Friday, April 22, 2011

What to do with my stash.

The arrival of my lovely alpaca from NY made me think about the yarns in my stash that I haven't used.
There's the Malabrigo Lace that I want to turn into a summer weight cardigan, but the small stitches are putting me off still. then there's the alpaca itself, which is amazing but there's only 232m of it between the two skeins, which is not much. Whatever I decide to use that for has to be awesome, because I can't get any more of the yarn here.

And finally, there is the Knitsch Merino Sock, which I bought thinking I would be able to figure out how to knit socks. At the moment, the left-handed magic loop / DPN knitting is really not working for me. I can't hold four needles properly and my magic loop leaves a bit of a gap at the join. No socks for me for a while.
My two skeins, which to me look like lightning in the dark, were sitting in the cupboard doing nothing, and they have been for months and months. Until I found a pattern for a triangular scarf (not shawl, to me they sound like they are only suitable for grandmas') that required exactly 360 yards of sock yarn. I have 364 yards. Meant to be. The pattern is Simple Things Shawlette by Mary-Heather Cogar, and I hope it will turn out to be a great light-weight scarf. And I'm getting the hang of the yarn-overs for the simple lace pattern!

I like that the yellow is pooling together. Makes it look more like lightning!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wool and the Gang!

I arrived home today to find a parcel on the door step. Nope, it wasn't my latest Amazon purchase or something one of my flatmates won on TradeMe, this was something better.
It came all the way from the States, New York City to be exact, and what was inside was only the coolest gift a friend living in NY could give.
Two skeins of Wool and the Gang's Sugar Baby Alpaca in Ultra Violet. It is amazing. I can't stop touching it. It feels like a cloud. And I love royal purple! Debbie Foster, you are amazing.

And did I mention the packaging? No? I must! It came in an awesome white paper bag emblazoned with "Wool and the Gang", tied at the top with a length of maroon alpaca. Awesome!

Now I just need to figure out what to knit with it. Any suggestions for an awesome two-skein pattern?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

No Disassemble!

Channelling Johnny Five here, with sweet robot construction, including mini pocket for hiding jelly beans and a battery pack which will button up when I'm done.
Here's the front:


And the back:

Now we're just in need of legs and arms - unfortunately the pattern doesn't come with tracks like Johnny Five, but I'm sure he will be awesome. Admittedly my finishing-up is looking really messy - I'm still not great at seams, especially when slip stitching three different pieces together. I don't even know what at slip stitch really is, so I just sewed. Might be something to read up on before I attach the legs and arms. I better make him a face soon though; he's really lacking eyes right now.

This weekend I taught two friends to knit!

And I'm not joking! Last week my flatmate took an interest in Chip the Robot, and since I was knitting a piece in plain knit stitch, I let him give it a try and showed him what to do. 
Then on Friday, I cast him on 20 sts to just practise with, and he's doing pretty good!
I was pretty please with that, so you can probably guess how excited I was when another good friend asked me to teach her how to knit - she wants to make a hot water bottle cover. After brunch we went to Mishi Yarns and picked up four skeins of Patons Jet and some 5mm bamboo needles, measured the water bottle and cast on!
I got a message from her this morning -
"I just want to you to know that you've got me hooked! I've got a whole 6cm after a solid night's work! How am 
I going to find time to do normal things like eat and sleep? Thanks Jo - I love it!"
I consider this to be a very successful weekend!

As for Chip the Robot - I was travelling quite well until I got to this instruction.
Pick up 8 sts from stitch holder, rejoin yarn, CO 2 sts, knit 10. How do I rejoin yarn then cast on two? Should I just cast on two at the beginning and go with it? I'm a bit confused.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


It's so warm! And fluffy. I will need to invest in a lint roller especially for snood fluff.

I'm happy with the way this came out, but it I was to knit it again, I'd do it in a blend with a higher wool content - the alpaca is a bit soft and takes away from the sculptural look I was hoping to achieve.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mixed Bag

As promised, here's a photo of my South End Snood.

This week has been a bit up and down. First of all, my awesome cat, Sir Dougal, has had problems with his bladder, making it very painful for him to go to the bathroom. But we are getting him better - special food and cat morphine are doing the trick. Then the motherboard on my laptop exploded, which is why I'm using my boyfriend's PC to do all this.
Then, if one cat drama wasn't enough, my Kitten, who's not really a kitten anymore and lives at my Mum's, got hit by a car this morning. The vet thinks she has a broken leg or pelvis, and x-rays are being done to see what's what. Hopefully we will know all the options this afternoon.
But, it hasn't all been bad. We picked up our new sewing machine!

And fabric for my new dress. Mmmm strawberries. I've picked a Burda pattern - 7517, which is apparently easy to make - we will see, it could be a total disaster.

Friday, April 8, 2011

In the news

Some of you probably already know that the latest issues of Extra Curricular Magazine is out now.

I am very lucky with my job to be able to speak to lots of really cool people, and for this issue I chatted with Jamie Young from Porcelain Rove, who is an awesome ceramic artist.
And at my day job, crafty things are starting to take over the office. With regular bake-offs and more than one member of staff handy with a sewing machine, the team at The Aucklander are even getting craft into the paper. Check out this week's cover story, Home Economics.

As for my knitting, I got a bit bored of Chip the Robot, so I've started on a snuggly snood for winter. This South End Snood by Nolens Volens Knitting is going to be so great - I'm knitting it up in Naturally Aspire Super Chunky in a really rich red, and it's almost finished already. Then I'll get back to the slow-knitting and slightly tedious robot - not that it's hard, it's just not doing it for me right now.