Saturday, May 29, 2010


Busy with things other than knitting, my 7yo turned 8 this weekend, so there was the party .. 8 little cubs playing and singing and playing games, before a winter indoor picnic on the living room floor, and away off home by 6pm. That is the great thing about kids and their social lives, usually its all done and dusted by 7pm at the latest. The party prep was fine, but took time, including making of the fairy bread, I'm not sure how far the childrens party custom of fairy bread exists, but here it is a party staple. Some time between when I was a kid and now the sprinkles have undergone a stylish transformation.

The sprinkles of my memory were multi-coloured, pastel numbers - now one can buy colour themed jars, that sparkle and glitter like seed beads, and we opted for pink. Soooo pretty. All that prep and hosting and clean up robbed me of my knitting time this weekend, but I did manage to finish the Little Possum, and to start a new project.

I cast off the last sleeve cuff last night, and whilst it has stopped raining, I'm not game to block it just yet. I'd like a few days of clear weather first. The thought of a damp sweater taking several days to dry is not a pleasant one. I know blocking will make this yarn bloom and thicken and relax and fluff up - in the mean time it is worn by cub number 1 as is.

Which left me with only one project on the needles, Nightingale, which ties me to the chart. So I dithered and viewed other knitters finished objects on Ravelry and decided to cast on for Ishbel. Damson and Traveling woman were also in contention, but Ishbel won out, it needs 300m and I have 340m of dark green cashmere and silk handspun that is perfect for it. I've made a start ... so far 15 repeats of the 25 repeats needed to work the stocking stitch center ... but each repeat adds 6 stitches .. so each row gets longer and longer, and takes more time. On Ravlery mine is the 6754th Ishbel cast on .... that is a lot of Ishbels, and that is just the ones on Ravelry!

I've also finished the hand rail yarn graffiti ... and hope to get fine enough weather before Tuesday the 8th to install it. I'll keep you posted on that one.

na Stella

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rain rain go away ...

come again another day, except after two days of downpour I'm not sure I want you back another day. We have been hit with what our weather forecasters are calling a weather bomb, yes weather bomb. Here we rarely have all day rain, a few hours and then it stops. The entire country was predicted to have deluges of rain for days, wet, cold, heavy rain. Thankfully it is only rain .. no winds, no storms, no wild weather, no temperature plunges or humid days .. just wet, wetter, wettest rain. Bear took spare trousers and shoes to work today after getting soaked waiting 5 minutes at the bus stop in his water proof coat. Its not the coat that failed it was the rain running of the coat onto his trousers and shoes. And its dark, the heavy clouds that bring us our rain mean that we have very little light, this morning I drove the cubs to school in the gloom, at 8:20 in the morning, tonight Bear picked me up after collecting the cubs from art class at 5pm ... and it was dark, so dark and misty that we could hardly see 50m ahead. If it wasn't for the knitting - I think I might get depressed, all dark and wet makes for a sad bear, but if the bear can Knit - and has no reason to abandon knitting for chores like hanging out the laundry ... well there is a sunny side after all to the ongoing rain.

I've finished the cuff on Tobys little possum sweater, its long and generous on him but may have heard how children grow. If you have heard from a knitter, you might have heard they grow just after you finish a lovingly knit sweater .... so I've allowed in advance for his growth. The sleeves are long reaching down to his knuckles, the cuffs fit neatly .. but they will stretch out, always do. I've started the second sleeve, and have made good progress working away the gusset. I also took a wee bit of time to weave in all the ends. Scary thing is this sweater fits me, the sleeves are perfect, the body a little trimmer than I'd choose .. but it fits. Scary in that I can clearly remember Toby as a skinny newborn as if it was not to long ago, all whimper and wrinkled skin, barely able to focus looking at me with those wide calm peaceful eyes babies have, and now I am knitting him sweaters that fit me.

My work-rail project grows, I'm half way there. I am using a very accurate measurement system with this project. I stood outside and determined that the length of the rail was two full spans of my arms ... so far I've knit just over one span. I've held the boredom at bay by introducing more variety, a cable, one panel of intarsia block work, and slip stitch ridges. So far its feeling more of a sampler than anything else, but a sampler could be good. My plan is to knit with purpose this week, and install it next weekend, classes start the week of the 7th of June .. so that gives me a weeks more knit time if I need it.

I'm off to watch the recorded Dr Who with the cubs, then House (yup cheap tv here - we live on the intellectual edge at times), and knit (acrylic), and look at my sunny yellow and lime and think of warm and clear sunny days.

na Stella

Friday, May 21, 2010

What is the difference between

Yarn bombing and knit-graffiti? I'm not sure .. but both are supposed to be a little subversive, a little surprising and authored by anonymous knitters (or crocheters). Yarn bombing seems to used by some to cheer up their drab streets with some knitted graffiti, which is the same goal as knit graffiti - Knitta has a mission to make street art "a little more warm and fuzzy. So here I am a fairly ordinary knitter, opps Knitter, working away on fairly ordinary pieces ... sweaters, cardigans, socks, hats ... and other domestic and wearable things, and happily knitting in public (Kip-ing) on a weekly basis, using good quality ingredients, wool and wool blends with other natural fibres. Last knit night, Thursday, I was knitting this, and there came the questions,

Another Knitter: What is that you are knitting,
Me: A cover for the ramp rail out side work,
Another Knitter: Why?
Me: The knitting elective I teach is starting in 3 weeks and I thought I'd cheer up the building with some knitting. Inspire them perhaps.
Another Knitter: What is that yarn, it looks like ....
Me: Yup - it is acrylic.
One of the other knitters: Where do you get acrylic from?

and so it went on for a little more as we discussed the bargain bin yarn shops where you would expect to find acrylic yarns. I think they were more surprised I'd actually buy and knit with acrylic than that I'd knit a cover for a hand rail. I was even asked how much it was - so unfamiliar with acrylic yarns are they. Appears I can knit a cover for a 3m hand rail for about half the price of knitting a pair of socks. I am knitting a cover for the 3m hand rail that edges the ramp up to the main entrance students use to our building, its in garter stitch acrylic .. and I'm doing my best to make it as designer'ey and attractive as possible - you know because deep down I am that kind of knitter who weaves in ends and matches left and right increases and decreases, and slips all the first stitches purl-wise .. and uses wool. And being me I got a little bored working back and forth in plain garter stitch, so I'm now working a kind of two strand garter stitch on circular needles. Yes I'm knitting lime green and bright yellow and still I got a little bored, because despite all that colour there was nothing interesting going on with the knitting, just knit knit knit. So to keep it in garter stitch but spice it up a little first you knit across the work with one colour, then without turning the work, slide all the stitches back to the other end of the circular needle and knit across the work in the same direction in the second colour, Turn the work and repeat ... it makes a neat little pattern of ridges, each edged with scallops of one of the colours. I'm maybe a third of the way along the hand rail, and I've got three weeks to knit it in before classes start, and students start picking electives next week. I'd have loved to have more done, things knitted for some of the table legs, or the pull cord on the projector screen or other bits and pieces .. but there is only so much a Knitter can knit, in wool or acrylic, and there is already too much in my queue.

Then there is the other knitting, the real project knitting, Tobys little brown possum sweater and another bump of fibre leaves the wheel, and there is some stashing. The first sleeve is nearly done, I'm decreasing in preparation for knitting the cuff. I use a different decrease pattern to what is usually recommended, I like to decrease at quarter points every 4th or 5th round, this funnels the sleeve evenly, rather than just removes fabric at the underside of the wrist. A few more decrease rounds and I'll be ready to work 4 rounds of garter and some 2x2 rib.

This is the latest spinning, Romney fibre, blue from Chilko fibres in Ashburton. Its a lovely mix of navy, dark grey, petrol, indigo, green, olive and blue-black, so I Navajo plied it to keep the colour changes intact. I am rather pleased with this yarn, its fairly consistent, with no real thin or over twisted plies - you know I might finally be finding my spinning rhythm. Its a little thicker than DK, so possibly best described as Aran, with 125m in 109g. I'm thinking a hat, for moi?
These little treasures came home from knit camp last week .. a grey sock yarn from Vintage Purls(she thought I'd like it so put a skein aside for me - I love having friends like that), and a cute pin cushion apple in Japanese indigo quilt fabrics. The other treasure that arrived this week is a book, In the Loop Knitting Now by Jessica Hemmings (BlackDog Publishing). This book is an edited compilation drawing together contributions from the first In the loop conference .. and I'm so excited to see it, seeing how I'm off the the second of the In the Loop conferences latter this year. I love this book, its exciting, from the article by Kirsty Robertson on teaching Textiles and Activism ... to the image by Margi Geerlinks of a woman knitting a child. In the book the reproduction of that photo is amazing, the toes are real childs toes and yet the waist is sheer and bunched is clearly knitting scrunched onto a circular needle. I had bought The Culture of Knitting by Joanne Turney late last year .. and was a little disappointed by it, I felt it presented ideas that I already knew, that it didn't develop new or exploratory ideas about knitting, In the Loop does that for me .. its shows me the new in an exciting way - perhaps I'm excited by the images as much as the text. And no ... I got the book after I started the knit the hand rail cover, so it didn't inspire me to start.

Lastly - thank you to Anonymous who corrected my spelling in the last post, from dying to dyeing - appears when speaking of a weekend involving 15 knitters the first spelling is tragedy and the second is not. Readers will be well aware that spelling and grammar are not my strengths ... in fact once at primary school a school report stated quite truthfully that 'Stella is the only child I know who can use a work 3 times in a paragraph and spell it a different way each time', that teacher was good, she let me know I wasn't there yet, but not in a way that killed my enthusiasm for learning. It also explains why I failed at French and German and Maori - for if I can't remember the rules in my home language - how on earth can I learn another set to use in another language? I try, there is definitely a slight dyslexia going on when I use letters, more so with numbers - you should see what I can do with a phone number as I write it down. At one stage I had a volunteer editor who offered to email me with 'suggestions' and 'corrections' but I think she grew tired of tidying up my ramblings, and honestly - I was very very thankful but always pleased and surprised she took the time, I never expected people to spend that sort of time providing detailed help. I know there are people out there who can spot a misplaced apostrophe across the room and can't make sense of the words or meaning until the spelling and punctuation is correct ... I'm not one of them, and so I do apologize to all those I offend, and understand when you go and read the musings of knitters who can spell and order words in the right way instead of reading me. I also give a huge thank you to all those who let me write and ramble and post and don't make the spelling or grammar an issue, unless I fail to make sense, and talk about a weekend of 15 knitters dying not dyeing, and then please do help me out - because as pointed out to me, fifteen knitters dying in one weekend is indeed a tragedy.

Thank you.
na Stella

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Frog and repeat

Yup - todays post contains both the word Frog and the word repeat, because I'm that kind of knitter. I'm a knitter that makes mistakes, or perhaps more accurately a knitter who takes risks. Some of those risks could be considered to be avoidable ... like picking up too many stitches around an armhole .. and knitting 30cm or more (that is 12 inches), but as I've been explaining I get a lot of knitting mileage from my yarn at times. This is one of those times. The last weekend was our local KSG(knitters study group) retreat, months earlier than usual and not as cold. Fifteen of us headed out of town and enjoyed a weekend of knitting and dying, Dartmore dyeing, and yes I have photo, thanks to Morag who remembered her camera whilst I did not. Then today there was the nicest surprise in the form of a spinning fibre swap parcel.

So away we went, 15 mostly local knitters to our annual retreat, and we knitted. There wasn't a specific class or project this year, rather instructions to bring our UFO's and deal to them, and a hands on demonstration of Dartmore dyeing. I'm not entirely sure how to explain Dartmore dyeing, KathyR organised the demonstration and perhaps explains it best. We had a mixture of handspun yarns and fleece ... enough to supply all the campers, and ended up with 48 related shades. The method of moving fleece and skeins from dyepot to dyepot, and repeat dying and over dying allows the colour of the fibre and of the dyepots to shift as the process progresses. I love the range of colours, pure magic ... and the last batch of skeins was particularly beautiful, the colour mix just seemed to shift entirely for that batch.....and yet they still work alongside the other skeins and fleeces.

Packing for camp I realized I don't really have a UFO, the fish blanket is ongoing rather than UFO'd, and Nightingale is a sock I love but not one I'm going to risk knitting when chatting. So I packed some fish, and Toby's new little possum sweater. I worked the last shoulder on the Friday night, and the neckband on the Saturday while the dyeing was demonstrated, and quickly moved on to picking up the stitches for the sleeve. Sleeves start wide and then narrow, so I picked up the 3 in 4 as recommended in several gansey books and decreased away the gusset, then decreased away until the sleeve stitch count was 40% of the body stitches. It still looked wide .. it had not narrowed fast enough but I knit on, knitting up not one but one and nearly two 50 gram balls of yarn into the sleeve.

Back home I fitted the sweater on Toby, and found the sleeve was far to wide. Toby loved it, the 3/4 length wide sleeve in soft brown seemed to him like a something a 'Jedi knight would wear'. I the ever practical 'mum' worried about two problems, first it wouldn't fit inside his coat, and second - I might run out of yarn.Sunday night I frogged the sleeve and started again, picking up 2 in 3 this time and decreasing again until I had 40% of the body stitch count. Because I had fewer stitches - this time the decreases worked out quickly and narrowed the sleeve to a better fit. Sucess and more knitting from those two balls of yarn than I expected!

Then this morning, 10 minutes before I left for work, and to drop the cubs at school on the way - a courier pulled up with a parcel. The fun of this is its a swap parcel of spinning fibre and this is beautiful .... look! Merino and silk, gotland lamb locks, real coffee beans, dutch licorice, ginger candy ... a huge thanks to CraftyKiwi from Ravelry. Amazingly he says there is more to come ... I am a very lucky spinner.

Take care
knit on - na Stella

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

some times I'm a slow learner ...

really I am, there is this thing, a process that I some times come across in knitting and every time I strike the same problem, and it always takes me three or four variations of process before I come to a solution .. and its the same solution every time. Now you would think a reasonably intelligent adult, with more than a few years adult life experience would remember the solution to a recurring problem a little faster .. but no, every time I have to solve the problem as if it was a new problem. Today I describe my new-found, yet tried and tested solution for rowing out, and show progress on two projects, Toby's new Gansey 'little brown possum' and Nightingale.

So this problem, the one that I come across again and again, and have to physically work out the solution to each time? It is rowing out (described here and here), and I only experiencing rowing out in my knitting when I knit flat - which is why I probably like to knit in the round. Technically its caused by a difference in tension in forming purl and knit stitchs, in my case my purls are fimer than my knits, oddly for most knitters its the other way around - the knits are firmer. A few rows into the front yoke of Toby's new sweater and I noticed the rowing out - no problem I thought I know my purls are firmer so I'll just work them looser. A few rows latter and my work was still rowing out, no problem I thought - I'll knit firmer - that is how I solved this last time. A few rows latter - still rowing out, now I know I can switch needles and work with a smaller size tip to even out the stitches .. but for some reason that seems far too drastic a fix, so I thought ok, I'll purl looser and knit firmer - that will surely fix it. Nope ... about then I realised that the solution is always for me, to knit combined when knitting flat. It works, it always has, in fact when I switched form carrying my yarn in my right hand to carrying it in my left - it was to knit combined, the result were speed and perfectly even flat knitting. then with a particular yarn and a heavily cabled pattern with lots of rib - I switched to continental, having all the stitches mounted the same way is easier in cabled rib patterns, but then when I knit flat I now get rowing out. I tried to ignore it, but even though its hard to see the rowing out in the possum fuzz of this yarn - it can be felt, as little horizontal bumps, this image shows a section knit in the round and then a section with rowing out knit flat. So I'm knitting the back yoke with a combination purl technique, its perfectly smooth and I'm about to frog the front yoke and re-knit it. In this I am a slow learner ... maybe one day I'll just know I have to knit flat using a combined purl technique.

I'm a habitual slipper of first stitches, I always always knit the last stitch and slip the first stitch purlwise, always. Slipping the first stitch gives a nice even chain stitch edge, which I love. Except I've learned that on edges where you want to pick up close to the edge .. some times that slipping isn't the easiest to pick up along - so here on the yoke I'm knitting the first and last stitch on every row. See? Lots of little edge bumps, that gives nice stitch points to pick up along when I pick up for the sleeves. Why is it I can remember I need to do this - and not the remember the combination solution for rowing out? I think I know why, knitting combination means I have to look at my knitting more often, to check the stitch mount ... before I insert my needle tip to work the next stitch, and when I turn a row. I would rather work on autopilot - so forget the solution until its unavoidable.

Still I'm churning thru the yarn, this is ball number 5 of 10, being rewound into a nice cake on my nostephine. I could knit from the ball but I like my own center wound cakes - they sit and behave them selves with no tangles. And when I hand wind I do have a feeling for how many knots are in the ball, some balls none, some balls several.

And at long last some progress on Nightingale, I've worked another bird, thats three birds so far. I'm hoping to squeese another bird in and then have enough yarn left for the cuff. I've already split my yarn into two 50g cakes .. so I'll know soon if I can work another bird or not. I want to make these as long as possible, maybe even knee highs? I don't know if my yarn will be enough for knee highs, but one can but hope.

I'm working the gusset increases every 4th round, and in stripes. So far so good, except I think every 4th round was a little fast on the increase for my legs, I've put one last increase a good 12 rounds after the previous increase, I didn't really need it for fit but rather to even out the 1x1 stripe pattern.

There has also been some spinning, more of the cashmere, and the blue Romney has finished but is not yet plied. I've sent away a swap box for the NZFS 4.0, and await news of its arrival. I find the sending of swap boxes far more exciting than getting one, not sure what that says about me, but I enjoy the idea of trying to surprise and delight some one.

take care
na Stella

Saturday, May 08, 2010


Its mothers day - here anyway, I'm at a lost to know if its mothers day elsewhere or not. But here is is, which means pretty much a usual day ... except I stepped back from the dishes after breakfast. And Toby and Poppy surprised me with little gifts. Well they had to arrange going to town to do a little shopping with Bear and not me, and explain to me that I wasn't to tag along for 'very good reasons'

Bear tells me Poppy knew exactly where in town to go to get these, she had spotted them weeks ago and remembered where, Toby dashed off across the road heading for the chocolate shop (Lindt Excellence Dark Mint Intense! Yum!). Bear jumped the gun and yesterday we went off to the local wonderful kitchen shop and selected two non stick baking trays - something I had requested next time we were ready to spend money and had forgotten - whenever I bake I end up shuffling things on and off the two trays I have - and always wish for more. I admit to being a little confused by the need for 'mothers-day', why a special day when it would be better for every one to be nice and appreciative all the time, and there is a sense that for some mothers day might be a day of treats that might not make up for the other days . .. but I'm not going to complain and turn down a thoughtful set of gifts. And yes - a Knitter (capital K) would have made these with left and right leaning decreases ....I wonder how hard it would have been to reverse the print for the other foot?

The sweater project is getting the majority of my knit time, its easy and quick, and look - I'm up to the arm holes. I asked Toby what sort of shaped and fitted sweater he wanted, and he said like his gansey - so I'm adding gansey gussets and plan to knit the front and back yoke flat, with a strap shoulder. I've used EZ fake seam to mark the two side seam positions, it is one of the nice elegant touches I like to add and makes blocking and folding easier. My first attempt of the gussets seemed short - although its so fluffy that its hard to see anything, I had worked the increases every 2nd round.

A quick check with the chart for his gansey showed increases every 3rd round .. so I ripped it back and worked it again. Now I've worked the gusset, put those stitches on a holder, and have started working the front. I'm using the stocking and reverse stocking stitch welts at the armhole edge, they pulled the edge into a nice fitted curve on his gansey so I'm hoping for the same effect here.

take care, hope you mothers day went well which ever side of the 'mothers' line you are on.
na Stella

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Progress and peace

Today it is about progress, for I have made enough progress to feel ahead on the Brown 'Possum sweater, I remembered and implemented a cunning plan to avoid yet another mobius sweater cast on, I had an a-ha moment when I saw how clearly how if I had just looked carefully at and thought about my knitting I would have realized the hideous truth of the oversize swatch much much earlier. I confess how I invited disaster as I worked the monster swatch. And I have a lovely blue fibre to show .... ordered some time ago and that has been on view on my dresser ... and I'm finally ready to put it away. Winter is nearly here, the temperature outside when we wake is often hovering around 1 degree Celsius (0 is freezing for those in countries which use Fahrenheit), and it seems right to sit and knit. Winter means the days are shorter, its dark earlier, and at the start of winter I always forget that I need to make photos during the daylight - today was one of those days - so sorry for the photo quality.

So this was the monster swatch of the last post, abandoned and thrown aside, while I breathed, slowly and carefully. A full 53 cm across, yes last post I measured it at 50 cm, but when I sat it flat and did an accurate gauge swatch measurement it was a full 53 cm across, a 106 cm sweater, 20 cm larger than I wanted to knit and 20 cm larger than Toby needed. But I'm calm now, relaxed, I have a new sweater underway, look!

As I cast on and knit the new smaller sweater I had one of those Duh! moments, the kind when a slow dull realization dawns. For me it was seeing and knowing that if one knits a 86 cm sweater on 80 cm needles ... there will be only a little gathering (not a lot). Yes, as I cast on and knit the 2nd attempt it dawned on me that an 86 cm sweater fits easily on 80 cm circulars, and what I had knit before was gathered and needed to be squished up to fit on the needles, so I should have recognized there was a problem much much earlier. Duh! Doh! I wonder if I will remember that in future, if I can indeed learn from my mistakes, to do that at least sometimes would be a good thing. So here is the new version sitting on top of the old version. I found as I matched the amount knitting and then exceeded it I felt myself relax and calm - I had mentally caught up, which felt good. I'm nearing the end of the second ball of yarn and you can see that I was not quite ready to ravel the first version, not quite, not yet. You see - I had performed an act of high risk in knitting, one of extreme temptation, of bravery and daring, and in doing so I had invited tragedy, I had woven in my ends-as-I-worked, only the one set of ends, but it was enough, enough to risk the ire of the knitting spirits and to make frogging all the more difficult.

And the mobius sweater cast on? This time I resorted to an age old beginners trick, I worked the first 4 rows of the garter stitch hem with the sweater flat, and then I joined it in the round. Now I have a little dip at the hem, and wee tiny tail of yarn to weave in, I might even keep the wee inverted V, as a reminder and design feature, for now it indicates which stitch marker is the beginning of the round marker.

And fibre, one of the treats of internet knitting communities and all they bring, the friendships and support, the information freely shared, is exposure to things offered for sale, the enablement of stashing and shopping. A few weeks ago it seemed that a certain term was cropping up, Jane spun some beautiful fibe from a verb for keeping warm (vfkw), Super Mike spoke positively of the inspiration of avfkw, there were others, to many others to mention, but I was intrigued and checked out the shop. Once there i was further intrigued, the fibre on offer was from breeds that are not commonly available here in New Zealand. I splurged and ordered a Blue Faced Leicester dyed with indigo, 2oz (50g), called Indigo Sky ( at the time I really wanted Targhee but when I ordered they were out of stock). The fibre arrived quickly and came with a lovely hand written note on the invoice together with a blurb about the characteristics of indigo dyed yarns (blue hands but not permanent). The BFL is soft and yet has one of the largest crimp patterns I've seen in a fibre, I'm looking foward to spinning it, soon. Still it is time for me to put it away, and to return to knitting Nightingale now that I feel in control of Toby's sweater.

Take care
na Stella

Saturday, May 01, 2010


Yes I feel like screaming, there is an anguished deeply confused scream deep inside that I'm suppressing. I know that probably isn't good for me, but really - if did scream my family would run in and wonder what I've done. Friday night I brushed the back of my hand on the element in the top the oven and that hurt, so I did yelp, and they came a-running, and took over and took care of me. This time if I screamed they would come-a-running and I'm not sure they would be as sympathetic about a knitting catastrophe as they were about a kitchen mis-hap. Today I can report my newest project is not going well .. at all, that I have a new toy on my ipod that confirms that I'm not really as dangerous in a knitting shop as I would have predicted, and my secret project is off the needles and blocked - which probably saved my sanity. After all a knitter needs at least one success every now and again to stay sane.

The end of the secret project left me with a need for some easy knitting, something I could knit out and about, and not worry about being to careful with charts or complex stitch patterns. I had a lot of Possum Merino DK weight yarn in my stash and needed space, Toby had outgrown his last Possum Merino sweater and needed another (or at least that is my story - the needed bit). The yarn is a lovely soft brown, originally purchased to knit Owls, but it failed the swatch test. I had the swatch still here with notes about the needle size and gauge - so used that to work the maths for Toby's next sweater. Like usual it took me 3 false starts to cast on and knit a few cm with the right number of stitches and not twisted. You know that bit about 'join in the round being careful not to twist' - well I take time to make sure its not twisted, and then 4 rounds latter its twisted, I really don't understand how that could be .. but suspect that some how as I knit the stitches spiral around the needle and twist all by themselves. Eventually I had both the right number of stitches and no twist - score, so away I knit.

And then after 3 nights of knitting, you know that enthusiasm for a new project stage where you abandon the other WIP's and just knit the new project ... I noticed the sweater was very wide for a very skinny boy. How wide you ask, well it is meant to be 86 cm around, so should have been 43 cm across. I couldn't measure it on the 80 cm circular needle so transfered it to a safety line and measured it - the monster I was knitting is 50 cm across, so 100 cm around. A good 14 cm more than it should be. How can that be? I have not done any investigation to see if my swatch notes were inaccurate, or if my gauge has changed, or perhaps I only think it was the yarn the swatch was in and it is a much heavier or thicker yarn. I've not even decided if I should frog it or make it for Bear, or knit it on thicker needles as it seemed a little dense. I'm just avoiding thinking about it all together. And I'm being stoic, and calm, and not even screaming, well, maybe a little inside. And I know that I really can't frog it until I can face counting all the stitches and documenting its dimensions so I can use it as a swatch. I think that is the bit that hurts the most. I can't abandon it, I have to face my failure and document it accurately - and I'm not ready.

Then there is my new toy, I bought a spending expenses app for my ipod touch. It allows me to make note of what I spend my money on, Bear and I share joint accounts for household and savings and then have personal accounts to take care of our own needs and interests with, so this is just for me to track my pocket money spending. I've been running it a little over a week and I love the little reports it provides, in the last week 66% of my spending has been on education (knitting camp), 11% on lunches (mostly I make and take a lunch from home - but there is sushi and coffee once a week), and only 5.9% on knitting! I'm ignoring that the knitting camp could be considered knitting .... and I'm hoping that this will curb my spending and encourage me to save up for souvenir yarn and fibre. Its called Expense Tracker - Spending.

And a sneak preview of the secret project .... of which I can't say any more than I love it, and I may have to knit my secret swapee another one so i can keep this one. If it wasn't for this knitting success this week, I'd have abandoned knitting all together .. ..