Friday, July 31, 2009

One of these things is not like the other one...

I was so proud of getting my Bruegel knitting done so quickly.

You know what they say, pride comes before a fall.

When I was blocking it on Tuesday, I discovered this:
Like a closer look?

Can you see? The right collar piece is narrower than the left. Four stitches narrower. This was my internal dialogue when I discovered this:

Bad RoseRed: "oh, it will be ok, it's hardly noticeable, when I've seamed the collar to the right front, no-one will be able to tell"
Good RoseRed: "um, but you will know about it"
BRR: "yes, but I don't care that much about little mistakes. I really wanted to wear this on Thursday"
GRR: "oh come on, you've done such a nice job on this, it'd be a shame to fudge it at the end"
BRR: "but you know how I HATE to frog. Fudging is what I do best!"
GRR: "oh, it's only a day or so to rework, it's worth it to have it looking as it should. And besides, when you kitchener the two collar pieces, they won't match. You can't fudge a 4 stitch difference"
BRR: "GAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Darn you for being right!"
Sigh. So it's a frogging I will go. When I can face it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tour de Bruegel

I know, I've been a pretty slack blogger the last few weeks (oh, ok, months!). I don't know why but I haven't really felt the blogging mojo much. Interesting, in a time when lots of people are going even more public in an online way with their day to day activities (facebook, twitter, I'm looking at you!) that I've retreated a little bit. I suppose it's party because since I've been off work I've been a much more social knitter in real life.

The point of this introduction is by way of providing an apology for not blogging at all about my Tour de France KAL project - until today - the last day of the three week race! I decided to race for the yellow jersey (ie complete a whole project during the tour) and my chosen project is Bruegel, a lovely (but of course!) aran weight cabled cardigan from Rowan 44, using Rowan Kid Classic.

And so we reach the last day and here is my progress:
I'm pretty darn pleased with it, if I do say so myself! I took this photo earlier today, and so I've now finished the right front - now all I have to do is knit the collar/band pieces (on the held stitches you can see on each front piece). And of course block and seam. But if I get the knitting done, I'll consider that a win!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The beauties of Bendigo

Along with about 200 other Ravellers (or "Revellers" if you believe the sign at the Shamrock Hotel on Friday night) and many many other knitters, spinners, weavers and crocheters, I headed off to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show last weekend. Long jealous of the Americans with their Rhinebeck, their Stitches East, Stitches West and so on, we have adopted Bendi as our own version.
And it was great. Tara (FiestyWench on Rav) did a huge amount of work organising the "Revelry Baa" on Friday night at the beautiful Shamrock Hotel, and the Brekky on Saturday morning, and the Ravelry shed at the show itself. Here she is looking a bit blurry (sorry about that Tara) - I think it's probably an accurate reflection of how she felt at that time!!
It was great to see so many knitters all together at once, and the weather played along, being a bit chilly and allowing us all to bring out the knitwear en masse.
And since I know this is what you are all dying to see, here's the stash enhancement:

The big white packet is gorgeous Silk Dream 4ply silk/merino from Shiloh Wool - this stuff is just SO SOFT it is unbelieveable. Only comes in cream, which is perfect for dyeing - I've got some Kool Aid that I'm going to give a whirl with this. Now as for the rest, from bottom left clockwise around, we have two skeins of Ixchel handspun camelbunny - so soft!; (almost hidden from view) Wired4Fibre bamboo sock yarn - a prize from the Brekky; a huge skein of Tarndwarncoort polwarth/silk 4ply in a gorgeous dove grey (I have decided this project will be called "Tom's Eyes" - those of you who have purchased from Tarndwarncoort will know what I mean!); charcoal merino/cashmere laceweight also from Ixchel; red Alpacky/Silk laceweight from Glenora; red alpacky 4ply from MoggyandMe/Yarncakes; orangey red sock yarn from Ms Gusset; handspun merino in Heart of Gold from Mayhem & Chaos (another prize from the brekky!); emerald green sock yarn from Ewe Give Me The Knits, and navy blue sock yarn also from EGMTK.
I know this photo is a bit dark, but don't fear, individidual photos will be uploaded to my stash on Ravelry soon!!

And the books. And buttons! Oh my the buttons! I think I went a little crazy at the Button Lady stall!
And some pictures from the sheds - first up is Ms Gusset's sock yarn
Ewe Give Me The Knits yarn and fibre
Spinning wheels for a test drive (no, I did not buy one - I don't need another hobby thanks very much!!)
And all this was only one shed, there was plenty more - Lara Downs, Pear Tree, Waratah Fibres, Sarah Durrant, Glenora, Virginia Farm Woolworks and more. I know I've forgotten some. The best collection of Australian yarns anywhere. Well worth the visit!

Not just for the yarn of course, but particularly to meet other Ravellers and bloggers. It's always fascinating to meet people in person, to find the bonds you've formed over the internet have a basis in reality. That, for me, was one of the real beauties of Bendigo.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

RoseRed is the word...

Yes, the answers to all the questions was Rose Red! (Hope it didn't sound like I was a bit full of myself - it really was a coincidence that I happened to be knitting the Rose Red beret and swatching with the Rosenrot/Rose Red wollmeise at the same time as my blogthday!!).

Thanks everyone who commented and had a crack at the questions! Sorry to keep you all in suspense all week about the winners (I bet you've all been SO EAGER to know!!) - I've been feeling pretty blah all week with the flu, and it's been hard enough keeping up with what everyone else has been blogging let alone thinking about blogging myself! Oh dear. Onto better things...

The lucky (well, I hope, anyway!) winner of the socks knitted by me is .................................

SARAH! (hope it makes up somewhat for the loss of the Ashes series. Heh!) (also, hope I didn't just put the kybosh on Australia by writing that!)

And the winner of the special prize is ...........................................

ANNA! (see, the Poms are winners somewhere, if not in the cricket!)

And because I expect you are all dying to the see what a finished Rose Red actually looks like, some actual knitting content:

Pattern: Rose Red by Ysolda Teague. What can I say, the lady knows how to give great pattern! Well written, clear and easy to follow, a range of sizes provided, clever and a great end product. What's not to love! I knit the medium size, and it was perfect! Although blocking was the charm with this one. Before I blocked it, it fit on my head, but really didn't have the requisite slouch. A soak and a dinner plate later, perfect!
(this was taken pre-blocking!)

I also love how the pattern doesn't have a ribbed band, but rather ends with large cables - really really pleasing effect.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in colour 340700 (red), 2 x 50g balls, held together with Madil Kid Seta in shade 459 (red), 1 x 25g ball. I was really pleased with how these yarns worked together. The Kid Seta was not as true a red as the DB, but the mohair halo from it gives a gorgeous effect to the whole. I couldn't have asked for a better combination. And, even better, the DB was from stash!

Sticks: 4mm bamboo dpns, to start the pattern - which is done from the i-cord outwards - so clever! And then 4mm KP Options fixed circular once the increases were almost done.

Time: One week! It didn't feel like a quick knit, because there is a lot of k2togs, ssks and psso's, but I was pretty pleased to have this knitted so quickly, as I've worn it quite a bit already! 21 June - 28 June 2009.
(this was pre-blocking - a bit (too much) like a mushroom!!)

What I learnt: I've never started a beret from the crown before, so it was really cool to start with a couple of stitches and do the little i-cord thingy, then increased outwards to create the fullness of the beret. Very cool. Although I would have liked some guidance as to how to cast off. I figured from my experience with toe-up socks that my regular cast-off wouldn't be stretchy enough, so I thought either the sewn-bind off or the lace bind-off (I think that is what the k2tog, sl st back to L needle, repeat, method is called?) would be best. I checked Ravelry to see what other people had done but didn't find much guidance, so I decided I'd go with the lace bind-off, and I'm really happy with it.
I've save the story of the Rosenrot swatch for another day!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

It's time to celebrate!

Lots of excitement's Independence Day in the USA, it's the start of the Tour de France (and for those of you, like me, participating in the TdF KAL, the start of that!), it's MissyFee's birthday, and it's my blogthday too!

From (extremely) humble beginnings I'm so happy where my blog has taken me, and most especially for the connections it has helped me make.

And so to thank all my bloggy friends, there are two prizes on offer!

One commenter on this post will receive, from me, a pair of socks. Knitted by me, of course! Or if the winner doesn't happen to wear socks, something else, like a shawl or scarf, can be arranged!!

And to make it even more fun, a little competition - the other prize will be for the person who can answer all of these questions correctly (in the HIGHLY UNLIKELY event that more than one person answers all correctly, a winner will be drawn from all correct entries!!). Not sure what the prize for this will be, but hopefully you'll like it!!

Here are the questions (for those of you who wish to play - playing is not compulsory for the sock prize):

1. What is my blog name?

2. What is my name on Ravelry?

3. What is the name of this pattern?
4. What is the name of this colour (bonus points if you can identify the yarn as well...)?
Thanks for playing, and most of all thanks for reading! The connections I have made through knitting and blogging have enriched my life more than I ever could have imagined.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Keeping Track - June 2009

Can you believe it is July already? I'm pretty glad June is over actually, because my tally is not looking good. How nice to start with a clean slate this month. Except for the YTD tally ... oh well.

I'm going to get this over quickly - tear off the bandaid fast, so to speak. I've already flashed most of this month's acquisitions (here, and here), and to round things off, this arrived yesterday:
How could I resist? When I knit this into socks, they shall be called "And Buffy Staked Edward. The End". I'm excited!

In: 51 x 50g balls of yarn
Out: 17 x 50g balls of yarn
YTD: +1o1.5 x 50g balls of yarn...
And I'm going to Bendigo this month ... better leave my purse at home!!