Archive for December, 2007

Urk. Internet access is erratic and we’ve been running around like headless chooks here  (down-under expression) so it may be a while. Check by next week.

Non-photo posts are boring so I’ll save the details for when you can see me dancing around in the surf :-D suffice to say, we’ve been to the farm, the beach, the city, and the storage unit. I found comfortable underwear (Bonds rocks) and have survived driving a car for the first time in 15 months.

We have less than a week before we fly out to Hong Kong and we need to pack a lot into that time. Three Christmases with different parts of the family, cricket, movies, drinking with friends. We’ve had torrential rain but it’s shaping up to be fine for Christmas and about 30c by the time we leave. Woo!

I will try and make this blog more eyeful soon I promise.

Diane xx

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This project has been lurking out of sight a bit as it was destined for a friend who reads this blog. It’s safe now so I give you …

Quickie Cowl #2

Cowl 2

The first one of these I made for Kate to keep her warm while I sunned myself on the beach this Christmas. I will probably make another one before long, it’s such a great pattern.

Written by Fawn Pea, it takes one skein of Misti Alpaca 100% baby alpaca bulky, although I’ve seen people on Ravelry knitting it in all sorts of things and they all look great. It’s a really fast knit and prefect for a short-notice gift - as long as it’s winter-time!

Cowl 2

The pattern has you casting on, casting off and seaming the tube with mattress stitch. When I made Kate’s I thought the seam was a bit bulky so decided to graft this one for a perfect seamless finish. Famous last words.

There is garter stitch (not too scary) and there is 3×2 ribbing (freaky). Luckily there are only 38 sts and I persevered. There are at least four mistakes, all of which I hope are practically un-noticable. If you want to graft this, I recommend reading up on grafting ribbing first, I think Ruth may have a tutorial somewhere.

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Hello all! I survived the flight, largely due to the happy fact of getting my inoffensive bamboo dpn’s through security so I could knit all the way to Hong Kong. then I slept all the way to Australia and have only minor jet-lag. Woo! (NB: turn off ipod before falling asleep if you don’t want a flat battery - I probably should listen to those few chapters of the book again too.)

There were a few things I noticed straight away when I arrived back in Aus - this is our first trip back after leaving in Sept 06:

  1.  It’s really sunny. As in, I put my sunglasses on the minute I stepped outside the door on Monday, and I don’t think I’ve ever worn them in London.
  2. The streets are empty. Neil and I went shopping on Monday in Melbourne and after parking near, say the equivalent of Bond Street, we walked across the road without a blink - no traffic. City centre.
  3. Everyone here talks with an accent - it’s really weird.

And yes, the fish and chips is better.

As I am an idiot (Neil is too but I won’t say that on a public blog post) I forgot to buy a UK/Aus power adaptor on the way out (Neil did too) and I can’t use my laptop till I get back to Melbourne and find a shop that sells them. So no photos yet sorry.

I have taken some really cool ones though, of the goats, and the burnt-out forests around here (where the fires got alarmingly close to the farm) and the alpacas. I should have photos up by Sunday night I hope.

In the meantime, here’s one of my sister and her horse Izzy


More photos and updates soon!

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Firstly, thank you so much for all your kind comments and congratulations! It is a pretty big thing to be published in Knitty and my mum is so proud of me :-D I hope there will be more to come there next year.

And now, a little Christmas present for you all. This pattern has been tossing around in my outbox for ages, being submitted to various places. I finally decided to just let y’all have it!

Sweet Bag

It’s a really fast knit, great for using up leftover sock yarn and filling up with choccies to give to people for pressies. you definitely have time to make a few before Christmas rolls around this year.

Download the pattern for free here

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I didn’t really tell anyone in case it was all really a dream and wasn’t going to actually happen. And I couldn’t quite believe it until I saw it.

The Winter Issue is up and you can now go read My Article over at Knitty.


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Prize for today’s header guess?

A badge if you don’t have one already, otherwise, I’ll think of something :-D

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Even if I do say so myself.

This is 55g of Merino/Tencel blend from Spunky Eclectic which Amanda gave me for my birthday this year (thanks hun!). Colourway is “Your Majesty”. I spun it as finely as felt comfortable with a moderately high ratio and loads of twist.


As the colour variation is pretty subtle I split the roving randomly, first in half lengthwise so the 2 plies would be reasonably balanced in colour. Then I split each half into a couple of narrower strips then broke them into shorter, more manageable lengths.

I didn’t do any predrafting at this stage as I find that too-fluffy roving pieces break up and get caught on things (like my socks as I walk around). The compact roving needed predrafting though, and I did this as I spun, drafting out the next 4 inches or so of the piece as I came to it.


After plying (which I did at a higher ratio) I gave the yarn my standard shock/whack treatment and hung it to dry. I have 220 yards of a medium-laceweight, coming in at a nice even 24wpi.


I really enjoyed spinning this particular fibre blend (my first time with tencel) and will definitely spin more - I have 2oz of Spunky Club fibre waiting for me after all. My only reservation is that the fibre did feel a little strange to the touch and I thought it dried out my hands a bit. This could be the tencel fibres or it could be just my imagination!

So, what should I make?

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Two nights ago I cast on a sock on double pointed needles. I know! It’s amazing. I have never knitted a sock on dpns, In fact, I have only made something with dpns about once in my life (not including i-cord and classes) and that was about 12 years ago.

So why the change? It’s all about the flight next week. I’m hoping that my teeny, unobtrusive bamboo dpns will get through security and be allowed to entertain me for at least some of our 23-hours in the air.

It feels kind of weird - there seems to be needles sticking out at me everywhere, but I’m not getting ladders (phew) and I haven’t yet pulled out the wrong needle by mistake (fingers crossed). I really only cast on early to make sure I could actually do it :-P and my sock can rest now until we leave next Saturday (sorry about the no photos but it’s secret gifty knitting).

I will remain a magic loop girl, it just seems easier to me (and more familiar I guess). What’s your preference? Do you absolutely always use either circs or dpns for your socks? And why? What do you recommend to new sock knitters and if you’re teaching someone what method do you show them?

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