Sunday, 28 October 2007

Baby Kimono

Check out the sea of garter bumps.

This little number was knitted up in Shepherd's Colour 4 Me 8 ply wool. I love the colourway cause it's nice and bright, but with no pink - so suitable for a girl or boy. The added bonus is that knitting baby wear in 8 ply is pretty speedy.

I used 6.5 mm needles to make the fabric more flexible - no Michelin babies please. The pattern was adapted from a Baby Kimono in Interweave Knits (not sure which edn). I feel quite proud of myself having knitted up a swatch, and used the stitch ratios to adjust it.

Saturday, 27 October 2007


My fingers have been pretty busy this week ... if I do say so myself.

I've just about finished a project using some of the Tekapo I bought in NZ. I started it last Sunday, and it was progressing nicely - until I finished the actual knitting. I have 4 ends to weave in, and then it's blocking time. But here's a bit of a sneak preview....

Having finished the knitting portion of that project, I cast on for another - the impending first birthday of my niece preying on my mind. I'm really enjoying this project, yummy cable patterns and an easy to knit cotton blend yarn on nice big (for baby clothes) needles. Hurrah!

I've also been having felting fun. Using cookie cutters to form shapes (thanks to Interweave Felting for the idea), I've made elephants, stars, flowers, and little people. Here's a card for a friend who's just had twins.

Charmaine has a piccy of them on her blog.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Bamboo to you too!

Ooooh I love bamboo. I spied some balls of Cleckheaton Bamboo at the LYS, and fell in love with the colour, the sheen, the way the ball sits in your hand.

I'd been reading a bit about socks, and sock yarns, and wanted to try out bamboo yarn and it's anti-bacteria, ant-odour properties. So, I added two balls to my purchase of pins and stitchholders - restocking after they were confiscated by customs.

Not knowing how much would be needed for a sock, I knitted my latest pair toe-up, using Ann Budd's recipe from Interweave Knits (Summer 07). After each sock, I had around 18 grams of yarn remaining - so there's some bonus there for a pair of little socks (whoo hoo).

I think I may have anal tendencies, though. The pattern across the top of the foot and ankle is a diagonal rib, that I reversed on the second sock for better symmetry. Is that going too far?

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Ashford - More about NZ

On the way back to Christchurch, the last day of our holiday, we stopped in at the Ashford Craft Village, at Ashburton. Mr W was suitably affected by our arrival at a 'craft villate' and promptly set off in search of a coffee - leaving me unsupervised in a yarn store.

Here's a photo of what ended up stuffed into our luggage

4 balls of Ashford Tekapo - for a jumper/top or cardigan
2 balls of Ashford Tekapo that were 1/2 price (bargain!) - a fair isle beannie perhaps?
2 balls of Ashford Kid Mohair - a stripy scarf?
2 skeins of 'Naturally New Zealand' wool (more to dye)
1 ball of merino/possum/silk blend
3 felting needles (felting fun is on its way).

I've spent a while thinking about the 4 green balls of Tekapo. I love the way the two colours work together. But I was at a bit of a loss as to how to get them both into a knitted garment that would fit me. Horizontal stripes were out, and so were large blocks of intarsia colour (too 80's). I could knit a cardigan sideways, and have vertical stripes, but I'm not in a very stripy place at the moment.

So here's what I've come up with - a close fitting top (with round or scoop neck) with a fair isle pattern under the bust. The bottom half would be the dark green, then transition to the top and (short) sleeves in light green. Because I bought the yarn in NZ, I figure a fern pattern wouls be pretty nifty.

Hopefully I'll have enough yarn to knit it.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Mystery Yarn

I up picked this yarn in our travels in NZ. On the outskirts of Christchurch (on the road to Akaroa), there's a little wool shop. It seems that it sells fleeces to local spinners (and buys wool back), and picks up the ends of cones from ... somewhere or other.

I bought two hanks of white wool to have some fun with dye.

And then I spotted a cone of this mystery yarn. It looks felted, is more like a tape, and has some shorter dark fibres every now and then. All this yarn (>300g) for the low price of $2 (kiwi).

Not sure what it will be yet - maybe a kid's jumper, a doormat, or many scarves or beanies.

Any ideas?

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Just call me 'Master'

Well, it's official - I now have an extra 3 letters that I can add to the end of my name. I am now officially a Master of Business and Technology. It would be tempting to say I'm a Mistress of Business and Technology, but that's a little saucy.

Graduation day went off with a lot of pomp and ceremony, and the requisite screaming children in the middle of the speeches. After much practise, I managed the 3 step process to receive my degree - shake with the right hand, accept the testamur with the left, and then doff with right. It was more complicated than actions to a Wiggles song - "Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear ..." I didn't practise the doffing enough, though, and only just managed to make contact with the trencher (they sit higher than you think).

So 3 years of pain, tears, frustration and learning are over with. "What will you do next?" might you ask. Well, I'm over the business studies stuff, I feel I'm sufficiently fluent in management speak. The current plan is to go back to studying for a "Preliminary Theology Certificate" (through Moore College).

Here I am with my mum. Would you believe that this is the best photo that managed to be taken on our camera! Hopefully someone else got a better one.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Plane Knitting

Here is my Airline Safety Scarf. It is named as such, because I knitted it on the plane to and from New Zealand, but also because I think the stitch pattern looks a bit like a mesh safety fence.

It was a bit embarrassing flying over to NZ - I'd managed to pack my "bits & pieces" bag in my carry on. OOPS. There I was groaning inwardly at the woman in front of us who had containers of moisturiser bigger than 100ml, when my bag had to be searched because of 'metal objects'. The security guy went through my bag. A couple of safety pins, a container of pins and two small stitch holders were confiscated. The 1mm crochet hook and cable needle were fine. I'm still trying to figure out what basis they use - pointiness maybe?

The scarf was knitted on two plastic crayons with elastic bands on the ends. It used up a bit less than one ball of Cleckheaton Studio Mohair (a have a few balls sitting in my stash in case of an emergency).

This is the second scarf I've knitted on plastic crayons. The tougher carry on requirements rule out a lot of standard knitting implements. I normally pack my crayons, yarn and a reel of dental floss (to cut the yarn).

If you want to knit your own, cast on an odd number of stitches (I used 15). Knit the first row, the K1, * YO K2tog. Repeat from * to end. Keep repeating the second row until the scarf is as long as you want (or you get sick of knitting with plastic crayons), and cast off. Easy.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Tip for Today

My number one tip for today ...

If you notice some mould in the shower. Wait until after you've showered to spray it with exit mould. Your respiratory system will thank you.

There you have it.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Why I love cup holders

Mr W and I spent last week driving around New Zealand checking out the sights (and yarn stores). We started in Christchurch, and travelled around the Canterbury Region - including Akaroa, Hanmer Springs, Waipara (wine region), Lake Tekapo, Timaru and Ashburton.

All that time in the car, meant a lot of time available for knitting (except when it was my turn to drive). So I managed to just about finish off this little cardigan - well not quite, it's still missing buttons. There's a batch of babies coming along the end of this year, and beginning of next, so it will be added to the stash.

I made two pretty cool discoveries knitting this cardigan.

I knitted both sleeves at once - so they'd be the same length - each from a separate ball of wool. Things were going along pretty well, but I'd have to keep stopping every now and then to untangle the two balls, along with the dangly lengths of yarn from the cast on edges. That was, until one of the balls accidentally dropped into the cup holder next to the hand brake. As I went to retrieve it, I noticed that it was, in fact, a double cup holder, and each section would snugly secure a ball of wool. HURRAH! I would have taken a photo of this fantastic phenomenon, but Mr W would have thought it more than a little strange.

Discovery number two was teaching myself to work stocking stitch without turning my work. By the time I got to the end of those raglan sleeves, I was sick of turning the work each row - and making sure the circular looped around in a nice way. So I started knitting the purl rows without turning it around. I'm not sure if it's quicker than turning - but I figure with a bit of practice, it could be, and could save a bit of angst in the future.

So that's why I love cup holders. More on those yarn stores 'we' visited next post.