The Learning Never Ends

22 06 2009

I have suddenly become unhappy with how slowly and how undignifiedly (can’t think of a more suitable word, so had to use this made up one), I knit.  I wonder if it has something to do with my being left handed and having to control the yarn with my right hand.  Although, this is a bit of a weak excuse as I use a knife and fork right handed, play golf and cricket right handed, but I do write, use chopsticks, play tennis and crochet left handed.  Anyway, the reasons are irrelevant, but the feeling of dissatisfaction is annoying.

Last Saturday afternoon I decided to teach myself to knit in the continental style.  To hold and control the yarn with my left hand.  I downloaded a great video demonstration from YouTube ( and watched it a couple of times before making my first attempt.  I must have watched it another 20 or more times while I got the hang of it, but eventually I seemed to have at least mastered what I was supposed to do. 

On Sunday I knit a garter stitch square using my new style and although the tension wasn’t great at the beginning, by the end it was looking pretty even.  On Monday I started knitting a cardigan (swing style with a K12P6 rib pattern) using my new method and I must say it is looking very even. 

I can see that it is going to be much faster, although it is probably at the stage where it is on a par with how fast I was knitting using the throw style, previously.  It is kind of like changing to tea with no sugar, I am still not quite used to it, but there is no way I could go back.  The method feels really comfortable for me and I’m so glad I made the effort to learn.


Publishing Goodness & Light

18 06 2009

Anthony is having his first day in daycare so I am catching up on things that I want to do but always put on the backburner and one is publishing this pattern:

Goodness & Light

Goodness & Light – pdf version

I will also put them on my Free Knitting Pattern page.

Steve’s Sweater Alternative

18 06 2009

I don’t think that I have the commitment required to knit a sweater of a size that would fit Steve, so he just has to settle for socks and beanies. 

I just finished these William Street socks for him last night:

William Street Socks

William Street Socks

They were knit toe up two at a time.  This is the first time I have knit toe up and I really love that you don’t have to worry about running out of yarn and that you can use up every little bit of yarn so that you don’t have the odd 10g hanging around, filling up stash space.

Also my first time for Turkish Cast on.  I downloaded a tutorial from goodness knows where ages ago and it went pretty smoothly.  I used my second attempt and it looks easily as good as my several hundredth attempt at kitchener stitch.  And my first time for a short row heel, no picking up stitches around the heel – hooray.  I was worried that the heel wouldn’t sit as it should without a gusset but it fits nicely around his ankle.

I knit the socks with Grinasco Tango which was lovely to work with.  Tweedy and slubby and very soft.  The downside is that it is handwash – not so good for socks.  Hopefully they will go ok in the handwash cycle of the washing machine.

The pattern was William Street socks from Knitting Daily Free Patterns and was an easy to follow three strand, woven cable pattern.  The dense cabling makes the sock thick and warm and very cushy.  I think Steve will like them.  Here is a (bit blurry) close up of the cable pattern:


World Wide Knit in Public Day

17 06 2009
Saturday, June 13th was World Wide Knit in Public Day.  The Tassie Ravelry
Group had organised a day in Ross at the Wool Centre which I had committed to going to.  I must admit when I woke up in the morning and the weather was so dreary I would much preferred to have been staying at home and knitting in front of the football, but I gritted my teeth and headed off into the pouring rain.

I’m so glad I made the effort, the trip up and the trip home were awful, especially going home as the rain was pouring, the tarmac was shiny, the orange lights down the Brooker were shocking, it was completely dark by Pontville and then foggy from Vince’s Saddle to home.  But the day was absolute bliss. 

I haven’t been to the Wool Centre at Ross for a very long time and I had forgotten how spectacular it really is.  Deb from the Wool Centre was so generous, she had tea and coffee making facilities, biccies and even home made scones and jam and cream!  The knitwear for sale was gorgeous and very inspiring.  There was a brand of yarn there called Woolganic which I hadn’t hear of, but was so soft and the colours were wonderful.  I ended up buying enough to make Elise a vest.

Woolganics for Elise

Woolganics for Elise

They also had a great range of buttons, which, of course I couldn’t resist, and I also came home with a book called Knitterbugs with some great projects for kids to knit.  Elise is going so well with knitting it won’t be long before she will want some more challening patterns.

There was a great bunch of knitters and spinners gathered out the back, making plenty of noise, much too scarey for anybody to actually come along and ask about knitting so I’m not sure how successful we were with the aims of World Wide Knit in Public Day.  There was spinning and knitting and fondling of handspun and talking and laughing and admiring of handknits and a bit more knitting.  I forgot my camera so I don’t have any photos to post, but trust me it was blissful.  Lunch at the pub and a couple of glasses of wine and a bit more knitting and then home.  Truly lovely. 

Penni made us some great bags and badges for the day.

Penni's fabulous work

and Jo designed the nudie ewe for the front – very clever.

Nudie ewe

Nudie ewe

Roll on World Wide Knit in Public Day 2010!!

Hot Water Bottle Cozies everywhere

11 06 2009

In the end I decided that the hot water bottle cozy that I designed for Ryan was just a bit too “manly” for a three year old.  I am still very pleased with it but not quite sure what to do with it. 

A "manly" cozy

A "manly" cozy

It is knit with Bendigo Woollen Mills “leftovers”, some classic and some mystique, all 8 ply.  The colours work quite well together in the slip stitch pattern.  The yarn carryovers and the slight puckering of the fabric, caused by the slip stitch rows, make the cozy a bit squishy and extra cuddly and should give good thermal properties. 

Here is a close up of the slip stitch pattern:

slip stitch pattern

slip stitch pattern

In the end I knit a simple cozy for Ryan out of some Moda Vera Flirt and some Moda Vera Jazz which I had leftover from knitting a “Green Sheep” for a child who absolutely loved the book “Where is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox.  It is a tube knit in the round to the neck with some decreases at each end of each side (similar to sock gusset decreases) and then a frill knit in jazz by increasing in every second stitch every couple of rows a few times.

blurry, flirty, jazzy cozy

blurry, flirty, jazzy cozy

The photo is very blurry and the cozy is very acrylic, but it is lovely and soft and cuddly for a little boy.

Nothing much in knitting news….

4 06 2009

I have a couple of FOs that I have yet to photograph, so not much to report this week.

I have designed a hot water bottle cozy for Ryan’s birthday which I am quite pleased with.  I haven’t photographed it yet, or written up the pattern so I am really falling down on the job.  I have written up the pattern for Goodness and Light but have yet to publish it.  It is coming…..

I have also knit Ryan a small pouch to keep action figures in for his birthday.  It is also my own pattern but I don’t think I will bother publishing it as anyone could figure it out just by looking at it really.  This also needs to be photographed.  I was going to do the photography today but misty rain has set in and the light is terrible.  I will have to do something about it soon though as I will have to give them to Ryan on Tuesday.

Also finished some secret squirrel business for a swap in the Ravelry Bendigo Woollen Mill users group which must remain hush hush for about three more weeks.  If only the cone of silence worked on the net….

Apart from that, only two pairs of socks on the needles.  One for Anthony and one for Steve.  Not really inspired by either of them but I don’t want my UFOs to blow out again so I am trying really hard to stick to them.

The end of term

25 05 2009

It’s been a good knitting week. 

On Wednesday Auntie Rhona gave me a crochet pattern, which she couldn’t figure out, to have a look at.  Definitely a case of the blind leading the much less blind than me here. And, oh my god it’s a miracle, I think I’ve figured it out.  It seems that they haven’t put the “*” or the “rep from * to last ? stitches” in the pattern, which kind of made it a pattern reading problem rather than a crochet problem.  Much more my area of expertise!!  So off to crow to Auntie Rhona on Wednesday after swimming – and hopefully get served up something really yummy for morning tea – and raid her garden for bits and pieces. 

On Saturday afternoon I started my first ever pair of toe up socks, using the Turkish cast on method.  Just as I was getting the hang of it, we had to go out and we didn’t get home until 11.30pm.  When we got home I thought I’d just have a nice cup of tea and another little go at it and got all the toe done.  When I looked at the clock it was 2.00am – a very long way past my bed time.

Sunday Steve went hunting with the boys so the kids and I had a nice quiet day, luckily.  A bit of gardening, a bit of tv and alot of knitting.  Elise is going really well with her knitting.  She did four or five rows of her scarf without dropping or increasing any stitches – not bad for a wildly impatient six year old.   

I have finished another design, a hat this time.  A thank you present for Al for doing such a great job on our new door.  Pattern to appear very soon…..

This is Steve being my model, he has a bigger head than Al

This is Steve being my model, he has a bigger head than Al

The Fairisle you have when you're not having a Fairisle

The Fairisle you have when you're not having a Fairisle

the pattern

the pattern