping in May.
So my year hasn’t officially begun yet, because I’m not done with Christmas yet. But I’m getting there…
After shopping for the kids, I was a little stumped for what to get my mum this year (last year). I then remembered some yarn in my stash that would be the perfect colour for her, and maybe not so much for me. And rather than just giving her the yarn, I decided that an IOU sweater was in order.
So I wrapped the yarn as a gift and as I gave it to her, I explained that she wouldn’t be taking her gift home today. My mum looked confused at first, and then really happy when I told her I would make her a cardigan.
Now my mum is not normally gracious about receiving gifts, she would prefer we didn’t spend any money on her. A handmade gift on the other hand, is a completely different story.
I know she really liked the idea of this gift because she reminded me to take her measurements, whilst I was distracted by the festivities that were going on. I also received several text messages from her about it after she got home.
This is what she looked like after receiving a hand-spun, hand-knit shawl made by me several years ago:
I hope the cardigan lives up to her expectations.
Late last year, when I had no business casting-on for an unplanned project (I was in the middle of knitting accessories for our Christmas visit to New York)… I got an email from my sister who lives in Perth.
A bit of back story first. S and I were avid knitters as teenagers. I didn’t stop knitting since that time. S on the other hand, has returned to knitting in the last year or so with vengeance. Now many things have changed in ‘the knitting world’ since we were young. Well, we now have… Ravelry and there’s ‘Unicorn’ yarn and the crazy updates that go along with purchasing unique hand dyed yarn, indy pattern designers etc.
So back to the email, S was pretty miffed about not being able to purchase La Bien Aimée yarn for the Andrea Mowry Fluorite socks knit-along, because it had sold out when she happened to have looked at their online store. I was not surprised, I don’t even have any La Bien Aimée yarn in my stash!
Being the good sister and enabler that I am. I wanted to help her find an alternative yarn for her project so that she could participate in the knit-along during Thanksgiving. I spent more than half a day ‘researching’ and compiling skeins of yarn that could be purchased within Australia at a fraction of the cost of a La Bien Aimée kit.
And this is where I came unstuck… I decided I needed to join her for this knit along! Such is the way when you’re ‘helping’ a friend purchase yarn.
The yarn I selected is Hedgehog fibres. We only needed 7 colours for the knee high ‘faded’ sock project, but I got 2 extra colours just in case. Did you know it’s really hard buying yarn for fades on a computer screen?!
S made a start on her socks right away whilst I was finishing up a NY hat. It was a lot of fun doing this knit-along with my sister. Neither of us have finished our socks yet… at least I don’t think S has. I kind of want to finish mine before her, so I haven’t asked for an update, so as to tip her off hahaha… (but I think she might read the blog…)
I knit on my socks whilst in New York, it’s the only project I took.
The first sock is now complete and I’m past the heel on my second sock. I’m hoping to finish these up in the next week so I can begin a special new project. More on that later.
…Meanwhile, my sister has been back to the La bien Aimee website and has purchased herself a Fluorite sock kit. The force is strong with this one.
So I blogged for a little bit last year, and then I stopped. I really can’t say why. Not because it’s a secret, I just really don’t know why.
I got the notification for my blog renewal, and I wondered whether it was time to give it up, was this the year to let it go?
Then, I went back to my last posts of last year, and it surprised me that I had even stuck it out for 5 months (considering I wrote just one post in 2017). Oh yeah, I wrote about stuff and my makes and I had nice photos of things for 5 months. And then nothing. I didn’t write about the epic hat making of winter 2018 which saw me knit about 20 hats for family and friends, including these little people…
I didn’t write about anything past May. And I had a good year, with lots of makes and fun things to talk about.
I liked looking back at my posts…
I think I’ve finally found the purpose of my blog. It’s not for the traffic… trust me, it’s not that! I write for me.
So hi there future me, this is 2019. *
*friends and voyeurs of knitting are also very welcome.
I’ve done something extraordinarily spontaneous this week. I’ve booked to go to Vogue Knitting Live San Francisco!
I only became aware of the event about a week ago. And even then, I hadn’t considered going because I thought it would be held outside of SF, like a long way out as Stitches West is.
Then on Thursday morning, that all changed when I discovered it was being held downtown in SF. By Thursday evening I had booked in. Crazy!
It’s my first time to a Vogue Knitting Live event. I’m thrilled with my itinerary of classes with Isabell Kraemer, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Romi Hill and Nathan Taylor of the Sockmatician podcast. I’ll also be attending lectures by Clara Parkes, Ambah O’Brien and Cecelia Campochiaro. There’s a Gala dinner with Kaffe Fassett on the Saturday evening. So many exciting things to look forward to.
I didn’t think I would be traveling for a knitting event for a little while, but having one in a city that I love, was pretty hard to say no to.
My uncle passed away last week. It was unexpected despite his health concerns and his age. It’s been a difficult week.
I don’t have a lot of relatives, he was the only uncle I’ve ever met. He was an important figure in my childhood, creating many lasting memories, from pulling out my wonky teeth (with no pain whatsoever) to taking me to the rubbish tip with my dad. Where I got to watch them unloading the trailer from the safety of the back seat of his white ford falcon. I remember being surrounded by a wasteland of rubbish, the seagulls and that smell. Such an adventure.
He was very cool and fun. He was my only relative who danced at our wedding. Our wedding was unlike our usual family weddings, in that we had ‘Australian’ music, not a loud Slovenian band. We chose to do things our own way, turns out that’s how he liked to live too. He had a very happy life and I’ll never forget him.
So I’m going to keep knitting this (second) sleeve and think of him.