Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Stuff It!

On Tuesday, I embarked on a stuffing odyssey!

First, I stuffed my fruits sachets:

A lemon (lemon-scented), an orange (mandarin-scented) and a lime (bergamot-scented). Well, I had to make do with what I had, okay? I dripped a couple of drops onto a cotton ball and placed it in the middle of each one as I was stuffing it. I have to say, I'm very impressed with the results. The scent is much stronger than I thought it would be, and being essential oils, they actually smell like fruits and not jelly babies. They are currently nestling in my underwear drawer, and make me smile in the morning when I'm getting dressed.

Next, I stuffed my magic square mini-pillow:

It's made from an experimental magic square (actually 4 attached together) that I made after I read the modular knitting book. I had made about 5 more squares, but in the end I couldn't be arsed making any more sachets out of them. I knitted a back using 2 shades of purple acrylic, sorry, Muggle Wool held together. Then I attached them together by crocheting around the edges with variegated pink wool, 2 rounds. I scented it with lavender essential oil. The back is much stiffer than the front, so the front puffed right up, making a very cushiony effect. I quite like it. It's currently in my bed, so all I have to do if I'm trying to get to sleep and I'm feeling stressed is put it near my face and I feel much more relaxed.

Speaking of relaxed, or the opposite of relaxed, I also worked on Ami Chihuahua that night as well:

As you can see, I didn't get too far. I'm really, really, really wishing I'd chosen the snake pattern as my first project! See the tiny little leg?:

It's tiny!! I managed to stuff the body, close it up, stuff the legs and the tail, and sew the tail to the body before I gave up in exasperation.

The following night I drew instead.

Monday, 25 June 2007

A Change of Heart

I've been diligently knitting away every day (when not hung over!). But it's no chore. I have restless fingers at the moment. Plus they are very cold at work and need the Hand Warmers ASAP! I decided to take a whole new tack with them. The double-pointed were turning out to be really annoying, not to mention slow, to I changed to flats:

And it's worked! I've nearly finished the first one already! I've been shaping it to my hand as I go along, and writing down the directions so I can make the second one. Of course they'll have a seam down the side, but I'd rather that than fart-arse around with annoying little needles sticking out everywhere so soon after finishing the socks. I need a break from all that!
I'm glad I made that decision, cause it's coming along really well. I might even have warm hands by next week!

I'm also working away on the Boy Scarf pretty steadily as well. I'm in two minds about it. It's turning out stiffer and less squishy than I'd hoped. But I feel like I'm in too far to rip it and start again. I just don't have the heart! Hopefully with a bit of stretching and pulling, it'll be all right.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Bloggin While Drunk

How extravagent. I started TWO projects today. I don't even know if that's allowed under my personal rules of project limitation. Yesterday, I was soooo cold at work, that I decided to knit myself a pair of hand warmers. Seriously. No matter what kind of annoying, crappy-arse needles or how long it took, I was gonna get it DONE! Well, preferably sooner than later or I'll get arthritis or something. I decided to use the "Easy Mittens" pattern, which I had already used once before for a gift, and they had worked out amazingly fine. So I dug that out this morning. Luckily, I already had the yarn for it as well. I am using Paton's Caressa, which I bought a few weeks ago totally randomly from Lincraft. See! I knew I'd find a use for it within my own lifetime! Hah! *waves fists to detractors*

Here is a picture of that:

Yeah, it kinda looks like a Rubik's cube in heiroplyphic, I know.

I was also determined to start Boy's scarf as well, cos I'd kept talking about it and I want him to be nice and warm and cozy. So we went to The Wool Shop (that's actually what it's called, okay??) and I rubbed some wools up against him to see if he broke out in hives or whatever he does. Finally we decided on Wendy X-treme, which does have 24% wool, but he reassured me that it was ok, and I said, ok, but if it makes you all itchy, you have to promise to tell me and not suffer in silence, ok? This wool is gorgeous! Here's a picture of it:

It's all blue and wrapped and chunky and rubb-able. Mmmm. It's been a while since I've worked with really gorgeous wool, and I'm really enjoying it. I am using a kind of wavy cable/rib that I made up, to try and get a cable happening, while keeping both sides presentable to the general public. The original pattern I chose is totally inapproprite for this wool, but who cares. I love this wool. And I think Boy likes it too. So I do my own thing again.

Wgat was I saying? Oh, I'm actually quite drunk right now. No, back away from the needles, and no-one will get hurt. Back away from the keybord too, I think! Ok, I go now.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Disaster strikes!

I had decided a while back to start working on my Pink Tank Top (I'm thinking of naming it something more glamorous) because I figured it had taken me so long to get the Chunky Cardigan near completion, that I thought if I got stuck into it now, it might be ready for summer. So I was knitting away merrily on it on-and-off for the last few weeks. Tralalalala!
Then the other night, I finished one ball and went to the cupboard to grab the next. I paused. I realised there were only 4 balls left. I had already used 2. I had only made 1/4 of the tank so far. That just didn't add up.


I don't have enough wool to finish it! I was so upset when I found out. I put it aside and tried not to think about it for a day. Then I formulated a plan. I looked at the ballband. There was a website. Good. The wool is sold in Big W stores and the Warehouse. The type of wool I have is listed, but not the colourway. Also, the way it is packaged is different. This is a concern. I bought the wool last spring, and it was heavily discounted. Not good. (Well, it was great at the time, but not now!) I checked Ebay. There is another type of wool from that brand, but not that particular one. However, that is a good sign. I set up an email alert for it. I'll go to Big W tomorrow, and then formulate a strategy.

Meanwhile, here's another picture of something I found lying around that I had forgotten to put on my list of FINs:

It's a hot water bottle cover that I had crocheted years ago. I can't decide whether it's cool or fugly, but it does the job.

Also, here are some knitting patterns I bought last weekend at an antiques shop:

Yes, I broke my diet pretty quickly when it came to the patterns. Oops. But I just don't care right now. I'm too upset.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Busy busy busy

Guess what people? I finished my socks a week ago!:

How up-to-date am I!?

I haven't knitted much lately because I have been

... working from 8.30am to 5.00pm every single day of the week for the first time ever and going to work every day and learning lots of words I don't understand and filling in lots of spreadsheets that I have no idea what they're for and printing out hundreds of useless pieces of paper and filing them in a big cupboard and trying to look like I'm listening attentively while being totally bewildered inside and cringing every time the phone rings and ...

Oops, sorry about that. I tuned out for a second.

I haven't been doing very much knitting, but I've found this really great website that I've been working on a lot: Ravelry. See my Ravelry here. It's a site where you can list all your projects, stash yarns, needles, etc in one place. It's really exciting. For example, if you are thinking, "how many coathanger covers have I actually made?" you can use the tags to find that out. Or if you are thinking, "I'd like to make a ___ but I need 3 balls of pink cotton to make it" you can look that up in the stash section without having to dig through cupboards of stuff.

There are a few niggling things with it - it uses Flickr as its host, and I had all my photos on Photobucket. I created a Flickr account and I'm transferring them over, but it's taking time. So whenever I upload a photo, I have to do one copy for my blog, and another for my ravelry.

The other thing is that it's still in beta stage. I'm pretty excited to have received an invitation (I guess they thought my blog was good enough - Squeee! as Violet from Lime n Violet would say.) Today a few new fields have appeared on it, which means if I want to make sure everything is consistent, I have to go through and change all the entries I've already made so those fields are filled in. Meh! Who has time for that? ...

When there are so many podcasts to listen to! =)

New ones I am loving are:
* Sticks and String. Firstly, he's Australian. Secondly, he's a man! A really interesting and different perspective on knitting, in a lot of ways. He's technical, philosophical, and has a couple of great cats.
* Craftypod. I love, love, love this podcast! Each episode is on a different craft. It's only about 15 minutes long, so it doesn't tax my short attention span. The musical interludes are really retro and fun.

It has been 29 days since I last bought yarn.

You may be surprised to see that, but it hasn't been that hard. You see, since I've been working full-time, I haven't been able to get to a yarn shop. I don't have a car, so I carpool with my flatmate to work. The office is in a place so far out of the way of any yarn shops, that they would all be closed by the time I got there. I spend all weekend with my boyfriend, and either don't have time to go, or he talks me out of it. So, I guess that's a good thing really. *sighs* Really. *Resists the urge to log on to Ebay. Gives in*

Here's another doiley I made years ago and have been using all this time, and not realised it wasn't in my list of projects:

It's made from the left-over cotton from the Flower Facewashers. I did plan on making a series of different-sized ones, but that microbe-sized attention span got in the way again. D'oh!

Thursday, 7 June 2007


I'm a bit short on blogging mojo today, but I wanted to post a quick update on what I've been doing anyway. I've been experimenting with the mitred squares AKA Magic Squares) from the No Pattern Knitting book I got from the library. Here are some of the swatches:

It was interesting to see how the squares formed and how the different ways of making them ended up with different effects down the middle. I also tried making 4 smaller ones attached together, each one growing out of the next (still in the making at the top of the pic). I want to try and make some of them into sachets or mini pillows so they aren't a complete waste of time. I have nearly finished one, I just need to dig out the stuffing from the back of the wardrobe. I didn't take a picture of it cause it's a bit ugly and I'm kinda ashamed.

I also went through my project cupboard on the weekend and found these there:

Above is a scarf that I made a couple of years ago. I didn't really like how it turned out and re-made it in different yarn, but didn't have the heart to rip it up. So I stuffed it into the back of the cupboard. I thought about threading some ribbons through it to spruce it up a bit, but never got around to it. I don't really need any more scarves anyway, so I don't know what I'll do with it.

Below is a project I started as a present for a friend 2 years ago. She never received it, obviously. It's a set of 3 facewashers in the shape of flowers. The first one is finished except for the weaving in, and the second one is about half finished. I am putting it in the On Hold section of my WIPs list, cause I've decided I want to finish it one day. Which day, I cannot say at the moment.

I also started a new Baby Vest, but I haven't even finished the cast on row, so it's hardly worth taking a picture of yet.

The most exciting development, however, is this:

I finally got up the guts to do something about the Chunky Cardigan! I had been agonising over what to do with it. Should I finish it as the instructions say and make a standard cardigan, or should I modify it and make a 60's extravaganza? I bought a button from a closing-down wool shop in the city about a year ago that would be suitable, and I thought if I could find it, it would be a sign that Chunky should become Go-Go. I found it pretty quickly in my sewing box. So be it.

The sleeves were still on the needles, so I bound them off with about 6 rows of garter stitch to create a moderately stiff border at just below elbow length (as judged by holding them up against my shoulder. Hopefully that method works!) A few days later, I sewed the shoulders together [shown above]. I was so excited that I put it on. No pics of that, I looked pretty silly.
I haven't done anything else on it yet. I was getting a bit tired and wanted to continue when I was fresher and less tired. Actually, I'm too scared. Perhaps next week.