Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Secret and non secret knitting

I see its been a while since I last posted. I have been busy knitting but I can't show it yet because its part of a secret shawl swap on Ravelry. Here is a preview of the shawl, disguised of course.

I will be able to tell you more by mid-October.

In the meantime I have a few things that I can show and tell you about. We are about to visit some friends who have recently moved into a new house and mentioned that they will need some house slippers for guests. So this week I sat down and knitted a few pairs of slippers for them.

The first three pairs are all Duffers knitted in different sizes and different yarns. These slippers are knitted over 19 rows with almost any feltable wool on size 8mm needles. They knit up really quickly but I found it strange and even a little difficult to knit with such large needles again.

 A friend gave me a bag of the gray wool which I used for the above slippers. I have no idea what sort of wool it is as the ball bands have long since disappeared. I presumed that it was 8ply yarn and thus held the yarn double for the slippers.
 The next pair are made with my own handspun My spinning is so uneven ( I mean arty of course) that I decided that felting was the best option. I have a sneaky feeling that spinning isn't really part of my future.

 The third pair of Duffers are made with some left over Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12 ply. I decided to knit the smallest size with this yarn and just managed to have enough yarn.
And the final pair of slippers are the Non-felted slippers. I knitted these slippers with some ancient (and discontinued) Cleckheaton 12 ply which I picked up for a song at a farmer's market many moons ago.

These slippers were a good stash busting exercise. And also a good way to use up left overs, you know the ones I mean? Too much to throw away but not enough for a substantial project. With Duffers you can mix and match your yarn and use up all those odds and sods you have lurking in your stash.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Spring has sprung

For quite some time I have been thinking that it would be nice to have a shawl knitted in bamboo. Just before going to Queensland I managed to swap some yarn on Ravelry and got hold of some Cleckheaton Bamboo.  I matched the yarn with Cassandra and finally got my bamboo shawl.

The colour reminds me of spring and the shawl was completed just as spring has made its appearance in the garden.

I knitted the shawl on 4.0mm needles and used just under 3.5 skeins. The shawl took forever to dry when I blocked it (I had forgotten that aspect of bamboo) and as a result was not dry in time to make the trip to Queensland. It only came off the pins when I got home.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Back from the Tropical North

I have spent the last couple of weeks travelling along the Queensland coast from Cairns to Rockhampton. Despite having visited Cairns many times I have never seen the coast down to Rocky. It was an interesting drive but the part of the drive that had the most impact on us was the approximately 200km from Townsville to Tully that got hit by cyclone Yasi in February this year.

We wanted to see to what extent the area had recovered. The majority to houses and businesses seemed to have been repaired but the rainforest was looking very sad. The canopy has disappeared because all the large trees have either fallen over, had their tops broken out or had all leaves stripped and now only have epicormic growth. To me it looked like the Kinglake and Marysville areas that were hit by the bushfires in 2009.

Here are a few photos of the depleted rainforest.

And here is the contrast of the rainforest in the Daintree that escaped the eye of the storm.

And to end on a feathered note, some of the birds I saw on this trip.
 A Pied Heron.
 A very cheeky Rainbow Lorikeet.
A serene Wonga Pigeon.

Some knitting will appear soon!