Monday, October 30, 2006

What? An update?

Still no photos. Photos of my bedside table are too depressing. You see, I have ended October in the same state I started it in - all dpns have socks cast on them again. At least I finished some I spose. I cast on a pair of Chocolate Cashmere Merino from The Knittery for my uncle's birthday (which was yesterday). I am still working on the Seashells and am on the gusset for the second sock in the Watermelon. And I cast on the second sock for the bf in the Rainforest Jasper. And I am working on Sarcelle. And I decided to knit up all the little balls of end of sock yarns so that I can see what is leftover for the sock yarn blanket.

I got knitting needles in all directions again!

On my other blog ( I had a meme a while back where you put your name down and I make you a craft thing and you make me one back. I think I got like 8 people on that list so I've started looking at what I'm going to be making. Out comes the sushi pattern from Magknits and a couple of the fun things from Knitty I've been wanting to try.

And I have at least 3 pairs of socks in the waiting queue for other people.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


So the Sarcelle is no longer kicking my ass. I ummed and ahhed about it for a couple of days until I accepted that I wouldn't be happy with the finished item as it stood - like with an extra yarn over or a missed one somewhere near the very end corner. So, I cut it off, called it a swatch and started over. And oddly enough, calling it a swatch worked because it didn't take me long to replace the work to where I was up to and to steam ahead.

You have to be wide awake for lace knitting. This meant that the row I just recently stuffed up due to not reading the instructions properly meant it was time to put it down, at 11.45pm. Trouble was, I was wide awake from lace knitting!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Distracting you with a nonknitting picture

Here is the view from my kitchen, the bf on his phone there down the front. We look straight out over the park and in the distance you can see the baseball rooms where the police got called to on Saturday night but from what I could tell, nothing much doing.

I have been doing a lot of knitting these past few days but didn't take any photos. To be honest, I'm avoiding the truth about Sarcelle - which is that I am going to have to start over. I think I will do so tonight.

Let's see... I pieced another nine patch together, leaving me two to go. I finished a watermelon sock and turned the heel on the Seashell sock. I also cast on the second Rainforest Jasper sock for the bf. And resisted urges to cast on anything else.

I also finally decided to knit all the tiny weenie balls of sock yarn into a free form long cabin. I knit socks top down. I then knit a pair of newborn socks if possible from the remainder. Then a third if there is yarn or just the one if not enough for the pair. These I souvenir in that box in the previous post as sock yarns I have knit. There is usually a tiny ball left over that I can't throw out. So I have now knit them into a logcabin, the sizes of each rectangle determined only by the amount of sock yarn in the ball. It will either be a work of art or the dog's new blanket. Too early to tell which.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lace knitting

I never actually knew what other people meant by knitting kicking their ass. Just goes to show that I hadn't tried anything really beyond my skill level, or more than just a little bit higher than my skill level.

Lace knitting is totally kicking my ass. I frogged the Sarcelle again last night and then it took me another 4 goes to get past the initial lace pattern repeat (by past, I mean to the final 6th line in the repeat without having stitches left on my needle). I think I was doing the cast on using the backward loop method wrong - this is the first time I've ever used this method. I have to knit so slowly and count every stitch and double check and so on and in the end I decided to thread in some life lines. The bf wanted to know if I was going to phone a friend! If only I had a lace knitter I could go to in real life. I'd only cry though.Lace seems so much harder to go back and correct mistakes with - I haven't managed to do it yet, I have to frog.

Maybe I'll show you a photo later when I have like more than half an inch knitted to snapshot. I can see why lace knitting takes so long - it's very hard to do in large spurts. My eyes got sore and I got frustrated. I guess that's good news on the other projects front!

Not more fat quarter stashing?

I might be on a new thematic kick. Shame the oriental one passed through so quickly, although I suspect it will rear its dragon head again soon. Recently I was diverted to an online fabric store whilst browsing through some Aussie knitting blogs. And I found some fabric that I *had* to have - you know the feeling? Anyway, the above photo gives a hint to this theme. In fact, I originally only took this photo to show the bust in the front as a recent acquisition. It was only on closer inspection when I loaded this photo that I realised all four objects here are thematically linked. Okay, fine, represent the beginning of this new obsession.

Yesterday's mail brought this lovely packet of fat quarters, all beautifully tied in a ribbon. I must say how much I love buying materials from one woman operations. Everything is so personal. It always comes with something slightly extra (here it's a packet of needles and her card, which is good cause I forgot to bookmark it) and I love having contact with the person who actually made it or packaged it up. It makes handicraft so much more personal and warm and fuzzy.

The newly aquired stash.

And here are some close ups.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

When socks get too much

Well I think I OD'ed on the sock knitting. Personally, I'm impressed I lasted this long. It's very unlike me to be so monogamous in my knitting. Last night though, I just couldn't face another sock. So ... I cast on some more projects instead!!!

I thought I might try the scarf that the Yarn Harlot just finished - the one repeat pattern. It's quite delightful to knit, simple enough to not have to concentrate but not too boring either. The yarn is from Natural Dye Studio in Primrose, and yes, it was destined for a hot water bottle cover. Am cannibalising that stash ASAP to prevent too many covers hanging about the place. I was looking for this yarn, actually, on Monday night and got quite agitated because I couldn't find it. The bf was most amused to see me pacing between rooms so upset because I'd lost yarn. And it was neatly in the reorganised stash, just where I'd left it. *pout*

This might be what the bedside table looks like at the moment after all the casting on. I'm also sewing up the nine patch garter squares.

The purple ball poking out from behind is the beginnings of a Sarcelle shawl for my sister. This is the first lace I've ever knit. The pattern is not for beginners. Much cursing occurred last night along with frogging, ripping and cutting. I ended up knitting through the initial increase (28 rows) and the first repeat before having to start over because I was doing something wrong but it was just as well cause I'd been ignoring the instruction of how the chart alternates between a right and wrong side. No wonder I wasn't getting that nice border. So. Lace work is hard. You can't watch Australian Idol, talk on the phone to your mum and do it at the same time. But it's very satisfying when you do pull off the repeat and I'm loving my new Addi Turbos.

I'll admit to getting addicted to these shots. I should probably take them in better light so you'd like them as well. But I quite like marking progress or regress by them. As you can see, all the garter squares have been removed from the middle shelf (*cough* most of them are on the bedside *cough*) and you can see the top of the pile of the finished nine patch squares on the bottom shelf. I think I might knit plain squares the size of these to intersperse instead of the border idea. This also helps with the nine patch square shortage. Finally, note the emptiness of the basket on the middle shelf. I discovered only one cast on sock in there - the watermelon ones in the shots above. There was a ball of yarn for my log cabin squares in there and random ones of bootie pairs. These will all be dealt with in due course. Of Course.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Here is a photo of yeserday's mail.

I got very excited as I neared the front door only to discover that the very biggest package was for the bf. Not to worry, lots of littler parcels is better anyway.

My first package from The Knittery came. That's the yarn on the left - sock yarn in Chocolate and lace weight in ... I forget!! but it's a fine purple rather than the blue that the photo has come out. And then on the right I got me some of the issues of Yarn magazine. Thanks to No No Kitty for that heads up! The other half I ordered of the magazine website and are yet to come but these came from Ozeyarn and what I loved was the inclusion of yarn colour samples! *That's* good business!

On Friday I got my skeins from Emily's Sophie's Toes Sock yarn - Fall Mums and Pony.

The Fall Mums colourway (in purples) I think is exactly like the colourway Chocolate Covered Cherries that I bought from Sunshine Knitting.

It might be hard to compare due to the lighting in this photo. I haven't actually yet put the two together cause .. well, I don't *actually* want to know!

And that leads me to: sock pair number 15!
Sherbet by Socks that Rock. Plain stockingette, 60 stitches, I think. For my Nana's 91st birthday next month.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Darn it

Now that I've gotten used to posting photos with my entries, I don't know what to do having left my camera at home! Well, its probably a good thing cause whilst I want to show you my new yarn that came in the mail on Friday, I want to do a close up of one skein with another recently acquired skein. It might be that they are in the exact same colourway.

I finished the Sherbet socks last night. That's my 3rd pair for Socktoberfest. I immediately put the Watermelon ones from Knitting Sunshine back on the needles and managed to turn the heel this morning. I should have been working on the Seashells but I guess since it's all socks .. what does it matter?

I'm getting a wee bit antsy. I was all into the socks until about last night. Admittedly they are all in plain stitch and mostly are the second sock so how the variegation is going to go is all in the open. I guess I'm just wanting to work on Not!Socks for a while. I picked up all those garter squares and matched them into 9 patch piles and sewed almost one nine patch last night alternating with socks. I'm only going to get 3 more squares to add to the 3 I've already sewn and that's not quite big enough for a blanket. That might then have to go back in the yarn closet and await more scraps. I do though like the fact that areas are getting tidied up, organised and projects completed. I suspect completing half made booties might be next.

I also have a new idea for some of the Boeme Bebe stock - or maybe just more of it than I originally thought.

Photos to come.

Friday, October 13, 2006

On clearing out the knitting clutter

What I *should* have done this morning was take a photo of the sock I finished last night. But I was lazy and didn't. Also, the pair will be finished pretty soon, stockinette and a quick knit cause it's in such a small size. I seem to be racing through the socks this month and am wondering why they take so much longer normally. I mean, yeah I do usally work on 8 things at once so that could explain it. Also, with all this plain knitting going on, I am tempted to do something far more complicated next, once all the October sock commitments are done - and the seashell socks aren't actually plain. I'm going to try the pomatomous in Socks that Rock Lemongrass at some point.

So instead, here are some more photos of my knitting area. The top one is the before shot when I just set up the shelves. It's probably where I'd like to believe I can get back to, one day. I honestly believe that I am finishing up all these random projects and not progressively creating more works in progress and I'm thinking that may not actually be true. Here is the area after cleaning it up and rationalising projects this week. That's the book I was reading and the coffee I was currently drinking so imagine them not there all the time! I guess note the book creep which has spread from the bedside to the knitting storage area.

A close up shows some of my more long term works in progress. The top shelf has random booties in random states of completion - some just requiring two more wheels to be sewn onto rollerskate booties for example.
Time to complete project, 10 minutes.
Time spent procrastinating on completing project, so far about 1 and a half months.

The second shelf has the bf's first sock in the pair to be finished for Socktoberfest (front right). Next to the sock are a variety of garter squares (15 stitches, 14 garter rows) made from the lefover yarn from the hot water bottle covers. I wasn't actually convinced they all actually "went together". I have even contemplated buying more yarn to make more covers (only sold 2 so far) to have more leftovers to finish this blanket. I am sewing them into nine patche squares. Then I wasn't sure how to join the nine patch squares together. I've been thinking about buying a black or very dark navy to knit borders and so on but I think I will just random sew them together in true crazy square style and be done with it. In fact I'm thinking of making this blanket for the boat so the care put in so far for how it should be pieced is probably already far too much. Plus we are going to holiday on the boat not this weekend but next so I should probably get a move on.

Behind the sock and the pile o squares is potentially the rest of the Socktoberfest commitment. I don't know cause I've been too scared to venture in that far. I may or may not have randomly cast on socks and then tossed them in that basket. Time will tell as I complete the three pairs currently in sight with about half the month left to go and a good strong will not to cast on more socks till all those already cast on are finished. Hope I make it .......

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I like to stash

I like to stash so much here is a photo of fat quarters I've bought in the year even though I haven't patchworked in more than 7 years.

I've got some kind of Japanese theme going on but the fabrics are so beautiful that I'm scared to cut them up. Also an African safari thing going on. I dunno. I find multi crafting a bit tough at the moment. Earlier in the year I got into cros stitching as well as the knitting but I haven't stitched in a couple of months and I am actually contemplating packing them away for now too. Not good since I did some good stashing on cross stitch kits this year too.

Typically, instead of making up the second sock for the bf, I'm working on the first sock for each of these skeins. All three are to be done by the end of the month so I think that's still all on the up and up. I have almost finished the first sock of the Sherbet colourway - will do so tonight, no doubt. I was quite tired last night and got more reading done than knitting.

However, I'm going through an interesting period in my life right now - for some reason I seem to be tidying things up without noticing - like across the board: my house, my study, my handbags, my to do list with reading, editing, reviewing, studying etc etc. It's weird, especially since I don't *feel* overly more motivated than normal. I don't seem to be all fired up to tidy and organise but it's happening anyway. I do have a theory that once I get on top of one area of my life, be that my email account or a corner of my living room, I look over and over at the totally perfect space and then roam my eyes to other areas that can be similarly pleasing. This is good when I am in this place, the trouble is figuring out how to get here when I am not.

So obviously this is extending over to my knitting and stashing. I am quite content at the moment to work through and finish started projects and put empty needles back in their jar rather than cast on something new. I am enjoying seeing piles of stuff about the place get reduced. I have a large basket in my bedroom where I have been tossing my more favourite skeins of yarn - I get to perve on them as I come and go from my room. Trouble was, I love a lot of skeins of yarn and the basket got more and more full and I actually could only perve at the top of the pile and was forgetting what the hell was in the basket at all. So I decided to rearrange my stash closet - I have 5 hanging shoe tree or jumper shelf things stuffed with yarn - mostly acrylic and a little bit of wool all for the Boeme Bebe stuff, and one shelf of sock yarn. I've sorta been a bit tough with rearranging these - black and white in the same shelf for example - to get more room to put more of my hand dyed sock yarns in. And so now, I can see a lot more of my yarn. The basket in my bedroom was then emptied enough to fill with ongoing projects or things I'm doing next (end of year presents etc) - all previously stacked on my bedside and the set of shelves I have next to that.

Here is the area for refernce. This photo was taken months ago so imagine it all kinda piled higher and deeper. However, now I have actually got a free bedside except for the two skeins of yarn above and the books I'm currently reading. I cleared out the top shelf next to the bedside and stacked it with booties that need sewing up and all my bedside queue books (and some more huge short story collections I bought at the con a couple of weeks ago).

Amazingly, I was able to shut the drawers in my bedside for the first time in what must be months. The top drawer has current projects and some leftover balls of yarn which I make up socks for Boeme Bebe from. The middle drawer has all knitting books and current patterns and the bottom drawer has once-current balls of yarn but now lay forgotten. I guess my next aim would be to empty these out and use them like normal people use them - whatever that is.

I can't express how much of a load has been lifted in seeing so much free space and areas cleared of projects-in-progress and other random things. There's a lot of release in saying, yes I will read this book but not in the next two months so stick it in the library and come back for it later. And similarly for yarn projects. It's kind of freeing to just draw a line in the sand and reset your life pace. It's horrifying to realise the pressure that project and reading queues were weighing on my subconscious.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Knitting for Charity

The whole Boeme Bebe concept came out of the World Vision Guardian Angel Drive - where you can knit garments for babies and drop them off at Guardian Pharmacies for eventual delivery in the developing world somewhere.

I've always meant to go back and actually do that, or something similar. This week I am gloriously catching up on my podcasts (I fell behind last week having a house guest) and I was listening to Guido's Its a Purl Man podcast. He had someone from Save the Children in the US describing their Caps to the Capital project. She mentioned that 4 million newborn babies in the world die within the first month of life from a variety of reasons including being wet and lacking warmth. She was very determined that it was for Americans only - basically knit or crochet a newborn hat and send it with a note to President Bush telling him that American Knitters and Crocheters care about newborn health.

Well, I would say that Knitters and Crocheters across the world care about newborn health. I especially do. I especially do when thinking about all that stash hanging out in my stash closet and not draping itself around a sweet, tiny baby. I have a lot of stash that I bought for Boeme Bebe. And I am thinking of knitting/crocheting some portion of that stash and donating it, I guess, to World Vision. If you want to join me, drop me a line - either here in the comments or at girlie dot jones at gmail dot com and let me know the caps you have made and donated or if you want to send them to me to include in my donation. You can download an action kit here with some patterns for very simple newborn hats. I think I'll use these patterns, they look simple and they have newborn sizings. It's an ongoing project, so I'll add a tally on the sidebar.

New FOs

My 14th pair of socks! And my 5th pair for myself. Thank goodness for Socktoberfest because I started these socks ... maybe in April? Finished the first, cast on the second, got to the heel and abandonded ship. I actually made a pair in the same colourway right before this one and I think I overdosed in red. These are Red Slippers in Socks that Rock. I used a slipped rib pattern. I didn't love the pattern (3 knit, 3 purl and then next row, knit 1, slip 1, knit 1, purl 1, slip 1, purl 1) - it wasn't mindless enough that you didn't have to concentrate but it wasn't interesting enough to be fun to knit. Also ... they are a pretty tight fit. I struggled to put these on this morning - maybe my feet were still wet from the shower. They are warm to wear though and pretty snazzy. I'm wearing them at work today with a three quarter length skirt (and pink top!).

And of course, I picked up the next set and began working - the Sherbet, also from Socks that Rock (see photo down below somewhere). These are for my Nana and she is tiny (maybe a size 4? need to check) so I zoomed through the leg and heel last night and did the gusset and half the foot this morning.

Here's something my Mum has been making lately that I love but she hasn't had any luck selling. I think maybe she hasn't found the market yet. These are hat pins but for holding scarves, shawls and stoles in place. I have on in amtheyst. Here are two in blues and she also has some in amber. She's selling them for Aus$20 (including postage). And I need to make myself a shawl or two to be able to use mine.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

From the Fair

My random sock shot of a bit of the fair. I had trouble with the lighting but the sock will feature later. In the background you can see the church and in front of that my hatstand with various knitted and crocheted hats. I spent the day chasing these round in the gusts of wind. I ended up with windburn too. I sold one hat - my favourite one actually - the wasabi green and dark green stripes beret, which you can see on the left.

Hot water bottle covers. I got a bit crazy with them. The pattern is courtesy of Yarn A Go Go and its a really lovely pattern to work. I can do a cover in just over a night now. And so I um, got carried away and knit a few too many in rather nice yarn from Natural Dye Studio. I think I made 7 for sale - I sold a further 2 to a livejournal friend and I made one for myself, cause they are lovely. I got some interest at the fair but didn't remotely sell a one. And I fear coming into summer now, this is something that will sit in stock for six months or more. And yet I have 6 more skeins looking at me wanting to be hot water bottle covers, which is just crazy. I may have to knit them into scarves just to stop the madness.

I'm not sure if you can see in this photo but I wrapped them up in cellophane, added a sticker for my name (Boeme Bebe) and labelled the yarn colours and then tied some silver ribbon round the top. They looked lovely when I wrapped them in the morning. I'm so heartbroken though cause they got so thrown about in the damn wind that I think the cellophane may be all creased and stuff and detract from the product. I haven't had the nerve to look - I just packed them up and put them straight back in the cupboard.

And then of course .... the socks! I finished my first pair for Socktoberfest at the fair, which does mean it wasn't entirely a waste of my time. I'm happy with them. They look good and the yarn was fun to work with. And they are bright and cheery, I worked extremely hard at matching the second one to the first but if you look closely:
you'll see, not so much!

Some FOs

Finally got my butt into gear and uploaded a whole heap of photos. This morning I finished my 14th pair of socks. I thought I might show some of the earlier ones first.

These are the very first pair of socks that I knit. I desperately wanted to try self striping yarn and this Opal was the only yarn I could find in Australia. I bought 3 balls and the other two are sitting in the stash, long forgotten with the love for other yarns. I love these socks because they fit perfectly and they wash in the machine in a regular load and come out like they went in. However, this was also the pair of socks that I learned that there is such a thing as too much (the yiddish (?) word would be "murra duddi"). I did a basketweave or similar stitch which is mostly lost in the stripes and just comes out as extra texture.

These are the first pair of socks I made for the bf. Just plain stocking stitch in Socks that Rock, Carbon Dating. I had to buy a second skein cause ... yeah, mens feet are bigger, and so I ended up with an extra half or two thirds of a skein. I made my Dad a pair with the leftovers exactly the same. On this pair I learned that even though socks might be machine washable, you should use wool detergent and not throw them in with the rest of the wash. A lot of the colour washed out and they don't look much like this anymore - very faded now.

Knitted Sushi! Pattern from Magknits. I fiddled with it once I'd done a few and did the slice of sushi (as opposed to the nori rolls) myself. I was going to do a second slice of sushi with like carrot or whatever but I got .... distracted. This leads me to the question of copyright. I've never come across this before - like if you buy a cookbook and you make the recipe and sell the cake ... whatever. But that's a real no-no in the knitting online world. I'm really not used to ownership of patterns, mostly because I change everything I knit anyway. I never gauge, I usually take something I like from a pattern and do something else with it. I was really shocked to read that something like 80% of knitters knit a pattern in the same colour as that shown in the picture! That kind of knitting is totally not the knitting world I come from - probably due to lack of patterns and lack of yarn brands available. So I guess my question is, when is a pattern changed such that it's no longer bound by copyright? Is the slice of sushi mine even though I only adapted the pattern for the nori roll?

Monday, October 09, 2006

in brief

I have a ton of photos so will post later on tonight. But I'm a bit down - we did the fair yesterday and it was horrible. We sat there all day and it was a very windy day and I sold two items. My Mum did slightly better with her jewellery but basically it was just unpleasant. I'm sore all over and very down about it all. My Mum is friends with the lady who ran the fair and that's why we ended up there this year and she was already asking us to come back next year. The thing is that it's a church fair. There were four stalls including us and pretty much only the parishoners came to the fair and none of them had money. I don't mind if you don't sell because people don't like what you have but to sit all day and not have anybody show up with the intention of buying anything just seems like a waste of my time.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Will try for some photo action tonight. But I was thinking last night how I actually see a benefit in the photo-centric kind of post for knitting blogs. I ripped out all but the cuff on my Seashells sock last night and reknit a couple of rows in a garter rib. Of course the fabric changes when you change size of the needles, the numbr of stitches or the type of stitch and now I have something to compare the new version of against the old. I'll do that in the next couple of days when enough sock is knit but I am now much happier with it looking more like sea shells.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The lure of new yarn

I know it's October and I'm supposed to be hooning through my second socks. I have a friend staying over and so not much knitting is really get done. I finished a scarf, though, this morning which is good stash restocking justification (SRJ). This is useful information since I see that Sophie's Toes is to be restocked today some time and Wendy's Mentionables kits are starting to appear at Yarn Botanika. Yarn Botankia have such lovely names and alluring colourways - peach spice and the pumpkin spice in particular. But it's also the draping their skeins sexily over Japanese pebbles. Sigh. I just *want* them. Good work girls!!

I also have some stunning sock yarn that I'm ogling in my kitchen - Sunshine Knitting's Chocolate covered cherries. I figure say i get all my socks done this month (ha!), and likely I'll cast on Avocado Salad, I can then cast those on. And yet? Day 5 and very little sock knitting currently achieved.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Soctoberfest begins!

I owe photos. They are forthcoming. I have made good progress on my Sweetwater Vesper socks. I took that to Fandomedia instead of the Seashell socks. I cast on before leaving on Saturday morning and by Sunday afternoon I had turned the heel, done the gusset and was steaming down the foot. I'll finish that at the fair this weekend.

The seashell socks did not fair as well. I made it down to the heel on Friday night and as i did the reinforced heel realised the fabric would be better in some kind of pattern, perhapsa rib. So they have been abandoned to be frogged and hopefully returned to somewhere at the end of October.

I also managed to knit the sushi from Magknits. Will take photos and add links and whatnot tonight.