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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?

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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….

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….

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.

So finally 12ply boy asked me to knit something for him. Was it a lovely Cobblestone Pullover or something else tweedily soft yet manly by Jared Flood? Or perhaps a beanie (ok more J.Flood – is he the go to man for men’s knitting patterns?) or a nice cabled scarf or some socks in dull blokey colours?
Nope, he wants a stubby holder.
Now I can’t remember whether he actually asked for Geelong colours but that is what he has got. In Lincraft Cosy Wool for felting. I whipped it up in an evening, with a little help from Beer Can Cozy pattern. My stripes jogged a bit but hopefully after the felting, the transition will be less prominent. No photos yet, wait for the felting!

I guess this is a learning for the boyfriend sweater curse, make him what he wants not what you want to make.

Other things: I have finished a Columbia Beret in doubled Patonyle in gun metal grey purchased at Stitches n Craft. A lovely easy pattern but I think I made it a little bit big. Oh well. At least the weather has now turned so I can get some usage out of my new hats!

Secret birthday present is still on the needles and another secret project is also underway. Hopefully all will be revealed soon!

Also took part in my first swap this week – favourite colours. I made this little ipod cover for my swap partner.
DSC00227
I started off with a pattern but didn’t like how it was turning out. So I ad-libbed. Then I did some terrible darning to join the two sides together. It looked horrid and I was embarrassed to give to anyone. Then I had a bright idea! Buttons to cover up my crap embroidery!
Yay!
I received a lovely red cowl from my swap partner too….

Now, there are some ugly patterns out there. But I was driven to blog about the latest Lion Brand email I received. This included wedding “favours”. Check this out – Amigurumi peas in a pod! Wedding cake topper! Barrette! Sheesh. This is the type of thing that gets us crafters branded as funny old ladies. This is the type of craft I hate, craft for the sake of craft, not for the functionality. Like toilet roll holders or tissue box covers. Are loo rolls and tissues so offensive that we must hide them from sight?! Phew serenity now….

Anyway on the knitting front; finished Edgar.
DSC00210

And started Selbu Modern. I am adoring this pattern, love the red yarn and the contrast with baby blue. I have been thinking about post box red and baby blue together since I read an article in a home magazine. When I saw a similar colour combo on Ravelry and remembered the Jitterbug Vatican Pie in my stash, popped into Clegs for an on-sale bit of Cleckheaton Merino Bambino and away I went. Liking the challenge of fair isle too.
DSC00212

I just hope it fits my big boof head.

I have a new haul of yarn!
Thanks to showusyourknits, I received some Noro Silk Garden sock and Araucania sock yarn for birthday/Christmas. I also took a little trip to Daylesford with 12ply boy and I stopped into Purl’s Palace, nabbing a skein of Noro Kureyon Sock (a day or two before the arrival of the other parcel!).
yarn haul

Now what to knit with them! I want to make scarf/shawls rather than socks. Show off the colours!
I have been lusting after Knitspot patterns for a while now. I have been very good and not bought anything yet, but I think this might be the time buy. Anne Hanson’s patterns are so lovely. She’s a woman who knows how to wear a shawl! She seems to be a busy woman with her patterns popping up everywhere but is still very active on the Knitspot board on Ravelry. I am thinking of (and with a little help from recommenders on Rav), Alhambra for the red, Punch & Judy or Hamsa for the purple/grey. But all of Anne’s Little Nothings are fabulous.

Wot’s on the Needs
Edgar! I bought some Noro Silk Garden with the intention of making another Stripe Scarf, but the colours were working against me. Both skeins would be decide to be black at the same time causing big black pools. So, I dumped and searched for something new. I found Edgar on Rav. It’s a simple pattern and perfect for tv knitting. It’s going very fast and I am liking the slight rustic look of all garter stitch.
Edgar
Edgar

What else is cool?
I love Ysolda Teague’s patterns (but haven’t made one…yet). Ysolda is launching a new book Whimsical Little Knits on her website at the moment. You can either buy each pattern separately or order the whole book in digital or print/digital versions. And at the moment Aust $ is strong against the UKPound (where is the pound sign on my keyboard?)…

To close the year, I finished two pairs of socks! I have also just cleaned out my fridge and washed my bathroom/kitchen floors. There is something out clearing out to let in the new year. Starting with a clean slate!

Lo and behold! The Uneven Rib and the RPM!


I have cast on something new…something I thought I would never knit…a wash cloth! I am trying the Puffalump Limbo Line washcloth in some leftover Bendigo Cotton from the Peter Davison jumper.

Off to get ready for a few drinks. Have a nice New Year!

After a two-hour train trip from Bendigo to Melbourne, I am now at the decreases for the toe on the RPM sock! I think I am going to finish before New Year.
As New Year’s Eve comes around, it makes me think about 2009 and my knitting resolutions.
Firstly, I will revisit my 2008 resolutions – entrelac (done!), lace (done!), cables (done!), toe-up socks (done!) and dyeing (NO!). Overall 2008 has been a successful year of learning new knitting stuff. Highlights being the big items; Goth Mermaid Shawl and Peter Davison jumper. But sometimes the simple things are favourites, I love my Noro Striped Scarf and slipped whilst at Wool Baa recently and bought the yarn for another.

Ok, in 2009 I want to try;
– colourwork : mittens for the cold walk to work on wintry Melbourne mornings
– hats : not really a hat person (I got lots of hair!) but want to make a slouchy beret
– dyeing
– spinning
The list is shorter this year, but I want to branch out into other fibre arts associated with knitting.
Also
– more swatching
– pay more attention to row and stitch counts when making garments (jumpers and cardigans are not my friends at the moment!)
– knit from the ever increasing stash (lace weight yarn is so easy to buy!)

What are yours?