Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ahh the Post Christmas Lull or "What's with all the Purple?"

I can always remember the joy of those few days after exams had finished. You went from being flat stick all day every day to nothing. If you were anything like me you left a fair amount of the studying to the last minute (or at least SWOT vac) and so you were either sitting an exam or studying for the next one. In my case, subjects like Psychology had 3 or so exams per unit so there were a lot of exams. As was the custom, once that last exam was finished it was straight to the pub for a few destressing ales. The next day, once the hangover was under control, was just bliss. There was NOTHING to do! No study, no exams, no nothing and I used to just sit around and luxuriate in the nothingness. Of course all to soon there was packing to do to move out for the holidays and other things (like Christmas) to occupy the days but there were always a brief period of nothing. Christmas is very much like this as well.

So I have been in the nothingness for the last two days. There has been little to do past basic chores and the spat of Christmasness has passed. There have been many BBQs here in the new garden and hash runs from here so really the Christmas ruch has only just finished.

So what have I done in the nothingness? Well there has been some coffee and a little shopping (not much though, I try to avoid the post Christmas retail meltdown) and finally some 'me' knitting.

Bevan bought me a lovely purple t-shirt top for Christmas. It is not necessarily the shade I would immediately jump to myself but it is quite lovely and seems to suit me, but I fear it has started a purple haze....

I spent a little time with my Ravelry stash page and was looking for a project to get me going. I decided on the Amaizing that has been sitting in my stash for sometime as a nice summer-weight yarn. It has been sitting, I confess, because when I bought it it had a very obvious and quite disturbing mothballs smell to it. I thought about returning it but didn't want to be a bother so it has been sitting in a container with bicarb hopefully desmelling. It isn't entirely desmelt although interestingly, the vast majority of the stink seems to be in the ball band and cardboard tube it is wrapped around. Once reballed and knit the smell is nearly gone. I am hoping like hell that a wash or two and it will be gone entirely.

Anyway, what colour is it? Purple! I am doing Leaf T-shirt by Melissa LaBarre which is coming along quite nicely. I have put the sleeve stitches onto scrap yarn rather than casting them off as I think I will do a rib cuff to them. I am not sure I want the roll that is in the original pattern. I think I will also do a ribbed waist.

Given that this was a larger project I figured I needed a pair of socks on the go for travel knitting (travel of course being a generic term that might mean to the shops or might mean to the moon). Again, back to the stash page and I chose the Happy Spider self-striping that has also been there awhile. What colours you might ask? yellow, pink and PURPLE!

Me thinks I have a purple problem. Even the dishcloth I did quickly the other night (owing to the next ball of Amaizing being under the bed that Jason was sleeping in) was mauve! Help me, I am in a purple haze and I think I like it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sports Beer Guernsey

My apologies for getting this one out after Christmas because it really does make a good bloke gift. I made the Essendon one for Dad and the Golden Point Cricket Jumper for Jason. They thought they were cool. File the idea away for the next birthday.

Sports Beer Guernsey


35g (70 m) 8 ply yarn (see notes at bottom regarding customising)
4 stitch markers
4mm circular
4mm DPNs
Waste yarn
Stitch holder
Darning needle

Gauge: 22sts / 10cm

Finished Size: 20cm circumference and 15cm tall – BEER sized!


pm – place marker

kfb – knit front and back

slm – slip marker

SSK – slip, slip, knit


CO 18 stitches using the circular needle.

Row 1: kfb, pm, kfb, kfb, pm, kfb, k10, kfb, pm, kfb, kfb, pm, kfb

You have now created the right front, right sleeve, back, left sleeve and left front between the markers.

Row 2: purl across
Row 3: kfb, kfb, slm, kfb, k2, kfb, slm, kfb, k12, kfb, slm, kfb, k2, kfb, slm, kfb, kfb
Row 4: purl across
Row 5: kfb, knit to stitch before next marker, kfb, slm , kfb, knit to stitch before next marker, kfb, slm, , kfb, knit to stitch before next marker, kfb, slm, , kfb, knit to stitch before next marker, kfb, slm, kfb, knit to last stitch, kfb.
Row 6: purl across.

Continue repeating rows 5 and 6 until there are 24 stitches between the2nd and 3rd markers (across the back)

Create the sleeves: k to first marker, place the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn, knit back stitches, place the other sleeve stitches onto waste yarn, pm, knit to end

Join the neck: From here on the jumper is knit in the round so slip all stitches evenly onto the DPNs and join to knit in the round. Make the side (under the sleeve) the start of the round.

Knit until the work measures 8cm from the bottom of the neck vee.

Work 4 rows of 1x1 rib.

BO loosely.


Evenly space the sleeve stitches on 3 DPNs.

With the right side facing, locate the centre bottom of the sleeve opening. Pick up one stitch from the left of the opening and continue knitting the round, picking up one additional stitch onto needle 3

Knit 19 more rounds

Work 4 rows of 1x1 rib.

BO loosely

Neck Opening

Pick up stitches around the neck opening. The exact number is not particularly important but for the record, I pick up 12 across the back of the neck, 12 down either side and 1 in the centre of the neck.

You are working 1x1 rib except for the centre front stitch, this is always knit. Work 4 rounds by working rib to 2 sts before the centre stitch, knit this stitch, SSK the next two sts and continue in rib.

BO loosely.


Weave in ends.

Customising for your team:

The Essendon (Black and Red) version was made entirely in black and then a separate biased sash was knit and sewn on. This requires a very small amount of yarn.

The Golden Point (Blue and Cream) version has the stripes knit in as I went.

If you require vertical stripes I would strand them as I went.

As for the little hats. The black and red one is in 2x2 rib and if I recall I cast on about 20 sts, knit about 4 rounds, then did 3 decrease rounds - the first k2, k2tog then k1, k2tog then k2tog. The blue one was much the same but I started with the peak by casting on 4 sts and then working 4 rows of garter increasing 1 st at each end each row. then I cast on to 20sts, joined in the round and did much the same as the other only in stockingette.

Friday, December 26, 2008

And a great Christmas was had by all...

A little note to trampoline buyer beginners - 12 foot doesn't sound that big on the box......

Merry Christmas to you all from me and my monkeys. I hope you all had a happy and peaceful day yesterday.

Christmas at Stitch n Bitch

Last Tuesday night saw Sam, Tania, Rach and I venture to our local "lake"side* restaurant for Stitch n Bitch - Christmas Style! Now excuse the quality of the dodgy phone camera photos but some silliness for your perusal...

My gorgeous socks from Sam. Socks For Veronik by Mona Schmidt knit in Yarn Cafe BFL sock, Golden Sun colourway. Aren't they beautiful? And check out my new shoes - it is a crime what you can get at Kmart for $30 these days.

Tania in her Pink Puzzle. I think she liked it, she wore it home!

Sam proudly displaying her Wollemeise scarf (I believe she shrieked when she realised she now owned Wollemeise) and the Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran she got from Tania. Look closely, it is in the shot....

And Tania modelling her socks from Sam and Fargyles (one made by Sam and one made by me). Check out that Panna Cotta. That stuff was choice!

Foolishly, I forgot to take a photo of the lovely handmade soap I got from Tan (and it is now in the shower and not fit for photography). I am not sure what the girl is saying about me but it was "Gin and Tonic" scent.... It is delicious with a hint of lime which I love.

Rachael is a new knitter and new to our little group but she loved the stitchmarkers that Sam made for her so she was not left out.

*I say this because our local lake has nought but a dribble of water in it. See here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Progress at the Ponderosa

After a fairly slow start to all things I feel like the last few days have yielded some progress.

Christmas was all set to be a non-event here but I finally got around to doing some gift wrapping and there are now gifts under the tree. Okay, they will only be there for less than a week but better that than never! I also managed to get hold of Santa and he has started to organise the boys' gifts.

Yes people, that is a shed! A real live shed. And in front of the real live shed? Real live grass! I never saw us as the instant turf types but let me tell you, that stuff rocks. We chose instant turf because that particular variety drought tolerant to the point where a small amount of water once a fortnight (that is two weeks for the non-English speakers) keeps it green and lush. You can't buy it as seed and grow it yourself the old fashioned way. Between rain and the water tank we have installed, this lawn should always look like that.

It feels like things are happening. Now to start that pre-Christmas cleaning and organising.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Christmas Knitting.

Those that know me will already be aware that I haven't been well the last few weeks. The upside of this is that I have been highly productive. Knitting has been my saviour during this time (and the bane of Jason's existence). There is something about just having to do one little wee thing over and over again that eases the mind and occupies the body. Then all of a sudden, low and behold, all those little somethings has materialised into a big something. There is therapy in the accomplishment and calm in the process.

Some of the results of my convalesence....

Pattern: On the Sunny Side by Melanie Hoffman
Yarn: Bendigo 8ply cotton
Needles: 4mm
Comments: This pattern is written for a 10ply and hopefully the smaller yarn and needles have made it small enough for Mabel. Oh well at worst she will grow into it.

Pattern: Stuffies by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Mystique 16ply in Cocoa
Needles: 6mm
Comments: I knit the head and then picked up stitches to knit the body down. This seemed to work well and eliminated one seam. Bevan helped with the costuming and hopefully his little cousin will like it.

Pattern: Not Rocket Science Coffee Holder by Me
Yarn: Hand-dyed 8ply I picked up from the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show.
Needles: 4mm
Comments: This has an extra repeat in it to make it longer for manly hands.

Pattern: February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne (and some/much credit should go to Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Panda Purla
Needles: 5mm
Comments: This yarn really surprised me. It is light and fluffy and has a lovely feel to it. It is a touch splitty to knit but not horrifyingly so. Something funky happened with the stitch numbers on this but some quick maths and I managed to save the project.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Exciting news from my Knitopshere!

I made KNITTY! You might remember me talking a while back about mystery, emergency knitting. Well this is it!

Stupidly, I knit the socks, photographed the socks and then Sam wore the socks. Then Amy liked the design but not the photos and we had to hastily reknit the socks to have another photo shoot!

Monday, December 8, 2008

If I had something witty to say....

I would have said it by now. So in lieu of cleverness here are some finished objects for your viewing pleasure. Pssttt.... Mum, if Dad is looking send him to make coffee now....

Pattern: Grrlfriend Market Bag by Laura Spradlin
Yarn: Cotton Fleece in Prosperous Plum and Limelight
Mods: made two handles rather than one by casting off 15, knit 10 when it came time. Also did a three needle bind-off to attach the handles.

Pattern: Three Sisters Scarves # One by Monika Steinbauer
Yarn: Wool / Silk blend picked up from the local craft market at the kid's school
Mods: Only 44 sts wide to make the most of the yarn.
Word of Warning: I found the chart very confusing in the second half and I fiddled it a little to make it easier for me to read. If you would like a copy drop me a line.

Pattern: My own top-down seamless Beer Footy Jumper (will write it for you all when I can be bothered)
Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8ply and Cleckheaton Machinewash 8ply

Patterns: Cute Cupcake from Knit Today and Donut pattern from Etsy
Yarn: A mixture of Jo Sharp DK tweed, Cleckheaton Country 8ply and Panda Starshine.
Mods: Second donut knit in the round and then mattress seamed. Much better result.

Remember people - A lazy post is better than no post at all......

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The great yard renovation!

We have sucked it up here and have hired landscapers to do the garden. For four years now we have been vowing that we would get around to it and finally we have had to admit defeat! The process started back on the 19th of October with the shed demolition and is STILL going, but as you can see from the slide show great progress has been made!

You have to be gentle and realise that as soon as we decided that we would hire someone to do the job we stopped anything that resembled gardening - hence the deplorable state of the before shots.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The Universe is such a cool thing! I have no idea how wide spread this phenomena was last night but here you have the moon, Venus and Jupiter making the coolest smiley face in the sky.

It was lovely to get a celestial smile just when I needed one.