For the last Christmas ball in the Merry knitalong I chose number 4 “New Snow” and here it is finished. It’s a lovely design and I quite like how it turned out in green and white and I confess I also chose it for the name… although this is officially the end of the Merry knitalong there will be new beginnings with a Crochet along in the New Year hosted by Martine.
It’s been a wonderful experience to be involved and I’ve met some great people, Sarah at Knittingsarah who had the idea and Martine at Imake who has co-hosted the knitalong through the year. I’ve been listening to Martine’s podcast for years so it was great to be able to get to know her better, and I also have to give a special shout out to Pam at Gingerbreadsnowflakes who has been such an enthusiastic knitalonger. And, not only has it been great fun, I’ve learned stranded knitting which was one of the skills I wanted to add to my repertoire for 2013. Sarah gifted me the lovely Snawheid stranded knitting hat pattern and I’ve got some Jamieson & Smith yarn ready to go so I need to get cracking on that. I have a vague resolution to knit a stranded knitting sweater in 2014… ish. We’ll see how I go.
Wayne has been away in Sydney these past few days and we’ve planned to set up the Christmas trees (yes, plural) when he gets back but I couldn’t resist setting up the small vintage silver tree with the Merry knitalong Christmas balls.
It certainly looks very festive!
My orange tweed Peace Fleece jumper is coming along and right on schedule to be finished by Christmas. I bought six skeins last year and I might even get this project done using just five – fingers crossed – which would be great for future Peace Fleece purchasing. This is a plain raglan sleeve pattern using that Benny Hill librarians pattern book by Patons, actually quite a good pattern as it turned out.
I had intended to make it to the Brooklyn General Store on my short visit to New York City to pick up some more Peace Fleece, and I was on the subway heading there on my last day, having checked out of the hotel, when I realised that I’d left my iPod sitting in the iPod dock in my room at the Pod Hotel. Drat. I wasted an hour heading back to get it and didn’t make it to Brooklyn after all. Thankfully I do have a couple of online sources for Peace Fleece though. In another #yarnshopfail I also headed to Purl Soho on my last day and, although it was past opening time and I could see someone inside, the front door was still locked. Double drat. I didn’t really have time to linger so I went around the corner to Jonathan Adler instead and bought a Christmas decoration to add to the collection.
I did have one yarn shop success though, my visit to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio where I picked up four skeins of their undyed pure wool at 15% off. The label says it’s perfect for hand dyeing and tomorrow I’m going to Jules’s natural dyeing workshop. Very exciting!
Today, on my way to work, Maria from Subway Knits pointed me to this post on Buzzfeed about “15 timeless shoes that will never go out of style” and if you scroll down to number 15 there is a picture of my Clarks shoes!
Note that I have accessorized them with a couple of skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter since, when you obviously buy both yarn and new shoes on your holiday, stuffing the yarn in said shoes is a great packing tip.
I bought those Clarks shoes on our trip to New York City back in 2010, and on my most recent visit I headed for the Clarks store on Madison Avenue on my first day in New York to pick up another pair, perfect for sightseeing.
The November challenge in the Merry Knitalong is to choose our own design or make one up, so I’ve chosen the squirrel. I’m just back from a trip to Charleston and New York City where we saw lots of squirrels, including a lucky squirrel we saw just before we gave our conference presentation.
The squirrels in New York are much bigger than the ones in Charleston. My conference co-presenter Michelle says it’s all those bagels…
Just a few pictures from the charming city of Charleston where we recently visited to co-present a paper at the Charleston Library Conference about ebooks with my colleague and friend Michelle from UWA.
Luckily we had great weather and had some time to wander the streets of the old town before the conference got started and we also got to sample some nice restaurants as guests of the company that sponsored us. We also got to spend the early evenings sitting on the porch of the very comfortable indeed Jasmine House Inn drinking lemonade or iced tea, which felt very southern. I got to stay in “The Captain’s Room” which was quite sumptuous, including a working open fireplace which I discovered by chance while trying to find a switch to turn off a lamp and accidentally fired up, well, a fire!
Our paper was on the Friday afternoon so we skipped the session before ours to sit in Marion Square and gather our thoughts, and where we saw our lucky squirrel. We knew we’d be ok after that and indeed the presentation went just fine.
There were a couple more presentations on the Saturday which is when we discovered that Marion Square hosts a great farmers’ market on the weekend, and where I got some home baked dog treats as souvenirs for the boys.
After the conference was done we strolled over to the Halsey Art Institute where there were some excellent exhibitions, plus an old-time cigarette machine in the foyer converted to the Art-o-mat. Original artworks for $5! I’d wanted the knitted rock but the handle wouldn’t work for that selection, but I got a couple of neat Charleston artworks anyway.
Then we settled in for a lazy afternoon of coffee and craft beers at Kudo while we watched a cool band, Hank West and the Smokin’ Hots and watched some smokin’ hot dancing. It was a very nice way to end our little trip to the South.
Posted in travel
I’ll be away for a couple of weeks as I’m heading over to the Charleston library conference tomorrow, which is very exciting if a little nerve-wracking because I’m going to be co-presenting a paper about ebooks in Australian libraries. We’re being sponsored by EBL/ProQuest Ebooks who tell us that we need to share with our North American colleagues what we’re doing.
treat to myself legitimate work requirement I bought a Galaxy Note 8 inch tablet and I’ve loaded my PowerPoint so I’ll be able to practise during the five hour layover in DFW Airport.
The flight is going to be an endurance test. Although I leave at lunch time on Monday and arrive in the late evening on Monday it’s over 28 hours travelling all up. Better load up some ebooks too. Michelle and I will meet up in Sydney and then we fly across the Pacific to Dallas-Fort Worth on QF7 which I have just read is the longest Qantas flight sector and the longest 747 flight of any airline in the world! Then we just have one more flight to get us to Charleston before we can fall asleep/pass out.
We were originally booked into one of the regular conference hotels but ProQuest pulled some strings and have now got us booked us into a beautiful hotel in the historic downtown, the Jasmine House Inn, a Greek Revival mansion in the Ansonborough part of town. Thankfully we have a free day on Tuesday for some gentle strolling and strong coffee.
Sadly it appears that the yarn store in downtown Charleston has closed down but that’s ok, because I’m having a New York City shopping stopover on the way home and I have my New York yarn crawl all worked out!
Alas, the Kuma tweed vest (as Steven called it) has been abandoned.
Do you ever find yarn that was at its most beautiful in the ball? The Charcoal colourway of Cleckheaton’s Merino Silk was like that. The tweedy nubs were just too loud against the dark grey fabric. I was hoping for something much more subtle. Trust me, it looks better in the photo than in real life, possibly because Kuma is covering most of it up.
This was at least my second attempt at a vest from this yarn after starting out knitting a plain stocking stitch version. Then I thought a textured pattern might tone down the tweedy nubs a bit, so I started over on Jane Ellison’s Adam vest. It was certainly an improvement but I still didn’t really like how it was turning out. I thought about plugging on but I knew I wasn’t going to like the end result so it’s been frogged. I think this yarn is really cut out for smaller projects so the now twice or thrice used yarn from the vest has been balled up and packed off to the op shop to find a new home and I’ll find a smaller project or two for what I have left.
I also bought a couple of balls of the Merino Silk in a different colourway, Ochre, and I think this turned out much nicer in a pair of fingerless gloves. I’d bought two balls but by reducing the ribbing by a couple of rows I managed to squeeze these gloves out of just one ball – with literally inches to spare.
These are working out nicely for early morning dog walks and the tweediness certainly works better in this golden brown and in a smaller project.
The pattern is from Patons Australia book 1218, Beanies, scarves and accessories for men and boys. With the second ball I have left over I could probably make a matching hat, although I’d avoid the hat designs in this book. Hunky Mark Savoia is one of the models and even he can’t carry off a knitted beret.