Monday, 24 December 2007

town and country socks from Sirdar

Here are my socks, finished this morning. First they are Christmas decorations on my small tree, brought when I moved out. This tree was a real bargain. It cost me.75 cents from Woolworths in post-Christmas sales several years ago and the price included ornaments! It had originally been marked at $17.50. Unfortunately, the background is very bright and this has muted the colours. Wesley, the bear, was also packed, along with Susannah, his mother, and he's a tourist. He's on the house's third floor balcony and he's surveying leafy Killara and beyond. The socks decided to keep him company. They can see a long way from up here, all around Sydney, out to the Blue Mountains and well south. I need to use binoculars, but I think I can see down to Southern Highlands on a clear day, so Wesley is getting a good view. Mind you, he's being naughty , sitting on the balcony wall. it's a very long way to the bottom if he were to fall.

I have others made from Sirdar Town and Country. They are comfortable, wear well and wash well too. I even throw mine in the dryer with no ill effects. I'm sorry it won't be available any more.

I hope you all have a Happy Christmas.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

saturday sky

This is the view from the middle storey balcony where I now live. Minutes before I took this photo, the sky was clear. Minutes after and I could not see more than a hundred metres or so because of the heaviness of the rain.

This place looks south and west and down below in the valley on the other side of the Lane Cove river is the industrial area of Top Ryde and Macquarie University. This can't be seen in this photo. The balcony on the top floor of the house has now been cleared of years of dust and leaves. I spent a long time on it yesterday. It now has two old armchairs, a coffee table and a lounge. I'm spoilt for knitting comfort. Both my bedroom and that of my son and DIL open onto the balcony which is huge. It's partly oval shaped and is about 7 metres from the house wall to the long end of the oval and about 5 metres across. Nothing in this house, built in the 1920s, was done on a small scale. There are three of these balconies, one above the other, two others on the top side of the house without a roof and about three small juliet style balconies off various rooms. It's good because space is provided where I don't need to feel that I am on top of my son and his wife and imposing on them. I'm quite sure they don't feel like that, but I do.

Friday, 21 December 2007


I have been knitting, socks mainly as they ar easy to transport in the train.

I hope to be back in here before christmas, but will make no promises. To any who call by here, have a Happy Christmas.

I've been minding my mum who is currently at my brother's up the line. She's 87 and was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of September. Last week she had a nasty infection and had only just finished antibiotics two days before when I realised all was not well. Yes, another urinary tract infection which has many very nasty side affects in elderly women. So off to the doctor down here. (She basically lives in Forster with my sister, though has her own house near Castle Hill.) Much stronger medicine with a repeat and the possibility of weeks of medicine.

I took my sock but forgot to take the first one to use as a comparison. I've gone too far and will have to pick back to do the heel.

More emotionally draining is that I have moved and am now living with my son and DIL on Sydney's leafy north shore. I haven't been able to bring much with me yet, as they have just moved here and have not unpacked properly. It was hard to decide what to bring but I have brought some heirloom jewellery, some pictures and photos for a wall... things like that to which are precious to me. It's amazing how much is only "thing" which can be replaced when a long hard look is taken at them. I thought I was prepared for such a move mentally, but I am exhausted and go to bed early. I've been walking heaps, going to and fro from my brother's. That's good in one way, but my brain is still very tense at night, so I get little sleep. The doctor gave me some tablets which I won't use. They make me sleep, at least to begin with, but leave me feeling not hungover, but very morose and weepy.

I am planning on some knitting here over the holiday time. Not tomorrow, we have a working bee planned here with more unpacking and sorting. I'm hoping for a comfortable chair to put in my room which has an amazing view south and west over a large area of Sydney. Then I'll sit and knit.

This is still the season of Advent, the beginning of the church year. Next Sunday is the end of Advent and then there's Christmas. I'm trying to look at this as looking back at the past and forward to the future. Hopefully Christmas will then be a beginning of happier times for me.

May you all have a happy Christmas.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Town and Country sock

Another half a pair this week so far. They are from Sirdar Town and Country sock wool bought on sale at Tapestry Craft. Alas and alack, this brand of sock wool has been discontinued. I have made other socks from this and really like it. Neither of the two pictures is really indicative of the colour which is somewhere in between . It was raining this morning when I took these, and somewhat dark, so I used the paper to reflect some light. Didn't really work.

The wool is soft to knit and I love these colours. My other pairs from similar wool have worn really well and I'm disappointed it's no longer being made. I bought this colour, just because of the brand but am really pleased with the way it's knitted up.

Will I make them identical or fraternal twins? Not sure. In all that sock, there are only two and a half colour repeats. That's a lot of wool to unwind to find the same starting point. The repeat goes all the way down to the thinnish mustard stripe. I've done the pattern before but made the foot part plain this time. It has pulled in on the leg, but is really very stretchy and fits nicely.

I wasn't planning on doing socks this week, but spent a couple of days babysitting young granddaughters while their mum was out SESing in western Sydney after the last big destructive storm on Sunday afternoon. She spent most of Sunday night on one roof where almost every tile had been smashed. Since then, she's been out another two days and another night. She's exhausted. Socks were something I could easily grab on the way out there and also something that did not need too much concentration.

Have just investigated the second ball to see where the stripes start. Wouldn't you know it! Just past the beginning of the sequence already done in the first sock. so I think these will be fraternal socks.

Later again:
Breaking news! Have look for lots of Christmas gifts and other free patterns. Set up like an Advent calendar, one heart opens each day with a free pattern. Socks, bootees, wristwarmers and lots more.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

celery again and candles

Here is another pair done in the Bendigo celery colour. The pattern is a set of vertical zigzags, then stocking stitch and then more zigzags. They don't stand out too well in the photos, and I think I would put a couple of purls between them if I did them again. Perhaps that would help.

As can be seen from the photo, there was still some wool left after two pairs of adult socks. As this was bought on sale, it's making for cheap socks. Of course, that's materials only, but I'm not into knitting for money. Too much stress and pressure. I'll probably keep both pairs. I'll handwash mine, although it is machine washable. It doesn't take long and I save up the handwash socks till there are a few pairs. Others, from "proper" sock wool, get thrown in the machine and often are dried by machine too. I've had no problems ever. And just remember, once upon a time... all socks were made out of ordinary wool, even hand-spun. None of this adding something in for wear like nylon.

The candles are my take on an old tradition of an Advent wreath for the season before Christmas. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. A candle is lit on each Sunday, adding to the previous week. Then the larger one is also lit for Christmas. It stands for Christ. I like the sense of connection with ancient tradition and my day. Not just my day, but I'm part of a much larger whole. I think there's often a bit too much stress on individualism today. My devotional book of commentary can also be seen. It has quotes from writers centuries old, about the first five centuries AD.

Actually, this is tied in with my love of knitting. It's an old craft, centuries old. I like using old patterns and have found some great books in op shops. Vintage needles are another favourite thing of mine. I sit and think things over while the needles move, expressing creativity and concern for others.

Monday, 3 December 2007

pink and pretty raspberry ripple

Another pair of socks for grandchildren. This time for Miss Pink, alias Miss Five who wants any colour, "so long as it's pink." I love rich purples but I'm not a pink person. This little girl chose a warm top for me when she was at some markets in Canberra, pale pink. The top is a useful style,I wear it a lot around the house on cooler evenings, but I would not have chosen it for myself. Still I remember she apparently insisted to her parents that they needed to buy something for me, so I'm grateful to her and wear it remembering she chose it with love.

I also chose this colour with love and knitted it likewise. Ii was heartily sick of shades of pink when I had finished, although they were a quick knit. I wasn't going to bother making them identical, or close to, but the dark stripe stood out so much I really had to. Heirloom Jigsaw and I don't now whether I would bother with it again. I like Heirloom Argyle and wish the colour range was greater, but this wasn't cheap. I found it just so-so and look at the patterns in the stripes. Although the socks are mirror reversed, it's obvious that the pattern within bands is nowhere near the same on some colours. Stitch count hasn't changed to influence it.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

celery socks, yum, yum!

These are my celery socks, so-called because not only is that the name of the Bendigo wool, but it really is, IRL, the colour of a stalk of celery. This is 5 ply and feels a firm fabric. Pattern is just a simple stem pattern with knit 2 together and an SSK in reverse positions to the normally expected so the leaf faces out a bit. Six stitches and four rows, very easy. As can be seen in the photo, there is still quite a bit of wool left in the big ball.

They've taken me a while to finish. I ripped out an almost completed raspberry swirl ice-cream sock and am about to start another pattern with that. Then I was away for about a week on a much needed break. Technically, I was cat and house sitting for #1 son, but I didn't spend much time sitting around knitting. What knitting I did was a shawl from some more of the wool from Bendigo. I took out some tension and aggression trimming some rampant wisteria in the garden he and DIL have just taken over.

Colour in photo is reasonably correct. The light was not good here, evn though it's the middle of the day. It was raining while I took this.

The men's socks which I made as a present for a longtime friend were gratefully received. His mum was a knitter but she died some years ago. During one meeting, I had been surreptitiously staring at his feet to try to guess the size. it worked and they fit well. I don't know if I mentioned it, but the camera does sometimes lie. The legs are a good deal longer than they appear in the photo. I think he appreciated the gift.