Things That I Covet: Color Knitting The Easy Way

So, the other day at work, I was covering some of our shop copies of the books that we sell, and one of those was Color Knitting The Easy Way, by Melissa Leapman. Lala from The Knit Girllls had reviewed it on their podcast a while back and had spoken very highly of it, so I flicked through, and now, I want it badly! The funny thing is that two days later, I can barely remember any of the content so much as that’s all been overshadowed by my singular intent to own it.

Color Knitting The Easy Way by Melissa Leapman

I’m going to flip through again next time I work just to make sure that I do really want it, and then I think I’ll pop it into my Book Depository cart. I’ll report back my findings too.

My First Sock or, Frankensock

I finally got my ass into gear and took pictures of the beginnings of my first sock!

Birth of a Frankensock

I’m still pretty excited about it. I’m just doing the stockinette section now, and then when I get to the heel I’ll check a few tutorials, read a few patterns and consult with a few friends. Hence it’s name of Frankensock. I decided not to use a pattern to the letter because I’ve found I tend to learn this better if I break them into parts and if I have to do a bit of adjusting to make something fit, it gives me more of an appreciation for the architecture of it, and the way things tie into each other. Buuuutttt…. we’ll see how that works out y’all, and I’ll keep you posted.

Vickie Howell’s Knit Aid – First Impressions

I consider myself primarily a crocheter, and though I’ve known how to do a knitted cast on and make garter stitch or stockinette stitch rectangles for just about as long as I can remember, I figured since I work in a yarn store now I should really get this knitting situation up to speed. Even before that though, I’ve seen a number of Vickie Howell‘s Youtube tutorials and clips from her show, Knitty Gritty, and I’ve always thought she was very likable and charismatic as a presenter and her way of teaching easy to understand. So, when I decided to really get stuck in, I looked up her books on The Book Depository, and I ordered myself a copy of Knit Aid: A Learn It, Fix It, Finish It Guide For Knitters On The Go.

Knit Aid by Vickie Howell

So, I’ve not read right through it yet, because it’s not that sort of book, but here are my first impressions. I like it a whole lot and it’s definitely earned a place in my knitting bag, but I feel that it’s important to know that if you were to buy it, I would keep in mind that it doesn’t really lend itself to learning the techniques it covers. The instructions and diagrams aren’t especially detailed and rarely¬† more than a page or two is spent on any one topic, but it does make a great reference tool for those times when you get stuck or just need a quick refresher. I really enjoy the conversational style that Vickie uses, and for techniques that I already know but might need to reacquaint myself with, the info in this book fills the gaps perfectly.

The handy-dandy gauge ruler.

The hardcover binding, spiral spine and size of Knit Aid makes it perfect to just throw in a project bag or your backpack to keep it handy for those times when you get stuck. There are also plenty of helpful charts and graphics for quick reference on things that you might not necessarily keep memorized, including garment sizing charts, yarn weights, and label codes. Also, you will find in the back a handy gauge ruler the you can cut out or leave in.

So long as you’re aware that you might not get all the answers you’re looking for if you’re learning something from scratch, I think that Knit Aid by Vickie Howell is a pretty handy resource to keep handy while you’re knitting. It’s also very reasonably priced and well presented which makes it super easy to recommend, especially for knitters that are progressing from a beginners level and taking a step up (like me!).

Crazy Storm The Other Day

The other day there was a crazy storm in Melbourne, no doubt a byproduct of Cyclone Yasi. It rained quite heavily and there was some flash flooding here and there across the city, including just down the road from me in Windsor. We lost power for a bit, and even the traffic lights down from us were out too. At first, there wasn’t much traffic because, though we’re off of a main road, our street is actually fairly quiet. Drivers just seemed to sort themselves out. They eventually backed up a little, but it seemed to be fine. Once the power came on the traffic lights were working again I figured it would just dissipate. But, instead, just minutes later, our street was crazy-town!

Bringing crazy-town to the streets, y'all!

This isn’t the greatest pic, and it was taken early on. Soon after the power came back on, our street just filled with cars! And they were all going the same way. In this pic, you can see that they’re almost over near the center of the road. Pretty soon, there was two lanes going the same way; so one lane was going down the wrong side as well. Then, there was one lane on the wrong side, and a car that wanted to get into their driveway up the street to the right of this picture had to drive up nearly in the gutter going the wrong way to get there.

There was honking and voices and it was madness for maybe twenty minutes or so, maybe more, and then all of a sudden, things were back to normal again. I’m guessing perhaps part of the main road was flooded or something and that maybe they were diverted down here.

Anyway, the other interesting thing was the next morning when I went to my tram stop to head into work, I saw this car parked erratically at the side of the road on the corner of my street, so I took a snap.

Sad car.

I don’t know how well y’all can see it, but it’s sticking out quite a ways into the outside lane, so cars had to change lanes to get around it. There didn’t seem to be any damage to it or anything, so I thought it was kind of kooky.

Anyhow, it’s super cool in Melbourne now. The night after the storm was freeeeezing, and it’s been quite cool ever since. I love it! There’s been so much nutty weather happening in Australia right now, I just hope that all the destructive stuff has passed. Keep safe y’all, weather it’s Australian floods and cyclones or American snowmageddon, or whatever other meteorological phenomenon is ailing you.

Finished Object! Okay, I’m Cheating…

So, I *have* made progress on my socks, both the green one on a circ and the Noro one on DPNs, *and* I started the amigurumi koala for the store sample, but I’ve finished none of those. So, I don’t have any craft FOs.

BUT, I did finish Mirror’s Edge on the Xbox today!

Now, Mirror’s Edge isn’t really a new game at all, but I had fallen in love with it from the trailers after it came out, and then the reviews were really varied, so I ummed and ahhed for ages. I finally bought it and started it, and fell in -proper- love with it. But, for all my love, it’s one seriously frustrating game, and I put it on ice for a while.

I’d been playing Resident Evil 5 recently, until I could go no further due to a scratched disc (heartbroken!), so I gave it another bash. If you’re not familiar with Mirror’s Edge, storyline aside, your character is a parkour dynamo; you run across rooftops, finding jumps and sliding through gaps and you build up your speed. And that’s the game’s charm. Once you’ve figured your course, it’s incredibly exhilarating to execute each jump and roll and flying fox in one smooth sequence. And to me, that’s reason enough to play this game.

It’s actually really short all told, I finished it in two days or so. If you should pick this game up and play it; you will die. A lot. In same cases, you almost have to sacrifice yourself in order to finish it; by which I mean, to find the way through the level you’ll either have to die from trial and error until you figure out the right order of things, or you’ll have to be gunned down a few times while you explore so you can make your escape on the final try. This is one of the reasons I put it down the first time, but if you can stick with you’ll be rewarded. It’s an incredibly original, visually stunning game, and there’s really nothing else like it. And the exhilaration of nailing a path makes all the frustration worth it.

Now… back to the socks…

Stitch’n’Bitch Thursdays! Also, Socks.

Thursdays are perhaps my favorite day of the week, mainly because it’s Stitch’n’Bitch day at the yarn store I work at. To be perfectly honest, if it weren’t for the S’n’B, I’d have practically no social life to speak of (coughcoughlosercough). Of course, I spent a good half hour making sure I had everything and repacking my project bag – I was going to take the amigurumi koala I have to make as store sample – but left the whole damned thing at home. I had my sock in my backpack though, so I had something to work on, but I felt a little self conscious working on it though, because I’m just learning socks, and I get frustrated because I’ll think to myself “If I were crocheting this, I’d be done already!”. But, I’m sure I’ll get to the point where I’m just as good. I was joking that no-one was allowed to look at me while I knit, and one of the girls who I really adore saw my sock and exclaimed “OH MY GOD YOU’RE KNITTING!?” She cracks me up. She working on some really neat socks using some self-striping yarn that makes a watermelon pattern. So cool. I shan’t post links until I’ve cleared that with her.

I’m really enjoying this sock though. I’ve not gotten to the heel yet, so it’s not like I’ve had to do any of the heavy lifting yet, but I’m digging it already. I’ve cast on two socks so far, one using Ranco Arucania on a magic loop and one using Noro Kureyon on DPNs. DPNs were kind of easier to begin with for me, because the magic loop took a bit of getting used to, but once I got going, the magic loop definitely took my fancy. I also tried with two circs, which I really liked too, except that one of the sets was an old, old Birch aluminum pair, and really wasn’t so nice to work with. I did buy a new circ cable because I found the shorter one a bit awkward, and the longer one definitely made a difference for the better.

I’ll post pics very shortly.