amanda j

Archive for September 2007

I received one of those forwarded email this week – “Things I have learned” or something along those lines. The title of my post comes from one of the items on the list. I think most of us understand that at times you can find yourself on the wrong side of that fine line. At least one of my feet has been over the line on a number of occasions lately. There are various factors influencing my balancing act:

  • My decision to make 9 pairs of socks by Christmas
  • Ravelry
  • KALs
  • My spinning wheel
  • Mother nature
  • The daily grind

I will address each factor in turn.

My decision to make 9 pairs of socks by Christmas

I am actually doing quite well with the socks. Well, at least with the first sock of each pair. Here is an update:

  1. Waving Lace
  2. Swirly Girl
  3. Anastasia
  4. Embossed Leaves
  5. Retro Ribs (one finished)
  6. Back to Basics (one finished, the other going well) 
  7. Vanilla (one finished, the other on the gusset)
  8. Vanilla
  9. Vanilla

So, about 9 socks and a couple to finish off. Not too bad really. There are 85 days left until Christmas, which means a sock each 9.44444 days. That is fine – I can manage that as long as I keep going at my current rate. I absolutely loved knitting the Back to Basics sock from Knitty, it was a lot of fun. I knitted it on two circular needles and the first one went very quickly. I made great progress on the second sock yesterday during the AFL Grand Final at my MIL’s house. Here is an action shot of the first one in progress:

Mmmm, Koigu


I won’t go on about Ravelry, except to say it is amazing, I love it and spend too much time trawling forums and thinking about what to knit next with what yarn. Time I should be spending doing other things, namely knitting socks.


At the present time, I am involved in three KALs, a Sock Challenge on Ravelry(!) and one fibre sharing group. I am not really being very vocal in any of them. Tomorrow is the start of the Southern Summer of Socks. As such, I am obligated to cast on a new pair. I think it will be Embossed Leaves, as this is for Christmas and I have done the pattern before and really enjoyed it. It will also qualify me for the Holiday KALCAL and the Favorite Socks KAL. The Back to Basics qualify me for the September Sockdown on Ravelry, which had to be either Grumperina designed, toe up of knitted from a mystery pattern posted in sections. This sock is toe up. Now, the fibre sharing . . .

My spinning wheel

I have taken some time lately to do some spinning. I took on my plying demon, and didn’t do too badly. Here is my yarn!

It is a bit too twisty, which I will need to address next time I spin, but I am really quite pleased with myself. This will become a scarf in the not too distant future. I wish I didn’t have occasion to wear scarves at this time of year, however it is still freezing at times despite being one month into calendar Spring! It was so wild and blustery on Friday night we lost power a number of times and I was forced to play Samorost in the dark!

My spinning wheel also possessed me to buy more fibre from Mandie at EGMTK and will have to post to the Ewe Give Me the Knits Fibre Gallery! Here’s what I got:

500g Amethyst Merino Cross Top and 200g Plum Wine Merino Top

I have resisted the temptation to begin spinning any of this yet. I am hoping to be able to spin enough yarn to make another cardigan for the Tiny Madam, and will also try to make enough yarn out of the Plum Wine top to make another scarf, or something. I don’t know. I just love purple.

Mother Nature

A friend of a friend of mine had a tiny, premature little baby yesterday. So today I knitted him a hat.

My own pattern – a copy is here. Feel free to use it. I am planning on making another one tonight.

The daily grind

Monday meant the end of the holidays. I have been back at work a whole week, and I must say it was a better week than I have had for a very long time. The two weeks off allowed me to get some perspective and control over my own destiny and I am feeling much more positive about work. However, it has cramped my knitting time.

Finally, my badge for this post:

The “I Will Impress You With My Math Prowess” Badge – The recipient is a whiz at substituting yarns and calculating gauge, can space increases and decreases evenly and is fully comfortable with the basic math encountered in all knitting projects.

I would not necessarily call myself a whiz, but I did make a tiny hat today with evenly spaced decreases and can make a sock with eyelets that spiral. I understand gauge even if it is sometimes a bit off and if I had to I could knit maths my way out of a paper bag.


Why you don’t mess with a Knitter

This dastardly villain is called Nora Clavicle. Apparently she stood for womens’ rights and was a friend of Commissioner Gordon’s wife. Read all about her here. I am not sure she did much for womens’ rights at all! Nor the reputation of knitters!! 

Yesterday, I had a dream come true. I bought the first seriess of Fraggle Rock. I absolutely loved this show as a kid (I am an enormous Jim Henson fan – Sesame Street references abound when you talk to me. In conversation, I will often say “Oh, that’s just like on Sesame Street, when blah blah blah”. The Muppets are also firm favourites!). Our kids were staying with their Grandma last night and we went unhindered into the city. While there I bought the DVDs. We then went back to Grandma’s to drop the DVDs off and initiate the kids into the fabulous world of Fraggles. When they came home this morning they were so excited to tell me that the Doozers were knitting! And they were singing a knitting song!! We promptly watched it and OH MY GOODNESS it was so cute! See here! 

Well, the holidays are coming to an end. That’s fine though – Term 3 goes quickly and there is lots to look forward to. Athletics, picnics, warmer weather, Graduation Dinner . . . all sorts of fun and games.

Don’t be alarmed! It’s still me. I just needed a change! Do you like it? I have been adding and subtracting on the side bar as well; updating some FOs and the like. Note the KAL I have joined – this might help me keep on track for Christmas socks!

My badge for this post: The Knitting Whilst Under the Influence Badge – “This applies to both actual knitting under the influence, as well as achieving moments of stunning intellectual clarity about ones knitting under the influence. Presumes talking about knitting whilst under the influence a given.”

Since I generally have a glass of wine (or two – anitoxidants people!) per night, this one was easy. There should also be something about buying yarn – alcohol can really make one  more likely to succumb to internet purchasing. Perhaps you have heard of beer goggles? I have Merlot glasses. At least the yarn is always pretty and I don’t feel too ashamed in the morning! I can also be found at times planning my takeover of the LYS and actually believing it could happen. *sigh*

Now, knitting updates. Of course, being the rebellious soul that I am, as soon as I decide that I will knit 9 pairs of socks for Christmas I start obsessing about doing other things. Yesterday I started working on the Kevat shawl again. I was really enjoying the knitting, but the triangle just kept getting bigger and I began to worry. Where the heck did I see myself in a triangular shawl? Nowhere. Certainly I would not wear it day to day. I do not go out at night and if I did I still wouldn’t wear a triangular shawl. So, I cast it off. It is the prettiest, smallest triangular shawl in the whole wide world!

Next time I will knit a rectangle. Perhaps this one

The decision to cast off left me with a whole heck of a lot of lace weight yarn! Lucky for me I have also been obsessing about knitting another Clapotis. RoseRed has been working on one with laceweight. Ever the follower, I cast on.

As well, I have been spinning and spinning. I was always planning on spinning during the holidays, but regular readers will remember I have a fear of plying. How fortuitous it was then, that in the new Knitty (which I thought was pretty good) there was an article about HOW TO PLY and the suggestion was made to add some tension to your bobbins on the lazy kate so they don’t get away from you and get tangled. I have had some tangles and some panicky sweaty moments in the past. I am hoping that the tension might in fact help me get somewhere. My singles are looking pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

I also made a hat for my littlest friend. However, he made an unexpected visit today and I didn’t take a photo of it. If his Mum sends me one I will share it with you. 

Of course, I have not been completely wicked. I have finished one stocking stitch sock and am on the foot of the Retro Rib. Ah, holidays!

We saw Ratatouille, I loved it a lot. It is one of the best animated films I have seen in a long while. Highly recommended! 

And finally, here is my updated list:

  1. Waving Lace
  2. Swirly Girl
  3. Anastasia
  4. Embossed Leaves
  5. Retro Ribs (in progress)
  6. Back to Basics (changed my mind on Vinnland) 
  7. Vanilla (in progress)
  8. Vanilla
  9. Vanilla

There has certainly been a great deal of knitting over the past few days. I finished the Swirly Girl socks, they are neatly stored in a ziplock bag, ready for Christmas. I don’t think I have ever had a present ready so darn early! It is very pleasing. I have also finished the Waving Lace socks. I don’t know whether I would knit another pair of socks with Panda Wool. It is soft in the ball and soft on the foot, but is quite a strange texture on the needles and makes my hands feel very dry. Here is The Leg (showing some evidence of her previous life in an Art classroom):

I am coveting The Best of Interweave Knits. I desperately want to knit the Mary Poppins bag; it is completely lovely and would make a great carry-all for work. However, I think I should try something a little smaller for my first felted project. Any ideas?

The amazing Brenda from Cast On has been talking about earning badges and beads lately for being a Knitting Scout. In the US there are campfire girls. We don’t have campfire girls as far as I am aware in Australia; certainly we did not when I was growing up. I was, however, a Brownie and thoroughly enjoyed going to Brownies and having fun with my friends there. I was a Tintookie and became a sixer (leader of a little pack!). When I googled Tintookie I didn’t have a whole lot of luck but I did get this:

Tintookies are ground-dwelling spirits.  They are extremely inquisitive, but their special interest is helping to make wishes come true when deserved.  Nobody has ever seen a Tintookie, as they do their good deeds by stealth.

Well, I’m not too sure about that! Anyway, I may be the only Brownie on Earth that did not ever earn a badge! So when Brenda talked about badge earning, my ears did prick up! So, in my next few posts I will explain the badge and how I earned it. For today, The “Prosetylise Knitting” Badge.

This badge is earned by knitters who talk about knitting in a positive light, while avoiding references to yoga, hipness and grandmothers. I talk about knitting a lot. A heck of a lot actually. In my job I have a lot of access to young, impressionable minds and I am not sure how parents would feel if they knew how much time in my classroom is taken up by talking about knitting. Hey, we have to get to the next generation. I am forever showing kids my socks. It’s scary. Then we get to talk about how they can knit and who taught them. I am determined one day to start a knitting group but I am too busy at the moment. I am in negotiations with a Home Ec teacher to do a guest spot in her class for the kids who have finished their sewing projects . . .

I also talk to my friends and colleagues. I have influenced three others in my family to knit socks. My poor husband sits and patiently listens to my dreams of knocking off the LYS owner and taking over her business . . . sigh. I think I deserve this badge!

I am planning on spinning tomorrow. There is some lovely fibre that is screaming out to me. There should be enough to knit a scarf and I really need to get over this spinning drought. I am looking into a new wheel but I MUST NOT buy a new wheel until I prove that I really really  want to spin. Look at these colours! Aren’t they lovely!!

The holidays are proving to be very relaxing. We have been mooching around the house. Tomorrow will be a day out – I am off to the doctor for a routine checkup and a bit of maintenance, and then we are going to see Ratatouille. Hopefully it will be funny. I seem to see nothing but animated films at the cinema these days! Some of them leave me wishing I had some dpns to poke my own eyes and eardrums with!

I really need to do some spring cleaning. The weather is getting better, the house is drying out a bit and I need to wash curtains and clean some walls. However, it is difficult to get motivated and we need to get rid of the children as some of them are allergic to dust and some to mould and some to both! The last thing I want to do is to contribute to coughs and runny noses. I have had enough of those around here to last a lifetime.

My Online sock yarn arrived and it is really nice. I like the colours very much and will cast on a st st sock either tonight or tomorrow morning I think. Only seven pairs of socks to go! Yay!

“Oh no! Our house has been taken over by giant yarn balls! Help us!
Oh, and who took my pants?”

Here is my updated list:

  1. Waving Lace
  2. Swirly Girl
  3. Anastacia
  4. Embossed Leaves
  5. Retro Ribs (in progress)
  6. Vinnland
  7. Vanilla
  8. Vanilla
  9. Vanilla

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies is? The weather is gorgeous today:

I am on holidays for two weeks, and not before time either. I have been knitting this morning and intend to keep going all day with a couple of tiny breaks here and there. I am about to turn the heel of my second Swirly Girl sock. Thankfully the person who will receive these has a size 5 foot, so I imagine I will finish this pair today. Then, it’s 8 pairs to go for Christmas!

I have ‘acquired’ a leg and my KnitPicks dpns arrived:

The needles are very smooth and shiny (so is the leg!) and thankfully not as pointy as I was expecting. I had heard stories of people being stabbed and having painful fingers, but I don’t think that will happen. I have been knitting with Birch needles until now, except for the occassional foray into bamboo. The Birch needles are really quite acceptable, but I tend to wear the paint off which makes them a bit scratchy. Here is a comparison between the Birch and the KnitPicks:

And here is The Leg with a Swirly Girl sock on:

If I tried to point my toe in that manner I would be struck down with cramp! She is doing a lovely job of modelling don’t you think?

In order to keep myself honest, I am publishing my list of socks to knit for Christmas. It is ambitious, but achievable:

  1. Waving Lace
  2. Swirly Girl
  3. Anastacia
  4. Embossed Leaves
  5. Retro Ribs
  6. Vinnland
  7. Vanilla
  8. Vanilla
  9. Vanilla

Yep, nine pairs. As I said, ambitious but achievable!

Thank you so much to everyone who left me comments on my last post. This week has been much better at work. It could be due to the holiday countdown or a bit of ease as far as workload and contact with people. Today I actually had time to do some filing and visit some kids in class which was fantastic. Two days until holidays.

Oh, and I bought myself two sets Knitpicks dpns and two balls of Online Super Socks in some lovely bright colours. Has anyone knit with this yarn before??

Gracious me, it seems that my posts are becoming further and further apart! I am knitting quite often and using the computer too. Perhaps I don’t have much to say at the moment!

I read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off last weekend and really enjoyed it. It is certainly food for thought and I really recommend it. It is well written and interesting. I think it might scare anyone who doesn’t knit, but for me – a Knitter – it was great.

I finished the Tiny Madam’s Daisy cardigan and it looks fantastic! She absolutely loves it!

Cleckheaton Country Silk – 6 balls 

I am so happy with this and plan on making something similar in cotton for the summer nights when we have barbecues. I can dare to dream that this will happen; today is the first day of Spring on the calendar and the blossoms are appearing at a very rapid rate.

For me, Spring and September must be a new beginning. August was one of the worst months I can remember. In the past I have had dreadful things happen to me, and once I had a year that threw many challenges my way. However, this month I have been dealing with some of the most awful and stressful things! Flu, huge conflict with a colleague who is a bully at work who finally pushed my last button, sick kids at home, Spunk rushed to hospital with a dreadful injury sustained at work which also meant he could not do anything around the house or drive for the past almost two weeks, huge worries about kids at school, missed work, could not take an important trip to Canberra, existential crises (yes plural), couldn’t go to a big thing I had been working towards for a year, insect infestation at home, intern to watch at school, just passed a unit at Uni, you know, the usual. Aaaargh!! But hey, holidays after this week. When a colleague asked me what I do to help me cope, I said “I talk to the Spunk and I knit”. I think she thought I was joking!

Speaking of holidays, the friend who gave me her Ashford Traditional is coming over to help me with my plying. I have not been spinning at all, and I have lots of fibre I want to attack. However, part of the reason I have been reluctant is the bother I have had in the past with plying two singles together. With her help, I shall conquer my fear of the wheel going anti-clockwise and spin spin spin. I am really looking forward to that!

I finished one sock for Cindy, I have almost finished a Waving Lace in Panda Wool and Swirly Girl from Yarn Magazine with Katt’s pink Patter and I am about to cast on a pair of Retro Ribs for the Spunk with the Trekking that I got from my lovely Sockapalooza pal.


None of these socks are for me! The two pictured are intended as Christmas gifts. See, I am getting organised!! I am also planning another pair of Embossed Leaves for my MIL1 for Christmas and I really must knit a pair of socks for my Dad’s wife as she hasn’t received a pair yet. Hm, maybe I need to buy some sock yarn . . .

Flickr Photos

i am knitting

  • Pinwheel Blanket
  • Sassymetrical
  • Socks x 3
  • Button Me Up V2.0
  • i will knit

  • Flower Basket Shawl
  • Seamless Hybrid Sweater
  • Rogue
  • i knitted 08

  • Central Park Hoodie
  • Back to Basics III
  • Smooth Monkeys
  • Retro Rib Socks
  • Fetching I
  • Fetching II
  • Fetching III
  • Shalom
  • Wicked
  • Wickeder
  • Woodland Shawlette
  • Jumper for ILC
  • Socks for ILC
  • Hat for ILC
  • Booga Bag I
  • Booga Bag II
  • Washcloths for Mother
  • Mini Socks
  • Spunk Socks again
  • Cuzmo
  • Cozmo
  • Rose
  • Olivia
  • Shalom
  • Asymmetrical Cabled Cardi
  • Juliet
  • Liesl
  • Arch Socks
  • Button Me Up V1.0
  • Boy Teacher Cardigan
  • Camp Cowl
  • Felicity Hat
  • Zippity Blanket
  • Grandmother's Favourite Washcloth x 5
  • Apple Dishcloth x 2
  • Patonyle Socks
  • i knitted 07

  • Mother In Law Socks 2
  • Fon Sox
  • Elspiral Socks
  • I Can't Say No socks
  • Pomatomus
  • MIL1 Tea Cosy
  • MIL2 Tea Cosy
  • Green and Purple! socks
  • RPM socks
  • SIL socks
  • Tiny Madam Cardigan
  • Country Silk Cardigan
  • Monkey
  • Silver Scarf/Belt
  • Skinny Inca Scarf
  • Pink Fizzy Scarf
  • Super Spunk Socks
  • Diagonal Cross Rib Socks
  • Baudelaires
  • Mexicana Socks for Spunk
  • Opal Socks for Spunk
  • Jumper and Hat for Teeny Guy
  • Embossed Leaves Sockapaloozas
  • Socks for Robyn
  • Montego Bay Scarf
  • Sparkly Hat
  • Tiny Madam Cardigan 2
  • Waving Lace Socks
  • Swirly Girl Socks
  • Tiny Kevat Shawl
  • Baby Beanie
  • Embossed Leaves for Xmas
  • Mother's Back to Basics
  • Friend Back to Basics
  • Socks for Barb
  • Socks for MIL2
  • Socks for No1Son
  • Tea Cosy Swap Cosy
  • Visitors

    • 41,394 hits