Thursday, 17 April 2008

travel socks and more

I've been away for a few days, up on the mid north coast, minding my mother while my sister, with whom she lives, had a few days away. Mum turned 88 when I was there so I cooked her a special meal. Who knows whether she will see 89 as she has leukemia and has lost over 20 kg without trying since last September. Winter and its germs may well be dangerous for her. I took several lots of knitting, but as always it was too much. These pink sock are called my travel socks. I had a small amount done of the first one when i left and finished it on the way up. I was supposed to go by train, the XPT, both ways and had seats booked. However, the train to go up metamorphosed into a long-distance coach. It was packed and I was right up near the back for a couple of hours. Fortunately when we stopped for lunch, a couple got off and I took their seat for the remainder of the trip. Total trip was about 5.5 hours. I spent most of the time knitting and finished the sock. As you can see, there is a short row toe as well as heel. I've done these before, but always grafted the toe back to the body of the sock. I am odd, LOL, and actually quite enjoy grafting. However, while I had taken darning needles etc and scissors, they were packed in my luggage so I did a three needle bindoff and then darned the ends in later. The second sock was just started when I got on the train yesterday about 11:00 am. This time, it really was a train and I had booked a first class seat as it wasn't much more expensive than economy. My carriage had few people in it and my seat was a good window position. I watched the scenery and knitted. The views were beautiful as we travelled up into the mountains to Gloucester and then along to Dungog. It was damp and mostly grey, but I could see green paddocks and cattle in good condition. A winding creek with a good deal of water was close for most of the time and the mountains were behind. Even allowing time out for lunch, I made good progress and finished the second sock in a few hours. I put them on this morning as they were still sitting on my desk as I hadn't put things away after unpacking. It's grey, cold and wet here today. The wool is from Live2Knit and is 4 ply machine washable merino. Colour is called Monet.
This hat is made from Bendigo Mills blend of merino,mohair and alpaca. It's the same wool as I made a couple of panta headbands shown earlier. It's nowhere near this colour, being much more muted and more teal blue. It is for a gift and I was planning on posting it to South Australia tomorrow. However, I have just learnt that the person for whom it is intended is coming to Sydney next week, so I'll be able to give it to her.

The socks are the third pair of baby socks for a little person who has had an unfortunate start to life. Hmmm, I think I see a quick and easy pattern repeat in the socks and hat! These are made from a 100 gm ball of Opal sock wool that I bought ages ago to make socks for little granddaughters. I'm not really a pink person and this ball does not seem to have gone down very much, despite having been used several times.
Lastly, just because I can. This golden orb spider has a web outside one of my bedroom windows. There are golden strips on its legs but they don't show in this grey light. The blobs are its victims, all trussed up in spun web. It hangs upside down and waits for bees from the roof hive next door to fall into its trap. I don't mind spiders at all and there is no way this can get inside. It was close to another window right behind my bed, but I accidentally destroyed quite a bit of its web when I replaced a gauze screen which had fallen from that window. It moved around the corner and made a new web.

Friday, 4 April 2008

alpaca hat

This is far from a good photo, but I'm not sure I can get anything better. It's a hat I've been promising my son for ages. Now it's arrived, he loves it. The colour here is nothing like what it really is. This looks a steely grey. It's actually Bendigo Mills 8 ply pure alpaca, as black as black. Very black indeed. I originally started with a hat with a rolled edge. He would prefer a skull cap style. So I ripped it back. As I didn't have a pattern but was winging it, it was a bit of guesswork. I cast on 99 stitches with 4 mm needles. Hmmm, this was a bit sloppy, so out that came too. I used 87 stitches on this one for the moss stitch and added one extra when I started the stocking stitch cap part to the head. I think I could probably have gone down a bit more but he likes it as it is. He spends a lot of time at the computer for work and this is a very cold house, so he's worn it all afternoon.

DIL likes it too, but would like a deep blue yarn blanket stitched around the edge. I can imagine the finish she's after and think it would look good but son is happy with it, just as it is. We'll see. Somehow, I think she'll get her way.

I've started some more baby socks, this time in some solid pale pink Opal which I bought for my granddaughters who all luuuurve pink. Nothing fancy, just a couple of rows of eyelets about 10 rows apart. I still have the first pair of socks I made for myself many years ago. They've had lots of wear and get no special treatment for washing. Or drying for that matter. They are Opal, so it wears well but I do not like knitting it at all. It feels like string to my fingers. I've made quite a few other pairs from Opal as well, but it still feels like string.

I seem to be stuck at the moment doing small things. I think this is because I am pleased to see quickly finished objects. Another process has started in my life and this promises to be long and drawn out. I hadn't thought about it till I started to write, but feel that this is probably behind my several pairs of baby socks, a couple of scarves, a hat etc. I can see something finished without frustration and banging my head against a wall. Then I remember a saying told me when #1 son was a baby, this too shall pass.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

jumper for Miss E

This is for little Miss E, mentioned several posts below. It's a hug from a pseudo-grandma for a wee little thing. Actually, it's knitted in a six month size. I've never seen her, so have no idea how big she is. She lives where winter is cold, so I imagine there'll be some time when it fits her and is useful.

The pattern came from a Moda Impact 7 book which has quite a few easy and quick things for babies. Wool is from Bendigo Mills and is machine washable.

I had great trouble finding buttons. The jumper has been finished for over a week. This afternoon I went to L**craft in Sydney as I couldn't find anything I liked or was suitable. Next time I'll save all the time and effort and go to the button shop at Newtown first off. Clicking on the top picture will enlarge it and show button detail Cute, but just not what I had in mind.

They don't keep a range of children's buttons any more. Everything is supposedly sorted by colour. I found one button I liked but it was the only button in the tube. An assistant moved my basket which was not in anyone's way. I was the only person looking for buttons. I can understand that. Either a security camera or a fluorescent light tube was emitting a very annoying buzz. Constantly.

She asked what colour I wanted and I told her aqua. Out came all the greens. No. Now one thing I can do is colour match thread, buttons, ribbon exactly without having a sample to work from. I told her aqua again so she kept showing me baby blue, sky blue and became annoyed when I turned them all down. "You should have brought the garment in so I could see what colour you are wanting!" I finally said that if they had anything in the colour, I was quite capable of matching it myself but that the last several times I had been there for buttons, the range which looks extensive is actually poor. I wasn't rude but had had enough. Also lack of sleep and some other problems. I poked around and found these buttons. They are not what I really wanted but will do.

She was about as much help as Sp**tlight assistants. Now I know they get peanuts for money and don't seem motivated to help, but I hoped L**craft would have been better.This photo has the jumper resting on one of the many jacaranda trees here. The tree was in deep shade, so it's hard to see. The only way I could get it to stay safely while I took the photo was to drape it over the end of the branch. It doesn't really bulge as it appears to. LOL. Actually, I just managed to get the photo taken and grab the jumper before it slid from third floor level to ground below. One thing I do have which is quite handy sometimes, is quick reflexes.

I'll pack them up and get them off tomorrow or Thursday. I've included the socks shown down the page and and something for the mum and grandmother too.