Melinda is completed!
Well, yes she is.
I took a picture before she was sewn up
However, I am nto sure I'll fit into her and have actually not tried her on. Does shelook deceptively small, or is she really small? I knitted to gauge and exactly as the instructions said. I swear! There will be a picture (either on her on or with me, depending on whether I fit) by the next post. I will have to send her back to Sarah this week.
She was a joy to knit. The yarn worked up quickly and the pattern was easy to follow. My only gripe about it is the changing of yarns. the instructions said that I have to knit from two skeins so that the colours blend better. Yeah, fair enough... but it's just a hassle. Every few rows I have to twist the two skeins around each other to undo the twisted mess that I had gotten myself into because I was twisting the yarns in the same direction at the end of every two rows to keep them uniform.
I like the way the colours came out. It
is lively and vibrant. I have, however, decided that this shade of red is not 'me'. I prefer the cooler reds, the ones that have been mixed with a little (or a lot of) blue.A party?
Well, not quite. We had some friends over for lunch yesterday. It was great! I had not seen them for ages and it was just really ncie to catch up. These are the same friends who sent us that 'mystery' gift, cake and flowers at our wedding
. I never did show what we were sent, did I? Well, the flowers are gone now, and teh cake is eaten. BUT, I do have the cake toppers (which we discovered AFTER the cake was eaten.Oh well. We kept them anyway.
We also received a framed picture (is that what you would call it, Adelina?) and some stickers for our scrap book (which I am not sure we'll ever make) and a bride and groom candle. It's all lovely and just thinking about their kindness makes me want to cry.
Okay, so back to yesterday. 8 of them came for lunch, and 3 stayed for dinner. It was a simple affair. I did most of the preparation and Chris did most of the cooking. I really enjoyed having them here. It was the first time we are entertaining anyone outside our immediate families here. It's nice. It makes it feel like home, you know. It also feels like a 'grown-up' thing to do - to 'entertain' and not just have Domino's Pizza deliver half a dozen assorted pizzas. Oh dear.. I am what? Growing up
??Colourswap GreenI reveived my package from Judy last week, and I have been slack. I should have posted earlier, especially since it's such a great package. It's like she knows me! Look, look!Thisunwrapped to reveal thisI love hand cream! Okay, so I have handcream coming out my ears as I keep receiving it, but one can never have too much, I think. I keep a tube by my bedside, one in the bathroom, one in my hand bag, one in my knitting bag and one lying around, just in case you know. However, I can never find that last tube when I need it.. as it's just lying around, it just gets pushed aside and into corners.The green and white yarn is pretty.. I don't know what to make with it yet, but I think I'll love the green tweedy look it will have. I am not sure what I will do with the shell beads. theya re little flat ones, and I am thinking of just stringing them through some fingering weight yarn and knitting a scarf witht hat on the edge.
I am also busy dreaming up a couple of small items with the yarn I got from my secret pal
.There are so many good ideas fromone skein. I am dying to cast on something with the linen yarn, but I can't decide what!La Premiere is SO not worth it...
We thought we'd have a day to ourselves today. We went to Chequers
at Mandarin Centre, Chatswood for some yum cha ("dim sum" to all you non Aussies). It was pretty good food, if a little on teh expensive side. It felt like they used a lot of MSG, though, as I was really thirsty afterwards. Oh well. It's not often that you can go out for Chinese food and not have it MSG loaded anyway. Or maybe I am just sensitive.
Chris company had given him two La Premiere
tickets. We thought we'd use it to watch X-Men 3 since we both wanted to watch it and it's probably a movie with enough nice effects to see on a big screen in comfort. So off we went to La Premiere at Chatswood Westfield which was just around the corner. I had heard good things about La Premiere (or was that Gold Class
? perhaps it was Gold Class...)
We got in for the 12.15 session. We went to the lounge where we were shown where we could get our popcorn and drinks, and order our food if we so wished. We got our pop corn and drinks and headed upto teh cinema. I was looking forward to reclining chairs and being able to put my feet up. Yeah right.. I was sooo mistaken. The seats were pretty comfortable, don't get me wrong. However, there was no reclining and no putting up of feet. Oh well... It's not like it's false advertisement or anything, as they don't say that they offer either of these comforts. I must have just made a mistake about the cinema that actually offered these. It, to me, just felt like silver screen
with a free soft drink and free pop corn.
All that aside, the movie was good. I enjoyed it very much, though there were a lot of parts where I did not remember from teh comics of my childhood.
Oh... talking about childhood, guess what I found!
They just opened at Westfield Chatswood. Okay, I am under no illusion that they sell the world's best cookies or anything like that. It's just one of those things that brings back childhood memories. It makes me nostalgic. I used to be able to smell the Famous Amos of my childhood from over 100 metres away. I still remember the poster they had which said "Smells are free". This new Famous Amos, strangely enough, does not have a scent. Nope, no smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies. What is going on here? Not even a faint whiff of the cookies. Huh? I bough to some anyway. They taste similar. Perhaps a little sweeter than I am used to, but everything seems sweeter here in Australia.
I was disappointed that they didn't sell the icecream sandwich that I remember. It is, for those of you who don't know it, two large cookies sandwiching a big block of icecream. Oh so yummy and oh so sinful!
Oh how time flies
It's been ages since I last posted. I do have an excuse, though. I have, in the past couple of weeks, handed in two papers. Uni is nearly done for this semester - thank God! I certainly have not enjoyed this semester. I hope next semester is going to be better, but I'm not holding my breath. I think it's just that I am so close to completion that I just want it to be over.Castlehill Show
Okay, so the show is old news.. right, so it's been over a month since the show. But I didn't get to show you pictures of my ribbons. Just indulge me, okay? Give a girl a chance to show off a little..
I sbmitted four items, of which two were handknit and two were handspun and handknit.
Thsi is the handknit stuff. My Ene, from 1 1/2 skeins of KnitPicks Shadow, came in second in the knitted shawls section. The other is my version of the Birds Nest Shawl (well, mine is a scarf) from Folk Shawls. That was knitted in KnitPicks Andean Silk. I love the colour! It is a nice soft scarf, perfect for those cold days when a scarf makes all the difference.
That's the handspund/handknitted stuff. On the bottom is my handspun mohair neck scarf. It's knitted in a simple feather and fan pattern and is just long enough to go around my neck and fastened with a pin. I bought the kid mohair locks already hand-dyed from Virginia Farm
. I spun it soft and then brushed it. It's not at allprickly.. That was actually a surprise to me as I always (in the past) associated mohair, even kid mohair, with itchiness. The beanie was knitted from hand dyed hand spun Optim top, which was Navajo plied to keep the colours together. I love the stripes and the tassle.
That's four out of four, baby. Yeah!Thank you Secret Pal
If you think you have the bestest secret pal, you're wrong! Mine rocks!
It came wrapped in this month's project spectrum colour. It was neatly wrapped.I could not resist opening the little bundles. Ah.. bliss.. I did keep a few of them wrapped for the photograph. When I got home, I opened all the littlepackages to reveal this:
I have already completed one project from the book. How quick was that?!
I have a couple of colleagues whose wives are pregnant. I could not resist making the baby bolero. It's in newborn size and oh so cute! The babies are going to be summer babies so this was the perfect project too. oh how cute! It's now drying on a towel. I'll take a picture later and show you. It's irresistable.Knitting
Okay, on the knitting front, Melinda is nearly done.
I offer you a picture of the front
Aside from that, I haven't had the time (or energy) to do much else..
More pics in the next post.. which, I hope will be some time in the next few days.
Interweave One Skein Swap Questionaire
1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)?Oooh.. that's a hard one.. I'm not sure.. I think I am most like slubby wool yarn.. a little unpredictable, a little rough.. with fine bits (or at least I like to think so), and most of all, warm and cuddly!
2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with?I am going through phases. I like lots of colours.Right now I am making the melinda jacket in red. It was not my choice of colours as it is a sample, but I am loving it. I like pinks, blues, most shades of browns, purples and greens.. hmm.. don't think I really have a favourite.
3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns?Yes. I love the surprise.
4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns?Yes. I like most natural fibres. I think they 'breathe' better
5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn?Don't mind
6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them?Yes. I love the sheepy smell!
7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year?Uhm.. a few ;) - just have a look at my blog...
8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year?Probably. I have a couple of colleagues who are expecting babies.
9. What is your favorite one skein project?Can I cheat and have more than one? I like socks and hats
10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it?Go back a few posts and you'll see my space bags!
11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it?Yes. Ihave 2 skeins of Kaalund Yarns 100% mohair lace weight that I have not used and don't think I will. It's silky and nice to pat.
12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer?Don't know about less, but definitely differently. I make lighter things. Last summer I knit an Ene's scarf from Scarf Style. Was great! It was light enough to not be too hot on my lap
13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)?
Yes.. just a few :)
I did a spot of dyeing on the weekend and there are ten brand new skeins up for sale on Etsy. Go on, take a peek.. you know you want to.
I haven't dyed any laceweight yarn as it's a pain to wind, but I'll probably do some this weekend. So, which is your favourite? I like Superpink (uper right corner) and Sweetie Pie (lower right corner) the most - probably becaus ethis pink phase I am going through is lasting longer than I expected.
My Colinette kit arrived yesterday! Woohoo!
Oh, didn't I mention it before? I am knitting a sample for Sarah Durrant
. She sells Colinette yarns and needed some samples knit up in a hurry. I am making Melinda from the Wayfarer book
. I swatched, and swatched yesterday.. and wrote Sarah numerous emails explaining how I couldn't get gauge..
I finally got a somewhat respectable looking swatch, and the right gauge on 7mm circular bamboo needles. I wrote to Sarah joyfully, and she wrote back to tell me that I'dprobably find that I'd get gauge on 6mm STRAIGHTS.. for some reason, circular needles muck around with your stitch gauge. Bah.. I don't believe that! Uhm.. I didn't. Somewhat doubtfully I whipped out my 6mm straight needles and tried again. uh uh.. nod eal.. I was getting 15st and 18rows (the prescribed gauge is 14st and 17 rows on 6mm needles). I tried on 6.5mm plastic straights, and what did I find? Perfect Gauge! [sigh] Ok, maybe Sarah is right [grumble, grumble, grumble].. but I don't understand why! The only explanation I canc ome up with is that I have to work on balancing straights a lot mroe than I do circulars,w hich means that maybe the straights pull on the stitches a little more, hence producing bigger looser stitches. Bah! Who knows.
So I cast on.. and then I got stuck again. The first row is a right side row, and the prescribed cast on is the long tail cast on. If I did that, the purl bumps would show on the right side. Is that ok? Poor Sarah.. I left her yet another message on her phone. She wrote back to say it's ok, or that I could cast on purlwise. Purlwise??
Last night I learnt a new thing. I looked at how I cast on and realised that I ALWAYS do it knitwise, which is why the bumpy side will show if I make row 1 a right side row. I reversed it and cast on purlwise. IT WORKS!
It looks bad because all the stitches are squished together on the needle (look, look, PINK needles!)
The yarn is Colinette Prism in Fire. I love the colours and it's a joy to work with. The yarn just slides along. I had my reservations when I saw that it used 6mm needles and the gauge was huge, but then I thought that maybe I should try it. If I hate it, I just stop knitting samples for Sarah and swear off big needles forever, right? It is much easier to knit than my Garnstudio 95-33 jacket as the yarn is so much softer. I look forward to knitting it, and I hope to have the back done by the weekend (ambitious?) If I like it enough, I may even buy some fo this yarn to knit me a jacket!
I have something new to wear this winter
is finally finished and now looks like this:
I don't think I picked up enough stitches around the circle bit but it will have to do. I am not (no way!) frogging that ribbing and re-doing it. It still needs a wash to block out the ribbing a little and allow the yarn to bloom. I learnt a few lessons knitting this:
1. I do not like big needles. I used 6.5mm needles and they were WAY big.. People joke about building up some serious arm muscles, but I think it's my finger muscles I was working.
2. When working with coned yarn that's been oiled for machine knitting, take advantage of the fact that it's been oiled. Sew in the ends before washing and blocking the individual pieces. The blooming caused by washing made the yarn that much softer and that mnuch harder to thread through the needle.
3. When a pattern says "pick up and knit 392 to 420 stitches", 328 stitches is NOT enough!
Oh, and I also learnt that I should not (no, never again) try to take a picture of myself in teh bathroom. I should also not wear my pyjama pants thinking it will not matter when modelling my brand new handknit jacket!
Aside from all that, I think I did rather well. If I stick to my 'healthy diet' and lose another 5 kilos, I'll fit very well into the jacket. It's a little on teh small side right now. A size bigger would have been too big. Heck, maybe one day I will lose enough weight to be slim like the model who so tempted me to knit this..Project spectrum
It's May and it's green month. I have knitted nothing green.. yet.. I think..
I did finish Chris' bedsocks, but they were started in April. They are green. Do they count?
No, they don't match. They were experimental - like "which ribbing do you prefer, dear?" kind of experimental.. I have worked out the right length (which is actually harder than you'd think) as Chris has large flat feet. I don't know how the 'flat' bit alters things but he seems to need more length than usual (usual meaning socks for people whose feet have arches). Maybe the 'flat' bit stretches the sock sideways and it does not have as much room lengthwise. Who knows.
2x2 ribbing works well, 1x1 ribbing sucks.
Ribbing at the foot and at the ankle help to keep the socks on.. yes it really works!
I also spun this up for the second draw that Cynthia
is going to run for the Warming Grace project. I don't know when it will be, but I guess he now has to run a second draw since she has at least one prize!
It's green (yes, I am stating the obvious...)
and a little more detail...
It was dyed ages ago, and it's 22 micron merino top. It spun like a dream.. none of it felted during the dyeing - woohoo! and after washing and hanging up to dry, most of the kinks straightened out under the weight of a coat hanger.. There should be enough there to trim a scarf (or for the main part of the scarf with a different trim) or for a hat.
Project Colorswap questionaire
Are you crafty?I am guessing 'crafty' as in 'enjoys crafts' and not crafty as in ' Skilled in or marked by underhandedness, deviousness, or deception". If it is the former, my answer is "yes", and if it is the latter, my answer is "I should hope not!"
Would you enjoy things like: Buttons, ribbons and
embellishments?I think so. I like natural shell and wood buttons. I also use plastic buttons for baby and children's clothes which I make ever so rarely.
Do you dye your own wool?YES! Check out my store at Etsy.
Do you like to scrapbook or make homemade cards?No. I used to, when I was in school. The only time in the last few years whenI have made my own cards were when dear Chris decided it would be a 'fun project' to make the invitation cards for our wedding. It didn't end in tears, in fact I am rather proud of what we made but gosh, it was a lot of work! Our next project is the thank you cards for the wedding guests and other friends when we eventually get the photos.
What are your favorite scents?Fresh smells that actually smell like something (think lemonsor fresh grass or.. you know what I mean). I dislike heavy spicy smells. Also dislike sweet smells.
Do you like stationary and cards?I like receiving them in the form of snail mail, but I am not very good at sending them out!
Do you like to sew or embroider items?I haven't done much sewing in the past few years. I used to do lot of cross-stitch butI grew tired of it. I'd like to start sewing again and improve mys kills. I am thinking of making some cushion covers for throw cushions for our living room.
Do you like beads?Love beads. Have more than I can poke a stick at,, and don't know what to do with them.
What kind of candy do you like?I'm kinda on a diet, but I'm a sucker for dark chocolate. I love any sort of dark chocolate. Well, I lie.. almost any sort. Ihate liquorice, and my distaste for it is stronger than my love for dark chocolate so anything that has liquorice in it will not be touched!
Do you like hand lotions or soaps?I love hand lotions, but not a big fan of soaps. I have some and I use them to keep my stash smelling nice! I like fresh citrus-y smells.
Do you like to wear costume jewelry? Necklace,
earrings, bracelets etc.Yes I do! I don't like big earrings but big necklaces and chunky bracletes/bangles are good.
Do you like to make/or use stitch markers?I make and use stitch markers. I like the ones with the loops that don't open.
Do you collect anything?Uhm, yarn? Needles? Oh, you mean,like deliberately collect stuff like stamps and such? no.. I have no room!
Do you have any allergies?: Smoke, food, fiber, pets,
etc.Pollen and cat dander. I don't like the smell of smoke, unless it is in my food.
Do you have any hobbies?Knitting and spinning
Do you like scented or unscented candles?Not a big fan of candles. Again they are only used to keep mystash smelling pleasant.
Are you a fiber snob?One could call me that.
Do you like to play cards or board games?I would, if I could find someone with whom to play. These days we only play boardgames when my friends from uni come over, or whenw e go to one of their houses.
Do you like neon colors, pastel, light or medium
ranges in the color of the month?Let's see, this month is green month, right? Idon't like fluro, lime and apple green. I love dark greens, like forest green or muddy murky moss greens (how's that for alliteration?).
Do you like kitchen magnets or key rings?I do indeed!
Do you like picture frames?I don't have space for picture frames at the moment. I do like them, I think, but I don't know whether they will ever be displayed.