Finished Object - Carson's Campside Cardigan

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My latest finished object was knitted as a surprise gift for my friend Carson. In the above photo she still wasn't aware it was for her.

A couple of years ago Carson rather generously gave me 10 balls of Rowan Yarns DK (8ply) Cashcotton for my birthday. The yarn, which is now sadly discontinued, is a beautiful soft blend of Cotton (35%), Polyamide (25%), Angora (18%), Viscose (13%) and Cashmere (9%). Its the type of yarn that fibre addicts pass around so that everybody can give it a squeeze. 

The yarn is a beautiful pale purple with grey fleck. It has been almost impossible to capture the colour but I think this WIP photo shows it best.

I remember being blown away by the generosity of the gift and I was determined that I would use it for something worthy. This did mean that the yarn sat in the stash bucket for a while before I worked out what I wanted to use it for. 

Earlier this year Carson told me that she was intending to quit her job and go travelling in Europe for a couple of months. However, she realised that the timing would mean that she was leaving Australia in October and would be arriving in the European autumn. Suddenly it seemed clear that Carson needed a warm cardigan. Now all I had to find was the pattern. 

This gorgeous little number by Alicia Plummer was perfect. It is very clearly set out, incredibly easy to follow and knit up in no time (I think it took me a month to make). I made no intentional modifications, although I did find that the sleeves came out a little long.

Carson loves her new cardigan and was apparently in shock when I gave it to her because nobody has knitted for her since receiving the traditional Grandma Christmas knits. I do hope she will be warm enough.

A change of scale

Saturday, September 24, 2016
This weeks knitting was inspired by several factors:

1. the pregnancy of one of may favourite people;
2. the stash down which lead me to choose some 3ply baby yarn;
3. this pattern; and
4. last weeks nostalgia for knitting sleeves TAAT.

1. The pregnancy is that of my favourite crazy Colombian friend Maria and her husband Juan. Maria is the pitcher on my softball team, well she was, she's benched this season for fairly obvious reasons. Maria is know for yelling encouragement loudly,  striking people out and dancing on the pitch when things get a bit too serious.
Her baby is due in March (Southern Hemisphere Autumn) and the gender isn't being revealed until the baby shower. So I've decided to make a gender neutral gift, which is my favourite thing to do as it means that it can be re-used for subsequent children or easily passed on to friends. I may knit something else after the reveal, who knows.

2. The stash down has been a good thing for me. As soon as I finish a project, sometimes a bit before, I consider my next recipient and then look back over the stash photo and usually find exactly what I'm looking for. My discipline is pretty astounding, I totally thought I would fail by now.

The yarn is from Bendigo Woollen Mills, unfortunately its only available from the shop and not online.

3. With yarn mentally selected I then trawl through the Ravelry database looking for a suitable pattern (if you didn't look before, you should look the model is very cute). I thought this older style pattern looked like it had the perfect combination of technical bits and mindless knitting.

4. and after last weeks whinge about knitting TAAT I though I should get back to knitting basics and reaquaint myself with knitting flat and seaming. Although to be honest I am knitting myself a little that I didn't modify the pattern and knit the body in the round.

and as for the change of scale here it is compared next to the cardigan which is currently on the blocking mats.

The purple cardi is going to be modelled next tomorrow so I hope I will be able to show you some nice picture in my next post.

Don't machine wash pompoms

Sunday, September 18, 2016

You may not recognise this piece now that I stupidly put it through the washing machine. It used to hang over the doorway between my study and the dining room. That's right, is was my giant pompom garland. I stress 'was'. I can recover the cord, which is great, I've already got something else in mind for that. But the pompoms? No. I think they are gone. Boo. So, just don't ever machine wash your pompoms okay?

So close to finished

About a month ago I set myself the challenge of knitting a cardigan. I've knit a few cardigans before but I don't think I've ever finished one is under 6 weeks before, Usually I get side tracked or wasn't really (project) monogamous to start with. This time however, something has been different and I have been ploughing along, maybe its the lovely cashmere/cotton blend maybe its because I know a lot of stash room will be freed up as a result of knitting nearly 450 grams of yarn.

Then, last week, I had a bit of a moment where ordinarily I may have put it down and not picked it up for 6 months or even a year.  What could possibly stop my momentum? It was the second sleeve.

I finished the first sleeve in a state of complete self-satisfaction. I was pleased that it was done. I loved the way it looked. I was heartened that I would have enough yarn to finish the project and perhaps knit a baby hat to throw in gift drawer. Then the realisation set in that I was going to have to do it all again. My feeling of smugness was premature. I knew I had to get all those stitches back on the needles, knit another 96 rows, decreasing as I went and then swap needles and do a cuff...ugh Hadn't I just done that?! Why is it necessary to have two arms?!

I have got to this stage before, and done what many knitters have done before me, bundle it into a bag and chuck it in the back of the cupboard. Clever knitters remember to chuck all the needles they have been using on the project in the bag too and keep notes of any modifications they made. Then when the long forgotten project is rediscovered, usually during cleaning or whilst procrastinating to avoid another task, the knitter exclaims "I only had one sleeve to do! Why didn't I finish this at the time" followed by "That's where my favourite 5mm DPN's  got too"

I told myself it wasn't going to happen this time. I set myself an deadline, I'm an odd one, I like deadlines. I picked up the stitches and got on with it.

I now have 10 rows of knitting, the ribbed cuff, the bind off and sewing in to do...I might even finish this tonight.

That is, if I stop procrastinating and writing blog posts instead of knitting.

Kmart Hack - My new notice board

Friday, September 9, 2016
Michelle is sick this week, one of her darling children decided to see how resilient to germs she is and has infected her with whatever nasty pointless virus they could find in the playground. She is currently complaining of death like symptoms so we can only assume she will be better soon. Therefore, you get me again...

This project came about because I am weird about my fridge. It is only a couple of years old and it is the first brand new, brushed aluminium, shiny fridge I have ever owned. When it was installed I declared that, until such time that is was no longer beautiful,  it would remain unmolested by magnets, nit notifications, party invites, art work etc etc. I also read an article around the same time that stated that sticking things to the front of your fridge made your whole kitchen look cluttered. Clutter doesn't generally bother me but it seemed to back up my theory that my fridge needed to be bare.

This weirdness has lead to some interesting conversations, Miss K, when she was slightly younger, was advised by a Day Care Teacher to "take the picture home so Mum can stick it on the fridge". Miss K replied "nothing goes on Mum's Fridge!' They already thought I was odd.

Another time the school had a special assembly and Miss K was given an Honour Award for her reading. When we got home, I pulled out a magnet and stuck the award on our fridge. Miss K said with awe and pride "you put it on the fridge". Such an honour to make it to the fridge!

Anyway, lacking a fridgedoor notice board I decided I needed a corkboard. I wanted a thick cork board that I could jab with pins but I looked in the shops and nothing appealed. They were too officey and I couldn't find a nice thick slab of cork. The homemade versions have ribbon on them which I don't like the look of, I have no idea why.

One day when I was perusing the kitchen section of Kmart I found these guys.

The rounded edges concerned me a little and I thought about straightening them up but then I remembered how lazy I was...

I didn't want naked corkboard on my wall and I had these remnants from Ikea (that one with the yellow stripe might look familiar)

It was a nice day so I decided to get my blocking boards out dig out my staple gun and get to work. I stretched the fabric as stapled in the same way you stretch canvas (a skill I learnt from YouTube many years ago).

My Quality Control Manager regularly inspected my work.

I repeated the process until they were all covered and laid them on a thin piece of board I found in the garage.

and cut it to size. I had realised that the rounded edges were going to show through but I was reasonable sure they wouldn't be that visible so I let my very eager assistant decorate awarding her 100% creative control.

The last steps were to glue it to the board with some seriously heavy duty glue and then mount it with some 3m strips.

And now its covered in notes the pink isn't obvious at all. I'm actually really pleased with how it turned out.

Look what's hit our house

Friday, September 2, 2016
This isn't the post I was going to write this week but a craze has hit our house.

Miss K turned 6 last weekend and Auntie Jojo gave her a massive tub of these things. 

The kids have been busy creating: 

Minecraft thingos 

Pretty starry things

And this last one is mine

I've also been knitting and reading. 

My current project is a cardigan. Hopefully this will be finished later this month. 
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