Tuesday, February 27, 2007

about the show

i am feeling a bit blah today, the beginnings of some kind of coldy flu type thing, which is appropriate considering its raining (yay) and i start back at teaching this week (hmmm....) so this post is going to be a bit whiny.

firstly the show. jem was racing in the flyball competition. jem likes his flyball. some may say a little bit too much. hes a little bit hard to handle in the ring. to cut a long story short jem was involved in an altercation in the ring with one of his team mates, cobber the kelpie, and jem was black carded, ie, excused from the competition. ie, sent home to think about his behaviour. he may now get suspended from flyball for a while. this affects the whole team obviously, and everyone was very upset and it wasnt much fun after that.

but i ask you, does this look like a dog that should be black carded?!

seriously, hes a cattle dog. what more do i need to say?

at least i got to see some other parts of the show this year. i saw the hand knitting displays, some nice work there. i really liked the spinning, there were people there doing it and the hand spun that won prizes was lovely. i saw the lady selling opal but i didnt buy any, i have enough sock wool and if i buy anything else it will be some jo sharp silkroad to make beanies with. i did get some knitting of my own done, the band for the wrap is coming along and the first waratah sock now has a turned heel.

i watched lots of the yard dog trials in preparation for my trial this coming weekend and talked to my instructors about what i would need to do compared to what the competitors i saw were doing. i came away feeling relatively confident. in their own trials, my instructors did well, jenny scored a 94 out of 100 in the first round of the open with dude but robert ended up beating her in the final, coming equal second with sarge. he also got second in improver with chief, so they were happy at least!

the only thing i brought, apart from coffee, was this little make up purse which i have put my scissors, pins, tape measure etc in.

the best part of the weekend was having jo and dave to stay over, with 6 extra dogs! possum had a great time running around with kobe and annie the puppy, very cute. while making potato salad i did however, manage to nearly slice off the end of my finger. gross photo warning:

well, if spidey's gonna do it, so will i!

unfortunately this injury makes knitting harder rather than easier. but thats ok, i'll soldier on :)

ok enough whinging from me.


Friday, February 23, 2007

red not pink

contrary to appearances i do do something in life other than post to this blog. i have a few thousand words of the new chapter, a perfectly clean house with two guest beds made up for the weekend's visitors, cookies in the oven, and a load of washing on.

but just because i wanted to prove that the red picot socks are red not pink as they have previously appeared i took them outside:

see? red. this yarn is from 'waratah' (?) hand dying from bundanoon and i actually think they remind me of a waratah flower with the different shades of red. so they are my waratah practise-picot socks.

meanwhile i figured out how to do a provisional cast on (good lord is c*****t tricky or what?) and here is the beginning of the wrap project in bendigo wool:

you start with the bottom band, which is 15 stitches in single rib and do like 150 rows of that and then when you get to the end of the band you turn the work 90 degrees and knit the back in stocking stitch. weird.

i will miss the surprise bonus snb this sunday even tho it is in my neck of the woods because i am at the canberra show for the weekend helping out with the flyball and also watching the yard dog trials in preparation for my own trialling debut next week (eeeeck!). if you come to the show, look for the teams of madly barking dogs running over the four jumps to grab the tennnis balls. our team is in red and black and our dog is the only red cattle dog racing (my husband races him). decide for yourself if the humans or the dogs are the crazy ones.

have a good one
k :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

gauge tension

what a witty little play on words for a post title.

seriously tho i have, as promised, knitted a tension square of the bendigo for the wrap project. the pattern calls for 21 st and 26 rows over 4 inches (10cm) in stocking stitch on 3.75mm needles. i cast on 27 stitches so i could do the little border to stop it curling up and knitted three rows then did the 26 rows of stst, then 3 rows plain. so for my tension i am just measuring the stst part in between the borders. i dont know if this is the right way to do a tension square, the yarn harlot has another method in 'rules' but i wanted to see what would happen if i knitted exactly what the pattern called for, and i wanted to knit enough to see what the yarn looked and felt like.

here is my first attempt:

so not even close. then i read the bit about washing and blocking your tension squares and i got a better result stitch wise:

row wise it is about 1cm short:

but patterns are always too long for me anyway as i am about 5 foot nothing and its easier to add a row or two as i go. it seems to me to be more important to get stitch gauge.

what do you think? should i try again on smaller needles and go for row gauge as well?

here is a pic of it outside so you can see the colours.

its a little more purpley than this and it blocks lovely and soft with lots of drape in it and everyone says its a good colour for me. perfect.

unless anyone thinks i should knit another square im going to start it today. i have to start with a provisional cast on. this meant purchasing a c****et hook this morning. ick.

k xx

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


hehehe...rubs hands together with glee....the bendigo loot arrived this morning. here it is - all this for the princely sum of $48.15:

these pictures dont do it justice of course, its so dark inside this house in the morning, but its a lovely soft greyish mauve with flecks of reddish brown and maybe even some green?

i think it will be just right. and yes of course i will do a tension square first!

meanwhile the picot socks dont look very picot-ey and i swear this wool is red not pink:

i think i did one too many rows after the eyelets so when i folded it over it is not as tight as it should be and this means the picot doesnt stand up as firmly as it should. will know better next sock. these are just for me so they are really learning-socks.

and the back of the baby jacket is done as well:

this is lovely and light and soft, i wish i were a baby and were knitting this for me! i am planning on knitting a whole little ensemble, complete with pants, hat and booties.

oh and very good news, the NFH appears to be in the process of moving out, even tho the house hasnt sold officially yet. a large white vehicle that looked suspiciously like a removalist van was here yesterday and lots of boxes were taken out on trolleys and no one was there last night. there is still stuff scattered around the place so id say its not all over yet but i feel like a weight has started to lift....

and now i have a thesis chapter to write...


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

picot saga

there has been quite a saga in the making of simple picot edges for socks. i want to do fancy picot eyelet socks with my berry stripey but didnt want to ruin them so thought i would practise plain picot edges first with the waratah hand dyed i got last year at the kingston markets (its actually a lot darker red than in the photos below). i got some 2.75 mm dpns and off i went - casting on 66 stitches (22 on each needle), 6 rounds knit, one round eyelets (k2tog, yo, rpt) 6 rounds knit.

the first attempt went well and then there was the folding over and picking up the cast on stitch and knitting it together with the stitch on the needle. this went well on needle one and then went all twisted and puckered on subsequent needles, so that the facing was all sloping in odd directions.

this got frogged in the car on the way home from sydney.

attempt number two was made yesterday at lunchtime and for some reason the simple process of k2tog yo eluded me and the eyelets werent really eyelets after that.

frogged again.

attempt number three was made last night.

heres how it looked:

1. the eyelets are done:

2. the first needle of folding over looks ok:

3. something resembling a picot edge emerges:

i did drop a stitch in the eyelet row and had to pick it up back through several rows, and i managed to end up with 22-21-20 stitches (wtf?!) so had to do some quick increases so i dont think my eyelets are quite even, but i am happy enough with this for now. the second sock should see some improvement.

im quite sure that picot edges werent meant to be this difficult...


Monday, February 19, 2007

why i didnt knit

i missed another sunday SnB this weekend, and hardly did any knitting either, because i was off herding sheep at belgenny farm at camden.

these sheep are descendents of the original macarthur merinos bought out here from spain in the early 1800s. since then most australian merinos have been cross bred to produce a hardy sheep with usually good fine wool. the wool on these guys looked more like dreadlocks, and they have been so inter-bred that they are kind of strange. in other words, they are very hard to work! we spent a lot of time watching people chase them around! here is nathan, john and i, with chloe, possum and deisal, thinking about what we will have to do:

here is me and possum running around after the sheep:

here is jenny (our instructor) probably yelling instructions at me which i cant hear because i am trying to catch my breath and am also amazed that possum is just sitting minding the sheep.

not something posssum likes to do.

we had a great weekend tho, very hard, steep learning curve in preparation for my first yard dog trial at the bathurst show in two weeks. its only a beginner trial and i dont expect to do great but it will be a good learning exercise and i dont think we will totally disgrace ourselves!

so there was very little knitting done - i had actually done the picot edge on the socks but i frogged it in the car on the way home because my picking up along the cast on stitches to fold it over had got puckered and so the stitches were slanting instead of standing up straight.

note to self: picot edging on dpns best not done in car.

so i just did some garter stitch rows on the back of the baby jacket.

so i missed another weekend SnB and probably wont get to a sunday for a while yet. but i love the idea of the Harlot Happening planned for later in march. i got my yarn harlot rules book back from loan on friday and am planning to re-read from cover to cover. esp the bit about beanies, which is my next challenge.

today i must start the next chapter and re-do the picot edge. will post pix of that when done properly!

have a good one.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


i hate the crass consumerism of valentines day (and almost any other hallmark holiday) and so there was an agreement not to partake. regardless, someone came home with something for me:

hmmmm mozart chocolates. they were giving these away on the plane to amsterdam via vienna last year (2006 was 250 years since mozarts birth) and i kept all my little wrappers. now ive got the whole tin. mozart chocolates arent crass valentines day consumerism are they?

in return i finished the first of trents blue stripe socks:

it looks weird in this photo because of the angle but it looks good on:

unfortunately the lazy option of the three needle cast off does take away from the finished product, i think i will graft the toe properly on the next one.

which i hope to have finished by easter!

ps am sending away for my rustic agate today.....nervous....

Monday, February 12, 2007

playing with wool

when one is done playing with sheep (see below) one likes to play with the product of said sheep.

my shade cards from bendigo arrived:

i am looking for a wool for the wrap and i dont want to do the usual black but it needs to go with jeans, and brown,black and berry corduroys for winter, so it cant be pastel or blue and i am just not a green person (i had my colour chart done ages ago and apparently i am a 'winter' ?!).

none of the plain solid colours grab me but i really want to buy bendigo for this one firstly because it is really nice wool and secondly because its so damn cheap. i need about 900grams and from bendigo that will cost me around $50. when i made trents jo sharp jumper about three quarters that amount of wool cost me $120!

so i am thinking that an earthy, muted,mottled colour might be the go, that will keep the wrap soft and flowy but wont make me look like a marshmallow (or a grape, thanks trent) and will go with lots of things.

hence i am tending towards their rustic range, and the colour that grabs me is agate, or colour number 903:

this photo doesnt do it justice but it is a greyish purple with flecks of reddish brown ...its so hard to tell tho with only two strands, i would like to see some knitted up but if i order before feb 23 i get 10% discount and im not going to waste that on only one ball!

anyone seen this colour knitted up before? opinions most welcome!

k xx

playing with sheep

how wonderful was it to have rain down here this weekend?

of course it meant that yesterday at herding school at michelago we herded in the mud. trent was too busy with scenic shots to get any of us working - here is the only one i have! (there may be more on other cameras that i will post when i get copies)...

the dogs found it a little uncomfortable too!

but you cant begrudge a farm called drydale getting 40mms in one day. i think i saw liam smile!

here are some pix of said drydale:

with the rain coming:

the herding crew trying to get out of the rain!

(photos courtesy of the offical 4k barista and photographer)

possum and i did some really hard work this weekend, working sheep in and out of paddocks and pens and through gates. at one point i couldnt get her to come around a particular side and robert stood there and grinned while i swore my head off! people said they thought i might cry in frustration but there will be no tears, just swearing! i forgot that my dad happened to be there because he is touring the countryside at the moment in his caravan and trent said he was surprised i would swear like that in front of my father. is 38 not old enough to be able to swear in front of your father?! :)

anyway i still have a lot of work to do in terms of getting poss to work short and soft and also on where to put myself to make it easier for her, but i was really pleased with how we are going.

she also went up the race and learnt to 'back' the sheep (ie, jump up and run along the back of them) and she really loved it, she didnt jump off and she even stopped and 'worked' (ie barked a lot at!) one sheep that was facing the wrong direction.

great fun! we have another school next weekend at camden and then i will watch the trials at the canberra royal the weekend after and should be right to have a go at the bathurst show without making too much of a fool of myself!

k :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

we have pictures

ok, the camera arrived back from its little holiday in wollongong this morning safe and sound. thanks ms d!

here is what it contained.

1. the view from deb's outdoor room where we sat sipping coffee and eating sourdough from the jamberoo bakery (goddamn i miss that place - we used to live a five minute drive from the best bread/pies/bread and butter pudding on the south coast):

note thriving vegetable patch, despite constant salt, wind and sun exposure. sigh.

2. the view of deborah's backyard with fence followed by ocean. yes it is possible to live that close to the beach (did i mention how much i miss the smell of salt air, the wide open space, the light, the breeze, the coolness....):

3. the view of warilla beach first thing sunday morning:

and here is the knitting in progress update.

firstly the finished entrelac sample:

it is a little wonky, i got a bit loose towards the end, so i suspect successful entrelac depends on consistent tension! this is 40 stitches on 7mm needles, ends up measuring over 30 cms long but i want to make longer strips than this, so will probably do the next piece on circs.

secondly, the blue tripey socks for trent:

coming along nicely i think. although patons seem to think that mens feet are about three times the size of womens. hmmm perhaps they are...

here is the picture of my wrap project:

its an amy swenson design from big girl knits and its gorgeous. this pattern is in alpaca but i cant wear anything thats not based on merino, or sheeps wool, so i have sent off for bendigo shade cards. and yes jejune, i really do wish they had a website. how hard can it be?!

oh and yesterday i snuck into lincraft at belconnen because my usual LYS at jamison is half shut down during renos (for some reason they think its more important to keep the old peoples clothes half of the store open, not the yarn half. sigh. what is it with me and yarn stores this week?!). i really was just looking for some larger DPNs cos the picot eyelet socks are knit on 3mm (i am going to use 2.75 cos my wool is slightly heavier than 4ply) but lincraft had a sale on and i know someone who may or may not be having a baby, maybe around august, and the bambino was on sale ($2.75 a ball and i just bought 2 balls to start with) so that gives me plenty of time to knit this cute little jacket (i am actually doing the pink jacket not the cream jumper):

i was going to knit a hat on dpns so i wouldnt have to sew anything but then i realised that i would have about 4 things going on dpns and maybe some straight rows might be fun for a change, and theres not that much sewing for a baby jacket surely!

thats it from me. must go tidy up now before visitors arrive tonight for our herding school at michelago this weekend. so there will be more pictures of wool on monday, just still attached to its source!

have a good one
k xx

Monday, February 05, 2007


well i am a silly girl and left my camera in the back of debs car so cant post pix of my weekend until she sends it back to me. but it was a lovely weekend, beach, food, movies (stranger than fiction, hilarious), trip to bowral, and can you believe it, the wool shop was closed. wtf?!! so no sample buying for cardigan pattern. grrr. might have to shop local after all. its been recommended that i try bendigo and i have not knitted with anything of theirs for a while so i think a phonecall might be in order.

still going on trents blue stripey socks but have finished my entrelac sample. my top edge triangles are a bit wonky but it will work for a blanket. will leave that for a bit now. am dying to try my fancy picot eyelet socks with some berry pretty berry stripey, so will satisfy myself with socks for the time being.

more when camera returns.

Friday, February 02, 2007

final chapters

well i just heard that the next and last harry potter (deathly hallows) comes out on july 21, only a week after the 5th movie (order of the phoenix) . i am excited and sad at the same time, i cant bear to think what she has planned for harry. if she kills him off i'll be very annoyed.

i have also decided on a pattern for the cardi project, its a gorgeous wrap type thing in the book taph lent me but trent has the camera with him today so no pix. i am going to bowral on sunday and plan to visit a wool shop there where i may perhaps purchase ONE sample ball to practice with if anything takes my fancy. when i have decided on wool i will post pix.

the entrelac seems to be working in terms of a blanket design, its a kind of old fashioned look but i like that in a blanket, it makes it look patchwork without being patchwork and it suits the inca. and its the kind of pattern i dont have to think about. but i cant knit it all in one piece so will try and get as many multiple of ten stitches on as i can and make long strips.

also i have finally tamed chapter three/four (it was supposed to be chapter four but its combining with three to make a big one) and although there is still a lot of fiddling to do with it, it makes sense in terms of the whole thing now.

we are off to the beach tomorrow for trent to do some surfing and to catch up with the lovely deborah, at whose place i am staying overnight while trent continues to sydney with dogs for training. looking forward to a social, girly weekend.

hope everyone else has a good one.
k :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

blanket experimentation

i thought i would try my hand at some entrelac to see how the inca comes up with some texturing - this is on 6mm needles:

now ive figured out the principles this is a pretty simple technique, tho i am getting a bit looser so i have to watch that my triangles and rectangles match up ok.

this has a really nice feel about it, definitely worth doing a whole blanket/rug thing. this is with 40 stitches cast on, i wonder how many more i could do and then how big i could make each piece - could you do a whole rug without having to make pieces? maybe on circulars....

anyway will bring it tonight, looking forward to seeing everyone finally!
k :)