A blog for the Mt Lawley Stitch'n'Bitchers. If you're in Perth, WA, and you like to knit, crochet or just gossip— or if you want to learn how— come down to Exomod in Mt Lawley every Monday from 7.30pm and catch some crafty action! Email Clementine for more info: indienial (at) gmail (dot) com

Sunday, July 30, 2006

'kay. i know what scarf i'm making with my sari silk. this. please don't laugh. it's been done with sari silk here. and i quite like it. just something little to go round my neck for warmth and colour (i get a really cold neck. must be the short hair and lowcut tops ;) ). i'm not going to knit three strands together like the pattern calls for, however. i'll just use the sar silk as is. i don't want to 'taint' its rainbowness by holding another yarn against it.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The cardigan is sewn. Okay, the ends aren't in, and I'm going to change to button.

But it's done.

On the down side, after all that, it didn't work with the dress I was going to wear it with (neckline mismatch). Thems the breaks.

The sleeves are faintly puffy at the top, possibly due to my seaming, but I am working with the 'its vintage and therefore appropriate' thing.

The sleeves are also a bit longer than I expected - good thing I shortened them from the pattern by an inch!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

i forgot to take photos of my Kool-Aid hanks until I'd wound the pink into a ball. Cleverly remembering kita's advice about toilet rolls and centre pull balls, i proceeded to wind around a toilet roll. Then thought 'hey! It's getting really fat in one direction. Think i might just wind in the other direction for a bit'. Yes. You can all see what I didn't until I was about halfway through the skein. There is a toilet roll trapped inside that pink ball of yarn. And it isn't centrepull either. I think i might end up reballing it though, as the yarn is noticeably stretched taut too.

Now when I wound the pink ball, I stretched the yarn out over my knees. This was okay, but you have to pass the ball under your legs every now and then. Kind of a hassle. So I figured when i was winding the blue hank 'why not just leave it on the bed and wind from there?' Because this is what happens people:Never mind. I patiently untangled it all as penance for my sheer stupidity. And here are my cute little variegated yarns. That's purple in the blue ball, not black. It's my favourite. The colours bled in all kinds of pretty ways. Some of the mauve washed out in the pink ball, leaving these little shots of baby blue all through, but non that you can see in the picture. Very pretty. Though i still don't intend to wear the pink in any way. I'm think maybe of making one of those little felted kitties that i linked to out of it. and an ipod holder. and a toy rabbit, or a small coinpurse. or something.
And just for yarnporn, my cathay arrived yesterday. It's pinker than i expected (a tiny bit pinker than in the photo) but still a very pretty colour. Nice and silky, will suit the pattern. It looks a bit prone to splitting, which makes me nervous considering all the lace, but isn't nearly as bad as some of the cottons I looked at. It is going in the stash-box until anatolia is finished. And next to it is my balled up (non-centre-pull - i tried, but i wound it too tight and it made cracking noises when i tried to do the centrepull thing. that was the fibres snapping...) sari silk. will be garter and stocking stitch on 5.5mm needles to make a scarf.
after the vogue top i really need to do a little stash reduction. badly coloured boy and i are coming to loggerheads over the amount of 'stuff' each will bring to our shared abode (when we get one). i point out that four hard drives and two monitors takes up more space than my stash, but i fear if i don't work on reducing my stash i won't be able to take that high moral ground for long.

Everybody go and console Kita over the Vogue cardy mishap. Luckily (or skillfully, rather) it will be okay, but I think her nerves are shaken.

In other news... I finally got to the end of the yoke decreases on Candy. I don't know why, but when I had done the recommended number of decreases according to the pattern, the supposed neckline was not even at the top of my shoulders, so I kept going... and kept going... and kept going... and going... and going... you get the picture.

I ended up doing something ridiculous like four times the recommended amount of shoulder decreases to get it anywhere near being a neck-line as opposed to a shoulder-line. I think it may have something to do with the stupid big-boob-narrow-shoulders combination that God/genetics/some ass-hat has blessed me with.

Still, I am absolutely stoked and now just have to gear myself up to do the boring two inches of ribbing at the bottom. Bleurgh! But I'm determined to have at least all the knitting done before I go to Queensland.

i don't normally go for stuffed toys, but these kitties are very cute. very tempting. the pattern feels a bit steeply priced, so i'm holding off for now (look, $5US is a lot when you just paid for your textbooks. argh!)
but would anyone be interested in a bit of a knitalong at some point? they'd be good for using up yarn scraps. maybe even some of the 'interesting' yarn you kool-aid dyed (not that anyone had 'interesting' yarn, really. but lets be honest, i am never going to wear coral, pink and mauve variegated yarn).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Next Friday I am flying to Rockhampton, QLD, which is basically 12 hours of just sitting on my ass. That would be fine, exciting even, except for the fact that Australian airlines won't let you take any kind of sharp pointy thing on board. So no machetes or straight razors, I guess I will live... But even worse than that: they classify bamboo circulars as sharps.

Have they never seen them?! It's quite obvious they've never tried to USE them, because if they had, they'd know you can barely pick up tight stitches with them, let alone poke someone's eye out.

The girl I spoke to at the airline, she obviously had no idea what a bamboo circular needle was, so i described it to her and was put on hold for 12 minutes while she spoke to her supervisor. The best they could come up with was "It's still a knitting needle, so it's not allowed on board."

Australia is the only country in the so-called civilised world which won't let you take knitting needles on board. I think it must be because we are SUCH a high terrorist risk, what with all the kangaroos and also Dame Edna and the Giant Prawn to think about!

I know I really shouldn't be so flippant about security stuff, but seriously, NOBODY could kill someone with knitting needles. If anyone could, I'm sure they'd have a sponsorship deal right there. I can imagine the ad campaign:

"Denise Interchangeables— for those times when you just can't take your AK-47!".


The other thing is that I normally only take hand luggage, and since you can't take knitting needles in the cabin, I will have to check luggage for the first time in years. I hate it because I've had so much stuff get lost or broken by baggage handlers.

Aaaaanyway.... I'll probably have a fair bit of knitting time up my sleeve while I'm away, what with not having to work and also being in the middle of nowhere. So I hereby solemnly swear to have made major inroads on the Vogue cardy by the time I get back. Kita's is so beautiful, it's inspired me all over again!

And now I have it in writing so I have to do it. Wish me luck!

i'm going to break the no-knitting-anything-till-anatolia's-done rule.
i'm still only allowed to knit anatolia at home, but she ain't exactly a portable project, given the six balls of yarn and all.
and my uni timetable is horrid - full of two and three hour breaks. too long to mooch, to short to go do something. so today i am taking my sari yarn to uni. i intend to wind it into a ball in a quiet corner of the library (given that i self-wind by stretching the skein out over my thighs, which then get spread enough to hold the yarn taut ;) ), and knit it on portable circulars. it'll be a scarf (no surprises). Stitch-type i haven't quite worked out yet. i'd like it smooth like stocking stitch, but i don't have enough yarn to allow for the border curl. maybe stripes of stocking and garter.

i have pictures (and yarns in the story sense) of my Kool-Aid dying, but my camera died just as i went to upload the piccies onto my computer, and i haven't recharged it yet.
and while i like those socks, i am Not In. I Am Never Knitting A Sock Ever Again. I have profound sock trauma. So there.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Who maybe interested in an Argh!-a-Long!?!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dyed Like Me ..

I had the best time today, with the Dye-O-Rama thanks to Clementine, our organiser (thanks Clem!) and Amber, our kind host (Thanks Amber!)

I enjoyed it terribly, found it wonderfully addictive. Came home immediately wanting to do more :)

I'm happy with my attempts, but hopefully others will post theirs too, some were SO beautiful.

:) Thanks all for a really nice afternoon.


Oh, and p.s. I finished the base lace edging for my cardigan.

2x 6 repeats for the sleeves and sewing stand between me and its finished-ness!

Obligatory photos in the other blog :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

oh. my. god. i hit Stash Central today. i have a new favourite yarn source. where is this unknown Heaven, you ask?
K-mart. Warned by Clementine that natural, dyeable yarn was on sale and finding myself, quite unusually, in the vicinity of K-Mart I went for a browse. Everything was half price! Which meant the wool/silk blend was $3-something a ball! There were some really nice (for the price - it ain't quite no Calico&Ivy) natural fibre yarns there! Though I didn't find any of that Natural stuff. Everything that was cream looked quite unnatural and treated.

(i also got four cleansing facemasks (masques) if you will, for $6.29 rather than $13; and they had nice bonds wifebeaters for $5. But i was broke by then. Ah, the joys of student life). I love K-mart!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Vogue Lace Cardigan - the beginning of the Bragging starts....

Why look!? What is this I see??

Why, yes.. you're right!!

It IS the second sleeve for the Vogue lace cardigan!

Let the coveting and knitting of the edging begin!

(I'd like to be modest, but I'm too damn pleased with myself) ;-)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Someone was making arch comments about me having a solo blog. And that I didn't post it..

Let's face it, I really don't think you lot want my ramblings in volume cluttering up craftyaction.

It's here anyway -- A Geek's Adventures in Knitting. I'm comfortable and resigned to my geekiness. So there.

I keep clinging to the fact that it must be okay, as people keep being surprised by the fact that I:
  • knit
  • play computer games
  • play online computer games (of the non-shooting up stuff variety)
  • play D&D (yes that thing with the 20 sided dice)
  • am a mother
  • believe cooking is a high art, and one worth learning.

I don't see the surprise myself, but having people become (literally) slack-jawed in shock at each of the above (though at different times), I somehow don't have the right 'look' for my various pursuits.

I don't know why that is.

See? Note the distracted rambling? This is why I post on my own blog mostly..

Open letter to Debbie Bliss:
Dear Ms Bliss,
I quite like your yarns. Well, I've never used them, and noone in Perth stocks Cathay but I saw a shade chart that was quite convincing, and I am going to hit ebay hard.
My problem, Ms Bliss, is with you refusal to name your yarns. Just calling the shades '01', '02', etc is confusing. It becomes more confusing still Ms Bliss, given your insistence upon releasing seasonal shades. See, I'm pretty sure that you've released Cathay yarns under the same number, in a SIMILAR, but far from identical colour, in different seasons. If you'd damn well given the things different names - celery and pistachio, say or candy and rose - I could tell if the yarn I am about to buy is actually the same as the sample card I've seen, the sample cards available on your site, the sample cards available on merchants' sites, or the photograph on ebay.
Please consider rectifying this situation. Making up colour-names is fun. I'll even do it for free if you want.

Yours sincerely,

PS: Did you ever release a really dusky pink in Cathay, or is it just that sickly lolly pink photographed in poor light?

everyone else: Which of these shades do you think most suitable for that vogue top? i'm thinking the teal colour, or do you think i'll lose the Victorian-ness too much with teal? Maybe the duck egg blue, but i think the colour mayn't look the best on me (and for reference, shades 11 and 12 are not what they seem to be there. in reality, they are LURID). really am sold on the cathay. crossways had some okay mercerised cotton but it wasn't shiny enough; and their wool/silk blend was too shiny *sigh*.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

so i have spent all morning surfing ebay/ yarndex trying to find *the* replacement yarn for the anny blatt kanpur used in the vogue high neck lace top. i am so bitter that i can't really afford it. it comes in so many pretty colours! i'd use vintage or nostalgie, if i were to buy it, i think.
will check *cough*calico&ivy*cough* for a straight cotton/silk blend; or maybe even a real nice straight cotton, but failing that i think that debbie bliss cathay is the go. it now comes in quite a few colours. i'm a bit unsure about the rayon content in it. rayon=acryclic=plastic=sweaty= NOT an elegant victorian lady. but it is only 35% non-natural fibre. if i were to use it, i'd go for the creatively named shades 8, 9 or 10.
the problem with mercerised cotton is that i read somewhere that its terribly bad for the environment. can't remember why *sigh*

Monday, July 17, 2006

Yes sir, yes sir, 18 bags full!

While cleaning/re-arranging the house on Sunday, I kept finding odd balls and bags of wool hidden strategically in "out of the way" places, where I'd obviously put it six months or a year ago and completely forgotten about. So I spent the afternoon re-organising my stash instead of the living room (a lot more fun— our couches are heavy!).

I had 18 big carrier bags full of wool, acrylic, mohair, alpaca, nylon, cashmere, silk, and unidentified weird bits. As far as I can work out, the only (common) fibre not represented was angora, and that's not even definite— there was something suspiciously fluffy in the miscellaneous yarns bag, but I wouldn't swear it's not a plastic.

In the trunk
Originally uploaded by indienial.
(Worst camera phone photo ever. Blame my eyesight, it *looked* like it was in focus... Why yes, I do need new contact lenses!)

This is what I ended up with. Three 100 x 60 x 60cm tin trunks absolutely crammed with yarn. The only thing keeping the bottom trunk closed is the weight of the other two trunks above.

The stuff on top of the stash-stack is all the yarns I found *after* I'd forced the lids down, that simply won't fit.
So... does anyone want to raid my stash? I could really use the space!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Whee! I have just ordered 40 packets of Kool-Aid for dyeing wool. This probably isn't exciting to anyone else, especially if you're in America, but for some reason it really appeals. Even though I know it's just powdered food dye and fruity scents. I'm sick of the vinegar stench that comes from my microwave when I dye wool, so hopefully this will solve that problem.

And for those who are coming to the great dye-o-rama (details yet to be finalised), you can experiment with them too! Hooray!

ugh. finished the dress yesterday. just sewing bias binding on the seams took me FIVE AND HALF HOURS! (that 47 minutes per seam...). i cussed like a sailor too.

anyway, what i was idly musing is the fact that i have access to a spinning wheel... what condition it is in is doubtful. but, well... what do you think? should i dust it off and try to learn to spin? i'm a teeny bit apprehensive because:
a) i SO don't want another expensive hobby
b) a lady i knew who used to spin had a house so messy and disorganised it scared me (imagine, if, like a crazy homeless lady wasn't homeless. it was kinda like that). so now i associate spinning with major, heart-attack inducing clutter.
c) the other person i have heard of (never met) who used to rear the sheep, spin their wool then knit it into jumpers is a Slightly Perculiar lady of the same odd branch of Catholicism as Russell Crowe, who also thinks that any music post-Rachmaninov is of the devil (literally). she also didn't let her children drink water with fluoride in, or brush their teeth with fluoride-added toothpaste because she thought it caused cancer.

i guess i just associate spinning with socially unacceptable oddness. this is not a path ayoung knitter need venture any further down.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

mmkay. now y'all have posted something i can go back to being a blog-hog (hey, i'm young, i'm on holidays, i sleep till noon. what do you expect me to fill my days with?)

i have took a knitting hiatus on tuesday to sew a dress. butterick 4790, actually. mine is in a teeny weeny red & blue print that i got for $2 a metre at a fabric shop in bunbury. it took me an hour and a half to cut out the (three) paper pattern pieces. i still have to do all the hems, but after sewing eight darts and about five seams (several more than the pattern calls for, but more on that in a sec) i was Utterly Exhausted. Screw sewing for a joke. knitting is so where it's at.
anyway, my darts are a bit wibbly, so one breast looks a little larger and more angular (!) than the other. while i was aware that i have narrow, flat, book-wormy shoulders, and happily adjusted pattern accordingly, apparently my waist is also four or five inches higher than that of the fit model's. perculiar. thus me resewing seams over and over, making the body smaller each time.

went to the anglicare knit-in today. quality time with my maternal parenting figure and charitable deed in one. i'm a multi-tasker. i sewed strips to make a blankie, then stuffed myself full of donuts. they had these primary school age kids coming round with sweet treats on trays, and primary school kids don't think there's anything wrong with taking three donuts and a biscuit at once.

Okay, yeah. I'm struggling to post on two blogs. Forgive me, I'm a newb ;-P

Check mine out, there's stuff there :)

Seriously, on the Cardi thing... I've finished the first sleeve, started the second and run out of yarn. The remainder is in the post, should have been here today, but no luck :(

It will have to wait until tomorrow. Meh. I'm on track for the Canberra trip on the 29th.

I think.

Also, my ipod has a jumper :) Well... a cosy. It's cute. It's black and purple stripes. What's not to like?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Okay, enough of this blogging 'hiatus'! Seems like nobody has much to say at the moment. I blame the weather! Too cold to type over here, and everyone's on summer holidays in the northern hemisphere.

It is, however, fantastic knitting weather but for some reason, things are progressing way too slowly. I am still working on the Apocalype hoodie I started six weeks ago (the first took a week to knit), and Knitty's Candy is also taking way longer than it should. I am onto the sleeves now, and it's apparently all cruisy downhill from here... we shall see. I will post pics when I get the sleeves finished.

I had to rip out all of the Vogue lace cardigan because I worked 20cm of the back before realising it was huge. It wrapped around me and met at my bellybutton, which is not exactly ideal when it's also supposed to have front panels. I'd done three gauge swatches for it because I was concerned about getting gauge in lace, and I thought I had it down, so it took me ages to admit that it was all going wrong (stubborn, moi?).

I spent two weeks wondering what went wrong until I realised I'd knit the swatches on steel needles and the actual cardigan on bamboo, and so of course my gauge would change. I didn't need to pull the yarn so tight on the bamboo, so it was much looser. It was one of those 'duh!' moments.

The pattern recommends 5mm needles, and I ended up using 4mm needles, so I dread to think what size I will be going down to when I make swatches on bamboo needles. Also, frogging all that Kid Seta was painful. But I shall persevere (yes, being stubborn has its upside) and when I am finished at least one of the three cardigans I am currently working on, I will start again.