Pretty in Pink?

My favourite colour is pink.

Funnily enough I don’t knit in pink very often. ¬†Millrace (which I need to block) and the Hopsalots slippers (which I need to finish) are the only things that I’ve knitted for me in pink, that I can think of off the top of my head – and both of them are still in unwearable forms.

The 4th blogging challenge is about colour, what colours do I like, what colours I like to knit with, what colours do I actually knit with (all without cheating and looking at my projects page on ravelry ūüėõ ). ¬†I like to think I knit in a rainbow of colours, but I think in actuality I knit in a lot of green and blue with the¬†occasional¬†other colour thrown in for good measure, at least when I’m knitting for me. ¬†When it comes to the rest of the family I try to choose colours that I know they love. ¬†Miss 9 loves yellow, Miss 7 loves pinks and purples, the boys like blues and greens, and Mr HK likes grey.

I’m going to be honest and say that this challenge is hard for me. ¬†I love colour, I love knitting in rainbows of colour, but pinning down what colours I actually use is tough. ¬†I guess my house mascot, the Monkey, likes things that are interesting, and I’ve always tried to keep my colour choices interesting, I don’t tend to only ever buy one type of colour, I try to buy from the entire rainbow.

The best way to describe the way I feel about colour choice is that patterns tend to tell me what colour they want to be knitted in. ¬†For instance, from the very first moment I saw the Kai-Mei socks I knew that I had to knit them in a light blue. ¬†The same thing happened with Om Shanti, I knew that the socks needed to be knit in a gradient of some form. ¬†Sometimes it’s a case of matching a pattern with the best colour I have in my stash, sometimes I find a pattern and then go yarn hunting for a particular colour. ¬†Sometimes, I choose colour dependant on my mood.

Pink

In a nutshell, colour evokes an emotional response from me. ¬†On Saturday I balled up a skein of yarn from Spacefrog for the Blomster socks. ¬†It’s a variegated blue, pink and purple and it’s pretty busy and very bright. ¬†I needed a pick me up and that pattern coupled with bright yarn sung happiness to me. ¬†They have been a joy to work ever since. ¬†I love watching the little “flowers” fling extra pops of colour across the brightly coloured backdrop of stocking stitch. ¬†These are my happy socks and I have a feeling I will always have a pair of these ready to cast on, whenever I need a bright little pick me.

blomster

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Inspirated

Have any of you watched MKR (My Kitchen Rules for non Australian readers)? ¬†I’ve watched about 10 minutes all up. ¬†I’m not a fan of watching people pour everything they have into succeeding at something while other people do their utmost to tear them down. ¬†Anyway, leading up to the start of the latest season were some rather interesting promo ads, one of which featured a little blonde¬†home-maker¬†talking about feeling “inspirated”. ¬†I’m not sure if she truly thinks it’s a word and uses it regularly, or if she made a faux pas that ‘the powers that be’ pounced on to make the show more appealing. ¬†Regardless, I like it! ¬†It sounds like a combination between inspiration and perspiration (and as I say this my husband rolls his eyes).

If you’re a regular reader of the blog then you know I’ve managed to score myself some Lollipop Yarn, 2 balls in fact and they’ve been singing to me, serenading me with a song about socks and the socks they want to be knit into. ¬†I’m not a vanilla sock knitter, I need something with a bit of oomph, a bit of pizzazz, something to stop me from falling asleep. ¬†In all honesty the only thing that got me through the Kai Mei ribbing was the pattern detail across the foot that I knew was coming! ¬†So, I wanted to knit something pretty, but not something that would take away the lovely self striping goodness of the yarn. ¬†I went trawling through ravelry for inspiration, I decided to try my hand at designing my own sock and wasn’t entirely happy with what I came up with, then I found these socks by Patons. ¬†It’s just a simple feather and fan stitch and I thought, I can do that. ¬†I wasn’t keen on the projects that were available on ravelry in the feather and fan pattern so I decided to make one up myself. ¬†I’ve got Barbara Walker’s First Treasury, so I can play with the pattern undeterred until I’m happy with the result (for instance, I don’t like the purl bumps). ¬†I’ve also picked up Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting Master Class¬†and although there are some lovely patterns in there that I’m keen to try, none of them suit the yarn. ¬†My plan is to combine different elements from the book and morph them into one glorious pair of socks (I can dream can’t I?). ¬†I figure, if I ever want to try my hand at designing then I need to start somewhere, so why not with something fairly tame and ease myself into it?

latvian

I’ve begun with a Latvian Twisted cast on, as featured on the French Market Socks¬†by Nancy Bush. ¬†It’s something completely different and adds a nice amount of interest as well as incorporating all 3 colours of the yarn. ¬†For the rib I’m just doing a simple 2 x 2 rib. ¬†I had originally thought about a twisted rib but as it tends to make the stitches stand out more the rib was competing with the cuff so I decided to stick with an untwisted stitch. ¬†So far, so good. ¬†I’m not sure how long I’ll make the ribbed section, I think I’ll keep going until I feel like it’s long enough (isn’t that how designers operate, going by feel and aesthetic?). ¬†It’s nice to be working on something of my own, even if it’s almost the most basic pattern, at least when I’m finished I can say that I designed it.

I’ve been making slow but steady progress on both the Gimli socks and J.J’s Artichaut. ¬†I’m still working on the rib of the socks, although I think I might be just about done. ¬†I’m not in too much of a rush to get through those as I really don’t want to make any more mistakes, not like the last time. ¬†I’d rather the socks take me the next year to get through and have a perfect sock then make a stack of mistakes and have to rip it out because I can’t live with the mess. ¬†I’m now through the armhole decreases on the Artichaut and I’m picking up the stitches down the side for the seamless version. ¬†Ok, I’ve picked up one stitch. ¬†I think I’m already regretting going for the seamless option, I have the feeling that it might be a bit fiddly if the first pick up is anything to go by…… too late now, there’s no way I’m ripping it out and starting it all over again. ¬†Plus I don’t think J.J would ever forgive me if I ripped it out…… ok, she would, she’s 9, but it would take a very long time for her to get over it. ¬†So I shall just have to plunge ahead and hope that it works out alright!

I started my last post with a promise to blog twice a week and then I didn’t. ¬†I got to the weekend and everything went a little pear shaped and by the end of the weekend I never wanted to knit again let alone blog (a long story I won’t bore you with), so the desire to put myself out there just wasn’t forthcoming. ¬†It still surprises me how emotionally tied to my knitting I am. ¬†I knit more when I’m stressed or feeling anxious; when I’m sad or upset it’s the last thing I want to do. ¬†Do your emotions affect how or what you knit?

On Monday, as a result of my rather emotionally draining weekend, I took time to appreciate the little things that bring me joy and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Lily

Beautiful flowers that my wonderful, kind and thoughtful husband bought me for our wedding anniversary.

socks

The way my M.I.A rolls down her socks, not because it’s cool, just ’cause she wants to – marching to the beat of her own drum ‚ô•

sisters

One big sister taking the time to play dolls with her baby sister

princess

Forever exploring the world around her, even if it includes taste testing a plastic Princess

autumn

The colours of Autumn.  I may not be a big fan of winter, but red leaves set my heart aflutter

darkies

My kids and how much they love each other and love spending time together.  And of course all the joy they bring me every single day with all their hugs, their kisses, their giggles, their smiles, their everything ♥

What has brought you joy this week?

See you soon

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

 

What a Hoot!

Term 4 is crazy busy and this week has lived up to it’s craziness! ¬†Amongst all the normal stuff #1 Son has started the transition programme into Kindergarten. ¬†To be totally honest, I know he’s ready for school but I don’t know if I am ready. ¬†I still remember the night I found out I was pregnant with him (and waking up the following day with one of the worst colds I’ve ever had). ¬†I remember hearing my husband complaining the whole pregnancy that we would never be able to celebrate our wedding anniversary again, I was due the day before. ¬†I remember the day he was due and how my mother called to ask me if I was in labour yet. ¬†I remember calling the hospital because I lost my¬†mucous¬†plug and getting into trouble because I’d stopped taking insulin and how I was hospitalised because they didn’t trust me to take care of myself (it was a saga that I won’t bore you with). ¬†I remember waking up in the early hours the day after he was due and crying because I was missing my husband, it was our wedding anniversary and the contractions had started. ¬†I remember my husband coming down to the hospital very early and finishing off my scrambled eggs, sitting in the hospital kiosk while my hubby devoured a burger and hot chips and I groaned with contractions. ¬†My wonderful husband making me laugh between contractions while he entertained himself with silly games on the Nintendo DS. ¬†Finally, I remember delivering my baby, my husband announcing that we had a son and then balling my eyes out because I’d given my husband a son for our wedding anniversary. ¬†The midwife who delivered him was really lovely, very gentle, very professional and well seasoned in her profession, it was definitely a positive birthing experience. ¬†What a way to remember our 8th wedding anniversary!

I still remember the midwife remarking that our baby boy was the blondest baby she had ever seen and he still is a little blonde heartbreaker ‚ô•.

Like the bulk of mothers out there in the world, I’m sitting here wondering where the time has gone. ¬†My tiny little baby is now old enough to start school.

He’s so cute (in his words, “I’m cool mum, I’m not cute” :p) and sweet and wonderful. ¬†I’m going to miss him heaps next year but I know that he’s ready for school, even if I’m not ready for him to start.

On the crafting front, the unofficial Cookie KAL has kept me working on my Kai-Mei. ¬†I had to redo the heel flap 4 or 5 times before I got it right (I have no idea what was wrong with me last week) but it is now done and I’ve done the bulk of the foot. ¬†Just this afternoon I reached the end of the ribbing section, so I now have to decide if I’m going to do another set of increases/ decreases to take it down the other side of my foot, or if I’ll follow the pattern and stop it from moving across the foot.

It’s coming along so nicely. ¬†I love the ease of the pattern and the pattern repeat itself is easy enough to remember after a couple of rounds. ¬†I love patterns where I’m not tied to a piece of paper but still have a pretty pattern to keep me interested.

I worked briefly on the Sunlight Shawl yesterday at my craft group but no other knitting has taken place in my hands in the last week, despite being desperately keen to cast on Sempervivum and Aestlight.  I must say I am very proud of myself for resisting temptation.

At the Pink Craft Day on Saturday I had the pleasure of making the cutest little sock owl. ¬†The pattern is by CraftSchmaft and it’s pretty easy. ¬†All you need is a sock, some felt and some embroidery thread – then WOLLAH! you have a cute little owl :D. ¬†There is a pattern for the cutest sock Baby ‘Zilla. ¬†I love it and after the success with the owl, I’ll definitely give the Baby ‘Zilla a go, just need to find the right sock. ¬†It still astounds me that someone took a sock and saw it’s potential to become a toy. ¬†I will never get over the ingenious creativity out there in the wide world!!!

Have you made any toys with socks?

Until next time

Take care

Christy

P.S  My friend received the Marin Shawl I sent her after I posted last weeks blog.  She loves it and I am a happy knitter ♥

…will travel

Another fortnight has slipped by between blog posts, however I’ve been touring the countryside. ¬†Well not really, not in an Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy kind of way – how cool would that be? ¬†Having servants, spending all day knitting and sewing for the church, taking tea, entertaining guests and then spending my evenings playing card games and going to balls. ¬†But then…. I don’t think I could give up modern conveniences like flushing toilets and the internet :p. ¬†Plus, I love jeans and I don’t think I could cope with long layered skirts in the middle of summer.

Anyway, that was a total aside. ¬†We’ve been visiting my husband’s family in different parts of the state.

It was a good trip, my kids loved seeing their grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousins and I got lots of knitting done. ¬†When we first got into the car I took out my teeny tiny Hiya Hiya needle with every intention of working on Kai Mei as we drove (the first leg of the journey was around 6 hours, not including stops). ¬†However, when we got to the top of the street and I realised that I’d left the longer needle for magic looping (I swap to magic loop for the foot, don’t ask me why) at home and my ever loving husband wasn’t about to turn around to get it for me. ¬†So instead I started on Marin.

Believe it or not, it is actually easy enough to do in the car. ¬†There is a chart and initially I was quite tied to the pattern and the chart but not enough that I had my head buried in paper the whole time we were driving. ¬†This lovely shawl is¬†such a joy to knit¬†and so serendipitous. ¬†The yarn arrived 2 days before we were due to go away and I wound the skein into a ball the day before we left. ¬†I’m just over half way through which I think is a pretty good effort. ¬†I wish we could go away more, I’d get so much knitting done. ¬†Unfortunately Artichaut is being quite neglected. ¬†Thankfully M.I.A hasn’t asked why I’m not working on her cardigan.

My M.I.A looks so good in my knitting (she’s wearing my Trillian shawl) that I should just get on with Artichaut, I’m just so easily led astray. ¬†M.I.A is such a wonderful big sister. ¬†I couldn’t ask for better kids.

My nephew has a ukulele that my little G just couldn’t get enough of. ¬†It was all on for young and old every time it was taken away from him. ¬†Well, at least I know what to get him for Christmas now :p

After a trip away I have more washing than I can poke a stick at (that’s the downside of travelling with 5 kids) and it’s the last day of the school holidays (not including the weekend) so I think I shall go and hang out a truck load of laundry and spend sometime with my little ones.

Take care

Christy