Sunday, 28 February 2010

Milo Vest

I am very happy with the results of the Milo vest that I knitted for Nina. It's a great, simple top-down pattern knitted in the round. I chose to knit this for 2 reasons: 1) I wanted to road test the Utiku Perendale 8ply yarn that I bought in NZ last year (it is so reasonably priced and the colours are great so it could be a staple), and 2) I wanted to knit something with one skein and that included a cable. My first cable!

The yarn is not the softest and is a little fuzzy but it knits up nicely. Hopefully it won't be too scratchy, but it shouldn't matter with this garment because she will always wear something under it. This is going to be a nice warm vest for Autumn/Winter.

So this was my first attempt at knitting a cable and I am very happy with the result although I actually missed one row out of the giant cable repeat. Because of this and the fact that I knit tightly anyway (and especially when crossing the stitches) I think that the cable is a little tighter than it should be. I stretched it out when wet blocking it and I think that has made a big difference as you can see in the before and after shot below.
Left: Before blocking. Right: After blocking

Above: Close up of my cable

Above: A very lovely cast off edge. I used the decrease cast off method for the first time and loved it. I tend to cast off too tightly and usually find it slow going so this kills two bird with one stone. I used this Knitty article for instruction as recommended in the pattern.

I ended up with half a skein left and have decided to whip up a cute hat to match.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

I love my iPhone apps

I recently joined the "I love my iPhone" group on Ravelry and tonight I excitedly lost myself in a thread where people were sharing screen grabs of their homepages. It's a great way to see what apps other knitters are into.
I've subsequently discovered and downloaded the following apps:
• ConvertKnit - this is the first app that I have paid for ($1.99 AUD) and at a glance I'd say it is worth every cent. It has needle size conversions and a needle gauge, yarn ply conversions and a meterage to yardage conversion. I like that you can set your default units too.
• KnitCounter Lite - I haven't really had a chance to test this one out yet but I'm already thinking of upgrading to the full version so that I can count stitches/rows/increases on multiple projects (in the Lite version you can only have one project on the go at a time). I'll report back once I've road tested this a bit more.
• Needles - a free app to keep track of your knitting needles. Works really well, and is free after all, but there are a couple of things that bug me... Firstly, although you can enter needle lengths in metric units when you go back to view the list of needles they are displayed in inches. Secondly, the sizes and lengths of needles in the metric are direct conversions from the imperial rather than true metric sizes (eg. 40.64 is the metric size rather than a nice tidy 40cm). Also there is no 30cm length in the circulars section. Also it would be handy to include crochet hooks too. And the store locator only caters for the north American market (but us Aussies can use Ravelry's yarnphone for this). All this aside, I have already added all of my needles and am sure it will come in very handy.

Also learnt how to take a screen grab on my iPhone; hold down the home button and press the sleep button!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Knitting on public transport

I was surprised the other day when a friend of a friend told me that she read my blog. It was a bit of a confidence boost, but at the same time it made me feel like I should be offering more. I thought I could start by telling you a bit of more about me...
I love to knit on public transport. Two days a week a commute via train from the Blue Mountains - an hour and a half west of Sydney - to Stanmore in the city's inner west, where I work as a graphic designer for Polli. The trips to and from work are my time to indulge in uninterupted knitting pleasure - no toddler or husband fighting for my attention.
Last week I did something I didn't think I should do, but couldn't resist...I cast on a new project before finishing my current one! At first it looked like my Bluebell Romantic Vest might be forced into early retirement by Nina's Milo vest, but this week I made a pact with myself; Milo on the way to work, Bluebell on the way home. Mixing it up like this suits me to a tee; it breaks up
Milo's stocking stitch in the round and my vest's fairly tedious ribbed lace pattern. I think I will make a habit of having a couple of projects on the needles at the same time, as long as I make sure to share the love.
Perfect for early morning knitting, Milo vest in 8ply
On the way home, my Bluebell vest progresses slowly but surely.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Big Cook Little Cook

I might be biased but I think my husband is a genius! Sometimes I am a little wary when he decides to start baking without a recipe, and talks in ratios. But today the proof of his culinary prowess is in the pudding - or should I say cookies!

Chocolate and Pecan Cookies

250g butter

50g peanut putter

120g brown sugar

450g plain flour

100g dark chocolate chips

100g pecans, roughly chopped

2 eggs

3 tbs plain youghurt

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp all spice

Raw sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 165°C

Combine the flour and spices in a large bowl and then rub in the butter and peanut butter until combined and sandy. Add the sugar. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and yoghurt and then add it to the rest of the mixture. Fold in the chocolate and pecans.

Form heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on baking trays approx 5cm apart. Flatten slightly and sprinkle with granulated raw sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Big cook (Jamie) and little cook (Nina) in action! Nina is the chief taster and in this picture she has just discovered that flour does not taste that great just on its own.

Slow Progress

So this is where I am at with Bluebell Romance Vest... I plan to get back into it any day now.

Tying the knot

I hope that people will forgive me for being such a bad blogger and lazy knitter over the past 5 weeks. I reason for this is that I am only just recovering from the insanity of planning a whirlwind wedding, over the Christmas period no less, and tying the knot on January 16th. It was a wonderful day and the weather was kind to us in that it didn't rain, although it was humid like the tropics (thank god for the fans!).

Thank you so much to our amazing friends and family, especially my bridesmaids and those who travelled from interstate and NZ.

Also a big, big thank you to Anna and Nicky for doing the flowers and saving the day when my Etsy hair pieces didn't arrive in time (the arrived on the Monday after!).

The highlights of the day had to be the first kiss with my husband (I know it sounds cheesy!) and the amazing 7-piece jazz band, Howler's Cotton Club.

I was expressly forbidden to take any knitting with me on the honeymoon, which would have seemed out of place lying on the beach at Kingscliff anyway...

Related Posts with Thumbnails