Instagram Catch-Up!

Gentle reader,

I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to Instagram. If you’re a fellow addict, you can find me there as theshylion. But, the good thing about Instagram is that it keeps me snapping pics whenever I get the chance, which I can’t always do specifically for the blog. I’m just not gelling with my new camera, and I end up having to do way more post-processing that I usually do, and it doesn’t like low-light which isn’t helpful because I’m a night-owl. Eugh.

 

Anyway, I figured that to keep up with y’all and show you some sneaky peaks at some of the stuff I’ve been working on, I can do a little Instagram Catch-Up and share with you some of the little snaps I’ve taken along the way. So, here goes!

 

One of the first things you need to know before you follow me on Instagram is that I snap pics of these two brats a LOT. I’m a crazy cat man. I’m not even ashamed about it.

 

But, I also take pics of all my projects in varying stages of completions, like this sock. I’m a big fan of train knitting so that happens fairly often. (To the top left of the finished sock pic, you can see a bit of cat-butt. See!? I even snap them when I’m not even trying!) I just made this pattern up to test out doing afterthought heels. Pretty happy with the outcome!

 

I’ve been playing Civilization V on my iMac a lot lately since our consoles were stolen. Which is rarely a good idea on school nights because I may or may not have been up playing well into the wee hours of the morning on a few occasions. It’s a pretty epic game, y’all!

I’ve also had a voracious appetite for some delicious, shimmery pop so I haven’t strayed too far from my K-Pop and J-Pop playlists. This one features Meisa Kuroki, Crystal Kay, Perfume and Sophia (who are more rock, actually).

 

I made some fingerless mitts for my friend Seth! The pattern is “Swirling Gauntlets” by Susanna IC and I have to say, it was a super fun knit. I gave them to him before I could take decent pics, but I did snap a few on IG. I found that my cast on stitches for the thumb hole were a bit loose and messy even though I even did them on a smaller needle. I think next time I’ll just knit in waste yarn, rip it out later and bind off the live stitches with a stretchy bind-off.

 

I also take random shots while I’m out about. Here I am looking rather pleased because the weather finally allows me to rug up and wear scrummy warm things. My eyes are so beady! Oy. That fair isle hat – though you can’t see it very well here – is incredible, and it was made by friend Jen over at Little Yellow Cat. I’m somewhat obsessed with it. Then we have the lights of Melbourne! I’m completely enamored with good ol’ Melbs, and I’m loving the miserable, wet, cold weather. Yeah, I’m one of those people.

 

Here’s a sneaky peak of the Dartmore hat that I’ve been wrestling with. Well, I finally finished it and it’s in the post as we speak to my bestie, Panda! I miss her a lot, so I decided I’d send her a big ol’ care package stuffed with goodies including this hat. I sewed a little tag in the back so she can tell the front from the back easily, because there’s a slightly visible squiggle up the back where the rounds join. I’ll write more about it when she models it for me and sends me some pics.

But that’s all I have you for today! I have another project that I’m properly dying to share with you, but I need to get some decent pics.

But how have YOU been!? Sharezies!

 

A Sock, A Beret, And A Tune

Gentle reader,

After the Loch festival, I’ve been laying low – also because of some dental work, oy! – but I’ve been pottering away at some thing here and there, and I also had my phone upgraded to an iPhone 4S, so I figured I’d test out the camera and show you some stuff!
First up, while I was visiting my folks over Christmas, I’d decided that I was going to knit my Ma some socks. She’d bought me the book “Closely Knit” by Hannah Fettig for a Christmas gift, and then I asked her to pick out some sock yarn. Now, Spotlight in a smallish-biggish town doesn’t have the greatest selection, and the yarn my Ma chose didn’t even have a ball band, so I’ve got no idea what it is. It’s not what I’d have chosen for myself, but it’s not for myself, now, is it?

I like to call him "Halfie".

At any rate, I’ve knit the first sock which I’ll send to Ma for a fit before I do the other. I feel like it’s a little big (considering it fit me comfortably), but I knit it by the pattern according to shoe size and my Ma’s foot length, and my tension was slightly tighter – maybe two or three stitches less over four inches – so, I dunno, I’ll see what she thinks when she tries it.

The pattern in the book was really easy to follow, and explained the stuff I hadn’t done before really clearly. I’d never done the folded picot edge before, and I probably squealed myself silly when I’d done it and declared “I’M GOING TO KNIT ALL OF THE THINGS WITH A PICOT EDGE!!!“. Also, I’d never done a top-down sock or used Kitchener stitch to cast off before, so they were good times had.

It wasn’t all fun and games, obviously. It never occurred to Little Stupid here that knitting a heel flap with self-striping yarn looks pretty naff and I ought to have used a plain yarn or an afterthought heel. Which I already knew, but my mind left me for the duration of this sock. I particularly hate the single-row stripe on the top of the foot. Oy. Well, next time I shan’t be so daft, promise. Another weird thing: my stitches are usually quite even and neat, but they’re a little bit cray-to-the-azy here… I did notice that the yarn was particularly twisty and I had to de-twist a LOT more than usual, so I’m going to put it down to that.

Anyway, the book is super nice, and I’d definitely recommend it. For the Australian peeps, Ma and I found it at Lincraft for $7, which is a serious find considering how neat this book is. I almost felt like we were stealing it, y’all! Anyhoo, I’m planning to knit up a few of the projects and reviewing it. Hands up if you’re interested. There’s also a really nice plain sweater for gentlemen in here that I’m pondering.

Meanwhile, all summer my receding hairline and I have been bemoaning my lack of summer hats to hide my hair trauma and prevent scalp sunburn, but other things took precedent and I neither bought nor made any. And then, after Loch, I figured I’d put my new-found crafting freedom towards more hats, but really, summer’s nearly over, so I thought to heck with that idea, I’ma make me a new beret! I do love a good beret. So, I pulled out this Cleckheaton book, “She Knits” and, FYI Cleckheaton, He Knits too.

Gettin' my beret on. Well, not for a while yet.

Now, I love the Cleckheaton Country yarns, but I love Morris Estate better, so I bought myself some balls of Estate 8 ply in a lovely dusty, tweedy green (Sage 8046) and got started. It was really hard to make the color to come through accurately on my iPhone, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. It’s green and yummy; truth. I know, green is so unusual for me, right? The pattern is not the most exciting thing as far as knitting it goes, but it’ll be a nice pick-up-put-down project while I do other things. I’ll keep you posted!

To finish off, I wanted leave y’all with a song! It’s been a while since I’ve shared some tunes, and this album is making me fall in love with it all crazy-like, so here ’tis. I love me some shimmery, shiny, melancholy, synthy deliciousness.

Do like knitting socks? How do you deal with Second Sock Syndrome? Also, feel free to share your fave tune of the moment! Commentses? I heart them!

– R

December Travels – Chapter One

Gentle reader,

As many of you may know, I moved to Melbourne from Brisbane about a year ago and these holidays I’m spending two weeks in my home state of Queensland. Week one is almost down, and here are a few highlights! (Please forgive the iffy picture quality; some of the shots and all of the editing were done on my iPod and iPad!)

First, the flight from Melbourne to Brisbane!

I LOVE flying, and I love flying even better when you take off before dark and are still in the air after dark. These pictures don’t do the amazing horizon justice. Also, I love photographing clouds. I think they’re totes amazing.

Clearly, she is a model and I am not.

My best friend Panda picked me up from the airport and I stayed at her place in Brisbane which she shares with Audra and Eden who are also amazing peeps and were so generous with their hospitality.

Over the few days I was there, we checked out some great stores, got a Totoro phone trinket, ate crazy amounts of Bread Top, went to visit our lovely friend Kath and her beautiful shop, Handmade High Street. We also went on a wild goose chase for yarn stores – one was shut and one didn’t exist anymore – before we finally made it to Tangled Yarns, which is AMAZEBALLS. They stock Berocco, Pierrot (my fave!), Cascade 220, madelainetosh, and Malabrigo. I’ll definitely be going back there. We also wandered through an antique/bric-a-brac store where I picked up some delightful old knitting patterns (more on that later!). I also got to catch up with my adorable friends, Alf and Robert.

Suzie, the lovely lady, and Larry, the resident water dragon.

On the Sunday, I visited Judy, one of my favorite people ever (you may remember her from my post about the crochet bolero I did a while back). Her and her husband Peter made the most delicious BBQ lunch, and we relaxed on their back veranda while Suzie and Larry kept us company.

Judy's hat, made from Noro Kochoran.

I also snapped Judy in the hat I knitted for her (and finished the night before). I made it using the Hurricane Hat pattern by Andrea Goutier with Noro Kochoran yarn. I’m not sure what color way, because it was just a left over ball from something with no label. I don’t know why, but all those shots came out blurry. Oy. But, Kate will be pleased that I’ve posted another FO. Happy, Kate!? Geesh. ^_~

"Sah-kurity!"

I also managed to get a bit done on my Bon Qui Qui cross stitch. The picture is terrible, but you get an idea. I drew Bon Qui Qui on some graph paper and then used colored pencils to figure out my color blocking, and then started stitching. I’ve got a looooong way to go, but it was nice to do something a bit different.

Pan-Pan! I miss you already! (Also, is my bottom lip really that big? Oy.)

Finally, on Monday, Panda dropped me off at the bus depot to catch a Greyhound to my home town. I was super sad to say buh-bye to Pan, and there were some friends I just didn’t have time to visit. But, I was so excited to see my folks, and we’ve been having a great time so far. More to come!

How is your holiday season going so far? ^_^

– R

In Which I Knit On The Catherdral Lawn Because I Am A Forgetful Chappy

Gentle reader,

When I was a kid, I was extremely forgetful. Utterly scatterbrained, even. I would forget important things I’d been told, I’d forget to do things, I’d leave things behind, all sorts of worrisome mishaps like that. One of my trademark forgetfulisms was to leave my wallet every possible place imaginable. In the car, at home, at school, at friends’ places, at the corner store. Once, I left it on a stack of Jurassic Park toys at the mall after staring at them longing for a good twenty minutes. Another time I left it atop a hideout my cousins and I had fashioned into the forest-y growth of an empty block in our neighborhood.

I learned not to do this eventually, after leaving my poor mama irate and exasperated at having to drive me back to somewhere to find it and after having to keep myself organized when I was stage managing or production designing at university. But, once a scatterbrain always a scatterbrain, and to this day I have my moments (too many of them, depending on who you ask…) but they don’t all turn out badly.

Yesterday, I left my wallet at work. And I did not have the key to get back in. Oy. This meant missing a BBQ with some friends. More logistically troubling, it also meant I was stranded in the city until Joel returned from said BBQ. But I shall not be beaten so easily! I had knitting in my bag and a full iPod battery, so of I went to find a pleasant place to knit.

A moment is never wasted when you have crafts in your bag.

If you’re familiar with Melbourne, then you’d probably know the cathedral on the corner of Swanston and Collins Streets, and the strip of lawn beside it. I sat on one of the benches and began knitting away, but I then moved to the lawn after many a smoker decided to accompany me on the benches, bless them. But I felt that damp breeches was a small price to pay for a clean air. But, I digress.

Sunday in Melbourne

I had just cast on “Jesse’s Christmas Hat” by Elspeth Kursh with some Morris Woollahra (I think… I’ve misplaced the ball band…), and I was quite content to knit away for nigh on two hours. The weather has taken a cold turn after spending nearly a month warming up, so I was rather happy about that.

Meanwhile, I guess sea gulls are supposed to be gross, but they kept me company as did a few of those lovely little brown birds, and they didn’t seem at all cross that I had no food to share with them.

All in all it turned out quite peachy!

Just some other things I wanted to tell you about:

  • I was featured in an article in The Sunday Age yesterday! I’ll post a scan of it this week.
  • My little impromptu yarn giveaway is still going, and I think I’ll close it on Friday and announce a yarn recipient on the weekend. To be in the running, go and comment on this post.
  • I got a new bit of software to put my pictures together. Do you like it? I’m always looking for little helping-hands to make my picture layouts more interesting.

What mishaps have you turned into a little bit of pleasantness recently?

– R

I Need To Work On My Blogging Discipline, Yeah.

Oh, Gentle Reader!

If only you could know my shame and disappointment in myself for the roaring silence that had blighted this blog for the last few weeks… month, even! Well, episode two of Stitchonomy is out, which you can watch here, a somewhat secret project (which I can’t really blog about right now) has almost come to pass, and sickness has been conquered so I pledge to you, my beauteous – if somewhat imaginary – reader, that I will commence maintaining my blog once more. In the meantime, here is some junk that I made.

Owl Hat. Hooooooooooooot.

I made this owl hat for my Grandma, using the pattern from Bonnie Jacobs. It’s really neat, and a very quick knit – even for a slow-poke like me!

"Warm me up, Beanie!" That's a terrible, broken pun... I apologize.

Behold! The Spock Beanie! I made this for Mr. Joel, and I made it up. I had only the purest intentions of writing out the pattern, but clearly, it never happened. It may get some final tweaks, and I plan to make The Joel model it for me, so updates are likely.

Fenimore by the most exalted Jared Flood

This is what I’m working on at the moment, the Fenimore by Jared Flood. After the Owl Hat, I think I’ve developed an obsession with cabled hats. Not a bad obsession to have, in the grand scheme of things. It’s come along a lot further since I took the picture, but I’ll save that for another time.

Well, that’s all from me for now, but I do promise I’ll be back soon! In the meantime, you can watch me flap my jaw on Stitchonomy if you love hearing someone say “ummm” between almost every second word, or leave me comments. I love them, the commentses!