Thursday, 26 December 2013

Shawl-ly It Hasn't Been That Long?!

Time goes far too fast at this time of year!

At least during November I had an excuse for not posting. Once again I competed in NaNoWriMo and just barely dragged my sorry carcass across the 50,000-word mark.

Now though?

Just plain lazy ^.^;

To make up for the long silence, I have two completed shawls for you.

The first one is a simple stockinette shawl knitted from some unidentified handspun acquired at Seriously Twisted down in Port Chalmers.

The yarn knitted up fairly chunky, despite being rather variable in thickness. Rather a pain to block when you're using polystyrene and sewing pins! It still smells clean-sheepy good.

The second is the Dia De Sol pattern from Ravelry, executed with John Q Sands' "Impressionista" sock/lace yarn in the Garden Path colourway.

I don't like the John Q Sands yarns in general, but I will admit that they do make a nice 4ply. Both the Impressionista and the Jewel lines are very smooth to knit with and the colours are an absolute delight.

Really, my camera doesn't do it justice.

There wasn't quite enough yarn in the first skein of Impressionista to finish the shawl, so I had to go back and acquire a second skein just to do the final chart of the pattern. It is pretty expensive, so I wasn't very happy about that.

I'm going to have to find something to do with the last bit of that skein when I can find it. I'm STILL not sorted out from moving flats! It will have to be something with a fairly simple stitch pattern, though. I feel like the wonderful colours I saw on the skein got rather lost in the final product.

What do you reckon?


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Arms of an Indian God

Oh man, do I not enjoy knitting gloves.

I love wearing them and I love looking at them, but actually making them comes in pretty low on the list of activities I enjoy and actively seek out.

A few years back I got pretty desperate for PROPER fingerless gloves, so I broke and made myself some.

Warm hands? YES PLEASE!

Purple possum-merino goodness.

If they're so pretty and snuggly warm, why do I dislike making them? BEHOLD THE REASON:

Successful juggling of all the needles and stitch holders requires that you posses approximately the same number of arms as the average Hindu deity.

Yeah, seems legit.

Did you know that threading the on-hold stitches onto a circular needle makes thing much easier?

I do now -.-;

These are Glamour Nana's Wintertime Driving Gloves, in the same Corridale she used to make herself a cardigan. There wasn't quite enough there is grey possum/merino to pad it out.

I really shouldn't watch Doctor Who while knitting.  Fingers are different lengths, silly Topaz!

Have a wonderful crafternoon!


Friday, 11 October 2013

Long Time, No Knit.

I have been a delinquent knitter of late.

I've been thrashing last year's NaNoWriMo atrocity into shape and taking notes in preparation for this year's event. Sadly, that doesn't leave much time for mucking about with yarn :(

When NaNo2013 starts I'll put a little widget in the sidebar so you can stalk my progress if you feel like it :p

To celebrate the finish of the first edit, I shall be following some advice found in the NEV Knitting Squad's Library:

(Yes, most of the books were purchased at Library sales. They're in a better place now)



Wednesday, 11 September 2013


A while back some family friends moved all the way to the other side of the world.

After Mum went to vist them and took the lastest permutation of her hat, she decided they all needed hats of their own for Christmas.

Guess who can use DPNs as is easily bribed with Blackpool Rock and Jaffa Cakes?

*Slowly raises hand*


With those incentives dangling before me, I put my latest pair of socks aside and sat down to the task of knitting four hats.


"One for Bruce, one for Allie and one each for the girls"

A nice lady hat, a manly hat and two hats that are similar-but-just-different-enough to make each girl feel special and not cause fights.

Well, there IS rock candy involved.

And Jaffa Cakes. . .


First Round: The girls

I used Ashford's Tekapo 8ply in colourways that would appeal to both the girly-girl and the tomboy. Pure wool to be snuggly warm in the frozen wastes that Mum swears can be found in the UK at that time of year.

They both got the 'Boyfriend Hat' pattern, with an extra 1.5inches of 2x2 ribbing around the bottom to circumvent this pattern's tendency to become loose and floppy with long wearing.

The basic similarity of the hats should also prevent arguments over who gets which one.


Next up: Bruce

I find the absolute dearth of patterns for blokes rather annoying. Is it somehow perceived as not "manly" for guys to knit or design things that THEY would want to\wear?!? I for one find that things male relatives buy for me, while well-intended, don't fit my taste at all. Personally I find a guy that is willing to make some of his OWN clothes the way HE wants them to be to be quite attractive ;)

Unfortunately I forgot to bookmark the pattern I used for Bruce's hat. I'm kicking myself because the decreases at the top look so awesome that I really want to make another one!

The yarn is an unidentified 10ply I leaped on at a sale before realising I already HAVE a billion hats and there wasn't really enough in the ball to make anything else.

This was pretty much how I felt upon discovering this:

So Bruce got my pretty yarn *Sniffles*

Those colours, though. It looks like a woodpile in snow. *Sniffles*

Finally: Allie

I really wanted to find her something fun and a little different. The Double Double Cloche from Mary Keenan on Ravelry looked just right. (Except the pattern broke my brain a bit to start with)

Mum knows what colours Allie likes, and she chose a gorgeous colourway of Cleckheaton's Country Tartan for her that I wanted to steal for myself.

I resisted the urge. Are you proud of me? :p

The yarn doesn't knit up to look very tartan-y, but the colours are so pretty it doesn't matter at all.

I was told that the hats got to their intended wearers just in time for the first snow of Winter 2012, and they were every bit as warm as I had hoped they would be.


Remember, everyone: Knit fast; Winter is coming.

(Yeah I know it's spring for me. I just wanted to say that!)


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Socks To Make A House-Elf Proud

Um . . . Guys?

I seem to have a problem.

I think I've been bitten by the "Sock Bug" D:

As part of an ongoing losing battle um, attempt at stash-busting I got out my leftover bits and bobs of Opal sock yarns and made myself some "Dobby Socks"

They are so named because of the wonderful little scene in Harry Potter where Harry gives Dobby some socks and Dobby says they've made a mistake at the shop for giving him two the same. (Then Ron came to the rescue with another pair for Dobby so he could mix them up properly)

So, simple little just-over-the-ankle stockinette socks with Opal's "Fisherman", "Florist" and "Electrician". All I did was make sure the bands were the same (To make it easier on me when I have more than one pair) and changed yarns in the same order.

I'm so proud of these heel flaps. NO HOLE AT THE TOP! BOOYEAH!

Um, we may have a problem here. They kinda match a bit. . .

Do you think it matters?


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Lattes in the Berrylands

There is a lovely person in England who has adopted me as her sister, even though we live on opposite sides of the planet.

Her General Awesomeness level is so high she was on my Sock List within 4 months of meeting her.

So, as her birthday approached this year I started dropping little hints as to what her Gift Package from Sheepland would include.

"Hey, do you like vanillia?"

"Mmmmm, lattes are AWESOME"

"The berrylands a a nice place to visit at this time of year."

Well, I guess that berry orchards would be nice to visit at this tome of year if you lived in the Northern Hemisphere. Down here they're all brown and bare and contemplating the effort it will take to grow the next lot of leaves -.-;

So, what did my super-sneaky cryptic hints mean?



This year's Birthday Socks were the Vanilla Latte Socks created by Virginia of Ravelry.

I thought this pattern is a lot of fun to knit. They worked up a lot faster than others I have done because the two-row ribbing pattern provides just enough "Oooooh fun time!" to keep you going while not being too complicated for Newbie Sock Knitters or too boring for those with more experience.

Of course, the yarn also provided enough curiosity-arousement to keep me from putting them down in boredom and going to find something else to do.

I used Touch Yarn's Magic Merino for Socks in the "Berrylands" colourway.

The patterning that comes offyour needles changed depending on the number of stitches you have, the tension you're using, the stitch pattern you're using. .  . Yeah. Magic. I really want to get my grubby mitts on the other colourways in the series to see how they turn out!

That yarn really must have been designed by a Mad Genius Dyer after a midnight encounter with a unicorn. I did NOT intend for the two socks to come out looking so nearly identical!

I have no idea what went on with that. They were a bit late, but were much appreciated and I've been told they'll be put into use when England starts cooling down for winter.

Time to go knit something random now, I think!

Have a wonderful crafternoon, all.


Monday, 5 August 2013

Hats Off!

Apologies for the accidental hiatus. I've been too busy working and crafting to come blog >.<

Now I have to make an embarrassing admission; that I as a grown-ass woman play a game that revolved around pixel ponies and appears on first blush to be aimed at children.

When you take a closer look at it, you aren't surprised to find that the youngest players who stick around tend to be at least high-school age.

Now the game seems to attract the creative and artistic section of the online population, and the kind of talent most often represented is traditional or digital artwork. In order to bring crafty people out of the woodwork a group of players run seasonal themed extravaganza events -complete with competitions.

It also helps to add a bit of variety to the game. There are only so many pretty pixel ponies you can collect before you run out of space for them.

To my great excitement, the most recent Extravaganza event was Steampunk themed.

I LOVE Steampunk!

And I had a bowler hat lying around that I couldn't wear because it makes me and one of my best-guy-friend  look far too much alike.

It was the perfect confluence of events ^.^;

Here is the hat that got attacked:

And the original swathe of supplies:

I've never tried to Steampunk anything before, and I'm not a fan of warm colours (And Steampunk stuff is generally in browns, creams and bronzes) so I went for black, silver and blue.

Because High-Class Steampunk Ladies could theoretically exist, and if they did they could afford to wear high-maintenance colours.

That and because I could, that's why!

I made a hatband by folding wide black lace in half over the blue ribbon and sewing it down to mute the blue a little. I used glass seed beads to hide my stitches, since I didn't have any sewing thread that matched the ribbon OR the lace >.<

For the fascinator I wrapped the two feather tassels together with silver ribbon and glued a pair of chain earrings into the back of a button to cover my horrible glue-gun work on the feathers.

I really really wanted to put a Hex Key behind the feathers, but my spare was so darn small you couldn't see it back there. It was a no-go. Instead I stuck some cog-like beads onto a useless little spanner and put that on. It really needed proper clock guts, but I didn't have any on hand.

Here we go, the finished hat:

From the left. . . 

The front. . .

The back. . . 

And on my head.

I hate cameras -.-

It's not exactly your traditional Steampunk, but it was my first and I'm very proud of it.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Where's My Room?

Another instalment of last year's Christmas crafty-gifts for people.

I missed both my nieces' birthdays last year, so they got two gifts each when I saw then on Christmas day for the family foodathon.

To prevent fights I try to get them each something similar-but-different for Christmas an something completely different for birthdays.

Christmas 2012's offering was a painted nameplate to hang on the door to their room or put up over their beds if they felt so inclined.

I have no idea what they're into at the moment and personally dislike stereotypical pink-and-girly stuff so I inflicted some horrible attempts at nature scenes on them ^.^;

When they're older they'll get my not-child-friendly and slightly creepy faeries. Until then: Something less likely to cause nightmares.

Mountains and trees for Hope, seaside and sunshine for Lockee.

I used bog-standard stationary store acrylics on some pre-made wooden cutouts. The colours came up nicely and the wood was very smooth and easy to paint.

Since I'm not the greatest painter in the world I hope they liked them anyway. It's the thought that counts, right?

Happy crafting!


Friday, 1 February 2013

+2 To 'Spinning' Skill

Since it has been too darn hot to do much of anything, I dragged the wheel into the coolest, breeziest part of the flat I could find and tried to improve my spinning.

Since it is so blasted warm they are drying out nice and fast after the twist is set. Its awesome!

I made this for a friend:

And this for myself:

Still all over the show in terms of thickness, but I'm definitely making progress.

Happy crafting,

Friday, 25 January 2013

Holes On (In?) The Brain

This is how I distract myself.


I find it really complicated and absorbing, and I'm not so good at following charts (There are many badly-executed cross stitch projects that can attest to this) so it takes a ridiculous amount of concentration for me.

And hand-winding yarn skeins into balls takes FOREVER if you don't have a chair to hang the yarn on!

I'm using John Q's absolutely delicious Impressionista series of handpainted yarn in the "Garden Path" colourway to knit up the Dia De Sol shawl pattern from Ravelry. I figured that the wide zig-zag pattern of the main body of the shawl would show off the colours of the yarn without the pattern itself getting too lost.

I thought one skein would be enough for the whole shawl, but I ran out just at the edging chart >.< Since I didn't run a lifeline before starting the edge I'll have to finish it off with part of a second skein and use that one up with some lacy scarf thing.

The "sacrifices" we make ;)

Its taking about 15-20mins for me to finish a row right now, so I have no idea how long it will take me to finally complete the shawl.

When it is, I shall block it and show it off properly.

Have a great Crafternoon,


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Goodbye Nana

Nana Munro died last Thursday.

Her funeral was on Monday.

I'll never know what she thought of her socks, but at least she got them.

Goodbye Nana. Thank you so much for everything you did for me.

I'll love you and miss you for as long as I live.