Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas! It was 36 degrees Celcius here today. It was fried turkey and bbq steak, and lots of cold salads here today.

Not much knitting happens in the "break" month, unless you're one of the crazy people doing a NEWT. This current one is my 11th, and I'm having fun so far.

This is where I ran out of blue. I ordered some more, though, and it came from Jimmy Beans in about 10 days. The pattern is Drachenfels, which is a big, stripey, 3-color garter stitch shawl/scarf. (It's a triangle, but I kind of hate calling them "shawls" because it sounds old-fashioned. A scarf that's pointy-ended and thick in the middle: that's better. Hehe)

I've almost finished the laceweight spinning

There was only a  teeny bit of fluff left, today, but I had to go to work.

In the days I was waiting for yarn, when I was out and about, or not in the mood for spinning, I knitted up this hat. According to NEWT schedule (where we have to say what we'll make for 50%, 75% and 100%) it's part of the 75% section, but oh well; it's finished early :)

I have to finish the Drachenfels and spinning for 50%, and this hat and matching armwarmers for 75%. Also, this boy :) wants a jumper and socks for his birthday, and I thought I'd just whip up another pair for Nathan, too, since he wears his wool socks all the time (except on days this warm).

Kids are on holidays, now, and Christmas finished about an hour ago. Byron bought me some old Doctor Who, which he plans to watch with me :) so Drachenfels (perfect TV knitting) should be done before the DVD's are finished. The spinning should be done in a few days (around work) and hopefully those socks, between Jan 1 and 5. (yikes).

Internet has been off at our place all week. Actually it's been about 10 days. Sometimes we can get a minute by rebooting the modem, but other than that, no internet and no phone, and mobiles don't work well where I live. So I'm internetting at work, when it's quiet.

Happy Christmas, crafty ones. Hope your Christmas knitting is all done :)

Monday, December 5, 2016


Look at these two, having a modeling competition. :) At the moment, if I say, "who wants to be my model for a photo?", I get eager volunteers. I'm sure they think getting their picture on Ravelry is the height of fame! LOL

Fingering weight woven scarf

Finished the handspun, which is the merino/bamboo I got from Moseley Park's stall at Bendigo this year. I tried to spin it thickly, and then used it for the warp of a wide scarf, alternating yarns across the warp to mix them up.

Jas, volunteering eagerly as usual, but not really feeling well enough to actually smile

Then, for the warp I used laceweight, which I've done before. Turns out very squishy :)

This is the 8th scarf for the year. Planned to weave 12, but 8 is not too bad.

And this one, which is called "3-color cashmere cowl" is my fleece-to-finished-object part of my NEWT. It started off as a dirty Polwarth fleece, and I washed, carded, spun, dyed and knitted it. I think the knitting took as long as all the other parts! It's 550y of fingering weight, and I'm not a fast knitter.

Nice to wear, though. It really bunches up around your neck, and the polwarth is pretty soft.

This one will get the most wear, though. It's all the handspun BFL/silk that I spun for the last NEWT and knitted up for this NEWT. The top is long, and the hem is very wide rectangular shape, which falls nicely and fits well.

Well, that's my tenth NEWT finished, and I'm already started on my 11th! This next one is four projects and a spin (Muggle Studies: make a coordinated ensemble for a Muggle/ Charms: spin 1000y of finished laceweight). There's a shawl, hat, armwarmers, socks, and spinning, all with blue/green/brown colors that seem to be my favorites at the moment. :)

Next term I have plans to make Soup Bus Sets (maybe hat/handwarmers/cowl), and more CSM socks. I'm a bit sick of weaving, but I still want to have 365 different pairs of socks in the drawers :D

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New stash

One of my 5 year goals (I just recently started keeping a Bullet Journal) is to get my stash down to 25 kilos of nice yarn. That's still a lot of yarn, of course, about 250 x100g skeins. But it'll be all nice. Which is why I didn't much hesitate to add these :)

"Tour de Frak" and "I am a bicycle in the Wind", Chameleon Sock by IndigoDragonfly. She donated the money raised to the Yarn Harlot's bike team in the last "Friends for Life Bike Rally" (where the team rides over 600km to raise money for HIV). It's merino/cashmere/silk fingering weight yarn, in two slightly different shades of purple. Very soft!

I got these three lovely yarns from Jimmy Beans, destined to be together in some sort of scarf or shawl. And also from Jimmy Beans... well, I'd saved up my FlyBuys for some time, apparently, because I cashed them in and bought

10 skeins of MT chunky. As usual, FlyBuys yarn is for charity, since my sister and mum both contribute to my FlyBuys points and it's like free money but also a gift. I'm hoping to make some sets of things, rather than just hats this time, because the lady at the Soup Bus said, when I asked if they donated to many women, that they gave to a women's refuge, often, and last time she gathered together a hat, scarf and mitts that 'sort of matched', and the woman was really happy to have them. So I thought I'd make some stuff that matches properly. I'm not sure I can get a hat and fingerless mitts from one 165y skein, but I might be able to make two sets from three skeins or something. We'll see.

I got some Wollmeise in a destash. These are destined for weaving, I think.

And that's the new yarn stash. I did also finish the socks.

These are for Jasmine, who hasn't worn hers yet, because, would you believe, she didn't want to wear them until they were washed and blocked "like you usually do"...

And these are Zac's, who, being completely opposite to Jas, wouldn't give them back after trying them on for "heel placement". So they don't have heels (which he seems to love) and I had to steal them from his room after 4 days to wash them! Hehe.

Also finished this cowl called Armonika, with 2 skeins of MT vintage in "Roasted Hatch Chiles". I could knit with that colorway for a year! It's a simple 4-row repeat, and it folds inward, accordian-like, which makes it sit in a thick, warm layer. Especially if you double it, like this

I've been wearing this one a lot :)

Also made three cranked hats for the Soup Bus with BWM rustic 12ply. Not the softest yarn, but it goes through the Addi very well. They seem to take about 2 hours each :)

And I finished spinning this 200g of 3ply fingering weight yarn from the Polwarth Fleece I got at Bendi, just in time for the 75% NEWT deadline.

I'm knitting it now, after dyeing one skein light green and one dark blue, into the 3-color Cashmere Cowl. It's very simple and time consuming! I'm still a slow knitter! A plain 160st round takes me about 7 minutes, so you can work out how long this 270-row thing will take, and then double it for Distractions. :)

We'll get there. It's very soft!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Spin Spin Spin

In spite of the fact that I forgot to register for Spinzilla, I have still been spinning my fingers off, so much so that the brake tension (which is fishing line) wore so thin that last night it snapped! My main spin, since I was last here a month ago, was an attempt to get maximum yardage for the one Quidditch game where yardage counted, so I spun up this laceweight mix of "Get Happy" and "Silver Mine".

It muted the bright pink and orange nicely, although I can't think what I'm going to do with 1174y/180g of laceweight. Probably Nply it into a useful 6ply ;)

This one is Bond/Suri/Silk called High Hopes. Nice stuff to spin, with the bit of alpaca. Soft and fluffy.


and some more Bond/Suri in "Inca Gold", which I got for free as a random SCF prize.


I also pulled out the dye pots and dyed up some Stroll Sport sock yarn for the kids, which seems to be the perfect weight to make 54-stitch socks on my CSM.

Byron's "black please" socks, which he agreed to let me add a teeny bit of "maybe light green" to.

Jasmine's Fwooper socks (magical animals being the current Slytherin dormitory theme, due to the impending release of the  "Fantastic Beasts" movie, and Fwoopers being my dorm.)

And Zac's bright green socks

Yesterday I cranked both Jasmine and Zac's yarn into tubes (80 minutes, including set up and putting away of CSM)

and today I'm knitting Jasmine's toes.

There's more. More knitting and weaving and spinning, not to mention purchases! Next time... ;)

Friday, September 23, 2016


I'm almost at the start of a three-week holiday from work; just one solitary night shift to do tomorrow night, and then a long stretch of knitting hours ahead! I did plan my holidays so they would overlap with the school holidays a bit, so next week won't be all knitting hours, but the two weeks after that should be very quiet, and hopefully productive.

This last few weeks saw the end of the boring brown ribbed socks. Thankfully, he likes wearing them and says they fit well, so maybe I'll make him another pair some day.

This meant the first 50% of my NEWT was finished, at least, what I had said I would do for 50%. The 50% mark had been "accepted", initially; when I happened to mention that I probably underestimated it, though, they suddenly they changed their minds (2 weeks before the deadline!) and I had to change my 50% goal. Luckily, I had been working on other things already, so I suggested what I'd pretty much already completed, and the new 50% mark was accepted, and now I just have to retake photos and things :S

Also finished this nice long scarf, made of sock yarn and handspun. The sock yarn was carefully warped so that the colors lined up, but in the end the handspun weft, being thicker, made it hard to notice, except on the fringe. I like to think that the colors are a bit cleaner, as there are only two colors in any one weft-row. Anyway, it's long and soft and bright. And well over 3m long :)

And now, I'm working on another spin (the Inca Gold color), another weaving project (greens and blues) and my handspun top, which I'm about 250g into. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2016


I didn't find much fleece to buy at Bendigo this year, but I did get about 400g of Polwarth and 600g of Corriedale to play with. For my NEWT I'm doing 5 projects (for different places or people) and this is the one for Spinners End.

Raw, washed, carded, spun

Spinners End is the dull, grey, run-down old street where Severus Snape grew up. He had a pretty grey sort of life there, too, until one Lily Evans brightened things up. For the project I'm washing and carding all the fleece, and the Polwarth will be spun, dyed and knit into something a bit warmer than a cold old street.

Carded wool, twisted into 40g rolls

So far I've washed and carded all the Polwarth, and the 400g of raw fleece ended up as 300g of batts. Then I spun up 75g into a fingering weight 3ply. I'm going to spin three skeins of about 70-80g, so I can dye them into three colors for the "3-color cashmere cowl"

Trying to spin thinly
Lovely soft stuff, this! It's got a decent yardage that would be 400y/100g (if I'd spun more).

I've also knit about 200g of my "Hogwarts" vest (which is Rosa's sleeveless cardi) and spun up a class. Tonight and tomorrow I'm going to try and finish a scarf for another class... and then I'd better get onto finishing Nathan's socks, which are the only thing left to do for my 50%  points.

Slytherin have come last again this last term. Bit sick of being last! But I did get a personal best with my points, which was, if I added right, 1634. Don't think I'll be trying to beat that for a while! Only 4 people (out of about 170 Slytherins) got more than 1000, which is a bit sad, really; hopefully we'll do better this term. I mean, my decent score didn't make much of a dent, but if everyone had gotten 80 or 90 points extra, it would have been enough to win. It's a team thing.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Little H

I have this 9yo who is quite clever, but has not really enjoyed school so far. In prep he had a teacher who seemed to never smile. In grade one, his teacher taught him to love books and to focus better, but Byron was always worried about getting growled at. In grade 2 he had two teachers, and he felt that one of them picked on him.

Teachers have the hardest job! I'm a nurse who frequently watches people die of cancer, and I know I couldn't be a teacher. All of Byron's teachers have had different good and positive influences on him and his busy brain, whether he thinks so or not, but I've never appreciated one of them as much as I have this year.

Miss H is his favorite teacher; he's told me so quite a lot. She makes school fun. He wants to go to school so much that he has hidden the fact he feels sick so we wouldn't keep him home. Sometimes, instead of schoolwork, "we play games!" he said to me once, quietly, as if he was worried about getting her into trouble. (Turned out to be maths games... lol.)

So when Miss H was leaving to have her baby, Byron wanted to give her a present. I wasn't sure when this maternity leave was starting; turned out to be Friday the 12th. I thought I'd make her a toy elephant, getting Byron to dye the wool for its jumper as a contribution, and Byron wanted me to make matching hats for Miss H and little H.

Of course, I coudn't knit for no Points in the HP game, so I organised a NEWT to include two hats, an elephant, and all the fleece I wanted to wash up.

The jumper was supposed to be "rainbow", which is apparently what she said when B asked her what her favorite color was. But we made the red and the blue too dark, so the green, orange and purple got a bit obliterated. Elijah is still a cute little thing, though. The ears!

And this pattern is a worsted weight version of the hat Hermione wears in the last HP movie. It's just nice simple cables and eyelets.

And so Byron has been to his first baby shower :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


This last NEWT was a focus on Astronomy (in the HP game) with a bit of Arithmancy. For Arithmancy, I had to make at least 10 things, so I made 10 hats for the ten biggest moons. Then, for the other Astronomy part, I spun up a kilo of N4ply, most of which I'll use for a top in the next NEWT :)

All that N4ply, except for the reddish one (which I don't like much) is going towards a nice flowy Rosa for next term's NEWT. It's about DK-worsted weight, and I've already started knitting it. Loving  the colors.


Bit disappointed in Bendigo this year. It seemed to me that more and more people were selling knitted things, and there were lots of shops that were just part of the usual market, I think, nothing to do with wool crafts at all. Of the fibre, it seemed to be all merino, which is kind of dull, or alpaca. So I spent almost all my money at Moseley Park, who at least had some nice colors and interesting mixes, like Rose and Bamboo. Also got two lots of fleece (and I could hardly find any; also disappointing!)

I was so disappointed, in fact, that I don't think I'll go back next year.

Finished some socks for Zachary

And spun just under 5000m for the Tour de Fleece.

And now I'm working on NEWT 10! It's a History of Magic one, where I make things to represent people/ places/ events in the Harry Potter world. The second subject is Potions, so I can wash and card the fleece I bought (only way to get points for fleece prep). I've already done the two small projects, actually, because there was a deadline, but I'll tell you that story next time ;)


Friday, July 22, 2016

Catchup :)

It's been just about a month since I updated my knitting blog, so I've got lots of little finished things. Next 'term' of the HP game (which starts August for NEWT students) I'm going to take things a bit slower. I tend to try and make everything to get as many points as possible, but I often find that I can't "fit" the thing I wanted to make into any classes. So I'm going to make a bit less, and forget points and deadlines a bit more.

As for what I've finished in the last month:


These socks are done! First handspun, cranked socks.

Jasmine's 8th birthday socks. I think the dyeing here is a bit crazy, but she likes them.

I'm making some for Zac, now, and then Nathan wants some.

I finished a Wurm, with handspun between the purl sections. Wearing this one a lot.

This one is a fingering-weight cowl, made as a "MKAL". In a Mystery Knit A-Long, you only get part of the pattern at a time. I like it well enough, but for all that the patterns took a lot of effort, it does tend to just bunch up around my collar bone!

And then there's this :)

Hard to get a good photo of the whole thing, but this is my "HitchHiker" scarf, with 42 points. All the stripes seemed to stay the same width, as planned in the spinning stage, and I had a mere 8 yards of yarn left at the end! I don't quite know how to wrap it around, but it's garter stitch, and very warm and squishy :)


I've finished all my NEWT spinning, but I don't have a picture of it all together, yet. I'm still working on the last hat, so I'll do that next time.

As for other spinning, I've been playing Tour de Fleece again. I tried some of Kelly's banana fibre last month

and some Hemp this month

Both were kind of horrible to spin, but good to have a go of, just for something different. Both, but especially the banana, had tiny fibres flying up in the air like dust motes; felt like I was breathing them in and getting them in my mouth and nose. The banana fibre is soft and smooth when finished, like the Yak. The hemp is like spinning straw, but did soften a very little bit with a wash.

Like trying something new!

Then I went back to something old

South African Superfine in a colorway called "Elk Lake". I've also spun a coordinating color for it, which is a pale silver-grey semi-solid color, but it's still drying, so I don't have a picture.

Now I'm spinning some purple. I'm doing a 2ply mix of some purples, however much I can finish off before the TdF finishes. Luckily, I've had lots of time. I've been sick with a cold and fever, not enough to stop me spinning (most days) but enough to add a week to my week of annual leave.


I'd like to do another NEWT, but I'm struggling to decide what. I got some fleece in Bendigo, and Nathan wants some socks, and I want to make Elijah for Byron's teacher (and he wants hats for her) and am feeling the need for more Jaywalkers... Not sure if I can fit those into a NEWT subject. I'll have to think about it a bit more.

 More about the last NEWT and the trip to Bendigo next time...


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