Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Working on them

While the sun was shining last week I grabbed my hook and a random ball of cotton yarn to take with me on my walk, well one needs to be prepared there may be an opportunity for a little sit down. As happened it was just a little too windy for sitting at the beach so I found a sheltered spot and enjoyed the sunshine without the wind.

I've been toying with the idea of making a top which combines both crochet and fabric, seems I'm not the only one, as there are plenty of clothes currently available in the stores which combine the two. Now I have no clue whether I will be successful but I am being entertained by this simple idea. 
I don't have a pattern so I am making it up as I go along and there has been quite a bit of forwards and backwards trying to get a good shape going for the neckline.

Sure this is different from the picture above and I think I have just about the right shape to make it work this time? It's starting to look like the picture in my head.
No I haven't picked up the gazillion stitches on the blanket yet, I did make a start on Friday but it wasn't working out straight so I need to start again.

Last week I received a small package, a little something I won over on Ravelry. Very timely as it contained a set of stitch markers which turn out to be extremely handy when you have a very lot of stitches on the needle, they make keeping the lace pattern in line just that little bit easier, well at least they help me to find my mistakes without needing to count all the stitches after every row.
I worked out on Sunday that I would need to do 4 rows every day this week to finish the knitting by the end of the month - so far I have done 10 of those rows, thanks to the Pubic Holiday Monday, making me 2 ahead of schedule.
I may just end up with a truly finish.

Ethereal Triangular Shawl in progress - further along than this now.

Oh, and Vicky made me that very bright pink pot holder under the shawl and included matching kitty snips too, these are the cutest little scissors on a keychain.

Happy Creating.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Last week I heard there was a new place in the north western suburbs where I could buy Bendigo woollen mills yarn. Much closer to me than Bendigo and in a suburb adjacent to one that I travel to almost weekly. Saturday when J's mum suggested an outing, I suggested we check it out.
It turns out the shop only opened on Thursday of last week, so they are still getting things sorted but it is looking very good already.

Unwind Craft Cafe sells a selection of yarn, fabrics, tools and handmade items as well as coffee and cakes.
The decor is retro and they have some amazing pastel coloured cabinets similar to ones I remember neighbours having when I was growing up. The cafe tables and chairs are straight out of grandma's house, speckled laminate and cushy vinyl, our table was decorated with a suitably 1970's cloth. 
The coffee and poffertjes were delicious (and not from the 70's).

Luxury 4 ply in the Lotus colourway

Drinking coffee and having a little snack is the perfect way to contemplate new yarn. I had plenty of time to look at all the colours as they are right there in the flesh. 
I was restrained and only brought 1 ball home, but I know where I can get other colours, which I cast on last night while waiting for the fireworks to start.

Hope your Monday includes time to create.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Runner by another name

I continued my starting spree all the way to Friday and at the same time I really wanted to finish something. No logic in that really, the projects I am working on are all too big.

As my car had an appointment with the mechanic Friday morning I packed a new small project and set off. Leaving the car with the men to work their magic I found a quiet and comfortable spot in the local library and set to work, as it was rainy outside. There was an interested librarian who chatted with me about crochet generally and my project specifically, she really wanted me to finish before I left, but that wasn't to be.

I did make a good start though so she could see where it was heading.
Only the beginning

I'm still using threads that were gifted to me, this one had no tags but it is a beautiful soft cotton and was just lovely to work with.

There were two of these white cotton balls with about the same amount left on them, not any more.

I stayed up late with the FNSI ladies and kept my hook busy, one end of the doily was completed by the time I called it a night.

Really like the way the pineapple pattern is so simple and versatile.
I finished the crocheting with my morning coffee on Saturday. Now all I need to do is weave in the tail, give it a bath and block it so it sits properly flat.

Oval Pineapple Doily by Michelle Starkie
Oh, I know I should find something other than the skirt I was ironing to show you how lovely this is but the table underneath is white, meaning all the detail is lost when I put it on there, and I needed to get a picture before I rushed out the door. I have the perfect recipient in mind and she has the perfect oval table to use it on.

There has been progress on the green shawl but it is going very slowly now that there are a LOT of stitches on the needle, even more slowly when one isn't concentrating and follow the wrong row of the chart and then another before undoing it! That yarn is not only skinny, but it likes to slip-slide off the needles whenever it feels like it so not helpful in the unknitting process.
It will be finished and soon (or it will be allocated to the bin).

Thanks to Wendy for hosting FNSI and to all the participants for sharing their gorgeous projects.

Happy Australia Day to all.

See you in your creative space again soon.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lace on "L's"

Once upon a time there was a ball of yarn owned by a fellow creative type who tried and tried to tame it. I know all this because every time I saw her over a 6 month period, she was starting over or asking for assistance as she had lost her place on the pattern. Eventually she just gave up! 
Something you should never do! Cannot let the yarn win.
I was gifted with the offensive yarn that was very skinny and almost slippery.
Considering its past misbehavior, which I had witnessed, I left it languishing in the naughty bag for a year and a half (or longer) until I decided it was time to play. It took another month before I chose a suitable pattern and made a start.
Unidentified Lace weight yarn in a olive green colour

Armed with yarn, pattern and needles I went to the knit group that meets at the beautiful Botanical Gardens. Make a start I did in encouraging company.
As this is my first time knitting with skinny yarn on fat needles there has been a lot of head scratching and perplexed face making (while you can't see those, my fellow knitters did). I may have made some unintentional modifications to the pattern, by adding some texture, but I'm okay with that.
Ethereal Triangular Shawl design by Lakshmi Juneja - with unintentional modifications

It seems reading between the lines is a skill that requires more practice on my part (or maybe it's just that I need to read ahead before diving right in?).

Just making the most of my last week of holidays and starting more projects.

Hope there's fun in your creative space today.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Making progress

 A little here and there on the blanket project eventually adds up.
That braided border was like knitting a long skinny scarf - all 792 rows of it! 
No wonder I got distracted and did something else, absolutely nothing to do with my limited attention span.

It was very hard to imagine while knitting this that it would ever sit flat. Remember I am making it much smaller than the pattern, smaller needles, thinner yarn, sometimes that is not successful. The centre of the square, right in the middle where the roots start, was popping up like a volcano ready to erupt. 
The above picture is what it looked like fresh off the needles - a little bath and some encouragement -

Now it is a nice flat square.

Yggdrasil Afghan design by Lisa Jacobs.

Once it's dry again I'll be picking up a LOT of stitches for the next border. I may even change colours here, or not?

So do you work on a big project consistently?

Enjoy the last week of holidays with lots of time for creating.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ready for the next heatwave...

So I played with my thread and beads from last time and came up with this.

Perfect for wearing when the summer sun turns the heat right up. (Not outside of course)

I was so happy with the result I gathered more supplies in other colours.

The appearance of the sun this past week certainly shed a different light on the world.

Thursday evening when the sun was dipping in the west and the sky was full of heavy clouds my world was bathed in a golden glow. (hard to capture)

Not what you were thinking?
So I didn't venture too far from the sock, but these are much cooler on hot days.

Enjoy creating your weekend.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

There is no cure...

it seems. but before I get to that story I was supposed to come back over the weekend so you could see what I got up to at FNWF, lucky for you there was lots of activity in other party goers spaces and plenty of eye candy turned up over the weekend.
Frankly you'll be happy I didn't post my paltry effort - 
see that reel of pink thread, well I had grand plans for that with some pretty green beads. Oh yeah, you can see a dozen or so hanging on there near the bottom of the reel in the first picture, well that was as far as I got with that! By the time I got those things on there I was completely over that project already. I went and played a game.

Now the pretty yarn in the next picture played very nice and you guessed it is now completely used up in my latest sock project, part of which is hanging there with the blighted pink thread.

I managed a whole two weeks without knitting anything sock, but this gorgeous pattern just got me and I had to go hunt out some leftovers to get started.

I had to make opposites as there was insufficient of one colour to complete a pair and just making two different coloured socks would have been way too simple.

These were started last week, not at the weekend, even on holidays I need to do some things other than knit.
There was a little photo shoot Monday before the sun burnt everything in sight.
HiyaHiya Christmas Flower socks in Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply and some unidentified gift yarn.

Very happy with the new socks, though they may be looking for a new home soon. Well once the weather goes back to normal.

Hope your week is off to a fabulous start and you are safe and cool.
Off to refill the glass with iced water!

Friday, January 3, 2014

A New Year Challenge

While 2013 was definitely sock central around here changes are in place to switch things up.
I have a long list of things (other than socks) that I'd like to get done this year, starting with a knitted blanket, doesn't mean you won't see a sock here though. 
While I've made the occasional crocheted blanket it has been a long time since I knitted anything remotely like a blanket and those were pretty much cot sized or smaller and very simple designs. I thought I'd start the year with something which requires a little attention and while made in one piece so no sewing together at the end, it is modular with interesting details. 

Only the beginning

It's true I didn't wait until the 1st of January to cast on but got a head start by casting on Christmas Day after all the food had been inhaled. I did have empty needles after my finish on Christmas Eve and that in itself creates a certain level of anxiety. Haha.

The root system is in place

I am still working through my yarn stash and this pretty lavender colour yarn is part of my inheritance from Granny. It is vintage Bendigo Woollen Mills 3 ply so the blanket won't end up being heavy or large but I get to try the pattern anyway.

Braid for the border

The pattern is Yggdrasil by Lisa Jacobs which is included as part of a free E-book downloadable from Interweave.

Oh, Yeah the lighting (or lack of) plays havoc with this yarn colour, it looks more like the blue/purple colour in the above photo than the pink in the one below but it is all the same project. 
The trees grow from the centre

Growing trees and weaving braids so far the pattern has provided just the right amount of changes in direction to keep things interesting and it is not too complicated to work on in company, perfect really as this week has been a lot about socialising and knit group is on tomorrow.

I took the advice of starting the year the way you intend to go on seriously and spent all of January 1st knitting, well I wouldn't want to spend a whole year cleaning would I?

Thanks Linda for continuing the stash busting challenge into 2014.

Wishing everyone a Happy weekend with good company and time for creating.