Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again

September in Melbourne signals the same things every year.  The weather gets warmer and, enticed by the clear blue sky and bright crystal sun, people start to turn off the ducted heating and step outside into the daylight.  Football fever takes over the city and perfectly normal people start doing crazy things like wearing football paraphernalia outside of the accepted football arenas and in their everyday life and spending $600 on grand final tickets for two games that their team doesn't even win (well, I don't know how widespread that final instance is, but it was me last year.   Clearly I'm still holding some resentment.) And I cast on Football Finals socks and plant a whole bunch of seeds which I water enthusiastically for about three weeks and then completely neglect until they die.  I'm a sock-knitting plant murderer!

Firstly, the socks.  For the last two years, I cast on for a pair of socks during St Kilda's Qualifying Final and then knit frantically on the pair throughout September, convinced if I didn't finish the socks before the grand final then St Kilda would lose.  Well, in neither year did I finish the socks and in neither year did St Kilda win a grand final.  Draw what conclusions from that information that you will. This year, I broke with tradition and cast on during the Geelong-Hawthorn Qualifying rather than the St Kilda one (I needed to start a new project), and the Saints lost the Qualifying, which is their worst finals results in many years.  Next year, I'm knitting a blanket instead.  Just in case.

Hopefully we'll have lemons...

..coriander and chillies..

..and mint and chillies very soon!

 Melbourne in spring, I heart you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Resurrected & 2011 FO# 8: Hospital Socks

I started these socks in hospital.  I was bored, woozy and desperately in need of bright and cheerful things.

 The pattern is basically your normal sock with a simple lace panel on either side.  However, and this gives you an indication of how totally whacked out on pain killers I was - I could not even cope with a simple four-row lace pattern.  It was completely incomprehensible to me.  So, the pattern, the yarn and the needles got shoved into a bag and promptly forgotten about (the painkillers made it very easy to forget all sorts of things...).

Fast forward two months later, and I'm at home - bored, cranky and with horrible cold toes.  While unpacking all my bags from the hospital I spy a glaring yellow barely started sock (honestly, it's hard to miss - it's pretty freaking bright) and my prayers for occupation and toe-warming are answered.  One week later I have warm toes, have passed my time pleasantly watching old movies and knitting socks, and am generally all-around feeling much better.

I used my usual 64 stitches on this sock, but the combination of 2.5mm needles (I usually use 2.25mm) and the slightly-thicker-than-normal Jitterbug yarn led to these socks being just a tiny bit too big to wear with shoes.  It suits me though - I'm wearing them as bed/house slippers and I know that when I see their brightness, it's bound to make me feel a little bit happier than I was before.

Pattern: Pillars by Lisa Stichweh (Rav link)
Yarn: One of my favourites - Colinette Jitterbug in Vincent's Apron
Notes/Modifications: Used my own stitch count for the sock, a short-row heel and my own standard toe.

But, as they say in the classics - wait, there's more!  One of the benefits of moving (and there aren't many that I can see) is the chance to go through all your long-forgotten belongings that have been shoved into bags, drawers and boxes, and then forgotten about.   A long time ago (in October 2007, according to Ravelry), I started a mitered square blanket (honestly, I am an awful blogger.  This a major project which involves a huge investment of capital and time, and did I mention starting it? Did I discuss the process? Nope, I just made random mention of squares I was knitting.  Bad me!).  Anyhoo, when moving I found the 38 squares that I had finished for the blanket and realised that I only had 10 squares to go before I could start the seaming.  Admittedly, this did not make me pick up the blanket again, but did make it seem more possible that one day it would eventually be finished.  I stored it in the bottom drawer of the dresser.

Two weeks ago, Sam threw a bit of a tanty because, out of the six drawers in our massive chest of drawers, three and a half are occupied by my clothes and one is full of wool.  To appease him (and because even I can see that situation is not exactly fair) I pulled out the Mitered Square Blanket.  Since the wool and all the squares were out already, I thought it wouldn't do any harm to knit a few more squares.  Wham bam thank you ma'am, eight of the ten squares are finished and I should be ready to start the seaming tomorrow.  There is a chance that this blanket may be finished by October, meaning that it would have only taken a mere four years to finish the blanket.  A perfectly reasonable timeframe! My old knits, resurrected :)