Friday, March 23, 2012

hawaiian socks for mum

I love these socks. A beautiful cookie a pattern as per usual with the most fascinating gusset, the decreases were made on the top of the foot rather than around the heel flap resulting in the travelling ribs.

The pattern is called 'haleakala' and is named after the volcano on the island of Maui. I think the lacy cables are reminiscent of lava flow. The pattern is available here. And I've ravelled them here.

These socks were particularly poignant because 3 years ago my mum and dad took all of us kids and families on a trip to Hawaii. It was 6 months or so before my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was such a special time. We did so many great things together: the best snorkelling ever, walks, a great aquarium in Waikiki (which dad and giggi particularly liked). And regarding haleakala: a couple of the more adventurous ones cycled down it, and my parents and the AJs walked across the crater.
My favourite holiday snap:

My dad died last May, so we're still going through a lot of firsts. These socks were knitted for my mum's birthdays with lots of love and prayers for her and reminiscing over those halcyon days.

These socks are a little big on me, so can't wait to get a picture with my mum's feet in them :-) Happy birthday mum! We love you so much.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

stitch n bitch

I was a little bit excited to go to my first stitch n bitch group last night.

A lovely group of ladies who meet in a restaurant, eat and knit. Perfect. Everyone was very friendly and generous with their expertise and advice. And there were other sock knitters there, hurrah!

My only concern is that they'll convince me to take up spinning :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

wip wednesday fail

So I was triumphantly having a completed wayward sock photographed today:

When I downloaded the photos this became evident:

I had knitted four rows with just regular knit stitches rather than twisted knit stitches. And although it's not that big a deal, they are glaringly evident to me. So I ripped out 58 rows and am pretty much where I was last week. I guess it's not expected when you're switching between patterns with twisted stitches and without.

At least my birthday knitting is going along relatively smoothly :-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

clandestine socks for a dear friend

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with how these socks have come out. Better late than never, my friend's birthday was at the beginning of February, but it's been a busy knitting month.

Sarah H this one's for you - socks with heels :-)

They are certainly the most complex socks I've knitted so far. The main features are an intricate lace pattern (14 row repeat - tricky enough to stay interesting but also repetitive enough to become familiar. NB different chart for leg and foot obviously) and twisted stitches which I think give amazing definition - particularly noticeable on the cuff and the scallop shapes. The pattern for this size is available free here or for the whole kit and caboodle you can buy and download here. The design is by Cookie A a truly innovative sock designer and great fun to knit.

These are also left and right socks - the feet are mirror images of each other.

My mods: a shallower rounder toe than a standard wedge. Mainly because otherwise I would have had to have 3 inches of stockinette for the toe because of the large repeat. I've ravelled it here

Special thanks to Rene whose sock photographing skills are truly exceptional.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

wip wednesday is back

Well, I was waiting for some artisan sock yarn from the amazing hazelknits as part of my great sock gift project. BTW totally not their issue, but mine in not ordering it soon enough. They get their yarn out so fast, less than a week from ordering from the US and it was at my door. But it meant that I could work on some socks for me while I was waiting. April and June are busy times in our families for birthdays....

Anyway, I got started on my Cookie A sock club socks. The pattern is called Wayward and is for the exclusive use of members until February 2013 after which you can buy it from

I put the socks on to circulars for photographing and to check the fit. They are so beautiful and more complex than anything I've ever knitted. Each row is different because of the way the cables travel across the sock. So you have to sit and concentrate but the result is worth it.

The wool is so soft and squooshy. Lovely to knit with. And still gives decent stitch definition because of the twisted stitches I think.

The other exciting thing is that I've learned to cable without using a cable needle. It makes the knitting a bit quicker which is nice with such a complex pattern. Watch this video to learn how. Pretty easy and not too scary after all. 

These however, are the socks I can take out with me and I don't need to keep referring to the pattern. I don't knit with variegated yarn much. This is the same pattern that I used for Deb's socks. This photo doesn't really capture the colour mainly raspberry, green and a little purple. 

Although these socks were started on the 7th of October I'm pleased that they're still chugging along. I find to counter act the so called 'second sock syndrome' you just need to cast on the 2nd sock immediately when you've finished the first one. At least then you've done the fiddly bit and it's not too daunting to pick them up down the track.

Good fun. Nice to feel like you're achieving something, as a stay at home mum so much other stuff is repetitive and is never done. This is different.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

three months on - still good

Well it's the beginning of a new month which means another month on our low-fructose adventure. At this stage I'm not sure what to write. I'm not sure what the fuss is about. I don't miss all the sugar laden treats. This really has become our new normal. 

In the interests of full disclosure I did enjoy a Windsor Hotel high tea - it's a Melbourne institution. At the kind  invitation of my sister-in-law's future in-laws we had a lovely sunday lunch in town. There were small hot pies and pastries, sandwiches and scones on the three tiered stands and a buffet of sweet treats. You can see a beautiful selection below. It was a lovely one off and didn't upset the apple-cart. 

I think I can handle a once a month treat (quality not quantity, see here) - so much better than a daily or more often treat. Now this really is a treat.

The other thing that I really noticed is when we put some tomato sauce on a sausage roll. If I'd been more organised (see here) we wouldn't have succumbed to our old ways. But it was seriously sweet. I used to think tomato sauce was savoury. Now it almost tastes as though it belongs on ice cream...

I'm starting to wonder what we're going to do about easter chocolate. I think I might put the word out that if you'd like to buy something for our kids choose a gift that has more to do with easter (i.e. remembering Jesus's saving death and resurrection) or otherwise something dark chocolate - the darker the better.

I'm thinking about making our own easter eggs. I'm not sure that a block of 85% Green and Black's will cut it. There's a recipe here that looks like it has potential or I could melt said Green and Blacks. And I can pick up some easter egg moulds pretty easily I would have thought. Maybe here (although 1/2 a kilo of chocolate per egg might be a bit much) or somewhere like spotlight. 

Any thoughts???