Monday, September 29, 2008

Presents!

Nutkins
"For when you feel rosy and nutty?" asks Loopy

I'm holding off publishing this entry as I write, for the socks above will be gifted to VCM and I just have to wait for her to have them in her hot little hands first! The Crystal Palace Roses turned out beautifully though! They really are glorious looking socks and light to wear. A friend across the country picked up the Crystal Palace Vanilla Cream the other day, so I had to play copy cat. Well, I too will require summer socks! Shhh... you don't know I already have Faded Jeans!

I was trying to wind my Yarn Pirate Daisy up into a ball last night while watching Private Practice. It's gorgeous yarn - sooooooo soft. Unfortunately and rather impolitely, I'll quote - I think - Lime & Violet by admitting it turned into yarn vomit or something very like. It's going to take me forever to sort out the mess! And it wasn't the yarn's fault. I just got impatient at one point and... disaster.

So here's the Knittery's Daisy instead - it's acting as garnish for some Etsy purchases! Scarymerry's stitchmarkers are incredible - so small, delicate and detailed. I got the mice wrapped in yarn for VCM (another reason I can't publish this today!) and the flying pigs for me. The latter were a must-have. I love flying pigs! I was born in the Year of the Pig and every Year of the Pig, I happily go flying about the world (often literally - once I managed London, Vienna, New York, Washington DC, Sydney...), so I inform everyone that I am a flying pig! Don't tell me "when pigs fly" - I'm proof they do!


Okay, now I feel I can safely publish this post before engaging in my favourite activity - herding chickens. I have to go to a talk on campus shortly, which means herding the hens back into the coop. Yes, I actually foolishly let them out for a couple of hours - they guilted me into it! Particularly after I'd cruelly banished Coco back to the humpy for picking on Lola only to discover that Lola and Fifi then proceeded to gang up on Mimi... oh dear.

But for a giggle, check out the latest entry at the Pantopicon. Not only do I love that he loves lime socks and names his blog after a Foucaultian concept, but the campaign with Dolores the sheep is hilarious. Seriously, if you want a woman as president - or vice president - I think you should go for Dolores! Not that I'd be political or anything here...

Washing day


My new knitting pirate T-shirt from Cafe Press. It's similar to the one seen in Gilmore Girls - only, mine's brown, not black. And in the background, you can see busily dustbathing chickens. In fact, here's a close-up...


I could spend a couple of hours just watching chickens dustbathe!

I was knitting on the bus this morning, one of my colleagues sitting just behind me. As we lept off (and, as usual, I'd worked up speed, so inadvertently hopped off before the little old lady and felt horribly guilty - after all, I do always try to let my elders off first, but sometimes I do tumble out of the bus rather quickly and it was either stop and have her bump into me, or keep going), she asked me what I was working on. It was my Indie Dyer's Dazzled vanilla sock. She looked kind of bemused. I don't think Muggles get it...

But another colleague, now across the country from me, does get it and she left me a sock pattern in my pigeon hole! The student I was meeting that morning (and I was only four minutes - precisely - late) was curious about why I looked excited, so I had to explain to her that we were working very hard on an article about knitting... well, it is true!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Save me from Etsy!

Never go near Etsy when you're having a stressful couple of weeks! There's a few items I can't show you yet, but isn't this yarn pretty? It's from New York Yarns. The top one is Rock Chick and below that is the very bright Boy Meets Girl. Now I just need more knitting time...

The yarn arrived the same day as I picked up two new additions to the backyard family: Mimi and Coco. They'd been raised on an egg farm and the poor little girls already had their beaks clipped at only 17 weeks! Awful. But they're currently in their makeshift 'humpy' and becoming acquainted with Fifi and Lola. Lola has taken to standing on the log to start the newcomers in the eye. You can see her below with Mimi. You can't tell Lola that she's too small to still be boss.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A little vintage, a little yo-yo

I should be revising papers that I have to give this weekend. That's what I should be doing. But last night, after a very very long day, I got home to some lovely parcels!

First, you can see my latest additions to sock stash - straight from the Yo Yo. Already 'Those Old High School Jeans' is looking a little too well-hugged! But so soft! And I loved the colourway from the moment I saw it. Although evidence shows a strong Frankish trend to my socks, this colourway reminded me of the good bits of high school, the bits I haven't blocked from memory. 'All Songs Considered' looks kind of juicy... I know that's an odd remark. But I loved the parcel! And the surprise stitch markers and little note just set the whole thing off. This was a good parcel!

You can also see that VCM has been at work with the needles - a yellow sweater from a vintage pattern and it looks great on. There is something to be said for a sweater that shows off an hour glass-ish figure in all the right ways. There was also a little pink top that I can't photograph as I'm currently wearing it (and apart from my feet, I doubt I'll get around to photographing any other part of myself!). It's very preppy (yes, I was a preppy-wannabe in high school too - I come from that generation) and I'm wearing it with jeans today. I have to go on campus a bit later to help with a talk, but it's not too casual. With the right jacket. And it feels glorious on - something to be said for the bamboo blend yarns. They are so good on the skin.

You can also see the Molly Ringwald progress. I'm almost up to the increases, where I'll have to start figuring out where to start the arm decreases at the same time as figure out where the bodice pattern begins. The slightly nerve-wrecking part of the exercise.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Being Frank


Maelstrom (Cookie A.) and vanilla sock
"Frankly, a lot of socks in progress."

Spring is already getting too warm for me. It was just the other week I was rushing to finish my Sea World socks to keep my feet cosy.

I have a new, red, whistling kettle though and somehow started two new socks. The Maelstroms are in Socks that Rock Pixie Park and for some reason, I seem remarkably talented at losing track of the pattern. It's not that difficult a pattern (and it's a fun to watch take shape), but after successfully ripping back three rows last night and catching back up again, this morning I ended the last row with... one stitch too few. I looked in horror at the sock. What does it do? Rip out its own stitches (there's an image to make one shudder)?

Thinking it must be me, I also started a new sock with Indie Dyer's Bedazzled. I love this yarn! The colour is amazing and turns a simple, vanilla sock into a work of stunning art. I think I might be safer sticking to the vanilla sock until my brain kicks back into action after the symposium next week (yes, there's this welcome speech and a paper I'm supposed to be finishing...).

Although, has anyone noticed how little bright yellow sock yarn there is in the world?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ending with yarn

Coming home from a full day's teaching, Dusk and Dragonfly were waiting for me! They're from Monsoon Designs and while it boggles my mind that there's someone in the Northern Territory dying yarn, they are very soft and very pretty! It was my first outing with the Yarn Collective. No hitches so far! It's a brilliant concept for Australia. I think half the appeal of yarn stashing is the connection to all the indie dyers and spinners around the world, but finding sources close to home (less yarn miles!) is an absolute bonus. I love buying yarn that isn't 'corporate'. I love the idea that someone was cooking up a batch of colourful string on their stove! I love the idea that I'm connecting with someone as nutty about yarn as I am through a hank of yarn!

Mind, I do find myself getting slightly jittery when I realise that right now, I have no yarn on order...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A little bit vintage

Glaistig (Robin Melanson, Knitting New Mittens & Gloves)
"Fluff for your cuffs."

They actually turned out pretty cool! As I said in the last post, I'd run out of black and couldn't just pick up another ball, at least, in time for the recipient's birthday. But the novelty purple mohair gives the mittens a rather chic, vintage look - I think?

I then merrily cast on the Molly Ringwald top. Since the opinion on Ravelry seems to be that a little extra length doesn't hurt, I'm adding another inch or so to the bottom. I'm trying not to think about how many WIPs I now have and how close Christmas is... I am just thankful that Glaistigs take no time and that I have plans for lovely, deliciously quick scarves!

And I really want a Molly Ringwald top! And I didn't even see Sixteen Candles or Pretty In Pink! But I do remember in high school, after having my hair cut, a friend said I looked a bit like Molly Ringwald and at the time, that was high praise. I don't think I looked a bit like Molly Ringwald. But does it matter?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

White petal showers

Briar Rose Monkeys (Cookie A.)
"Because Monkeys should always have trees to climb"

Two Briar Rose (Chameleon Colourworks Bambino) Monkeys in a budding plum tree... it's almost entirely poetic even at its most prosaic - descriptively speaking. I love these socks. The moment that yarn was in my hands it called: "make me into Monkeys!" The pattern just suits the subtle movement from rose into a pinky brown.

And fairy tale yarn! Name a yarn for a fairy tale and I'm there. And Sleeping Beauty! There are some marvellous tellings. Slighted fairies, other fairies who are off doing business elsewhere and have to borrow seven league boots to get back in time to rescue the situation from tragedy, princesses entranced by spinning (seriously, like those who love yarn can't understand that?) who fall victim to curses, but nonetheless have lovely dreams and wake up to have a long chat to a Prince? I always wondered what the princess dreamed...

Two hens frolicking

Back to domestic reality. Fifi and Lola love to play under the plum tree. This is one of the more picturesque shots. Otherwise all you'd see is their fluffy chicken bottoms poking out of the shrubbery. Fifi has had her wing clipped just a bit so she can't go on any flying adventures.

Am currently trying to finish cuffs on another pair of Glaistigs... they're due as presents. Ran out of black yarn. Black is a tough colour to match. Since recipient also stated that purple would be good, I search for a purple option. It's very difficult to find a really good purple yarn. Had to settle for something novelty and mohair, which is horrendously difficult to knit quickly, but will give the Glaistigs a rather funky look... I hope.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Arrivals


It has been one of those days where I've been bouncing back and forth from the front door 'just in case'. And just as I'd managed about five minutes of concentrated writing on a paper... I heard the distinct fall of yarn on my front porch - a soft pitter patter like spring rain - okay, actually more like the delivery guy's boots crashing against the wooden floorboards.

In a flash, I was gone! The Wollmeise arrived! And it's so pretty and bright! In place of honour with the Wollmeise is The Yo Yo String and Fluff because I love her blog and it really does feel beautifully squishy and is a bit more Martha-ish to my usual Frank-ness. So, I guess this means I'll spend the afternoon glancing over at my new yarn, seeking inspiration?

Oh, I also found a vampire bunny! Because VCM is currently convincing me I don't need angora bunnies...


Seriously, I could knit angora sweaters with angora bunnies!

Making good days

Okay, so sometimes, some of us have a good day. Most of the time, though, we have to make 'em. One of my favourite ways to make a good day is to give the hens yoghurt and observe their slurping. Case in point, Fifi just other day with a yoghurt moustache on her beak. Now, seriously, this wouldn't make you smile?
Mind, it looks like I've imprisoned her behind the chicken wire. She'd agree with you. But last time she was let out to free range beyond the coop, she managed to get on top of the roof. Nothing looks quite so bizarre as a suburban roof with a live chicken on top. Nothing is so funny as a chicken flying. They fly like I'd imagine dragons do: a kind of lumbering, wing beating effort that casts the coolest shadows on the grass below.

When it's difficult to make a good day, I think how remiss the media is today. The news abounds with items about Olympic swimmers breaking up with their boyfriends, wars in far off places... I long for the day when the newsreader pops up on screen:

"Today, the 1,000,000th Monkey sock was cast off in Latvia!"

or:

"Today, Wollmeise introduced a new colourway!"

Failing that, I've discovered that all my news-y goodness can be about knitting. I can check out Lime & Violet's Daily Chum, I can listen to a range of podcasts that tell me all about upcoming knitting events, new patterns, new yarns, what's hot, what's not, and, of course, there's always Ravelry... now, seriously, this is the news I'm talking about! News that means something to me. I know other things are important, too, but this is the news that matters, because I am far more likely to be thinking about which sock I'd like to knit next than to be thinking about Olympic swimmers (forgive the tone - I went to a high school populated with Olympic swimmers and we got over the awe pretty quickly).

Oh, the other thing to make a good day? Parcels! After a particularly long day explaining that S. Morgenstern doesn't exist, there was a parcel from VCM with a lilac cardigan inside. Will post photo when I've smoothed out the travel stress. Today I'm hoping for the Loopy Ewe parcel. Wollmeise...

I am now off to daydream...