Friday, February 27, 2009

A teensy bit of FI

My sister came out for a few days this week, which is usually a time of chocolate, movies and yarn (and half the amount of work with kids Ü). We did pretty well in the chocolate department this time (it was kinda banned), though we only managed to watch two Lord of the Rings movies (as you can't really watch them around littlies.)

Kelly crochetted a whole scarf and I made this cute little thing:

for this cute little thing:

She would not give me a smile! hehe.
It's not quite as long as I would like, but it's ok. I fair-isled the flowers with scraps from my previous hat (which I frogged after unsuccessfully trying to unpick the cast-on to add length) and the color differences in the flowers are more subtle than I actually intended. But they were pretty basic "flowers" anyway. More a square with rounded edges. lol.
I still have half the skein left, too, so maybe I'll make another Ü

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Knitting with acrylic

Gack! It's yukky scratchy stuff... but I couldn't help myself! I didn't know what to take in to town on Friday night, so I took my two 4mm circs and decided to get some cheap DK and make Jasmine some "made to fit" toe up socks.

So I found this acrylic because the colors grabbed my attention. It's "Fair Isle" yarn, because it supposedly looks like you're doing Fair Isle when you knit stocking stitch. lol. Anyway, I made up a mini sock for Mini-girl, measuring it on her foot as I went. More people stopped to ask me what I was knitting and peek at a chubby, sleeping little cherub. Jasmine pulls people over when she's awake... they're just walking by and she practically sucks them closer with her happy grin. hehe.

I made a long one with a fold-over rib cuff. Did a short-row heel. In hindsight, I should have tried toe-ups on baby socks first, because it would have saved me frogging the heel of my S's S, but I like the way short-row heels turn out. Then I made another one on Saturday... most of it... it's not actually finished yet, because I realized I had heaps left to make Jasmine a little top.

This is what came out:

Made thus:

About 70g of DK yarn on 6mm needles. Cast on 40 stitches and garter stitch, doing a short-row of 10 every 12th row (to make it flare out a bit over the nappy). Cast on about 25 at the top where you want your straps, and when they're a good width, cast them off. Join at the back by kitchenering to the cast-on (if that makes sense. It's nice and flat.) Join straps to the back.

Now I think it's a little long, but it doesn't matter. It will fit her for ages. I never really liked the look of sideways tops, but I like this one. Probably because of the model. Ü

Also made some onion skin dye. It didn't come out too dark. It was supposed to go from white through to the brown I saw in the internet picture, but it didn't change color much! Still, it's fun to try this stuff.

Well, I'm off to bludge Ü for 30 more minutes before it's time to cook tea.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More socks

The things I got from Sunspun were two 3mm (40cm) circular needles and a ball of Harry Potter Opal sock yarn in "Hedwig".

(I stole this picture)

Can't show you the needles, as I immediately cast on some Secret Sister Socks. She may have suggested I make her some socks for her birthday, but I actually already bought the yarn. Therefore, since she half-spoiled the surprise, she can know they're coming but not what they look like. mwah ha hah!

On a totally different note, check out these lovely blokes...

Second from the left is Private Matthew Gellert, and the one on the right is Private Simon Gellert. They're helping with the bushfire cleanup, because they're in the army reserves, and they're cleaning up in the area where my Auntie and Uncle lost their house. Simon and Matthew are my little brothers Ü
They are helping the CFA, checking for bodies and looking after victims. Matt says he's heading back next weekend to cook for 1000 people! I think he's finding the contrast between there and home a bit jarring. He says you have to be careful what you say up there, because so many people have lost family members. The death toll is now 200, I believe.
Can't help but feel a bit proud of them Ü

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A few finished things

This is the first Noro hat.

I made one in this pattern for Nathan for his birthday (which he loved, btw), so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone: try Noro Silk Garden Lite and make similar hats for the rest of us. This one is mine... 100 stitches per round, and about 40 rows before the decreases (same as Nathan's). I might make Byron's with 90 stitches and Jasmine's with 80.

Here is one Broadripple sock. I only started it in September.

I decided to finish this one (so I could wear it!!!) and then put it into hibernation. It fits well, but I'm not loving the color or the style any more. And the cheapo needles are driving me nuts! Until I can get some very nice 3.25mm ones, the second sock can wait.

Here's a second sock, with a photo to prove it. My Neon socks.

They feel a little loose, but nice and warm. BTW, I know I said I had big feet, but I put my sole against my Dad's today, and my foot is about two-thirds his. I told him I'm not making him socks. He can buy his own.

This is not finished!

Well, no... but I finished row 80 of the Vivian. It only took me a month to do 30 rows. Silly thing. As soon as I can find (or obtain) some more 6mm needles, I'm going to start the sleeves, just to add some interest.

I'm saving up to buy a set of Harmony circulars. (er... just as soon as I get a couple more things from Sunspun...) I'll suggest it to Nathan as a birthday present, but it's probably out of the price range. lol. I should never have tried them. Sigh. Now I'm spoiled for all those affordable needles. Even those nice, cheap bamboo circulars from Lincraft... they're just not the same!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Heat wave

It has been hot. It's Summer here in Australia.

We've had a drought here for years now. I live in near Ballarat, and we have stage 4 water restrictions. But this week there has been an unusual heat wave. Kyoko might think that 34 degrees celsius is hot, and normally she'd be right, but in the last few weeks you'd be more likely to hear someone say, "Oh, only mid 30's. That's better!"

Yesterday (Saturday the 7th) was the worst day yet. Poor Byron had to stay inside, but he entertained himself watching dust swirling up into the sky. The wind gusts were over 80kph, and the bottom half of the sky was dirty with dust. Later on it cooled off a bit, and we let him play outside for a while.

The temperature here got to almost 44 degrees (that's 111 F). Melbourne (an hour away) got to 46.4. All over the state there have been terrible bushfires. Many people who live in little country towns have been caught in their cars and houses. In the news they said that in some cases one person in the car survived but everyone else with them died. That would be unimaginably awful. They say the death toll will get to 40! Makes me feel sad...

We haven't had any fires near here. A few years ago they came within a few kilometers, but it was under control, and only two houses were lost.

Well, the kids are both asleep, so I'm going to make the most of it and knit... a sock Ü

Friday, February 6, 2009

A bit of sun

It's officially 34 degrees outside (although my thermometer says 40.5) and it's supposed to be back up to 42 on Saturday. Phew! On top of the drought that has been going on for several years, now we're getting baked extra dry! I tried to dig a hole for a new tree a few weeks back, and an hour with a crowbar got me less than 10cm down.

Yet I know I'll miss the warmth, because down here at the bottom of Australia we (seem to) get 10 months of cold weather a year. So when I saw some fat yellow wool, I decided it would be just the thing to cheer and warm me, 6 months from now.

I've been knitting 3x1 rib for simple (long) fingerless gloves. (I liked my sister's ones a lot.) I've done most of one, but I decided to do the Calorimetry instead, to make sure a 50g ball was enough. It was plenty. I cast on 90 and worked until I had 14 in the middle, then worked out. It was actually a really simple pattern. I put a couple of buttons on this morning, so it took just one evening to knit.

Now I just have to finish the gloves. And the socks. And the other gloves. And the Vivian... and the noro hats... sigh.

It fits her ok (almost completely unstretched) and me just fine (a bit stretched).

My hair has gone dark and hers has lightened. We have almost the same color now.

Those kisses. Cute. Yuk.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Treadmill socks

Now that Jasmine is 6 months old, I have been trying to do some exercise in the morning. I need to lose a few more inches to be the size I'm making my Vivian!! lol. It's the middle of Summer, but I have a treadmill and an air conditioner, so I really have no excuse not to.

Byron thinks the treadmill is his, but he is (finally) staying away from it while I walk. Instead he annoys Jasmine until she cries and I have to get off for a minute. While I walk, I've been knitting socks. It's plain stocking stitch on two circulars, so it's pretty good tready-knitting. Here is number 1 Neon Sock. I turned the heel on number 2 today. (Check out that massive 25cm foot. Yes, it's mine.)

It's Neon from Bendigo Woollen Mills, and it doesn't look like much in the ball, but I am loving how it knits up! It's got three plies, and from what I can tell, one stays green-blue, one stays light blue and the other has long color changes through pink, purple, orange and yellow. It's self-striping in a very subtle way, and I love it. The colorway is called Lagoon, and it really does make me think of a reflection.

Pretty. sigh. Makes me want to go swimming in a little billabong somewhere. Doesn't that look cool, Tara?
I have more Neon, and now it's going to be more socks! When I finish some of my WIPs, that is.
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