Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Personal Sock Club 2010

I decided that 2010 is the year I'm going to give my sock yarn stash a good work out. So to give myself some added pleasure I have set up my own sock yarn club. I've matched 12 skeins of sock yarn to 12 patterns. Not all patterns are socks because I felt that some of the yarn was just too pretty to live on my feet. So I've included a few lace projects as well. I've bagged them all up and here they are:

Since taking the photo all the bags have been put on the top shelf of my cupboard and on the first of every month I will randomly select a bag. I have already forgotten which patterns I've chosen so I'm quite excited about selecting the first project.

Of course this doesn't mean that that is all I will be knitting in the coming year! I have plans to knit a lot of lace but I suspect that the projects in my mental knitting queue will be reshuffled often as the year progresses and I find new distractions along the way.

Here's to a New Year full of knitterly goodness! I wish you all a wonderful 2010 and may your pointy sticks stay pointy and active!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Summer Lace: Silvester

I have managed to finish my Silvester in time for Christmas. If you need a really quick and easy project then I highly recommend this one.

The stole measures 155 cm x 51 cm (61"x 20"). The yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills 2 ply lace and the needle size is 4.5mm.

This was the first time that I knitted a stole on the bias and I must say I do like the effect. An additional bonus was not having to pick up stitches or having to knit on a border or edge. You simply cast on and knit from corner to corner. You can knit as many pattern repeats as you like. I knitted 5 repeats for this stole.

I tried photographing the stole in all kinds of light in order to capture the colour of the yarn and this final photo finally gives a truer reflection of the colour.

And now on to a bit of fun. Denise from Knitting in the wild is having a lace yarn competition. She has signed up for 10Shawls2010 and is looking for pattern suggestions. Why don't you hop on over and give her a few suggestions? Oh and while you are there be sure to check out her lovely completed lace projects.

I hope you all have a lovely time over the Christmas holidays.

Friday, 18 December 2009

The generosity of knitters

When I first started to knit I was still at primary school and the only other knitters I knew were my mother and grandmother. As the years passed I continued to knit and still only knew very few other knitters. Knitting was an isolating pastime. Most of my friends found it a very unintellectual pastime and thought it all very uncool.

And then some years ago I discovered knitting on the internet and gradually found my way into the virtual knitting community. I have now made knitting friends all over the world.

As I get to know more knitters through blogging and Ravelry I am constantly struck by what a generous bunch of people knitters are. This year I have personally been on the receiving end of that generosity. It has manifested itself in many ways ranging from the many supportive and comforting comments I received last February during that horror summer, the lovely gifts I received participating in the swaps on the Australian Swappers group on Ravelry, through to the unexpected gifts and generous offers from my blogging buddies.

Yesterday I was again on the receiving end. This time knitter extraordinaire, Mary, sent me these beautiful sock blockers.

Look at the beautiful wood and gorgeous butterfly.

Thank you Mary you sure put a lift in my day. I can't wait to get my first pair of socks on them.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Socks and lace

I have finished the Kai-Mei socks. Unfortunately they are not for me. The yarn is Tofutsies and I have to say its a lovely yarn to work with. It also feels good on the feet. I've made a couple of pairs of socks out of this yarn and I find they are ideal for those slightly cool days.

Its rather difficult to bring out the lovely sweeping design without a pair of feet in them!

I've succumbed to my KAL addiction yet again. This time it is another KAL from Knit & Knag designs called Silvester.

I've already completed 2 pattern repeats and I started on the third repeat last night. Talk about instant gratification - this is a really fast knit. The yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills 2 ply lace. No idea of the colourway because I found this yarn in the magical backroom at the Mill itself. I suspect it is one of their colour experiments. Its a marled yarn made up of a deep red and a gorgeous blue.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Summer Lace: Dark Star

Finally my Dark Star stole is complete. This is one of the many lovely designs from BadCatDesigns.

My stole measures 173 cm by 102 cm (68"x40"). The yarn is Ripples Crafts Hand Dyed Yarn in Steely Blue. This is a luscious Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere lace weight yarn. A real pleasure to work with. Oh and the needle size, 3.0 mm circulars.

Its really hard to get the full impact of this stole without a willing model!

Now I need to spend some time on my Summer Squares blanket.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Breaking from the edge

I really should be finishing the edging on my Dark Star but every now and then I need a bit of distraction and lets face it, when it comes to knitting distraction abounds.

So I decided to join a friend on Ravelry for a quick KAL. We knitted the Rosebud Neckwarmer. This little scarf is meant to be knit in two pieces and then sewn together or grafted at the end. I decided to use Judy's Magic cast on and then just leave one half of the stitches on a cable while I knitted the other half, like this:

Once I finished the first half I just joined the yarn to the stitches waiting on the cable and knitted the second half. The pattern calls for plus minus 5 repeats. I thought my scarf would be too short so I knitted 6 repeats plus 10 rows. In hindsight I should have knitted 5 repeats and 10 rows because after blocking I think the scarf is just a touch too long to qualify as a neckwarmer.

The yarn is Morris and Sons Empire 4 ply merino in Luxe.

But, as if the scarf wasn't enough of a distraction, I also cast on for a pair of Kai-mei. And the yarn is Tofutsies.

And the week ended on a lovely surprise from Kelebek who sent me this lovely yarn which she dyed herself for my birthday. She calls it Kremali Gilek (strawberries and cream). And now I'm itching to cast on again!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Sock blockers

I have lusted after a pair of sock blockers for ages but could never find any affordable ones (I'd rather spend the money on yarn). And then the other day I chanced upon this site where they show you how to make your own. Now when it comes to anything I have to make (knitting excluded of course) I am as ham-fisted as they come. But I decided to give it a go and here is the result:

I made 2 blockers and here are my first socks blocking.

The pattern is Sunday Swing socks and the yarn is Miami from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

I'm rather pleased with the result.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

More birthday goodness!

I just love it when my birthday season just keeps rolling on. Today I received this birthday parcel from the lovely Val.

Look! Two skeins of her own glorious homespun. I've already been trawling through the Rav patterns looking for just the right project. All suggestions welcome.

And to top it off she include this cute vinatage booklet.

It contains this lovely shawl.

The one thing you forgot to include Val is all the extra time I now need! Thanks again for a lovely gift.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Swing into summer

For the past week it would appear that spring has made an early departure and summer is here with a vengeance. It is hot! And what does one do when its hot? One casts a pair of socks on of course.

I've started to knit a pair of Sunday Swing socks. I'm knitting these on 2.5mm circulars (two at a time of course). And the yarn is Miami from Bendigo Woollen Mills. Its a lovely 50/50 wool cotton blend and ideal for hot weather knitting. Unfortunaly BWM don't advertise this yarn on line nor has it been available at the mill shop my last couple of visits. Its a shame because these are my last skeins and I really like this yarn.

Dark Star woes?

Well not really woes but I'm knitting the deeper 18 stitch diamond beaded edging rather than the 5 stitch edging for my Dark Star stole and it feels like it is taking forever.

Here you can see the stitch markers I'm using. There are 50 stitches between each set of stitch markers and that represents 100 rows of edging. I love it when I can remove a stitch marker from the needle but gee it seems like a long time between markers!

I've turned one corner so far and I am getting very close to the next one.....

Thursday, 5 November 2009

November lace

I have finished the first lace project for this summer. I knitted the Shetland Shimmer Scarf for my Christmas swap partner. (I figured I could post it on my blog becuase she doesn't know who I am). I knitted this in Touch Yarns 2 ply Merino.

And as an added bonus I also made her a little dog because who wouldn't like a well behaved puppy for Christmas?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

It's time for a lacy summer again!

Yep, here in the southern hemisphere the days are getting longer and warmer again. So its a good time to join in some lacy fun. Bellsknits is starting up A Long Lacy Summer again. Last year I found it a good incentive to get through a number of lace projects and I hope to do the same this summer.

This time round my challenge will be to finish a few lingering projects. The one that has been around the longest is my Maltese Shawl. All though this only has a 6 row pattern repeat you do need to pattern every row. And the fact that I chose to do this in a fine mohair doesn't make matters any easier but I am determined to get it done this summer.

My other challenge is a large one - queen size in fact. I want to complete my Summer Squares blanket which I am knitting in a 4 ply cotton. This is easy knitting - just a lot of it!

Then there is my Dark Star stole that needs to be finished. I have just started on the edging and I hope to finish it by the end of the month.

And finally I also want to start some new lace projects 'cause I have pretty yarn that is calling my name!

Anyone else going to join me in some lacy fun?

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A birthday season

My birthday season started on Monday morning when I opened my parcel from lyonesset and found that she had sent me an elegant teapot with a gorgeous custom made cosy and excellent tea.

But then my birthday celebrations were put on hold until the evening when friends took us out to the Bamboo House for Peking Duck. It was a taste sensation!

On Tuesday my season continued when I went to the post office to pick up three more parcels from my birthday swap partners.

Trishca sent me a beautiful reversible project bag, a bag of wool tops in Ice Pink (must get that spinningwheel going again), tea and a beautiful tea wallet and stationary (I can't get enough of it).

From shanbliss I received a beautiful lace caplet, more lusciouss tea and stationary and a skein of malabrigo (I've been wanting to get my hands on some of that for ages and now I have my own to pet!).

And finally fitknit spoiled me with Tofutsies, a cute mug, a lovely knitted lace bookmark, a book of Sudoku (my secret addiction) and darling little sheep stitchmarkers.

Aren't knitters just the greatest? I'm off to have another play with all my fabulous gifts.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


At the beginning of the year I signed up for a Birthday Swap on Ravelry. We were divided up into groups of 5 and throughout the year I have been sending birthday gifts to my four swap partners. Tomorrow it is my turn to receive gifts!

One parcel has already arrived and I have been showing great restraint in not opening it before my birthday.

I know there is already another parcel at the post office but because they do not open on Saturdays I was unable to pick it up. And I won't be able to do so tomorrow either - talk about deferred gratification. I have to go to the city all day tomorrow for boring business reasons. But in the evening friends are taking us out to a surprise venue for dinner to celebrate my birthday. I am really looking forward to that. And on Tuesday I will be able to pick up my parcel and extend my birthday. I rather like the idea.

I'm also involved with a Christmas swap on Ravelry and I have started knitting my partners gift.

It's taking a tad longer than I had anticipated so I'm going to have to work at it in order to get it done on time.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Sock time again

I find it hard to believe but I actually went a couple of months without any socks on the needles. Fortunately I managed to remedy the situation and I recently completed a pair of Bordhi's Veil of leaves.

These are knitted in Ripples Crafts Bluebells colourway. As usual Helen you have done a great job! The only modification I made was to knit a standard toe. I really don't like the Star toe - too much like a cat's bum to my liking.

I am now in that delicious position where I need to decide which pair of socks to knit and with which yarn. At the moment I think I am leaning towards a pair of Cookie A socks. Decisions, decisions!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Spring has sprung

One of the pleasures of moving to a new house is discovering the garden. As the days go by I keep finding new things popping up and bursting into flower. For the first time in many years we have had a wet spring and the garden is responding very well. Its a delight to be surrounded by so much colour.

On the knitting front I have finally managed to cast on a pair of socks. I'm knitting Cat Bordhi's Veil of leaves. The yarn is from Ripples Crafts in the colourway Bluebells - so appropriate for spring don't you think?

I have also managed to pick up all 600 stitches for my Dark Star stole and I've knitted 2 and a half rows. If only I could find a bit more time!

Monday, 5 October 2009

The joys of stocking stitch

For all of September I only managed miles and miles of lovely soothing stocking stitch. But it paid off because I ended up with an Eyelet cardi. I knitted this with some Utiku 8 ply wool in Orchard that has been lingering in my stash for quite a while.

This was a very satisfying knit because its top down with no seaming. My one problem is that I need to find an appropriate button to finish it off but I've not found one yet.

During the move I also started an Ishbel but I set it aside once I reached the lace pattern. Last week I felt ready to knit lace again so I finished it. I knitted the small version using some Cleckheaton Cocoon which I had swapped on the Karma swap group on Ravelry. Its lovely and soft and ideal for a scarf. This Ishbel is destined for the gift pile and I think I might make a few more in the not too distant future.

It was lovely to feel able to knit lace again. Now I just need the courage to pick up the over 500 stitches for the border of my Dark Star. Soon I hope!