Tag Archives: Inca L574

well, it’s like this

Another of our friends is undergoing chemo at present. This is not her first lot, but she lives interstate and we haven’t seen her for a while. We are hoping to visit her in a few weeks from now, so I thought I’d make something special for her. The only question is, will it be a cowl or a cap? And if a cowl, will it be sewn or knitted? I’m torn for good reason:

Humour me while I talk myself into trying this out for the first time!

I thought that I might sew a cowl. Well, you know – actually, you don’t because I haven’t mentioned it before! – I’ve just taken delivery of a new sewing machine like that one there, and I’m itching to give it a try. It arrived on Tuesday and all I’ve done so far is mostly get it out of the box. I know! But what with driving Dr B about the place after some minor surgery that prevented him from driving himself (recovery is proceeding well, thanks) and having a couple of things to do that didn’t involve being at home for serious chunks of the day, plus there’s this awful piece of work I’m trying to complete, there simply hasn’t been time! How sad is that??

Youngest Aunt gave me some fabric last year. Perhaps it was the year before. But anyway, I have some pieces of rayon (a couple of dresses that are worn in critical spots but too nice to throw out and from which I could easily harvest enough fabric to line a cowl) that I could combine with some fine polar fleece to make a deliciously soft and warm fabric cowl. Also, YoungB seems to have lost his original toob – somewhat to his distress; as I sometimes say, you can see why I keep feeding him! – and would be very happy if I were to make him another, please. The days are cold enough that he needs such a thing when he has an early lecture or is coming home in the dark after a long prac or lab session of some sort. At least he no longer has those ridiculously early starts associated with rowing training, but I’ll happily make him another toob. So, on the whole – and thanks for listening while I mulled that over – I think that this time I’ll sew a cowl.

However, as I bought some silky soft yarn yesterday, I might also knit a cap. Dr D lives in a jolly cold part of the country and her hair is just starting to experience what she wonderfully describes as fallout. Her head will definitely need covering. Therefore, the plan at the moment – I know, I’m not good with plans, but let’s just call this an idea of how I might go about achieving what I need – is to sew a toob for YoungB, a cowl for Dr D and then knit a cap. I’ll make the cap the negotiable factor, I think (life might prove busy with YoungB’s looming international travel to organise; and while I could sew a cowl and a toob quite quickly, it would take me considerably longer to knit a cap unless I went for my Inca beanie, but that would require different yarn that I simply don’t have).

Anyone want to put money on how quickly all of that goes off the rails? 🙂


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FO and a sort of plan for next year

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Christmas celebrations, whatever form they took.

An FO? Yes, just one: the White Caps Cowl, which I was knitting till almost 9 o’clock on Boxing Day morning (luckily for me, it wasn’t needed until lunchtime; but, yes, it was somewhat necessarily, therefore, gifted unblocked). Sewing? A few lavender bags. Other knitting? None. Surviving the end-of-year busy-ness was sufficient achievement. And, as I’ve yet to send cards, I’m not too sure if we have survived. I’m going to call them New Year cards, though. But, you know, we made it through a festival of feasts and visits by friends and family, a birthday, a wedding anniversary, exam results, exploding champagne, a concert or two and lots of everyday stuff that included inordinate amounts of time dedicated to fitness pursuits (no, not me; that was everyone else while I was playing laundry lady).

What can I say about the White Caps Cowl? I adapted it slightly in terms of number of repeats. I think it’s probably a make that would knit to a nicer finish in its recommended yarn but I’m quite taken by the weight of the Patons Sorrento, the hint of glamour it provides with the slightly shimmering aspect of its mixed fibre and the smooth contrast of the Cleckheaton Bamboo. As far as knitting went, the bamboo was much easier on the hands and I was able to make reasonable progress. The variable thickness of the Sorrento slowed me down quite a lot. It hasn’t put me off by any means, as I’ve stocked up my cupboard with enough yarn to make a couple more of the White Caps Cowls throughout the year (it really is good on-the-bus knitting and I love the look of it). I might not use a faux seam with another make; it doesn’t really ring my bells. The photo was taken hurriedly with my phone, prior to wrapping; excuse background (bedcover) and less than ideal lighting.

Flat cowl

Not exciting but looks better in action

One of our visiting friends has put in a couple of knitting requests and I’ll be happy to oblige her with a Villawool Inca L574 hat in a colour scheme to her liking (that will be a reasonably fast knit, even at my pace). I’ve yet to decide on the yarn for that (the Villawool Inca being no longer available) but am fairly sure I could manage it from stash, which you’d have to consider a win. Hardly surprisingly, the really thick winter yarns are somewhat thin on the shelves at this time of year. There will also be a three-colour linen stitch scarf though I have absolutely no intention of making it as long as its predecessor. I understand about long scarves and cold climes, truly I do; but there is a point beyond which the extra length simply gets in the way. I bought yarn for that yesterday at Spotlight. I would like to make one for myself but will wait and see how other things pan out before I make that a firm promise/plan.

I started something akin to a prayer shawl – perhaps a care shawl – for a colleague who has had a rotten year by anyone’s standards. I won’t finish it quickly (the needle size is just on the edge of my comfort zone and I struggle to find a rhythm even with the very easy pattern) but it might be ready for her April birthday. In any case, she’s not expecting it so in some respects I have as much leeway as I need on that one.

The yarn bombing coordinator rang the other day to ask for more contributions: red hearts and lots of roses, not necessarily red, for another yarn bombing project, the previous one in Victoria Square having been hailed as such a success. I’ve already crocheted up a few test roses which will be perfectly acceptable contributions and am looking around for a heart pattern that looks sufficiently heart-like and sufficiently large. I think this one fits the bill. I know where the drop-off point is and I have my dark glasses at the ready so I can ensure my hearts and flowers are there before the due date. You might not be surprised to hear that Dr B and YoungB have somewhat taken this yarn bombing idea and run with it, referring to secret language, pack leaders and cell members as if it were an underground movement. I humour them. At least they’re not objecting!

In sewing news, I’ve repaired YoungB’s Draggins (kevlar-reinforced motorcycling jeans) again, having previously taken up the hem by the amount he requested. Anyone who knows about jeans will understand that much use had seen them sag to a point where the hems were in shreds. This time I cut off the original and new hems and turned them up twice. They might look a shade short were he to wear them with loafers but as that’s unlikely – his motorcycling gear has been carefully chosen to enable him to wear it all day, boots included (though I’d accept that leathers in winter are for on the bike and not much else) – then we reckon that this time they won’t catch on his boots nor drag on the ground. That’s not the sort of drag the brand intends although I’ll be very happy if it’s the only sort this pair of jeans ever encounters.

I still haven’t managed to make a new top for myself or tinkered with my rescued skirt and stripey trousers to create the jacket I’d half-imagined could be made from them, using Portia’s kimono-tee pattern as inspiration (it’s a winner; I’ve already used it to make five tops of varying degrees of respectability). They will happen at some point, I suppose. However, I have received my Pattern Pyramid winnings from Meg and will undoubtedly have something to show you from that; but not just yet. So if you’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcement, take this as advance warning. I’m still rather run off my feet and although – o frabjous day! – I have managed to clear the sewing table (nearly, anyway), I have a couple of other urgent tasks that simply have to be done before I can allow myself to be frivolous.

All in all, I think 2013 is going to be just like 2012: full of good intentions, lots of things made that I didn’t really intend to make, other people’s things coming ahead of mine on a regular basis and anything made for myself done terribly last-minute and not terribly well! I do hope that you have a better year in terms of your crafty endeavours, whatever form they take. Cheers, everyone, and happy new year.


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still sobbing into my pillow

Between laundering and other usual household tasks, I’ve been reading Pyjama Party blogs. And oh, boo hoo. Our camera woes continue. Even Dr B isn’t immune from problems today. He’s having to use the little Sony digital, the one that’s been dropped too many times and no longer has a flash. You can imagine it’s not ideal for photography in the late evening, even with strong lighting. Therefore, I think I’d better just take a deep breath and admit that, unfortunately, I’ll have to keep sobbing. You have no idea how damp my pillow is already!

Boy has been delighted by his PJ trousers, though, which is nice. I think he’d forgotten what great things they are. I used to make them when he was little – I’ve already discussed the various wonderful fabrics from which I had made him PJ bottoms – and he loved them. Then he went through a phase of not wanting them because they tangle up. Yes, I understand that. But last night he was cold, so despite the tangle factor he actually wore the new PJ bottoms to bed. Yeah: flannelette PJ bottoms with fluffy Explorer socks, the epitome of elegance.

Dr B and Boy have been doing eco weekend stuff today, cleaning up the last of the willow tree (small bits this time, not logs). This time it was actually eco weekend. Last time? No. Dr B had mixed up the dates. Plus, as he discovered when they arrived at the closed dump, his logs were too big. He and Boy brought them home again and unloaded them onto a spot beside the footpath. I knocked up a sign that said “Free” and stuck it atop the lot. They went, quite rapidly. That was a good way of doing things: people looking for firewood were able to get some without paying the seven arms and forty-three legs that seem to be required these days, and we got rid of the sawn wood. Today, two trailer loads of twigs went off to the mulcher.

This afternoon I met Middle Aunt at a cafe about half an hour from here though it’s a little further from her place. It was nice, though, a cafe in a garden centre. We discussed the itinerary for her family’s forthcoming trip to Continental Europe and Ireland while we drank coffee and ate cake, then I handed over the curtains, the two knitted beanies and the crocheted Moebius cowl. By happy coincidence, the beanie I’d made for Middle Aunt matched her lovely quilted gilet almost perfectly. How good was that?

Middle Aunt liked my scarf, which I decided needed another outing (and because I wanted something to smarten up my clobber). I intend to experiment with some other fabric that I bought specifically to make scarves, to see if I can make a long scarf without being quite so extravagant with the fabric. I’ll let you know how I get on with that. I wear scarves a lot, always have, and even light fabric provides a little extra warmth when needed. I hang them on a piece of string on the back of my wardrobe door. No, that’s not true; it’s actually a piece of ribbon.

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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Crochet, Sewing


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yarning about yarn

I’m doing well with the beanie I’m making for Middle Aunt but it occurs to me that I’d be in strife if I were trying to crochet it. I’d have run out of yarn a long time ago.

In the absence of the Villawool Inca, I’m this time using Lincraft Australia‘s Phoebe yarn. It’s another product of China, being a 55% acrylic and 45% wool mix. In a 50 g ball there’s said to be an average of 33 metres of yarn. That might be so, but there are lots of knots in it. I’ve so far managed to catch them before knitting any into the beanie but the drama will arise if I now don’t have enough yarn to finish. I only bought three balls. Luckily, I have ways of dealing with a shortage of yarn. I can choose to do the decreasing slightly differently, omitting two rows. I can make a small turn-up or perhaps not have one at all.

You can tell I’ve done all this before, can’t you? Those capers, however, would have occurred when I was working with a yarn I hadn’t bought expressly for the purpose of making an Inca beanie and which might, not unreasonably, have needed stretching or cajoling at least a little to go the distance. This shouldn’t require such shenanigans. I think that if it had fewer flaws, I’d be fine with the three balls I purchased. Perhaps it’s a yarn I won’t buy again, though the article under construction is looking good.

Oh, and what about the blue beanie? Done. Looks good. Photos at some point in the not too distant future when the digital pix are entirely online again. I’ve had the opportunity of sharing a few pix in recent posts but I was celebrating too soon.

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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Knitting


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burgeoning beanies

Last night I had a haircut. This happens infrequently enough to be an activity of note but the best part of it was that, when I pulled my purse out to pay, the hairdresser told me that Middle Aunt had already done that when she’d been there earlier in the day (she gets her hair seen to much more frequently than I do; and we’re all agreed, she’s much greyer than I am so it’s likely her need is greater than mine). How kind and generous is that?

Naturally, this calls for some little thank you gesture beyond the phone call I made when I came home (Middle Aunt was at choir practice, so I left a message with Youngest Niece). I thought another beanie might be the go. Oh, yes, it will just be the usual pattern, the L574 or 475 or whatever it is (I can’t be bothered looking; I mean, I’ve admitted it’s my go-to beanie for fast results) but I’m trying a different yarn this time.

No, I haven’t quite finished the pink beanie but I’m confident that I’ll finish it tonight (only about 10 ever-decreasing rows remain and the sewing up takes no time at all). While I will certainly cast on for the gift beanie, I think I need to be a little more serious about all the sewing on my list if I’m not to fail in the Pyjama Party Sewalong. I can knit on the bus. I can’t take my sewing with me.

We are presently enjoying an Indian summer but it won’t last forever and Boy will soon be wanting his sweatshirt which, I think, probably takes precedence over the pyjamas. The pyjamas he could manage without. The sweatshirt? That is a thing of direst fashion need.

Later: It is now 10 o’clock and Dr B is on his way to bed. Boy should be but isn’t. Me? I’ve finished the pink beanie (I tried it on Dr B and he says it’s toasty warm if not his colour), started the next one (on which I’m already making good progress because it’s on needles of a size I can manage) and have a load of laundry gently doing its stuff. I’ll hang it out tonight, I think, late though the hour, because I want some of the contents tomorrow. As to clearing the sewing room? It’s too daunting a task, I admit, to undertake in anything more than short bursts when it’s late in the day and you’re tired (it is and I am). You don’t make much progress doing it that way. It’s a task that might have to wait for a full-scale onslaught on the weekend.

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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing


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as it turns out

The intended recipient liked the beanie, so all my worries were in vain. I hadn’t had the opportunity to make any new lavender bags, however, so I had to grab one from Boy’s cupboard (I can make him as many more as he needs but when you’ve run out of deadline, then sacrifices must be made). It has sheep on it.

The pink beanie is almost completed but although knitting it on slightly larger needles than the grey one, as I am doing, would generally mean faster work, the size I’m using is right at the edge of what my small hands can manage. I’m slow because I struggle to hit a rhythm. It matters not. There will be another beanie in the FO stash ready for dragging out at a moment’s notice for someone else’s birthday present. Unless you think I should appropriate it for myself?

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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing


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last gasp

Today’s regatta was the Masters and Second Grade State Championships, hosted by Torrens Rowing Club. There were few schools competing and those that were were certainly not at full complement, but all the clubs had a presence. With such reduced numbers came a very relaxed atmosphere. We didn’t have a marquee because they’d all been packed after the last regatta and returned to the city boatshed. It didn’t matter. We found a tree, put down a couple of picnic rugs and set up some chairs. We were fine.

Dr B went off on a 50-K cycle while the junior rowers were doing their stuff but he was back in plenty of time to watch Boy in his last race as a high school rower. Boy will row in one more school race but it will be in Melbourne later in the year and we won’t be there to watch. And he won’t stop rowing, though the question next season will be whether he returns to the same club he rowed with last year or whether he joins a uni club. That depends on many outcomes, so there’s little point speculating.

Very grown-up rowers!

Very grown-up rowers in the kids' playground.

The only pity was that nobody was selling food today. Usually the schools have a wide variety of food available for sale because rowers are a hungry lot and their supporters are, too; plus, it’s a good fundraising opportunity. The Boatshed Cafe sells food but we find it too expensive for much but the occasional treat; and the food sometimes isn’t as fortifying as necessary for the level of hunger evinced by your average rower. We went there with Nonna after Head of the River and had coffee and that was wonderful but we’d already eaten a hearty lunch. Today the school’s involvement was over by lunchtime, with the afternoon’s racing scheduled mostly as Masters events so lunch at home sounded like the best plan.

I packed up my knitting and our chairs and we went back to the city boatshed to help unload. For once, I simply sat and knitted and didn’t involve myself in the work. I’ve done it in the past but there is an extent to which extra hands just get in the way. Plus, it’s the rowers’ responsibility. Also, I had a beanie to finish for a birthday present. I have done so. I’m using my trusty old Villawool Inca L574 pattern again (it’s dated 10/77, so I really have had it for a long time) and knitting a mostly grey beanie. Because I’m not able to find the right yarn or a yarn of the correct ply, I tend to eyeball the results a bit and knit with two balls held together. That allows me to be a bit clever with a plain colour and a shaded/variegated one that complement each other.

This grey yarn is dark and the shaded/variegated one I’m using with it has a similar tonality plus flecks of pink. Sounds awful and it’s not what I would choose for myself but the intended recipient wears grey quite a lot and the pink gives it a lift without looking too weird. I finished it after lunch and ran a seam down the back. I have to sew in the ends and that’s all. But just in case the IR really can’t cope with it, I’m now making a pinkish one. I’m not sure that pink is really her colour either, she’s much keener on peach and ochre shades; but I simply could not find that palette in either of my LYSs.

If she hates it and just wants to wear it in the garden, that’s fine by me. She’s a keen gardener so keeping her head warm while she does the weeding could be a bonus, wouldn’t you reckon? You wouldn’t want to spoil a really pretty beanie by getting bits of vegetation stuck in it. Would you? You can tell, can’t you, that I’m not entirely convinced about it myself. It’s nicely made. I can be honest about that. It’s very soft (the yarn is 100% wool from China though I’m not sure of the variety) and warm and, having myself tried on the finished beanie, I know it will fit. (The IR and I have similar sized heads.) It’s not pretty but is it just pretty awful?

grey beanie

Is it just pretty awful?

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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Knitting, Rowing


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