Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cause for celebration ..... or not?

I was lucky enough to pick up four Socks That Rock Rare Gems skeins at the start of the year (see here), and they had been languishing in my stash ever since. So in order to celebrate getting a temporary job (hey, when you're unemployed, even a days work is good news), I decided to celebrate by casting on a special pair of socks. The job fizzled out, but the socks turned out much better than I had hoped.

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight - Water
Pattern: Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
Duration: Started 28th August 2010 - Completed 1st October 2010

The colourway of this particular Rare Gem didn't initially appeal to me, but I'm really happy with how these turned out. Apart from some pooling on sock number one, the textured pattern really brings out the best of these colours. I'll definitely be using this pattern again for some of my other Socks That Rock skeins.

In other news, I had to redo the Smooshy Winter Gloves I made for my mother. It turns out that Sanguine Gryphon Bugga stretches a lot, and the pair I made for my mother's smallish hands now fit my father's giant sized ones!

Yarn: Sanguine Gryphon Bugga - David Attenborough
Pattern: Fingerless Gloves - One Pattern Three Looks by Clare Vallans
Duration: Started 8th October 2010 - Completed 15th October 2010

Modifications: Cast on 50 stitches instead of the 60 the pattern calls for. This way when they stretch, they'll actually end up being the perfect size.

Other than these, I've actually been working on some of my old WIP's, tyring to finish them so that I can start on Christmas knitting with a clear conscience. (I figure I might as well actually finish my niece's jumper while she can still fit into it.) We'll just ignore the little slip up I might've had with the latest installment of The Loopy Ewe sock club. Brown is not really my colour, but somehow before I knew it, this had happened....


Friday, October 15, 2010

Father's Day Socks

Recently, my father who has always picked on me for knitting, decided that he wanted to see what all the fuss was about regarding hand knit socks.

When presented with such a perfect opportunity to convert him to the dark side (so to speak), how could I resist?

So I decided to knit him a pair of socks for Father's Day. Given that my father has huge, giant sized feet, I decided to use the Yarn Harlot's Earl Grey socks pattern, hoping and praying throughout the whole time I was knitting them, that they would fit.

Yarn: Patonyle - Grey
Pattern: Earl Grey by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Duration: Started 14th June 2010 - Completed 5th September 2010

I did my usual last minute rush on these, actually finishing them half an hour before my dad woke up on Father's Day. Talk about cutting it fine!

When I gifted these to my dad he was very happy to finally have his very own pair of hand knitted socks, and has already placed a request for another pair! The socks were pronounced as being "comfy", which coming from my dad is high praise. Having socks custom made for him means that he gets a perfect fit around the heel, which is something he doesn't get with store bought socks.

So now that these are over and done with, it's time to start knitting another pair for him for Christmas. Time to get started on all of the other Christmas knitting as well!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

For The Love of Swaps

I recently took part in the Low Budget Swap on the Australian Knitters board on Ravelry, and I wanted to knit something nice for my swappee, Bribroday. As she had expressed a desire for some hand knit socks, but was unable to knit them herself, I decided to knit up these for her, and off they went with some yummy edible treats.

Yarn: Moda Vera Noir - Bushland
Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Duration: Started 19th July 2010 - Completed 10th August 2010

In return, from the lovely Celia, I received this delightful package - nice warm bed socks and chocolates in my favourite brand.

Celia actually sent me the first ever swap package I received, and the fingerless gloves she sent me years ago are still in regular use today.

It was nice to go full circle with the swaps and the kindness and generosity of everybody in ensuring that their swapee's had lovely packages to brighten their days reminds me of why I love swaps. I love going to that extra effort of making something that someone I've never met will adore, and then receiving a package in the mail, with the contents a total surprise, and knowing that a total stranger has also gone to that extra effort to make something nice for you ..... the kindness and generosity of other knitters is why I love swaps.

P.S. On a totally unrelated matter, I got a mention on Round the Twist video podcast. Carin chose my suggestion for a name for the newest pair of socks that she's knitting. Check out her blog to see.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Winter Warmers

So the weather has turned extremely chilly of late, prompting the need for some warm winter knitwear. Nothing like cold icy winds to put the pressure on when you're being slack in finishing up an item.

Therefore, I present one quick fix for cold icy weather.

Yarn: Wendy Dennis Polwarth 8ply
Pattern: Mitts in Seed Stitch by Cleckheaton
Duration: Started 6th June 2010 - Completed 12th June 2010

These gloves were actually quite a quick knit, and were well received by my five year old niece, who immediately put them on and didn't take them off all weekend!
I picked the yarn up at the Bendigo Wool and Sheep show last year and I live the stitch definition. I made sure to pick up some more of this again this year.

Next up we have a Noro striped scarf that I knitted up for Mum. I made one of these for myself last year and had to go to great lengths to keep my mother stealing it on me! I originally started this with the intent of giving it to Mum for Mother's Day, but it was nowhere near finished at the time. However I did finally get this finished recently, when we had our coldest day in two years. Needless to say it was another gift that was definitely appreciated.

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden - Colours 87 & 284 (2 balls of each)
Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood
Modifications: Knitted this using 49 stitches rather than the 39 stitches the pattern calls for, as Mum requested hers to be an inch wider than mine, as she likes wider scarves.
Duration: Started 4th April 2010 - Completed 29th June 2010

I purchased this yarn at Easter last year while on holiday at Daylesford, so this counts as using up souvenir yarn as well as knitting from stash.

Then we have another pair of fingerless gloves, also made for Mum. An attempt to use up some of my steadily growing stash of Sanguine Gryphon Bugga, while knitting something nice for my mother to wear while at work.

Yarn: Sanguine Gryphon Bugga - David Attenborough
Pattern: Fingerless Gloves - One Pattern Three Looks by Clare Vallans
Duration: Started 29th June 2010 - Completed 11th July 2010

I love knitting with this yarn, it's so soft and warm and squishy - I'd stop my knitting almost every five minutes just to admire the yarn!

Eventually though these were done, and the super high cashmere content of this yarn has ensured that they have been steadily worn since they were gifted.

Last up, we have a little finished object I knitted for me. I actually started this last year, but decided I needed a nice bright scarf to go with my new winter coat, for my annual pilgrimage to the Bendigo Wool and Sheep show, so this came out of the UFO pile to be completed.
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted - Amoroso
Pattern: One Row Handspun Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Duration: Started 14th August 2009 - Completed 14th July 2010
On a sad note though, I think I'm going to have to frog what I've done of the Evenstar shawl and start over. I seem to have a mistake along the way, putting some yarn overs where they shouldn't be, and of course I didn't use a lifeline. Off to the frog pond with this....

So to wrap up, lots of finished objects to show you this time. It's amazing what a motivation a bit of cold weather can be!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Socks, Socks and More Socks

Well, it appears that the upside to being made unemployed / redundant, is that I now have a lot of free time on my hands to knit. Specifically to knit socks and try and make my way through the mountain of sock yarn in my stash before it collapses on me. So, in the interests of not being buried alive under a pile of yarn, I've finished off these little pretties.

The first is a pair of socks that I knitted for my mother for Mother's Day. In a change of routine with me and deadline orientated gift knitting, I actually finished these with time to spare (as opposed to my usual routine of staying up till midnight knitting my fingers to the bone, trying to get the present completed).

Yarn: sKnitches Cinema Sock Club - Feed Me Seymour
Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Duration: Started 27th February 2010 - Completed 8th May 2010

Nice and bright, these socks were well received, and I was left with a clear conscience to knit on something for me.

Orange is not normally a colour I like to knit with (think the ugly burnt orange of 70's appliances if you want to know why), but I saw the design process on the Knitspot blog, and I had to knit it.

Yarn: Dye Dreams Classy Sox - A Sockwork Orange
Pattern: Fishbone Gansey Sock by Anne Hanson
Duration: Started 28th April 2010 - Completed 25th May 2010

Then, because my dad has finally stopped picking on me about the fact that I knit, long enough to actually request something, I had to start these.

I love socks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Pair of Socks to Show

I started this par of socks way back in January, on the same day as the Summer Lovin' socks in fact, but I only finished them recently.

I love knitting the Nutkins pattern, and the wool is so soft and squishy, but I kept on getting distracted with other projects (I know, how unusual for me *eye roll*).

Yarn: Jolly Jumbuck Hercules - Wild Orchid (purchased Melbourne Stitches & Craft Show 2008)
Pattern: Nutkin by Beth LaPensee
Duration: Started 10th January 2010 - Completed 18th April 2010

Anyway, they're done now, which leaves me more time to focus on other projects like this:

And this

On a sadder note, my favourite podcast Lime 'n Violet has just finished after 105 episodes. Unfortunately I never got to download them all before they were removed from iTunes, and now I don't know what I'll listen to while I knit. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sharing the Sock Love

Now that Autumn is underway, it's time to get cracking on the sock knitting, so that I can have nice toasty feet this winter.

Luckily, I recently finished this pair, right in time for the cold rainy weather of the season.

These are probably the most difficult pair of lace socks that I've knitted so far, but are definitely worth it. This pattern definitely required a lot of concentration, and the heel, whereas it is extremely durable, hurt my wrists so much to knit, with slipped stitches on both the knit and the purl sides.

Yarn: Lush Yarn Merino Socks - Baby Blue Eyes (December '09 Installment of Lush Yarn Sock Club)
Pattern: Summer Lovin Socks by Knitting Nonstop
Duration: Started 10th January 2010 - Completed 6th March 2010

All in all though, these socks are gorgeous, and are definitely worth all the hard work. I'll probably knit this pattern again, but not for a while yet. Too many other gorgeous sock patterns to try.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Parade of Finished Objects

I have a busy little knitter of late, so I have some nice little finished objects to show you.

Firstly, I present these socks...

Ta da. Finally these socks are done! I promised several years ago, that I would knit a friend of the family a pair of socks. Started early last year, and finished early this year, this is probably the longest time it has ever taken me to knit a pair of socks. Despite the fact that the wool was 8 ply and knitted on 4mm needles, and therefore should have been a quick and easy knit, I couldn't seem to get into the swing of things with these, and kept on getting distracted with other projects.

Yarn: Spotlight Basics Harvest Pure Wool - Grey
Pattern: Socks from Socks and Scarf Pattern - Creative Knitting 2009 Annual Australia
Duration: Started 26th February 2009 - Completed 9th January 2010

And of course, I have yet another dishcloth to show you...

I really enjoyed trying out this particular pattern, and will probably use it again. Considering the wear and tear on dishcloths around here, if it lasts longer than a few months, then the pattern is definitely a keeper!

Yarn: Red Heart Eco Cotton Blend
Pattern: Flying Geese Dishcloth by Vaunda Rae Giberson
Duration: Started 23rd January 2010 - Completed 29th January 2010

In my other spare time, I have been working on stash accumulation - not that I really need more sock yarn of course, but I can't resist all those pretty colours. Also I've discovered that Sanguine Gryphon is a lot easier to stalk than Wollmeise, so I've managed to score quite a bit of yarn in their updates.

I have lots more of this on the way, and can't wait for it to arrive - at this rate I'll be able to build a house out of all the yarn that's being delivered. Oh well, at least it's good for insulation....

Speaking of yarn being delivered, check out my newest sock club packages

Last installment of Knitabulous Indian Summer club - I've already signed up for the Black Japan club that she's got running too

Also the last installment of the Lush Summer Sock Club - check out the pretty blue yarn. I've already signed up for the Autumn installment of this one too, so I can keep on getting my hands on the goodies.

I also received this pretty lace weight....

I've signed up for the Evenstar KAL on Ravelry, and this little pretty is going to be an Evenstar shawl. Quite a challenge considering I've never knit a full size shawl before - I'm jumping in the deep end with this one. Oh well, it'll definitely keep me busy....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rare Gems Loot

Recently I was lucky enough to buy some of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts/Socks That Rock Rare Gems.

I've lusted after these for years, but as Tina usually only sells them at the U.S. fibre shows, I figured my chance of ever scoring one of the elusive skeins was nought to zero at best.

So imagine my delight, when Tina announced that to celebrate the Blue Moon at the end of '09, she was going to have a once in a lifetime Blue Moon Rare Gems sale! Lightweight and mediumweight skeins grouped into elements, ie. Earth, Air, Fire & Water. Basically a lucky dip of what you could end up with, except that you could choose which element you wanted (with a limit of how much you could buy to ensure that everyone got a fair go).

I chose one skein each of lightweight and mediumweight in the elements of Air and Water, and overall I'm impressed with what I received.

Of the four skeins that I purchased, there's only one that is not really 'Me', but I'm sure it'll be great to do some gift knitting with.

Overall I'm just thrilled to have scored not one, but four of the Rare Gem skeins. Now I just have to find the perfect projects which are worthy of them....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First Finished Object of 2010

I've completed my first finished object of the new year, which is actually the first Rockin' Sock Club installment of last year. I absolutely love the pattern and the colour of the yarn, and may use this pattern again.

This is actually the only installment I knitted from last years club as last year was a very gift/swap heavy year for me. I've made it one of my new years resolutions this year to knit more stuff for me!

Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight - My Blue Heaven
Pattern: Queen of Beads - Sivia Harding
Duration: Started 4th October 2009 - Completed 4th January 2009

I'm very happy with these, the only thing I'm disappointed about is the fact that we're in the middle of a heatwave and I'll have to wait until the weather cools down again to wear them!

And just when I was looking for a new project to start, look what appears on my doorstep...

It's the new installment of Knitabulous Indian Summer Club. The yarn is 50/50 silk merino in Bollywood Nights, to be knitted up into the Bollywood capelet. As usual, she has included lots of extra goodies as well (edible treat, pincushion, candle and stitchmarkers). I love using her yarn, and the colours she comes up with are gorgeous as well.

Can't wait to get started on this one. Only one more gift project to get out of the way, and then finally I can knit something for me!