Saturday, 28 July 2007

something for me!

Here's the Nundle Mills hat for me. I like purple but don't normally buy a bright colour like this. I bought quite a bit of Nundle 8 ply two or three years ago and had two balls of this. Second ball did decreases and flower. I could have got away with one ball but made the body quite deep.

Without any planning, this tones with my new glasses frame which is deeper in colour. Something like serendipity.

Friday, 27 July 2007

another pair of socks

These socks are from one of Judy Sumner's patterns. I think I've made them before as children's socks but the pattern seemed to me to suit the wool. It's Patonyle, wears forever and is quite easy to knit. It's not as luxurious as some other yarns, but I prefer knitting with this than using the much vaunted Opal which feels like string to my fingers. The pattern is called Little Shells which is very easy with only one row to remember and three garter stitch rows. The picture shows them unblocked in any way, so ther is a bit of a kink in spots.

Colour is reasonably true.

I've now started a hat for me. I give away a lot of hats and scarves to those working among homeless people or hard-up elderly pensioners and those on the streets, so it's quite a change to actually plan something for myself. I'm using up some wool from Nundle Mills which says it knits as 8 ply, DK, but is making quite a thick fabric even on 5 mm needles. I'm using my new knitpicks needles mentioned a few posts below. I think my overall impression is favourable and I'll keep them. The cord is a major factor in my decision. It doesn't kink and has almost no memory. Even straight from the packet when I opened it up, it hung without a twist to it.

As usual, this is just a thumbnail and clicking will give a much larger picture.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

fight the black dog - 4

Here's the link to the fourth entry on depression.. This discusses depression and employment. As GingerNut says, it is a discussion only, not medical advice. However, public discussion is good and brings depression into the open.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

another moebius scarf

This is the second moebius scarf. A good deal narrower than the first which I made so I could pull it up over my head, this has taken just on one ball of Zarina extrafine merino wool. I wasn't quite sure how much to leave of the ball so I could cast off, but I don't have much left over.

I used the Knitpicks Options needles for most of this. As I said, the points are good, although I don't think they are any better than some of my other needles. However, the cords are great. The nature of the moebius knitting means the cable is coiled around in on itself all the time. When I cast off, I had a look at the cable. There's not a kink in it anywhere. It's perfectly pliable. That to me is really good.

So after lunch today, I took all the bits and pieces out of the packets and have arranged the folder for them.

Sock news... I always have some on the go and I've cast on in some pretty blue Patonyle a pair of Judy Sumner's little shell socks. There are only four rows in the pattern and three of those are garter stitch. It looks quite cute, possibly for a grandaughter whose feet are quite big for her age.

I received quite quickly Charlene Scurch's second book, More Sensational Knitted Socks. It was only about a week since I ordered it and it arrived. I'm sure I didn't pay premium postage for it, but my mind has turned to mush lately with stress, so perhaps I did. It was still cheap, not much over $30 AUS and the first book was very expensive down here. It has some lovely looking patterns in it to try.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

fight the black dog part 3

Part 3 of the series on knitting and depression is up.

I actually spoke to the doctor a couple of days ago about depression. I'm having a tough time here lately and from my own counselling training, I know I have some symptoms of depression. When I did my theology degree, I did counselling subjects as electives and have almost completed a graduate Diploma in Counselling in this way. There's no way I'm a counsellor although I've had to do some counselling along the way. There's also no way I'm self-diagnosing.

I've been seeing a counsellor and promised her I would speak to the doctor on my next visit which was due a few days after counsellng appointment. I really don't want to have to take anything and he agreed that it probably wasn't necessary just at this time. However, I'm to see him again in ten days to reassess the situation.

So have a look. Speak up, get help if needed, be an understanding friend to omeone suffering from depression.

knitpicks circulars

I opened up the pack and picked some out for a scarf, another moebius strip.

Everything was well packed, but I had to use a pin to dig something hard out of the base of one of the needles before I could screw in the cord. It was only something small but it blocked the hole. The actual assembly of the package was easy and it's all stayed together as I knit.

People talk about the points on the Knitpicks needles as something special. Now I'm not currently doing anything like lace or cables, so I may change my mind, but to me they felt little different to what I was using. The stitches slide easily along the needles.

The cord is indeed lovely. It's very flexible and doesn't kink. I'll be interested to see what happens when I try something like a magic loop. It's supposed to have little memory in it, so that would be wonderful.

The needles themselves are light and I would like them just a bit longer. i would also like them to have a slight bend in them.

I suppose I'll get used to the dead straightness of them but I've used ones with a bend for a long time. I'm not sure that I prefer them just because it's what I'm used to, or if it's because my hands actually find them easier to use. I've done some knitting with them and the hands haven't protested, so I'll see what happens down the track.

What I really, really don't like is the noise they make. Clickety, clackety, clickety, clackety. I imagine this comes from the lightness of them and the alloy they are made of. Very, very annoying to me and I think it would cut down on where I could use them. I sometimes knit in meetings, or even in groups of friends. I certainly wouldn't use the knitpicks needles in such a situation. I know I would be annoyed by the noise if someone else used them and I wouldn't want to cause the same annoyance. Now I wear a hearing aid in both ears. I will ask if anyone else hears them as loudly as I do. I could turn the aids down, but then I would not hear conversation. If it's just my ears and the aids, I might consider using them in a group.

If I have any more comments as I use them and try out different sizes and cords, I'll report on those too.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

comfort eating knitting

Here are the hedera socks which I started ages ago. As you can see, they are still not finished but are well on the way. I really enjoy this pattern. It's quick, easy to memorise, looks good. The colour here is fairly accurate. The wool is St Ives and I enjoy knitting with it. I have other socks done in the same brand and enjoy wearing them. The second sock needs three or four more repeats of the pattern which won't take long, and then the toe. I think this is one pattern which I will do again, although I may revert to my standard short row heel without a heel flap. I rather like the nice long leg for winter too.

So what have we here? A lot of money. I've dithered around with these and should have ordered them at Christmas time when they first came in. Last week I bought a cheap circular because I needed one right that minute. I know others who can't wait to get home to cast on with new wool too. It was disgusting and after persevering with it for a few rows, I transferred to another needle when I came home. Stitches jammed and were impossible to move around and when I ran my finger along the needle,I could see why. It felt odd, almost textured. When I looked at the cable, I was horrified. it was thick and very unyielding.

As luck (??) would have it, the new YARN edition had an article featuring the Knitpicks needles. I was showing my husband this and complaining about the circular I had bought. He didn't quite say to go and buy them, but the impression I gained was that he really thought it would be a good idea. When I looked for the cheap and nasty one to throw out, I found he had already dumped it.

Yesterday I met a net friend from the ACT in the city for lunch. We met on the Ship of Fools site forum. After I left her, she headed for the ABC shop and I decided to go look at the Knitpicks needles. They followed me home. Perhaps not followed but accompanied me. It really felt like comfort eating as things around here are particularly unpleasant most of the time and, while I can see two posssible outcomes, neither is pleasant and both will be drawn out and painful. I figured needles would last longer than chocolate! Actually, I'm not much into chocolate and biscuits. I much prefer savoury things.

I haven't opened any of the parcels yet. There is space for a pattern or two in the folder, several sizes of needles and cords. It's the needles themselves I'm not sure of. I have arthritic fingers and these are very stiff and straight. The points look good and the cables feel amazing. Very thin and flexible. I'll give a review when I've used them a bit. I finally bought them because I don't think I'll have any problem selling them if I don't like them. There are cable ends and a needle gauge and also markers for needles size. Lots of pockets in the folder for cords etc.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

hedera socks again

No photos as I have not quite finished. However, a good deal of progress has been made.

I've been encouraged to get the knitpicks circular set of needles. I tried them out when they were still only available by order, before last Christmas. I'll give them another try tomorrow and reconsider my opinion. They look good and the cords seem great. I'm just not sure how my fingers will go with them.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

depression and knitting

Clicking on the flattering picture of Winston Churchill in the side bar or here will take you to a second post on this. Some helpful links and some persoanl stories are included.

hedera socks again

After having two young grandchildren here for six days last week so they could attend KidsGames for the week, the place here was more a pigsty than anything else.

They were good about clearing tables, hanging up towels and putting dirty clothes in washing basket, but they did quite a lot of craft work here too. The lounge room carpet was covered with cat hair and little bits of paper and wool etc from cutting out. So I did a major clean on Friday so I could bear to be in the same room for the weekend when they had both gone home.

I found my Hedera socks which I started back in April. I don't know why I had put them aside. They look good, the finished one fits well, the pattern is super easy and I like St Ives sock wool.

The second sock was one pattern short of the heel, so I sat down yesterday and did that. Now I'm on the heel flap. Quite a change as I usually do short rows but decided I would follow the pattern this time. I also found the Eiffel tower socks from the Six-Socks-Knitalong. Again I had done one sock and was well down the other. These are far too big for me. Sloppy, not only on the leg which I could cope with, but also on the foot, which I hate. So they went for a swim in the frog pond. I have enough on my mind lately, without worrying about socks which are uncomfortable. It felt good to get rid of them and to pick up the Hedera socks again. I'll make this pattern again.

Lots of people around the traps are doing the monkey socks. Perhaps I'll look at those too. I picked up a copy this morning of Simply Knitting. There's a cute vest I might do for the little girls in the edition. I can see a few changes but I'll do the basic pattern and adapt.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Knitting from Miss Six

I finally sorted the camera/computer non-speak problem and downloaded these.

This is my six year old, almost seven years granddaughter. She's thrilled that she seems to have finally "clicked" with knitting. She's also thrilled that the needles are just for her because they have a "7" on them and she'll be seven in three weeks.

She's doing quite well and the knitting is surprisingly loose for a beginner. This was taken the first afternoon she started again down here, so she's done quite a bit more. She has trouble sliding the stitch off the left hand needle because she holds the needles parallel to wind the wool around and the unknitted stitches slide back down the needle. I'm not bothered, she'll work this out too. She's a very bright little girl, reading several years above her age group.

So what is she planning on making? A warm pair of socks for her little brother, the grumpy little boy in the photo below. he turns two mid-July. I haven't said much about her plan. I'm just happy that she's enjoying what she's doing.

Monday, 2 July 2007

grandkid knits

I'm minding two of my grandchildren for the week. It's the first week of two weeks holiday here, and they are attending a KidsGames run by one of my DILs. Miss Six, very soon to be Miss Seven is second from the right, wearing the striped top. Her older cousin, Master Eight, is also staying with me.

Shes been trying to learn to knit for ages. It was no use sending anything home with her as her mother doesn't knit at all. She finally caught on yesterday and is doing fine at the moment. She was thrilled that the needles had a 7 on them because she'll be seven in a few weeks. Doesn't realise that's the size. I've set her up with some Patons jet and about a dozen sitiches. The first in each row is hard for her, but otherwise she's doing fine. I took a photo of the knitting, but my camera and computer are playing no-speaks today, so can't even download it. She really wants to do a pair of socks for her younger brother, the last in the line in the photo. He'll be two in a couple of weeks. He was tired and cranky when this photo was taken and was not pleased about having his photo taken. Little miss in the pink was the birthday girl last Saturday. She's now five and looking forward to school next year.

She holds the needles very awkwardly but is knitting. I'll let her get established before I show her what might be better. I really don't want to get into doing things "the right/wrong way." If it works, fine.

I was horrified to hear an instructor at a class in Sydney city's main yarn etc. shop tell one of her middleaged pupils that she would have to sit in the naughty chair unless she changed to the "correct" way of knitting. "Correct," of course, meant as the instructor saw it. She seemed to me to be making progress and coping.

There is a year between the two youngest children in the photo and they are cousins. Little Miss who is not quite three looks to me to be average size. When we stood Finn who is not yet two next to her, there wasn't much difference. He's a bit slighter, only 2 centimetres shorter, and wears a bigger shoe than she does. Still, his dad is6'5" so he could well be tall.

Click on photo to enlarge.