Archive for the ‘books’ Category
Where do weeks go? It has been three weeks or so since I blogged! I just checked my google reader list and there are 165 unread posts! Eeek!
Of course there has been knitting. I have finished one sock, and have two more socks on the go. I would like to finish the stripy pair before Monday because I am going on camp and need warm socks.
I also finished Button Me Up and found it slightly too small – wearable definitely, but I would have felt uncomfortable. And so, Purl scored a jumper. She has worn it twice and has actually ordered another one exactly the same but the smaller size. I ordered some more Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Ranch Red to make her another. It is really nice to see her in one of my knits! Fifteen year olds can be difficult to please! We are planning on some interesting buttons for the red one. This was a fantastic pattern that went very quickly. I will make myself one too I think. One day.
Speaking of camp, I decided I needed a hat and made one. I like it, but I think the Spunk and Purl think I look a bit odd. What do you think? Excuse the photo, I took it myself!
This week I also ordered some Cascade Heritage sock yarn from Yarns Online. $12.50 per 100g skein, and the colours are really lovely. Now I am wondering which socks to knit. I also bought some KnitPicks Harmony needles – 2.25mm. They are very pretty and feel quite nice. I am a bit worried that I will break them so I am knitting slightly slower than usual.
I am also making a shawl that will probably never be worn . . . hey, it keeps me off the streets!
We have been busily buying books here and there from the Book Depository. I have bought Knitting Without Tears and The Knitter’s Almanac, as well as some books for the kids and some surprises for the Spunk who is having a birthday next week. I might have just scraped through - the gap between the AUD and the GBP seems to be widening. Sigh.
As I mentioned, I am camping next week for two nights, and then again the week after. School camp is a funny thing. I quite enjoy seeing the kids outside of school and usually find it really rewarding. However, it is so darn tiring and I am dreading being chief decision maker 24 hours a day. I can usually manage a work day where I am expected to make decisions time and time again, but it’s nice to come home and let someone else decide what to eat or watch on television! Not only that, but I don’t think I will get much knitting done! I will take it just in case it rains (God forbid!).
We are still waiting for the Spunk’s cardigan to be zipped. Hopefully he will have it before his birthday! Next time I think I will try it myself WITH MY NEW SEWING MACHINE. Mum and her husband have given me my birthday present two months early! I haven’t sewed a stitch with it yet – I am certainly not the world’s greatest seamstress, but I am looking forward to making something. Perhaps some simple skirts for the Tiny Madam for summer?
The Spunk has been a teacher for nearly three weeks and is travelling well. The kids have responded well to him and he is enjoying himself!
Us Launcestonian Ravelers met up last weekend and sorted our Secret Santa knitting out. I have lots of ideas for my recipient! I want to talk about it but I can’t!!
I finished the Spunk’s cardigan and dropped it off at Knits Needles and Wool to have a zip inserted. My first anxious thought was about the colour of the zip. I bought a black one, and now I think it should be grey. The second anxious thought was about leaving something that took me so long to make with someone I don’t know and trusting them not to bugger it up! My third anxious thought was about it being away for so long (up to two weeks!) and then the Spunk having no opportunity to wear it!
However, it fits. I don’t have a photo because the camera is still in Queensland. But it really does fit very well and he is thrilled.
I made the back and one front of Hey Teach! and then ripped it out because it just wasn’t doing it for me. Then I cast on for a cotton Wicked cardigan and that wasn’t cutting it either, so now I am making a baby blanket with Cotton-Ease. I love the colour and the yarn is very soft, but I think I need to learn I don’t like knitting cotton into garments! There are a couple of babies in the making around me at the moment, so I am sure one of them will appreciate a machine wash/dry blanket. Pattern is my own – I will share as soon as I can.
Next on the needles – Button Me Up! Pullover by Laura Chau. The numbers are fairly close to Wicked, so it should work out well. In fact, the pullover itself is quite similar to Wicked, but it is knit from the bottom up. I should be able to finish this before going back to school.
I am awaiting delivery of a couple of books – Knitting Without Tears and The Knitter’s Almanac from The Book Depository. I have fallen in love with Elizabeth Zimmermann like thousands of knitters before me. I can’t wait to get them. The Spunk has ordered another jumper – I am going to make him a Seamless Hybrid (Rav link) – we just have to agree on a yarn choice.
We have been spring cleaning with a vengeance this week and finally tackled the kids’ room. Tiny Madam and Number One Son share a room at the moment – our family outgrew our house with the suprise arrival of TM! Oh boy, it was a disgrace. Now, a place for everything and everything in its place. One tub of toys each in the open, everything else is shelved or tubbed and hidden away. It feels very good! However, I wish I could buy them a space saving bed each – we saw a fabulous example at Harvey Norman yesterday. We went to buy a printer and ended up bouncing on beds, fondling carpet and rocking in chairs. What good clean fun!
I have been bitten by the muffin bug. I have never before this week cooked muffins, but have made up for that since Thursday! Yum!
Now to brighten what is a very grey day here – a very bizarre pairing – REM and some Muppets.
But first . . .
Oh my goodness, I have no idea how Bert puts up with Ernie! He wears away at him like a wave on a rock! I notice that there are others out there posting their favourite Jim Henson clips here and here. I am happy that we are spreading the joy!
I have no idea where the week went. I have been so busy at work, it seems all I do is walk around and around the school chasing up ‘issues’. Not to mention the administration of NAPLAN testing! All this walking is how I managed to lose about 15 kilos last year when I started in this role I have now! The next two weeks can’t go quickly enough as far as I am concerned. We all need a holiday!
I have been knitting like a demon, which tends to happen when I am swamped at work. This week I finished the Spunk socks and a Calorimetry:
I made this out of the leftover yarn from the Fetchings that I made for a workmate, at her request, which she promptly accepted with a thank you and no offer of even paying for the yarn. Now, I know I said I wouldn’t accept money for them – this is after all a copyrighted pattern and there is no way I would do that. But, she could have offered to pay for the yarn. It wasn’t from the stash! I had to go and buy it!! Grouch!!! It’s one thing when I knit for someone out of the goodness of my heart, but she ASKED FOR THEM!!!!
Ahem. I also designed the sock I was thinking of, but have to get some suitable yarn to test knit it with. I started with some yarn that I had but it was too busy to show off the pattern, so I will try to find something more amenable. I am really pleased with it though. I will post it as a PDF as soon as it is done. I just downloaded a PDF maker and will make my patterns into PDFs soon. I notice that quite a few people look at the pattern I made for the preemie beanie, which is cool.
Speaking of PDFs, I bought a copy of Wicked this week, and am in the process of umming and aahing over what to knit it with. I did ‘borrow’ this pattern some time ago, but couldn’t find where I saved it and as I am all about supporting independent artists, I thought $7.19AUD was not too bad for such a versatile pattern. Also, I saw ratherbeknitting (Ravelry link) with the pattern at our inaugural Tassie Knitters meeting last week, and covetous thing that I am, I had to have it!
I cast on another pair of socks last night, this time for me. I am about to turn the heel this evening. Again, a simple stocking stitch sock with some of the yarn I bought from BSODL(tm).
Mother requested a miniature sock this afternoon, and I finished it earlier this evening. While she was visiting today I signed her up for Ravelry! Mwhahaha! She won’t know what’s hit her! Also, it means she can join us next time for the Tassie Knitter meetup, which will be fun! Mother has also been knitting like a demon and has made three headbands and two pairs of mitts this week! Go Mum!
And now, a quick review of Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock Book.
Well, I love it! The book begins with a short history of sock knitting, including quite a bit of information about the war effort and socks for soldiers. It then goes into the anatomy of socks and breaks down the sock into manageable parts. There is a universal toe up and top down pattern, a sock calculator that allows you to plug numbers into the pattern for three different yarn weights and for sizes from baby to XL adult. There is then a large section on stitch patterns – textures and colours. And finally, there are some fantastic patterns, both modern and from ago. It is an excellent resource for all sock knitters, from novice to expert and I love it! Highly recommended! My only gripe is that it has a dust cover and I am worried about getting it a bit tatty. I have considered having our lovely library lady at work cover it for me with plastic to protect it, but what should I offer in return? Perhaps a pair of hand knit socks?!
To finish, I am going to share a couple of photos of my girls. They are nine and a half years apart in age (I know, think about it – one will be heading into adulthood just as I am starting the whole teenage girl thing all over again!!), but they are really good mates. One of their favourite things to do is to put makeup on and take photos of themselves and each other. Here are two of about four hundred million that exist!
. . . look what I made!
Her name is Rose, and I really really like her! When I drag myself away from the computer, I will be sewing the side seams of a jumper for her. These things could be addictive! I have made her a brother of sorts, but I can’t share him because I am going to make another one as a gift and the recipient reads here and she will get him on the weekend and I am bad at keeping secrets but suffice to say he’s green. Mwahaha!
I also finished the Fetchings for the work colleague and will deliver them tomorrow. Easy peasy.
Holly challenged me to use 6 words to explain my philosophy of life. Well, that’s pretty tricky! How about this:
LIFE IS SHORT, LIVE IT WELL. I won’t go as far as tagging, but if you would like to have a go, do so and let me know. I would be really interested to read what your six words are.
If you have a few minutes, check out Holly’s blog. It’s fantastic. Her sock knitting makes me wonder if she is actually a real human!
Speaking of socks, my Vogue book arrived. I will review it directly. I haven’t had much of a chance to look yet.
My Professional Learning went well. Sometimes you get lucky and actually learn something. This was one of those times.
And finally, we Launcestonians are meeting on Saturday for coffee! I am EXCITED! I have never made it to a S&B meeting here as they are on Tuesdays and I work and in holidays I become a hermit worthy of my own cave. But Saturdays I can do! Hooray!!
I have been knitting! On Friday I cast on for a pair of Fetchings using left over Cascade 220 from the CPH. My friend has to teach in our hall, which is a great big cavernous building which is almost impossible to heat. She has been after some fingerless gloves for some time. The problem is, she can’t stand to touch wool!! Why I thought that the answer to this would be to knit a gauntlet out of pure wool (which is a little on the scratchy side) is beyond all comprehension. Anyway, I finished the left one on Saturday, and put it on. It is:
- obviously made of scratchy wool; and
- too big around the top.
So, I will keep that for myself and knit another one soon – I too have to brave the weather on lunch time duty, and these will come in handy. Pun only half intended!
I then scrounged around in my pitiful stash and found some pale green Cara Mia from some time ago. This is a blend of various man made fibres and 13% angora. It is very soft and does not feel a bit like wool. However, I found that 45 stitches around was too loose, so I ripped back and started again with 40 stitches. Lucky this is a quick knit!! I am now up to the thumb on the left mitt and should get that finished tonight, all going well.
The Nutkin sock pattern is fantastic. I highly recommend it. However, next time I do not think I will do the cuff as stated in the pattern, as I found it highly irritating to fold the cuff over and knit a stitch from the cast on edge with the stitch on the needle. It looks nice, but I am not sure it’s nice enough to bother again!
My throat is holding out. I am resting it as much as possible and milking it for all it’s worth at school! “Do not make me raise my voice! You will be subjected to relief teachers if you aren’t careful!!” It works part of the time at least!
In my usual fashion, I think I am becoming a touch obsessed with convicts. At the moment, I am reading The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay, Out of Ireland by Christopher Koch and The Great Shame by Thomas Keneally. I am about to watch Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist and we have The Potato Factory mini-series out on video. But we don’t have a video player! I guess I never learned about ‘everything in moderation’!
Because I can’t leave you without something to look at, here is my cat as photographed by the Tiny Madam (you can see her perfectly pink toenails!). Excuse the dead grass. Blame global warming.
Well, I made it through the first week of school relatively unscathed. The first three days were filled with meetings and some time to prepare to educate the yoof. We had a very interesting session about giftedness which made me think about how I can better cater for those kids in the classroom. This year I seem to have kids that range from very low to very high ability, so it should be interesting trying to make sure all of them are engaged and learning! Apart from a fight that I had to get in the middle of and having a go at the ‘jocks’ and the ‘emos’ for hating each other, it all went pretty smoothly. The classroom stuff was great! Not too many yawns!
I have done a tiny bit of knitting. I finished one button band on the black cardigan. I am thinking at this point that I will not put buttonholes in the band, but will make a loop and just have one button at the bottom of the ‘v’ and then it won’t look so blasted big. Either that or eat pizza every night for a month! I will try to get the cardigan finished this week (one button band should be achievable!) and take a picture as soon as it’s done, even if it looks bad!
I have been working on this too:
I really like it. Very fine and soft.
Apart from that, nothing. I have zonked off for a disco nap two nights this week – Friday between 6pm and 9pm. Then I fell asleep yesterday afternoon as well. I am out of form, that’s for sure. I have been watching quite a lot of television – lots to see! I really enjoyed Underbelly (sorry Victorians – it’s really good!), and the final of Beauty and the Geek (I have been addicted from the start – guilty secret!!), and got straight back into the swing of Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and Brothers and Sisters. As well, I managed to see how well the horrible teens featured in last year’s Brat Camp turned out, ready for a new series. I wonder if they’re taking nominations? If I’m not careful, I’ll have square eyes!
I have been reading though! I got these books from the library after reading a thread about our fantastic library system in the Tasmanian Knitters group on Ravelry:
All three knitting books have some things that I like. Fitted Knits has some little chunky cardigans that I would benefit from owning. The Felted Knits book is okay – but I think the only thing I might knit would be the ballet slippers. And the Classic Knits book also has quite a few things that might just make it to the queue.
I am about a quarter of the way through, and it is certainly food for thought. A year only buying the bare necessities is quite appealing to me at the moment for a few reasons – interest rates, petrol prices, the increased cost of living . . . and our plan to go to Thailand next year to celebrate a decade of marriage! We were thinking of having a big party but decided it might be much more fun to have a second honeymoon! Yay! And in that spirit, we are going to start keeping track of what comes into the house, and what goes out. We have a small house, three children and far too much crap! The Spunk has a week before Uni goes back and his mission is to rid us of some of the crap. I will keep you posted.
The title of my post today is a direct quote from my seven year old son, who learned how to knit today, along with his five year old sister. Tiny Madam has been wanting to learn to knit for about a year, but I thought she needed to be a bit older, so I told her I would teach her when she was five. She turned five in November, and has been asking me for knitting lessons ever since. Today was the day! With only vague plans to get Purl to the Basin with a friend in the middle of the day (don’t go there, first time unsupervised, not worried, she’s fine! Besides, if she plays up someone will tell me – I teach at her school. Mwahaha!) we sat down to learn to knit. The Number One Son did not want to learn . . . that is until he saw his little sister doing it. Then it was off to BSODL(tm) to buy some short needles made for kids, and some yacrylic (99cents for 100g) and home again to knit. The N.O.S. has taken to knitting like a duck to water, and had figured it all out in no time! His little boy brain was whirring and he could not believe how ‘cool’ and ‘amazing’ knitting is! The Tiny Madam got it too, surprising both of us. Her stitches are a bit wonky. His are perfect. He even asked how to knit backwards if you make a mistake and whether this was all there was to it. I will give him a couple more sessions and then teach him to purl. My goodness! A wonderful day in a knitting mother’s life! Even the Spunk knitted a couple of rows! Proof of knitting kids:
The knitting on my Central Park Hoodie is flying along. I have finished the back and both fronts, and will cast on for the two sleeves when I finish here. I have had some interesting revelations in the knitting of this garment so far (which began with the cardigan I just finished). I think most of these are ‘duh, no kidding’ for most of you, but I am a little slow on the uptake.
Most of my failures in the past have been due to over confidence and rushing in. Swatches are my new best friend.
I have been a process knitter most of the time, which is not a terrible thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the outcome of hours and hours of knitting will be satisfactory.
Ravelry and knitting blogs allow us all to share mistakes and suggestions, and knitters are very generous with answers to even the most trivial questions. For this reason I have been able to do short row shoulder shaping in preparation for a three needle bind off – a week ago I didn’t even know you COULD do this!
Keeping detailed notes is invaluable. I have kept track of every row and every time I have done something (increased, cast off, etc). That way, if anything happens, I can fix it easily! And should fix it too!
Cables aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they were!
There have been other things along the way, but five is a nice rounded number to finish a list on. I may add to it as I go along. Here is the CPH so far, nestled in a very cool bag that Purl gave me. We are both bag hags, but she wins hands down. She can just cast off green bags with big buttons and polka dots with nary a backwards glance. Sigh, to be young again!
Knit me dammit!
Interestingly (or not) it takes me 20 minutes to wind a skein of Cascade 220 by hand. If time is money, I would not have to wind many skeins on a swift and ball winder to pay it off. Do you follow my logic? It’s the same logic that says if I don’t buy something I might have bought, I have saved money. The Spunk doesn’t get it. I think it makes perfect sense!
Now, as I am a person who likes to plan ahead, I am already thinking about my next project. Have I left socks behind for a little while? Just when Mother dropped her yarn off for me to knit with? Perhaps. At the moment, I am considering Cardigan for Arwen (but longer), Rogue, Ribby Cardi, Wicked or something else altogether. I wanted to put a poll on the blog but I’ll be blowed if I could get it to work. Never mind. Tell me what you think!
We had the best ever meal ever tonight. First of all, we had a beer each while cooking - Carlton Dry Fusion (nice, but no Corona with real lime!). We had calamari in sweet chilli sauce with Spaghettini, basil and Italian parsley, with garlic bread. Holy shmoly, it was delicious. Just my type of food! I didn’t take a picture, because it didn’t last long enough.
Finally, I posted a while ago about Pay It Forward, whereby you leave a comment on my blog saying you would like to participate, I make something for you within a year and you promise to do the same for three more people. I had a nibble from Cathy, but that’s it! Anyone else wanna play??
That’s a pretty good word to describe how I feel today. I am not sure why, just blerk. I have been out of sorts since waking up this morning incredibly HOT! We had planned another trip to the beach, but the son is coughing like a . . . well, like a boy with a bad cough, and the day is a bit windy and overcast so we stayed home.
I have been knitting! This is my last port of call as far as updating. Do any of you find that it takes quite some time to keep up with all the peripherals around being a knit blogger? I am involved in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry as I mentioned last time, and so for the January challenge I made:
Smooth Monkeys! I love them! I cast on last Friday, and finished yesterday (Thursday). I loved the pattern the first time I made them, but I really liked doing no purls! I think I will make some of these if I do gifty knitting this year. At one point I was thinking of making socks for the girls I work closely with for Christmas this year (’08), but that would mean four more pairs than ’07 for giving away. Which leads me to the question – have I set a precedent that I am willing to meet? Will people expect socks from me for Christmas and birthdays all the time? I can’t really maintain that level of knitting I don’t think! However, it would certainly alleviate any guilty feelings about buying yarn! Speaking of buying yarn, I have become a little obsessed this week with thoughts of buying yarn from The Knittery or some Jitterbug, or both. And some KnitPicks Harmony dpns. Hmmm.
Anyhow, I digress. I have spent quite a bit of time updating all over the place today. I have spent most of the afternoon on the couch actually. Hence the strange photos. The setting is the recliner footy bit of my couch! Argh! I digressed again. What I am trying to get at is that I have been hopping all over the interknit posting here, there and everywhere! All this joining in takes time! I have been to the SSS KAL, a couple of places on Ravelry, Favorite Socks KAL and my FO blog. Then, I went to the Year Long Giftalong to check whether I had completed anything on my list. I had not, so I felt a bit guilty but forged ahead anyway!
Here is the Spunk expertly modelling his Retro Ribs that I finished some time late last week. The Trekking Pro-Natura yarn is so soft and lovely.
Last night I knitted another sock for Tiny Madam, but it looks crap and I will not knit another one!
Instead, I cast on for Hedera for me. I have been wanting to make these socks forever and ever, so it’s about time.
When I finish these, I officially only have two full skeins of Patonyle left in my sock yarn stash. Things are getting a bit desperate. I asked Mother to give me back the yarn I gave her last year that she hasn’t knitted yet, so I can make some socks for her with it! Eek.
In other news, we watched The Bourne Ultimatum which we thought could perhaps be re-titled The Boring Ultimatum. Nothing really happened, the camera work was dreadful and so many of the scenes were so dark you couldn’t see what was happening. I am becoming an old fuddy duddy I think. I just want to be entertained! Tonight we are watching Romulus, My Father which was given good reviews. Purl bought an excellent hard cover copy of The Stand by Stephen King for us yesterday to replace an older paperback copy, and The Talisman arrived today – it was ordered before my birthday on the 13th. As Purl is reading The Celestine Prophecy should I be wondering about the coincidence of two Stephen King books coming into the house in two days?
Oh dear. I have gone off the rails. First of all, no sock knitting to report. I have completely stalled. I cast on the second Embossed Leaves for Christmas knitting, made a stocking stitch sock and a half using two circs and phzt. Put them away.
Then, I cast on for a cardigan using brown Zhivago. This is coming along nicely using this pattern. I do like the all in one piece idea. Here is where we are at – almost at the sleeve point:
And then, something strange began to happen. I went to Birchalls and as usual checked to see what new crafty books were there. And I flicked through this book which I shall buy for my sewing friend for her birthday. And then I flicked through this book which I almost bought until I realised that I would probably find anything I needed on Ravelry. And I did. I would not consider myself a crocheter. I don’t even know if that’s a word. But, I made a head for an alien last night! It was dead easy. (Does anyone else hear Adrian Mole in their head when they read that?) Here is said head (the alien’s, not my too much TV as a kid one):
Now, I want to make one of these. Because I love dolls. Seriously. How cute is she?? (Photo completely and somewhat shamefully stolen from here.)
Finally, I have decided to take up the Project 365 challenge. My photos will be contained here. I warn you, Day One is not for the faint hearted. Take a look and feel my pain/itch!
As I was getting ready for work this morning (praying the rain wouldn’t fall – carnival day!) the Spunk raced up our external stairs (from the laundry – oh for an internal laundry!) and said “I think you better come and have a look at this”. To cut a long, expensive story short, the hot water cylinder had leaked all over the freakin floor, into the ‘little room’ under the house where the previous owners may have kept their teenager and created quite a mess. About $1000 later, we are the proud owners of a new hot water cylinder and a very wet floor. I have to see the glass as half full – there were some boxes of books that are quite important but too voluminous to have in the house that we could have lost and didn’t, so it’s not all bad. That would have upset me. As for the money, well, they’re still printing it. Tighten the belt. Cancel Christmas. Sigh.
I didn’t quite make the deadline of posting before the end of the weekend. There were storms here on Sunday night and I am a bit scared of weather, especially of it jumping through my laptop and killing me, so I put the post off. Then last night I fell asleep again. But, here I am. I finished a sock, and am on the home stretch of the other one. I have done a bit of my handspun scarf and also started a Granny Square afghan with left over sock yarn.
I got an early birthday present today! I am not a ‘high maintenance’ kind of girl and much prefer comfort over speed. I have been coveting some crocs Mary Janes for some time, and when I was talking to Mother about them the other day, she offered to get me some for my birthday (which is in December!). We have never been particularly good at waiting for birthdays! Here they are! Yay!
Nice moon tan!
We also came by some books today. Little Purl has a job on the side reviewing books for the local rag. In the post she got Do Not Open and Ripley’s Search for the Shrunken Heads and Other Curiosities. Both of these books are fantastic and I would highly recommend them for kids and adults. The first would be an excellent gift for book lovers or seekers of knowledge. It’s amazingly filled with facts about everything from the contents of your hamburger to the Mary Celeste. The second is in the style of Egyptology and has pop-ups and little letters and all sorts of things. Both are presented beautifully, the first in a box with a magnetic closure and the second with a kind of squishy cover and embossing. A sneak preview:
The cool book box. Shiny and new. *sigh*
A typical double page. Believe it . . . or not!
Finally, imagine how difficult life can be without a v key. Mine is sticky. It is annoying! Looks like keyboard number three could be coming up!