Saturday, August 21, 2010

Procrastination in all its forms

Apologies for the blog silence. Uni has been busy, my internship has started, and to top it all off, I spent a lot of last week being sick with a rather rotten head-cold. Being sick is never a lot of fun, but at least I got some of my assignments done. For some reason though, I never feel like knitting when I'm ill. I've done a little bit of work on my cardigan, but I've been terribly lazy when it comes to finishing my hand warmers. This is especially deplorable because I know very well that all they really need is an hour or so of work, and then they'll be done. Bad Anna.

On the up side, I have been doing some more spinning!

I bought this a while back, but wanted to go through all of my dodgier 'learning' fibre before I tackled it. And I actually kept this resolution - the last of the plain fibre was dyed with avocado pits and spun up during the week, so I've started on the nicer stuff!

(I know the photo is slightly weird - I am having Camera Issues at the moment). I'm really enjoying learning how to spin. I find it very relaxing, and kind of addictive. And I can do it when my eyes are too tired to knit, which is a plus. And as you can see, I'm gradually improving - the above skein is bordering on respectable! That said, I tried my hand at plying last night and the result is, erm, not quite as impressive. But still, that's what learning is all about, I suppose.

Next post, actual knitting content - I promise! In the mean time, I leave you with a picture of the home brewed beer we bottled a few weeks ago. Still needs a little bit of time to improve, but it's pretty good - the first brew I've been involved in from start to finish. Exciting! (well, I think so)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Learning by Doing is a Grand Thing

Okay, fine, no completed set of hand-warmers just yet, but one thing that I neglected to mention last post is that I have been renewing my assault on the pile of fibre that lives in my craft pile. I did make a few attempts at learning how to spin last year (or was it the year before... jeez, I don't even know), but I then, cleverly, managed to lose my drop spindle. And it was the most frustrating variety of losing something though; the kind where you know that it has to be in your house somewhere, so you refrain from buying a new one because you are quite convinced that the moment that you do, the old one will reappear. So my pretty fibre languished. But then the drop spindle did, in fact, reappear (it had fallen down behind some books on one of my shelves... because this makes perfect sense, right), and recently I finally found the time to use it.

These are the first three results of the renewed attempt to learn how to hand-spin. Three guesses which is the first try. What's that, you say? They're all sad looking skeins of noob yarn? Okay, fine, the blue was the first attempt, the green the second, and the variegated was the third.

Perhaps you can't really see in the photo, but the improvement from the first to the most recent is amazing. This is one of the things that I love the most about knitting, and crafty things in general - you can actually see yourself improve in quite a short time if you only take the time to practice. The above were spun over a period of about a week, and every day that I picked up the spindle, I was better at it. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very much a clumsy, beginner. But seeing yourself make progress is fantastic. I really do think that it's the little things in life that make you happy, and this is definitely one of the little things in my arsenal.

Next time, hand-warmers! Now it's back to what I was doing: drinking tea, eating freshly baked lavender, honey and lemon shortbread, watching the Arcade Fire concert being streamed on You Tube, and knitting with my divinely imperfect hand-spun. It is good to be Anna this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time Travel

Okay, so I can't actually time travel. But the start of another semester of university always makes me feel like I can. Weeks can pass in the blink of an eye - weeks in which I tragically neglect my poor little blog. But here I am, back again.

University started last week, and it looks like it's going to be a good semester, as I've lucked out with teachers and subjects. Very soon I get to start my internship, and that should be a really good experience as well. And I've been catching up with all of the university friends that I missed when I was travelling. One of them gave me some lovely beeswax candles that she had acquired on her own travels - aren't they pretty!

Now, I have actually been managing to fit a surprising amount of knitting into all of this. However, I don't have photos. Partially because I am too lazy and/or busy to take them, but mostly because pictures of half completed projects are just never really that impressive. Or not when I take them anyway. I've seen some lovely shots of works-in-progress on other people's blogs and Ravelry pages, but if there's a knack to taking them, I don't have it, and I don't feel like subjecting people to a blurry shot of my single completed hand-warmer today.

Rest assured, however, that the handwarmers are coming along swimmingly. I've finished one bar the thumb, and the other should follow very quickly since I can just brainlessly copy the first one without having to turn my mind to questions of length, width and ribbing. Hurrah for mindless knitting.

I've also been working on a top down wrap-style cardigan out of some dark blue tweedy yarn that I've had kicking around for a while. The top down style is of course very familiar to me. The wrap style however is not, so it will be interesting to see how that one pans out. It's probably near to half finished, at any rate, so we won't be waiting that much longer.

So while there is indeed knitting progress, unfortunately it doesn't lend itself well to photos. Thankfully, however, other things do! The Boy and I celebrated our anniversary last week; we made celebratory pizzas and had Floor Picnic in front of the television because the weather in Melbourne in July is nothing to write home about. But the pizza was lovely (if a little poorly lit in this photo!).

The cold weather has also brought some of the local wildlife into the house. A recurring guest in my abode is a tiny little gecko, who made his first appearance a few weeks ago in the laundry/toilet area of all places. So it was only logical to christen him Mr Toilet Gecko. Ridiculous name aside, he's a cute wee thing:

Well, I think he's cute anyway - look at that little beady eye!

Next post: finished handwarmers!