Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Progress and plans

Yes, yes, I'm a lazy bum and haven't been blogging here as much. Life has been a bit crazy lately. And it's only going to get crazier - I go back to uni next week. I'm taking a full load of law subjects for a change, hopefully wrangling some volunteer legal work with the Student Union, probably taking a Japanese language class on the side, and working part-time. Um, what was I saying about crazy? I won't have time to breathe. But I'm sure I'll still find time to knit and procrastinate, and everything else will flow from there...

I'm doing some smaller projects at the moment. Okay fine, one of them is a cardigan, which I suppose doesn't really count as 'small', but it's lace on big needles and apparently doesn't take very long at all, so I am optimistic.

The lighter green item on the left is a hat I'm making from some very lovely Wired for Fibre yarn. It's my own design, so it may or may not actually work out. But in the meantime, the colour is absolutely beautiful - it's varigated, but without any of that nasty obvious pooling that sometimes makes me twitch a little.

The darker green is the aforementioned Liesl cardigan. I was curious about all of the fuss being made over Malabrigo yarn, and then when I found an Australian vendor who sold it, I decided to check it out. I can now see why people go on about it so much - it is lovely and soft, and the colours are beautiful. I don't think that I'd want to use it for everything, but it is very pretty. It was originally earmarked for a Sand Dollar Pullover (Ravelry link, because I couldn't find a decent picture elsewhere), but then after taking a long and hard look at this jumper, I realised that it was probably not likely to work very well with my body shape. As we know, I'm rather tall, and most of my height is in my torso. I don't want to end up with a midriff jumper - it's not a good look. So the yarn is going to be a Liesl instead. Hopefully it'll work out well (though I've already arsed the pattern up a little bit - oops).

(The orangey-gold yarn is a skein of Sundara that I have no idea what to do with. I love the colour, but I'm really not sure that it will suit me in a garment. It's in the photo because, well, it looks really nice with the other yarns, and it might as well earn its keep by posing for me until I figure out what to do with it!)

And there are other things that I'm in a perpetual state of working on. What can I say - I have somewhat of an impulse control problem when it comes to casting on for new things. The above is a kind of armwarmer-esque creature, born from a perverse whim to attempt some colourwork with the Dream in Colour yarn I had left from my Corona jumper. It's languishing at the moment because I can't be bothered to make the thumb hole (that requires, you know, thought and concentration). There's also those long-neglected colourwork socks I started late last year, and also a soon-to-be-felted bag. And who knows what else. Like I said, impulse control problems.

I also promised my Dad that I'd make a jumper for him too - he saw the moss stitch on my Terra jumper (see last entry) and liked the way that it looked in the yarn I was using, so now he wants a jumper. Laugh at me if you want, but this is quite exciting. Normally my family view the knitting as somewhat odd. I mean, I've made things for them, but unless we're actually in sub-zero temperatures (and living in Australia, that doesn't exactly happen often), they don't tend to get worn. On this note: Abby - you asked if I knitted much for others. The answer is no, not really, but it's more because of lack of demand for said knitting than any overt knitter's selfishness on my part. So a family member actually requesting a garment is unprecedented! I'm having fun fossicking through potential patterns...

Anyway, that's enough rambling. I have overdue items to return to the uni library - whoops...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Proof that I'm still here!

Wow - that was a comparatively long break! I have been doing things, I swear. It's just that things have been taking a bit longer than usual. There have been a few social woes (who doesn't love an ex-husband spamming their phone 14 times a day? And at 2am no less, but this isn't the time and place to complain about that), and I'm working nearly full-time at my job at the moment, and that has meant cutting back on knitting/blogging time. And I wasn't always in the mood either. While I wasn't directly affected by the bush-fires that have been doing their best to demolish my state over the last week, I know people who lost homes, friends, and family members, and it's hard to sit still and knit when you're worrying/reading the headlines in disbelief...

But, all that said, I have been knitting away. Behold, I have two finished objects to prove it!

Number One: Terra by Jacquelyn Landry, in Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12ply (Green Tweed), knitted on 6mm needles.

There aren't really any halfway decent photos of this one, due to a number of factors (specially a 5am bedtime, followed by a 9am call summoning me unexpectedly into work, followed by a work day that lasted until 9pm). So you'll have to live with this one! At least you get a taste of why my blog is titled as it is - and that's only half of one wall!

This was a fantastically quick jumper, and I was happy with how it turned out. If I did it over again I'd probably make the body just a little less baggy, and the sleeves quite a bit less baggy, but that's not to say that I'm unhappy with how it turned out. It'll be fantastic for when winter rolls around. I love the colour - it's somewhere in between dark green and teal, and the yarn was lovely and quite inexpensive. The pattern was good too - there were a few ambiguities around the hood/shoulder grafting, but applying common sense I managed to puzzle my way through and I'm sure that most others could too. I love the moss stitch and the large, pointy hood.

I'm almost tempted to make another one of these, actually.
(my, my Blogger - why are you being so cranky tonight when I try to post pictures!?!)

Number Two: The Cream of Spinach Scarf (Ravelry link here), in Noro Silk Garden (Colour 244), knitted on 5.5mm needles.

Not that much to say about this one really. I love it of course, but things knitted in Noro tend to look good because they're knitted in Noro, not because of anything that you did! That said, the pattern was great - it's a two row repeat, and one of those rows is just purling, so I didn't need to concentrate on it at all (indeed, I managed to watch a great many episodes of Skins while knitting it), but it looks lovely when blocked out. I think a version in a plain yarn would look beautiful too.

This yarn had been kicking around my room for ages. I bought it because I simply couldn't walk past the colours, but I wasn't really sure what to do with it, because I idealised it so much that no project seemed good enough. Then I had a reality check and decided to make a scarf, since at least that way I'd get to actually see the colours, and it's something that I'll get plenty of wear out of.

I was a little worried about the length - I hate stingily short scarves and I only had three balls of yarn. But I knitted at a fairly loose gauge, so this came out plenty long enough. I didn't measure it (my sewing tape measure wasn't even long enough), but if I hold one end in my upstretched arm, the other end still pools on the floor, and I'm not too far shy of six feet tall. So not a stingy scarf at all ;)

And now it's back to project limbo. I hate limbo. I'm currently swatching for some potential projects I have in mind, but I think I really need to raid my Ravelry queue as well. What a horrible problem to have...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Raspberries, Cupcakes and Terra

I really would have preferred it if I were able to title this post "Cupcakes and Terror", but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. Oh well, perhaps next time...

So, I started something new to cure this neither here nor there feeling I've been having on the constructive front the last few days. I'm making Terra from some lovely Bendigo Woollen Mills 12ply wool (highly appropriate for the middle of summer, I'm quite sure).

And also reading a lot - sticking to the whole 52 Books challenge thing (for all those playing along at home, reviews/results from January are here). And as for the third item in the photo... Well, you might not realise it, but this week is a somewhat of a special occasion. Every year in late January/early February, there comes a week when I can buy raspberries from the market for less than $3 a punnet (tight-arse Anna says "Yay!"). And this special week gets celebrated by gratuitous raspberry ingestion. How gratuitous you ask?

Answer: gratuitous enough to involve cupcakes (why yes, I am one of those irritating smug people who bake a lot and feel the need to tell people about it)!

Mmm.... passionfruit and raspberry iced cupcakes... In the sun, with tea and book...

Hate my guts - you know you want to...