Another ending, another beginning

It’s the end of the year. How did that happen? Same as every year, in a flurry of frantic activity and good eating, spent with lovely friends (though not family this year!)

A strange thing has occurred. I have found myself at the end of the year with not a thing on the needles. Oh sure i’ve got some hibernating projects back in Aus, and I have a swatch of a cardi I’m about to start soon, but I finished up 3 projects this month and have not yet cast anything on!

Forgive the shocking photos, but I finished the most beautiful jumper that I’ve been wanting to knit for absolutely ages two days ago.

Emily by Kim Hargreaves, knit in the recommended Kid Classic

After this photo was taken I did actually lengthen it by 2 inches. I wore it with the dress and it was fine, but i knew it would feel too short with some skirts and all my trousers (not that I wear jeans very often any more!) so I popped in a knitting needle just above the texturing on the hem, snipped away and added in all the extra yarn i had in the stocking stitch section before reworking the hem. Worked very well thank you very much!

I also finished (having knit almost TWICE) my Stellaria shawl. I had to frog it when I was almost finished the first time as I was going to run out of yarn! I frogged it and reworked it with one less repeat and it is now complete and beautiful! Again forgive the crappy blocking photo, but there’s very little space and even less light here at the moment!

Stellaria in a beautiful hand dyed silk and wool from Edinburgh. The colour is actually pretty accurate, it’s a very very soft green

The other project was my one solitary knitted christmas gift, a pair of mitts for darling Kylie. I don’t have a photo as I finished them christmas eve and they went straight into wrapping paper, but I’ll ask her nicely and maybe she’ll oblige…

I will aim to get nicer photos of everything and do a collage early in the new year of 2013’s knits, but some nice things happened – I did a Mystery KAL, I got asked by Twist Collective if they could use my photo of my Mary Jane in their newsletter and I knit quite a few jumpers that I’ve been meaning to knit for a while. My crafting resolutions back in January were to take better photos (true during summer!) and to knit more around my friends. Well despite not really doing much of the latter, I’ve managed to get some pretty hefty projects done!

2013 Round up:

  • hats and headbands – 3 of each.
  • shawls, scarves and cowls – 6, including a half-swapsies cowl with Katie!
  • jumpers and tops – 5! one crocheted, and two short sleeved, but one lace weight!
  • mitts – 2 pairs, both gifts
  • small people things – just the 2 vests for Mat and Gemma’s daughters
  • socks – NONE! but I did knit a pair of spats – which i LOVE! And I made my first pair of felted slippers

So not my most productive year volume wise, but a lot of big projects in there! I also was pretty light on the yarn buying! excluding yarn for gifts and commissions, I bought 24 skeins of yarn (7 of which are felted tweed which was mostly covered by a gift card for my birthday) and swapped one for a skien of madtosh. I also received a beautiful hand dyed skein from Ursula for my birthday. I knit a hell of a lot more than that! (around 40?). So yay me!

I hope your crafting year was fun and productive, and may your new year be filled with yarn, thread, ribbons, pins, fabric and all other things that make you happy!

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So…. It’s now June.

And I have been a very slack blogger indeed.

Here are some things that i made while I was not blogging.

First Up, I mentioned knitting things for little people. well, little people get bigger and grow out of the little things I make for them, and a dear friend recently requested not one, but two new items for her daughters.

Evelyn was given an elephant intarsia vest* when she was a new person, and her little sister Lillian got owls* (because everyone is fond of owls). Of course they are both much bigger now, and mum requested a vest for Evelyn and one for Lillian too. we picked out a selection of cabled vests, and Evelyn picked hers and Lillian picked a different one (of course), we decided on colours, and then i came back to London and made it happen!

The Twisty River Vest for Evelyn

The Street Vest for Lillian

I used Cascade 220 for both since it’s hard wearing, warm and available in great colours. They were both quick and easy patterns and after sending them back to Aus, I got the best thank you I could – a photo with in a week of the vests being worn!

Ok! next up…

For christmas/my birthday, the lovely Mel at Recipe for a Yarn gave me some hand carded fibre. I spun the lovely duck egg blue up before i even left Aus and it became a lovely smooshy bulky 2 ply. It was screaming at me that it wanted to be a cowl, and so, a cowl it is! I wish i’d had a smidgeon more so it could be a little wider, but I love it and it’s very warm and snuggly!

just a simple moss stitch worked in the round til it could be worked no more.

Thank you Mel, I love it!

and, we continue on to…. another long story!

I took up swing dancing last year when i got to London. I absolutely love it, but it’s not exactly something I can do in my winter boots. So this winter I was faced with a problem… either I wear shoes I can dance in and my calves/legs get cold (jeans are also not condusive to dancing) or I wear my boots and have to lug a pair of shoes around, which is just annoying. Until I decided to finally knit myself a piece of nostalgia.

Spats*!

Don’t you just love the buttons? so steampunky!

I finished them in february and thanks to the cold spring, have worn them a few times. they are indeed perfect for wearing with little flats over tights or leggings with my swing dancey type dresses and they are surprisingly effective! I’m very pleased!

And I have apparently developed a thrifty side when it comes to yarn since living in London (which is pricey and has a very small stash available to me), as I used the left over dark grey to whip up a nice chunky tweedy, go with everything, keep me toasty, hat!

Jane*, by Jane Richmond, It shows the Brooklyn Tweed nicely and is really long – not a style I usually go for, but I seem to rock it!

That’s not the only yarn to do me double duty! Late last year I picked up two skeins of the omg-so-soft Juno Alice sock. It’s not really suitable for socks, but it is suitable for lovely shawls. Especially when you have put on said shawl in yarn store and not wanted to take it off, thus leading you to buy the exact same colours in the exact same yarn to do said shawl. Which is what happened.

stripes and lace – so satisfying!

And so I present Selena*. Pretty isn’t it. Sadly it did warm up just as I finished this, so i really haven’t worn it yet!

And the other project? well, I’ve only ever managed to lose one thing on the tube, and it was my beautiful ishbel beret that I made last year from the angora blend I picked up in Gothenburg. *sob* I was gutted. Not only was it a hand knit, but it was made from souvenir yarn that would be a bitch to replace. So when I realised I’d have enough of the contrast colour from this shawl to whip up a replacement, I figured it would fill some of the void my carelessness had left.

My second ishbel beret – a little tight in the band, but soft and delicate!

And one other thing to show you before i disappear off into internet silence again.

I picked up some jitterbug on sale (thanks Loop!) and not being able to decide which colour i prefered I got both Florentina and Velvet Olive, a perfect combo for stripes. At first I was talked into doing the Tempest cardigan, but i’ve never really been in love with it, despite seeing some amazing finished products (Sonia and Sharon come to mind) and I’ve certainly never really liked it with a strongly variegated yarn. So I found this pattern instead – Elfe* – a very simple, elegant tee, that works quite well with a semi-solid picking up a tone in the variegated yarn! It was bloody easy too and done in a month! this i HAVE worn a few times, perfect for London ‘summer’!

Such pretty colours! great with shorts or jeans.

It was also my first time doing the contiguous sleeve method, which i really liked and would totally do again. Top down seamless is the way to go!

Well, there’s my post that proves I have been productive in other ways, if not in the blogging sense. I’m currently working on the BFF cowl with Katie (more to come) and my first crocheted garment for me! exciting times.

*ravelry link

2012 round up

lettuce jumper * meret * petit artichaut * original cowl * louise as dress * aeolian shawl * offset raglan * miss moreland’s neck warmer * waffle mitts * sylvi * poppy gloves * hydrangea cowl * veyla mitts *sherilyn shawl * original hat * anemoi mitts * original mask * chevalier * poppy hat

2012:

25 projects finished

  • 5 presents for new people
  • 3 presents for not-so-new people
  • 3 cowls
  • 3 adult jumpers/coats
  • 4 adult hats (one lost!!! *cry*)
  • 2 shawls (one handspun)
  • 5 sets mitts/mittens
  • one crochet mask

This year has been a bit of a selfish knitting year – or at least it would have been if all my friends didn’t keep reproducing! This year i got to knit for some little girls so I went a bit crazy on the pink, dresses and general femininity. Living in London, I also went a bit crazy on the WARM, which was fun. I’ve made two jumpers which i love, including the laceweight lettuce, which i love so much i’m knitting another. Given it took 6 months all up, that shows how much i love it, though i’m steaming ahead on my second one, thanks to 2 25+ hour flights to aus and back.

I feel like i wasn’t very productive this year, which i think comes down to a few things: fewer regular knitting nights  (I miss you richmond girls!), fewer knitting friends in general, more non-knitting conducive socialising and a few really long-term projects (lettuce and aeolian took up a good 2-3 months of almost bygamous knitting)

I’ve barely been spinning as it turns out i do love spinning on the wheel SO much more than the spindle. I did spin a little when i was back in Australia which reminded me how much fun it is to watch this fluff become this useful thing. I will try to spindle a bit more!

I’ve also discovered that I’m even worse at taking photos of FOs when it gets dark at 4pm! I finished 2 Rowan Lima projects – briar and kat – months ago and am yet to take a photo of either, even bad ones!

So, my 2013 crafting resolutions are to photograph my FOs properly, get my london friends more used to my knitting in public and knit (mostly) from the stash under my bed – i don’t want to have to take it back to Aus when they kick me out in 2014!

some FOs at last!

I have been knitting quite a bit, but given the nature of projects, i don’t have a lot to show for it!

My lettuce pullover is coming along nicely, though sadly it’s my out-and-about project and i’ve actually been REALLY busy when i’m out, so not so much knitting! Over the next few days i’ll do the neck and start on the sleeves and then it should get going again.

At home i’ve been working on more complicated things… namely my first Aeolian. It was my first large scale laceweight shawl. I bough the yarn in Downer’s Grove, Illinois – handmaiden lace silk. SO divine. I had been told when i bought it that the meterage was a lie, and that what was stated as 600m was at LEAST 900. The full Aeolian calls for around 1200 so i played it safe.

Now as it turns out i could probably have done the full shawl or at the very least done 9 stitch nupps instead of 7, but my finished object is still large and stunning!

good thing i’d just put all my clean clothes away!

mirror mirror

“beads and nupps, why not?”

Once the shawl was finished i felt i needed a bit more of a quick’n’dirty knit, so i pulled out the skein of handdyed BFL i had earmarked for a present for Nett and Greg’s soon-to-be daughter ‘Muffin’

My friends have had a lot of boys of late, so i’ve been getting my full girliness out with this little bub. I really wanted a bit of lace, something floaty and fun, so i took a cute little lace vest pattern and modified it into a dress…

blocking…

It just needs some buttons – i bought some at Liberty (oh yes, how i love liberty) but sadly they are really just too big, so will be looking for some teeny tiny ones soon. There is no way this is going to get to Adelaide before Muffin arrives (unless she’s stupidly late) so Nett and Greg have seen it on Skype and Muffin will get to witness the opening of the package!

The pattern is Louise and i simple added some more rounds of the centre panel while working moss stitch instead of stocking stitch. then i increased by a third (ie, after every second stitch) went up 2 needle sizes to create a nice drape on the skirt and did a Dory (just kept knitting). I finished off with 6 rounds of moss.

I have a decent amount left… hat? booties? sockies? or save it for another little bub?

A few weeks ago before i started my job I headed down to Stonehenge and Bath. It was totally brilliant and beautiful and I’ve just realised i’ve TOTALLY FORGOTTEN TO BLOG IT! so will do that over on Before i’m too old in a tick. BUT I mention it here because despite only having 3 hours in the city of bath, I managed to find a yarn store and purchase a BEEEAUUUTIFUL souvenir skein of yarn…

Dragon’s Blood
(actually it’s called Arequipa, but who’s checking)

Isn’t it stunning? It’s Rooster Angel Lace, handdyed in Cheshire. Laceweigh Silk and Alpaca in a beautiful red (the kind i can wear happily)

It’s around 800m, so i see another shawl on the horizon soon.

In other news, my mum has sent me a few bits and bobs from my existing stash so i don’t go crazy over here 🙂

And I’ve been going to the Loop knitting group on a thurs night – luckily my schedule at work means i should be able to go most weeks if only for an hour and a bit. It’s a lovely shop with lovely people  (but not as lovely as my Richmond girls of course. I miss you)

2011 retrospective

I made lots of things some for me, some for other people, some big, some small.

according to rav i completed 11 pairs of socks (2 gifted), 3 adult jumpers/cardigans (all for me), 2 hats (both gifts), 3 scarves/shawls (two for me, one not shown), 13 various things for babies and children (all gifts) and a pair of mitts (not shown and gifted).

It always surprises me at the end of the year when i look at how much i’ve actually knit for other people.

1. wallflower, 2. elijah’s cardi, 3. fruiby’s vest, 4. blanket, 5. IMG_0081, 6. mini cons, 7. synesthesia, 8. thea, 9. fishies, 10. theo’s jumper, 11. stockport, 12. kalajoki, 13. kitty hat, 14. pixie hat, 15. skew, 16. noro scarf, 17. soaker, 18. livia, 19. fay, 20. shur’tugal, 21. baby ribs, 22. DSC_0315, 23. DSC_0326, 24. baby vest, 25. mochi socks, 26. brown bear, 27. swallowtail, 28. moonflower socks, 29. port adelaide socks, 30. jade’s tunic

I currently have 6 wips. (hey, not bad at all for me!) The most exciting of these is Sylvi which i hope to have finished and lined before i go to the UK

I got six lovely insallments of socks that rock

1. comfort and joy, 2. Drop Dead Sexy , 3. schwartzwald, 4. maia, 5. electric kool aid acid test, 6. pinky swear and augerbenius

In the spinning world i only finished 8 yarns, though i have a few on bobbins.

you can't tell what colours i like at all, can you?

1. nett’s bunny hop angorino, 2. katie’s merino/carbonized bamboo, 3. mel’s wensleydale, 4. berry superwash merino 3ply, 5. nett’s camel bunny silk , 6. wensleydale singles, 7. lush bunny, 8. merino rose fibre

my spinning is still not as even as i would like and i’m really really bad at getting my singles the same length for plying, but i still enjoy it and i am improving.

Not a bad effort for a year plagued with illness, restlessness and then extreme busy-ness!

but honestly? I’m glad to be done with it!

Months in the Making

A baby is months in the making (9 months or 40 weeks to be more precise) so it is only fitting that when someone you really care about is making a person, you spend a few months making something too.

When my darling friends E+SJ told me they were expecting (something that took a bit more effort and planning than it does for some couples) E told me a story about a knitted blanket that her brother had had as a child. Sadly this blanket was lost to the family but hearing the memories and longing in E’s voice i knew what i had to do for her and her little foetus. E is an amazing quilter and stitcher and though she has tried the yarny needle arts she doesn’t feel comfortable with knitting needles or a crochet hook. SJ knits beautifully but occupies her time with other activities (including learning to be a teacher – pretty important!) so i knew these were the kind of people who would really appreciate the time, effort, dedication and love that goes into a hand knitted blanket. There was no doubt about what i would do!

I picked out the yarn and pattern pretty much as soon as i knew. I chose a beautiful lace shawl pattern* by debbie bliss from one of her many beautiful baby books, but decided against the baby cashmerino. Firstly I figured if i knit it in a thicker yarn i could cut out a few repeats and it would go a bit faster, secondly, baby cash isn’t cheap (even with a staff discount) and thirdly, while it is beautiful, occasionally i have heard tell of it not standing up to years of use, and this was a project i wanted to be a family heirloom. I chose instead Adorn Cotton Cashmere in a beautiful soft sage green – a colour i know E loves, would complement their home and that i thought would suit either a boy or a girl. I know from experience that the cotton cashmere is both wonderfully soft and EXTREMELY hardy. You can throw that yarn in the dryer NO trouble!

I didn’t cast on until the pregnancy had been officially announced, not wanting to jinx anything and once i had the ‘go ahead’ knitted on it every now and again, here and in adelaide, at mine and at friends’ houses, until i got the date for the baby shower (today) and a deadline for the blanket! And so, on Thursday night I finished sewing on the edge, washed and blocked the present and today gave it to the lovely mums-to-be.

Green on Green on a sunny summer's day

Just for frame of reference for size, here is a photo of it blocking on my double sofa bed

a blanket, a play mat and a shawl in one

For anyone wanting to do this blanket i’ll tell you i cut out 2 repeats (18 stitches per repeat) and worked the 24 row pattern 12 times, with a further 7 rows to create the finer zig zag at each end. It still turned out huge! I’d read on rav that this was really big (which was why i was happy to cut out a few repeats) but i probably could have cut out another one or two repeats and still had a good sized blanket!

This was not the only present for E and SJ – good friends deserve lots of knitted things!

Earlier in the year i presented them with the following items, both knitted once it was known Fruiby (fruit baby – a nickname given because E has been blogging each week comparing in size Fruiby to fruits and vegies) that fruiby would be a child of the boy type. E and SJ are very much against gender specific-ness anyway, and have worked on a wardrobe for Fruiby in gorgeous brights of every colour, so i used the very special leftover yarn from my swedish fish socks to create a colourful little vest for him

A stripy vest!

E and SJ are massive Dr Who fans (as am i) and it occurred to me that rather than knitting traditional booties, i could pay an homage to a wonderful fandom and still create a cute baby present. Now, I’m not the best crocheter in the world, and of course i didn’t use the recommended gauge yarn, but i managed to create these in reference to 10s distinctive footwear…

BABY CONS!

So now I am moving on to me projects. I don’t think i will be knitting presents this christmas, which is a bit sad, but with so many babies it’s like my gift quota is done! There are more babies to knit for yet, so i hope you like adorable cute things! It does feel weird to be finished with a project i’ve had with me for so long though.

*ravelry link

Disaster!

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

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

Still here…

Hi!

I apologise for the month long silence, but things haven’t been great chez Jen. I won’t go into it here, because a) I don’t want this to be a whingy blog b)It’s a bit TMI for some and c)it’s long and complicated, but the short version is I have been having issues with my mental and physical health. I am on a new medication which has made me feel better, but not good, but will stick with it for a few more weeks before trying something new. But the result of this is that sometimes the things i know usually are relaxing and fun haven’t necessarily been. So for example I’ve had the odd panic attack whilst knitting, or have had the wrong energy for sitting down to crafting.

BUT! I have persevered and have a few finished objects to show you!

Firstly My February Socks

Dragonfly socks in Mini Mochi

I really enjoyed this knit. The yarn is a little splitty (not great for dropping down and picking up stitches) but otherwise lovely – so smooooooshy and the pattern is super easy. I worked an eye of patridge heel, because i like them. This yarn is apparently known for not ‘matching up’ but i’m pretty happy with how these turned out. Very similar!

I have also finished March’s socks, though sadly 2 days into April, so too late to enter into the  Sock Knitters Anonymous  competition under the Janneke Maat design category. Pity – first time my random selection and their competition categories had matched up!

Here is a (terrible) photo of the first finished sock as I haven’t taken FO pics yet

Maeve in Ixchel’s BFL bunny sock

I really didn’t enjoy these as much as i thought i would. I don’t know why – maybe the colours were actually too muted for the mood i was in, or perhaps it had nothing to do with the socks, just the mood/energy i was feeling, but they’ve also ended up a smidgeon small, so will probably get gifted. I don’t usually like gifting things that haven’t been specifically knitted for the recipient, but my cousins have small feet, so one of them may like them… I don’t know.

Also, the two socks are slightly different colours.

Now for a very deliberate gift…

Cabled Slipover from Debbie Bliss in Adorn Silky Cashmerino 4ply

This is for the soon-to-be first boy in my family for 31 years (41 on that particular side of my family). My cousins are having a little boy due this month and I couldn’t resist  knitting this (in gorgeous cashmere silk merino). I think it’s super cute that i’m sending my aussie cousin, married to a german, living in the states a cricket vest, but they’ll all think it’s a tennis vest, so it’s not as amusing as i think it is. But it is ADORABLE! (and the neck does stretch out a lot and it’s designed for the newborn)

I also finished spinning a yarn (hee) once i was feeling a bit better last month. It’s wensleydale from Charly in the colourway Sleepy Hollow

(c) Ixchelbunny from flickr

I separated out all the colours into the full colours and the mixes where they blend and then spun in a slow colour gradient. It’s a laceweight or light fingering at most and i’ve got 360m to play with – I’m looking for a nice lace shawl pattern, but might end up designing one!

I love the halo on it! wensleydale has a nice long staple so it’s good for a low twist single. As i was spinning it i thought it wasn’t ‘low’ twist enough, but had a few breaks when winding it onto a niddy noddy, so it obviously IS low twist afterall!

I’m now working on my April socks (and they’re going quite quickly!!) and have been working on my Fay again – a year on! I really love it and want to wear it!! I also have a few more baby knits to work on (so many babies due) but needed to work on some adult things for a while. I’ve also cast on Emily by Kim Hargreaves in Alpaca Cotton, an Aran weight yarn, because i needed to knit something NOT with 4ply!

Socks, Socks and More Socks *RSC spoilers*

no, RSC sadly does not stand for Royal Shakespeare company, but for Rockin Sock Club. I did indeed buy myself an early birthday present and the first installment HAS ARRIVED! huzzah, but more on that in a moment…

Firstly to my January Sock-a-month Sock – Esther in Blue Moonstone, affectionately named Moonflowers.

I cast off on the 31st (well it was still the 31st in some parts of the country) and blocked them today. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I decided to do the larger of the two sizes but could probably have done the smaller size as it turns out, but still nice to have a sock i don’t have to struggle to get over my heel. I was REALLY worried about running out of yarn as i finished the first sock but according to weight i have enough and i have about 8 grams left *phew*

Any one in Melbourne today will realise that there was no natural light available pretty much all day, so the colour isn’t quite true, but close

I freaking love this yarn too. It’s the second time i’ve knitted with the lightweight and have also worked with the heavyweight, but socks that rock, really do… ROCK!

Unfortunately the same can’t be said of Zauberball. I started a pair of socks with the teal and black just before christmas, so i would have a pair to wear to the footy this year (my team is teal, black and white) I did Sam by Cookie A which has a zig zagging travelling cable on it. Now, I don’t cable with a cable needle, especially when it’s lots of little two stitch cables. but this yarn was HORRID for cabling with. mostly because it was a single on 2.25mm, but bah, time again and i would not match this yarn with a cable pattern. In fact, i was so disappointed with the yarn i’m swapping one of my other sock-a-months which was going to be zauberball for something else. Look, the yarn isn’t terrible and i think i might want to do a shawl with the other colourway i have of it, but just have to think a bit more carefully about what i do in it, and not as nice as i thought it might be with all the hype. It has come up softer after a wash though!

One more FO to show off before we get to the juicy stuff.

the Richmond Knitters have monthly (optional) KALs and January was Swallowtail, a shawl i’d been wanting to do in this handspun for AGES…

Angorino plied with CamelBunny Silk from Ixchel

So i did. I’m afraid it’s really hard to photograph on ones own, though if it’s cold tomorrow i will wear it to my Melbourne birthday drinks and get someone to take a picture. but this is more or less what it looks like and i love it. I did a full repeat of the lily of the valley section for size. had to fudge the edge lace work a bit, but it looks good in the end!

 

but on to the real item… the first installment of the Rockin Sock Club. Now i assume that if you have read this far down the page you are happy to view the photos so i am not putting them behind cuts… You’ve been warned!

 

seriously.

 

 

I won’t take flack about showing off photos when it clearly says spoilers in the heading!

 

ok…

Here are the TWO, that’s right, TWO colours that make up the first installment. Aubergenius paired with Pinkie Swear designed to go together for beautiful colourwork!

Aubergenius is very hard to photograph. At first i thought it was brown, but it’s actually a very earthy purple. Just beautiful. Pinkie Swear is lovely given it has pretty much every colour i don’t like in it! I love the blue though, so maybe that makes it all better? Together they are beautifully autumnal and the two patterns make great use of them! I’m actually going to do one of the patterns in these, because i’ve never seen such beautifully twinned yarn! BUT who am i going to give these autumnal socks to? we’ll have to see (no seriously, I have no idea.)

The two patterns are both stranded knitting, one with a cute image of birdies and ‘BFF’ around the cuff, the other incorporating cabled circles into lovely squishy boot socks. The designers are Mary Scott Huff (Distelfink) and Lucy Neatby (Social Network) and they’ve both done an amazing job. I really like distelfink, but i think i want to do it at some point in two semisolids, as i feel the pattern gets a bit lost in the variegated yarn, so i plan to do Social Network in these two yarns at some point.

I very much enjoyed my first installment even if it was very un-jen! It’s really fun to feel a part of something!

And the inside of my ball band? Wallace and Gromit 😀