Tuesday, 28 November 2006

computer problems

My net access has been down for at least a week. I'm using my husband's computer ina very crowded workspace with a really disgusting keyboard. I don't know when he cleaned it last,it's really grotty and I don't like using it at all. The touch is awful and it goes clackety clack. Not conducive to use.

I've been knitting. Another two pairs of socks finished, yeah two fewer UFOs! I'm working on a baby jumper, knit sideways.

Somehow I've strained my right index finger, so have done no knitting for a couple of days. Swelling is going now, so perhaps tomorrow. It's supposd to get to 35° here in the city, so I won't be going out to post my TimTams to the winners of my contest. They would melt before they even left the PO here. However, they have been bought and will be on their way soon.

Saturday, 18 November 2006

some things finished

I've finished the Wildfoote socks shown below and have also finished the first Westport Wave sock, also below in honey yellow. I'm baby sitting grandchildren most of tomorrow. I'd like to think I will get a fair bit of the second of that pair done. However, past experience has shown that I often do little or no knitting out there till they get to bed. By that time I'm usually past knitting myself!

I bought this book, from Tapestry Craft through the week. (It says Issue 6 when link ids clicked, but book is Moda 7.) I've made the little green jumper on the top line for a pregnant friend. She's been a long time getting pregnant and I really wanted to give her something on the announcement and probably something else later too. All in garter stitch and done in 8 ply Heirloom, it knitted up quickly. Some booties to match from the same book.

I'm also doing the bone jumper on the top line in size 1 for another little person I know. It's knitted sideways in a rib. This is done in an 8 ply Cleckheaton crepe.

saturday sky

A perfect day for being on the water today. This picture was taken from a hydrofoil going back to Sydney down the Parramatta River which was posted last week.

No storm this week and none of the gale from the Antarctic which we've had several days this week.

Monday, 13 November 2006

saturday sky

Saturday was a beautiful day here. The temperature was warmish, it went to about 31°. Yesterday was much the same and today the morning will be similar, although there is a change on the way. Today's sky has lots of heavy clouds coming up from the south and a southerly change is forecast for the afternoon.

The picture was taken at the edge of the Parramatta River at Abbotsford, about 10 minutes by car from my house. From this time till early autumn we have lots of picnics along the river. There are many beautiful spots on both sides from here to Gladesville Bridge. This look across to just below the old Gladesville Mental Hospital.
The point is called Bedlam Point. In the nineteenth century, patients for the hospital were taken by boat to here and transferred mid-river to a row boat to take them to hospital. The wake comes from the hydrofoil which had just passed on its way to Parramatta.

As you can see, it was low tide and there is a very small, sandy beach over the river. I wouldn't swim here. The river is still salt for a long way upstream and there are often shark sightings. Not far from here a canoeist some years ago spent a frightening time on a buoy. He had climbed onto it after a shark threatened his canoe. He was eventually rescued.

Knitting? I've finished the first Westport Waves sock, pictured below. I've also done the first sleeve in a simple, plain jumper for friends who are expecting their first child next year in autumn. This baby is long awaited and much wanted. Pictures later when I get more done.

If you live overseas, not in Australia or NZ, don't forget to leave a comment in the post below called TIMTAMS. Contest closes next Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm Australian summer time. Prize will be some TimTams! Enter as often as you wish.

Later: It didn't even make it to the afternoon to storm. About 90 minutes after I wrote above about a storm, I glanced out out of the window. Raced out to the clothesline and grabbed things. Just as I came inside there was a loud clap of thunder and down it came. Fortunately I'd had two loads of washing done quite early. Most of it was dry and this was just before 11:00am. The damp towels and a couple of thicker tops of mine are airing in the dryer. It's still warm, the southerly hasn't arrived yet, but is obviously on its way.

Sunday, 12 November 2006


Leave a comment on this post before next Sunday afternoon, 4:00pm.

I'll get my husband to pick a number between 1 and total number of comments and the owner of that comment will be sent several packets of TimTams .

Contest is not open to residents of Australia or New Zealand because we can buy our own.

Enter as often as you wish.

Friday, 10 November 2006

westport waves

I always like to have some socks on the needles, even if I have other things on the go too.

They are easy to pick up and grab as I go out the door and are not very big to carry. I've had some lovely conversations in the train with people who spoke to me about knitting socks, including one with a quite elderly German lady who cried when she realised that people still knit socks today. She made them for her sons who were now well into their fifties. She had told them she would no longer knit them, but she thought she might reconsider after seeing mine and realising how much she missed doing socks.

These are Betty's socks - Westport Waves. They are one of Jeane Townsend's many beautiful designs which are in the Townsend Sock Knitalong. You need to be a member to access the patterns and the group can be found on the Yahoo group page. She has heaps of lovely patterns, all well written. I've made quite a few of them. There are now also patterns by other members and they look good too, although I haven't yet made any. The group is a lovely one, very chatty and friendly with lots of international members.

This pattern is super easy. There are only four rows and really only one row of pattern which is very easy. I'm using my beloved rosewood needles. The pattern puts no stress on them as a cable would do. I'm careful about using them as they were a gift and are are pretty well out of my price bracket. I think these were about $35AUS from Tapestry Craft.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

cables and ladders

Here's the pair finished, although it's a bit hard to see there are actually two socks. I haven't even pressed these as I often do for a photo. I never use sock blockers but do give them a once over with the steam iron to look better in photos.

The tension in the second pair is a lot tighter. I hadn't noticed till I was well down the sock. I was given some unwelcome news as I started casting on and the result shows. I've sort of hidden it in the photo. LOL. As the sock is for me and it still fits, I did nothing about it.

I have had tension changes show up like this in the past, but nothing as noticeable as this is.

The pattern was really easy to memorise and to do and the changing of the rungs on the ladder part made the sock go quickly. I'll do this again. I'm thinking of a darker pair for #1 grandson's birthday in January. He loves hand knitted socks from me. Unfortunately he is growing quickly and his feet, while skinnier, are almost as long as mine. That probably really should mean "fortunately he is growing." There would be something wrong if he didn't grow. He turns 8 early in the new year.

wildfoote socks

Here's an almost finished UFO. This is the Wildfoote yarn I wrote about in my old BLOGGER knitting blog. I was doing these at work in slack and idle moments, so it's taken me a while. (I work for and by myself, so knitting is OK!) I had put them up out of reach of 15 month grandson and so had forgotten about them.

I'm coming down the home stretch on the foot, so there's not much to go. The Wildfoote is beautiful to feel and knit, although I am still not keen on the colour. It's an OK colour, just not what I thought it would be. I've looked at several pages of their colours and they are all different, even from those who sell the wool. Monitors show things differently to real life, but I've never seen such a difference before.

It was a while ago that I started this pair and I have completely forgotten the name of the pattern. If anyone recognises it, please leave a note and I'll add it.

Later: It's possible that this pattern is an adaptation of Gail Dennis's Lacy Trellis socks. I've even cleaned up the piece of paper I had it printed on. Whatever. Gail's socks are very pretty, so have a look at them too.

Clicking on image will give an enlargement.

Saturday, 4 November 2006

saturday sky or promises, promises

This is a phone camera photo, so the jacaranda in the foreground does not show the flowers with much any clarity.

We've had lovely grey skies here for a couple of days, but very little rain has fallen. All of the state is in deep drought conditions and Sydney's total water storage has officially fallen to below 40%. Our main dam has been below that for many months, but now the whole of the supply is below that figure.

We desperately need rain, weeks of it.

Clicking on image will give you a larger photo which looks more like a painting than a photo, thanks to mobile phone and the light!

Friday, 3 November 2006

cables and ladders

Here are the 5 ply aqua socks, along with a couple of purple nodding violets. Actually no relation to violets at all, but they go by that name often.

The pattern is a fourteen stitch repeat, so to make things easy for me, I've actually been using stitches on four needles and knitting with a fifth.

I prefer three for the stitches, but couldn't be bothered using a marker in the middle of the instep row.

I haven't done a heel flap for ages and was reminded why when I had 28 rows of it to knit and still have to watch what I am doing with gussett decreases. The cable is done every sixth row and the ladder is a two row pattern.

I may get around to writing it up when finished.

sensational knitted socks

I'm still working on the first of a pair of socks from some Cleckheaton 5 ply crepe from the stash. Again a pretty aqua colour. I think it must be the approach of summer which chose this colour. I made a scarf last week in it, now the socks and the other day bought myself a top in a similar colour. I must remember to take a photo tomorrow when I do the Saturday sky thing.

I was in the city this morning and called into the newish Border's bookshop in Pitt St. I've been to Kinokuniya's knitting section and decided to check out Borders. There weren't as many books, but some were quite different to Kinokuniya's range. If I had lots of spare cash, I could easily have got rid of quite a bit of it this morning.

I've really been wanting to see Charlene Scurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. There it was, on the shelf! I extricated the book from the packed shelf and found a seat. Hmmm. I wasn't impressed with the quality of the binding. It looked to me as if the spine could easily break. It didn't want to open flat and I wasn't going to force it and break it. Spiral binding would have been good and spiral binding contained within a harder cover would have been even better. The book was brightly laid out and seemed to have lots of explanatory type notes. Perhaps a bit too chatty, but that's just my opinion. There were lots of patterns and I recognised some of them from stitch dictionaries. Now I'm not complaining about that. After all, knitting is only about combining plain and purl stitches and most patterns around could be reverse engineered or found in books. The skill is in fitting the stitch pattern to the garment(sock) pattern so that both the sock and the stitch are displayed to advantage. Then the pattern needs to be written up clearly.

I had just about convinced myself to buy the book when I turned it over and checked the price. I should have done that in the first instance. Basically AUS$54.00. Perhaps if I get some Christmas money, I might think about it.

The book is available from Amazon for US$16.95, originally US$24.95. Even adding 25% to the dearer price and allowing for postage, I doubt it would come to $54.

Update later that night: I have actually ordered this from Amazon. Using the cheapest postage, the total was marginally over AUS$37 - somewhat cheaper than Borders? I don't need it immediately, so what is a couple of weeks, even a month in having it get here? The exchange rate was US$1=AUS 0.76. I should have done this yesterday. The rate was up another 1.5 cents!