Sunday, 27 January 2008

Beautiful Things

Things that have popped into my life this weekend.

A tea pot - Made in Japan, perfect for a single cup.

Drawstring bags - for storing projects - nicer than a plastic bag.

Saturday morning wandering around Wollongong with my husband, drinking coffee, reading the newspaper, watching my FIL and a friend race in an aquathon and catching up with friends. Sorry, I couldn't get a photo of all of that.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Reality Check

I don't know what I was thinking. Problem was, I don't think I was ... thinking, that is. I got caught up in a rush of cranberry cotton goodness.

In the cold light of day reality kicked in and I knew what I had to do. Saturday night's knitting was frogged, and wound back onto the remaining ball of cotton.

Here's why it wouldn't work:

1. Cotton is not known for its elasticity. Even with me knitting the smallest size, with a few more stitches to the inch than gauge, it would have sagged and bagged.
2. The needle size on the ball band was 3.25 mm, not the 4mm that I was using. The gaps in the fabric were noticeable when sitting on the needles, and would be even more so when stretched over my body.
3. The twisted rib was slanty. I think this was cause of the way the yarn was plied.
4. My 'attributes' are not sufficient to hold up a bandeau. Yeah I was thinking I'd add straps, but still ... I had to recognise my own limitations.*

So I frogged it, grabbed a couple of magazines, my folder of patterns, flicked for a bit, and settled on the Eyelet Chemise from Summer 06 IK

The yarn used in the original is linen, so cotton should work relatively well. The needle size is spot on, and the more I look at it, the more I like it. Here's my work so far.

Not too bad for a day's work (well not 24 hours, but as much time as one can find on a Sunday when the weather just can't make up its mind, and time is taken out to eat lunch, go for a walk on the beach, go to church and hang out some washing).

*My mother inured me to the truth of my assets as soon as it was apparent I had stopped growing. After a few years wishing the 'inbuilt support' singlet tops wouldn't have creases in their 'support', I'm looking on the positive side of things. I can walk around the house (even up and down stairs) without a bra on. I can sleep on my stomach very comfortably. I don't have to wear extra reinforcement when exercising. And knitting tops/singlets/cardigans/jumpers is that extra bit cheaper and quicker.

Sunday, 20 January 2008


Look what jumped onto my needles!

I didn't mean to, it just happened. I meant to keep working on my blanket, or finishing the crochet for the bag-lady swap, but I got itchy fingers.

Here's my excuse. I need something to knit when I'm not doing the blanket - when I've only got a small time to work. If I'm going to pick up the blanket, I need a minimum of half an hour. Otherwise by the time I've tagged it, figured out where I'm up to, and moved the stitches round on the cable, it's just about time to put it back together again.

I was using the crocheted bag to deal with this issue, but I needed something else. Working on it yesterday morning, I came to an important conclusion. I'm definitely a knitting kinda gal. I don't mind a little dalliance with a hook, but it doesn't last.

So just to prove the blanket is growing. Here's a photo. After much deliberation I think I've figured out how I'm going to finish it off. I want something a bit more solid for the rim of the blanket.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Planning for Japan

We're going to Japan in February. Flying into Tokyo, then a week or so's skiing in Nagano.

I found this great time-wasting site - KnitMap. You just enter a location, and it tells you all the yarn stores - with links to their websites, maps, opening hours and all sorts of useful information. I did a search on Abu Dhabi, and there's nothing there ... sorry Charmaine. Although, I'm guessing they only have the stores that people bother to list.

Isn't the web amazing these days. Pinku has put together a spreadsheet of yarn stores in Tokyo.
Fleegle has posted her yarn shopping in Tokyo adventures. Google maps can do all sorts of amazing things.

But I'm starting to get a little nervous. Maps of Japan are written in (would you believe it) Japanese. I don't speak Japanese. Plus, if I want to visit any yarn store, I have to convince the other 4 travellers (husband, parents, brother) that it's a good idea. Looks like it's going to be an interesting trip.

New Year's Day ... a little late

It's taken me 13 days, but I wanted to share what we got up to on New Year's day.

We met friends at Wattamolla (in the Royal National Park), before setting off on a walk out to Eagle Rock (something like 5 km??). It felt sooo hot. All the scrub was low-lying, so no shade. The only bonus was the sea breeze.

But the scenery was brilliant! Here is Eagle rock (can you see it?) and other rocks that I like the look of.

I'd talk about the weather, but Joe thinks I'm acting old enough by knitting.

Lunch was back at Wattamolla, followed by a swim. Boy there were a lot of people there. The beach is kinda weird ... a river/lagoon on one side of a pile of sand, and a narrow bay on the other. The sand dropped steeply into the bay, and the 'waves' were breaking on the shore. The lagoon side was like a bath - perhaps something to do with lack of freshwater, and the number of young children swimming.

I have, by now, had a real swim in the real surf. Wednesday afternoon Joe and I headed down to Bulli beach. The water was perfect - refreshing but not icy. And there were real waves, that you could dive under, or bob over, if you were far enough out. I feel like it's really summer now.


They're done!

I'm really happy with how they turned out. The sock yarn I chose striped up nicely. The really freaky bit is that - totally by chance - I managed to just about line up the stripes. I could have undone the cast on of the second, and adjusted the tail length so they both had a little red around the top, but that would just be too anal.

Vital stats:
Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina
Needles: 2.5mm circulars (worked on 2)
Yarn: Heirloom Jigsaw 4 ply