Offline for the time being

In today's world, we often forget or we don't realise how much we've come to rely on technology until it's not with us. Being out and about without a mobile phone, left without internet connection and not being to go online, and one that now affects me, being left without a camera for 2 weeks.

Yup, I'm in Perth at the moment, off to restaurants, off to birthdays, off to parties, and no way to capture any of it. More relevantly, I'm in Perth, with a finished Millefiori Cardigan, lots of new yarn, about to venture into spinning wheel territory and no way to document any of that.

So rather than fill this text with descriptives and text, I'll just have to go on a short break until I get back to Kal (not till next Friday), so I'll probably be offline until then.

Until then, have a wonderful day :)

Time for a new craft?

Thank you for your comments on my recent "search for snugness" post re: looking for a nice snuggly winter coat. While i'm hoping to knit at least two for the winter, I have decided that one of them would be Wenlan Chia's Bulky Coat from Vogue Knitting.

I have always loved Wenlan's aesthetic and have enjoyed her previous knitting books. That said however, I have never knitted anything of hers up. For one, I worry about how the bulkiness of her knits would look on me (i'm fairly petite so I dont want to look 1- Like i'm swamped and 2- Like i'm gained 10 kgs overnight in all the wrong places). But i figured that the bubble coat was "bubbly" enough to look as if it was meant to be slouchy, oversized, and something to be deliberately gobbled up in. So, dilemma 1 solved. Now for dilemma Two. Subbing for Twinkle Soft Chunky.

I have done a whole heap of research into possible subs for Twinkle Soft Chunky and have found suggestions including:
  • Brown Sheep Burly Spun
  • Rowan Big Wool
  • Plymouth Yukon
  • Cascade 128
  • Cascade Bollicine Revolution

However, on inspecting the gauge instructions, none of them was suitable (too small).

According to Webs, Soft Chunky knits up at 1 st per 1 " or 4sts per 4". That's a FAT yarn.

So i thought, hey, why not get 3 or 4 strands of something smaller and swatching? So i tried 3 strands of worsted weight yarn that I had in my stash (but am not necessarily going to use on this project), and it gave me 8 sts per 4". Then I tried 4 strands and it gave me 7 sts per 4".

Just how FAT is this yarn?

Well, 6 strands of yarn gave me 4sts per 4" that's how fat. While the calculations aren't exact, that's almost 72 ply of yarn (metric)! That's a whole lot of yarn.

So then I went this way, and that way.. and in the end i thought "what if i spun my own yarn"? Yes , I'm considering buying a spinning wheel. Of course, for such a big outlay of cash, I'd need to research it a little bit more.. But the idea of being able to spin my own yarn to the colours and consistency that I want it to be is just too exciting!

Bed bound and fondling yarn

One of the great things about working a FIFO (fly in fly out) roster is that I get 6 days off after 8 days of work. Yup, that's right - I work 8 days straight, and then get a whole 6 days off each week. It helps make up for working away and the long hours that I do put in when I am on site.

Having 6 days off each roster cycle means that I get a lot of "me" time. "me" time to go for a short trip, "me" time to rest and relax before going back to site, and "me" time to just be.. well.. "me".

One of the things that I don't like however, is wasting that "me" time. I'm on my second last day of R&R (rest and relaxation week) and am due to head back to site tomorrow. I am however, bed bound. *sobs*.

I woke up this morning unable to move my left hand side. It wasn't numb, it was just completely aching, with a stabbing pulsating feeling everytime I went to move it. After one hour of lying in bed (thinking it would go away), I called my other half for assistance and he promptly took me to see the doc. Luckily (or not), it appears to be nothing too serious, and that my muscles are just spasming. I've got muscle relaxants to treat it but 4 hours after seeing the doc, I'm still sore and unable to turn or move my head too much (i can type though!) hehe.

Now, i don't normally mind a day in bed .. but I do mind it when I have brand new yarn to play with! The postman just dropped off my latest package, containing Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo and it's a beautiful raspberry colour. I'm planning on using it for Megumi Hirai's Rose Shoulder Shrug (I hope it's a good sub for "Silken Straw"?):

Unfortunately, I can only fondle but can't really knit because it tightens up the muscles. So, a day of R&R wasted. But at least there's something new to look forward to.

UFO discovery

When people ask me "do you go to the gym", I often reply with a smile "I have plans..." knowing full well that somewhere in my mind, I have blocked out all thoughts about the $60 / month that is coming out of my credit card and I have only been twice in 2 months, and that while I'm on site for work , I get free membership to the gym.

I block these thoughts out because I don't want to feel guilty about the money i'm wasting, the food that i'm eating, and the general lazing around i've been well known for .

Today, when it started to pour outside, I woke up and couldnt get back to sleep so I decided to be a little bit resourceful and unpack one of the boxes that has been hiding in my craft room for some time (a box that I brought back with me on a recent trip to Perth). In it , I discovered several sweaters that I had forgotten (including my Phildar Swing Jacket and Patti Cardigan).
I also discovered a shoe box with some UFOs, including my first chocolate brown Lisette Cardigan, Thermal Sweater, as well as a stashed away Phildar tie up sweater I had only just started..

I don't even know where I'm up to for Thermal, or if I even still have the pattern but luckily it's freely available so *phew*

Regarding the phildar sweater.. I am ooooooohhhh sooooo close, but in my attempt at being "smart", I decided to pick up the neck band and knit rather than sew on a separate neck band. In my "smart" state however, I grossly undercalculated how many stitches I would need and the resultant neck band hardly ties up. In fact, it just bobbles.

So, in an effort to finish off some of the knits I've started, I'm hoping to take a leaf out of Christie's blog, and make it my two aims to finish these knits. Unlike her however, I won't be putting a timeframe on it.. hehehe i'm just "planning" to do it ;)

And finally.. here's a progress shot on the Millefiori Cardigan. It's been very quick going.. only two sleeves and some finishing to go. Hopefully i'll end up with something finished ;)

Casting on... Millefiori Cardigan

A little something that I'm working on...

The clamshell pattern in a bit more detail..

Sorry about the lack of words - Happy Easter. Will be back shortly!

In search of snugness

With winter approaching in approximately 3 months time, I am on the lookout for a great Coat/Cardigan pattern for those moments where maximum snuggliness is required. While I did manage to pick up two of the said cardigans on my recent trip to Melbourne, I'm also feeling the urge to buy upwards of 20 balls of yarn for the pleasure of knitting a long bulky sweater coat.
In my search, out came all my magazines and booklets.

Here's what I found. (PS. I haven't looked online yet, so if anyone has any fab ideas for a coat cardigan, please let me know :D I haven't settled on one yet!)

From Jo Sharp Knit.2: Obviously I wouldn't parade around in a bikini all day long ;)

From Phildar Tendances:

From DB Cashmerino:
From Interweave Knits:
From Vogue Knitting:
From Rowan Studio 8:
From Knit.1:

A Whole lot of Food in Melbourne, Australia

As I mentioned in my last few posts, I recently went to Melbourne for a few days to visit some friends who had done the whole "moving east" thing after uni. Besides Marv, the other boys were actually out of town, so it became a girls weekend of sorts.

Melbourne is famous for a few things - great shopping (that I did have on the first day, but not so much luck on Chapel or Bridge Road the days after), a great bar scene, and fabulous food.
(Apologies for the photo quality - I was limited to my bf's little Olympus P&S which I'm not familiar with)

On the first night, we went to a Korean bbq place in the CBD (didn grab any photos), then Max Brenner:
On Saturday, we went to Apte (A place to eat), a cafe given a perfect 20/20 score. While the service was a bit slow, the food was faultless.

Then there was Maedaya, a little japanese Sake Bar with great nibblies (almost like a Japanese tapas restaurant).
On Sunday, there was Hutong Dumplings Restaurant:
Followed by Koko Black for delicious dark chocolate goodies.

Was I satisfied? Definitely. Would I head back for more? Absolutely.