before i explain the title, a few housekeeping things

1) I am going to try and blog once a week. I figure if i really want to be the next Stephanie Purl McPhee, this is a good place to start! Let’s try with Mondays after knitting since i’m all geared up after seeing the girls!

2) I WILL take photos of Fay. I have not really been home during daylight hours to take good photos, either on or off me! I have worn it a few times and it is just lovely – fits well – fitted, but comfy – and is not too warm, but warm enough for this chilly May! And it’s light enough to pop a coat on over. It’s pilling a little under the arms, but that was to be expected – the rest is holding up really well. I get lots of comments on it which makes me happy!

So! Disaster!! Let me explain

Despite using very lovely (often expensive) and pretty hardy sock yarns for most of my socks, I hand wash them. Wool has great anti-bacterial and anti-odour properties, and I live in 2011, not 1100, so not a lot of hard labour on the cards, which means I can wear my socks a few times before i wash them. I rotate which i’ve washed and hung up to dry over the heater on my sock blockers. I have 2 sets of blockers, so unless i’ve just finished a pair of socks, I have two freshly cleaned pairs ready to go.

I was doing this little washing ritual on Saturday and as I was hanging my first ever* Socks that Rock* socks up to dry I noticed a little gap. Now despite my best efforts i tend to get a little gap between my picked up heel stitches and the instep stitches. I’m learning new tricks for avoiding this, but my older socks all have them to varying degrees. It was in an odd spot though and i thought it a bit weird, so I took a closer look. Lo and Behold, what should i see but a HOLE!

I was pretty impressed with my reaction actually. I didn’t panic (which given how i’ve been feeling was quite remarkable) but dug out my very small ball of leftovers and decided to wait til the socks were dry to attempt to fix them. I didn’t have a massive amount left, since leyburns are a slipped stitch pattern which though incredibly pretty, uses up a lot of yarn. Still, I reeled off a small section, finding the pink of the broken thread, threaded it onto a needle, turned my sock inside out (the slipped stitches were getting in the way) and tried to sort of ‘copy’ the broken stitches. Then i threaded the tails through the stitches around the hole to baste them. The fix is a little built up on the back, but is pretty darn neat from the front! I’m really happy with this, hopefully it will hold!

I don’t know what caused the hole. I’m pretty sure it’s not the dreaded M-beast as I’ve not had any other problems or seen any clothes moths around. I’ll be on the lookout for them a bit though! These socks have been out in my pile of ‘not so dirty they need cleaning but not so clean they can be put away’ clothes for a while now, so it’s quite possible that a kitty claw caught them sometime. Or indeed, it’s possible a kitty claw caught them when i was wearing them. They’re both pretty clumsy with their claws! Anyway, the darn hole is darned and i am pretty pleased with my reaction, both emotionally and practically, to this little hurdle!

Speaking of socks, I have just grafted the toe and sewn in the ends on my first jitterbug* socks! No proper photos as they need a block and light for catching the DELICIOUS colour. But here is a teaser photo!

Livia from Twist Collective in Jitterbug, Morello Mash

Livia from Twist Collective in Jitterbug, Morello Mash

I am VERY glad that the lovely Sharondoubleknit was ALSO knitting socks in the same yarn as she has tiny feet and Jitterbug is a notoriously short ball. Sure enough had Sharon not provided me with a little ball of her leftovers I would have run short. As it was I stumped my toes up a bit as I found the 3 pattern repeats plus the written toe a bit long for my Aus size 8 feet. I don’t think it will be too long before i order more of this yarn for things! Especially this colour! It is just so NOMMABLE!

So that’s it for this week. I will try to drop in with photos after tomorrow when I have some daylight time at home! Otherwise, see you monday!


*Ravelry link

Inspired by a Yorkshire Lass

My darling mel has just blogged about her knitterly beginnings and she has inspired me to do the same.

People ask me when i took up knitting… I learnt to knit as a little girl and i mean learnt to KNIT, as in, I had no idea how to cast on, bind off or even purl! I have memories of getting mum to do ‘the beginning bit’ and then working away on stitches while she knit pretty awesome (if 80statstic) jumpers. I don’t know that i ever got to the ‘ending bit’… short attention span! But it wasn’t something i stuck with (nor did i ever finish the french-knitted rug i was going to make from mum’s leftovers…)

So fastforward to 2005 and I have finished my universtity course and am about to move to melbourne. This means two things – i’m not doing creative things everyday any more and i’m facing a lot of bus trips… I started sewing and got my own sewing machine to take with me, but that isn’t exactly portable. Also melbourne is cold! So mum and i picked up some GAWDAWFUL feathers (it was 2005!) and needles from spotty’s or kmart or some such and a little ‘how to knit’ pamphlet and between mum and the leaflet i was knitting in no time. and this time i was purling too! I must say as awful as feathers yarn is, it does hide imperfections!

I got right into, as i do with most things, and made mostly scarves, dyed my own yarn in the attempt to make a cardi (that has never been made – epic fail was epic) and discovered mitts (love mitts). My dearest Sajee was also knitting a bit at the time and had bought some lovely books and she inspired me to buy Stitch n Bitch. I must say, that book is like a gateway drug. If anyone here has seen my knitterly library they will know that i am more or less addicted to knitting books. The great thing about Stitch N Bitch for a beginner though is that it is a great reference book as well as having some cool (and some hideous!) patterns.

I discovered the wool baa one day – i don’t even remember how, or why i was looking for a yarn store! I stopped in a few times over the first few years i was here. Then one day i happened to be in and heard they were looking for staff. And i was out of a job… Two weeks later i had the best job i’ve ever had in my life and my obsession has only grown!

I think the thing i have come to love most about knitting, both in and outside of my job, is the community and comradery. When i travelled overseas, the first thing i did in each city was look up yarn stores, and i knew in going there that i would find someone i could have a decent conversation with. Knitters are welcoming and open folk and as long as you have sticks and strings in common, you have friends for life!

Almost there…

I am too lazy to take a photo, but Fay* which i have been working on for over a year is sooooo close to completion I can SMELL it! I cast off both sleeves last night and am debating whether to wash block or just steam the pieces before seaming the shoulders. I still need to knit the neck band, which i will start tonight, but it is sewn in, so need to have shoulder seams sewn ready to go. this means i need to block the main body pieces now.

Usually I would just whack it in the sink in lukewarm water, give it a little swish, press the water out, pin and go… BUT! when katie was living with me, she blocked her pear tree Mara in such a fashion and it grew… A Lot. It did shrink back when it dried, but it was significantly larger. Now i know what you sticklers out there are saying “Well well well, serves you right for not washing your swatch!”. At least i DID swatch for this project! And I have just washed and pinned my little swatch to see what it does! This will help decide how to go about things. In the meantime, NECKBAND! 🙂

In the meantime, I finished a pair of socks!

They are Shur’tugal (Dragon Rider) socks in Waikiwi Prints that i picked up in NZ. It’s a really yummy alpaca, possum and merino blend and while it felt a little thin/ropey during the knitting process it softened up beautifully when i washed them. My mum eyed them off while i was knitting them so she scored them for mother’s day 🙂

Speaking of presents, this ADORABLE little jacket (that I knit over easter – super quick!!) is destined for a soon-to-be person! There are a few mothers-to-be reading this so i’ll let you all guess which of the baby knits you’re getting!

Speaking of Babies… The recipient of the little cabled vest* that i blogged about in March has arrived safe and sound. Mum and bub are both doing well, Dad’s proud as punch and the dog is a little put out!

Meet my cousin-once-removed (hey, I don’t get neices and nephews, ok? it’s not my fault it’s a really clumsy name for the relationship), Henry John Thorn. He’s the first boy in the family (Dad’s side) in 41 years! I think this is the only photo i’ve seen with his eyes open. mostly he just frowns, but i’m sure he’ll grow out of it!

* ravelry link