Dawn

This morning Sunny was awake at about 5am and wasn’t willing to go back to sleep.  After spending 40 minutes trying to encourage her to go back to sleep with no luck I decided to get up.  I’m generally not a morning person, but I really wish I was and I think (as much as I don’t do New Year Resolutions) that I will make it my goal for this year.  There is something so peaceful and beautiful about that stillness and quiet of the early morning.  Before the hustle and bustle begins, before the noise of the kids and the tv or radio.  It’s a great time for contemplation and letting my brain wake up slowly, instead of the usual “hitting the floor running” start to my day.  It’s also a great time to blog without the distractions of the kids or the other day to day stuff (except I do have Sunny Girl on my lap trying to help me type).

Last post I promised to tell you what I book I picked up on my visit to Canberra and the yarn I bought with my Christmas money.  I love Canberra, I especially love shopping in Canberra (not that I get to do that very often).  The Canberra Centre (where Mr HKWT and I visited Christmas Eve) has a T2 store, something that I don’t have locally, so that was one of my first stops.  Then on to Dymocks to pick up our nephew’s Christmas present – I think it’s hysterical that we travelled all the way from Sydney for a book :p.  Of course, being book lovers Mr HKWT and I started off by browsing through the shop before getting the book we had on hold.  I headed straight to the crafting section and I was pleasantly surprised by the range of knitting books on offer.  I was looking through one of them when Mr HKWT walked up to me and told me that he was leaving the store (Sunny Girl was not enjoying the book shop) and that I could buy the book.  As he walked away and I put the book back on the shelf I noticed another knitting book, Socktopus by Alice Yu.

I immediately picked it up as it’s a book that’s been on my wishlist for a little while.  I started flicking through and thought to myself that I didn’t need another book, that was until I noticed all the new techniques that I could learn from the book.  Seeing as Mr HKWT had already said I could buy the other book I had been looking at, I figured I was allowed to substitute Socktopus for the other one.  There are a few patterns in the book that I’m really keen to knit, the first one being V Junkie.  There’s something about those “cells” that get my sock knitting mojo back, something that seems to have disappeared after starting Cookie A’s Pomotamus.

When we opened Christmas presents after church and I was given some money from my MIL I immediately decided to put it towards a skein of sock yarn.  I spent some time looking on etsy at hand dyed yarns but couldn’t find anything that I really wanted to work with.  Then I remembered The House of Wool, a tiny little LYS that opened up in Blackheath late last year.  They’re only open Friday – Sunday and have a very limited range (which is growing) but they do specialise in Aussie hand dyed yarns.  Sunday my M.I.A and I went on a trip up the mountain and I got a skein of sock yarn from Hawthorne Cottage Yarns, a Victorian based indie dyer.

It’s a lovely variegated red with just a touch of purple (which you can’t see in this pic).  I’ve nicknamed it Sangria considering there is no name on the band, just a number.  I think it’s going to look pretty good worked up the V Junkie pattern which I’m super keen to start but I’m resisting temptation and trying to get through some of the other projects I’ve got on the needles (let’s see how long that lasts :p).

I also picked up 2 pairs of kids knitting needles at The House of Wool.  Both my girls have expressed a desire to learn to knit, so of course they need their own needles.  Finding 2 pairs of the kids size needles was a bit of a boon and I let M.I.A choose a set for her and her sister.  I’m looking forward to teaching them but at the same time I’m a little bit apprehensive as I know I’m not the most patient person in the world.  Any tips would be appreciated.

One of my favourite things about Canberra is the sunsets.  So I will say good bye for this week and leave you with a photo I took from my brother-in-law’s front verandah on Christmas Eve ♥

The Blog is brought to you today by the Letter M!

Generally I blog on Friday.  It’s my quiet day (especially at the moment with things on Monday through to Thursday) and it’s a good day to review my week and what I’ve achieved knitting wise.  Due to circumstances I can’t control (namely a pathetic internet connection) my blog from Friday never got posted – obviously.  BUT that is a very happy thing as I really didn’t have much to say on Friday.  Since Friday lots has happened….. ok maybe not lots but enough for me to be excited about.

Artichaut is finished!  Well, I have to wash it and sew on a button but otherwise the project is complete :D.  I am pretty happy with the completed project.  There’s room for M.I.A to grow and it looks pretty good on her.

If you’re knitting this pattern and you’re doing the strap tie on the side (as in the pattern picture) then there is no need to leave a hole when seaming.  The pattern is a little unclear and I spent about 5 minutes trying to figure out how the cardi was going to do up taking into consideration this slit in the side seam for the strap to pass through.  It wasn’t until after my girl had tried it on and I’d spent another 10 minutes considering how it should be tied up and looking at the picture on the pattern I realised the error.

But it did give me an idea, considering that I want to knit another 2 I’ve decided that for J.J’s I’m going to make it so the cardi ties up in the back – something a little more grown up for my almost 9 year old.  For Sunny, I’m going to forgo the straps and just have a button closure, less things that can wind up in her mouth :p.

When I asked M.I.A if she was happy with it she replied “Yeah, but it needs something on it.”

“Like what?” I said

“A teapot”.

I think I will spend the rest of my life trying to understand the way she thinks.

Since finishing Artichaut yesterday, I have wound my 2nd skein of Finch and picked Millrace back up.  I was a little daunted by the prospect of knitting it again as I hadn’t made any notes as to where I was up to, all I had was my row counter.  I was worried about nothing, by the end of the first row I was well and truly up to speed with where I was up to and where I was going.  I finished off the first lot of decreases yesterday and have started on the next.  I have about 200 rows to go :p.  I do love it but I’m also very aware of the fact that it is going to be loooooonnnnnggggg (I’m not exactly short).  Blocking it is going to be interesting.

 

I’ve also cast on Pomotamus.  To be honest I’m feeling a little ambivalent about it.  I’m not sure why.  I love the pattern, I’m happy with the yarn, but the whole sock thing is leaving me feeling a little empty.  It might be that I’m knitting them on my Hiya Hiya 9″ bamboo needle.  There’s nothing wrong with the needle….. “it’s not you, it’s me” :p.  Actually maybe there is, I don’t think I should have bought a bamboo needle, it’s a little too grippy.  Going from the bamboo tips to the metal Addi tips is like going from sitting on gravel to sitting on tiles.  Plus there’s the whole working with such a short circular needle which gets tiring after a little while.  Well, it is for me at the moment.  Then there’s the needle size.  The pattern calls for a 2.75mm needle and cast on of 72 stitches.  However, the Jaywalkers have a cast on of 76 stitches and called for 2.25mm.  I knit the Jaywalkers on 2.5mm and they feel a little loose (fingers crossed they don’t grow after being washed), which leads me to believe that knitting the Pom’s on a larger needle is going to produce a sock that is potentially too loose.  Fingers crossed that knitting the Pom’s on 2.5mm works for me.  It’s a lot of guess work which I’m hoping I haven’t got wrong.  I think I’ll swap over to magic loop soon and just try on the few inches of the leg that I’ve completed, at least that should give me an idea of the fit.

Did you see the cute little sheep stitch markers?  I got them from Jelby on etsy and they are so cute and colourful, I also have a green and a purple one.  They’re nice and light weight and add a nice touch of colour.  Yes, I know, I’m already knitting in colour, why do I need any more.  I can’t help myself, I LOVE colour!

I also started reading Wildwood this past week and I highly recommend this book.  It’s such an engrossing and intriguing story.  I’m loving every moment of it, even the illustrations are fantastic and give a nice bit of interest as the story goes along.  It’s so nice to be reading an interesting and engrossing novel again.

Well that’s it from me.  Hopefully I’ll see you again on Friday (fingers crossed I have no tech issues this time)

Have a great week!

Christy

Squee!

Right!  This should be a pretty quick post.  Not much has happened in the last week.  Unfortunately I’ve had a week full of sick little people and my world has revolved around them.

I finished my first Kai-Mei

I’m really really happy with it and I know that once I have a complete pair it’s going to look fab!  I ended up following the instructions rather than trying to get the lace pattern to continue on the bias.  Maybe I’ll modifiy it the next time I knit a pair (because I will be knitting this again!).  The fit is quite comfortable on my foot, almost loose, which concerns me as the other socks I’ve knitted are a fair bit tighter.  I’m hoping I don’t have any issues with this stretching or growing once I’ve washed it.  Oh well, what can I do?

Work has continued on Artichaut but I’ve been having a little bit of trouble with it (knitting in the dark, knitting whilst nursing a baby, knitting with sick children constantly distracting me = lots and lots of mistakes).  I’ve reknit the same part several times and it’s been driving me a little bit crazy.  I’m almost ready to throw the thing in time out and leave it there permanently.  I love the pattern but I don’t love it in the BWM yarn.  The yarn is rather loosely plied so I keep splitting the stitches which is frustrating me no end.  Plus the seed stitch pattern looks a little messy.  I’m hoping that once it’s washed the stitches will relax a little bit and it will stop looking so messy.  Otherwise I won’t be using the seed stitch pattern on the next one.

The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People has become my go to project for mindless knitting.  I won’t bore you with a photo as it doesn’t look much different to the last time, just bigger.  It’s not very big but I’m already looking at it wondering if I’ll ever finish it (not because I’m bored with it, but because I want to be knitting something else).  I’ve also pulled out Millrace and the 2nd skein of Finch so I can finish that.  I’m determined to get it done so I can start Aestlight (I think I’ll start with that shawl and then move on to Sempervivum).

Speaking of which, I’ve got the yarn for the Birds Nest Lace.  I’m using Yarn Love’s Elizabeth Bennet in Banana (Light).

As always, the pic isn’t very good.  I really should upgrade my camera.  One day.  Anyway, I’m hoping it works, it really does make the After The Storm look brighter.  I guess we’ll see once I’ve knitted it up.

Also, new to my ever growing stash is a skein of hand dyed sock yarn from an Aussie Dyer I found on etsy, Half Baked, and we all know how I feel about supporting Aussie, I didn’t think twice about buying a skein.  Danielle predominantly sells roving for spinning but she does have a few skeins of yarn in the shop.  Up until about half an hour ago she wasn’t even listed in the ravelry database, I fixed that.  If you’re an Aussie reading this, have a look at her shop.  Let’s get behind supporting our indie dying/ spinning/ designing industry!  (I’ll hop off my soap box now).

The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s a lovely semi solid, almost variegated in shades of minty green.  I’m planning on knitting Cookie A’s Pomatomus socks with it.  It was a toss up between an almost solid plum and the green.  The green won out (obviously) simply because I love how variegated/ semi solid colours works up in socks, adding interest and depth.  If I wanted plain socks I’d go to Big W :p.

Last but not least I have another ball of Lollipop Yarns in Hootenanny.  Oh my goodness I love this yarn!  It is so bright and cheerful, it makes me happy just looking at it.  I have a design in my head for this beautiful ball of happiness, something simple so as to not detract from the gorgeous stripey colours but will still add a bit of interest to the sock.  I’ve started swatching and playing around with different patterns.  Not sure when I’ll find time to do it all……. but if I don’t try I’ll always be wondering “what if?”.

Joan, the genius behind Lollipop Yarns, is the nicest person.  The only time I managed to catch one of her shop updates she was sold out in minutes.  So this time I didn’t even bother waiting for a shop update, I just messaged her and after a lovely conversation and timing the custom order so we were both online at the same time (so no one else would snag it – I can’t believe people would steal other peoples custom orders :/ ) I got a ball of the above yarny goodness.  It is so worth the wait, buying yarn from her.  Every box is a delight to open.

Well, that’s it from me for another week.  I’ve just discovered yet another mistake in Artichaut so I’ll have to rip back a couple of rows to fix that.  If I’m lucky the next time I blog it will be finished (here’s hoping)!  Either that or it will find it’s way into the dark recesses of the cupboard never to be seen again!

The postie dropped off my Book Depository parcel this morning – Wildwood.  Hopefully I’ll get some reading done this weekend, in amongst the knitting.  What have you got planned?

‘Til next time

Christy