Knit fail

Oh no, my knitting mojo appears to have left me!
It started with the Idlewood that grew, then hubby’s beanie was too long (this wasn’t too big a deal as eldest son has claimed it). But, last night I was dealt the cruelest blow that can be dealt a knitter (aside from losing the ability to physically knit). With only the short row shaping and neck ribbing left To do I tried on my Owls and horrors, poofy back! It also had quite a bit of excess fabric around my bust area which was not the look I wanted. I had knit my size and got gauge, but it wasn’t to be. As I don’t want another oversized jumper in my wardrobe I frogged it whilst we watched Top Gear. I am heartbroken, I have had this pattern queued for forever and had “virtually”knit it and it looked so cute on in my head. I had tried it on before I joined the sleeves at knit night and it appeared to fit ok then.

I know I could easily knit it again in a smaller size and maybe convert it to top down in order to fit as I knit but I need to recover my mojo. It feels like I’ve lost the ability to knit a jumper that actually fits. I know I sound hysterical, it’s just a jumper and five solid days of knitting.

To aid my recovery I shall read Ysolda’s new book “Little Red In The City” which arrived Monday and absorb all that knowledge on shaping to fit. I’m also going to complete all my unselfish knits, the list is getting longer, youngest son now wants a scarf. This should build up my good karma stores and then maybe all will be right again and I will be able to knit jumpers that fit me.

Also I am still too sore to sit and spin and this makes me sad.

Thanks for listening, sorry for being a whingey princess.
M x


Beanie for baldie beloved

Ah, who doesn’t love a bit of alliteration of a morn?

He hem, anyhoo, my hubby’s hair is woefully inadequate for keeping his head warm during the Melbourne winter (yes it does get cold here).  So thank goodness for sheep and yarn as I have constructed a substitute for hair from the Geko beanie pattern by the veritable Woolly Wormhead using the yarn from the beautiful Black Welsh Mountain sheep (leftovers from Idlewood).  This substitute, let’s call it a hat or beanie perhaps, was a very quick and fun knit. It would have been a bit quicker and funner had not said hubby decided after I’d knit the body that he would like it “about an inch shorter”.  However, his wishes were obeyed and I tinked  “about an inch”.

Here it is…

It was knit in the largest size but only 6 inches before the decreases and I used about 67g of yarn.  I’m very happy with it as it’s manly but not boring which can be the case with manly knits.  Hubby is at work so he hasn’t seen the finished object “in the wool” but Eldest son has and promptly requested one for himself with fingerless gloves too.  Dearie me anyone would think I have nothing better to do but sit around and knit. Oh yes, at the moment I don’t…

I’m hoping to have Owls finished tomorrow, yay!

ttfn x

(P.S. thanks for looking after me Ian, here’s a lovely hair substitute for keeping your head warm x)

It is a truth universally known…

That is, universally amongst knitters, that sock yarn does not count as stash.  In the case of talented dyers, I believe it doesn’t count as stash because it’s art.  This week I received four exquisite skeins of art that I’d ordered from Skein.  However, previously my attempts to photograph yarn from Skein has been “a little bit shit”.  Yesterday, in an bid to rectify my poor photography skills and do the yarn justice I asked for advice from Sonia’s lovely hubby, Damian Young.  I’ve often admired Damian’s photographs when I’ve visited their home and he very kindly gave me some hints and tips.

Here goes…

The four skeins are, from left to right, Quill, Opaque, Industrial Age and Dolce, they are all BFL sock (of course).  I like the colour saturation of this one but the shadows on the corners I’m less happy with.  Then I took some close ups of individual skeins.


So thanks Damian, I’m quite happy with these last four and hopefully I will continue to improve.

Sheep-tastic study

The postie has just been, yay!

He brought me 2 parcels from R.E. Dickie containing these beauties.

I haven’t properly unwrapped them yet but I have had a feel and inhaled deep, deep, restorative lungfuls of woolly fumes, ahhhhh!

They are 200g each of Southdown, BFL, Manx Loughtan, Devon, Herdwick, Shropshire, Jacob, Dorset Horn, Swaledale and Massam (this order does not correspond to the picture because I’m just too flippin’ excited to think of things like that).  Obviously I shall be getting more because there are way more British Breeds out there but these will do for starters.

I am planning to spin them and create a British Breeds blanket the design of which I haven’t decided on but I am investigating my options (thanks Ravelry x).  It’s all part of my self education in spinning and all things sheepy.  I have also bought a few more books, The Knitters book of Wool is good, but I want MORE!

So I bought three books.  Beautiful Sheep by Kathryn Dun and Paul Farnham because who wouldn’t want to look at pictures of sheep looking their most beautiful?  In Sheep’s Clothing by Fournier and Fournier which I’m over half-way through, lots of useful information and black and white pictures of staples and sheep, many more breeds covered.  Lastly and not at all leastly because I think this is going to be my absolute bible The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook by Robson and Ekarius, this is truly a gorgeous book covering not just sheep breeds from all over the world but other animal fibres too.  It’s informative about how to dye, prepare, spin and use each type of fibre and the photos show spun and knitted samples as well as examples of clean and dirty staples.

I am overwhelmed by sheepy bliss!

In other news…

…I did a gauge swatch for Owls yesterday but I must have had a sudden rush of excrement to the brain because I knit it flat and I washed it without measuring it first. D’oh!  I was so determinded not to end up with a jumper that grows in the wash and doesn’t fit again.  Anyhow, I have cast on a sleeve as a gauge swatch, (thanks Sharon) and I shall compare the two.  I’ve decided to frog and reknit the Idlewood  as I want it to be closer fitting but that can wait for a while, I need to get up the courage first.

ttfn Melanie x

Sunday means a FO and a new WIP.

I know not many people get excited about vanilla socks and posh, fancy patterned socks are all the rage but I’m weird ok! I happen to love vanilla socks made from beautiful hand-dyed yarn. I find them soothing and I’m also easily amused by pretty colours. These socks were particularly appropriate as a lot of the time I was knitting them during hospital appointments and during my immediate post operative period. I should explain to those of you who don’t know me IRL that I had surgery last Monday, no, not a brain transplant. I’m recovering well and looking forward to all the knitting I’m going to be doing during my recovery period. It seems that every cloud does indeed have a silver lining.

They were knit with Sereknitty BFL sock yarn in Neptune colourway, favourite toe up sock pattern of course details here . This was my fist time knitting socks with BFL sock yarn and I must say I love the feel and look of the finished fabric, it looks and feels a bit silky. The yarn was lovely to knit with and the colours beautifully clear. The pooling is slightly different on each sock, I don’t mind that, it’s one thing I’m not obsessive about. I can’t say anything about how they wear and their elasticity compared to merino/nylon because I’ve just finished them. So I’ll have to let you know later, I’m hoping they stand up to the job because I have heaps more BFL sock yarn in my stash.


As for my new project it’s Owls by Kate Davies which is one of the KALs for the Richmond knitters for June and July. The other one is skew which I haven’t decided either way whether I shall do or not. I’m knitting Owls in grey Icelandic Lopi not the Suffolk I originally planned due to gauge issues. So far I have swatched and washed my swatch, a lesson learned from Idlewood there. I’m told that Owls is a quick knit, I wonder whether I can knit it in a week…

Happy Birthday Julie

Here are the pics of your birthday yarn being made.

I took some beautiful BFL/Tussah silk tops.

I dyed it using colours I know you like.

I spun it into 2 bobbins of singles.

I plied the 2 singles and finished the yarn.

Then I knit my fellow homesick Yorkshire lass a Yorkshire rose, just because.


Wishing you a very happy birthday Julie x

Drunken spinning and a surprise

I have it on good authority that spinning under the influence does not end in regret, unlike knitting under the influence which in my experience always ends in a frogtastic heap of regret.  So the other night, I began to spin though I was enjoying a G&T, my second (I have little tolerance).  I had just flicked a  box full of English Leicester X locks that I’d dyed and they looked so pretty.  It all seemed to go brilliantly.  The next day however I went to spin with a friend and I tried to resume my spinning but there was something wrong, the bobbin of yarn was unravelling.  After a while we fathomed it out, I had put the lower drive belt on the wrong way the previous night.  So eventually I began spinning with the drive belt on wrong again but didn’t have that natural ease that it normally does.  So the moral of the story is, if you’re going to take a tipple and spin, make sure you know your right from your left or have your wheel already set up.  Anyway I like the results very much, they turned out a beautiful semi-solid because the fleece took up the dye differently at the ends and tips and that’s the surprise.

They will remain singles because I’m not spinning weirdly again, no likey.  However, I really should sit in front of the computer with a couple of you tube  videos on Navajo plying and learn as I seem to be amassing a fair amount of unplyed singles that I could practice on.