Stuff and nonsense

I had a little bit of difficulty with the Forest Petals Shawl. I could not figure out why I ended up with more squares than called for and why, when I started the next row, it just wasn’t looking right… so I checked out the forums, found a couple of really good instructions, then read the pattern again and realised I probably should have paid a little more attention. I had neglected the tiniest part of the end of each tunisian row. Sigh.

That was the *first* time I had to rip it out and start again. The second time was because I somehow didn’t end up with the correct number of squares, and I assumed that my base chain was incorrect.

The third and fourth time I only ripped out the entire second row. I thought I had chained too many to start the row. As it turns out, I should have learnt from my first mistake and READ THE PATTERN MORE CAREFULLY. I was just not finishing off the last square properly.

Moral of the story: Pride comes before a fall.

However, now I’m tootling along at a fantastic pace and it is looking really good.

Other stuff to share:

Stacey Tock’s Fresh Stitches has just written something super-interesting about the origins of silk! I mean, we all know where silk comes from, but this is how it gets to yarn and other tidbits that aren’t commonly mentioned.

Marnie Maclean has just published a shawl pattern which I’m very partial to… It will be added to the top of the list of shawls I want to knit.

I am also procrastinating the sports supporter scarf, largely because it is just boring as batsh*t to knit. No offense to bats. I think they are cute.

Mini update…

After 18 hours on the road yesterday, I am not in the mood for a proper post. I did all the driving, which is fine except for the knitting withdrawals.

I’m going to tell you something. For years and years they have been keeping this a secret from knitters. As one of the few who straddles the great knitting/crochet, I am in a unique position to tell you about this under-rated fibre art.


Tunisian crochet is tricking FUN! If you haven’t tried it, you really must. This is the beginning of my foresty shawl. Yeah, baby. Tres awesome.

Stuff to take with me

Packing for the coast again – I will only be away for two weeks, but the fact that the departure date was moved up by three days and I’m now leaving in the morning (though this is a scheduled post so in actual fact I will have left the morning of the post – it’s like being a time traveller!!).

I plan to take a few projects so I have a choice of things to do, I hate being locked into just working on just one thing.

Forest Petals Shawl using dark green & cream variegated Moda Vera Corn

Coachella in a very light blue ICE Worsted Bamboo

Not to mention the sports supporter scarf I’m working on for a Xmas gift. I’m also taking my Knitpro Interchangeable Set and my crochet hooks, just in case I find some awesome yarn at Spotlight that requires IMMEDIATE knitting.

Upon Turning 29 Again.

Happy birthday to me! I am having my fourth 29th birthday today, and was greeted this morning by a big coffee, a rose petal strewn table, and gifts.

This means I have to exercise willpower. It’s the only exercise I get, really

Mum got me a Clover Kacha-Kacha row counter which is the bomb! You just press the button at the top to count your rows (and it makes a beautifully satisfying clicky noise), so much better than having to drop everything to turn the dial on the usual counter. It’s not going to get nudged or slip a little which will change the number and then you are all like “AUGH!! Why does this look wrong? Why am I doing the wrong row of the lace pattern?’ or “AUGH!! Why do the front and back not match? I swear I worked the same number of rows!”

so awesome

AND I found a FANTASTIC app for making pattern graphs. LittleKnitter lets you design a graph, export it to text and is super easy to use. BONUS – the graph has little rectangles instead of squares, so as the resemble the knitted stitch more closely. It would obviously be better on a tablet, purely because of the size – however I found that even though I (occasionally) accidentally put an “x” where I didn’t want one  it was still quite usable on my HTC.


You can get the free version, the only difference is the paid version removes the nag screen, which pops up when you open the app and change screen orientations (very generous lack of nagging in my opinion). I’m going to buy this app because it is just freaking brilliant.

stupid sports

This is why I needed to make graphs. I couldn’t find charted letters to suit my Xmas scarfy plans, so I did what I usually do and fudged it myself 😀 – I do plan on writing up a pattern and making it available on Ravelry at some point. I have three of these scarves to make and they are just a little tedious.



How Lincraft Saved The Day

I have posted about visiting Lincraft and finding it unexpectedly quite good. I bought a few little lovelies…

A set of Tunisian crochet hooks. I found a pattern in a crochet magazine which requires them and I’m always up for learning new things. According to the young lady who served me, I am the only person (besides herself) to have purchased them! It’s not like they could have bought the individual sizes as THERE WEREN’T ANY! It’s the set or no tunisian for you!

A book with design tips and stuff, awesome.

Little stitch markers like safety pins, but prettier! I’ve wanted these for ages, but Spotlight doesn’t stock them. Only $2!! Yay!!

Lo, and behold! Electra yarn! And a magickal light shone down from on high, an ethereal glow suffused it and a small voice within whispered all your problems are solved with this yarn before you.

(Hint: The ball band claims that three balls are required for a scarf. This is a gross overestimation, they are clearly trying to get you to purchase more than you really need because they want to TAKE ALL YOUR MONEYS)

I’ve never used this sort of netted ruffly yarn – and let me tell you, it’s pretty easy. There are tutorials around, so I won’t go into it here. Suffice to say, don’t be intimidated.

The ball band also says to cast on 12 stitches and knit until you’ve used up three balls. This is another LIE to get you to consume more yarn than is desirable or necessary, the greedy little corporate whores that they are.

This is what it looks like when you cast on 6 stitches and use one ball of yarn. Hmmm…. Interesting is it not?

I’m not going to wear this. If anyone that I will encounter in a face-to-face manner would like to acquire this, let me know.

I’m sure the intended recipients will like them as they are quite trendy at the moment and being sold in actual real shops!

Potato Chip Pariah

I tried to make a potato chip scarf. The plan was to make one each for my MIL and SIL. It was an epic failure. Most of the patterns follow the simple formula of:

CO 20

k8, turn, knit back

k6, turn, knit back

k4, turn, knit back

Knit across


The first time I cast on I was working from my memory of the patterns I had read the night before. It went like this:

CO 20

k8, turn, knit back

k8, turn, knit back

k6, turn, knit back

k6, turn, knit back

k4, turn, knit back

k4, turn, knit back

Knit across


I wrapped my turns and picked them up when I knit across, as you do. This was looking awesome. It was going to turn out great! I was so happy with it until I realised that I was using up the yarn at an astonishing rate and would therefore run out, with little likelihood of being able to procure that colourway again.

So I ripped it all out and started again, this time following the pattern correctly. Disappointment ensued. In comparison the swirly beauty of my first attempt, it just looked lame. Disillusioned, I attempted to “correct” for this by using a heavier weight yarn, but it was clearly too acrylicky to be hung about one’s neck and WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING casting it on in the first place.

I tried another version of the scarf, which was intended to corkscrew, you can’t see anything happening for a while and I’m not sure why I’m continuing to try as I clearly will not have enough yarn to finish the job.

So I broke out the Sensual Crochet and started making the Vintage Lace Scarf in the viscose yarn of which I have so very very much. It is deliciously slippery and that makes it very hard to use. It also snags and catches very easily on the finished product, but SCARF! I thought. A delicate ethereal scarf! It will work!

So work was begun and it was looking fabulous, but the yarn is so slippery and a bugger to work with and I thought (again – BRAIN! Why must you question my every move?) is it worth it? After a serious ponder, the answer is – yes, but not if you are going to give it away – only for you!

Heeding my brain’s wisdom, I sought another option. Especially since I had to make two of the item in question.

I’m not sure why, but I love the flowerdy scarf at Dawn’s Crochet Blog. So I set off knowing I only had two out of the three colours needed, and in all honestly  I should probably have five colours, since the object is to make two scarves the same but in different colours.

So there I was tootling along, making motifs in scratchy Marvel acrylic and not being satisfied but having long ago lost my joie de vivre for this particular quest for scarves of gifting. I never thought I’d say it, but Lincraft saved the day.

It is fate I tell you.

Yesterday, mum and I adventured into Canberra. We visited the Canberra Centre – the “centre of culture” according to the tagline.  I will not debate their assessment, all in all it was pretty damn impressive.

I have not been to a Lincraft in many, many years… In fact, I was under the impression that they had gone bankrupt and closed down. But no!

It was surely a sign from God. A sign from God that said “spend money! Lots of it”.


This is new to me! Tiny little bobbles yarn. The selection was pretty darn good, especially compared to the Spotlight in Queanbeyan.

I was weak and powerless in the face of MARKED DOWN yarn – with an additional 30% off. No knitter could resist.

This blog needs a photo finish

Another day hiding in the studio to keep the heat in. The misery of the weather has led to a need for indoor clothes drying and as I don’t own a tumble dryer, I have resorted to hanging them in the studio… Therefore, hanging out in here with the heater going is accomplishing two things – keeping me cosy and helping the clothes get dry in under three days (which is the usual time frame for indoor drying in this weather). Three things actually, I’m also avoiding doing housework.

I also have a clingy little chihuahua on my lap. She has a grudge against her dog bed. No matter how comfy, even with a hot water bottle, she will not sleep in there. If there are no laps available she will sleep on the couch – up on the back of it, not on the seat (that’s far too passe). No matter how inconvenient the positioning of the lap, or how busy the owner of the lap, she will gravitate towards it like a moth to flame. Which is to be expected as the breed is a “lap dog”.

I’ve been thinking about photography for my blog, I’m not a huge photography person – I just don’t have an “eye” for it. I’ve had a quick scout around for some pointers.

Make use of tells us to get rid of the glaring annoyances and lists them in case we didn’t know.

Lovely pictures and pointers, the Older Geek is super helpful.

Etsy has a bunch of resources to improve your photography, I haven’t gone into them (some are videos but I only have 3G internet which is rather expensive) but I will next time I’m using the library’s free wireless.

ShrimpSalad has obvious stuff, but it’s pretty to look at!

StyleSample Mag has useful tips.

The main thing I’ve taken away from this is that I need to invest in a tripod!

Rolling, rolling, rolling… keep them doggies movin’

So, the rolled collar shrug is a FREE download from Vogue Knitting. The site requires free registration to download their patterns, no biggie.

The yarn I’ve chosen bears little to no resemblance to the recommended yarn. I’m using Moda Vera Alpaca/Wool Blend. I’ve used it for this pattern before, and it worked out very well, so YAY!

It’s a fairly fast knit, I’ve spent two days on it and I’m hoping to have it done before I pick my mummy up from the airport – if I’m really lucky, she’ll even let me take photos of her wearing it for my blog.

The Duchess of Stuff.

I finished the Duchess Raglan a while ago and it turned out just lovely!

My dearest, darlingest daughter directed the photoshoot in our backyard this afternoon… She is truly an artistic visionary.


I wear this frequently, the yarn is Lofty from Moda Vera. It does have some of that acrylic-y feel, but is not nearly as bad as some. The corn-fibre tends to shed in tiny dusty bits as you knit, which is a little disconcerting. Small piles of dust in the corners of your knitting bag that materialise mysteriously! I even gain some amusement from the pink camouflage look of the colourway. Seriously, where would that blend in? The Barbie aisle at Kmart?

The pattern is supereasy and superquick to make, and has turned out to be quite flattering.