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.

Letting someone else do the heavy lifting

Yet another pair of plain socks in Kaffe Fassett sock yarn for the Fireman.  When I was studying frantically and pondering my future, I need plain therapeutic knitting, and it doesn’t get much plainer than these.  They have been enthusiastically received, and in fact worn several times before I thought to block and photograph them.

The whole exercise of studying as a parent required lots of adjustments – I am a crammer, and I had a lot to learn in a very short period of time.  The Fireman was kept very busy doing a lot of child maintenance activities, and my parents and parents in law helped out enormously. I have new-found respect for anyone who has undertaken secondary or tertiary study while parenting.

If you feel compelled to know the details – they are ravelled here.  Now that my exams are over, and I anxiously await my results, I’m undertaking some more complicated projects – a Chaleur for the Ravellenic Games, and some Virve’s Stockings (because I can).

“Jane Says”*

There are some people who know a lot about knitting and yarn, and Jane is one of them. She and I were virtual friends before my family moved back to Australia, and then we discovered that we live walking distance from each other, and we became face to face friends (although we still do the virtual thing).  She gets a few mentions around here, as well as a few photo credits.Jane can tell me that I am using the wrong size of needle for a gauge swatch, and that I should drop down a size (she was right).  She says that 2 skeins of Wollmeise 100% in Admiral want to be knitted in a stockingette based pattern rather than a garter one (she may be right).  She told me to stop knitting this scarf, even though I had heaps more yarn, and I had memorised the centre pattern and never, ever needed to refer to the pattern (in other words, I had hit my groove, and did not want to stop). She needed to point out that it would grow even more on blocking (she was right).

So I managed to finish it – and managed to block it once I got over the worst of a stupid sprained ankle.  The photos this time are by the very talented Margarita (also known as the muse for Stephen West). You wouldn’t dare ignore her fibery advice or fashion inspiration either!

Technical details on Ravelry.

*Apologies to Jane’s Addiction.  Cool Article about Jane Bainter here.

I like ’em big

The fellow knitters at our knitting group will be familiar with my ranting about the need for generous scarves.  When the fad for tiny shawls was at its peak, I think that many knitters did themselves no favours by knitting tiny unflattering garments. So when I cast on my Colour Affection, I wanted to make it big – and it is.

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All knitting details are here. I apologise for the photographs – the photographs were taken in Ballarat Art Gallery, and I had trouble motivating the small photographers.  They kept trying to focus on my face, or moved the camera, and didn’t tell me that the shadows being cast on my face made me look like ghoul.

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You get the idea, in any event.

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I was pretty keen to wear this once I finished it, and blocked it on the floor of the hotel room.  Luckily the colours were not remotely inclined to run – otherwise we might have left some interesting stains on the carpet.

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As for the Ballarat Art Gallery – the art was surprisingly impressive (much more so than the lunch in the cafe), with this work particularly catching my eye.

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It appears to be knitted out of jute and hemp by Ewa Pachucka. Imagine how tough her hands must be!

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