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!

What's On Your Table – Tuesday.

I’m a little late for What’s On Your Table – Tuesday, this week. Better late than never, hey? Today I went to the library and borrowed a fun stack of books.

1. Villette by Charlotte Bronte.

2. 300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects by Linda Schapper.

3. Retro Knits by Kari Cornell & Jean Lampe, editors.

4. Knitty Gritty Knits by Vicki Howell.

I was going to borrow a couple of copies of Simply Knitting magazine, but the other local knitters had beaten me to it! Maybe next time. For something a little different, I’ll share the first two paragraphs of Villette, you may want to read it, too! You can download the whole book from Project Gutenburg, if you’re really keen.

My godmother lived in a handsome house in the clean and ancient town
of Bretton. Her husband's family had been residents there for
generations, and bore, indeed, the name of their birthplace--Bretton
of Bretton: whether by coincidence, or because some remote ancestor
had been a personage of sufficient importance to leave his name to his
neighbourhood, I know not.

When I was a girl I went to Bretton about twice a year, and well I
liked the visit. The house and its inmates specially suited me. The
large peaceful rooms, the well-arranged furniture, the clear wide
windows, the balcony outside, looking down on a fine antique street,
where Sundays and holidays seemed always to abide--so quiet was its
atmosphere, so clean its pavement--these things pleased me well.

~ Villete by Charlotte Bronte.

I’m really looking forward to reading this book. I love the Bronte sister’s work. Treats for the imagination with such extraordinary imagery conveyed by their talented use of words.

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.

Yay For Knitting

I finally cast on for a new knitting project, yay! It’s nothing flash or fancy, just a basic ribbed scarf. I was faffing around on Ravelry, through my knitting books and magazines trying to decide on a pattern. I had my usual thought pattern of “I can’t knit that! Too complex for me!”. In the end I just picked some yarn and decided to do a basic scarf to get myself back in the habit of knitting. I’m using some Moda Vera Harmony yarn (pink & green) and some of my vintage knitting needles. Pink, of course.

Still have the flu and am now up to the coughing stage. Felt terrible this morning but feel a bit brighter after taking some nurofen. Hence the casting on and blogging about it. I found some photos of my older finished knitted projects and thought I’d post a few here.


‘Sister Socks’ a pattern from Yarn Magazine, Issue 3, June 2006.

Knitted cakes from Jean Greenhowe’s ‘Jiffy Knits‘.


Another Jean Greenhowe pattern, this from her ‘Toy Collection‘ booklet.

What's Hot + What's Not

Time for another edition of What’s Hot + What’s Not.

What’s Hot.

Spending a lovely long weekend with my parents in the Blue Mountains. We drove up on saturday and stayed until Tuesday. My Dad had surgery on his hand this week (it went very well, yay!) and we took him to the hospital and picked him up. We all enjoyed some long chats about all kinds of things, watched ‘Babe‘ (which was the first viewing for me and my parents) and ‘Jane Eyre‘ and enjoyed some yummy food as always. I love getting to spend quality time with my parents. (*waves* to Mum and Dad) Plus I also got some long snuggles with my kitty Max, and Mum and Dad’s cat, Pearl.
It is also so nice to get away from Sydney and escape the noise and heat and enjoy some real peace and quiet. I’m always struck by how much quieter it is in the mountains. The most ‘noise’ you hear is birds and the wind rustling through the trees and at night, the sound of owls hooting away at the moon. I grew up in the Blue Mountains and am very much a mountain girl at heart. I’m afraid I shall never grow to appreciate city life or acclimatise to hot weather!

tattingkitties

I found the above in an op shop for $2. I adore kitties (especially my own Kitty Max) so I had to have this. I think the kitties may be tatted? What I thought was velvet backing material, is actually some kind of flocked paper. The frame itself is plastic with paint applied in a wood pattern. It’s a bit scratched so I’m going to repair it. I’m not sure whether to redo the wood pattern, or paint the frame white. Any suggestions?

newneedles

Found at the same op shop for $1 a pair; vintage aluminium knitting needles. I love these, and have a collection on my desk that include some from my late Aunt and Grandmother and also op shop finds. The new ones are the pink and gold needles at the front.

What’s Not Hot.

ickyweather

The awful, awful weather in Sydney today. I find anything over 24°C uncomfortable, so 36°C is appalling to me! I call this kind of weather ‘uncivilised’ because you can’t move and remain feeling nice and fresh. You end up feeling all hot and icky.
I was born in winter and grew up in the Blue Mountains so cool, wintery weather is my thing. I adore winter, especially if I get to see some snow! Hot weather makes me feel physically sick and I really don’t handle it well at all. I think (?) most people with asthma seem to find humid weather (or at least warm) easier in terms of breathing; I’m one of the rare ones who find very cold, crisp air easier to breath. In this weather, I’ve been known to open the freezer and inhale deeply of its delicious cold crispness!