Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shop Update 2 Oct12

It's been a busy week, as I was filling mostly custom orders.
But I'm excited to introduce a new base: Vampire!
It sparkles...
Party Elephant

Festival Night Sky

If I Was A Rich Girl

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shop Update 25th September

September, September.
Are you ready for Halloween crafting?

This week brings Zombie Unicorn in both fibre and yarn, as well as some new stripies.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shop Update 18th September

This week's shop update sees the return of our lovely Aussie merino top. It's such a squishy fibre. And it now comes in a larger put-up for your spinning enjoyment.
Prefer something with a bit more grip? Try the Corriedale!
There are also some lovely stripies and variegated yarns.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shop Update 11th September

Super Deadly Kawaii

Today's shop update had to fight last minute Sock The Vote work and a four-day gas outage (resulting in no stove and no hot water, and thus, no dyeing).
Shipwreck Coast
But it brings several new colourways, including one inspired by a souvenir from Japan, and two that showcase Australia's coastal beauty.
Of course there's some self-striping, too.
Lacy Loligoth
Have a look, I hope you find something you love!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bipartisan Socks

There are few things I enjoy knitting as much as socks. Especially bright, cheery socks. In fact, a very large part of my stash was bought with the thought of "Ooh, pretty. That'd be great for socks." The rest were bought after just the first sentence, but never mind.Sometimes, I buy yarn for other things, but overwhelmingly, it's socks.
I love socks so much, I jumped on the chance to show my political side at Sock The Vote, an event so incredibly full of win, it defies description.

And then along came Megan, incredibly fun co-host of the awesomely named podcast Stockinette Zombies. She's designing a sock. Not just any sock. A bipartisan sock that brings together the two parties. You know. Cuff-down or toe-up.Now, I've knit socks from the cuff. And from the toe. And I've loved them both ways. So when I had a chance to test-knit this awesome pattern, I just couldn't wait to get started!I'd been wanting a fun, slip-stitch pattern to show off this wildly variegated Woolen Mill St yarn, and finally, I had the perfect combination.Then our gas went out. A weekend of waiting for people to assess the problem, and then set about fixing it (which involved open flames, a half-dozen plumbers, a cement truck and enough pipes to fill a Mario level, from what I could tell) gave me a lot of knitting time.So these got done in record time, and they are fantabulous! Love them so very much.

So which one are you? Toe-up? Cuff-down? Or -gasp! - not a sock knitter at all?

Monday, September 3, 2012

RIP Watercress

Watercress were my first mystery socks. My first lace socks. My first green socks. Eleven months ago, I struggled with them, ripped out the cuff and redid it.
I loved these socks and wore them pretty often.
Now there's a hole in the sole and the pretty lace pattern has felted over.
It's time to let go.
They were nice socks. But they wouldn't survive the zombie apocalypse.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Rockefeller saga

Casting On
Did you knit along with the Summer Mystery Shawl by Stephen West this year?
I missed last year's Earth & Sky craze (and conveniently ignored the mixed response), and this year, I was in.
It was fun to play along. A lot of us posted potential yarns and colour combos, and many of us got a response from the designer himself, giving us hints on what might or might not work in his design.

I got a response, too. I'd been looking for an excuse to use up my parrot-bright Zauberball Crazy, and I paired it up with one of my all-time favourite yarn/colour combos, Wollmeise 100% in Maus Jung, a gorgeous light grey.

Clue 1
I adored clue 1 when it came out. It's very Spectra-esque, which of course meant Spectra jumped into my queue, too.
Then things got a bit meh. Clue 2 really didn't work for me in the yarn I chose. The change of colour flow direction bothered me. it looked a bit clown ruffle.
Clue 2
But part of the mystery is the joy of knitting, so I kept going on while being slightly envious of the gorgeously elegant solid-coloured options that kept popping up in the spoiler thread.

Clue 3
I loved knitting clue 3, and it brought my colours in again. It didn't balance clue 2 (I don't think a whole circus tent could have balanced that!), but it was pretty. You know. Once you got past picking up a million, jillion stitches.
This shawl was sure shaping up to be a great exercise in basic knitting-related skills I always needed.

Then came clue 4. Stripes. I love stripes! Never mind that my yarn balls were getting teeny-weeny (that's technical for less than 10g remaining). I was adding wings to the design, just as I'd hoped.
Excdept, tehse wings were loooooooooooooong. really long. And my yarn was getting short.
No problem. I've got some Araucania Solid floating around, ina  red and a green that kind of match the ends of the Zauberball spectrum. I'll just use those for the tips and I'll be fine.
Clue 4
Yeah. Fine.
Except, once I started the second wing (you think second SOCK syndrome is bad? Try second ginormous wing.), it was clear I was going to run out of the Wollmeise, too. How do you run out of a Wollmeise skein?? These things are huge!

Fun fact about my shawl knitting, I roll them up and tie them down as I knit them so the turning each row isn't sucha  tangled mess. I knew the blob was heavy, but running out of two skeins of yarn made me realise how huge this shawl was going to be.

Fortunately, I had some more Maus Jung in Twin, and while it pained me to break into a skein I had (vague, very vague) plans for, it couldn't be helped. All for a good cause, right?

It's a bike cosy!
And then I finished the shawl. And unwrapped it. And held it up.
I had knit a circus entrance way! This thing measures almost 3 metres tip to tip. And that's before blocking!
Holy mother of shawls, Batman.

I gave the thing a light soak and patted it down. no way was I going to block it. For starters, I don't own enough floor to lay this thing out. Also, it's already rather large.
In fact, it may not be a shawl at all!

I wasn't sure I love it. I mean sure, it's big and it's colourful and it's certainly unique.
But I'm just not sure how much wear I'll get out of it.
I might be looking at it the wrong way though. It's getting to spring here, and it's certainly rarely shawl weather in balmy Melbourne.
But maybe this is the perfect shawl for travelling to Northern winter. It'd probably be an awesome shawl-slash-blanket on a plane.
What do you think?

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Aaah, unicorns. Whinnying and deadly. (Just ask Diana Peterfreund. No really, do!) A quick search on Ravelry reveals an amazing array of unicorn patterns, from headbands to doorstops, to the fabulously named Unicorn Barf scarf.
But most of them are of the happy, sparkly variety.
What I'm looking for is something a little more in line with the true, sinister nature of unicorns. Something that will go great with a skein of Zombie Unicorn. I'm thinking a shawl...
Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hotham Hat 2012

I had this single skein of Madelinetosh DK in Mourning Dove. It's gorgeous, and squishy.
I bought it alongside the yarn for my Vivian cardigan to check out the colour, and I freaking love it.
So it needed to be something. Something awesome.
Like, say, a super ssquishy, medium warm hat?
Enter the Koolhaas, which not only has a neat name, but a cute look about it. It looks clever. It looks the good kind of handknit.
Its chart is tiny.
I knit this hat during a bus trip and several car trips up and down my home mountain, Mt Hotham, this snow season. And I finished it just in time to get no wear out of it at the snow. Such is life.
It's still a fabulous hat. And it fits perfectly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shop Update 28/8

That's What She Said
Zombie Unicorn
It's heading towards autumn in the northern hemisphere and Halloween is only 2 months away.
With that in mind, some new colourways inspired by the goodness of autumn and some gruesome monsters.
Apple Season


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shop Update 21st August 2012

 The shop is back!
There are some old favourites as well as some new things today. We've got some self-striping balls in several bases, a new-to-me Corriedale fibre and some brand-new colourways, both semi-solid and variegated.
And I've been playing with some luscious silk-merino blends for some stunning one-of-a-kind colourways.
What's your favourite today?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waving Hello/Goodbye

Yarn, meet project.
Sometimes, I really want to make a specific item. Sometimes, I want to use a specific yarn.
And in the case of the Headbumps hat made out of slow-changing Zauberball Crazy in Fliederduft, both came together in a fun and flexible knit.
The colours are a bit duller than I usually wear, but this little beret goes with heaps of things, conveniently dressing up or down as the occasion requires.
Added bonus: It goes with some of my knitted scarves.

Snow little knitting time

I've just come back from a week at the snow, which was awesome!
Unfortunately for my many, many WIPs and this little event called the Ravellenic Games, not a lot of actual knitting went on while we were making our way through blizzards and fresh powder snow.
Aaaah, the hardships.

But I did get some knitting in on the bus. in fact, I made two washcloths that I love very much. They're knit out of vintage stash, and so far, they're holding up great.

I didn't knit further on either the mitts or the mystery KAL shawl, because my brain wasn't up for it.
I did make quite a bit of progress on the Skew socks though.

Now that I'm back, it's time to seriously get into the dye pots for Sock The Vote. Are you ready to knit along, too?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shop Update 31/7


It's a small one but a good one.

And remember, you've got two more days to place orders to make sure I have time to ship them out to you before the shop goes on holidays!
And when I come back, I'll have some great new stripers for you. If you're a classic Who fan, you definitely want to check back in then... Just saying.

Monday, July 30, 2012


 It's no secret that I adore Another Crafty Girl's yarns. A lot. Especially her Poke-colours. In fact, I may need all of them...
I've had some leftover Bulbasaur from that awesome beret I knit a while back.
And I've had the Dustland Mitts pattern by Stephen West in my queue.
Perfect combo!
A quick and squishy knit, I managed to get all the way to the end before running out of yarn.
And while the generous Sarah of ACG offered to help me out, I needed the mitts done *right nao*, so I finished them off with some Malabrigo in Solis.
I love how they look, and I wear the mitts all the time.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ravellencis! Go!

I hear there's some kind of athletics event happening over in Ye Olde England right about now. The term XXX got bantered about.
I have no idea.
But there's this event going on called the Ravellenic Games, where you knit and crochet and dye and weave for fun and glory and the simple joy of pretending you're competing.
Of course I'm knitting along!
I like pretend-competitive knitting. After all, I do Nerd Wars.
For my Ravellenic project, I'm double-dipping into my Camp Loopy project 3 and making opera-length fingerless mitts in two colours of the fabulous madelinetosh light, a fuzzy, soft, single-ply yarn so bright and cheery, the winter blues will never get to you.

I'm also making some socks out of the yarn I won last Nerd Wars tournament.
And some washcloths, because I love the one I have, and now I need more. It's also a great way to use up that cotton/acrylic I've had in my stash since last year.

Are you Ravellenicking?

Feelin' Blue Socks

 I finished another pair of socks! They're not for me though, they're for the Boy, when he travels to the cold (and lonely) capital.
They even come with extra cat love!

The colourway was an experimental one I did on one of my yarns. now I just need to figure out how to recreate it, of course...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Norwegian Rose saga

They're done! The Norwegian Rose socks that took forever are done!
Remind me never to attempt an 800-yard colorwork sock project in a month again.

They're glorious and a pain to get on, but once they're on, they're warm and cushy.
I'll have to redo the ribbing though. Size 0 after size 0 colorwork made it too sloppy for my liking.

The knitting itself was reasonably straight forward, all things considered.
Wendy Johnson is known for her great toe-up sock instructions, so following them was easy as sock knitting can be.
The charts were great and clear.
I'd heard the heel was a bit of an issue for some, so I changed mine to the heel I did for my Bob & Weave socks, and that worked out excellently.

To get all the yardage into the sock, I extended it by one repeat vertically and one horizontally, meaning I did some calf shaping. And good thing, too!

I love how they came out.
They're the perfect height to fit in snowboarding boots, and I intend to try them for this very purpose.
Let's see how the fabled Solemate stands up to some hardcore shredding, eh?

Speaking of Solemate.
The colorway, Bigger on the Inside, I got looked dark in the skein. I was a little sad about that, because it meant the contrast wasn't quite what I envisioned.
Then it got worse.
When I soaked the finished socks, the dark blue dye bled. A lot.
As in, even after a vinegar bath and dye fixing and many, many rinses, there was still dye coming off.
My pretty brown variegated? Blue tinted.
Sad face.

I know this can happen. I dye yarn. No one deliberately ruins your colorwork. If I had thought about this, I would have pre-washed the skein just to be sure. It's dark blue. Dark blues and reds bleed.
But this felt a bit excessive.
So I let Lorna's Laces know that I had a problem. I wasn't trolling, or trying to be rude. Just feedback.
They got back to me within a day. They were apologetic, they were nice, and they offered me a skein of yarn as a gesture of goodwill.
How nice of them! But I'm in Australia, and I know international shipping is a pain. I gave them my address anyway. Their response? "A happy customer is NEVER a problem". Don't you just love that?

Mistakes happen. Things don't always come out perfectly. it's what you do afterwards that really counts.
And Lorna's Laces' response? Perfect.
You know I already love their yarn. But now I also love the company behind the yarn.