Archive for November, 2007

The beaches near where I grew up in Australia were full of those little critters that burrow in the sand and turn the surface into a fascinating series of little waves and ripples. The Beach Fog colourway of these socks contains all the hues of the sand and scrub of Victoria’s south coast and the ripple pattern is reminiscent of the pippies, right down to their tiny breathing holes.


Size: Women’s small to medium (see fitting notes for further sizes)
Gauge: 8.5sts and 12 rounds = 1 inch in stocking stitch.
Requirements: Yarn: 1 skein Dream in Colour Smooshy sock yarn (4oz/450yds) colour: Beach Fog; Needles: 2.5mm/80cm circular needle for magic loop, or needles for your preferred method of knitting in the round; Notions: stitch markers (optional); crochet hook and waste yarn for cast on; yarn needle;
Pattern Notes: These socks are worked from the toe up, beginning with a provisional cast on. Short row toes and heels are used but can be replaced with your favourite toe-up construction if you prefer. Full charts and written instructions are included.

Price: US$4.95

This pattern is sold as an electronic file and will be delivered to your email inbox immediately upon purchase. File size is 638kb, 4 pages.

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This one was made up by my friend Lara…

Using your first initial to begin each answer, list:  

A favorite author: Dr Seuss
A favorite character in literature (with source): Droofus, from When Droofus the Dragon Lost his Head. Awesome book!
A favorite book:
A favorite topic in fiction: Detective fiction (of course!)
A favorite location in fiction (can be real place so long as it’s used in fiction):
A favorite place or time to read: Doona. As in, snuggled up in my… (a doona is a duvet/eiderdown in Aus)
(bonus) a favorite word: Doldrems
I can’t think, I’ll finish this later.

Anyone who wants to do this one is allowed.

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It’s hard to relax when you’re leaving the country in 12 days. You really don’t want to know how long my to-do list is! However, I made the attempt on the weekend and went down to visit Jan who I haven’t seen in a couple of months. Not my fault, she’s been galavanting all over North America, sending me envy-inducing emails from SOAR and visiting snowy Canadian peaks. She did bring me back a little present though:


I’m tearing the living room apart but can’t find the tag that was on it. Will update later about what it is. The little cap beside it is an ingenious invention - it sits over the hook, and the elastic secures it underneath. Safe to travel.  

ETA: I found the label - it was in the bedroom. This is one of the Queen’s Scepter range of spindles from Greensleeves Spindles, it’s called Anne of Cleves. It’s a combination of Paduk, Redwood and Mahogany. Did I mention that she’s just gorgeous!

I drank in all Jan’s descriptions of classes and workshops and browsed through the hundreds of photos. We made cookies, learnt how to cook baked gammon and wandered around the village streets in the crisp country air.

I played with drumcarder and made eight of these:


It’s the baby alpaca I bought back in May at Wonderwool. The eight rolags are less than half my bagful of fleece so the rest will have to be carded by hand - or I’ll leave it till I get back from Australia! I can’t wait to spin it up but I’d be seriously deluded if I thought there was going to be time this year.

I did come back feeling rested and energised. Having a nice long lie-in on Sunday helped as I was still catching up on a lot of missed sleep from when I was ill. Now I’m plugging away at the list and fully expect hope to have everything done before we fly out!

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The Smooshy socks are finished, and another pair, and I still have 35g left. As you can see, the second pair were not overly huge, but the first have quite a long cuff. Conclusion: Smooshy is great where yardage and weight are concerned.

Baby socks

It’s also absolutely gorgeous to knit with. I finished my socks within two weeks of casting on - the needles just seemed to fly and the pattern liked me. I found that the yarn was a tiny bit splitty and I switched back to regular Addis having started on Lace needles. The fabric is wonderfully soft and stretchy however and I can’t wait to cast on my next pair.

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Today Kate fled from the sander and the smell of paint to knit in comfort with me and eat cookies. Sorry, there’s none left :-P

She also gave me a lesson in How To Make Your Blog Look Pretty. And there was lots of “Ark! You’ve still got your …” and “What - you don’t even know what … is!? I guess you don’t know what folder it’s in then…”

I have decided that I will regularly change the yarny picture at the top of my blog. (This will be a measure of how lazy I am feeling at any given time - note that I haven’t told you how often I am going to change it.) And I will send an Inside Loop badge to the first person to tell me what the current picture is of :-D Everyone needs a badge. (Kate, you already have 2 dozen Inside Loop badges, you can’t enter).

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My dear friend Moonrani over at Teareads has tagged me for a book meme. Normally I tiptoe around these things because, as a general rule, I’m not reading what I consider a ‘real’ book and don’t want to admit it to anyone ;-)

As chance would have it though, I have been ploughing through my reading material this week (not chance really, lungs) and have picked up again a thoroughly admirable book I started a while back. This is what I’m reading at the moment:


I actually know the author through a friend and my copy is signed!

On page 161, the fifth sentence reads: “Across the mountains to the east, on the Caspian side of the Cuacasus, a similar struggle was going on against the Russians in Daghestan.”

Although it’s not the kind of book I generally read, I’m really enjoying it. Pick it up from Amazon or your local library!

Who to tag? Well, anyone who wants to really. It’s too early in the weekend to be thinking of people. Page 161, sentence number five, on whatever you’re reading at the moment.

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Being home sick is fun for the first day or so - you can put whatever you want on TV, sleep in, knit all day. After a while though, even knitting seems less desirable (especially when all your wips except two are at work and you’re getting sick of the two).

Enter the mixing bowl.

I always try to keep everything on hand in the pantry to make choc chip something. I don’t always have eggs, but the Domestic Goddess was smiling today. I kind of used a recipe from a book I brought over from home: I didn’t have brown sugar so I used half white sugar and a big dollop of golden syrup instead, and I didn’t have coconut so I left it out. Neil doesn’t like coconut in his cookies anyway. I made sure I left in the huge chunks of chocolate though!

 I mixed in front of the TV, bowl on my lap. I’ve never had an automatic mixer and haven’t had even a hand-held electric since I moved to London. I’ve always really enjoyed the action of beating eggs, butter, sugar by hand and I’m not usually in a hurry when I’m baking. I can still remember creaming butter and sugar for my mother when I was a child. We had a pale yellow mixing bowl and I was supposed to keep going until the mixture matched the bowl.

Roll, press with a fork, set the timer for 12 minutes.

 Now I just need someone to share them with… 

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Does one sock count as a Finished Object? It’s definitely finished, all the way up to the top, with cast-off and ends darned in.

But I have sneaking suspicion that I have to knit the other one before I’m allowed to be smug. Oh well.

Here’s a peek:

Smooshy sock

I started the second while waiting at the doctor’s this morning - if I can manage to keep enough brain in my head I may finish it before my lungs allow me back out into normal life.

And Mum: yes - I had chicken soup for lunch and am not drinking any wine. Much. It’s only 10 degrees here you know, one needs something…

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 My favourite stitch motif - garter beading - appears again on these socks. This would be a great men’s pattern too if you have sock yarn in nice boy colours. The pattern is dead easy, but interesting enough to make a ribby sock fun to knit.

Beaded Rib

Size: Women’s medium 

Gauge: 8sts/inch

Requirements: 1 skein STR mediumweight, 2.5mm needles, crochet hook and waste yarn for provisional cast-on

The socks are knitted toe-up with a provisional cast-on and short row toes and heels. Of course, the pattern would work just as well with your favourite top-down method.

Download the pattern for free here

Photos, as usual, by talented chief photographer Bronte.

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And a fun time was had by all! I hung out for most of the day on the Socktopus stall with Alice, mostly cause I like wrapping pretty pink parcels! it was good to have a place to sit down occasionally though as the winter asthma has struck and I was only managing about 15min at a time for forays out into the knitterly mayhem. Then I would come back and collapse behind the sock yarn for a while.

I lost count of all the people I bumped into, I finally met Auntie Noo in the flesh for the first time which was great. She was the one who pointed out to me that there was a job going last year at Stash, a life-changing event for me as I probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise, and I would have had to supply-teach and would have quit London altogether after six months I expect.

I also saw Ruth, Lixie, Emmms, Yvonne, Sue, Badger, Supermonkey, Ali, Chantelle, Ingrid, Jill, Mary, Adrienne, Jeni, Grit, Michaela, … I can’t remember the rest. I met Yoshimi too - she’s a lurvely addition to the knitter-friend crowd!

I didn’t lose count, however, of all the skeins of yarn that I bought :-D even in my ventolin-befuddled state I can still count to one!

The Knittery

This is Merino/Cashmere sock yarn from The Knittery which I fell in love with on Alice’s stall. I fell in love with some other stuff too but someone else bought it :-( (I now have a back order- hehe). When I got it home I realised it’s a nice complement colour to the Knittery yarn Kai gave me for my birthday. So I’ve decided to combine the two in a larger project. Cashmere is too good for your feets anyway.

Congratulations to Gerard and Craig for organising such a fabulous event!

- - - -

In Inside Loop news, the badges arrived today!


Kate was coming over anyway and she brought them with her. I am now thinking of places to pin all my 99 badges… want one?

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