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.

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.

Finished the Retrograde Pullover and here it is…

retrograde jumper #2

I am now a top down devotee and want to make all my jumpers this way! There is some dodginess going on but that happens with all my creations. The sleeves were knit on a needle size smaller than the body, just cos I only have one small circular. I should have woven in the end more neatly but hey I intend this to be a lounge around jumper. The Jet is really thick, nice and warm. I can see that I will only need to wear this jumper for a month or two of the year.
What next?
Well I have a pair of the ubiquitous Monkey socks on the needles in a bright colourway for a friend who needs a bit of cheering-up. I lashed out in the pattern purchases today and bought two (also ubiquitous) Ysolda patterns; Ishbel and Liesl.
But after the socks I think it is time for another shawlette, so maybe Ishbel or Entomology.
I didn’t go to Bendigo again this year. Oh well, there is always next time. Instead I sat outside in the bright winter sunshine at 12 ply boy’s parents farm on a hill, looking into the green gully below filled with vineyards, knitting on my Monkeys, watching eagles fly above and listening to Stash n Burn. I think I did alright…

I have a short attention span when it comes to garments. I can do lace but I can’t knit rows and rows of stocking stitch making one minor increase or decrease every 6 alternative rows. My mind wandering and my jumper pieces never match up.
So as winter approached, I decided to try a top down jumper with no seaming! I grabbed some stash Jet bought at a Clegs sale and set to making a man’s jumper for me.
The Retrograde Pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2006 is designed to be reversible, but I want a thick round the house dagging out jumper and don’t care about looking too swish. I stuffed the neckline a little but I am enjoying the body of the jumper. Ah the lazy 12″ of garter stitch in the round while watching movies in my handknit socks!
Here’s a sneak peek.
retrograde jumper

Top down style definitely suits my lack of attention! Let’s see how it all turns out.

Also finished a quickie hat. ZigZag Beanie in Cascade 220 Heathers. Only used half a skein! The beanie probably would have looked better in a yarn with a halo.
zigzag beanie

Alhambra in School House Products is coming along, but delayed by work on the jumper.

I am enamoured with the small shawlette at the moment. Here’s a new cute one, Milkweed from cosmicpluto

I have just got back from some time overseas, including 9 nights in New York…which meant YARN STORES!
I visited four shops; Lion Brand Studio, Purl Soho, School Products and Downtown Yarns. Here are my thoughts on each…

Lion Brand Yarn Studio
I get the Lion Brand emails and when I think Lion Brand, I think acrylic. But the Lion Brand Studio (like a concept store) was a nice surprise. Yes, there was acrylic there but the focus ‘yarn of the month’ was recycled cotton. The shop is quite large, with a wall of yarns for you to test, snip off a bit and swatch away. There were also computers to search the Lion Brand pattern range (but also allowed access to Ravelry!) and print out the free patterns. There was a large table for hanging out and knitting and lots of non-acrylic yarns (including the LB range). A nice space but as you would guess, only Lion Brand products on sale. Purchases – a skein of Sock Ease and some of the recycled cotton.

Purl Soho
Purl is a tiny shop packed to the rafters with yarn. There was a large table in the middle of the room for hanging out but the shop packs out with people easily (and I was there on a Monday afternoon!). There is no labelling on the yarns, so you need to pull out each skein to check what it is and the price. Price were a bit high too. There was a lot of lovely stuff in Purl but it was more on the luxury end. Purchases – nothing.

School Products
This shop is on the 3rd floor and you need to buzz to get in. Once getting through the door, I was the only person browsing. School Products had an interesting range of unlabelled yarns from cashmere to yak to cotton, available by the pound or by the skein. There was also the full range of Karabella Yarns but little other products. The space was kind of unfriendly but there was some great yarn on sale. Purchases – skein of hand dyed pale green cashmere/silk/merino (already cast on for Alhambra) and 2 skeins of a honey coloured Koigu

Downtown Yarns
Downtown Yarns is a cute little space on Avenue A. It had a real friendly community feel about it and a great, but smallish, selection of different yarns. There was a table for sittin’ and knittin’. This was my fave yarn shop in New York. Purchases – 3 skeins of Cascade 220 (one grey -already cast on for Zig-Zag Beanie and 2 green heather), a pink skein of Malabrigo Lace and another skein that might be a present for someone who might read this blog.

Purchases…
new york stash enhancement

And since I have been away, I have a new LYS. I popped into the new Morris and Sons Melbourne store yesterday. It is going to be a great addition to my yarn life. I liked the in-house range of yarns, especially excited to see a large variety of 2ply with 700m skeins…perfect for my lace addiction. But I have a bit of yarn to get through first!

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….

I have had to frog the Selbu! Oh no…after making a big mistake on row 50 of 64, I was ripping back and realised that it was just too small for the big boof head. It was turning into a tight beanie not the slightly slouchy beret as shown in the picture. The pattern does warn that the creator is a loose knitter and I should have known better. I am now going to reknit in 3.25mm rather than the 2.75mm as described in the pattern. Oh well.
But I have always had problems reknitting something. It is no longer fresh and new and like a kid on red cordial, I want to move on to the next exciting new project. This will be an exercise in discipline, because I am aching to get on try Fayfay in yummy lovely handspun bought at the Victorian Hand Spinners & Weavers Guild last year. And also some blokey presents. See how I go!

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!