June 30, 2009

Buy my stuff...please.

I relisted all my items for sale on Oztion again tonight. You can see them here. Feel free to buy my stuff. ;o)

June 29, 2009

Cat - an essential accessory for any knitter

I've been perusing knitting blogs for about a month now and I realised that aside from knitting they all seem to have one other thing in common. They all seem to have purty pictures of their lovely moggies on them and I realised that I have been very remiss in this area. I vowed to take yet another photo of my kitteh (because the gazillion I already have just aren't enough) and place it here for all and sundry to meet and greet. Introducing....Stinky Da Moo!

Stinky Moo is a Russian Blue/Australian Domestic Shorthair mix. I got him freecycle when he was only six weeks old. Having the typical temperament of a Russian Blue, it took me three whole weeks to win him over, although I think a good portion of that may have been attributed to the fact that he was a stray kitten when I adopted him. He has the colouring and markings of an 'imperfect' (he has a white bib and belly and an adorable french manicure and white back feet) Russian blue
along with the right shaping and the totally irresistable double coat that just begs you to sink your fingers into his fur...which of course he doesnt seem to mind too much at all.

In terms of his personality, he is everything a Russian Blue is supposed to be; playful, active sweet, inquisitive, gentle, quiet, incredibly loving and affectionate, pretty and VERY timid of strangers...he tends to hiss and run away when they're about. He is also everything a Russian Blue is NOT supposed to be; as dumb as a bag full of hair, incredibly uncoordinated, a baby hefalump (i.e. not at all light on his feet) and very much my baby. I love him dearly. He is the best cat in the world and I spoil him rotten.

Love him because you must.

A nattering knitfest

Inaugural Stitch 'n BitchImage by DrStarbuck via Flickr

I recently joined a knitters community called Knit Happens that has a forum called the Virtual Stitch 'n' Bitch which really tickled my fancy.

Surprisingly there seems to be quite a few Aussie knitters who are members and a lot of them talk about knitters groups. I'm a fairly solitary knitter, mostly because I've no one to knit with, but the idea of a knitters group REALLY appeals to me. So I posted an invite for people to start up a knitters group in Newcastle. Having done that, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to repeat that invitation here. So here it is:

I want to join or form a knitters group in the Newcastle area. If you can knit, want to learn to knit, want to teach someone else to knit and you also like the idea of home baked yum yums and talking dirty, PLEASE comment on this post or send me your email address so we can get the yarn ball rolling.

Read my invitation over on Knit Happens might decide to join the community too, which I'm sure they'd appreciate. Most of all though, comment or contact if you are GENUINELY interested in a knitters group.

Yay for yarn and stuff!

June 28, 2009

Beady things

I started on a new poncho today. It's knitted in the round, and calls for place markers. Usually, when I have to use place markers I just place a piece of different coloured yarn in the appropriate spot and pass it up through my knitting as I go. But I was thinking; now that I'm endeavouring to be a more proficient knitter, perhaps I should try to be more professional in my pracitces as well.

I had some beads and wire hanging around from previous crafty projects and I figured they would be perfect, so I made myself some bead place markers. They turned out so well, I have decided to make a whole pile of them and sell them along with my knitted garments. Pics....

These are the ones I made for my own use. They are a mix of plastic and glass beads with some crystal thrown in for good measure. Below you can see how they look on the needle I'm knitting with.

I made a few for selling and realised I didnt have much in the way of diversity when it came to colour and size in my bead tray. So one fairly expensive and quick trip to Spotlight's bead aisle later and I now have a heap of pretty glass beads to use.

I will be listing these (and more) for sale in a few days. If you're interested in getting some, keep posted for a link.

June 25, 2009

Progress update!!!

Ok, its been something of a quiet week knit wise, as it was my birthday on the 22nd and I have been rather distracted playing with all my lovely new toys that I got for birthday gifts. But now my b'day has passed and I'm so glad to announce that I'm finally half way on my lace stole project.

It's been something of a trial to knit during the last week, I've had to rip back the same four rows at least four times, but thankfully I managed to save it. So now its on a stitch holder, waiting patiently to be finished while I fill a knitting order for a poncho.

June 21, 2009

Busy fingers

Estonian Garden blockedImage by thraceknits via Flickr
I purchased a new Estonian lace pattern today and am so excited about knitting it up when I get some really nice laceweight yarn. I have to say though, the pattern is complex, so I'm going to have some busy fingers when I do get around to knitting it.

I found some nice photos of it already knitted up by someone else as you can see from the link above. It looks great, but I think I'm going to go for a pale colour when I make it.

While looking around for places online to purchase lace weight yarn I stumbled across a couple of really great Aussie suppliers for knitters. Check out Ozeyarn for some fantastic knitting books and yarns. Ecoyarns do some absolutely amazing environmentally friendly yarns out of the most unexpected materials (i.e. rocks?) that are just gorgeous to look at...although a tad expensive for this little black duck at the moment.

Other sites of interest found this week include; Knitting Daily and, interestingly enough, The Daily Knitter, which seems to be an online community of sorts.

Finished the poncho I was working on (see pic) and am going to list it online for sale next week. Also picked up a knitting order for another poncho from a lady I know, which was unexpected but not declined.

Coming soon, progress update on the lace shawl but not before my birthday ;oP.

June 18, 2009

There is no such thing as too much yarn!

My partner, the poor thing (pfft) often bemoans the fact that, apparently, I have too much yarn. Now if you are a fellow knitter and yarn whore like myself, or even someone who like a magpie is attracted to bright shiny things that you must then possess (also like myself), or just someone who really appreciates a hand knitted scarf or shrug, then you will know exactly what I mean when I say; there is NO such thing as too much yarn.

Admittedly, although I'm positive there are ladies out there with far more yarn than I have, I do have a sizable stash of it. Having said this, I DO have plans for ALL of my yarn. I actually bought most of it for specific projects and only a very small percentage of it was purchased because it was pretty and shiny and caught my eye and I had to have it.

And ok, I DO have a rather bad habit of buying waaaay too much yarn for my projects and then have a whole stack of it left over. But leftover yarn needs love too, right? If not for left over yarn how many of us would own hideously gorgeous granny square lapghans?

Here is a pic of my stash, spread out over my queen size bed.

Here are some photos of projects that I have completed in the last twelve months.

Some hideously colourful granny squares (made from left overs mind you) that came together really well with black into a lovely warm lapghan that I unfortunately gave to a friend who turned out to be not a friend at all. At least I got a photo of it.

A two strand acrylic poncho with an incredibly warm cowl style polo neck that I have sold.

A pretty lacy crocheted triangle shawl that I made from some of the softest 100% acrylic yarn that I have ever found. This is currently listed here.

A gorgeous frilly scarf that I crocheted out of a lovely mohair/acrylic mix. I sold this about a week ago, but I thankfully have some of the yarn left over.

I have other projects that I have completed and listed to sell online, I also have a couple of projects that I have started but not quite finished yet. I will attempt to post photos of them here when I get a chance to complete them.

Blogs to read this week

As someone who has only recently taken up lace knitting I am obviously having to learn some new techniques, so I am constantly on the look out for great tutorials and tips from people who make it look both easy AND gorgeous. Thankfully there are a plethora of knitters blogs out there that offer great tutorials, tips and links to helpful sites.

This week I am perusing See Eunny Knit!, a fantastic blog site that has not just tutorials, but also patterns available for download and tips on all manner of things knitty. I particularly liked her article/tutorial on lace knitting composition, and of course, I have already downloaded her fabulous print 'o the wave stole, even though its entirely too ambitios for my burgeoning skills just yet. If you want to keep up with what Eunny is doing she has recently moved to a new address.

I am also reading Yarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Stephanie is an award winning blogger who has published several books about knitters and knitting, travels around the planet teaching groups of people knitting techniques, designs some of the most delicate looking lace I've seen, and she still manages to make mistakes in her knitting. I mention this because its so nice to see such a professional and seasoned knitter out there making mistakes and not being too proud to tell people about it. On top of this, her blogs are seriously entertaining.

Pink Lemon Twist is another lace knitters blog that has at least one pattern available for sale that I'd be interesed in having a go at...maybe in a year or two when I have successfully completed a couple of projects.

Clearly there are many more fantastically helpful knitters blogs and sites out there that I have yet to find, but these are my choices for this week.

June 16, 2009

Woozy + knitting = mistakes

I spent Saturday night in hospital (thank you to the Calvary Mater Hospital staff for being so great) and on Sunday I did some more work on my estonian lace project. Unfortunately the pain medication that I'd had injected into my canula at the hospital was still making me a bit woozy.

The short version; I had to unwind three rows of my lace to fix a minor error, but thankfully all is good now...Note to self; dont knit while under the influence of strong pain medication.

An update! Unfortunately its not a very good photo, but the lighting in my lounge room is lousy at the best of times.

June 14, 2009

There are holes in my knitting!

An update! I really expected this estonian lace business to be far more difficult to get my head around than it has been. Thanks to the fantastic charts supplied in my pattern, this project has proven quite simple and is knitting up quickly. I haven't even completed a full chart yet and it already looks fantastic (below).

June 13, 2009

Brushing off the cobwebs

Having just started my first estonian lace knitting project I discovered that it called for a provisional cast on....HUH????

I knew that my knitting skills were a wee bit cobwebby but I suppose I didnt consider that I would have to learn new ones, although in retrospect, I really should have.

Clearly its time to learn some new techniques...but thanks to the wonderful world wide web I found a great, simple video tutorial here. I guess if I can keep learning new techniques this quickly and easily, I'll be an advanced knitter in no time.

Stay posted for pics of first project.

A whole new affair

I have been seriously into handi crafts and art for most of my life and up until now I would have considered myself an intermediate knitter/crocheter.

Recently I started selling some of my knitted garments online and while trying to come up with patterns/ideas for things I can sell I came upon the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen made out of wool. Estonian Lace.

Sooooo, I have decided it's waaaaay past time that I progressed from intermediate knitter to advanced knitter at the advanced age of 39 and have been furiously downloading free lace knitting patterns from all over the net, all the while cringing in anticipation of the headaches these gorgeous but incredibly complicated patterns are going to cause....I am determined none-the-less.

My first estonian lace knit project is The Estonian Lace Scarf by Helene Wallin (2006). I am making my version of the scarf from a lovely russet red coloured yarn that is a mohair/acryilic (30%/70%) mix that I picked up on sale from Spotlight last year. I will post some photos here as it progresses and hopefully it wont take forever to knit, but I cant make any promises as I'm something of a slow knitter when it comes to intricate patterns.

In the mean time check out Estonian Lace Study, a blog devoted to estonian lace knitting.