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Tag Archives: Bendigo Woollen Mills

loving it all

sage_cotton_yarnJpeg

I’ve been carting that sage-coloured cotton yarn around the country since 1993, so it was hugely satisfying to hand-wind one of the 200g skeins and start using it immediately

Forty-or-so years ago, my Mum knitted me a beautiful wrap. I still wear it. Yes, it has a hole or two in it now, which I’ve mended. The holes don’t matter. The wrap still keeps me warm and it’s like a hug from Mum every time I put it on, although she has been dead for a very long time. It had an outing a few weeks ago to a concert in the Hills, not far from the town where Mum grew up. I thought that was appropriate. And it did indeed keep me toasty warm throughout the, er, bracing evening temperatures.

Now that our evening temperatures are (finally) beginning to lose that refreshing edge and approach the sort of balminess you’d expect , or at least hope for, at this time of year, and with You Know What looming on the ever-nearing horizon, my own “wrapped in a hug” handiwork is tending more towards utilitarian things like reusable shopping bags of varying sizes and construction, as well as tissue-holders for those dinky handbag packs that are often a lifesaver during hay-fever season. I’m making good progress with using those hand-wound balls of cotton yarn. It’s a good feeling in every respect.

May your seasonal yarny work be equally satisfying 🙂

 

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Posted by on November 10, 2018 in Crochet, Knitting, Sewing

 

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diversification

Replanted and still alive

I dug up a clump of agapanthus. The wisdom has it you should thin them every five years. We’ve been here more than three times that and I haven’t done it once. It likely hadn’t been done for a while before, either. So it was a big clump. I managed to divide it and replant about 60, The green bin was full. I also dug up and replanted lots of irises. There might not have been 60 of those, but they’re so prolific when given a chance that there might be that many next year. I also replanted a geranium of which the best you could say was that it was alive. The aim with relocation is that it now might thrive. I’m not a gardener, and have been known to kill plastic plants, so this will be an interesting journey. There’s also a tub of mysterious bulbs. I’ve no idea what they are, because they’d been so choked by the agapanthus that they never bloomed.

In other news, I have knitted a blue beanie. Dark colours and plain fabric don’t photograph well, but I think you get the general idea.It’s meant to have been my commute knitting, but more often ended up as my lunchtime knitting. No matter. This is a progress shot from a previous, rainy weekend. Yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills’ Classic 8 ply, colour Ensign. Knitted on UK 10s, I think, because they were readily to hand. There wasn’t much science in this one, it simply happened to be all I could find when I was desperately looking for something to knit 🙂

Actually finished knitting this today. I have only to sew the back seam and block it, then it will be ready for its recipient 🙂

 
 

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heads need hats

This year we don't have to contend with these. (Photo courtesy of Frank Gervasi)

This year we don’t have to contend with these. (Photo courtesy of Frank Gervasi)

Training for the walk should be occupying more of my time than it is. I feel a bit older and creakier this year and the fact that Youngest Aunt won’t be walking – and, therefore, we haven’t been training together – means that there’s less incentive to make the effort to walk long distances. Plus it’s been cold and wet and miserable in a way it wasn’t last year. I’m not inventing that to garner sympathy. We’ve had the wettest winter on record in a goodly number of years; and, being winter, it has indeed been bitterly cold. Therefore, I’ve been choosing the easiest, warmest, driest options for public transport connections, meaning that the incidental walking I might ordinarily get has been ultra minimal. The lunchtime walks help but I’m not dedicated enough about them when I’m tired and/or I want to eat at the lunch table like a civilised human being. Again. One good thing is that the gradient for this year’s walk is mostly downward. There’s about 29 metres of climbing across the whole 35 kilometres. Last year there was a total climb of 756 metres (mostly the steps in what one of my old schoolmates described as the Stair Chamber or Death Valley – see photo above).

But no matter the state of play for the walk, the knitting is also stumbling along. The instructions for the beanie pattern I’d chosen instructed me to use a tubular long tail cast-on. I had three or four attempts at that and can only say that, yeah, there’s a reason I don’t usually use a long tail cast-on. I know it’s often the cast-on of choice and I have used it in the past. However, this time it just wasn’t coming together. I ended up achieving a similar end via a method you could describe as half cable cast-on, half TLT cast-on. I did the cast on as if it were 1×1 rib – cast on knitwise, cast on purlwise, rather than all stitches knitwise; a variation I’ve often used in the past – then worked the two set-up rows to get that tubular look by slipping purls as instructed. The result was perfectly acceptable and a bit less stressful. No, not significantly less stressful because I kept being interrupted. Every. Other. Damn. Five. Minutes. By Dr B, wanting to ask questions about things totally unrelated to what I was doing. Hair-tearing ensued.

It took a while, but I managed it. However, a closer examination of my yarn choice showed that I’d goofed. I’d thought I’d ordered three balls of Bendigo’s Savanna, which is a 70% wool, 30% alpaca mix. Turns out I was wrong about that. One of them was Classic, which is a 100% wool yarn. Uuh, yeah, even though they’re both 8-ply (equivalent to DK), I though it might be wiser not to mix them. So I have a beautifully started beanie that’s eventually going to end up striped with other remnants of Classic that I have about the place – plenty 🙂 – and I’m trying again with the Savanna.

At least, I will be trying with the Savanna when I track down another circular needle in the right size but grateful that I can skimp on the stair-training this year 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2016 in Health, Knitting

 

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totally tinked

Next time it won't look messy like this. Promise :)

Next time it won’t look messy like this. Promise 🙂

During a trip to the Hills today, because I wasn’t driving I managed to tink the entirety of the tension square. Now it’s a matter of dividing my yarn so I can do both socks at once, then on with the actual knitting. This would be some of the fiddliest prep work I’ve done in a long time, but I’m sure the resulting socks will be worth every bit of effort.

With regard to time, even doing a tidy job of the yarn division, it won’t come in at an hour’s worth. All the same, there’s a good chance I might spend more time on it later in the evening. I think that’s progress, however slow.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2016 in Knitting

 

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the unexpected, sideways wallop

Looking the goods in a nicely masculine colourway.

Seems as if it’s looking the goods, in a nicely masculine colourway.

Day 3 saw the tension square arrive at the point where I thought I’d done enough to check it. Then Life did one of those, “You’re getting too complacent. I think it’s time I walloped you with a bit of four be six,” numbers in the shape of news of the sudden, unexpected death of a close cousin: not only close by blood and near in age, but one with whom I’d remained in contact as we’d both wandered across the globe and through life. Yeah. Not truly conducive to knitting for a couple of days, that’s for sure. Sorry, Meredithe; I know you’ll understand.

However, given the restorative power of creativity, I’ve checked the tension and it does look the goods, so I’m now tinking that to reuse the yarn and get cracking on the socks. Straight knitting is going to be easier than the tricky stuff involved in doing a circular sample with a straight technique. You get lots of dangles at the back and it’s messy. Goodbye to all that and on with magically looping both socks at once. That will have its own mess, I dare say, but I should at least hit a good rhythm with genuine circular knitting and the wonderful Old Joe pattern.

So it’s on with the knitting and on with life; and may all your news be good.

 
 

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there’s the injured nephew

Eldest Nephew recently fell and damaged his elbow. It’s in a backslab plaster now but expected to improve to a hinged brace by the end of the week. I asked Middle Aunt if there was anything I could do for him; like maybe knit him an arm warmer? She laughed. But she did ask if I would make Middle Uncle a pure-wool beanie, please, in a nice, sober shade of blue. I suggested a mix with alpaca to ensure softness on his not-very-hirsute pate. The outcome was that, as long as the fibres were natural, that would be fine. Luckily for me, this limited release yarn is a wool/alpaca mix and has a couple of shades of blue. I can do that. I’ve sent off the order.

And then I’ve decided to join Meredithe in doing an hour of knitting a day – in my case – and I’d already said socks. I’ve bitten the bullet and finally purchased the Yarn Harlot‘s lovely Old Joe pattern (of which Dr B approves, and that’s good because this pair will be for him). I’m now about to fossick around in the sewing room to find the sock yarn. I’m a little late starting the hour-a-day effort, but I’m sure to be able to catch up by dint of putting in some dedicated commuter knitting in the next few days.

The other beanie I’d begun (for Dr B)? It’s been back-burnered but not frogged. You see? Plans are always flexible. Happy knitting!

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2016 in Health, Knitting

 

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that rare occasion and some questions

As it turns out, it fits me quite well.

As it turns out, it fits me quite well.

I rarely get smug about my  knitting. I make too many stuff-ups for that! But generally, I reckon that if I follow the designer’s instructions, I’ll end up with what I want. Now and then, I might look at something I haven’t seen for a while and be pleasantly surprised by what a good job I’ve done. Is that being smug? I don’t think so.

Imagine me the other day, sitting on a suburban bus and watching other passengers file on. Several of them were wearing beanies. The day was chilly. I also wore a beanie. And I admit to having a moment of feeling utterly – yes, dreadful but true – smug about mine: it was handmade and unique 🙂 Justified, just a bit? Probably.

The only remaining question is, should I retrofit a pompom?

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2016 in Knitting

 

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