O Hai! I’m Not Dead In A Ditch!

Gentle reader,

It’s been ages since I last posted. I do apologize! I’ve been meaning to get around to do a proper posts but, it just never happened. I’ve been a bit preoccupied. But, I’m back now, and here’s a recap of what’s being going on in my forest.

I did some work, and I played some games.

I finished the bunny sweater (though, I’m going to unpick the sleeves and restitch them, and fix some wonky intarsia bits with duplicate stitch)

I got an amazing parcel from my American Mom, Beth, with a bunch of lovely gifts and some of her beautiful glass work. We’re going to combine her glass pieces and my crochet into… something!

I bought some yarn. Naturally.
L to R: Rowan Colorscape Chunky, Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball, Noro Kogarashi

I got some new shoes. Green, of course.

I did some scribbles. The side two are plans for some lino block prints.

I smooched some cheeky pooses.

Listened to some tunes.
L to R: Emi Hinouchi – “Me”, Midlake – “The Trials of Van Occupanther,
The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”

I did some wandering around Melbs and enjoyed the turn of the season.

Aaaaand, I started some big, chunky bedsocks with the Kogarashi for my friend, Alf!
I’m using the pattern “Thuja” from Knitty.com

Phew! Did you like “My Life In Pictures” recap? Hope so! I’ll be back to posting regularly now. I think I might do more of these – unless raiding my Instagram is cheating… Hmmm…

How have you been!? Catch up in the comments! ^_^

Intarsia & New Camera Part Two

Gentle reader,

You’ll be pleased to know that there’ll be no cloaca-talk this time (except for just now, whoops!). But, there will be an update on the intarsia sweater I’ve been working on! The pieces are all done, and it’s blocking; all that remains is to make it up and knit the collar ribbing!

Sloooowly finding my feet.

Look, intarsia is not hard. But, I’m finding that – for me at least – it’s one of those things that just comes to you with practice. You’ve just gotta be patient until you find your rhythm, like your tension when you first start knitting. I mean, I was doing it, but I was getting frustrated with uneven stitches, and I tried any number of things to combat that, and yet, I still ended up with some messy bits. I sat down with Judith and got some tips, and they certainly helped from a technical perspective, but… my intarsia still was not perfect, and that frustrated me! I suppose you can’t really expect things to be perfect the first time you do them, but I expected it to be a bit better than what I got! I was ready to rip it out and start over, but everyone told me to keep going and assured me that all of these little imperfections that were bugging the bajiggity outta me would come out in the blocking process. So, I persisted.

I may have gone slightly overboard with the pins.

And so, when I’d finished all the pieces, I soaked them overnight and then started blocking them. And… I guess it looks a bit better than before, but there are still all kinds of uneven bits and odd things happening! Blerg! I’ve always been really pleased that my knitting is usually quite neat and even so this really, really bothers me. On one hand, I think it’s a decent first whack. On the other hand part of me wants to rip it out and knit the front over again. But, I want it finished by tomorrow because I intended it to be a gift, though now I’m not so sure (note to self, a gift is probs not the best project to tackle a new skill on. Not too bright, are we?). I’ll see what it looks like when it’s sewn up and check in with my knitting pals to see if there are anymore tricks I can do.

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer about it, though. I really enjoyed making it, and I’m keen to have another crack at it! Whenever I learn something, I have this habit of jumping in the deep end, because it can only get easier, right? And usually I struggle with it until the light bulb goes off and then I feel all giddy with excitement and satisfaction. I think what happened here is I finished this project a little before I got my light bulb moment. If I’d wrestled with it a little longer I might have gotten there. But, I’ll be content with this one for now, because it’s not awful, really. I’ll definitely give intarsia another bash, though!

Speaking of giving things a bash, the other week I took my new camera out for a wander to take some snaps. I’m really happy with how they came out. I haven’t done any post-processing on these except to rotate a few.

Wanderings

I think if I did any adjusting, I’d up the exposure on the statues, but the others I’m happy with. It was so nice also to have a little sticky beak around a part of Melbourne that I’d passed plenty of time but never had a closer look. I had such a wonderful evening wandering around, taking snaps, finding little interesting things here and there. It can be so easy to pass things by these days, and sometimes it’s nice to stop and smell the roses so to speak (or literally, even!).

I am having a few issues with the camera, sometimes the colors aren’t as accurate as I’d like, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out after some experiments and another flip through the destruction manual.

Have you ever tackled something that didn’t quite turn out how you wanted? How did you fix it? Sharezies!

Of Puppies and Bunnies

Gentle reader,

It’s a new week, and a new entry in the FO parade. I’m gonna jump right into it!

le Bunny du Blue (that's French for Blue Bunny, y'know)

First up is this little blue bunny. He’s a wee little thing, and he looks rather kooky, but I like that. I’m not sure exactly what brand of yarn I used for him, but it was an 8 ply pure wool.

Dapper Dog

I’m quite pleased with how this dog turned out. I think he’s rather dapper! I haven’t made too many dogs or puppies before, but I think I’ll make some more, and perhaps try a version on all fours. He’s made out of Cleckheaton Country Naturals, which I really like working with and I like the extra bit of texture it has over regular Cleckheaton Country.

Well, that’s all for today, it’s a short and sweet one, I’m afraid.

How was your weekend? Did you have a good one? I hope so!

– R

My New Green Brimmed Hat. Also, An Earless Bunny

Gentle reader,

I’ve not been the most monogamous of crafters of late, but I have another finished object to share! And, I must say I’m a bit like the cat that got the cream over this one.

I mentioned in my other post about the crochet patterns from Pierrot Yarns, and I decided to be a bit selfish and make something for myself. So, I browsed their patterns and this hat really caught my attention. It looked interesting to make but not so fancy that a gentleman couldn’t wear it. The next big step was the yarn, and I chose Heirloom Easy Care 8 Ply, and I must say that decision raised some eyebrows.

Back at the yarn store, we stock Easy Care, but we don’t seem to really sell very much of it, in spite of all the wonderful colors it comes in. And, I had discovered why when I selected some of the 15 Ply for my Peaks Island Hood. It just wasn’t very pleasant to knit with, and it really shows up mistakes and uneven stitches. You could say that poor ol’ Easy Care tends to get pooh-poohed in my circle of co-workers and S’n’B buddies. And y’know, I felt bad for it and I’d been getting the sneaking suspicion that it would actually be pleasant to crochet with. I felt that Easy Care need a friend in the world, someone to champion its cause.

And I was right! I’m very happy to say that I now have many good things to say about Easy Care. It is indeed very pleasant to crochet with! It doesn’t un-ply or fuzz too much and it also holds the stitch definition very nicely and the crepe ply gives it a nice texture on top of that. Also, the pattern from Pierrot was beautifully charted – no surprises there – and is available in Japanese and English. And here it is!

My Abnormally Large Head - Adorned!
Side
Pom-pom!
Back

Lessons Learned: It’s really hard to take pictures of yourself modelling a hat! Praise for PhotoBooth, which saved my life because I was having no luck with my camera. Oy!

I had a few moments of doubt while I was making it. It’s a five stitch pattern repeat with a foundation chain of 85. Well, to fit my ginormous head I must have increased it to about 130! Then, I was just unsure if it would really suit me or not and ummed and ahhed for a bit. Well, once I’d finished it I had some very positive reactions to it which allayed my fears, and a complete stranger on the tram even told me to keep my eye on it lest they steal it for themselves! That made my day. And be damned with it suiting me, I love it so much I’ll wear it anyway.

Aside from my new favorite hat ever, I’ve also been making a bunny for Easter. He’ll probably just sit in the shop somewhere, though I’m cutting it very close – Easter’s nearly here already. His body is finished, and I’m just finishing up his ears. I experimented with a few things this time. First of all, I made his arms in separate pieces as usual, but rather than stitch them onto the torso, I crocheted them directly into the torso as I was making it. Hard to describe, but I hope you can visualize that. Also, I made his little muzzle differently than I usually would. I’m not 100% happy with it, but I do like that from the side it reminds me of Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh for some reason.

Whurrr mah earz at?
Ear in progress

I’m not 100% sure what the yarn is, although I suspect it’s Araucania Ranco sock yarn. It’s definitely a sock yarn at least, so I’ve been using a 2.5mm hook. It hasn’t pooled to disagreeably either so that’s good. More pics when he’s (or she’s!) done.

I’ve got a few more things on the go that hopefully I can share with you soon, but until then take care!

-R

In This Post:

Green Brimmed Hat
Project PagePattern PagePierrot Yarns English PatternsEasy Care Yarn

Bunny
Araucania Ranco Yarn (I think!)