Thursday, January 31, 2008

Camera vs Anna: I win today...

Well, this photo may be a little blurry, but it proves that the Wavy pattern is indeed present. Which is what we were unsuccessfully going for last time. I'm happy with how it's coming. If nothing else, it's definitely going to make the Upfield trainline a little brighter on the winter days that I'm commuting on it.

I'm trying to get the alpaca cardigan I've been working on happening a little faster. I want to find out whether or not I need to buy more yarn for it. The problem is that I'm not getting work done on this quite as fast, because it's my own design, kind of being calculated as it goes. It's that much harder to motivate yourself to finish a half completed project when it actually requires you to think, plan, be sensible, and work calculator mojo. Still, I'm trying to do it a bit on it every day, just to get over the hump. Here is one completed left front, and one mostly completed right.

Photo doesn't really do justice to the yarn; the colours are absolutely beautiful, shifting blends of colour. The main colour that looks light blue is actually a pale bluish green with flecks of deeper blue, and the frilly edge bits (which seem thoroughly determined to look crap in every photo I take) are a greyish brown mixed with small streaks of blue. Shiny.

And, here is what happens when Anna has to return a knitting book to the local library and is too tight arsed/too lacking in small change to make a photocopy of a pattern in it that she wants to make:It's good for me I suppose; have to get back in the note taking swing of things before lectures start again on March 3rd. I always leave the first week of classes feeling like my hands are about to drop off at the wrists, but maybe if I just keep on like this, that won't happen this time around... Or, maybe I should just be a normal person and save up for a laptop like all the other law students seem to have done...

Anyway, off to go write. Just cracked 40k this morning... it's getting there, slowly but surely.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Haha, got it!

I'm on to you, digital camera! I was thinking it was doing a pretty bloody good job for what I paid for it (Anna = broke tight arse at the moment, so what I paid for it was not a lot), but now I've found it's weakness.

I've started knitting the Wavy scarf from Knitty in that shiny pretty rainbow merino yarn I was spamming pictures of a few posts ago. I wanted to make a scarf with it, but I needed one that was interesting to knit without any pattern being totally lost in the varigated colour. So far, this pattern has been living up to this requirement admirably... except when it is having its photo taken anyway.

Behold! In real life, the wavy pattern is showing through perfectly. But after about fifteen attempts, I've been totally unable to take a photo that demonstrates this. In photos, it looks like someone ate a ball of rainbow yarn and then vomited it up in a scarf shape. Maybe it's flash issues, I don't know. Point is, photographic evidence aside, I am happy with how it's coming along.

It's not scarf weather yet of course, in fact it's about the opposite. Though that said, Melbourne summer is treating us remarkable gently so far this year: the last two weeks the temperature hasn't strayed too far north of 30 degrees, and most days it's actually been cooler than that. Then again, as Chris points out (pessimist!), February is always the month that's bastardly hot, so I guess we're not out of the woods yet. Anyway (tangent alert!), back to scarf; I'm looking forward to having something colourful to crank out when it does start getting cold.

I still love my Greenjeans, though it's still languishing with a badly sewn button for I am lazy and easily distracted. It's not like I'll be able to wear it for months anyway. I am so feeling the internet love on this one too; someone had favourited (is that a word?) it on Ravelry about ten minutes after I'd put it up, and now five people have, and several of them wrote really nice comments as well! It is truly, truly embarrassing how excited this makes me. I suppose it's because, as I've lamented before, in real life I don't really interact very often with people who knit, so nobody really says, "hey, you made that? How awesome!". So, I'm very grateful that there's an internetty way to let me interact with people in this way.

The only downside of all this is that yesterday morning I was far too excited about my cardigan to be able to write much of anything; I scraped out a few thousand words eventually, but because I was a little, shall we say, hyperactive, my idiotic sense of humour kind of leaked out into passages that weren't really supposed to be funny. Idiocy clean up, aisle four! Still, I've beavered my way up to 38k this morning, so that's a good thing. Time to get back to it, too...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One blocking and embarrassingly bad button sewing later...

I am so in love:

(also, guess who was too excited about her new Greenjeans to bother brushing her hair before the photo was taken?). I can't say how pleased I am with this; I started it and was working on it with the feeling that it would turn out okay, but not something that I was jump up and down excited with. I was wrong. The photos don't really do it justice (due mostly to my appallingly bad photography and my cheap and nasty camera), but it fits really well, and the yarn worked perfectly. *drools with happiness* Now I just need to resew the button in a way that doesn't suck mouldy donkey arse...

Here's another gratuitous picture or two:

Love, love, love, love, love. I am so wearing this the moment March comes around.

On the other hand, my over-enthusiastic love of my Greenjeans has led me to reconsider a couple of things I've had kicking around for a while. I've decided to frog my Lelah. It was more or less finished, but due to huge gauge accident, the half is far, far too big (as it, you could nearly fit two of me in there). Now, all this is fixable, if I just reknit the top half. But really, I don't think I can be bothered. I'm just not into it enough to go to the trouble. The design is lovely, as are lots of the FOs on Ravelry, but I picked a colour that just isn't me. It's a very light purplish pink; a 'gelati' colour, as Christina put it. What clinches it is that even if I reknit the top bit to fit, I can't really see myself wearing it anywhere. So, I think it's time to say goodbye *cue funeral march*. Methinks I'm going to try dyeing the yarn a darker colour and making something else out of it.

On a more positive note, I've diagnosed my problem. Every time I finish one project, I seem to have a compulsive need to start two more. But more on that later... right now I have writing to do - on 34,500 words and I want to crack 35k already!

By the way, I love my Greenjeans...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Greenjeans is NEARLY there! Just have to finish the left sleeve, and I'll be done. I picked up the stitches for the button band in between sleeves, because I was getting bored working in the round and needed a change. I have an announcement to make:


(damn right....)

I've always had an irrational terror about picking up stitches, mainly because I was appalling bad at doing it. But this... wonder of wonders... actually worked! Behold:

Granted it isn't the neatest edge I've ever seen (piece is badly arranged in this photo, to be fair). But there aren't any holes that you could drive a ute through, so it's a vast improvement as far as I'm concerned. My secret, you ask? *looks embarrassed* I read the instructions and actually paid attention to them for once. One reason that I think that knitting is very good for me indeed is that in a lot of areas, I've always been the person who glances quickly at manuals, then promptly ignores them and tinkers away in their own way. Sometimes it works that way, but often it doesn't. Knitting teaches me the value of paying close attention to instructions and following them properly.

Oh, and proof that knitting has infested my brain. I went to a belly dancing class day before yesterday and my teacher was telling me about how the rectangular shaped coin belts were much better than the ones that narrowed at each end. This then sent me into a merry little train of thought about designing coin belts... My poor brain, like there isn't enough crap in there already...

In closing, just what the world needs. I've now figured out that I can take photographs of my own feet by using the self-timer on my camera. We can all sleep soundly at night now...

Feel the wrath of my size 11 1/2 feet!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ho hum, definitely didn't spend money today... no sirree

Well, Greenjeans is still getting there. I haven't been feeling very well the last day or so, and one of the symptoms is feeling really hot, at which point knitting does not become a very enjoyable pastime. Don't worry, I'll get there. Really, I swear...

On the retail front, I have a pretty, nice, shiny thing:

I'd been staring at these in Clegs for about the last 50,000 years, thinking 'one day', so I decided that today was the day. Actually, it wasn't really as decisive and thought out as that. I'd foolishly gone out in impractical shoes and had Blisters From Hell, and needed something to make me feel better. Hurrah for impulse buys... Guess who feels like a Real Knitter now because she finally bought yarn that comes in a hank (yes, I know that is a truly moronic thing to be excited about, but I'm hot and tired and I need all the help I can get to feel good right now)?

I bought some dodgy bamboo yarn as well, because I have a wicked plan that I want to bring to fruition (it may or may not have been inspired by the stitch pattern book I borrowed from the library the other day)... Mmmm, plotting.

Okay, off to go write stuff and play dodgy Windows games now...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Getting there...

I'm getting there with Greenjeans, though progress is painfully slow because the set of 4.5mm dpns I've switched to for the sleeve is very, um, NOISY! This doesn't bother me, but it does bother the Chris, who has politely requested that I not knit that item so much when he's around. As we're both still not working (stupid lawyers), he's around most all of the time. I get up much earlier than he does, but morning time is for walking, and then sitting with my cup of tea trying to write things. This is where I live from approx 9am-12pm:

It's coming along nicely though; I've just cracked 20k words on the piece I'm currently writing, which is probably some kind of record for me.

Anyway, while Greenjeans drags it's arse, I've been trying to think of something to do with this yarn:

I bought it several million years ago from a Lincraft sale. It's a bit ribbony, and quite soft and squishy. It's 50% cotton/50% acrylic. I don't have much of it, so that limits my options a little. I was thinking I might make some kind of skimpy summery top; maybe a halter or something. Hmmm... choices, choices. Wonder how it would take to a lace pattern?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Beavering away

Well, my Greenjeans is coming along nicely indeed. Behold:

I'm almost tempted to rename it the "Farscape cardigan", as I've been binge watching said television show while I've been knitting this. It's coming along pleasingly quickly, though I've slowed down a little since hitting the cable patch.

I just spilled tea in my lap. Who's a dill, then?

Thank heavens I'm easily distracted, and let my tea cool to lukewarm before drinking it, or that could have been quite painful.

I think I'm getting a little better with my cheap and nasty digital camera, which is good. The photos I take of knitting are still a little blurry, but I managed to take some quite okay ones of me in my Cleo top. Or at least they are nice photos of the top (I, on the other hand, look frizzy and a lot more pimply than in reality, but what are you going to do). At least you can't see how badly sunburnt I am from this angle

Other than Greenjeans though, I haven't been doing all that much knitting. I've really built up writing momentum on the thing I've been working on over the last while, so I've been trying to make the most of it (heaven knows it isn't so easy most of the time). About to crack 15,000 words though, which is probably some kind of fiction record for me (I have the same problem with writing as I do knitting; I'm great at starting things, and awful at finishing them).
Speaking of writing, I must now depart and attempt to type things that aren't too nonsensical (just a pleasant, moderate kind of nonsensical...).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Now watch Anna post gratuitously!

Since I am now in possession of the digital camera of doom (I'm trying to think of an idiotic name to call it, but for some reason my idiocy reserves are running low... I blame society), I shall now post gratuitously. Posts accompanies by photos which, let's face it, aren't very good. Oh well, I shall improve (see? optimism!)...

I've finally gotten into the rhythm of blocking, and have decided that it is officially awesome. Behold my nicely blocked $6 raglan jumper:

This photo doesn't reflect the colour very well; it's actually a much deeper, darker teal colour. And I loves it to bits; now if only it were cold enough to warrant wearing it... Oh well, this is Melbourne after all, so I'll probably only be waiting a week, or maybe even a few hours...

Here is photographic proof that I finally finished my Leaf ties cardigan:

I seem to be incapable of taking a photo that shows everything it's supposed to, but at least in this one you can see the issue I have with the neckline; it bunches up a little near my left shoulder. Still, can't complain too much, I'm happy with it for the most part.

And I've started a new project, because I have the kind of attention span that compels me to do foolish things like that, even though I've already got about 18,000 things on the go. It's a varigated colour Mr Greenjeans ( in Patons Jet (a wool/alpaca blend) and it's coming along nicely so far. I'm liking the whole raglan, top down thing (as is probably evident); it makes a lot of sense to me (heaven knows not many things do).

And, on a real life note, the lawyers are all back from holidays as of today, so maybe (finally) Chris and I will be able to get the shop up and running soon *fingers crossed*

Sunday, January 13, 2008

At last...

What's that? It's a blurry, badly taken photo! This can only mean one thing: Anna has a digital camera, and she's not afraid to use it!

This is the first attempt at fair isle that I've been blathering on about so much. I'm taking it easy by only using two colours, and it's turning out okay so far (haven't run into any major difficulties, and that's a very good thing). As of the moment, I am yet to start pounding my head against a brick wall screaming "Why, oh why, did I ever decide to attempt fair isle for the first time using my own crappy improvised pattern instead of looking to someone who actually knows what they're doing". This can only be a positive thing. Still, there's plenty of time for despair later. Plenty of time; heaven knows this thing is moving slowly.

The slowness, I suspect, is because I'm just doing the thing that all the knitting books imply is amateurish; i.e. picking up one colour at a time, then dropping it when I need the other one. Don't care, I am not dextrous, and as of right now I can't be bothered to learn to knit with the yarn in my left hand so I can hold both at once. Maybe one day, but for this first attempt, I'm happy to take it slowly.

Hurray! A slightly less blurry photo! This fellow is my Argosy scarf, in the beautiful Silk Garden yarn that I lashed out and bought to celebrate quitting my hateful bread vending job ($15 per ball of yarn normally being more than a little out of my price range). It is shiny, and pretty, and lovely, and I am in danger of developing a very expensive Noro habit if it doesn't stop being so beautiful quick smart!

And last, but not least, this is the blue bag I've been making with the mysterious unidentified yarn (photo taken with a much better quality camera than my new one, as is painfully obvious). It's nearly finished now; I just have to sew the strap ends together, and then put in the lining and zip. I really like this one so far; it's so unusual. The texture and colour of this yarn really us something else; the photos here don't really do it justice.

Anyway, I'm off to take more photos and generally be a nuisance. Oh, and to try my hand at felting.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Still finishing away...

Well, still on my mad finishing spree, and I think that it's long overdue really...
The frustrating thing is that even though I'm finishing all of these things that have been kicking around for ages, I don't have a digital camera with which to take pretty photos of them so that I can stick them here/on Ravelry. On the up side, my old work finally transferred the accrued holiday leave pay that they owed me into my account, so I'm not quite as desperately broke as I was last entry. I'm seriously thinking about picking up a cheapie digital camera from somewhere... something under $100 (good technology being pretty much wasted on me because I'm such a wally that I can hardly tell what I'm using anyway...).

Anyway, on the knitting front, finished my Cleo halter top, and the crazy furry scarf I'd been knitting while Chris was playing endless hours of Wii. I'm getting close to finishing my crazy blue bag too.

The blue bag is a bit of a mystery; I have no idea what the yarn is, other than that it was Lang brand (I lost the labels long ago). I bought it for $1 per ball at a Lincraft sale just after I started knitting, because I liked the colour, though I had no earthly idea what to do with it. I still don't know what it's made off... you could never make a garment out of it, it's too ropey and scratchy. A friend of mine commented that it feels/looks like it's made out of the same material as they used to make those green enviro shopping bags. Anyway, so, a bag it is becoming. Now all I really have to do is bite the bullet and sew all the seams up... I hate sewing...

My Argosy scarf is nearly finished too... but I'm thinking I may need another ball of Silk Garden; I'm not so big on short scarves, and unless this one grows half a mile during blocking, then it's going to fall into this category. Must go and scrutinise it before I make the call. The annoying part is getting said ball of Silk Garden. To my knowledge, there are two shops in Melbourne that sell this yarn (though I suspect there's more, there's only two that I know definitely sell it). One is closed until 14/1 (but isn't too far away), and the other one is about an hour's commute away. There are no quick/easy options for lazy me. Boo. Oh well.

Anyway, since I've had a fair bit of time, I've been sorting through the old stash, trying to organise it a bit, since it's beginning to take over our not particularly big unit. I'm trying to organise things by potential project, and it's fun; I have so many potential things I can do, as well as some yarn that I have no bloody idea what to do with, because I can't see it working as anything, as pretty as it is in ball form. Oh well.

Finally, I'm also making a brave first attempt at Fair Isle knitting. Colour work is kind of the final frontier for me; I've done the lace, the cables, the short rows, etc, etc, and now I figure it's about time to try my hand at this. The only problem is that I'm pretty sure it's going to be doomed to failure, because I have this very stubborn tendency to try and work things out myself the first time around. It's only after I've failed dismally that I go and actually do things the intelligent way. So, my first Fair Isle attempt is designed entirely by me, with only the general advice in my various knitting books to guide me. This should be amusing...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

2008, and such

Happy New Year, great big internet!

Well, we're still waiting on the shop, and getting pretty broke in the process. Broke enough that even I can't justify buying more yarn. So I'm making an effort to finish everything that's been kicking around nearly done, just waiting for seaming, weaving in of ends, etc.

On the recently completed list are my Leaf Cardigan, the teal raglan jumper I made with the yarn I got cheap, and my self striping socks. This is all in the last week, which I think is a pretty good effort (it's amazing how much you can do while the cricket is on)... Soon to follow will be the Cleo halter top; it's SO close to finished, all I need to do is finish sewing in the elastic, and that's it. I figured I should probably finish it while it's still warm enough to wear it (no fear of that... it's been 37 degrees the last few days...:P).

So, I've been changing all this stuff to 'finished' on Ravelry, and feeling very smug and constructive about it too. Oh, and on a Ravelry note, I got embarrassingly excited because someone favourite-ed my silly rainbow hat. And when I got on this morning, someone had done the same to my nearly done Cleo, which has just given me more motivation to finally finish it... This is probably a lame thing to be excited about, but nobody in real life ever gets very interested in the stuff I knit, so it's kind of gratifying...

Grrrr... want shop, so can acquire money, so can acquire digital camera.
Patience Anna, patience...