Wednesday, November 29, 2006

on dishcloths

i do not understand knitted dishcloths. i used to also not understand hand-knitted socks, but i have come to an uneasy acceptance. i fear that when it comes to dishcloths that un-crafty mantra comes into my head: why make it when you can buy one for so much less time and effort? it is not like a jumper (or a sock) where your time, effort and expenditure can result in a unique garment that fits you perfectly. it is a dishcloth. it used in a most utilitarian manner that degrades your handiwork, and before long it will be thrown out. it will probably smell bad.
i do not even understand exactly what the dishcloth does. i use a sponge or a green scrubby thing to clean the dishes, and a tea towel to dry. which of these does the dishcloth replace?
i do not understand fancy dishcloths, heart-shaped or entrelac for 'when guests come to visit'. i really do not think guests will consider you a lacking host for using a regular sponge or tea towel. and if the concept of using a grotty everyday sponge/ tea towel bothers you, you don't strike me as the kind of person who would be so rude as to do the washing up while your guests were still there.

let me not get started on the concept of hand-knitted washcloths, either.

Monday, November 27, 2006

lucky rabbit (and tips for finishing stuffed toys)

here is a jess hutch bunny, in terrifying polar fleece. he seems to be a little shorter and fatter than the original. i guess fluffy stuff does funny things to your gauge. his head is on a little wonky, and without something to lean against his default pose is the glamourous Lying on his Back with his Feet and One Hand in the Air. but i think he is a little bit suave nonetheless. his face is stitched with a scrap of debbie bliss cathay, leftover from the vogue high neck top, and two terribly cheap toy eyes, onto which i jammed two washers each because the stupid plastic washers were rather easy to yank off.

a little trick for finishing off toys (if this is widely known and accepted, tell me and i'll blush): once you are done stitching on a limb/ ear/ tail, stab the needle into the body right next to your stitching, and go straight through the body and bring it out any old place. tug the yarn very, very hard so the body buckles up a bit. snip the yarn, let go and the body goes back to its normal shape and swallows that yarn end up into its good polyfilled belly. beats weaving in ends on the right side, for sure.

i am a bit wishing i didn't sew all Rabbit's limbs on yet, so i could take a foot with me to the viewings i have lined up today, for luck. right now i am torn between worrying about getting a place at all, and worrying about getting a place and having somewhere better come up next week. god i'm good at stressing.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

in my tracks

the knitting has slowed a little while i work on super duper top secret Things, and while i look for a new place to live. which these days seems to involve calling real estate agents at 3am to catch them off guard, and clawing out the eyeballs of unsuspecting fellow applicants, so they cannot see the delicious bargain abode just listed. apparently people have begun offering to pay above the listed rental price. suffice to say that if this practice is common, i will have to knit a tent and live in a park.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

more birdies!

the polka-dot one is the same as in the previous entry, only with his pale green unpicked and silly yellow french knots added.

i like the polka dot one, though the printed felt is a bi-atch to work with, both physically and design-wise. the one on the right seems kind of tropical to me. the 'star' reminds me of a hibiscus. i still haven't decided who these are going to yet... i guess i'll just use them as gift tags for everyone.
in other exciting news, calico&ivy actually let me return some yarn(!) and they didn't even demand a receipt (!!) so i swapped for two garlands of red and white felt stars, strung on white leather with little white wooden beads. i would have preferred all-red, but unexpected- returners- of- purchased- goods can't be choosers.

Monday, November 20, 2006

christmas birdies

this one is finished, except for his hanger (they're christmas ornaments). it was so much fun to go embroider for a bit. and they're quick, fun free-hand projects. this birdy was 'inspired' by chika mori's. it has my first ever sucessful french knots on it, and some very messy lazy daisy stitch.

polka-dot birdie is going to have his pale green bits unpicked, because i don't like them. he will get more dark green stars before i stitch him up.

i would like to make a sailor jerry birdie next, with anchors and stars. and i'd like to make some black or navy blue ones with gold thread.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

stay tuned...

i spent my first day after exams going on a shopping trip to spotlight, and playing with my new toys in my room. while some of my purchases were for the toy bunny-rabbit, i also branched out. and made christmassy things that weren't knit. oo! they were fun. i made a big mess on the floor with lots of coloured embroidery threads.

but you will have to wait for pictures, because i am working/ going out (i'm on the door for little birdy (and trying unsucessfully not to look smug))/ moving the badly coloured boy's wordly possessions across perth.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

quick! another bandwagon!

like clementine, i must jump on it.

the fetching gloves, for gemma:

because gemma has kiddie-hands, i cast on a mere 30 stitches. after the cuff was complete i purled into the front and back of each purl stitch, so the rib pattern became k4 p2, with a total of 35 stitches, to account for the fact that palms are broader than wrists. they are a bit of a wriggle to get onto my hands (palm 7 inches, wrist 5.75 inches), but fit nicely once on. this is one of the reasons i don't really like knitting for hands/ feet. they're such pernickety things to fit. such lumpy shapes.

here are her gloves packaged up in a box i got in a swap (it was filled with candy corn, since we don't really do halloween here). it was the perfect size for a pair of rolled up mitts.

the other side of the box says 'Boo!' i intend to leave it somewhere to surprise her.

i have also started on jess hutch's bunny, in horrific brown fleece yarn. i am terrified of dropping a stitch in all the fluff. it will be part of a christmas present for someone, paired with pretty, girly boxer-shorts/ cami-knickers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

na na na na na na - Stash Bust!

(that was to the tune of the batman theme).

since i'm getting ready to move and all, and am planning to buy vast quantities of yarn over the next fortnight (oo, some 25 - 30 balls) i thought i should thin out what i have. which is not very much. it fits into three kassetts boxes.
Thus far i have:
- one fetching glove, and the second cast on.* photos tomorrow.
- plans for the combined frogged boobholder/ one skein wonder. it will become a truly perculiar new candy cardigan. stripes of navy blue cotton and red merino. should look... um, well. i'll wear it.
- plans for a small bear out of the weird brown polar fleece yarn.

i need ideas for two balls of 5 ply wool in red and mauve; and two balls of trellis yarn that is not a scarf. i want the yarn to go to someone who actually liked it (!) and she doesn't wear scarves.
i als have half a ball of pink/ grey/ white/ black self-fair-isling jawoll sock yarn that i am sure is cursed. well i have ongoing trouble with making anything that isn't too small with this yarn, so i am going to make a clean break of it. anyone who wants it, speak up (now that i've spoken so highly of it and all). recent intentions for a half-ball included drawer sachets, mini xmas stockings and an ipod cover.

* fetching is going to badly coloured boy's best friend/ ex-girlfriend (and also my friend too, don't get me wrong). every time i see her she begs for fingerless gloves. the last time i saw her i thought of fetching, which had never grabbed me personally, but which seemed quick and easy. the conversation went like this:
"Well, i wouldn't do actual finger-holes. there'd be a single hole for all your fingers to stick out of. is that okay?"
"Yeah! It's better!"
"Do you just want plain, or what?"
"Just plain.... well, maybe a few cables?"
Done and done.

Friday, November 10, 2006


i was too distraught to post about this yesterday. i cried. i went to bed convinced i would give up knitting and take up some other popular fad, like poledancing. when i woke up this morning, the pain was still there, but bearable. not to be melodramatic or anything, but last time i felt like this was when a boy unceremoniously dumped me in first year uni after our shared Introduction to Modernity class. what happened? well, see my first ever jumper? beautiful, sailor-esque candy, knitted in snuggly soft wool/ silk blend?

she got a weeny bit of indian takeaway on her, so i went to handwash her. i used tepid water with pure soap, i didn't let the water fall straight on her, i didn't let her soak, i didn't wring her. i did gently squeeze the water out. yet when i drained the water out of the bucket and laid her out to dry - well! this!

she stretched! ALOT! my fingers are stretched out and you can't even see them poking out from the cuff! the shoulders don't stay on! and she smells weird. like burnt hair.
why, why did she do this? what did i do wrong? i killed not only the first jumper i ever made, but my favourite jumper of all.
any ideas on how to fix her? or what i should do with her battered, elongated remains? (a formal burial remains a possibility. do you think the cats would dig her up?).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

old bags

i take my knitting lots of places, and i used to lust after some terribly complex and glamourous knitting bag. but i've finally come realise that a simple tote bag, or even drawstring bag, is really quite sufficient. everything can just be dropped in the top, and don't they look pretty? these are my three drawstring bags:

the striped one and the one with astronauts are the bags that peter alexander pyjamas come in (god knows why - they're such a tight fit that once you get those jimjams out, you ain't never going to fit them back in). luckily, my housemate has a bit of a pyjama fetish, and buys a couple of pairs per season, meaning i reap the incidental rewards of bright knitting bags. the kansas seal flour bag i got in a swap, and i love it very much. it's the perfect size for socks. pity i don't knit them.
all have pins on them, that some lovely craftster sent me for suggesting slogans for knitting related pins, and each matches its own bag (that's a big coincidence)! there is 'i'd rather be knitting'; 'knit in public' and 'just one more row'.

the only bag not shown is tangled up with anatolia. it's a larger black cotton tote bag, free from Vintage Publishers, to celebrate the reprint of the Peter Carey backlist. it has a stylised naked redheaded woman and the titles of all his books on. quite the loveliest free bag from a publisher i have received.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

buttons and froggings

here's what the reds under the bed jacket looked like just prior to posting it. with added buttons and bonus care tag! the buttons did make it look more polished.

and this is what used to be a glampyre boobholder:

Sorry for the dim picture, it was that or flash-assisted painfully bright overexposure. i made an executive decision, so turn your monitor brighter. having an exam today motivated me to do things like finish frogging the half-frogged cardy lying about in my room. it had been trailing long bits of yarn all over the place because, to my surprise, it's harder to rip apart than it is to knit, and i got stuck all over the place. on the home run now, i will finish it in front of the tv tonight.

Monday, November 06, 2006

a gallery of stripy scarfs

since i have no progress to show (well, i imagine that another inch on the anatolia sleeve; and another half an invisible stripe scarf is perhaps not that interesting) i've put together a little gallery of invisible stripe scarfs other people have made.

Here is jess' nice hairy blue one:

And rubbish knitter's red one, for her mother in law (just like where one of mine is going! well, not to a mother-in-law, but to badly coloured boy's ma, which is nearly the same).

and lowredmoon has her's here; but as i haven't heard from her about whether i can post her photo here, you'll have to follow the link. her's is pink and made from moda dea dream.

Friday, November 03, 2006

reds under the bed jacket

Here is what used to be the baby burnout jacket getting a little bath (in Dove conditioner for colour treated hair. Not that i dye my hair. Nuh-uh. Not me. It's all natural... really). The conditioner really did soften it up a lot. I'm very pleased.

And here it is all blocked out nicely (it still needs buttons though). the neckline is a little stand-up collar, because i was studying when i picked up the neck stitches, and picked up far too many. but that's okay. i like it. i actually happen to think it looks a lot cooler than the original pattern, especially with all the moss stitch instead of ribbing.
why the name change? why is no longer the baby burnout jacket? well, the little stand-up collar reminded me of a pattern in an old vogue book i have called the Russian Pullover. or else kind of like the uniform of chairman mao. the red seemed a little soviet too. in australia in the 1950s we had something akin to mccarthyism, without the denunciations and public trials. but everyone was terrified of the big bad bogeyman communists, that for a large part didn't exist. the hysteria was nicknamed 'reds under the bed' - a bit of a reference to children being frightened of monsters under the bed. since this is a jacket for a child... well. reds under the bed it was. it's just how my mind works.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

whoo! whoo!

(that's an owl noise, doncha know?)

Looks like Marc Jacobs is getting down with the owl cable (or 'owl intarsia' as Net-a-Porter mysteriously labelled it). Seems popular too. Sold out of Net-a-Porter and ShopBop. It's a very cute design, one which I am rather tempted to thieve (before or after I thieve the pringle trapeze line jumper? decisions...). But why white? the little owlies hardly stand out. Much nicer would have been a tweedy brown-ish grey. The colour of an owl.

I was dreaming about making owl christmas decorations last night too.