Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I have some merino socks that I just darned. I wore them for one day, and there are two more holes! Luckily, I am enjoying the darning at the moment, but soft merino just isn't good sock wool for me. 

But the last time I was "at" Petlins, looking for a dye set, I decided to get some plain white wool to spin. As I said, I'm using it for my Transfiguration OWL next term of the HPKCHC. I had an option to buy "Crossbred" for $5.75 per 100g or "Merino" for $7.80. I decided to get the soft stuff! And it arrived yesterday

along with a lovely little boxful of Ashford Dyes. Last night I spun up the extra 30g that they'd thrown in, and realized that my "spinning without thinking" thickness has decreased! My 2ply turned out to be thinner than the yarn needed for the vest. So I spun a tiny bit more, and 3-plied it. There you go. 9 wraps per inch is Worsted Weight. Perfect.

Only that means that I now need to spin three 1000m plies instead of two. I know I still have time to do that, but it just added a fair bit of time to the project.

So my $39 of beautiful, clean, carded merino will give me many hours of lovely spinning, and then a vest. I'm sure to have a few leftovers, too. I also found this website which has given me lots of good advice about yarn balance and twist. Once I choose a color to dye it, I'm ready to go. On January 1.


The kids are waiting for Christmas. And I'm waiting for the New Year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stash Up 2012

Today I did an approximate weigh in:

3.8 kg - Worsted weight+ box
4.4 kg - Fibre and Handspun box (2.1 fibre and 2.3 handspun)
1.8 kg - DK weight (warm colors) box
4.3 kg - DK weight (cool colors) box
5.2 kg - Zero to Sport weight box
3.9 kg - Madelinetosh Underbed box


23.4 kilos.

The reason it's approximate is that I know there is yarn lying about, in WIP's and such. It's hard to be too accurate! I might attempt to collect it all at the end of the year, and get a more accurate number.

Next year I'm having a Stash Up.

I had a stash down in 2010, which didn't work very well. As soon as I finished the yarn diet, I overindulged :) This year my plan is to Knit All The Things (as the Slytherins say) and still gain 5kg of stash weight, from Jan 1 to Dec 31. It's the only New Year's Resolution I'm going to make. He he he he.

I also have an OWL worked out for the Winter Term (though it's Summer here, of course.) For the subject of Transfiguration there is an Option that says "Dye and Spin enough fibre to produce sufficient yarn to craft a small adult garment." I bought 500g of nice merino (which hasn't arrived yet... must add it to the stash when it does) to make this vest. I'll dye the fibre, spin it into a 2ply worsted weight (about 2km of singles), and then make the vest.  Technically you don't have to knit the garment, just make enough fibre for it, but I think I can spin 100g a week pretty easily (I did in the Tour de Fleece) and an OWL is supposed to be a 8-12 week project.

The OWL advisors look at the projects you've done, and the time it takes you to do things, and I'm not sure they would have approved just the spinning. Anyway, you've got to challenge yourself!

I would like to make a new jumper, but I think I might leave that project for an Order of the Phoenix Mission (which is supposed to take 6-8 weeks) and make Ginevra. I have some pinkish matching worsted and lace weight...

...It's nice not to worry about Christmas at this time of year! All the 11 scarves are finished (I had to twist the longer fringes), washed, ironed and wrapped, and the 7 I had to post are long gone. I asked for World Vision donations for myself, though I did get myself an Ashford Dye set. (I may also be waiting for some more yarn from overseas... hope it will arrive soon!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The big shiny cup

This game has taken over my head a bit these last 6 months, and since I've planned my knitting for the next three months already, it's not likely to change. Especially when we win the house cup!

There are about 640 players in the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. We all earned  122,031 points in the Sept, Oct, Nov "school year", which is about 200 points each. (I got over 700... woo hoo!) Slytherin beat Gryffindor by a mere 500 points or so, which is small. The gap between 3rd and 4th was ridiculously small!

Hufflepuff 46431
Ravenclaw 46615
Gryffindor 52158
Slytherin 52721

Hufflepuff took home the Quidditch Cup again, though.

Ravenclaw 5971
Gryffindor 6136
Slytherin 6825
Hufflepuff 8899

In the whole school this term there were
13 NEWTs (worth 350 each, because they're supposed to be a project that will take 3-4 months.)
156 OWLs (worth 150 each, because they're supposed to be a project that will take 8-12 weeks)
134 Order of the Phoenix Missions (worth 100 points, because they're supposed to be a project that will take 6-8 weeks)

 The thread for getting Sorted (which I have to do each time) will come up in a few days, and then I'll be a third year. I'm planning my next OWL...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A few little things

 This one is a quick hat made for my little friend, Saphy, whose 2nd birthday party is today. Her big sister swore her favorite color was orange :) (AKA Charms homework)

 This one started out as a sock... then became a small sock... then became a little bag. I really just wanted to try some colorwork. (AKA Care of Magical Creatures homework)

This is a little dye and ply. I wanted blue and white, so I got some alpaca singles that someone gave me, dyed one blue, and plied them together. (AKA Muggle studies homework)

And this was a 200g ball of alpaca (BWM) in a boring beige, that got recycled into some Jasmine Pink. I wanted to make self-striping yarn, so I made this skein that is 40m around. The skein goes around the gateposts, but with the clothesline to "bend it in the middle". The clothesline, being 10m away, makes it a 40m skein. I dipped one end into pink, and one end into purple, slowly, so the colors would meld in the middle.

(AKA Divination homework)

So far, for the game, I'm on almost 700 points, but the class bonus points for November haven't been handed out yet. You don't get much for dyeing, but the DADA spinning should earn a few. Hopefully.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No, please, not more scarves! ;)

Happy Summer! (to those in the south... hehe. All you cold ones will have to wait.)

First, I suppose I could show a bit more of the last scarves, since I showed the first seven. This one is 8, for my 8-year-old nephew, Ben. For him I chose a solid grey warp (Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4ply in Ghost) with thin strips of a variegated grey Koigu. The weft was the same alpaca as Tim's, except in the colorway Denim, a pale blue. I loved this one... it looks like silver, only fluffy :)

I made a darker one then, out of two EGMTK yarns I had obtained. They were both dark green, but one had bits of brown in it, so I used that one for the warp. It was very Deep Dark Woods kind of color, and hard to photograph. (Robert Frost kept going around in my head...) It also had teeny undyed specks of white, like teeny bits of sunlight getting in. This one is for my brother, Simon, I decided. (I was going to give him number 1, but this one is longer, and he is taller than Dad).

Number 10 was for the youngest member of "my side" of the family (except for my unborn niece, who has enough handknits to start her off). So for Ezra I mixed up some party colors with some "I match my brothers" alpaca in the Light Fawn. The colorful one is a Bendigo Woollen Mills sock yarn that they don't make any more, and it changes colors every few centimeters. Weaving it made me think of fireworks in the clouds, which seemed appropriate for the Last One!

I made it! I finished my 10 scarves by Nov 26, and I have spent the last few days of the month whipping up a few little things for extra points in the HP game. I dyed, plied, and pulled out the chunky yarn for an extra few points. But I'll save that for next time.

This month, I'm working on Vivian, if you can believe that, (I've done three-quarters of a row tonight) and reading books, so yarnworks might be scarce.

Perhaps I can just fill the space with... um... acquisitions :)

Monday, November 28, 2011


 This has been part of a secret mission for the Order of the Phoenix. I can only show you a snippet, but I can give you some stats....

-23.24 meters of weaving (about 76 feet)
-1.228 kg of yarn used (about 43 oz)
-4.176 km (4567 yards) of yarn destashed
-70-80 hours of work, and Nope. Not sick of weaving yet!

But for variety, I did a bit of spinning. It's a merino/bamboo/silk mix from the Bendigo Sheep and Wool festival this year. Took me a while to fit it into DADA homework for the HP game. I had to make something that could be used as a form of identification (like a security question).  Hmmmm...?

Luckily, there was a lot of spin-time to think about it.

And now I've finished my goals for this month, so I'm going to relax a bit and READ. Currently reading "Les Miserables", which is a great book, except for Victor Hugo (as he does) going off on a tangent for dozens of pages...(Just as Jean escapes jail, Hugo decides to give a 40-page account of the Battle of Waterloo. I slogged through it all, so it had better be relevant later!) There's a new movie version coming out in the near future, which I'm going to see, but I'm going to read the book first. It's quite heavy (especially when you tend to read in bed, like I do) (I kept drifting off to sleep and dropping it on my face!) :) so I bought a Kindle just for that book  ...I may have uploaded a few more since then. Hehehe.

Having said that, I have some letters to write, some parcels to post, some housework to do, socks to darn... and I want to finish some more knitting... and cast something else on...


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hoot Hoot

Zach is into Owls at the moment, probably because of the one who helps "host" the cartoons each morning. I'm kind of over OWLs at the moment, because this one took a lot of work (and about 10 skeins of worsted weight Madelinetosh!)

I mad a new Paper Moon hat. My last one was dark grey, and fit so well. I loved this brown color (Glazed Pecan). Think I'll have to obtain some more somehow...

 I stuck to the pattern this time, and it came out a bit tight. But other people on Ravelry have talked about how "Vintage" grows when you wash it, so I was counting on it blocking a bit bigger. I washed it and dried it on a balloon. Fits perfectly :)

Also made another scarf :)

This one is worsted weight, but it still seemed to take forever. It's the first time I tried to use two colors in the weft, so there was a little bit of fiddling there. I knew I didn't have enough of the medium brown color (Nutmeg) to do the whole length, so I left it off the middle 70 or 80cm. the whole thing is about 2.5m.

Of course, it's the jumper part that took the longest. This one is the Opulent Raglan, and I got the pattern as a prize from Seakame (on Ravelry). (The prize was a random draw of all the people who completed a class in May, I think.) I did get to choose the pattern :)

Reasonably simple, but lots of knitting. No seams, and all stocking stitch in the round (once you get down to the underarms) except for the cable section, which breaks up the monotony quite nicely.

And that's the Muggle Studies OWL done. Next term (Jan-Mar) I might have to whip up another jumper, I think. Maybe even two...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Possibly scarves...

hehehe. If you haven't gathered this by now, I'm making ten woven scarves for Christmas presents. The deadline (because it's also part of the Harry Potter game on Ravelry) is the end of November, so if you're feeling a little sick of the weaving, the end is in sight.

But until then...

...a matching scarf for Kylie (the brown and green one from the last post is for my brother, Matt, and this is for his wife Kylie. The stripe pattern is the same.) The red is WM in Sanguinella, and the black is some BWM sock yarn, I think.

Then there's Abby's

She's my niece, so she gets a colorful one, which is half Dazzle (the blue that I used for my "All You Need Is Love" mittens, a present from Kelly in England, which is blue with speckles of green and purple) and half hand-dyed. I remember making a really long skein, 12 meters, and dipping each end slowly into the dyes until the color faded away.

This one is for Tim. The warp is that Bugga sock yarn that made my Elijah look like he was wearing army camo. The weft is Wired For Fibre alpaca 4ply, which is really soft, though it did have some grass in it. It lightened the color a lot, so it doesn't look army green, but would still match all his army-green clothes ;)

Well, Zach is awake, so I'll give him a drink, and then get back to work. I've nearly finished my "Muggle Studies OWL" (lol) so, a post on that in a few days :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And more scarves

 I have been buying a little bit of Wollmeise from Ravelry lately. This purple/white/black looked much nicer in the photo than it did in real life. I actually tried to leach out the color with Dyelon, but nothing happened. lol. Anyway, when my sister-in-law saw it (while searching the stash for her own scarf color) she immediately picked this out for Mum.

I'm not sure about it. I told Mum she could overdye it darker if she liked. The warp is actually a pale multicolored bamboo/wool/nylon mix from Wired For Fibre, with pink and blue and green... but from a distance it looks grey, and I thought it would soften the colors, as well as being nice and soft. Hmmm.

Love this one, though. This is another Kylie choice, for her own hubby, my brother Matt. It's a dark brown Wollmeise called Ebenholz, and the green is Dream in Color's Spring Tickle. It's the same color I made Jasmines birthday jumper in last July, and (for some unknown crazy reason) I just love it.

I'm thinking of making socks with this brown and some red/orange Wollmeise called "Orient". I started the toe, but I'm not yet sure of the pattern... think I'll make something up :)  I put the two colors together, and all I can think of is apple trees, which makes me feel happy. I don't have time for colorwork socks this month, but... erm... hehehe.

First I have a jumper to finish, and a hat, and seven more scarves.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More scarves

 Scarf number 1/10 has a dark green warp of Wired For Fibre: Joan, the same sport-weight I used for the Bloom. The weft is Noro in blue/green/grey. It's hard to get a photo of the color change, which is pretty subtle. Thought it would be good boy-color, though it had better soften up a bit in the wash... This one is for my brother Simon.

Scarf 2/10 doesn't need anything to be soft. The warp is Lorna's Laces in "Intelligence" and the weft is Madelinetosh sock in Winter Wheat. Kelly picked the yarn from my Ravelry stash page (best she could do from the other side of the world...) so this one is hers.

Today I finished off the body of my Opulent Raglan. It just needs a neckband and sleeves. I added about 15cm to the length, and finished it with the same twisted rib that runs down the side of the main cable (instead of a turned under hem).

It's been great Spring weather here this week. Byron keeps saying to me, "Why don't you knit outside?". lol. Here are Byron and Jasmine having a go at knitting. By the end of the day there was a spiderweb around the swings, puncture marks in one of their toy chairs, and the needles were banned. Again. But they had fun...

Jasmine is very keen. I'm not going to teach her how to knit yet. Maybe when she's 4 or 5. At the moment she just likes to run around with a piece of material saying, "Look at my beautiful knitting!" and thread circulars through and through a ball of wool. hehe.

I also made some armwarmers, and a Kindle cover that became an oven glove (because it refused to felt and shrink). More projects are in the works for this month. I hope to do at least 2 more scarves, a bit of spinning and dyeing and finish off Poppy. And do some weeding :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September stuff

Quidditch (task 1). Spin thick and thin cotton. I bought a pack of cotton balls. It was not pretty :) but it was fun.
Charms: Craft something you need now. (I needed this for Elijah)
Detention: Kitchenered the toes on Sept 1. (Detention is for finishing WIP's)
Care of Magical Creatures: Elijah is so cute, but my hands ached from the tight M1R's.
Herbology: Bloom took the most time, but I love it heaps :)
Quidditch (Yule Ball): Paired up with Mediaperuana (on Ravelry) and we each made these booties
Muggle Studies: Knit for a charity. 20x20cm garter stitch squares.
Div: Didn't much like spinning with angora and 'glitz'.
Astronomy: toilet roll holder. The flowers lift up like a lid. Fun.

At the moment I'm working on

Detention (WIP's). I started a hat a few hours before the official start of October.
OWL. I've done 4 pattern repeats of the cable now. Jumpers take forever!
Potions. I don't have to do it this month, but it was kind of easy and fun. I'm washing some fleece.
BROOM (Order of the Phoenix Mission). Woven scarf number 1 (of 10)

and I'm thinking about how to fit Poppy and Tiny Shoes and spinning into classes about Icelandic Staves, Animagi and Fractals (That's Ancient Runes, Transfiguration and Arithmancy). I might have to get creative. I'm also trying to figure out what to do for Quidditch. I want to make a felted Kindle cover, but I don't know quite how to relate it to the goal of "make something to represent Charlie Weasley".

This month is a Thinker, that's for sure.

Knit Night tonight! I'm taking my OWL and working on the 5th cable repeat. I think I need to do 7 or 8, and I have to finish the body by the end of the month. Work work work.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


A little bit of new yarn...

Some lovely Wollmeise from Aussie destashers on Ravelry:

Wollmeise Sockenwoll 80/20 in Versuchskaninchen (Forest Green)

Wollmeise 100% merino Superwash in Skandal um Rosi (From a song)

 Wollmeise merino Superwash in Ebenholz.

And from Jimmy Beans, a little bit of Madeline Tosh, an actual boxful :)

Vintage in Opaline, Luster and Morning Dove, Pashmina in Thyme, Vintage in Nutmeg.

And a whole jumper-worth of Vintage in Corsage: 7 skeins.

 I don't buy much pink yarn, that's for sure, but I like this greyed-down, close to purplish shade.

School Report: It's the 29th, and I have 44 more hours of official time to knit. But all I have to do is 1 and a half ears on Elijah, and he is done. Then I have done 6 classes, the 2 Quidditch options, detention and almost a third of my OWL. I'm up to date!

My chosen mission this year is to do The Order of the Serpent Third Class. I have completed Detention and 6 of the 11 different classes. Next month I need to do Ancient Runes, Arithmancy and Transfiguration, as it's the only month those three are offered, which leaves Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts for November. I've done some Quidditch (The First Task and the first part of the Yule Ball), but I'll try and continue on with it, since I'm on the team as a beater, and have to set a good example. (And those Hufflepuffs are beating us, which is just not on.) I have to finish my OWL, and I have to finish my Order Mission (which I can't start until Oct 1).

So much fun :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


A girl has to have matching shoes, right? I've replaced the ribbon with a better silver, and I'm planning to make her some silver silk Tiny Shoes...Knitting for girls is fun!

I also joined in the toilet roll cover madness that started here. ... Slytherins are a juvenile bunch ;) but we are coordinated. We all agreed to hand in our Astronomy projects on the planet Uranus on the 25th. Mine was a bit late, but it didn't actually matter.

This week has been a good post week for me. Not only did I splurge on a boxful of Madelinetosh, but I bought 4 skeins of Wollmeise from people on Ravelry. Two are at the post office still, but when I get them tomorrow, I'll put up some pictures.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cuteness alert

*Warning: Contains Cuteness*

Look! It fits a newborn (-sized doll) and a 3yo!

Well, it took me about 3 weeks to knit (though I wasn't exactly monogamous), but it's time well-spent if Babyniece can get 3 years out of it. In fact, I'm pretty sure it would fit Jasmine for another year, because it wasn't tight. That ribbing in the top is veeeery stretchy.

*end cuteness alert*

Friday, September 16, 2011

Half done

Babyniece's Bloom. The skirt has little lace diamonds, and balloons out a bit. It looks very small, but I can see that it will stretch.

OWL project, which is (mainly) the Opulent Raglan. It is like a short cropped singlet at the moment, but it fits

A bit of dyeing for a couple of matching projects.

one of which is...

 An actual finished thing: a 107g skein of "Gaga", which is angora, glitz and wool, and I will not be buying it again. Angora is soft but yukky to spin, and glitz is like plastic. Bleurgh!

A couple of squares for blankets. I was going to do a whole blanket, but they finish on September 30. :(

Friday, September 9, 2011

So far in September

So far in September, I've done about 5000 stitches of 1x1 ribbing for my babyniece's little dress, and used up about 150g of yarn on my jumper. I have 10 rows of ribbing left before I start the skirt part, and I've done one repeat of the jumper cable.

I'm partnering up with Hufflepuff 7th-year Mediaperuana for the Yule Ball (we're making booties), and I'm in a trio with Victrix and Lunathecat making creatures for the Care of Magical Creatures class. I've got two other classes planned, and I'll probably get sucked into Quidditch (I'm a Beater).

The only problem is, I'm not sure I'll ever finish this ribbing!!

And here's another problem. Mediaperuana had this queued....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Spring at last!

I'll admit, I haven't been expecting sunny Spring weather, although we've had strangely nice weather lately. The first two days were awful, because I couldn't wash all the little clothes faster than my mudlets could unwash them! But when the mud dried up and they were outside playing all day, I got a little knitting in.

This is basically all I did for August.

And I had to resist the temptation to kitchener the toe until September 1 (at 5pm) so that I could claim 10 points for detention. They are Charades, knit top-down (for a change) in worsted weight yarn and 3.75mm needles. I'm wearing them now (at MacDonalds again, using the wifi) and they're very warm. But I'm going back to toeup...

I also entertained myself with a little dyeing, because I had a Babyniece project in mind that required skintoned yarn. I skeined up the leftover ball of madelinetosh sport (the good stuff for my little niece) and put 30g of coffee grounds in some boiling water.

Soaked the yarn in some dishwashing liquid (to make it soak in quicker) and citric acid (to make the color stick better; like vinegar but smells better!) for about 20 minutes.

Then kept it hot but not boiling in a pot on the stove (and yes, I strained out the coffee grounds through some cloth first! Was glad I thought of it in time...)

Turned a good color. The little white bit is the original color. Since this I overdyed it in a very pale red, because it was a little too yellow.

(Esther, don't read my blog for a while or look me up on Ravelry if you want Surprises next year, ok...)

It's going to be a small Poppy. Since it's 5ply instead of 8, it should come out smaller than Jasmine's one, and I'm going to make babyniece's Poppy with a matching Bloom. I asked my sister-in-law if there were any Ravelry patterns she liked, and she sent me a list, including Bloom, which I'd wanted to make in the past but hadn't gotten around to. I thought, "I'll work out how to shrink it, to make Babyniece and Poppy matching dresses", so I was pretty pleased to find that, after buying the pattern, it included a free pattern for a matching doll dress! lol.

Anyway, the real reason I've been itching for Spring is to start my second year as a Slytherin. LOL! I'm addicted to this silly game because the others are so funny! There are about 160 Slytherins, and this year I got a job as reporter for the Dungeon Bulletin Board, which is fun. So, at 5pm (because we all go by the same timezone) I put in my OWL proposal and it was approved in no time. Before it was approved, though, I was working on my first class assignment, for which I am doing Bloom in Green, and I plan to do... erm... one or two other projects for Babyniece this month.

Though I seem to have gotten sucked into the ridiculously funny Toilet Roll Holder KnitAlong that the Slytherins have agreed upon as the perfect Astronomy assignment, since we're studying Uranus.

Giggles. I know. I'm 9 years old.

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