Fuzz Bunny Beret, or the odd in my head.

I’m thinking this jacket I’m making should be called something along the lines of “Fuzz Bunny”… then somehow I put beret on the end of it and started singing “fuzz bunny beret” to the tune of Rasberry Beret by Prince. Yeah, baby. Living in my head has it’s fun. So, I discovered a few rows into this that the Honey yarn is not in fact fuzzy the whole time, it is a long repeat of fuzzy and not fuzzy.

SURPRISE!! One would think this would show up in my swatch (you know, that swatching thing that I resolved to do more often), but my swatch was more than a little half-assed. See, Drops patterns are fabulous for being overly complicated about how to shape and also giving the directions for shaping in the form of “once you have worked x cms, decrease every x cms). I was more concerned with getting my stitches per cm correct than the rows. However, check this shiznit out…

 Stripey! It breaks up the furry effect nicely, does it not? And also, no having to work two yarns together or change yarns. Awesomeness.

What does one do with fluffy yarns? This.

I have some Honey. It is soft and squooshy and feels like love. I wanted to use it. But what does one do with a fuzzy yarn that is actually wearable? Besides a crazy hat.

Seems like Symphony by Garnstudio is very similar in both texture and gauge. So I did a free pattern search on their website and found Drops 120-2, a flowing hooded jacket.

I have BARELY enough yarn to finish the job, and that is never a good sign. Especially since the yarn is out of stock AND we know that even though I love ICE for their prices, they aren’t always super about matching dyelots. You think I’d learn.

I have a plan, which involves knitting everything but the sleeves and if I’m running out, I’ll make cap-sleeves instead of full length. In all honesty, I may decide to do this anyway, because there is something about furry sleeves that is just a little odd.

The Duchess Sweater is finished. Photos are pending.

Mossvale, the town made for pedestrians.

Before I went off to my specialist appointment in Mossvale, I confirmed the address of the yarn store I saw once while passing through (incidentally, Google is wrong about the address).

You see, the problem with Mossvale is the traffic. Maybe it’s just the times of day I have been there, but the main drag is always congested and it’s very difficult to pull over if you see something you would like to investigate.

I was determined to find this elusive place of yarn and fabrics. Armed with a faulty street address, a glimpsed sign and a half hour before departure time I set forth!

I should have just ignored TrueLocal and checked the Yellow Pages. Seriously. Needles & Yarn is so easy to find if you have the right address!!

First off, they are friendly! I feel like I should put this in bold and underline it twice. Isn’t it a sad state of affairs that friendly craft-type shop owners are so remarkable that it becomes exciting to find one?

They stock Twilley’s of Stamford, Cleckheaton and PandaNaturally NZ (yarns and tools), Addi, Clover, Wendy & Peter Pan,  Birch (tools) and more that I can’t remember. It isn’t a large selection, but I’d really like to qualify that by saying most regional Australians are incredibly used to having either NO yarn stores or access only to department store range (acrylic, acrylic and more acrylic and not much else) or big box craft stores like Spotlight.

The merchandise is only priced sporadically – usually it would bother me, but the owner was so pleasant when I asked how much  that I didn’t really care. I explained to her that I couldn’t purchase anything this week, but I needed to know how much things were so that it could be worked into the budget. I told her that my partner won’t let me have any money until I told him exactly how much I needed because he knows what I’m like and it’s far too dangerous to let me loose near yarn unless I have a firm limit. A little giggle was had all round.

Gah! Damn those nice yarns! Damn them! I am covetous.

Tedium, ad nauseum.

These sleeves just drag on and on and on… but I am glad that I’m doing both of them at the same time because that means that when it’s over, it’s over.

I still need to start work on Akayna’s winter coat. The temp here is 9°C most days so I’ve left it a little late, but I’m sure it will be good for a year or two.

I’ve cut out the pattern pieces and ironed interfacing to the back of them to make them sturdier. The fabric has been ironed, but I keep postponing the cutting cos it’s such a pain to line up the pieces with the grain and measure to make sure they are all even and to transfer the markings. There are a LOT of pieces, which really puts me off, especially since sewing is something that I have to focus intensely on, unlike knitting which has become natural to me.

I’ve been reading the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. They are urban fantasies written for a teen audience, following the supernatural trend involving angels and demons that has emerged in the aftermath of the vampire trend.

Damn, this chick is a good writer. That is high praise coming from me, my friends and family will tell you I can be quite a snob about that kind of thing. There is nothing that irritates me more than reading a book and editing it in my head to sound better. Thinking, gosh – this should be worded differently, that should segue better… etc. etc. It just ruins the whole book for me, regardless of how interesting or innovative the plot is. But this girl can write. Not only is the plot and plot development good, her characters are fully fleshed and likeable. And her dialogue!! I cannot stress enough how much I like her dialogue.

Be aware, it is a teen romance of Twilight proportions. The two main characters have that same intensity in their attraction to each other. The “love scenes” are pretty hardcore given the demographic it is aimed at. So far the MCs haven’t done the deed, but we know that other people are doing it – though it isn’t described. The actual descriptions of the make out sessions that the MCs get up to is pretty full-on. I wouldn’t want my daughter reading this before she was at least 16 in case it gave her ideas. I remember far too well the hormonal drives of my teenage years and they don’t need any encouraging or romanticising. All that aside, they are very well written and descriptions beautifully capture that heat.

She also includes same-sex attracted characters, and portrays them sensitively (in my heterosexual opinion). I like that the main conflict experienced by the supporting characters in same-sex relationships is completely unrelated to the fact that they are a same-sex couple. There is acknowledgement of the difficulty of being gay in a society (the Nephilim) that is so conservative and disapproving, but that is not the central problem that these characters experience in their relationship.

Look, it’s a great series. Read it.

The Duchess Sweater

I’m working on the Duchess Raglan from Classic Elite Yarns. I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve done a sweater in the round. I’ve done singlets in the round and sweaters that are working in the round to the armpits and then back and forth for the yoke. This pattern works to the armpits, then you work both sleeves to the armpit, then work all three together for the yoke, Elizabeth Zimmerman style.

I’m using Moda Vera Lofty which I picked up at an end of season sale at Spotlight. The colours are nicely muted and the texture isn’t too bad, a little on the rough side, but in a woolly way. It’s Aran/10ply weight so it’s knitting up SUPER fast.

I’m knitting both sleeves at once to make sure they are exactly even. It took a bit of fiddling around to get them organised so that it goes round and round. I kept casting the second sleeve on but it didn’t line up right. It was very, very frustrating and I am not going to explain what happened because it will just make me cranky again.

Packratting

I have a box in the living room. In it resides my bits and pieces, amusements and so forth. It keeps my junk from getting out of control and messing up the place. I believe it is overdue for a tidy… check this out.Image

Starting at the top left:

  1. notes from a pattern
  2. a spare pair of socks
  3. my set of interchangeable Knitpro needles
  4. a ziploc bag of yarn with leftovers from the last two projects (Drops Cardi and Split Sleeve Tunic)
  5. an empty ziploc bag
  6. my Hello Kitty project bag, it has my little tools in it and usually whatever I’m currently knitting
  7. the pattern for the Drops cardigan, on top of that is a stitchmarker and a panda measuring tape that is supposed to be inside the project bag and some leftover yarn that I’m hoping will be enough to make a headband/earwarmers
  8. headphones from Smiggle, they are super-comfortable and have a volume adjust on the cord, which is convenient for watching stuff on the laptop
  9. there is a big bag of yarn for my current project, the Duchess sweater, and the begginings of it.
  10. a notebook
  11. a sketchbook
  12. a pair of fingerless gloves
  13. a nail file, MooGoo handcream (awesome for my psoriasis), three lipbalms (one of which is unopened)
  14. my DSlite
  15. my pencil case and all the pens and stuff that were floating around in the box (which were supposed to be in the case)

So, now to sort it all out and put away the stuff I’m don’t currently *need*. I should probably do something about the pocket-watch, two knitting magazines, two notebooks and crossword puzzle book that are under the coffee table.