I Was…. Then I Wasn’t

I bought some Kauni yarn in a very vibrant turquoise, online of course from Scandinavian Knitting Design.  I had originally earmarked it for Kate Davies (Get Off My) Cloud hoodie.  I guesstimated how much I would need and as the Kauni comes in big 600m balls I bought 2, thinking that 1200m of yarn would be more than enough for the project.  The yarn arrived yesterday, I purchased the pattern and printed it out……. there isn’t enough yarn 😦 . Well, that’s not entirely true, there is enough, but considering the length of the original project is 16 inches and I’m going to need at least another 5 inches in length I think I’d be pushing it to make it work.

Enter stressed, anxious and somewhat panicky Christy.  What was I going to do, what was I going to knit?  I considered leaving off the hood, even leaving the finished project at 16 inches.  But I know I wouldn’t be happy with the end product if I did either of those things.  So I went hunting around and found the Plain and Simple Pullover by Veera Valimaki (the same designer behind the very popular Color Affection Shawl).  It takes a minimum of 1094 yards to knit the small size and the length is only fractionally shorter than what I would want.  Considering that it’s meant to be layered, I don’t think it’s going to matter if I knit it to size as I can wear a longer t shirt underneath.  Plus it’s free, what’s there not to love about that?

I think I’m happy with that decision.  I think it will be a great knit and a great way to ease myself back into doing larger scale projects.  I haven’t knitted any adult sized jumpers/ cardigans for a very long time, simply because I have had too many failures.  I don’t want to fail at this type of project again!

Early last week I came down with a cold, which left me feeling tired and achy for a few days.  I didn’t want to knit but I did want to knit.  It was strange, but the best way to describe it is that even my fingers were sore, so the thought of making them work was off putting, but my heart wanted to keep at it.  I looked around for something easy to knit, something with a simple pattern and larger needles, something that I didn’t have to think too much about and something that wasn’t tiny 1×1 ribbing.  Millrace it was!  I’ve worked so diligently on that project for the last week that I’m almost up to the final chart (and when I say almost, it’s only a couple of rows away).  I’m so happy with that!  The project that felt like it was never going to end is almost complete!!!!

Millrace

When I pulled it out of my knitting bag last week all of a sudden I loved the colour.  Nice and bold.  It’ll be a great pop of colour during the cold dark days of winter.

Biscuit tower

 By Friday last week I was itching to do some baking, it’s been a while since I’ve baked anything beyond a packet cake mix.  I remembered a blog post from Raspberri Cupcakes of cookies made from 3 ingredients – a tin of sweetened condensed milk, some flour, and some butter.  That seemed easy enough, so I whipped up a batch, adding a 200g bag of milk choc chips to half the dough, and rolling the other half in sprinkles (ok, it wasn’t quite half and half, there are definitely more choc chip cookies then sprinkly ones).  They’re not too bad, more importantly, they’re super simple and the kids loved them!  I used about 1/2 of the dough (there I go guesstimating again and I’m probably wrong) and I froze the rest to use later.  It will definitely be a recipe that I turn to again and again, just for the sheer simplicity and ease of it.  Although next time I might add some brown sugar and vanilla extract, they’re not as sweet as I would like them (says the lady that still eats fairy bread sandwiches for lunch on occasion 😉 ).

3 Cheeky Monkeys

Well, that’s it from me until sometime next week.  I hope you all have a wonderful Easter, however you celebrate it.  I can’t wait to share with you what I get up too 😀

Take care

Christy

xo

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Exciting Times

Well………. I’ve been missing for a couple of weeks (if you haven’t noticed), no dramas other than switching internet providers.  Our last provider decided to dig their heels in and made the transition rather drawn out, so I have been without internet access for a little while.  It’s good to be back online and it’s wonderful to be able to blog again :D.

In the last 2 weeks lots has happened but not a lot of knitting.  It’s been so hot that the physical action of knitting has taken a back seat, but I’ve done lots of thinking and talking about knitting, lots of looking at patterns and adding things to my queue, lots of drooling over yarn and choosing colours for different projects (lots can be done from a small phone with internet access) and of course my friend has enabled my knitting addiction by gifting me the Blomster sock pattern.  I bought yarn for it ages ago but it’s just been sitting in my queue not moving (while I’ve bought more yarn and started other projects, including socks).  You can read about the yarn I bought here.  Now I have no excuse but to get started on it, although I think I might finish at least the first V Junkie sock first.

I’ve been steadily working on the Aestlight Shawl, at least as steadily as I can in extreme heat (I have no air con) but as a result of not spending much time actually knitting it’s not grown much.  But it’s still very pretty and I can’t wait to see the finished object.

I’ve finished the back of J.J’s Artichaut, once I started on the sleeve caps it seemed to go really quickly, even though I was increasing every other row, maybe it’s because I wasn’t having to keep track of 50 odd rows – things always seem to go quicker when you’re only dealing with a few rows at time.  Breaks it all up a little bit.  Since finishing off the back I haven’t done any work on it (and that was over a week ago) which I feel a little bad about….. but I will finish it, no doubt about that, I have a 9 year old that will never let me live it down if I don’t.

In between row sections on Artichaut I’ve worked on pattern repeats on my V Junkie sock.  It’s a lovely little honeycomb stitch and I do love its ease and simplicity.  Just enough to keep me interested.  However, the cuff is comprised of 3 rows.  Yes, you read right, just 3 little rows.  On the needles that cuff rolls over the top of the sock and it looks wrong.  I’ve been a little paranoid about it, as it seems loose and there’s no ribbing.  But when I try it on and pull it far enough up my calf it seems to sit up properly all by itself.  I’ll definitely be trying this sock on before I work on the heel, just to make sure that I have the length right so that tiny little cuff sits properly.  Despite my doubts on the cuff of this sock, the colour I’m using is amazing.  It’s such a lovely red (and it kind of looks like something under a microscope in that pattern :p), a beautiful deep red with hits of purple here and there, I’m definitely looking forward to being able to wear them.  Actually, looking at the sock now reminds me of the Sound of Music (stay with me), when the Von Trapp family are hiding in the cemetery in the convent?  You know when they’re hiding from the Nazis in that little fenced in corridor that has gates all the way along?  Yeah, I know, it’s a bit of a weird association but I’d rather think of catacombs when I look at my sock then blood cells.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, I use an app on my iPod as a row counter.  The week our internet went down my iPod crashed.  I’m still working on Millrace (ok, I haven’t done any work on Millrace for a while but it’s there waiting patiently for my return) and I was pretty upset when the iPod crashed.  I was seriously concerned that I had just lost all the info of where I’m up to with Millrace.  I spent over a week reassuring myself that I could figure it all out, that it couldn’t be that hard to count back rows and decipher where I was up to in the pattern repeat, but still, I was concerned.  Thankfully when we were finally up and on the internet again I was able to update the iPod, the update backed up all of the data stored on my iPod and my row counters were saved (and yes I said counters because the project alone has 4)!  Honestly I don’t know what’s worse, relying on temperamental technology to take note of my rows, or an actual row counter that will inevitably be played with by my children (nothing is safe in this house unless it’s put up and out of reach).  Note to self: finish Millrace before there are any more issues!

bunny

Sunny’s favourite little toy is this tiny bunny softie that came with romper I bought her a few months ago.  She absolutely loves chewing on it’s ears (seriously with all the pulling on it that she does with her little gums one ear is longer than the other).  This little bunny is white, Sunny is now on solids, guess what hasn’t stayed very white despite frequent washing?  At least I can say that it’s well loved.  Anyway, considering that she loves this little bunny so much I thought I would make her one and started looking on etsy for a pattern.  I came across RetroMama and my goodness! I love her designs.  I was pleasantly surprised by all of her little patterns as they are just as cute and I would happily sew them all – next will be the Greta doll and the little bear!  I love this little bunny, the instructions are nice and clear and the project itself seems to be relatively simple.  I haven’t started sewing yet but I have cut all the pieces.  I’m using corduroy from some pants that I picked up at a second hand store and quilting fabric from my stash for the rest of it.  My only complaint about this pattern (and it’s probably more my fault for not reading it through properly first) is that the pattern pieces tell you to cut pieces from fusible interfacing and WonderUnder (I’m using Vlisoflex) as well as from the material.  When I’ve sewn on previous occasions I’ve always ironed on the interfacing and Vlisoflex before I’ve started cutting – isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?  Anyway that’s my only beef so far.  I caught that before I cut the pieces that require the Vlisoflex but not the fusible interfacing, not quite sure how I’m going to tackle that bit.  But once again it’s been too hot for sewing so all I’ve done so far is cut.

I’m looking forward to cooler weather, the last few days have been nice, it’s been rainy and misty but I know the heat is on it’s way back.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those people around the country that have lost homes due to the spate of bush fires we’ve seen and my very deep thanks and appreciation to all the Rural Bush Fire Fighters fighting those fires across our nation.

I have so much more to tell you but I’m going to leave it at that because…… with any luck……. the next blog might be a little bit different……

webcam

Can you guess what I’m planning on doing?

Have a great week

Christy

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

You Have to Start Somewhere

Shortly after I bought my Sunny Girl home I decided I wanted to knit her a hat (actually I’d thought about it before she arrived but put it off as I couldn’t find anything neutral enough to suit my tastes).  I happened to come across Kate Oates Math for Hats book after listening to a podcast that referenced her designs.  After buying it and reading it through I thought to myself (in my sleep deprived brain addled state) I can do that and proceeded to cast on.  After several false starts I finally got it going (now I can say that I understand negative and positive ease!) and was on a roll up until I reached the decreases and that’s where I faltered.  I’ve only ever followed patterns, I’ve never really differed from the pattern and I’ve never really given a great deal of thought as to why the designer did that particular thing there.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what the Math for Hat book was telling me to do and even though I asked on ravelry about it I still didn’t quite get it.  So the unfinished, self designed hat sat neglected in my project bag.  I felt so stupid, I’ve never been good with maths and thought that it was this lack of math loving skills that was letting me down.

That is until this weekend just gone.  I looked at the weather forecast and saw that it was about to get a whole lot colder and I thought to myself, I have to finish that hat for my baby!  The last thing we need is for her to get sick (plus I hated the thought of letting that yarn go to waste).  So, I gathered my courage, plucked it out of my project bag and dived back in.

Well, what do you know, most of the decreasing process is about trial and error and making something that suits my tastes.  I’m not entirely happy with the finished project but I can say that I “designed” it myself and I know where I need to make improvements for next time.

It’s not the hat that I envisioned in my head but that’s ok.  For my first go at not following a written pattern it’s not bad.

Since finishing the hat I’ve cast on another Anabelle Babe Cardigan in the same purple as Sunny’s little beanie.  It’s knitted from the top down and I’m only putting in 3 button holes for this one.  The pattern calls for a sport weight/ 5 ply yarn on 3.75mm needles, however I’m using a 4ply on 4mm needles.  I’m pretty sure it will work out fine.  I’m already passt the sleeve separation and am making good progress on the body.  Fingers crossed it’s finished in a few days and I can get on with my next project 🙂

Do you like the little pink teapot and tea cup stitch markers?  They’re from StephCuddles on etsy and I would definitely describe them as bling for knitting :p.  I bought them with some money I had left over from my birthday.  They’re pretty heavy but they’re definitely cute.  My 2yo likes to play with them and pretend he’s making himself some tea :p.

Well, that’s it from me today.

Christy