Friday, 29 July 2011

deja vu?

Déjà vu?  Almost.  Another pair from the Bendigo Celeste, merino, silk and alpaca.  The same pattern as shown a couple of posts down which I did for my sister.  I like the  way this knits up but sometimes I found it came unplied just a little bit.

I used the thumb gusset from the Veyla gloves and of course the buttons from my friend's stash are different.  These are really quick to make and very easy.  That is, unless you also have a head stuffed up with a cold as I do, and do the wrist band so that there are two gloves for the left hand.  I thought I'd got rid of last week's cold, but it's freshened up quite a bit again and my head is very stuffed up.  I had to unpick where I'd sewn one wristband on so I could reverse the shapings.

These are for the DIL with whom I lived for several years.  I've made gloves for her before but that was several years ago and I know those have had a lot of wear.  She'll wear these I'm sure.

Now, apart from eldest grandson, everybody has had something practical and good this winter.  I asked grandson what he would like.  However, he had been put on the spot at a swimming lesson.  His mind was on other things.  He suggested slippers but when I said knitting, he wanted them THICK.  I rang son again the next day as I'm sure we both had wires crossed.  I think grandson may have been visualising   something like ugg boots.  If that's the case, I'm happy to buy them.  If I were to put a monetary value on my knitting, I'm sure ugg boots from Target or similar would be comparable.  They'll probably last longer  too.  The family has a new puppy, just three months old, and he still has sharp puppy teeth (and nippy habits).  I don't know just how long my knitting efforts would survive with Max's current behaviour.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

light as a feather

I opened the balcony door yesterday to let some fresh air in.  It was actually sunny and quite pleasant.  This tiny feather floated in and landed on the carpet.   I've been keeping the camera handy as I try to learn about the multiplicity of functions it has.  So I grabbed it and took several photos on different settings.

I can see the details of the feather here and the carpet colour is pretty accurate too.  The carpet looks great when I've just vacuumed but being totally plain, it shows every little crumb or tiny piece of paper or dropped wool.  I'm thinking of buying a large rug which would actually cover most of the main area and would not be such a pain to keep clean.  I could vacuum twice a day and still find bits the next morning.  I really don't know where they all come from.

I've never been a neat freak but find that since being by myself, I am extra careful abut putting things away properly and tidying up after myself.  If I don't do it, it doesn't get done.  When I lived with son and DIL, the place was OK as there were three of us to  do things.  Here I'm it, as I know many bloggers also are.

I should have listened to this wool some years ago. I bought it at a Spinners and Weavers Guild Open Day quite a while ago.  It was a miserable day and I was miserable personally too at that time.  I loved the bright fresh colours which looked springlike, full of newness and fresh opportunities and growth.  No idea was given as to length of the wool but obviously enough for many small projects.  It has a crepe finish and was classed as 5 ply on the swing tag.

I've tried it in several projects but didn't like it.   It's been ripped out each of those times. At least three times, possibly four.  I'm caught up recently in small projects which are quick and satisfying to finish.  These are for DIL married to # 2 son.  Hot off the needles and unblocked, they are another pair of Veyla fingerless gloves.  That makes a hat for my son, gloves for DIL and his two small daughters.  I've sent him an SMS asking what my eldest grandson might like.  Then that will be the whole of that family.

The buttons are yet more from the hundreds my friend gave me from his mum.  It's like a treasure trove and many of the buttons are beautiful.  I find it hard to get buttons I like which are new now.  Lincr0ft and Spitlite are not very helpful.  The button shop in Newtown is great but I am no longer in walking distance of there so I tend to forget it.

Friday, 22 July 2011

rain, rain, go away

It's still raining here and looks as if it will never stop.  It rained without stopping for 18 hours yesterday that I can vouch for, probably longer.  Parts of Sydney have also had strong winds and a large gum tree fell on a school classroom.  Very fortunately, no one was injured.

I made these for my sister.  A quick easy knit from here, and the pattern is also on Ravelry.  More vintage buttons from my stash.  The mitts are made in Bendigo Celeste, merino/alpaca/silk.  I find it pleasant to use.  She lives on North Coast of NSW and yesterday I sent her an email saying I had made these as part of an early birthday present.  She was thrilled and called it spooky, because on Wednesday which was when I started these, she had decided she just had to get something like this.  She'd been typing in the cold wearing gloves which worked, but she couldn't use the trackball with gloves on.

I told her that I would post them to her today if the weather eased, otherwise it would be next week.  It did ease, so I rugged up and caught the bus.  I was far too hot in the shopping centre with my jacket on  but managed to get her parcel and the cowl for friend in NZ posted.  Came out and it was tumbling down again.  Went to bus stop and a cab pulled up in front of me, so I hopped in and came home.  I would have been another 40 minutes if I had waited for  the bus.

Now for  something somewhat more cheerful than the weather.  Some more of the cockatoos of a couple of days ago.  This time I've used a small collage from Picnik which is an editor you can use in your browser without having to instal a program.  It has the facility to round the edges of the photos and to regulate the separation between photos in the collage.  Lots of collage possibilities, too.

I've been inside for nine days now and really had to get out for a while.  Cabin fever was developing.  I stayed in three days last week because TPG  had arranged for a T*lstra technician to call to check their lines.  He came last Friday, late afternoon, quite unannounced.  Not at all unusual for that mob. Then I developed a nasty cold and with the cold and wet weather and the cold itself, I have been inside.

#1 son's ankle has another almost three weeks in plaster before specialised physio and much work on his part.  The surgeon says his ankles are stronger than anywhere else in his body now.

Not to be outdone, middle son is right now having surgery on his thumb.  Left hand, fortunately.  He took up soccer about four years ago and plays in a district team and enjoys it.  Never was the sporty type but he's now done a triathlon, much walking and biking and soccer.  He's also entered in this year's City to Surf run next month so he's a bit of a late developer.  LOL.

Last Saturday he fell over at soccer and the thumb was the first part of him to make contact with the ground.  Result?  One broken bone and several floating bone chips.  He tried local ER and it was bandaged.  The path mapped out by them would have taken several weeks  so he was given a referral by his own doctor to a hand specialist, apparently one of the best in Sydney.  Day surgery today  and probably $2000 out of pocket even after top cover is taken into account.  Still, it's done, on the mend and done by a hand specialist orthopaedic guy.

I have warned #3 son to be very careful.  Enough is enough.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

kid gloves (not!) *

After several hats in a row, I wondered what to do next.  Then I found the Patonyle sock wool I had bought a few weeks ago and not added to the sock wool hoard.  Ysolda Teague's Veyla  fingerless gloves has been on my wishlist for quite a while , so I bought and downloaded her Whimsical Little Knits 2 and printed off the pattern. I have an old pair of fingerless mitts  which have seen a lot of use and my kid gloves are years and years old and are showing sad signs of wear.

Fingerling weight yarn was  suggested so I chose the deep  green which matches my silk jacket well.  I knit loosely so went to 3 mm needles instead of the 3.25 mm suggested and I made the bigger size.  My hands are average size, perhaps a bit smaller, and the larger needles would have been better.  These fit  but I think either next size up needles or perhaps a truer fingerling weight than  Patonyle sock wool would have been better.  The picture shows them hot off the needles, unblocked.  I have quite a bit of 50/50 silk/merino from Knitabulous and may make another pair from some of that.  I think it's a bit thicker than the sock wool.

They were a quick knit and quite easy but a bit fiddly as  my 3 mm dpns are longer than the smaller sock needles I usually use.  The thumb was particularly awkward with just 21 stitches  to work around.  I found the buttons in the stash my friend gave me from his dressmaker mum who died over ten years ago.  They were still on the card and the number was just right.  I usually find a I have a couple left over or there are not quite enough on the card and there's only one card.  I think they suit.

The weather has been incredible up here.  Bitterly cold yesterday with snow just west of Sydney.  Then torrential rain and strong wind overnight and more rain this morning.  I saw a photo of the surf at Bondi this morning and it was very rough indeed.  Minutes after I took this photo the sky clouded over again and down it poured.  There were three of these cockatoos when I went to photograph the gloves but one flew off.  I couldn't make out what they were gnawing on but it was actually in the gutter and kept falling back into it. They would combine their effort and pull it upright again for another chew.

* Song about kid gloves is  here.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

a woman of many hats

I've been without internet access for  most of the last week till late yesterday, Friday, afternoon.  Somehow some fiddling was done with cables by T****** and my access was cut.  A ring at security door yesterday afternoon announced a technician .  I thought he'd come upstairs but apparently he could investigate without coming up. So everything's back and running..

A couple of weeks ago I did a plain hat in grey alpaca for #1 son.  I made him a similar hat in black some years ago and it's had a lot of use.  It's looking somewhat tatty.  So I made a second for him in Bendigo alpaca in grey.  I couldn't remember how many stitches I had used and made this one a trifle large.  No problem. DIL took it and turned it into something slouchy for her.  She loves hats and looks good in  pretty well any style.

So that left son still needing a hat.  Bendigo alpaca again  and fifteen stitches fewer than the previous hat.  He hasn't tried this one on yet as DIL has been away and he's still on crutches. He has another  three weeks in plaster and then even more physio than he is currently having.   However, it's considerably smaller.  Very basic design.  My sons like the skull cap effect and I do a big band of moss stitch and then decrease in stocking stitch.  Apart  from  getting the number of stitches right, it's easy.  They find the style comfortable and warm even though they don't look wonderful when photographed.

#2 son decided he would like one too.  Bendigo alpaca again, this time the blue called Britannia.  Eighty stitches all around as his head is the smallest of the three of them.  This one is fresh off the needles a few minutes ago and hasn't been blocked yet.

I seem to have  a talent for getting lens cap in the photo. I think I put it there so it's obvious when I finish  and can replace it easily.  My head is very light headed at the  moment .  I came down with a nasty cold yesterday and rally don't feel wonderful at all.  With  the weather as cold as it has bee lately, I don't think I'll be going to church tomorrow in the cold air.  Who wants someone who is sneezing 8-12 times in succession ?

And now for something a bit different.  Still a hat, the fourth in the last two weeks.  This is for my friend in Christchurch NZ and I'll send it with the Patonyle cowl I did last week. There is a row of what could be called medallions around the hat.  It's super warm as she will need but it's a bit of a case of coals to Newcastle.  The yarn is Naturally NZ possum/merino mix and the label called it 10 ply.  It's done on 4.5 needles and is fine as a hat but I would go up a couple of sizes for any other garment.

Thank goodness #3 son wanted  scarf, not a hat.  I'm a bit over them now for a while.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

bo-peep's mittens

Two small granddaughters have been staying with me all week till tomorrow.  So new fingerless gloves or mittens as they have been calling them are in order.

The pair on the left are for Miss Six.  They are a mix of alpaca and silk from  Bendigo Mills, very pleasant to knit.  Actually a deep purple colour.

Those on the left are for Miss just Nine.  No prizes for guessing her favourite colour.  These are Bendigo alpaca which I had.

They are a better fit than shown, although I have allowed for growth in the purple pair.  They were about to leave this morning and just threw them on , sat down and were up again.  No time  for window dressing of any sort.  Still, these cover their fingers and will be warm.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

blow, blow thou winter wind...

Just finished and unblocked at time of photo.  This is a Patonyle cowl for my bike-riding friend in Christchurch.  I made it longish so that it can be pulled up if she so desires.  If it bunches up, it won't be bulky around her neck.  Facilities at her place come and go according to aftershocks, so the Patonyle is fairly easy care and can be tossed in machine to wash if needed.

I tried a couple of photos  of it on me, but they didn't turn out very well.  My model has let her striped study shawl slip off her shoulder.  I didn't notice till I downloaded the photo.

I have a few children's hats already done and put them away.  I'll send them too and she will give them to social workers working with children after the earth quake.  I didn't want to burden her with distribution but she has said she'll pass them on.

I am being a glutton for punishment.  The cowl is done in knit 2 purl 2 rib and I've moved on to a beanie for my eldest son.  About three years ago, I made him a black alpaca hat with all the lower part in moss stitch.  I made him a slightly different style just before I came here but he's asked  for another just like the first.  I had an order from Bendigo and he picked out grey alpaca.  So off I went again. Knit 1, purl 1 all round on an uneven number of stitches so the moss stitch took little concentration.  I'm almost up to the decreasing which will be done in stocking stitch to make things easy.