I've been playing with dyes, using up scraps I bought for $4 a kilo from the Bendigo Mills back room. An assortment of weights, quite a few of them 'unbalanced singles' according to those who know what such a term means. This year I hope to get a bit more creative with my dyeing.
I've also cast on for Harvest Moon. Many thanks for the comments and suggestions, especially those who, er, didn't pull any punches. It's been said before my taste is dubious and now I know for sure! Anyway, the Harvest moon pattern is amazing. Even from the very early stages it's obvious Heidi really knows her stuff - the construction is well thought out, neat and very clever without being difficult. It's greatly enthusing me to knit the Space Girl too (despite your dire warnings).
And the Elsa wool is every bit the delight I thought it would be - rustic and sheepy but super soft and smooshy, quite unlike anything I have knit before. I've been hankering for this wool ever since I saw Alex use it last year and when the Aussie dollar peaked against the US I bought enough for a jumper, plus a little of the lighter weight for something else down the track.
I've also been sorting out my machine knit suite - I bought a new slightly better machine on ebay to replace my Singer 321 which has been passed on to my good friend Maria (blog pending - c'mon Maria!). With a good work over and some spare parts from the wonderful Angela I'm very happy. Between this punchcard machine and my simplistic vintage 200d I have 2 really good work horse machines. I recently acquired another kind of machine - a rare Singer Junior Knitter which I bought as much for the oddity value as anything else - and Amy is dead keen to make it hers. I've yet to give it much of a run, but it is a teeny tiny cutie and may serve me well as a handy go anywhere small project machine. I will report!
I've also organised a course of lessons to move my skill acquisition from random experimentation to systematic experience with the hope it will help me realise some of the garments dancing in my head. I'm really looking forward to some structure now that I feel like I have a grasp of the machines themselves. I think back to how I was in the first few weeks of machining where I felt like I had absolutely no idea at all, stumbling in the dark trying to work out what the hell was going on. Now I am definitely past that stage but still held back by big chunks of missing expertise. The clases are well spaced over a six month period, so I should be regularly posting here about the exciting new things I've learned.
So as you can see, it's been all about yarn of late. With the kids still on holidays and general family chaos, it's been hard to think bigger. I've also decided that for the coming craft camp I want to be more organised than I generally am, so I'm going to start stockpiling projects, using the time between now and then to sort and maybe cut some projects to sew while I am away. I'm car pooling this time and need to be disciplined about space, but I also want to be able to just pull out some stuff I've already done the think work for. At least, that's the plan.