Tuesday, April 29, 2008

and the winner is ....(drum roll please)

Today, the winners of the guess the mystery object competition are announced, two winners, yes indeed some one guessed, and a consolation prize to one lucky reader drawn at random from all those others who commented but didn't guess rightly. Both get to choose a skein of sock yarn from the Vintage Purls shop. Remember New Zealand where I am is ahead in the time zone thing, so the competition is now officially closed even though it might still be April where you are. Plus + a little update on my second Salto sock, and I'm off to knitting camp Friday, back Sunday, twined knitting camp with 13 other like minded knitters. Pretty exiting stuff. I'll be back after the weekend.

so without further fuss, the winner is Jussi who said...
You sit your cone of yarn on it and it spins slowly as you knit, so that your yarn unwinds nicely. Which is exactly what it does, so I've let Jussi know, and she can choose a skein of yummy sock yarn in her favorite colour way. I suspect Jussi deals with cones and might have something similar herself. Now we both know you don't need a cone holder to knit from a cone, you just need the cone of yarn and the pointy sticks. But if you are knitting a large item (sweater, shawl or such) in fine weight yarn from a cone, a lace weight say with little twist ... well the act of making stitches, well the knitting actions can remove the twist from the yarn and then the knitting looks flat. And lets not forget the one big advantage of knitting from a cone, the miles and miles of yarn with no knots, joins or splices to interrupt your knitting. So this is my cone holder build with aero-technology dispenses yarn from the cone with the gentlest of tugs, gifted to me by Suzanne. Yes - aero technology, in a previous life this little gadget was part of a flying machine.

... now I also said you don't have to guess correctly, so drawn from the other commenter's, we have Shirley who also gets to choose a skein of yummy sock yarn in her favorite colour. this draw was done very officially, at the end of our family breakfast meal, with names on little cards in a bowl and Poppy bear did the honors of fishing out the winners card. A big thank you to all who visited and left comments, it makes the blogging much more fun to see responses.

and since this is really about knitting, well Salto grows, sock two is half way there. I'm just starting the heel flap, and the cables have come together nicely as in the first sock. This won't be my take along project, to much fussing with row counting and lines, but I'm not sure what my relaxing knitting will be, perhaps my re-calculated tangled yoke cardigan? But thats small needles for knitting in the evening, so are socks, and most everything I knit so I'll let you know.

ok - I'm off to pack and spin and knit, and organise free yarn for two luckly knitters, take care of yourselves and back next week with twined knitting to show off.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My fake seaman's scarf ...

Yup, thats right, a fake seaman's scarf, or my fake seaman's scarf. Which is what happens when you head off on a car trip with only a poorly researched/remembered idea of something to knit. Today I'll explain what I knit, and why it is a fake, and what a real one is like, I've scored a really good pair of books for work, and yes - my trip to Christchurch yielded some more fiber for my spinning stash, and possibly an opportunity of a 2 day spinning workshop. Plus its the last days to guess the use of my mystery knitting tool, all guesses before end of April go in a draw to win a skein of Vintage purls sock yarn (or her equally yummy lace yarn if that tickles your fancy), and if any one does guess correctly, well they automatically win a skein.

So, seamen's scarves, as detailed in Myrna Stahmans wonderful book, Shawls and scarves, are the same width from end to end, but appear narrower in the middle because of a 4x4 (or 3x3) center rib section. These scarves are traditionally knit for seagoing folk, and that makes sense. They fit closely to the neck and chest, and appear made to tuck in under a coat and so not fly around and catch in ships equipment. My scarf, has 1/3rd fewer stitches in the middle and a 2x2 ribbing section - so it looks like a seaman's scarf, but is not actually one as is traditionally knit in the 20th Century.

Last Thursday I headed off to Waimate and then on to Christchurch, and then back to home, making it all up a 10hour or more car trip. As a passenger that means lots of knitting time, a vistor in anothers house for 2 days adds even more knitting time. Salto needs more attention and chart ticking off than is easy in a car or another house, and I had just finished spinning this yarn, so was keen to make Bear a scarf. I had once picked up and looked at a book on Seamen's scarves and that seemed a good idea for this yarn. The two stitch patterns I had swatched before I left, Milano stitch and My-So-Called-Scarf didn't work out. Yes they are pretty, but they are pretty on the front not the back. In my muddled state I assumed all scarves needed reversible stitches, or at least my scarves needed reversible stitch patterns. See I was really muddled as both were published as scarf patterns, duh!

I knew it would be 4 days before I had computer access so - just before heading out the door I googled reversible stitch patterns for scarves and found and printed this. A variation on a garter rib. I reversed the workings and knit it as predominantly knit not purl and it looks good, completely reversible. Something I did not appreciate until KathyR loaned me her Stahman book on Friday (half way into the scarf), is that seamen's scarves do not need to be reversible.

Here is the scarf blocked, and smooth and fluffy and soft, I'm happy, given its still a fake. Fake seaman's but not a fake scarf, maybe mock is a better term? Yes, thats it, my mock seaman's scarf.

My happy find while I was away was in Ashburton at a second hand bookshop, a very tidy one, where I found these two treasures. Any one with a knowledge of garment pattern-making will recognise these two as classics. Natalie Bray knows(knew?) her stuff, and these have more interesting variations on hoods and sleeves and other things like collars and pockets than most contemporary books do. I've had these two on my wish list for quite while now, but balked at some of the on line dealers prices. I have always made do with work copies, but now I have my own.

And yes, I have some more sock yarn, Maya, in my stash. Isn't that just the prettiest icy cold blue you ever saw? Poppy, younger bear, was sitting next to me last week, as I knit Salto and wore my Pomatomus socks, and she sighed and said wistfully "How come you get all the pretty socks mum?", its true, Bear and Toby and my Dad get plain socks, ribbed socks, and so does she, whilst I get lace numbers - So this blue is destined for something lacy for my wee bear's back paws, because she noticed lacy socks and wants some. And that to a knitter is often reason enough.

and some dyed in the lock Lincoln, 2 bags full, 400g, in those impossible to resist purple, blue, blood red, olive green mixed together colours I love so much. And the luster is amazing - maybe for a seaman's scarf for me, in lace, perhaps even a real one this time ;-)
Lastly, while away I spotted an advert on a local pin board for a 2 day spinning workshop, so I've rung and put my name down. I'm waiting to see if there is room for me (the person on the phone didn't have the class list at hand), its at the end of July so plenty of time or organise my weekend.

So ... if you haven't guessed do, and keep knitting

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dying and Plying

I'm off on a wee road trip, my dad turns 75 this friday (happy birthday dad), and its a long weekend. Always is with his birthday, Anzac day, 25th of April, remembrance day for those who served in war. So road trip, off to Waimate, for a few days, catch up with KathyR, then on to a William Morris exhibition on in Christchurch. I'm a big fan, big fan, big big fan. Which means no post this weekend, but lots of car knitting.
but I have been on leave, with the kids and as well as baking cupcakes and going to movies (Spiderwick - for 5 year old Poppy scary but ok) ... I've been knitting, 3 item on the go, and one finished, and dying ready for the knitting camp on twined knitting, and plying the Alpaca for a Bears Scarf. Remember guess the knitting tool before end of April, and go in the draw to win Vintage Purl sock yarn, all commenter's go in the draw, and if any one does guess correctly - well they get sock yarn as well.
First up Salto socks are progressing nicely, the increases and decreases to move the cable forward have begun. There was little frogging incident, two actually, when I realise that I had mucked up a cable twist a repeat or so back, so I dropped back the stitches in question and repaired the damage - you would never know. I'm not sure what I like most, being able to spot mistakes in my own work or fixing them easily.

And yes, I'm still garter ribbing away on the 19cm required for the hem of the tangled yoke cardigan. Nearly 12 cm - what is this going to be like to knit when it is plain stocking stitch? Usually my socks are my mindless knitting, but right now the socks are the 'challenge me' project and the cardigan is the mindless project. Given how much knitting is in a cardigan on 2.5mm needles, I'd say there are a few more challenging socks on the way.

And this, a really quick knit, cast on and done in an hour or so. One of our admins came a knocking at work, with her music thing (not an Ipod some other type of mp3), and wanted to know if one of us would make her a leather cosy. You know, in that way that we knitters sit around waiting for sweater and sock and hat requests? Like mechanics are dead keen to fix and tune up other peoples cars for fun? Like accountants really want to sort your finances out ready for tax time just because they can. I've been guilty of that kind of request myself, mostly to my mechanic dad. Now I'm a good person most of the time, so I wizzed up this little bag, it has an opening down the side for the off/on switch, and a hole in the lower left corner for the ear phone cord. Its is silky alpaca, left over from a pair of modified fetchings. Yup thats a cardboard cut out of her mp3 player.

And dying, for knitting camp, twinned knitting, we need Z yarn if we have it. I have a whole 750g cone of it, some where between lace and fingering weight. Twined knitting can be plain, or can have a 2nd or 3rd colour at the cast on, and again in the patterning. So ... I've been dying some of my cone red and black. The cream in the back - well thats the left over from Toby's possum merino sweater, after I knit it I discovered it was Z twist. The grey is the original colour, all tweedy, and the two others I dyed. Should give me enough to play with at camp. I'm also taking the yarn left over from my Andean hat, its a lace weight 2 ply in about 6 colours.

And I've finished spinning and plying the alpaca merino beansprout blend. Total meterage is 514m, in 4 skeins. The last 2 are drying on the radiator. You can see I'm still a beginner, with some consistency issues to work on. Still its all good and knittable. I have had second thoughts about knitting My So Called Scarf (sorry can't link to it right now). When I printed out the pages, one of the commenter's raised questions about flaring at the cast on and the bind off edges. Stacey, poster of the scarf pattern, said hers flared to. So I've been considering a scarf in Milano stitch. I guess I will swatch and decide. I'm going to wind this into balls tonight and take the two patterns and yarn as my car trip knitting. I'm also playing with the idea of making the scarf 'fisherman' inspired. I think that is what its called where the center of the scarf if ribbed to fit the neck better.

Ok - enjoy the rest of the week, and the weekend, I will.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I've got a blue thing going on here

Blue fiber that is, appears I have a very soft spot for blue fiber blended with hints of other colours. I've been busy buying, spinning, and knitting, all since the last post. Ok so buying is not really about being busy - but it did happen 3 times (4 if you count individual items). Some times, just some times, I wonder if I should have named the blog more accurately 'knit, frog, shop', or 'knit, knit, shop'.

Doe Arnot visited the guild on Saturday (there were lots of other experienced crafters but newbies to the guild there - so good company). Doe is lovely, and told us lots about Suri alpaca, and blending and bought her alpaca fiber goodness to sell. Alpaca skillfully blended with merino and silk and tencil and such, and in the most amazing dyed colours. So yes I bought some, how could I not? This lovely Blue-green blend is two batts of Doe Arnold alpaca blend (alpaca, merino, silk, and bamboo). Its Suri alpaca (I think - please correct me if I'm wrong) which has a nice luster and very soft rich feel. The two batts don't quite match, but J and M suggested I spin a single of each and ply them together. One is 100g and the other 120g. Doe has a blog, and a textile shop that is now on my must stop at list when in Oamaru, right next to Slighly Foxed where Bear loves to stop.

Thursday night at knitting, M brought the latest batch of her kettle dyed sock yarn and so I bought some (I think this is to be called Bunker - but because I bought the sample - its not yet up in her e-shop. (update Monday its formally Bears Bunker and its in the shop now)I was thinking of engineer type socks for bear. Then latter on Saturday we spun-in at EB's place where Hamish Black visited with a selection of his fresh lamb gotland fleeces and - yup, I bought some of that as well. His flock is of the chocolate wool fame. I can't show you the gotland yet as Hamish is having mine carded (yes Jenni - I'm just a spinning wimp), its dark, blackish grey - but may lighten up when washed. All up from Thursday to Saturday my stash grew nicely. I am trying to add fiber in 'usable' or practicable quantities, that is amounts that can be used for making something. It is so tempting to add 50g here and 100g there, but I don't know what to make with small amounts like that even if I spin it fine. I've got enough of Doe's alpaca for a scarf, and enough of Hamish's gotland for a cardigan or a shawl (my first!). It should be here end of May.

And Salto sock number two grows, I have been knitting betwixt the buying. I'm half way up the plain cable repeats before the shaping starts. Now I am ticking off every row - as you do when its a complicated thing and you want them to match. I was quite curious to see if I'd added an extra repeat or two since the sock leg is quite long, but no, I apparently did follow the pattern when knitting Salto one quite faithfully. I guess the leg has to be long to allow the shaping for the cable movement to occur. I'm working all these cable without a cable needle, as in here or this video, although I tend to slip the stitches to across to the right needle, knit the next stitches then rearrange them. If you use a cable needle, try this, at least 6 times - I think the cables are less stretched out along the sides when knit this way than when knit with a cable needle.

And more garter rib, thats when row 1 is k2p2, and row 2 is k. Repeat these two as long as you want. In the round purl the knit row. Very simple, and very effective. I did a K3P1 garter rib on Bears last sweater, and liked the inside as much as the outside. It is prettier on the inside, much prettier. I must play with reverse garter rib for a hat or tea pot cosy or scarf some time. I wonder if there is a version with the two sides looking the same? The rib is just nudging the 10cm, and I need about 19cm I think. This is a long term project, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised by the progress on such small needles (2.5mm)

Lastly - I've been spinning sock yarn, 4 singles which i will ply into 2xtwo plys and then ply these into a cabled yarn. This bobbins is officially half way there, its full of an over-twisted 2 ply yarn, ready and waiting for its match and to be plied into the cabled yarn. I only have 3 bobbins for this wheel so I've plied to free the bobbins up to spin the other 2 singles. That was a lot of plying - a lot over two nights, to add enough twist for the next stage. I've done some wee samples to make sure its going to work.

School holidays this week, so I'm on leave and home with both bear cubs. There will be much fiber time I hope, but we will have to play and run outside while the weather holds as much as we can - before winter arrives fully.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

a little knitting, a little plying, a little dying

I've been busy with bits and bobs over the last few days. Finishing and starting, I've plied up some yarn, and made a start on rest of the roving to match what I have already done, I've started Salto sock two, and I've been spending a little bit of time dying fiber. The guess what it is competition is still running, so leave a comment with your best guess before the end of April and go in the draw for Vintage Purl sock yarn of your choice

I've been spinning up some of Ashfords Bean sprout fiber, 50% merino, 50% Alpaca. The yarn is a little thicker than I would have wanted - but I'm still a beginner right? That means I'm not yet in control of what I spin - the good news is that I recognise what I need to do to improve. There is 244m of yarn (I have not counted the wraps yet) and more to make. Bear and I are thinking scarf, perhaps my so called scarf? But Bear dosn't wear scarves - so we will see on that one. If I spin and knit it will he wear it? Ravelry tells me that 2530 people are knitting that scarf, and 2829 people wanna knit it. I'm just a sheep really - following the knitterly crowd. I still have a little more of the fiber to spin up - the challenge will be to match what I already have.

In front of my soon to be a scarf Beansprout yarn is the rib for Salto two. I still need to frog the half inch extra length out of sock one, but the plan is to knit sock 2 right up to just before the toe, and then frog toe one, and complete the two toes on 2 circs at the same time. That way I get that magic - finished both at once moment! I've also been spinning what I hope is sock yarn on another wheel - my Pippy. I've spun up half onto 2 bobbins, as fine and even as I can and I'll ply that up over the next few days. Then start to spin the 2nd half of the yarn. I've only got 3 Bobbins for the Pippy - but I should have another 6 soon. Mr Poore, Pipy's maker is hand craftig the extra Bobbins for me so they match my original ones. There was a delay while he ordered more brass tube - but they can't be far away.

I've also been playing with dying, When i did the learn to spin classes we were given a bag of Romney raw fleece to spin. I didn't find 'in the grease' so much fun, for me it was harder to control my draw, so I've washed the fleece, carded it, and dyed it. So far I have a bluish dark grey with shades of red (much darker in real life than in the photo), and a more mossy batch. I'll probably card them together. I do want to dye another batch or two, one redder,and perhaps one darker blue, or black? I've enrolled in a creative fiber colour course, by distance. Last weekend I had fun shopping for paint in the 'double primary colours', 2 reds (one warm one cold) 2 yellows and 2 blues, so perhaps after I've done the course work my colours will have more forethought?

I realise this is a quick post, not a lot to show and tell, and nothing really exiting - but thats how life is some times. If you live in New Zealand you will be aware of two major news items, first a teen girl missing for a week or so and second the youths and their teacher lost in the canyon flood. It kind of flattened me a bit. I've been making the most of spending time with the cubs and Bear, and thinking about the families involved.

go carefully, please watch the weather and take care ...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

to long, or to short?

That is the question today, I've completed Salto sock one, and its to long, or rather there is not quite enough yarn left for sock 2 - so what is left is to short. As well as knitting socks I've been spinning lots, and knitting garter rib on my recalculated tangled yoke cardigan. I survived the team building, and it appears that it need not resemble those awful examples we see on reality tv. Instead this was a nice mini bus trip, stopping for coffee, held at the Nasby pub with gourmet food for morning tea and lunch, followed by a trip to the 1970's fashion collection housed nearby. The team building bit seemed to be us ranking 5 attributes of how we worked together and then a bit of a discussion about why each was ranked that way. If thats team building, then I can be on the team. That competition is still open, comment so make a guess as to what this knitting tool is and go in the draw for vintage purl sock yarn.

Now about this sock, the one which might be a tad to long, I can explain, I did knit the rib half an inch longer than the pattern said. I wasn't paying attention), and the foot is half an inch longer than needed. Sometimes my mind wanders, well maybe more than some times, knitting is my meditation. I am hoping that if I frog the toe back - that there will be enough for sock 2. I weighted them on my kitchen balance scales, and they nearly balance so half an inch might be enough. If not ... I'll talk very nicely to Vintage Purl Girl, and perhaps I can buy another skein as closely matched as possible given this batch was dyed a month or so ago and knit the two toes from another skein so they match. I do need to frog the finished toe back any way, stupidly not measuring until was to late and then thinking 'oh - it will be alright', when I know deep down, it won't be - do I ever learn, seems not yet. A second skein would mean socks for Poppy or Toby - which is fine, its such a nice warm shade of orange, how could any one have cold feet wearing socks coloured like these>

And spinning - yes I've been spinning, lots. I've nearly done bobbin 2, and have bobbin one full to the brim - see. Oh I know you are only supposed to fill the bobbins half way up, but I can't work out why. With double drive the bobbin drag isn't significant - so I kept spinning. And it will ply and make two full bobbins. This is Bean-sprout 50/50 alpaca merino from Ashfords. I've got 300g, so we will see what yardage I get. Scarf maybe?

I'm spinning on my Wing wheel, the 2nd I ever bought, its a beauty, I really enjoy using it, but it did have a rattle in use. The bobbins just clattered on the spindle shaft. Not loud, not painfully, but there was chatter, a lot of chatter/clatter. Bear suggested that I try a thicker oil, we had already worked out that the bobbin was a neat fit. Just loose enough to cause a rattle, not loose enough to allow us to wrap the spindle to reduce the chatter. I tried Chain Oil, made for chain saws, - I now have a silent wing and no drips. Chain oil is thick and sticky but slippery. I'm going to have to put some lavender oil in the can - at present is smells like a motor mower, but only occasionally. I had been using Ashfords oil, a much lighter oil for a much newer wheel - maybe older wheels need older style oils to run best?

I'm still knitting away on those 2.5mm needles, making my re-sized Tangled yoke cardigan. Look I'm up to nearly 7cm - not bad for only a few nights knitting.

And I'm looking forward to plying my spinning on my new lazy kate - this came with my last 2nd hand wheel purchase. I love the shape of this one, and its tensioned.

Its a short post today, younger daughter and I have had the afternoon to our selves, Bear and older son are off to a beach party almost out of town, YD wants to do grown up things like practice her reading on the computer, here, uninterrupted, and she is a little lonely - no one to bounce off. The local Montessori closed so she is in a state school, and enjoying it - but, and for me its a big but they don't teach phonetics, none. So we encourage her to sound out words and play on sites like this. I just don't understand how kids can read without knowing what the letters sound like.

take care - Stella

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

heels and new projects

Heels, I love 'em. I was just saying to some-one earlier today that I love that point of turning a heel in a sock, when the tube becomes foot shaped, that point at which the sock appears magically from my knitting - today I've got another heel moment, and I've started a new project, but haven't got far. I've had some interesting responses about my mystery object - remember have a guess, leave a comment, and there might be yummy sock yarn coming your way.

So the heel, by now I've worked the heel, and decreased away all the gusset stitches, but the day-light has long gone so there are no updated 'today' photos. We've just ended daylight saving here in New Zealand, so its darker earlier, much darker, I can feel winter approaching, which means more time at home knitting, it feels to dark and cold for walks and gardening and other outdoor activity.

I'm a little amazed at myself for managing to keep track of the rows and the cables, increases and decreases. Its all worked out perfect so far, the right number of stitches just as the pattern says there will be. Oh I did have to fix a few cable twists, frogging back just the cable to correct a misdirected twist, easy once you know how. Easy to mis-direct a cable, and fairly easy to fix if you notice only a few rows on.

And I've finally committed to a new project, Tangled yoke cardigan by Eunny Jang. Only I'm knitting it at a much finer gauge, so I've re worked the numbers and cast on. So far so good, this might be my mindless project at least until the body and the sleeves done and the tangling around the yoke begins. I've not thought to much in detail about the yoke. I notice the yoke cable is not edge to edge on EJ's version - so I'm thinking I can add a repeat or two and space mine similarly.

The yarn is Eli riva supreme, a baby alpaca in a beautiful shade of blue. This yarn had a tendency to spiral when I knit it flat in some swatches last year, so I'll try Tangled yoke, and if I get spiraling, then I can always continue the 2x2 garter rib of the hem up and knit that for the whole cardigan. I've read that mixing knits and purls is a good fix for spiraling yarns. I'm knitting this on 2.5mm needles like my last two cardigan/sweaters, because I like fine gauge knits and because I'm slightly mad.

I'm off to a team building day at work this Friday, we are busing up to the Eden Hore collection, an amazing repository of over 200 1970's award winning garments & Jim Beam decanters. Thats as part of the workshop. Should be fun and terrifying at the same time - I'm not practiced at climbing rock walls with team mates, or falling trustingly blind folded into the arms of others ... .. the whole idea of the 1970's and team building in the same day is terrifying, totally terrifying I tell you. Have I ever told you about the bench my Dad installed in his kitchen a few years back? He was so proud, he bought the 2nd hand kitchen bench top from of a work mate who was replacing his kitchen. The bench top was Formica patterned all over with yellow and orange daisy's. None of us knew quite what to say, except for why... what would you have said? Using the kitchen was like cooking permanently at a summer picnic site. Maybe the 1970's was a time best experienced, but not to look back on?


Friday, April 04, 2008

Finished object, mystery object!

Today, my EZ garter stitch baby blanket is finished, all snuggly warm and waiting for a baby to wrap up. No the baby is not here yet, but it must be close, its not my baby, its a friends baby and its only weeks away. I've got a mystery object (courtesy of Suzanne) so a guess what it is and win yummy sock yarn.

The baby blanket is done, all done, cast off, stitched together, and blocked. I wasn't going to block, after all it was thick squishy garter stitch - but after being stitched together it looked rumpled. the edges were ruffled and the seams thick and wrinkly- so I blocked it. I soaked the blanket in hot water with a little wool wash for 10 minutes, then I fulled it, kneaded the wet blanket as if it was bread dough until the double strands of four ply it was knitted with appeared as one.

I had several reasons for fulling the blanket. First the Mum-to-be said no one in her family knitted so a knitted thing would be lovely. I imagined with no knitters, then the skills to wash merino woolen things by hand would not be inherent. I'm not passing any kind of judgment on her blanket keeping skills here - but repeated cleaning knitted baby things of not-super wash merino and keeping them new looking is definitely a learned skill, and one I'd admit I'm still learning. Fulling the blanket takes away any chance of the blanket being washed and accidentally felted, as its already done.

My second reason - was to tighten up the stitches, to remove any chance of little baby fingernails snagging and pulling out loops of yarn, or getting stuck in the longer more open slipped edge stitches. Remember how fine and little and sharp the fingernails of new born babies are? How they snag all sorts of things? How those little skinny fingers get stuck in holes in knitted things? Fulling lessens that risk.

'after spinning the blanket out in the washing machine, I laid it on a clean sheet on the lounge floor to dry, all pinned and stretched flat, mostly to remove the edge ripples. I thought briefly about buying blocking wires, but .... decided that I should just get on with it. After all I was blocking this in my lunch break and had work things to do in the afternoon.

The baby blanket dried fast in the sun, and very flat, the seams melted beautifully into the structure of the garter stitch. I did sew one section in upside down, but with garter stitch, well a novice or non-knitter would probably never notice. I thought that unpicking the seams and re stitching it was foolish after I'd fulled it, the fulling making any changes almost impossible to do.

And so now I have a thick squwooshie garter blanket in sunny warm goldish yellow, just waiting for a baby shower and a baby. Nearly 4" thick of squwooshie warm sunny blanket, a cot sized blanket.

The left overs were tiny, look, only two wee balls of yarn and my swatch left. I had thought of adding an i-cord edging - but given how little yarn is left, will have to leave that for the next blanket.

Suzanne, sent me a little parcel with this yummy sock yarn, for which I am very thankful. American knitters all seem to experience those yarns which we on the far underside of the world only hear about, like Socks that rock. Well Suzanne enables my sock knitting no end, in the past Suzanne has convinced me to knit on two circs, to buy quality circs, and to try sock patterns with extraordinary shaping or construction details, now Suzanne is egging me on to knit more Cat Bordhi socks. She gifted me the CB custom sock kit from her Socks that Rock collection. The kit includes a pattern for a CB designed sock. I love those blues, truly my favorite colours, and they do resemble the colour of the sea, I love water, just love it and the colours of water make me happiest.

The yarn came with the cutest thing, a tiny skein of emergency sock yarn, labeled don't leave home without it.While I won't discuss the 'where are the knitting needles for the sock knitting emergency' the skein is so cute I've installed it on my key ring. Oh I know it is a fragile thing, but I can re-skein it if it snags, and this way I get to have sock yarn with me at all times. I'm also hoping to attract the attention of random sock knitters about town, ones I have not yet met. After all, how could you notice a skein of sock yarn on some ones key chain and not ask 'do you knits socks to'?

Finally, Suzanne's reason for including the sock yarn was to send me this, a knitting tool, what a great use of sock yarn skeins for packaging! . I've decided to tease you all and make identifying the object and its use a game. Leave me a comment saying what this is, and what it is used for - and I'll draw a name out of the entries and send the lucky person a skein of Vintage Purls sock yarn. I'll leave it open to the end of April, and you don't have to get it right to be in the draw. The winner gets to choose the sock yarn colour they like best. Vintage Purls yarns are up for sale on Ravelry, so apologies if you are not a R-groupie yet, you won't be able to see them. These are the same silky soft merino based yarn that I'm knitting Salto socks with.

Take care

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Knitting @ 100kph

Yes, I am here, and I even managed to start, knit, and finish something over the busy weekend, I've got an update on the baby blanket, showing progress. The weekend was fun, the dinner was amazing, huge bowls of kai moana delivered from kitchen to our tables at Fleurs Place, Moeraki. Kai is Maori for food, moana Maori for sea, so sea food. The bowls held so many tempting treats, cockles and mussels in the shell - hot and steaming and tender, all sorts of smoked and cooked and marinated fish. 8 of us to a table, and 4 large bowls and platters of food, and that was just the entree ... but enough talk of food. The weekend was fast and fun, at one point I felt that tight chest feeling when you feel like you are running just to keep up with the world, but then Sunday, things started relaxing, much had been done, much less needed doing and the world felt slower. I felt I could breathe.

I knit a little on the bus to diner, but frankly, a bus lurching at 100km/hr, along a twisty hilly state highway is no place to knit sock yarn fish with knitpicks dpns, those things are way to sharp, and so the yarn becomes by default far to splity. So I knit one fish and put it all away, the trip home was in darkness - and while I can knit without looking, knitting in the dark in a moving bus with very pointy knitpics- well thats a whole different matter.

And the blanket, this photo was a few days ago, I've now completed the last large back to back L, and started the remaining small L. I'm planning to full this a little, not really felt, but full it to thicken it up a little. Then Caro can either use it as a blanket or a mat, it could do both. I laid it out on the wooden floor in the room at the back of our house, a sunny room, optimistically labeled the 'drawing room' on the original 1939 plans. Mmm, a 3 bedroom house in working class suburbia, New Zealand, brick with an iron roof, and with a drawing room? Pretentious or what? We use the room as a second lounge, and library, it houses some large bookcases, but in reality it is a dumping ground. The cubs bedrooms are either side of the 'drawing room' so until they grow a little and don't need to go to bed so early, the room is difficult for adults to use after 7:30pm. Little voices come calling in the darkness "is that you mum?". Plus things we don't yet want to deal with get left there, so I had a tidy up before the photo was made. The room looks much better, I should use it for photos more often, and it might stay tidy. The brass ruler next to the blanket is 36" long, so the blanket is nearly a yard long, a good size for a cot, or a play mat, or a snuggle rug.

Socks - well I said I wouldn't frog, but I'm thinking I might, that unsymmetrical decrease - well it bothering me, and I want to knit the second sock with a different decrease, s2 k1, pss's over, I think that one gives a line up the middle, but I can't if I don't frog sock one back now. I'll keep you posted. And a box of goodies arrived from California during the week, including some yarn specifically for a CB sock, complete with a pattern - so I'll show and tell in next weekend's post.