Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bolts Need Cosies Too!

Following in the tradition of the red and black bolt cosy I knit up for my Shweetie's birthday - I felt the other bolts would need cosies too or they'd start to feel left out!

Bolt Cosy

This particular bolt cosy is for the bolt of our largest bore rifle - the Steyr .243 (Shweetie's favourite!).

I used a ball of Spotlight Basics Entwine in a nicely mottled natural sort of shade - a very thick yarn so it creates excellent padding for the bolt.

Bolt Cosy 2

I whipped up a little lining from the black velveteen mah Shveetie chose, but I cut the piece a little too small and had to do a very thin seam allowance and.... it's come apart!! So I need to re-sew the lining, but apart from that, this little bolt is feeling very warm and fuzzy with it's new bolt cosy!

p.s. Inspired by Ann, I too am making some blog renovations - so please bear with me until I iron out all the creases!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More smitten with mittens than ever before!

So it turns out that I'm in deep smit... with MITTENS!!

Could it have been knitting the Smitten that has me so enamoured?
In my recent (and somewhat frenzied) raid of the stash for abandoned and languishing UFOs (UnFinished Objects) I came across the wonderful Bella Mittens I had begun knitting MONTHS ago last year when we were headed for the snow! I decided I would like extremely snug and warm mittens, and having seen Sactosara's wonderful cashmere lined mitts I was inspired to line my own too!


I bought the most luxurious yarn I could think of and afford/find (= Malabrigo!) for the lining and after knitting up the main mitten pattern in a rather non-descript workhorse chain store yarn I looked to the lining.

SashaBella! (3)

By this time we were actually on the road driving up up up towards the snow and I was getting there, bit by bit! I picked up stitches around the base of the mitten and knit a replica of the mitten outer, but without the funky cables (which, incidentally, remind me so very much of reptile (especially dragon) anatomy!). Once I had lined the first mitten I was a little concerned with how bulky the mitts were. An already dense and very cosy pattern was made extremely thick with the layer of malabrigo inside. So thick in fact that I felt rather like a cross between the Michelin man and some sort of robotic, yet awfully cosy, humanoid.

So... I stopped working on them. *cringe*

It's an awful, disgraceful and neglectful thing to do, to just move on from a project like that and leave it for "a bit later" which is procratinese for "two chances I'll ever get back to that". But you see we were AT the snow by then. IN the snow. The very SNOW that we had been dreaming of! Snow, all white and crunchy underfoot! We were frolicking and stomping and making the snowbear, riding in over-snows, breathing deep lungfuls of icy-beyond-crisp air and marvelling at all the snowland wonders.


Add to all this excitement, the fact that I was SMASHING myself in to the ice and hard packed snow each day while learning to snowboard! So by the time we were riding the over-snow back to the lodge, or resting aching limbs after nice warm showers, I didn't want to be knitting something un-wonderful and un-marvellous.

Sasha Bellas complete! (6)

I still had my mind set on the mittens being lined, but knew in that deep knitterly way that it just wasn't cricket. SO rather than have to deal with figuring that out, I let them be and continued to use my normal snow gloves (store bought and not even WOOLLEN! But admittedly very warm and handy for manipulating helmet straps). When we returned from the trip I stuffed the knitting bag away with my other goodies and we flew back away for work, and that was that. Only NOW have I ferretted them out and realised... I don't neeeed a lining!! For goodness sake they're fantastically warm and snug as it is and look fantastic, feel fantastic and are super cute!

Sasha Bellas complete! (5)

The lining would be excellent in a yarn of appropriate thickness (ie sock weight, not worsted!!) but is certainly not a necessity.
And I'm in LOVE with my mitts!! I'm in deep fabulous infatuated love with them! It's a ridiculous heat outside and I'm sitting in my donga wearing my mitts (obviously not while typing...) and thinking how wonderful it would be if I could wear them all the time! And so the voyage of the Sasha Bella Mitts is now complete! The only prologue to be added is when I actually DO get a chance to use them in the snow!

Sasha Bellas complete! (1)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Smitten & love

I recently had a one-of-a-kind-event gift knitting occasion... my only sibling, my debonaire older brother, entered wedded bliss in January!

I was so very excited, and knew a wee knitted giftie must accompany any other gift we gave, so I ordered the yarn and got to planning their very own matrimonial Smitten!
Bendigo Chrry Red

The Bendigo Woollen Mill Classic arrived a few days before I was due to fly home from work for the wedding - phew! The colour is perfect - Cheery Red - a rich red for deep red, but also bright for prosperity.

smitten mittens

So I got to knitting, beginning with the two individual mittens. It was a blessing that we can now knit on planes - I was able to bust out most of one mitten on the flight home!

The knitting then languished a little while we were doing all of the wedding events and excitement, but at the Tea Deremony following the wedding day I was almost finished. My sweet sister-in-law being the petite creature that she is, I had knit a very mini mitten for her, so my Shweetie suggested we secretly have her equally minute older sister try the mitten on for size, just in case. Well thank goodness we did! Turns out I had knit it a little toooo small! So some frantic knitting ensued to knit another one a little more human sized!


Photographed above are the initial mittens, with the teeny weeny one rather than the final well fitting set. I finished them off and the newlyweds were suitabley thrilled to bits, much to my delight :D

I'd love to take a photo some time of them both, back in their wedding finery, walking along hand in smittened hand, then reduce the photo to black and white with only the bright red smittens left in colour!


It was such a heart warming and wonderful experience to share in my lovely brother's nuptials, and once again knitting was there to add that little bit of extra warmth :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Full Cold is Warming Up

It's getting toasty here - VERY humid too. A mere hour outside walking and one returns to the office looking exactly as if a bucket of water has been dunked over the their head! Shirt saturated through completely and looking very drained!

It's gotten to that time again up here in the Pilbara when turning the cold tap on full, with no hot tap, still gives a warm shower! And that's in the evening too with the sun going down!

madras swatch (2)

I'm knitting with appropriate flamey hot coloured yarn at the moment too. This is the Madras Handspun I spun up a little while ago, I'm planning to knit up some sort of fabulously snug hat with flaps - but we'll see if I have enough yarn!!

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Comforts of Fibre

At the moment I'm working away from my shweetie, and he away from me - which is an awful, hideous, foul and hateful thing. But rather than sink into the doom and gloom of contemplating 4 weeks apart with only 1 week home before another 4 weeks apart (yecchhh) I decided I would use my 4 weeks to PLUNGE deeply in to my knitting and reading!

So to that effect, I managed to scramble together a bunch of my UFOs as I was packing and have been trying to update my Ravelry page so I have a good idea of which projects really ARE Works In Progress, and which are just faking and are in fact hibernating in the UFO world. Justify Full

As I did all this, I stumbled across some photos of the handspun I made for my lovely Mum last year for her birthday!

Handspun - Gypsy Jamberry (1)

I took these shots some time after gifting her the yarn, and then forgot to upload them! (Unless I actually DID, and what I've forgotten is the fact that I have already shown you!)

The yarn is spun from Treetops Colour Harmonies merino in the colourway 'Jamberry' which is perfectly wonderful for my Mama :)

This was spun up on the very cusp and eve of my learning to Navajo ply (the other yarn I spun for her birthday was Navajoed!) so this one was still a normal ply, but with a gold thread to add a little something different to the yarn.

It hasn't turned out too novelty, thank goodness, and I love the finished yarn! It makes me think of a gypsy caravan, and a wonderful wise gypsy woman (like my Mum!) with long chocolate dark hair (like my Mum!) the glint of her golden earrings peeking through her hair.

Handspun - Gypsy Jamberry (5)

Mum and I are still brainstorming what she could and wants to knit it up in to, but we will keep you posted!!

p.s. Sorry for the whinge above - it's a tolerable sacrifice and it will get us to where we want to be in our lives and allow us to raise our children on our dream farm, so it's worth it in the end! Just have to hang in there and surround myself in the comforts of fibre!