Monday, June 26, 2006

Evidence of effort

Well as you can see we having been busy bottling chez "Redumbrella". Robert is thrilled with his pickled onions and has been helping with the lackey work in the kitchen! At the moment he is skinning, coring and chopping 2 kilos of tomatoes because they were only $1.99 a kilo in Aldi and brown onions were only 99 cents. The great goddess in the sky is obviously telling me to make more Tomato Relish!

There has been some knitting as well. Robert doesn't help with this but he did sit around for quite a while at the shopping centre in Geelong while I checked out the Lincraft sale. I got a mixed bag of acrylic novelty stuff plus some "Zhivago". The plan is to make a poncho and a throw and add some new stuff to the stall for winter. The next market is not until Thursday 13th July so there may be time. This picture shows some zhivago and rosetti in beges and some himalaya and gypsy in dark red and some heather in silvery grey and last but not least some turino in the combo colours.
In fact, I have turned a lot of it into the makings of a poncho already. It is one of those ones made out of two rectangles. I was very pleased with myself for having no left over wool after the first half( which I used half the wool for!) and I used some stash in some of the stripes to extend it a bit and so that the fringe can be made of that same, stash-yarn and co-ordinate with the body of the poncho . I just did random stripes and shall match them for the second half. I used 8mm needles. They seem to cope well with chunky weight stuff that needs to be loosely knitted. I tried 6mm needles and the fabric was too stiff.
I thought I had finished the main parts of the sleeveless vest I was knitting for a friend of my Mum's in England, but by following the pattern, it has ended up an inch or so too long from the armholes, so I will have to undo the tops and re-size it to go with the measurements I had from his worn-out favourite one. He wouldn't look very good with the armholes half down to his waist. This was a lovely yarn to knit with. It is "Persian" by Bendigo and is in a colour called Teal. They have discontinued it but there was plenty left for this top and tons left over from just two balls.
Last but not least is the merino/silk from Andyle's
It is being knitted into the "Here and There Cables" scarf by Norah Goghan from the Scarfstyle book. I'm doing it with one less pattern repeat and I wish I had used 4.5mm needles instead of my favourite pair of 3.75mm short anodised ones. The fabric is a little stiff but maybe blocking can work some magic. It's a lovely pattern because it's reversible, which for a scarf is ideal and you only have to cable every seventh row. I must make a big decision about the size of the needles before I go any further. Perhaps if Lois at the LYS has some needles just like my favourites but in the 4.5mm size it would be worth re-starting. Perhaps I shall go down now and have a look. It's only ten minutes walk and it's not raining.
Cheers Gillian

Friday, June 23, 2006

To See the Sea!

We went away for a few days, to the seaside and stayed in a cabin right on the edge of Corio Bay, overlooking the You Yangs in the distance across the bay. It was very foggy when we first arrived and we could see nothing but although the second day dawned with a splendid sunrise (pink sky in the morning, Shepherd's warning) the skies cleared and we caught the ferry to the other side of Port Phillip Bay and drove to the stunning coastal area of Cape Schanck.
We did more looking than walking and were lucky, that even though it was school holidays, we were almost alone.

There are some quite, awesome rock features and a boardwalk takes you right down to the bottom of the cliff in safety...and then up again! It is an area for spotting seals, whales and dolphins but we didn't.

The views are spectacular and beyond the headland is more!

At the end of each day we returned to our cabin to watch the pelicans, ducks, black swans and cormorants come in for the night and parade past us, while I knitted. The mussel place was open at Port Arlington and we feasted on fresh mussels for supper.

To complete the break, we stopped in Geelong on the way home so that I could indulge in a bit of "Lincrafting". Just a few cheap balls of flashy stuff. I'm always attracted by shine and glitter like a jackdaw.
Lots of yarn and WIPs in the next post.

I'm off to do my walk. I have decided that I am becoming too large around the middle and the only exercise I can do successfully is walk. So I'm off at daylight each morning (this is my second go!) for a brisk half hour. There are plenty of roads to travel in all directions so I shall be able to have a really good sticky beak at people's house-gardens and also, what's growing in the market gardens.
Cheers for now Gillian

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Once Again that link is...

Let's try fitknit and the cartoon site is this. I did it really carefully this time so I hope it works.

Too Much Acquisition; Not Enough Achievement

I berate myself but with a frisson of pleasure! I found some bounty in an op shop just like Tapho seems to do every day. Ive been so jealous, but I've started with some thick, fluffy, beige stuff with flecks. It looks totally boring in the pic and only a little less so up close but it will make a nice, cheap swinging poncho for my stall. I need some new stuff to revitalise it.
I also show off my latest ebay scoop. A trolley for $6.13 to cart all my jams etc from the ute to the stall. It is quite large and of course these are 100gm balls of wool. Jars of jam are very heavy and this should do the trick nicely. OK it was $19 delivery but that was up front and so I was aware that I was bidding for it with the delivery cost in mind. I hate it when you secure a real treasure of a bargain on ebay and then find out it's $12 a gram for p&p!
Anyway, all this is to cover up for the fact that I have not done much knitting. DH has decided to become a gourmet chef and has produced 30 jars of pickled onions from the 8 kg of pickling onions that he snapped up at the local farm-produce outlet. Isn't it funny how "men" love to make things like pickled onions.
I have been waking early still so I have had a lovely time surfing the blogring. My real favourite this morning was a link on fitknit to a selection of great knitting cartoons. Surf over and enjoy them too.
Cheers Gillian

Flying Without Knitting!

I took the Knitting Nancy with me on the plane to England. It was not questionned or looked at askance. In fact, I was asked what I was doing and what I would do with it when I had finished.
Ha Ha I said, so many things, so little time!

In the end you can see that on the journey there and back I have not made more than 10 metres. It will, however be made into a bathmat. It is really absorbent cotton and I'm planning an attempt at braiding, using the cord and a couple of other strong left overs like old denim jeans.

I had dreams of finishing off a load of this french knitting in cotton, then dyeing it and then knitting it with other fabric strips into an oval mat. I did get some sleep in the end and that is much more important on a trans/time-zone flight than getting some knitting done. I do also have some use of low dose sleeping tablets which help me to recover more quickly.
Cheers for now Gillian

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Healthy Wealthy and Wise.

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a "man" healthy wealthy and wise. Well that's a big fat lie. I've been trying my best. Every night I say to myself "A good nights sleep and you feel much better in the morning" It hasn't worked.
This virus takes me by surprise and lets me feel well for a couple of hours and then hits me with a "must lie down and groan" feeling.
Some knitting has been done but not much to show. The lovely jade coloured wool is from Bendigo and is a wool, alpaca, silk mix. It is luxuriously soft and I'm using it to knit a plain sleeveless vest for a friend of my mother's. I really needed to do it in 4ply but it has to be this colour and the 8ply turned up first. Anyway I haven't got a pattern for a 4ply one, although I could probably work one out.

I also made some purchases at the Coburg Town Hall. I'm so glad Andyle were there. I have been wanting some of the silk and merino blend and treated myself to the white (snowdrop) which I think will make a lovely cabled scarf.
Something classically aran perhaps. I fantasize because I'm not a good cabler, but maybe now that I have got the hang of a handful of dpns for sock knitting, I will have greater success with a cable or two

Then I bought a couple of skeins of 8ply wool. Such lovely soft stuff, it was impossible to put it down and Sue grabbed the third and last one.
Actually, she kindly swapped her longer skein for one of my shorter ones so that I might have enough for a sleeveless vest.
I am knitting this for myself so I risk doing it without a pattern and in order to make the yarn go the distance, I am using large needles and a loose tension. This has the advantage of letting me knit a long enough vest for my tall frame but the pattern and the regularity of yarn are lost in the looseness. I shall be able to press it into some sort of smoothness but it is a lesson on using the right sized needle for the yarn. I have been doing a loose basket weave effect on it to camouflage its irregularities. I can almost hear myself thinking "frog it". The yarn is too lovely to misuse...
Alas we will all have to wait for the next instalment, to find out the kismet of this piece.
Cheers Gillian

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sick, Sock, Suck

I have been sick for a week and have spent much of the time feeling sleepy and weepy. Today I am feeling a tad better and have not had to lie down at all. I cheer myself up with the picture showing the view from Mum's sitting room window in Durham. The Cathedral is in the background and on Thursday evenings they practise the bell ringing and the sounds float out over the city. She has house plants and flowers all along the window-sill and crystals and mirrors hanging down to reflect the light and stop the birds from flying into the window.

I got sick of socks too. In fact I got to the stage where I had decided that "socks suck". That's probably because I knitted so many without a break. I did them from right to left in the picture.
I had pinned them up from left to right and then spun the Hill's Hoist around to get a better bit of garden as background.
I've worn the blue ones but the rest are all still virgins. In fact I now have this dreadful maternal instinct about them. How can I give them away and who too?

I dont know why I feel so possessive about them. They are not beautifully done. Although I admit that I have "improved" the amount of ventilation at the ankles as can be seen here. Red sock is sock one/pair two and still has fanlights at the ankle turn and pick up. The Motley sock is the most recent and shows no light through the same stitches at the turn, only through the slightly lacy pattern.

Okay. I have not knitted a sock for about two weeks or so now and I'm getting over the sock-saturation. I was able to get them out and photograph them for posterity. I have started other projects. I have even looked eagerly at "Knitting on the Road" by Nancy Bush which Sue lent me. More socks!

But, now I have started I can understand why other knitters always have a sock on the needles. I shall just go and cast on "Dalarna" before I prepare a very late lunch.
Cheers Gillian

Friday, June 02, 2006

Travels with Socks

The picture to the left shows the view from my Mother's kitchen window. She lives in Durham, a city in the north-east of England. It is full of history and grand and wonderful buildings such as a Cathedral and Castle but this structure is my favourite.
It is the Railway Viaduct, built over 150 years ago to carry the Great North Eastern Railway from London to Edinburgh. The "Flying Scotsman" still crosses it regularly as do countless goods trains and commuter links.

I woke early each morning at first and so I sat and knitted until the rest of the city stirred. I finished the striped socks and beanie and the blue-grey pair I had dyed some wool for before I left.
They suffered a grave misfortune when my mother swept up the knitting which I had left on the floor, in her wonderful battery powered carpet sweeper. Many metres of wool were lost in the workings and it took a bit of time to unravel but fortunately there was still plenty to finish the socks
They were followed by three more pairs in two weeks!
I obviously spend far more time on the computer than I realised and without it was able to make super progress on all the socks and even visited Polly's in Wingate to purchase more sock yarn.
I'll show this to you tomorrow because I need to do something about my jet-lag right now.