Thursday, June 27, 2013

More baby hats! (2013 FOs #10 & #11)

Today I returned books to my local library that were two weeks overdue. This might not seem like a big deal but it is totally out of character for me. I am the kind of person who checks online records daily and puts reminders in her phone so she doesn't forget due dates. In part, it's because I'd much rather use the money for wool or wine than late fees but mainly it's because of my inner drill sergeant - you know, the one lives in my psyche and is  always yelling at me, telling me to get up, be on time, leave ten minutes early to allow for traffic and parking delays - you know, that voice.

Lately, however, there has been a softer, more seductive voice whispering in my ear. Don't go swimming, this voice purrs, it's much too cold. You've sneezed twice today - you'd better work from home in your yoga pants while drinking tea and sitting very close to the heater. This voice tempts me with warmth and comfort and doesn't care about deadlines or staying healthy. It wants me to be warm and comfortable all the time and I have been powerless to resist its temptation. Hence, no new knitting projects, no blog posts and the requirement to switch from buttoned to elastic-waisted pants...

But I'm back! I am not going to give in to my inner winter sloth and emerge blinking into the springtime sunlight five kilos heavier and totally unused to human contact. I will resist!!  As much as I can, anyway - if humans were meant to go outside in the cold, we would have been covered in fur like cats.


In other news

I finished these a while ago but never got around to taking photos. Inspired by my Sisyphian spiralling baby hat, I went through my stash and found some other leftover hanks of 4-ply wool that were too small to make anything other than these adorable baby hats.

First up was this one made with less than 20g of Patonyle - 84 stitches on 3.75mm needles. It's really nice and soft and I think will work well as a hat but the fabric, while super-comfortable for baby-wearing, was too loose for the brim to roll properly, which was a bit disappointing. 

But this one was a massive success!

I used a 20g Waratah Fibres hand dyed pure wool 4-ply sample I got from a Ewe Beaut fibre sample box (It looks like they're not active anymore. That's sad - the box was heaps of fun and a great opportunity to find new vendors, new yarns and new dyers.) The label doesn't say what the colourway is but it didn't look very appealing in the skein. However, the finished hat is totally adorable! The pink and yellow and blue work really well together in a way I did not expect, resulting in a completely squee-worthy hat.

I think these woolly hats warm will result in some warm and stylishly attired babies :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Kill your darlings: the end of the Endpaper Mitts

On the Tuesday after a long weekend during which I watched the entire first season of Game of Thrones (oh to be the person with the contract to supply the fake blood for that show!) it feels incredibly appropriate to open the week by killing my darlings. Kill your darlings, I have recently discovered, is a term used to describe a particular strategy for writing prose which is based on the premise that if you really really like bits of your writing then you can't be objective about them and, if you can't objectively judge them, you can never be sure if they are any good therefore they must die (is it just me or does the language seem a little overly dramatic for a series of letters on a page? It's just writing, really.) The Thesis Whisperer even detailed ways to apply this technique to a thesis.

Now I think that deleting something just because you like it is actually a pretty stupid strategy but I understand the basic idea behind the concept. It can take a bit of courage to face that just because you really like a piece of writing - even a piece of writing that contains a truly excellent pun or alliterative phrase - doesn't necessarily mean it's any good. And, to stretch the metaphor a bit further, just because you've working on a knitting project for a while and you become attached to it, even if the knitted fabric is really really nice, doesn't mean it's going to work.

So this morning, I took a long hard look at a project that I have been suspecting for a while was not going to work...

..faced up to the fact it was coming out much much bigger than it should have been...

..and murdered my darlings.

Looks like my sister is going to have to wait a little bit longer for her nice warm pair of mitts.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rescuing a dog: my good deed of the day

On Thursday last week I went swimming. It was a wet, cold and miserable day and on the way home I drove like a 92-year-old grandmother with sight problems (ie very slowly and carefully while constantly peering over my steering wheel) because the road was slippery and other drivers were driving much too fast given the conditions (Hooligans! You stay of off my lawn *shakes fists*). In the distance, I noticed a very wet dog running back and forth across the street. There was no human anywhere with a leash so I figured the poor thing was lost but I didn't know what to do about it - I'm a cat person! I didn't have a leash or anything that I could use to tie the dog up and prevent it from running on the road and getting hit by a car but if I knew that if I drove off and left it there I would spend the whole day worrying about it ... So I pulled over, opened my car door and whistled.

It worked! He jumped in, shook himself to get rid off the excess water (and, I discovered later, the mud - there are mud spatters all over my car including the ceiling!) and installed himself in the front seat in front of the heaters. I called the council, who sent a lovely, friendly woman to come and pick him up. He was microchipped so they were able to call his family and I'm sure he was safely installed at home very shortly (hopefully a better secured home than the one he was able to escape from!). 

Good deed of the day done I drove home (slowly and carefully, of course) and walked inside very pleased by myself. Lucy smelt me, determined that I had been spending time not only with an animal who wasn't her but a dog (!!!!) and peed on my swimming towel while I was in the shower. Stupid, adorable little cat :)