Self-administered Knitting Therapy

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Enough wallowing, dear reader. Time for me to stop dwelling on my varied and frequent fair isle mistakes and take part in some quick and simple, super gratifying knitting. Time for another self-indulgent post, only this time the message is infinitely more positive!

Yesterday I visited Mosman Needlecraft for the first time. It was 15 minutes to closing time, so I didn’t get to have as good a look at everything as I would have hoped, but it was super fun. And it has provided me with much to show you, and vicariously provided a resurrection of the ‘visual feast’ search tag.

Have I ever told you what my favourite colour is? Here’s a clue…

L to R: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino, Shibui, and KPPPM again.

(To anyone colourblind, I apologise that I gave a visual clue. The answer was green.)

I realised that the most gratifying project I could undertake was lurking right on my Ravelry queue: The Beekeeper’s Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits (or as it is often quaintly and endearingly typeset, the beekeeper’s quilt by tiny owl knits). You just have to read Stephanie from TOK’s motivational little blurb about how individual hexipuffs are like a satisfying little project in themselves, and that just squishing them makes you feel happy and lovely and wonderful and all things good and nice and… ah.

I started making hexipuffs a few days ago, but I wasn’t that happy with them. I’d seen a few quilts go wrong with poor colour-planning, and I realised that the hexis I’d made didn’t relate in colour, nor through the duplicate stitch embroidery I’d done on them. I’ll take a photo some time and show you what I mean. Individually, the hexis were adorable, but I just didn’t feel that in the end it was going to look very cohesive. Or attractive. At all.

My genius idea was to make the quilt in the loveliest sock yarns I could find in shades of green. Then I would balance that out with other hexis made from my 4-ply stash in shades of brown, cream and green, with maybe a pop of blue. I had a lovely stash-rummaging session and this is what I found to match…

Okay, so not as much green in the stash as I would have liked, but it did give me a use for the stray ball of wrong-dyelot Beluga I introduced you all to last Friday. At work this week we got a new colour in Empire called ‘Absinthe’ that I’ve been searching for an excuse to buy. I think it will tone beautifully with the Tosh Sock. Which, by the way, is called ‘Malachite’. Gah. Malachite. Gorgeous. The photo does not do it any justice.

I then had a glorious time playing around with some colour combinations so that I would have an idea of what my layout will be.

I decided I needed some further knitting gratification. Something I could churn out before embarking on my quilt. A knitting pick-me-up. Something super simple, super easy, super fast, and that made me feel super good about the fact that it was simple, easy and fast. So I bought some cashmere (just casually, for a ridiculous amount of money) and I made a cowl.

I knitted it in the round, doing 5 rows of k1, p1 on 4mm, changing to 6mm and working in what I call “oatmeat stitch” (sort of an extended seed stitch). I weighed it after doing the rib so I knew how many grams to leave for finishing with another 5 rows of rib and for binding off.

My gosh, this cashmere deserves its 5 star rating on Ravelry, for sure. It was worth every single dollar. This was hands down the loveliest, most resilient and compliant yarn I’ve ever had the pleasure to knit. It’s an aran weight by Jade Sapphire in the colourway ‘Rockaway Beach’.

I have finished the cowl, but I took these photos not anticipating I would finish it today. But it did. Like I said, super simple and super fast. Have you got any go-to project you know you can churn out quickly and feel awesome about it?

I read this fabulous post by feelgoodknitting. And you should too. It helped me get out of my knitting-funk, and I reckon it will be open in my browser’s tabs for a good long time yet. So, new yarns acquired, self-confidence boosted, enthusiasm at an all time high.

All is well. Goal achieved. Gold star.

As soon as I hit the publish button, I’m going straight to my needles and yarn to start. I’m having so much trouble focusing to write this because of the anticipation. Unbearably obsessive, I realise, but I hope you can understand that when you’ve got a freshly-balled skein of Tosh Sock in Malachite in your peripheral vision it is very hard to concentrate on anything else.

Here’s some oatmeal stitch to tide you over until tomorrow’s fair isle update…

Fractious Fair Isle Friday #1

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In the hope of getting some more regularity and structure into my posting, I’ve had the genius idea of coining this Friday, and every subsequent Friday until I goshdarn finish this goshdarn sweater, as ‘Fractious Fair Isle Friday’.

‘What sweater?’ you might ask.

‘This sweater!’ I will respond.

‘But why would you even subject yourself to making that?’ you might ask.

‘I don’t even know.’ I will respond.

Actually, it’s ’cause a friend at work and I are making “matching twinsy sweaters” using this pattern from the Debbie Bliss F/W 2011 magazine. There were many weeks of very important deliberation before I could begin; 4 ply or 8 ply? And which colours? And I can’t get any Rialto! Will I use Empire instead? Oh, the life-changing decisions! What ever will I do?! (You know, solving problems like that.) I finally decided on dark green in Empire 4ply for the body, defying DB’s whole theme of “ebony, ivory, and all notes in between”. Rebellious, I know.
Also, I mixed it up a little for the contrast colour. I’m using two colours instead of just white. The bulk of the contrast will be in “seascape twist”, which is a kind of soft grey with a single strand of baby blue spun in. The snowflakes across the bust will be in off-white, just to break up the really dense band of hearts above it.
I’m not sure if my colleague’s decided on her colours yet. It is a hard decision.

I completed my gauge swatch three days ago, with much difficulty. The first two balls of dark green I started to use were overspun and too thin. Fortunately I’d bought all the wool beforehand and the third ball I unraveled was the charm. So I did get the swatch done. My tension was spot on too, so things were looking up.

The next day I was hoping to exchange the faulty wool after work, but the first customer of the day bought every last ball. I nearly cried.
Fortunately she came back later in the day and returned it as she decided she’d prefer something else. I nearly cried again, only this time it was from sheer jubilation.

Here’s the progress I’ve made over the last two days.

I swear that DB has some weird sizing Juju going on. I’m making the smallest size, but the ribbing is about an inch and a half bigger than what I would expect for a small hip size. My tension is right, so I suppose it’s just how it’s meant to be. I can’t find a Ravelry page for it to double check so I’m hoping at all works out. I don’t really mind it being a little loose.

I won’t go into how many times I’ve had to rip back and fix mistakes. I keep reading the chart in the wrong direction. It’s so difficult to refrain from ragequitting.

Aside from that, isn’t this suitcase perfect for holding this project?! A little sleeve for my pattern, a perfect size for all the wool. It’s really light too, which means I can carry it around with me. I bought it today from a super nice couple I met through eBay. I bought two luggage trunks from them yesterday. I walked to their place to collect them, and not only did they drop both me and the trunks home, but they offered to come around to my place today and let me have first pick of all the new suitcases they’d acquired before they photographed and listed them. Result!

We laid them all out on the kerb, with the husband remarking how much it must’ve looked like we were doing some kind of dodgy deal, and I went through all of them. I ended up with 8 suitcases of various sizes. Some were old Globite school cases – exactly what I need for transporting and storing all my projects on the go. The others were more trunk-sized – perfect for storing my ever-expanding stash.

I’m really curious as to how other people store their stash. How do you go about it? If you’ve any photos, I’d love to see them.

Here’s the lining in my favourite case. It’s a big ol’ blue trunk with gorgeous plaid linen on the inside. Ahh, it makes my insides sing with happiness. It seems a shame to keep it closed!

Most of the others have the original name tags, novelty stickers and wrapping paper lining just as they had been when they were probably used as school cases decades ago. The light faded too soon afterwards for me to get any decent pictures of those. I’ll try and take a couple of photos in the coming weeks. There’s so much history in those little suitcases and I’d love to share it with you.

Until next time!

Subjectively Necessary Yarn-Accumulation Procedure

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There’s a segment on Andrew Denton’s new show ‘Randling’ called ‘Double Speak’. Contestants have to come up with euphemisms for unfortunate occurrences. For example, a more innocuous term for bombing would be ‘high-altitude aerial persuasion’ or ‘gravity-assisted terrain reshaping device’.

Inspired by this display of witty wordplay, I’ve begun referring to my stash as my subjectively necessary yarn-accumulation procedure. And by those means of justification, here is my haul from my work’s winter sale.

These balls of Country 8ply will probably go towards making a seamless top-down jumper. I’ve been wanting to try that out for a while now. Something like this, but maybe with a bit more shaping.

I also bought some Totem DK to make crochet blankets for 107.

The blankets will just be a single colour. I’ve decided that for the green blanket I will make one square per ball, in total 20 squares to make a 4X5 square blanket. Obviously with all of the projects I already have going, and then the ones in my queue, I won’t get around to making those for a while. I did let myself do some experimenting though.
This is the kind of square I’m thinking of using. Its dimensions are roughly 25X25cm.

I got the pattern for this lovely square from the Japanese crochet book I bought from Kinokuniya a few weeks ago. I absolutely love this pattern.

I decided to work on it while catching the train home from work last week. The train was packed and everyone was off in their own little world. But as soon as I put hook to yarn, the woman next to me started asking me all these great questions about crochet and knitting. Once we started talking, all the other people around us joined in. It really made my day. They were all such nice people. None of them were crafters, but it was really awesome that they were interested in what I was doing.
This sort of thing keeps happening to me actually. For example, a woman on the train yesterday was watching me knit using the magic loop method and wanted to know how it worked. She was sick of not being able to knit socks on public transport for fear of someone bumping her and dislodging a DPN from her work. The conversation was cut short because I was only on for one more stop, but she was a genuinely lovely person and I only wish we could have chatted for longer…

I mentioned last time that I bought some cashmere-merino blend to dye naturally. Here it is in all its undyed, soft and abundant glory! Isn’t it grand?

Oh, the effort exerted by carrying all of these on the peak-hour bus home! Mind you, for every sale pack of wool, I received a free pattern book. Eight free pattern books! I felt like one of those insane Boxing Day Sale shoppers who carries home their own weight in post-Christmas bargains. And in my own very special way, I suppose I was.

In other news, I finished the contrast socks! Woo hoo! They were so much fun to make. I’m decidedly a toe-up convert. I’ll definitely be stocking up on Greystone before the sale is over so I can keep making these little beauties.

Today, I’ll leave you with this: While I was snapping away with my camera, Timmy became entranced by the carry bags I’d used to get the wool home. I managed to quickly catch a couple of blurry, but still adorable, photos of him investigating before he decided they weren’t as entertaining as first anticipated.

Until next time.

There’s a party in my shoe…

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So, I had this genius idea to try and make some toe-up socks. I’ve only ever made cuff-down and I always had this fear that to do it the other way would be confusing, difficult, tedious, messy, you get the picture… And despite my manager at work telling me that she could teach me the cast on, and that it’s not really that hard, I’ve just had it stuck in my head that it was always going to be tricky, and frankly a bit traumatic. And I wasn’t kidding myself. It was hard. But I think if I’d taken her up on her offer for help it would have been a lot smoother sailing.

The advantage of toe up socks is because you’re knitting the foot first you don’t have to worry about running out of yarn because you can adjust the leg length last of all. I always fudge the ribbing and have to pick up and re-knit the leg after finishing the foot. I never learn. For example, the Jigsaw socks I started (and have now finished one) feature the same corner-cutting, awkwardly slightly loose ribbing that seems to plague a lot of my socks.

You can’t tell from the photo, so I guess if I’d just not told you about it you wouldn’t have known or cared. Damn. Oh well, I’ll just pick up and re-knit the cuffs. I’ll have to match the part of the colourway though so both socks match.

I also really like the heel of a toe-up sock. No nasty heel-flap or holes to darn around the instep – that’s my kind of sock. My genius plan was to make socks of 107 in a medium grey with fluorescent, neon or just brightly coloured contrast toes and heels. Ever since I got this idea in my head I couldn’t get it out. All I could think about was when I would have the time to sit down and just give it a go. I leave home in the mornings only an hour after it becomes light and I don’t leave work until it’s dark again. That’s just the nature of winter I suppose, but I guess it also explains why I post so infrequently. There’s just very little light to take photos. (I apologise for the crummy use of flash in the one of the photos. Grrr, daylight savings, grumble, grrr, whinge, grumble, sob, complain.)

I found time the other night after work. This is roughly what happened…

17:45 – Leaving work. Gonna make some socks. Gonna make some socks. Gonna make some socks. Gonna make some…

17:50 – … socks. Gonna make some socks. Gonna make some socks. Gonna make some socks. Gonna make some socks.

18:00 – Train is slow, train is slow. Oh CityRail have mercy, why is the train so slow?

18:15 – My leg hurts from so much impatient foot tapping.

19:00 – HOME! YEAH! PUMPED! YEAH! GO TEAM GO! Let’s do this! Gonna make some socks, gonna make some socks!

20:00 – So I’ve watched every video I can find on toe-up socks, read, re-read, and re-re-read the section on toe-up socks in my Vogue Ultimate Sock Book, and I have all my necessary bit and bobs. GO TEAM GO! Let’s really do this! Let’s make some socks!

20:15 – I’ve done my provisional cast-on. Now what?

20:45 – There’s an asterix! What the hell does the asterix mean?!

20:46 – It says to ‘WT’! What the hell does ‘WT’ mean?!

20:47 – Oh… okay. ‘WT’ is creating a wrapped stitch. I think I can do that…

20:48 – I wrapped a stitch!

20:49 – I wrapped another stitch! Go me! Yea-ohhhh no! No, no, no! I dropped it.

20:49:30 –  Wrapped it again! Hail me! Queen of the wraps!

20:55 – Now to work my wraps. I think I can do that…

21:05 – This looks wrong. Very, very wrong.

21:05:30 – I don’t think I’m wrapping the wrong side row properly. That must be it. I’ll look online.

21:20 – It’s all the book’s fault. They’ve only shown how to wrap and work on the right side rows. No wonder it looks funky. Hmm.

21:20:03 – Wait… Nooooooooooooo! That means I have to start again!!!!

22:00 – First toe done. Well, that was the most disheartening knitting experience of my life.

And so, I fell asleep marred by the fact it took me so long to ‘get’ working the short row toe. Really I should have just used Judy’s magic cast-on, but I knew that I was going to have to work a short row heel, so I figured I better get some practice in on the toes before I tried that.

The second toe was much easier and faster. I shouldn’t’ve been so hard on myself about it the first time. I know it’s cliched to say that you learn from your mistakes, but I really think that after messing up my toe the first time I understood it a lot better the second time I did it. I’m knitting a little bit of both of the socks so they get finished together. It also means that I’m really consolidating the action of wrapping and working wraps.
Here’s where I’m up to…

I must say, it’s a nice change making socks in 8ply instead of 4ply.

Once I’ve made these, I’m thinking about mixing it up a bit and making some with the heel and toe different colours from one another, or even coloured cuffs. I’m already planning the next few colour combinations using little bits of Estate 8ply from my stash. Here’s what I’ve got to choose from!

The main foot colour will be Greystone…

The premise, I suppose, is that you can wear socks that look plain and normal to others, but you secretly know that inside your shoe is a sensational colour party for your feet.

I’d love to make different contrast coloured ones for each day of the week and instarsia M, T, W, Th, F, Sa, S (or alternatively 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) onto the soles.
Ambitious, I know. We’ll see how this fares for the moment.

Have you ever made, or wanted to make socks? Are you a toe-up or a cuff-down kinda person?

Just a sporadic mess of everything and anything…

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There are so many things I have to show you! There’s a backlog of photos of new acquisitions, works in progress, finished objects… Should I do this show and tell chronologically? Probably, but I can’t remember the order in which I made them. I’ll just start.

Here’s an earflap hat I concocted for 107, although it’s now been sold.

I knitted the earflaps first, leaving them on stitch holders. Then I cast on the stitches for the front of the brim, knitted the live stitches from one earflap, cast on the stitches for the back, knitted the live stitches from the other earflap and then joined the round.
From there I constructed a basic sort of beanie. A lady at work recommended that when I pull the yarn tail at the top through the last live stitches I should do it twice. I must say it makes the top look a whole lot neater. I can’t believe I’d never considered it before – it seems so obvious now.
I single crocheted around the edge just to even it out a little, hide the holes where I joined in the flaps, and prevent curling. Afterwards I had a look at an earflap hat my grandmother made for me. Turns out she did the same to finish hers off as well. Great minds think alike.

These are some more cotton coasters for 107. The snowflake is loosely based on a motif from a new book I bought called ‘Beyond the Square: Crochet Motifs’ by Edie Eckman. Wisest purchase decision ever.

As a matter of fact, I’ve acquired some really wonderful books lately.

The ‘Simply Crochet’ is incredible. I’ve had problems with Debbie Bliss’s knitting patterns before (right side and wrong side row jumbled, one too many or too few stitches, errata galore…), and I must say that I haven’t actually made anything from this book yet, but I have a feeling that I’m going to have a great time making things from this one. It’s full of really lovely garments, including a stunning white vest, little lacy collars, and a glorious dress (the one on the cover, and the selling point for me because the pattern is called ‘Darcey’ – my name, minus the ‘e’). It’s a shame they are all so summery, but at least I have something to look forward to post-winter.

Then there are these two. Nicky Epstein’s ‘Block by Block’ is just – actually if I try to put this into words I might do it an injustice. It’s one of those books that people tell you is amazing, but you don’t really understand the full wealth of its amazingness until you open it. There’s just so much variety. Every technique you could imagine has been adapted for use in making 6 inch square upon 6 inch square. I can’t wait to make a whole blanket from these blocks. I have made one square square from this book as a present for my godmother. The pattern is called ‘Tree Breeze’ and features cables into the back loop – a tedious but effective process. I used Fibranatura’s sportweight organic cotton.

The book next to ‘Block by Block’ is a gem I found after trawling the shelves of Kinokuniya for hour a few weeks ago. The wonderful thing about Japanese crochet books is if you can read charts you can make anything from them. There are very, very rarely any written pattern instructions, and if there are, fortunately for me, I studied Japanese for a few years and can generally understand them. Anything I don’t understand, I have a mountain of dictionaries to make sense of it. I love the idea of crocheting around the edges of cards and things like that. This book has some really inspiring images of that application of crochet. It’s like an extension of these awesome creations by lutteridyl.

I’m hoping to use the cottons below for this purpose.

Moral: country wool shops are legendary.

Check out my haul! I got these goodies, for ridiculously low prices, from the wool shop in Katoomba. I’ve struggled to find Jigsaw sock yarn for ages. The bonus was finding it so cheap. The Sirdar Escape was an impulse buy. The lovely, vibrant indigo that lurks in the centre of the ball is what caused me to purposefully overlook the high percentage of acrylic. I don’t mean to be a yarn snob, but I know that at heart I am. I’m really sorry. I am however slightly amused by the terminology “Wool Rich”. Is that a subtle way of saying 2% more wool than acrylic? Sorry, sorry, sorry. Yarn snobbery alert. Sorry.

I’ve started a sock with one of the balls of Jigsaw in these rad ’70s colours. I’ll have to take extra precautions against SSS (second sock syndrome). I’ve suffered from SSS and SGS (second glove syndrome) repeatedly in the past. These are working up fairly quickly, so it shouldn’t be too much of problem…

Oh, and I found this little gem lurking in some drawers at work a couple of weeks ago.
A surefire way to use up all those loose scraps of 8ply in our stashes that we all know and love. I now know what I’m making everyone for Christmas this year!

On another note, the back of my Paton’s Classics vest is almost complete. I have a few rows before I start the short row shaping of the neck. I was pretty pleased with how I joined in the second ball. The join is about halfway down the back. It was tricky getting the variegation to match up. Instead of joining at the edges and burying my ends I tried a new method of braiding the end of the old ball around the end of the new one. Sneaky, sneaky. I’ll definitely be using that one again.

Lastly, this is a teacosy I made for Mothers’ Day. I used Noro Kureyon that I got off eBay a year ago before I was seriously into this whole knitting thing and probably before I even understood the awesome power of Noro. I started in the round, divided for the spout and handle, and joined again. I went through four balls to try and find the same part of the colourway to make both sides match. And to no avail. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s charming.

Teacosies are going in the 107 memory bank. Yesiree.

Thanks for looking at all my projects and whatnot. Have a wonderful day friends.

Three excuses

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So, I’ve been absent for a bit, but ne’er fear, because today is a Public Holiday so I’m obliged not to do anything related to work, or outside the house in general.

Here are my reasons for being absent, accompanied by some pictures for added interest.

The first is, as I mentioned previously, I went on a road trip to the city of Armidale. It was my cousin’s wedding, which was glorious. It was outside, underneath an enormous old tree, and the autumn leaves were falling during the ceremony. The chevron cardigan was a great success; the orange and pink matched the colour scheme of the flowers, bridesmaids’ dresses, macaroons at the afternoon tea, the strawberry punch, and the sunset that evening too. And I had no idea that that was going to happen when I chose the colour. It was like the universe was saying, ‘Yeah! Go cardigan, go! Excellent choice of Noro. I approve entirely.’ Or maybe not.

The second is that when we got back I isolated myself from the world to do a three day stash tidy.
The bulk of it is in this large wooden chest that my father restored many, many years ago. It houses all my 8 ply, separated into bags of same type, or similar texture/purpose/project usability.

Oh wow! I only just realised that the cat I painted onto my window actually looks as if it is sitting on top of my sewing box!

Anyway, the suitcases hold my other yarns, organised by ply. The big grey-blue one on the left is just sock yarn. Looking at it now, it’s not as bad as I thought, although maybe that’s just me trying to justify buying more… Mind you, I did return some wool to work after I went through all of it, as I couldn’t fit all the 8ply into the chest. Is it bad that I’m hoping that says less about me and more about the size of the chest?

The two sewing boxes house my accessories. There’s a whole story behind the smaller one…

I saw it at work and told my boss that I would love to have it, but he told me that it was on hold for another lady. Apparently we didn’t know that we even had one to sell – we haven’t stocked them for ages – but when he visited our store in Melbourne it was just sitting there. So he brought it back and this customer snapped it right up. Well, almost. She never actually came to collect it, and so because I had dibs on it I assumed it was going to be mine.
One day I came into work and it wasn’t in the hold area. One of the other ladies at work had moved it aside and laid claim to it after seeing that it had been on hold for longer than it should have. We were working on the same floor for most of the day, and spent a bit of time trying to, albeit affectionately, psych each other out of buying it.

I don’t remember how or why, but I got to buy it. I do remember jumping up and down and making vaguely animalistic noises when I put my credit card PIN in the machine.

The larger sewing box was, and still technically is my mother’s. But she never uses it. It’s home to all my knitting needles and crochet hooks.

Here are most of my crochet hooks; the inactive ones not working on projects. Most of these belonged to my father’s mother and her mother. I’ll never really need most of these, but it’s good having them all organised in one place so I can see what I do have and will use.

One of my favourite hooks is this Tunisian crochet hook my mother’s mother made for me last Christmas. I love the gumnut stopper at the end.

That’s not all of the organisation. I found that I needed some extra shelf space to house the last few little bits of yarn, my brooch-making things, and my knitting and crochet books and magazines.

In the blue set of drawers are all my smallest scraps of yarn and crochet cotton organised by colour. My favourite is the blue/green drawer. I’m considering making a mix-and-match sort of lacy shawl for 107 with its contents.

Please note that in none of the other pictures have I shown you any of my actual stash. Why? Because I have appallingly too much yarn. Three days, folks. It took three whole days of my life. And nor have I shown, nor ever will I show you a before picture.

The third excuse is not all that exciting. Actually, it is. It really is. It’s the greatest ever.

This is Timshel. He turned up at the my work’s smaller store. He wasn’t microchipped and even after much searching we couldn’t find his owner.  So, I took him in. He likes windowsills, woollen jumpers and standing in the way. He still treats me a bit as if I’m out to steal his food or attack him, kind of like one of those distrusting, angsty street kids that gets adopted in feel-good Hollywood movies. But he’s relaxed a lot, as this photo kind of indicates…

So that’s where I’ve been.

Just before I finish up, I wanted to mention that Dara of Coffee and Lilacs nominated me for the Liebster Blog award and I can’t thank her enough. I was going to do my post and nominations today, but I wanted to think about who I was going to nominate a little more thoroughly than I have already. In the meantime, thank you Dara. I really appreciate your lovely comments.

Over and out.

Surprise delivery!

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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…