Saturday, April 30, 2011

This blog has been hijacked

When I was little, May used to be "Missionary Month", where we talked about missionaries in church. As a small taste of how others lived in the world, Mum and Dad often used to turn the electricity off for a week during this month. It's a lesson that stuck with me always, though it was just one small sacrifice.

This month I'm devoting the 31 days of May to Live Below the Line. I am only allowed to spend $2 (Australian) on food per day. It's a fundraiser for charity, of course, though I'm not asking for money here (though I encourage you to search through the donors and support someone who's doing the challenge with no sponsors yet... it's fun!) but it's one of those eye-opening experiences that you have to do to understand.

$2Aus-a-day buys the same amount of food as the official "poverty line" under which 1.4billion people live every day of their lives. That's a fifth of the world. And their "$2" also pays for health, housing, water, clothes and everything else a body needs.

Also, I'm going to do a Fair Trade change this month, and only use Manos del Uruguay yarn. It's Fairtrade fortnight soon. All my (many) WIPs are put away for May, and the Serena and Silk Blend is coming out! I was going to have a yarn limit, but I decided I want more colors. LOL!

Now I gotta go cook 100g of rice and mix up some 'sauce' for lunch tomorrow. I'm working for the first time in about 2 years! (bites nails)

Ready set...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Deserves its own post

My sister left for England just before my birthday. She left me a helpful little device to keep track of rows during cabling, and promised to send me some very English wool.

It arrived yesterday. Not only is it very English, but it's also called Robin Hood! lol!

And it's perfectly Sport Weight. And a fantastic color which I love so much I rolled it straight up into a ball. But couldn't think of anything to cast on immediately, so it's just sitting on the bench being admired.

I think this will work great for colorwork mittens. In June.

P.S. I'm a Slytherin. It was my first preferenssse. Mwah haha!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I can do entrelac

This is my first attempt at entrelac. It's going to be my first pair of mittens for my first OWL, so I thought "Opal: Harry Potter" sock yarn in "Hedwig" was funny. I'm actually loving the colors, though they're mainly dull green/grays. (Plus I love the way they coordinate with the knitting bag I bought from Kelly.)

We have to do a swatch for each pattern in our OWL, but we are allowed to do the first inch or two of a sock or mitten AS the swatch. Unfortunately, at this point, I decided to Rippit Rippit. It got frogged, because it's huge. I can fit two arms in there.

Found this in my letterbox. I did pay for it, mostly! I ordered some of Sue's nice sock yarn, and paid, but she was out of the color I ordered. Her webpage wasn't subtracting her sales, apparently. She gave me a choice between the only two left. She was going to start dyeing again soon with larger skeins, she said, but the one I ordered was 100g. So I was surprised to get this, with a 120g label and a price sticker for a bit more than I paid. Plus, when I threw it on my kitchen scales (because it just felt heavy!) it was actually 130g! This is Two Tees in "The Blues".

And I may have bought some more on Ravelry... some white Madeline Tosh sport for mittens. That makes it school supplies, which is not only acceptable but, erm, required. hehe.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


So I finally forced myself to finish the Nutkins for the S62011 sock club. The pattern was easy, and I did a toe up version with a heel flap and ribbing. But after doing the first sock and not thinking too much of it, it was hard to overcome the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome!

I didn't like the way the yarn variegation had overpowered the pattern. I hated how the left increase and decrease on every row makes them twist around on your leg. I didn't like the lack of stretch that makes it hard to pull over your heel, even when you've increased the leg size to compensate a bit.

But they do fit (once you get them on) and they're warm and comfy. And since I threw them back in the pot with a speck of black food dye and immitation chocolate to even out the color, I'm liking them a bit more.

Even dodgy handknitted socks are superior to cheap cotton store-bought socks :D

The next pattern is Leyburn, and while I love it I'm taking a break from socks. I'm doing Manos in May ;) and working on assignments for the Hogwarts group (that still makes me laugh at my own fan-silliness, but I'm looking forward to it). I'll use my Manos to make one class assignment, and I'm also going to try and do an OWL. I don't get the class assignments until next month, but here's what I'm doing for my Arithmancy OWL, if my OWL proposal is accepted:

"Arithmancy OWL, Option 2: Create multiples (at least 8) of the same object. You may vary the size, colors, and pattern of the objects, but you must make the same kind of object. Please note that one sock is considered one object for this O.W.L. only."

I'm making 4 pairs of mittens including colorwork, entrelac, and gloves based on Leyburns. lol. I have about 2 months to do it, from when it's approved (hopefully in May) until the end of July. All of them are fingering weight, so it will be a bit of work for me, except the ones I'm doing in Manos Serena (which is about sport weight by all accounts).

P.S. to Kelly; I'll make you the Powder River mitts in Serena, though they won't be done by your birthday, in the Tide color. But if you like Green Tea better, let me know :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Byron 4

It's about 4 weeks until Byron's birthday, but I finished his Weasley Jumper early this year. He requested black this year, one of his favorite colors, but I don't like knitting in black much. Since green is my favorite color and I am doing all the work, we compromised with this very dark green.
Byron calls it "black" but I call it "Dream in Color Classy: Still Spruce".

It's pretty simple, a top-down seamless jumper with a slip-stitch pattern. A boy jumper!

Do you think I could persuade him to let me take pictures? I had to bribe him with Twisties... but when the pictures were done, he wouldn't take it off! Here he is, running off into the back yard with his little brother (who is wearing Byron 2) :)

Pattern: Byron 4

Size: 4 year old

Needle: 5mm

Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Still Spruce (worsted weight) 2 skeins.


Main pattern

row 1: K3, (slip 1 purlwise, knit 6) repeat to last 3, K3.

row 2. Knit (on right side) or purl (on wrong side).


Rib pattern

row 1: K1, P2, (slip 1, P2, K2, P2) repeat to last 3, P2, K1

row 2: K1, P2, (K1, P2, K2, P2) repeat to last 3, P2, K1


1. Shoulders: back

Cast on 49 stitches with a scrap piece of yarn. Change to main color and work in main pattern.

After 24 rows, increase on each edge of the right side rows.

(NOTE: as you increase, incorporate slip stitch columns where they go)

After 14 rows (63) finish after a wrong side row and cut yarn.


2. Shoulder: front right.

Hold your work up by the caston edge, right side facing you. Pick up 10 of your provisionally caston stitches on the right edge.

Knit 10 rows in main pattern.

Start adding a stitch to the neck edge (left) every right side row.

After 14 rows (17) start also increasing on arm edge side.

Do 14 more rows until you have 31 stitches. Finish on a right side row.


3. Shoulders: front left

Hold up the back, as before, with caston edge up and the right side of the back facing you.

Pick up first 10st (on left). As with the other side, do 10 rows of main pattern, 14 rows of increases on the neck edge, and 14 rows of increases on both sides. Finish on a wrong side row, at the center front. (31)


4. Body:

You should be able to fold at the caston edge and join all your live stitches in a round beginning at the center front. I added a stitch at the center front when I came around to it the first time, to make 126st (to fit the multiple-of-seven pattern). Knit in the main pattern, then rib pattern until desired length. I did 64 rows of main pattern and 16 rows of rib, ending with "Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bindoff".

If you like, you can do the collar and sleeves first and then use up the yarn on the body length :D


5. Sleeves.

Pick up 42 stitches around the sleeve hole, starting at underarm, and work 80 rows (or desired length. Finish with 10 rounds of rib pattern and stretchy bindoff.


6. Neck.

Pick up 77 stitches around the neck, including the remaining provisionally caston ones. Begin rib pattern. Make sure the front-center stitch is a slip stitch column.

Every slip-stitch round, decrease around the front-center stitch with: ssk, slip stitch, k2tog.

After 10 or 12 rounds, decrease with a super stretchy bindoff.


P.S. It's 10am, and his jumper is covered with cobwebs or something! It's been confiscated until his birthday. hehe. :D

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Must be time to read Harry Potter again. I joined the Hogwarts House Cup on Ravelry. lol. Some magic requires two wands.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Next month

Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend in "Topaz"

Manos Del Uruguay Serena in "Green Tea" and "Tide"


Next month I'm doing the "Live Below the Line" challenge again, but this time for the whole month. More on that in May, I dare say, but on the knitting side I decided to restrict myself to $3 a day, and it has to be Fair Trade certified yarn. The only Fair Trade yarn company is "Manos Del Uruguay", and I can only get it from one place in Australia: "Evoke yarn and fabric".


This measley :) little packet of (beautiful) yarn is 250g/1040m. That gives me 8g/33m of yarn each day. Also, all my spending money for the month is going towards sponsoring participants.


I have a few things to finish in April, and some projects to choose for May...

Saturday, April 2, 2011


First there was yarn (Madeline Tosh Sock in "Posy") which arrived last night. Note the teeny tiny Addi Circular: it is a 2.5mm 20cm one, and I'm itching to try and knit a sock on it! hehehe. I bought it last week, but now Nathan has given me yarn money, so it's from him... Then breakfast (note the cup, ravelers :D ) Then baileys... erm... chocolate! And some knitting on a colorful old WIP Shopping for some lunch, just me and the girl.

And for lunch, a little cake of Ginger Kisses

Now I'm off to search yarn stores. I have birthday-yarn-money leftover!
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