Saturday, February 25, 2006

There Is A Gnome In My Garden

Yes the things you find in your garden, hiding amongst the parsley and mint.

He was a fun knit and usually I detest the finishing of any knitting but even more so the finishing of toys, but he wasn't too painful. I used 8ply Heirloom out of my stash and ordered the yarn for his beard and face from MAVIS a UK store which was great to deal with and my order arrived within a couple of days. I ordered enough to be able to make a few of these little fellows as they would make awesome presents for that person who has everything not to mention a great way to use up some more stash.

I got to practice seam sewing, which CATHY showed me a neater way of doing at SnB on Tuesday. Thanks Cathy, I still have a lot of improving but practice makes perfect they say. I used to get my Mum to do all my sewing up (bad mistake, anyone who does this) so never learnt and before I knew it she was gone and I suddenly had to do it myself and really didn't have a clue how.

So now it is back to more socks, he did make a nice little change.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Flamingo Socks

I have finished the Opal Flamingo socks for my dear friend, I have made socks for all my friends over the time except for her so I felt it only fair to knit her some. She is a real pink girl so I think they will suit her nicely, I hope she likes them.

I have also taken on the POMATOMUS SOCKS as you well know I have a love/hate relationship with lace knitting so we will see how I go with them. It is a lovely pattern and so far so good, with only a couple of minor stuff ups so far, nothing that a round of unpicking hasn't fixed. The yarn I am using is a beautiful hand dyed one that I received from the lovely BECKY when we were taking part in secret pal 5, I have been saving it for a special project and I thought the colours would suit 'HIPPO' as he shall be called from now on, perfectly. Becky has been having computer problems so I haven't heard from her in a while, I do miss you if you happen to read this post.

I also couldn't resist starting something else, I seem to have been knitting a lot of socks lately, so I wanted to do something totally different and have chosen this delightful little fellow out of Simply Knittings Christmas gifts extra that came with the November issue.

I know it is a long way till next Christmas but he is the sort of thing I would like on display in my lounge room permanently, not to mention that he does bare a striking resemblance to my DH (I do hope he doesn't read this).

Monday, February 20, 2006

Australian Made

As you may or may not know, I have been having a whinge lately about the lack of quality yarns available here in Australia. We have plenty of wool producing sheep here, but unfortunately most of the fleece finds its way overseas to be manufactured into knitting yarn and that is the last we see of it. Spotlight imports a lot of crap yarns which sell well because they are cheap, cheap crap maybe but herein lies the problem, the majority of us looking for quality yarns are forced to buy from overseas. So with most Australians buying imported yarns either through local retailers here or over the internet we are in fact working against our own locally produced yarns.

So it was refreshing to find KATIE who feels the same way and fortunately she has the talent to do something about it and is doing her bit towards helping us Aussie knitters out here. I bought some yummy 4ply variegated 100% merino yarn

which is destined to become a pair of socks in the not too distant future. She also makes needle rolls and beaded stitch markers and judging by the sample card she popped in with the order, complete with one of her lovely stitch markers, I will be buying some more of these delightful yarns.


A huge big thanks for your kind reassuring comments about the lighthouse socks, I have since completed the intarsia work on sock #2 and I am much happier with them now. There still may be sock #3 yet, especially as try as I might I could not make the same mistake twice and I am totally bamboozled as to how I did it in the first place??? Another one of those little knitting mysteries!!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

First Lighthouse Sock Completed

I managed to resist the urge to abandon this project all together, you can ask Janelle to verify that on Tuesday night I had it in my hands and was about to rip it all out and forget that I had ever started it. She talked me out of it, thankfully as I am sure I would have regretted it if I did. What exactly is wrong with it you ask? Well you saw all the ends involved in a previous post, well once I got those sewn in I could get on with the rest of the sock. But because the top is intarsia the pattern is knitted on two needles and then the seam is sewn and you then continue in the round for the heel and foot. This is what I don't like, the seam, socks to me have no joins and as I am not the worlds greatest hand sewer you get this

I just don't like it. Anyway as Janelle pointed out to me the other night, it is the overall sock that you see. If anyone has knitted this sock before and can give me any pointers on that seam bizzo, please, please let me know. I have even contemplated knitting the whole intarsia piece in the round but I am assuming that with all the colours it would be way too fiddly.

On another totally unrelated topic, Tasmanian Metro bus drivers are on strike, they are owned by the government and basically they want more money. I had to take the kids to school this morning and the traffic was a nightmare, as this strike coincides with the public schools all returning back after the summer holidays. I am not going to judge them as I don't know the facts but I do think that it is a pity that this strike really affects the elderly and children of our state. I do hope that the government and the bus drivers can come to some agreement soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

St Valentines Day

I have never celebrated St Valentines Day and I wasn't even going to post today at all, until I READ THIS over at WOOL WINDINGS.

That bought a tear to this old unromantic fools eye, let me tell you!!!

Monday, February 13, 2006


Today I get my house back, the kids are back to school. I am going to sit down with a nice cup of coffee and then get stuck into tidying up the house, getting it back to how I like it to be. Not tripping over leggo blocks, getting tangled up in Playstation cords, and not having to retreat to my bedroom for a bit of peace and quiet oh and of course fighting everybody for time on the computer. Oh don't get me wrong I love school holidays and I love having my children home, but I also love having my life and my house back in some kind of order.

Yesterday was Haydens 11th birthday, so happy birthday young man, you are growing up way too fast.

This was nearly going to be a non-knitting post but I can't go without telling you that the ends are sewn in the Lighthouse sock and I have sewn up the back seam of the intarsia piece, which of course old Mrs. fussy pants here is not at all happy with, but are we ever totally happy with our knitting????

Friday, February 10, 2006

Seek And You Will Find..........

ask and you will be told, yes thankyou thanks to SUZI I can now do THIS this, oh please stop me. You are never too old to learn, I love it.

AM I MAD OR WHAT?? No don't answer that just check the above photo out and see what I have chosen to do for the sock competition, I am mad!!!

Look at all those bloody ends that now need sewing in before I can continue. I have chosen the Lighthouse Sock, but now I am not so sure. I hate intarsia and what does this sock have in it? I am mad, because after I had finished the picture bit, I found a mistake, not one that anyone would notice unless I told them, but as socks usually have a matching pair, I have to either remember to make the exact same mistake in it's mate or I scrap it all together and start again. Maybe I will make 3 socks and this one can be the draft, you know so I can see how I can improve 1 & 2. I am one of these people who can cook fancy cakes and things but the minute I have to make something for a special occasion, it is a complete flop *sigh*

Stay tuned to this spot and see what I decide to do, plus I do have in my head that I would rather be entering my very own design, oh yes I must indeed be slightly deranged!!!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sock Knitting Competition

I heard the other day that there is to be a worldwide sock knitting competition in Westbury, Tasmania. Westbury is a lovely old country town, about 20(I have never actually timed it but it isn't far) minutes from where I live. I wasn't sure whether to enter or not but hey what have I got to lose. Along with my fellow knitters from my knitting group we will be heading out there on the day to check all the entries out, should be a fun day out. You can read all about it HERE.

On a very sad note, I heard yesterday that a very good friend of mine from high school has passed away, she was only 39 years of age and has left behind a husband and 4 children. I last saw her at our 20 year high school reunion 4 years ago and she was the same as always, the most bubbly, full of life girl that I remembered from our school days. She dropped me off home after the reunion and said we must catch up to which I said yes, but we never did. A lesson to be learnt here I think, anyway PJC, rest in peace honey and I have four years worth of the most wonderful memories that I will keep with me forever.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Muse Hat

I bought this delightful knitting book off ebay with some lovely retro hats but unfortunately, they are nearly all crocheted and unfortunately I cannot crochet. Oh sure I can do the stitches if I follow a 'how to' book but putting them all together, by following a pattern, I haven't a clue.

Many years ago I remember knitting a jacket which had a stitch pattern that looked just like crochet so after sorting through my old pattern books I found the pattern and used it to make my Muse Hat. Why Muse you ask? It reminds me of the hats that the beautiful wives and girlfriends of famous musicians and artists were always pictured wearing during the '60s and '70's, complete with the false eyelashes and long hair. Here she is finished, sorry I don't have the model looks, complete with false eyelashes, neither is my hair the long tresses that the women who inspired this little number possesed and for that matter I don't think I have ever been the 'force that inspires a creative artist'.

Anyway she was a dream to knit, quick and easy and I must say the wool I used, Cleckheaton Country 12 ply, was an absolute delight to knit with. I have tended to be very negative about Australian yarns, not the quality, after using Cleckheaton Country it is up there with any I have knitted, it is the lack of colour range that is so lacking here. You would think living in a country that produces some of the best wool in the world that the manufacturers would get off their backsides and see what the rest of the world is doing and at least try and compete. I mean I am not even talking variegated here just a wider colour choice, at the moment if you want blue you might be lucky if you get three choices navy, light and dark and that is it. Maybe us Aussie knitters should get together and write a letter to the major wool companies and ask them to do something about changeing this situation.

Okay I am back off the soap box now, funny isn't it how you can be talking about one thing and that reminds you of something else and off you go!! Or does that only happen to me?

If you too would like to knit a Muse hat, you can find the pattern over in the sidebar or HERE. There you will see it being modelled by DD who has now claimed it for herself, so I guess I will be making another one.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I've Been Wanting To Do This For Ages

This week we rearranged Janelles bedroom, changing it from a little girls room into one that more befits a teenage student, complete with a desk, chest of drawers and a new wardrobe. Now as we live in a small three bedroom house, with each room occupied, my yarn stash and patterns have been cluttering up the boys bedroom for quite some time and each time I get on their case to tidy up their room I am met with protests of 'its all your stuff'. So of course I saw this wardrobe as a solution to all our problems, I get to put my knitting junk (some people have a nerve!!!) all in the one spot and it fits nicely in my bedroom and the boys get some much needed space back.

What do you think? How do you stack wool neatly? I don't have a problem at all do I??? There isn't that much here, I have seen some stashes that look like a yarn store. I must admit I do have a bit of an obsession with knitting books and patterns, I couldn't possibly ever knit 1/4 of them, even if I lived to be 100. I did give away a lot of my patterns from the 80's as I really could not see batwing sleeved, boatnecked, purple, pink and green combinations ever coming back into fashion and even if they did would I ever knit, let alone wear something like that again!!! Oh but I did not think that I would ever wear a poncho again but oh yes I had to knit one when that craze first hit.

Oh by the way am I the only knitting blogger on the planet at the moment who isn't entering the knitting olympics??? Everywhere I go I am reading about elite knitters getting into shape, training for the knitting event of the year but as every great event needs spectators, that is exactly where I will be, sitting in the stands cheering you all on. Can I still knit, I wonder????? If you would like to join me in the stands here are a couple of buttons I have made for us spectators.

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Image hosting by Photobucket

You know the drill if you want to pinch them right click and save and upload to your own server etc. etc. I found THIS SITE for making buttons which you don't need a degree in computing to work out.