knitting and the life I almost have around it

Thursday, March 29, 2007

OCD: it could happen to you

i AM bad at this! I've had so much to show and just no oomph to take a photo and up!

Firstly, i finished the sherpa reticulated socks on sunday. He's already worn them to death and there is a bit of felting happening around the heel and toe (his shoes are a little on the large size and i guess some friction happens). Sigh. but he loves them and i love him so c'est la vie right?

i spun the fibre i won last week. and skeined it. and wound it. and knit some socks. I have to say, i'm pretty impressed with myself. thats saturday night to wednesday morning, fibre to socks. am i weird? ANd its soooo pretty, like a pastel rainbow!

been doing lotsa dyeing today so i should have some more yarn listed tonight.

oh. and i dont know what to knit now. it's kind of scary!

the overactive
Ms Spider

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

I'm really not the world's best blogger am I?

Ok so what has happened since we last spoke? lots!

On thursday night we had the harlot happening in manuka and it was FABULOUS! there were knitters everywhere, fun puzzles, free starbucks samples (Sherpa is such a sweetie) and a plethora of prizes ^_^ i in fact took out the first lucky door prize of the night! this beautiful roving from ewe give me the knits. It really wants to be reinvented as sock yarn but we will see. I'm thinking a fine two ply anyway... maybe gloves? i really dont want to walk through this gorgeous fibre :)

There are lots more pics over with Bells who did live blogging during the event. If you scroll down a bit you might see a seriously spaced out looking girl (i really didnt want to look at the camera, that's what that face is about) wearing her newly completed green sweater! I'm very happy with it, the wool is great - very soft and really makes the pattern pop.

what else? well on sunday i started a pair of socks for Sherpa. He LOVES them (the finished one has been worn already). it's a reticulation pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks (again) and I'm using jade green patonyle and deep green striping four seasons hot socks. Its a interesting technique and i definitely recommend it to you if you have gotten over the plain stocking stitch self-striping sock yarn thing. this way you get to do something more interesting, practice your stranding and you look like you're way smarter than you really are (or way less lazy, whatever).

Funny thing that happened this week:

Told my boss' 8yo son i had to vote today
aemon: dont vote for (insert some random country MP here).
me: why not?
aemon: he's evil
me: who told you that?
aemon: ads.

do you think the political ads are maybe hitting the wrong demographic?

oh and my leg is really hurting at the moment. i was pretty much limping again today and it was so much better for a while there. have to wear loose clothing for a while longer i guess.
oh and Harry is visiting for the weekend. He is not a poser, clearly the camera is going to bite him.

off the top of my head i cant think of anything else...

The vague
Ms Spider

PS. Mum loved her birthday socks and Nana Sherpa loved her anti-carcinagenic socks. all is right in the sock-dom.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


So in record time (i think) i have finished the Opal socks :). Votes have been tallied, pros and cons weighed and the verdict is that Opal has a proven 100% victory rate against cancer. Also, it is very bright and chirpy and might help to keep Nana Sherpa cheerful while in hospital.This is a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. It's the oblique openwork pattern from the eight-stitch pattern chapter, worked on 2.75mm dpns in Opal wool. The heel is one i hadnt tried before and i include a detail.It's a slip stitch heel with a three stitch wide garter stitch border. the slipped stitch is worked alternately so instead of a rib-like pattern we get a more stretchy waffle-type effect. And the garter stitch border... is kind of charming. cute no? i didnt expect to like it but its quite sweet.
oh and a blurry detail of the oblique openwork pattern. i'm pleased, it only took one repeat to remember the pattern and it does make getting socks the same length dead easy.

oh and the colour discrepencies are a mystery to me. the second sock (on the blocker) for some reason had twice as much of the yellow stripe as the other one.. i guess the ball was spliced because there wasnt a knot or anything. i moved the repeat up a bit at the heel but still didnt get them quite matching.

i am happy nonetheless. except of course i seem to think i need to replace the slight dent (who'm i kidding, you'd never know) in my sock yarn stash. compulsion, thy name is spider

the socksy
Ms Spider

PS after my rant the other day i have to confess to being tempted by a few toe-up sock patterns... better finish my sweater first!

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Monday, March 12, 2007

staying power

ok so i finished the blasted purple chevron socks. I think the main reason these distressed me was the blasted 'forethought heel'. if i were to knit these again i'd do a nice slip-stitch heel - i just find that doing heels with the stupid provisional cast on and then decreasing like a toe... and then having to unpick your cast on and pick up the sticthes to knit in the round again... it makes the whole thing too complicated. And it takes away from the genius of the architecture of a handknit sock. plus i dont think they are as comfortable, nor do they wear as well. i wouldnt have done it at all if i didnt have the jawoll yarn with the special reinforcement thread.but here they are nonetheless. i had a slight tension issue (heel aside) because i changed from ebony needles to metal ones so i would finish them faster. it was a silly mistake but one is quite a bit snugger than the other. however, as they are for my mother and she will most likely wear them with boots i dont think it will matter too much.

also, we had some sad news in the last week. Sherpa's grandmother has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and is going to have to have some pretty horrible surgery. so, recalling my excellent hit rate against cancer (Spidey 1: Cancer 0) i thought i'd better knit socks for her too.
and i started this one yesterday.

its an opal yarn... but i've lost the ball band.
(pause while spidey makes a quick search)
Well, i've looked everywhere and cant find it, but i assure you it is opal and i bought it at mawson.

Oh and to answer a question i was asked some time ago: Have i ever knit toe-up socks?
Yes, i have. i have knit two and they were not a pair.
to be honest, it did nothing for me. i liked the idea of using every last scrap of a ball of sock-yarn (most sacred of yarns) and that was why i attempted it.
however! For me, one of the biggest draw-cards of sock knitting is that you start off with, say, 70 stitches and you just keep decreasing. the heel-flap heel is ingenious and seamless, and the grafted toe is the final crisp touch. there is no unpicking required, no muss, no fuss... and if you're anal like me and always have a darning needle you're set!
with the toe-up sock (and i will allow that this is partly due to what i'm used to) you have to do sneaky, snarky provisional cast ons. its not as easy to measure where the heel ought to be (in a heel flap sock i start the toe 16cm from the edge of the flap if they are for me.. i dont have to put it on to work it out!). and basically, if you are doing a full leggy sock (which you should be to take full advantage of your inability to have too little yarn) you need to INCREASE for shaping, not decrease!
question answered?

anyway, so apon further reflection, perhaps the purple (slightly looser and better for hospital stay) socks might be better for Sherpa's Nan and the Opal ones might be better for my mother (even if they are a little bright for her taste). Any thoughts? Or do i try and cast on ANOTHER pair and kill myself trying to finish them for the 19th (which is both my mother's bday AND the day Nana Sherpa goes into hospital)?

not much else to say except my stitches are out and it itches like hell... and while i honestly try not to wallow in self-pity or vanity... it kind of bothers me to have thuis huge ugly scar on my thigh. its not like i wear minis a lot.. but i dont mind my legs and its sort of.. sad. its not like you wouldnt notice it. so yeah, get out the crayolas and colour me 'conceited' but i wish i had my nice smooth thigh back.

the vain
Ms Spider xo

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

i get there in the end

So the stitches are out and i have a very disconcerting ridge on my leg. i have to wear a stretchy pull-together type bandage for at least a week and it still hurts like buggery.. but i go back to work tomorrow. this is good because money has become really very tight and i swear my butt has expanded what with all the enforced sitting... but can i really be expected to remove myself from an all-knitting all-the-time holiday with a smile?

so today being my last day of relative freedom i did a lot. housewifery at its finest. i vacuumed and cleaned, baked muffins, did some dyeing, did some washing, washed the dishes and put aside my sweater for the little knit-bits i had abandoned (wicked yarn slut that i am).

so i am pleased to (finally) post that the rock n weave socks are finished. and i love them. love the colourway, the weight, the pattern, the linen stitch... the fact that they have that gorgeous streaky bit on the top of the foot in different colours. And, of course, the fact that tonight it's cool enough to wear them!

i'm also past the heel on a certain pair of chevron purple striped socks i was making... with any luck they'll be done by the weekend and i'm covered for my mother's birthday on the 19th.

the busy and tired
Ms Spider xo

PS Attentive readers may notice a new link on my sidebar to my eBay sales. i decided it was very silly to have the two bits of my life separate considering they are both yarn related, and lets not be shy about it - money is a bit tight lately and i need all the advertising i can get! i'm sure i'll one day get around to adding the million new blogs i read and other such useful info. if your blog isnt there dont be offended - i like you, i'm just lazy as hell. must remember my coding stuff i suppose.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


So life goes on. The stitches are driving me spare and i may hurt someone if i dont get them removed like promised on wednesday. i suppose i will go back to work this week. if i don't then food may become a bit of a problem, not to mention stress management through retail therapy!

i have no knitting pics but have finished the two body pieces of my green sweater and am onto the sleeves. i'm knitting them at the same time so hopefully by next week i'll have a new sweater! huzzah!
oh and i bought some lovely regia cotton/wool blend sock yarn on ebay the other day and it arrived today along with Folk Socks by the divine Nancy Bush. this book is great! so much well-presented and interesting history and then a nice chunk of decent patterns with a good blend of useful, attractive socks with varying levels of skill required. i reckon if you made every pair of socks in this book you'd have the whole thing covered.
so that helped brighten an otherwise hideous uni day ;)

for your viewing pleasure i include a few pics from my garden.
this is a random plant in my dahlia patch... it produces apricot and white flowers.. and as you can see sometimes a mix of the two! never let it be said that my home does not embrace difference!
also, what with all the rain, we've had a host of mushrooms spring up! (no, i don't own a lawn mower) i've never seen them around here before, they were always part of the 'on the farm' chapter of my life.. i'm quite charmed by them in my own backyard, i must admit. must be all the rain we've been having plus the humidity.

oh and my bandage rolled off during the night so sherpa took a quick shot of my stitches before putting a new one on. i wont put it up here as i feel its a bit.. icky. Not overly graphic or anything but thought i'd rather give you ladies a choice in the matter. so i'll pop it on Flickr (link here) for those of a curious disposition. there are only 8 stitches visible, but there were 2 internal ones as well. i'm walking normally again, though it does ache mostly and twinge painfully from time to time, and it's clearly healing well. i wasnt prepared for how much energy healing takes up, i've been sleeping 10 hour nights and then nodding off during the day. i'm like a sleepy zombie i tells you!

Oh and come to our Yarn Harlot night - details here! i will be donating some sock yarn as a lucky door prize and there will be lots of other goodies up for grabs. it will be a dashed great night for all! Newbies be not afraid! Let us unite in an evening of joy and yarn and show the world that we are worth staying on the good side of. I have spoken to Sherpa and they will open late for us too so it needn't be a rushed event :) knit and the world gives you beverages!

onward and upward
Ms Spider

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

et voila!

presenting, in all its splendour, the Fiddlesticks Peacock Feather Shawl. i love it, love it, love it.
the yarn is my own hand-dyed laceweight in an unamed colourway.. similar to Grape Juice but with a bit of greeb toned black to it. i'm very happy with the result! and it only took 65 grams to knit on 3.25mm needles. and its plenty big enough. i highly recommend it to anyone, the pattern is very clearly charted and well presented.

went to SnB on thursday and I'm very glad i did - met some newbies including the lovely twitchy fingers :) I always find it bizarre when people say they read this blog without commenting... maybe i'm a braver commenter than some. please, say hi! i welcome all, even if you like crochet!
i've started a sweater from Rebecca 29, just finished the front piece. it's really very simply constructed, the roaming ribbing does all the shaping work for you. i dont think it will be something i want to wear on very bloat-y days, but i love the colour and am enjoying the knitting. its simple enough to be mindless but not boring... and it feels so bouncy and springy. the wool is some i bought at the merino show - 500g for $30. its an 8ply crepe and hasn't got the slightest hint of an itch. i doubt it will pill either. all in all i'm quite happy with it!
its a deep forest green, quite a good colour for me and it looks nice and vintage too. i think the pattern looks very 1940's as well. well, the sleeves aren't quite right but the random leaves at the top of the meandering ribbing and all the eyelets scream 1942 to me. its lovely.

not much else to say. i'm slowly on the mend. the dr has given me til wednesday for the stitches to be examined again - i went in yesterday but he said it was too soon. it still hurts like hell but i'm not limping much anymore. oh and my leg spasmed the other day causing me to spill hot soup on my wrist so now i have some lovely burn blisters too... but i'm fine, really. at least i'm getting lots of knitting done, right?

Ms Spider

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