Monday, January 30, 2012

Japan! WIP Edition

Like all good knitters, I plan for my vacation.
Not just where the good yarn stores are (one of them in walking distance of our hotel in Tokyo, natch), but also, most importantly, what projects to take.

It's going to be cold in Japan. Really cold. Especially for softened-up, oh-noez-5-degrees-mornings Melbournite me.
So project number one? Mittens. More precicely, colorwork mittens, my first time trying either colorwork or mittens.

I'm making the Deep In The Forest mittens by Tuulia Salmela, out of some New Zealand yarn with possum fur in it (a present from an awesome Raveller) and a pale blueish alpaca blend. They're going to be warm and fuzzy.
They're going to be my plane knitting flying to Japan. Hopefully, the small circular bamboo needles will be allowed on board or I will be one cranky flyer...
My kind-of-mindless knit while in Japan (for evenings when the body is tired and the brain is meh), I'm making Clockwork, an arch-shaped shawl by the inimitable Stephen West. I'm making that out of a brown Wollmeise yarn that is the color of twigs (the ball reminds me of a nest, for some reason) and a beautiful Malabrigo in a color that reminds me of my mum's SeaSilk cowl.
And then there's project three, probably for the flight back.
It's going to be mittens, it's going to be colorwork, it's going to be in Another Crafty Girl's pumpkin orange and Tosh sock dark green. it's going to be designed by Laura, aka LaLa of the Knit Girllls podcast.
Apart from that? No idea. It's a mystery KAL!
I'm excited though, and I might just have to cast them on while resting from hard, cold days on the slopes, who knows? I'll play this one by ear. Or needle, as the case may be.

Is this enough knitting? Too much? It's going to be several weeks *and* the start of another round of Nerd Wars. Maybe I'll pack one more project. You know. Just in case...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Photography: Travelling hexiblanket

 It is a not very well known fact, but hexipuffs love to travel in groups. They are social creatures that enjoy the great out-of-doors.
They enjoy bike rides, picnics in the grass and climbing trees together.
Have you ever seen hexipuffs in the wild?
Keep an eye out and as always, have your camera ready.

Friday Photography: Hexipuffs on Branches

Three little hexipuffs, sitting in a tree
Precarious by the river
Hexipuffs in the wild. By the river, in a tree, up a branch?
The bravest of hexipuffs will often go out on a limb to get to the best views, dangling by no more than a thread over running water at times.
Are you as brave as a hexipuff?
Keep your eyes open, your camera ready and your needles close at hand.
You never know when you're going to see another puff in the wild.
Australian xmas tree

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's on the needles this week? Socks!

Not that many things are on the needles as I'm trying really hard not to start anything new before going to Japan. Otherwise, how am I going to decide what to pack??

Still on the needles are the pink Wollmeise socks of braided twisted stitches of awesomeness.
It's slow going. The pattern is complicated, and even though I'm getting the hang of it, there's a *lot* of twisting going on.
The color is also fabulous and I'm enjoying them immensely.
A much easier project are my Kiellinie socks, my second attempt at fun ribbed snowboarding socks.
They're my easy knitting I can take to outings. They've gotten most of their work done at game night. Board games are perfect for sock knitting.
I'm going to have to give these some personal attention though as it's time to turn the heel.
I had some issues sizing these correctly, but I think they'll work out fine.
As always for me, it's going to be part mystery, part hope to see just how well they fit.
Fortunately, ribbed workhorse yarn socks are one of the most forgiving concepts.
And that's all for now. Once I get to travelling, the real cast-on fun starts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Photography: Hexipuffs in the Wild

Bulbasaur in leaves
Shibui and Bark
 You never know when you're going to encounter a hexipuff in the wild.
So keen an eye out for the little squishies, and keep your needles ever at the ready!

Some hexipuffs like to hang out in trees, their eucalypt smell attracting plump, soft and squishy shapes to them.

Possum in Eucalypt

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's a Ninja! Mask.

shapely nose
upside-down chin
 When the going gets tough, you need to protect your face.
Whether it's to hide your identity, block out the wind of an icy snowboarding mountain or protect your gentle features from the guts and gore of decimated zombies, a ninja mask is the answer.

As soon as I saw this pattern on Ravelry, I knew I had to knit it. It had everything, a cool name, a practical purpose and just enough shaping to keep me interested.

It wasn't the smoothest start as the pattern is rather... verbose. You wouldn't think something knit in the round would require this many instructions, but it does.
it took some mathing, some trial and error and some outright discarding of instructions, but the finished result speaks for itself.
It's fabulous!
I couldn't love it more, and I can't wait to see how warm and cozy this mask will be when used for its intended purpose, as a snowboarding scarf/face mask that will stay in place and stay warm from first lift to last.
Expect snow photos of the mask in action next month.

blending into the environment

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Photography: Hexipuffs in the Water!

Bulbasaur's Rock
Mixed Berries Beach
 Everyone knows that hexipuffs like to be out and about.
But few realise that these brave and fearless squishies are so daring, they can even be found right by the water!

So make sure the next time you're at a creek, river or brook, you take a closer look!
You never know what, or who, you might find.
Keep your needles and your camera ready at all times.

Chinook Brook

Monday, January 2, 2012

Nerd Wars Month 3 Summary - Geek Finale

 This is it. Round 3, aka the final round, of Tournament 3 of Nerd Wars is finished.
And guess what?
Three for three for six! I scored a full 18 by submitting all six projects all three rounds.
What does that mean?
Well, nothing, really, except for bragging rights.

What I submitted this month:

Technical: Danger Zone: an ugly little crochet penguin
Intellectual: Tradition: the Green Lantern lantern
Nerd Culture: British Invasion: Knotty gloves
Scientific: Fermat's Last Theorem: my Bugga Pogona shawl and a fixed cuff for the Hayfever mystery socks
Team Spirit: Nerds in their natural habitat: the Bulbasaur Vine Whip Beret (the pattern I won as a prize in the first month!)
Giving Geeks: RAK n' Roll: I donated yarn to my local cat shelter for blankets