Monday, October 30, 2006

Stash Bustin'... NOT!

I've been selling off some of my stash on eBay (no, I've not gone mad)... to make room for new stash. A lot of new stash.

New stash include...
  • 8 x balls from Nundle Woollen Mills (to make a mystery present),
  • the new Jo Sharp Knit 2 magazine, and
  • the Fall 06 issue of Interweave Knits (yes it's a bit late to be showing this off but believe it or not my issue arrived 2.5 months late - it's a long story)

Before you say this is a disappointingly small stash, let me tell you that this is only part of the big picture. More to come later.

New stash, new stash, new stash!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Stripey Dog/Bumble Bee?

We have lift off with the Zebra.

The pattern is from this Japanese craft book.

I got the socks for 8 bucks at a sock stand in Chatswood Westfield (2 pairs for $15!) - unbelievably it's the only place I've been able to find this type of socks.

It turned out to be a tad more difficult than the monkey as there's a lot more hand sewing involved. And I couldn't get the head to shape like the one in the book and the body ended up being too long - well my first attempt at the body was too short so I had to redo it with the other sock (thankfully these socks are longer than the ones required).

Anyway, here's a progress shot...

And here's what it looks like so far - bit like a cross between a dog and a bumble bee.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Asymmetrical Away

I started the Asymmetrical Cardigan from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature er... nearly 2 weeks ago.

Was going to post some progress shots but have been too lazy to whip out the camera. And this knitted up sooo fast!

By the time of posting I've already joined the two fronts and am doing the sleeve-back-sleeve section.

Project details on the KAL.

In a milestone, I finally frogged the Rebecca 28 sweater to give me the yarn I need for this cardi. Did I mention I LOVE my ballwinder? It channels the destructive instincts in me.

This weekend however, I'm putting the cardi aside and starting the ZEBRA. No more procrastination!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Butter is for Basting

Yay! Darren Hanlon's new album Fingertips and Mountaintops is getting some great reviews. Read them on the Candle Records site.

The clip for 'Happiness Is A Chemical' is on YouTube. It showcases Darren's unique dance style and is highly amusing.

Here's what he says about the clip on his website...

"The clip features me as an evangelist guitar playing preacher spreading the word of happiness. I got the character idea from Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter. In it he has the words good and evil tattooed on his knuckles. I wanted to write sad and glad on mine but it looked silly on film. Also look out for a cameo of the amazing young Jindbyne actress Eva Lazzaro. She's the most intelligent and funny 11 year old I've ever met. She told me her favourite CD at the moment is Cat Power. She also likes The Shins but prefers their first album to the last one. She also told me to 'think of the animals darren' when I ate a lolly that contained gelatin (horses hooves or cow skins)."

And this is him on his addiction to craft...

"I usually become anxious in the weeks leading up to a tour and try to fill each day to take my mind off it. Last week I realised I'd inadvertently become addicted to craft. I went insane and spent 2 days building this 'thing' out of cardboard and paper mache for the window at Polyester Records in Melbourne. The diorama even has a scale model of the theatre we recorded the album in!"
Apparently it'll be on display in Sydney next week at Fish Records in Newtown.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Arisaig Finished!

I finally decided not to make the contrast colour tie, after trying 2 different colours and giving up about 10 inches into the 80-inch (!) tie.

I decided to fasten the side with mini shell buttons instead. Here's a closeup...

And this is what it looks like on the inside.

So, details about this project...

Material: 11 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in 207 (and I needed every bit of that - I had to undo the gauge swatch to have enough yarn for the button loops)

Pattern: Arisaig from Knitty Fall 05 in the small size

Pattern modifications:
1. Used 3.0mm needles throughout - i.e. did not use smaller needles for ribbing
2. Lengthened 2x2 rib section significantly - I think it's about 3 inches
3. Ditched the tie around the collar - I picked up a large number of stitches and knitted a few rows of garter instead
4. Fasten with button by crocheting a button loop on the side of the right front

So there you have it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Up Til Dawn

I'm STILL working on Arisaig.

I blocked and seamed it on the weekend and it took much longer than expected. Here's what the back looked like pinned to the ironing board. (Yes I steam ironed the whole thing! I have no shame. It was the only way to get the ribbing to flatten.)

All the pieces of the puzzle are ready!

I'm pretty happy with the seaming - the seams are reasonably invisible although you can still see some bumps near the top of the shoulders. I'll try blocking it again later. Here's a close up of the sleeve seam.

I started on the tie in a contrast dark rose colour last night but decided I didn't like the colour combo. I'm also not sure whether a knitted tie would really work, or whether it would just get stretched.

Long and short of the story is, I decided to ditch the tie and pick up stitches around the collar in the main colour and knit a few rows of garter stitch to match the sleeve cuffs instead. I bought some buttons on the weekend which I thought could be used to secure the fronts instead of the tie.

Did I mention I'm hopeless at picking up stitches? I worked out I had to pick up around 330 stitches in total. Before I knew it, it was 3am in the morning... and I'm not that happy with the result either. The edge is not very flat along the top of the V part of the collar (as shown in the pic above).

I think it's going to be a long night of unpicking... at least I have nice buttons!

My Darren Hanlon CDs also arrived right this moment! At least I can listen to new music while unpicking tonight!

Monkey Story

Once upon a time there were two monkeys who were good friends.

One of the monkeys courtesy of Mrs. Hooper. The other, Mrs. Jones.

One had big floppy ears, squishy arms and legs, and a long spindly tail.

The other was hairy all over except on top, somewhat squishy as well, and always has a cheeky grin.

They were both really cool monkeys and did lots of really cool things together. Like scratch each others' backs and eat lots of bananas. (They had their own banana patch so all the bananas were free.)

And they lived happily ever after.