Thursday, February 26, 2009

What to do? What to do?

Gosh, it seems I have so MUCH I want to do these days, and time is always my enemy. I feel like I flit from task to task and never seem to get anything actually finished, but I know my day will come, and eventually, I'll be able to click "completed" in the box and move on to another project.

First for the good news, about Kaitlyn's jumper, finished a few weeks ago. Some lovely Raveler nominated the jumper in the "handspun/handdyed" competition on OTF, and the jumper actually won! I was very proud of that, as my life has not been one big winning streak, lol. Plus, I get a lovely gift from Woolywombat as my prize. I can't wait to see what she has in store for me!

The other good news about the jumper is that my son, Kaitlyn's father, made a picture of Kaitlyn in the kalidoscope jumper, at my request, because I wanted to share my beautiful granddaughter with you all:

I have been spending alot of my knitting time working on the Kauni shawl. I'm a bit behind the others on the Ravelry KAL, but I don't really mind. I was finding it a bit frustrating trying to do lace on the rather dull tipped Denise needles, and so finally ordered me a pair of Addi Lace needles, which are very nice and have sped up the process. But I did put the project down over the last weekend, partly because I wanted to wait for the other needles, and partly because I just wanted a bit of a change knitting wise. Anyway, I picked it back up day before yesterday. I'm at the end of chart 2, and moving on to chart 3 sometime today (I hope). So far, the results look like this:

While waiting on the lace needles for the shawl, I managed to get some more done on the Bustaroony cardi. The back is now finished, and I finished the bottom tree section of the left front and have knit on the pocket, but that's about as far as I've gotten. Still, it's looking great, and I have the feeling it's going to be just perfect when finished. I'm really enjoying the patterns these days. I'm getting used to them I guess, and am now finding them rather enjoyable.

I've also decided to make another cardi just like it for my girl, who is a small size. She picked out the colours off of the Cleckheaton website, and I ordered them a while back. The shipment came in at my LYS this week, so I went to pick it up.

20 balls of Cleckheaton in a darker brown with tan flecks. Very pretty, but I'm sure the pattern stitches won't show up as well on the dark fabric as they do on the tan yarn I've gotten for my project. Still, it's the colour she thinks will suit her best, and I aim to please.

On the spinning side of things, I had a wonderful day yesterday when a mate I met on Ravelry came over. She brought her guilds drum carder, and I actually got to use one, following her instructions. We chatted, and she expressed an interest in sock knitting, so I showed her a few websites and tidbits on magic loop and two socks on one needle and some other "tricks of the trade". We showed each other our interesting yarns, rovings, gadgets and such. Then we sat in the living room for a while and chatted and spun.

I had started spinning the merino I got from Jane at Moseley Park ages ago a few days before. It's the roving that I dyed back in the spring to try and match the colours on my apple tree when it was just blossoming. I'm spinning the green shaded roving right now, and that's what I worked on as we talked.

I'm not quite finished with the bobbin of green, but here it is on the bobbin, still in progress:

My plans for the immediate future is to finish the shawl first and foremost, and then work more on the "Bustaroony cardi", and my poor neglected "croc socks". I'm not starting any more major projects until I get those finished, or at least, close to the finishing stages. Both have been WIP's for far too long. I would also like to pull the "Peace in the Hood" jumper out of hibernation soon, and there could be a small project somewhere in the mix. We'll just have to see how things go. That's the thing about knitting and spinning. I never know where my fancy will lead me next.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Since our return from holidays, I've been rather productive, but as usual lately, I've been neglecting the blog. So here I am to remedy that.

After returning home, I couldn't wait to get back to a bit of spinning. I got out the 120g EL/mohair blend that I bought from Jane in Tumby Bay and spun up a couple of bobbins full. In the pic below is one of those bobbins:

The colors are just gorgeous. I basically split the roving down the middle, and then just drafted as I went along, letting the colours change when I got to them. I always let my bobbin's "rest" a bit before I ply them, and this time I'm glad I did. But more on that in a minute.

About a week and a half after getting back, Rosie from Whyalla was coming into town. The Tour Down Under (for mom's benefit, that's a bicycle race) was going on, and her husband is a big fan. We arranged on Rav to meet at Bella's shop, The Walking Wheel Studios. We had a lovely chat with Bella, and a cup of coffee and biscuits as well, and it was so nice to see her again, even though it hadn't been all that long since I was in Whyalla.

I had in mind I wanted ot buy some wool combs that I had seen in Bella's shop before, but while there, I also saw a Jumbo bobbin. Some Rav friends had been recommending that I get one. So I dicussed it with Rosie, pondered the money situation, considered getting one but not the other, and finally, got them both, plus a kilo of that Corridale roving I love so much.

I have yet to use the combs, but the bobbin has been installed on my wheel, and I used it to ply up the EL/mohair blend, which I have named "Avolyn".

It really is great to get the decent sized skein, and will mean less joins when knitting, which means less ends to be woven in! Bonus!

Also, there in the first week or so after getting home, I dyed and spun up a bit more wool to finish Kaitlyn's jumper. Finishing the knitting was relatively easy, as I had the hand of the entrelac thing by then. I'm really happy with the results!

The front:

and the back:

As for the two projects I started on vacation, I've been working on them on and off. Picking them up, putting them down, and rather just grabbing the one that takes my fancy at the time. My first priority was to finish Kaitlyn's jumper, as I wanted that to reach her by Christmas.

I have gotten the back section of the Bustaroony Cardi done!

I'm very proud, not one mistake that I can see through all those intricate stitches, but to get that result, I've had to work slowly and carefully. Still, from the looks of it now, it's fullfilling every expectation I had for it when I first saw the pattern, and I'm more than convinced it will be a beautiful garment when finished. As mentioned before, I'm making it in size 12/14, so hopefully I can complete it by summer, and fit into it by then as well.

So far, I'm well on my way in regards to the weight loss, fitting into 16's easily and some 14 pants. Like the cardi, the weight loss is going slowly but steadily, and I'm very happy with both

The "croc socks" haven't seen nearly as much attention as the cardi, although I did manage to get the heels turned. I don't plan on making them very long, and I'm just knitting on them from time to time when I get bored with my other knitting, or need something smallish and easily transportable.

I've also made a oouple of hats lately for a charity cause. There's a lady in QLD who has a severely disabled daught (named, interesting enough, Ayla. Of course, that right there pulls my heartstrings. I'll get links up later regarding the projects, but what it amounts to is the "Over the Fence" group on Ravelry is having a baby hat knit along. I've mananged, in between all the other stuff, to knit up two cute little hats to send there.

I plan on getting more done in the near future. They are good "instant gratification" knitting, and it's for a good cause.

I've also started knitting a shawl. A Rav friend suggested it, as she is doing a KAL on Rav using the Revontuli (Northern Lights) pattern and Kauni Yarn. First, I had to find the yarn, as it's a rather rare brand here in Australia, but I did remember one online shop owner saying that she was now carrying it on Ravelry. So I tried to go to the Jolly Jumbuck website, but it was temporarily down. So I PM'd the owner direct on Ravelry. She wasn't feeling well, and it took a few days, but finally I was able to get my hands on some Kauni. The 300g cone was the only one with enough yarn for this project, and supplies were limited, but I do love the colours.

Some of the Kauni colourways are very bright, but this one was muted and more to my taste.

I've only gotten started on the shawl, and it's been a long time since I've knit "real" lace, but I've gotten started at least.

And that, one and all, is where I am with my knitting right now. There's not much about "life" in this blog post, because besides knitting, working and playing on the computer, there's not much to tell.

Well, till next time.