Monday, September 28, 2009

Loose Ends

I wanted to get one post in before we go away and take a short holiday to Point Turton next week, because I know how long and picture heavy my "after holiday" posts can be, and this next one may be particularly long given I plan to do not much of anything but knit. Chris is on school holidays (yes, AGAIN) and wanted to go away somewhere, as he usually does. I wanted to go out on the Fancy Free, our Murray River cruiser, for a couple of days, but it was having some mechanical problems at the time, and we weren't sure if it would be fixed in time for school holidays. It since has been repaired and is now running fine, but it was too late. We had already reserved our cabin at the Point Turton Caravan Park on the beautiful Yorke Peninsula here in South Australia.

Now don't get me wrong, I love going to the Yorke Peninsula. My idea of going out on the boat at the time was to save money, as I'm diligently trying to save now for a big holiday to visit my family in the states. I also favored the boat trip because we are essentially trapped on the boat. Chris and I have very different ideas about what is relaxing. I like going to "the place", staying at "the place", knitting at "the place" until we leave "the place". Chris likes to go to "the place", unload our gear at "the place" and then drive around for hours to see (briefly) every other place in the nearby surrounding area, returning to "the place" to sleep. On the boat, he is able to sit still, but I've never found anywhere else where he can do that. I've made it clear to him this time, however, that I'm going to "the place" and staying at "the place". He can go exploring if he wishes, with my heartfelt blessing. I'm staying put.

We are leaving out next Wednesday, and will be spending 3 nights there in a cabin overlooking the Southern Ocean. We'll be returning home on Saturday. Because of how my regular days off fall, I managed to get a week off work by only using 3 annual leave days. So I'll be coming home Tuesday morning from my Monday night shift, and not returning to work until the following Tuesday night. That leaves me many many possibilities for knitting and even a bit of spinning, and I'll be disappointed with myself if I'm not very productive that week.

I'm still working away, churning out Christmas knitting, but I have managed to squeeze a bit of spinning in here and there. First on my list of "to do" spinning, was to finish the long anticipated (by me anyway) 3 ply of wool and tussah silk done in the Timber colourway by dyer extraoridinaire Kathy of Kathy's Fibres. It turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself.

This is it right after it came off of the niddy-noddy:

It made 3 skeins, sort of. The final skein is rather small, but I just couldn't quite fit it all on two bobbins, so I got a yarn family: two adults and a baby skein.

Here is a close up, or at least, the closest close up I could get with my camera without blurring the photo:

Shortly after I finished plying, I decided that the very best thing I could do is to quickly start up another spinning project on each wheel, as I'm far more likely to actually work on something if it's already started.

So on the Ashford, I put another of Kathy's Fibres colourways, the Red Flowering Gum which I have done before. After finishing this one, that will give me roughly 300 grams of the stuff, enough to make a shawl or a childs jumper:

On the Majacraft, I put on the lastest installment from David at the Southern Cross Fibre Club. He calls it "Sprout". It's 80% Polworth and 20% tussah silk, and it's so soft it can make you cry tears of joy. I showed the fibre in the last post I think, but here's the very beginning of a bobbin:

Moving on to knitting, I will quickly mention that I have one project going that I'm not going to put on here, as it's a gift for my mom, and she reads this blog. So, I've been knitting on a "mystery project", and it's a big one, so if it starts looking like I'm being less than productive, please remember that I have a project running quietly in the background.

I'm currently (as in most of this morning) stitching away on the seams of Ayla's cardigan, which is looking fantastic and I have no doubts now that it will turn out well.

I'm also working on version 3 or the horse socks, and have just today started with the first couple of rows of the colour pattern. In version 1, I finished a whole sock, and while it fits, it JUST fits, and I just don't like giving socks that tight as a gift, since it's such a struggle to actually put them on your feet. Version 2 I tried using fatter yarn, an 8 ply, mentioned in the last post. I finished the heel on it, tried it on, and while it will make a nice houseshoe, it's far too loose and thick to function as a sock.

So now, on to version 3, where I used the same yarn as I used in version 1, Bendigo Woolen Mills 5ply Classic, a superwash wool so the poor recipient doesn't have to handwash. I've managed to get the cuff done in this shot:

but since taking the photo, I have knit about halfway thru Chart A.

I also cast on a lace project, a "Scalloped" table runner for my neice. The pattern is a free download on Ravelry. It's coming along rather nicely, and is easy enough and small enough to do at work. The 20 row pattern repeats daunted me at first, but there's a pattern within the pattern that makes sense, and it only took me a couple of pattern repeats to be able to read the knitting rather than have to follow the pattern line by line.

I'm using the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece I had left over from my Blooming Bloomers (aka's Unmentionables) project, and it seems perfect for the pattern. Heavy enough to serve the purpose to which the project is intended, but not stiff at all. I'm well pleased with it so far.

The only project I've managed to finish in the past few days is the "Keeper Scarf". This is the scarf I mentioned in the last post that I'm making for my son's girlfriend. I used the free Leisel pattern I found on Ravelry and Naturally Sensations Merino and Angora wool.

At present, I have several finished Christmas presents waiting to be blocked, but I've decided to just have one big blocking day, wash it all together and then block it all at once, at least all the little things. The cardigan, once I get it sewn up, will probably need to be done separately just due to the size. I only have a limited amount of space to lay things out, at any rate.

So at present, I'm just going to keep working on those projects I've already started. I'm hoping to have Ayla's Cardigan stitched up, and the Scalloped Table runner finished before our holiday. If the cardigan isn't finished, it will have to wait until we get back, as it's just too big to carry along just for stitching. The table runner can go along though if need be. So far, my planned holiday knitting is the "mystery project", the Horse socks, and the soon to be cast on Skull Isle Hat from the Son of Stitch n Bitch book, which I'm making for my youngest son Finis. That will give me two fair isle projects, and one mystery (but not fair isle, I'll give away that much) project to knit on. But the mystery project is pretty big, so I might just search out another smaller but easy pattern for those moments on the road when big or complicated just won't do. I just have no idea what.

This will also be Matilda's first real vacation,(Matilda being my Majacraft Little Gem, for those who don't remember)so I will be able to sit on the veranda, look out over the ocean, and spin to my hearts content. Sounds devine, doesn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said... you really have my adrenal gland pumping 'ninty-to-nothing'. You could have at least given a bit more of a hint on my Xmas Gift!! Just not fair! lol Now that you are back from your lovely vacation, I am anxiously awaiting those photos you promised.
Hope y'all had a good time, and that you made lots of knitting gift progress. Love, MOM