Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ah... Comfortable Socks!

Okay, it took me a long time to finish these Mystery Socks. The first sock was finished pretty much to the mystery sock timeline back in October 2008 (ouch). Then I started the second one. I messed up. And for some reason, I just didn't feel the stitch pattern. But I found the sock the other week and I thought, no, this is silly. I'm going to finish these socks. I still gritted my teeth as I knitted away, but the instant they were both on my feet...


I love these socks! They are so comfy! The stitch is cosy. The yarn, The Yo Yo String and Fluff, is very pretty and incredibly squishy. Awesomely squishy, really, and I wish I could find the label. It was something like 'Berry Pickin''. I'll go with that. So, on the berry theme, I've dubbed them "Berry Crumble at Luke's Diner."

Yes, I have a soft spot for The Gilmore Girls. It's pure fairy tale stuff. A gorgeous little town filled with eccentric, loving characters, two women who eat everything (without putting on weight), great clothes, and a place to go where the coffee is always good. And fast-paced, witty dialogue.

So, in honour of that diner, "Berry Crumble at Luke's Diner." Just needs a little ice cream, right? Well, the chickens ate all that!

That's Lola indulging. I know it's not strictly good for them, but once in a while, when the temperature nips over 37C, I give them a few scoops of ice cream to cool down. They love it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Keep Calm...

... and carry yarn. I love this poster from jenniegee on Etsy.

Although, I'm trying not to think about it when I'm looking at this yarn.

And I think I've finally cracked the Man in Black yarn from Knit It Up's Cinema Sock Club for The Princess Bride. You might remember that I wandered about the UK with it last April. I even took it to Haddon Hall, where some of the film was set, and blogged about it here. Although, you can never see enough of Haddon Hall in my books.

In fact, I'm still in love with Haddon Hall. If I won the lottery, I'd try to buy Haddon Hall.

I can just imagine sitting about in the Long Gallery writing fairy tales, reading (possibly The Princess Bride - if you haven't read it, I'd completely recommend it), knitting or taking lady-like turns about the room for exercise. It's the prettiest gallery in the world.

At the time, I was knitting the Man in Black up into Monkey socks. I very much like Monkey socks. But I had a crisis. It didn't seem right to walk around in socks knitted up from the Man in Black. So I unraveled the half Monkey and popped him safely into a little bag while I tried to figure out what he'd become.

I did think of a Travelling Woman. I know. I already have two. And there's the whole cross-dressing aspect. But it did cross my mind.

I was going to try to come up with my own shawl/doily mash-up, but I've never been good with math.

Then I saw the Bougainvillia Scarf-Shawl. There are some similar patterns about, which I do plan to knit too, but what I liked about this particular one are:

a. there's a ruffle effect using short rows
b. there's a single leaf on the end.

Just some nice little touches. And so far, I think the Man in Black approves of the choice. Fingers crossed. (Not the best photo... but I think the leaves will pop a little better after blocking, particularly since the yarn was a bit kinky going into the project... he just couldn't help himself.)

This was just tonight's effort. I'm charging along with various projects. Why? Because I have two very big shawls planned and I'm trying to get my WIPs under control before I start. I haven't even confessed all the WIPs (and the Ornette KAL I'm doing with a friend - my word, the cables on that sock!).

One project is the Spider Web Shawl with the Wollmeise. My great friend in Switzerland is knitting hers up into a Seascape shawl and it's already looking fantastic from the photos she's shown me - I am so behind...I'm still playing with the rather large, beautiful ball that my parents wound the Wollmeise into (I did take a photo of the winding session, but my mother would possibly kill me if I shared it).

The other big project will be the Evenstar Mystery Shawl. Well, I couldn't not do that, could I? That would be insane. It's Lord of the Rings related. I was dreaming about this shawl from the moment I heard about it. I was waking up: "I need to get yarn for it!" It was crazy. So I signed up.

That's two big shawls. I am totally going to be that little old lady wreathed in shawls with a hair bun perched on top of her head. Won't it be amazing?

Taking No Lip From Doctor Smith

Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
These are no "bobble-headed boobies" as Lost In Space's infamous Doctor Smith would say. These are pink robots in love! Albeit, jealous love judging by the number of little green hearts.

I finished my 'Love Bytes' mittens last night. Okay, the girl robot mitten isn't quite dry after blocking, but I was impatient to show them off! Very pleased with my first attempt at proper colour work. It is kind of fun. And I love the little braid effect at the cuff.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Quiet Evening in New Socks

Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
Just finished and blocked a pair of socks whipped up from The Yarn Cafe's Passionfruit bamboo blend. Shhhhh... one is slightly larger than the other.

Well, off to do some more tapping away at the keyboard. Must remember to turn down the volume on the stereo.

Friday, January 22, 2010

More sock yarn... it's a good thing

Let's be honest here. The Tenth Doctor has been feeling a little... unraveled. So we went and consulted some sock books. After all, socks make sense when you need to run a lot.

"The Tenth Doctor" colourway from Black Trillium was a bit of a pre-"The End of Time" splurge. I still haven't decided on a pattern. It'll have to be something brilliant.

I'm not sure how to account for the following from Knitabulous, other than to plead that I've started knitting a lot of socks with cables and intricate lace and I don't have a lot of semi-solid or solid sock yarn. It was an oversight. It needed correction. And I love that the yellow is named for "Big Bird"!

"Big Bird" was part of my search for the perfect yellow for another pair of Movie Socks. I really love my pink pair and I can't get the idea of a yellow, buttery, popcorn-y pair out of my mind. Which is where HuggyBearKnits came in, too. Oh... and Knit It Up was having a fantastic sale and "Spruce" with silver speckled through it? Beautiful.

I've been so bad...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

'That' colour/What knitting to take if you're stranded at the other end of the universe/Socks for Hamlet

Work on the pink robots continues. I've always been curious (often amused, too) about the aversion and, on occasion, outright fear some people exhibit towards the colour pink. You don't very often hear someone say they don't like green or blue (well, sometimes in relation to a specific object, such as hating red cars or black curtains). You do, however, frequently hear people say that they dislike pink. Others love it and embrace it to a terrifying extent. I'm still deciding upon the significance of Professor Umbridge in this respect.

For those of you who may have issues about the 'girlyness' of pink, in particular, the funny thing is... it's only recently that pink was associated with girls. It used to be the colour for boys! Don't believe me? Maybe you'll believe Stephen Fry and the QI panelists.

So I hide a little smirk when my feminist credentials are challenged whenever I'm wearing a fluffy pink sweater!

I've been catching up on Stargate Universe lately. It has the feel of Battlestar Galactica and I've been really enjoying it, especially the storyline involving the dubious Dr Rush (yes, I liked Gaius Baltar too). One thing I did wonder... did anyone have knitting projects in their bags before jumping through the Stargate to be stranded on an alien ship, the other side of the universe? Imagine not even having one sock on the go... Come on, you've been wondering that too if you've been watching and you're a knitter! And think of how handy a knitter on board would potentially be, particularly in respect to supplementing everyone's rather monotonous wardrobe. I still think Rush could use some fingerless mittens.

Speaking of which, I noticed the comments on my red shoes post and yes, the RSC production of Hamlet, released on DVD, is brilliant, though I'm not going to give a precisely serious review of it here (but I did discover a blog covering some of the filming). I've been calling it - tongue-in-cheek - the ten year old's Hamlet, because it brought back to me that first fantastic rush of excitement I had on finding the play, bouncing around the living room furniture acting out the death scenes and declaring the great soliloquies like 'to be or not to be' (I was ten - hence - ten year old's Hamlet)! In other words, not a jaded or self-important production, but one full of energy and discovery. Plus, it solved one of the great dilemmas. Why did Hamlet procrastinate so long in acting on his desire for revenge - why did he, in effect, have cold feet?

Yes, all he needed was a pair of nice woolly socks and all would have been well that ended well... (told you I wasn't going to be precisely serious.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm Knitting Pink Robots!

Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
My evening. A cup of tea in my new mug, the most delectable meringue and chocolate mushrooms from a little cafe called Tangelo, served on my vintage bakelite cake stand (thanks Mum and Papa!), and my whim-knit of the moment. I saw the Love Bytes mittens (designed by Grace Schnebly) on and knew I had to knit them. So I whipped out the balls of Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury I had to hand and started to knit up some robot love! This is my first serious attempt at colourwork, and I'm still getting the floats right, but I'm hoping blocking will be my friend. Mind, does it seem odd at all to you that I'm knitting mittens in the middle of summer?

I'm also watching a little tennis. Love that Roger Federer got everyone together tomorrow for a charity match to benefit Haiti. They can use all the help they can get.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just one of those mornings

Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
Could whoever took my green waste bin please return it? I know I forgot to put it out last night, so did the 6am dash in my Little Red Riding Hood pajamas this morning to roll it out as the truck came down the road, but is that any reason to snaffle it and hide it away from me?

Oh well, I have a big cup of coffee. That makes it all better.

And I have freshly blocked new socks! These are my 'Rollin' with Fang' socks and the photo shoot is a homage to "The Joy of Sox" shoot for the 'Roll in the Hay' socks. They're knitted up in Wired for Fibre's Jade. I'd probably go down a needle size for another pair - they're a titch loose, but very comfy. Still surprised by how easily they knitted. The pattern looked *hard*.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To Buy the Shiny Red Shoes...

Or not to buy the shiny red shoes...

That is the question...

Here's the answer.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Oh! Oh! Oh!

Look what my amazing friend from Switzerland sent me for Christmas! I should definitely feel guilty about the hints I left concerning Wollmeiser and it's proximity to Zurich, but how can I when I look at this gorgeous yarn? So, thank you Regina!!! I love it!

This is going t0 make a very, very special shawl. (Note: I think I'm leaning towards the Spider Web Shawl in Victorian Lace Today.)

A few vintage patterns

I love old knitting pattern books. I found some new stash yesterday. Including the one above, which contains the instructions for plenty of knitted knickers, dressing gowns and bed jackets. Yes, knitted knickers. I can't get enough patterns for these. One day I may even knit them just for fun. But I won't be modeling them. Trust me.

I practically did the Dance of Joy when I also located these Needlecraft magazines. Doily heaven! I mean, who doesn't need a doily for their ripe tomatoes?

The illustrations from the oldest copy are so fine and detailed - the d'oyleys themselves so intricate. And then, there is the added delight of the ads. Ads for corsets.

And ads in which two immaculately dressed ladies crochet at the beach. I seriously suspect the lady on the right crocheted a doily on which to rest her Ardern's crochet cotton so it wouldn't get sandy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Farmer's Markets

I love a farmers' market. Walking about a field on a crisp morning, checking out the stalls, buying strings of cold smoked garlic, plump blueberries, stalks of rhubarb, freshly dug potatoes and drinking a mug of hot chocolate chai latte... bliss. The garlic is currently infusing the house with the smoky aroma. Glorious. No vampires here.

We've already cooked up the rhubarb with some apple ready to serve with pancakes tonight.

We're also getting a little gardening in. Trust me, there is a carrot in the next shot. It looks like it might have been fed with some sort of alien fertiliser, but it is a carrot!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Twenty ten? Two thousand and ten?

Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
Whatever it is, it's starting with new socks! I moved onto 'A Roll in the Hay' from The Joy Of Socks (this book is getting a work out) in Wired for Fibre's 'Jade'. These looked difficult. They actually aren't.

Tomorrow we're off to the Farmer's Market, which I can't wait for. There's a stall that should be there with the most glorious blueberries - fat, ripe and purple. And there will hopefully be mounds of peaches brimming with flavour.

There are new rose bushes in the garden bed and a couple of grevilleas for the birds. Coco the hen was helping with the weeding. She popped out to the front garden and began to enthusiastically dig up the side garden bed, which was filled with grass. We won't mention that most of the dirt was flung far and wide too. She was helping. That's all that counts.

And the next phase of my research is about to begin. I've been thinking about it for a year, so it's kind of strange to realise I have to start now. It involves fairy tales. It involves shoes, dresses, coats etc. It really isn't a hardship. And I can do most of it wearing my pjs and drinking mugs of coffee.

And then there's the big secret that I still can't reveal...