Friday, 26 October 2012

blanket fort

I didn't knit this cowl.

But, oh knitting gods forgive me, I did unravel it.

It was still painful to see those lovely, even stitches disappear even though I didn't make them myself. The yarn is, of course, Brooklyn Tweed Loft in 'blanket fort', the colourway that I refused to buy more of because I was determined, oh so stubbornly determined, to finish my Cladonia without. This cowl, given to me, yes given to me by the incredibly generous jnbrkly, for the express purpose of unravelling it so that I could use the yarn. Hooray!

It came home (to Australia) from home (in Seattle) with Tim last night. Double hooray! He had to go back to the US for a conference (in Seattle of all places, from which we had just packed up and moved) and it has been a very long week or so just me and the children, still in the throes of emotional jetlag and adjustment anxiety. It has been four weeks now since we arrived in Melbourne. On the one hand it feels like forever (I did grow up here, I have lived here forever on and off) and on the other as though it has just been a few days.

Ahh, nothing that a bit of knitting and actually finishing a long-suffering project won't fix though (that and the bottle of duty-free gin - ha ha! no, am saving that for a special occasion, truly).

Monday, 15 October 2012

knitting - encouragement required

Certainly one of the greatest dilemmas for any travelling knitter is - "what knitting to take?"

Yes, there is always the welcome opportunity, should the knitter in question tragically run out of knitting, to purchase more yarn, even just a single skein of something really nice. Actually, that's a good idea as a souvenir anytime but I digress. It's more of a dilemma when there is actual knitting to do but none of it is really inspiring.

I have tired a bit of my Betty Mouat Cowl, unsure whether it is really working out. It is actually working out exactly as I had envisioned and intended, I'm just feeling unsure whether I got that vision and intention right. I was very successful using Judy's Magic Cast-on for my 441 provisional stitches. I am getting just the effect that I desired of a pale band in the middle of the cowl, the colour progression to the dark hues is a little more abrupt than I had expected. I've just ... run out of ... steam a bit ....

And then to just add to the disenchantment - Cladonia. I love this shawl pattern, I love the yarn and colours that I have chosen but it is just not working out (again) and I cannot bear the thought of re-knitting it (a third time).

I am waiting for some yarn to arrive in the mail with which I will be able to finish off the triple-picot edge (not a prospect to relish) - yes, I know that I swore I was going to finish it with what I had but then I swore so much that I reconsidered. I didn't buy the yarn, a lovely fellow Raveller is giving it to me, a whole skein's worth!

So really, all the effort that I went to to laboriously unpick and laboriously reweave those two 'truffle hunt' rows was ... just laborious. And tedious. And in retrospect completely unnecessary. I am even tempted to rip back a good two thirds of it to rework the stripe sequence but now I dread not only knitting the lace again but also the striped rows with all the extra increases that I have introduced at the edges. Actually, scrap that notion altogether - I have so little of the 'old world' left over (and not to hand) that I couldn't risk re-knitting the stripes. Solved! When the yarn arrives, I will knit the picot edge, fix up a bit where I have started another unnecessary row of shawl surgery, block it and claim 'design choice' to explain any flaws.

Still, any encouragement on either of these projects would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

look what i found

At the op shop (yes, we're back in Australia):

Yes, the M2818 sewing pattern of my recent ill-fated dressmaking attempts. In my size too, for a dollar. I'm going to keep at it and it's good to have a spare on hand in case my current version gets too tattered.

In the last fortnight, I've also picked up:

- various decor and tupperware plastic storage containers
- a size 4 Country Road hooded sweatshirt for baby b
- a green Seed hooded sweatshirt, size 5/6, for baby b for later
- some unworn European leather shoes for baby b for later
- a pair of Ecco girls boots for a friend's daughter (not sure which friend yet, they're size 23 - give me a yell if you have a daughter)
- likewise for a pair of silver Tip Toey Joey slip-ons
- a Trenery blouse for myself
- great children's books of Aesop's fables, Hans Christian Andersen tales and tales of the Arabian Nights, all with wonderful illustrations
- a wooden circus game
- a linen dress to repurpose as a school uniform piece for miss bear
- a hat for school, also for miss bear
- an unopened packet of overnight nappies for baby b
- a t-shirt for baby b
- a black woollen skirt for myself
- trousers for Tim
- a mug, and I'm sure that's not all.

Guess what else I finally found - free wireless internet (at home, not at the op shop).

ps. There is a spinning wheel in the window at Cheltenham Salvo's (or at least there was a few days ago).

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

september reading

Stressed much? Overdose on complex, multi-layered, can't-put-down Norwegian crime thrillers by  Jo Nesbø:The Redbreast, Nemesis, The Devil's Star. I probably would have finished off The Redeemer as well but the removalists packed my half-read book.