A postcard from Brussels

I love travelling and exploring and being immersed in another culture. If I had all the money in the world, and no responsibilities, I'd spend my time travelling and learning all about the different cultures of the world. Unfortunately for my travel ambitions, neither is the case for me, so until I get to that point, I must vicariously live through other people's travels.

This time, it's my secret pal who sent me this postcard all the way from Brussels:

I plan to visit Europe very shortly but until then, I love seeing the world through other's eyes. Thanks Secret Pal :)

On another note, I was thinking of knitting harvey from Rowan Studio 1, but the only picture I have is one in which Harvey is belted. Would this be completely shapeless, or does anyone know of any finished objects or other piccies I can have a look at?

New Knit 1

I'm not usually a fan of the Knit.1 stuff, but I'm quite looking forward to the next edition. I wasn't ever really a fan of their fluffy novelty yarn knits, weird graphic places, and sometimes the odd "trying to be too cool" garment. However, the latest preview of Knit.1 is looking very promising! Here's a sneak peak.

Oooh , I love greys (my bf says it's a bit boring) but I am totally loving the first and possibly the second one in this picture:

Number 2 and 3 look interesting - I'd probably do the middle one in different colours but it looks quite mod, which is a look that I really love.

And I'd definitely wear all three :

Also, I went to Borders today and saw that they had the new Interweave Knits mag in stock. I had previously been looking forward to this but alas, in person it just didn't look that great :( So, I left empty handed. Fingers crossed that I don't see a beautiful FO somewhere in blogland or ravelryland which will inspire me to knit something, only to find out the issue is sold out.. !!

Age and knitting

There are some patterns that I just look at and go "ooh too old for me" and then swiftly put them away. This is not one of them. There is afterall, a difference between a vintage looking sweater (which I originally thought Julia could become - vintagey and romantic) and then there is "old".

You see, I have made some progress on Martin Storey's Julia Sweater (as above) and while the little leaf lace type pattern has been very interesting to knit, I'm getting a little unsure about the overall look of the pattern, and whether a sweater made completely of little leaf lace types would look too old for me ? As I continue to knit, I'm feeling more and more aged, more and more older... and less and less romantic and vintage.

Always up for a second opinion, I put my knitting out in front of my bf (who has the pleasure of looking at my little knitting progress on his weeks back here) and asked "does this look like a granny sweater??" and he smiled not so politely (more like a cackled grin) and then told me "it looks like something my grandma would make".

A little disheartened, I put it aside... but something in me is ticking. It's telling me to continue knitting ... I did afterall, like the original sweater so there must be some light at the end of the tunnel! Right?! Right?!

Oh, and I didn't manage to finish my assignment in time. I am not sure if I'm writing too much, but it's ballooned to a 50 page assignment so far ..!? Anyways, I've got three more 3 case studies to examine , and I'll be glad to be able to do some more relaxing things!!

Broad Street Mittens

There's something nice about knitting and gifting for someone. When my boyfriend asked me to knit him a pair of "glittens", I was at first hesitant. Not because I didn't want to make them for him, but because my dpn skill was limited to that one pair of socks that I knitted. However, it's not every day that he specifically requests something, so I set off with the task of knitting his glittens for him.

Unfortunately, winter officially ends in two weeks, but he has managed to get some wear out of them when they were still in its "knucks" stage. Unfortunately for the glitten, his rough hands got the better of the soft merino wool and pilled it somewhat. But anyways, here is the finished object.

Project Details

Pattern: The pattern is Broad Street Mittens, by Janis Cortese and published in Knitty's Fall 2002 issue.l

Yarn: I used 1 ball of Heirloom Argyle in a dark chocolate brown, and 1 ball of Naturally Haven 4 ply in an Olive Green colour. Both are fingering weight yarn and both are a pleasure to knit with. The Argyle is a wool yarn, while the Haven is a merino yarn.

Needles: I used a set of 5 dpns in sizes US 2/2.75mm and US 3/3.25mm.

Comments and Modifications: I knitted the first glitten as per the pattern and found that it was way too big. After a quick search online, I also discovered others had the same problem, so I ended up increasing about 1/4 of the stitches called for.

The pattern is only written with one hand in mind, and asks that you reverse all shaping for the other side. Not that difficult really, but it'd be nice if they had given a pattern for both sides.

The only other modification I made was rather than picking up the stitches and knitting the shell, I knit the shell separately and then stitched it on. I did this more out of necessity, as my boyfriend lives 6 hours away and I had left the "knucks" with him so wasn't able to pick up stitches. I just cast on however many stitches the pattern asked to pick up and knitted it much the same.

All in all, I had a few annoying moments with this pattern and almost gave up and switched to using Magknit's pattern but the fact that I couldnt find the same colours in a different weight yarn made me stick with the Knitty version.

I personally don't think I'd knit this pattern again. It just wasn't fun.

My boyfriend on the other hand loves his mittens, and although they are a little worse for wear at the moment, it at least shows me he wears them!

Yarn and tiny knitting

I'm not much of a stasher. In fact, knitters may look at my little shelf and wonder whether I even knit. There's a few packets of yarn where the selected yarn wasn't successful in its desired project, and a few oddballs, but besides that, I don't really stash.

In fact, I often only buy yarn when I need to. When I finished Patti, I had nothing to knit. I was itching to go to my SnB on Monday night, but without anything in my hands, I felt a bit useless.

Anyways, it has since arrived, and I can start knitting again!

[ Cranberry coloured yarn from Rambling Rose, Rowan 39]

While I usually knit projects on at least DK weight, my next two projects are all in finger weight yarn so it'll be interesting ;) I can already see the menace that 15cm of 1x1 ribbing will do on my hands. Regardless, I'm excited because I think the next two projects will be dreamy romantic types!

[ Bendigo Woollen Mills Baby Wool 4ply in Lilac for Julia sweater below]

[ Julia Sweater from Rowan Classic Summer]

In other news, I'm feeling better but I definitely don't sound better or look any better. I do however, have the snuffles but given that the weekend is so precious, I'm not going to resign myself to bed. I'm off to Ikea and Lunch with my bestie, and hope you have a great day ;)

Coming down with something...

I know that a lot of knitters actually enjoy getting sick, because it means they can stay in their snuggly bed, tissues on one side, needles in hand and pattern on bed and just knit knit knit for hours on end undisturbed and feeling unguilty.

I have to admit, i've been tempted every now and then to call in sick just so I can finish that little pattern i'm working on that is oh so close!

Well, I'm coming down with something. The watery eyes, the crooked throat, the sluggish energy. Sigh. I suppose it's about time I came down with something since I haven't been sick this year (well, let's not count that bout in hospital.. that was an infection not an illness haha).

While I would've felt a little better knowing that I could spend the next few days in bed knitting, unfortunately I can't. I'm going underground the next two days for work so I won't be able to. Instead, I'm likely to get more sick because of the humidity and the constant travel between airports and several hour drives between locations.

How fun.

So anyways, thought I'd let you know I'm likely to be out of action for awhile because of this. Have fun in the meantime =D

Rowan Studio's Patti Cardigan

Project Details

Pattern: Patti, from Rowan Studio 1 - designed by Sarah Hatton.

Yarn: 8 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed, in Watery 152 which is a greeny blue sort of colour (almost teal). My fabulous bf had the yarn shipped from cucumberpatch for me. *hugs*

The actual knitted item took about 7.5 balls of the felted tweed, but I ended up using all but about 10m of it for seaming. I seamed a million times simply because the end result was a bit too big so I had to keep readjusting. Oh, and the yarn was quite brittle - as I was seaming, it would snap so I had to restart the seam. It didnt snap during my knitting, but I felt as if it would any minute!!

It was also the first time I used the yarn and as I have mentioned previously, I wasn't impressed with it on first touch. However, when knitted, it produced a beautifully light tweedy fabric, and I guess that's why everyone loves it so much!

Needles: I used my Denise needles, on a US 6 / 4.0mm for the main part, and a US 3 / 3.25mm straight needles for the garter stitch and pickups.

Comments and modifications: The actual knitting was quite straightforward and very easy. I did however, pick up one error but I think it was quite minor because I can't actually remember what that error is now! The knitting only requires garter stitch and stockinette. Nothing major, and very easy for the beginner if they choose.

While I enjoyed knitting this, my problems began when I had finished the knitting part.

The armholes were massive, so when I seamed my sweater, I had to take it in about 6 stitches from the edge of the armhole. My actual sleeves were also massive, and I ended up taking those in at about 6 stitches from each edge.

Additionally, as mentioned before, the pleats seemed to fling everywhere and while I did attempt to sew them down, I wasn't really happy with the end result. In the end, I blocked the pleats while sewn, and then ripped out the tacked stitches. My pleats are now free and they're okay at the moment. Just not sure if they will continue to behave.

All in all, I think that while the small is meant for 32-34, it is probably better suited for a 34 and 32's should consider amending it a little

The only other thing I have to fix is my third button , which I sewed on crookedly. But it's done :) Onto the next thing - which I'm not sure what it will be just yet!

Tweedy goodness makes me happy

I've always hated garter stitch. The mundaneness of doing a never ending knit stitch, the resulting fabric texture that's made, and the fact that it seems to take double the time of doing a normal stockinette stitch. Anything with garter? Pass please!

But that was all before tweed came along. I've never knitted anything in a tweed yarn before, but as I have been progressing along with Patti, my love for tweedy garter stitch has developed. It's something about the texture of tweed that makes the garter stitch so much more exciting, it's something about the way the little slubs pop up and give character and life to the stitches, and it's something about the quirkiness of knitting with unexpected slubs and the perfection of straight stitches that garter stitch demands.

Oh i love thee!

But back onto Patti - she's almost done. I have done most of the finishing, and just have to weave in the ends and solve my "what to do" problem with the pleats.

You see, the pleats don't behave. They're unruly, they're wild, and they never went to sit in the spot you gave them. They're almost like those two naughty kids in primary school that always had to be separated, but they'd always find a way to wreak havoc on class.. but i digress.

I have looked at some other finished Pattis and seen that people have sewn them down, have decided to block it every time they want to wear it (this is not one of my options. I'm far too lazy for that), and have put in little catches here and there.

So anyways, i'll have a play, and hopefully there will be an official FO post shortly :D

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire


1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love to knit with blends - cashmere, merino, angora and silk blends. As with many others, I don't like acrylic as it is too rough on my hands and uncomfortable to wear, and I don't like any novelty yarns. If we have to talk actual names, I love the Rowan RYC range, and the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino range.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

For my straights, I keep them in these ceramic cylinder vase type things that my SP10 got me.
My Denises are kept in its case, and my circulars are kept in a needle roll that I made.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting for about 18 months now. I learnt mainly from books and websites. I think of myself as an intermediate knitter -I can cable, I can shape, seam, read charts and knit with dpns.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Sure do! I have a wist, and an Amazon wish list

5. What's your favorite scent?

I love fruity fresh smells and my perfumes currently include things like Ralph Lauren Ralph, YSL Babydoll, Ralph Lauren Romance, Ralph Lauren Blue , and I also love DKNY Delicious and Britney's Curious...Other smells I love include the smell of fresh bread, and I love the creaminess of vanilla.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Certainly! I love chocolates - especially chocolates with hazelnuts, I love truffles, and I love those japanese chewing gums, pocky, and hello pands! I love dark chocolate, but no white chocolate thanks!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I also sew - but not too often, and not particularly well.. ! I am also just learning to craft with polymer clay.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

My current favourites include Snow Patrol, The Fray, Cold Play and Keane - that sort of music. My computer can play MP3s, but my car can only play normal CDs. And I have a Creative Zen Micro so I can play mp3s on that too.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love all things cheerful - so pastels, and bright colours such as turquoise, fuschia, greens... I also love a lot of neutrals such as olives and grey.. Im not too big a fan of browns, oranges and yellows..

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

My partner lives 6 hours away and I have one brother, one sister (both younger) and my dad. No pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I do! I love scarves and mittens .. Unfortunately, as much as i love hats and beanies, I look ridiculous in them .. and ponchos often swamp me :(

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I like to knit sweaters and cardis - things that are functional and I can incorporate into my wardrobe easily.

13. What are you knitting right now?

I have just ordered yarn for Rowan's Lisette, Rowan's Rambling Rose, and Martin Storey's Julia sweater.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I do - but they need to be animal and smoke free :)

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I'm a straight knitter - and I prefer bamboos from size 3.25mm up , and aluminium or metal if they're smaller (I tend to break my bamboos and plastic ones otherwise!)

However, since buying my Denise set, I have been moving towards circulars!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes to the first, no to the swift.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Norah Gaughan's Capecho. I can't bear to frog it. It's about 6 months old.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

I like adventure holidays where I get to do things and immerse myself in another culture. I trekked out to Everest Base Camp in Nepal in March-April of this year and had a blast. I'm planning my next adventure and it looks like it will be to Vietnam and China at the end of this year.

19. Is there anything that you collect?


20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I am dying to get my hands on some of the Kim Hargreaves patterns which are currently Kit-only but where I only want the pattern. Patterns such as Maggie, Carrie, Marigold, Bea, and Violet

Patterns - I would also love to get my hands on the pattern for knitted dress from Vogue SS07, and the Central Park Hoodie.

Books on my wishlist can be found at my amazon list

Needles - I would like some addi turbos - currently my circulars are bamboo and I'm not particularly fond of bamboo for circulars..

Yarns - I would like to try yarns not available here in Australia. Things knitpicks, some of the rowan range, cascade yarns, etc.

I don't currently have any magazine subscriptions but I do read and buy on a regular basis Phildar, Vogue Knitting and Interweave.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Not really, but there are some nice crochet patterns out there and I can't crochet at all.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I have knitted one pair thanks to my SP10!!

23. When is your birthday?

8th December

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?


Fall Knitting and new patterns

I (as with many other knit bloggers - i shall call them...hmmm knoggers?? or maybe not teehee) have been eagerly anticipating the new fall collections from Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting (ESPECIALL vogue knitting as it seems like forever since they put out an issue).

Anyways, I am very pleased with what Interweave Knits has put out. I am a huge fan of knitted dressses, and I love that they have catered to my desire to be knitting such functional little pieces (very good for day to night wear!!). Amongst some of the other items I love are:

(red knitted dress minus cowl neck - have never found them flattering)

Vogue Knitting
Onto vogue knitting.. I have just realized I have not bought a knitting magazine since the famousNorah Gaughan capecho cover came out !! But anyways, I was incredibly excited about their 25th Anniversary edition, but the online preview is... meh .. to say the least. While I am in love with several of the free patterns coming out of this issue (for example):

I am however disappointed with the 80s revival that seems to have overtaken their preview. Can we say "EEK"?

But, I won't judge yet. Apparently the issue has "over sixty styles" so I'll judge when it hits the shelves at Borders.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Collection
In other news, I also received my copy of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Collection the other day, and am very pleased with my purchase. A couple of lustworthy knits: