Friday, September 29, 2006

Basketweave Socks Pattern

This pattern is a great way to use up leftover sock yarn. Knitted toe up with short rows heel and toe. Team with matching basketweave beanie for a cosy bub!

Size: Newborn – 3 months
Materials: Small amount sock yarn, one set double-pointed needles or two circular needles to achieve gauge.
Gauge: 7st per inch in stocking st

Using waste yarn and crochet cast on, CO 16st, join main yarn
Row 1: P all stsRow 2: k15, turn Row 3: yo, p14, turn Row 4: yo, k13, turnContinue in this manner until: yo, p6, turn Next row: yo, k5, untwist next st (yo from previous row), k2tog (yo has been knit tog with next st on needle), turn Next row: yo, p6, p2tog, turnNext row: yo, k7, untwist next 2 yos, k3tog (2 yos and next st), turnNext row: yo, p8, p3tog, turnWork as for previous two rows, working each row 1 st longer than the last until: yo, k14, untwist next 2 sts, k3tog
Remove crochet chain from CO and place resulting 15 live sts on needle, k these sts, m1
Next row (working in the round): k3tog (last 2 yo and next st), knit to end of round, 32 st

R1 and 2: k1, (p2, k2) 3 times, p2, k17
R3 and 4: k
R5 and 6: k1, (k2, p2) 3 times, k19
R7 and 8: k
Repeat rounds 1-7 once more, pattern forms on top of foot while the underneath is stocking st.
R8: k31, turn

Work short rows as for toe on 16 stitches until: yo, k14, untwist next 2 sts, k3tog
Recommence working in the round

R1: k1, (p2, k2) 3 times, p2, k1, k3tog, (p2, k2) 3 times, p2, k1
R2: k1, (p2, k2) 7 times, p2, k1
R3 and 4: k
R5 and 6: p1, (k2, p2) 7 times, k2, p1
R7 and 8: k
R9 and 10: k1, (p2, k2) 7 times, p2, k1
R11 and 12: k
R13 and 14: p1, (k2, p2) 7 times, k2, p1
R15 and 16: k

Work eight rows
Rib: k1, (p2, k2) 7 times, p2, k1
Bind off, darn in ends.


Basketweave Beanie Pattern

This pattern is a great way to use up leftover sock yarn. It is knitted down from the crown and the basketweave pattern is incorporated into the crown increases to create an interesting effect. Team with matching basketweave socks for a cosy bub!

Size: Newborn – 3 months
Materials: Small amount sock yarn, one set double-pointed needles or two circular needles to achieve gauge, 8 stitch markers (optional)
Gauge: 7st per inch in stocking st

CO 4st using one circular or 2 dpns
R1: k4
R2: without turning work, slide stitches to other end of needle and k4
Repeat for 8 rows or until desired length

R1: inc in each st (knit into front and back of st), divide sts between circulars or dpns and commence knitting in the round (8 st)
R2: k
R3: inc in each st (16 st)
R4: k
R5: *place marker (optional), k1, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (24 st)
R6: *k2, p1, rpt from* to end
R7: *k2, inc purlwise in next st (change twist in next st, purl into back and front of st) rpt from* to end (32 st)
R8: *k2, p2, rpt from* to end
R9: *k3, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (40 st)
R10: k
R11: *k2, p2, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (48 st)
R12: *k2, p2, k2, rpt to end
R13: *k5, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (56 st)
R14: k
R15: *k4, p2, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (64 st)
R16: *k4, p2, k2, rpt from* to end
R17: *k7, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (72 st)
R18: k
R19: *(k2, p2) twice, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (80 st)
R20: *(k2, p2) twice, k2, rpt from* to end
R21: *k9, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (88 st)
R22: k
R23: *k2, (k2, p2) twice, inc in next st, rpt from* to end (96 st)
R24: *k2, (k2, p2) twice, k2, rpt from* to end

Commence Pattern
R1 and 2: k, remove markers leaving one to mark beginning of round
R3 and 4: * k2, p2, rpt from* to end
R5 and 6: k
R7 and 8: * p2, k2, rpt from* to end
Repeat these 8 rounds until work measures 6cm from beginning of pattern section, finishing with R2.

Work k2, p2 rib for desired length, bind off and darn in ends


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Busy Busy!

We're nearly all ready, we have finished packing up the house and we're onto clearing up the garden. I have been madly trying to finish my leave-behind wips, I have one pink cardi sleeve still to do.

Tonight we'll actually have to pack things. Inside cases. eek! Luggage limits: 25kg each hold baggage, 7kg each cabin baggage, plus 'one personal item' which will be my laptop :-) I think we'll squeeze it all in. Needless to say, there are no balls of yarn on the 'not sure if this will fit' pile ;-)

Blue Cat is all ready to go:

His 3 friends are staying at home on my bookshelf though. The cats were a goodbye present from one of my kids at school and I loved them so much I just had to bring one :-)

Must go knit that pink sleeve,

Ciao, Diane

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday Musings

New Beginnings

This time next week we will be in London. It seems like only a short time ago that we first conceived the idea of moving overseas; as I suspected, the months have flown by.

This new step in our life actually dates back in its conception more than 6 years. With the advent of Y2K (remember that?) the UK cried out for IT specialists and we thought – albeit fleetingly – of going along with many other Australians chasing the pound pay-check. Six years on, the pay rates are sufficiently tempting to finally drag us out of our comfort zone.

Comfort zone. That’s the thing isn’t it. I was perfectly happy with my little house in the burbs, my friends and family close by and a cat to keep my toes warm while I knit. I know which streets to avoid in peak hour and which local pizza restaurant delivers the fastest.

These last few weeks have been anything but comfortable. My house is a shambles, my friends are in tears and the cat’s prowling around wondering what the heck is going on. I know London will be fantastic. I remind myself that there will be pizza shops (do they deliver?) and vegemite available. I can even perceive some advantages over Melbourne such as competent public transport.

The key to survival, for me who likes to be comfortable, is to find a new comfort zone. With foundations carefully laid I have friends and family on standby for when I arrive. I have the beginnings of a social life and plans to buy a goldfish (hey we’re only there a year). I will find a new little house and fall in love with London’s streets. I will drink warm beer.

I’ll probably never want to come home.
Last week's Monday Musings


Friday, September 22, 2006

Farewell Solitude

Tomorrow is moving day. Tonight is our last night on our own. We will be co-habiting with my brother and his wife here for a week, then we will be off, and staying with my sister in law and her fiance in London until we find a house. Then we will be sharing with another expat couple. It's a long time (nearly ten years) since I've lived with anyone except Neil and Wormwood so I'm rather interested in how it will be.

Today I took a day off from packing, which was perhaps not the best of plans as there's still so much to do and there's an army arriving at 10:00am tomorrow to carry (preferably full) boxes. But I had had enough, mentally and physically, so I have studiously ignored all the piles of mess and empty boxes.

On Podcasts:
I listened to 'Cast-On' today for the first time - I quite liked it. I am in the process of downloading back-episodes, I have a cunning plan where six or seven episodes of Cast-On will get me through the loooong flight sans knitting THAT'S RIGHT, NO KNITTING ON THE PLANE. What a waste of 27 hours :-( The Malaysia Air guidelines are very clear, no pointy sticks.

A Finished Object Pic:
Here's my LL socks all done - I still have some left over so plan to make a hat to match the little socks :-)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Feel free to applaud ;-)

No time to write anything - lots of boxes to fill!

Ciao :-)


Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday Musings

I'm Sure They Know

What is it about animals and cameras? As soon as you point the lens they roll over, poke their tongues out and make funny faces. It's like trying to photograph babies :-D Hooray for digital photography which not only lets you know straight away if your shot is seriously boring or backwards, but also makes it possible for you to take one thousand shots of the same silly penguin if you need to.

Today Margie and I went to the zoo. I have just been through the photos and have decided to post the gallery of 'bum' shots. Every single animal turned its back on us so this is all we get...
I really love this photo though ... and isn't he cute :-)

Last week's Monday Musings


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Socks From Scratch Update

I'm really enjoying this project - it's not a very time-efficient way to get socks but there's a great deal of satisfaction in the process. Here are my two skeins, I wound them off at about 150 inches long. They are just under 50g each.

I knitted a dyeing swatch - 4 rows in the round then unravel and measure - to judge the length of each colour repeat, then Kool-aid dyed using grape, pink lemonade and lemon/lime. (The kool-aid came in my birthday box from Amanda Cathleen, thanks!)

Nobody told me I should be wearing gloves :-/ Jelly doesn't stain like this.

And the finished product. There weren't supposed to be purple spots all over the pink and green sections but I'm calling it a design feature lol.

If all goes well (and I measured correctly) I'll have a purple stripe then a pink/green blended section alternating. Can't wait to start knitting - but I must finish my swap socks first so don't hold your breath.

Next spinning project: Mum dyed this for me, It's the same polwarth I used for SFS. I love it :-)

The rest of the day was spent packing and clearing out. Check out silly mess picks on our travel blog :-D



Friday, September 15, 2006

Farewell :-(

Today was the last day of school and there were a few tears :-( but lots of hugs too.

Sadly, I didn't get a final shot of my class as my camera died (always happens at the crucial moment) but there were plenty from the day to show you, and some more I've included for fun.

Did I mention it was footy day today ;-) can you spot me among the (very few) Blues supporters?

Socks at the Senior Choir PJ Party. And sleepy girls.

Swimming program 2006. Is that someone knitting at the pool?!? I hope no one's drowning ;-) Amy will definitely knit one day she's got the hand position just right :-)

I'll really miss school and my kids. I'm sure London kids aren't nearly as bad as everyone says ... I'll feed them Caramello Koalas and they'll be good ;-)

Ciao, Diane

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday already!

How did it get to be Thursday? Sorry I still haven't got photos sorted, maybe this weekend although we are having our going away party on Saturday :-) watch out for upside down photos!


And two weeks and two days until we fly out - eeek!!

Ciao, Diane

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday Musings

Too Young? Too Old?

Max, one of my grade four boys regularly turns up to our Friday lunchtime knitting club. He enthusiastically pulls out his knitting and inspects it for holes (of which there are many). If his mum has had a bit of spare time over the week it might have grown a bit, otherwise it will look as it did the last time I put the stitches back on the needles for him. In the end I gave up – I taught him finger knitting and he proudly produced a long chain with no mistakes.

Is he too young to learn knitting? Is it a fine motor issue or attention span? I have one 10-year-old who can knit garter stitch perfectly, some who can knit but make mistakes and don’t see them, and many, like Max who desperately want to learn and just can’t seem to manage. I wonder whether I am expecting too much.

I remember my knitting as a child. It had holes: dropped stitches and accidental yarn-overs, it always grew tighter and tighter until I could barely move the stitches on the needles. And I gave up. Although I did a lot of crochet as a teenager, I didn’t knit again until I was in my twenties. One day, I wanted to make something so I picked up some needles and did it. I’m sure if I’d tried to learn as an adult I would have found it more difficult and I am grateful that my mother persisted in teaching me when young.

Which brings me to my question: When is the best time to learn to knit? Young children have enthusiasm but not the ability. Older children have the cognitive development but wouldn’t be seen dead with knitting needles unless perhaps stuck into an exotic hairdo. Adults generally find it more difficult to learn new skills and may have other issues to contend with such as time constraints.

I love it that my grade fours want to knit. I worry though that they will become frustrated and disillusioned if they can’t succeed and the knitting will go on the top shelf for years, perhaps for good. I can only hope to avoid this by being encouraging, celebrating small successes and, if necessary, resorting to finger knitting chains :-)

Last week's Monday Musings


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Much better today :-)

Feeling much better today, the antibiotics are doing their job and two days of rest have made a big difference.

When I say rest though, I mean rest from everything I don't want to do ;-) I still had plenty of energy this weekend to ...

* spin the last 16g for socks from scratch
* ply the second 50g bobbin of sock yarn
* finish three socks (none of which match)
* sew together another row of the crocheted blanket
* pack two boxes
* watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended edition)

NB: none of this required talking or going outside - the two main things I couldn't do while suffering.

Sorry there's no pics, my usual computer is broken and I'm too lazy to figure out how to plug my camera into this one I'll try and get some up soon.

Thanks for bearing with me while in the grumps :-D

Ciao, Diane

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Feeling miserable :-(

Well I have finally been struck down (delayed action apparantly) by the nasty bug that had Neil in bed for nearly a week. I think it's a chest infection - sore chest, cough (which hurts), headache, no voice and general malaise (I love that term, it's so deliciously unspecific).

I stayed home Thursday and moped around the house, but had to go to work yesterday as I was running the annual senior choir pyjama party. After a day of grade fours (they were kind to me) I went shopping for milo etc, then there was pizza, talent quest, music quiz, movie and supper. I signed the last girl out at 10:40pm and drove home to collapse into bed.

Today I'm doing nothing. NOTHING. I might sit on the couch a bit and knit, and I may even do some spinning for socks from scratch (I'm nearly finished), but I won't be doing shopping/washing/marking/housework etc and I definitely won't be attending the concert I'm supposed to be singing in this afternoon :-(

On the plus side, I have a legitimate excuse for not attending the interschool sports on Monday (won't that be fun!). The alternative is to take someone else's grade for the day but better than standing around in the cold trying to control bored kids.

I do apologise, more positive post soon I promise.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Monday Musings (on Tuesday)

“The little tongues of flame flickered continually, making it impossible for one of the persons in the Hall to set the stitches in her embroidery with any accuracy. She replaced the work in a tapestry bag, drawing forth, in its stead, a prosaic piece of knitting.” (The Quiet Gentleman, Georgette Heyer)

As I squint over lacework, readjusting the lamp and waving frantically at the cat when he blocks the light, I often think back to this passage and wonder at a time when much handiwork was completed by candlelight and knitting was considered a low-light occupation.

In the Little House on the Prairie books Laura mentions several times her blind sister Mary knitting (although at one point Laura herself complains of lack of light when working on very fine knitted lace). I assume the work would be plain stocking stitch, but very likely actual stockings at quite a fine gauge. Could I knit an entire garment without ever being able to see to check the work, even assuming someone else did the casting on and fiddly bits? Not a chance!

I can manage about half a row of stocking stitch (knit or purl side) without looking so long as the gauge is nice and even and the yarn is smooth. I have been known to slip stitches off the needle even in lacework without looking. But I would never attempt a complicated pattern in poor light or uncomfortable conditions.

I wonder whether we are perhaps too spoilt for comfort in these modern times. Sight-assisting gadgets such as magnifying lights are common and welcomed by knitters. We like good light, comfortable chairs and possibly a glass of wine and cake on the side! That being said – does it make me a better person if I can knit Shetland Lace in the dark? I doubt it, so pass me that shiraz.

Last week's Monday Musings