Wednesday, 30 July 2008

shiver, shiver (updated with photos)

This is really little more than a placeminder of an entry until I can take some photos at the weekend. it's been a week of mall finished objects. One sock of a pair with a fishbone fern leaf pattern on it. I meant to take my knitting today to start the second sock, but forgot as I had a bad headache when I left home. I also left home without my alpaca wristwarmers and and my newly finished neckwarmer. This of course leads to my next paragraph.

The first picture is the fishbone sock on fishbone fern! The wool is Opal Unisolid, bought years ago. I think it was a 100 gm ball and it's made baby socks, several pairs, and several pairs of little boy socks for my youngest grandchild last year. He turned three last week. I wasn't sure how far the wool would go. so divided the remainder by weight and wound two balls. Heels and toes are from scraps of more Opal. I could perhaps have just managed to get either the heel or toe out of the main colour. the pattern comes from the Harmony stitch guide to laces and Eyelets. Again, it was very dark outside, on the verge of rain.

It has been very cold here since the weekend. Cold in Sydney itself, and much colder up here. We had what the weather bureau called "mushy hail" on Sunday afternoon. It looked like snow, felt like snow, played like snow, but apparently wasn't snow. the temperature plummeted when it fell. There was more the next afternoon, although nothing like as much as on the Sunday. I've been out in falling snow and believe me, hail does not fall lightly and swirl in the wind as snow does. Monday and Tuesday were very cold for Sydney, with rain and a biting wind. Today has been cold, but no wind, so it has felt degrees warmer.

So what does one knit when one leaves home by 6;00 am in these conditions? Why neckwarmers of course. I've never been one for things around my neck or high, close collars. However, I've made three neckwarmers in the last few days and appreciate them very much. These are short scarves knitted as a scarf, narrow side up, but joined in a circle just allowing it to be pulled on over the head. Super cosy and very much appreciated this week. One was a black alpaca, with a drop stitch pattern. The pattern really does not show in the black but was a means to an end in knitting plain black for some length. Another was a merino/mohair mix in a lacy rib pattern and wide for a scarf of this nature. The third was done in some leftover 12 ply Cleckheaton Vintage Hues and a one row pattern from the Yarn Harlot. This makes a totally reversible pattern, is very easy and it looks good too.

Every day I've had one of these on under my well-used but still good quilted silk jacket. The neckwarmer has been pulled up well and the jacket collar has been turned up, buttoned and the drawer tie has been done up too. They've been marvellous in keeping out the draughts. The first two needed an extra tuck as I'd made them a bit loose. The 12 ply is just the right size. It goes over my head but is still snug on my neck. The beauty of these warmers is that, unlike a short scarf wrapped around the neck, there are no loose ends to wriggle loose and let icy blasts under my ears.

Don't you just love my model? DIL has several dummies, but I really like this particular one. The day was very grey but the flash did not produce good photos at all. these are a bit hard to see too. Model feels the cold and is wearing two neckwarmers in one picture, the black alpaca and the alpaca lacy rib. This one matches my fingerless gloves, made some time ago and now used everyday.

The Cleckheaton Vintage hues is also shown. This is 12 ply and needs to be worn by itself. Model is standing in front of our beautiful Art deco fire place. I could not take a picture of that in its glory as DIL is currently re-arranging lounge room and a lounge is in front of it. It's curved and has a marquetry front with hundreds, probably thousands of small inlaid pieces of wood. If you look closely, you may see a strange object on the mantelpiece. It's a handmade kaleidoscope, made of copper and glass by a retired naval captain. there are three discs with different patterns of coloured glass. these discs are turned by a small wooden knob. DIL bought it as a present for my son some year ago.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

cotton bag

I've been knitting this on and off all week. It's cotton and I find cotton hard on my fingers and wrists. I knitted too long one day and had some nasty swelling on my left wrist, so learnt my lesson and did less at any one time.

The pattern comes from the Inside Loop, an online British magazine. The actual pattern is here. Apparently, Traeth is Welsh for beach. I used Heirloom 8 ply cotton and have about half a ball left from three balls bought from Tapestry Craft. These balls are only 120 metres long, while the British product used is about 200 metres. I used more than the pattern suggested, because I knitted a ribbed handle from top to bottom of the bag. The original has straps to use it as a back pack. I had nothing suitable for straps here and rarely use backpack style bags. Even if there are two straps, I usually use only one and the bag was not the sort to be crammed so full that both straps would be used. The drawstring used came from Rubi and Lana's at Gordon. It really needs toggles or slides and I know I can get these at Paddy Pallins, the camping store in the city. However, Sydney is crammed over full of pilgrims for World Youth Day at the moment. I'll stop off there after work one day next week when hopefully there won't be so many people in the streets.

The bag was easy, but I see I've made a mistake in the decorative dropped stitch section. Between the two dropped stitch rows, there should be one purl, one knit and then another purl row. I can now see I've missed the second purl row on one section. However, I'm not going back now to rip it. I'll be more careful next time.

The blue is quite a soft blue, somewhat like a muted Aussie sky blue. The cotton was easy to knit, once I learned not to do too much at one time. It didn't split and knitted up quickly.

The holes around the top for the drawstring were spaced 14 stitches apart. I had some misgivings about this large spacing but followed the pattern. I was right to feel uneasy. The space was far too big and I found it difficult to draw up neatly. I pulled both drawstrings out and re-threaded them through the knitting at half the spacing. The safety pin I used went through the fabric quite easily and I did not have to go back and make more eyelets.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

black socks

Some time ago, I wrote about being admonished by seven year old granddaughter. My socks did not match my shoes! Horror! Didn't I have any black ones?

Now I do have black socks. I finished them last night as wore them this morning to breakfast in the city with a couple of interstate friends. They were nice and warm on a very cold morning for Sydney. Sullivans wool from Lincraft which was fine to knit with. I don't like some other Sullivans products but this was OK. Certainly not luxurious like some sock wool can be, but then i didn't pay luxury price either. I had trouble seeing the wraps when knitting under artificial light. They could have been finished sooner if I could have done heels and toes at night. Both are garter stitch for a change and to make some point of interest in what are otherwise plain vanilla socks. Or should that be aniseed rather than vanilla because they are black?

The ball was 120 gm, no length given. I made longish cuffs, about 8" to be warm and still have just under 50 gm left by the scales.

Photos are not good. Haven't had much success lately. I can't blame the light, it was good. I hope my camera doesn't need attention. OK... I've replaced the original photos. These are better, but not wonderful. I take much better photos outside but it's too cold and windy to go out just for a photo. Somehow I had accidentally moved the setting on the camera. it's a wonder it worked at all.