Saturday, April 23, 2016

Free Soup

This is the Ballarat Soup Bus. I haven't seen it in action, but I went up to see the bus today, and the new one they're just starting to do up (which you can see there on the right)

They put a request on Facebook this week for cans and sugar and milk, etc. because they'd run right out. I think they got a good response! This is their donation morning (Saturday 9-10:30 at the corner of Eureka and Fussell Sts) and there were cars all over and their little storeroom was a chaos of new donations. I'd taken some cans and milk and sugar with me, too, but mainly I wanted to finally donate my little stash of hats.

Here are some quick shots of them all as I packed them into ziplock bags.

So! Much! Fun! I've finished another NEWT hat and I'm working on number 7 and 8. My holidays are almost up, but I've gotten a good head start. And my NY resolution of 50 hats for the Soup Bus is going well. 16 of these are from this year, so 34 to go :)

Monday, April 18, 2016


Hats. I'm a bit ahead in hats for this NEWT project, but a bit behind in spinning. Five of the six I need for "50%" are done. Still have quite a bit of spinning to do, though, and some plying.

These all look big on Jasmine. I think I like them big and slouchy. I'm packing up some hats from the hat box, now, since I told the Soup Bus people I'd have a bag of hats for them in April. Now that Jasmine has helped me get pics I can add them to the box.

I've only spun the singles of two lots of "Closer to Home" so far, and now I'm spinning the Mars one. It's not my favorite colorway, actually, so my spinning mojo is a bit low. However, in between the last two, I re-plied my BFL sock yarn from the last NEWT. I wasn't very happy with the twist, and so I took David's advice and overplied it, forgetting "balance".

When I held up the skein it twisted on itself a few times (which means it's unbalanced: ie. The twist of the singles should equal the opposite twist of the plying). But as soon as I washed it, it hung straight! So I finally have a 2ply I'm quite happy with. I still think it's a bit thin for my CSM, but I'll give it a try (next month) and see. Looks much better than the old twist, anyway.

Old twist

New twist

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Begin again

Here's my list from the last post, with completed things. I love the last week of a month, with its HPKCHC deadlines and All the Finished Things!

* spinning for Quidditch (a third done)

"Triumph" on SCF Merino. Spun 5/6 of it to N-ply and 1/6 of it to 3ply, just to see how it looked.

* socks for Quidditch (needs cuffs, heels and toes x2)

* socks for a class (needs cuffs, heels and toes x2, too)

This Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock made quite nice dense fabric (with my CSM) for a change. The irregular pooling annoys me, though :)

* a class I haven't even started yet.

Decided on weaving. The class prompt had to do with "being prepared" and used Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy as an example ("Always bring a towel"). I used 42 different sock yarn scraps (as 42 is an important number in HHGG) and wove a "towel" of my own.

Twisted all the ends.

Got Jasmine to be my model again :) She does it well.

* another class I haven't started yet.

And one more spin. This is a 3ply (after liking the Triumph one) of "Primordial" in SCF MCN (Merino/ Cashmere/ Nylon). This was a freebee from SCF (random monthly prize). I also have another one, which I'll probably N-ply to see how they look. I love the MCN, and the colors!
 Now it's April, and I've started NEWT number 9. This time I'm doing a mix of Arithmancy ("make at least ten things the same") and Astronomy ("interpret something astronomical in fibre"). I'm spinning about a kilo of fibre for Earth and Mars (the February SCF club was based on the movie "The Martian" and I have the Mars and Earth colorways for that) and ten hats for the ten biggest moons in the solar system.  I have 2 weeks of holidays coming up (after one last night shift tonight!) and I'm going to get as much done as I can, especially hats!

Monday, March 21, 2016

7 nights to go

I have a few things to finish by the end of the month, and only 7 non-work nights left. (I can take knitting to work but it's been far too busy lately to get even a few rows in.) I have yet to finish

* spinning for Quidditch (a third done)
* socks for Quidditch (needs cuffs, heels and toes x2)
* socks for a class (needs cuffs, heels and toes x2, too)
* a class I haven't even started yet.
* another class I haven't started yet.

I've just clicked over 1000 points for this term in the HP knitting game, but I've got over 300 to collect somehow in order to beat my personal best (in a term I did an OWL).

At least my OWL is done. I made a project for each house; this month it was the two spinning ones for Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

The 2ply BFL (the red and yellow one) is underspun (although I thought it was overspun) and it looks very underplied now, even though it's balanced. It's supposed to look tightly twisted when it's finished, and that also makes it stronger. David says it would be better to have tightly twisted unbalanced yarn if I want to use it for socks, but if it's curling back on itself it won't do for the sock machine. It's also a bit too thin. 100g of regular sock yarn is, say, 400y, and this is 566. I could have N-plied it and it would have looked much nicer and still been sock yarn.

Oh, well. One day I'll make a 2ply I like. Possibly.

The Ravenclaw one is lovely, though: N-plied polwarth and tencel. I've already wrapped it up ready to go, although I think I will make it a Mission for next term, which won't start until May.

Today I finished two things: Armwarmers (which are being called legwarmers for the purposes of Muggle Studies, which had to do with the Eighties)

(Byron's legs. He ran off with them after this, saying how warm his legs were...)

and a handspun cowl


It's about 14 inches high, and  bunches up around my neck nicely. Not sure about that pale green, though. That may end up tucked under and sewn down as a hem.

I've also finished this slouchy little cabled hat, which is for the charity box.

Now it's 8:30, and I'm going to keep going with my very colorful and bright merino spinning (for Quidditch!) and some green socks. 6.8 nights to go!

P.S. Warning for SCF spoilers


New stuff! I got  a "sweater quantity" of fibre from February's SCF club

and this March special edition from Lorna's Laces. This is the Quintet. It's sock yarn, 25g each of the 5 colors in their colorway of the month. I also got a skein of sock yarn and worsted weight yarn. Unfortunately, the colors in the other two are not so bright (more of a semisolid brown) so it's not obvious that they're supposed to "go together". But I daresay they'll look ok. I'm thinking of a shawl with this set, and a hat with the thick skein and gloves with the sock yarn skein.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Not so boring

My Mission (for the Harry Potter knitting game) was to "knit something boring, like lots of stocking stitch, so you can concentrate on eavesdropping on potential baddies", so I chose a long, grey stocking stitch top. I used 5 skeins of Madelinetosh Chunky, which is one of my favorites, in a color they called "Kitten". It has increases down the sides to make it flare out, which I like, and I finished it off with some moss stitch around the edges. It's done!

And I didn't find it the least bit boring. All those grey stitches have subtle color changes, and the stuff is so soft and nice to knit that I could have kept going... except I have no more yarn. I literally finished with less than a meter. I had to cut off the ends of some of the joins to finish off the cast off.

I really do love grey; I don't know why I don't knit it and wear it more often. It will go with everything this Winter.

The OWL projects are going along well. This month I have to spin two fibres, one for Ravenclaw and one for Gryffindor. This one is on the wheel at the moment:

This is "Twelve". David (at Southern Cross Fibre) was doing a Doctor Who theme for his club colors that month (the other colorway was "Dalek"). I've split my two bags of Twelve in such a way that the stripes should stay roughly the same thickness while the rows get longer and longer. I'm planning to knit it into "Hitch Hiker" for my Mission next term, which will neatly cover three fandoms in one project and make me a Proper Nerd. hehe.

Last month I used up about 1200g of yarn and fibre (although spinning just gets added back to the stash, but still...) and gave a bit away to Byron, and received 200g from SCF. This month is not doing so well for destashing. I used up FlyBuys points to get a bunch of extras of February's fibre club, and then I decided to get a few skeins from Jimmy Beans Wool as b'day present to myself. We're only about a week into the month, and I've already gotten about a kilo of fibre in the post :)

Never mind. Still ahead. LOL.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Finally used my set of Strickwear Merging Colors that I bought in a destash ages ago. They're a set of 8x 30g skeins of laceweight, slowly changing from pale green to reddish brown. I had to count the strands in a skein to work out the yardage, and then ball them all up. Only one had been balled up when I bought it: the green. And that one had been chewed by something in its previous house.

This is some of it. Sigh. But I managed to warp the loom, using two strands held together and doing ten 'slots' per color.

I put a texta mark on the left side at every 10 inches (making 8 sections) and then started weaving, changing color whenever I got to a texta mark, holding two strands together as well. So there is a rectangle of "green crossing green" on one corner and "brown crossing brown" at the opposite corner, and a diagonal line between them of "solid" rectangles.

Also this month, I used up all my "Esmerelda" N4ply to make a hat and some handwarmers. The gloves are the simple ones like I made the kids this year, except I did a few extra rounds, and did 3x2 ribbing throughout.

And spun up some green Eider

and some very nice Polwarth

I separated out most of the purple first, so I could have a handful of coordinating color. Seems to have worked out well. Pepper did "play" with a bit of the purple, but it's almost all there!

And now onto March, which is just a little longer. I have 10 things planned! Not sure there are quite enough days for that, but I'll try. Must get points! lol...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

So far

So far this month I've finished another hat, two pairs of socks and a gigantic cowl. It sounds better than it is; I've used a machine for most of those, and the only completely handknit thing was started at the beginning of the year. Hehe.


I set up Bach again when the kids finally went back to school, and knit these four legs. The tops are a bit fiddly. I'm not in the mood to try and figure out the 'ribber' attachment when I can't even do a heel, so these are my current sock tops. I like them. You start with waste yarn, change to the sock yarn, crank 15 rounds, transfer every second stitch to it's neighbor (to make a neat round of eyelets), crank another 15 rounds, pick up the beginning of the sock yarn and lift it up the middle and hook it (untwisted) onto the hooks. The yarn folds neatly at the eyelets, creating a picot-edge on a hemmed cuff.

I have a lot of trouble with doing short row heels on the machine. Stitches drop, things get jammed, I go the wrong way… and I have to cut the sock in the middle. I’ve got lots of skein pieces now. So, since I planned 2-color socks anyway, I thought I’d do the hem, crank enough rounds for the leg and foot (130), change to a new color, and try a toe.

A toe, on the CSM, is the same as a heel. You do a short row heel on half the stitches (leaving the other half “live”) and then Kitchener your heel to the half you left “live”. I figured, if I stuffed it up as usual, that at least it wouldn’t make me cut a skein in bits; I could just handknit a toe on, and then do an afterthought heel. I only actually got down to the heel twice, and both times I stuffed them up somehow…

I nearly finished one. It only had a few holes along the sides, which I could have fixed (hidden). Only a few rows from being done it dropped off some stitches and I couldn’t pick them back up. Sigh.

Two more pairs, anyway. And I am finding that, even though the gauge is a bit loose, it tightens up to normal after a couple of trips through the dryer.

On the old AKE I knit a long tube, made from 400g of Bendigo Woolen Mills yarn, and kitchener stitched the ends together to make a loop.

I can loop it three times around my neck, and it's the Warmest Cowl Ever!

So warm! I'm going to have to get some more of that Stellar 12ply (the grey), because the wool/bamboo mix is soft and it runs through the AKE very well. The black is Luxury 10ply, which works just as well, but isn't quite as soft as bamboo. Stellar in Emerald or Greenstone, perhaps.

As for the hat, it's my second project (of 4) for my History of Magic OWL, so I'm half-way done. Doesn't it look funny blocking on a balloon and a glass? It's a fingering weight, long, slouchy hat called "SockHead Hat". Lots of time, and only about 60g.

You can see that Zac has become my happy little knitting model lately :)

As for partial things, I have a skein of yarn from the January Club (it went straight to the wheel, it was so nice and soft). It's a finished skein, but not, sort of. I pulled out all the dark purple bits, and plan to spin them separately, and that part isn't done yet. Not sure I'll have time this month. I have most of my grey "Rosa" done. It's just a singlet with a flare, basically, but I'm a slow knitter, even with chunky yarn and 8mm needles! And I have half the Eider spun up, so I should be able to finish that soonish.

We are having a friendly points competition among some of the Slytherins in my small group. I'm coming about last, I think. Hehe.

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