Monday, April 30, 2012

ok so I might be in love...

so they arrived:

now what can I possible make that is going to be worthy of them???

Thursday, April 26, 2012

the joy...

In the world of knitting there's not much more satisfaction than a great pattern, some fantastic yarn, a quick knit and just the right item for the right person.

This pattern is 'turn-a-square' by Jared Flood. It's a free download available here. It's not very difficult but the results are really effective. I love how the stripes are squared on the crown of the hat.

I learnt how to do jogless stripes. For some good advice see here or with moving pictures see here. For a couple of different options see here. Just make sure to move your marker around, so each time you knit 2 together, take the marker off before and replace it after so you're moving the beginning of the round one stitch to the left each time you change colour. Although I must admit you can see how the stripes travel... Note how the fabric pulls a bit to the left, as you can see below.

I also experienced the joy of great yarn. I love alternating a solid colour with a self-striping yarn. I managed to use some left over yarn as the main yarn and delved in to the world of noro for the stripes. All I can say is trust the noro. I kept wanting to hurry the colour changes but I resisted :-) Although I must admit that I rewound the yarn so that I was sure to get some of the green.

It's slightly too big for good old RP, who knows it was such a quick knit I might try it again with half an inch less. We'll see...

But it's just the thing for his cold, early starts. And it was a complete surprise: in the words of Giggi 'mum are you doing your sneaky knitting?'

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

mother-in-law makotos

This pattern is the 2nd pattern from the 1st instalment of the Cookie A sock club. I wasn't sure about the pattern at first, I really do think the slightly variegated yarn suits the pattern better than the sock club yarn.

However the pattern has really grown on me. They were fun and easy to knit. It was fascinating to see how the pattern emerged with the double yarn overs and the resulting ladders. The pattern is supposed to resemble fortune cookies and you can really see it. So clever. I've ravelled all the details here.

The recipient was thrilled. What more could you ask for? Here she is modelling her new socks. :-)

This strange shot gives you the best idea of the colour. Another beautiful yarn from hazelknits. Colourway arroyo.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

sharing the plowshares

Here's the latest in the Great Sock Gift Project of 2011-2012. April is a busy month in the Pfitzner family. First off the rank is my father-in-law. I've been searching for some more good blokey sock patterns. Something that's not too boring to knit and not to fancy to be off putting. 

And this was the result:

They're called plowshare socks which is perfect for my father-in-law because I think his favourite place to be is on his farm just north of Adelaide. The pattern was a little risky because not that many other people had used it but I love it.

It has a slipped stitch in the middle of the rib which really makes it pop. And there's a chevron kind of pattern to make the plowshare shapes. Kept the interest going without being technically difficult. A really clever pattern.

I also love the yarn which is hazelknits artisan sock (my go-to yarn of choice at the moment). In the words of my father-in-law it's comfortable and surprisingly light. I also love the colourway which is called low tide and is a beautiful mix of blues, greens, grays and browns. Quite similar to the new Cookie A sock club yarn from Socktopus.

And the good news is that the socks fit! Although in the pictures they were kindly modelled by mum. Anyway better get back to the April birthday knitting :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

it's not a sock!

I went stash diving in search of something that would make a good slouchy hat and brighten up a Melbourne winter. And here it is...

The pattern I chose was norie by the shetland trader. I didn't go for quite as much slouch as the pattern, but next time I think I'd go for it. I haven't washed and blocked it yet, but the lace is still quite cute.

Here's our attempt at a cheesy knitting book pose :-)

Anyway, with a bit of road-trip knitting and another half hour when we got home. Holiday knitting goal #3 is finito!

Now to get back to the Great Sock Gift Project...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

another pair finally finished

I've blogged about these ad nauseum but they are done. The rib was pretty straight forward, the intriguing techniques revolved around knitting a sock from the toe up.

I thought the eastern cast-on was fiddly but effective (particularly being a tight knitter made it a bit more difficult). 
The short row heel worked out better than I anticipated. I like the sewn bind-off.

My mother bought me this beautiful yarn right when I first got into sock knitting. I love the colours and love the way the raspberry stripes came out. I needn't have worried about the yardage of the colinette jitterbug, they've added another 10g since many people were remarking on the low yardage. I could have added another inch or too, which is frustrating since they are toe-ups. Next time I'll have an electronic scale on hand and make an informed decision about when to bind off :-)

Holiday knitting goal #2 done and dusted.

Monday, April 9, 2012

louisa is no longer wayward

Yay... so pleased that I've finally finished these beautiful socks. They are the wayward socks from the Cookie A Sock Club. I've ravelled them here.

They certainly are the most complex socks I've ever knitted. Largely due to the twisted stitches, complex charts and the way the socks mirror each other.

The 2nd sock essentially took 5 days of hard knitting... but a lovely way to spend a long weekend. The yarn is a beautiful blend of merino, cashmere and silk. As I may have mentioned before.... Perhaps the stitch definition wasn't all it could have been but I haven't taken them off since I finished them. Smooshy...

Holiday knitting goal #1 completed.

As to whether I myself am wayward or not you may need to speak to me about that directly  ;-)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

easter eggsperiment #2

well, I'm pleased to say we had success today with our easter egg making

1) mum and giggi made these beautiful rabbits out of boiled eggs (the kits were from when we lived in Germany 30 years ago - still  good). No fructose here :-)

2) the chocolate and the moulds worked! see here for my previous attempt...
my tips:
- we picked up moulds and foil wrappers from Spotlight for around $10

- make sure you lightly grease the moulds with olive oil on paper towel

- let the chocolate cool a little before filling half a mould half full of chocolate (about 30g of chocolate for this size egg)

- clamp the moulds together with pegs or elastic bands before swirling the chocolate around to make sure that there are no holes

- put in the fridge and turn every 2 mins to ensure even coverage (for about 10mins)

- leave the chocolate in for another hour or so to make sure the chocolate has fully set.
et voila!

I really like that the eggs are hollow: less chocolate for one thing but more importantly it reminds us that on Easter Sunday the tomb was empty because Jesus had come back to life. I love opportunities like this to talk to my kids about what really matters :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

holiday knitting goodness

Well we've done a road trip of around 900km to go hang out with my mum over Easter. I finished my most pressing pair of birthday socks. And I didn't receive my delivery of yarn for the next few birthday pairs before we left.

Oh dear! I'll have to do some knitting for myself.

Here are my ambitious holiday knitting goals:
- finish my waywards  by the 11th to be in the running for a cookie a prize: so far only just passed the cuff on the second sock
- finish my raspberry toe-ups: I only have one leg to go
- knit myself a 'slouchy' hat for winter with some stash wool: I'm thinking of 'norie' by Godrun Johnston.

Any slouchy hat recommendations???

easter eggsperiment #1

so... trying to be low fructose at easter time isn't easy. Here's what we've done to mitigate sugar consumption at this special time of year.

1) lower fructose hot cross buns
I used this recipe from as the basis.
My modifications were:
- substitute dextrose for the caster sugar
- substitute a diced green apple for half the sultanas
- lower the oven temperature to 170 C
It didn't quite taste as good but it was better for us and we didn't feel like we were missing out.

2) lower fructose easter eggs
So this 'eggsperiment' didn't quite work but here goes.
I used the low fructose chocolate recipe from here.
My modifications were:
- substitute dextrose for the regular sugar and add twice as much
(nb the dessicated coconut is 6g sugar/100g which isn't fructose free but not too bad considering)
This chocolate is great if you like it really coconutty and perfect if you don't really like dark chocolate. It doesn't however set very hard so isn't really appropriate for making into hollow eggs.
It did work fine in chocolate moulds so we channelled a northern hemisphere easter and made spring flower chocolates - I particularly liked the daffodils.

Tomorrow we try the egg moulds with dark chocolate. I'll keep you posted.