26 January 2013

What should I do?

Last week before we went on the road trip to New South Wales I started on the Sea Level shawl using my handspun, the long trip allowed me to get a lot of the knitting done but then there was a snag - I run out of yarn! The shawl is about 2/3 complete but there's only about 20 meters or so left, so I'm stuck, arrrrrgh!
Also I'm not sure if the yarn is suited for the pattern, so now I'm in two minds whether to frog... consider this is a spin/knit along project, any additional yarn will have to be handspun too, and I'm not sure where to go from here in terms of colour, hmm...  Any suggestions? or should I start again with another handspun and use this for something else?

Our trip to Toowoon Bay was fantastic, nothing fancy, just some relaxation and quality family time together. We also visited some friends whom we haven't seen for a long time which was a bonus.

View from our friend's balcony, I wouldn't mind retiring to a place like this!
Pelicans at The Entrance, they congregate everyday at 3pm near the waterfront for a feed, these are the early birds ;)

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18 January 2013

SKAL - Spin & Knit Along

I recently joined a group on Ravelry called Spin A Shawl, every three months the group work on a chosen shawl pattern, the whole project start from spinning the yarn to the finished item. The January - March project is a pattern called Sea Level, what's so interesting about this pattern is that the shawl is knitted with one ball of fingering weight handspun yarn in a gradient colourway, but its worked from both ends simultaneously to create a contrasting stripes pattern that gradually changes colour. I love the concept very much and ordered a lovely merino top just for this.
This is a superfine merino at 15 micron in the colourway of Ocean Flower, hand-dyed by the talented Nicole of Spin.Knit.Love. I spun this worsted and N-plied to a slightly larger than fingering weight at 13wpi, the yarn is super soft and has a lot of bounce. In my excitement to get on with the knitting I forgot to count the number of loops while it was still on the niddy noddy to I'm not sure of the yardage, it weighs 106gms so fingers crossed I should have enough.
Next week we are going on a road trip to the Central Coast in New South Wales, it's about 1000km each way so I'm hoping to get some knitting done when I'm not driving.
This summer holiday is disappearing fast, after we get back from this trip the boys will be back at school and the normal routine will resume. But that will mean less crafting time so I'm not looking forward to that, on the other hand I'll be waiting around a lot more in the car (between jobs, school pickups, etc.) so I might get more knitting done :)

What have you been up to this week?

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11 January 2013

Tunisian Resolution Scarf Revisited

It's been two years since I wrote the pattern for the Tunisian Resolution Scarf and frankly I'd quite forgotten about it. You see I'm a fickle who likes to try different things, so after that initial bash at Tunisian crochet I really didn't pursue it (maybe) as I should, well I might give it another go sometime and try some different stitches but not just yet. But a few days ago I got a question regarding this pattern, it's about the starting chains. As I really couldn't remember much about this pattern I had to review my notes, which wasn't much, and thought the best way was to make it again myself.

Have you ever tried to follow your own notes? Apparently things that were really clear and made perfect sense at the time could be a tad fuzzy after a while. And my reader was right, my instruction for picking up stitches from the starter chain was one chain short! Wow, those poor people who tried following my instructions must be very good at deciphering patterns (there are currently 108 projects on Ravelry, of which 2 are my own) that they have created wonderful items from the pattern.

So to clarify: each pattern is 4 stitches, to make the repeats it requires #repeats x4+1. There are also 2 selvage stitches, 1 on each side. My scarf pattern has 5 repeats, therefore the calculation is 5x4+1=23

Luckily the rest of the instructions are comprehensible enough and I was able to follow them and complete my piece.
The yarn is of an unknown brand from my stash and there were only 2 balls of it, it's about worsted weight and around 200 meters / 219 yards, not enough for a decent scarf so I chain crocheted the two short ends together and made a cowl that can be worn loose as a scarf or looped around twice as a snug cowl. I used a 7mm tunisian crochet hook.
This really is a simple pattern and the result is quite handsome, even if I do say so myself :)  The stitch pattern is easy to remember, only the forward row and the return row. It's unisex, quick to make and looks good in a range of yarn weights.  - talk about blowing one's own trumpet!  But seriously, if you have ever wanted to try tunisian crochet this pattern might just fit the bill rather nicely.  Ravelry link.

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04 January 2013

New Beginnings

Happy New Year my friends!  2013 marks a new beginning for me, just before Christmas I received an acceptance letter to my PhD application, so that's the next four years mapped out for me. I didn't get a scholarship in the first round (because I have never published before) but the letter says that I'm "on the priority list for any remaining scholarship considerations", well that's nice to hear and disappointing at the same time. I was wishing for a scholarship so that my life might be easier, oh well, one can't have everything, as my nine year old once said - "Be happy with what you have Mummy, because we are lucky."

My semester starts in March, so from now until then I'm going to cram in as many crafting projects as I can, because I don't expect to have much free time with studying and working and kids and all that...

New WIPs:

Tweedy Avast
Pattern: Avast by Jess Loesberg in Knitty Fall 2006
Made for: My teenage son.
We're planning a trip back to England next Christmas/New Year, the boy has not seen a woollie sweater in years, so I thought I'd knit him one for this trip (as well as spinning a jumper for DH, I might live to regret this). It's going to be a long haul project. He picked the yarn and pattern himself.

Cookie & Cream Blanket
Pattern: White Lily Blanket by Elena Fedotova
Made for: A friend who is expecting her first baby.
The blanket is made by joining motifs and there are many colour/pattern variations.

New FOs:

Handspun Beanie:
Pattern: Scarf Knitter's Beanie Hat by Anne Carroll Gilmour
Made for:  KOGO (Knit One Give One)
Knitted with my handspun, the yarn was my first attempt at spinning woollen long draw. The yarn is quite uneven but doesn't really show in the hat, I think soaking helped a lot. A very easy pattern and quick to make.

Amphitheater of Summer Seas
Pattern: Amphitheater of Forest by ShuiKuen Kozinski
Yarn: my handspun of merino/silk blend, solar dyed in jam jars and named Summer Seas.
Made for:  A friend who's in need of some comfort.
I love this pattern, the yarn is a perfect match. SK is one of my favourite designers, her patterns are well thought out, clearly written and always turn out beautifully.

Golly I have been busy, haven't I? It's amazing what can be done when you have a few days without the interruption called work ;)

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