Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ravel around the world

I've had the great pleasure of meeting a Raveler from the US! She arrived in Wellington on the 17th, and yesterday we met, exchanged yarn (of course! What else are fellow knitters going to do when first meeting up?!?) and spent the day talking and shopping and eating yummy lunch at Scopa... it was a fabulous day. We even had good weather, which was unexpected because ever since she'd arrived it had been wet and cold. Typical Wellington. Today I have the even greater pleasure of introducing her to a bunch of Kiwi Ravelers, with whom I knit on a weekly basis. Oh, we're going to have so much fun! I predict a 150% increase in the amount of laughs to be had.

So anyway, you may recall in a previous post I was intending to start up running again? Well, that hasn't happened. Please, don't act so shocked!! I have a (reasonably) good excuse - I've been sick for about two weeks. Once I feel a little closer to 100%, I shall be donning the 'running gear' again, which will hopefully be soon. I'm getting kinda sick of being sick, ya know?

Knitting has been coming along nicely though. Those Monkey socks got finished, and I had great fun giving them to my friend Tracee, who was very sweet to have bought me the yarn they were made with.



I also made a pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks (also used for Defense Against the Dark Arts in the HPKCHC, plus was a KAL on Ravelry):



Other non-sock-knitting projects have included my Ninja Bunny Nugget of the Hufflepuff Persuasion (for Charms in the HPKCHC):


The boys love him, but unfortunately they've already pulled his tail mostly off - it's literally hanging by a thread. This took all of about five minutes after they'd met him. I might get around to reattaching it at some point...

Here are my 'Chunky Bug Smooshers', made with my Chunky Bug handspun yarn. They're a little quirky (Made for History of Magic in the HPKCHC) ;-)


I have to say though, the original pattern looks much better. Must be my crappy handspun that makes them look odd :-)

And some freakishly ugly slippers for T, made with three strands of sock yarn knit together (various bits depending on when I ran out of one particular colour) (these were made for Potions in the HPKCHC) :


He likes them anyway. Good boy! ;-)

I'm currently knitting a men's hat for Quidditch (aka charity knitting), and plan on making at least three - I think I'll give them to one of the night shelters. Haven't got very far though, so will post pics a little later on. I've also started a chunky knit scarf with some of my delicious KnitPicks, kindly bought over by my 'US yarn mule' Jill (aka VAmom from Ravelry). Again, haven't got far, but here's a pic of the progress made yesterday, along with the rest of my haul:


OK, must explain everything (just because). Four skeins of 'Wool of the Andes Bulky' in Wine (red scarf), and four in Coal (also will be a scarf, for Deane), four balls of 'Gloss HW' in Oregano, which will be a Cherie Amour top, seven balls of 'Wool of the Andes' in Mist (grey), which will be a February Lady Sweater, and 12 balls of 'Telemark' in Aubergine, which will be a Jaden sweater. These are all theoretical of course - they require me to actually knit them. Whether or not I can do that remains to be seen...

Also in the pic is two skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn in the Starry Night colourway - a gift from Jill (she's so sweet!), an Interweave Knits magazine and Knitting 2010 calendar with over 100 patterns (also gifts), some splitrings, T-pins and a yarn stranding guide for colour work (something I need practice in). So much yarny goodness, all in one big pile!!

I made a few extra purchases (slap hand):


'Grape' sock yarn from Knitsch (mmmm, so soft)

Some Vintage Purls sock yarn in the 'Lepanto' colourway:



And some more yummy Maude and Me fibre:


On the left is 'waking up the wolves' and on the right is 'wake up april' (yes, it really is that bright!)

So much knitting, so little time...

Friday, 7 May 2010

Preparing for winter hibernation!

That's what it feels like I've been doing over the last few weeks. Man, have I been busy! Surprisingly, the house is relatively clean and tidy (I even vacuumed yesterday! AND cleaned the bathroom!!) But what I've been spending most of my time on is knitting and spinning. Oh, and reading. At the moment I'm reading The Journal of Mrs Pepys - Portrait of a Marriage, written by Sara George. It's quite a fascinating read, based in the 17th century (fyi Mrs Pepys is Samuel Pepys' wife). I've also been reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the HP Read-Along on Ravelry. Entertaining as always ;-)

But knitting! And spinning! Check it out - my Clandestine Limes are finished:



I'm about 75% done on my Monochromatic Monkeys - just 3-4 pattern repeats and the toes left - here's one (the other is hanging off the needle, you may be able to make it out behind my foot):



These are both designed by Cookie A, as mentioned in my previous post. Spinning has been going fabulously - I bought 1 kilo of silver merino roving off Trade Me for $28, and so far have spun all of about 140g of it. So I have just one skein, 134g (there's still some of the single left on one of my bobbins), 474 metres (can you believe it? Yay me!!) and I estimate it to be about 14-16 wpi, which is fingering/light fingering weight (sock weight or 4ply for us Kiwi knitters). It's still not the most consistent yarn you're ever going to find, but I'm pretty damn proud of it anyway :-)


And with only 14% of that 1 kilo spun so far, imagine the possibilities!! The things I could make!!

I also created this little pile of squooshy goodness:


Doesn't it just look delightful? Almost good enough to eat... probably a little too furry though...

This was spun from the 'Pretty Lush' hand-dyed polwarth I bought from maude & me last year (you may remember it). It turned out to be about 140g of DK weight (around 11 wpi) - 222 metres. Mmmmmm, love it. Unfortunately it's still drying after being washed and whacked, so there's no face-smooshing going on yet. :-( It has remarkably similar colours to this Old Port rose I saw at the Wellington Botanic Gardens while knitting on Sunday:


So I've named the yarn Pretty Lush Old Port - I know, not terribly original of me. Oh well...

I also stole (but later paid for!) this roving from Tracee's place the other day, while having a wee spinning session:


Such bright, pretty colours! This is going to be fun to spin! I just ordered another braid from her as well, because I saw it in her Etsy shop and couldn't say no. Maybe I should stop there... (also have another braid on the way for the May fibre club. Oops!)

Moving along - I received my scarf exchange swap package in the mail the other day, all the way from the US:


Included in the package was the Twilight Graphic Novel (awesome!!), a Twilight-inspired journal, giant bags of Tootsie Rolls and Reece's Pieces (how do I describe these? They're... interesting), this cool bag made out of 100% recycled bottles, some yummy-smelling incense, the scarf (of course), 6 cents (which I believe was accidental, but X likes them anyway), and a skein of Socks That Rock yarn, by Blue Moon Fibre Arts. Score!! This yarn shall become my next pair of socks :-)

As for other goings-on, I've decided that running shall feature highly this winter. Deane kindly informed me the other evening that he could now grab a handful of ass that could not be grabbed several months ago - I think I get the message!! ;-) So other than running, dropping the boys to and from school, necessary errands like supermarket shopping etc, and going to knitting and sewing, I shall be spending many many hours over the next few months sitting on my couch with a cup of tea, knitting and spinning. Ah, bliss!!