Sunday, 30 March 2008

Too busy

Friends from South Africa arrived just before Easter for a visit. Ever since their arrival we have had a lovely time playing tourist guides but that has meant very little time for knitting or anything else for that matter. We waved them goodbye yesterday morning and since then things have gradually been getting back to normal.

I finally managed to complete my Spring Shawl Surprise. The theme revealed itself as the Earth Mother. See here for Lul's full explanation. To date this has been the most difficult piece of lace knitting I have tackled. I really enjoyed the challenge and liked the end product. It is to become a birthday gift for my neighbour.

Here it lies blocking:

The shawl is quite large and difficult to photograph in a way that does it justice.

It's an amazingly light weight shawl but I suspect will lend quite a bit of warmth on a cool summer's evening.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

FO: Carolina

What a thrill to finish both socks simultaneously.

Now I just wish that the relentless heat of the past week would end so that I can wear socks again. It's so hot at the moment the yarn clings to my sweaty hands. Not that it stops me knitting. I just keep dunking my hands in cold water when it gets too bad.

I've started on version 2 of my Cozy. I'm now using an 8 ply yarn - Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic in Midnight Tweed. I only started late last night and its going really quickly. I really like the colour too although the camera doesn't do it justice. Its a delightful deep plum with just hints of emerald green.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Wildlife and a bit of knitting

Yesterday evening while driving to Woodend we spotted a koala on the side of the road. This has become a very rare sight for us so we immediately stopped and turned back to have a better look. He (she?) started to cross the road and we made sure he got across safely because cars tend to go at high speed along that road. The koala looked quite young and in very good condition. We left him once he was safely off the road. His chances of survival are pretty slim these days because of shrinking habitat, cars and dog attacks.

Our other wildlife encounter at the moment is this kookaburra:

For the last ten days he has been attacking our windows. We stuck newspaper in the windows to prevent any reflection so now the little bugger has moved onto the glass door on the deck and is attacking himself through the fly wire. We now have a screendoor covered in holes.

Some knitting has been done this week. I've completed all my knitting for the Bag Lady swap - photos will have to wait until the end of the month.

I've completed clue 10 of the SSS. This was a tricky clue with a fair whack of complex patterning but I'm enjoying the challenge.

And I've done my swatch for the Mystic Lights Kal.

I used Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5 ply n Iris and 4.5 mm needles.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

A new technique and a new addition

For quite some time now I've wanted to learn to knit two socks on two circular needles. I finally bought Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. So with book in hand I cast on Carolina.

It was a touch fiddly at first but once I realised that I could make life much easier by adding a couple of stitch markers, things become a lot easier.

I put the stitch markers on the same needle to prevent me from mixing up the needles. I also used different markers for each sock so that I could distinguish between the first and the second sock and to help me keep track which way I'm heading whenever I need to put the socks down mid round.

I really like the idea of two simultaneously completed socks and what's more they will be exactly the same in length.

I'm knitting the socks on Knit Picks 2.5 mm circulars and the yarn is Opal Traumfänger.

And now for the new addition. On Friday our chook Beryl hatched a little chick and here she (he?) is. How cute is that?

Poor Meryl, the other chook, is not very happy because she has been banished to the glasshouse at night. She's been eyeing off the intruder during the day and we have to make sure they remain segregated for the time being.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

So many KALs

I just love all the lace KALs springing up everywhere and I find the mystery ones irresistible. So at the moment I am working on the Spring Shawl Surprise and I completed clue 9 on Friday.

This was a very easy clue. I still can't guess the theme.

I've joined two other KALs this week. The Mystic Lights KAL and the Secret of Bad Nauheim KAL. For the Mystic Lights I think I will be using Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5 ply in Iris.

I've done my Secret of Bad Nauheim swatch in Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic cone 2ply in Peony and 3.5 mm needles.

My Cozy has come to a stand still again but I'm really not hapy with the 3 ply yarn I'm using. It's far too thin. I want to start over using an 8 ply instead. I don't have any 8 ply in my stash at the moment so I will probably have to do a spot of shopping.

I'm on track with my Australian Bag Lady swap. I've got one completed item, one that only needs 2 more finishing touches and one that still has to be felted. By the end of the weekend it should all be done. Photos will have to wait until it is all mailed later in the month.