amanda j

Archive for January 2008

This week my two year ‘blogiversary’ comes to pass! It’s amazing to me that I have been writing semi-regularly for so long. I think most of it has to do with the sense of community that I get from blogging, reading blogs, commenting and receiving comments, emailing and every now and then meeting someone in person. It’s funny that I am often more honest and open about life and my thoughts here than I am with ‘real’ friends. My ‘real’ friends don’t even know I have a blog! They just wouldn’t understand! Most of them know about the knitting obsession, but I think they would call for the nice young men in their clean white coats if they knew how much time I spend on this hobby!!

Thank you all so much for the lovely comments about my Central Park Hoodie. I haven’t worn it still, it continues to be warm, but I know it will be fantastic out on the oval on duty in the middle of winter! Those days will come all too soon. I have got eleven days of holidays left, and even did some planning for school on Tuesday. I guess I will need to go in next week and wipe the dust off the old whiteboard and sharpen a few pencils. Actually, I have a perfectly good cleaner who would have already done that!

I have decided to take a bit of pressure off this year. I am deferring Uni studies – I don’t really think it is wise to be a mother of three (all at full time school for the first time), wife (and the Spunk is in his last year of Uni), housemaker, daughter, Knitter, teacher, Grade Co-ordinator and a Masters student all at the same time. Too many hats. It darn nearly killed me last year, so the Masters is on hold. I don’t even really remember what the motivation was to start it. Maybe if it meant extra pay I would continue, but it doesn’t, so I am not!

Cathy awarded me with this:

“Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.”

It is pretty hard to choose 10 blogs really. I subscribe to 62 blogs on google reader and love each of them for their own reason. But, the rules state 10, so here we go!

  1. 2paw
  2. Tauret
  3. Proseknitic
  4. Fitknit
  5. Knizzle fo Shizzle
  6. Katt
  7. Disco Knitter
  8. Knitter Sue
  9. Knitting Natty
  10. Shazza

All wonderful, all the time.

I had better go and pack! We are off to the coast tomorrow. I have packed my knitting and have enough to keep me going for at least four weeks. We are going for four nights!


Unlike my hair or my housework! 

Central Park Hoodie, knitted with Cascade 220 in colourway 9465 which is somewhere between a dark grey and very dark brown.

Cast on Thursday 17th January, cast off Saturday 26th January. 

I can’t believe I knitted this in just over a week! I must be freakin mad. Especially considering yesterday was about 27 degrees C and today was about the same. Knitting was finished yesterday, seaming today (after many hours of painstaking work! This tutorial was invaluable).

I am very very happy with this, and I know I will wear it a lot if it ever gets cold enough to do so.

I have cast on another cardigan. Somebody stop me!

. . . that the three needle bind off method combined with short row shaping for shoulders is my new favourite thing! I sat down yesterday, a bit wary, to have a go at finishing my shoulders (after a very lazy steam blocking session). And WA LA:

So neat, so easy! I followed these instructions.

I have almost almost finished the sleeves and should do so this afternoon.

They are looking good! Then, onto the hood and button bands. Hopefully this will be finished early next week, then I can take the CPH to Coles Bay when we go next Friday. We are having four nights away, which will be a lovely way to finish off the holidays! Then, back to the grind.

I will, obviously, need to take some knitting with me to the coast and thank you for your suggestions regarding the next cardigan. I am leaning heavily towards Rogue with a zip at the moment, so I will need to purchase the yarn for that soon. However, I have been wanting a simple black cardigan for ages and have been hoping to find one in a shop. Yesterday morning I woke up and immediately had a BRAINWAVE! Long time friends might remember that I was knitting a jumper for the Spunk, and it did not work and it was put away. Well, it was (note past tense) a black and green jumper.

It is now this:

Reclaimed and ready to be made into a cardigan for me. Cleckheaton Country 8 ply, washed, dried and reskeined ready to go. I am going to make this cardigan. And save up to buy the yarn for Rogue. Oh, and the Spunk wants Avast, and Purl would like her own CPH in green! I don’t think I have time to go back to work!

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.

  1. Most of my failures in the past have been due to over confidence and rushing in. Swatches are my new best friend.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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??

. . . here I am in my new cardigan that I finished this afternoon! It is not too bad – I think I will actually wear this one. 

Free pattern here. 

Sorry the photo is a bit blurry – Purl took it quickly as she was getting ready for work and now she is gone and I don’t have anyone to take another photo!

Now, I knitted this out of Zhivago which is a lovely soft tencel something blend. It is the same yarn I used for my Clapotis. However, the Clapotis yarn was a different colour and a completely different texture. This batch was kind of squished flat and a bit fluffy and splitty.


I am not sure which one was the ‘real’ Zhivago. Anyway, I am glad to have that finished so I can concentrate on the Central Park Hoodie, which is about 9 inches high at the moment.

Thank you all for wishing me a happy me day. I had a great time knitting and catching up on computery things. The Spunk cleaned out the smallest kids’ room which  was not an easy feat, let me tell you. They are back now and the house looks like a bomb has hit it. Two bombs perhaps, who are now arguing over PS2. Better go intervene!


Posted on: January 17, 2008

I have made a purchase! Yay! On Saturday last I downloaded the Central Park Hoodie (darn Ravelry had me oogling Central Park Hoodies late into Friday night!) pattern from Interweave (by the way, how easy is that?! Instant gratification) and then tried my darndest to get into the city to buy yarn, but of course the LYS was shut (grr, don’t start me on that! One day that shop will be mine dammit, and I will stock sock yarn and I will open on Saturdays!!) so I had to order some Cascade 220 from Yarns Online Oz, and it arrived this morning! The service was fantastic – my postage costs were reduced which was an added bonus. I will definitely be a return customer.

Oh, my kingdom for a swift and ball winder!

Oooh, I am in love. The colour at the top is closest to real. Of course I will finish off the other cardigan I am knitting first before I cast this on . . . but then again it is quite cool today and it would be a shame to waste a cool day when I could get quite a bit of wool knitting done! Wouldn’t it?

We have of course been relaxing at Chez J. We entertained friends last night after postponing lunch Monday. My blerk turned into terrible sinus, a sore throat and a day in bed. I am quite all right now. Tomorrow all three children are off on sleepovers and the like, so I will be alone for a while tomorrow night while the Spunk is at work. What the heck will I do with myself? How sad is this – my response to the realisation that I would be by myself was “Oh cool, I will be able to knit in peace!” Mwahaha!

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?

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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
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