Monday, March 31, 2014

Help! I'm procrastinating...

I am in serious trouble. I have a ridiculous amount of work to do but, instead of actually doing it, I am doing things that sound like they might be scholarly but are actually not. Yesterday, I was reading a book on the gothic heroine in cinema. I then somehow ended up watching this ... was fantastic. There is an unexplained fantasy sequence near the end of the movie where Michael Redgrave's (the grandfather of Liam Neeson's deceased wife Natasha Richardson) character tries himself for a murder that may or may not have happened - it was a pure delight. They honestly do not make movies like this anymore.

But, unfortunately, this viewing did not result in any words being added to my thesis.

I then felt guilty about the aforementioned lack of writing, so I decided to to make myself feel better by making Katharine Hepburn's brownies

These were truly delicious. After eating them, I felt better - or at least fatter! - but still, no more words. I think I might need to start using one of those programs that blocks you from the internet or else I am never going to graduate.

Back to work!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

You know your friends understand knitters when...

.. they send you pictures of their children wearing your knitwear.

Adorable, one and all :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bye bye, brioche :(

I mentioned last week that I'd finished my brioche hat. I was quite happy with it - it was really warm and it covered my ears, which I loved. After a week of wearing it around the house, I decided was time to stop faffing about and get the hat out-of-house ready by blocking it.

This was a mistake. 

As soon as the hat hit the water, it doubled in size. I have never seen anything like it before in my life - where did all the extra size even come from? I wish I'd taken before and after shots. If I had, they'd look something like this:

Nice warm hat, covering ears well. Photograph photobombed by cat, as expected.

I am now wearing a skirt on my head.

As I discovered when I was unwinding it, the hat was now big enough for a jumper!


You know how all knitting books say "wash your swatch"? Well, it turns out if you do, then you don't need to spend Sunday afternoons turning this...

..into this.

Wash your swatches, kids. Don't be like me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday: I just can't help myself

Frequently, I say to myself, "This year, I'll cut down on my WIPs." Just like a person for whom this bag of chips is their last bag of chips or someone who really really intends to go to their next exercise class tomorrow, I promise myself that I'll institute a one-off-the-needles, one-on-the-needles policy, or even finish projects and just not cast on anything at all, resulting in an reduction of total number of WIPs. I make a proclamation on my blog or to Sam that this time, it'll be different - I really will frog, fix or finish my way down to five WIPs or fewer. Really!

But then I get what I can only describe as a compulsion and start rifling through my stash, pairing up patterns with needles and yarn and starting the whole thing all over again.

This is a simple scarf in linen stitch in some Mirabol Hachu from the deep deep stash. It looks fantastic but it, like brioche stitch, is really slow going - the distance between the markers is what I knit yesterday with this as the only project I worked in all day (in fact, linen stitch basically is brioche stitch, instead that rather than wrap the yarn around the needle you move it to the front or back). I cast on provisionally because I like both ends of the scarf to match perfectly. At this rate, it'll be over a month before I finish it but it looks really gorgeous so far, so I think it'll make a gorgeous scarf.

And once I'm done, I really will wrestle those WIPs down!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2014 FO# 6: February Bendy Birthday Socks

The sock finishing parade continues!

Today's Friday FO was actually F'd at the start of February, but I finished it on the same day I gifted it so I didn't have a chance to get any pictures before it was opened.

Yesterday, after a month of repeated demands requests that the recipient send through some modelled shots, I gave up and went to their house, iPad in hand ready to click away.

Don't they look comfy and warm?

Four pairs of socks to go!

(Deets: the yarn is some Bendy sock wool I got on sale before Christmas. I used 2.5mm needles, cast on 72 stitches and knit the sock top down with a heel-flap and gusset heel. The wool was lovely and very cheap (I think maybe $7.50 a ball?) so a great, enjoyable good value project)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Instagram edition

It's nice to be back online! Last month I used my entire monthly data allowance in 10 days which, frankly, both sucked and was completely ridiculous. I couldn't go into my office at uni because of O-Week and the first week of classes (so many people! so much beer!), so I could only check my email or do fun stuff like read blogs or play on Ravelry if I could access someone else's wifi. I've finally sucked it up and signed up for a fixed broadband plan with lots of data that is double the cost of what I pay now but it irritates me incredibly that data is so expensive in Australia. Not only does it limit the competitiveness of Australians internationally, access to data will be an increasingly large socioeconomic issue. Grrr!!

However, on the plus side, the lack of ability to hang out in cyberspace meant I had lots of time for knitting and other crafts.

Well, only knitting, really. The cross-stitch does now looks like a bird but I also remember why I stopped cross-stitching in the first place...knitting is much more fun! I am determined so I will finish it...not so sure about the other three patterns I bought though.

I finished the brioche hat and started working on the matching cowl.

I'm not sure how much cowl I'm going to get out of this amount of wool, so instead of knitting it in the round I'm going to knit it scarf-style and then sew it up at the end. It might be a while away, though - I find brioche stitch ridiculously slow going. That 10cm of knitting is the result of two movies' worth of knitting! It might end up being my scarf for next winter.

Finally, I've just turned the heel on the Bendy blue sock. I am loving knitting this wool - it is soft and squishy and the colours are pretty and harmonious. Now I would be happy if this project was the one that took a long time to get anything done, but unfortunately it is just zooming by and they'll probably be finished by the weekend. On the positive side, it means I'll have one fewer pair of socks on my to do list, which is also a good thing, so I shouldn't complain.

So, very glad to be back on line! But also have noticed I spent rather a lot less time working this morning than I did last Wednesday, where I had no choice but to put my head down. I'm not sure what conclusions we can draw from that...