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What is the preferred number of WIPs on the go at any given time?

I find some days I want something complex and challenging to occupy my mind and some days something mind numbing to occupy my hands while I talk or watch tv.

I usually have at least 2 WIPs on the go for this purpose. Lace for the ambitious days and at the moment, sock yarn blanket squares for the mellow-out knitting. Hats are good or top down jumpers with acres of knitting in the round. Easy knitting is also good for watching SBS, (subtitles) and probably my most watched tv station.

And then there are projects which start off requiring your full attention and then turn easy, like Liesl. For my first Liesl, I struggled with the first section but once I had moved into the main body, it was plain sailing, easy-peasy knitting, perfect for a subtitled film or knitting at a BBQ while keeping up with the conversation and with a bit of booze in me.

I am currently knitting That Little Scarf as my complex lace (thanks Lynne for letting me know that no rest rows = knitted lace). The ‘no rest rows’ makes it ever more brain straining.
Here is a pic from a week or two ago. I am further advanced now.
that little smokey scarf
The photo is a bit blurry but it shines like silver and looks quite sophisticated. I don’t know when I would wear something so classy! I am sure I will find an occasion.

But of course, I am no saint and there are probably another 3-4 WIPs hiding in my knitting basket, ignored and unappreciated for months now. Sometimes you start knitting and the project does turn out like you expected or you get distracted by something new and shiny. Are neglected WIPs like spurned lovers? The boy who seemed like a good idea at the time but it wasn’t as fun as you imagined, so you’ve stopped returning his calls?

Does posting weird pictures of knitting count as blogging?
Yes, I hear you say…well here goes…

How cute is this old bloke knitting?
old bloke knitting

Some gifts to knit?
Anyone a perve in your family? How about knitting fetish wear?
knit fetish

Bruno’s all over it too
Bruno knit

Actually this might be crochet…vagina tissue box anyone? Maybe for the back window of the car?
vagina tissue cover

For the fashionista in your life…a hamburger dress
hamburger dress

Any murderers at work? A selection of killing devices
knit knives

Or a happy little knitted turd
turd

I hope this has inspired your knitting today….

Daily blogging is turning into an interesting exercise. I have to think of something new each day because unfortunately I am not flying through the projects, finishing something new every day!

Knitspot is one of my favourite sites to visit. As you would know, I am a bit of a sucker for lace and Anne Hanson has a lovely variety of lace shawls, scarfs and modestly titled ‘little nothings‘. Her patterns are pretty and nature inspired (Hillflowers, Honey Baby and Poinsettia) with the occasional exotic (Alhambra and Hamsa ) or geometric themes (Hypoteneuse Shawl) thrown in.

Her husband rocks the shawls too, showing that a knitted wrap can be manly. Although he is pretty stylish and I can’t imagine many other men pulling this look off. And Anne is pretty damn styling herself! The colours she chooses for her knits are autumnal and soothing, yet pretty and classic.

Oh and she has socks too. She was only a guest at Sock Summit!

Her blog is delightful to read, as she grow vegies and creates patterns. As someone who pines for a garden of their own, she makes me quite jealous!

The AUD to US$ exchange rate is 93c, so get out there and buy some patterns!

I have to admit, I like interior design p0rn. I watch Grand Designs religiously, listen to By Design and read (and reread or just revisit my favourite pictures!) interior design magazines.
One magazine I subscribe to is Inside Out. Much to my surprise, I recently received their Christmas issue and they have jumped on the crafty bandwagon and included some knitting ideas for Christmas!
Some has kindly knit up this woollen chain pattern from Simply Knitting and it is very cute without being over the top Christmassy (see picture of Colin Firth from the last post). This would be a great stash buster and would look pretty good in any colour.
The article goes on to talk about free patterns from Patons. These patterns are a bit more traditional, including a cute crochet angel, pretty crochet stars (sheesh I need to learn to crochet), candy canes, lots of different stockings and a dog jumper! A good mixture of tacky and tasteful.
IK Holiday Gifts also has a range of decoration patterns including stars for a tree and egg like “German ornaments”. I dunno why someone would knit a skirt for their Christmas tree but I have now seen two patterns (Sunburst Throw and Paton’s Jester Tree Skirt – you have to log in to see the pattern and I couldn’t be arsed). Are we embarrassed to see the tree’s trunk?
There are a million Christmas patterns across the net, check out this stashbuster from craft.dow.com. But I think you would need to be polycraftual for that one…
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I don’t think I am going to knit anything as a Christmas decoration. I don’t Christmas at home, so my attempt at Christmas decorating will be to pull the Aldi tinsel out of the crap drawer and wrap it around the telly.
Maybe I am a Christmas decoration voyeur to go with my problem with interior design p0rn!

I have just come from the madness of Melbourne CBD, roads are blocked, tram routes diverted, people everywhere, all because of the Myer Christmas Parade.
Christmas? It’s only 14th of bloody November!
Trees and decorations are up and invites to work Christmas parties are flowing in. Is it just me or is Christmas getting earlier each year?
Anyway…talking of Christmas or “the holidays” as Americans put it, I grabbed a copy of IK Holiday Gifts recently. I am not really planning to knit gifts this Xmas but something about this issue grabbed my attention. I think it was mainly this pattern, Tapestry Mittens.. Of course, it’s 30 degrees here today and I want to knit mittens! But ever since knitting the Selbu Modern hat, I have been a little smitten with fair isle. I walk to work each day and some mittens would be quite useful in those cold Melbourne morns. This issue has 57 patterns, which is pretty good value and lots of nice socks and other little patterns like scarfs.
But check out this for a jumper to mentally scar the children in your life!
It’s a bit Bridget Jones Christmas jumper, innit?
Mark Darcy Xmas

I am also quite taken with the Tilted Slouch hat. There are also a bunch of blokey jumpers but not to my blokes tastes.

There is also a few Christmas decorations, but I will talk about knitted Xmas decorations next time….

Last night, I kicked back and started on a sock yarn leftover blanket. One square down…who knows how many to go! I filled a shoe box with leftover sock yarn balls and it will be interesting to see how I manage to co-ordinate the colours together as 85% of the balls are variegated yarns in a myriad of colours.

Why I like Knit Scene better than Interweave Knits.
I recently purchased both Fall 2009 copies and I have to say that Knit Scene is much more to my taste than IK. Whilst Knit Scene seems to have no real articles and many readers of IK say they only read it for the articles, the patterns in Knit Scene are clothes I would buy in shops. It is obviously targeted for a younger crowd and for the lazier knitter, as apparently these knits are supposed to be easier than IK.
Check out the Carnaby Pullover, super cute as the girls from Stash & Burn would say. Perfect in the olive colourway. And the Hollywood Herringbone Pullover, just right if you are feeling a bit Mad Men and curvacious 50s. Gratutious Mad Men picture.
Mad Men
Image from duckydoestv.com
Compared to IK, where the only good patterns are the Freyja Sweater (which is not really going to turn heads for knitting fanciness, but I have had a recent hankering for a top down jumper like this.) and Rosamund’s Cardigan…but with those side-buns, maybe I am more attracted to the Princess Leia/sci-fi-esque qualities of the jumper.
Another complaint about Knit Scene is its distribution. Knit Scene is not easy to come by here in Australia. I think I have seen it once in a shop and yet you can’t subscribe through Interweave Press. Why not?! I have discontinued my IK subscription but would love a Knit Scene arriving in my mail box every now and then. Are you listening Interweave Press? Prob not….

Hot Knitting?
image from ladyluckrulesok.com

It’s been stupid hot all week here in Melbourne and its only early November (take that you climate change skeptics Liberal party nuff-nuffs). It’s the time of year when I look at my Ravelry queue and my patterns and think “what should I knit now?”
I always find Interweave Knits Spring and Summer to be a bit lightweight, I don’t like short sleeved jumpers or knitted singlet tops and don’t get me started on knitted skirts. The real deal comes along in Autumn and Winter which is of course my spring and summer! At 35 degrees, whilst a fair isle jumper looks awfully nice in a picture, it would turn into a big sweaty felted lump in my lap.
So what should I knit in summer? I already have produced a couple of Liesls but even they won’t see the light of day in these temperatures. Socks are out. Shawls are out. Looks like I will be making a bunch of wash cloths and stubby holders! Any suggestions?….

I am currently reading The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, another one of Waters’ lovely lesbo-tales, this time set in WW2 London. There is a bit of knitting going on the story too and I have just come across some free 1940s patterns on the Victoria & Albert Museum website. Maybe I should knit myself some saucy fishnets…

Wow serious blog slackness. I am usually a Nanowrimo-er but this year have given it a miss due to the study. However study is over and so I have to do Nanoblomo instead for the remaining 20 days of November. Get me back in the swing of things!

So what have I been knitting?
Let me introduce Ishbel #2
ishbel#3
ishbel #1
Knit in Noro Silk Garden, Ishbel #2 was a treat between essays. Using tips on Ravelry to expand the pattern by repeating repeats of A & B, she is massive! At the moment she is covering the back of my two-seater couch.
I have also completed a small black Liesl (no photo as yet) knit in Tapestry Craft (yes the old name) 12ply. The yarn was on sale at Morris & Sons and was full of knots. Hey, it was only $29 for 8 balls, so I can’t get too picky.
I have cast on two new projects
That Little Scarf by Anne Hanson in Live 2 Knit (now Wired for Fibre) in Bette Smoke colourway. It’s 100% silk and shines beautifully like silver. I understand from Ravelry that the Wired for Fibre store should be relaunched any day now. The pattern is quite challenging because the lace is knit on both sides…there’s no rest purl rows for lazy knitters like me! I can’t remember whether that makes it knitted lace or lace knitting…it’s one or the other.
that little smokey scarf
I have been looking at my ever increasing sock yarn leftovers and started knitting a blanket…okay I have almost knit one square. This one will be a long termer.
I have another 19 days of blogging so I better not use up all my material today. Further blog posts will include a review of my recent Interweave Press magazine purchases, some Christmas knitting patterns and other random ramblings.