Catching up

Standard

Over the last year, as you can imagine, I’ve done a hell of a lot of knitting. And for once, the things I was making felt practical and necessary.
I effectively had three winters in a row, leaving for Europe in November last year. Though it was only for five weeks, I knew the cold would be like nothing I’d ever experienced:

I owned but one (short-sleeved) thermal undershirt.
I hadn’t seen snow.
I’d never felt a winter cooler than 5 degrees Celsius.

So I got knitting.

When I first saw the Dimorphous Mittens pattern, months before we left, I knew that I had to make them. And because the mitten flaps are seperable from the inner gloves, I meant that I could still use them during Sydney’s comparatively mild winters.

image

image

I originally chose little adorable cow buttons, but they were too pointy and tricky to get in and out of the button loops using mitten-clad fingers. You can find the Ravelry page here.

I also made two scarves. The crocheted Noro one I didn’t end up taking. The orange one I made to a different pattern, didn’t finish, took it overseas, hated it, frogged it, came back to Australia, and made the one here instead.

image

image

image

Obligatory Ravelry page links: here and here!

Here’s an awkward photo of this actually quite lovely beanie I made. It is almost impossible to get a good photo of one’s own hat-adorned head!

image

Here’s the Ravelry page for the pattern and my project, sans pom-pom.

While I was in Edinburgh, I knew I wanted to visit as many wool shops as possible and get some Shetland wool while I was at it. By far my favourite one was Kathy’s Knits. Kathy was so lovely and helpful, letting me take my own sweet time browsing through her shelves and helping me with anything I needed. I settled on this book and making this lovely tam.

image

Apologies for the shocking photography. As aforementioned, it’s is immensely difficult to take a decent photo of such things.

image

Through making this tam I learnt a neat little bind-off that is invisible. The tam is worked top-down (first time experience for me, as the holey centre indicates!) and you cast off at the ribbing invisibly using a strange sort of slip-stitch set up and kitchener stitch finish. Tricky at first, but way cool. Definitely using it for my next pair of toe-up socks. I’ll attempt a tutorial one of these days; it’s just that perfect.

I lucked out with this project. Not that I finished it overseas, but I did manage to get it onto my flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam and knit quite a few rows. Having started it on 2mm dpns I bought from Kathy, I somehow managed to have the matching circs in my luggage and when it got bigger I was able to magic loop it and then work in a full round. Usually with something this fiddly and fair-isle-y I would suffer endlessly, but this tam was surprisingly easygoing. Obligatory Ravelry page link!

Yadda yadda. I’m sure I’ve inundated and overwhelmed you by now.

Until next time! x

Advertisements

Completed cardigan and incomplete everything else…

Standard

I finished the chevron cardigan! It’s taken me a while to actually upload the photos, but here it is in all its glory paired up with the dress it’s going to de-funeralise. It’s virtually unblocked here, as I have to take it on a long car journey before I have to wear it so I figure I’ll iron out all the wrinkles and uneveness when I get there.

After finishing it I had a little ‘well, what next?’ moment, which was totally uncalled for considering what I found in my project bag…

This is the basque, or beginnings of a basque, to a vest from the new Patons Classics book. There are so many great designs in the book, particularly a cabled aran-style cardigan that has a lovely silhouette… No! I mustn’t tempt myself!!

My grandmother has been teaching me how to dye yarns and this was my first effort. It was a bit of a crazy experiment but I’m really happy with the results. We used white Bluebell 5ply crepe and powder dyes. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of how it looks in the skein, but here is what it looks like in the ball…

With all that to do I surely don’t need another project, but that’s not the haphazard, prolific way I go about things!

So here’s a cabled scarf I’m making using Schoppel Wolle’s Cashmere Queen. It’s a cashmere, silk and merino blend. When I first felt it in the ball I thought it was nothing special, and certainly not worth the price, but when I felt a knitted sample I just knew I had to make something with it! The friction of knitting it causes it to fluff up and become incredibly downy and soft. This will probably be the most expensive scarf I’ll ever make, but it’s so worth it.

I have an 8 hour car journey tomorrow so I’m planning to finish it on the way as my destination it’s going to be brutally cold and windy! During the 8 hour return journey I’m hoping to finish the border of the ’70s hexagon blanket. I’m sure it’ll have the bonus of keeping me cosy on the way.

I’ve also started working on the Woodley-inspired granny square jumper, but I can’t for the life of me decide how I should join them. Here is an experiment where I’ve joined them as I’ve gone. It leaves a bit of a ridge which could be a design feature, but I’m afraid it’s just a tad too ridge-y for that. I may just whip stitch the whole thing together if I come to a conclusion that it is too ridge-y, although that will use up a lot more wool (and time!) I think some more experimenting; I need to find a way that joins as you go, lies flatter and uses up less yarn than whip stitching.

And that’s all not to mention the still in-progress blankets and a newly begun Kaffe Fassett-inspired fair-isle scarf for 107. Phew! I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Lucky I have this car journey tomorrow to get some done…

I wish I could resolve to not start anything new until I finish all of these projects, but I know I’ll just break the promise to myself and feel bad, and so I’ll buy wool to make me feel better and that will cause me to start a new project only fulfilling the cycle. So yeah, we’ll see how the car journey goes…

Surprise delivery!

Standard

This morning I was hoping for a decent sleep in, but to no avail. I was raised from my slumber by an irritatingly loud knock at my front door, and the subsequent over-enthusiastic barking of my dog. I prepared myself to unleash my wrath upon the perpetrator, but there was no one there. Then I looked at the front step. Yes, friends. I couldn’t believe it, but there lay the most beautiful cardboard box I’ve ever had the privilege to lay eyes upon.

I couldn’t believe it had arrived so quickly, but there it was; my order from Abundant Yarn. Dare I open it? Today was my last full day to finish off my little bits and bobs for the 107 opening and I knew that if I did open it I would succumb to the temptation of starting a new project and thus forget about what I was supposed to be doing.

So I opened it.

And there lay a handwritten note and the sweetest little stitch markers I ever did saw! Oh gosh! How my heart sang. That was just to kind of the nice people at Abundant Yarn. And how did they know that I was running low on stitch markers, hmm? It must be some kind of crafty telepathy…

Underneath that lovely surprise was this:

Noro Retro. I must admit, this was an impulse buy. I was going through their stash sale yarn and I couldn’t resist. It’s an angora, wool and silk blend, and the colours were just so dazzling! I’m not sure what I’ll make with it, but I just knew that I had to have it.

Then, underneath that was this:

Another two balls of Noro Retro, and a couple of balls of Cascade 220. Less visually exciting, I know, but that was just preparing me for what I knew was coming…

Because underneath that was this:

Ahhhhhhh!! So much colour! Oh, Cascade 220, you do not disappoint! I was unsure as I’ve heard mixed reviews about you, but I don’t care anymore! Why? Because you’re mine!

I’d planning to make a granny square jumper not dissimilar to Olivia’s from the ABC1 TV show ‘Woodley’. The only thing stopping me was not having the wool for it.

(The gorgeous images above belong to the ABC, and no harm is meant by my using them here. If anything, I’m just singing the praises of the costume department!)

I was taken by this jumper a few weeks ago when I first saw the episode. Promptly afterward, a number of people asked me if I’d a. seen the episode, and b. was planning on making something similar. As you can guess, my answers were both resounding yeses.

Determined not to be swept away with the joyful prospect of making a jumper like dear little Olivia’s, I forced myself to finish the granny handbag I’ve mentioned before. It was a struggle to stay focused (granny square jumper, ahhh!!!), but I somehow managed it.

And the reverse side…

I’ve also finished the crocheted scarf. It’s not the 16 squares I had planned, but after blocking it at 12 squares long it gained a fair bit of length so I decided to stop. It’s long enough to wrap around twice with plenty of scarf left, which is probably the most you’d need from a scarf. I couldn’t find anywhere appropriate to drape it, so I artfully shaped it into an ‘m’ to photograph it. (Subtle, shameless self-promotion.) I’ll have to find someone to model it for me because it looks ten-fold better when it’s on.

And that’s about all I have to show for today’s efforts. I’ll admit, I did procrastinate finishing the bag and scarf. I wouldn’t be a true crazy yarn-lady if I didn’t as least frolick a little with my new additions to my stash…

A visual feast to tide you over

Standard

Here are some things I’ve been working on over the last few weeks…

This is soon to be a handbag! I’m just in the process of joining all the squares together so that I can add handles. Each square is roughly 12x12cm and there are two by two squares on each side of the bag making it about 24x24cm in size all up. I used an extra small hook to crochet this to avoid the possibility of any important things escaping the bag during use. Perhaps I will have to line it, but vigorous testing so far has shown that not even 5c pieces are able to escape the clutches of this bag. However, pens might be another problem… I’ll investigate this further once it has assumed a more baggish shape…

This is the beginnings of a scarf using one of my favourite crocheted square patterns from an old Mon Tricot stitch guide that was given to me by my grandmother. There are some pretty interesting fibres in this project. Aside from lambs wool, the burgundy and navy squares contain cashmere and silk, while the grey variegated squares contain soybean silk fibre! It’s really interesting to work with the soybean wool. It not only variegates, but goes thick and thin, thick and thin, thick and even thinner… But the results are gorgeous, so I’ll definitely be using it again. The finished scarf will consist of 16 squares and measure about 10cm x 2m.

Coasters! Yay! Here are two sets of four coasters made from 100% US grown cotton. The ’70s was a good decade for crocheted homewares, so I wanted to provide 107 with something reminiscent of that era but with a more updated colour scheme. So here are the coasters at work, protecting wooden surfaces in a stylish fashion:

Plans are to make another few sets, but I have yet to decide on colour schemes and shapes for these.

Again, returning to the fabulous and inspirational decade of the ’70s, I’m nearing the end of a rather mammoth crochet project; a hexagon blanket. (The pattern I’ve used is ‘Juggling Hexes’ by Wendy Harbaugh.)

This time the ’70s inspiration manifests in the colours which tread a fine line between gaudy and tasteful. The blanket is pure Australian wool and is lovely and warm. It’s got to the stage where I can work on it and use it at the same time which is incredibly satisfying. I’ve been crocheting the inside circles for 9 hexes at a time and then joining them as I crochet the outside row.

Sadly, this one’s not for 107. I’m far too attached to it. But never fear, for I’ve just begun another blanket that will be available in the coming months!

I’m using Fibranatura’s 100% organic cotton to make a lovely, soft and sustainable blanket. At the moment, the blanket is just a pile of un-joined circles, but in the end the plan is to border them with a cream coloured edging and turn them into squares. Every square is going to have a completely different colour combination to every other square in the blanket.

Don’t the cottons look gorgeous all together in their perfect little balls?! Guh! I hate to spoil them, but I have faith that the blanket will look equally, if not just as gorgeous in the end… fingers crossed! What I find really adorable is that Fibranatura gives each of its colours a woman’s name. The six colours I’m using are affectionately known as Sally, Gena, Susan, Lorna, Janene and Monica. Oh, and Cream. So Cream’s not a woman’s name, but still, it’s cute. Way cute.

Anyway, I’ll just cap this post off by showing you one last little tidbit for 107…

This miniature knitting brooch measures about 3x5cm and will be available in several delightful colours. Show your love of crafting by donning one of these on your lapel!

Anyway, so on and so forth, and so long. I hope you enjoyed this taster of some of the creations for morganhausen.