Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sneak peek

My new hat pattern is coming out very nicely! Watching the cables emerge is rather exciting, and the yarn (Malabrigo Rios) is a delight to knit with. So soft and squishy and richly-coloured... Yum...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I've been working on my Chickadee cardie in fits and starts, and the sleeves are now complete! It's starting to look recognisably cardie-shaped at last:

I inserted a 'lifeline' (some scrap cotton yarn) through the row just before the garter stitch cuffs at the end of each sleeve, in case I need to backtrack and alter the sleeve length when it's finished. Once I've knit more of the body I'll be able to try it on and check the fit. I'm now onto a section of plain old stockingette until the waist decreases start. Good dvd-time knitting.

I've also been playing with my new turkish spindle. Learning to use a bottom-whorl type was a bit tricky at first, and I had to look up how to even start! But I now have a few metres of 'singles' that I'm going to wash, and see how they come out. I love the way the singles wrap around the blades of the spindle. It looks cool while spinning too, like a little helicopter...

My new cabled hat design is also getting closer to fruition. I've finished swatching and drafting out my charts, and I'm finally ready to start knitting. Some nice cables will be a good contrast to all the plain stockingette in the cardie - I like having projects on the go with different attention requirements, so there's pretty much always something that I can pick up and work on.
Here is my yarn for hat sample #1, all wound and ready to go. :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Market Day Madness

This morning Willie and I went along to the Wellington Underground Market, which was having its annual 'Wonders of Wool' themed day. Willie was there in his capacity as second-opinion-giver, sanity-checker, and lunch buddy, and we had a blast!

First up, I located Frances' stall because I was keen to buy another spindle. It turns out she went to primary school with Willie briefly! Small world...

I tried a couple of different spindles, and ended up deciding on a little 'turkish' spindle, because it's a completely different type to my top-whorl. Should be interesting to learn how this one behaves, and how it affects my spinning. I also got a wooden wraps-per-inch gauge, which will be useful for measuring the thickness of my finished yarn (which I need to know for deciding what to knit from it). And the rainbow merino fibre totally had my name on it. ;)

Frances' online shop is Spindles By Sourkraut on Etsy - but you have to be quick to snap up a spindle, they always sell out fast.

Next, I found the Little Wool Co. corner, and picked up the two cones of 'Walnut' 4ply I've been hankering after for a Stasis Pullover, plus two skeins of 'Lime' for a Cria cardie. The skein of 'Amethyst' had to come home with me too - it's a really intense pink/purple that will be great for a scarf or shawl or little cardie...

Then it was time to sit down and have a cuppa and a bite to eat, before having a browse at the Holland Road Yarn Company's stand, which had lots of lovely imported brands I'd never seen before. I snagged a squishy skein of Three Irish Girls merino for the cabled hat I'm working on the design for, and I completely failed to resist a skein of Fyberspates silk/merino laceweight (the colour is 'Treacle Toffee', yum)! I think it might become a Barley Sugar cowl...

Tash also wrote out directions for getting to the HRYC's knit night via bus, but alas, it falls on Thursdays, which is choir night. But she's trying to get a Saturday morning group going too, which would suit me much better. I shall have to make an effort and head out there, to the wilds of Petone!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Fellow Bach nerds, have you heard the new-ish Dunedin Consort / John Butt recording of the B Minor Mass? I listened to some of the tracks online, was mightily impressed, and have now ordered a copy of the cds. My old favourite recording is the Andrew Parrott version (I just love the one-voice-per-part sound), and I think this really gives it a run for its money. Wonderful clarity!

Here's a video of the Sanctus movement: 

The B Minor Mass is my 'official favourite' musical work - there's just so much in it, such a range of styles and textures, and lots of the vocal/instrumental interplay that's one of my favourite things about Bach's music. I love it to bits.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I'm going to Handmade 2012!

I missed out last year due to being inconveniently out of town, and was Not Pleased when I found out I'd booked my trip right on top of it.

Handmade is a weekend of craft workshops, classes, and lectures held at the national museum, Te Papa over Queen's Birthday weekend (2-3 June). Last year the entrance to Te Papa was yarn-bombed for the occasion:

Here's the list of yarn-related classes: Yarn - Handmade 2012. There's quite a range! I've signed up for "Twice the Fun - Two Handed Stranded Knitting", which should be really useful to me - better, faster stranded colourwork? Yes please! It's a technique I don't think I could get the hang of on my own, so I really want to take this class. The "Basics to Improve your Photography" lecture might be helpful too. There's a spinning class, but it looks like it's for complete beginners, which I'm not anymore (just a relative beginner).

There will also be things to buy (could be dangerous if there's yarn and fibre), and a Knit Lounge which I'm looking forward to. I think I'll bring my Chickadee cardie and make some progress. It'll be neat to meet other craft-obsessed folks! I don't get to knit with others very often, with the exception of my mum (hi Mum!). :p

Friday, May 4, 2012

New pattern: Dyer's Delight

My newest scarf pattern, Dyer's Delight, is now available on Ravelry. I designed it in order to show off some really crazy-coloured mini skeins of yarn which I dyed in my kitchen using food colouring. I love playing with colours, and dip-dyeing yarn is easy and lots of fun. I've included instructions in the pattern for anyone who'd like to try it. Leftover yarn in variegated or semi-solid shades would also work really well with this pattern.

 I wanted to use the skeins all together without it looking too muddled, and this is what I came up with: each skein in its own column, with a textured chevron stitch pattern to vary the 'pooling' of the colours. The columns are linked with intarsia joins, so the scarf is knit in one piece from end to end.

Next up is something completely different - I'm designing a cosy cabled hat. It's starting to get chilly around here...