Monday, 28 July 2008

All a question of balance

So there I was knitting away at Joy's socks feeling mildly frustrated because the Cocoon hasn't gone well (still hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles) and the socks aren't for me and then it occurred to me that I can fix the situation. All I need to do is to cast on whatever takes my fancy. What I need is a variety of WIPs that I can pick up depending on my mood.

So that it what I have done.

I've knitted a swatch for the Secret of the Stole III. The first clue will only appear on 15 August so I have the pleasure of anticipating another piece of lace which will require beads.

SOTSiii swatch

I've knittied this using Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 2ply in Almond on 3.5 mm circs. I'm wondering whether I should go up a needle size to make it lacier? What do you think?

Then, still in my quest for balance, I signed up for the Ravelympics 2008. I've entered the Cable Steeplechase for Team Oz. I intend to knit the Rogue Hoodie. I've had this pattern in my queue for ages and now is the time. For my training I will have to knit a swatch as I'm substituting the yarn and have no idea as yet how it will perform. In addition the weather is still pretty cold here (had snow again yesterday morning) so some cable knitting in front of the fire will be just the ticket.

And then last, but by no means least, I've finally cast on for the Anniversary Mystery shawl by the Goddessknits. This KAL started ages ago but firstly, I didn't have the time to knit it and secondly, I wasn't happy with the yarn I had set aside for it. But the Touch Yarn I bought the other day is ideal for this shawl.

Touch yarns pure merino 2ply

This is the first circular shawl I've knitted. I used the magic loop method for the first time and found I had to fudge things a little because I can't quite see what I'm doing. I've decided I'd rather use two circs before I go any further. Unfortunately that meant ordering another set of tips. So now I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of the tips sometime this week.

Friday, 25 July 2008

FOs: I think?

I finished my Swirly Girl socks. I did these in Crystal Palace Yarns Maizy Solid Taupe. The yarn is gloriously soft but inclined to be a bit splitty, especially when doing SSKs.

Swirly socks2

I also redid the edging on the Cocoon. I went up a needle size to 4.5mm and used a VLT lace cast off which worked very well. The vest now lies flat BUT.... I think I'm going to have to undo the last bit again and knit the vest longer. On me it sits properly but I'm small breasted (lets not be cruel and say flat chested) and my friend who wants this darn thing ad a very large bust. I fear the vest is going to ride up in front and thus will need to be lengthened. I'm pondering this but I think I will have to bite the bullet and redo it.

And then yesterday I went to the Craft and Quilt fair and fell off the wagon. I bought this: Noro Kureyon Sock

Noro sock

and this: Touch Yarns 2 ply pure merino

Touch yarns pure merino 2ply

I've been meaning to knit the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl but firstly we were on holiday when it stared and secondly I didn't think the yarn in my stash was appropriate but now I'm ready to cast on!

And while I indulged in a bit of yarn my significant other indulged in some cross stitch patterns. He finished this last night and I think he is now back into the swing of things.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Don't you hate it

when you finish a garment and you just know something is not quite right. That's what happened to me with the Cocoon. Here it is blocking:

I knew as I was blocking it that my cast off was too tight and that it just wouldn't sit right. But being human, I hoped against hope that blocking would cure all. Of course it didn't. The moment you put the vest on the front corners curl up and the neck doesn't sit right. So, to solve the problem I will have to re-do the edging. I'll use a larger needle and try a different cast-off that will be much looser.

Because a friend asked me to knit her this vest I will have to make the changes sometime soon. If it were mine I would toss it aside for a bit before fixing it (maybe next year sometime!).

Instead I will first finish my Swirly Girl socks. I've started to turn the heels so it should be done this week.

And then I'll get back to the Cocoon ..... sigh...

Sunday, 13 July 2008

5,462 km later

We made it back home. The past three weeks were so all encompassing that being on the road became a way of life. Being back home has taken some adjusting.

My head is filled with wonderful images. We saw so many beautiful and interesting things. And of course the weather was perfect. Not until we landed back in Melbourne did we see clouds.

We took five different cruises on the trip which included the Kakadu wetlands, a couple of gorges and the Ord River scheme and Lake Argyle. Those of us who came from the drought stricken South Eastern States were totally awe struck by the vast amounts of water we saw in the various rivers. One forgets just how soothing it is to see mega liters of water flowing by.

I have no regrets about the trip but never again will I undertake a group tour. Group traveling is not my cup of tea. I also found the 5:30 am starts in the morning rather relentless. At night we used to crawl into bed by 8 pm knowing that we will yet again have to break camp at 5:30 pack our tens and stow our gear all before brekkie at 6:30 am. I am not a morning person! Its been bliss being back at home in my own bed and rising in my own good time.

The relentless pace also meant next to no knitting time. I couldn't even knit on the bus because we bounced around far too much and I didn't want to risk missing any interesting bird sightings.

Here is a taste of some of the things we saw.

Boabs and the tents we came to know so well.

The Bungle-Bungles. We took a helicopter ride over them which was spectacular. Unfortunately the camera didn't work at that point. Getting into the Bungles was hard going. It took us two and a half hours to do just 53 km.

Cathedral gorge in the Bungle-Bungles.

Geikie gorge along the Gibb River Road.

One of many creek crossings along the Gibb River Road.

Lake Argyle.