Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Between The Rock and a hard place.

Guess who's going to see the Rock in all his glory later tonight? Yes, I am. I am very excited.

This is almost as exciting as my new project, I started my wrap on 20mm needles Sunday night. And it is very lovely. The colour still dosen't seem right. I'm sure that's not the colour I chose? Despite that it is a nice colour and I am very pleased with it and at the rate it knits up I hope to have it ready by the end of spring if not sooner.

I handed my Guardian Angel jacket in today, did I get my long awaited pin? No, they went almost straight away. Well, given there's only one Guardian chemist in the area I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Even though I have no pin I am still immensely proud of myself. It's my second actual garment. The first being my shrug, which was also my first adult garment. Makes a change form scarves and wraps. See I am breaking out of the square! I just need to punch a few more holes with my needles....

I recently picked up a pattern for the Loopy on ebay, if I have something to make I can justify buying the yarn. Only to discover that today a fellow knitter had purchased a ball of Loopy for a project they were working on. It feels incredibly nice and it's a lovely purple colour they picked as well. I am eagerly awaiting my pattern book.

I've often wondered about all these different yarns I see and think I'd like to try that but what would I make? I'm trying to avoid scarves, but they would be a quick cost effective way to see how I liked these yarns.

Today's thought for the day is a valuable knitting lesson I have learned and try to adhere to. Buy yarn only for a specific project. I have quite a lot of bags of yarn I've picked up in op shops and at market stalls because I thought "I like that, I'll have it." And now I'm wondering what I'll do with it. Well, most of it I then thought up a reason to buy it for to explain my many, many purchases. However I have found that with most of it I now need to buy something else to put with it to make it into whatever project I intended to use it for. Be warned, it may not be too late for you!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Is that the time?!?!?!?!

Time has just flown today. Well today will be a progress report. I finished all the knitting on the Guardian Angel jacket yesterday and started to sew ends in last night. The rest of the ends were sewn in today, and I have left it with my mother to sew it all together. Tuesday is the deadline, provided everything goes well I should make it!

Today I did some more work on the Dr Who scarf, slowly slowly, I am getting there. Also yesterday I knitted up the front bands on my latte cosy. Only loops and buttons to go!

All this progress is a good sign. I am going to go and see what other long lost UFO can be completed or almost completed. I am trying to refrain starting any new projects until I can get some of these others out the way. I intended to start my wrap once the GA jacket was complete. Perhaps I should strike while the iron is hot? I have a tea cosy in progress which is about a quarter done. It's a Licorice Allsort tea cosy (comes from the Panda website).

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Shrugs, Needle Rolls and a Latte

I am on a roll, a UFO roll to be exact. I finished my long awaited shrug Thursday night and sewed it up yesterday. Last night I finished knitting up my latte cosy (pattern from Cleckheaton), today I hope to get the ends sewn in and to pick the sides up to knit them up today. Then I'll head off to find some buttons. That's one project finished and another very close to it!

I started a jacket for the Guardian Angel program, one sleeve and the front bands still to go and then I have to sew it up. All by Tuesday. Can I do it? Maybe. Where's Bob when you need him? And can he knit?

After looking at
Lisa G's website, I was inspired to make my own needle roll for my Pony Pearl needles. These are my absolute favourites to knit with, if you haven't used them already do try a pair out.

I can see a trip to Spotlight next week, buttons for my latte cosy, a motif and buttons to go on my Guardian Angel jacket and fabric for my needle roll.
I am very tempted by the luxury brocades advertised in Spotlights last catalog. I'm thinking either one of the blue or purple colours with a contrasting or matching colour of some sort of undetermined fabric inside.

While here I should probably give you a progress report on my other items I have worked on. I have done some more of the Dr Who scarf, the first pattern repeat on the Stress Relief scarf, a few more rows on my Insomniac Scarf and ??????
No, I think those are the only projects I have worked on this week.

And today's thought for the day is - It is impolite to ask another knitter how many UFO's they have and before judging other people's lack of FO look to your own UFO's.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Friday's Favourites!

Today I decided to write about my favourite fictional knitters. I'm sure everybody must a have at least one? Well I have four.

Miss Marple - I admire the fact that despite the mounting number of bodies this little old lady can continue to knit something (I have recollections of it usually being pink and fluffy), while solving the mystery.

Mrs Weasley - Harry Potter fans will be familiar with Mrs Weasley and her knitted picture jumpers! She is an inspiration to all knitters who have had their knitted gifts looked upon with less enthusiasm than with what they were made.

Madame Defarge(?) - I'm not sure if that's the correct spelling of her name, but this woman is infamous. And should be revered by knitters everywhere, she clearly paved the way for knitting in public!

Morticia Addams - So cool, calm and collected. Must have been from all the knitting she did. How could you not love Morticia? Or the rest of the Addams family for that reason. She made it in here because not only do I love her but she's also a knitter.

And now for another Friday favourite - Favourite Free Pattern. It's another from
Magknits - it's called Sheer Poncho. It's a poncho with a cowl neck that can be lifted up and worn as a hood. And since it is Friday (hot date night), if you've been asked out on the town at the last minute by Johnny Depp/Vin Diesel/Matt Hardy/Orlando Bloom and your thinking ARRRGGHHH! I don't have time to go home and change, fear not! Your very handy poncho you wore out over your work getup (because it's cold in the mornings!) can be converted into a dress. Then all that's left is to re-apply the lippy (hopefully one of those super stay-on ones because lippy all over your face is not attractive) and your done.

Which brings us to the thought for the day.
If your going to Paris for the weekend do you really think you'll be back in time for work Monday?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Monks, Cobwebs and Stress Relief

When looking at them next to each other it doesn't seem all that weird a combination. But first on to the Stress Relief, this was the Patons kit I picked up yesterday.

While reading the pattern through, you need to cast on and do 5 rows of garter stitch before starting the "pattern" (18 rows). I thought that's easy to do, so I cast on and I knitted my 5 rows....it was easy. Too easy! And very hard to put down, the yarn is absolutely divine to knit with! It's unnamed, but with some research into the knitting pages (usually page 9) from previous Spotlight catalogues I see that Patons Zhivago is a tencel/acrylic mix. I wonder?

Yes, I keep the knitting page from the catalogue. It can be an invaluable source of information, such as normal price for balls of yarn, needle sizes to use and what the yarn is actually made from. I also love yarn stores that supply shade cards and/or price lists for yarn. I can sit in the comfort of my own home, reading my latest knitting book/magazine and think I'd like to make that, but what colour? How much will it cost if I get it from here? Or is here cheaper?

Where was I? Oh, in front of the computer. Over at a very cool site called Magknits (magknits.com) I discovered a pattern called Cobweb. It's a semi-circular shawl, a lovely lacey number. I can't quite remember the exact yarn used, except it was kid mohair blend. But one of the suggested alternate yarns is Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I have never personally knitted with Rowan but have heard about Rowan patterns and yarns from fellow knitters who are to put it bluntly a bit obsessed.
Rowan is an English yarn, so not cheap to buy here in Australia. Although the number of shops that stock varying brands of English yarn is prolific, and I have to admit a little flight of fantasy has overtaken me here. This shawl has gone on my future projects list, and it really is a must make because dear readers I have to find out if Rowan really is as good as everybody thinks. Only so I can tell you, you all understand of course.

While surfing the net I downloaded from somewhere (I have no idea where now) an excerpt from a recently released book called Folk Bags. It was reviewed in one of the last two issues of Creative Knitting magazine.
It's the pattern for the Monk's Travel Satchel, the name intrigued me which was why I followed it up and I'm glad I did because the picture of it is very cool!
The bag design is based on bags used by Buddhist (I presume, since it's from Nepal or am I confusing them with Tibet?) monks to carry their possessions as they travel.

It's that time again, the thought for the day is..........a story about Buddha I read somewhere. Buddha is sitting talking to a group of people, a man comes up and is angry because his wife has gone to see Buddha. I can't remember all the details of what was said and happened inbetween the start and the end but Buddha said to the man I choose to leave your anger with you. If anybody else knows where the full details of this story are please let me know! But I think when talking about stress relief this makes an important point, choose to leave other people with their anger. You'll be stressed less!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Dr Who Deadline and OMG! Needles

Yes, I am on a deadline. I hope to have a Dr Who (Tom Baker) style scarf finished for my sister before the Tom Baker series starts. I hope, but in reality I'll be lucky if it's done by the end of the Tom Baker season.
Here's the first and last picture I did showing the progress of the scarf, I've done some more work since (Monday) then so will add a more up-to-date pic soon!

I was in Spotlight this afternoon, fruitlessly searching for Magnum 8ply in black. If I'd wanted 5 or 12ply there was plenty but not a ball of 8ply black to be had. At least in Magnum, I can only presume there has been a sudden rush on black 8ply?
But all was not lost I picked up my lay-by which has a Patons Stress Relief Kit in it, I got one whose yarn colour is called "Pewter" looks absolutely divine slightly metalic and is a Patons yarn (50% tencel 50% acrylic). It dosen't actually name what this yarn is however, but it feels fantastic! I'll take a picture and post it later for you all to see.

Also on my lay-by were my BIG needles, a pair of 12mm and the Oh My! 20mm. There are bigger available, they are 25mm. But alas I do not have any projects for them. At the time I made my lay-by size 15mm could not be had for money or more money in my local Spotlight. Much to my disappontment, why do they never have what I want?

I bought the 12mm for a scarf I wanted to make but was trying to dechiper American yarn gauge's so as to pick something to make it with but since then I have seen countless patterns using 12mm. The 20mm I bought for a wrap, (probably best for summer as it would only work for decoration as opposed to warmth) along with some Caressa. Which isn't the colour I rememebr it being.
I originally downloaded the pattern for the wrap from the Spotlight website, but have since found out it comes from the Get Creative series - Let's Start Knitting booklet. Retails at $2.99 but I purchased mine while there was 20% off all patterns. It includes instructions for learning to knit and 8 FREE patterns. Yes, free. How are they free I ask you? You have to buy the booklet to get them!
Future projects made with 20mm are a little harder to find but I have seen a couple of ideas.

Am I the only person who likes the idea of knitting with really huge needles? This has been my goal since I started knittng and one of the reasons I kept going. Aside from the fact that it's just so cool of course.

And my final thought for you today? Is it safe to share your needles?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Greetings earthlings! Take me to your leader....

Welcome one and all to my very first blog! Perhaps I should explain how Darkside of Knitting came about, I was thinking of starting an album over at my MSN group SNB - Launceston of some of my more unusual projects. As you can probably see from my description I have a desire to knit things with a skull motif.

Another thing that prompted the idea was a current project I am working on, I call it the Insomniac Scarf. All that time I lie staring into the darkness waiting for sleep....no more shall I waste my precious time doing that! I decided to pick a simple project I can keep beside my bed to work on during those sleepless nights. It's a basic rib scarf, I figured I needed something simple with a repetitve pattern (K2 P2) to help me get to sleep. It works!

Back to the skull motif, I had found a felted bag pattern at Glampyre.com (I'll check the site's address) with fair isle skulls.
The other day while looking for something else entirely I found a site called helloyarn.com, where in their free pattern section I found a Mini Skull & Crossbones Tote, a Felted Knitting Tote (featuring skull & crossbones) and the Skull Socks of Fury. I am one very happy girl.

As you can probably gather from the title of this post aliens and Elvis will probably fit into it all as well. As any fan of MIB knows, Elvis isn't dead he just went home!

I shall leave you now with that thought, until next time.