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Surprise packages are always fun. It’s also fun if you forgot you’ve ordered something and it arrives in the mail. No, I can’t blame Xmas party boozing, then online purchasing (if you drink and click, you’re a bloody idiot!)… I joined the Knitabulous Yarn Club a month or so back when I was in the middle of a studying maelstrom after some enabling through Ravelry. And promptly forgot all about it until I received a pre-warning email from Knitabulous. And promptly forgot that email when a strange package arrived in my letter box.
I have not joined a yarn club before and I have been looking for a local club, because the overseas postage charges can make those clubs far too expensive. I have admired Knitabulous lace patterns from afar, like the Rain pattern from Yarn Magazine and her Red Emperor (search on Ravelry for the free download) pattern for 2008 Olympics.
knitabulous club #1
The package contained a sock yarn pattern ‘Shantaram’ (a book I have yet to finish by a master story teller – or bullshit artist, who can tell?!), an interestingly lacy pattern and sock yarn in a vibrant blue and green shade named ‘Salwaar Kameez’. There were also a couple of little goodies, including a lip balm, some plastic dpns, a piece of dark choc (mmm my fave…scoffed long ago) and the heady scents of a chai tea bag to add to the Indian experience.
The colours are almost too vibrant to hide away in a pair of shoes but the pattern looks right up my alley, I may have to play along properly for this first installment…there are 2 more to come! Yay!

Umm…yeah my blogging every day in November went a bit NQR and now it’s almost mid December. Oh well…

Slackness on the blogging front. I have started a Masters which is eating up much of the knitting time, but I am still finding time for some project finishing.
Mid semester, I made an appearance at the new SnB at Morris&Sons in the CBD on Thursday night. A good chuckle and a takeaway decadent hot choc from the Lindt Cafe across the road (mmm) between stitches.

Finished an Ishbel. Cute as a button like Ysolda herself. Made from Wired for Fibre – Elizabeth in Royal. Here’s a photo showing the lace detail.
ishbel - showing lace

And another showing the true colours plus a pair of Monkeys for a friend.
recent knitting - 13 Sept

On the needles is another Ysolda pattern, Liesl. I have had to rip back about fifty billion times when starting this but now I am in the swing, it is easy peasy bosum squeezy. About three-quarters of the way through and already planning a second version in black.

New Knitty out. Nothing really tickling my fancy but the Kernel scarf is the cutest.

Losing my crochet cherry
I am teaching myself crochet. I grabbed a copy of Debbie Stoller’s The Happy Hooker (cos she taught me how to knit with Stitch n Bitch, so I trust her) from Book Depository, grabbed a couple of hooks from Clegs and some leftover yarn and had a go.
1st try the yarn was dark brown, it was night and I couldn’t really see the chains. The yarn was splitting and I was in fifteen types of mess. 2nd try, another yarn, thinner and in a pretty green, also splitty as all buggery. I took a couple of sips of my cider and went to round 3, got out some scrap super bulky (used to make the feral best friend cardi) and this time I could see the chains and I was actually starting to crochet! Yay. But curse that first row of single crochet, what a nightmare!
One comment about this book – in Stitch n Bitch, when you are learning to knit, there is a couple of very simple patterns to help you learn, plain garter stitch scarf, then ribbed scarf. In the Happy Hooker, there are no first patterns, I am basically practising on a swatch. I want to get out there and make some stuff!
I have forgotten the frustration of learning something new, I want to be able to crochet immediately at the skill I now knit (although it has taken me 2+ years to get here!). It is teaching me patience again and the amazing time suck ability of learning something new. The hours flew by. I will be back to better my skills, because I have my eye firmly set on this pattern. I want for the hot summer that will be here in six months (which at 8′ right now, seems very very far away).

Wot’s on my needs?

  • Double Breasted Seed Stitch Jacket

Last night I finished the last piece of the Seed Stitch Jacket for my new niece (who probably won’t fit in it for ages!) during Borat (oh dear, I cried with laughter and spilled my drink at that naked scene). I will put the pieces together today as I have a few podcasts to catch up on and a free morning/arvo. The Nuture yarn is nice to work with, I liked it more than I expected because I have not been drawn to thick and thin yarns before. But the finished fabric is quite nubbly and natural looking. *Pictures to come, I have no batteries for my camera at the mo*

  • RPM sock

Finally after about fifty years of knitting this, I have finished one RPM sock in the now disappeared Knitting Ninja cashmere and something sock yarn and promptly cast on another. Melbourne Film Festival is about to start, so I need to have some socks on the needles to fill in my waiting time, as I am a perpetually on time person. I am keen to cast on another sock in Knitty Rocks, but I can’t find the right pattern. I have been trawling through books and magazines on which stitches show off variegated yarns. Oh well, it will come to me. Top of the list at the moment is from Charlene Schurch (I always want to call her Charlotte Church!) More Sensational Knitted Socks in Stansfield 304 or perhaps in Little Arrowhead Lace.

  • Cascading Leaves Shawl aka the Goth Mermaid Wedding Shawl

I have cast on the wedding shawl! Not sure if I have blogged about this before but I am making a shawl for my friend’s wedding. She is a little bit goth and completely obsessed by mermaids, so I got the lovely Live2Knit to custom dye some black/greens yarn for me. Then I found a pattern which could look like scales (but leaves) in a 4ply yarn because the wedding is the end of October and which means the weather could be doing anything. I was feeling a bit blah last weekend and thought I would clear my mind of funk by concentrating on something complex, I pulled out the pattern and the yarn and all is going swimmingly. The pattern is easy to follow (but I really should read charts, I rely on the written out instructions) and I am up to the 2nd repeat. I just checked out the work so far in the full sunlight (it has been pretty grey here) and the yarn looks beautiful with its subtle variations in greens. Excited!

Other stuff

  • I have not gone to Bendigo. I feel a bit like the girl who couldn’t go to the ball, but I decided that I didn’t need any yarn. I am already booked up for the rest of the year with projects! Goth Mermaid Wedding Shawl for October, Blue Bayou Mitred Stole for Schwester 2 and Extermiknit for the Spud in November. Then there’s Christmas. Plus anything for me in between!
  • Gusseting brought along the new Norah Gaughan Berroco pattern books to SnB last Sunday and I snapped one up. I had decided previously that Norah is pattern porn. I have Knitting Nature and it is amazingly beautiful and inspiring but I am lazy and the patterns are just too fiddly. I thought this while looking through Woodland Gothic, beautiful but scary hard and would do my head in. But then I took a look at Objet d’Art and there were some easy patterns in there for the slack arses like me! So I grabbed it. I am now planning to make Acton and Currer.

Despite the lovely cold, I have been not knitting up a storm.

I did however receive my lovely sock yarn from The Knitting Ninja in Tulips. Yum. Can’t wait to cast that one on, but I am being very good. Despite the urge I feel to cast on more than one pair of socks, I refuse to buy myself another set of dpns. That way I can control excessive castonitis.

Just as I was thinking I have plenty of sock yarn and DO NOT NEED ANY MORE, I saw the newish Socktopia pattern and desperately want a fiery-orange red skein. And as a good Melbourne girl and recovering teen goth, I need more black in my sock yarns…like this So 80s from Sock Pixie.

Next on my to do list is knit a jumper for my friend. It is from this fabulous book The Doctor Who Pattern book by Joy Gammon. The book published in 1984 contains such wonderful patterns as the Peter Davison cricket jumper (my project), Nyssa’s jacket, K9 toy, jumpers with the Dr Who logo and of course a Tom Baker scarf. There are non-knitting projects too, like Adric’s tunic (I never realised Adric was a gay icon) K9 shoulder bag and a TARDIS sleeping bag. The Peter Davison cricket jumper will be my first foray into cables, so challenging as well as super nerdy!

I will be doing less knitting over the next 19 days, despite the fact that I am on leave from work. Tonight begins the Melbourne International Film Festival and I will be blogging about that too here. I will be carrying my Jaywalker at all times and proudly knit in public while I stand in the ever present queues.

A big week of stash enhancement…lucky I answer to no-one but myself on my purchases! Yay another reason to celebrate spinsterhood! Anyway my Knittery purchase arrived in the post on Friday and I am desperately trying to stop myself casting on. I must complete some UFOs before I start my first project from VLT. But it’s so pretty…Knitting Ninja has sent a lovely note and her skein is on the way too. Can’t wait.

Saw this awesome pattern today through Lime & Violet board and busting to try the Bellatrix.

Why is casting on so much fun? Is playing with the first stitches, feeling the fibre through your fingers. Seeing the colour play, the way the stitches wind and sit together. Is it the excitement of new beginnings?

Other yarn purchases on Saturday…my LYS is Clegs… damn end of financial year, damn stocktake sale. Bought some robust thick black Gusto for a chunky scarf…I wear so much black but seem to make my scarves bright but I need a proper Melbourne black scarf. And they had some new sock yarn in and earlier I noticed a top in a shop window and was loving the play between violet and yellow. I recalled reading a book about complementary colours and how violet and yellow being opposite sides of the colour spectrum and work beautifully together…so I bought two skeins of this beautiful violet, gold and bronze Grignasco Strong Print sock yarn. I can’t find a link for it on the net, surely that can’t be right!

Congrats to Lime & Violet for getting their own bricks & mortar shop. Where on earth is Omaha btw?

I have just signed up for my first KAL, Tour de France! Ooh la la tricoteuses. A former boyfriend got me into the TdF thang and SBS has great coverage. I am usually not the sporting type but something about the scenary and the bizarre tactics has sucked me in. One day I hope to be sitting by the side of the road in a small French village on race day, sipping something cold and cheering on the racers. But this year, I will knit along instead from my Melbourne lounge room in winter. Not sure what yet. Given the skeins of sock yarn flowing through my letter box at the moment, it may be socks. Voulez vous couchez avec moi…

Edit – being less hungover today, I have re-read the KAL rules and am embarking on my first lace project from VLT using my Knittery lace-weight. King of the Mountain…see attached for further info

hello blogosphere, yarniverse & the world wide wool-eb

I don’t think anyone is reading this so I can be as silly as I please!

A big week in ForeverKnit knitting….where to begin? Books!

I received my Victorian Lace Today in the mail on Tuesday. Lordy lordy lordy. I am in love. Now, not wanting to abandon the sock realm so soon…I think Dharmafey would ban me from listening to her podcast, have you heard her Socks and the City? Very fun, great considering she is all alone, and that girl does some wicked sock yarns (can’t buy any though because I am feeling tres pariochal at the mo’ but more about that later). Anyway, her latest episode pronounced DOWN WITH SHAWLS!! But I am just saying, I have got a lot of knitty love to give, I am willing to share…call me polyknitterous or something. I can love both socks and shawls, I can!

VLT is a beautiful book, matching history with patterns and wonderful photography of the shawls and scarves on modern models at historic sites. I can’t wait to cast on.

I am little behind the knitting web crazes, so I have also just cast on my first pair of Jaywalkers. I love them too (see I have a lot of love to give). They are knitting up so quick and so fun. I am doing them in a lovely blue-ish Colinette Jitterbug, just about to knit the heel flap. I have taken note of the other comments around the web that the heels are a little tight and will knit the large size just in case.

I have also been trying to buy local to satisfy my two lovers – shawls and socks. The web is full of lovely yarns coming out of the US and Europe. Yet w, Australia, produce 70% of the world’s merino! It is nutty to send my money overseas when surely we should have the best wool here. So I have been trying to buy local indie dyers, but I have a thing for bright colours and have spent hour upon hour scouring the internet for the right colours. So my Aussie indie yarn p0rn came from the Knittery and the Knitting Ninja. A couple of sock yarns, one for me, one for my sis and a laceweight to try my hand at VLT!! Woo wee

Another lovely knitting related thing that came through my post box this week was the Winter edition of Yarn magazine – the Australian mag for knitting and more. It’s a great mag – book review, LYS ads, a comparison of interchangeable needle sets, interview with Ditte Larsen, how to fit your knits. And the patterns – five scarf patterns, a willow pattern cap – reminiscent of crockery, driving gloves, capelet, swirly girl socks (yum!! yes- done in Tofutsies…hmm like in my stash!), big long legwarmers, couple of vests, blokey jumper, cable cardie like you see in the shops, skirt and earflap cap. Great illustrations in the stitch guide. Fab

Finished the shell socks too, and a bastardised version of Hot Head from Stitch n Bitch for my 1 year old niece.

Phew. A big week in knitting…bye