Merry My-gosh-isn’t-it-close-to-christmas!!

My daughter (I really MUST think of some clever bloggy type nickname) did an impromptu photoshoot of my recently completed Waterlily at Bunnings (a gigantic hardware store, for international readers).

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I can’t help it, I ham it up in pictures – especially if they are being taken in public.

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At one point there was a young-ish man walking towards me, as the child-creature was snapping and I felt so ridiculous.

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Not that it stopped us.

Knitting away on the Joule Pullover. Completed up to the armsycle (or whatever that fancy term for pit area is).

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See that stockinette roll? See that? That’s about an inch worth of knitting right there! I have concerns.

One fear has been allayed however, by the simple method of holding it up to my body. It probably will not be too wide – not so confident about length.

Save the Swatch!

Yesterday afternoon I was swatching for the Joule Pullover. I noticed that if gauge is wrong on the first square, my second attempt is usually a heck of a lot smaller. In fact, my second swatch could have doubled as a blanket for a ladybird.

Pertinent to this, I was reading your ugliest FO on Ravelry and somebody linked to these fingerless gloves. It occurred to me that since I hate swatching mainly because there is nothing to show for the effort and it “wastes” the yarn – these might be the ideal solution! I feel clever now, though I’m sure somebody else has been there first. (I’m just going to put it out there, a lot of people say swatches = great dishcloths. I, for one, have NEVER used a knitted dishcloth and I fail to see their appeal as usable objects. Also, not all yarn types would work in that capacity. AND my issue with swatching is largely wasted time and yarns, so dishcloths are a massive fail on that front. Just sayin’)

Oh! I finished Waterlily.

003These photos really don’t do it justice.
004I’m hoping to get some modelled photos soon. Good thing I have my own personal 11 year old photographer!

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I also gave that yarn I reclaimed a bath. Now to ball it up – good thing I have ye olde ball winder.

WIP Weds 2

Christmas projects are done, barring the innards and mounting of Biology 101 and now I *really* want to make something for myself.

Initially I had a great idea for a design using the Liquide I purchased the other day. So I drew some stuff up, wrote out some measurements and basic pattern to try, did up a swatch and…

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I realised that the texture just wasn’t going to work for my idea AT ALL. So that’s been set aside for a little while to mull.

I felt that, since I had finished (mostly) my goals for Christmas knitting it was time to take stock of the current WIPs that have been lugged from Goulburn to our new house.
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This is a cardigan of my own design-as-you-go-along based on a cardigan that my daughter loved and outgrew. It requires

  • one sleeve
  • hood
  • sewing up
  • button band
  • buttons

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I didn’t actually realise how big Beth’s Little Star Afghan had gotten until I laid it out to take a photo! This is something that I think I will just keep going and going and going on until I feel like it’s big enough.

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I haven’t done much with the Butterfly Dress since my last WIP Wednesday. I think I sewed up one side. Still to do:

  • Sew up one side
  • knitted armholes
  • knitted neck & back edging
  • straps
  • some form of ruching to deal with the length & silhouette issues from terrible gauge interpretation

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Honestly, I would frog this b*$#@ if my kid didn’t love it and believe she NEEDED it to wear. I started referring to it as The Fuzz Bunny Beret, for some bizarre reason. This needs

  • sew shoulder seams
  • hood
  • cap sleeves
  • buttons

and I just don’t want to do it, because I feel like it’s going to turn out badly, and yet if I don’t do it the child won’t know that it is bad. So it’s like I need to finish it to prove to her that it is bad and therefore shouldn’t take up my time. *sigh* THERE IS NO WIN HERE.

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Forest Petals Wrap is coming along very nicely. I put a few more rows of square onto it last week. I am just not in the mood for it. I intend to keep going til the yarn is gone. It’s going to need a VERY INTENSE block, but it will be lovely. Happy happy happy.

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This is my most recent cast on. I’ve gotten this much done in two days, well really a day and a half so I think it’s going to be super quick to get done. It’s Waterlily in Ice Yarns Viscose Linen. The yarn is rough and fibrous, and feels quite low-process hempy – but I have used this yarn before and it softens up with a good old soak.

The Never-Ending-Dressing-Gown continues in the state it always has. We do not speak of it.

In the Jungle, the Peaceful Jungle

So, what have I been doing in the dead of night whilst the creatures of the house sleep? What have I been busying myself with whilst they dream their dreams in oblivion mere metres away?

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Reclaiming yarns. These are from a failed brioche stitch striped wrap cardigan thing that I began about 8 years ago.

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This pink viscose has had many, many attempts to make it into things. It tangles easily. Grrr.

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These used to be doilies in crochet cotton from the Yarn Fairy. They are no longer.

They all require a good long bath and prolonged hang out in the shade.
022These still need to be reclaimed. The grey failed apres surf hoodie, the Moonstone dress in black, and a moebius wrap in a completely different fuzzy red. Also a random assortment of granny squares that I have somehow acquired which will yield on small amounts of yarn (which may go into an artist’s bag? or a random scarf? not sure yet).

The Moonstone dress gets it’s own post a bit later on. I still carry some sadness in my heart over it. Sigh, so pretty – yet such a disaster.

I don’t always catch on that quickly

I was just reviewing my blog. You see, I decided to upload some photos to my ravelry account after my daughter’s clicking frenzy and I wanted to see if there were any photos on my blog that I could slurp. But ALAS! I realised that though I had several mentions of my Drops 106-11 moss stitch cardigan there is no actual finished picture! Which is truly shameful since (for once) it turned out beautifully!

026It’s hard to see the detail, but it has turned out very nicely and I wear it often. OFTEN!

I was updating one of my other projects, the first sweater I made for my boyfriend, to a very sad face and frogged. It just didn’t look right on him, so I reclaimed the yarn. However it led to a very interesting discovery – I don’t know if you’ve seen it but the UGH!! page on rav will make you feel much better about your skillz and will keep you amused for a very long time.

An Ode to Mi Amore

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Ah, how I love you Amory. You flow, you are lacey, you are comfy, you can be worn to so many places in so many ways. But Amory, why are your sleeves so long?

I feel I have failed you by not accounting for the stretch over time that Moda Vera Soya is wont to have. Please forgive me, it was an error of ignorance, for you were lovingly laboured at during the very beginnings of my serious meta-knitting days and I was young to the intricacies of yarn substitution.

Fear not, my darling, though I may have let you down, there is hope for our future together! Your cuffs were knitted separately and they can therefore be removed and reattached to a shortened sleeve. I promise I will be gentle, my sweet, as I tenderly unravel your rows, holding aside the reclaimed yarn for further escapades

Do you recall, my love, the fateful day that changed our relationship forever? You were pristine white, pale and pure. I gently bathed you and set you aside ready to be laid out in the sun. But alas and alack! My thoughtlessness was my downfall, for immediately afterwards I washed a green linen vest for the first time and placed it on you. It’s colours ran, forever staining your natural plant fibre a strikingly glassy hue.

Though I lamented in private, I comforted you, promising that I would not resort to bleach for your fibres were too delicate to risk such harsh treatment. Prolonged internal debate resulted in a cold black dye bath, bringing you to  your current marbled hue. My treasure, I feel deeply and intensely that you have only grown more beautiful with this change in your appearance, and that the experience has only increased the depth of our affection.

Au revoir my love, my heart, my Amory.

Documentation of Historical Artifacts

I mentioned the other day that K was on a photography kick, taking pictures of my previous projects. I thought I’d share some of them since I can’t really post the recent stuff due to the surprise factor involved.Image

PONCHO – no real pattern in Anna Mohair from ICE yarns

I used a Drops Design pattern to work out the number of stitches to cast on and increased every five or six rows until I thought – yeah, that looks about right. The yarn is very soft and has an excellent squoosh factor, especially given the cheapiness, and I really like the colour, it’s nice and neutral.

SATISFACTION: 4 out of 5 silky goats.

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JEN by Kim Hargreaves in Moda Vera Soya

I am a pretty big Kim Hargreaves fan. Her designs are lovely and romantic. I really let this pattern down with my yarn choice. There is too much drape and not nearly enough memory in the yarn, it stretches a lot with wear. I wanted it to be a light and summery cardigan, but it just droops too much. I want to make it again, perhaps in a blend that has some wool or other more elastic fibre. I’m also not a fan of the buttons. I mean, I like the colour and shape, but the shaft lets them flobble around unattractively.

I have a feeling this garment is destined to have it’s yarn reclaimed, but don’t tell K as she frequently co-opts it for her own use.

    SATISFACTION: 2.5 out of 5 soy beans

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Lace Nightie by Carrie Bostick-Hoge in black Cleckheaton Bamboo

Well, this worked out very nicely. I really love bamboo, it’s so soft and silky with great drape and just enough fibre memory. I’ve worn this a ridiculous amount of time, my only complaint being that I was too slavish in following the pattern and I really should have done more repeats before starting the waist shaping. I also should have done longer I-cord for the shoulder straps, but I really hate doing I-cord.

      SATISFACTION: 4.5 out of 5 panda treats.

DPNs are jerks and they hate you.

I am a gigantic fan of Biology 101 by Emily Stoneking. The creepiness and geekiness factor are both very high, so it’s an ideal project for me.

Usually when I’m knitting small rounds I use the magic loop method or some variation thereof. Heavens to Betsy I don’t know what on God’s green earth possessed me, but I decided – hey, for once I have the correct size DPNs, I’ll do it that way.

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If my next post details fashionably knitted eye-patches you will know why. These things are a menace – fumble, fumble *stab* fumble *stab* fumble

Also, Gir has a bassinet. He also has a little bed inside K’s bedside drawers. I’m very pleased with his popularity. She carries him around and sights and wishes he was real. So do I, baby, so do I.

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Super Secret Squirrel Stuff

As with a heck of a lot of knitting bloggers (so many that you are probably going to get sick of hearing about it), most of the knitting I’ve been doing lately is super secret for Christmas time.

However, there are a few people who already know what they are getting or who wouldn’t know how to find this blog if you gave them a direct URL to it and *those* things I can share.

That is, as soon as I can get to my camera. My darling little photographer is having an absolute field day taking pictures of projects that I did years ago, so the backlog will shortly be remedied.

*wresting the camera from child*

Ahem

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This is Gir, from Invader Zim. He’s an awesome little free pattern from April Draven, who is immensely talented. My daughter LOVES Invader Zim, but especially Gir who is charmingly dim-witted. He was supposed to be a Christmas present, but I have not managed to pry him from her grasp since I embroidered his quirky little smile, so I doubt very seriously he will end up under the tree.

013This spectacularly dark and undetailed looking creation is actually very nice in person (now that I’ve written that I think, hey – that could apply to some online friends).  It’s Jared Flood’s Smokin’ from Son of Stitch’n’Bitch in Ebano Dark Green from Ice Yarns.

I’m gonna be up front here, even with the errata and YEARS of knitting from pattern experience, some the instructions tripped me up – especially around the shoulder shaping. I was also very tricksy and knitted the button band and shawl collar on by picking up one stitch from the edge every row and then decreasing it away on the next row.

I’m surprised how nice the yarn is! I expected something a lot scratchier given the price but it is quite soft, I know that good wash and block will make it the perfect amount of squooshy.

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This is Drops 119-21, a cute knitted lace bolero that I made for my mummy. She wanted one of those trendy mint greens that are doing the rounds this summer, but I couldn’t find any! Funny how it’s fashionable in clothing, but you can go jump if you want to knit with it! Anyhow, I used some Bamboo Worsted from ICE yarns that I bought a while ago.

I had no problem following the instructions for this pattern, it’s one of Drop Design’s better written ones. It’s such a shame that ICE have discontinued this yarn, it’s so soft and delicious. If I had to say there was a failing to this yarn it would be a tendency towards splittiness.

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This was marked down at Spotlight on the weekend, $2 a ball… It’s a bit of a novelty thing, there were other colours that looked a bit weird to be honest. I think this will actually make a really nice “hitting-the-town-painting-it-pink” going out camisole or something. Hmmm….