Sunday, July 30, 2006

Day of the Beads

The owner of the LYS where I sell my stitch markers said she would take as many as I could give her before I go overseas. So I thought I'd better get cracking on some!

Here are a few of the markers I've made this morning:

Once they're all done my beading is going to be packed away - no beads for a year!!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I Have Sock Yarn!

My first ever 3-ply, I now have 2x25g skeins (struck problems in the middle of plying).
I am quite happy with it, the thickness and twist are fairly uniform and it has come out at 22 wraps to the inch. Now to spin the other 50g!

Here's some:

Friday, July 28, 2006

A Whole Day!!

I have A WHOLE DAY free to do whatever I want!!! This is about the only remaining weekend between now and when we leave that we don't have things booked up on.

I could finish my spinning, work on Branching Out, finish the maple socks, knit some more scarf, shop for yarn or beads.... aaaarrggh how do I choose? I think I will spin first as I really want to ply and I only have about 8g to go before I can.

Ok ok, I SHOULD be doing the washing/shopping/cleaning/sorting through cupboards/filling in forms...

Maybe tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Socks From Scratch

I have been toying with the idea of a 'socks from scratch' project for a while and have finally begun! The plan is to spin, dye and knit a pair of socks from beginning to end. This is a biggish project for me as I have never really done any serious spinning - only sampling - and the only thing I've ever knitted from my own spinning is one silk wrist-warmer (the other one is suffering second sock syndrome).

I am starting with 100g of prepared polwarth top which I bought at the Wool Show. I plan to make a 3-ply yarn so I have divided it into 6 (for 2x50g balls). The spinning is going fairly well - I am a bit more than halfway though the second hank after starting on Sunday afternoon. Here are the progress pics:

Thoughts so far: I'd forgotten how relaxing spinning was - almost like meditating; I'm finding it a little boring spinning endless yards of white wool - maybe next time I'll dye first;

P.S. Yes I know, I didn't shear the sheep, or even card the wool myself. I may be nuts but I'm not insane ;-)



Monday, July 24, 2006

Danger Signs

Help! I can feel an addiction to lace coming on!! Here's a pic of my first real lace knitting - a swatch-mark. It took me a bit over an hour. (Scarf in this pattern: 6rpts across, about twelve times this length, I don't even want to think how long it will take me. Gulp!)

Once I got used to using bigger needles on finer yarn I found the rhythm of it very quickly. I am desperate for some pointier needles though - the ones I'm using seem incredibly blunt when trying to do a k2tog with this stuff!

I have already started another bookmark for a swap and am going to cast on for branching out in the pink mohair sometime in the next couple of days. I have decided not to do branching out in the green as I think the pattern width will be too narrow for this very fine yarn.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A New Blog to Join

I found this swap over on Spinningsue's blog and I immediately thought it was a great idea and signed up. (It involves books and crafts - what's not to like?)

1. What genre of books do you enjoy most? (i.e. mystery, romance, horror, historical, biographies, autobiographies, fantasy, sci-fi, etc)
I read the classics when I can and love historical fiction. I have to admit I am hooked on detective stories as well and own every Agatha Christie :-)

2. What sort of bookmarks do you like best? (long, short, lacy/elegant, fun/cute, corner, tasselled, etc)
All of 'em!

3. What are your favorite colors?
In a bookmark - anything (but not too lurid)

4. Are there any colors you don't like?

5. What sort of "theme'' would you like your bookmark to be?
I don't have any particular preferences.

6. Are there any "themes'' that you wouldn't like??
Not really into the kitsch and cutesy.

7. Can you send internationally?
Definitely (I wouldn't have many people to send to otherwise!!)

8. If your partner wants to send along extra goodies (like tea, candy, cocoa, etc), what do you enjoy? And is there anything you don't like/can't have??
Oooooh chocolate all the way :-P and interesting teas are good too, not allergic to anything.

9. What crafts are you going to use to make your bookmarks? Is there a particular craft type you would like to receive? (knitted bookmarks, plastic canvas, etc)
I will probably knit a lot, but expect I will also use them as a chance to experiment with different techniques. I don't mind what I get.

If you're interested, check out the link at the side. It should be great fun!

Must go knit some more ...

Ciao :-)

The Australian Sheep and Wool Show

Whew! What a day. We drove up to Bendigo last night and stayed at Cherie's mum's farm. Mum and her friend Audrey needed two days at the show as they talk for too long to everybody so they went up Friday morning on the train and we picked them up in Bendigo after dinner. On Saturday morning we all went off to the show, arriving at about 10:30. I know you want pics so I will let them speak for themselves.
Some sheep

Two girls and their mums

I found this for you Badger but didn't buy it!

The Keepsakes book is aussie recipes and cute knitting patterns for my French penpal. Twisted Sisters has been on my wishlist for ages!

Three pairs of socks: Opal, something unidentified but a bargain at only $11 for 140g and some yummy alpaca 5ply at the bottom of the shot.

Lace! I could have bought so much more of this. The pink is kid mohair for me and the green is merino for a friend's birthday 300m/20g - I've never knit anything so fine, it will be Branching Out.

I also bought some Polworth tops to spin and dye some socks, a pressie for Amanda ;-) buttons, fudge for my poor left-behind husband (who probably preferred it that way) and other bits and pieces. After a quick cuppa at the farm we all came home again.

Must go, I have some serious knitting to do :-D

Friday, July 21, 2006

Express Post

I only have about five minutes to write a quick post because I'm OFF TO THE SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW!

Fibre and Yarn here I come :-P

(Oh and I might look at the sheep too)

A quick pic:

The ice on my car this morning had to be scraped off the windows because after watering to melt the ice the water promptly froze!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I can still spin!

I actually did some spinning today - I hate to think how long it's been. I was experimenting with spinning some silk/merino top that I have in laceweight. It went very well on the spindle but SO slowly: it took about 5 seconds to spin each arm's length and about a minute to wind on. I will have to use the spinning wheel I think if I'm going to do the several hundred metres that I want. I have never spun this finely on the wheel before though so may need to call on my spinning expert.


Anyway - here's what some of it looks like:

Apologies to all you non-aussies, a 10c piece is about 1 inch in diameter.

I have finished the first peacock sock but sorry, can't post pics as it's a birthday present ;-) I think I will put the second on hold as they are not due until Aug 11th and knit my maple socks in between.

I have sent off my August birthday swap box! It's very exciting to be in a swap and I can't wait. Dear swap pal - please post early as it has to come all the way around the world and I get very impatient at birthday time :-D

Ciao, Diane


Monday, July 17, 2006

The latest socks

Well, I did manage to get through the whole list, although I needed Sunday as well :-)

Here are the socks, all done. They were actually done ages ago but I decided they were too short and had to buy more wool, frog the ribbing and knit the extra 3 inches I wanted on each. The yarn is Patonyle and the pattern is a basic toe-up with a fern lace stitch from here .

P.S. Do you like my new fish ;-)

P.P.S. How do you photograph your own feet? Answer: turn the camera upside down :-D

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Rainy Day

Well, another week over. September seems to be screaming towards us like a knitter who just spied half price yarn. Today was going to be about gardening, shopping and visiting the post office to do passport stuff. The shopping and passports probably can't wait but I think that knitting indoors might win over pruning the roses and emptying the compost bin.

I know I have been doing lots of things over the last couple of weeks and yet the 'must be done before we leave' list keeps getting longer. I think I'll write another list. At least work seems to be shuffling along happily, although two lots of extra yard duty this week due to timetable mix-ups didn't help.

Goals for today:
Finish blue socks
Write gift tags and card for my birthday swap pal
Cast on for Kat's socks (haven't chosen a pattern yet!)
Bake some afternoon tea for tomorrow
Start extra mystery present for mum (didn't know about that did you mum, you'll have to wait till Tuesday :-D)
Write and print b'day party invitations
Start on some cupboards

Lucky it's not 9am yet!!

Here's some pics: The latest Bea hat, proudly modelled by Teddy, and an almost pair of blue socks.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A parcel!

I was hoping for my new yarn today after receiving an email to say it was on its way. I checked my mail box only to find it empty of all yarn :-(
Then I walked down the drive to the front door and there it was on the doorstep :-) :-) :-)

Three balls of sock yarn and a mystery package...

Free stitch markers! Aren't they cute :-)

The blue/green is 'peacock' for my SIL's birthday and the orangey one is 'maple' (yes I know I don't wear orange but I couldn't resist it!) It all came from Live 2 Knit. I was going to go out tonight but it's raining and I have new wool so I think I will stay home and knit ;-D

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Jelly Hat :-)

I love the way the yarn striped as it knitted up. I still have another 50g ball so I might make some socks or mittens to match.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A New Name

I have finally (kind of) settled on a real name for this blog. When I set it up I hadn't really thought of anything and I have been pondering for a while. I wanted something that reflected crafts and travel which is what this blog is about - although 90% knitting at the moment ;-)

I will probably get sick of this name and change it to something else eventually but it doesn't really matter as the address will always stay the same.

Ciao :-)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

"The Blues are their own worst enemy"

Sigh, I should have stayed home and knitted instead :-(
Now Neil's watching the whole match again on TV replay just to rub it in.

I have 1 1/2 inches of pink jelly hat and the berrylime skeins are drying - my pal Lucy managed to track me down some blue jelly. Here's a pic:

Haven't Knitted Yet!

I am desperate to finish my blue socks and yet so far today I haven't done any knitting. What have I done?

Browsed AY forum
Taught a singing lesson
Tidied kitchen and emptied dishwasher
Jelly-dyed some wool
Tidied up my piles of music

and now I'm posting...

This is the kind of avoidance I generally reserve for ironing. I think I need to start another project - one week on only the blue socks has obviously put me off a bit. Time for a jelly hat I think :-)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Introducing Wormwood

It came to me with surprise that so far the master of the house has not yet made it into this blog. This is Worm:

He didn't choose to look at the camera :-)

He likes to sit on my lap while I knit and then twitches every time a needle hits him. He keeps my toes warm though, and I will miss him very much when we leave for London.

In other news, we are starting a lunchtime knitting club at school for some interested girls - world domination progresses!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Friday already!

I can't believe this week is almost gone. At this rate term will be over and we'll be jetting off before I do half the things I have to!

Have finished 1/4 of second blue sock :-) definitely knitting at lunchtime today!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Brrr (again)!

Well, school is back and luckily I wore a thick coat because we have no heating at the moment :-/ During the holidays some bright spark broke in and pinched 40m of gas pipe from underneath our building. We've had express workmen through and, fingers crossed, the heaters will be back on tomorrow.

In other news, I have nearly finished one blue sock. That's all. Who invented full-time jobs anyway?

Ciao :-)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The (dreaded) To Do List

Well the holidays are practically over - 3 hours till bedtime :-(
So how did I go???

*Finish purple wristwarmers
--> done
*Silk wristwarmers
--> suffering second sock syndrome
*3 pairs of socks
--> 2 pairs done and 1/2 of next one
*2 Baby hats
--> 1 finished
*Dye all my white wool(7 skeins)
--> 2 skeins done with jelly
*Scarf for me
--> done
*Scarf for Neil
--> started but currently in the 'needs better needles' pile

Not too bad really although I think I was a bit optimistic :-)
Back to work tomorrow so posts and FOs will be fewer. Maybe I'll start a trend and knit during lunch time, or walking around on yard duty ;-D

A home for a Sock

I am taking my knitting out to lunch again today and decided I really needed a more spiffy bag than the plastic shopping bags I've been using. thus 'Home for a Sock' was born. It just fits the sock, needles and wool.

I already had the patchwork squares from another project and it only took about an hour to put together.