Jaywalkers finished!

Yep, they’re done. Hooray!

I’m having a fine old time trying to post today. You see, yesterday I decided I may as well keep the computer working while I was working off-computer. I set it downloading podcasts. When the beau came home from work he disappeared into his office, then re-emerged saying “did you download a lot of stuff today?”.

I maxed out the broadband download limit for the month. This morning I worked out that I’d downloaded nearly 600 meg of podcasts. Ooops.

The down side to this is that posting here today is reaaaaaaallllly sllooooooowww.

Project Spectrum Blue

One Jaywalker sock. I am so sick of these socks now. I’ve knit the ankle bit four times. First by just continuing the zig-zag at the size it was for my foot, then by continuing the zig-zag at the front and the slip stitch rib at the back, then ripping that back until I could get my foot in and finishing with a rib, then finally ripped back to the heel again and increased by a whole whack of stitches and did a larger zig-zag all around.

I tried it on every time I finished a stripe. It got tighter and tighter, even though I wasn’t decreasing. This is as far as I got before I had to add some garter stitch rows and call it a day.

I’m determined to finish the second pair then pack them away and never look at them again wear them.

Peri Peri

There’s nothing to report knitting-wise today. I went to craft night last night and made some progress on the Squares Jacket while being entertained by my fellow crafters/artists/talkers. But it’s not worthy of a photo yet.

So I bring you this:

My ex and I bought Peri Peri from the RSVPA. I was the one who wanted a cat, but as soon as my ex laid eyes on Peri we had to have him. He insisted, despite the fact I’d fallen in love with a cuddly tabby.

When we split up he got ‘custody’ of the cat because I figured Peri would be less stressed if he stayed in the house he knew, while I expected to move around a lot until I found a permanent house to buy or rent. A few years later the ex called to say he was moving into a warehouse conversion, which wouldn’t suit a cat, so would I take Peri? Of course I said yes.

I then learned that Peri had been locked outside for the last few years. He was thin, his coat was drab and he’d not had one vaccination since I’d left. He was a bit wild but soon returned to his old affectionate self. However, I think I overcompensated a bit as he ended up a little rotund. Since then he’s been on a strict diet.

Now that I’m living on a fairly busy suburban road, in a neighbourhood with plenty of cats sporting for fights, I’ve been keeping Peri inside permanently. We built a cat run outside the kitchen, but recently had to pull down one side in order for the plumbers to redo the woeful drainage. So the back of the bed is his favourite perch for now.

Not knitting… but it’s made of rope.

I found a very cute scratching post for my cat today:

The old one is in the foreground. From my cat’s reaction, I’m gussing the mouse heads and ball have catnip inside them. He was very happy with it… well, except that it keeps falling over. But we’ll fix that soon enough by attaching it to the base of the old one.

Afterwards he deigned to be photographed.

Life’s a *bleeech*!

Well, I tried bleaching the Patonyle on the weekend with absolutely no success at all. My samples didn’t even go grey. If anything, they’ve gone kind of plasticy, as if they’re partially melted. So it’s true wool and bleach don’t mix.

Then yesterday I did some hand washing, which included my koigu ribble socks. They didn’t appear to lose much colour as I washed them – just turned the water ever so slightly pink – so I chucked them in with the rest of the hand washing in the machine to spin out the excess water.

When I took everything out, my off-while hand made transylvanian peasant top (part of a costume I wore during my weekend away) was covered in varying shades of purple and red dye.

Wierdly, nothing else had picked up the dye. Not the white, blue and green cotton top. Not the pale green cotton skirt. Not the blue sarong. Just the peasant top.

So I set about bleaching the stains out. First I tried White King. It made very little difference. This was one tough stain. I dug around in the bathroom cupboard and found some pre-soak stuff in among the laundry stuff the beau had ‘accumulated’ in the last ten or fifteen years. I soaked it overnight and the stains paled to the colour of tea. Now I’ve put it in for another soak with fresh pre-wash, hoping I can get those last brown smudges out without dissolving the top into non-existance.

The lesson for today, kiddies, is DON’T PUT KOIGU SOCK YARN IN WITH THE REST OF YOUR CLOTHES EVEN IF YOU’RE JUST SPINNING EXCESS WATER OUT. They might not look as if they’re losing colour, but somehow that dye will find it’s way onto your clothes. And somehow it will selectively pick the garment you least wanted stained.

Or it could just be that I’m an idiot.

Square and proud of it.

I’m working on the Squares Jacket again. It was put aside in favour of the Jaywalker socks, which were put aside for sanity-restoring plain sock knitting – the Miracle socks. I was tempted to take the jacket to Canberra with me, but since I’m working 12 strands of colour for each row and have to stop and untangle them every four rows it isn’t exactly a good travel project.

Sock knitting makes my hands hurt after a few hours, so a few days ago I picked up the jacket again. We have a progress shot:

I just realised that I haven’t taken any photos of this jacket yet. Just the yarn and the ‘plan’. It took quite a bit of fiddling in Photoshop to get the colours right. Aqua is a difficult colour to get right in RGB.

Yesterday the beau and I had to drive over to my house so we could use the washing machine. I spent hours knitting the jacket while waiting for four loads to run through, so by last night I wanted something else to work on. I knit the toe of the second Miracle Sock while watching the Akira Kurasawa movie Sanjuro – took me two hours to knit a toe because I kept having to stop to read the subtitles!

Post holiday post #3

Sock progress!

Long trip in cars are great for knitting, except that I tend to get a sore back if I do it for more than an hour. Even so, by taking long breaks and knitting while I was at the weekend’s event I managed to get a lot done on the beau’s sock. Last night I finished the first one.

I’m going to call these the Miracle Socks. Why? Well, I haven’t had to frog one row. I measured up the beau’s feet, did the math, began knitting, checked the math, kept knitting, did the occasional fitting, and somehow managed to get them right first try.

This is the first sock I’ve knit for the beau, and I got it right first go. That’s just… freaky.

And there’s more!

As part of my duties in Canberra I wound up in a bookstore. A pretty decent bookstores – Dymocks Belconnen – which not only had my books (not knitting) but a fairly decent range of knitting books. I found this:

Somehow it ended up in my luggage.

It’s a typical ‘geeky idea’ pattern book in that the designs are based more on cool ways to incorporate maths in to knitting than on good garment design. Yet while there are some very silly looking designs, there are also some beautiful, tasteful ones. (Though I reckon even those could do with a bit of waist shaping – but that’s just me.)

When I arrived in Canberra, I received this gift from a New Zelander friend:

Supreme Possom Merino. It feels beautifully soft, but also robust. Believe it or not, but this gift was from a male non-knitter.

I’m very tempted to order more of the yarn. Lots more. I’ve had a mental image of a jumper sporting a mariner’s compass on the front for a while now, and since my NZ friend is a cartographer it would be a nice touch to knit it out of this wool.

Why I’m not going to the Bendy Sheep Show this year

There was major stash enhancement this past week. In fact, I think I shall divide the post I had planned to do today into three.

First I’ll cover my visit to the Australian Country Spinnerss shop. I really ought to have taken a photo of the shop. I ought to have captured the huge bins overflowing with bags of woolly goodness (and acrylicy somethingness too). A 360° panoramic shot would have been best, I think.

But I didn’t take a photo. I couldn’t work out why at first, then I remembered staggering out with my arms wrapped around this…

… and I know I wasn’t thinking of the future, but was blissfully engrossed in the now. If I’d been thinking enough of the future to remember how I’d like to blog smuggishly of my visit to the shop, I might also have thought enough into the future to ask questions of myself like “is there room in the stash?”, “when the heck am I going to knit all this?” and “don’t you remember how much eye strain is involved in knitting black sock yarn?”.

But at the time I believed I was being fussy and selective. I carefully chose this:

A slightly tweedy blue 12ply. I decided it would knit up fast, and will make a warm jacket to wear in my home office. And this:

More 12ply. In a colour I love therefore have too many garments in already. But I decided it will knit up fast, and would make a warm jacket to wear in my home office. And this:

Some ‘Inca’. It will knit up fast, and would have made a warm jacket to wear in my home office if there had been enough of it. But maybe there’s enough for a vest.

Is it possible that my home office is cold?

I went to the shop hoping to find oodles of cream Patonyle going cheaply so I can enter into a dyeing frenzy. There was Patonyle, but the lightest colour they had was a mushroomy shade. And it was $6 a ball, which is only a dollar cheaper than usual. Still, I had to buy some because it was what I went there for.

The nice lady behind the counter grimaced sympathetically when she told me the price, then proceeded to search through the bins, muttering about finding more. She came up with this:

A huge ball of Patonyle. In black. For only $5. I nearly went crazy knitting socks out of grey last year because it wasn’t easy to see the stitches. And you can’t dye black. You can’t even overdye. But did I put it back?

Of course not. It was $5. For a great honking huge ball of sock wool. And the lady had been so nice finding it for me.

And I reckon I could get some really interesting effects with the careful application of well-diluted bleach. Black is often made up of blues, reds or even greens. I think some experimentation is in order.

Home again

I’m back! I’m home! I went to the Australian Country Spinners and bought an armful of yarn, and found two yarn stores in Wangaratta right next to each other (bizzare!), and now own Knitting Nature, and knit on every day except World Wide Knitting in Public Day, and nearly finished my beau’s sock.

But I’m too tired to report in detail on all this. Besides, it’s too dark to take photos now. It’ll all have to wait until tomorrow.