Tuesday, 28 July 2009


This last week I was quite busy with many things, but managed, as usual, to knit a bit.

My "finish things on the needles" resolution is progressing, but it is unfortunately perfectly balanced by the usual need of starting new projects! Oh, well, I'm having fun.

Here is another finished wollywormhead hat. The pattern is called Marina, it is knitted sideways with a drop stitch, and I had a lot of fun knitting it.
I used 4.5 mm needles, and a 8 ply wool from Cleckheaton I bought in Melbourne in June.

I participate to a monthly knit along (ravelry link) and this was one of the June hats.

Monday, 27 July 2009

in the mountains

Last friday I was in the field with a student.
Oh, well, I'm really unfit, especially since it is a year I'm not going to the mountains, but it was a gorgeaous day!! And the Alps are always a beauty.

We reached 2100 mt, and the sight was gorgeous.

Water was cascading everywere, unfortunately glaciers are melting, I can remember this same spot 20 years ago, and it was really different!

Anyhow, we climbed up to a nice fall, with some snow leftovers, and a fantastic roaring sound. It was warm, and beautiful, even thoug in the afternoon clouds arrived, and a cool wind rose. At a certain points we decided to return back, thinking that a storm was approaching.

All around there were hundreds of flowers and insects: what a busy corner!

The storm happened late in the evening, when I was already driving home, and it was indeed a huge storm!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

I'm amazed

It has been a really busy week, I was in the mountains, I have been hard working, I needed a good recovery time during the weekend. Soon more details on these activities, there has been also some good knitting over the weekend!

The resting therapy of the last two days included some internet surfing, and the find of something incredible. Look at the performance of this lady! She is a master knitter, no doubts, and I'm just amazed and left without words....

Friday, 17 July 2009

knitting update and a giveaway

Today I found the first comment to my blog!
Michela is therefore going to receive the frog featured in last post: I'll give it to you when we meet next time.

I'm working on a SP14 secret project, but also multitasking on several other unfinished project.

When I return home in the evening it is so hot, that I just want to sit doing nothing, but later in the evening it is nice to knit a bit. So this week I:

- progressed on the fronts of my sweater (a drops pattern). I'm quite happy I was able to find and interpret the notes I had taken for the back, so there is hope that the pieces will match in the end.

Pity that I discovered I had done a buttonhole in a random place after I had already progressed at the point in the photo (fingers peeking out of buttonholes). This bit was not in my notes, and now it is too late to frog. I will either sew it later, or leave it there without a button (after all I didn't see it at all for several days....);

- I finally cast off a sock and immediately cast on for the second one!

I'm not happy with the cast off, it is too wonky, probably I should have kept it more tight (I used E. Zimmerman's sewn cast off, which had worked beautifully on other occasions). Maybe I'll have to do it again, but for now I'm quite happy to experiment different ways of increasing-decreasing at the toe, and knitting my first toe-up sock without a pattern.
Knitting socks in hot weather is quite pleasing, as they are so small!

- Finally a proof on my weakness: notwithstanding my declarations I couldn't resist, and cast on

a lace cowl (in super warm mohair-wool blend, a very nice wool I'm knitting up and gifting away as I'm sort of allergic to it). This new project is for a good cause, and, by the way, I have also tried my new needles, wood knitpicks (and I like them a lot, they are more slippery than other bamboos I own, I envisage a heavy use of this set!).

- Finally I also did some swatching and project dreaming, but I leave this for another post!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

other things I do....

Besides knitting. Hmmm, there are too many!

This week knitting has been progressing, but I forgot the photos in my camera, so, hopefully, knitting update will be tomorrow. I don't want a photoless post (photography is one big passion here!). And I don't feel like talking about my failures and successes in bread making today either.

So I'll put myself in a safety zone and write about some other crafting activities.

Lately I have a need of doing several things, and neglect home, but this having proved to be really unpractical, I have settled on doing things AND the house (and work, that of course is the main activity). One of my dreams have always to be learning spinning, but my first attempt (not accomplished yet) needs some space and a photo too, so let's leave this to another day too. Enough to say that I'm blocked because I don't dare to take away from the spindle what I have produced so far....

Another thing I would love to practice more is sewing (I have several quilting books, but haven't attempted one yet, I guess I'm a bit worried more by the quilting part rather than the piecing-sewing part). My skills with the sewing machine are not top high, I bought a used Necchi on the internet some years ago and have been using it a bit.

Don't be mistaken, I'm also ery busy at work and with family, so time to spend with enough calm to learn and attempt new things is just a small quantity, I usually am a person who likes to experiment new things!

Plans for the summer would be to at least produce a courtain for the bathroom, all material is on the table, so maybe, next week.

To close this rather confused account (I see a pattern here, and wonder how confused is my brain ;-)!), I'll leave you, my dear reader, (yes, I know, there are no many readers here), with a photo of a small sewing project I completed some months ago. I filled it with grains so that it can change position, and I will probably gift it to the first child visiting our home!

Added: the pattern for the frog comes from the purl bee blog, follow the link and make as many as you want, they are really super-easy!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

a good weekend

Finally the weekend arrived.

We came to Monferrato, to have a break, and I spent a bit of time organising.

I have plenty of projects that I want to start, there comprised a fantastic Hanne Falkenberg kit I bought several months ago when the pound was low. Actually I bought two of them, but let's start with one, the one I want to give to my mother for christmas.

Before starting anything new (except hats, of course), I want to clear old unfinished things. This is a time in my life where I want to clean things: the house is cluttered and I have lost control over it several months ago, our lifestyle is a bit hectic, and also knitting and the huge stash I have accumulated need some order.

I have several knits hanging around since a long time: hats, socks, one jacket, two baby jackets and a shrug. So I brought everything with me, divided the projects, each one for a container (mainly bags), and dived into them. What e rewarding weekend!

I finished the shrug, which only needs some seaming, finished a sock and cast on immediately for the second, so I'm sure there will actually be a second sock.

And two finished things: two hats!

The first one is a pink-grey hat.

Pattern: Icing Swirl Hat by Ysolda Teague

Needles: 6mm

Wool: unknown, purchased at the market, no band. I guess a blend of wool and acylic. It's very soft.

Comments: I liked knitting this hat but I'm not very enthusiastic of the final result (maybe because the hat came out a bit too small?). I have some isues in finding wich way to wear it... Maybe I shall make another bigger one. The pattern was very well written. The look of the hat not worn is beautiful, on the other hand!

Now I'm thinking to start an Ishbel, I have seen so many on Ravelry and they all look beautiful!

The second one is a false cable grey hat, that has been already reclaimed by P.

Pattern: Eyelet Lace Beanie by April Paddock

Needles: 6mm

Wool: I used an unknown brand, 60% wool and 40% “other fibers”. It is really soft!

I like how the hat came out, it is an easy, beautiful pattern. 
Finished it, and as soon I had darned the tails in, it was gone, raclaimed by P, who even tried it on (and kept it for a while) notwithstanding th 30°C temperature! 
Bonus: a good fourth of the skein is left over….

Thursday, 9 July 2009

no much knitting...

Since we have come back I'm overwhelmed at work, having also to spend evenings working to catch up and meet a deadline. No mistakings, I'm happy to finish things this way (and this overload will end with this week), but knitting is suffering a bit....

Just to keep you amused a bit, I'll put up some images of our trip in the red centre, as there is not much knitting news around here. That was really fabulous, an outstanding experience!!!

Lots of stunning landscapes, some very famous

others less so...

but all absolutely lovely

More images of the trip soon (there are colours, trees, flowers, animals, people to talk about).

Knitting-wise, during the weekend I plan to finish some little things I started before leaving, and I have also unearthed lots of larger wips that I must finish before starting something new (hats do not count, of course!)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

couplings are made

Finally we received e-mails with our secret pals adress. I'm looking forward to investigating about my new friends: on the one side, learning as much as possible about the person i'll be sending things to, but, on the other side, also trying to know the person who is going to spoil me (yes, exactly you, you know who you are!). How fun is that?

So far I have been blog reading and ravelling, and startng to get into the mood of this intriguing "project", and dreaming of things I could do to have fun.

Most importantly, I'll have to keep the blog updated, so now I have plenty of things to do (and little time to accomplish them, as usual!).

Have a great day, all you readers (I fear there is only one ...).

Friday, 3 July 2009

Questionnaire for SP14

So here it is! I guess I will add and edit it further in the next days, but here it goes.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like natural fibers, but can happily cope with some amount of artificial, though I dont’t like all acrylic. My favourite natural fibers so far are wool and cotton, I also like Alpaca a lot. Of course, there are lots of fibers I have never tried, so maybe I shall develop other loves.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have tried several methods but havent’t found the one I like yet. Right now straights are in a bottle holder (the sort of cardboard tubes with metallic lids in wich liqueurs are packaged), and circulars and dpns sets are in a wood box (that originally contained wine bottles, seems there is a pattern there!).

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have started to knit seriously a couple of years ago and would define myself as intermediate. I mainly taught myself from books and the interet, even though I had memories on how to cast on and knit and purl since childhood!

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, but it is not updated! I’m a big reader, I adore books and read lots of them. Knitting books are not exception, toghether with all other sorts of crafty books (quilting, embroidery, spinning, weaving, paper related things...).

5. What's your favorite scent?

All citrussy scents, but I’m not a big fan of parfumes, usually I avoid parfume parts in big stores, as I am allergic to some plants and usually start to sneeze quite a lot!

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I adore chocolate, but really like all sweets (and salted food too!).

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I have been embroidering for long, like sometimes to sew (I developed recently an attraction for quilting, but haven’t found the good moment to start with it), and I have started to teach myself spinning (drop spindle, but I’d love to follow a spinning course). I would also like to dye fibers, and maybe one day learn to weave (for now I just have books about all these activities).

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I am a fan of jazz and classical music, and have both usual and mp3 cd’s for the computer and car. Lately I also have become fond of audiobooks, which I like to listen after having read the actual book. I have several that were broadcast from the radio.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I like oranges, blues and greens, but also greys and browns. The only thing I’m not fond of is soft pinks.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my partner P. No childrens or pets (we travel too much for the latter).

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

All of them except ponchos, of wich I’m not a fan at all.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I like to knit hats, occasionally socks, scarves and mittens. I would like to have enough patience for pullovers, but since they take so much time, I seem never to finish them, especially if they need seaming.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Hats (always at least a coule on the needles), socks (one pair at a time), one shrug (almost finished) and a cardigan. Planning to cast on a bag, and much more. I would be inclined to have many projects going on at the same time, but try to refrain from having all I would like.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I adore handmade gifts!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Absolutely circulars. In order of preference: metallic, bamboo and plastic.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Unfortunately not.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

2 years (knitting UFO), 15 years (embroidery UFO)!

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?

Usually I do not follow “official” holidays, but take holydays from work when I can. I always observe Christmas: everybody is home, and we have a huge family meeting, which is a lot of fun. Of course, it is not the only we have, but that one is special, especially with small children around (my faboulous nieces). I rarely take my summer break in due time (here it is August) but I manage to have some rest.

19. Is there anything that you collect?


20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I often think of putting my hands on interweave knits, but haven’t managed that yet. Usually I concede myself to buy knitting books when they are on sale, and right now there isn’t an urgent desire....

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I would like to try colourwork.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I knit socks and my feet is 41 EU (will measure it and add length and circumference, as I have very thin feet.

23. When is your birthday?

December 5th.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Yes, I’m gis on Ravelry

Thursday, 2 July 2009


While away I was really busy, with work and finally with a short holiday. his time everything happened so tightly that I even had no time to see my knitting frinds in Melbourne! What a pity, I had planned to go to knitting in public day at federation square, but couldn't make it. I did manage to knit in pubic anywere, and finished a small neckwarmer for P: it was winter and cool down there (while here it is presently quite warm!).

So here it is!

Pattern: made up
Wool: Cleckheaton 8ply, purchased at Clegs in Melbourne
Needles: 4.5 mm metal
Directions: Cast on 84, joined and worked in p1 k1 for a while. Then decided that this wool looked best in stockinette, so did a larger part just knitting, and then switched back to p1 k1 ribbing until the wool finished.

P is pleased with it, and wants to keep it. So I will not frog the second ribbed portion to transform it in a hat as originally planned.
No worries, there are two other balls of this wool, so a hat will soon apper (maybe a Wholly Wormhead pattern.....).

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

secret pal 14

I'm back from Astralia, and ready to start the secret pal 14! I have added a button of it here, and as soon as I recover from jetlag, I'll resume my postings!

While away not much knitting was done, only a small neckwarmer to protect poor P who was suffering from winter cool.
We were so busy, with work at first, and with travelling after, that I did very little yarn exploring and buying either. I ended up buying only six skeins of yarn! But I did manage to get some tweed, of wich I'm very fond.

Pictures coming soon!