Put your feet in the air

Noro Striped Socks These socks were my slow commuter knitting project.  They went to the naughty corner several times because I had persisted with trying to knit from the centre of the skeins. I ended up with a great snarled mess of knotted yarn.  Things moved much more quickly when I broke the yarn, and started knitting from the outside of the skein.
The downside of this approach was that somehow it involved me missing the pretty aqua part of the colourway of the Noro Kureyon Sock, but that might also be the mystery of Noro working it’s charms.

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I was very concerned and annoyed when I knitted the first sock, and realised that instead of the regular 2 skein stripe that above the heel (on the left foot in the photo below), I would have a 3 row stripe. I almost frogged the whole heel, but at that stage was on the knitting tour of Estonia, and the message from the Estonian knitters that we were meeting, was always to knit on. Certain imperfections are to be expected, and time spent unpicking is time wasted. They similarly were not worried about the “jog” that can occur with striped socks and I resolved to be more sanguine. IMG_1553
The advice must be working, because the three row stripe is almost undetectable. I will however, also remember that the next time that I knit striped socks, to only knit 1 row of the heel colour prior to starting the heel, so that the 2 row pattern is maintained after the heel…

For more techincal details – the Ravelry link is here.

Larch cardigan

In May/June this year I was very lucky to go on a tour of Estonia led by Nancy Bush with my mother and sister.  I intended to knit this cardigan so that it would be finished while I was there.

I knitted on the flight to Estonia, and on the bus as we drove around Estonia.  We had amazing lessons, learning many new techniques and making friends with each other.

My mother and sister

We stayed in a huge variety of accommodation (the photo above shows my mother and sister in the doorway of our cabin in Kihnu – it was by far the most rustic) and I knitted this cardigan outdoors while drinking Estonian pear cider.

Kihnu Roosie

After lessons where I learned to make braids like the ones on the troi below, I sat and ploughed through stockingette.

1-IMG_0776We visited castles – the one below is in Haapsallu (yes the town of the shawls).
1-IMG_0831 But I wasn’t knitting as I walked down these steps!1-IMG_0832 The variety of knitwear that we saw was truly amazing – these socks are knitted at an incredibly fine gauge and date back to the late 19th Century.

1-IMG_0373 The variety of mittens and gloves that we saw have given me lots of inspiration for colour work.  Nancy was a very thoughtful and organised tour leader and the tour group laughed constantly.1-IMG_0424 Despite all the inspiration, I plugged on with the stockingette.1-IMG_0574By the time I hopped onto the plane back to Sydney, I had finally reached the collar of the cardigan, and then I remembered that I hated knitting twisted rib.  The cardigan sat scrunched in a bag until a couple of weeks ago, and I finally finished it today.

Finished Larch cardigan

Technical details here. The dog is Percy, who joined our family in April as a retired pets as therapy dog. He is a delight; a neurotic, food motivated, delight.

It all began at the Guild

Late last year I joined the NSW Knitter’s Guild. When I attend (which is highly intermittent due to teaching and family commitments), I have a great time, and at my first meeting I purchased some 3 skeins of Silkbloom Fino from Suzy Hausfrau.
wingspanThrough the Guild (and Jane), I heard that if I entered the Royal Easter Show, I could receive free tickets to the Arts Preview. As I paid $30 for that ticket last year, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, spending $11 to enter the show seemed like a good deal.

Delynn worn

I found Delynn after searching around Ravelry. When I turned up to the show preview, I ran into Margarita and Lynn, who completely surprised me by telling me that I had won a prize! I will admit to enjoying the sensation – future show entries are likely.

Delynn at the Easter ShowAs for the Silkbloom Fino, those of you who are familiar with the late lamented Kiama might get a sense of deja-vu.  I don’t know where it is spun, but the resemblance is astonishing. Needless to say, I love it.

Admitting defeat

These socks are too small.  I’ve known it for some time, but continued knitting.

Virve's stockings

I discussed the issue with my knitting group, who advised me to at least block the sock before continuing, but I continued knitting (with a little less vigour and enthusiasm).  They socks have lovely lacy bits at the top, that threaten to cut off the blood supply to my lower extremities

IMG_0073I love the little stripe of colour work, but it is the tightest bit of it all.  I need to tug and grimace to get it over my heel.

Virve's colourwork

I’ve blocked them, and I still can’t get them on, or off without 10 minutes to spare, and the colourwork is clearly tighter than the rest of the sock. Farewell, fair sock.

London Sweater

As I sit in Sydney, lightly sunburnt after a day on the water following a very dear friend’s wedding, it seems a long time ago that I finished this sweater.Seamless Hybrid outside Buckingham PalaceToday is Saturday and we left London on Tuesday (or New Year’s Day).  We were away for nearly 3 weeks, and my poor husband had to wait until the second last day of the holiday for his new sweater.  The photos were taken on New Years Day outside Buckingham Palace (with a couple at the cafe at the Serpentine Pond in Hyde Park).

Seamless Hybrid back detail

He greeted its finish with delight, helped by the fact that we had packed very light, and the 2 sweaters that he had with him were starting to look very familiar and tired. The sleeves seemed to take forever to knit, and they are slightly too long!  If they grow at all, I might need to do some surgery, but for now they are fine with the ribbing folded over.

Seamless Hybrid shoulder detail

It is a very basic Seamless Hybrid with a discreet cable down the torso under the arm. Any requests for further adornment were not entertained. More technical details on Ravelry.

Chain detail

The yarn is superb, and if you can track down any from Colourmart or in a destash I highly recommend it.  I washed it using my usual washing soda technique (the medium strength solution on the linked page) and really enjoyed knitting with it.

Warm feet, cold neck

Sock in progress

Older daughter has been waiting (not so patiently) for me to finish her a pair of socks – I’ve only been able to get knitting in on public transport (and at my first meeting of the Bar knitting group).  The return to full-time work has gone relatively smoothly, but it has eaten into my crafting time.

I’m on holidays now in France, and the flight here was when the socks were finally finished.

Sock at Chateau Bussy-Rabutin

The girls have grown so much this year, I built a bit of extra length into Older Daughter’s socks.

Both socks

I was thinking of slightly more artistic shots to show off the socks at the Chateau de Bussy-Rabutin, but you will just need to imagine that the view below was in the background (I promise it was).  If you notice that that the colourway of the sock resembles Regia Kaffe Fassett Random Stripe, then you are not on your own – my sister bought it on Ebay and we both noticed the resemblance as soon as it was unpacked. More details here.

Chateau de Bussy - Rabutin

I’ve been so busy that I delegated some knitting for the trip to Mum, and she made Older Daughter a Luxe Neck Warmer out of Colourmart cashmere to match her hat (thanks Mum!).  Older Daughter loved the neck warmer, and wore it every day of the trip until the car trip to the castle.  Then she noticed a loose thread and decided (using logic best understood by a bored 10 year old in the back of a car) to chew it off.  Now we have a hole (Sorry Mum!).

Luxe neck warmerUnfortunately, I don’t have any more of this yarn with me, so the repair will need to wait until we return to Sydney.

Happy holidays to everyone.  I have to dash – I am hoping to finish a sweater by tomorrow…

You win some, you lose some

I love entering the knitting exercise formerly known as the Ravelympics (if you somehow missed that brouhaha, here’s a link).  The fact that I have never successfully completed it is neither here nor there.  I set my sights high and completely miss the mark.  This year I was going to complete Chaleur.  Here is my progress to date:

What can I say?  The start took me a while – it took me a long time to learn how to read the herringbone stitch.  It is surprisingly easy to knit, but I was confused about how the knit 2 togethers would line up.  The pattern is a 4 row repeat with action happening on the first and third rows, and I can tell you that the knit 2 togethers do not line up exactly, but shift by half a stitch each time they are knitted.


On the first row of the pattern, the second stitch of the knit 2 together contains the stitch leading from the previous knit 2 together.  On the 3rd row, the first stitch of the knit 2 together contains the stitch leading from the previous knit 2 together.  If my explanation is as clear as mud, you could just try following the pattern (that’s what I had to end up doing).  It is exceptionally well written, and I found that when I just followed it, it worked. I am loving knitting with the Kid Classic – and it feels like it will be great to wear.

I would like to get it finished before Winter ends here – I happened to be browsing the Vince website (for clothes that I can not afford), and came across this number.

Luckily, I have something very similar already underway.

On the win front, I found out last week that I passed the Bar exams.  I sat them in July, and it was an interesting experience returning to high pressure studying with parental responsibilities.  For those of you outside the British Commonwealth – this means that I will become a barrister.  Watch the video below to get some idea of what I will be doing.

Despite being blonde and sometimes prone to wearing red lipstick my career will be very much less glamorous than depicted in the video. I am unlikely to be involved in criminal law, but I will need to wear a wig and gown from time to time (much to the amusement of my daughters). I plan to continue my knitting – the NSW Bar Association has a knitting group, and I fully intend to become a member.