Sunday, 26 September 2010

greetings from afar

This mobile Internet thing never gets old.

Yesterday I used the iPad gps style to find bendigo woollen mills, where i bought a bunch of super cheap cone neds i hope will go the machine - at $5 a kilo D thought perhaps only getting $4 worth was being a bit frugal.

I also used it while we were driving north to sort out a shipping cost issue on a very exciting package of wool I ordered from the US to take advantage of a very healthy exchange rate (the package had originally been ordered for me as a gift over a year ago but had been aborted when the manufacturer was snowed in).

When we arrived in Swan Hill yesterday afternoon and found we had no accommodation I used it to search for addresses, phone numbers and houses to stay, as well as keeping on top of footy scores we should have been seeing on the tv.

There was emailing to our friends' family back in Thailand to let them know all was well with their trip here, checking of boat schedules for the pioneer village, regional weather forecasts (yay for sunshine!) and now that 2 small boys are dead to the world after boat cruises and cart rides and a lot of running around I can blog while the big kid and grown ups are off exploring and I am minding the home front.

If there's one thing better than holidays, its holidays with Internet.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

down the rabbit hole

gold stoleI'm sinking deeper by the second.

I'm wanting and needing new tools, including special oil invented in the second world war for cleaning guns (and wounds).

I'm looking at yarn spun on cones measured in the thousands of meters and classified in a whole new terminology.

I'm a member of a guild for goodness sake.

And I feel in turns excited and inspired and full of energy, and then frustrated and overwhelmed. And every time I think I've got it, things either go completely haywire or I find myself in front of yet another doorway and I realise all over again how much more there is to learn. There is the ever present danger of burn out.

gold stole
But with each new success, like this exquisite golden silk stole, I am drawn ever deeper. A kilometre of yarn knitted in under an hour with not one single error, catch, tangle, broken end or frustration. And the resulting fabric is like super soft spun gold.

It is destined for a fundraiser at Amy's school and I really hope it captures someone's heart (and wallet!) and makes them happy.

I could go crazy on silk after this outing, pumping out miles of slippery smooth, machine loving lace fabric. This one is dyed by Knitabulous and I will be keeping an eagle eye on her shop for more.

But in the spirit of the rabbit warren that is this new terrain, the arch angel that is Christine threw me a curve ball while pulling the Singer apart on Friday and cleaning all the needles by showing me that you can also weave into the knitting.

I only did a tiny sample before my head started swimming, not just with weaving possibilities but with that thing that happens when you are on the initial steep ascent of the learning curve - how much more is there out there I don't know about?!

machine knit weavingmachine knit weaving

On the non machine knitting front (as small and insignificant as it may seem) life has been hurtling along. There's some major outside infrastructure works going on out back destined to provide the bloke a good place to do the dirty outside work his study can't house. It is needed and good and useful but I'm also feeling a little sad to see yet another chunk of the garden given over to man made structures and realise that in the last few years we have effectively halved our backyard area to make way for the monster bedroom and outdoor work area. And most tragically I can't seem to find a place for raspberries any more which is very sad indeed.

I'm planning a fairly substantial workroom makeover too, designed to address a whole stack of problems I've been working around for way too long. I'm not very good at the interior decor thing and the big picture solutions but I've determined it is worthy of attention since I spend a lot of time in here and productivity is key. I really need to get over the make do and incremental improvements and learn to recognise that sometimes I need to think bigger.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

holy clapinoli I might be obsessed

black clap
I just can't seem to stop making clapotis (and plural of clapotis would be...?).
black clap
This one is made with 100gms of 2 ply Bendigo Woollen Mills superwash clap
It's a bit shorter and much wider.
black clap
It would appear the possibilities for variation are perhaps clap

Sunday, 12 September 2010

...and kicking

Footy on tv = me in the workroom listening to audio books and machine knitting all night.

A pattern I have long wanted to try, one I actually cast on and then abandoned.

 It occurred to me last week it should work on the machine and a quick scout on Ravelry confirmed someone else had already worked that out.
Now I have my own clapotis, in a super lux deep and subtly variegated red yarn from wollmeise (another little destash score).

Saturday, 11 September 2010

it's alive...

A lovely, generous gift of perfect red lace weight wool and cashmere from last year. Lying dormant in the stash.
Add the Singer, card 12 on tuck and another stole is born.
The machine was not as fond of this yarn as the previous wool lace weight. No idea why since it was thin and smooth and very loosely ball wound. Perhaps a bit fragile?
It took longer and had to be restarted after the whole thing went bung at the half way mark.
There was lots of ends to be woven in for extra loops and broken yarn so if you look it over it isn't hard to find lumps and bumps and mis-fires in the pattern.

But as part of the learning curve, it's OK by me.

And speaking of learning curves, I did go back and fix up the minor irritations on the Ingenue jumper. I unpicked all 3 cast off hems (2 sleeves and the body), knitted up 2 extra repeats of the ridges stitch pattern with the smaller needle and recast off more tightly.  Much improved.

And then I re-blocked it, less severely and now it is a better fit and the neck a little smaller and basically it's pretty close to perfect. So you know, persistence pays yet again.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

thursday night

Life seems to be in an even keel at the moment.
polar morn
I'm quite stunned.
colourmart grey marle
There's a lot of hectic activity on the cards, over the horizon. Visitors, trips. Passports to get.
wollmeise sabrina
We're all heading to NZ in November, I joked to someone today that we had to or pretty much the whole of that month would pass without D and I really seeing each other. He has no less than four work trips and I have craft camp.
indigo cashmere lace
So I'm doing my best to enjoy a bit of the old even keel before we're all tossed overboard and set adrift at sea.
knitabulous silken thread 24 karat
I'm dreamily planning projects for recently acquired super luscious handspun yarn from a very generous and skilled swap partner, bargain lace and light weight yarns from destashes as well as long ago acquired and long ignored delights from the depths of my own stash. There's a lot of yarn lust going on.
indigo swap
I'm hoping tomorrow will see some more machine action in between regular garden variety domestic chores.
wollmeise super red
I think I might need something red.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

persistence pays


Its been a difficult introduction in many ways, but the Singer knitting machine and I are beginning to click.

There's still way too much voodoo for me to feel quite at ease, but the right yarn and the stars aligned and some really lovely stuff happens.

None too soon, for a while there I was feeling like the whole thing may be more trouble than it's worth.

There's no way I could be bothered knitting something this big and light by hand. Oh no.

But it is such a dreamy lovely fabric so I am very glad I persisted. What will come next I wonder?

And there will be little pots of deodorant winging their ways to Paisley, Anna and Suzy tomorrow, thank you everyone who commented. I can also report that those who picked up pots I took to craft camp are all reporting back the same kind of success as me, so I'm not a fluke or freak. Well, not in this regard anyway. For those that missed the link in previous posts, you can find the recipe here.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

the rush

It's a solo parenting week, after a craft camp, after some deadlines, and just before a visit to the accountant to sort out two years of awfully complicated tax (that would be no less than seven different income sources for me - the pain of diversifying kicks in.....NOW). Needless to say I have been scrambling to stay on top of the basic necessities and blogging hasn't been one of them and it seems even sleep isn't entirely mandatory.

But I've been looking at the deoderant pots and figuring I really should get some addresses and offload them stat. Since my random number generator doesn't comply with instructions well (you can't trust an eight year old) I have more than 3 names, so I'm going to give you the names she gave me and the first three to email me with their AUSTRALIAN address get the goods.

So if you stuck your hand up and your name is Paisley, Suzy, Sarah, Lindy or Anna drop me a line with your address quick before the others do!