Tuesday, April 29, 2008

knitting goes on

Knitting has a cycle.

You imagine, you choose, you plan, you purchase, you cast on, you experience excitement, you start to see the shape and texture, you get into a rhythm, you dig in for the long haul, you see the end ahead, you finish. And so the knitting goes on and on. Spreading love and warmth.

I've started a new red cardigan for Mr S. He should have it by the end of May, if not earlier. Ready for winter. The back is finished and I've nearly completed the left front.

And here is a detail. It's hard to photograph the red - it's so bright!

The pattern is Sirdar pattern 1682 - it's a shawl collar cardigan. I don't know if the stitch pattern has a name? Maybe some variation on a basket weave? If I had all the Barbara Walker books maybe I could tell you.

The yarn is Shepherd's "Colour 4 Me' 100% wool. It's just basic wool. I don't think it will be scratchy, it's meant to be for children, but it's not super soft. The pattern specifies 4 50g balls of Sirdar Tiny Tots DK. I bought 5 50g balls of Colour 4 Me.

Half way through the back I did the 'Oh my God, I don't have enough yarn' panic thing! I've gone and bought another 3 balls - a total of 8 now. I used 2 balls for the back, so I think 8 balls will do it. These 50g balls are 90m. I don't know the metreage of Tiny Tots, but I guess it has some acrylic in it, so it's probably a lot lighter and therefore has more length per weight.

It is machine washable however. Not that I'm likely to pop it in the machine.

All my knits are handwashed in eucalyptus wool wash. Spun dry. Hung out on an inside line. They all seem to survive the treatment.


Friday, April 25, 2008

ANZAC Day 2008 - Lest we forget

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon

As a child I never quite got the full meaning of 'Lest we forget'. As an adult, I don't think it's just about remembering the individuals that fought in either of the world wars or any subsequent wars; or any of the events. It's about remembering the horror.
I have mixed feeling about the increasing popular enthusiasm about ANZAC Day. There was a time a few decades ago when it nearly slipped into oblivion. I think that that would have been a great shame. We should remember, but we shouldn't celebrate. We should commemorate, we should remember.
Today, I'm remembering not just the soldiers, but the knitters too. Those who 'knitted for victory'.

There is a little bit of Australian war knitting history on the Australians at War website

And if you want to know more about ANZAC Day itself, you can visit here http://www.acn.net.au/articles/anzac/

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Two and a half years in the making!

Wow, I cannot believe that I've actually finished these socks!

When I found them about a quarter finished amongst my stash I wondered what to do with them. The knitting was all fine, the pattern (just a basic 'vanilla' sock) was easy and I'd only put them down 'cause I'd found myself pregnant and other knitting projects became a higher priority... well what was stopping me?

The question was whether I was really interested in finishing them. Did I have the 'finishing drive' for this project? Or had it cooled? To finish a project, I think you need to be able to remember the thrill of starting, and to be carried along by the rhythm of the knitting itself and the momentum of completing finishing milestones of course!

Well ,they were a special request from Robert - some blue socks. So I kind of felt obliged to meet my commitment. And what else was I going to do with them? They were useless left as they were. If I wasn't going to finish them, I might as well be honest and just throw them out. Well I wasn't prepared to do that, so I did the only other thing possible... put my head down and finished them!

They are made from Sirdar's "Town and Country" Sock Yarn - wool and nylon mix. The yarn's ok. Not the softest sock yarn I've used, but nothing wrong with it. But I choose it for the colour - and that's perfect.

Big BIG BIG BIG Hurrah!


Sunday, April 13, 2008


Well like many other knitters and crocherers I've joined Ravelry.

What fun!

I have 171 favorite projects and I've joined 44 groups.

I've even set up a group!!!

I never thought that I'd be interested in a social networking site ('cause that's what it really is) - but, well never say never I guess!

What I'm amazed about is the energy that so many people have and some of the brilliant projects that people have completed (and shared). It's inspirational really.

On the (actual) knitting front - I still haven't quite finished Leo Lion :-( and I've progressed Robert's denim socks. I knew that I'd had them on the needles for some time, but it wasn't 'til I thought about it that I realised just how long. It was before I was pregnant. 'Cause once I knew I was, I dropped everything else and just did baby knitting. It's probably at least 2 1/2 years ago. I've now finished the first sock and I'm on to the second. I cannot remember how I knitted the first one exactly, so I keep referring back to it, a bit like a 3-D pattern. It will be nice to free the 2.5 bamboo dpns for another project!


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Some more pink socks

I confessed my (slight) obsession with pink socks some time ago (confession here)! Well, I've added another pair to my 'guilty pleasure' collection.

I have finally finished my pale pink Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino single cable socks. I'm wearing them as I write this post and I can feel all that knitted goodness just flowing up from my feet. Mmmmmmmm.

I had some unpicking to do on the first sock - I knitted it way too long and convinced myself that 'it's ok', so went on to finish it (including the kitchner stitch toe and all the ends sewn in). Well it wasn't ok at all. When I tried it on I just knew it was wrong and I would be unhappy if I left it as it was. But it took me a few days to work up to the point where I could cut off the top and wind it back to a reasonable length. I've now finished its mate. So another project off the UFO list! Thank goodness.

As you might be able to tell from the picture, I didn't exactly use the DB pattern. I used a different heel and toe finish.

I'm also getting closer to finishing Leo Lion. I've finished all the knitting, including the mane. It was very tricky to work out the loop stitch, which is used. It was different to the method in my stitch pattern book. Still after a few abortive attempts I finally got there. Maybe I will finish it on the weekend. Now that would be nice.

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