Saturday, October 27, 2012

What to do with leftover sock yarn?

After all of my recent sock projects, I've got a few balls of yarn left-overs and no idea what to do with them. 

Olive & Emma sock = 80g 
Happy Go Knitty sock = 55g 

Can I make anything with this? It's not heaps, but it's a lot to go to waste.
A friend of mine is having a baby in April (plenty of time for baby-knits planning)  and I was wondering whether this would be enough for a little hat or something? 
Suggestions welcome!

Knitting + blog feature + new yarn + hens party!

Something amazing happened this week! As some of you know, I contribute to Extra Curricular Magazine on a regular basis, and this week, they did a blog feature on me!
Thanks so much Ellie and the team, I love writing for your awesome mag!

I realised I hadn't posted many pictures of my finished bridesmaid socks!

These ones are knitting up in Happy-Go-Knitty's self-striping BFL yarn.

These awesome yellow ones are in Olive & Emma's custom-dyed sock yarn, the leftovers from my arm-warmers.

And my Happy-Go-Knitty addiction continues - a new skein of self striping yarn arrived yesterday. This one is a merino/silk/nylon blend, and socks made from this will be for me.

And here is the next big project.

It's the Saffron Shrug from French Girl Knits Accessories, and I'm praying I can knit it in five weeks for the wedding.

I think I'm about a fifth of the way through, but the shrug's construction seems a bit weird to me, so that will take a bit of time and many reads of the pattern.

Not much time for knitting today though - this afternoon it's my hens party!
I have no idea what the plan is, except that I have to wear a nice dress. 
Anything could happen, and I can't wait!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A long weekend of vintage craftiness!

There's no better way to spend a long weekend than crashing at your friend's bach in Omaha.
Especially when the Matakana Indie Market is on!

It's on the third Sunday of the month in Matakana, and it's amazing. It's a great craft market and sellers come from all over the Auckland region to take part.

I got there and was overwhelmed with the amount of great sellers.

There was bunting galore, handmade cosmetics, cute baby clothes, yarn, vintage stuff and coffee!

I got some awesome deals.

A new tote bag - perfect size for my knitting projects.

Look at this amazing table! It's got old map pages all over it, and was a total bargain at $25.

And these plates! $2.50 each - Paragon, Royal Albert, Queen Anne, and so many more. 
My favourite one is the green polka dot. 

And, as well as bargains, I got to spend a couple of days at the beach and having barbecues with my pals. And I finished my bridesmaid gifts!

Now to get onto finishing the wedding shawl!

Friday, October 19, 2012

This week's vintage finds.

I am totally going to justify these purchases to myself right now. 

1. I don't own a casserole dish with a lid. Apparently these are quite handy in the kitchen.
2. I like having matching teacups. It gives a sense of occasion to boring things like breakfast.
3. These are all vintage. I am not the first owner. Therefore I am saving the planet by not placing demand on cheap crockery made with extremely cheap labour.
4. These are local vintage - Crown Lynn and Kelston Ceramics. No major carbon footprint here.
5. You'd pay probably a similar amount for new china. 
6. I love blue.
7. Crown Lynn china is collectable. If I look after it, it's an investment.
8. They all match each other. That's pretty awesome when looking for vintage kitchen things.
9. There's no point convincing myself, because these pieces are just amazing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I Love Yarn Day and how I celebrated

I Love Yarn Day on Friday was very productive!
I finished the first pair of bridesmaid socks. Took me only one week for a whole pair, which gives me hope to have all knitting projects done by the wedding.

I was loving the concept of having a whole day dedicated to celebrating yarn, so I extended it to the whole weekend.

I've started the second pair of bridesmaid socks, and oh my god, I don't know if I'll be able to give them up. 

The yarn is beautiful. It's the self-striping BFL by Happy Go Knitty that I bought ages ago after interviewing the lovely Helene, who does all the dyeing herself at home. The vibrancy of the colours is stunning. 

I've never knit with a self striping yarn that changes so quickly from one colour to the next. Usually there's a few inches of yarn that are a weird blend of colours, mixing to leave a small ugly streak of a blah colour between two solids. But not this yarn. This yarn's awkward in-between colour lasts for maybe three stitches. It's practically invisible. I need more of this.

And given the speed of my current knitting, I've decided to give the shawl another crack. A much easier pattern though, using the Dyeforwool yarn I bought originally.

It will hopefully become a Safran Shrug from the very cool book French Girl Knits Accessories - a kind colleague at work let me borrow it and go crazy with the photocopier.
It's basically a big rectangle that has tucks all over it, although I will have to do all the making-up exactly to the pattern - I'm not quite sure how the sleeves will work...

Monday, October 8, 2012

A personal best and a new book

I knitted an entire sock in two days. Okay yes, it was plain, no pattern repeats or anything fancy to speak of, just basic stocking stitch sock. And I'm pretty happy with my speed - it's not often I knit something in a weekend!

He's (yes, it's a boy - I feel like socks are boy garments - just me?) knitted in Olive & Emma Baby Sunshine sock yarn, leftover from my arm warmers. 
They would all be a great matching set, but these puppies are a bridesmaid's gift. I was struggling with scarfs, I just haven't found the right scarfs for each girly, so I've gone back to basics and knitting them socks instead.
I've started on sock's brother, but I have a case of Second Sock Syndrome. It's not helped by the new book I bought today.

Meet Junk Genius. It's awesome. It's all about turning your thrifted finds into amazing treasures, and really makes me think about how creative you can be with bits and bobs.

There are over 80 projects and ideas in here, including using old lamp shades as a base for a coffee table, repurposing wool blankets for bags and cushions, and generally showing you what you can do with a little bit of time and imagination!

Authors Juliette Goggin and Stacy Sirk have presented this beautifully. The artwork and photography in here is gorgeous, and the instructions easy to follow.

I want to make pretty much everything in here - I'd love to have a go at decorating tables and chairs with their suggestions, and a cushion cover made of a silk scarf would be divine.

Maybe this summer, when I have a couple of weeks on holiday, I can do some more junk shop scavenging and get making.
But right now, I think I'll stick with sock number two.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My extremely small attempt to organise notions

Did a bad thing at lunch today. My shopping-buddy-in-crime made me go to the World sale store today, and I ended up buying some amazing trousers. They are so awesome I don't even know how to start to describe them, and $100 was totally justifiable when the original price was $350, but I'm digressing. 
This does relate to my vague plan to organize my knitting stuff. You saw the state of my stash and it needs a serious reorganise. It was very good that we visited the World store, because at the counter they were selling this super cute little tins for $5.

It's a notion holder!

See? It's perfect for pins and emergency tape measures and stitch markers. Not quite big enough for stitch holders and cable needles, but I don't lose those so easily. 
Now I just need to find a giant version for my yarn!
I am actually on the hunt for a new knitting bag. I'd like a tote, and the ones I have are cotton, but not sturdy cotton. The all collapse when they aren't completely full, and have very minimal structure.
I'm thinking I need something that's quilted or felted wool. Maybe leather even, if it can double as a working bag. Suggestions appreciated.

Little Sunshine Arm-warmers

I've finished my arm-warmers. I love them! And there's enough yarn left over for some socks!
One thumb is slightly longer than the other, because didn't have my first-glove notes on me, but I really want to write this pattern up for other knitters to make some. Olive & Emma Yarn is so amazing that it can't always be hidden in socks!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Entangled issue seven - filling my inbox with goodness!

Entangled issue seven is online today. Yay! Couldn't wait for this one - I was lucky enough to interview weaver Alison Francis and see her home studio in Auckland.
Reading recommended!