Knitting

Sep. 5th, 2013 09:27 pm
vanessarama: photo by <lj user="yavannauk"> (boys with cheekbones)
Did I tell you that I've managed a fair bit of knitting lately?

Here is a lovely warm vest/short-sleeved jacket that I finished last month under the cut )

It's not lopsided... it's the way I am standing :)

The pattern is called Ardara, from a book called Contemporary Irish Knits. It's knitted in a lovely limited edition yarn by Bendigo Woollen Mills called 'Harvest' which contains wool, alpaca and bamboo. It really didn't take me long, and it's tremendously warm. I have developed quite a thing for cables lately - I've always liked them but lately I've become obsessed with them. The buttons are made from repurposed Tasmanian forest wood - I bought them while I was in Tassie last year.

I'm now working on a big ol' comfy sweater pattern with the charming name 'Tea with Jam and Bread'. Another lovely warm one, knit in one piece. I've finished the body and have just begun on a sleeve, and am delighted that the body fits perfectly.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)
You guys, you guys, today I had a Revelation! I baked something. I did it with yeast and the yeast turned into dough and it rose and I punched it and kneaded it and made something awesome. This was my first (successful) time baking with live yeast. OH MY WORD. It's amazing. The dough comes together into a lovely squishy ball! It feels so strangely smooth and pliant under my hands! It makes the kitchen smell heavenly!

For those who are interested, this is the recipe: Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread. Highly recommended. I think when I next make it, I'll use less sugar than she suggests; it was so sticky and gooey and cinnamony, I nearly overdosed, which is a feat considering I only ate about a quarter of it.

Now I am planning to make a savoury version with cheese. OM NOM NOM. Baking! With yeast! I recommend it!

I also finished blocking a shawl. Again, YOU GUYS. It is black cashmere. It is massive - 7 feet in wingspan, easily, and the bottom panel hits my bum. It is done in the Faroese style, meaning it's shaped so it stays on my shoulders. Here's a quick sneak preview of it blocking:



Tomorrow is a day I am not looking forward to. I have a lot to do; I have to give two workshops this week, and my sidekick/second-in-command is also going to be in. She is only in one day a week and it's hard work; she's so gung-ho and she works really hard and has so many ideas, that I find myself a bit whirled around while she's in. Still, she is smart and funny and worth her weight in gold. Or in cinnamon sugar bread.

Also, I liked this week's (UK) Doctor Who. Phew!

Mawwiage

Apr. 30th, 2011 02:44 pm
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)
Rohan and I watched the royal wedding together (although not entirely seriously, with him shouting "Usurpers! The throne should be MINE!" and me bragging, "William and I have been in the same room so that makes us practically best mates...")

We did both seriously enjoy it. I'm not a monarchist (although nor am I a fan of the crap republican model that was our only other choice at the referendum) but I think the royals represent something very important in the psyche of (many of) the British people, plus it was nice for there to be something for people to celebrate at a pretty grim time for the UK. They seem like a nice, sensible pair, and I wish them well.

I hope all you flisties and your people are safe given the terrible storms in the US. The Earth, she is not happy with us humans this year, it seems.

My Morgain shawl is finally finished and it's so soft and light. Rohan photographed it on me, in the last of the autumn sunshine, so you can see the size. Please ignore the uncombed hair and the t-shirt and tracky-dacks combo and look at the shawl instead )
vanessarama: (shirtless)
On the one hand, I am excited because of all the utter Merlin cast gorgeousness coming out of the Kapow! con today.

On the other hand, I am a bit grumpy because I have to fly to Sydney tonight (on a Sunday! How stupid was I when I organised that?) to give a workshop tomorrow.

And on the third hand, I am accomplished because knitting progressed well. This weekend was all about HATS. I wish I had one of those glass head things so I didn't need to use myself as a model. )

Sockies

Feb. 24th, 2011 07:40 pm
vanessarama: (merlin: bookish)
Finished a couple of pairs of socks, both in rather different colourways from the ones I normally choose.

under here to spare your friendslist from SOCK!SPAM )
vanessarama: (Default)
Hello internets! *squish* I have returned from Alice Springs. My workshop went very well, and I really liked the woman who organised it. I did not like the hotel, which kept me waiting 90 minutes for my room to be ready (I would understand if it was in the morning, but it was 4 PM and rooms should be cleaned by that time of the day). The food was good, however; om nom nom barramundi and I treated myself to a Mojito.

And sadly, there is no water in the Todd. Apparently there was a lot about a week ago but it's all gone now. Alice is surprisingly green at the moment though. They've had a lot of rain. They also have a mouse plague - someone told me their cat is catching 3-4 mice a DAY. Cyclones, floods, locusts, mice - it really is the apocalypse.

Anyway, here's a pretty thing I finished lately:



Pattern: Dover Castle (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Starry by Dream in Color, colourway: Plum Paisley
Model: Lilies in the backyard

and a few more photos, because I can )
vanessarama: (ponds)
It is nice and quiet at work, as officially we are still closed for the holiday break. I am supposed to be taking advantage of this time to file and clean things up, but of course I am not. I am getting other stuff done though.

I weighed myself this morning for the first time in probably a year, and it was a huge wake-up call. I am heavier than I thought I was, heavier than I've ever been, and I need to lose at least 25 kilos. I am going to try out a program that [livejournal.com profile] sharpest_rose is having some success with, and then if it doesn't work it is ALL HER FAULT, mwahaha. Because it's never mine :D

On the bright side, Rohan is going to build me a new computer! I am very excited as it will be grunty enough for me to play Sims 3 comfortably without the odd stuttering and slowing down it gets sometimes. He is having a lot of fun planning and pricing it.

Also, the knitting is going excellently so far. I have done 11 repeats of a Shetland Triangle so far, and I only cast on on Sunday. It's in the most gorgeous dark green silk/cashmere lace from Skein Yarns (it's actually greener than the pic). The yarn is the softest thing I have EVER felt, and I have a lot of gorgeous yarn so I've felt a LOT of soft things.

I also bought myself some natural moth repellents from Kleins Perfumery to protect my yarn stash. I was very impressed with their customer service - I ordered on Monday, which was a public holiday, and got my stuff Wednesday. It was beautifully packaged within the box, in separate waterproof bundles tied with ribbon and I got lots of free samples as well. In case you're wondering I got some of these and some of these. I like the latter best, simply because the other ones smell of clove and I don't like clove as much as other things. I can smell them just walking past the room where the yarn is stored now, so I assume moths will be kept well at bay.
vanessarama: (merlin boys)
The white hot rage of last night has TIM ) I mean, honestly. This is why I normally supress my anger - it's so all-encompassing that it Does Things To Me. It was seeing other people's difficulties in getting this "service" switched off, plus finding out that this company rips people off all over the western world, That Done It. (Google "airg unsolicited charges" - it's interesting)

So, in the interests of determining to be less negative, here's a list of Good Things.

1. Knitting. I began a sock on Sunday night and finished it yesterday on the train. I knitted half the foot of a second one last night under the influence of White Hot Rage. Turns out it's a good and productive channel for anger. It's just as well, because I may have gone slightly crazy with US yarn purchases when the dollar began dancing with parity. Especially with this, which is beautiful yarn and only $12.95 and free worldwide shipping. I mean, come on! I also have a couple of shawls on the go including a beautiful silk/wool one.

2. Speaking of parity, I also went to Fyrinnae, which I believe [personal profile] anneheart put me onto. I love love love sparkly and coloured eyeshadow but I don't wear them often (y'know, professional image and all that). The great thing about Fyrinnae is that you can buy tiny samplers of their colours, only 1/3 of a teaspoon but easily enough to last me forever. I've basically spent $30 and got a lifetime's worth of different shades. And free shipping worldwide over $20! And it's beautiful, beautiful stuff. Many of them are sparkly but some are neutral and subtle - today I'm wearing Atomic Afterglow which is a perfectly worksafe shade.

3. Sharing photos of Bradley James with Ben. Lots of fun. And speaking of cute boys, [livejournal.com profile] a_shot_of_colin continues to be my go-to happy place during the day when things are getting rough.

4. I continue to adore Merlin and have so many fic ideas that I can't decide which one to do first. Although I need to finish the giant KMM WIP first.

I'm going to the doctor today, to get my cough checked out. Poor Rohan is being very patient but being woken up half a dozen times a night is undoubtedly getting on his nerves. It's certainly getting on mine!

ETA: A very helpful Telstra guy who posts to Whirlpool.net offered to sort my problem. I called AirG on his suggestion and said that I did not agree to the subscription, had done nothing to be subscribed, would not pay the charges and want them reversed on my account. He assured me that would be done. The Telstra guy on Whirlpool said to let him know if the charges aren't credited and he'll sort it out.

The AirG guy (obviously US based) didn't even seem surprised and didn't try to argue. I reckon they get this a lot, and they probably just figure it's worth their while when A) there are a lot of people who don't check their bill, and B) they get to use those people's money for at least a month or so.
vanessarama: (Default)
On the bright side, white hot rage is good for getting lots and lots of furious knitting done.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)
Rohan has my cold now, poor baby. He came down with it on Friday, which was his birthday! I'm still coughing away like mad too. There has been much chicken soup made and drunk in this house over the past few days. But thanks to Ben, Lou and Adam, we had a lovely quiet Saturday night birthday get-together for Rohan. Ben even made yummy cake with butter icing!

This weekend I finished something, which is now blocking. This is Icarus:



It's made from remaindered pure cashmere from Colourmart and the pattern is by Miriam Felton (mimknits on Ravelry).

This is huge. The wingspan is over 6 feet. I know the spine is being blocked a bit crooked, but let's ignore that shall we? Look at the pretty closeup instead.



The first picture is more accurate, colourwise. It's a beautiful vivid blue.

I started this way back in... oooh... January? It seemed as if it would never end, and the rows just got longer and longer, so I would keep abandoning it for other things. I'm so glad I finally have it finished.
vanessarama: (happy merlin)
... because I am using this post to show off my Best Shawl Ever! This is my second go at knitting Brangian. This time it's the large size. The yarn is the Holy Grail of colour, Wollmeise, in 'Ruby Thursday'. No outside glam shot today, alas, it's been cold and rainy all week.



I love love LOVE this shawl. The colour is fairly true in the photo - it's a gorgeous, glorious deep rich red. The shawl is big - it's six feet along the top. The yarn isn't squooshy, but the colour makes up for that, and the drape is wonderful. It's glorious. GLORIOUS.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy)
Crispness in the air. Scent of wood smoke. Trees shading to the red end of the spectrum. Wearing delicious cashmere and wool and silk handknits. Coming home to a warm home, a purring cat and knitting.

I love autumn so, so much.

Herein my latest creations. )
vanessarama: (cat!colin)
I have bought the Medieval Mice pattern from Alan Dart. Now I too can make my own Arthur and Merlin mice, just like [livejournal.com profile] o_deanna did!

Yes, this is the same me who was waxing pretentious liberal about age and fandom a few hours ago. I am contradictory. MOUSIES!!!

cat!Colin icon for the win.
vanessarama: (merlin boys)
The other evening, my train driver announced "We have now reached our cruising altitude of approximately 1.2 metres." People laughed. It was good :)

The Boss overheard me saying I am having trouble sleeping, and recommended a day off. I think I will do it, next week or the week after. I've had some low-level not-quite-rightness for a couple of weeks now, and I slept most of last Saturday, thinking I was coming down with something.

My flu shot barely hurt at all. Yayes!

It's getting colder, so naturally my thoughts are of knitting. I'm currently working on... let me see...

* Ishbel shawl in purple Wollmeise
* Clothilde shawl in Mini Maiden wool/silk in what are very unusual colours for me
* Noro Kureyon 'paintbox' blanket for the lounge (well, for the cat, mainly)
* Green cashmere hoodie (to take to the UK)
* 'Blue raspberry' socks (the yarn is dark red and blue with touches of white, looks like ice cream with blue and red syrups on it)
* Sock yarn leftover blanket (I need to use up more sock yarn on socks/shawls so I can get more leftovers!)

I wonder if I've taken too many projects on? :D
vanessarama: (merlin: happy)
I joined the '10 Shawls in 2010' group on Ravelry and have proceeded to have the most amazing fun with it. I'm using stash yarn for the most part, using up the Colourmart cashmere and sock yarn I've been hoarding which is too pretty to be used for socks.



This is Brangian. The yarn is Djinni Sock by Dragonfly Fibers in a colourway called 'Riptide'. I really enjoyed this project and will do a larger sized Brangie at a later date. She's a small size, only a shawlette really.



This is Wandering the Moor. (Did I mention that I'm a sucker for evocative or beautiful names?) The yarn is 100% pure cashmere from Colourmart, bought for some ridiculously low price back when they were Ebay-only. You buy it oiled for machine knitting and it smells and is all stringy, but then you wash it with dishwashing liquid and it blooms to this amazing softness. I've had this yarn for years, but as soon as I saw this pattern I knew this was how the yarn needed to be used. I've rarely had a yarn and pattern marry so instantly and so well. I made the large size, but the entire thing weighs only 136 grams.

a few close up pics and stuff within )

Knitspam

Mar. 19th, 2010 04:37 pm
vanessarama: (happy merlin)
Some quick knitspam to show off my new blocking board and its crazy skills! My blocking board is a set of four interlocking foam mats more usually used for exercise.

This is Matilda, unblocked, sitting on said blocking board:


You can see she is all crumply and you can't see the pattern properly.

This is Matilda being blocked:



Now she's all nice and smooth and you can see the pattern! You will also notice she has become considerably larger in size. As you can see, I really need another set of mats because she's just a wee bit too big for them, but they'll do.

Pattern: Matilda by Kate Blackburn. Yarn: Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester 2/8 in 'Aurora'.
vanessarama: (merlin boys)
It's been a quiet weekend with lots of knitting - I finished a shawl, although I've yet to block it so you can't see it yet. I failed to resist the siren song of naptime this afternoon, so now I'm wide awake.

On Friday I met [livejournal.com profile] tetsubinatu for the first time, with [livejournal.com profile] vissy and we discussed many Merlin-related things (and many things in general). It was a lot of fun; I'd forgotten about the innate coolness of just being able to comfortably rave on about fandom stuff with people who understand. Fandom FTW!

On the minus side, writing has slowed to a syrup-like trickle. It is still happening, just very slowly. I have a kinkmeme fic partway through and I'm determined to not leave it hanging.

Last week I bought two books on special which I think encapsulate the essence of me. They were 'The Letters of Ted Hughes' and 'The Maitland Double Headless Murders'. The latter is poorly written and disappointing - what is it with Australian true crime? There are so few good writers. The former is far more satisfying, especially since I have Sylvia's journals and letters as well. I feel enormous sympathy for Ted; I don't think either he or Sylvia were particularly easy people to live with. What startles me in these letters (apart from the occasional racism which is of-its-time and no less startling for that) is the palpable emotional connection he had with Sylvia, the care he took in his dealings with and about her, and the respect he quite clearly had for her throughout his entire life. It's a bit of a revelation. Surprising to realise that people used to write so much - although I suppose that people who don't have nine-to-five jobs and who write as their profession might have more reason and opportunity to write than the rest of us poor slobs.
vanessarama: (Default)
Hail, flisties!

1. Yesterday I went out and bought an interlocking foam mat, the kind usually used for fitness purposes, for myself to use as a blocking board for knitting. It is HUGE. I got a pack of four which turn into a massive mat about six feet square - I can't imagine ever knitting anything bigger than that. I also got a digital kitchen scale so I can weigh all the various yarn remnants I have.

2. I've found the perfect shawl pattern for 'busy' variegated yarns. It's Matilda (scroll down) by Kate Blackburn. The nice big blocks of stocking stitch show off the colours well and the pattern is very easy.

3. Our Buffy/Angel marathon has just passed the most difficult hump in the road (The Body). It's still entirely devastating even though I've seen it many times before.

4. I'm writing another long long epic WIP on the Merlin kinkmeme and some people like it and I am BURSTING with smugness. BURSTING.

5. It is now less than six months before we go to the UK.

6. Sometimes it makes me happy just to know that Colin Morgan exists.

Knitspam

Feb. 27th, 2010 10:55 am
vanessarama: (merlin: slightly amused)
It's a little while since I've done one of these. Some of it's behind a cut to spare you from image-heavying.

First, a shawl/scarf/shawlette!



This is 'Milkweed' by Laura Chau, made in Sundara Sock in 'Night Blossom' colourway.

Second, socks! Being a huge dag, I looked to my current fandom for inspiration in sock knitting.

Meet Morgana and Morgause )

Finally, here's the sock yarn leftovers blanket so far:



There are now 119 squares. I took [livejournal.com profile] verylisa's advice and began knitting at least some of the ends in as I go. All I'm left with now is two black ends per square, which I use to reinforce the corners. It's coming along wonderfully and it's very warm.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy)
You guys, you guys. I am so happy with my latest creation. This is Aestlight:



More knitting spam )

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