Wednesday, March 28, 2012

OWL number 3

In the Harry Potter Books, an OWL is an exam, also known as Ordinary Wizarding Levels. For the knitting game I'm playing, you don't have to be in fifth year, but you have to choose a subject and follow the prompts (listed here), write a proposal and wait for it to be accepted by the (volunteer) OWL examiners :)

It has to be a challenge, and it's supposed to take a good 8 weeks, so when I chose Transfiguration Option 3, I decided just spinning up a small garment's worth of yarn wouldn't take me long enough. Sure enough, I was finished by the end of January, I think. I didn't do much of this in February (none... hehe) so I had to get to work this month. Luckily I finished it with a few days to spare.

Remember this roll of merino?

It got dyed with a mix of my new Ashford dyes,

spun up into 600m of three-ply

And knitted up into the Back to School U-neck Vest. I made some alterations here.

Also added in some sneaky hip increases here :)

And it fits. It would look better a little longer, but I had 3g of yarn left at the end.

Since then, I've had a break from rib-rib-rib-rib-ribbing and done some more spinning. This is Kathy's Fibre in Strelitzia.

Also won a prize for my Potions homework in Feb, and Kreachr (on Rav) sent me this across the Tasman... 126g of New Zealand merino in a color called Johnathon. Very appley :)

I finished knitting Ginevra's Pullover, washed it and pinned it flat to dry. While that was drying I wove the collar insert.

But I haven't been able to make it work to my satisfaction. In fact, fixing this is going to be an April project (as there is no Harry Potter game on in April; it's a holiday month.)

Plans for April
Finish 99% of my Vivian
Finish Les Miserables
Fix Ginevra's pullover
Plan the next OWL.

Plans for this week.
Finish the tube socks.

Kissy Update: he's been weaned and kicked out of the enclosed yard. He's been wandering around with his "cousins" ever since, but he'll still race over for a pat if you go outside :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A few more extra bits

Three little hats made from BWM Luxury 10ply. A strand of Koala and a strand of Stone held together and knit up on 6mm needles. Made my hands ache, but relatively quick little hats. Also dyed two more skeins of sock yarn. It's not really as bright as this photo pretends it is.

This is a long strip of garter stitch twisted and stitched into a little pouch. I wanted something to practice putting a zip into, and was pretty pleased with my efforts. I also got 15 points by putting it into the current Quidditch Challenge, which is "What would your future self travel back in time to give you, in order to help defeat the invading Alien Snarfalump Army?" I thought a mouse cosy was the best choice for obvious reasons.

Muggle Studies. Spun up some green for St Patrick's Day.

Twisty Tube Socks

I'm going to write up this simple sock pattern, just for the fun of linking all my socks to my pattern on Ravelry :) I'm planning to make a bunch of these for Socks for Pakistan.


I used two strands of wool/nylon sock yarn (hand-dyed) held together, and two 3.5mm circular needles. But this pattern would be pretty adjustable. Just remember that a tight gauge makes fabric that lasts longer.

Cast on

Cast on 8 with a disappearing circular caston. Slide to other end and knit one row, as if doing icord, to join in the round (as in the video).

KF&B x8 (16) (This is where I change to two circulars)
K one round

Toe increases

(KF&B, K3) x4 (20)
K one round

(KF&B, K4) x4 (24)
K one round

Continue in this pattern until there are 48st (or a multiple of six that you like). Place a marker for the start of the round.

Foot and Leg
a. K3, P3 for 5 rounds.
b. Remove marker, P1, replace marker for the new start-of-the-round.

Repeat a and b until the sock is finished. Use a stretchy castoff like Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Cast Off.

(Another way to do it is keep the same start-of-round, and after the five rounds, move the rib. I just repeat the last stitch of the round before, and then carry on the 3x3, moving each rib one to the left for that round.)

See how they fit my 10-inch foot and my 3yo's little feet?

Too easy :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mid March

Finished this month is a pink cowl for Abby (eldest niece). Yep, it's the Ginny yarn (aka Madelinetosh Vintage in Corsage). Only took about 100g, and I still think I have enough for my Ginny and Jasmine's birthday jumper. But Jasmine's jumper may be mostly purple now... Think I'm the first person to make this pattern on Ravelry. It's the April Showers Cowl, and the pattern is nice to knit (not hard, not boring) and has stretch. And it has a smidgeon of lace, but the ribbing holds it up with a bit of structure.

Charms: knit something for Fleur.
This was a skein of laceweight silk from Bendigo last year. I was making it for Muggle Studies (which has a very easy prompt of "Something Green for St Patrick's Day" this month) but changed my mind. I used a bit less than half for the warp, and then ran out of warp, so I have about a third of the yarn left. Now I have to unwrap it from the shuttle stick :S (only 400m. Sigh.) I tried out this new technique called Brooks Bouquet, which was quite easy. Makes the scarf feel a bit fragile, though, like you're going to catch threads on everything, and you don't really see it very easily unless it's spread out on a white blanket like this. Oh well. Next time I might try some leno lace. This scarf is 160cm and 64g :)

History of Magic: Make something for a muggle from history that you suspect was secretly
magical. Explain. Here's my explanation...

Yarn acquisitions: I obtained some more of the white sock yarn from Ocean yarns, same as the stuff I dyed for Quidditch two posts ago. Also bought some of the merino/silk that they sent me a tiny sample of (good marketing technique; always give your customers extra free yarn. hehe) and I dyed two skeins of it yesterday. It was windy and warm, so dyeing and drying it only took about one hour. But wind and fingering weight yarn don't mix (or rather, they do) and so it took me three hours to untangle them into knitable yarn cakes. Sigh.Still, pretty semi-solid silver silk. At the moment, I'm thinking of a future This. Not just because it's called Elizabeth, either.

Care of Magical Creatures. Studied flying horses. The Granian winged horse is grey.
More yarn acquisitions: Malabrigo Rios. It is The Soft. That is all.

Apparently Malabrigo also employ women from cooperatives in Uruguay (ie. fair wages for people in poverty) like Manos del Uruguay.

Also got some Madelinetosh Vintage in a purple called Briar, because Jasmine is liking purple right now, and I'm encouraging any non-pink tendencies. It will probably end up being a purple, pink and white birthday jumper, but Byron's birthday comes first. I'm thinking of a ZigVest for him. Can't go wrong with a Georgie Hallam design, really. In black, of course. (or maybe Charcoal, but ssssshh; don't tell the boy.) I may add sleeves. Haven't decided.

And now, I'll leave you with a picture of my baby niece, Elizabeth, who scored a bunch of my knitting last year. She's now about 8 or 9 weeks old, and looks like this:

Looks good in green, hey? And any other color. (Knitted stuff is Bloom, Poppy, Dolly Bloom and Christine's Stay-on Baby Booties. She also got Elijah.)

I haven't met her in person yet! :(
But she's hopefully visiting Victoria for Easter :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bye Bye Summer

I spun these two Kathy's Fibres merinos up. Got the top one (Timber) in Bendigo, and the bottom one (Forrest) online. Then I plied them both together.

Don't know if I like it plied together. I've seen lots of multicolored 2ply yarns that look great, but I can't seem to figure it out. Maybe they need to be more twisted... Anyway, this was for Defence Against the Dark Arts. Centaurs. Duality. Etc.

Herbology. The pattern is Flora, and I did it in the suggested yarn (for once) which is Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend. At first I didn't know if there was enough contrast, but I like how it turned out. Except it's a bit big! I have been overestimating the size of my head lately! (Or my brain is shrivelling...)

These teeny hats are for Quidditch. They fit my kids (age 2-4) and are for Christmas boxes later in the year (The charity is Operation Christmas Child.) Three of these to go. I was knitting the third one today, and two kids asked me to knit them a hat. One was Byron's oldest friend (ie from birth) Zara, who already has one of my hats and a proper respect for knitting :). The other one was a 5yo in Macka's that I'd never met, but he was much more interested in my hat than his lunch. (I bet your Auntie will make you one, William, since she made your jumper, kid.)

Here's the progress on Ginny. I stopped short on the sleeve because I'd heard rumors of MadelineTosh Vintage and it's ability to grow when you "Just Add Water". So I soaked the sleeve and laid it on a towel. It grew about 4cm. So I think I'll knit 5cm more. Then I have another sleeve and a bit of weaving to do.

And I won the pattern for these! lol! We have prizes at Hogwarts. Not sure I'll ever get to these, but I love looking at them. Those soles are awesome :D

Today, I'm feeling achy and cold. I decided to test the theory that buying yarn keeps away the flu, and so I stumbled around the Jimmy Beans website until I found some Malabrigo and Madelinetosh that said to me "Make me into a jumper for Jasmine and something for the new baby, too!" (I'm getting a new niece or nephew in August.) So I said, "No worries... but what if the baby is a niece and doesn't like blue and green?" and the Malabrigo said, "Buy me Buy me".

I'm sure I'll buy some pinker stuff next month. Just in case. You know.
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