Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Finished the ballet cardigan

All done.

Added on a sideways knit band, which also included the ties. I knitted the whole thing in the round, using the double knit method - very easy actually. Just kind of boring knitting a long, long tube.

Next, I'll be making crochet gloves and choker for me (part of new character costume) and a men's long coat (patchwork, with applique felt leaves). For a costume for a character that used to be a tree.

Will post photos when I get to it.

Oh, and I picked up Smoulder again, and will be knitting on that at home when watching DVDs etc.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nearly done on the ballet cardigan...

So I finished the second pink cloud cardigan, but forgot to take a picture before gifting, sorry.

I'm very nearly done on the ballet cardigan.

The body and sleeves are knitted, and I've even done a crocheted edge to stabilise it all over.

I'm now knitting the ties. I'm hoping to be done by the end of the weekend, if I get some DVD and knitting time in!

Progress thus far...Then.. well. I'm not sure.

I've been brushing up on my crochet skills, I've finally got the needles I needle to make socks two at a time , and I still have the stripy Smoulder cardigan to finish. I might try working on the latter - the weather is pefect for it coming into Spring proper..

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Two pink cardigans. I must be seeing double.

Two small girly girls wanted a pink cardigan each.

One for ballet, one to match her friends.

Thus we have item one..

and item two.

Both mostly at sleeves stage. Both top down raglans, though at very different guages.
Knitting while watching ABC iView is the bestest thing ever, and I want ABC to add more programs covered. Pretty please.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A tale of woe.. where I should never speak aloud pleasure at knitting progress.

So I was knitting on my cardigan. And making good progress. The back was done earlier. I finished the left front. Excellent.

I started the right front. Then.. got about half way before I realised that there was an error on the left front, about half way down. Okay, I can deal. I put my other, half finished right front on a spare needle, and then rip out back to the error, and the reknit half the left front to fix the error. Cool. Not too-too painful. I pick up my other front, put it back on the needles and continue.

Except... Now I realise that my carefully knit-to-match-the-left-front buttonholes? Will no longer be evenly spaced due to the error that was made on the other half.

So. I could either have button holes that vary in distance from 6.5cm apart to about 5cm, or.... rip back to the first buttonhole. Being overly perfectionistic is just not all it's claimed to be, you know?

I have now actually knit the equivalent to almost a whole cardigan side again. And still have more to go.

Of course it's all my own fault for saying how pleased with the progress I have been making, due mostly to watching lots of ABC sci-fi on ABC iView. (Love that.)

So anyway, hubris - once again, I salute thee!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Life is crazy, but knitting keeps me sane (mostly)

So apart from a unreasonable meltdown on Saturday, my life continues apace.

Lots of stuff going on, but knitting has kept me sane.

I have photos of Mum's socks for you...

Note the eye of partridge heel, the ribbed and shaped top. They fit nicely and I am assured they are both loved and comfy. So that's a win.

I have also finished my Clapotis. Beautiful. Photos not the best, since I haven't had a chance to photograph it outside. It's also not blocked yet, though I am less worried about doing that.
Of course, this takes me back once again to picking what to work on.

I have a two works in progress, a cardigan and hexagon blanket, but the former is too big to comfortably lug around and the second is more of a "inbetween" portable project.

I have that lace yarns I mentioned a while back, but it occurred to me that if I am going to knit lace, maybe I should think about knitting myself that wedding shawl. So I have to pick "the" yarn. I don't think I'll be getting "the" dress, so I'm making do! ;)

Of course, I also have to deifinitively decide on a pattern also. It's all a work in progress. Or rather work yet to be in progress.

In the mean time, I look at my stashed yarns and think about what I can do while I decide on the other one...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

So I have a couple of things on the needles.

A cardigan, and wrap and some crochet hexagons.

But I feel the siren call of lace. Unfortunately, the two laceweights in my stash are on the decidedly thin side. As in 1 ply wool and 2 ply silk. Skinny-skinny without any fluffy to make em look fat.

So what pattern to pick and fine enough needles to make the stitches not look too gappy.

I've cast them both on a few times with little success, so it's back to the drawing board and looking, looking again..

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am a ... Sock Knitter

So, I finished the socks.

I would show you pictures, only I left them with the giftee. Since she made me dinner while I kitchenered the toe and weaved in the ends, I am not complaining.

She has agreed to provide pictures, so they will come at some point.

Now to decide what to pick up next. That woolly & alpaca Clapotis is looking a good bet, except it's getting too big to comfortably lug around. I need to finish it so I can actually wear it. Which would be nice. Mmmmm.. warm black and gothy winter wrap. Nice.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I am just so over being busy

Work is crazy busy right now. Finishing a project, taking calls for a new position in my team, its all a bit nuts. And I need a holiday oh so bad. I'm just wiped every evening. Which has meant no knitting group, cos I just can't drag myself out.

I'm working on stuff still though.

I re-did that skirt properly. Took off the waistband, resized the whole damn thing and ended up taking it in 12 cm around the waist & hips. I mean, honestly. Patterns lie. But it fits now, and I am happy. It's fairly warm, too.

It looks like this : (no me in it, too tired to change etc)

And I've been knitting on my mum's socks again. They had a brief break because I felt bad every time I looked at them. Not due to the fault of the socks themselves, no. But due to what happened while I knit part of the leg and turned the heel.

It's one of those slightly odd stories where I still feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, even though I am not entirely sure I should.

It goes like this. I had to go to an all-day training course on bullying in the workplace. I took my knitting. During the course, quietly, while watching the single presenter, and actively asking questions, clarifications and so forth, I knit on my sock.

(You can see where this is going, huh?)

Several times during the day people asked what I was knitting, generally took an interest. Including the presenter, who I spoke to in at least 2 of the 3 breaks of the day. Sock knitting happened, below the level of the desk no less.

Okay, day finishes. The next day I get an email from the local learning coordinator to "just let me know" that she'd received complaints. From attendees and the presenter. When I went to speak to her about it, she increased that to state that the complaints had said I was rude and distracting. And that "everyone had the right to have a positive learning experience". I told her it helped me concentrate when sitting for long periods (true). She then suggested that if I "needed to do this, maybe you should have stood up and explained why and asked if it was OK.." (bashes head against wall) For... goodness' sake, when did knitting become a 'special needs' issue?

I felt this was massively unfair, particularly from the presenter - noone said boo to me about it, and I would have put it away if anyone had. For goodness' sake, during a table discussion I asked the guy next to me his opinion. He blinked, paused then said, "Sorry? What? I was in my happy place..." And I am the rude one. (sigh)

I told the learning coordinator that I thought the session wasn't much of a success - if someone can't complain in a session about someone knitting as bothering them, what hope will they have about making a complaint about actual harassment? I got the "oh, that's not fair, people need time.." etc. Maybe I was harsh on her, and still smarting about it. But jeez. I am cross about the person who made the complaint, but even more so about the presenter. Though the coordinator changed it later to saying the presenter "mentioned" that I had knitted - so god knows what the truth is.

Anyway, the whole thing left me feeling really uncomfortable, and still does. I don't do criticism well, particularly in a work context. So looking at the sock makes me feel bad, though that's passing thank goodness. Ah well, I have hopes it will make the wearer so pleased I forgot all about the other stuff.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Why can't sewing patterns be sized correctly?

I know, it might be me. But I wear a standard size.

And both of the adult sized clothing items I have made come out way way different to the size I normally wear.

What happened? I made a skirt, based on the written sizing. It's too big :( About 1-2 inches too big around the waist and hips. Sigh. I shall have to acquire some assistance to pin and take it in. Which means the waist band will have a new seam, cos there is no way I can envisage me unpicking the whole damn thing and resewing it on. I mean, really.

And I was so happy with myself. I put in an invisible zipper!! Correctly, no less! And did a box pleat front correctly! Anyway, I'll take it in on the side. I am of the opinion that i don't think the slight off centerness of the zipper after taking it in will be noticable since it's on the side.

On a slightly, better note, I finished those slippers. They're drying by the heater now.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Giant pink troll boots for the small person.

So my daughter wanted her own troll boots (slippers) like mine.

They're finally done. At least the knitting is.

Now I need to felt them of course.

This is what they look like now. (That's a 10 cent piece for scale purposes sitting on top.) Yup, they're big.

My man looks dubious that they'll ever get down to the right size. Ye of little faith..

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things I am trying to do..

* Finish Mum's socks.
* Finish small person's troll boots. (close...getting close)
* Get my man to decide, (now he wants a jumper), what this jumper will look like so I can plan it, buy yarn etc..
* Finish the embroidered pillow number 2
* Get over my second cold of this season (I am so annoyed. I had a flu jab and all it did was stress me out)
* Not freak out at work, and hopefully make my new deadline.
* oh maybe get some more hexagons done.
* Usual housework stuff.

And on that last one, here's a great link for joining granny squares (for a note to self).

Hope your list is smaller than mine.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Starting a blanket and finishing socks.

So there is knitting and such going on. But my man objects to my use of double pointed needles in the car (as passenger - he's driving) as he sees them more like steel stilettos than implements of sock making (and yes, I can see his reasoning). Anyway, so that means no socks in transit.

Thus, I have been crocheting, since I don't really want to drag around either my Clapotis (blue, large and fuzzy) or my Smoulder (not quite so large, but requires 8 colours and paying attention, and hurts my shoulder to carry).

I do like the feeling of progress of doing the little hexagons.
I have seven now. It takes about one hour TV program to make one. I get about 3/4 of one done on the way to work. I'm good with that.

Socks are relegated to the in front of TV knitting mostly, so they'll probably take a bit longer. Ah well. Winter's going to be around for a bit. I'll get there. Giftee is keen to wear them. :)

And small person needs slippers, so maybe I'll dig up the partially knitted Mini Fuzzy Feet and get them done - I know she'd prefer them to actual slippers and they'd be warmer than socks.

Oh, and my absolute great thing? Falling asleep last night to rain on a tin roof. Love it, love it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Errr... Now I can't decide.

So I tried out doing more 'filled in' crocheted last round. And now I can't decide.

Which one?

The all the way open version (on the left) , or the more hexagonal version I just largely made up? They are both a little over 10cm across.

Can't... decide....

It will be a full blanket, what do you all think? Help the clueless... it's charity, honesty. Without the tax deduction.

So we have gifts by halves...

Okay, so I didn't get the oh-so-secret (ha!) mother's day presents done in time.

I got them half done - one each.

One sock for my mum...

And one of two pillowcase embroidery for my mother in law to be at some point. :)

Both got given with a ... "Happy Mother's Day! There's another one coming, and you can't take that one with you yet..."

Thankfully, both mums accepted this with good grace. Which is a good thing, or I might have .. I don't know. Not given them hollandaise on their eggs benedict or something. (I made brunch).

Also, in other news... i have finished sampling hexagons.

I have three.
I have decided I like the right most one, the classic granny square vibe but in a modern heaxgon stylin'. (giggle).

Flowers to come at some point. Also considering the odd white hexagon scattered amongst the red to keep it modern looking.

Oh and.. I need to finish the sock/pillowcase mates at some point. Soonish. But perhaps not right this I-rushed-to-get-the-first-ones-done point..

Oh, and Smoulder.
So pretty. So wearable. Yet... gives my shoulder pains from carrying it and all the supplies around. Sigh.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I finally finished it!

That bag I have been meaning to make for an absolute age.

I am very happy with it! I learned how to put in a zipper, and made a lined pocket for my mobile, and it's even got reinforcing and such so it's nice and sturdy.

I only had to rip out one section - the handle is patched and I didn't notice until after I sewed it how one directional the pattern is in small sections, so I had to do it over.

Anyway, on to the photos!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hey... wait a minute....

So, I'm testing crochet hexagons.

I've completed the first one (after the one who's instructions I couldn't follow) - the graphic granny afghan. It looks like this..

And then I decide to start the second one - Crochet Hexagon Throw.

After I've started round 3, I look at it.

And then I go get my other one, and then compare the patterns line by line.
And, realise, that despite using different names for some of the composite stitches, they are identical. Sigh. Well, I guess I have less to test now.

I still have this one.. and I am going to look at how this one is constructed and maybe try that too..Of course, they may be identical. I shall look more closely this time..

And I'm still looking for someone who can understand this pattern - Little Hexagon motif.

Maybe I should switch to flowers for a while?

Oh and I started sewing the bag I mentioned a while ago. Which stalled briefly when I realised that the fabric was definitely directional when in small sections and thus some of the strap needed to be ripped out and restitched to match the rest of the strap. But I feel better about it now, even if no further progress was made ;-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I can't do photos right now.

Not that I am incapable or anything, but my Big Two projects on the go/about to be got on the go are gifts for mother's day.

And you know how mothers, god bless 'em, want to be supportive and everything?

How they stay interested in what you're up to, how you're doing, so they can provide thoughtful and caring encouragement?

Well, in these days of modern fangled-communication, they read blogs.

Who'da thought!

So, since both gift reciepents to be already kinda know what they are getting, I don't want to blow the surprise more than I need to.

I am still trying out those haxagons though, so I'll be able to post the first one soon (I have about a round or so left.)

I tried the Little Hexagon pattern but couldn't follow the instructions. Any more experiences crochet divas out there wanna take a look and get back to me, please do.

I also tried a flower or two, on the look out for the perfect one of them, so I'll get back to you on that also.

Peace to all, and watch out for the zombies.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The blankie with the hexagaons.

Okay, I've been crocheting. I have a nice cotton circular coaster to replace the purple felted square on my desk.
Then I tried out granny squares. They were fun.

I borrowed a book from the library 200 stitch patterns for baby blankets. I even made one of the blocks.

And then I thought to consult with the expected owner of said blanket. (That's afghan to you Americans in the audience).

So, remember how I can be somewhat finicky? Picky even? Shush you up the back.

My daughter can also be like that from time to time.

So after extensive consultation with her we agreed on a pattern.

Hexagons in red, with sewn on white flowers.

Now this may seem easy right. Two colours, clearly defined boundaries.

But now I have to decide on which hexagon pattern I wish to use.

They vary from the open lacy and small, to the solid. The granny-squarish to the .. well, there are a few.

I narrowed the list. There is only, oh, 5 I have to try out. :)

Will post with notes. And maybe a flower or two.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Have discovered dangerously addictive quality of crocheted granny squares.

Small size & ease of completion = great small scale satisfaction without requiring pattern or thought.

Daughter has requested red blanket to cover herself on the couch. I complain about her extensive using of the great grandmother's (mine, so her great-great grandmother's) crocheted blanket as hiding place/random stretchy/thing to leave on the floor.

She wants her own.

Plus... I have stash yarn.

Resistance is futile.

photos later.

Monday, April 13, 2009

So... I've crossed to the dark side

And learned to crochet.

I have a brand new coaster for my coffee mug and am looking at crochet patterns. It's all down hill from here folks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A beret, a raven and a whole bunch of ...meh.

So, I haven't blogged for a while.

I haven't really been doing terribly much - recovering from minor surgery, looking after my darling man (who's not been the best), having an absolute bust of a birthday, oh and small amounts of project stuff.

While I have been doing knitting and such, I am plagued at the moment by a general sense of meh.

I can't settle on a project (knitting or sewing or otherwise) and am just feeling pretty blah all round.

While not the self-absorbing depression of my teens/twenties, I know myself well enough to recognise it when I see it.

I also know that, in time, it'll pass. Besides, unlike my teens/twenties holing up by myself and telling the world it can screw itself really kinda isn't a possibility for a mum/grown up adult type person. So I push on.

I intend to try out a few projects over this easter long weekend and see if I can get my zing back.

But onto the craftiness....

I have ...
a finished Nevermore raven. I am really happy with the result actually. It needs to be carefully blocked (pressed? I don't know the correct verb for embroidery) and maybe framed in a cheap shadow box or something.

I also have a finished beret. I originally made this to cover up some stitches on the crown of my head, but it turns out my hair covered them just fine and it wasn't necessary. I do love the beret though.

It's knit in Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk DK yarn. Sweet Honey Beret from Interweave knits. I really liked the pattern, the texture is really open and fluffy. I strongly recommend checking out the video instructions on how to do the set up rows - the pattern instructions for those two lines had me stumped. The info is on the Ravelry page.

What next? No idea. I keep knitting about 3 -5 rows of something before deciding I don't like it.

I'm thinking I might make myself a bag. There is a small bag of my daughters that while in garish colours, would make an excellent outing bag (keys/purse/notebook etc). I might make one of them. Or.. I should knit a bunch on smoulder (that red striped cardiagn) but our DVD player is broken, so it'd be in front of the computer.

To feel so at sea on a long weekend is criminal, I tell you...

Friday, March 27, 2009


Well, I finished the beret and wore it to work, then realised that my body wasn't actually ready for work yet, wore it to the shops and then to my specialist appointment. Here I found out that I am healing well, but that some of the tape didn't like my skin much. Ouch.

However, I forgot to take photos in daytime so you'll have to wait for the pictures. Photographing black at night is a way to frustration.

Also, since I picked up some kind of nasty trojan virus I have spent a rather large chunk of today starting and restarting my machine. And removing things, and installing (more) anti virus stuff and so on. I've got quite a lot of embroidery done as a result.

Some starting photos:

Now, of course this is my first attempt of embroidery on anything other than a toy. I'm armed primarily with the Instructibles Embroidery 101 and a copy of Embroidery from my local library. I'm ahppy with how it is turning out so far though.

This is where I am at now: just the raven left. (Which means his eyes, and filling him in with black thread.)

Things I have learned.
  • Satin stitch looks beautiful but.. takes forever to do.
  • Yes, you really can tell the difference if your needle goes on one side of a single thread of the fabric or the other.
  • Embroidery is apparently yet another one of those geeky crafts that I find inexplicably satisfying.
And yes, I still am really itchy. And periodically sore. (sigh)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I look like a zombie..

(Not really.)

Well, I'm at home feeling somewhat sorry for myself following minor surgery. I should be fine in a couple of days.

However, since I am a bit vain, I'm knitting myself a stylish beret to cover the stitches on the crown of my head for when I go back to work.

I've chosen the Sweet Honey Beret (see also the ravelry link) in some nice Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK in black, leftover from my daughter's teacher's Vintage Beret.

I'll still hate all the tape-covered stitches etc. but I'm trying to focus on the end outcome and not look at myself in the mirror too much. And I do faintly worry about what people will say at work..

My man commented when he first saw me that I looked like I'd been in a fight! ;)

Anyway, I'll post beret pics when it's done.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The one with a side order of ... meh.

Well, I am having a knitting 'meh' stage. Which is half true. I actually have things I am knitting..

the smoulder cardigan goes along nicely...
and my Clapotis is also progressing along (on thicker yarn which is a nice change).
But their basic problem? They are big. Too-big-to-drag-around-without-making-my-shoulder-sore big. Guess how I know that now?

I tried starting knitting an Icarus, using my Centrovaggia laceweight. But.. Centrovaggia is actually classed as a 1ply yarn. That's thin. Really thin. And even though I went down to a 3mm needle, I still feel that the knitting looks visually too loose for me. See in the stockingette sections? Yeah, I feel like they need more visual weight to highlight the quill lace. Or the yarn needs to be a bit fluffy, to visually fill the gaps.
So, I considered what to knit. I started casting on the new Aeolian with some 1ply silk in an ivory colour, but the yarn always looks a bit yellow to me, and I'm not sure. Plus, it's on 2mm needles, and I am not sure I am ready for another fine needled project right now.

I could knit socks, but.. I'd need to ball up the either of the 2 potential yarns (it's still in hanks). My bestie who owns the ideal yarn swift & winder? In hospital with her newest creation. (Hi Bibnbub & bub! And yes, I will keep making that bad pun over and over..)

I might yet do that. Then I can knit those Beaduelaires. Hmm, better go look for needles, huh? Or maybe knit up that cashmere blend sock yarn that Mum dyed. Or knit the yummy 8ply handdyed I have into a scarf thing.

I need a portable project - my minor surgery (to remove some moles) has been moved to Monday. I don't, as a rule, do surgery/needles well. I'll need something to keep my mind off it all.

In other news, I've started on that Nevermore project. But I think I'll post about that separately - I am doing progress shots as I got through it and so it will be a long post unto itself.

And remind me to tell you about my new computer-based thingie. Evernote.

Monday, March 02, 2009

February is a bad month for me

Not in a scary-evil-things-happen kind of way, just in a really, really busy kind of way.

So I have small person birthday parties, post-christmas catch up, babies arriving and due and school going back and so on.

All a bit crazy, which would be why I am nursing both a cold and a bloody awful cold sore. Hmph.

I have been crafting also, but since it is largely baby presents, and all three expectant mothers read my blog, you'll have to just believe me. Will post after gifting.

Oh, in other wonderful news... The Last Watch is out, translated into English, at Borders, and thus...

bought and read. Wonderful stuff. Though I wonder if the journalist on the cover who is quoted as saying that the author is the "Russian JK Rowling" is on crack, LSD or some other mind altering substance.

They both have "fantasy" elements. Which is a bit like saying Pride and Prejudice is just like Teletubbies, because they are both english.

Anyway, more in a while. Maybe.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Simple things.

Some days, even bad or difficult days, you find small pleasures in the simple things.

Right now? I have a glass of milk.

And two chocolate biscuits from the pack I'd forgotten I had.


I hope you find your simple thing today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The one where I become oddly interested in all sorts of needlework

Apparently, I've become a 1950s CWA housewife..

(not that there's anything wrong with that..)

I'm getting interested in both quilting and embroidery. Not that the knitting has gone anywhere, so don't panic.

The quilting first.

I've long admired Amy Butler colourful quilts.. I have her In Stitches book. Though really the much more clean and modern Denyse Schmidt quilts or Lotta Jansdotter (like the one shown and linked below) are much more my decorating style..

But with a small girly-girl who loves nothing so much as fairies and butterflies and ladybugs and flowers and pink and purple and things that are sparkly... I am considering a vintage-y girly patchwork quilt comprised mostly of the loeftovers from the toys and skirts etc I have made for her. I might dig through clothes that we have that are partly stained/damaged also and use some of that. Also, my Mum has given me some truly vintage fabric from her mum which I may also use. I figure with enough collecting of pink/purple/pale blue/pale green fabric I can make a bunch of quilt squares like the one below.

I had this link hanging around from ages ago and finallty tried it out.
Thus. Take one 3x3 fabric square (my little squares were 4inches square to start)
Then cut in half horizontally and vertically.

Then turn the top left square 90 degrees to the left. Turn the bottom right square 90 degree to the right.

Sew them back together.

I really, really like the finished look. Kind of random & scrappy without too much random & scrappy. Now I want to make a whole bunch until I can make a single bed quilt for small person.

And the embroidery? Well, I'd really enjoyed all the handstitching on my little car & caravan. It totally surprised me. And amused my man no end. But anyway.
I've been left with the whole.. "but what would I ever do with anything embroidered?...

And then I saw this.. I am totally going to embroider myself this on some fabric and frame it for my quiet room. I'm sure my doll Elizabeth, and her pet toy jellyfish would totally approve... I'm getting a 'wannabe-goth-girl-grown-up-and-gone-crafty' vibe in there I think...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Projects and impatience.. and conservatism

I don't do well with waiting really. I can manage it better as an adult than I could when I was younger, and I can fake 'waiting calmly' pretty well, but... I don't like waiting.

The economic crisis may suggest that I am far from alone in this (although thankfully, my own breed of economic conservatism means I don't excessively spend on credit to acquire). I was so insulted when my man first pointed out to me that I am conservative.

I wanted to rant, "Conservative! I had purple hair! And wore all black for like a decade! And like art, and food and ... and..." He didn't intend it as an insult, merely an observation. Having studied sociology at uni as a minor, I thought there was nothing I less wanted to be when I was finally 'adult' than conservative middle class. It was boring, and dull and so, so.. main-stream.

I am a little more reconciled to it now. As in I accept it's true, though it does not sit well with me. For example, I am concerned with being economically stable, and providing for my family. I would choose economic stability over an arty-unstable existence doing interior design or being an artist - in a heartbeat (though I would find the latter two more emotionally satisfying). There is more, but the details don't really matter.

I guess, at heart, I am trying to embrace myself as I am, rather than riling at the universe that some kind of 'whimsical, arty, daring, brave and admirable' me that would have gone to Florence, slept with italian poets, written a book or become an artist.. doesn't exist. But that isn't where my life took me, or where me, and all the characteristics that make me, including economic and emotional conservatism, took me.

This is all sounding as if I don't love who I am, or where I am at. Neither is true. I think I am finally, getting adult enough to "put aside childish things" including ideals that were never likely to be.

O....kay. That was a rather extend diversion. What was I on about? Ah yes. Waiting. I don't wait well.

I get frustrated when I feel like I haven't been making progress (which is great in my working life as a motivator) but not so much at home. But I have been making progress and it's good to remind myself of such things from time to time.

I have finished the blue polka dot dress. I'm not super happy with it fit wise, but it is cool and comfortable and not bad for my first attempt. I'm typically heavy on myself standard-wise, and
have to keep reminding myself to give me space to learn stuff without brilliance.

The gifted baby blanket had its ends sewn in.. and was gifted yesterday to the new little niece. So
cute and small :) My own small person was totally taken. And very grateful for a girl! (She would tell anyone who'd listen that she had enough boy cousins...)

I have also started on my Smoulder. Now, that has been a long wait. But an very enjoyable knit I am finding. While it is all in stockingette, the regular colour changes is making it engaging enough to retain interest.

And I've also been knitting a baby jacket thing. It's a Debbie Bliss pattern from Simply Baby. I can't remember which one, but it's in the last of the Katia Mississippi.

And on that note, I have to go get ready to see a movie about a heroic mouse. Enjoy your day everyone!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Heat is bad for knitting

Okay, yeah over summer now. Have I mentioned I loathe feeling sweaty?

All this heat is leaving me feeling very blah on many fronts, including the knitting.

I'm not sure whether it is all the gift knitting I have queued, or just the general heat.

It may be both. I've even felt too hot to consider sewing at the moment, even at night. There's a cool change coming monday.. for two whole days. Sigh.

In the bad news all the gift knitting will make for poor blogging most likely. That said, I'm considering making something gratuitously selfish for myself :) I keep looking at my Ravelry queue and pondering. I need to keep it to stash yarn though - I've been working on estimates of how much we need to save for the wedding and, frankly, the numbers were kinda scary.

Thankfully, that does leave quite a lot of options still.
  • Denim yarn bag
  • Baudelaire socks
  • Smoulder stripy cardigan
  • Icarus shawl
  • Horseshoes cardigan in red silk
  • Zetor shawl in ivory lace weight
  • 4ply cotton bags
  • Vintage beret (maybe - not sure I can pull off a beret without bad hat hair).
I think that is all for the moment. I do have other yarn, but that's all the stuff with projects picked out.

And I do have a couple of works in progress, but I think I need the new and shiny to get my mojo back. And I might give myself an out pass on some baby gifts with some sewn stuff rather than knitted - that may help.

Anyway happy new year to all - I hope you have air con.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The one when I'm a vampire geek (oh and other stuff)

Geek ramble. Skip to "in other news" if bored.

Okay, some/many of you know this. I am a total vampire fiction geek. I will consume pretty much any vampire themed story/film/book with some enjoyment and truly adore the 'good stuff'.

I've been reading the Twilight series of novels (like many, many people, since its on the best seller lists).

And I just got back from the film. This is not a review. I am in no way a 'balanced' review of such things. (There are those who will gleefully point out that I really enjoyed both Underworld 1 and 2 at this point.)

But I loved it. I loved that the photography was lovely and helped me fill out all the gaps in my knowledge - like exactly what the kind of wet wilderness it is set in actually looks like. My imagination and experience was a little sketchy since I have seen snow twice ever and grew up/live in a place that is pretty much sunny year round. So that was great.

The casting was (in my opinion) very true to the book. The characters all looked/behaved like I imagined.

The whole thing is very teen drama/soap opera. And I gorged myself on every moment. Like eating a whole box of Christmas chocolates because they are there, and someone gave them to you and they just taste so so good. (I may have also done that recently, but I digress).

I do believe it probably helped having read the book, but still. Wonderful.

And in other news...

I have one partially completed project and one done. And another book discussion.

Firstly. the partially completed project.

I have made up most of the Butterick 50s retro dress. Shown here. The actually pattern and instructions were quite clear, and easy to follow. The biggest problem with it that I had was with the sizing. The envelope sizing did not match the size of the finished garment. For example, some sections had huge amount ease. Like about 5+ inches in some cases.

So when I matched the recommended size for my measurements it varied from a 14 to an 18! (I normally wear a 12). However, the finished measurements on the printed pattern itself (not the envelope) were just fine. So I ended up making a 14 which is really too big. I need to get some help to take it all in (and will do so when I corner Bibnbub at some point...) it's also really really long. Ankle length. Which I refuse to believe is because I am short. At any rate it needs to be shortened drastically to around just below the knee I think. I added straps rather than just the spagetti type straps it was designed for so I can wear a bra with it. Otherwise, on my actual sewing front I am happy with it - its a dress, I didn't stuff anything up and I quite like it.

I also made another toy from the More Softies book. I even unintentionally bought exactly the same fabric as the pattern used! I am really happy with it. My man found the fact I was making a toy car & caravan pretty amusing, but it actually made me feel happy to make it and makes me happy to see it sitting on my shelf. The second photo shows the other side of the caravan. There is quite a lot of hand sewing on this, which i am still getting used to. That Instructibles embroidery tutorial is quite handy. Possibly the fact that it was made on my last day of holidays might be my subconscious trying to hold on the 'holiday' vibe as long as possible but that's too much psych for this hot a day.

Finally, I finished my copy of The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.

Like Twilight, it's classed as a young adult (YA) fiction.

It is, quite simply, wonderful. Neil Gaiman is a brilliant writer, and this shows this off yet again. I commented to someone today- all of his stuff is great, but you can tell the difference between is teen/kid stuff and his adult stuff becuase the former has violence or dark stuff implied of happening off scene, where as the adult ones display it. But thy are all great.

Any way enough from me, next week I'm back to my usual programming. Happy New Year all.