Archive for September, 2010

In my head…

I’ve already posted this blog post. However I find actually sitting down at the computer and typing posts up is a far more effective way of posting stuff than just thinking about posting.

Soooo, anyway, I ordered more gorgeous yarn from Knitsch yarns. Delicious 12 ply this time – in three different colourways – Silver Lining, Miss Piggy and Misty Heathers.  Here they are wound and ready to knit…

And in fact I’ve knit up the Silver Lining already – a new hat pattern is in the offing, and the first run through is in this delightful ever-so-subtle semi-solid grey.  Miss Piggy is on the needles now. You’ll never guess who that’s intended for!

I didn’t just restrict myself to 12 ply either – I do like to make the most of my postage costs… So I ordered this lovely, bright sock yarn, another semi-solid, this is one of her new colourways, 1/4 acre dream. Gorgeous!  And as with my last order, I had some cute extras included – Supervery stitch markers and a funky pencil.

Lovely!  I’m loving having another local yarn supplier, go the Kiwi yarn 🙂


FO: Alpaca Lace Tunic

It’s been a stormy week – windy and cold, interspersed with periods of fine, sunny weather. Supposedly Spring here, I have been pleased for the bad weather – if it were warmer I wouldn’t have been able to wear my lovely new tunic. 

I had intended to knit this much earlier in the year, but I kept getting side tracked with test knitting and new patterns. I was determined, however, at the start of the month to sit at it until it was done.  Well, two pairs of socks and three test knits later…. I did manage it 🙂  This pattern is the Alpaka Tunic from Interweave Knits Fall 2009 edition. I loved it on sight, and determined to knit it right away – I got as far as ordering the yarn from WEBS, but it was really too late in the year to knit it by then. And so I stashed it away until now. 

Speaking of yarn, I knit this from Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, which was a very reasonably priced option for alpaca. It was my first go with this fibre – and it was a real pleasure to knit with. This yarn is 50% wool 50% alpaca, and is a three ply worsted weight yarn. It is slightly hairy, and also has a nice variation to it –  heathered I guess. It was nice to work with, and I didn’t find it at all splity. It also felted well for the joins.  I didn’t use as much as I thought either  –  Just under 6 skeins, so I have a bit extra to play with now too.

The pattern was clear and easy in terms of the lace. I did, however, make major modifications to it – some things just didn’t make sense. Why on earth would I want to knit it in pieces and seam?? It made no sense to me. So, I knit it in the round from the bottom up. The pattern calls you to cast on and knit front and back, and then pick up the stitches at the bottom afterwards for the moss stitch hem – I saw no sense in that either, so this was done first when I cast on.

I knit in the round until I hit the final decrease for the body, and then switched to knitting back and forth. This was really just a guess as I wasn’t sure what my total length from here to the shoulders would be and I ended up with 8.5 inches, and just, erm, fudged it a little. I like how the armholes fit anyway!

Next modification was to *not* cast off the stitches and then pick them back up again for the top section – seemed pointless to me. I did do the shoulder shaping as per the pattern though, and then seamed them up.  The sleeves I knit first up (as a gauge swatch) and then seamed them in as per the pattern.

So, all up my verdict is a good one. I love this – it’s big and cosy and warm and cute. I got quite a few compliments at school (and a fair few “Can you make me one” as well. Erm, no! (Although the very skinny teens who asked would probably take next to no time to knit for!!)  I can see me getting lots of wear out of this – maybe not this year – this cold spell can’t last forever (can it?) – but next year and beyond.

Panini Recipe

I like paninis but hate paying supermarket prices for them. Seriously, over $6 for 4 panini?  There is no way our grocery budget can extend to that! Having a breadmaker and a bit of curiosity, I figured it was time to give making my own panini a try.   They turned out beautifully, so I thought that I should share the recipe with you to spread the panini love.

1.5 cups warm water

2T olive oil

1.5 t salt

2T sugar

4 cups high grade flour

3 t Surebake yeast

I made mine in the breadmaker on the pizza dough cycle – which is 45 minutes long, it does mixing, resting, and a bit of kneading, more resting, more kneading, and some rising.  You could easily do this by hand. When the cycle was done I cut the dough into ten roughly even parts, rolled each in flour and then rolled each into an oval before leaving them to rise. The thickness of the oval was probably about 7mm or so before rising.

Once they were risen I brushed them with a little more olive oil and baked them in a 220 degrees celcius oven for 8 minutes.

Now the next stage was not one I’d recommend you follow – I had to go to work and when I came back my son had been tucking into them… so don’t leave them unattended as they are delicious!!

Testing 1…2…3

At the beginning of Spring, I gave myself a wee pep talk about how much test knitting I’ve been doing lately and the importance to making sure I get my own knitting list done. It worked for, ooooh, about a week. And then, well I just couldn’t resist.  I signed up for two test knits on the same day, and my Alpaka Tunic got pushed back down the list a little more.  The end results have been worth it though…

The first is a gorgeous new babydoll dress pattern – it comes with two different options for the skirt and I tried the cable option.

It was such a gorgeous pattern I decided to make another one as a present for my friend’s baby’s birthday on the weekend.

Both are made from 100PureWool, in the Izcua colourway. Each one used one skein – you can see I used more trim on one that the other – The top on Miss 2 is a 2T, the smaller is a 12 months size. I adore this pattern and highly recommend it – simple but effective. It is called the Paige Babydoll, by Rachel Evans, and will hopefully be ready for release soon  – I’ll let you know!

And the third tester I knit was for someone a bit smaller – a new addition to the family you might say…

Meet Baby, or possibly Rose… Miss 4 hasn’t quite decided on a permanent name for her. Anyway, she is the latest addition to our ‘family’, a present for her recent birthday. Baby arrived with just one set of clothes, so I leapt at the opportunity to test Tikki’s dolly verision of the Cassia pattern, so that she could have a change of clothes!  Isn’t it sweet?  I’m sure Baby is delighted with this wee dress. It took just 50g of yarn for this small size doll (Baby stands 16 inches high), and it fits a treat. 

So now it’s back to the tunic for me… It’s been growing slowly but surely, and I’m hoping it will be done in another week. Of course, hoping doesn’t get it done… knitting does. So I’ve been working on it a little bit each day, and progress is being made. Promise!

FO: My Monkeys

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you might have read about me knitting the Monkey pattern before. I knit a pair for a swap in lovely red.  I knit a teensy pair for (then) Miss 3, which are now worn and loved by her little sister.  I made a teensy-er pair for the little Miss, which are now really too small, yet I catch her trying to put them on still. I knit a pair for a Christmas gift.  Yes, it’s a great pattern to knit. What I wanted though was a pair to *wear*.

I tried. Remember this post? My first attempt. Frogged. My second attempt didn’t even bear photographing. It ended up in the frog pond too. It seemed I was destined not to have a pair of my own.

Until, on fondling my yarn stash one day (as I do!) I realised a skein of yarn I had some *issues with* might be perfect.  And before I could change my mind I wound it up and cast on. For the next 6 or 7 weeks, the socks travelled in my work bag, slowly being knit up over lunchtimes and meetings into my very own Monkey socks.

I knit two extra repeats in the leg to make them a little longer than usual, and made the heel flap an extra four rows longer for a better fit.  Other than that, it was all plain sailing. I love the way it is such an easy pattern to remember.  It is a tight fitting sock though, I believe that there are modifications on this pattern available somewhere for a larger size sock, which people might need if they have fatter feet than me (if that’s possible – why does having kids make your feet spread unattractively?).

The yarn… is Vintage Purls sock yarn, in a colourway called Gardenia.  I didn’t love it in the skein, but it’s knit up very nicely. Darn hard to photograph well though!! Here’s my best attempt…

There are light pinks and bright pinks, greens and even purple in there – a luscious mix of colours.

So, now I’m happy. And without a pair of socks for my work bag. Must be time to cast on another pair!

Cosy Toes

These are, without a doubt, the ugliest socks I have ever knit.  But, don’t worry, they aren’t for me, so it’s okay. 

I got this yarn in a swap last year. I love the colours, but when I started knitting it up, the pooling started. I had originally planned to knit these in a pattern, but after an inch or so I realised how futile it was, and pulled it back.  I’m glad I did, because these are for DH’s huge feet and that would have been a lot of knitting for very little effect. 

I used the Garter Heel pattern from Wendy Johnson’s Socks from the Toe Up, and it fits DH a treat with 72 stitches per round.  I decided to make a long ribbed top on them as they will mostly be used under his Doc Martens boots, so I wanted them to stay up well.  I could definitely have reduced the number of stitches on the leg though – he has seriously skinny shins!

The yarn is Patonyle sock yarn, and I used all but a scrap of the 100g, just enough leff over for some darning if needed. 

I started these months ago and knit up just one as a portable project. It sat, sadly waiting, in the basket next to my knitting chair, for months.  My daughters occasionally picked it up and said “That’s Dad’s sock”. Thanks for the guilt trip ladies!  I decided that I should do something about it… and made up my mind to cast on for the second one, aiming to finish for Father’s Day. It didn’t quite happen, it got done for the day after, but no complaints from him on the wait (especially as I placated him with some 1957 and 1957 car magazines on the day!).  That means I knit the second sock as a side-project in just 4 days. Not too shabby!

So, now DH has a pair of socks and a hat from this winter, I might consider him ‘done’ for the year, and I can go back to knitting pink, pink, pink!!

Knitsch Winners

I’m delighted to announce that (with the help of the lovely folks at I have drawn the winners for the Knitsch yarn.  They are…

RachaelD, for her lovely socks which feature in the pattern- she also knit up a second gorgeous pair during the last month too.

And, one of my local knitters, Sarah with her second ever pair of socks!

Photos stolen from Rav – I hope that’s okay gals!!

Can you please let me know which skein you choose, and I’ll get your prize packages together 🙂

Left to right: Punky, Hanny Pants, Almost Iris, Izzy.

September 2010
« Aug   Oct »

Blog Stats

  • 347,337 hits