Saturday, April 19, 2014


The last two weeks, I've been on holidays. The first paid holidays I've had for years! lol. That's the nature of casual work, I suppose, but I'm currently on a 12 month contract (replacing someone's maternity leave) and have therefore earned Leave :)

And so I finished the socks, firstly, and the things I showed you last time. Then I finished these socks, which took 11 days

as well as finishing a skein of "laceweight"

I call it "laceweight" in quotes, because I'm not sure if it really qualifies. Officially (for the Charms part of my NEWT) it has to be at least 20WPI, and this is about 25, but most laceweights you see on Ravelry claim to be about 40. Just can't do that, not yet.

Next, for the spinning, I decided to do the Navajo-ply spin, because it's what I normally do, and I wanted to do something relaxing. I have 200g or so of this lovely Southern Cross Fibres Polwarth, and the first skein is done.

Salt Collecting
I've been on the waiting list for David's fibre club for quite a while; I got this one from a member who didn't want it for some strange reason :) ... This one was spun from end to end (without splitting it lengthwise) so the color changes will be long. The second one, which I'm spinning now, I split down the middle first, so the color changes will be half as long. I'm thinking a hat and gloves, where the stripes will be about the same width.

Next, would you believe, I pulled out the Vivian I started in December 2008! It was up to the shoulder saddles, and I didn't know quite what to do, so I ignored it for a bit longer. But the shoulder saddles were kind-of fun

 Now, I'm doing a cable-and-rib collar, and when that's done, I have to block it and measure it for a zip!

And lastly, the Kathy's Fibre club fibre for Autumn, which is BFL, mohair and silk! I'm not allowed to post it on Ravelry until everyone has theirs (spoilers) and some people have to wait until after Easter for the post, but here it is, out next to the flower pots that the boys gave me for my birthday, which match. (Jasmine gave me pink flowers)

I love her BFL/mohair for socks, and I'm looking forward to trying it out with some silk in it. It's 120g, so it should be enough. Might be a project for June... frankly, it's going to be a perfect color to spin in the grey Winter.

3:30am, so I must hit the hay, now. I'm back at work again (just finished three nights, and this is my first night off, so the body-clock's out of whack again). 'Night!

Monday, April 7, 2014

In March

I didn't do much for March (having put most of my time into those socks, which I'm now wearing) but I did do a few projects...

Three spinning projects on the top (a merino-silk that I dyed a while ago, one by Shadawn called "Tonks" and a felted alpaca single that was quite quick). I overdyed some Socks That Rock mediumweight from "Pond Scum" to a nicer green, with flecks of the original yellow-green showing through, and specks of teal. I'm using that one at the moment to make some socks.

I wove a scarf for Jasmine with some of the leftover yarn from her rainbow jumper, and dyed some pale teal sock yarn. The hats were for Quidditch; I had to pair up with someone (hello GirlAnachronismE from Hufflepuff) and make the same sort of thing. I don't know if there are any baby girls in my future, but two of my sisters-in-law are pregnant, so fingers crossed. (Baby nephews would be good, too; I have some new blue yarn I want to use.... :D ) The little loom was a Headmistress Challenge.

It was my birthday this last week, and I asked my hubby for Bendigo money (for the Sheep and Wool Show in July). He obliged, and my Mum gave me the same thing :) so I can't show you that yarn yet. But I did get myself some yarn the week before, which obligingly arrived in the post on the exact day!

Malabrigo Rios!

Aguas. Probably my favorite Rios colorway.

Fresco y Seco

Next term, since I'm not going to be able to cart my spinning wheel everywhere, I'm going to make hats for the chemo box, and this stuff is great for hats, esp if you have no hair. Warm wool, but not at all itchy.

The current things are green. Here are the socks I'm working on in the green yarn I overdyed.

I'm trying a new heel, called Fish Lips Kiss. It's a stupid name for a heel, but it's a kind of short row heel that seems pretty easy. I did another inch yesterday; they are thicker yarn (sport weight) and I'm using bigger needles (3mm ones) but now it seems so quick to knit socks one pair at a time!

And this is the laceweight, currently. I've done about 80g. This is made from the last Kathy's Fibre summer fibre club, where she made personalized batts (based on stalking us on Ravelry and finding out our favorite colors and things). This one is the darker, called "Shady Trees".

The rest of the month is looking green, too. What a pity! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fourteen-at-a-time socks

I finished them in time, somehow!

Each had 20 rounds of toe, 50 of foot, a heel (a different sort for each pair) and at least 50 rounds of leg and 10 rounds of twisted rib cuff. Some had a little more leg. Some had to be taken offline to get them all to the right point to do the cuff together. Some got extra rounds because they felt too short. But they're DONE

Just before starting the cuffs

Sweet Tomato Heel
Glow sticks
This heel was the one from the pattern Scylla
Pattern: Jaywalker. Heel: toe-up heel flap one I think I got from Swatchless long ago.
Sunleaf (3x2 rib)
with a Fleegle Heel.
Jaywalkers with a toe-heel.

Afterthought hat heel (with a small shortrow section for better fit (see the triangle bit)). I did reknit these before handing in, with 10 or 11 rounds before starting the decreases. Fits much better.
With a short row heel (Happy Knits’ No Wrap, No Gap Short Row Heel Tutorial) that worked on one sock, but not that well on the other. I had to close up the gaps. Think my attention must have wandered on that one :)

And now, NEWT number 5!

I was going to do an OWL this term between May and July, spinning laceweight yarn for Charms. But my Slytherin friends persuaded me to do a NEWT, so I'm combining the Charms laceweight with the Arithmancy spinning option: many yarns with different plies. I have 820g of yarn to spin up into 1ply, 2ply, 3ply, 4ply, nply and chain-ply. Well, no, the 2ply is going to be the laceweight, so it crosses-over with Charms.

I've started that one. I'm doing 300g of laceweight, hoping to get 1500y of 2ply and 30 WPI. That will be the thinnest I've managed so far, but it seems to be working. It's just taking about an hour to do 10g. LOL.

1100g is not too much, although I did promise to try and make the yarn singles at least 600y per 100g, which means I can't just do a thick, quick yarn. NEWTs are supposed to be challenging. All the same, a NEWT that is entirely spinning seems like a holiday! :)

Next time, the other little things I did last month... and the new socks I started! Hehehe...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Byron 6.9

He's not quite seven yet, but here is his Seventh Birthday Jumper.

It's "Little Spare Time" and I made it with the Madelinetosh MCN Worsted that I overdyed earlier this year. The colorway is Wicked, but since I dyed it brown, I'm calling it Wicked Chocolate. Hehe. For once, I stuck to the pattern completely, and it turned out great. I also made him some matching accessories

The "Donner Pass Cowl" and a hat to match in Malabrigo chunky. He says that it's all "very snugly" ...and then whipped off the wool and ran around in just shorts again. it's not nearly as cool as the clouds and wool would lead you to believe!

The jumper is only 99% finished, according to the boy, because I promised to replace those two buttons with pirate buttons, only they haven't arrived in the mailbox quite yet. :) Should do by his birthday, though, which is still 2 months away.

Anyway, that's my Order of the Phoenix mission done, and now I have to get on with the socks...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Oh, the blog...

I forgot about it for a while. I'm blaming it on night-shift brain, and the fact that I haven't got much to report for Feb. I did manage to do 6 classes of assignments, Quidditch, and some of the Mission, but there were a lot of quick projects in there, like dyeing.

I put most of my time into the inch of socks. This NEWT project is really dragging along, I must say. Socks take me a long time to knit as it is, and these are taking more than 7 times longer than a normal pair. I can't easily throw them in a bag and take them with me. I can't do 5 minutes-worth unless I'm prepared to leave it in the middle of a row. BUT... the heels are all done! Now I'm just doing the simple round-and-round of legs.

The classes this month consisted of 4 dyeing projects and two hats. Pretty bludgey, really. The yarn one was dyed to represent the Australian flag. It should knit up with stripes of red, blue and white (for the Union Jack in the corner) and then have a section of blue with white dots on it for the starry part. We'll see how the socks turn out later. 

The yellow Wurm I started back in December is done. I put it on for a photo, but it's gone overseas in a swap. Swaps are a bit of fun. I sent her this hat, the Garden yarn from the last post, and the green handspun from January.

 For Quidditch this month you could make three projects. If the total yardage was over 750, maximum points of 105 could be obtained. So I spun up this lovely Polwarth/silk/cashmere (about 60g of each) from Southern Cross Fibres. Ended up with 500y or so of 2ply.

I'm not at all a lover of pink, so I don't know what possessed me to choose these colors. But I love them, despite their pinkness, and I will have to find a project to use them all together in :)

And now, back to the Mission. I have the hem of the body remaining, then the sleeves, pockets and collar. And I have to procure a perfect button. Byron wants something Star Wars or Pirate. We'll see...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Quick stuff

It's a new month, and time to start new things! But first, some finished stuff.

After taking two weeks to do the last handspun, I tried a quick version, and spun up this one as fast as I could

I timed it, from fibre to single to the sink (I felted it by dipping it into hot and cold water, back and forth a few times) to the line, and deducted 12 minutes (for throwing on veges, chicken and an apple pie) and it took 1 hour 21 minutes. Hehehe.

I also did a speed-game for Quidditch; there were a few patterns to choose from, and you had to knit or crochet one of them, using at least 150 yards. I used up a 167y skein, and made this twisted rib cowl. It's very warm and cozy... far too warm for this time of year!

Then, at the end of the month, I decided to do more quick things, so the dye pots came out.

This one is a dark green version of the GlowSticks one I'm knitting socks with now. This one is heading overseas, though, in a swap. To be honest, it wasn't as quick of a project as I'd planned; it took all evening! lol.

Speaking of the socks, here's where I am on the NEWT

62 rounds past the toe (where the toe increases stopped), and this is the one with a Sweet Tomato Heel. It's a kind of short-row heel made of three shallow wedges, and a neat trick to close the holes. It made weird wedges with the short stripes, and I had to chop the yarn a few times to get the colors right on the front. But they both match. So two pairs have heels, and the rest are simply getting longer.

I don't think I'll do a NEWT next term. I think I'll do as I did last year, and take April off, and then do another OWL. April is for cables, and darning. I have a lot of darning to do! :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Zachary 4

Unbelievable, that this kid

has suddenly grown into this one

His birthday top ended up taking me until midnight on his birthday (at the end of his birthday) and I had to block it overnight and dry it in the sun in the morning. At least he's happy with it...

Though perhaps not as happy to model it as I'd hoped

hehehe. This is him, pouting, because I'd callously asked him to smile when his knee was sore!! (He had a tiny graze from about 2 hours before.)

The pocket turned out a bit too thin, I think, but it doesn't really matter, as long as it will hold a rock or two. The pattern is "childHood", with lots of modifications. hehe. This Summer baby doesn't really need a warm birthday jumper, especially when he inherits Byron's ones. But he still loves them.

I guess, when he's older and wants 'shop clothes', I'll knit him birthday socks.

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