introducing Sophie

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sophie number two is all done
Pattern: Sophie Bag
Yarn: Cascade 220, colour 7801 (hot pink) and Lambs Pride Worsted in “Orange You Glad”
Needles: US 11 Boye Needlemaster interchangeable needle, 6.5mm Tulip Bamboo DPNs

Sophie is done. The blocking worked well and she held her shape nicely once the plastic chopping board I used to shape her was removed.

Sophie number two blockingSophie number two post blocking

The clasps turned out to be very easy to apply, I was able to force the prongs through the fabric without needing to cut holes and they folded down neatly. Attaching the flowers was a little more tricky than just pinning them down, as the clasp was slightly larger than the flower centers, but it worked out in the end.

Sophie number two claspSophie number two with the flower pinned over the clasp

It wasn’t until I started the second side that I realised it was better to sew the flower down first and then do a second round of stitches to add the beads. I think it looks slightly better than the first, but it might be partly due to this flower also being slightly better. I don’t know if anyone will ever notice the beads as they are so tiny, but they make me happy.

Sophie number two is all done

how many times can you cast on one hat?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sophie has gone to my mother in law’s house for a holiday as she has her fire going twenty four seven at the moment, which offers the best chance of getting Sophie dry in time to gift her on Saturday. I forgot to take a photo before sending her off but she felted quite well. Doubling the yarn for the base didn’t turn out to be be the best of ideas but after two trips through the machine and some serious stretching of the body she is proportional enough not to require cutting the bottom off and reattaching it after trimming some excess.

With Sophie done it was time to cast on for Shedir. Or at least it was time to try. I sat down with The Knitter’s Handbook and a ball of calmer and I tried valiantly to make a Tubular cast on. Then I tried the Channel Islands cast on. Then I tried the Alternate Cable cast on. Then I gave up. I actually got close with the Alternate Cable cast on, but I couldn’t be sure I was putting the new stitches on to the needle in the right direction so I ripped that out too.

This morning I went to The Needle Nook to collect the Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed I had ordered in Posie for Rogue.

Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in Posie

At first I thought they had a fairly small range, but it was just really tightly packed. Amongst other things they had the best range of Debbie Bliss yarn I have seen so far. I am itching to make a pair of socks and there is really no nice sock yarn available locally, this store had the only colour/fiber combination I have seen so far that I could live with, which was a nice chocolate, but I am pining for something a little more feminine. They also had a Debbie Bliss wool cotton in my favourite shade of pink and I nearly bought it on the spot but I just don’t know if it would be appropriate for socks - what do you think? I was immobilised by indecision and got nowhere with the sock yarn choice. But I did buy 4 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a nice chocolate brown to make Jesse a scarf (he doesn’t own a single scarf and had to borrow mine when we were in the snow).

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in chocloate brown

While I was wondering around the store I overheard the sales assistant talking to an older customer who was sitting near the counter working on her knitting (this is the first time I have seen a customer actually knitting in an Australian yarn store by the way). Just to be clear the customer was the one doing the educating in this conversation. They were discussing cast ons for single rib and I was so excited I had to butt in and ask for a demonstration. I think she was as chuffed to be asked for help as I was to find someone to help me. So pulled out my ball of calmer and she showed both of us the method she had been describing, the Alternate Cable cast on no less. It turns out that I had been doing it pretty much the right way but seeing it in person really gave me confidence. I came home and tried to start Shedir one last time. Success at last!

Shedir cast on

The calmer is oh so lovely running through my fingers. Oddly enough I seem to knit much looser on smaller needles than I do on broomsticks - I never would have guessed. Then again maybe it is just the nature of the calmer.

a date with the washer

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sophie is ready to felt

Sophie is in the washer as I type. I decided to crochet a couple of flowers to cover up the prongs of the magnetic clasp but I was too scared to assemble it all pre felting in case my dodgy crochet felted really badly or some other disaster struck. The pattern for the flowers and the crochet instructions were found on line while using a friend’s computer last night and I don’t have links to either of them. If she hasn’t closed the windows yet I will get her to email me the links and post them later.

Sophie is ready to felt

Update! The flowers are the violets from this pattern. I learned how to do the stitches here and fell in love with this table cloth along the way.

sophie is starting to look bag shaped

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sophie is starting to look like a bag

I need to finish Sophie tonight so I can felt her tomorrow and be confident she will dry by Saturday night. I have only a few rows of the body left to go, then the strap. The tricky part will be devising some sort of cover up for the magnetic clasp I intend to apply. I am not sure whether to attach the clasp to the bag and then attach a crocheted (and felted) flower over the top to cover it up or whether to knit little squares to attach the clasps too and sew them on to the bag pre felting. I guess I don’t have long to decide.

Oh, and the Boye needlemaster needles are great. Not addi’s but still quite nice. They did come undone once early on but I seem to have figured out how tight to do them up now.

journey to Adelaide July 2005

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Isabelle wears her Poncho at Threadbo. The journey to Adelaide - July 2005

We made it to Adelaide earlier than expected having had a better journey than expected. Who could have predicted that every time we tried to stop Isabelle would scream “NO! DON’T STOP! Just drive - I want to go to Anne-ma’s house NOW”. She was so patient and well behaved, a dream to travel with really. I haven’t got the energy tonight to write anything sensible but the extended entry has a ton of photos from the journey, mostly from our brief visit to Threadbo yesterday.

(There is more where this came from … )

slloooooow times

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I would show you a photo of my market bag but although I have changed colours since I last posted the 10 or so rows I have knit in the pink just don’t seem to warrant a picture. But this does:

It’s two skeins of Cascade 220, sent to me be Cara in trade for the stitch markers I sent her recently. She was only supposed to send one skein - sneaky! But what lovely colours she chose. I think I hear Sophie calling. Also in the box was a card made from one of Cara’s stunning photos, I am still trying to figure out where to put it so that we can see it and it will still be safe from Isabelle’s sticky, scissor wielding fingers.

Knitting may be a bit slow round here in the coming weeks as I have some actual work to do, helping with the rebuild of Mem’s site, which hasn’t had a facelift since Lawrence and I did the original site 7 years ago. That’s right, 7 years ago, count them. There’s that and the fact that my big project at the moment is not knitting - it’s a quilt for Isabelle’s birthday, which I am hoping she will like enough to agree to sleeping under the covers come winter. I expect I will still be knitting everyday, but more likely 4 rows at a time than 20…

photo frenzy

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

There is so much going on today I don’t know where to start.

Pattern: Sophie Bag
Yarn: Cascade 220, colour #9407 (green)
Needles: 6.5mm/40cm Crystal Palace Bamboo Circular, 6.5mm Tulip Bamboo DPNs

Sophie is done and I have reorganised my gallery a little so that she will actually appear at the top of my FO list instead of the bottom. Following on from changing format of the FO page, I have also decided to fiddle about so that recurring projects like wash cloths could appear in both the “Finished Objects” and “On the Needles” lists. Speaking of wash cloths:

The Reverse Bloom Wash Cloth is progressing and I really do hope tonight will be my last night working on it. I think it will be pretty and I will be pleased to give it as a gift to someone but I don’t know if I will be in a rush to make another one soon. I think the thing that is bothering me about the Reverse bloom Washcloth is that the knitting is very simple but the project is rather fiddly. It seems to me that 12 ends to weave into a wash cloth is about 10 too many. I have actually woven the ends already because on such a small project it was a real pain having them tangling up all the time.

The ColdHarbour Mill Aran yarn I ordered has arrived and I am very happy with it. The colours are not what I expected, having far less blue in them than I anticipated but I am very happy none the less. The yarn is lovely and I am really looking forward to knitting it up!

ColdHarbour also sent the colour card I requested. In keeping with their website which claims to be an internet store but has only the names of their yarn colours with no pictures (and requires that you call them to order but doesn’t provide a phone number on the shop page), their colour card doesn’t have names attached to the colours. So now I know there are lots of colours I like, but not what they are called. I can guess of course but what if I am wrong? I am not one of those people who is good at describing colours so I am quite worried about calling up and actually trying to sort out which colour is which over the phone…

another good thing about cloth nappies

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Cloth nappies (diapers if you are in the US) make great washing machine companions for the felting object. I decided to brave my own frontloader which ruled out using jeans for fear of them shrinking or bleeding onto Sophie. While I was busy trying to figure out what I could use that was absolutely colour fast and could be hot washed I noticed the nappy bucked needed emptying. So into the washer went the nappies. First I washed them on their own, ’cause ewwww, and then in went Sophie. I set the machine to its shortest cycle (about 45 mins) on 50 degrees Celsius with no spin and she felted well. There were a few spots that weren’t quite done so I ran second cycle the same and I am fairly happy with the result. There are a few strange sort of creased spots which I am hoping will improve with blocking and perhaps a bit of ironing. I am thinking about trying without the zippered pillow case next time, perhaps a little hotter.

Sophie is ready to felt

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Do I put her in my front loader? Or boil her on the stove? Or take her to the laundromat? That remeains to be seen.

what not to do to Sophie

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Should you find your self counting stitches on your 52nd row of 54, should you find that you have to many, should you then notice that you entirely skipped a pair of increases back on row 20 - don’t do what I did. I thought about this for quite some time, 3 or 4 hours I guess. I wrote an email to the ever patient and always helpful Alison asking her opinion. I did not then wait for her very sensible answer to just ignore my problem but instead decided it was best fixed by dropping 32 rows of stitches and picking them up properly decreased. I knew that my new stitches would be sloppy and there would be some redistribution to be done. What I did not realise was quite how much yarn would have to be redistributed…. If only I had thought to take photos while I was working you could have a had a good laugh at my expense. Alas the only photo I have is one from after the patch up job was complete. If you look very carefully in the bottom right corner, below the safety pin where the decreases were missed and above the garter stitch base you will find a few stray stitches that I have yet to butcher… those stitches are still pretty, the other side of the bag is looking lovely. Alison tells me that the wonder of felting is that it hides a multitude of sins and I so hope it hides mine….

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