You did Ann Budd’s workshop; you can fix that!


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When my friend S asked me last week what else I was working on, I told her I was still knitting my Ley Lines shawl but omitted to mention that I was also working on something for her birthday! I had chosen a looped scarf with a light and airy texture, that could be worn loosely or twisted into a snug cowl.

It took me three attempts to get 250 stitches neatly on my needles. I worked the first three rows flat and then joined in the round. I was quite surprised that the stitches were so bunched up on my circular needle and was happy I hadn’t gone for the larger 350-stitch version. Unfortunately, I didn’t give this excess the attention it required. I carried on knitting. I was well into the first lace section before I realised that when I evened out the stitches on the needle, they were… twisted! Pulse racing, I smoothed the stitches back the other way along the needle. There was no denying it. I had a twist in my loop. I didn’t know if I felt faint or sick at the thought of having to begin again.

I searched Ravelry but (as I already knew deep down) there was only one outcome. I would have to start again.

Loath to ‘give in’, I decided to attempt a fix. close up grey lace cowlSpurned on by the ease with which we’d dropped rows of stitches and picked them up during Ann Budd’s workshop at KnitCamp,* I dropped a stitch each side of the join down to the border. I worked the twist along to the join and wound the knitting so that the twist was over the bars of the two dropped stitches. Then I knitted the two stitches up again and continued as if nothing had ever happened! Here’s the knitted-up twist before the cast-on edges was sewn together. Funnily enough, when I recounted my (mis)adventure at Guild** on Saturday, I was met with “You did Ann Budd’s workshop at camp; surely you could fix that!”

Here’s the cowl finished and blocked. The pattern is called Cool Breezes and there are full details on my Ravelry project page.

grey lace cowl

And here we are out for lunch with a view on S’s birthday. It was so hot (35°C) that the cowl was worn for photographic purposes only!two women near sea

* Find out what Ann Budd taught us at KnitCamp 2015 – the best bits
** Inner City meeting of the Knitters’ Guild of New South Wales

I’m so excited


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…but I have to hide it!

I’m currently working on several lovely projects.

  • I have charts, linen fabric, gold needles and hand-dyed threads.
  • I have patterns, local yarn, DPNs and circular needles.

I’m not making any Christmas surprises so there won’t be any sharing until after the occasions and that will be well into the new year.

However, I can show you this Australian-dyed yarnball of grey yarn

Once the item’s dry, I’ll be able to share some photos and a truly heart-stopping moment! More soon…

You win some…


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You lose some. Or so I thought, when I reflected that I had completed and surpassed the challenges I’d set myself for the sock KAL with the Aussie Sock Knitters group, but failed by half a shawl in Joji Locatelli’s Fall Knit Along.

Sometimes I talk (and write) utter rubbish! In my last post I commented that there was only a fortnight left for each of the knit alongs I was taking part in. Apart from waxing lyrical on the joys of the sock KAL, I was a bit too optimistic about finishing my Ley Lines shawl. To make matters worse, I bluntly stated that

It doesn’t require too much concentration (any mistakes stand out immediately) so it’s excellent social knitting, too.

Here’s where pride comes before a fall.

I had the feeling that there was something a bit off with one of my sections. But however closely I looked (and it obviously wasn’t close enough), I couldn’t figure out where I’d gone wrong, so I knitted on. But gone wrong I had. I had forgotten one increase. While that might not sound like much, it disturbed the aesthetics of those lines. And I knew it would always annoy me.lilac shawl with arrow and text

So I looked even more closely and jabbed in a needle to help me count down each row. Sure enough, I’d forgotten an increase in what felt like seventy million rows below. Despite the neat tricks I learnt from Ann Budd at KnitCamp on fixing errors, I decided to rip back. The mistake was in a section which had increases on one side and decreases on the other and I could see myself ending up with something wrong elsewhere.

lilac yarn balls with arrows and text

Now I’m good to go again. And the best part? The knit along doesn’t finish until the end of November so Ley Lines might even be finished in time!

Still knitting along


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So we’re approaching the final fortnight of both the knit alongs I’m taking part in.
lilac shawl

Having signed up to knit two shawls as part of Joji Locatelli’s Fall Knit Along, I cast on my second one, Ley Lines, at the beginning of the month. I’ve started the third section and the more I knit, the more I like this. It doesn’t require too much concentration (any mistakes stand out immediately) so it’s excellent social knitting, too.

In a burst of enthusiasm for the The Aussie Sock Knitters group and their current KAL, I decided to knit another pair of socks. The pattern’s by Melissa Deutsch Scott (aka Stranded In Oz) and having seen the lovely pair of Le Maquis that WollombiDreamer made, I knew I wanted to make these too!

Melissa was very generous and gave me the pattern, since I was knitting the socks as part of a knit along. I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

blue lace socksblue lace socks

I didn’t use the heel in the pattern, but the one from Cassandra Dominick’s Early Bird Socks which I also used on my Blue Bark socks. I think this will be My Heel from now on. It fits really well and because the knit 1, slip 1 starts under the heel, I’m hopeful they will be durable, too. I’ve just darned the bottom of the heel on my Fraternals socks. It’s not perfectly executed and I probably shouldn’t wear them too often but  I am loath to discard them, as  these were my Very First Socks Ever. darned sock heel

The colour of these new socks, as well as the lovely lace pattern, makes them very appealing. The yarn is Wolle Rödel’s Sport & Strumpfwolle Classik. A standard 75% wool / 25% nylon 4-ply sock yarn. Wolle Rödel has shops selling yarn, needlework and jewellery-making materials throughout Germany and I bought this when I was teaching an English course in Stuttgart. I had to literally walk past the shop to get to the train!



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Late in August I signed up for the Fall Knitalong in Joji Locatelli’s Ravelry group. My plan? To knit two shawls suitable for springtime in the southern hemisphere.

Here’s the first one: my take on Imagine When.

Pink and green shawl hanging on pink flowersPink and green shawl on pink flowersTrue to form, I’ve made some changes. The pattern is written for fingering/4-ply yarn; I’ve used Schoppel lace weight. I also used thinner needles to suit the thinner yarn (3.5 mm instead of 4 mm). Since I didn’t want to end up with a small neckerchief, I used Bondik’s modifications and knitted more repeats in section two. Because the following sections are all shaped by a series of short rows, having additional stitches at the end of section two meant that all following sections naturally increased, too.

There were, however, a few moments of doubt. I was partway into section six and convinced I had too much yarn left. I shared my uncertainty at knit night and even dared to voice my thoughts of re-doing my shawl. Well-deserved snorts of derision followed. Back home, I laid out the shawl and measured it. I realised that with extreme stretching good blocking, I probably could reach the pattern dimensions. So I finished the section and hoped for the best.

Like always, blocking did its magic and my shawl is exactly the size of the original!Woman holding spread shawl in front of harbour

The knitalong runs for two months with plenty of fun and games along the way. The first fun thread was to take your knitting outdoors and post a photo of you and your project. My Wednesday Walking Friend, S, was a great sport and took loads of pictures down at Sydney Harbour and over the bridge to the other side. woman with shawl looking at statue  woman with shawl in front Sydney Harbour bridge

shawl in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge

I think she was even more determined than me to find the picture. woman in front of Strickland House

This week we explored somewhere new together, so naturally my Imagine When came too!

KnitCamp Nurmilintu


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As the name suggests, this shawl uses yarn I bought at KnitCamp 2015* to make a Nurmilintu shawl like that worn by Inner City Guild friend, 1funkyknitwit, during camp. It will come as no surprise that there are, cough, cough, a couple of changes to the original pattern.

I love the drape of 1funkyknitwit’s shawl (Ravelry project link) so decided to follow her example and knit mine on 4.5mm needles, which is larger than suggested in Heidi Alander’s pattern. Blue lace scarfHowever, once I got started, I began to wonder about the tension. Is 1funkyknitwit a tight or loose knitter? Would the 379 metres of yarn be enough if I were using larger needles? I decided to play safe and start the first lace section a little earlier – when I had 9 stitches fewer than instructed, since the pattern repeat is 9 stitches wide. I then continued to knit each section so that I finished with nine stitches fewer than stated in the pattern. I knitted the final lace section and still had yarn over. A not-insubstantial amount for someone who likes to use every last inch. I knitted the first 6 rows of the lace section again. Still plenty of yarn. I knitted the middle 6 rows. Yarn left? Yes. I knitted the last five rows and realised I didn’t have enough for the picot cast-off so I just did a stretchy cast off. I cut it more than a little fine – that tail dangling down is all that was left!

Since there were no picot points I just threaded a wire through the edge and blocked the two shorter sides straight. I pulled the curvy hypotenuse side into shape and pinned it.  This meant far less back-breaking time crawling round on the floor. The result is a shawly-kind-of-scarf that works as well over your shoulders as round your neck.

Woman holding blue lace scarf Woman wearing blue lace scarf

*The yarn is Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal (95% wool, 5% cashmere). It comes in large 100g balls and has lovely tweedy flecks in it. My teal colour has flecks of blue and turquoise. KnitCamp 2015 was run by the Knitters’ Guild of NSW  and I wrote in more detail here.

This is the moment for fanfares


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Let the drums roll and the trumpets sound!

Okay, so that’s gloriously dramatic for simply having finished a pair of socks. But there are socks and socks and, despite saying this myself,  these are good!

Tonal blue socks - on feet

Of course it’s all down to the pattern. I was taken with the Wei Siew’s Bark pattern as soon as I cast on, now I am truly smitten.

This pattern is the perfect combination of not-being-bored-silly knitting and easy-enough-for-social-knitting. I really like textured socks that aren’t too bulky and this design fits the bill perfectly. The pattern is well-written and the stitch design is only a four-stitch repeat so you could make these socks in any size you liked. The yarn I used was given to me by Older Soknitsome Daughter and it’s just perfect for showing off the texture and yet still providing some interesting colour variations. It’s Sport & Strumpfwolle Classik (75% wool, 25% nylon, 4-ply yarn) by Wolle Rödel. I used each 50g ball as was and didn’t worry about perfectly matching socks. The one big deviation from the pattern was knitting them toe-up. I used the heel instructions from Cassandra Dominick’s Early Bird Socks to make a slightly dense heel flap with gusset which fits well and should wear well too, as the ‘knit one, slip one’ part starts on the base of the heel.

Tonal blue socks - front foot and leg Tonal blue socks - soles and back leg

The big question is always, would I knit these again? The answer is a resounding yes!

Monogamy? Who am I trying to kid?


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It’s a well-known fact that you need different projects for different situations.

– Something easy and portable for social knitting
– A more challenging project you can get your teeth into
– Perhaps a garment or blanket that’s grown too large to be taken out and about

From time to time, however, having multiple WIPs is a little overwhelming. So in July I determined to finish off a couple of things, and then focus on one project at a time. It worked. Briefly.

– I knitted my Rye cardigan while it was still cool enough to wear it often (it’s been a perfect jacket replacement).
– I finished my lacy shawl, Gliding, that had been neglected for Golden Rye and for the purple panic (Archibald).
– While I was at KnitCamp, I made pieces for my Lizard Ridge blanket or practised my Fair Isle technique.

Now comes the confession: my good intentions fell by the wayside and I now have four projects on the go! I signed up for a Fall KAL (knitalong) and then again for a sock KAL and then… you get the picture.

Designer Joji Locatelli is having another giant fall knit along in her Ravelry group and I have signed up for two shawl projects. I will knit these consecutively so that only counts as one WIP. I’ve started Imagine When which I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. When it’s finished I’ll move on to Ley Lines.

green and pink shawl

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been smitten with the sock pattern Bark. Then I discovered that the Aussie Sock Knitters group, which has bi-monthly knitalongs, was focusing on Australian and New Zealand designers in September and October so instead of just silently lurking, I cast on my Bark and joined in.

Blue textured sock

Finally, I have another shawl on my needles – my KnitCamp Nurmilintu. This is my knitting-in-the-pub project at the moment (at least the garter sections are).

blue shawl

I’m quietly ignoring the Lizard Ridge blanket at present. The separate pieces make it an ideal travel project and it will also be easy to work on when the temperatures heat up here as we move towards summer.

I reckon I’m just meant to be a multi-project knitter!


Who doesn’t like a good “before and after” story?


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One of the most active threads on Ravelry is Blocking – Before and After! The posts I like best are those where hours of patient lace knitting are finally and almost magically transformed from what looks like an egg tray into a beautiful airy shawl.

So here’s my just-off-the-needles blob of  Madeline Tosh Merino Lightturquoise lace shawl - before stretchingand

after waving my magic wand

stretching on blocking wires…


turquoise lace shawl hanging in front of window

photo links to Ravelry project page

This is Judy Marples’ East Gable Shawl. The feathery, ferny lace pattern was a little less intuitive to knit than some other shawls I’ve made, so I only worked on it when Mr Soknitsome was off learning how to glide!

News flash! Pattern love!


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Blue textured sock

Click photo to go to my Ravelry project

This isn’t the post I was going to write but I just have to share a sock pattern. It’s called Bark by Wei S. Leong (Kiwipurler on Ravelry) and it makes such  lovely fabric for your feet!

This is a very gratifying project. The textured pattern is easy to knit and doesn’t require too much attention. It’s a very motivating ‘just one more row’ kind of sock and the size is easily adapted, too.

Please note this is actually a cuff-down pattern which happens to work well toe-up!


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