Monday, November 29, 2010

Book: Ashford Book of Spinning

Considering the wheel I have is an Ashford Traditional, I thought it very lucky for me to find the book The Ashford Book of Spinning at my local library. It's step by step instructions and descriptions of the parts of the wheel have all helped me tremendously.

To start with the book describes the basic information, how to spin, what the parts do, and what fibre to use. It explains how to hold your hands, calculate the twist, prepare the fibre and care for your wheel. It also covers breeds of sheep, information about their fleeces, how to spin different staple lengths and crimps, how to blend fibres and how to ply the fibres.

Reading this book made a lot of what I was doing click.....and I felt a greater understanding of what I was doing and why. I realised I need to add a bit more twist to my singles and that my spinning style is worsted. My tension needed adjusting and that helped things to work better, and my yarn consistancy is improving already. Although I still have a long way to go I'm sure.

I have finished 2 bobbins and have begun plying, so far I think I am happy with the result, but I won't know the full results until after I have taken it off the bobbins and set the twist. I think that's right! Either way I am loving this experience and am enjoying the new challenge. Even though I never thought I'd be interested in spinning!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Building a rhythm

I finished a bobbin last night, still have no idea of the quality that I spun but I guess I'll find out soon enough. I am starting to build up a rhythm and getting longer stretches of consistant yarn, but those little bumps and super skinny bits still appear here and there. I also found myself getting some weird areas of over-twisting, and others that were under-twisted. But once again a learning experience.

After all, I need to just look at my earlier knitting projects to see the development of skill and knowledge as each item is finished. The seaming, cables, picked up stitches, button bands and holes......have all improved, and still have more improvement to go. And I doubt I will ever reach a stage of perfection, but that is the beauty of hand-crafts, the imperfections that make it yours and no body elses.

I have noticed time flies when I am spinning, especially when I am in rhythm. I found there were less instances of losing the thread, and equally trying to get it restarted again. I think I managed to spin a lot more in last nights session than in the previous sessions. I also noticed the importance of the tension when spinning, I was getting some very odd, loose yarn threading on the bobbin, not having the tight, efficient look it should. I remedied this by tightening the wheel a bit and going a bit faster. I have found that I work better when I am going a bit faster.

Still so much to learn it boggles the mind! But what a fun journey.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My First Spinning Wheel

On Wednesday I visited a member of my S'n'B group, (that I struggle to attend most of the time due to kids, life etc.) and was introduced to my first spinning wheel. It is an Ashford Traditional and came with 4 bobbins and a Lazy Kate and a bag of unwashed fleece and a bag of prepared fleece which you can see here. An absolutely stunning chocolate brown. I don't know the breed, but I love the color andd the feel of the roving. So, I got a lesson as a bonus and began spinning. I think I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and I have spent at least an hour each night spinning. I'm not sure of the quality I have spun, nor whether it will be usable, but for the most part I think I have maintained an even consistancy. There are certainly thinner and thicker parts, as well as occasional lumps, but over all I'm very pleased with my acheivements, which you can see here.
And finally, here is the wheel. I love it! I think it is gorgeous with the decorative spokes in the wheel, and the staining. The wheel is in excellent condition, works fabulously and all day I just want to spin on it. But I can't during the day because my kids are so fascinated with it that their little hands cannot resist trying to touch it everytime they pass it!
I also got given a bag of raw fleece that needs to be cleaned, carded and (probably) dyed. It is white so it should show colours fabulously. I haven't tried any of the above so I'm sure they will all be an adventure with many stories! A very exciting adventure that I'm loving already. Once I have finished this bobbin I intend to fill another and then ply them together to see if they balance each other out. I hope they do. I am having fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FO - A Tangled Ocean Tweed

On Saturday morning I completed my Tangled Ocean Tweed.......just had to weave in ends and sew on the buttons and I was done. Sooooooo happy with the finished result and the fit is perfect! Hugs my shape in just the right places. Very pleased I chose the 38" size.

As you can see it is longer than the pattern suggested by 5 inches, which was a great idea, I love the length, it hides a multitude of sins! Although the picture below looks wonky, the tangled yoke does measure up evenly with the other side. I was just in a hurry to get some photos as my son was trying to get in the pictures!
I adore the colour, it is a stunning green and I think this colour really suits me. I have realised recently that green is my favourite color.......purple has taken a step back. Although I still love purple, I'm finding myself drawn to all sorts of shades of green.

As you can tell by the above picture, by increasing the length and then following the waist shaping instructions (although switching to stockinette earlier on in the shaping) the cardigan has come out with a gorgeous silhouette, which is perfect for me. I hope to have photos of me wearing it eventually.
On another note, I have started a black and grey striped top-down raglan sweater for myself, all done with my own calculations. A bit of a headache considering I am making it a v-neck as well. Things are going well so far, hopefully some progress shots to come.

Friday, November 19, 2010

End of an Era

Feeling a bit strange tonight, my partner has finished up work at a place he has worked for 7 years. He resigned to take a position which has a better chance of advancement in his career, also, many changes had occured where he was and he was feeling burned out. But now it is over. The company has played a big role in our lives, we have made friends, some that will fade but some that will remain so for years to come I hope. Reminicing of the work functions, Christmas parties, get togethers, all make it a bit sad. Although there are many things I did not like about his job, this is still a major change and will make a big impact on all our lives.

B will begin his new job in a few weeks, so it will be nice to have him home for a bit. Tonight he has gone out for "drinks with the boys from work" which I'm sure is code for "going to the strippers". So not happy about it but what can I do. At least he comes home to me and wants to marry me. Still think it's a bit distasteful, but I'll get over it.

We also have our daughter, C, starting a new school next year. She is quite excited about it, the school has better facilities, more teachers, impressive ground and an excellent reputation. C seems to understand that she will get a better education at this school as they have a much more intense classroom structure. And considering she is a very smart girl and demonstrating Grade 5 skills in Grade 3, she really needs the stimulation. She regularly complains of being bored at her current school.

Then N is starting kinder next year and my baby will truly be a little boy. I'm having trouble toilet training him at the moment, but I'm sure we'll get there by February. His speech is improving dramatically, and he is really into books at the moment. He knows his alphabet, can say it and identify all the letters, even spell his name. He can count to 20+ with a little bit of prompting, and can count backwards from 10. He needs the stimulation pre-school will provide him with.

But all this means that next year is a year for change, a year for learning and the beginning of another phase in all our lives. B has worked there for 7 years, C has attended her school for 4 years, and I've had N home for nearly 4 years. Next year I will have time to myself when I will hopefully study in between planning my wedding. The future looks bright and exciting, but there is a little sadness when an era of your life ends, I guess it's a little bittersweet.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Memorised Kitchener

I think I have finally memorised the Kitchener stitch. On the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, the pattern requires you to graft the underarms together using Kitchener stitch. I decided to see if I could do it from memory, and I did! Including remembering the set-up stitches. So I am very proud of myself at the moment.

Today I worked solely on the Tangled Yoke, and had a nightmare with the collar. The collar requires you to pick up stitches inside the cardigan, to fold the collar over and make a neater finish. And for some reason today, I just had my uncordinated hands on, I think. Not only did I somehow pick up stitches on an angle that ended up higher than it should be, I didn't notice until I had 3 needle bind-off half the stitches. So rip. Got it all back on track and then for some unknown reason I decided to pull out the needle holding the picked up stitches. I had a major WTF moment then.

Finally I got it all back on, finished the bind off, grafted the underarms and tried it on.......PERFECT! I could not be happier. The length is perfect, adding the 5 inches on before the shaping worked perfectly. The shaping matches up with my body and makes a very flattering shape. The arms are the right length, the yoke is the right depth, and even the collar, which I thought may be bound off too tight.....sat just right.

Tonight I hope to start on the button bands and tomorrow venture out on a hunt for buttons. I really hope I can find some that work. I will also have to calculate how many I want considering the extra length I added.

On a personal note, I am thinking about cutting my hair by about 3-4 inches. Bring it up to my shoulders. Not sure it's that or getting foils, or both. I need a change and my hair is so dark, I get sick of it sometimes. I think a lighter shade may soften my face a bit. I am hoping to see a new hairdresser who will actually give advice and recommendations, not just a "whatever you want" attitude. I'm not too good with choosing flattering styles or colours for myself, so sometimes you do need help.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Socks for Cycling

As odd as it sounds, I knit most of my socks on the exercise bike. I have to exercise, for health, to prevent restless legs and insomnia, and to lose weight (although that's not happening). No matter how much I try I never really find exercising fun. Going for a run on the treadmill listening to music can be fun, but I can't do it all the time. I get a sore toe joint which can be very painful. So I alternate with the bike.

But I hate sitting still, and that's what it feels like sometimes. My brain gets bored very easily. Sometimes I read, especially if I'm studying, but lately I have needed socks and they are so small that they don't get awkward when on the bike. Definately multi-tasking! Finishing a round usually means a change in tension of the bike, which is an excellent way to change the intensity throughout the workout. My only problem......using DPN's. I have to get hold of a couple of 2.25mm circulars I think.

I haven't run much during this last week as things have been kinda stressful and filled with change. All I have wanted to do is knit. So on the bike I go. But only socks. Too awkward with anything much bigger, or more complicated. But I need socks, and I'm loving how quick they are to knit, the satisfaction of a finished project and all the colors that the varigated socks yarn I own have. Thankfully my feet haven't itched for a while either, maybe they just needed to get used to the wool socks. And now I think they are.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wave Shawl

I realised this morning that as we are only 6 weeks from Christmas, I had better get moving on my Mother-In-Law's Wave Shawl. I haven't made much progress on it lately, I've been too preoccupied with finishing my Tangled Yoke Cardigan and my anklet socks. I have been using the socks as travel knitting in the car when taking my man to work in the mornings and picking him up at night, but I think I need to take the shawl along instead. The pattern is very simple for the body, just knitting in stockinette with yarn overs placed to increase the shawl evenly.
But as you can see, I have made very little progress considering the size of the shawl, it is a big style, pictured to cover most of the upper body. The color is Pale Eucalypt from Bendigo Woollen Mills, and at first I wasn't a big fan of it, but the colour is really growing on me. As you can see I still have a long way to go before I reach the lace edging.
I have chosen not to add the sleeve in the pattern, just didn't really like it. I'm also not sure if I will make it as big as the pattern says. We'll see how it goes. I'm loving the fabric that the needles are creating and I am developing a real love for finer yarns. The delicate nature, and the finer gauges all appeal to me. Although 5ply isn't overly fine, It is much finer than even the 8ply.
It is refreshing (and odd) working with the larger needles too, I think I'm using 5.5mm, and I've been using 3.75mm on the cardigan and 2.25mm for my socks. Definately a lot bigger, but at least it gives the hole in my finger a rest!

Monday, November 15, 2010

FO - Regia Anklets!

I have just finished grafting the toe on the second sock and immediately proceeded to try them on and photograph them. I was able to get a full pair out of a 50g skein of sock yarn, which I am thrilled with.
I don't have much yarn left, but certainly enough that I can lengthen the cuff by a few rows. I only did 10 rows of rib before starting the heel flap, and I think I may prefer it to be just a little itty bit longer.
I still have another skein of this Regia colorway, and figure that one day I will make another pair of anklets with it. After knitting with it, I discovered that I love the blues and greens, but not too keen on the amount of grey and the yucky olive/khaki/ i don't know green that is in there. I don't think I would want to use this colorway for anything other than socks.

I am very pleased with how these socks turned out, and again I used a basic sock pattern that has become not only memorised, but guaranteed for a good fit. You can find the pattern I use here.
Clearly written, easy to follow and an excellent finished product!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Toxic People

It seems pretty common sense to avoid people in your life who are toxic - who bring out the worst in you, make you feel bad about yourself and treat you like crap. But what the hell do you do when they are your sisters?

Both my sisters are becoming more toxic to me and my life. Every time they contact me all they have to say is crap. Insults, threats, blame - always the same shit, but sadly after 12 years of me moving out of home, I seriously doubt there is any chance of any chance of any relationship developing between us.

It is relatively easy with SG, she is in QLD, so I don't see her. She deleted me off facebook, and we don't really talk. I just get the occasional unexpected nasty sms from her that ruins my whole day. My new approach is to not respond, no matter how much I feel like going off tap at her.

SB is harder, as she is still staying here part time. Every time she is here I feel uncomfortable and want to be elsewhere, which is not how I think I should feel in my own home. Not to mention annoyed at her treating this house like a hotel. Even the dog doesn't like her.

In an ideal world I would be able to distance myself from my sisters so I could deal with my life without the toxicity they bring. I do love them, but as people, not so much.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rolling Thunder

After a week of very dry, hot lae 20's early 30's weather, the cool change is on it's way, announcing itself with rolling thunder and the darkness that cloud cover brings to a home. That darkness that creeps over when it should still be full daylight, and you know a storm is coming.

Then you look out the window to see the clouds covering the sky in every colour of grey imaginable. I love storms. I love the sound of the thunder and rain, I love the flashes of lightening and the smell the next day. This is a well deserved change from our first heat wave (minor) for the summer period.

A Tangled Disaster!

I had my first real knitting disaster today, and I nearly cried! Last night as I was working on my tangled yoke, the tangled portion, I realised at the end of one row I had one extra stitch. I counted and recounted and searched and could not discover where this stitch had come from. So, as recommended by those who have experienced such strange phenomenon at night, I decided to put it down, go to sleep and look again in the morning.

So this morning I looked again. Still no luck. No idea where this mysterious stitch has come from and why it is here. So, in my wisdom, I decided one extra stitch was no problem, I would just k2tog and continue on with the pattern. But that didn't work. Well it did for the first side of the cardigan, all looked good and I was pleased with my progress. But when I reached the second half, where the pattern is reversed, I saw it - A DISASTER!

I had missed one stitch in the beginning of the previous round which meant that on this half the increases were 1 stitch off and didn't line up with the pattern. And of course, because I didn't realise this until after I had completed the row with the mammoth and multiple cable stitches. And while one side looked perfect, the other side looked odd, there was no cable twist where there was meant to be and instead of crossing, the stitchs sort of looped back so they were next to each other and not across each other. If that makes sense.

I thought "I can fix this" and endeavoured to drop the necessary stitches, retwist the cables and voila! problem solved! But no, this was not meant to be. I couldn't figure out how many stitches should be dropped, how to cable twist them considering each section involved numerous cable twists, and then I saw a few dropped stitches and I couldn't figure out where they belonged.

So I did it. I ripped it back to before I began the tangled yoke pattern. I nearly cried. I felt angry, sad, frustrated and exasperated. My picking up stitches skills lack too, so although I have got all the stitches back on the needle, a few have dropped a row or two, many (or most) will be twisted and I'm sure I have hours of frustration to fix it all and get it back to where I was.

Maybe I will try a lifeline this time. I don't think I could handle this again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

High Concentration

I have reached the celtic horizontal cables of the tangled toke cardigan, and especially as it is not something I have done before, I'm finding I need to maintain a high level of concentration. Last night when I began on the yoke pattern, I chose to go without tv, podcasts, audiobooks or company. I wanted peace and quiet so I could make sure that I was doing it all right as I do not want to rip back. So far I am pleased with how it is going, although each row is taking me 30minutes, so this yoke will be with me for a few days. I don't know if it is looking how it is meant to look, but I think it does. I have been following the directions carefully.

This is the first pattern I have come across that has so many different features, 2x1 cables, 2x2 cables, 2x3 cables, 5 into 1 increases and decreases. So many twists and turns that I followed the advice of others and colour coded my chart so it was easier to read. Once I have done the repeat a few times, I memorise it, but the need to make sure I do the right amount before I change to the next pattern repeat means I need to focus.

Ordinarily in my house, the ability or opportunity to focus and concentrate is almost impossible to find. Between the kids, my partner, phone calls and general noise, the only time I have to work on my yoke will be after 9.30pm when my 8 year old goes to sleep. Before that there is too many interruptions. As it is, I'm not guaranteed the nights either, lately my 4 year old son has been having bad dreams and waking up crying. By next year I hope to have more time to myself, but then again, that time is supposed to be for studying.

In conclusion I am having s much fun with the yoke, even though I have only done a few rows. I was stunned to find 2 hours had passed since I had sat down. I was totally immersed in the pattern, the yarn and the moment. I intend to do this more often.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Almost Summer

Today is a gorgeous day, 28 degrees, sunny and not a cloud in the sky. It truly feels like summer, and reminds you that we are only 5 weeks away from school holidays, which is 6 weeks without school. A welcome blessing. This year has been long and stressful, and having a respite from it all is welcomed, even if it is just a staycation.

During the holidays I hope to attain a spinning wheel and learn to spin. It would be nice to have a back-up to knitting for the days when it is just too hot. And we get many of those days. Days when it is so hot we hibernate in the house with the air-con on, eagerly awaiting the cool change.

Summer for me meas new beginnings, new resolutions and goals, as well as family time, time to spend together without the pressures of school, homework and strict bedtimes. Things are always so much more relaxed, and I think we all need to relax a bit.

The week is meant to remain hot, and hotter, letting us know summer is definately on it's way. And if this week is anything to go by, it may be a scorcher. At least the drought has broken and our dams are 50% full. You can have an extra shower and not feel too bad!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Joining the Yoke

I finally got around to joing the sleeves to the body of my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I must admit I hate this process. It is always awkward, at least until you have done quite a few rows, to knit around with there being no movement in the sleeve stitches. But I do love the no seaming effect!

I still have quite a long way to go until I reach the Celtic Horizontal Cables that comprise the tangled yoke design. Reading through the chart there are a few stitches that I need to review, for example creating multiple stitches out of one in the middle of the row. I need to check and see what is the recommended method of doing this. I'm sure this will be a challenge, but I'm still looking forward to it.

I'm loving the yarn more and more as I go on this project. The color is so deep and gorgeous, the little flecks of royal blue and jade green really give it life. I have always liked the color green, but now that I am using greens I wouldn't normally reach for, I'm realising my love runs deep. It is also a credit to the Bendigo Woollen Mills who make such gorgous wools. Their rustic range is my favourite, and this yarn being Colonial, I adore too.

I have also discovered that I like the fabric that is created using a 5ply on 3.75mm needles. At first I thought it would be too loose see-through, but now that I have so much of the cardigan knit, I can see that this is not the case. The fabric is light, but dense enough to be substantial. I'm sure I will knit many more garments in 5ply, I don't like the garments that are 10ply and heavy. I also think in our weather environment, there isn't much need for heavy woollen clothing anyway.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Family Dramas

I feel jealous of those people who have a close knit relationship with their siblings, I certainly don't. Both have deleted me off Facebook (the ultimate insult!) because we just don't get along. Most of the time I think they are crazy and very immature, notto mention whiny and negative people. Sad.

But then they think I'm just a bitch. And that is mostly because I say it how it is and not sugar coat everything for them. And because I won't take their attitude that because we are family we are endlessly in debt to each other. I have worked hard in my life and don't expect hand-outs from anyone, nor do I think that you should receive respect just because we have the same blood. Unfortunately, if it wasn't for the fact that we are blood, i would not have them in my life. This is not how I want it to be, it's just how it is and has always been, since we were all in Primary school. I was always the odd one out, and never got along with them.

But last night I went to an extended family dinner for my Nana's birthday, which neither of my sister's attended, SG because she is in QLD, and SB because she hates family gatherings. I'm not really a fan, but I wanted to catch up with my cousin, T. It was great seeing her again, we used to get along as kids, and are only 19 days apart. Our lives are very different, she is a Myotherapist and has opened her own clinic, she has no kids, just a partner of 5 years, and has a very active social life. Whereas I, have 2 kids, spend most of my time at home and am trying to get studying done now. I suppose in 20 years our lives won't be that different, just lived in a different order. Me: Kids then career T: Career then kids.

I'm hoping to catch up with her more and hopefully have a closer relationship with someone in my family! She lives and works close by so anything is possible. Although I have noticed that I do lack some social skills, which I understand to be because during my 20's, instead of meeting people and socializing, I was being a mum. Although that's not much of an excuse, you combine it with no money, no transport and low self-esteem, and you have the perfect recipe for a recluse. Now I find it hard getting to know people, but I'm trying. Had a lot of bad experiences with friends that have turned out to be less than friendly. Kinda causes you to put up a protective wall.

I really hope that one day things settle down and as a family we can all be in the one room together and not want to kill each other. But I won't hold my breath. After all, it's been over 20 years and things seem to be getting worse.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Angry with the School!

My daughter is in grade 3 and has a really poor year (or two) of education. I blame this on various things:
  1. Her teacher is lazy and inept, gets spelling words wrong and has to check the dictionary, believes homework doesn't need to be graded, that they complete the work is all that matters, and gives no feedback on assignments, then blames the children for not giving us the information.
  2. Added to number 1, many topics have not been addressed that should be known by the end of grade 3, such as basic timestables, maths beyond addition, and various other grading markers which say my child is well below average, yet all reports leading up to these last 2 years indicate she is above average.
  3. There is no interaction between teacher and students or teacher and parents. Whenever we approach with issues to discuss we are brushed off, assured everything is fine, that the recommended course structure is being followed and the child's reports at the end of the year will indicate such. As involved parents we are made to feel like a nuisance.
  4. Her class has been combined with another class, so you have 50 students and 2 teachers in the one classroom, which has severly impacted on her enjoyment of school and her ability to learn. The level of noise and distraction has caused her to have headaches and to have trouble completing her work or reading. When this topic was discussed, we were informed that this is a better learning environment for children as the 2 teachers provide more structure and learning assistance. RUBBISH! I have looked in on the class in action and many times you see the teachers sitting together on their laptops while kids are running around the class and the noise level can be heard outside!
  5. Since the arrival of the new principal, the newsletter has reduced from 4 pages, to 1 double sided page. The school play has been cancelled. The mini assemblies that each section of the school (lower, middle, and upper) would have each week have been cancelled. The whole school assemblies which used to be every Friday, are now once a month. The school spirit has dissolved and morale is low. Also the school sports day got washed out, ands rather than rebook it, it was just cancelled. Very disappointing. To make things worse the principal does not see parents. Apparantly that is not her role, her role is to administrate the school. BULLSHIT!
  6. And finally, when my daughter completed the NAPLAN testing (a general aptitude test given to children in grades 3, 5, 7 & 9 to determine average levels of english comprehension, spelling and maths) the results came back that she is in the top 10 percentile for the state and the top 2% in her school, and yet her report said she wasn't up to the accepted standard???? WTF????
So in conclusion we are considering moving her to a school where the principal is active, school morale is high, children are encouraged to learn, and parents are given feedback on their child's progress and participation. A school where activites are held and children are awarded for good behaviour and hard work, where children are happy to attend.
It is so disappointing, I always swore I wouldn't movemy child from their school as I was moved as a child. But I didn't expect such a large deterioration of the school. Back when she started it was a popular school, highly regarded and talked of fondly. Now, kids are leaving on a regular basis. I know of a few that have left already, including my daughters best friend, and many enrolled in other schools for next year.
So we have looked into another school, with a fabulous reputation, a friendly principal and an above average academic standing in our state. We have an appointment next week and if all goes well, she may be moving next year. Scary and exciting and hopefully the right move on our part. It's hard being a parent, you hold their lives in your hands.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Regia Anklet!

Well, I have been working on my regia anklet, just a little bit. Haven't had much time to knit between trying to toilet train Nathan and looking into a new school for Chloe. But so far I'm loving it, the colors are gorgeous, the yarn is soft and using the Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock Pattern, I know what I'm doing. But it's still second to my tangled yoke which I'm hoping to have all joined up by tomorrow. Hopefully.

The only amendment to the pattern I have made is to rib for only 10 rows before starting the heel flap, thereby omitting the leg of the sock and making it an anklet. Otherwise all other aspects of the pattern will stay the same as this sock pattern fits my foot perfectly!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cast on for Regia!

Well I couldn't take it anymore, I had to cast on for a sock, and I chose some Regia I already had. It has blue, green, browns and is gorgeous. It is a self-striping yarn too. So I wore a pair of hand-knit socks since last night, and I have been fine. No itchies. No idea why. But that was all I needed to cast-on. I have decided on some anklet socks, because I figure I mostly wear anklets, and I can probably get two pairs of socks for every 100g ball of sock yarn. That's the plan anyway.

I want to save the long socks for the textured, lace and cabled sock patterns. There are so many gorgeous patterns out there and I love most of the complex patterned socks when they are in a solid colour. So I will use just a fingering weight solid wool for those socks. Most of the time I would probably only wear the decorative socks at home, certainly not for going for a walk.

So it felt fabulous casting on for my sock, and I'm excited about it, hoping especially that the Regia won't itch my feet. Although I'm wearing Moda Vera socks now and they are ok. It was great seeing the different colours and knitting something different, I think I was getting a bit burned out on my cardigan, since I have been pretty much been monogamous. As I was with the sweater vest too. But I find that when I want something knit, I am better off going all in, otherwise I get worried it won't get finished.

I think I'm also suffering a bit of cabin fever. I haven't gone anywhere or done anything for a few weeks now, and I think I seriously need a few hours outside the house and away from the kids. Some adult time. Which is almost impossible. Last week I wanted to get out, but Brian was in a bad mood and I didn't think I could get away with leaving him with Nathan for a few hours. Then on the weekend I had to running around and cooking for my brother-in-laws 40th birthday last Saturday. So now I'm feeling a bit frustrated, a bit closed in and a bit bored.

I would love nothing more to buy some new wool since I can't seem to escape....but since having to fix the car and Brian using $100 to gamble on the Melbourne Cup.....there is no money left. Have to wait a few weeks. I'm sure the weather has a bit to do with feeling a bit down, we have had more rain in this last week than we usually see in a month. Not to mention it is cold and overcast too. Not feeling much like Spring. But, knowing will be the opposite this time next week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wandering Aimlessly

I am having one of those days when you are bored, and don't feel like doing anything. I have found myself wandering aimlessly around the house, room to room, just feeling bored. I want to knit, but frankly, I'm bored with it. Both my ongoing projects are green, solid colours. Both are in a stockinette portion of the pattern, and I really want something a bit more exciting. I feel the need to knit a sock, but I want to knit something with a really interesting pattern. Because the sock yarns I have all itch my feet, I want to try the Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4ply wool. That stuff is so soft it really shouldn't itch me. But I don't have any.

I have thought about casting on for a sock in one of the multi-colored sock yarns I have stashed, but I don't want to waste them if I can't wear them. Thinking they may be better suited to a shawlette.

I know that soon enough I will have challenging knitting, when I get to the yoke of my cardigan or the lace edging on the shawl, but for now I don't know what to do, I need colour and texture and a complicated pattern to challenge me. I get bored easy. I will most likely power through the second sleeve of the cardigan so I can get to the horizontal cables of the tangled yoke.....pretty sure that will keep me entertained!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Itchy Socks :(

It's so not fair! So many gorgeous sock yarns, so many gorgeous sock patterns and yet so far knitted socks just make me itch like crazy! Ok, so I have only tried Moda Vera Noir and Patonyle, but with the amount of effort put into a pair of socks, I'm reluctant to make more in case all that effort goes to waste. I have been thinking of trying a pure wool yarn, that is very very soft, like BWM Luxury. But I'm not sure. I know I definately need more socks though, and my feet are warmest in just itches!!!!! Maybe I have extra sensitive feet. Who knows. I also have some Reggia and some ZigZag, but I think I like the colors too much to risk them being unworn socks. Thinking about turning them into shawls or shawlettes.

Unfortunately I have tried various washing methods, drying methods, even washing luck I still itch! Will have to try to find a cure for this because I love wearing hand knit socks, I love the patterns of some of them, and I honestly don't want to miss out!