knitting Feed

Taking bets

I had to place an order for some extra wool from Scotland, so I ordered a bit more to make a beret.  At the same time my grand daughter requested a new cardigan and we decided on a Drops pattern.

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She is growing up and will be a 11 at the end of the year but I feel the teenage angst already.  She wants this cardigan but in a dark colour because she would like to be a "Goth".  (I've been through that with her aunt!)

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So at the same time I ordered wool from Scotland I placed an order with Bendigo Woollen Mills.  They have a nice wool/bamboo yarn that doesn't prickle and is soft on the skin.

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Now I have to wait for both wools. 

I have had two Emails.  One from Scotland.

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One from Australia.

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I am placing bets that the goods from the other side of the world will get here first!!

What are the odds?

 


Along with everything else...

As you have probably gathered I love knitting.  I also really enjoy Kate Davies blog.  At the moment she is looking at the "Blue Stocking" movement, if that is the right word for it.  She and others are working on a book about this and recreating some of the knitted "blue stockings".  This blog post is really interesting and in fact I may even embark on knitting some "Blue Stockings" myself. 

Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 1.43.29 pmWe often use this term in a throw away manner.  "Oh she is a blue stocking".  It will be good to really investigate Elizabeth Montagu and just what made people call her a "Blue Stocking".

You can read more about this project here.


WIPW

I am not quite as well as I thought but I am improving.  I hope to go to Toowoomba this weekend but I will not make a final decision until Friday.  I still have to prepare the work I will take with me, so that is what I am doing at the moment.

There are 2 quilts I want to finish the piecing and then quilt.  The first is made up of Peter Bunny prints.  I have made one quilt from this fabric but still had a lot left over.  These panels are not straight so they need to be unpicked and resewn, then the rest of the panels added to make a quilt.  This will be a donation quilt.

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The second is another quilt that I have put away and not finished.  It needs one more graffitti block to be added, I have a dog coming out of a manhole that I want to put in.  Then I have to think about the borders.  But, I might be better without any borders?  I intend to get the opinion of the other ladies who will be there.

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And as winter is fast approaching and I don't see well at night I am continuing with my knitting.

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I always take too much away with me for these weekends so this time I am being prudent.


The Easter Visit

Unfortunately my Easter visitors brought a flu like virus to the island when they came and I am now in bed, and could be for a week or so more.  I thought it might be something worse but I read on one of my embroidery sites that this was going around Brisbane.  So here I lay, or sit, or just mope around.  I have picked up my knitting again to fill in the time, (when I'm not sleeping). 

When I knitted by guage square I found I needed a larger set of needles, which I didn't have, but I did find some needles I had put aside for the grand daughters for them to learn to knit.  The happy (grumpy) faces of these little dogs brighten my day.

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I might have to get some more!


Grandma was right.

I have started some more knitting using that recycled wool that is all krinkled, I got as far as finishing the basque around the base. But, it just doesn't knit well, the guage of the knitting makes we feel so uncomfortable.  But also, I don't want to waste that yarn as pure wool is so expensive.  I was so unhappy with what I had that I did an internet search to find how to fix it.  The video I settled on was rather slow paced but the information was first class.

 

The process is labour intensive but the results are good.   Winding the hanks and then waiting for them to dry, you have to set aside a day for this.

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  When it came to rewinding the wool I found the best method was to put the hank over the back of a chair on which I had put a towel.

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And the end result was excellent.

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  Now I know why my grandmother, the expert at using left over anything, took the time and effort to steam her reclaimed wool.  Even if the finished item was going to be a donation to charity and the sweaters that she unravelled was old and moth eaten.

 


WIPW

This week has been knitting.  I have finished the bodies of a couple of bears.

This is Henry.  He is knitted in Alpaca yarn and was the first.  That means that he was actually knitted 3 or 4 times until I got him right.  The face and especially the nose was problematic.  But, I'm quite pleased with him now.

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This is Olaf and he is a polar bear, at he moment he is being put together.  I used some left over sports weight wool for him and he was a dream to knit.  After all the problems that Henry presented this boy was very easy to live with.

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I hope I have enough yarn from Olaf left over to knit Gu Gu.   I have finished his head and doubled the black yarn to make his ears.  I hope he doesn't become a problem.  He is quite a 'chunky' fellow.  It's funny how there all have their own personalities as they come off the needles.

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I still have to manipulate the stuffing  and sewing those noses to get each of them looking how I want.  As I am only using left over yarn they will never look as good as Julie's plus she must have knitted 100's of them and has really perfected their construction.  All this will come with time I hope.  (My friend said I had to add the size of these animals.  They are 9" tall.)

Next will be the clothes.  As this lot are all boy bears I think it should be shorts and sweaters.

I do like Julie's patterns.

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Scouting out a new shop - 'Mean Mothers'

I can still knit although I will have to put the embroidery away for a few days with this finger. (This story is a bit complicated.

I normally have coffee with a friend on a Friday morning, which I did last Friday.  My daughter had said  "don't go and see Guy (my son) he is sick".  Alarm bells started to ring.  The only reason I wouldn't see him is if he had the virus.  Well, he didn't have the virus, we think, because he hasn't had a test, but he had been in a known hot spot so he locked himself in the townhouse for the 14 days just in case.

He must have been ill because when I rang he was out of food, didn't have a mask to go out, and actually said he was a bit hungry.  (Mum to the rescue.   He might be 40 y.o. but he is still my boy.)  I bought him a supply of food and pre-cooked meals from the Deli and dropped them around.  First question was "I don't suppose you brought any beer?"  Really!!!   His mind must not have been working because he had forgotten he could ring and have food delivered, and he is a Techie!!

So I had been up early to get the barge and had been driving around so I thought I may as well make the trip to Beenleigh,  which is half way between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.  Reason,  I had heard of a new Yarn shop that had opened up down there.  "Mean Mothers Creations".  Cute name.  Like lots of shops it is in an Industrial complex but there is parking out the front.

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The last time I had been to Beenleigh,  (I had flown up from Sydney to go to a ball on the Gold Coast and was staying at a friends farm and I was still a teenager), there were still trams running in Brisbane, they had just started building a new highway and I had to catch a Greyhound bus that dropped me in front of the hotel.  All I could see were 2 hotels, a milk bar, a shop and a post office, and I knew there was a rum distillary somewhere.  When I got there this time it wasn't anything like that.  The traffic was horrible and there were one way streets and no numbers on the buildings.  But I did eventually find the shop. (Beenleigh has a colourful history and is worthwhile reading about.)

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Mean Mother's has a great web-site, so I can order online, which will save driving.  The shop is very well stocked with yarn and notions. 

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It is not a boutique type yarn shop with the very expensive yarns but they do stock quality brands and the price range is in that middle section of the market and they are super helpful. 

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They have discounts for pensioners , which I have never seen before, and there were quite a few customers in the shop. 

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I just can't knit with cheap yarn or synthetics.  That rules out most of the stock from the Chain stores like Spotlight and Lincraft, and I will not pay $40 for a ball of wool no matter how beautiful it is.  So, this shop really fills a hole in the market.   I don't need any yarn at the moment but I got some needles and a counter so that I don't keep loosing what row I'm up to.  I think this will be my go to yarn shop now.


Some good, some bad.

My husband gave me a voucher for IKEA for Xmas, so, I thought I would buy some bar stools to replace the ones I have, which are more than a little worse for wear.  I looked up the stock levels on-line, yes, there were 4 in stock but I couldn't use click and collect as I was paying by voucher.  That meant organising myself to get to the mainland and pick them up.  All that went fine but when I got there, and finally found where they were stored, there was a man ahead of me who bought them all!  Bugger!!! 

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I did get my storage bins so now my wool stash is sorted, along with moth protection, and I know just what I have there.  Far too much wool.  (There are more boxes out of the picture.)

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I found all the knitting needles I was looking for at my local Vinnies Op shop.  All still in their packets and in brand new condition $5.00 the lot, so I paid them $10 knowing I would have to pay a whole lot more if I had bought them from a shop.  AND the ladies told me about another knitting shop down the track at Beenleigh.  This is about half way to the Gold Coast and when I lived in Brisbane I would have thought it too far away.  Not now.  It is closer than Brisbane to me now.  It is called "Mean Mother's Creations" and looking at their website I think it deserves a visit.  Not to buy anything, just to look.

My first knitted toy is finished. 

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I think I will call her Dorrit.  She is knitted in left over Debbie Bliss baby cashmino wool and is a bit smaller than if I had used the recommended wool.  I blocked the little dress and it made a noticeable difference to the finish.  Such fun to knit.


Knitting Wools

When I said that I had a stash of knitting wools I really didn't know how much I actually had.  I pulled most of it out and put it on the bed.

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Boy have I got some stash.  Some of it was bought from growers in N.Z.  Some when I visited Scotland.  Some in Denmark, some in South America. Some from India and some from local sales and Op. shops.

I was thinking about getting some more wool to knit my animals, NO.  I am just going to have to get in and use this lot up.

My next animal is a bear.  I went to buy a pattern and found I had already bought it, back in 2013!  Thank goodness Ravelry kept it safe for me.

Screen Shot 2021-01-05 at 5.27.08 pmI have a ball of Alpaca that I will knit the body in if it isn't enough I will just have to give him spots.

What I do need are fine knitting needles.  I went to both Spotlight and Lincraft and neither keep fine needles any more.  Looks like I will have to make a visit to Yarn Glorious Yarn.  That is very dangerous territory for me.  They are not open again until the end of the month so I might do an op shop search first and I definately need some more storage boxes.


The list for 2021

So, the list of "To Do's" is ready for the coming year.  Last year saw me take the opportunity to finish many outstanding projects.  This year, although that list has been reduced, I haven't added all the things I could have.  I know that with Home Schooling my time is going to be limited so no use setting goals that will be impossible.  I might find time to do some of them but then again I may not.  No need to set impossible expectations.  I have left lots of spaces to add extras.

(Oh dear, I forgot the charity quilt! I will have to add that.)

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The "Stitching Faces" class with Sue Stone and the book "Faces of Friendship" are linked.  Those are the faces of my quilting friends and the friendship blocks they gave me all those years ago.  It just so happens that the classes facilitate my portraits of friends.  The first section was of those friends who have died.

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 8.25.09 amIn the next section the portraits will be more detailed.  These will be of members of the group who have moved away but whom I still count as friends.

That Graffitti Quilt requires just one more applique to the main section.  I was going to add a border but now I'm not so sure.

 

I am way behind on the 'Stitch Club' classes.  I'm not sure that I want to stitch all of them so I will 'cherry pick' the ones I find interesting.  I will keep my subscription for the year to these classes and then review where I am going.  Those quilting gifts for Easter are well on the way to being finished so I will keep these for my weekends when I visit Toowoomba, then again it might be better to just 'get in' and get then done.

I did decide to make my Charity donation knitted animals this year.  I have nearly finished the first one.  Just her dress to go.  These are really relaxing to work on at night listening to music or a podcast.  (I have to re-do the mouth.  I didn't have any tapestry wool.)

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But high on the list is my teaching sample for "Exploring More Stitches".  That is now drawn up and needs to be finished by the end of the month.

The Kogin stitched bags will be for Xmas gifts at the end of the year and they are my indulgence.

Now I just need fate to step in and blow it all out of the water!!!