i heart knitting
Monday, February 27, 2006
  what quality is it? 'cos it aint patience
I had an interesting conversation over the weekend, strangely about knitting. As I mentioned before I started the posterboy bag and had to unknit it. Since then I have made numerous mistakes and had to go back and try again. The comment was made that "I don't know how you do it aj, you have such patience!" Now, this is not true. I am not a patient person. Put me behind a Sunday Hat Driver and I nearly go insane. I yell and scream "Bloody hurry up! Get off the road you old tool" and other such terribly offensive rantings. I think that it would be more fair to say "I don't know how you do it aj, how do you function while being such an obsessive person, so driven that you won't allow a pattern or technique to beat you?" Because I think that is closer to the truth. Knitting something new is a challenge, even if it is a plain old stocking stitch jumper - the challenge is to get it to fit, to be a piece of clothing that I want to wear. Not going so well with this challenge, but I will get there!

Here is a pic of the bag as of last night (note the weird unhinged finger - a genetic defect!):

The lumps and bumps will be ironed and blocked out (!). I am pretty pleased with it, although it is of course smaller than the one in SnB.

My friend picked up a free pattern from Spotlight, so I know what I am going to do with the ribbon yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago:

I am planning only to have two or three dropped sections, as I would prefer to use it as an evening bag - of course I go out so much I need so many evening bags (not). I will need to find some handles. Should knit up in about two hours I reckon. Again, hoping Mother will help with the lining. I am in no hurry to get my sewing machine fixed. I hate sewing!

Happy knittin'

Friday, February 24, 2006
  Oh oh, I spent more money
Thanks Suzi for your kind remarks - love your blog!

I have finished the back of my raspberry jumper, now I am concerned it too will not fit me. I am going to cast on extra stitches in the front to compensate for my womanly figure (read fat bits). Here is a shot of the back:

As I suffer from knitting ADHD, I went to Spotlight this morning and picked up some new wool, a pair of needles which I hate, but they are better than what I was using:

I think I need something firm in a needle. I also bought a circular needle, and have cast on and knit 7 rows of the Posterboy bag from SnB nation:

This is quite a feat, extreme knitting for me, as I have had limited experience with circs and none with the fair isle technique. I have already had to rip it apart once, due to a counting malfunction but I have come back. I am even using two hands to hold my yarn. Very proud. However, I didn't check tension so anything could happen. And, I am hoping when it is done Mother will line it for me as my sewing machine is on the fritz. Definitely one for deep concentration, but I am finding the stocking stitch of the raspberry jumper a bit boring.

SS has suggested I go to Knitters Anonymous; I have been dreaming about knitting and wondered yesterday if I nicked off from work to Spotlight whether anyone would notice. As I pointed out, I admit I have a problem, so therefore I do not need a support group.

What's with this heat?

Happy knittin'

Thursday, February 23, 2006
  I did it!
I have finished the scarf, to my specifications. I don't think at this point I will add the tassels, I am not really a tassel girl.

You can see a picture here, where I have decided to post pics of my FOs. On an exciting front, I have joined a mailing list of local SnBers, not sure whether I can a) make the meetings or b) gain the courage to face a room full of strangers, but we'll see.

My daughter is powering ahead with her scarf, I will add a photo when it is done.
Monday, February 20, 2006
  Wowsers, what a guy!
Well, as mentioned, I ran out of yarn for my alien scarf, so had to find other things to do. SS was home today and emailed to see if I wanted him to go to the LYS and get the rest of what I need to finish. I said "Oh, if you can be bothered, make sure you get 12ply, don't worry too much I can do it later in the week after work." When I arrived home there it was on the table! Gorgeous man.

I have been reading so many knitting blogs lately, it is so cool to know that other people have frustrations and doubts about their crafting. I have lost some confidence after my last jumper turned out to be such a disaster, but this time I have made better choices with pattern, colour and yarn. I hate to admit it is not pure anything, but a plastic and angora mix, but it is so soft and knits to be almost felted in appearance. I hope it works I hope it works! If it does, there are lots of other colours, including a gorgeous light lime green that would look fabbo for Bristow, so we'll see.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
  I'll chalk it up to . . .
. . . experience. I bloody hate the stripey jumper, so I took a photo for your amusement and then folded it carefully and put it at the top of the cupboard. I may wear it if hell freezes over and it gets really REALLY cold. Notes to self:
  1. tiny model I am not. Do not knit horizontal stripes ever again. We all know that rule. I put this jumper on and look like I am seven months pregnant.
  2. grey, taupe and brown are not nice colours together. This baby is boring in the extreme.
  3. if something irritates your arms while you are knitting it, it will not be pleasant to wear.
  4. if your MIL says you will look like a bushy bumble bee wearing something, although hurtful, it may be true.

Never mind. Here's the end product:

After posting last night I knitted my arse off to finish the yarn I had for the alien, so I didn't feel guilty starting something else. I learned that I knit a lot faster if I listen to upbeat music, as I love a rhythm and can't resist trying to keep up. Maybe I should try some death metal and see what happens! Anyhow, I cast on some of the pink ribbon and began a drop stitch scarf. The result:

Looks a bit like one of those toilet roll dollies my old auntie used to make. UGLY. I have found another idea here, so I will try this one. Frogged said pink toilet roll whatsit.

Cast on a jumper out of Stitch n Bitch nation, and am hoping that the shaping in this will make me look less dumpy and frumpy. And so far I am liking what I see. Gorgeous colour. I may even attempt some felting and add the flower as in the book! Wowsers, look out.

Had a friend around who said she was at a book shop and saw a knitting book and then couldn't stop thinking about it. She cast on last night to see if she still had it. I encouraged her to buy the book and come around tomorrow night and I would help her get started. We'll see. Her idea was to knit various squares including some beaded and cables etc for an afghan extraordinaire. Quote of the day: "If I get sick of it you can always do it"! Yeah, thanks.

Saturday, February 18, 2006
  It's done, and so am I!
I have reknit the bottom of the jumper to make it longer. I have decided at the moment to leave the neckline, because frankly I don't know how much I am going to wear this. The effect is not as nice as I had hoped it would be, and the colours are a bit drab. I am hoping that in winter I can wear it with a short black skirt, stockings and boots or heels to dress it up. If I wear it with jeans I will look like a little rectangular prism. Now that I have done this I must get on with the scarf! Deary me. I have been quite neglectful of the poor aliens. I am actually looking forward to wearing it - it is sure to get some comments! Although, my gauge is way off and it is going to be v e r y wide.

I went to Spotlight today and bought more yarn. No idea what I am even going to do with it, but it is a really pretty colour - dark pinky raspberry. I bought enough for a cardy or jumper, or I might use it for some different bits and pieces. I love the cabled cap in Stitch n Bitch nation. I also bought some ribbon which was really cheap - 99c a skein. No idea what I am going to do with that either. I will have to trawl the net for some ideas. I have never knitted with ribbon, so it should be fun. And my daughter asked for a big chunky skein and I cast her on 30sts for a scarf. She was amazed how fast it was knitting up! I hope she sticks with it, she will love having something she has made herself. Her little friend was with us and said "I wish I could knit . . ." Hahaha, the net widens! If I can get these little funky chickettes knitting, it is sure to catch on at their school.

On a slightly different note - I watched a repeat of Foreign Correspondent today and the journalist had travelled to New York to Sesame Street. Oh my God I loved that show as a kid, and still find myself likening situations I come across to events that occured on Sesame Street. My brother does the same thing. Watching the piece today, it was amazing to look back on the 35 years this show has been on air, and the comments that the actress that plays Maria made about the people on the show being real, being able to age and even to die. I am slightly embarrassed to say that they showed a part of the episode where Mr. Hooper had died and they were explaining it to Big Bird, and I cried! I am getting worse. Sentimentality may kill me.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
  knitting and other bruises
I have not gone much further than my last post. I finished another alien, so only have four to go, but am conscious that there is just over a week until I have to be finished. I have recruited others for the sit n knit and just have to find time to get it off the ground. The stripy fluffy monster will be re knit by Sunday night. In case it is cold . . .
Monday, February 13, 2006
  Ho hum
I am not the happiest of campers this evening. I finished the stripy beast, mattress stitched the seams, conquered the four needle thing, weaved in the ends and put the thing on, and it is about 10cm too short. If you look at the photo below, I guess you could argue that sight impaired Freddy could see that it was too short. So, I began unpicking to reknit the bottom and add some length, and a rolled hem as the rib is too loose done on the same size needles and looks stupid. The neckband is also wrong, so I will probably redo this as well - it is only three rows of purl, so I will do at least three more until it rolls. Why don't things you knit from patterns ever turn out how you think they will? I have done everything right with this one, and still a good deal less than ideal result. Maybe it is because I am slightly larger than the model in the pics? Here it is as of about 24 hours ago (thanks Mum for the old school crochet afghan):

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I have only done a few rows of the scarf in the past couple of days, I have no doubt I will finish by the deadline.

Last night SS and I began frogging a jumper I knitted for my daughter about four years ago. I think I will turn it into a vest for myself. Why not? This one is cute! I only have two colours at the moment and may be pushing it if I want to buy more yarn in the next couple of weeks, so I might work out a pattern with my purple and orange.

On a slightly different note, I came out at work today and told my mostly male colleagues about the Knitting Olympics. Cue the crickets. They literally stared at me, speechless with their mouths gaping. Maybe too much too soon on my part? I am close to Knitting In Public and have discussed with some workmates the idea of a Sit'n'Knit club - in my workplace a Stitch'n'Bitch would not be appropriate! I have one interested party at this point!
Saturday, February 11, 2006
  Late nights, early mornings
Well, I went to bed last night (Friday) at about 12:30, after finishing one sleeve and a bit of the next in fluff. I set my alarm with all intentions of getting up at 5:30 this morning to watch the opening ceremony. I turned said alarm off at 5:23 before it had a chance to buzz and went back to sleep. But being the dedicated knithlete that I am, I did manage to get out of bed at 6:10 and cast on the scarf. I didn't see much of the ceremony because I was concentrating, but I thought it was pretty cool. I love the Olympics, summer or winter. The scarf is is bloody easy. I have set myself a completely achievable goal. By 10 this morning, this is what I had:

I wowed the inlaws who said I was very clever. I had to tell them that if you can knit and count, you can do it - one day I will learn to take praise (whether I deserve it or not!). I have been out twice today, once for a new 'do (looking shmick if I do say so) and out for the afternoon with the family, have entertained twice today, once for five hours, have ferried children and sent SS off to work, and still have managed to do this much:

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So, I have put it down, and have picked up the fluff. Maybe the challenge will be that I am about to go back to work and have just received my course work for a post grad degree I am starting this year, and I really do not have time to knit.

I do love the effect though - we have been walking around the scarf saying "I can see it" "Wow it looks cool from here" and my kids have been playing Where's Walien? I am having visions of being stopped in the street and being offered copious amounts of money for knitting scarves for strangers. It could happen. The other challenge is that I was supposed to need 2 x 100g yarn for the scarf, and I have nearly used 2 x 50g and have not yet done two repeats in a six repeat pattern. I will need to revisit the kindly lady at the LYS. How are you all going???
Friday, February 10, 2006
  Great day! Woohoo
I had a corker of a day today. Slept in a bit, went shopping with SS without children, went to the LYS and had a chat, looked for appropriate yarn for Manly out of SnB, didn't find any (minor setback as I have to do the scarf!!), bought beautiful black and green wool for scarf, bought set of dpns to do neck of stripy monster fluffy jumper, bought Stitch n Bitch Nation, came home, inspired daughter to knit, about to sit down and try and finish the jumper tonight (ahem. Don't think so, but you never know. I am up to the raglan shaping on sleeve one).

Then, I checked the YarnHarlot site, and I am listed among the Olympians. I am so excited to be doing something like this, on a global scale. Woo hoo. And my darling SS washed up the dishes before he went to work so I could concentrate on my knitting! My God, I am blessed.

(Saturday night...) Unfortunately I was sidetracked making pompoms for eager children. Did not get as much knitting done as I would have liked, but I have finished one sleeve and cast on the other, so I guess I am on track.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
  I'm in
Well, I have decided I am going to participate in the Knitting Olympics, although I think I am too late to actually join in officially. I am going to knit an Alien Illusion scarf from Stitch n Bitch (thanks to the poor person I have flogged the link from. Did a google search and this was the best pic - oh God she said it took ages!!!). It is too cool. I don't like aliens that much - well, I've never met one personally, but it will be a challenge to follow the chart, and I figure I should be able to do it withing the sixteen day timeframe. Unsure whether I will wear it, but SS said it would suit me, so who knows.

I finished the front of the stripy monster this afternoon, and am motoring through the arm at a pace that begs the question - can I get someone to put the thing together for me? I really hate putting them together. My other question is, with this blocking thing, can you block something that is half mohair, half acrylic?? I suppose you can, the mohair bits would take the blocking and you can't damage the acrylic. I have never blocked before. And should I have a board or something? I remember back to a jumper I lovingly knitted for SS, and the poor bugger wore it, but it was too short and too wide. I had no idea I could have fixed the issue with a bit of hot water! As I said before, where the %^&* have I been?
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
  Where the *&%$ have I been?
My God. I am amazed and astounded. I have had my eyes opened. All this time I have been a closet knitter when I should have been celebrating my ability to wrap some yarn around a stick, fiddle about a bit and end up with a scarf, a toy, a jumper, any bloody thing I feel like. I have been on a mad search today to find a photo of myself age 7, proudly sitting on a couch at my great Auntie's house knitting something. I think it was a slipper (does anyone still make these?? three skeins on the go, rib at the end, tied off tightly at the toe??). In my polka dot pjs, with my brother lying behind me. I was always supposed to knit a scarf for Uncle, which I eventually did but it was pitiful. He kept it anyway, and joked about it quite a bit. Now he's not here, maybe I will knit one anyway and call it Uncle's scarf. Which reminds me - I knitted a scarf last year for someone at work anonymously. We have secret buddies, you are supposed to do something nice for them every now and then - she got a beautiful black rib scarf with faux fur red ends. I liked it. She never wore it!

I went to the library and picked up Stitch n Bitch. What a book! Who knew knitting was an expression of post-feminism? While I was reading, I was reminded of an exchange with a colleague. I mentioned I had spent time in my holidays knitting. He thought I was joking. Admittedly the man is a touch old fashioned. And I, of course, am semi-young, semi-gorgeous and semi-hip. I had to bring him photos to prove I could knit. Apparently knitting is not, in his mind, something anyone as semi-fabulous as myself would be doing. I am going to force my 12yo daughter to read the book, hoping she will be inspired. I have tried to teach her on numerous occasions to knit but she gets frustrated and she doesn't like being frustrated. Maybe if she sees the funky fresh young things wearing their hand knitted apparel she will be inspired. More likely she will ask me to make it for her!

On another note, SS has decided he likes THE MANLY SWEATER, (sans stripes) and so this will be my next project. Thanks to SlimSuzy for the link to a site which helps me work out what ply to use for substitution.

Back to the fluff (Nearly finished front of jumper. Son commented I looked like I had been hugging a really big cat. Note to mainly blackwearing self - no more &*#%ing fluffy yarn).
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
  What's random about this?

I am becoming incredibly frustrated with this yarn. I thought I would have an interesting randomised striping effect for this jumper, instead there seems to be a strange phenomenon occuring. I was still using the two skeins, but have abandoned that as it was making no difference. I finished the back of the jumper and am about 1/3 of the way up the front.

I have also been into a local shop that used to stock a lot of yarn. They seem to have downgraded and had the most pitiful range I have ever seen! I am hoping to hit the city tomorrow - I ordered a copy of Stitch n Bitch at the library (cheaper than Amazon!) and have received an email saying it is there for collection. I can't wait to look inside. There is also a dedicated yarn shop in the city, so if SS is willing, we will go there for a look. Poor darling man.

In typical me fashion, I have become obsessed with knitting; I do this from time to time. For a while there last year I was in search of the perfect bead, trawling ebay and local shops, looking at market stalls hoping some little old lady had died and her family was offloading some junk. That obsession died out quite quickly. I wonder if this one will too? Maybe not if there is a promise of something nice to wear at the end of it. After all, I am not really a jewellery type of girl.

Speaking of something nice to wear, and obsession, I am dying to knit Tubey which I think is amazingly cool. I need to think about it though, we seem to have different yarns down under. I may put a question out there in cyberspace and seek the wisdom of those who have gone before me!
Monday, February 06, 2006
  My Progress . . .

I am quite pleased with my progress on the jumper (sweater) I started yesterday. I actually took the time to check my tension/gauge. The pattern asked for 4mm needles, I tried this and was a cm out all round, which would have made quite a difference in the size. I then tried 3.75mm - still too big. I hit paydirt with 3.25mm! I have never actually done this before, and the five or so jumpers I have knitted before have always been enormous! Haha. Thank you to the blogs I have just discovered, the advice and experience has already helped me on my quest. Here is the back of my jumper to the shaping for raglan sleeves. I have taken the advice the pattern gave me and am alternating skeins, but I seem to have created a pattern anyway! Not sure what to do about this. Perhaps I will not use variegated yarn again! I am trying to be philosophical and thinking that it adds to the charm of my jumper. The colours are various stages of grey and beige. I quite like it.

I am continuing to find interesting blogs, and am on the lookout for the next project. I would like to get this jumper finished by the end of the week. Then . . . look out. I am intrigued by the number of knitters out there making socks. I have never tried this, and have not looked for yarn suitable. I know a colleague who has made some very cute little numbers, so I will be pumping her for information (and patterns!) in the near future. The night is a little cool here, so I can imagine a time where I might need some socks fairly soon.

I am looking ahead to the neck of this jumper, I have never used a set of needles before, always choosing jumpers where the neck was knitted on two needles and sewn at the side. I am up to the task!!

Back to the needles.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
  I really do love to knit!
Well, a knitting blog. Not an original idea I admit. I have been staggered in the past couple of days by the huge community of net knitters. And, I have been inspired to start something other than a scarf.

I have been a knitter since I was about six, and I am now . . . over 30. I would consider myself fairly competent, but until now unadventurous and a bit of a slacker in the knitting stakes. However, I have set myself a new challenge - to challenge myself! I visited the local enormous craft and soft furnishings store with SS (SuperSpunk) and kids in tow, bought a pattern book: Cleckheaton 10 Feminine Designs , and some yarn, and off I went. Unfortunately I had forgotten how bloody fluffy mohair is and at the moment am having a break from knitting to try and work all the bits out of my gullet. Ahem. I am sure it will be fine to wear.

I intend to keep this blog updated with pictures and tales of my knitscapades, and will attempt to become part of what seems like a global knitwork of likeminded and yet diverse people who share a love of creating something from not very much at all. Remember this is a work in progress, but considering I am always looking for a way to dodge real work, I would assume I will be posting regularly!

Until next time, happy knitting.
Knitting . . . creating something from not much at all.

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Location: Tasmania, Australia

Too busy to knit but can't help myself.

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  • Cindy2Paw
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  • The Organised Elf

  • I'M READING . . .
  • Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis
  • Chasing Charlie Duskin, Cath Crowley
  • The Timewaster Letters, Robin Cook
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne
  • A Drift of Derwent Ducks, Trudi Crowley
  • Out of Ireland, Christopher Koch
  • The Messenger, Markus Zusak
  • Thanks a Lot Guv, T. Garth Hyland
  • Princess Masako, Ben Hills

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