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Tag Archives: Ravelry

defuzzing my mitts that fit

DefuzzedMitt.jpg

Now, isn’t that a bit smoother?

In case you were wondering, I do actually tidy up my fingerless mitts now and then, using my defuzzer (aka fabric pill remover). There’s a variety available. Mine is battery operated and I’ve had it for years. It does a good job.

Those mitts were knitted in Bendigo Woollen Mills Murano, a sturdy 8-ply that’s now discontinued. I have a few leftovers that will doubtless contribute to more fingerless mitts. The colourways are delightful and the weightiness of the yarn perfect for keeping fingers warm. The base design is ideal for computer work, providing no inter-digit bulk to hamper ease of movement.

I’ve made many pairs of these mitts, some true to pattern, some – like those above – altered slightly.

May your mitts always keep you warm, and your fuzziness be controlled 😉

 

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2019 in Knitting

 

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degrees of difference

TV_cowl.jpg

My phone camera is dying, so apologies for the poor quality. You get the idea, however. Another tidy little scrapbuster.

There I was, sitting with Dr B and watching a TV program. I needed something to do with my hands. And I need to keep whittling away at that stash. So the other night, while YoungB zizzed on the mattress with the aircon at full bore, I crocheted up a beautifully soft, warm cowl. Yeah! Just what you do when it’s above 40C.

This is a mix of yarns, all with a high acrylic content. The lighter stripe is Lincraft Big Wool Solids, in what I think was described as denim. It’s a blue colourway, rather than green. The yarn at the bottom of the photo is Moda Vera Manor in colour 52, dye lot 1010109, and it’s definitely a green colourway. The starting blue-green colourway (at the top of the photo) is a mystery, but possibly Moda Vera Bouvardia leftovers from an earlier beanie. I used a 9mm crochet hook.

Best wishes for all your stashbusting, and may you never be afflicted with unidentifiable yarn 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2019 in Crochet

 

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the blessed silence

The organisation I work for has three offices. Because I was getting an inordinate number of interruptions at my home location, I recently spent a day at the one closest to where I live. That meant I could sleep till 7 o’clock. Even at peak hour, it took all of 20 minutes for YoungB to drive me there. Oh, yeah, and it was quiet. I plodded through a solid day’s work with almost no interruptions and actually accomplished a task I’d normally struggle to complete in a week or so at my usual office. I was mightily relieved, and went back to my own office the following day in a much better frame of mind.

I’d been helped in that by chatting with a fellow crafter, who crochets wondrous garments for her granddaughter. We agreed that Ravelry is a wonderful source of patterns and inspiration. And so it is. I tried trawling through crochet patterns to find some TV-watching yarny undertaking. All to no avail. So it might be a knitted shawl instead. I promise nothing complicated and all garter stitch. Something like this might be sufficiently interesting, so that I don’t fall asleep, but not so taxing that I make mistakes. It won’t be with pretty, handpainted yarn, just using up some more of that big bag of stash.

All the best with your yarny undertakings, and may you get to enjoy the silence.

 

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whatever the weather

Dr B was happy to give his fingerless mitts a good workout

You might have heard that we’ve had some wild weather here lately – it’s still wild, to be fair – and we endured a statewide blackout last week. That’s always the time you discover your torches aren’t as reliable as you’d hoped, because that’s the only time you use them; but we were fortunate. For starters, we have a gas stove and gas hot water. Our supply of oil lamps, candles and torches (even the less-than-brilliant few) meant that we could manage without electric lighting for the several hours required. There has been flooding in neighbouring suburbs but we’ve had to deal with nothing more major than a few tree branches across the road and a couple of bins blown about in the backyard.

There seems to be more than the usual equinoctial tempestuousness to contend with right across the globe, so I hope you haven’t been adversely affected by any weather events, wherever you are. It’s true that I’ve been happy to be home on a holidayette – an extra-long long weekend – and not having to be out and about. I’m sure I need only add that knitted fingerless mitts and knitted beanies have been and continue to be well to the fore 🙂

Those that Dr B is sporting are Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes, knitted using Moda Vera Jester in the Gelato Mix colourway. I made them in February 2015 and, although they weren’t meant for Dr B, he was delighted to be their recipient when they proved too large for the co-worker for whom I’d originally intended them. There will always be someone whom they’ll fit 😉 Isn’t that right?

 
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Posted by on October 4, 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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a big, post-election grumble about a lot of what I see

No grumbles with this pattern, which is progressing nicely

No grumbles with this pattern, which is progressing nicely

I sat down to write one post and seem to have written two! Please ignore whichever half bores you 😉

The thing about trawling the web and looking at lots of posts on sewing is that so much of what I see strikes me a bit like Arthur Dent‘s house: it precisely fails to please the eye. I can see that the cut is lovely, or the colour is, or that it’s beautifully made but sometimes? Sometimes the proportion is all wrong or the colour doesn’t suit the person wearing it and the cut isn’t flattering on the figure of the wearer. The bodice of a drop-waisted skirt is too long or perhaps it’s the skirt that’s too short (or possibly long), though the overall length is fine, but together? It just doesn’t work. That is to say, even allowing for the fact that IRL when it’s moving rather than static it might look better, it just doesn’t work to my eye.

There are patterns about which the online sewing community seems to go into raptures and, although I can find individual things to like about each of the iterations I come across, it leaves me cold. Most of the Colette patterns are in that category – and because plainly designed for a body shape that mine has never been and is now unlikely to achieve, I don’t buy Colette patterns – which is a bit sad because I like the idea of supporting Indie designers rather than the Big Companies. The passion for Tilly‘s Coco was a bit similar; it didn’t ring my bells. And that’s OK. We’re not all the same.

With regard to the clothing, I accept that I’m in no position to criticise, because I myself don’t really make much; some might say I don’t make anything at all and that’s perhaps near enough to the truth. But it’s like singing: just as I can still hear whether that’s good or bad and give you very concise and informed reasons why it’s one or the other, though I do so little of it myself nowadays, I can tell you why those patterns don’t work. That doesn’t mean other people will have the same opinion.

Overall, however, it serves to reinforce the notion that anyone who wants to make their own clothing really needs to be able to draft a pattern and/or be able to make drastic alterations to a pre-existing one. That’s quite an ask in an age where these things are not taught at school. I was fortunate enough to learn pattern-drafting at primary school. My suspicion is that the more any person who sews uses a prefabricated pattern from anywhere – Big Company or Indie designer – the more the realisation grows that, no, it’s not going to cut it to keep doing this. You have to draft your own.

While I’m on a roll, something else that gets up my nose big time is the modern penchant for squashing breasts to flatness. I genuinely appreciate the need for comfort and support, I get the bit about not wanting to bounce around too much and I certainly understand the value of a minimising bra; but one that leaves you looking like some weird sort of chook gone wrong? Uuh, yeah, maybe not. It’s not flattering, it makes the clothes hang badly and, in some cases, is decidedly part of why the clothes don’t look particularly flattering. They’re being beaten at their own game by over-eager corsetry. I don’t have a problem with what’s occasionally described as industrial-strength undergarments so long as they don’t make the body shape they’re assisting into something that no longer resembles a normal, female body. (For tonight’s homework, define normal.) Yeah. I’m feeling cranky.

I admit it: that crankiness has been exacerbated by post-election ennui and the still-in-doubt election result.

On Saturday, I spent hours standing out in the cold, handing out how-to-vote cards. Talk about wondering about a lot of what you see! There were people who turned up beautifully dressed and brightened the day, others who’d obviously come straight from work or sporting events, youngsters being shepherded along by anxious parents afraid of looking right or left lest thoughts be contaminated by a leaflet not to their liking, many grumpy people whose expressions said louder than words that they didn’t appreciate having to vote or what a privilege it is to have that right, those who complained about how far they were forced to travel as if that were something we poor volunteers could magically mend, and many who laughed along with the silly jokes we were making as we handed out leaflets for the umpteenth time.

I occasionally regretted that there is no Socialist Alliance in my electorate, I say with tongue in cheek, because reactions would have been hilarious had I been handing out something with that logo. I certainly don’t look the type to be a rabid Left-winger 🙂 You’re fair game, whatever you’re doing, so you need to be thick-skinned. Luckily, I am. I was reprimanded for my not-at-all-radical views by one older man, who told me I should be ashamed of myself because I was old enough to know what I was doing. It’s not part of the patter, but the queue had stalled at that stage. I drew myself up to my full height – which is not great, but greater than his – and shot back that I certainly am old enough to know what I’m doing, and that’s why I do it. I had a little discussion with another, younger, bloke in the queue about hung parliaments and his view that voting for anything but a major party would result in chaos, despite the fact that many such governments exist worldwide and function well. One chap walked past all the leaflets, muttering as he did so that they’re all bloody criminals (he may have a point; it made me laugh). Another wanted to vote for Pauline Hanson. I reassured him that this isn’t her electorate, nor was there a One Nation candidate. I didn’t suggest he ought to move to Queensland, because I thought it was likely he wouldn’t know where that is.

Silliness aside, I was truly astounded – and not in a good way – by the number of people who seemed to have been caught unawares by the election. We’d just come to the end of one of the longest campaigns in many a year and still they seemed startled by it all. Entirely too many plainly hadn’t given any thought to how they would vote. I don’t expect everyone to do what we do – spreadsheets; I’ve said before that’s how we roll – but I wasn’t surprised that several of my colleagues had worked it all out before election day and taken their print-outs with them. A vote is too valuable to waste.

YoungB was doing his bit at a different polling booth – one with a sausage sizzle, I add with some resignation and a great deal of jealousy; there wasn’t one at mine – and he had some entertaining tales, too. He is a very charming young man and learnt early that if you’re polite to people, generally they will respond in like manner. He reported that he had made eye contact and cheerfully, but very politely, handed out his how-to-vote card. The old trick worked, even though some of them, he thought, would rather have responded with a mouthful of vitriol. Dr B was at a different booth – also sans sausage sizzle – and had a good time, doing two two-hour stints so that he could duck up to see Nonna and give her lunch in the interim. I closed my booth, and YoungB came to help me take down the last of the posters that I simply couldn’t reach. We swapped tales of our day when we arrived home, then he and Dr B went off to the party to watch the tally. I was too tired, too cold and too far behind with domestic chores, so I watched at home while I attended to laundry and the like.

Yesterday the boys went for a motorbike ride, to blow away the cobwebs and reconnect with something other than endless spreadsheets comparing political parties and their policies. We’ve voted, made our choice known, and done it unmolested in a democracy where we can be reasonably assured that our votes weren’t tampered with or ignored. We are in a dreadful, and dreadfully ugly, mess, but we remain extremely fortunate. And the queues about which I heard endless complaints on Saturday? At my booth, they extended to the gate and meant the wait was half an hour to perhaps 40 minutes (at most). It wasn’t days. We were out in the open, but we weren’t there for long.

My personal fitness guru, as YoungB has appointed himself, thought that, while they were out motorcycling, I should do a 10 Km training walk in order to be ready for the Bloody Long Walk at the end of next month. That would take me two hours. But I thought that if I didn’t bring in the laundry, we’d have no clothes for the rest of the week. More pressingly, I was convinced that if I didn’t knit some more of his beanie he wouldn’t have it for next weekend. He’ll certainly need it, because he and I will be visiting friends in a cold part of the world. There, I’ll have good reason to be grumpy; except that the warmth of the friendships will ward off the worst of the chills.

So, yeah. I’ve said my piece about practically everything, I think! Back to the knitting now. I’m pleased to report that it is going well, and I’ve taken the plunge and done some of these cables without using a cable needle. The reason why is probably another grumble, but I think I’ve been cranky enough. Pax 🙂

 
 

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sometimes all ya wanna do is knit

But all the fates seem to be conspiring against you :)

But all the fates seem to be conspiring against you 🙂

I don’t knit as much as I would like – with regard to either quantity or frequency – but it’s a good thing I don’t have many urgent requests on my list this year. YoungB seems no closer to getting a beanie, though I have done a tension square for the Fair Isle number he selected. That won’t be good bus knitting, however, so I need another project. I’ve spent hours trying to find a pattern on Ravelry. Of course that’s frustrating because there are so many wonderful patterns to choose from!

Another part of the frustration arises from trying to match Australian wool thicknesses with patterns designed for something else. I found one that seemed to offer a similar needle size to the one suggested on the ball band – that’s at least a good indication that you’re on the right track – but getting the PDF to download? No. It didn’t matter which browser I tried or which “Download here” button I clicked, the pattern resolutely didn’t download. Sometimes technology and I are like that: we exist in a state of mutually armed neutrality.

Searching among my existing hard-copy patterns netted one that would probably work. The circular needle required was a size I didn’t already have and a length that seems uncommon. On my way home from work on Friday, when the city stores are open late, I managed to find what I was after. By the time I got home, I was ready to go. I pulled out the yarn and pattern. Then I tried to get the new circular out of its packet. And, well, that’s what happened.

Returning it? Certainly an option, but not the best one. The local branch doesn’t have this size – I’ve checked many times, and quite recently – so the best I could hope for there would be my money back and still no needle. Enter super glue. I’m now just about to start the first round of grey beanie number 3. Wish me luck!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2016 in Knitting

 

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