No knitting

If you're like me (and most other knitters I know), I tend to pick up my knitting anywhere and everywhere possible. I like to knit in the car, while watching teevee, just before going to bed, and even when I'm supposed to be paying attention to my significant other (teehee).

So, it was with much dismay when I came back to site just over 10 days ago and realized I had brought my current WIP , but no knitting needles. I panicked, I stressed, and I wondered what I'd do for the next 10 days without my knitting.

I went through the classic signs of addicts - I went through feelings of wanting to substitute my knitting with something else, I went through withdrawal symptoms, and I definitely felt a weird sense of longing. One week later, I had calmed down and can say that I am slowly overcoming my addiction. A good thing? I dare say no. But it's definitely a good thing while I'm holed up on site with nothing to keep my fingers going.

2 days till I get home. Home to family, friends, Christmas.... and my knitting.

Secret Pal Revealed

I arrived back in Perth last night at about 1.30am, after a rather horrific flight experience fueled partially from motion sickness, an inability to digest the food, and a bit of alcohol which resulted in constant throwing up and being sick. Nonetheless, it was great to finally come home after 1 week in Phuket, and 2 weeks out on site, even if it was just for a day.

We had a great trip in Phuket, and celebrated our birthdays in fine style scootering around the town and lapping it up on the beach.

On coming back, I woke up to a lovely surprise from my secretpal who has once again spoilt me with yummy goodies and fabulous knitties. Just wanted to say thankyou to Genevieve for having been a fantastic spoiler, and introducing me to the world of international knitting! Thank you so much ;)

There was some Colinette Point 5.... a bit of big and small yarn in a mauve/blue/white colour combination. The yarn is very soft to touch.

and some pre-wool... which is the most interesting "yarn" (I will have to clarify this) i've ever seen. It's almost mohairish / roving mixed in one so I'm just going to ask Gen whether I need to treat this beforehand!

And some Clover Stitch Markers, Lantern Moon needles, some lipbalm and some yummy choccies. My sis and I smothered ourselves with the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and I can't wait to try the Hersheys Truffles!!

Thanks so much Genevieve. You've been a delightful secret pal11!


Hi all! It has certainly been awhile, but I've only just returned from site about 2 hours ago and I am flying out again tonight at 1am to Phuket for a short holiday. The holiday is a lovely birthday pressie from my boyfriend, who also shares the same birthday as me (8th of December). So, I've got very little time to catch my breath, let alone get my Perth life back into order before flying out tonight, and the day after I get back from Phuket, I'm back onto site again for 2 weeks.

I haven't actually done very much knitting the last two weeks. I've made a little progress on my sister's christmas pressie, but it's currently confined to only about 1 hour of knitting each day. Let's hope that it's all done by the time Christmas swings around! Here's a boring snap of the loads and loads of stockinette (and it's crinkled from being in my luggage for 4 hours):

There is also 247 bloglines to read in my 6 hours back in Perth, so I'm trying very hard to get through them all.

And a little shoutout to my Secret Pal 11 Spoilee , Margit! Go and say hello :)

Arrived! New Yarn from Bendigo

Hoorah! I am thinking the fact that my schedules got mixed up and my flights postponed for a week was actually a blessing to give me extra time to wait for my yarn to arrive (Unfortunately, my book order from Amazon still hasn't arrived, despite being "shipped" 2 weeks ago. I think i'll email them).

Anyways, I took advantage of the Bendigo yarn sale and ordered up a few balls of yarn. Being a non-stasher, these of course have designated projects, and while it is only part of my order, I'm sure the rest will come shortly.

The first is Classic 12 ply, in Plum for the James Coviello Ruffled Jacket. I think the colour is divine, and reminds me a lot of the Currant coloured yarn I used for my Cherry Cardigan, and is just a smidge darker than the picture below. Unfortunately due to my recent spate of startitis, this project will have to wait till at least two of my other projects are completed.

The second is the 8ply Cotton, in colourway Maritime, for my sister's christmas present which I have to get cracking on soon. I think i'll bring this project, and my little sock project to site with me when I fly out Wednesday.

Oh yeah, I asked my HR person today "I sometimes have problems bringing knitting with me, and just wanted to check it was okay for the charter flight to site?" and her reply? "umm.. i can't say many miners have asked me that question before" hehehe :) They must think I'm an anomaly :)

Starting on the Vogue Mini dress

You know that anxious wait by the postbox or the door when you know that you're supposed to be getting parcels any day now? Well, after my last post about my mail woes, I decided to head out early this morning to go look for a dress for my friend's wedding tomorrow as that's around the time my postman usually comes by. I figured I'd drive myself insane if I sat and waited around all morning, so decided to give my little emotions a break from it all.

Sure enough, when I got home from my unsuccessful bout of shopping, there was a lovely parcel waiting on my kitchen bench for me postmarked from the UK. Ripping it open, out popped my 20 skeins of Rowanspun 4 ply, in Squirrel which I bought to make the Vogue Ribbed Minidress.

As I've mentioned before, I love Rowanspun and wish it wasn't discontinued. Unfortunately, the stock that is still floating around is limited in colour selection so I haven't been able to stock up on it.

After winding up 4 little balls, I cast on for the minidress. A little progress:

Amongst all this startitis however, I know that I'm going to have to put them aside when my other parcels arrive as those are the ones with Christmas present making yarn in them. Unfortunately, every day that the postie is delayed means one less day to make presents for people! I can already see the bleak short term future that is often known as the 'leadup to christmas' and how I dread it :p

Oh mister postie - where are thee??

Well, there was a schedule mixup and instead of flying out this morning as originally scheduled, I will now be flying out to site next week. Which means I've got a few more days here in Perth to play around and relax before having to start my roster. Also, my schedule has changed from 2 weeks on / 1 week off, to 12 days on / 9 days off, which means more sleep and relax time for me and that's always a bonus :) Nonetheless, at the moment, I'm being paid to sit around waiting to fly out!

Anyways, I've been waiting for my postman to deliver three parcels which should've arrived by now in most instances but with the silly season coming up, I think they've been delayed.

  • According to Amazon, my book order shipped 1st November and 14 days later it hasn't arrived.
  • I also placed an order with Bendigo on the 7th November, and still nothing.
  • I'm also expecting some yarn from the UK which was shipped last Friday so that one might not come till next week. Is anyone else having issues?
But i'm itching to knit something interesting. Lisette is coming along with the left front now finished, but it is a boring knit so I've also started two projects I normally would've knit but because I wanted to use up stash yarn and so, i've begrudgingly started a sock and a baby item.

Florence is from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Collection and is being knit for an ex-workmate's bub:

And Ripple Weaved Socks from Vogue Knitting ... I'm just knitting when bored of Lisette. This one might go to my sister.

The end of knitting as I know it?

For the last month, I have been happily knitting away and spending hours upon hours knitting into the late night, watching tv and knitting, checking out ravelry and craftster and knitblogs, all without a single care in the world.

But, all good things come to an end. I've really enjoyed taking that month off between jobs to take time out and do the things that I love, and now that it's time to start my new job, I'm wishing that I had decided to take the three month break like I originally planned. But it's too late for wishful thinking ;)

Anyways, I had my first day of induction today and will have another two the next two days. After that, I will be flying out to site where I will be stationed out there for two weeks, before coming back home for a one week break. Tis the life of a girl who has two constants in her travel luggage - her safety boots, and her knitting.

So, with that, I shall leave you with a little picture of the site that I'm going to. It's remote, but it's beautiful nonetheless. It's apparently a great fishing spot, and after a day's work, I can go to the beach, and have a peek around - of course, this will only happen if i'm not exhausted after my day, and if the cyclones aren't ravaging the place ;)

I've discovered that I will have internet access in the "internet common room" but I'm not certain how fast or how reliable that will be, so I will just put a little note that it may be two weeks between posts, and then suddenly, a flurry of posting may occur!

Hopefully there will still be knitting :D

Progress on Lisette

Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments about the Phildar Leaf Sweater. They always make me smile and jump a little somersault :)

Since then, there hasn't been too much knitting happening over the last two or so days. I've finished the back of my Lisette Cardigan, and I'm absolutely in love with the fabric that is being knitted up from my Rowanspun 4 ply, in Sludge.

I previously mentioned that it reminds me a lot of nut chocolate , and true to my word, I gobbled a whole packet of yummy Hershey's chocolate while knitting this. What can I say? The real life chocolate option was probably better than eating up my knitting!

The rowanspun in general is working up quite nicely. It is a very thin, brittle yarn, so you have to be fairly careful with it being caught on something but the end result is a very lightweight, tweedy fabric. I do love the colourway , Sludge, and am thinking I should stock up on it since it is a discontinued yarn ...

The pattern itself is fairly easy, with only a few counting errors being made, but nonetheless easy to fix. Kim Hargreaves writes her patterns well, but this one is a little boring. The pattern is knitted by knitting the top half of the back and front pieces, the sleeves, and then you knit the lacey part at the bottom separate and attach it on afterwards. I guess the main part is what is boring me - I'm looking forward to doing the bottom lace attachment the most! Here's another piccie of the choc-nut cardi so far... just cause I think it looks yummy.

I have also placed an order to get some yarn for the James Coviello Jacket I posted about recently, as well as a remake of the Vogue Embroidered Cardigan, which my sister has nicely requested as a Christmas present. When I made the original, I think it was the first thing I ever knitted. This time I'll at least know how to pick up stitches properly!!

I am also about to place orders for yarn for the Vogue Mini Dress, and a replacement yarn for the Bianca Cardigan but I'm a little fussed over which colour to choose!!

FO: Phildar Sweater #1 : Ms 2 Week Leafy

Wow, I just realized that this has to be about the quickest knit that I've ever made (not including mini projects)! Ms 2 Week Leafy Sweater (aka Phildar Sweater #1) is now complete. And now for some FO details, accompanied with the same old photo poses as per usual (I swear I did try and take photos of myself out in the garden but the sun shone too brightly and the leaf detail became lost).
Pattern: Sweater #1, from Phildar Tendances 460, Hiver 06/07. I knit this in French size 34/36 (the smallest).Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Aran in Seamist. At first I wasn't so sure about my colour choice, but with a bit of encouragement from the lovely Andrea, I persisted with it and am actually quite pleased with how it ended up turning out.

Needles: I did the ribbing on US 5 / 3.75mm needles and the rest of the knit on US 7/4.5mm needles. I did most of it on circulars, but did the sleeves on flats.

Comments and Modifications: Lots! I had seen a few on ravelry and while they were nice, I was concerned about 1. the length 2. the neckline and 3. the tendency for reverse stockinette to show up "lines" of uneven tensioning. To address this, I did the following:

1. The length - I knit 5cm of ribbing instead of the 1.5cm that was required in the pattern. I probably should've done just a fraction more as I like my sweaters a bit longer, but as is, it is currently sitting on my hips.

I also changed shortened the sleeve length just a tad. I started shaping at 25cm, rather than 28cm as called for in the pattern. Also, in regards to the armcyth issue, it blocked out fine in the end :)

2. The neckline - Most of the other necklines I saw were very wide and somewhat floppy, as if there was too many stitches picked up around the neckline. I didn't want an incredibly large scoop neck, so I altered my neckline. Instead of the decreases called for, I cast off 10 stitches in centre of neckline, then on neckline edge, cast off 3 sts once, 2 sts four times, and 1st four times.

I also wanted a small dip in my back neckline edge, rather than the completely flat one in the pattern, so I altered my neckline by casting off 12 st at centre, then from each edge of back neckline, I cast off a further 8 sts once and then 6 sts once.

3. Lines of uneven tension - Simple solution! Knit in round instead of flat!

The only other thing I want to comment on is having to seam reverse stockinette and setting the sleeves in on this. It was a pain to say the least. I usually don't mind seaming, but having to seam it on reverse stockinette made it really tough for me as it kept going wonky and uneven. Even now I'm not entirely happy with the set in sleeves, but I'll leave it and see if it continues to bother me or not and if it does, then I'll revist.

Verdict? Overall, an easy knit with a fairly easy chart to follow.

Almost there..

This morning in a rush of productivity, I finished up Leafy, and put her in the wash and she is now outside getting some lovely sunshine as she waits to dry off after her little swim..

I did try Leafy on before she went for her swim, and I'm a little worried. My arms are by no means big, but I found the armcyth a little tight. Not so much that my arm would turn blue, but enough for me to wonder about the effect Leafy may have on my future health. Hopefully after the swim and with a bit of final blocking, she'll fit nicely.

On other news, I've finally cast on for Lisette, whom I shall now dub the Choc-Nut Cardigan (because the yarn looks just like dark chocolate with almonds), and it's been some slow going. It's not the most exciting pattern, and it's on fingering weight again. Apologies for the most shocking photo here - the lighting was just not right today.

So, in need for some more instant gratification, I'm looking for a new pattern to start.

Up on offer ladies (and gentlemen if there are any reading!), we have got the Vogue Ribbed Mini Dress, the incredibly stunning Ruffle Jacket just completed by Treschicveronique, the ubiquitous Drops Jacket, Debbie Bliss' Juliet Cardigan or her Catriona vest/top... What shall it be ? I'm leaning towards the mini dress or the ruffle jacket.. but I'm still unsure and don't really want to have too many projects at once (i'm a faithful semi monogamist!).

Okies, off to lunch. Hope you all have a fab day!

Learning to be better

I'm mainly a self taught knitter, having learnt from various books, the internet and making it up as I go along. Somewhere along that line, I decided it was more intuitive to use my left hand (being a right hander) to hold my yarn while my right hand worked the needle, and so became an accidental continental knitter.

But I was looking at my ribbing the other day. It's not entirely bad, but it could definitely be improved:

It's a bit strange though because my stockinette looks pretty decent (or so I think hehe), but my ribbing is just a bit fugly :S. So i've decided to teach myself how to do combined knitting. So far, the results haven't been pretty ...

As with all knitting techniques however, practice makes perfect so i'll just practice a lil bit more and see if I like it.

On other news, Leaf Sweater is almost done. I have finished the knitting part, and need to pick up the neckline but I did a big boo boo. I seamed on my sleeves stockinette side out rather than reverse stockinette out. Silly billy. A bit of unpicking and it should be okay.

By the way, the ball was awesome and only in a town like Kalgoorlie would I have ever imagined a room full of boys taking off their pants (apparently it's a tradition there, when a certain song comes on). My bf has the photos so I'll wait patiently for him to get them over to me.

My report card...

So how did I go on my little goals? Not very good i'm afraid... :S

  • Purchase ball dress? I went everywhere today - I went through Subi and Claremont and nothing :( There were very few dresses which were tagged a size 6 (I think that's a 0 in US sizing?) and those that were commanded a much bigger bust than what I have. And as impulse would have it, I came out from a day of dress shopping with a cute cardigan from Alannah Hill instead. Not very successful. I'll just bring a couple of my dresses down and wear one of those instead.
  • Finish Leaf Sweater: I didn't even knit a single stitch today. No new sweater for Kalgoorlie.
  • Finish assignments : I did do this and I handed both in to my lecturer. I did however do a bit of a half hearted job given that I'm already on quite a high mark, so wasn't too fussed. I do hope that my sloppy work doesn't negate all my other work though.
  • Play in semi final and win: We sure did! It was a hard fought battle, and my ankle got aggravated again so hopefully I'll be okay to wear heels on Friday night.
  • Pack : Nope, still doing that.

I guess I was overly ambitious :S I'll probably be out of action for a few days with the travel arrangements, so i'll catch you sometime early next week :0

Girl on a mission!

I'm on a mission tomorrow (well, technically today as it's almost 1am here - this day light saving business is playing with my body clock. I can't adjust!!) to do the following things:

  • Purchase a ball dress that doesn't require alteration and fits perfectly - I'm going to my SO's ball on Friday and need a dress by tomorrow. My sister looks at me insanely when I say that, because I have about four ball gowns in my wardrobe but of course, I don't want to wear them again. So.. I'm thinking I might wear my pretty silk Alannah Hill dress, but I need to then buy a slip to go with.

  • Finish Leaf Sweater - Two sleeves (well, technically, 1.98), and finishing left to do. Here's where we're up to (There are lots of mods on this one):

  • Finish assignment on Health Promotion. When I was an undergrad, I dropped Health Science to take up a Psychology degree. Now i'm doing a postgrad, the health sciences have come back to haunt me.

  • Play in a netball semi-final and win! We're playing against the incredibly violent team, who also happens to be the same team / match where I severely injured my ankle awhile back. It's still sore, and I'm still having trouble wearing my pretty stilletos, but it's for the love of the game!

  • Pack for trip to Kalgoorlie. - Leaving Thursday bright and early at 7am.

All that in 12 hours. Possible? I hope so .. ! Wish me luck ;)

WIPs and Swatches

My sister is one of my favourite people in the world. She's so selfless, considerate and extremely zany and strange. Last night we decided to have a sisterly sleepout where we watced terrible horror flicks and slept in sleeping bags in the lounge room with every bit of knowingness that we'd regret it the next morning. Sure enough, we both woke up grumpy at about 8am with aches in our backs and shoulders and then promptly went to sleep on more comfortable means.

Unfortunately, I am still not feeling the best and have even come down with a cold, so with that note, i'll just post a few piccies and leave you to it :)

Progress on the Phildar Leaf Sweater. Wearing white pjs make me look like an escapee from a mental asylum, but heck, i'm not feeling well so it'll do :D What's even more interesting is that I'm still on my first ball of yarn, and i'm already up to the "bust" area!!

Swatching for Stella Smith's Bianca Cardigan, from Rowan 38 using my frogged yarn from the RYC Classic Summer Julia sweater:

I started a swatch for Lisette, from Rowan 36 using Rowanspun 4 ply in Sludge. The swatch is making me want to eat dark chocolate with nutty bits in it. Mmm. Luckily I still have some choccies leftover from my Secret Pal package so i think i'll munch on those for comfort food.

Have a great end of weekend :) And for any perthians who haven't yet done so, don't forget to turn your clocks forward. This daylight saving business is making my crook body feel even stranger ;)

Time for a sweater

Looking back at my knits, I seem to have cornered myself into one category - cardigans, or some variation of it. There was Cherry, Patti, Rambling Rose, the Capecho (Hybernating) , the embroidered cardi (frogged), and even the Phildar Swing Jacket was somewhat cardigan-ish in design and makeup.

It's time for a change!! .. of course, it'll only be a small change. I'm still not convinced with knitted skirts, knitted pants (eww), and accessories are more filler projects than anything. So , it's time for pullovers. I started knitting the Phildar Leaf Sweater, which I had attempted previously but frogged after feeling as if I was knitting a sweater inside out. But, this time round, I think i've overcome the fear of reverse stockinette and made a bit more progress:

The leaf pattern is coming up nicely and well-defined. I've also started this in the round because I wanted to avoid those "lines" you get when you have uneven tension. The only downside to this is that every row is a purl row, which can cause strain on fingers and is rather slow going, but i'm hoping the finished object will make up for it... and so far, there haven't been any dreaded lines showing up.

On another note, I got two little cards from my Secret Pal over the last two days. One - a Halloween card, and the other a postcard for Philly. We don't really celebrate Halloween here in Australia, so it's great to be in on the fun for once! Thanks Secret Pal!

Ms. Hargreaves has a book!

I am a huge fan of Kim Hargreaves, and often lust after her collections but am ashamed to admit however, to never having bought a kit from her. After factoring conversion and postage costs, a kit ends up at about $150-$180 and so, I continue to dream.. and dream.. and dream...

But Ms Hargreaves is now releasing a book. I'm rather excited about the book, though the preview pictures don't leave me drooling as much as her other collections, although they are still in the classic style that she has become famous for. I'll probably still buy the book for love of her stuff, but i'm hoping that this will be the first of a collection of books from the fabulous ex-rowan designer. Here's a peek at what I like (Pictures taken from Kim Hargreaves Website):

Yarn and yummy goodies

I have an awesome Secret Pal ! This morning I was awoken from my deep deep slumber at 10.30am (haha that's the life of someone who is currently taking a break from work) to find a parcel at the door. Ripping it open, a bunch of fabulous goodies came bumbling out !

There was some Noro Cashmere Island .. (First time I've ever had any Noro!)

There was a travel kit, and pamper goodies. Perfect given that I fly back and forth every two weeks for work!

My Secret Pal knows how to pick the choccies .. I already ate the milky way for breakfast. haha somewhere in that mind of mine, I figured it was the perfect energy pickup.

A copy of Knit Simple, and Clover Goodies. I have always wanted that row counter - you just click, rather than spin those other types. And Clover needles - my favourite to knit with!

Thanks so much Secret Pal! You've made my day :)

Cranberry Rose.. errr.. vine?

I finally finished my Rambling Rose cardigan yesterday.. which I have since come to dub "Cranberry Vine".. errr.. why? Well, I didn't actually put any of the roses on there. It came out too nubbly for my liking, and the colour of my yarn is cranberry so it made sense =D

Project Details:

Pattern: Rambling Rose, by Martin Storey in Rowan #39. This was the only pattern I liked in the entire Rowan 39, and while I tried so hard to fight the urge not to spend $30 on a book for one pattern, in the end, my love for the cardigan won out. I figured that if I knitted at least 3 of these cardigans, it would pay off (haha somewhere in my deluded mind, i felt that knitting three of the same pattern was somewhat achievable!)

Yarn: The yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills 5 ply Classic in Cranberry. The required yarn in the project is a fingering weight yarn, but I wasn't able to find one in a colour I liked so I bought the 5 ply instead. Also, the yarn I used is wool and not cotton, so the FO didn't have the same sort of drape it should have. As mentioned, I didn't enjoy knitting with this yarn. The crepe construction wasn't the softest, but I do like the colour a lot.

Needles: US 2 / 2.75mm for the ribbing, and then US 3/3.25mm for the main part. I knitted it a little larger to gauge because I wasn't convinced I was as skinny as the model in the picture. I shouldn't have done so, because there is a bit of "air" in the waist area where I am considering taking it in for a better fit.

Comments and Modifications: Not a lot. The pattern is easy to follow and written very clearly. The most obvious modification I made was omit the roses. When I had knitted them up and sewn them on, they looked okay front on, but when turned to the side, it looked as if I had 5 very large red nipply things on one side of my body. NOT a good look. In the end I just made it without. I think it still looks nice :)

I also didnt do all the buttons. Because I had chosen to put pink buttons on a red cardigan, I felt that having 8 little buttons in a contrast colour made it stand out a bit too much. In the end I sewed on 3 buttons, and I put a little snap on the inside where the waist tie is to keep it shut (you might be able to see it in the below picture).

In the end, quite a nice little cardigan, but as mentioned there is a bit of excess at the waist area. I might just take it to my sewing machine and try and sew it up.

If I were to make this again , I'd do it in a cotton and not a wool :p

Finishing touches

I finally got off my lazy bum and managed to get to the local sewing store to buy some finishings for Rambling Rose. I had in mind some beautiful crystal buttons similar to the ones on my beloved Alannah Hill "Puff the Magic Dragon" Cardi, but they were not to be found.

A little desperate, I picked out a couple of different buttons. Plain red ones, patterned ones, and some pearl ones. Taking them home, the pearl ones made me look about 85 years old and aging, the plain red ones just didnt cut it , and the patterned ones made me look like an old lady gone senile. I finally settled for some pearlised pink ones.

Pink i hear you say? Yeah I know.. my cardigan is red. But I'm hoping that when matched with some pinkie ribbon, it'll look alright. The buttons aren't as pink as in the picture ( a little more mute) but there is a little bit of glitter and pearl in it. And it's two tone, meaning the back of the button is red.

Unfortunately, I didn't count how many buttons I'd need and only bought 6, which happened to be all that was left. Taking it home, I found out I need 8 so I'll have to figure something out.

I'm also handsewing the lovely woven labels my Secret Pal got me for that personal touch:

Besides that, I'm having a bit of a crazy moment in my head, debating whether I should put the roses on or not. You see, they look like gigantic warts. And when I turn to the side, they look like nipples. I'll try and knit smaller roses, but we'll see how it goes!