Friday, 31 October 2008

summer of lace

Bells is hosting a Summer of lace this year. I love making lacy socks and scarves but have mostly baulked at anything much more serious.

Some years ago, I participated in one of the Mystery Shawls KALs and found it a great learning experience. However, I made my shawl in a heavier wool as I really wanted something very warm for the recipient rather than the ethereal creation from using laceweight. I learned a lot from that experience, and valued the learning of how to use a chart. i till prefer words but do use charts and have actually charted some word only patterns. I also learnt the use of stitch markers and probably would have valued a lifeline too. I found I was beginning to be bale to "read" my knitting, even in complicated patterns.

However, while I have several lots of laceweight wool, I still do not really feel happy in its use. I'm currently charting some patterns for a simple scarf for the Summer of Lace and now I have long holidays am hoping to be able to put some concentrated effort into the scarf.

These pictures show a compromise. If you look at the magazine picture, you can see on top right that Interweave describes this as lace. Not lacy, but lace. I'm not so sure about that, but I'm enjoying seeing this take shape. It's called the Little blue Sweater and it's from the Fall 2008 edition of Interweave knits. I'm using Patons Jet, bought at Tapestry Craft's current sale.

What you can't see in the photo is the many inches of 2x2 ribbing under the lace. Eight inches in fact. I was glad to be over that bit, although I really like the effect of the lengthy rib.

Today is forecast to be a hot one, 36°, so I'm not sure how much of this will get done. It's the first day of my holidays and I'm planning on doing something to wind down. I have plenty of knitting time ahead. I work in a small tertiary college where, despite my several degrees and diplomas, I am currently running the canteen. Four days a week, lots of student contact. I seem to act as a sounding board there for many staff and i certainly get to help students with advice on essays, footnotes etc. Lots of discussion too. However, this is the last week of term. Next week is stuvac, then exams, then nothing till February 23 next year. You may think this sounds idyllic. However no work = no pay!

Now before it gets too hot, I'm off to the nearby service station to get some Lindt. How I came to be out of good chocolate is beyond me.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

king charles brocade

I adapted this pattern from the Harmony Guide, Lace and Eyelet Stitches, E. Knight, Collins & Brown, London, 2007. Something similar was the pattern on a vest worn By King Charles to his execution. It's an easy knit, very simple to memorise.

Wool is from Katie and is called Voodoo. the colour changes are subtle and the wool is lovely to knit. A better idea of the colour can be seen here. The western late afternoon sun has washed out the colours here.

winterwarm knitting for this week.

Here's my knitting for Winterwarm from this week. The hat and little purple socks were both quick knits as they were done on 4 mm needles. The Opal is from a ball which has done other socks and there are still more to knit from it. it just goes on and on...

Sunday, 26 October 2008

no photos, but finished

First I would like to say thank you for good wishes about my mum. She's still with us, although as I left the hospital last Tuesday evening, I would not have been surprised to have a nurse run after me to call me back. She was very ill indeed. However, she made an amazing recovery from the pneumonia, although the stroke is still affecting her movement of the right arm and hand. She's very hard to get out of bed and needs two or three nurses to get her into the chair by her bed. Early on Friday morning she was moved to Wynwood Nursing home at Mt Wilga at Hornsby, for Sydney readers. It's a high dependency unit on the first floor of the original Mt Wilga rehab and brain injury hospital. The whole nursing home is very small, just this one floor. Out the back is a very posh looking new private hospital. She has a lovely single room and the staff seem very pleasant. She looks over bushland towards Galston Gorge. Ironically, I have often walked past this building. Son and DIL with whom I now live, had a lovely house diagonally behind the hospital some years ago. The easy way to the bus was up their steep backyard, through the bush for a few hundred yards and then round the edge of the rifle range where the new private hospital now is. This was the alternate route to a good 15 minutes walk up a particularly steep hill.

So knitting? I have a finished pair of footies but no photo. The first one is here at Southern Summer of Socks. They are part of a belated birthday present for my sister. I wrapped everything up before I realiesd I had not taken a photo.

The longer sock shown in that photo has an almost finished mate and there is also a small pair of Opal children's sock for Winterwarm almost finished.

I've been busy also with a lacy jumper in Jet for Bell's Summer of Lace. I think this will be a bit small for me. I'm in between sizes given, and have adjusted my needle size several times and done proper swatches. However, I bought three lots of wool at Tapestry Craft's sale and one was always earmarked as a January birthday present for another DIL. If I'm not satisfied with this one on me, I'll give it to her. It's a colour she loves. Then I'll do some more swatching.

Monday, 20 October 2008

a bad case of the blues

Not a wonderful photo, I'm afraid. I think the western sunlight streaming through the window was a bit harsh for the soft blues.

I called at Tapestry Craft,oops,Morris and Sons, after work on my way home. I really hope that if there are changes to the shop that the lighting in the knitting section is updated. I'm pretty good at colours and can buy zips, buttons etc without a sample and still have them match. However, downstairs there today, I really had problems with some of the colours. Was that blue or purple? Perhaps this lot is dark green or black?

The Cleckheaton Country is for a present, possibly this A dreadful photo although I found the link on a blog with a much better photo of a finished object. Do you think I can find which blog now? If I find it again, I'll edit this post. I'll need to swatch carefully. The Berrocco is 15 stitches/inch and this is 17. I see an experiment with needle sizes ahead.

I was taken by Bell's invitation to a summer of lace. Now I have some lace wool at home from Bendigo, but it's pink, the best choice at the time from a limited range. I bought it for another mystery shawl KAL which fell apart before it even started after some snarky posts from some who had signed up. I really don't have easy facilities for dyeing here so will put it aside.

However, I found the dusky blue today. I really don't need it but did like the colour which doesn't show well here. Special price too.

The Araucanía is something I have lusted after for some time. It too was well reduced so I succumbed. I know I have just bought 500 gm of gorgeous sock wool but bought this one too.

I have holidays till February 23rd starting soon, so I wouldn't want to be without supplies, now would I? So I bought another cable for my Options set. I seem to use the smallest cable a lot. I love the Harmony needles too, so got another set.

All blues, a fact which had escaped my notice till the assistant pointed it out. A lovely, restful colour, good for contemplation. Mum is still quite ill and I really do not know how much longer she will be here. Levels of sodium are fluctuating violently and without explanation and on top of the stroke and shingles and swollen hand, she has developed pneumonia which is often fatal in elderly patients weakened by other problems.

Edited later: I found a much better picture of the Alpine cardi. have a look here. This is the blog I had been reading some days ago.

Friday, 17 October 2008

footies and charlie socks

The little white socks are for Winterwarm, a charity collecting warm clothing for Afghanistan. They are made in some old wool I've had for ages, at least 8 ply, possibly 12. Knitted on 4 mm needles. They were a very quick knit. I've decided to try to have quite a few garments for Winterwarm's next collection. so far I have a couple of pairs of socks, a hat, two shawls and two scarves. I appreciate all I have and want to share some of my skills and resources. I've always done charity knitting, but this is the first really concerted attempt to get quite a few things together, although a couple of years ago, I was able to give about a dozen hats and some scarves.

The pink footie sock is from my prize seacell yarn from last year. Its mate is on the way to completion.

The other sock is wool from Katie at Live2Knit. It's one of my own designs although the insertion comes from Lace and eyelet stitches by Erica Knight. It's called King Charles brocade, although it is totally different from another pattern stitch of the same name as shown by Barbara Walker. Apparently Charles had a brocade pattern on his vest when he was executed by Cromwell in 1649. Anyhow, I liked this and think the wool and stitch go well together.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

knitted yarn shop

Originally uploaded by Jan2132
My DIL found this yesterday at the op shop run by St Vincent de Paul in a shopping centre up the line. She already has about 20 of such things, including a knitted butcher with apron and long line of sausages over his shoulder. There's also a knitted bear photographer dressed in 20s style clothing and taking a picture on a huge old style camera on a tripod. Most of these creations have not been unpacked from the last move.

However she could not resist this one. Absolutely everything is knitted - dresser, counter, book cover, even the tiny balls of wool and their bands and the hair on both sales person and customer.. Look how neatly the balls are arranged in the dresser. See the tiny booties and mittens in the layette. The cover of the book is knitted and its title is "Knitted Toys." There are about eight pages in it, each with a picture of a tiny toy.. The customer has a purple cape with a red bow and fancy decorations, very true to form, on her hat. I can just see my own grandmother with something like this. The dog is knitted too, as is the basket holding yet more balls of wool.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

yarn pr0n indeed

Yarn pr0n indeed! Two parcels were waiting for me in the mailbox when arrived home from work a few minutes ago. Well, three actually, but one was batteries for my hearing aids, not exciting at all, even if essential.

The top three skeins are from Katie at Live2Knit. From the left, Lilacs, Spring and Voodoo. The other two underneath are from Daphne at the Knittery. Dark green is called Rainforest and the other is Daisy. Again I love these too. They are in the slim sock wool category of her website.

I'm particularly happy with both green skeins. I like green but somehow seem to have missed out on much sock knitting in that colour. I love these. The rainforest does not show really well here. It's a lovely rich green. Spring green from Katie is just that. A bright, chirpy spring green, quite a contrast to the Rainforest but again a colour I'm really glad I chose.

Wool from these two suppliers is always gorgeous to knit, so now I will let them tell me what to do.

The other day when shopping, I bought a copy of the ABC's cooking magazine, delicious. As a freebie there was a pack of the tiny post-it notes which can be used to mark pages in books. These came with cooking type labels on them like "desserts." Six sections. I used them to work my way through a couple of stitch dictionaries to mark possibilities for sock patterns. I've used about twenty and there are literally hundreds left. So perhaps not an intended use, but very useful for me. A pleasant way too to spend some time on a cold, wet and windy afternoon