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socktoberfest

whilst knitting against all sorts of odds and, more specifically, deadlines, there's not much time for socks lately. i readily admit it's spring here so we won't need them at home for a bit. then again, we really hope to be able to travel to europe within a couple of months to show off our wonderful daughter (aka the hat model).

we would need socks in european winter. so it's a good idea to join socktoberfest. "a celebration of knitting socks". and apparently a bit less pressurized than the sock wars that i didn't have time for this month.


hatty

here's the wiske hat. formerly a nice generic baba hat until we fit it on - it was too small and i had to redo the top. next time i will however have to make sure the top fabric is flat on the head before i make bows, because they look somewhat like a pull cord now. sheesh, how tiresome this perfectionism is.the strawberry hat will become a present for a newborn, as it doesn't fit my baba all that well. i'll make her a new one. the newborn is home made by a very nice girl who looks absurdly stunning shortly after giving birth (too bad it's impolite to post her pic here!). they chose a good name too - annabel. i like it.


chain curse

bettie, my apologies for taking so long to proceed with your chain curse. i was afraid of all the good things that would come to me, as i was tremendously busy already!
here goes:
===
This is a knitting chain blog post. What you should do if you read this is the following:
1. Copy this text including the questions below in a post on your own blog, and add one question by yourself. If the total number of questions on the list exceeds 10, get rid of the top question on the list. Include a link to your blog to your own thought up question. Do not include other peoples’ answers to the questions.
2. The question you think up should be controversial (it’s up to you to decide what that is), but adhere to netiquette, so nothing offensive, please!
3. Include the answer to all the questions incl. your own in a PS to your posting text.

Otherwise, no rules.
You can tag specific bloggers to answer the questions but knitters can also just take the up the challenge when they feel challenged enough by reading the chain blog post. You can change the picture if find a better one, if you use the original, keep the reference to their website. You can add comments to the questions and there’s no limit to the length of your answers, nor of the amount of blogreaders you tag. If you do take up the challenge you could leave a comment on the blog where you saw it.

Needless to say, this chain has started in 1976 in a small rural village in the Andes mountains. Do not break the chain! Knitters who read this and do not take the challenge of answering will turn into something like this <=

Questions:

1. Have you ever considered to knit while sitting on the toilet (so-called 'knitting in private'?) (question by tingletangle)

2. Did you ever throw yarn in the dustbin because at that moment you thought you wouldn't ever like or need it again? (question by Froukje)

3. What is the strangest reaction you got at your knitting? (question by Tijm)

4. who taught you to knit? (question by Froukje)

5. how many ufo's do you have? (question by Bettie)

6. what curse exactly do you knit into your gifts? (question by nrrdgrrl)


PS: My own answers on the questions are:
1- no. i'm all for knitting in public. peeing in public is not my thing, so they don't mix well.
2- i'm a hoarder pur sang. i don't throw anything whatsoever in the bin.
3- most likely i'm stranger than the people who react to me.
4- my school teacher: it was part of the curricilum. most likely encouraged by my ever-knitting grandma, but she didn't teach me. she's very dear, but not that patient.
5- erm... well... that depends on how you define ufo... i'd rather think of them as temporarily holidaying. as to not show so loudly how good i am at starting things and what a lousy finisher i am.
6- love me forever as i have laboured for you

jayne consider yourself tagged: you are next in the curse of the knitting chain blog post..!
and of course anyone else who feels the urge.

===
i hope it encourages jayne to blog. i know she has a huge lack of time, but a nudge won't hurt.


sowing sewing class

spread out over no less than four sessions i've now finished the sewing lessons, or more precisely the getting to know your machine lessons. i now have a book full of exercise results and the printed explanations of how we got there (use foot 2, lengthen stitch length, move needle position, that kind of incrowd lingo).

funnily enough it took me quite some effort to obtain a workshop schedule from the shop. now that i write this i think, would it be because i'm 180° different from their other customers? i'd like to think of myself as a fresh breath and i've learnt to be polite the south african way...

they do seem to welcome creativity with open arms though. oh that might have been it - when i did get the calendar it came with a stream of excuses about it being too much geared towards making clothes and not enough towards more creative projects. just recently they had discussed wanting to change their general plan. which triggered me to let out a stream of ideas, so who knows what this nice mother and daughter duo come up with next!


tibetan sock hat

the weather is eh, springy. meaning it changes all the time from quite warm to quite cold, and windy in between. so baba needs hat. urgently. unfortunately i have no time to go all the way to arthur bales to get some (proper) yarn to make her her own strawberry hat. there's lots of plastic readily available in nearby shops, but hey.

this seems to be the right time for some of the regia tibet to leave the stash cupboards/bags/baskets/etc. i was quite smitten with it when i saw it online, but the actual material doesn't knit up nearly as nicely as i had imagined. for socks that is. meaning that it should be used in different shapes to look nice after all. like... a baby hat!


quilters don't knit

lots to tell about the craft show but severe lack of free time. in short - it was very much a sewing thing. lots and lots of quilters, five or more brands of machines on display, all workshops geared around patchwork, quilting, clothing of the sewing kind. snb joburg even sat next to a stand that promoted a knitting machine. just like the real thing, it advertised. one could even, oh shudder, make every project individually different. but only if you insisted.

typical experience just had to be getting a large amount of compliments for my beautiful project bag, a present from my pal arja. the knitting that was done from it wasn't all that interesting to the quilters. we had a hard time collecting names for new or existing snb groups. it all goes to show it's not so easy to get a hold of one's target audience.

=
thought for the day: have you seen this, two socks simultaneously? it gave me a bit of a déjà vu but i've never finished anything. must try!


inside out

sturdy bootie done. one of them, as i try and make as many different things as i can before thursday evening. if i have any time left (ha ha) i'll start completing pairs.

this is the same pattern i made with the wrong yarn. so it should be a piece of cake, no? no. lots of things went wrong. first thing that happened: yarn broke during cast on. okay, here i can blame rowan and the 80% wool/ 20% soy fiber. not for the rest of it though. that's just plain sleep deprivation. and only a tiny bit due to practically unfroggable material.

like for instance doing a three needle cast off... and until the very end just knitting all the double stitches together, without slipping the right one over. thus ending with exactly half the stitches i had, instead of just one. now that's stupid.

so i redid that. and darned the end in. and only then i found out that while i carefully turned the work inside out to do all this, i must have had my reason betray me. you see, the second half of the ugly bootie is worked in reverse stockinette. which makes the stockinette part... indeed: the wrong side. not the outside.

frogging once more i redid the bind off too tightly obviously, well aware that there was only a tiny length of yarn left at the end. all in all, if any second shoes and booties are to see the light of day, this one will have to be first. so we can show a proper one. and especially so the dear people in the show will not consider this my standard of working.


the show must go on

the one i mismade is put to the side for a moment. mostly because i find the yarn hideous! i need a break from that. so on to the next show model... another baby bootie. in rowan tapestry, no less. it breaks my heart to use this kind of yarn on a baby bootie! i know, i know, it's to show those can be spunky too. pearls befor swine, i tell you.


at wits' end

grumph. it's the umpteenth time. and this time it looks like i'm not going to find it.
i was spinning away happily when my thread broke. i wasn't quick enough and didn't grab it in time. so it wound itself neatly around the bobbin.

merino is wonderful stuff. it's so soft! the colours look so stunning! but, like anything in life, there's a darker side too. the absolute downside of spinning thin with slightly fluffy material is that it's a pain to find your thread's end.

every time it took me a long time of staring, grabbing, pulling. but this time - nada. no way. i just can't find the bloomin' end! maybe tomorrow in daylight..?


tamatie

the first demo for the craft show is finished. so here's our show model with a show model on her head. mr.n thinks the tomato should stay here and cannot be sent to the event. it's so extremely cute it is no wonder this idea took the internet knitting community by storm. making it turned out to be a drag, surprisingly, as the sponsored red yarn asked for a different needle size than the green and the stem needed to be done on yet another size. the pattern is [censored], it was in bad need of tweaking right from the start! really, hardly anything in that pattern was either correct or the best way to go about. however it's done and i agree that my daughter needs a strawberry the very second that knitting for the exhibit is done.

on to a long list of sockies and the likes. i've already made a big mistake - in a magazine two descriptions were swapped compared to the photo so i did the first one in the wrong yarn. aaargh! a boring bootie to knit and now i have to make three! or maybe even four!


to pull or not to pull

so i should obviously knit knit knit. however, this afternoon was definitely more suitable for spinning. the baba running around in her walker thingy, that just calls for me to sit on the patio and hold an eye out for her. also, i needed to try out a new technique i learnt from a mailing list i joined recently.louet wheels pull tremendously with an empty spool. this has to do with how they work - the flight goes around swifter than the spool. this threading slows down the flight and hence lessens the pull. considerably, as i found during testing. much more than i thought. very clever and pleasant trick!

last but not least: the interweave newsletter announces a spin to knit swap. in secret, as ever. still it sounds like a nice plan.
but i wonder how they are going to rate the beginner, intermediate, experienced spinners? or is this only asked by intermediate spinners?