Saturday, January 31, 2009

Multiplying WIPs

I finished my three little pairs of socks, and what happens? I cast on another pair, this time for me. Sigh. Oh well. It's good treadmill knitting.

Friday night is my night off, so Jasmine and I headed in to the shopping center in Wendouree. As soon as I got there, I realized my money was at home! So I headed back... a 40-minute waste of petrol. Jasmine was so hot and sweaty by then (despite the airconditioner) that I didn't want to take her in the car again. So I left her home with her Daddy, too, and agreed to be home by 7.

You know you're addicted to knitting when you only have one hour off, so you sit in a shopping center knitting... not the knitting in your bag but something new you bought (along with new needles) just because you were in the mood for yellow.

Oh yeah. I also cast on another hat. I'm testing out some Noro Silk Garden I bought. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Australia Day

Yesterday (Jan 26) was Australia Day, and like good little Aussies, we went and had a barbie with friends and then headed off to see the fireworks. I had made the kids little hats (with cotton and gold or silver held together and 8mm needles) because green and gold are "our colors". Of course, it was a bit dark at the fireworks to see colors anyway, but they were still cute Ü

Grumpy did not feel like smiling, but he's cute nevertheless.

These were the quickest little hats ever. Jasmine's is just garter stitch in green cotton and gold yarn. I had to add a bit of yellow and gold ribbing because it was a bit small. Byron's started off as the Yarn Harlot's one row handspun scarf. But I got tired of it, and decided that a scarf in Summer was a bit odd. So I picked up three triangles on the top and made a hat. His is green and yellow cotton and silver thread. Silver is not technically an Australia Day color, but who really cares?
It sparkled a bit under the fireworks. Ü

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Quick and the Warm

Sunspun are so quick! I spoke to them on the phone yesterday morning, and today I got this in my mailbox!

Not as quick as me, though. I whipped up a whole sock today while looking after two kids.

Ok, it's just a toddler sock. Another 6 month size, gauged up to Byron's size. This isn't the right color, quite... the shade is doing something dodgy with the color. It's more like this...

But the clear winner is the Australian Summer Sun, who dried this lot (which I dyed this morning) in an hour, I swear! It's not even that hot... only about 30 today.

Byron, outside and resting! Almost mutually exclusive terms for him.

Things I have learned today.
1. I can totally turn a heel while walking on the treadmill!
2. Byron has a secret stash of crochet hooks. (I only discovered them because he jammed in one too many, and asked for help to get them out. I never would have found them!)
3. I'm getting a bit addicted to dyeing Ü

Coffee anyone?

Yes, dying is addictive! This time I tried coffee on some Patonyle white sock yarn. I separated it into socks (half each), and made nice long skeins around the armchair. I soaked them in a bit of vinegar, and then hung them from a skewer stuck into the side of a vita brits box, so that half could rest in the coffee/vinegar mix and half would stay white.

Some is a bit pale, too, because I lowered it a bit for the last 5 minutes.

I gave it a good rinsing, I swear, but it still smells a bit like coffee! Soooo nice. Makes me want to make socks right away. Unfortunately, I haven't got the time to be making 20 different projects at once. Sigh.

Tried to make a ball I could pull out from the center. Made me think how nice a Christmas tree would look if it was covered with these Ü

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A minor distraction

I was doing alright with my Vivian this week, when I decided to have a bit of fun with food dye. I got some instructions from the internet, vinegarred my white wool, splashed a little food dye around and...

The left one's main color is called "orchid" on the box, which is 4 reds to 1 blue. I added a little black to some of it. Some of it is also my own shade of brown, which is 1 each of green, red and yellow. The brown looked like coca cola and separated rather prettily into peachy yellow and pale green in spots. The other is plain green, green with a touch more blue, and white bits.

Rolling it up just made it more tempting...

oops! What happened to getting to row 64 in my Vivian? Well, I thought I'd make the "orchid" yarn into socks for Jasmine. But I couldn't resist using my new pair of Addi circulars, which are 4.5mm (not 3.75), so they ended up being Byron's size. Good width, though I may pull the toes out and add a centimeter or two. Note the sock blocker, made from a bit of icecream container lid Ü

Of course, I had to make a pair!
Knitting little things for kids is so satisfying! Now I have to resist the temptation to cast on the green ones, which is the first thing I wanted to do when I finished the second sock. Hehehe!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thankyou, enablers Ü

I don't think I've ever owned such pretty wool before. This photo is my new desktop background on my computer! hehe.

It's wool from , and I'd like to take a moment to thank my enablers. Jack, for telling everyone about the sale, and the dear Prime Minister (for whom I did not even vote) for deciding that the economy would be helped if he gave people thousands of dollars and said, "go shopping".
I bought some wool Ü
Cashmerino fingering weight in reds. Named "Desire". 80% merino, 20% cashmere. Mmmmm. I gave Byron "a hold" and he wouldn't even put it down to do the actions to the Wiggles' "Hot potato"!!

Blue and purple. Sock yarn with nylon and merino. Colorway is "Opulent"

Superwash merino. More socks! Colorway: Waterlilies. Whatever this ends up being, it's mine!

Worsted weight "Tidal" superwash merino. I could have bought everything they had in blues and greens, because it was all so pretty. But I restrained myself and made myself look at other colors!

Only 50g of this. It's DK "Nirvana". It looks green and blue, but up close it looks like an oil slick. Very nice. Just enough for a hat, I think.
Oh, and some Addi turbo circulars. They are very nice!

Monday, January 12, 2009

50 rows

Yay! I've done 50 rows of the Vivian! It was my goal for last week, and I only finished it today instead of yesterday, but nevermind. This week's goal is to get to row 64, which should be doable. If I do bits and pieces through the day, I seem to get about 2 rows done, and then I can do one or two after the kids go to bed. (It was taking me half an hour a row, but now it's narrower, and it only takes about 20 minutes. Plus, I am easily distracted!)

It doesn't lay flat, which is why I've got it around the pillow. Anyway, it's too long for the circular needle, which is 80cm. Hope it doesn't end up being way too big!

And here's the girl. I've put up a pic of this Katja before, but she's just so cute. hehe.

I bought more Bamboozle. Greys and whites. Sigh.

Well, back to knitting cables!...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Barley's little sister

Well, her half-sister, anyway. They have the same dad.

I questioned our neighbor, Mick, about their lineage. I think (because I don't have the best memory) that Barley and her little sister have the same dad, who is an English Leicester. Barley's mum is half EL and half Merino. The little sister's mum was half EL and half black-faced Suffolk.
They're pretty easy to tell apart, because Barley's bigger. She's about a month older, plus, the new sheep was a twin, so she was already a bit littler for her age. And she's got a smidge of black on her nose from her Suffolk grandparent.
How cute are sheep? I was reading a little on the internet that you can get about 5 kilos of fleece from one shearing... is that right!? Imagine having a hundred free 100g balls of wool every year!
All I have to do is get a spinner, learn to spin, find the time, stink out the kitchen with boiled fleece, learn to dye it, and then find heaps of stash space! Ü

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


We have a little house on 5 acres, which is basically a paddock full of grass. Now, my hubby is a little sick of mowing it all, because even with the ride-on it takes several hot hours. So he did a little fencing and bought one of those automatic, no-petrol mowers from one of our neighbors. Less than $50. Bargain.

Her name is Barley. Baaaaaaarley. hehe. Isn't she cute?

Look at all that wool! We don't have to shear her for quite a while, but when we do I'm keen to have a go at spinning a bit of homegrown fleece. I don't know the first thing about spinning. I don't have any equipment. But my hubby is almost as keen as I am to try and get something knitted from her, and he's even thinking about building me the equipment. Hehe.

I wonder how much yarn I could get from her woolly butt each year?

Here she is arriving, and making my happy little boy's day!

Now he's wishing he could get that close to her. He has a fenced in corner of yard (about 7x7m) and she won't come anywhere near him. hehe. But we're counting on her fondness for oats to help us tame her up a little. The neighbors who used to own her would shake the oat bucket, and the sheep would come running. Byron thought that was fantastic! He tried offering her gravel, but she's not interested.

She's about 7 months old, and baa'ed for her mama quite a bit at first, but now she's a happy little vegemite. And soon she'll be our fat, contented, tamed, wool-growing, automatic mower. The complete package, as far as pets go.

I feel like such a farmer! A farmer with no veges in the vege patch, whose only other "stock" are a guinea pig and a galah! Oh well...

Anyway, one of her girlfriends should be coming to join her, soon, so we'll have a flock Ü

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

My resolution this year is to make a fun resolution every month. None of this "Lose weight" or "keep the kitchen clean" rubbish!

My January resolution is to write a book and knitting goal each week. This week (that is, by Sunday... it's a short week) is to read "Graceling" and finish row 40 on the Vivian.

I'm not sure I'll do either, but it's certainly fun trying. I keep thinking, "I'd really better do some serious reading!"and "I have so much knitting to do!" hehe. It's like a stressless stress.

In light of destressing, I have been decluttering my Ravelry Queue. I decided to allocate each project a month. That way, it doesn't seem so much like "Ahhh... there are so many things I want to start!" and more like "I have a plan for this".

I'm also thinking of decluttering my stash a little, (maybe for February's resolution) by putting yarn that I bought for something into a ziplock bag with a pattern printed out and ready to go. I also might donate my cheap acrylic to charity. I need the space for nicer yarn!
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