Socks – part the last

I’ve finished Craig’s socks! I wrapped them up and gave him them for Yule (actually yule is tomorrow as far as this post is actually concerned, heehe).

Before wrapping:

Socks - Finished

Unwrapped:

Socks - Finished

I did manage to get him to take them off the other night, he wore them to bed and I placed my icicle feet between his warm thighs and then get a very sweet “Here honey, present for you” and he slipped off his socks and passed them over. <insert evil smug grin>

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WWKIPD

We went over to Waiheke Island to take part in the World Wide Knit in Public Day. We hadn’t been to the Island before so had a nice ride on the ferry, we had hoped to do a little tour of the island but it rained so we just saw a small area which was lovely.

Other members of my knitting group (KnitRangers) were also in attendance (being that a bunch of us met at the ferry terminal and popped over together.

WWKIPD

WWKIPD

I also met a very cool pair of leather shoes that I’d love to make:

Leather Shoes

The only big downside of this day was that I knitted all the way to the end of the leg for Craig’s sock and couldn’t remember if it was 10″ or 11″ long so had to stop before the end of the day and had nothing to knit for the remainder of the day (thus there was a lot of eyeing off of other peoples projects and a note to self to bring more then one project along next time).

Navajo Plying

I’ve been playing with navajo plying today, plying one of my white singles as a test run. I’d like to use this technique to spin up the wool a dyed a few weeks ago as I only had 1 bobbins worth, I’m hoping there will be enough for a pair of fingerless gloves. The benefits for using navajo plying include:

 

  1. I only have 1 bobbin to work with
  2. No wastage
  3. The colours will stay spread out rather then blend together more
I’m told that this does make for a slightly weaker yarn then if it was a normal 3 ply, but I’m cool with that. My test yarn seems to be strong enough, it’s currently drying after being washed and and whacked.
And pictures:
Close up of Navajo ply you can see some of the loupe like structures in here (I think that’s from where I’ve started new loupes.) One of the things I found with this was that when your yarn is good and strong plying is a dream, if you have week points in the yarn then it’s a real bitch to ply as it breaks and you have to rejoin the yarn – which is kinda messy if you ask me.
Hanging to dry hanging out to dry.
And last but not least, a photo of the 1 completed Craig sock:
Completed sock I’m really rather pleased with myself. I’ve finished the ribbing on the second sock but I’m afraid it’s been almost a week since I’ve picked it up to knit since *bad me* I did take it with me on a few occasions, only to discover that (as usual) I had left the fourth dpn at home! I was really expecting this to be a lot harder then it was to do.
I’ve been making more bread this week also with great results. I’ve turned the fan off in the over, going for a hotter oven with a bowl of water in with it, this gives a MUCH softer crust which is fantastic. I really didn’t like the hard crust on the first batch of bread. I’ve found that my recipe does 2 large loaves and 6 rolls (which I burnt the tops of because I had them way to close to the top of the oven and forgot about them).
I’ve also had my loom out this week and finished off a small section – about half an hour or so worth of weaving, not much, but at least it’s something. I really want this project off the loom so I can start on my dishcloths, but I must finish it, even if it doesn’t motivate me. I’m using short lengths of weft so about ever second turn I have to start a new length, it’s just tedious. The fabric itself will like nice when it’s done though I think.
What else… Craig is busy in the garden when he can get a chance, planting broad beans, garlic and onions, building raised beds and generally getting his hands dirty. The driveways are being poured, the guys have been busy, not as busy as some of us would like and the seem to have a fear of getting damp, but certainly things are progressing and more then halfway finished. I’d say providing it doesn’t pour down rain everyday, they should be completely finished by the end of next week – yay! Earthsong is really starting to look less and less like a building sight and more and more like lush eco-neighbourhood. 

 

Finally! Bread

I was given a lovely gift from a friend of a friend a few weeks ago, her German sourdough recipe and two jars of her starter. Well, I finally got a chance to make the bread and it works! Actually it worked a little too well and I ended up with overflowing tins and a sink full of dough, but I’m fine with that 🙂

Overflow

The bread appears to have cooked up rather nicely, I just cut into it and I think it still needs a few more minutes of cooking – has a sort of doughey feel to it, but it looks good (and it rose!)

In other news, my sock is going well, I’ve turned the heel successfully (at least I think it’s successfully) and I’m now just pottering along knitting the length of the foot before I decrees for the toe.

Turned Heel

Socks – Part 3

I’m finally starting to progress a little further with my sock exploration today. Here’s what I’ve changed or learnt:

 

  1. I learnt “Long Tail Cast On” I used a youtube video from “Knit like a man.com” this is the fastest and neatest way I’ve learnt to cast on stitches and I love it. It took me a while to get my head around, but now that I have it’s really easy = LEARN IT
  2. I cast on 60 stitches
  3. I changed my ribbing to k2p2
  4. I learnt that when you want to do stocking stitch on dpn like this, you ONLY do knit for every row (the “wright” side is always facing outwards)
  5. I learnt to use the “Continental knitting” style – this should so be the standard way to learn to knit, it’s much much faster. I’m still a little awkward with it, juggling the 4 dpn’s and all, but still – way faster!
Today’s progress photos:
Progress
You can almost see where the ribbing ends and the stocking stitch begins in this one:
Ribbing to stocking stitch
And in unrelated news, I had my hair cut and dyed 😉
My new hair style

 

Socks – Part 2ish

So I’ve already frogged the sock. Why? Because I changed from my ribbing stitch (k2, p1) into a plain stocking stitch and ended up with a garter stitch line, so I thought I’d overlook that for now and keep going and a few rows down it happened again, I’m not really sure how because I’m certain I did a knit then a purl row consistently, I think there is a trick to turning to right and wrong sides of the knitting maybe that I’m not getting yet. I am getting more confidence using 4 DPN’s which was really the main reason for this sock. Lastly, when I pulled out the needles I did try on the sock, it would have been too small for Craig’s calf I think as it fitted me to just bellow mid calf quite comfortably. 

Carding & knitting

When I return home there are several bags of fleece for me to wash and play with and several bags awaiting my collection. Apparently my shearing friend Kevin says that he can’t sell coloured fleece, so any fleece that is not considered to be white is mine for the taking – free! This means that I will no longer have to worry about “waisting” fleece as I practice and play and I have packed up my spinning wheel and will be bringing it home to Auckland (from my parents house in Wodonga) and dedicating a chunk of time to relearning to spin.

Also, for christmas my mum has agreed to either buy me a knitters loom (about $180NZD) or to contribute towards a drum carder (about $350NZD) and now I have decide which one I wan/need more. At the moment I think I’m leaning more towards the carder as I don’t even have any hand carding paddles anymore so…

While researching drum carders I did come across the most coolest toy and would LOVE to get my hands on it. It’s a double carder

Double Carder

and it’s probably about the size of my lounge room. Now if I got everything I wished for I would need a museum to keep it all in I think. We just went for a visit to a second hand store in Yackandanda, which is about 15 minutes from my parents house and I found a very cool butter churn, two 19th century cameras (they are HUGE, and cost several grand each), add that to the double carder and the floor looms *sigh*

Now I know that I’ve been silent for the last several weeks, but I haven’t been totally no crafty while I’ve been visiting oz. I’m actually proud of myself really, I’ve been knitting, well I’ve knitted one thing, a beret, it’s the first knitted project I’ve ever actually finished and didn’t give up on out of boredom (scarves suck and so do blankets that are essentially scarves sewn together). Doing this hat, I managed to do increases and decreases, undo and repair mistakes (I made a lot of them) and pickup dropped stitches, and I’m very proud of my finished item.

Freedom Spirit Pattern

I still need to do the little flowers to make it extra pretty but they will take very little time to whip up. I’ve never been very excited about knitting, my grandmother was an amazing knitter and I’m sure I’ll never match her for speed, but I have decided to attempt a little more knitted projects – just no scarves thank you very much.