Monday, June 29, 2009

Settling in for the evening

About a week ago, I was having a rough day and so ordered some yarn margaritas and as of this evening, I may be a little yarn drunk!

Needle Food is gorgeous. The colours are so saturated and beautiful and she packages everything up a treat! Don't you love it when yarn sellers really make an effort with their packaging? And it smells nice! Yes, I was happily hugging my yarn and sniffed and realised... it smelled good even!

I'm in the midst of lots of knitting projects at the moment. I've sort of cast too much on at once! Never mind. Each project is good for a certain time of day. I managed two rows of Bad Snow White on the buses to and from work today, for instance.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today, it's all about the peas

I'm resisting a title like 'give peas a chance' here! But it really has been a pea-friendly day. I finally frogged my Maelstrom in Socks that Rock Pixie Park. The pooling wasn't working with the pattern. And I started knitting up the Outside In socks from Knitty and they're working a treat! As the sock description suggests, these socks were dying to be known as The Princess and the Pea socks! I've shown them here with my favourite picture book of the tale, as told by Lauren Child.

It's always been one of my favourite fairy tales. I still have urges to pile my bed with multiple mattresses. One day, I will have that ladder leading to the very top!

Today I also made a little themed purchase - a Princess and the Pea necklace! It's adorable.

And ordered some actual peas. It' about that time of year to start thinking about the vegetable patch and now that the hens have very helpfully dug it up and fertilised it, I'm ready to find a means of keeping them out and the vegetables in. I've ordered purple and green peas, broad beans and purple carrots. Purple carrots are marvellous. Spicy. And since these are the things I particularly enjoy eating, I thought I'd have a go at getting a really good crop.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TV knitting

bad snow white
Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
Ruby Tuesday is far too complex to knit while catching up on shows I actually want to follow properly, so...

Meet Bad Snow White. She follows Ysolda's Snow White pattern in BWM's Purple Storm Luxury. I'm chewing my fingernails a little over size, but it does look like a pattern that needs a snug fit. The purple is gorgeous and seems a little... well... bad.

Today is a mix up of a day. I've had to do things with paperwork and numbers, so have been in a grumpy mood, and then something has come up that means I have to put my nose to the grindstone. In a fun way, but still!

Luckily, my perfume from Wiggle arrived. And I can categorically state that the Speakeasy Vanilla is gorgeous! It's sweet, but has that naughty liquor scent lurking underneath.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lord Kitchener would be proud

Belvoir Socks
Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
As I mentioned while on adventures with Arwen, I never did learn how to Kitchener properly, but this time around, on the Belvoir socks, I sat with the instructions and... wow. Kitchener stitch really is brilliant. Thanks Lord Kitchener!

The Jasper Fforde novel is perched there because I've just - very sadly - realised I have to reread all his novels in order to write the paper I've currently got writer's block over (or, more to the point, bad headache block over). So I think a few days reading my signed Fforde books in bed, wearing my favourite pjs and eating toast, are called for! Possibly while wearing my cute new Belvoir socks in the Knittery's Orchid colourway.

It's been fun with the hens of late. A couple of days ago, I heard the oddest noise outside. I popped my head out. No bizarre birds wandering the lawn. I shrugged. A couple of minutes later, there's that noise again. I finally tracked it down to Lola, who had hiccups and looked - sorry Lola - rather bloated. I fretted for a bit, but am happy to report that she de-bloated and stopped her hiccups. Bad seed?

Mimi, meanwhile, has been trying to help with the laundry. I took the basket out one day and looked down to find Mimi with a handkerchief in her beak, her head tilted in an expression that clearly said, "Darn, I can't reach the line." The next day she was back at the basket trying to pick up a towel.

The cats are still prowling, trying to pounce upon the hens. The girls look on in patent disgust and occasionally call me out to deal with the feline nuisance when their patience wears thin.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Casting on

ruby tuesday
Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
Cast on and one row complete, after an unfortunate hiccup mid first row that required quite a bit of back pedaling! I love the Vivian pattern, but it is a little daunting to begin with. Nevertheless, Ruby Tuesday has begun! Who could hang a name on her?... Well, aside from me, obviously.

And I even have a treat to make the cabling go better - a set of cable needles from the Celtic Swan Forge. Handmade, bronze cable needles that are beautiful to hold and behold!

I wore Arwen out for the first time yesterday and she received her dues in compliments... as well as a birthday order that I was sorry to laugh off, but, seriously... mittens, socks, scarves, absolutely. Sweaters are just for family! Or very, very, very close friends. She was as wonderful to wear as I hoped and every time I felt a little overwhelmed with meetings and due dates, I looked down at the cuff and felt better!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The FOs are coming

A week of endings! I finished my Owlery Scarf in Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury Ice. It's still a bit damp in the photo... the cold weather hasn't helped blocking time. But I am really pleased with how it turned out. It wears nice and comfy!

And VCM rescued Arwen, too. The seams are fantastically neat now and she hangs beautifully when you wear her. It's soft, cosy, warm and there's nothing so nice as hiding away in the pixie hood. I am a big fan of my Arwen!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Little Bit in the Pink

Yesterday afternoon, a big, big box arrived from a friend. I blinked. Big box. Inside the box? The cutest yarn and needles combo: Cup of Yarn! It made me smile.

It was somewhat cold here yesterday (I've had a habit since surviving Quebec in mid-winter to go 'you think this is cold?') and the problem with being dairy and gluten free? Lack of pudding choice. I could easily substitute gluten free flour, but most puddings really need custard or cream or some kind of warm, dairy-involved sauce. Do you know what I mean? So I improvised. I had some rhubarb which I cooked up and then I added dollops of my favourite fake-doughnut mix (it's a mix of SR flour, soy milk, oil and egg generously flavoured with ground nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice). Voila! Rhubarb and Faux Doughnut Pudding! And it was hot and steamy and delicious. I will be doing that again! I was reading it while reading Nancy Mitford's biography of Madam Pompadour. Of course, I keep waiting for the Doctor to show up. He hasn't yet. I do think Nancy Mitford would have been an interesting companion.

Today I think I can safely say 'I made a male sock knitter!' It rocks.

I also received my mineral make up from LaLaBloom. Good value, even with the dollar conversion. I got a trio of eyeshadows including Twilight and Twinkle Snow. Very pleased.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inbetween owl cables...

The Owlery Scarf is growing very nicely and another couple of rows of owls were delivered during NCIS last night. One of these owls even opened its eyes sleepily to say hello.

And I named my particular version of Vivian, Ruby Tuesday. Yes, I haven't actually technically even cast her on, but her yarn is ordered (Bendigo Woollen Mills' Luxury in 'Ruby'). I was pleased with the name when I saw this hoodie, (get off my) cloud. I may need to knit that some time too!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Learning new skills

I'm trying to blog the photo of my new owling dishcloth via Flikr. I've never tried this before... fingers crossed....

In any case, having a bad case of owl cable addiction and a sudden drive to spring clean (it might have something to do with piles of papers in need of grading), I decided I was tired of the scraggly, supermarket brand dishcloth and should finally use some of my Peaches & Cream stash. While watching Bones, a dishcloth emerged!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

White than snow...

Introducing my Snow White's Mittens! They're in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (about a ball and a half) and knitted up from Bella's Mittens. I was a little indecisive about the mittens - just a bit too bulky and, well, grey - until I saw some of the Ravelry versions. Particularly the white ones! At that moment, I knew they were really Snow White's Mittens. It was my first attempt at the magic loop and you can't really see the slightly laddered sections, but once they're on, it's not really noticeable. My favourite mittens ever! If I can just keep them clean...

I do love knitting mittens and just wish I lived somewhere that enables longer term mitten wearing.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Okay, so I swung by Morris & Sons...

Yesterday I was at a conference in the city (I even gave a paper) and afterwards, I had enough time to swing by Morris and Sons. To be completely honest... I've been spoilt by Bendigo Woollen Mills, Etsy and various online sources, but I did pick up some needles on sale as well as this little bundle of colourful Aracunia goodness.

Only, I was trying to find some good beginner's sock yarn. Someone mentioned within my hearing that he'd like to knit socks and that needs to be followed up. So I've got him some beginner needles, but I need some beginner's yarn. Something not too expensive, but not nasty - we want to keep him knitting once he starts! But nothing that I'm going to cry over if he screams and gives up in frustration.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An Owl Post

Remember the yarn margaritas? There were a few margarita orders flying last week and yesterday, after a very bad day with buses, updated software and absent technology, they all arrived on my doorstep for when I got home!

Doesn't the one that fell out of the bowl look like a fresh peach? Soft, gorgeous balls of cashmere to be stashed for shawls of such marvelous colours! Knitter's Addiction had a cashmere sale, needless to say. And after reading about Knitabulous on Bells' blog, I had to investigate for myself. Fantastic prices and you can see the Rain Forest - deep, lush greens with streaks of bronze. Beautiful. But now I can't wait for her to get more stock in.

And this is my Owlery scarf in progress from Bendigo Woollen Mills' Luxury 'Ice.' Most of the owls are sleeping, but there'll be a couple with their eyes open! I think Hedwig nudged this one. VCM found a hoarde of tiny buttons a little while ago and there's some gorgeous blue ones that perfectly suit the scarf. And I'm having fun knitting it. There's something about producing rows and rows of owls...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

I love creating brown paper packages...

Inside? The scholarly scarf (it didn't turn into a Scholar's Collar after all) from Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic yarn. At one end, a row of very scholarly owl cables. At the other end, when I was running out of yarn, a row of cross-cables. I gave it to the recipient today, secretly, just popped into his pigeon hole. He did guess who'd placed it there - joking that he'd sent the handwriting (that specified wool details) to be analysed - and was very pleased with it!

Not so successful... Arwen's seams. But, she is winging her way to Very Clever Mum who will put it all to rights. I'm not normally this lousy at seams. I've seamed up several sweaters in the past without hassle, but this time... she defeated me. Very ugly seams. The Cashmerino isn't very forgiving to my stitches.

Last night I started the Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury Aran. It'll be an owl cable scarf for me - lots of owl cables. I'm kind of addicted to owl cables. The Ice colourway, which at first I thought too grey, comes up a beautiful pale blue in the lounge room light.