Introducing Reyna

Well, I didn’t make much progress on Miss Winkle nor did I find the time to finish her before my birthday. I did, however, remember that while I had finished knitting Reyna, I had yet to block her! A-ha! A new knit shawl to wear on my birthday after all. Wheee!

Below is a photo essay of sorts of the process of blocking Reyna, from squishy off the needles to open lace and lovely blocked-ness. Well, she was fantastically blocked, but I wore her on my birthday and forgot to get a just blocked photo! I will ask my husbitect to help me take a better of Reyna over the weekend, perhaps after I block her again.

Just knitted shawl

Off the needles and all squishy

Shawl soaking

Bath time! I use Eucalan to gently soak my knits.

Pinned shawl, blocking

Blocking wires and many, many pins used. Tin for scale.

Close up of knitting

Close up of the gorgeous lacey texture!

Knitting project photo

Reyna after blocking and wearing on my birthday. Will need a better photo to show her off!

If you would like to knit your own Reyna shawl you can find the pattern on Ravelry it is by  the talented Noora Laivola.

I used one skein of Ella Rae lace merino (4ply/fingering).

Miss Winkle Update

Ta dah! Miss Winkle currently has a total of 25 loops and plenty more yarn to knit. I am loving these colours, so bright and happy. I would love to have this finished for my birthday this Saturday but I think that might be asking too much…unless I can find a TARDIS! I will give it ago, lets see how much more I can knit in two days!

Photo of knitting project

Speaking of the TARDIS, how fantastic is it that we have our first female Doctor! I cannot wait to see her episodes! Hmm, maybe I should name my Miss Winkle Project after the new Doctor, I shall think on some ideas. Any suggestions?

Plans for the rest of this week include some early spring cleaning and birthday shenanigans on Saturday!  Tonight the Husbitect and I are planning to curl up on our comfy lounge and do some colouring in to practice mindfulness and some relaxation. I’m trying to master Copics, so far I haven’t quite got the blending figured out but a little more practice should help.

Pattern: Miss Winkle by Martina Behm.

It’s time for knitting!

I have recently finished my Masters degree so I now have a lot more time for knitting! And when a lovely library hires me, I will have more money for yarn treats! hehe. I’m currently working on my second Miss Winkle, this time she is for me!

Miss Winkle (knitting project)

I’m using Araucania Ranco Sock which has some delicious shades of purple, green and a touch of pink. So good! I’m cheating and using an older photo here, the delightful Miss Winkle has more loops now. I shall be posting a knitting project update tomorrow, so check back for some updated photos.

Pattern: Miss Winkle by Martina Behm.

Picking Up My Needles

Hi, Hello! I haven’t updated my weblog for quite a while, but now that I am getting back into knitting, spinning and other creative pursuits, I will be back to regular updates. Other things I will be writing about are my two gorgeous kitties, lifestyle topics, geeky pursuits such as board games and other related topics.

Photo of my Great Divide shawl

Knitting wise I am working on my Great Divide shawl which I am knitting with  Heirloom white 4 ply yarn and for contrast, some Ella Rae lace merino 4 ply in a beautiful rainbow colourway. I’m looking forward to finishing this shawl and for winter to arrive so I can wear it…and so the temperature is pleasant and not insanely hot and humid as it is now in Sydney!

Knitterly News

After a wee little break over the Christmas and New Year period, I am back! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that 2015 is being very kind to you! Apart from being the day I start blogging again, today is also the start of Semester One at university. I have five units left in my Master of Information Management, which has a dual qualification in Records & Archives and Librarianship. This semester I am taking two units; Archives Concepts & Practice and Knowledge Management Principles.

I have been quite busy on the knitting front. Last week I finished my Skywalker shawl which I knit as part of one of Laura Nelkin’s craftsy classes. I have learnt so much and gained much more confidence in my knitting and that is only half of the class completed! The second part is knitting the Clarus shawl. I still need to take some pretty photos of Skywalker, but below you can how dramatically it changed with blocking.

skywalker blocking

I’m about to cast on some toe-up magic loop socks as part of the Sprint Into Socks KAL being run by The Bakery Bears and Knick’s Knits. I’m not using my ‘good’ yarn for these socks as I have only knit three pairs of socks and these were all cuff-down after-thought heel socks. So for my first toe-up socks, some plainer yarn will do just in case I need to tink a few times! The yarn I am using (photo below) is Patons Big Baby Fair Isle in the Bluey colourway. The pattern booklet you can see behind the yarn cake is Crafternoon by Panda. I came across it at Kmart recently and could not resist, so many cute things.

basic socks start

 

I will be back to regular updates from now on, and have some more finished objects to share!

End of Semester; Start of Craftiness

Knitting Projects

Ah! It is that wonderful time of the year when I have finished all my assignments and study for the semester, and studying for the year is over! I have time for more craft projects and studying of the arty and crafty kind, the librarian learning now takes a back seat for a short while. Knitting has been my craft of choice the last few days, above you can see the projects that are active on my needles at the moment. There has been progress on Miss Winkle (four more loops) and the socks, just not a huge amount! Links to the patterns/designer:

The middle project, Levnadslust, which means ‘joy of living’ in Swedish is absolutely stunning! I admire Madeleine’s (the designer behind Yarn-Madness) eye for style and detail. If you haven’t seen her work, visit her Ravelry page or her own website to view her designs. I’ve added so many to my Ravelry favourites list! I’m knitting Levnadslust with Cleckheaton Bamboo, which is sadly discontinued. I wish I had bought more of it while it was still in production. Yes, this yarn comes from my deep stash. I’ve knitted the first of two shoulders for the pattern and have just started the second. This will be my first hand-knit garment (aside from socks, shawls and scarves) so I am quite excited! A picture of Levnadslust is below, used with permission from the designer.

Levnadslust

 

Other than busily knitting, I’ve been doing a bit of reading. Lately I have felt like I have been ignoring the spiritual side of myself so I set about looking for ways to fulfil that side of me. Browsing the local library’s ebooks, I came across some books by Deepak Chopra and remembered how much I had enjoyed his writing in the past. I’m currently listening to ‘What Are You Hungry For‘ which is about weight loss but also personal fulfilment. It has really resonated with me so far, especially the sections about how eating can sometimes be an attempt to fill the empty places inside. I definitely do that – I’m all about comfort eating! When I feel sad or lonely, I often reach for a peanut butter sandwich or some chocolate (or even peanut butter chocolate!) instead of acknowledging what I am feeling and doing something about it. Other than eating! I need to lose a bit of weight, so I’m hoping Deepak’s book will help me shift the pounds for good and fill those empty spaces with something other than food.

Earlier in the year I set myself a challenge to read 100 books this year. So far I have read 43, quite a bit shorter than the goal, mainly due to being busy with university work. Now that I have more free time, I’m going to try my best to reach my goal of 100 books! I have allowed myself to count fiction and non-fiction books plus audio-books, but would like to include more fiction. One of my most favourite authors is Connie Willis; I have devoured all of her books that I can find. I also enjoy ‘cozy-mysteries’ of the cat kind; mystery novels that have feline sleuths or some other kind of cat help! Favourite authors of that genre include Rita Mae BrownShirley Rousseau Murphy and Lilian Jackson Braun. I’m also a fan of the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton, who is also known for being the creator of the delightful Hamish Macbeth character.

I’m currently looking for a new fiction read and am open to recommendations!

Crafting of the yarny kind

Knitting Projects

Lately I seem to be cycling through a range of crafts, so many ideas and things that I want to do! Sewing, knitting, spinning, embroidery – I want to work on all the things! My current knitting projects are a Miss Winkle shawl by Martina Behm and a pair of socks for my darling husband; the sock pattern is from an old issue of Yarn Magazine. I’m using Patons Patonyle (in what seems to be a discontinued colourway) for the socks and Lonco Multy by Araucania for the shawl. There is also a wee bit of french knitting going on, you may also know it as spool knitting! I had a Knitting Nancy model as a child, and, feeling nostalgic, started using my ‘modern’ french knitter with some Red Heart Aran yarn that I found in BigW – I couldn’t resist the big balls and colours!  I think I will make a rug with the finished knitting.

Random fun fact! The longest work of french knitting measures 26.33 km and is still growing!

Question, to anyone who still visits me *echo echo*, should I import my old blog entries or just leave it as a new blog? Is it too boring without archives? Am I too weird? What will I craft next? Stay tuned….

Winter Fibre Camp

I am incredibly envious of everyone who has or will be attending fibre related fairs and retreats around the world. After looking at the photos on Instagram of people arriving at the wonderful Super Summer KnitTogether, I had the idea to have my own retreat of one, at home. I can’t join in on the fabulous social events but I can use my envy to spur me back into the challenge of learning new skills in the crafts I love.

My Winter Fibre Camp is my self challenge to learn some of those techniques in knitting and spinning that I have always wanted to learn, but been afraid to try for fear of failure. I’m planning on using the Craftsy classes that I have bought and also some of the many books and magazines in my collection. I’d like to also share links to related websites that have info and tutorials and find some fab videos on YouTube to share. Hey, I might even make some of my own! Bonus: I might actually start blogging again!

I’m still nutting out all the details and will post more soon. I want to set goals of what I want to learn and a program or timetable of sorts to keep me on track. This will be fun!

Knitting Around

There has been knitting! And studying, but that isn’t very interesting, so back to the knitting! I recently finished my first shawl, based on the pattern ‘The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People‘ which is on Ravelry. The shawl still needs to be blocked, but I am very happy with it! I was going to block it last week, but after unwrapping my new rubber mats and being overwhelmed by the obnoxious smell of them, I put the mats in the garage and will wait a bit. The shawl is on the right in the photo below. Obviously I need to learn the art of photographing knitted items. Hmmm.

Yesterday I cast on for ‘Wingspan‘ another pattern that can be found on Ravelry. I am making this with Schoppel’s Zauberball yarn in the Frische Fische colour (left in the photo). I am using it as my dissertation (long project) for Nerd Wars on Ravelry. The colours of the yarn remind me very much of the Sixth Doctor’s frock coat, and as I am on Team Tardis, that fits perfectly! The Doctor thought his outfit was the “height of sartorial elegance” and I think my shawl will be, too!

More knitting to come!

Blogtoberfest

As I am the queen of procrastination, I decided to join this years round of Blogtoberfest. One post, every day throughout October. Hopefully, I will manage to post every day and not procrastinate! Blogtoberfest is run by the lovely Tinnigirl and Curlypops.

I’m also thinking about signing up for Socktoberfest, a month long celebration of knitting socks! As it happens, I have a recently started pair of socks on the needles. These socks are for my darling Husbitect. And, umm, remember I mentioned procrastination? I may have had the yarn for these socks in my possession for over a year. Ahem. This is my third pair of socks, all three using a pattern which includes an afterthought, or peasant heel. My first socks are pictured below.

Are you going to join Blogtoberfest or Soctoberfest? Maybe you are planning on both?

Knitting Flowers

I am now completely obsessed with crochet. I am determined to get my granny squares all tidy and even. Practice makes perfect they say, so I am practicing, practicing, practicing. I’m excited to try crochet flowers next and then work up to one of those gorgeous crocheted shawls, such as this one I saw on Ravelry.

While I may be crochet obsessed, I still enjoy knitting. A recent-ish book purchase was ‘100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet’ by Lesley Stanfield. Gorgeous book, so many lovely flower patterns. The patterns are written in a clear, easy to follow manner and I can see this book being one of my favourites.

In the photo you can see the first flower that I have knitted from the book, a Poppy. I used 8 ply yarn, although I can’t remember which brand. Will have to find the label. It was a quick, fun project. I’m going to sew a brooch backing to the flower so I can wear it on winter coats and jumpers. I was thinking about adding it to a hair-band or clip but thought I’d get more use out of it as a brooch.

More Knitting

Finally took photos of another older project so I could add it to my Ravelry profile. One that I have only recently started wearing, even though I finished it at least a year ago. The pattern is ‘Salad Wristers‘ from the talented Presents Knits. Holiday 8 ply wool yarn. Out of all my knitted items, this is the project that has attracted the most compliments – even from total strangers!

Bonus furry hair from my precious Kitty, Max!


My big black panther, Max! Aww, he’s so cute! :)