Thursday, 24 August 2006

it's all about the needles

I can see this knitting obsession stretching a long way into the future. And here's why.

- I can do stuff already in a reasonably short time frame and without impinging too much on the rest of my life.

- The things I make are useful, beautiful, durable, home made and offer an alternative to mass produced consumerist junk.

- I can make a wide array of things, from clothing to toys to househld items.

- There's still a lot of room to perfect my basic skills, like picking up stitches and weaving in ends neatly and a lot of advanced skills to learn and master like complicated patterns and stitches.

- There's also lots to learn about yarns - how they are made, their unique properties, relative advantages and disadvantages.

- With enough experience I think I'll be able to work a pattern the way I want - to adjust sizes, to change yarns and weights. I might even be able to make a pattern with confidence and without reworking half a garment or throwing said half finished piece into the bottom of the cupboard in a fit of the sulks.

So I finished the hoodie last night. And no, you aren't seeing things the hoodie doesn't have a hood. So it's probably time I stopped calling it a hoodie.

The fact is that after messing with the pattern by using a different weight of wool and needles size I have no real basis to blame the pattern for the fact that I ran out of wool. I mean I did buy considerably more than the pattern called for, but after finishing the neck with a very small and simple band I have about 3gms of wool left.

I guess I'll need to try knitting it in the recommended weight - worsted weight which is not a common yarn in Australia - and see if I can get a hood in! But I'm not unhappy with how it's turned out, although the neck hole is a little on the small side, it looks quite nice on Amy. I won't be putting a button on the placket though.

And just as I was thinking about the next knitting project I got this GORGEOUS Danette Taylor wool from Alison. Isn't it superb? Isn't she just too generous? We've been talking patterns and new born knits for a while and she's been so helpful to me as I've tried to learn, so the wool was above and beyond anything I'd expect. Thanks Al, I love it and can't wait to get going on a new project with it. Your advice has been invluable and I think you are extremely kind.

And for those interested in the minutae of pregnancy. I'm currently obsessed by foods which are crispy, crunchy, salty, sour and watery. If green papaya wasn't one of those foods reputed to bring on labour and miscarriage I would be eating som tam for lunch everyday. My mouth is watering just writing about it.

For those not familiar with Thai food, som tam is a traditional lunch salad made from matchsticks of green (unripe) papaya, snake beans (like a slightly peppery version of a green bean), tomato, peanuts, garlic, green chili, fish sauce, lime juice, dried shrimp and sugar. You smash most of the ingrediants in a mortar and pestle just enough to get the flavour happening, but leaving the crunchy texture. Argh, I want some...

Instead I am making do with tuna salad - red and white cabbage, pickled cucumber, fresh cucumber, raw onion, grated carrot, celery, tuna, lime juice and a little mayo. I can't believe it but I'm hungry again...


Alison said...

The Hoodie looks great - and so neat too!

Enjoy the wool - I always like her stuff.

Must put green papaya on my shopping list - anything to get this baby out...............

Di said...

Great to read about your excitement and enthusiasm for knitting- the Hoodie is gorgeous! I can't help wonder what needles you're going to knit that yarn with?

Jess said...

i didn't know about green papaya! thanks for the tip.
your knitting is very impressive. i have purposely avoided learning how to knit because i can tell it will take over my life. i think i will save it for a less hectic time.
loving your blog, by the way.

Bronwen said...

Nice hoodless. Cravings can drive you up the wall. My last one had me craving red wine and I never drink... go figure hey. Good to see you are feeling a ltitle brighter.

sooz said...

Di - I have no idea about the needles. Once I have a pattern in mind I'll let you know.

Jess - If you've never tried green papayas I definitely encourage you to. My dislike of ripe papayas put me off even trying this Thai dish for a decade and now I can't believe how much time I wasted! Let me know if you'd like the propoer recipe.

kt said...

The Un-Hoodie is unbelievably beautiful! Nicely done!

Suse said...

Hi Soozs, I was going to email you this but it might help others too.

For needle size conversion and wool weight conversions in Australia/UK/USA speak and other handy tips, see these sites: