Friday, 28 January 2011

Where Did the Week Go?

Luxury Merino 4ply (superfine Australian, feltable and great for shawls, socks, and baby knits

Infatuation Bamboo Sock Yarn from Stranded In Oz

Finished a test sock in the new bamboo/wool Infatuation. The photo doesn't do justice to the wonderfully soft yarn! I'm rather picky when it comes to sock yarns, so wasn't sure if I'd like Infatuation. After all, I'm a Tofutsieholic. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a great wool and bamboo sock yarn blend, check it out! Plenty loaded at the SIOz online shop. Even in the blazing heat of this week, intrepid knitters have snarfled this yarn up!

Long Shot Vest (SWTC pattern by me)-- it's often the case that once I've done a design for a yarn co or mag, I don't see the garment again -- distance makes it sometimes silly for the thing to go to and fro. Anyway, while Long Shot was done a while back, I got busy working on other designs and neglected one for myself. Above are some progress close up shots. The first is a pic of the side and a better view than previous of the stitch used. It's an asymetrical chevron stitch that keeps mesmerising me. The second photo a close up of a revised edge finish. I liked the edge of the first one as it was pretty straight forward, but I like this second one better. Easier to finish if you are impatient and hangs nicely.

Am hoping to put the final touches on in time for the weekend, but I suspect that is a silly notion.

Happy Knitting, spinning, even in the HEAT of the weekend here in Adelaide. It's back to socks in this weather!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Saturday Summer Distractions and Knitting

It finally feels like summer here in Adelaide. We seem to love talking about the temperature around here. I guess when you live near beautiful beaches and hills, it's important to know if you're planning a weekend outing.

I have to say thanks whenever I get the chance to those who keep sending their email good wishes regarding my healing leg. I am happy to report that while I am gimpy, I am still around the place and gearing up for painting in 2011. The leg and foot don't look great, but continue to mend and I'm hopeful the surgeon next week will think so too.

So it's now onward to 2011 painting. And first up are the club yarns and fibres. I'm getting a bit excited! Tofutsies is the first yarn to hit the dyetable and I really enjoy painting it. Jonelle at SWTC continues to indulge my love of this all-purpose 4ply/fingering weight yarn. And I keep finding new uses for it in my own knitting.

Richard, computer nerd that he is, has worked a plug-in for my webpage for those of you who check out the webshop on your mobile phones. Thank you to the people who emailed suggestions! Let me know how you go with that.

In the meantime, I think I mentioned the other day regarding yarn distractions. My friends know I'm not exactly miss glamourpuss, but I've been distracted by new yarns, including anything shiny (new metallics). It's like cooking with cayenne pepper, a little goes a long way with me. Been experimenting with colour-matching the yarn samples so that the effect is more subtle than 70's disco BLAM metallic. You may remember the full gold lame look? But hey, if that is your thing (and I bet there are people who can pull it off) then why not? It's your knitting right?

It's back to the socks and HP Tofutsies on the needles. Til next time, m

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Greens on Wednesday

The greens on my screen of the yarn are brighter than in rl and are closer to my screen's
capture of the painting. Not sure what you'll see...

It's Cezanne's birthday today (thank you Google) and the below is a Cezanne that captures certain types of Northern Hemisphere greens. I painted a lot of Lux Merino 4 in these colours and my green-loving friends here said, that's weird. They're decidedly foreign in different light. Perhaps I was a bit home (hemisphere) sick when I painted the yarn? The example that proves my pet theory that colour can be cultural.

La Maison du Pendu

Today was a design day, then a yarn shipment arrived and distracted me beyond belief -- a wool tape made from mostly wool, woven onto a nylon 'frame' -- it works to around 2.5sts per inch, which is so huge to me -- I'm working on socks and shawls at the moment, so it feels really strange to play with 2.5 sts per inch! But I put it away after pawing the ball a while and got back to work.

So it's back to the socks and shawls and scarves on the needles at the moment -- and in the middle of all that, I try to find time to finish my Long Shot Redux. It's all good. Here comes the heat again and I've found the fans, so it'll be ok here on the couch.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Summer socks and all manner of knitting goodness

Summer Cotton Wrap

After working on the Summer Cotton Hand-Paint wrap for far too long, I'm still not done playing with this design. I've been trying to construct garments that are simple, down to the basics, but looking at knitting construction and shapes in new ways. When I say new ways, I mean, new to me. I have no doubt cleverer knitters on this rather large planet have thought of these things previously. I'm a firm believer than the knitting process is highly personal. What is new to you may be old to someone else, but who cares? Make it if you like it and want to wear it.

This wrap came about because I love modular knitting for summer. Do a bit here, do a bit there. But I am not always fond of the fabric of modular knitting. When a pattern calls for 1400gms of 4ply, I say to myself, damn, that looks fantastic. And sure, the yarn seller in me goes, hey, that's a lot of yarn to make that garment. But I just can't go there. I mean, I would never wear that much wool on my body at once. Maybe if I lived in Nova Scotia I'd think about it.

So, I set about trying to change the math to make something modular and a fabric I could wear most of the year. Eh voila, the Summer Cotton Wrap was born. It will work in other 4ply/fingering wt yarns, so I'm not done playing with this one, that's certain.

Further to the make it and wear it thread... One of my most successful designs continues to be The Coloured Sheep Shawl. The less complicated I made it, the more I had to rethink the whole thing. I really haven't seen another design like it and I guess that's ok.

Stranded Silk Sock in Lone Heart Red 100gm hanks

I've been swatching and playing with this yarn for the past week. It has the most amazing stitch definition and feel to it. Most of the knitters who've purchased this yarn continue to advise that once they get it home, they think it's too nice for socks. Yeah, I know what you mean, but why not pamper your feet? Then again, the drape on this yarn says, please knit me into a cowl or something like that. Thank you to Sr. Joan Mary who has decided just that. I can't wait to see what she knits with it.

For product info, check the SIOz shop -- more yarns have been loaded this week, including sock yarns.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year's Holiday Trading and New Sock Yarn

Happy New Year! Stranded In Oz is trading at the Port Markets this weekend both Sunday and Monday, Jan 2nd and 3rd, from 9am to 5pm. Last weekend was good fun -- I love it when it gets noisy -- knitting is FUN! Special thanks to Kate and Colleen and Leslie, who dragged her sis along, and all the others who came by for a chat and some wool.

I must admit, the hot weather took all my energy today. The first really hot day of the year usually does that to me. No matter, as I hid in the bedroom with a fan, finishing the final bit of edging on my garter stitch Way Over the Rainbow hand-spun shawl. This poor project gets bumped every time I have work due, so it has taken forever to finish. It needs a good blocking! Now where are those bobbins I wound to ply that McLaren Vale laceweight, spun from Polworth? That's been sitting there, waiting to be plied for, yes, a year.

In the meantime, I'm working on the Long Shot vest -- and of course -- decided to change the edging. As soon as I'm finished, I'll blog post the edging option.

Long Shot Vest close up of stitch pattern

New Sock Yarn -- the new bamboo sock yarn, Infatuation, has arrived and is loaded on the online shop for you to peruse and purchase. I will have stock at the market this weekend for you to snarfle. Besides Tofutsies, I generally do not carry commercially-dyed sock yarns, but this one? I just LOVE it. Soft, squidgy, and in very wearable colours. For me, this yarn is not a substitute for Tofutsies, the all-purpose, all 'round excellent yarn for Aussie weather, but it is a lovely addition to the SWTC line. This yarn may just be too soft and luxurious for socks and might end up as a cami, or perhaps as baby wear. On the other hand, why not spoil your feet?
Infatuation Sock Yarn by SWTC now available