Saturday, February 28, 2009

Serendipity's AMAZING blog raffle!

Serendipity is running a FANTASTIC raffle over on her blog raising money for the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

All you need do is donate $10AUD or more, email her your receipt and voila! Serendipity is offering an amazing array of STUNNING prizes, plus all of you who donate will get the bonus of a warm glow of satisfaction that you're helping out humanity :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

wedding shawl swatch

Tada! Here is the completed blocked swatch for the Wedding Shawl:
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr, teal (lace weight/2ply merino tussah silk blend)
Needles: 6mm Options

I'm going to cast on for the actual project with 5.5mm needles as I think that will give a better fabric with the lace pattern a little more clear.

Have 101 stitches cast on the needles now, but not sure if will do 2 or 3 pattern repeats to get the desired width, so will have to double checkthe measurement first before i go any further!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just Add Water

There has been some pretty gnarly weather up here in the Pilbara lately.

It seems that when it rains, it really does pour - and the ground can't absorb all the water fast enough.
When I first came up here I wondered why there were such huge drains (by huge I mean over 5ft deep and 6 ft wide) all over camp and through town, great gigantic troughs - how could there EVER be so much water to fill these enormous drains?!
Well.. now I know!

These are pictures of a river nearby - the river bed is very deep and should be more than sufficient for river flow - and yet look at these shots!


On the mine site we were not immune either. Equipment damage, small land slides and even this...

Water Damage container

Yep. That's a sea container. A great big metal sea container. Oh yeah, and those are cyclone tie-downs next to it - the big solid concrete slabs with high-tensile wires? They're to stop the container lifting off in a cyclone. That entire unit was swept off by the flooding waters and dumped where you see it there, part way up the slope.

Pretty extreme, huh?!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dancing about the needles tips

I have a very significant and fantastic project dancing about near the very tips of my needles

I've spent a lot of time debating over fibre content, and yarn colour with the recipient.

One of my closest friends for one of the longest times is marrying her beau, so a handknit wedding shawl is definitely in order :)

Bink and I chose Zephyr Jaggerspun, a light and magically shimmery blend of merino and tussah silk (no critters harmed in the making!) and I'll be knitting up the Liesel lace pattern in a stole size.

I ordered the yarn from afar, fine-tuned my order with the shipping staff and collected it with MUCh excitement when the box arrived.

When it arrived the yarn was in cone form, so needed to be wound off into yarn cakes, to enable knitting with two strands held together
Zephyr Lace
so I spent a fun, yet slightly nerve-racking, evening winding from the cone (held on a stick by my sweetie) off onto the ballwinder - we had a couple fo snags, leaving on cake with a midway break, but apart from that all was smooth sailing)
winding disaster!
Since then I've knit up a wee swatch - one complete pattern repeat - to see what sort of needles will work best and how many repeats will give the desired size..

And now *deep breath* I think I'm just about ready to begin - and not a moment too soon!

The wedding date is early April, so I won't be dilly-dallying any longer!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blocking out the Canopy

I've been a little bit of a slump lately so I've unconsciously avoided blogging I think - even though I have a lovely finished knit to share - though that photos aren't as fabulous as they could be, given the current camera situation though they'll have to do!
F C Shawl Pre-Blocking  (10)
I finished the Forest Canopy Shawl in about 5 days - a record for me for lace, though it is rather small. Here it is pre-blocking the colours are most accurate in the second picture here.
F C Shawl Pre-Blocking  (5)
This yarn is an absolute dream to work with. 100% Tussah silk from Art Fibers - an amazing San Fransiscan yarn store I would definitely like to get to know a little better!
F C Shawl Pre-Blocking  (9)
I didn't use much yarn since the shawl is rather small - only 5 repeats of the pattern, and an extra few rows of the edging. So I have a fair amount left on the cone to knit up something else with it - an experience I very much look forward to.
F C Shawl Pre-Blocking  (3)
I made the shawl smaller than the pattern as I needed to get it done quickly but without a feeling of pressure and being rushed. Being that it's a prayer shawl of sorts for a couple here on site who lost their baby after childbirth, I wanted all positive and supportive emotions tied in to the yarn.
FC Shawl Blocking5
Here is the shawl pinned out being blocked. I've taken a few shots of it completed and all perdy - but they're rather rubbish, so I may try to take some more rather than rely on those..

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cats & Yarn

An age-old battle...

funny pictures of cats with captions

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Obsessed with Blood!

I have become totally and shamefully addicted to True Blood, a vampire tv series based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris!
TrueBlood poster
Of course it helps that the lead vamp is completely ravishing...

I'm in need of a bit of escapism at the moment and this is absolutely doing the trick. I'm quite a vampire/zombie geek so am thoroughly enjoying it :) Might look in to the 9 title book series too..

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Call for donations

You may have heard about it in your news, and if you're an Aussie or have friends here you may already have been affected by it; the appalling fires that have devastated Victoria on the east coast.


The tragic wake of victims and damage to towns has shocked us all and left many without homes, belongings and, most tragically, loved ones. The toll is currently 181 and rising. It is fast becoming one of the worst fires in history with more than 400,000 hectres razed and over 1033 properties destroyed - and the fires are still raging on.

fire kinglake
Entire towns have beeen destroyed - here pictured, Kingslake

I know my latest posts have been a little doom-and-gloomy with tragedy seeming to overshadow knitting and craft, but this is an opportunity to get the word out and rouse some support, and if I can't use my blog for that, what is it really good for?

The Australian Red Cross is seeking donations to help those left without shelter, clothes, food and in desperate need of medical care. Please follow the link to their appeal page to read about how you can help - even $5 - that cup of coffee and muffin you were thinking of having - all adds up to support these people, someone's Mum, son, neighbour etc.. Please dig deep and put forward what you can.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Knitting is complete!

Knitting of the Forest Canopy shawl is officially complete!

I still need to block it out and I'm very curious to see the finished size. I needed to whip it out rather promptly since I have other knitting I need need need ot get on with (more on that later!), but also didn't want to produce a shawl that was unsuably small. I know it will definitely be long enough to wrap around the neck and tie - sort of like a scarf - but I'll be very pleased if it's more shawly than scarfy.

We shall soon see!

I didn't go walking this morning so I'll get a lift to the shops from work and walk back to camp from there. It's much more pleasant walking in the mornings since the flies aren'tusually awake by then and the sun isn't up. Despite walking in the dark it's still pretty warm, but no where near as revoltingly suffocating as it is around knock off time. I was up late-ish last night finishing off the shawl though, so turned off the alarm and slept in til 5am instead of getting up at 4:15 to go walking, so I really should do some exercise this arvo. And walking home from the shops, sewing pins for blocking tucked away in my backpack, is the perfect thing!

Then I can soak the shawl, have dinner and when I'm bck it will be ready to block on one of the beds!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Frisky Spunky

I managed (amazingly) to fit in some spinning time over R&R amongst the other crafts and activities and now have a lovely little skein to knit up when next I can find the time to cast on something new! Hurrah!
Frisky Spunky Handspun (3)
I had already spun up part of a bobbin of fun fibre from the Spunky Eclectic Fibre of the Month Club - I had a few bundles of fibre I've been hoarding for a while -but since I started spinning this lot up I've lost the little label giving details of the fibre put up, colourway name and so on - ack!
Frisky Spunky Handspun (5)
Around 100g has become 122yards or so, but I have yet to work out how many Wraps-Per-Inch and what weight the yarn is. From my searching flickr for Spunky Club photos I think I've figured out the colourway is Strawberry Fields, and the fibre is Corriedale - thank goodness for the internets!
Frisky Spunky Handspun (6)
It's a bright, frisky colour and has spun up very baber-poley in the plying - I'm looking forward to seeing it knit up! In fact... I already have a plan for what to knit... but for now it must remain a surprise... ;)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Heavy Post

The last couple of days I've been immersing myself in lace knitting - namely a Forest Canopy shawl. It seems tragedies strike families up here in isolated areas and FIFO work just as much as families in the cities, but the effects are worsened by the family members being separated, and delays in family being able to fly home to their loved ones. So when a workmate or part of our crew up here suffers a family loss it's amazing how much the crew all band together to give support.
Forest Canopy (2)
It seems we've had a few more tragedies over the last couple of months than quite seems "fair" - men have lost newborn babies, wives and one young charismatic man even took his own life. We held his memorial service yesterday as a way for everyone in the camp to gain some closure and say goodbye to him.
Heavy stuff I know, and not the normal warm-fuzzy blog content I usually write. At the moment though, the lace I'm knitting is tied in to this support network. For one of the men whose baby passed away, all the crew put money together so he could afford to take some time off work to be at home with his wife. I don't really know him very well, but decided I would knit a prayer shawl for his wife, to give her something special to show the compassion, love and support for her and her husband. I'm not a traditionally religious person, so rather than an actual prayer each stitch, I'm trying to fill each stitch with kindness, light and love for them both.
Forest Canopy
So the Forest Canopy shawl was a nice simple pattern with beautiful results that I could knit up reasonabley quickly and send on. I'm using the glorious ArtFibers Golden Chai which is tussah silk and an absolute dream to work with. When difficult things happen to good people it just seems a natural progression for knitters to want to knit for them - I hope it will be something pleasant for them to surround themselves and feel not just my support and thoughts but those of knitters worldwide.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Icing Swirl at last!

At last I have some pictures of the Icing Swirl Beret FO - but they're still pretty terrible shots I'm afraid!
Icing Swirl (3)
This was my third attempt in as many days to get good photos but alas - the angle was always unfortunate, the lighting bad... you name it! But at least these give an idea of the style, shape, colour, fit etc..
Icing Swirl
Pattern: Icing Swirl Beret by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silk Road, Aran - held double, used around 1 ball
Needles: 6mm metal knit picks circs
Size: The slouchier size, of course!
Icing Swirl (2)
I'm still figuring out how to wear this one. I seem to have a bit of trouble wearing sleek berets with confidence. The Verity beret I knit a while back is my abslue favourite as it has a bit more structure like a hat, not a floppy beanie. But given time I'm sure I'll figure out the best way to sport these lovley numbers!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wham Bam Thank You Wench

Wowee - this R&R has been SO productive! I feel like I've managed to get a stack of housework and maintenance done (rental inspection coming up) but also cranked out the crafterly prokects too!

Here is the completed outcome from my latest short-term gratification knit - a Wham Bam Thank You Wench cowl!
Wham Bam
I followed the pattern of Wham Bam Thank You Lamb by Insaknitty on ravelry, a super easy, ultra quick and very satisfying knit with a fun little twist in the seaming up.
Morning Glory Bower
Using the super bulky merino yarn I bought eons back form the Yarn Wench was a dream - many a happy moment on the couch knitting happily away on the 10mm needles clickitty clacking to produce such a fun FO!
Wham Bam 2

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

First Sewn Project!

Not my first ever sewn project of course, as there were several rather physics-defying creations produced during high school - oooh and of course my Creatures of the Night faery costume too (as yet to featuer in photos) so really.. my second sewn project since I made the faery outfit on my new machine too.

In any case and moving right along before we get too bogged down in the details...

This project was borne of necessity. Sir Scrumptious Shweetie has had a lot of trouble with his knee lately and has been doing a bit of hot-cold therapy which has been helping a bit. Only short-fall was our lack of heat/cold packs.

Et voila! A sewing opportunity if ever I saw one!

I had picked up some rather delicious and irresistable fabrics the day before and was in a mad fit to not only use them, but also prove that it was indeed highly necessary for me to purchase the amount that I did because look just LOOK at all this sewing I'm doing! ;)

We took the measurements for the most suitable size wheat bag and I found the fabrics I wanted to use form the lovely neat stack of glorious folded materials... et voici!

Wheat bag

A wheat bag!
A custom fit wheatbag!

The 100% cotton fabric was a little thin to use on its own, so I made an inner lining of the maroon fabric to add some extra structure to the bag before we filled it. I'm very pleased with how it's turned out - so is Sir Scrumptious, and his knee :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Introducing Edwin... or Edward...

I thought it was high time to introduce my charming new friend to you.. although there's the small trouble of not knowing his name... He's either an Edward or an Edwin - but I'm not quite sure yet! In anycase, here he is in all his shiny fabulous glory!
sewing brother! (3)
(Brother NS-50)
This R&R I've actually had a chance to get to know him, as I didn't have the time to get stuck in before heading back to work after bringing him home after Christmas. All the buttons and features are ultra user friendly and very fun - but I haven't even touched the surface of the possibilities yet. Just look at all those stitches!
sewing brother! (5)
I ended up going to a local sewing store for advice on which machine would be best for me, and that was totally the best way to go. The friendly man who owns the store spent over 45 minutes showing me the different machines and their various features, and when we narrowed it down to this one we sat and sewed for a good while too! Free lessons come with the machine so I'm looking forward to making the most of them to learn some sewing tips and ricks and get more familiar with Edwin.. or is it Edward..

I also have a most lovely pair of Friskars fabric shears! A birthday gift from my suave brother and his equally chic and stylish partner :) I plan to felt a little cosy actually to keep them safe and snug.. the scissors that is..
Shiny scissors
(A very bad photo, but without the LCD screen I can't figure out how to turn off the flash on the broken camera!)

Or is it Erwin.. ?! *exasperated sigh*