30 September 2006

Bit the next

Hubby is back, but with Taph's excellent suggestion of 'disappearing' the jumper for (very slow) 'hand-washing', and effecting my repairs secretly, I've been able to continue without his knowledge (although of course I am completely sunk if he reads my Blog - but I figure that if he reads a knitting Blog, that's a victory in itself!). He is messy enough that he hopefully won't notice the jumper's absence around the place, and it's warming up, so he's unlikely to want to wear it.

SO. The front half is done. I got up early this morning and removed the band from the back half. This time I'm going to give Julie's method a try, which will be quicker as I will (hopefully) be able to easily (hopefully) graft the ribbed band back onto the jumper (hopefully) rather than reknitting it. As you can see from the pic I've put the band stitches onto a 4mm circular needle, and set it aside. The jumper body is now 2 rows into 'new stuff', on 4.5mm needles.

29 September 2006

Getting there!

Thank you everyone for your ideas (and commiserations to Julie for the height of her husband...knee-ectomy comes to mind ;) I started off carefully undoing my long-tail cast on at SnB on Tuesday night, with the guidance and support of Taph, Spidey and Judes. I finally made it to the end of the row (which took ages), pulled and... bugger - nothing! Unravelling from the bottom up clearly wasn't going to work. Damn.

On Wednesday I threaded my 4.5mm bamboo circular needle through each stitch in the last row of stocking stitch fabric, snipped the first stitch in the next row down, and laboriously unpicked the first row of 1x1 ribbing. Finally, the band came off! I then skeined it, attached my new ball of Jet to the live stitches, and knit down in stocking stitch! There is now an extra 15 cm of jumper body (on the front half, anyway), and I'm nearly finished the ribbing - hurrah! It looks really good, too - there's a slight line where the stitches were picked up, but I suspect this will disappear once the jumper is washed.

So I still need to do the back half (I decided against knitting it in the round - since I knit the jumper as flat pieces, and I know my tension is a little different when I knit on circulars.). Hubby is away in Melbourne this week, so he knows nothing... I like to do all these alterations before he gets back this afternoon, and then not say anything (that bit will be hard!), so when he next puts on the jumper he'll be all like - "Woooah, the jumper GREW!" and I can mess with his mind and freak him out a bit. However this is looking less likely given my current work load, and my mother & her husband planning on visiting this morning somewhat unexpectedly.

26 September 2006

Advice please ladies

OK - this is how it is. Despite being measured up against him, my knowledge that he has a long torso, adding several inches to the body length, and his agreeing that the knitted length was just fine, since wearing it a fair bit, we've had to acknowledge the bitter truth that my hubby's Jet Jumper is really a little short. Bugger.

So - what to do?! I still have 2 balls of the wool, in the same dye lot. I was thinking of picking up stitches along the lower edge and knitting another few inches of ribbing 'downwards'. If I make it the same length as the existing band, the 'line' where I've picked up stitches hopefully won't be too obvious, or will at least look like a 'design feature'.

Anything else you can think of? And adding a frilly ruffle along the hem is really not a feasible option... although maybe if I got him really drunk - I mean really drunk....??!

20 September 2006


My sister gave me an Amazon gift voucher, so I've just ordered The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman. So many books to choose from, but I figured this one would stand me in good stead.

I also bought this Patons Totem pattern book some weeks ago at Cassidy's. Some very nice designs in there, great textures and stuff. I got it with my dotter in mind, hoping she might like to try her hand at one of these...


I've celebrated my birthday in recent days, and have been very blessed in the knitting gifts that have come my way - so it's... showing off time!

My sweet friend K made this for me - it's the softest black mohair you can imagine, just perfect for a cool spring day :) A very special gift!

The Cashmere and unusual Chilean wool are from my pen pal Cindy in the States - just beautiful colours - now I need to have fun planning what to make with them! The to die for hand-spun merino by our very own Happy Spider is a real treat. I can't bear to wind it into a ball, it's such a lovely coil now... but one day, one day, I will find the perfect project for this delightful fibre. *** hugs and kisses to you both ***

And on the far right, can you see those unbearably CUTE sock-shaped needle point protectors? They can't be found in Australia for love or money (ie I ain't gonna share, and no online Oz shops I've found yet sell them). They are perfect for keeping thin sock needles all together in your bag - the hole is more of a tube (unlike the angled holes in other point protectors, teddy bears included), so the thin DPNs don't slip out. These will be guarded most jealously :) Again, a big thank you to Cindy!

It was good to see everyone at SnB on Sunday, although I was really too overtired to make it a really social event... Hopefully life will stop being quite so insane and settle down to its usual manageable level of chaos soon.

15 September 2006

New projects

It's time for a few new projects - so may I introduce you to Pilve the terribly cute Estonian sheep puppet (Interweave's Spin-Off magazine, Summer 06). I'm not using handspun wool, but Patonyle sock yarn instead. There was a problem with the number of stitches to cast on - the article lists 72 for Pilve, but in fact you need 80 (16 stitches in the motif do NOT go evenly into 72!). I didn't want to restart, so just did 1 row of plain knitting in white after the ribbed border, increasing 8 stitches evenly over the row. It's worked fine. I'm just enjoying the body pattern work at the moment, I love Fair Isle... the puppet pattern is fairly loosely described, so I hope the rest of the design - leggy bits, head etc - works out OK.

The lovely stitch marker / earring is from my pen pal Cindy - a flowery glass bead on a golden chain...

Last night, while watching Kommisar Rex, I realised that the only knitting projects I have OTN need lots of concentration (2 lace projects and 1 fair isle) - I needed - yes - some MINDLESS TV KNITTING! I remembered that my husband wanted a scarf to go with his Jet Jumper - and I had 7 balls left over, so I dashed off to the Stash Chest, dug out the needles and Jet, and got stuck into it. My first attempt was 27 stitches on 4.5 mm bamboo needles, with a 3 x 3 rib - but it really was too narrow, and the fabric was a bit too dense (fine for a jumper, but a bit too stiff for a scarf). So after consulting with him, I unravelled it (only 15 cm or so), and cast on again, this time with 32 stitches on 6mm needles, and 2 x 2 rib - it's looking nice!

I took photos of the Fetching wrist warmers I made for my mother's birthday (which is today)... but I can't see them in my iPhoto albums, don't know if the camera was downloaded to my husband's computer or something? Anyway, will upload pics when possible. I used hand-dyed Totem (used to be baby pink, now orange / red / apricot / pink), and Mum loved them :)

And finally - hubby is wearing his Fibonacci Socks! And he likes them - as he bloody well should, after all that work! Mind you, this means I now have NO SOCKS on the needles - gasp - how can this be? I'm casting my eyes Opal-wards ;)

10 September 2006

End of a Chapter

Nanna's funeral was on Friday 8th September, at St Davids Uniting Church. Around 200 people attended, and it was a very moving ceremony. My daughter and I were 2 of the 4 pall bearers. There was a big afternoon tea at the church hall afterwards. Nanna had given full instructions for her funeral, in her first week in hospital - the family was instructed to MINGLE, which we did, hopefully to her satisfaction!

I've found the packing up and dismantling of her home very upsetting - it's been the same home since 1940, our longest never-changing family home in the family. It was awful seeing all Nanna's belongings being packed up, taken off the walls... a harrowing job for my mum and aunt. It's awful knowing that we'll never go back to that house in Albury, a home I've visited since I was a baby, and will never see her again.

Nanna had already put our names on things like her paintings - so I now have a nice oil painting for my study of her choosing - plus I quickly selected her cookbooks, to keep them safe. She was a consummate cook; I have her 1935-edition Commonsense Cookbook, another 1940s-era cookbook, and her handwritten book of favourite recipes, which I will treasure.
Now I just need to see if I can master her famous Honey Biscuit recipe, and I can keep the flame alive!

While I was away I finished some wrist warmers for my mum, and finally finished my hubby's Fibonacci Socks. Time to move on.

05 September 2006

RIP at last

I've just heard that Nanna Jean passed away at 11.40am this morning... it was very peaceful; she has been in a near-coma for a few days now, and she simply stopped breathing. My aunt was with her at the time.

Many thanks for your kind thoughts and well wishes over the past weeks.

Blogger or my email going weird

Sorry all - I haven't been receiving any notifications of posts for some reason... I'lll check my Moderate Comments list more often so I don't miss stuff!