Australia Day and Linen

Australia Day yesterday, which meant the traditional BBQ and kayak up at the bay. πŸ™‚ Except it was hot and belted down rain for half the day, so Ma and I stayed in the air conditioning and only M and Poppy went out on the water.   
  
My steady ‘pacing myself, one a day’ plan for my Grandmother’s Flower Garden afghan failed, as expected. Those little hexies are really addictive! πŸ™‚
 I am using almost all scraps for this, and in the end I decided on a ‘peacock’ sort of colour way, greens, purples and blues, set off by grey paths around the flowers, mainly because that’s what I had a lot of. The flower centres will be mustard.
My usual summer depression has been lifted slightly with some linen. πŸ™‚ I am working on my Japanese top (that’s the pattern in the background, in case you thought I was joking when I said it was blurry!). It takes a bit of patience and a good daylight lamp, but it’s coming along.

  
Pure linen isn’t the easiest to knit or crochet with, but I love the end result so much that I persist. Here’s a few yarns in the current project queue. 

  
The thicker yellow is Rowan Creative Linen. In a strange synchronicity with Bekki from Dartmoor Yarns, I had a great desire to make a yellow cardy. I’ve never made anything yellow before in my life. Inspired I think by this one from Drops.

  
More project bags off the assembly line.

  
     
   
Unfortunately I can’t yet share all my weekly projects this time around, so some random pics about the place from this week instead.
Our wildlife watering stations attracted a visit from another goanna (in centre of pic by the black container).

  
Friendly chicken and camera shy M.

  
Excited to find this Lively Rainbow Skink, a beautiful example of a breeding male. 

  
Synchronised cats.

  

  
And Ravensridge, sweltering at dusk. Roll on winter!

  
I am thinking about having a ‘Finishing Off February’, to turn some of my myriad WIPs into FOs and frog the rest. I figured if I made a ‘no casting on rule’ for Feb, that would be a start. Naturally, I then totally panicked and cast on four more things. Just in case. Sigh. Still, I think I can do it. February FOs, here I come! :))

B

New Year Knitting

Don’t you just LOVE a new year? It feels like being given universal permission to explode with ideas, the ultimate freedom to start a thousand new craft projects. Or that might just be me. 
I never make New Year’s resolutions though. I think there’s just something about the word ‘resolution’ that immediately starches my upper lip, breaks me out in a sweat and warns of sacrifices and trials ahead…so bugger that.
I do set goals, however. Goals are easy. Ambitions. Intentions. Hopes. Dreams. It’s all the same word, right? 
So one of my goals this year, as indeed it is every single year, is to Craft All the Things.
Reading everyone’s fantastic ideas for new year knitting put my own complete lack of plans into perspective. I am casting on randomly and crazily. Knitting is my ultimate hedonistic delight, and lately I’ve really felt drawn to the joy of it again. The sheer pleasure of casting on, of burying my face hands in a basket of yarn. Feeling laceweight linen glide across the needles. Sketching up a new design that I want and I just can’t find the pattern for. Usually summer comes to Queensland and my knitting sits like a lump next to my chair while I sweat and stare at it churlishly. Not this year. 
I’ve brought some of my knitting projects up to the house on this rainy day, thus the kitties.

  
I’m still working away on my fifth Metallicus.

  
And my Lilli Pilli.

  
Crocheting another linen shawl, this one to sell.
Decided to use some of my Helsinki yarn on a Fine Sand cardigan by Heidi Kirrmaier, the lighter weight version of Quick Sand, which is the black one I made just before Christmas. 

  
The linen is biasing a little but so far I adore it.

  
I am also enjoying the Hoodie Shawl Cardigan by Sosu. This is kind of a weird hybrid, you start with knitting a triangular shawl, and then using short rows it gets gradually turned into a top down cardigan. I chose this one mainly to use up some awkward amounts of fingering weight yarn I had. I have no idea how this will turn out, it’s one of those ‘trust the pattern’ projects, but I’m really enjoying the interesting knitting and using new (to me) techniques like German short rows. I also made a set of bee stitch markers just for this project. πŸ™‚

   
 My sock yarn bag made it into Handmade magazine this month, and two more projects will be in the next issue. πŸ˜ƒ

   
 I’ve been working on some other small projects, like this one.

   

 M and I are creatures of routine, and frequently have coffee and cake on the back deck. Finally we have a tray to take it out on, instead of making two trips. It’s just paint and a bit of William Morris wrapping paper, but it will do. 
This next one is less of a recycling project and more of a being-a-tight-arse project. I love fairy lights, but wanted to do something pretty with the bulbs. I had seen the ping pong ball idea around, but decided they needed some extra decoration.

  
I fully intended to do this all professional-like and drill the holes in the top. But my $2 pack of balls were so poor quality, that in the end all it took was a little stab with scissors.

  
I tried a few different types of paint, trying to get it to stick evenly, before settling on a mix of Modge Podge and gouache. I brushed two coats of this onto the balls, which I held on the end of knitting needles (quelle surprise) and other assorted sharp thingies.

  
I started painting them with gold paint and a fine brush, but then…yeah… I decided life is just a bit too short and used a gold pen instead to draw some random patterns and dots. I hot glue gunned them to the lights, which are a battery operated string of ten ($1.50 on eBay).

   
 Seeing as there’s a theme going…

  
 There’s more…quite a lot more…but it can wait until next time. πŸ™‚
B πŸ™‚

Welcome to Helsinki

I made it! Just. There was, I admit honestly, a point halfway through the long long journey when I considered turning around and coming home. There’s no getting around the fact Australia to Europe is a hard slog. Following a seemingly endless night across the world is unutterably depressing. I need my sunshine.
But here I am. πŸ™‚ The arrivals section of the airport was dark, quiet and almost completely empty. My footsteps literally echoed. Most people from my plane were transferring on, and disappeared. On my way to collect my bag, I passed an empty room full of roll top ‘people pods’. And one room with a grass floor. You can tell a lot about a country from their airport bathrooms. I entered the bathroom to see the starkest, brightest, whitest, most futuristic bathroom ever, coupled with loudly chirruping bird noises coming from the ceiling. I thought maybe I was hallucinating from exhaustion. But no. I looked it up later, it’s intended to be soothing.
I got a few groceries and headed for my apartment. It was 8am Helsinki time, 4 degrees, dark and raining. I needed a coat. I seriously needed a coat! Woohoo!!!! :))) 
Here’s the view from the apartment. That’s the spire of the National Museum.

  

After a twelve hour sleep, I decided it was a good investment on my first day to get a local guide to show me around the city on foot, how to catch public transport etc. She was awesome, a six foot three stunning Russian, 28, doing a Phd in linguistics, fluent in four languages. Way to make a person feel like an underachiever or what. (Although she said my Finnish accent was excellent and I nearly burst with pride :)) We had a great morning, she showed me everything I wanted to see, hopping on and off trams and buses around the city and telling a good bit of history too. This place is incredibly beautiful, and the people are lovely. Is it weird that it feels like home? Genetic memory? Here’s some pics of a few things we saw along the way. (Sorry, I kept them fairly low res for ease of uploading)

Senate Square and cathedral, which we went in to. The black things on the steps were gorillas.
  
Yep. And no, I have no idea.

  
Part of Helsinki University, the Faculty of Arts.

   
 One of the oldest cobblestone streets.

  
Helsinki City Museum. This is what they used to use to melt snow on the streets, I love it.

  
I left my mark on the blackboard too.

  
Uspenski Cathedral on the hill and the waterfront with Kauppatori market square and hall.

   
   
Old Market Hall. 

  
You know you’re in Finland when….

  
(I believe they are snacks made of reindeer, rather than snacks FOR your reindeer.)

Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church). Very interesting, but I felt the vibe was more touristy than theological.
   
   
Esplanadi. We had a coffee at a gorgeous little cafe along here, and it reminded me so much of Paris.

   
 Kamppi Chapel (Chapel of Silence). This was my favourite place, it is stunning. And, as the name suggests, silent.

   
   
The iconic Helsinki image, at the railway station.

  
Some Christmas delights. I’ve had a small taste of the shopping available, it is amazing. I may be needing a bigger suitcase.

   
 Naturally there has been project time, mainly at night when I’m still on Brisbane time. I brought two lace weight projects with me because they take up so little room. The first is another crochet shawl from the Craftsy class, this one in pure linen on a 2.5mm hook. I am really enjoying it, I even got a few rows completed on the plane until I broke my little vintage plastic travel hook.

My other project is a Lilli Pilli wrap. This is designed for fingering weight, but the finished item is HUGE so I am doing it in laceweight, Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace, in light grey, dark grey and aqua on 3.25mm needles.
  
Both of these have been very soothing and enjoyable.
I’m going to take a bus right around the city tomorrow and slightly further afield. There are several yarn stores in Helsinki. They will be found.
B πŸ™‚

Bag lady (and a crochet shawl)

A quick run through of my current knitting wips (works-in-progress) the other day saw my total at 14. This is in part due to the casting on frenzy of last week, but also I just have a short attention span. I am comfortable working on a large number of projects at once IF I can keep them segregated and organised in project bags. But things were getting a little out of hand.
I’ve been selling quite a few of my project bags and sock knitting kits of late, or I would just have commandeered some more bags from that stash. Being unable to do that, I decided to spend a morning making up some more bags for myself.

  
I started with a ‘fluff bucket’. These are pretty much like my large project bags, but without the fancy pockets and drawstring and handle. Just a lined, soft fabric bucket, basically. But they take so much tiiiiiime. Time that I’d rather be using doing a thousand other things. So I got one done, and then decided I needed a quicker option.

  
I can get one of these done in twenty minutes if I ignore perfectionism. That’s more like it. 

A couple of double drawstring ones first…

  

Then some little box-based ones with toggles…

    
This one was meant to be for sale. But seriously, it’s coffee and donuts. I had to keep it. I don’t eat donuts, but I sure do like coffee.

  
Then a larger one. When this was done I realised it needed a handle. So the next one got a handle. I dyed this piece of fabric when I was 15. I hung onto it because I knew I’d need it someday!! (24 years later…)

  
All of my bags are fully lined and have internal pockets, one for needles and one for stitch markers. I also have started doing one small pocket for a cable needle which, it turns out, is really handy.

  
Then I got a little bit fancy with linen and appliquΓ© and funny linings and a little clasp for stitch markers…

   
 
My project bag tally now sits at 11 in total. 3 projects are still currently in plastic boxes. Because I save all my best fabrics for the bags I sell, my own are generally a mismatch of higgeldy piggeldy offcuts that clash violently with everything, including each other. But I care not. My favourite is still this one. πŸ™‚

  
Of course I’ve also been knitting. Some secret knitting on my own new patterns, plus a couple of last minute projects for my Finland trip…a reeeally warm beanie, the pattern is ‘Hat most likely to succeed‘ by Alexandra Virgiel. I liked this pattern. It’s an interesting cable I hadn’t tried before, and I think I’ll take another of these as my plane knitting project.

  
And…cue dramatic music…..more crochet. My mum’s friend is donating lots of cakes of her beautiful handmade soap to a ‘farmer’s wife’ outback charity, and we are making little hanging bags for them all. 

  
So it was a busy week, but I also did another Craftsy class, My First Crochet Shawl. I didn’t enjoy this class as much as the crochet cardigan one, but at least I had enough yarn to finish this one.

   
   
I rather like it. The yarn is Lincraft ‘Splendour’ in the Red Sunset colour way, which I got at more than 50% off last weekend, so this is an AU$9 shawl. πŸ™‚

  
 8 days to go. I’m pretty sure I can fit more knitting in….it’s 34 degrees Celsius all week here, and difficult to getting the ‘cosy knitting’ mojo on. Maybe if I turn the air con down a bit….
B πŸ™‚

Recycled Tea Light Christmas decorations

  
I know it’s early. πŸ™‚  But October has, as usual, sent me floating happily away on my initial wave of Christmas excitement and anticipation. How I love it! ❀ Because I will be spending 3 weeks in Finland just before Christmas this year, I am being super dooper organised. I’ve posted before about all my crazy recycled homemade decorations, but thought I might revisit a tutorial from a couple of years ago for decorations that recycle tea light candle holders. I always have a stack of these left over from my oil burner, and this weekend I’m making a long garland out of them for over the window. πŸ™‚
  

Materials:

Small sharp pair of scissors

Empty tea light containers (they are rarely completely empty after use, but any excess wax and wick holder will just come out as you go so there is no need to clean them out)

A knitting needle (small sized dpn) or empty ball point pen for the embossing

A cutting mat or old magazine to lean on 

Sharp needle and thread for hanging

A caution: this stuff is SHARP! The cut edges and scraps are very very sharp so please be careful.

Instructions:

First cut the edge of the container into 8 equal segments.

I find the easiest way to do this is divide it in quarters first, then halve them.

   
    
 After the 8 segments have been cut, flip it over and flatten the metal out, pressing down from the back. Use something with a flat base to do this, such as a book or a piece of wood.

   
Now cut each of the 8 edge sections into points.

 
  
Flip it over so the inside is facing up – it looks best if you do the embossing on the internal side. Resting on the cutting mat or magazine, use your knitting needle or old pen to emboss designs in the star. This is easy to do and you will soon see how much pressure is required to get a good effect. Use the photo as a guide, or come up with your own designs. Flip it again to see the finished effect.
   
   
Use the sewing needle to carefully puncture a hole in the end of one point (I actually did this over a small nail dent in a table top) and thread the hanging tie through. Tie off and you’re done! These look great on the Christmas tree or threaded in a line like a garland, or hung from a hoop at different lengths to make a mobile. You could add a moon shape to that as well. If you rounded off the points, they could of course be non- Christmassy flowers too.

  
Here’s the link to the pdf version. 
B πŸ™‚

Random stash thoughts

  
I described my yarn stash to someone this week as ‘obscene’, and it really got me thinking. 
An ‘obscene yarn stash’. So a yarn stash that is basically abhorrent to morality. There’s some pretty strong emotion around a word like ‘obscene’. 
There’s disgust and shame and guilt. I don’t recall feeling any of those emotions when I spoke the word though, so why on earth did I say it? 
It was more that I should feel them, as if having a huge stash of yarn, or indeed lack of restraint regarding anything, is something to be embarrassed about. Amoral. 
And I was thinking that’s really weird. It’s not like seven rhino horns on the coffee table or anything.

But how much is too much? And is too much yarn bad for you as a person? (To quote the well known line, “Of course too much of anything is bad for you. That’s what too much means!”)
So then I started thinking about the terms ‘collecting’ versus ‘hoarding’.

I have, now and again, been accused of hoarding by unkind people, and it never fails to irritate me. Which means, probably, that I am a hoarder. 
I do officially collect some things. Coffee makers for one. I got them all out for a photo but it involved too much dusting. So instead, here’s some of my favourites.

  
Oil lamps, doilies, amethyst glass, vintage advertising…Yeah, basically old stuff.
Then it starts getting a little tenuous…knitting needles.
To put it clearly, they are just about almost on the brink of the threshold of out of control.
I like vintage needles. They’re pretty, they take up hardly any room, and they remind me of learning to knit as a child with my mum. Who could forget the tortoiseshell needles from the eighties? Or the anodised aluminium from the seventies?
I had good intentions. When I first moved my studio into the train, I got organised. 

  
I was pretty impressed with myself for this effort. Except for the small detail that I don’t use these needles at all. Like, AT ALL. I don’t use straights. And also…that’s not all of them. There’s these as well.

   
 Oh, and these. :/

   
 Um, let’s forget double points and circulars and the rest and just say that’s all of them.
When I started calling them a ‘collection’, it was interesting to me that somehow that completely justified it to other people. 
‘Aaaah, she COLLECTS them….now I get it…’
‘Gee, what an impressive COLLECTION!’…..
Hehehe. Suckers. πŸ™‚
Also, when you start saying you collect something, people start giving you stuff. Lots of stuff.

The yarn stash though is a completely different matter. It can’t really be called a yarn ‘collection’, any more than our pile of firewood can be called a ‘firewood collection’. There’s nothing special or vintage or unique about it, and I fully intend to use it all at some point. If I live long enough. Here is some that’s organised.

  

I’m not under pressure here, either. Discussing the ‘how much is too much’ predicament with M, he shrugged and said ‘There’s no such thing as too much yarn. You should get a shipping container and I’ll line the walls with pigeon holes for you.’ Me, in guilty voice: ‘But I already have a forty foot train.’ Him: ‘Nah, the train is for working, not for storing.’ ❀ that man. 

Why oh why so much yarn, I ask myself? Am I preparing for armageddon? Self sufficiency and post-apocalyptic survival skills are all well and good, but realistically, if the shit hits the fan, I ain’t gonna be knitting. Seriously.
So then there’s the scarcity argument. You HAVE to get it now or it will be gone forever!! There will be a worldwide yarn and fleece shortage and you won’t be able to knit or spin unless you have a massive stash in backup! Generally, I dislike scarcity thinking. I am, for the most part, a ‘prosperity and abundance, positive thinking’ kind of girl. So it’s probably not that.
Much of the stash consists of bargains that just could not be gone past. A once in a lifetime sale!! A stocktake sale!! Any kind of sale!! Yep, there’s definitely some truth to this one. I love yarn sales. To quote my favourite line ever from Kath & Kim, 
“I think I saved so much with what I spent, I actually made money.”
My train of thought tailed off somewhere around this point and I put on a Kath & Kim DVD and went happily back to my knitting. The angst, if there actually is any, can wait for another day. If I knit solely from my stash from this point on (haha), I only have to live to about 140. Which is apparently feasible. Doctors have already doubled the lifespan of the worm. So I’m just well prepared, really. 

B πŸ™‚

A birthday

A longish post today after a big day yesterday. Yesterday was a special birthday for my Dad (Poppy, as I call him). The big 8-0, and I spent the day by the bay with my parents.
  
If there is such a thing as a ‘typical’ eighty year old though, I can guarantee Poppy is not it. He doesn’t look it. He doesn’t sound like it. And he sure as hell doesn’t act it. 

  
Sadly, I have inherited this sense of humour.

When he’s not in his shed out the back, he can be found kayaking, boating, fishing or swimming around these beautiful bays and inlets. Or playing sudoku on his iPad. The tide was out so he and I didn’t go kayaking yesterday, just walking.
   
    
 Poppy is a creative man. A sculptor, woodworker, leather carver, drawer, painter. He is seriously talented. Here’s just one of the many amazing things he has made me. It’s even lined with sheepskin.

  
So M and I decided to stay in the creative line and each make him something to celebrate his 80th.

Traditionally I haven’t had much luck knitting Poppy anything he likes. He has liked a couple of neck warmers, but the first socks I made him were ‘too scratchy’. The second ones (made out of an expensive alpaca blend mind you) were also…… ‘too scratchy’. So we all decided Poppy has the most sensitive feet on the planet, mum got the socks by default, and no more socks for Poppy were produced.
I thought I may be luckier knitting him a nice vest, he likes vests, and he HATES the cold.
So this is the one I chose, Caldwell by Stephen West. 
  
I used Hayfield Bonus Aran. I have used it lots of times, I know it is soft and hardy, machine washable and I love the colours. I’m not really into reverse stocking stitch, so I did straight stocking stitch on both the front and back. I also did the i cord bind off in the contrast stripe colour, to tie the whole thing together a little more. 

  
He liked it. πŸ™‚

The pattern was fine, although I don’t love the way some of the cables disappear halfway up the front. And the finishing took longer than knitting all the pieces combined! I do love the icord bind off though and will use this again. 
  
Details:

Pattern: Caldwell by Stephen West

Yarn: Hayfield Bonus Aran, cols. ‘barley’ and ‘dark grey mix’, 1x 400g ball of each

Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm 

Buttons: eBay, dark stained wooden toggles

Size: my gauge was off, so I knit a medium to get a large

Mods: changed reverse st st to plain st st on fronts and back. Used contrast colour for icord bind off.

M once more got out his favourite tools, the welder and the grinder (fortunately while I was in Tasmania, so I avoided the noise), and made Poppy this fabulous snail. 
   
 I frickin love this thing. 100% recycled materials. And what a smile. πŸ™‚

  
We had been discussing sea snails, that Poppy and I saw on our walk.

  
Marine Gastropods.

So guess what the snail is now called. Gastro. More of that fabulous sense of humour. :/

I also made a few Paleo birthday creations (all grain, dairy and refined sugar free). Chocolate date balls and coffee ice cream were my own recipes, so no links for those. Poppy requested a Black Forest birthday cake, and I was pleased with how it turned out.
   
 This consisted of a cake, a chocolate ganache and a coconut vanilla cream, cherries and raw cacao nibs to finish. It was really good. The ganache took two hours to cook but was worth every second. Who knew you could make sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk!

I made chocolate biscotti too, this was a real winner. That’s why there are no photos.

Oh I also finished off my Possum slouchy beanie using my Tasmanian souvenir yarn, roughly based on this pattern.
   
 All in all, a great day. πŸ™‚

   
   
B

Counting chickens

It goes without saying really, but I loved Hobart. And of course I did venture back to a yarn store….or two. πŸ™‚
Salamanca Wool Store was my favourite. The selection was small, but the staff were really lovely and they had a lot of locally produced yarn. They also stock my favourite Knitpro Symfonie needles. I purchased this as my holiday ‘souvenir’, one ball made of Tasmanian Possum, merino and silk, and a circular needle to knit it with on the plane home. 

  
  I got this far into a slouchy beanie flying home. This yarn is DIVINE. So soft and warm. One day I’ll take out a personal loan so I can purchase enough for a sweater. 

  
  I also visited The Stash Cupboard. There was an impressive range of yarns, especially American yarns. This is one part of the shop (taken with permission). The service here was..less good? for lack of a better term, but I could not go past this sparkly sock yarn. I am such a sucker for sparkles! It is taking a lot of will power not to start another sock with this before I’ve finished some other pairs.

   
    

I also got these Chiaogoo needles which are ‘flexible straight needles’, a concept I was not familiar with, but I loved the idea as I can’t knit well with standard straight needles. Of course I could just use a circular but my various 4mm/US 6 circulars are often all in use, so this is a nice back up.
  
I finished my Drops Uni Fabel extremely pink socks, though I shan’t photograph them because they’re in the wash. I did finish one Drops Delight sock as well.
  
It was an awesome trip. I love the cold, but M hates it, which is why he didn’t come with me. Something that really pleased me was that the cold didn’t affect my autoimmune stuff, no Raynauds, no joint pain. I don’t usually talk too much about health, and I don’t want to count chickens before they’re hatched…but almost two years into a strict Paleo diet and a complete change of lifestyle, and it’s definitely working…. I wouldn’t presume to suggest it would work for anyone with autoimmune disease, but I did a whoooollle lotta research, which led me to believe that 1) getting off the medication was a great idea, and 2) that this might be the way to accomplish that. So far, so good. There was a paleo inspired cafe in Hobart too, Cafe Lola. The coffee was good, and I highly recommend the ‘Paleo Puff’. Sorry for the pic, I got it takeaway and had it by the harbour. πŸ™‚

   
   A few photos to finish. I visited the Salamanca Markets on Saturday morning, they were large and fun, if a little on the pricey side. I recommend the natural fruit roll ups. I also took the Red Decker bus for a tour, including the Cascade Brewery, and visited the Tasmanian Art Gallery and Museum (where the guards are extremely friendly, by the way!). The exhibitions were incredible. The thylacine one even had me in tears. 

   
   
   
   
   
    

And now back home, after what feels like a lot of self indulgence, it’s time to turn outward for a little while with some gift and charity knitting. Not the possum beanie though. That’s definitely for me. πŸ™‚

B

 

  

   
 

   
 

Tassie trip

It took two flights to get here, but the rules have finally relaxed a smidgen and I was able to knit on the plane….be it on cheap bamboo circulars, but whatever, it’s still knitting. :)I started a Fresco Simple Slouchy Hat on some ancient 5 ply pure wool my mum gave me.

  
I have been enjoying wandering the streets of Hobart on my solo adventure. I haven’t been here for fifteen years, but basically it hasn’t changed a lot….although it does now boast a paleo cafe! Yay! πŸ™‚ It really has to be one of the prettiest little cities in Australia. Old fashioned, English, quirky and artsy. The buildings around where I am staying at historic Battery Point are like dolls houses. M, at 6’7″, wouldn’t fit through the doorways of most of them! It’s like stepping back in time.

   
   
Arthur Circus, with its ring of old cottages, constructed mainly for soldiers of the original garrison

   
 
  
Stopping for a coffee at Salamanca Place. I also went to the Salamanca Wool Shop (Tasmanian Woollen Co.), and there I exercised an absolutely unbelievable amount of self control. But then again, I am planning on going back tomorrow. πŸ™‚

   
 Rainbow over Salamanca. I looked for the pot of gold…..

  
But there was only this weirdly illuminated boat. :/ Franklin Wharf and Sullivan’s Cove. 

  
I also took the bus up to Mt Wellington, overlooking Hobart. That’s it in the background.

  
It was 1 degree Celcius up there, minus wind chill factor. So cold but so pretty. 

   
    
   
Of course I also brought my sock knitting…I whipped up one last night in Drops Big Fabel Uni Colour, and started work on another in Drops Delight, my current favourite. πŸ™‚

  
  
Tomorrow I’m hopping on the double decker bus for a tour around the city…after I’ve been back to the wool shop, that is….:)

B

Hobart cardigan completed

    
FO: Hobart Cardigan

Finally all done with two sleeps to go! πŸ™‚ I have to admit the deadline made it a real slog towards the end, and that shawl collar was bloody hard work in 1×1 rib with a gazillion short rows. 

  

  

   

But I love it. πŸ™‚ I recommend the pattern (even though it is worked flat). It’s one of those great cable patterns that looks harder than it actually is, and is easily memorised after only a few rows. The shape is a boxy, nineties-style cropped jacket with set in sleeves and no waist shaping. My shawl collar (which I appropriated from the Gramps pattern) came out quite high at the back, but I wanted warm so I’m not complaining. I took my time with the seaming, and I’m quite proud of the finish. This is up there as one of my favourite knitted things. πŸ™‚   

  Details:

Free Pattern – ‘Must-have Cardigan‘ by Patons (2002) (with shawl collar added from ‘Gramps‘ patterns by Tin Can Bay Knits)
Yarn – Drops Nepal (65% wool, 35% alpaca), shade 7238, 14 balls

Needles – 4mm and 4.5mm (US 6 and 7)

Size – my gauge was out so I knit the XSmall to get a Small

Buttons – stash, vintage woven leather

Mods – for once, only the collar! (The original patterns calls for a basic short 2×2 rib border with buttonholes. This left the neckline and chest very open, which I thought was kind of weird given how warm and dense the rest of the fabric would be. I am very glad I changed it.)
  
B